Child’s Play 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 film that’s definitely quite iconic in the horror genre. After all, if you’re big on the whole evil doll thing then you have to have seen Chucky at some point right? Well, it definitely plays it straight with the doll running around and beating everyone up. It’s pretty hard to take seriously most of the time as you would expect it to be but he definitely doesn’t waste time. I feel like he threw the first person out the window within the first 10 minutes of his appearance.

The movie starts with Mike finally chasing down one of the big criminals. He manages to take that guy down but the whole shop ends up getting blown up thanks to a bolt of lightning. Before dying, the criminal quickly threw his essence into the doll and became Chucky. Unfortunately for him, a nearby black market dealer found him and threw the guy in a box. He sells the doll for some decent cash over to Karen who quickly gets him as a belated Birthday gift to Andy. Andy is thrilled but little does he know that he has just gotten one of the most dangerous dolls out there. Will he be okay?

Child’s Play starts out as more of a wholesome family movie. Andy does his best to make a nice breakfast for Karen which definitely didn’t work out well but at least he tried. It’s good she didn’t eat that though or she might have a heart attack from all the sugar and butter. The characters are introduced well although Karen took a big risk leaving her post for the doll. It’s also lucky she had Maggie there to hassle the price down or Karen may have actually paid $100 for the doll. That would have gotten dicey pretty quickly.

Once Chucky appears things change of course. He makes for an intense villain I suppose. Honestly, the doll looks rather sinister from the start so I’m surprised that in the movie it is a best seller. Would people really be lining up outside the door to grab that one. I have some serious doubts on that to be honest…very serious doubts. From the film it seems like he kept most of his strength from being human although he still doesn’t weigh much. I wouldn’t say full strength either since Karen is hold her own against him physically when they fight each other. I can buy into him being able to get Maggie out the window although it’s still a bit of a stretch for me. Some of the scenes with him terrorizing the main characters are more on the embarrassing side though. Just knock the guy around and stop being so scared of him.

The first encounter with Karen and Chucky is one where you feel like she could have absolutely taken him down if she had pressed the advantage. He had no weapon at the time and she had adrenaline on her side. The more time you waste yelling, the more time he is able to recover. Unfortunately the whole cast always seems afraid of him so they keep on backing up until it’s just too late. For the other characters, Maggie was fun. Her screen time was limited but she seemed like a good friend who had Karen’s back.

As far as kids go Andy could be a lot worse. He meant well at least but still had a tendency to falter when the going got tough. I’ll give him credit for the punch combo he landed on Chucky though and also for being able to run in and start the flames. If he could have pinned the whole thing on Chucky from the start that would have been nice like matching the shoe prints but it occurred to him a little too late.

Karen’s a solid heroine. Again, she could have been a little more brave when handling all of this though. She did go into a dark alley to try and find out the truth but without proper self defense that nearly ended up quite badly as well. It’s a good thing Mike was around to try and find out the truth. The gun he brought along was quite handy. I don’t blame him for not believing her about the doll but once the doll was around it’s too bad he couldn’t put up a better fight.

The writing for the film seems reasonable. There’s some good dialogue here and the soundtrack helps to build up the suspenseful scenes. The random supernatural guy who created Chucky was really underwhelming though. The guy simply wasn’t too smart either since he let Chucky get the upper hand so easily. If he had kept his guard up then maybe things would have worked out better for him. Why even create a voodoo doll of yourself? In what scenario would that ever be anything but a crippling weakness? Just something to consider…..

Chucky definitely takes names here although for the most part the film isn’t all that violent. Most of the case you figure is pretty safe from the start although of course when a side character shows up you really know that they’re doomed. Chucky doesn’t go on big murder sprees the way some characters do, but he makes his presence known. So I would say it’s better than the average horror film although I still wouldn’t call it a good movie. There are also a lot of moments where the characters are practically asking to get murdered and get super lucky like Karen putting her head right next to the door where Chucky keeps sending out his knife or Mike staying glued to his seat when Chucky is stabbing at him. Not the smartest folks there.

Overall, Child’s Play is probably a bit better than I thought. I expected it to be a little more excessive with everyone dying left and right as they get stabbed to death kind of like the Leprechaun film. This movie shows a lot more restraint which is always good. I still wouldn’t say it’s the kind of film you’d ever re watch though. While the characters aren’t bad, I wouldn’t say any of them are great either. Next year maybe Andy will be satisfied with a video game instead.

Overall 4/10

Nomads 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

This is one of those films where the whole thing doesn’t make much sense so you just have to roll with it. The problem is that you can only roll with a film that actually has an engaging cast and quality characters…this one has neither. So Nomads is really doomed from the start and at no point in the film does it become all that engaging or interesting. You’ll definitely want to stay pretty far away from this one.

The movie starts with Jean being treated in the hospital but he doesn’t quite make it. Before he dies though, he manages to bite Dr. Eileen. The bite isn’t quite like a radioactive spider bite though because instead of super powers, she now has to relive the last few days/years of Jean’s life. She sees as he begins to unravel as he sees Nomads everywhere and they are going to take care of him for good. Can Jena avoid having the same fate or is she doomed here?

A really big portion of the film is devoted to the flashback of what happened to Jean. Ignoring the huge problem in that we already know he’s going to die anyway so the whole thing is rather empty, he’s just not a good character. His wife Niki is pretty reasonable the whole time and just seems like a nice person. Jean decides not to tell her anything though and then goes on pretty dangerous hunts to follow the Nomads and take pictures of them.

He takes a lot of pictures throughout and is constantly daring them to see him. Maybe he’s planning to write the biggest essay to end all essays but he really didn’t need this many pictures. Of course they would find him. He also knows that they’re dangerous since from the start they are writing disturbing messages all around and they flat out murder some random guy in a later scene. All Jean is doing is putting his wife in danger as well. The fact that he is keeping all of these secrets also means that Niki won’t be prepared when it’s her turn.

