WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JAN 29-31

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JAN 29-31

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

1. “The Croods: A New Age” $1.8 Million

2. “The Marksman” $1.25 Million

3. “Monster Hunter” $740,00

4. “News of the World” $540,000

5. “Promising Young Woman” $260,000

6. “Fatale” $220,000

7. “The War WIth Grandpa” $147,050

8. “Our Friend” $135,000

9. “Supernova” $98,670

10. “Come Play” $95,000

source: Box Office Mojo

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BARE BONES: A HAUNTING IN SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (2013)

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A HAUNTING IN SAGINAW, MICHIGAN (2013)

This documentary has Steven ‘Prozak’ Shippy and his Seekers team coming to the rescue of a woman and her two daughters. After digging up an old tool in the surrounding woods and bringing it into their house, an aggressive haunting begins. One daughter is even physically harmed. The team enters the house to find out who, or what, has taken up residence there and what it wants.

Directed by Shippy, this installment really brings the spooky. Whereas A Haunting On Washington Avenue: The Temple Theater, seemed to be sparse in it’s evidence, there is a constant parade of shadow figures, moving objects, growls, demands to “get out” and manipulated electronics in this house. This is one of the most active hauntings caught on camera. As for the doubters, even if this is a complete hoax, it’s darn good, spooky television. It’s not just this single mom and her girls either! The cat gets it’s dish moved to it’s hissing disapproval. Heck, even the turtles and fish in one of the daughter’s rooms get spooked as well. This specter leaves no resident un-haunted! It challenges “Prozak” and his ghost hunters, and a priest, continually and there is some really creepy footage and some chilling voices recorded in the process…all to our spooky delight! Only outstanding question is…why didn’t they rebury the tool immediately, since they knew from the beginning it was the trigger? Why go through a year of paranormal induced suffering till you need a paranormal investigation and visit by a holy man? Who cares? This was one creepy fun documentary.

-MonsterZero NJ

three and one half stars rating

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BARE BONES: A HAUNTING ON WASHINGTON AVENUE: THE TEMPLE THEATER (2014)

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A HAUNTING ON WASHINGTON AVENUE: THE TEMPLE THEATER (2014)

Paranormal documentary has the members of the Seekers paranormal investigation team investigating the Temple Theater in Saginaw, Michigan. The nearly 100 year-old theater is said to be haunted and there are numerous eyewitness accounts and stories to substantiate the claim.

Documentary is directed by Seekers team leader Steven ‘Prozak’ Shippy, who is from Saginaw. Ironically, Shippy’s first documentary, A Haunting on Hamilton Street, made it’s premiere at the Temple. The documentary gets off to a bit of a slow start, but does pick up somewhat in the second half. Still, none of what we see, or hear, is anything new, or anything that we haven’t seen, or heard before, on countless paranormal investigative shows. Truth be told, the documentary is fairly uneventful aside from some typical random object movements, orbs, a few shadow figures and EVP messages, which are routine for this kind of material and too spaced out to make this consistently creepy. The setting has atmosphere, with the century old theater and it’s maze of passageways and the system of tunnels built beneath it, once used for bootlegging. Sadly, Shippy and his team, though, can’t conjure up anything really intense or scary, despite trying hard. There are a couple of spooky clips towards the end, but at that point, it’s too little and too late to make this the scary treat fans of this stuff look for. Entertaining, but nothing we haven’t seen before.

Personal Note: While this documentary didn’t thrill me, I also caught Shippy’s A Haunting in Saginaw, Michigan. Did it bring the chills and scares I was looking for this time? Review forthcoming!

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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BARE BONES: SADISTIC INTENTIONS (2018)

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SADISTIC INTENTIONS (2018)

Flick has musician Kevin (Michael Patrick Nicholson) inviting his friend Stu (Jeremy Gardner) over to his parent’s house to jam. He also invites pretty stoner Chloe (Taylor Zaudtke) under the pretense of buying drugs. When the two arrive, Kevin is nowhere to be found. While they wait, the blunt and moody Stu and the sweet and free-spirited Chloe start to bond, despite being polar opposites. Unfortunately, as per the film’s title, there is a darker intent to this evening, especially for Chloe.

