WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JUNE 21-23

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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. “Toy Story 4” $118 Million

2. “Child’s Play” $14 Million

3. “Aladdin” $12.2 Million

4. “Men In Black: International” $10.7 Million

5. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” $10.3 Million

6. “Rocketman” $5.65 Million

7. “John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum” $4 Million

8. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” $3.7 Million

9. “Dark Phoenix” $3.6 Million

10. “Shaft” $3.55 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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HAPPY 61st BIRTHDAY, BRUCE CAMPBELL!

HAPPY 61st BIRTHDAY, BRUCE CAMPBELL!
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MonsterZero NJ’s Movie Madhouse wishes the legendary Bruce Campbell a very happy 61st birthday!…

 

…and as a special treat…your own MonsterZero NJ being strangled by Mr. Campbell himself at the 1992 Chiller Theater convention in Hackensack N.J.!…

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-MonsterZero NJ

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BARE BONES: BOAR (2017)

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BOAR (2017)

Australian nature run amok horror has a massive wild boar terrorizing the remote Australian countryside. A group of locals and a visiting family find themselves battling the monster, who is very hungry and will eat anything…or anyone…that wanders into it’s hunting ground.

Flick is a fun and delightfully gory monster on the loose flick from writer/director Chris Sun. The flick evokes the nature gone wild films of the 70s and 80s like Grizzly, Alligator and, of course, Razorback, that were themselves inspired by Jaws. Sun gives his monster boar a lot of menace and the creature FX are mostly good old fashioned prosthetics, and very effective ones at that. CGI is only used minimally for a few full body shots needing the big pig to move like a real animal. It’s quick and rendered well enough to work. There is plenty of blood, entrails and limbs flying all over the place, yet Sun doesn’t forget to give us some likable and endearing characters to root and fear for. As the writer/director is not afraid to have characters we like fall to the critter, it ads suspense, as anyone could end up a meal. A really fun and bloody as heck, old fashioned monster flick from down under. Boar stars Wolf Creek’s John Jarratt, horror legend Bill Moseley and former WWE Superstar turned actor Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road). Check it out on Shudder for a bloody good time!

 

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK (1972)

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THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK (1972)

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

Not sure where this cult classic 70’s docu-horror, from director Charles B. Pierce (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) and writer Earl E. Smith (who also wrote Sundown, gets it’s reputation from. The flick was far too campy, corny and cheesy to be remotely scary and doesn’t fare too well as camp, either. It’s Plan 9 -esque “So bad it’s good” charm can be amusing at first, but sadly wears out it’s welcome about halfway through and the flick just becomes tedious. Although, when the film stops dead for a musical ode to some guy named Travis Crabtree, there is much chuckling and eye rolling to be had. That, unfortunately, is also one of the film’s problems, aside from costing about $10. Too many times the flick averts it’s focus from the monster sightings to ramble on about Fouke, Arkansas, or the woods, or some local character. The “High School Warning Film” narration doesn’t help either. The final straw comes from getting a glimpse of the creature’s face toward the end and it’s a store bought Halloween ape mask. The scariest thing about this “G” rated flick is that people were frightened by it when it first came out. Ah, the 70’s…

 

Rated 2 (out of 4) rubber ape masks.

 

 

 

 

 

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JUNE 14-16

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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. “Men In Black: International” $28.5 Million

2. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” $23.8 Million

3. “Aladdin” $16.7 Million

4. “Dark Phoenix” $9 Million

5. “Rocketman” $8.8 Million

6. “Shaft” $8.3 Million

7. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” $8.1 Million

8. “John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum” $6.1 Million

9. “Late Night” $5.1 Million

10. “Ma” $3.6 Million

 

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: THE RIFT aka ENDLESS DESCENT (1990)

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The Rift poster…or Endless Descent poster, if you prefer

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THE RIFT aka ENDLESS DESCENT (1990)

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

1990 low budget sci-fi/horror finds the high-tech deep sea vessel “Siren I” gone missing and the ship’s designer Wick Hayes (Jack Scalia with hilariously 80s hair) is dragged out of bed…literally…to join the rescue mission aboard the “Siren II”. The military has been using both Hayes’ designed craft and the rescue mission is commanded by hard-nosed Capt. Phillips (R. Lee Ermey) and Hayes’ former flame Lt. Nina Crowley (Deborah Adair). They find the “Siren I” wreckage in a deep sea rift, as well as, some strange undersea lifeforms. The search for the ship’s black box leads them to an undersea cavern filled with horrible mutant creatures and a mysterious laboratory. How did these creatures come to exist? Who is responsible?…and will the “Siren II” crew escape the rift alive?

Cheesy rubber monster flick is flatly directed by Pieces director Juan Piquer Simón, under the pseudonym of J.P. Simon, from a very derivative script by he, Mark Klein and David Coleman. The film evokes a lot of other better movies such as Aliens, Galaxy of Terror and Leviathan to name a few and might have been a really fun rip-off if director Simón didn’t take it so seriously. With it’s cheese-ball miniature subs, horde of rubber and plastic monsters and gallons of spurting blood, this could have been a real treat if it was directed by somebody who knew the difference between a good steak and a decadent greasy hamburger, with this flick being the latter. It still entertains with it’s awful dialogue, 1960s sci-fi level sets and all the flying viscera both human and otherwise. The acting runs from paycheck level from the vets to hilariously bad from the supporting cast, with only Ray Wise seeming to really get the material, when he is allowed to ham it up a bit in the last act. There is a lot of blood splashed around once the crew arrive in the monster filled cavern and the rubber beasties do provide some chuckles as the rend and tear apart the crew in all it’s pre-CGI glory. The flick is very ambitious for what appears to be a very low budget, but needed a more Roger Corman approach to make it really work. If you know you’re a rip-off, take the ball and run with it like Galaxy of Terror or Piranha. With the ridiculous script and rubber menagerie, the groundwork was already there.

