BARE BONES: DON’T KILL IT and DARK FOREST

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DON’T KILL IT (2016)

Horror/comedy follows the exploits of demon hunter Jebediah Woodley (Dolph Lundgren) as he hunts a nasty body hopping demon in a small town. The demon’s murderous activities attracts the attention of the FBI and now Woodley is forced to team with sexy FBI agent Evelyn Pierce (Kristina Klebe from RZ’s Halloween and Tales Of Halloween) to hunt it down…if he can convince her it really exists and he’s not crazy.

Goofy, fun and delightfully over-the-top gory, flick is directed in Sharknado style by Mike Mendez from a script by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. Sure it’s silly and never scary for a minute, but the cast seem to be having a good time and Mendez brings his energetic and humor filled style to the proceedings such as he did with Gravedancers and Big Ass Spider. Mendez can take the most ridiculous of premises and just run with it and this flick is no different. Lundgren plays it straight, as does Klebe who proves once again she can pull double duty as leading lady and action hero. Goofy, harmless and blood-spattered fun.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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DARK FOREST (2015)

Slasher homage finds four gal pals, Emily (Laurel McArthur), Michelle (Veronica Ternopolski), Francine (Jalin Desloges) and Jolene (Weronika Sokalska) all heading into the woods for a girls camping trip. Unknown to them, they are being followed by Peter (Dennis Scullard), Emily’s psychotic boyfriend who wants revenge for being defied and embarrassed by the four party girls. As our unsuspecting hotties enjoy their trip, Peter cuts a bloody path of pursuit into the woods leaving a trail of bodies behind him.

Flick written and directed in 80s slasher style by Roger Boyer may be a bit amateurish at times, but has it’s bloody heart in the right place. Boyer may not conjure any real scares, but the film does have a strong 80s slasher vibe, including 80s style soundtrack and gives us some abundant gore and an equally abundant cast of hotties, much like the horrors of that era did. Our four leading ladies are actually quite fine in their roles and are very likable characters to root/fear for while Scullard does make a creepy killer. Boyer’s slasher may be short on story, but at 75 minutes, the flick is kept short and sweet and doesn’t wear out it’s welcome. Sure there are some editing weaknesses and the film looks very low budget, but these are things a filmmaker can overcome with experience and low budget horror is where the heart and soul of the genre resides anyway. A nice effort that pays respectful tribute to it’s influences.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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JOE DANTE’S “BURYING THE EX” GETS A TRAILER!

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Legendary director Joe Dante has a new horror/comedy coming out and we finally are getting a trailer. Flick, about an ex-girlfriend from hell…literally, stars Anton (Odd Thomas) Yelchin and hotties Ashley Greene and Alexandra Daddario and is due on VOD this summer.

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: BUBBA HO-TEP (2002)

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BUBBA HO-TEP (2002)

Today is a day many commemorate The King Of Rock N Roll, so we honor the legend in MonsterZero NJ style with this fun cult classic from the twisted mind of Don Coscarelli!…

Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Ho-Tep has already become kind of a modern cult classic and is a strange but very funny and imaginative midnight movie treat. Bubba tells the amusing fantasy (or is it?) story that The King, Elvis Presley, (Bruce Campbell) is still alive in a small Texas retirement home. He was desperate to live a normal life away from the pressures of his fame, so he switched places with an Elvis impersonator, Sebastian Haff (also Campbell) who was actually the one who died in 1977. A barbecuing accident destroyed their contract, which was the only proof Elvis had that he was…Elvis. So now The King Of Rock And Roll languishes in his old age with no one believing who he really is…except for fellow resident ‘Jack’ (Ossie Davis) an old black man who claims to be John F. Kennedy. Things seem bleak for Elvis and Jack until a bus crash releases a soul sucking mummy near the grounds who decides to make an easy meal of the residents of The Mud Creek Shady Rest Convalescent Home. Can the King and the former president regain former glory and stop this ancient evil from devouring all their souls?

Written and directed by Coscarelli, Bubba Ho-Tep is a really fun and delightfully quirky midnight movie. The creator of Phantasm turns this oddball story into a clever horror comedy that is perfectly cast and knows when to take itself seriously and when to wink at it’s audience. There are some legitimately suspenseful and poignant moments, as well as, a lot of genuine laughs and Coscarelli mixes them perfectly. Horror-comedy is not an easy blend to get right, but Coscarelli nails it with this little gem.

As for the cast, they are all fantastic with a tour de force performance from Bruce Campbell as The King and a wonderfully funny and yet sad performance by the late, great Ossie Davis as Kennedy. The supporting cast are all delightful and act accordingly with the tone of the material.

Bubba is a strange little movie and is not for everyone, but is great fun for those who can appreciate it. In my opinion it’s Coscarelli’s best film since Phantasm and a real original blast of horror-comedy fresh air.  Also features Ella Joyce, Daniel Roebuck, Coscarelli regular Reggie Bannister and stuntman Bob Ivy as Bubba Ho-Tep. Weird and wacky fun.

If you prefer something more down to earth to commemorate The King, check out our review of John Carpenter’s classic TV movie bio Elvis

3 Bubba Ho-Teps and a one and only King!

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: TUCKER & DALE v.s. EVIL (2011)

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TUCKER & DALE v.s. EVIL (2011)

Amusing horror/comedy tells the story of two harmless country boys, Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) and their encounter with some college kids who have seen far too many horror movies. A series of mishaps, starting with the boys’ rescue of an injured female member of the group being misinterpreted as a kidnapping, gives the coeds the belief that Tucker and Dale are trying to kill them…and soon the boys think they are being stalked by a group of crazy college kids. What follows is a bloody and funny comedy of errors and misunderstandings that starts to rack up quite an unintentional body count. In the middle of all the gory chaos, the innocent and sweet Dale starts to bond with the pretty Allison (Katrina Bowden) as he tends to her.

Director Eli Craig could have given it a bit more energy, but it is funny and clever at times, especially if you’ve seen your share of backwoods horror flicks, and the leads Tudyk, Labine and Bowden really help with creating very likable characters. The rest of the cast are good too as the over-imaginative college students who think they are in the middle of a real life backwoods horror. They play it straight and let the situations provide the humor and while it could have been a bit funnier, it is an entertaining enough 90 minutes especially if you’re a horror fan who likes to see a popular sub-genre turned on it’s head. T&D has a lot of fun with some tried and true backwoods horror conventions and is delightfully gory with it’s skewered heart in the right place.

A solid 3 chainsaws

3 chainsaws

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