Interesting and effective little flick is written and directed by Eric Pennycoff. The filmmaker creates an almost deceiving first act as metalhead Stu and hippie chick Chloe start to connect. It’s actually a cute and charming start, even though the opening minutes of the film let us know something bad is coming. Possibly a bit of a miscalculation on Pennycoff’s part, as the title and opening scenes signal that, at some point, this evening is going to go in a disturbing direction. Otherwise, we would have been taken completely off-guard when it goes from sweet, unexpected, potential romance to something darker and ill-intended. It still works, even as it’s no surprise this isn’t a chance meeting between two opposites who attract, but a calculated plan to do something nasty. Again, this is telegraphed by the opening moments and the title, so, it is not a spoiler…and the film still has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. The cast are good. Indie horror fixture Jeremy Gardner is solid as the dark-natured metalhead Stu. We like him despite his sometimes dour, cynical mood. Taylor Zaudtke is absolutely adorable and enchanting as stoner girl Chloe. She’s very crush worthy and we root for her when things turn ugly. Michael Patrick Nicholson is also effective as the disturbed and mysterious Kevin, when he finally appears.

Overall, this is an effective little flick, even if we could have been taken even more by surprise with a little less telegraphing. Eric Pennycoff is a filmmaker to keep an eye on and this flick is worth a look on Amazon Prime. Sadistic Intentions also features some nice cinematography from Malcolm A. Purnell and an effective score by Eric Romary.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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COOL STUFF: SILENT SCREAM (1979) SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY!

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SILENT SCREAM (1979) SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY!

Silent Scream (1979) (full review HERE) is a late 70s/early 80s slasher flick that actually began production before Halloween was released and started the whole 80s slasher craze. Production woes stalled it’s release till 1979, where it quite possibly benefited from the success of Carpenter’s classic. The film has earned a following in it’s own right and is currently available in a special edition blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing.

Four college students may have made a fatal room renting mistake in 1979’s Silent Scream!

 

As for the disc itself….

The high definition transfer of this cult classic slasher looks really good, especially for a low budget film made over 40 years ago. The colors are vibrant and the picture clear, with little wear visible from the original inter-positive source. The film is presented in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio with a 1080 high definition transfer. The sound options give you a choice between DTS 5.1 or DTS 2.0, the latter sounding better if you don’t have a surround sound system.

Now on to the extras….

There are some very nice and informative extras on this disc! This special edition contains three featurettes which include interviews with writers Jim and Ken Wheat along with star Rebecca Balding. Scream of Success:30 Years Later and Silent Scream: The Original Script both feature all three guests, not only talking about the making of the film, but the extensive reshoots and rewrites after the film was initially thought to be unreleasable. The Wheat Brothers: A Look Back has the two sibling writers talking about their careers and how they became involved in the project. There is also a short interview with star Balding discussing this flick and The Boogens. The next extra was bittersweet. It’s the last interview with director Denny Harris conducted over the phone and only days before he passed away. One can tell he is not well, but still passionate and proud of his work. There is also a TV spot, some radio spots, the theatrical trailer and some audio commentary; one track with the Wheats and Balding, and another with legendary horror icon Barbara Steele, which is exclusive to this Blu-ray. Some fun extras!

 

In the Engels’ attic closet, no one can hear you scream as pretty Scotty (Rebecca Balding) finds out.

 

Silent Scream is a cult classic slasher that is a good example of the way these flicks were made after Halloween and before Friday the 13th upped the ante and made 80s slashers more about gore and kills than suspense and atmosphere. It’s not perfect and it’s production problems caused it to be re-written with a large portion re-shot before it’s eventual release. All these years later, thanks to Scorpion Releasing, it’s now getting the restoration and treatment it deserves.

-MonsterZero NJ

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JAN 22-24

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ACTUALS JAN 22-24

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

1. “The Marksman” $2 Million

2. “The Croods: A New Age” $1.8 Million

3. “Wonder Woman 1984” $1.6 Million

4. “Monster Hunter” $825,316

5. “News of the World” $784,275

6. “Fatale” $398,798

7. “Promising Young Woman” $396,625

8. “Our Friend” $250,000

9. “The War WIth Grandpa” $160,174

10. “Pinocchio” $129,442

source: Box Office Mojo

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GODZILLA vs KONG FINALLY GETS A TRAILER!

