BARE BONES: GET THE GIRL (2017)

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GET THE GIRL (2017)

Dumb and dull flick has love-struck Clarence (Justin Dobies) falling in love with sexy bartender Alex (Elizabeth Whitson) and hiring lowlife Patrick (Noah Segan) to kidnap her, so he can rescue her and become her hero to win her heart. Things go awry and soon blood and bullets are flying instead of cupid’s arrows.

Writer director Eric England has shown some potential with his horror flicks like Contracted and Madison County, but fails as a Tarantino wannabe. It’s a silly movie with a story that gets dumber and dumber as it goes along, even though it’s trying to be clever. It also tries way too hard to be hip and the characters are annoying and the attempts at slick humor fall flat. England has proven he can make a good movie, especially in the horror genre and it’s hard to give a filmmaker a hard time for trying something different, but maybe the hip, ultra-violent comedy thing is not for him. Also stars Scout Taylor-Compton as Patrick’s dim-witted girlfriend.

-MonsterZero NJ

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S TOP 12 PRE-JURASSIC PARK DINOSAUR FLICKS!

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S TOP 12 PRE-JURASSIC PARK DINOSAUR FLICKS!

Dana Gillespie as The People That Time Forgot’s voluptuous cave girl Ajor.

Before Jurassic Park added science and top notch CGI to our dinosaur flicks, those of us who grew up before Spielberg’s classic enjoyed our prehistoric entertainment with rubber monsters, stop-motion animation and cave-girls ready to bust out of their animal skin skivvies. In honor of the type of dinosaur flick they don’t make anymore, here are 12 old school dinosaur epics that still entertain!

(To get to our reviews of those titles covered here at the Movie Madhouse, just enter that title in the search engine at the top of the page!)

-MonsterZero NJ

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HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY TO THE LEGENDARY JOHN CARPENTER!

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The_10_best_movie_soundtracks_according_John_Carpenter_photo_by_Kyle_Cassidy_750_501_75_sThe man, the myth, the legend!

Today legendary genre director John Carpenter turns 70 and as he has directed so many classics and is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers, who’s created some of my all-time favorite films, MonsterZero NJ’s Movie Madhouse wishes him a very happy, healthy birthday!

-MonsterZero NJ

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: YOR, HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE (1983)

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YOR, HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE (1983)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Goofy 80s flick tells of the adventures of Yor (Reb Brown), a warrior in a prehistoric world who seems different from the other cave-dwellers, with his blonde hair, sharp thinking (sort of) and clean shaven face in a world bereft of Gillette razors. He saves the beautiful Kalaa (Corinne Cléry) and her guardian Pag (Luciano Pigozzi) from a more savage tribe and the three join in a quest to find Yor’s true lineage. They do, and find that Yor is actually Galahad, the son of a exiled rebel from an island that’s all that’s left of a once advanced society, destroyed by nuclear war. An island currently run by the tyrannical “Overlord” (John Steiner). Now Yor must decide which world he wants to live in, the remains of a futuristic civilization, or the primitive world that sprang from it’s ruins.

Multi-national production is directed by Antonio Margheriti…under the pseudonym Anthony M. Dawson for U.S. release…from a script he co-wrote with Robert Bailey, which is based on an Argentinian comic book. As such, Margheriti plays it somewhat straight and lets the fun come from the ludicrous story and proceedings. And there is plenty of entertainment to be had, for all the wrong reasons, as there are dozens of badly staged fights, savage cave men who speak perfect English, some delightfully paper-mache dinosaurs, mixed in with equally cheesy looking robots, laser guns and space ships. It’s ridiculous, but has a sense of charm even if the prehistoric characters use words that shatter any illusion we are watching cave people, long before we find out they are descendants of an advanced society. Yor, despite being our hero, seems to get a lot of people killed and a lot of villages are razed around him, but it’s hard not to like a guy that hang glides into battle using the corpse of a giant bat. The FX and sets are gleefully cheesy, there is some surprising bloodshed for a PG flick and the ridiculous electronic theme song, by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, might just get stuck in your head (check out the video below)!