It’d be fun if we got to see Eileen reacting as she sees this by shaking her head or something. Unfortunately the magical bite from Jean means that she has to physically relive his events. So she is sort of playing a VR game you can say as she retraces his steps and looks rather crazy doing it. At least that makes it easy for the Nomads to track her down although to be fair they probably would have found her anyway.

So, this film is going for the classic horror approach of making the villains more powerful than any mere mortal. The characters can’t possibly do anything about them since their sheer numbers are crazy and they are probably all undead monsters anyway. The Nomads seem to want to torment the characters as much as possible by overloading them with fear before finishing them off. At least that would explain why they keep some characters alive. I guess maybe the guy in the dumpster scene didn’t give them the scared reaction they wanted so that’s why they destroyed him? I dunno and I don’t think the film does either.

Unfortunately Eileen isn’t a great character either. Sure, she’s better than Jean but it isn’t saying much. She immediately starts keeping secrets as well as she tries to uncover the French warning that Jean gave her before dying. Unfortunately it was not very helpful though. It basically boils down to “They’re coming to get you!”. Okay, it wasn’t that direct but essentially it’s that their spirits are everywhere so it’s not like you can beat them either. I wouldn’t say the end of the film leaves much hope for them either. In some ways you can draw some similarities to Fallen. The villain is around and you just have to hope that you don’t catch their attention. Once you do then it’s check mate.

The film can get randomly violent at times although I wouldn’t put it in the same ballpark as your average horror film or anything like that. Characters get beaten up pretty badly and since the opening takes place in a hospital get ready for one character needing to get live stitches. Still, it’s a little tamer than you would expect, but it’s not like that is going to do anything to save the film anyway. The whole story just feels like nonsense and the character cast is incredibly weak.

There is no real reason to fear the Nomads or find them as interesting characters because they have no personality. They seem like a bunch of juvenile delinquents who just so happen to have super powers and a matching fashion sense. They all wear the same leather jackets and try to take down as many heroes as possible. That’s it….that’s the extent of their character development. Then characters who are starting to have some development like Eileen’s doctor friend…just vanish later on. I suppose there isn’t much reason to keep them around but the cast was rather tiny so maybe at least have him help in the fight.

Of course, the odds of anyone believing you are slim since the Nomads only let some people see them. Pretty handy for their crew since it mans no backup will be coming. To get invested in a film you need something to latch onto but this film has nothing. There’s no scene where you can grab on and say “This was pretty interesting”. It just doesn’t happen and since the film is rather aimless, the scenes hit with the power of a bowl of soup.

Overall, Nomads is not a film I would recommend in the slightest. It could have been worse I suppose like if the guy owned a dog but the whole thing feels really pointless. There isn’t anything particularly positive to say about the film. If Jean had just minded his own business from the start then maybe none of this would have happened. If he had been frank with Niki then maybe at least he could have had a real plan. Instead he goes rogue and takes much bigger risks than he ever should have even considered. At least in that sense he’s like one of those old school horror protagonists who always makes the wrong call at every turn. If you want to watch a horror title definitely skip past this one.

Overall 2/10

The Undead Review


This film has a fairly ambitious plot to be honest. It involves some time travel, multiple paths and even how your life will affect your future incarnations. The characters have to deal with all of this and put a lot of different lives on the scale. Ultimately I would have liked a different path on the climax but the actual twist ending itself is definitely solid. The film was better than I had thought it would be.

The movie starts with Quintus running an experiment to test his theory on being able to send someone to relive a past life with his hypnosis. He tries this on Diana while another professor is around and the trick works. She is now in the past living as a witch by the name of Helene who is attempting to escape persecution. There is a drawback though, there doesn’t seem to be a way for Diana to return until Helene dies. Furthermore, if Helene survives longer than she is supposed to, then Diana may never be borne. Helene is said to die this night when the witches are executed but she has several allies in the past. Pendragon wants her to live as well as an elderly witch who protects her from the attacks of Livia. Still, Livia is quite powerful and even has her own imp. Helene will have to be careful here.

The plot in the present with Diana doesn’t return until the end so really the whole film is set in the past. Initially that’s part of what I was worried about since films that take place in this time period usually aren’t great. It just doesn’t make for a great backdrop next to the current day setting. The days of witches and castles always tends to be rather gritty and with Roger Corman here I had absolutely 0 confidence in his ability to churn out a good film. Surprisingly this one plays it fairly straight though.

Helene is a decent character but it would be nice if she could actually use some magic to fight. She does well in trying to escape her fate for a lot of the film but I do think she overthinks things by the end though. At the end of the day her life is the one she needs to worry about now as I wouldn’t buy what the others were saying. There’s no guarantee that the other characters would not still exist later on. So, just survive as long as you can and the rest will come into place.

The film is at its best with all of the action scenes though. You have quite a few confrontations that lead to blows. All of the characters are really good at surprise attacks as well and use that to quickly take their opponent down. Pendragon has a fairly extended fight against the executioner at one point which was intense. Both of them landed a ton of powerful blows to each other before one of them went down.

As for Pendragon himself, I wasn’t a fan. He’s better than the executioner guy who was desperate for Helene and just seemed really petty the whole time. The problem with Pendragon though is that he is pretty gullible and just not that smart. He is quick to tell Livia everything and also cheats with her on two occasions before finally dredging up enough willpower to break away. This guy should have been a lot more steadfast in sticking with Helene if he really liked her. From the way he talked, if she did die then he would have gone with Livia next during the early scenes which doesn’t make him look too loyal.

As for Livia, she is an impressive villain. Her magical abilities are good but almost too good. You get the feeling that she should have been able to take Helene down at any point. We see that just cutting through a clay doll would have been enough to take Helene down so she should have more spells like that once the older witch was gone. Perhaps the senior one has some kind of counter spell active though. While I don’t recall her name, the older one deserves a lot of credit. Without her Helene absolutely would not be alive.