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GODZILLA vs KONG FINALLY GETS A TRAILER!

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The long awaited Godzilla vs Kong is finally being released simultaneously on HBOmax and in theaters on March 31, 2021 and we now have the equally long awaited trailer!

“Fearsome monsters Godzilla and King Kong square off in an epic battle for the ages, while humanity looks to wipe out both of the creatures and take back the planet once and for all.”

The Adam Wingard directed film is from a script by Eric Pearson and Max Borenstein and is based on a story by Terry Rossio, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields! It stars Godzilla, Kong, Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir.

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-MonsterZero NJ

Source: youtube

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BARE BONES: PSYCHO GOREMAN (2020)

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PSYCHO GOREMAN (2020)

Horror/comedy finds young siblings Mimi (Nita‑Josee Hanna) and her more timid brother Luke (Owen Myre) digging up a powerful alien warlord (Matthew Ninaber) who was buried away here on Earth, a long time ago, after his defeat. As Mimi holds the powerful gem that imprisoned him, she now has complete control over the alien the kids call Psycho Goreman. With a child holding control over a powerful alien warlord, what possibly could go wrong…aside from the assassins sent from space to destroy him, now that he has been unleashed.

Inventive and gory flick is written and directed by Steven Kostanski (co-writer/co-director of The Void). It has the blood spattering and severed limbs of a horror flick, while maintaining the silliness of a kid centric comedy. It reminds one of the bonkers ultra gory Japanese flicks they love to churn out in the Land of the Rising Sun with monsters, outrageous stories, broad comedy and showers of gore. The make-up and bloodletting are all rendered well and the creatures are imaginatively designed, especially “P.G.” Some of the designs evoked work from his movies. What holds this flick back a bit is that it’s just not as funny as it should have been and they didn’t take as much advantage of the premise as they could have. There are some fun bits, a few laugh out loud moments and the gore is plentiful and inventive, but it just seems like it should have been more consistently amusing. It also drags a bit for a 99 minute movie. There really isn’t enough story for a more than 80-90 minute runtime. The cast are OK, with Matthew Ninaber delivering an amusing performance, from under all that make-up, as a powerful alien warlord being frustratingly forced to adhere to the whims of a bratty child. There is fun to be had, but one feels it could have been more of an outright blast with a wittier script that took complete advantage of the amusing story set-up and a tighter runtime.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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BARE BONES: VAMPIRES vs. THE BRONX (2020)

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VAMPIRES vs. THE BRONX (2020)

Fun flick has three friends, Miguel “Little Mayor” Martinez (Jaden Michael), Bobby (Gerald W. Jones III) and Luis (Gregory Diaz IV) having more to worry about than the mysterious Murnau Properties realty company buying up homes and businesses all over town. Miguel and his friends come to believe the new folks moving into the Bronx are vampires and their plans are far more sinister than simply gentrifying the neighborhood.

Horror comedy is directed with a nice balance of both by Oz Rodriguez from his script with Blaise Hemingway. It also adds a nice dose of ethnic flavor from the varied peoples of this Bronx neighborhood and a strong sense of community. Rodriguez presents his story seriously enough, so the vampires have threat and the themes of urban gentrification and the dangers of inner city life are not lost. At the same time, we are entertained, as “Little Mayor” and his buds try to convince everyone that vampires have come to the Bronx and, of course, no one believes them. Michael, Jones and Diaz make an endearing trio of good friends turned vampire hunters, trying to preserve the only life they know, while Sarah Gadon makes a sexy and sinister vampire lord trying to take it from them. All the cast are good, with those portraying neighbors adding character and bringing cultural nuances to their roles, while those playing vampires are threatening enough to give their bloodsuckers menace. A fun and family friendly kids vs. monsters movie that may be predictable at times, but is still a really good time nonetheless. Also stars Shea Whigham as a vampire familiar realtor, Cliff “Method Man” Smith as the local priest and a cameo by Zoe Saldana as a nail salon owner. Vampires vs. The Bronx can be found streaming on Netflix!