Reb Brown is a fine combination of caveman and futuristic warrior in his loin cloth, boots with the fur and Carol Channing blonde wig. I’m sure he’d rather have been doing Shakespeare in the park or something, but plays it seriously and with gusto and makes for a likable hero in a very silly movie. Corinne Cléry is quite beautiful as Yor’s love interest Kalaa. She’s mostly a damsel in distress, but she has enough natural charms to make her scantily clad cave-girl memorable. Look at it this way, how many actresses can say they appeared alongside both James Bond (Moonraker) and Yor, Hunter From The Future? Rounding out, Luciano Pigozzi is charming as crusty, old tag-along Pag and John Steiner is appropriately over the top as cheesy villain from the future, The Overlord.

On one hand this is a cheaply made and silly plotted flick, but on the other it is very entertaining for all the wrong reasons. The director and cast take the goofy material seriously enough so it’s not a joke and let the material provide the fun as we go from our bare-chested hero fighting fake looking dinosaurs to fake looking robots. He finds love, his true past and can wield both a primitive club and a laser gun…and how many cinematic icons can make that boast? Only in the 80s.

-MonsterZero NJ

rated 3 cavemen hurling a robot.

 

 

 

 

Yor hunter from the future trailer…

BONUS: Yor hunter from the future theme song…

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JAN. 12-14

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” $27 Million

2. “The Post” $18.6 Million

3. “The Commuter” $13.4 Million

4. “Insidious: The Last Key” $12.1 Million

5. “The Greatest Showman” $11.8 Million

6. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” $11.2 Million

7. “Paddington 2” $10.6 Million

8. “Proud Mary” $10 Million

9. “Pitch Perfect 3” $5.6 Million

10. “Darkest Hour” $4.5 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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BARE BONES: DAY OF THE DEAD-BLOODLINE (2018)

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DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE (2018)

Second remake of George Romero’s third zombie classic is basically a retread with scientists and military in a secure…somewhat…bunker trying to find a cure for the zombie virus. One zombie, Max (Johnathon Schaech) seems to hold the key, as he is far more human than his vicious counterparts. Added caveat is, however, Max was a psychopath in life and obsessed with scientist with model good looks, Zoe (Sophie Skelton). This puts the entire base in danger as Max will do anything to get his hands on her.

Pointless remake is written by Mark Tonderai and Lars Jacobson with directorial chores handed over to someone named Hèctor Hernández Vicens. Vicens directs competently, but there are little scares or suspense and the zombie action is strictly routine. It follows the basic plot of Romero’s flick, but changes character names, eliminates and combines other characters and adds soap opera level relationships for our survivors and soldiers, who all look like models. They have a larger group of civilians in the bunker which means more food for the flesh eaters…called “rotters” here…and of course intelligent zombie “Bub” is now psycho zombie “Max”. The dull characters continually do stupid things to put themselves and others in harm’s way and the writers even have the audacity to give it a bright and happy ending. The acting is nothing special, though technical aspects, including make-up, are good, but ultimately a waste of time as both zombie film and remake.

-MonsterZero NJ

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BARE BONES: HAUNTERS-THE ART OF THE SCARE (2017)

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HAUNTERS-THE ART OF THE SCARE (2017)

Haunters is a fun and sometimes disturbing documentary focusing on the folks who set up extreme haunts at Halloween…and some of the individuals who go to them. Writer/director Jon Schnitzer interviews some small time extreme haunt makers whose mission it is every Halloween to terrify people as much as possible. One such entrepreneur, Russ McKamey, runs a haunt that may cross some lines, but Schnitzer let’s you decide if that is so for yourself. He shows how the people work hard to put these attractions together and then shows us the eager customers willing to be bound, gagged, blindfolded, manhandled, dunked under water and covered in all sorts of who-knows-what. It’s hard to tell who is more disturbed, the haunt creators or their excited to be frightened clients. The interviews and footage are equally fun and disturbing and also gives us a look at what effect this horror hobby has on the makers and their families. And while you consider if these haunts are unethical or dangerous, you have to at least appreciate the creativity and effort put into them. A fun and fascinating documentary from Jon Schnitzer.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: DEVIL’S GATE (2017)

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DEVIL’S GATE (2017)

(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Flick finds FBI agent Daria Francis (Amanda Schull) traveling to the rural town of Devil’s Gate, North Dakota in search of a missing woman (Bridget Regan) and her son (Spencer Drever). Along with a local deputy (Shawn Ashmore), she decides to question the woman’s husband, Jackson Pritchard (Milo Ventimiglia), who is her prime suspect, even against the warnings of the local sheriff (Jonathan Frakes). Once at his remote farmhouse, Agent Francis discovers that those actually responsible for the disappearances may be something quite otherworldly.