The film even threw Satan himself into the mix. That’s certainly one way to escalate the stakes. He laughs a whole lot in this film as he finds everything amusing and clearly does not make deals. He has some back and forth exchanges with Pendragon, which he always won. Same as when he talks with Quintus. This guy’s quite experienced after all and as the ultimate evil, even Livia doesn’t mess with him.

As for Quintus, he’s easily one of the most overconfident characters you’ll run into in this film. There are quite a few confident ones after all but he probably takes the cake. Everything seems to be going his way after all and he believes that there is no risk to him since he is on a psychic trail. His experiments were dubious from the start but by the end he is acting as a total villain. He isn’t shy about hiding it either since he figures nobody in the past will ever see him again anyway so there won’t really be a risk. It’s part of what makes the end of his character arc pretty fun.

Overall, The Undead does a lot within its allotted screen time. There are other characters as well like a guy who manages the graveyard who always speaks in riddles and right hand man of the old witch who is fairly loyal. Unfortunately things don’t go very well for him. Despite being a Corman film, this one also isn’t very violent. Several heads do roll quite literally, but it’s always off screen so things don’t get too crazy. The romance was a little hard to buy and the ending isn’t ideal aside from the final scene which is magnificent. As a whole though this film was still good though and one I could safely recommend, even if just for the fight scenes which were solid. The witch abilities were also presented pretty well considering how long ago this film was made.

Overall 6/10

The Beast Must Die Review


It’s time to look at an old school murder mystery type film. It’s a pretty interesting setup with the host inviting a bunch of people over but one of them has an insidious secret. Things were going fairly well until a dog showed up. The instant he made an appearance I knew things were about to get ugly. Ah well, you win some and you lose some right? Better luck next time and all that.

The film starts with Tom on the run from some guys with guns. They manage to track him a few times but keep letting him go. Eventually he finishes the trial and we find out that the whole point of this exercise was to show how powerful the system’s defenses are. Nobody should be able to escape or run around without at least being detected. Confident that this is true, Tom invites a group of people over to his house. To everyone’s surprise this is not a social gathering though. See, he believes that one of them is actually a Werewolf! Who can it be? Tom doesn’t really care but he intends to destroy whoever it is.

Lets look at the suspects here. First up is Caroline, Tom’s wife. After all, we can’t rule anyone out this early in the game right? He didn’t invite her per say, but she is around. Caroline also makes it clear that she is not very happy with this experiment. She had been hoping for a nice little gathering but this is definitely not going that route and she knows it. Caroline makes for a solid character though. She may not buy into all of this but who would?

We have Professor Lund who is really into werewolves to the point where he may have actually tried being a cannibal. He seems to know everything about them. Then there is Arthur who did some rather shady things in order to attain his position. Paul who just got out of prison for similar crimes, Davina who may have murdered someone to get a house, and Jan who got connections through murderous ways. Now that’s not the greatest summary or these guys as the film goes through all of their shady pasts rather quickly in the opening scene but basically it’s one of those classic cases where all of them have committed some kind of crime in the past. Over half of them seem to have murdered someone while the others have tried out human flesh in the past.

You’re not really going to be rooting for any of these guys but that makes it more difficult determining who the wolf is. As the film goes on you’ll see more and more people getting bumped off so you want to make your choice before the options are too limited. As the film has a temporary intermission to let you pick who you think the culprit is, I would say that’s the time to make your pick. That said if you want to go on hard mode then do so a little earlier while the field is still full of every possible suspect.

I like the idea of trying to figure out who the culprit is. The whole “Who Done It” set up is always a lot of fun. When you have every character already being a villain then that makes everything even more intense. It’s a twist Detective Conan has done a few times as well and it ups the stakes. After all, whoever the Werewolf is also has to watch out in case he or she gets bumped off by one of the others. You can’t exactly trust anyone here although they all still talk very politely and all that.

The writing here is very solid. I liked the script as everyone has a lot of good back and forth dialogue with each other. Nobody wants to drop any hints so they are being very careful how they phrase everything. The film does a good job of really capturing that old school kind of feel. That said, the film does ultimately begin to show some weak points as the movie goes on. In particular there are two things that don’t work here.

The first is that the film introduces a dog. Of course they would right? Unfortunately this was a big mistake. The instant he appeared I had a bad feeling about this and sure enough the film engaged in some animal violence here. Why introduce an animal to die like this? It’s a bad look and an easy way to completely destroy the film’s score. We’re talking close to a 3-4 point swing in a single moment. That was definitely regrettable.

Also, I have a hard time believing that the werewolf did so good against Tom. Either Tom is just awful at being a hunter or the werewolf has more speed than the average beast. Personally it seems like the film picked the first option by accident. There are scenes where the Werewolf is literally right in front of Tom or jumps at him and the guy misses shots from point blank range. In total he misses dozens of shots at the Werewolf which is really pretty sub-par. The guy claims to be a top rate hunter and that’s the best he could do?

He had so many opportunities to take down the Wolf that he can’t blame anyone but himself. He should have absolutely won the match pretty early on into the film. While the Werewolf does go around slicing people, I wouldn’t say the film is overly violent for the most part. Perhaps a few scenes here and there when you see the bodies but for the most part this film is more dialogue heavy so the Werewolf doesn’t get a ton of scenes.

Tom had a sidekick in the control tower during the film to help steer him where to go. Keep in mind that the sensors tell him the weight and size of the creature. Despite this, when the Werewolf escapes Tom and heads over to the guy he isn’t worried. You’d think he would have taken the threat at least a little seriously since he can see from his equipment that it was making a beeline for him. It’s like the guy did not believe that the Werewolf was intelligent despite what his machines were telling him. He definitely wasn’t the smartest guy as he also missed shots at point blank range that made it easier for the Werewolf to get through. That’s how these things go I suppose.