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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IT CAME FROM ASIAN CINEMA: KING KONG vs. GODZILLA (1962)

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KING KONG vs. GODZILLA (1962)

With Legendary’s rematch finally on the horizon for release, maybe it’s time to look back at Godzilla and Kong’s first cinematic slugfest. This review is of the original Japanese language version.

The story finds Godzilla breaking out of his icy prison after seven years and, once more, heading for Japan, after he makes a quick snack of a nuclear submarine. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical company CEO Tako (Ichirō Arishima) is looking for something big to boost the ratings of the TV shows his company sponsors. Rumors of a large creature on a Pacific island may be just what he needs. The creature is a massive ape known as Kong and Tako plans to bring the beast to Japan. Obviously, Godzilla and an escaped Kong arrive on Japanese shores at the same time and are destined to cross paths and lock horns.

Flick is directed by Ishirō Honda from a script by Shinichi Sekizawa. The film is a lot lighter than the first two Godzilla films and goes for more comical situations than dramatic intensity…though it has that, too. Godzilla is clearly the bad guy here with Japanese authorities even provoking a second fight between the titans, after Godzilla’s heat ray cause Kong to retreat the first time around. The film is colorful, as were most of the 60s era Godzilla flicks and the FX from the legendary Eiji Tsuburaya range from some really elaborate model work to the sadly inadequate Kong costume, which looks like a Halloween ape suit. The arms laughably and drastically change length from shot to shot. Kong is the underdog here, with Godzilla portrayed as bigger and more powerful. Kong is given an added caveat of being able to absorb power from electricity to even up the odds. The battles are fun, though keeping in consistency with the rest of the flick, carry a lighter, more humorous tone. There is a lot of damage caused by both Kong and Godzilla when they are apart and utter destruction when they are in combat. The human drama is amusing enough to occupy us whenever our colossal critters are not on screen, which isn’t often and Kong gets to show he still has a way with the ladies. Legendary Toho composer Akira Ifukube provides another classic score. It’s a fun movie, though slightly disappointing for those expecting the more serious tone of both Godzilla and Kong’s original movies.

The cast are all good. Ichirō Arishima was known in his native land as the “Japanese Chaplin” and one can see why, as the actor delivers a fun performance of both exaggerated line delivery and physical comedy. Toho veteran Tadao Takashima and Yū Fujiki share hero duties as Osamu Sakurai and Kinsaburo Furueshare, the two PR men sent to retrieve Kong and then get involved with the carnage between the big ape and his opponent. Joining the two is Bond girl Mie Hama as Osamu’s sister Fumiko and Toho veteran Kenji Sahara as Kazuo Fujita, her boyfriend. Haruo Nakajima once again does a great job in the Godzilla suit, as does Shoichi Hirose give Kong a lot of character despite the sub-par gorilla suit. Ironically Nakajima would get to play Kong, too, in Toho’s only other Kong adventure, King Kong Escapes.

Despite being a sillier entry in Godzilla’s early filmography, Kong was said to be popular in Japan, so the film pairing of the two monsters was a big hit and remains one of the top grossing Toho Godzilla flicks. It’s a lot of fun and fast moving at 97 minutes long. The FX are standard for Toho sci-fi flicks of this era, save for the awful Kong costume, and there is a lot of destruction for the buck. For almost 60 years, a rumor has persisted that there are two versions of the film, with Godzilla winning in the Japanese version and Kong winning in the U.S. version. Despite Universal’s U.S. version being heavily edited, with some new footage of Western actors added in, the ending remains the same with both monsters tumbling into the sea. Kong surfaces, swimming off and Godzilla remains underwater, his fate uncertain until the next flick. Godzilla would re-emerge in 1964 for Mothra vs. Godzilla and Kong would fight his mechanical double for Toho in 1967’s King Kong Escapes also starring Mie Hama.

-MonsterZero NJ

 

3 rampaging Godzillas.

godzilla vs biollante rating

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