Directed by Clay Staub from his script he co-wrote with Peter Aperlo, this is a sci-fi flick with severe X-Files envy. The film starts out intriguing enough with the death of a stranded motorist at the booby trapped Pritchard farmhouse and that Jackson has someone…or something…locked up in his basement. Once Agent Francis and Deputy Salter get there, we soon find that the basement’s occupant is definitely someTHING and what Pritchard claims to be demons are actually extraterrestrials. From here it becomes a routine alien movie of the Mars Needs Women variety with heavy doses of Mulder and Scully conspiracy theory. We’ve seen it all before, alien/human hybrids, abducted humans and captured extraterrestrials. After a decent start, this flick degenerates into a very routine, and sometimes silly alien abduction/conspiracy flick and not an all that great one at that. There is some entertainment here and Staub is a competent director, but it’s far too familiar to really make an impact.

The cast are fine enough. Schull makes a good FBI agent. She was tough and believable in the part. Ashmore and Frakes are solid as small town deputy and sheriff respectively and Ventimiglia is also fine as a simple farmer whose sanity we question. As for the extraterrestrials, their design and prosthetic representations are well done and effective, if not familiar.

Devil’s Gate can be amusing at times, but is too derivative to really grab you. The film is technically well done, but reuses too many plot elements from previous extraterrestrial films and TV series to really stand out. The initial opening catches ones interest, but once we find out we’ve seen a lot of this on the X-Files, it loses a lot of it’s momentum.

-MonsterZero NJ

rated 2 and 1/2 aliens.

 

 

 

 

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: KILLER PARTY (1986)

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KILLER PARTY (1986)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1986 horror has a simple plot…a group of sorority sisters host an initiation for three pledges in an abandoned, haunted fraternity house. Once accepted into the sorority, the trio are tasked with setting up an April Fools Day costume party in that very same house…and of course, things turn deadly.

Directed by William Fruet (Blue Monkey) from a script by Barney Cohen, this is a silly, fun 80s slasher, thought it offers nothing new. The flick predates, Night of the Demons, by two years with it’s plot of college kids partying in an abandoned building and catching hell for it, literally. The 80s fashions and music abounds and the cast of mostly unknowns are attractive and adequate for this type of flick. The kills are fairly routine, the make-up FX work well enough and the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, as it is well aware it’s story of a vengeful, dead fraternity member is just plain silly. The characters are fairly likable, especially our three pledges (Joanna Johnson, Elaine Wilkes and Sherry Willis-Burch), though the big “reveal” as to who is possessed, is no surprise. There is little or no scares or suspense, but the film never really tries that hard, opting to have more fun with it’s premise.

Killer Party is a good example of the lighter toned, more colorful slashers of the mid to late 80s (read about the progression HERE). It offers nothing new, but does have fun with it’s silly story of a haunted sorority party. The 80s nostalgia is delightfully thick with all the very 80s fashions and music and there are enough kills to entertain. An amusing slasher from the slasher film’s most prolific era. Also stars cult film icon/director Paul Bartel as a college professor.

-MonsterZero NJ

rated 3 old-fashioned divers helmets, cause that’s what killers wore to costume parties in the 80s.

 

 

 

 

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JAN. 5-7

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” $36 Million

2. “Insidious: The Last Key” $29.3 Million

3. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” $23.5 Million

4. “The Greatest Showman” $13.8 Million

5. “Pitch Perfect 3” $10.2 Million

6. “Ferdinand” $7.7 Million

7. “Molly’s Game” $7 Million

8. “Darkest Hour” $6.35 Million

9. “Coco” $5.5 Million

10. “All the Money in the World” $3.5 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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