Overall, The Beast Must Die is a film with a lot of potential but it was ultimately squandered. I’ll give the film credit for a pretty intense ending and the great opening setup but that’s about it. Your setup can be perfect but if you fail on the execution that’s probably all that people will remember anyway. The Professor was probably the best character here but it is a little relative since everyone here was as suspicious as possible. It’s a solid angle for the film even if it means you may not like the humans much. If you like a classic murder mystery with a supernatural angle then this film could be up your alley if you can get past the whole dog bit. Otherwise you will want to just take a raincheck on this one.

Overall 4/10

The Thing That Couldn’t Die Review


When you have a title like this you know that you’re about to be in for a true creature feature title. It’s definitely a very classic film that isn’t trying to do anything new or different. The heroes fight among themselves a whole lot here which just makes things even easier for the villain. It’s a solid film that flies by very quickly.

The movie starts with Jessica helping some people find treasure using her dowsing abilities. She has psychic abilities that let her know things in general and she specializes in locating objects. That being said, people are skeptical of her abilities and probably a little jealous as well. She doesn’t let it get to her too much though. Unfortunately when they find a haunted treasure chest that Jessica forbids them from opening, nobody listens. A troublemaker tricks someone into opening the chest where they find a the head of Gideon. Gideon quickly enslaves the poor guy with his hypnotic abilities. Now he is trying to locate the rest of his body.

Gideon is one of those guys who is fairly overpowered in this world. All he needs is a quick glance and he can mind control anyone. Fortunately it does seem like he can only control one person at a time though so he has to relinquish his hold over the other person. To defeat him you have to just take him down quickly without making contact or by holding a cross. Gideon gets wrecked twice when people grab their local crosses. He’s not a very intimidating villain though since for most of the film he’s just a head that people are holding up. He really has to bank on the fact that nobody is able to see him.

I thought perhaps the film was going to go for the angle that he brings out the worst in people as well which would explain why everyone was acting so shady. That said, it just turned out that none of the town’s folk liked each other very much. It’s not a particularly strong cast. Take Jessica, her powers are pretty handy but she panics a lot and never elaborates. When they dig up the chest she is quick to say that they better not open it and that she’ll leave but she can’t elaborate more except to say that it feels evil. Of course people aren’t going to take her seriously.

She didn’t do a good job of explaining herself which is normal for psychic users. They always just talk really vaguely and hope people will take them seriously. Then you have the main guy Gordon. His role isn’t all that big though. He is on Jessica’s side the whole time at least like when telling the town to back off when they kept asking her to use her talents. That said, it was a lot of money they were all going to make. Ultimately Jessica got mind controlled so she ended up helping out anyway though.

The characters just didn’t do themselves any favors. The aunt was nice enough at least. She didn’t seem to understand what was happening but did try to chip in. We even get the cops involved at one point which was pretty intense as they showed up to take names and solve this case. Gideon made it awfully easy on them by sending in his first victim. It does seem like he is able to at least give a final order when transferring his hostage possession over to someone else.

There’s also a rather pointless subplot with a painter who is dumped by one of the girls after she is mind controlled. The guy takes it really hard and then decides to go after Jessica as a rebound. Again, this makes more sense if Gideon is basically corrupting the town, but the evil atmosphere Jessica would sense seemed to only apply to Gieon’s mind control itself. Also, she didn’t notice when her best friend was mind controlled so ultimately the psychic abilities didn’t help when they mattered most.

The best part of the film would have to be the climax where they finally get to go up against Gideon. Naturally as you can imagine there was a lot of panicking here but at least we got to finally see the villain in his whole state trying to stir up some action. Now that’s what you want to see here to make things a little more interesting. I’d have been up for more of that action but the general plot of someone basically messing with the town by switching hosts over and over again isn’t bad either.

The movie is just very by the books and what keeps it from being as interesting as other films in the genre is that the character roster is fairly weak. Usually you have really strong writing to keep this at a high level but this film’s writing is more standard. It’s good but it doesn’t jump out at you or anything like that. There’s also a brief flashback for Gideon but it doesn’t really do much for him as a character since you already knew roughly what happened to him in the past.

Overall, The Thing That Couldn’t Die is a forgettable film. It’s a good title but there are just better versions of this kind of story out there as it is so I don’t think this one will stand out for you very much. If you want to see a film with some suspense and thriller elements then I’d recommend checking it out though. At the very least you can see how a small town community could try to handle this development although they aren’t quite aware of the threat for most of the movie. Jessica knows something is happening but everyone else just seriously doubts anything is amiss. I suppose there isn’t much reason to believe a head is going around controlling people though since it all seems like normal crimes going around. The shady townsperson who got bumped off early on was pretty close to becoming a big villain himself.

Overall 6/10

Killer Klowns From Outer Space Review


Killer Clowns is one of those films that is effectively part parody and part horror so it tries to grab both of those genres to have at the ready. It handles this pretty well for the most part. I’d say it doesn’t quite bump itself up into the territory of “very good” but I wouldn’t call it a bad film either way. When you mix the idea of a classic clown with aliens then you’ve got yourself a pretty interesting premise right off the bat filled with all kinds of craziness.

The movie starts off with a meteor crash landing on the outskirts of town. It turns out that this was actually a space circus filled with murderous klowns who aim to destroy everyone they can find. Effectively they are like alien invaders who go from planet to planet murdering the inhabitants and using their blood as if they were vampires. This time the town they have landed in isn’t very advanced so the humans are going to have to watch out. The problem is that this is one of those neighborhoods with a lot of pranks and a cop who is pretty corrupt. As a result, the Klowns manage to gain a lot of ground before anyone really even notices they are there.

