BARE BONES: CIRCUS KANE (2017)

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CIRCUS KANE (2017)

Balthazar Kane (Tim Abell) is renown for his haunted circus attractions though hasn’t been heard from since a devastating fire ripped through his tent. Now he has come out of hiding and has invited a group of prominent horror bloggers to test out his plans for a new attraction. All they have to do is spend the night and if they make it through, they will receive $250,000. But soon the group find out getting through one of Balthazar Kane’s attractions is a literal fight for survival.

Low budget horror is directed by Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray, who is the son of prolific low budget horror filmmaker Fred Olen Ray, from a story and script by Sean Sellars, James Cullen Bressack and Zack Ward. It’s got it’s bloody heart in the right place and is actually somewhat entertaining, even with the restrictions of a limited budget. Ray, like his cult favorite father, gets a lot out of a little and gives the film a sense of twisted fun even if the minimal budget restricts the action to thriftily decorated sets. There is some spooky make-up on it’s sinister clowns, some decent gore and presents us with a fairly likable group of bloggers to fear for. Sure, we’ve seen plot elements before and sometimes Ray gets a little overindulgent with the digital editing effects, but it does entertain and that’s what counts. Fun little flick also stars Nicole Fox, Ted Monte and Victoria Konefal among the ill-fated bloggers and Night Court’s Richard Moll as “The Pale Man”.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: BEAST OF THE BERING SEA and DARK HOUSE

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BEAST OF THE BERING SEA (2013)

While Beast Of The Bering Sea doesn’t quite have Sharknado’s audacious lunacy, it does have a horde of CGI critters and Sharknado’s sexy, saucy Cassie Scerbo. The movie tells the tale of vampire-like sea creatures that are aroused from their underwater home by dredging for gold on the floor of the Bering Sea. Scerbo plays feisty and salty sailor, Donna whose father is killed by the seafaring blood-suckers and joins her brother Joe (Jonathan Lipnicki), ship mate Owen (Brandon Beemer) and Oceanographer Megan (Jaqueline Fleming) in an effort to send them back to the watery hell they came from. The CGI is very weak, but there is something fun about bat-like sea creatures that drink blood and can be destroyed with sunlight. As written by Brook Durham and directed by Don E. FauntLeRoy, there is a lot of silly action, nonsensical plotting and Cassie Scerbo is a delight to watch as her tough-as-nails, but still hot sailor takes on creatures that Dracula would proudly use to fill his aquarium. Good movie?… no… fun movie?… yea, kinda.

2 and 1-2 star rating

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DARK HOUSE (2014)

This direct to home media horror is co-written and directed by Jeepers Creepers creator Victor Salva and stars Saw series icon Tobin Bell. This tale of psychically gifted young man, Nick (Luke Kleintank), who inherits a creepy old house that mysteriously survived a massive flood 20 years ago, is borderline incoherent as it seems to have no real plot, but is just making things up as it goes along. It mixes common horror film elements with figures from Jewish mythology and the Bible…and not very accurately either…and just makes a real mess of it all that just leaves you scratching your head. There’s something about Nick having to release his evil entity of a father from the house’s basement, but where the severed hearts, mysterious government land surveyors, a hanging tree and axe wielding zombie cowboys who run like apes all tie in, I don’t think writers Salva and Charles Agron even know. The gore is well rendered and the movie looks good, as all Salva’s films do, but boring and un-involving, as well as, confusing at times. At least got to see A Christmas Story’s villainous Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) as a grown up government land surveyor who may not be what he seems…but government land surveyors rarely are. A lackluster and disappointing mess of a movie from a man who once gave us a cult classic.

2 star rating

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