On one side the flick is flatly directed, way too derivative and takes itself far too seriously to really work, especially on such an obvious low budget scale. On the plus side there is entertainment to be had by painfully obvious toy submarines, a delightful assortment of rubber monsters and an ocean’s worth of blood and gore splattered all over the place. The veteran cast play the subpar script far too straight, which is laughable in itself, while the supporting cast performances are hilariously all over the place. Not quite the fun it should be, but does have enough entertainment to make it an amusing watch, with some of your favorite brews. Also stars Ely Pouget as a sexy crew member and John Toles Bey who gets some of the worst of the awful dialogue.

-MonsterZero NJ

 

Rated 3 (out of 4) rubber thingys.

 

 

 

 

 

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BARE BONES: HAGAZUSSA (2017)

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HAGAZUSSA (2017)

German film takes place in the 15th century and tells the story of lonely Albrun (Aleksandra Cwen) who has lived alone in her rural cabin since the death of her mother (Claudia Martini). Her mother was thought to be a witch, for her pagan beliefs and so now is Albrun. She is persecuted by the local villagers and their clergy, especially when she has a child out of wedlock. The continual betrayal and abuse from those around her, drive poor Albrun to desperate and terrible acts.

Moody piece is written and directed by Lukas Feigelfeld and is a very slow burn tale. Feigelfeld doesn’t spoon feed his audience anything, as we never find the identity of the father of Albrun’s child, nor are we ever clear if her mother…or she…is really a witch. Strange things happen, that may or may not be all in Albrun’s mind, a result of the constant loneliness and the horrible treatment by the local villagers, including betrayal and rape. There are some subtle hints that maybe there is something supernatural going on and some not so subtle commentary about religious persecution and the evils done in the name of religion. The performances are good, especially from actress Cwen as the persecuted and finally vengeful Albrun. If you are patient enough for the slow pace and can handle some of the disturbing sequences of abuse and madness, this might be an interesting change of pace. An unnerving chiller with some very disturbing moments. Also stars Celina Peter, who portrays Albrun as a child.

 

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: THE DROWNSMAN (2014)

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THE DROWNSMAN (2014)

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

The Drownsman is an earlier film from Chad Archibald (The Heretics, I’ll Take Your Dead) and tells the spooky tale of pretty Madison (Michelle Mylett) and the malevolent spirit she encounters. Madison nearly drowns at a party and claims to have seen some kind of malevolent presence during the ordeal. This gives her an extreme fear of water and a year later friends Hannah (Caroline Korycki), Lauren (Sydney Kondruss), Kobie (Gemma Bird Matheson) and medium Cathryn (Clare Bastable), attempt an intervention that makes matters even worse. Troubled Madison’s research leads her to serial killer Sebastian Donner (Ry Barrett) also known as “The Drownsman”, a sadistic killer who kidnaped women to be drowned in his basement. Donner was finally drowned himself by his last attempted victim, Isabelle (JoAnn Nordstrom) and now his spirit uses water as a conduit back to the corporeal world, to continue his foul deeds. Worse still, he now has his waterlogged sights set on Madison and her friends, who one by one are meeting a horrid, watery fate.

Canadian filmmaker Archibald has proven himself an interesting filmmaker who uses his influences well. He directs from a script he co-wrote with Cody Calahan and makes it work far better than it should. Premise could have been silly in less capable hands, but Archibald delivers some very creepy sequences and gives the film an unsettling look, especially when we are in Donner’s lair. As our bad guy, The Drownsman is an effective supernatural creeper even if this kind of story has been presented quite a lot lately. The water element does give it a bit of a different angle and there are some interesting twists in the second act, where the intensity gets cranked up. Archibald accomplishes a lot on a modest budget and the film never tries to be more than it is. It’s effective even if basically just a familiar supernatural haunting tale mixed with a classic slasher flick. There are some questions, like where is newly married Hannah’s husband during all this and why didn’t authorities level, or at least lock up, Donner’s home after Isabelle’s escape? It’s just sitting there waiting for final girls to wander into. On a production level, Archibald has a solid visual eye and the film looks good, the make-up FX on Donner are very effective and the drowning deaths have impact, even without any gore or overly graphic violence.

Actress Michelle Mylett is a good final girl as the traumatized Madison. She presents well a woman living in fear, fears she must overcome if she and any of her friends are to survive. Caroline Korycki is solid as best friend Hannah, who at first doubt’s there is anything paranormal going on, but soon begins to believe her friend might not be imagining things. Matheson and Kondruss are also good as friends Kobie and Lauren, with Clare Bastable delivering a likable enough friend/medium in Cathryn. Last, but certainly not least, Ry Barrett brings presence and menace to the silent but lethal specter, Sebastian Donner/The Drownsman.

Not a classic, but an earlier work by a filmmaker that continues to up his game with each film. Archibald handles well a story that could have gotten very silly and delivers a spooky, at times, chiller. We have likable characters stalked by an effective boogeyman and the bloodless drowning deaths are given weight and impact. A good example of a filmmaker able to use familiar story elements and still make them effective and showing the potential he is currently living up to.

-MonsterZero NJ

Rated 3 (out of 4) bathtubs.

 

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JUNE 7-9

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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. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” $47.1 Million

2. “Dark Phoenix” $33 Million

3. “Aladdin” $24.5 Million

4. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” $15.5 Million

5. “Rocketman” $14 Million

6. “Ma” $7.8 Million

7. “John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum” $7.4 Million

8. “Avengers: Endgame” $4.8 Million

9. “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” $3 Million

10. “Booksmart” $1.6 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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