Mike and Debbie are the main characters here as they are the first to find the Klowns and live to tell the tale. Fortunately for the the Klowns are very slow so outrunning them isn’t a big deal most of the time. They have great offensive power through their guns which can destroy an opponent in one shot as well as their shadow powers which can make any shadow real. They have no way to bump up their speed though so that gives the humans a chance. They also have a weakness which is their nose. If it sustains any kind of damage then the klown will be knocked out of existence really quick. Pretty good trick to have right?

By giving the aliens a weakness this already makes the film more interesting than if they were invincible. That said, they are still incredibly powerful so don’t expect the humans to do well. As the film goes on the Klowns end up taking a ton of people down. Pretty much everyone gets defeated at one point or another whether it be through fake pizza deliveries or not being able to react in time. It definitely gets especially tricky for two prisoners who were locked up and unable to escape when the Klown shows up. By the end of the film there aren’t a whole lot of survivors.

As for the leads, I can’t say any of the characters were all that likable. Mike apparently pranks people quite a lot as it is and he was a bit careless with taking Debbie inside a mysterious tent that could be super dangerous. Probably not the best move there all things considered but at least he has a lot of confidence in his friends the Terenzi brothers to the point where he isn’t worried when they vanish while on the enemy ship.

Then you have Debbie who panics quite a bit here. I’ll give her props for being able to fight off the popcorn monsters though. She actually did a good job of buying time throughout the scene until eventually they overwhelmed her. It was quite a bit lucky to say the least that they decided to spare her after murdering pretty much everyone else though. Technically near the end we see a few more volleyballs so presumably there are other people trapped but in one of those unexpected moments the heroes don’t have time to save them so they blow them up instead.

As for Dave, I guess he would be seen as one of the most reasonable characters in the film. He hasn’t quite gotten over Debbie yet though and takes a lot of below the belt shots at Mike but still was willing to go into the forest to check things out. I have to give him some credit there and he takes out a lot of the Klowns once he figures out their weakness. He certainly did more damage than Mooney, especially considering that the guy was talking so tough the whole time. Of course you know exactly how that plot is going to end but it still makes for a pretty fun sequence. The guy’s just so confident and has the sarcastic attitude down pat. He probably just should have kept his guard up with the Klowns though.

As for the Terenzi brothers, those guys didn’t really add anything to the film. I could have definitely done without them. They are here for the comedy of course but the film already had a good amount of it so I don’t think we needed them. As for the comedy itself, I’d say the film hits a lot more than it misses. Mooney gets a lot of funny scenes, I liked the banter with the characters, and some scenes like the Klowns trying to bump someone off the road are just classic. It’s hard to deny that those moments are definitely on point.

Then you have some jokes that are a little too extended like the shop owner glancing at the Klowns the whole time or the Terenzi brothers and pretty much anything they say. The farmer with his exaggerated reactions was definitely interesting to be sure but I wouldn’t call that scene very funny. Fortunately the movie handled the dog scene as well as possible. I was gearing up for a very shaky beginning to the film but at least we don’t see anything and maybe the Klowns don’t mess with animals. Not likely of course but hey, implied is better than showing.

Despite the lighter tone of the film it does get rather violent at times. The cocoons basically bleed people dry so whenever you open it you can expect the human to not look so good. One human literally gets melted by pie but the film actually managed to make that scene not so violent. One person is used as a live puppet which was definitely intense and so you never know when the film is about to escalate things. It definitely underscores that the Klowns may not look like threats, but they are really doing a number on the town. There’s also some brief fanservice in the film like the obligatory shower and one person who opens the door for delivery but the film mainly manages to avoid this.

Killer Klowns definitely manages to be more of a roller coaster ride next to its peers. Its better than most horror films that I’ve seen but loses to most of the Sci-Fi ones so that helps it try to find that balance. It makes sense that you would take both the pros and cons of the genres. The weak characters and the sudden violence is something more out of horror, but the cool set designs, weapons, and fun dialogue is more Sci-Fi based. I definitely like how the tent doubled as a space ship and in general the film looks pretty good. The guns are unique and clearly a lot of thought went into the Klowns. Since they don’t talk much that just makes them even more mysterious. I believe they only had 1 true scene where they talked when they were messing with Mooney.

Finally it’s worth noting that the soundtrack here is pretty great. So on a technical level the film succeeded with the visuals being on point and the soundtrack really nailing that 80s vibe. It’s got a lot of life to it and helps really make the film more memorable. A good soundtrack goes a long way after all and it does get that subtle terror tone mixed in with the usual clown tracks. All we needed at the end of the film was a huge intergalactic battle with other alien species like the Tooth Fairy and this could have really hit the moon with how crazy things got.

Overall, Killer Klowns is definitely a very memorable film. It manages to really execute on the parody elements and the idea of having a Clown (Even if they’re known as Klowns) is pretty genius. Invading a small town like this where nobody suspects anything and the police are intentionally not helping thanks to Mooney makes things pretty interesting. At times the film can definitely get quite disturbing like the scene of a Klown drinking someone’s blood but for the most part it is just focusing on how crazy this whole thing is. The Klowns seem to keep thinking of new powers as they face new obstacles in the film. We get a nice stinger at the end of the film horror style where you know that the humans are pretty much doomed and it’s really the ideal way to wraps things up. I get the feeling a remake/sequel would not be quite as good as the original but I’d be interested to see how they handle this in a modern environment. I doubt anyone will believe the main character even if he snaps a photo so that should help prevent technology from changing things quite as much. If you like the idea of a wonky Sci-Fi film that definitely goes all out then this could be up your alley. It gets pretty intense at times but everything moves at a quick pace so one second you’ll be in a serious horror moment and in the next you’ll be in comedy land.

Overall 5/10

When A Stranger Calls 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.

I can’t say the premise for this film filled me with any real hope after the disaster that was Black Christmas but maybe it would actually be good right? Unfortunately that was not the case. When A Stranger Calls is another film that you will want to absolutely avoid at all costs. It’s got a pretty bad villain and the main characters can be annoying. The main character from the opening segment certainly could have explained more on the phone but lets go back to that in a minute.

So the film starts with a babysitter, Jill, looking after two kids. She then starts getting a ton of calls from someone telling her to go check on the kids but 1. she isn’t getting paid enough for that and 2. this seems a little sketchy. So she calls the cops and when they ask her if anyone is threatening her, she says no. She’ll probably say that the caller is threatening the kids next right? Unfortunately she does not. She basically denies everything and just wants the cops to look into it. They tap the line at least but either way they’re too late to save the kids. The kids are murdered and the crook escapes into the wild.

I still can’t get past Jill not actually saying that the caller was making threats. Ah well, I suppose it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway at that point. Duncan is the guy we now know to be the murderer. He’s on the run in the streets after escaping an asylum so Clifford has made it his personal mission to take the guy down even if it costs him his career as a cop. He searches around the city for clues but of course this won’t exactly be easy. Tracking one guy down in such a huge crowd will not be easy. Meanwhile Duncan has found his next victim, a lady named Tracy. Will she be able to escape before he makes his move?

This film’s going for a different approach than most horror films like this. Usually you either don’t see the antagonist until the very end of the film or he only pops up when bumping off the main cast. Duncan is a bit different as the film actively follows him around a lot of the time. We see him attack other characters who have nothing to do with the main plot. So that’s a fresh take on the genre. It may not have even remotely saved the film but I will give it props for trying something different. Of course the downside of this approach is that Duncan’s an awful character so having to follow him around like that is pretty brutal.

At least in the bar someone stands up to him which prevents things from potentially escalating. Unfortunately he was still able to follow Tracy to her home. Duncan’s basically one of those obsessive serial killers who is completely insane but plays the victim card all the time. There’s nothing remotely redeemable about him and he’s not even a mysterious figure because of this since we see him constantly. On the whole the cast isn’t great. Tracy’s certainly a brave heroine at least. She is out at night a lot and all by herself but manages to keep her head held high and keeps on going. A lot of the other characters wouldn’t have been able to pull that off.

As for Jill, if you take away her messing up on the call I guess she was decent. As for Clifford, his drive was solid. He did keep his word on sticking around which helped Tracy out at the end. It would have been nice if at least someone would have tried to stop Duncan when he was running away though. Clifford was super close to catching him there but ultimately he just needed another step or two to actually make it. Close but no dice that time.

While the film isn’t all that violent for the most part, it goes out of its way for grit later on as we’re given a very descriptive account of what happened to the kids. Needless to say the film wants you to know that these murders were quite gruesome with a lot of unnecessary detail. We also get a flashback showing the aftermath of this later on which really comes out of the blue since I thought we were going to at least avoid the visual. I don’t see why we needed the extra shock value at that late stage in the game but it’s how it goes I suppose.

There aren’t really any fun scenes in the film. Even some of the more intense horror films like the ones with Jason or Alien usually try to squeeze in either a party scene or some character competition moments but you don’t really have any of that here. You have the first murder, then a brutal bar fight, then nearly a second murder, a final struggle and then the climax. The film really keeps a tight grip on the plot which does make sense to an extent but it means that the film keeps up a very dreary atmosphere throughout. There’s just no time for you to enjoy a scene before shaking your head at whatever fatal moment is next.

Overall, When a Stranger Calls is definitely a film I would recommend avoiding. The film is going for too much of a shock value vibe and the main villain’s pretty terrible. The idea of following him and the cop in random locations is interesting but following a villain around almost never works either. So at the end of the day what you have is a pretty unwinnable situation where the film has planted itself in the corner. It’s doomed to come out on the losing side there almost as soon as the first 20 minutes are up with what happens to the kids. If you want to watch a good film with some scary moments then I would recommend watching Dragon Ball Z: Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan instead. Now that’s a film that will probably get you a little scared while watching because of how intense Broly is.

Overall 1/10

Communion 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 film with aliens in it you are hoping that a lot of fun things are in store for you. Aliens should be fun and make for imposing villains. Unfortunately that was not the case here. The film is based on a book of pure fanfiction from an author who was delusional but you hope that the film can surpass this. That’s not the case though and the film is very weird from the start. This weirdness ultimately starts to crossover into just being an awful film and by the end you’ll be cringing so hard that this will hit rock bottom. The film was just reeeeally bad.

The movie starts with a guy named Whitley who is an aspiring author. The issue is that he can’t focus on anything for more than 5 minutes so instead of working on the book he’ll play pranks on his wife and kid. Whitley is always rambling on about random stuff but one night when a few friends are over there is a bright light that shines across the world. An alien shows up as well. Whitley doesn’t want to tell anyone about this though so he keeps quiet and continues to go more and more insane. Eventually the aliens come back to kidnap him and things get dicey for the guy. Can he cope with the experiences that he went through?

Part of the problem here is even before the abduction, Whitley already seems certifiably insane. He just never makes any possible sense. He’s always wearing a different costume while working on his book and never ends up making any progress on it either since he ends up throwing out what he had started on each time. Then once the aliens do appear he starts to grow worse as he sees them everywhere. Hypnosis only makes the visions grow even more and he can’t trust anyone even at the end so he fights on his own. One of the annoying things about Whitley is that he’s also really bad at explaining things. Often times he may make an attempt to talk about the aliens but he does it in such a round about way that it doesn’t get through.

Additionally, the aliens seem to have told him not to tell anyone. Throughout the film we eventually learn more about what happened. See, initially we only get the quick jump scare before going to the present but a lot more happened that night. By the end of the film we learn that they definitely did a number on him. So, you would expect that after this he would probably want revenge or something right? Well, this leads to the most insane part of the film where he tracks the aliens down and ends up dancing with them for kicks.

Never mind the fact that the aliens also attacked his wife and used psychic powers to murder his son once already (and vowed to return) but he still wants to dance with them. He takes the old approach of forgive and forget. His wife doesn’t seem to mind either when he tells the story to her. The whole thing is just off the walls. It’s clear that after a point Communion is intentionally trying to be as weird as possible. The characters just don’t make a whole lot of sense with their actions. If they should do something then they will do the other. I dare say the dancing scene had to be part comedy or something. How do you seriously do a scene like that? The music was also as happy as possible for ultimate contrast.

A better film could have handled this well as perhaps a parody of some sort but not this one. This film seems to actually be trying to have a horror vibe at times but I can tell you now that it doesn’t succeed in the slightest. The characters are all too ludicrous for that to work. They never act scared in a natural way so why should we be scared? Whitley has a panic attack at one point when a kid scares him using a costume and it’s so over the top that you’ll just be shaking your head. The writing isn’t any good either. You’ll lose count of how many times the wind has to silence Whitley as he goes off on a tangent. The actual story makes no sense either.

The film doesn’t exactly have any subtlety either. For example a big thing here is that Whitley is traumatized because the aliens physically ran experiments on him including some rather invasive maneuvers. Anyone can put the pieces together particularly because there are tons of memes about this and it’s the first question someone asks whenever anyone mentions being abducted by aliens. Communion doesn’t realize that though so we get a long flashback detailing this just for extra grit and edge. The movie tries to make this as tragic as possible with Whitley attempting to fight them off at first, then trying to joke around so they’d let him go but none of this works.

It makes the rest of the scenes with him and the aliens even worse. It seems like the film was trying to say Whitley had stockholm’s syndrome with the aliens to an extent and that’s why he likes them now but that’s a very disturbed way to end the title. You just know that by the end he has completely lost and that’s the real shame here. There isn’t a happy ending to be found as the aliens have won and you know that more and more humans will keep on being attacked. Since nobody believes that the aliens exist it’s not like anyone has begun to fight back against them either. That just means that the aliens have completely won.

The premise has some potential of course because alien invasions are fun. Maybe have the government find out about this and have them send over some heavy artillery. I think that would go a very long way to making this interesting. At the end of the day one of the big things holding this film back aside from all the other negatives like the endless flashbacks, slow pacing, extra grit, and characters making nonsensical choices the entire time is that the character cast is just really bad. They all come off as insane and it’s really hard to follow a group of characters like that.

Overall, Communion is definitely a disgrace. There aren’t any core positives to be found here. The movie wastes a whole lot of time in each plot so the story developments that are in the film could have easily been handled in half the time. I like to think a sequel could start to fix this film a bit by making it a total action thriller but the first step is to completely shift the focus from this film. Maybe even ignore this film entirely so in a way the sequel of this film would be starting from scratch. Kind of like a reboot. Regardless, I would highly recommend staying far away from this one.

Overall 0/10

Earth vs. The Spider Review


When you think about giant spiders odds are that Kumonga will be one of the first guys you think about. That makes sense because he is a pretty fierce beast. Still, this spider also ends up looking pretty good and it’s a movie that has aged rather well. It’s a simple film that has a plot that you can fully understand within a minute but it makes for a good watch nonetheless. The pacing is good and the cast of characters is likable so that’s already two green flags for the film.

The movie starts off with Carol’s dad on the freeway where he is unfortunately murdered by a giant spider. Carol and Mike head over to a haunted cave to search for him and just barely manage to escape the Giant Spider. They call in the science teacher Kingman as well as the Sheriff. The trouble is that aside from Kingman nobody believes them. Is there any way to convince the town of the giant spider’s existence or are they all doomed to be crushed beneath the power of this monster before they have a chance to properly counter attack? Only time will tell.

Earth vs. The Spider feels like a very short film. I want to say that it’s barely over an hour so things move really quickly. I’ll give the heroes props for venturing through the cave and for escaping with their lives since that seems difficult at times. The film has a good sense of danger with the Spider as it walks around smashing buildings and such. It’s certainly big enough to be a true threat after all so it’s not like it’ll be easy to block it away.

That said, the Spider seems kind of weak despite this. The heroes are able to push it away with electricity, fire, and knockout gas. When you put all of that together they should be able to win this pretty quick. I was actually a little puzzled when the cops basically said to ditch the knockout gas since it didn’t prove to be fatal. The original intent was to destroy the spider but surely using a substance that knocked it out for hours would still be handy here right? At the very least I think they should have kept it as an option. We do get some nice chase scenes with the Spider though so it shows that even as a giant monster it still had a good amount of agility.

As for the human characters, Kingman is the obvious MVP. For starters he believes the kids right away and also had fun making very serious suggestions about handling the spider even when nobody else believed him. He was someone you could count on the whole time. He was quick on his feet and if a plan didn’t work then he would quickly transition to a new one. Kingman was just a pro and he had a lot of snappy dialogue. Another strength for the film is that the writing is solid which is to be expected for a retro film like this. They always seem to have stellar dialogue.

Mike and Carol may not be able to steal the show the way Kingman does but they are good characters as well. Mike is considerate and always steps in to help Carol when she wants him to do something. At one point he was ready to finally watch a movie only for her to have him go back in the haunted cave again so he gets props for that. Meanwhile Carol is good as well. While I don’t agree with her decision to go back into the cave and risk certain destruction for a necklace/ring, I suppose she did well in going through most of the cave. It’s just a little mixup of priorities in this instance.

The Sherriff was definitely a fun character to help keep the leads in check. Naturally he doesn’t buy into this giant spider business one bit and why should he? Giant spiders are the stuff of legends after all. In general the town is pretty nonchalant about having a giant spider once it’s found out though so I guess the town is made of sterner stuff. The Sherriff may be skeptical the whole time but to be fair he did step in when needed.

While the film may not strike fear into your heart the way the movie was probably hoping it would, the core story is still good. It’s the kind of movie that’s easy to watch. The core fundamentals you want from any film is a cast of good characters and solid writing. This movie has both of those elements so it’s not really surprising that it ended up being a solid watch. If anything it ends so fast that you really wouldn’t mind if it lasted a bit longer. Even if just to see more of the town’s reactions as some people fled while others took charge.

Overall, I would recommend checking this film out. The title may have a lot of hyperbole as there isn’t really any big battle involving the whole planet but if you think of the town as it’s own little world then I guess that’s the best we can come up with here. The Spider itself is solid. The design may just be that of a normal giant spider but at least the roar is unique even if it doesn’t seem very fitting for the monster. If you like a good ole fashioned creature feature then this is definitely one you will want to check out.

Overall 7/10

Shut In Review


Sometimes when you boot up a movie you can tell that it’s going to stink within the first few moments. Other times it takes seconds and then you have the occasional film that won’t show its true colors until near the end. I wouldn’t say this one had a solid start by any stretch of the imagination but at least it wasn’t totally awful initially. It’s more like a film that kept getting worse and worse as it went on until there was nothing left.

The movie starts off with Mary watching her step son Stephen and her husband Richard driving off. Stephen quickly throws the car off track into a truck though so Richard dies while Stephen is thrown into a coma. Mary now spends her days taking care of him since Stephen is essentially a vegetable now. A neighbor named Doug shows up though and wants to be Mary’s rebound romance. As she starts to consider this, strange things begin to happen in the house. She sees people moving, a kid who should be long gone a state away, and things like that. Can Mary escape the house or is she doomed to die here?

There’s a ton of issues with the entire story here. Characters act in the most unintelligent ways so that the film can progress which suggests a weak story premise to begin with. Thing is, there’s not much you can really say about the film here without talking about the main twist since it’s integral so this is now going to head into spoiler territory. If you haven’t seen the film yet then you can now skip to the final paragraph. Keep in mind that this is a film you absolutely want to avoid at all costs because it’s just pretty bad to be honest. There’s nothing really good to say about it.

Okay, so the big reveal here is that Stephen actually wasn’t in a coma. The last 6 months he has been completely awake and aware of what is going on. He just waits until Mary isn’t looking or asleep to move around. Are we really supposed to believe that he kept this up for 6 months? There’s a whole lot you have to buy into here for this to make sense. First off, this means none of the doctors noticed any kind of fidgeting or anything while working on him. Stephen was perfectly able to not react in the slightest when he was being hit with the needles, studied, bathed, etc. Really? I can’t buy into this being the case for a week much less 6 months.

It gets a whole lot worse though. So the whole film Mary keeps noticing strange things like a literal kid gagging her and then running off only for her to go back to sleep and sorta think this was a dream. So, it turns out that Stephen has been drugging her with his medicine. So….how did he do this? Did he have a needle he would inject her with while she was asleep and hope that she didn’t notice, or slip medicine into Mary’s tea/coffee during the day? Both of those options aren’t exactly realistic since there’s a huge chance she would wake up or notice.

Even more practically, Stephen was using his assigned drugs from the doctor. That means it is a limited supply, one that is carefully calculated at all times. Anyone who’s ever had an operation and gets medicine knows that they only prescribe you a certain amount of tablets and to get any more you have to go through a whole request process. How did Mary not notice that Stephen’s supplies were dramatically being reduced? He was using a whole lot of drugs on her based on the bloodwork so this does not make any sense.

They certainly gave her rather odd dreams that’s for sure. It doesn’t help with us buying into her just going to sleep and ignoring all the craziness the whole time. Tom is also annoying the whole time. Instead of being reasonable and asking Mary for help he runs off multiple times. I’m not sure if he or Stephen broke the hole in the car window but we know Tom got in somehow. He basically keeps on hiding which makes it a lot easier for Stephen to catch him while Mary is left in the dark the whole time. Mary looked pretty bad the whole time as well but at least she had more excuses than the others. She certainly should have run off with Tom into the cold though instead of staying in the house. It’s definitely the safer option and the odds of being found in the dead of night are pretty slim with all the trees around. Better to risk freezing than hiding in a defenseless position.

Another character who’s just not very smart is the doctor. So, he knows that someone’s drugging Mary and sees someone moving firsthand. So, in light of this he drives on over and naturally crashes his car in the ditch. He then walks through the front door just asking what’s going on and why Mary won’t show herself…when he knows there is a crazy killer in the house. Naturally he gets bumped off real quick like nobody’s business and you’re left wondering if he was smart at all. He didn’t exactly race to call the cops either. So much for this guy being a professional because nothing about him made you think that the guy was an expert.

Stephen’s also a terrible villain. His whole motivation is basically that he wants to be with Mary in a rather twisted sense. Any scene with him will definitely make you cringe. Particularly his opening reveal as the villain. That scene in the bath takes forever and every second drags on and on. Any scene involving his obsessions with Mary ends up being a lousy one. Stephen also gets hit with a whole lot of sucker punches but unfortunately Mary never finishes him off so he always gets right back up. The worst instance of this is Mary knocking him down and then giving her back to him while having an entire conversation with Tom before….naturally getting blindsided. What was she expecting was going to happen? Stephen also seems rather strong for someone who wasn’t able to move around freely for 6 months but we can also balance that out with Mary being in a drugged state I suppose.

Overall, Shut In is definitely a terrible film. There’s really nothing to like here The reveal about who the villain is makes for a terrible second half and the execution seems like it was focused more on shock value than logic. The whole thing just doesn’t add up no matter how you slice it. You have to suspend an incredible amount of disbelief as the film goes on and after a point it just isn’t possible anymore. The romance in the film, what little we got was pretty bad. The villain’s awful and none of the characters are very smart. The film has a whole lot of shock value but none of it has any substance. Ultimately this is a film you should stay far away from. There just isn’t anything here to really give the film a win in the end.

Overall 1/10