HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: SOME KIND OF HATE (2015)

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SOME KIND OF HATE (2015)

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

Some Kind Of Hate is a vicious, vengeful and yet, sometimes heartfelt slasher about bullying and the effect it can have on those bullied.

Lincoln (Ronen Rubenstein) is an emotionally troubled young man who is bullied by his father (Andrew Bryniarski) and bullied at school for his quiet and withdrawn ways. When he finally strikes back viciously at one such bully, he is sent to the cult-like Mind’s Eye Academy for troubled youths. Nothing is different as the academy has it’s own bullies, such as Willie (Maestro Harrell), who, along with his thugs, starts to victimize Lincoln like back in high school. Lincoln has found some allies, though, one is the beautiful but troubled, Kaitlin (Grace Phipps) and the other is the vengeful spirit, Moira (Sierra McCormick) who died as a result of her cruel treatment at the academy. Now Moira begins to exact gruesome revenge on those who hurt her, using Lincoln’s hate as a driving force…but does Lincoln’s hate run deep enough to want to see his tormentors slaughtered?

Directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer who co-wrote with Brian DeLeeuw, this is a nasty tale of revenge from beyond the grave that is also a hard look at bullying and the effects it has on the victims. The hate and anger of those bullied towards their tormentors and themselves, for not being able to fight back, is personified in the cruel and vengeful spirit of Moira, who uses Lincoln’s fury (like Freddy Krueger used fear) to fuel her gruesome acts of revenge…and it is quite brutal. This is an angry movie at times and a nasty one, as not only are we treated to watching the mean Willie (Harrell) relentlessly provoke Lincoln, but the payback of the razor wearing and wielding Moira. Moira is not a wise-cracking gremlin like Freddy Krueger, but a deeply hurt and angry spirit filled with rage and hatred, yet still wanting the friendship of kindred souls like Lincoln and Kaitlin. It was a bit bold for Mortimer and DeLeeuw to give their ‘boogeyman’ such complex emotions, but she is symbolic, after all, of the victims of bullying and the turmoil they suffer. Making her a main character is also risky and sometimes the ‘rules’ of her appearance vary. At times she seems quite coporeal and can be touched and yet she can appear out of nowhere. To harm her victims, she has to inflict the wound on herself and it transfers to them without physically being touched by her razor blades. It all works most of the time, though and effectively creates a vicious slasher with some important issues felt with under all the blood and gore. Despite tackling the bully issues head on, the film never felt preachy and is very satisfying as the horror flick it’s meant to be.

We have a good cast here. Ronen Rubenstein is solid as the soft spoken, introvert Lincoln. He conveys not only the youth’s sadness at being the target of the abuse of others, but the anger and rage both at them and at himself for not being able to fight back…till pushed. Grace Phipps is not only beautiful, but gives her Kaitlin a sexy mischievousness on the outside and also her own inner pain, which draws her to the troubled Lincoln. Maestro Harrell is very effective as the bully Willie and the role is quite the contrast to his lovable Malik on Suburgatory. It shows the actors versatility and his Willie is certainly far from lovable. Sierra McCormick is very effective as Moira. She can make her cruel and hateful one moment but sad and sympathetic the next. It’s never quite clear if she was the ‘evil girl’ her victimizers make her out to be, or if that is just a defense they created to hide their guilt. McCormick does certainly gives her a maliciousness that makes one wonder if she isn’t as much a victim as Moira herself would have you believe. Also stars Lexi Atkins from Zombeavers, former child actor Spencer Breslin as Issac, who bonds with Lincoln and is his only friend at academy other than Kaitlin and Andrew “Leatherface” Bryniarski as Lincoln’s abusive biker father.

I really liked this slasher. It was nasty and vicious, but with an important message at it’s core…but one that is never obtrusive or preachy despite it’s weight. It has some very emotionally troubled characters as both protagonists and antagonists including it’s vengeful slasher spirit, Moira. The cast are all solid in their roles and there is a lot of gruesome carnage, though not enough to wash away the film’s anti-bullying theme. This horror is certainly offbeat and may not appeal to everyone, but it does provide the slasher goods and gives us a vengeful spirit who can hold her own amongst the more time-honored horror characters.

…and don’t forget to watch through the credits…

-MonsterZero NJ

3 and 1/2 razors.

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: ZOMBEAVERS (2014)

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ZOMBEAVERS (2014)

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

Horror/comedy opens with a couple of bumbling truckers hitting a deer causing one of the containers of toxic waste they are carrying to fall off the truck and into a nearby lake. The container has sprung a leak and floats up against a beaver dam. Our title creatures are born! Three cuties Jenn (Lexi Atkins), Mary (Rachel Melvin) and Zoe (Cortney Palm) arrive at the same time at a lakeside cabin for some fun girl time and soon are under siege by zombified beavers and a surprise visit from their boyfriends. Not only are the zombeavers out for flesh, but, their bite turns their victims into zombeaver-like creatures, as well. Will any of them make it out alive?

Zombeavers is a fun 85 minutes that may not be a modern classic but, is a bloody good time. Directed by Jordan Rubin, who co-wrote with Al and Jon Kaplan, there is a well blended mix of horror and laughs and while it never really goes quite as over-the-top as we would have liked, it does provide a decent quota of entertainment. There is, of course, a generous supply of beaver double-entendres and beaver clichés to go with the plentiful gore, intentionally cheesy creatures and delightful nudity from the tattooed Miss Palm. It rolls out the horror tropes as we would expect and has a good time turning cast members…and other forest life…into it’s zombie beaver creatures to go along with it’s zombie beavers. The film is shot well by Jonathan Hall and co-scripters Al and Jon Kaplan also provide an appropriate score. Again, not a classic but, a fun effort that succeeds far more than it fails and even gives us a surprising shift in who our final girl turns out to be. Rubin and the Kaplans know their material and seem to have a genuine affection for it that translates onscreen.

The cast are all fine and get the material perfectly. The girls Atkins, Melvin and Palm are suitably, very good-looking and have fun with their parts. As mentioned, lovely Cortney Palm is not afraid to shed her bikini top but, actually might surprise you when things get going and the fight for their lives begins. The girls are joined by Jake Weary, Hutch Dano and Peter Gilroy as their boyfriends and the lads perform with a mix of seriousness and a wink, just like the ladies. There are some supporting characters that play locals, too and they are equally fun in their parts. A very efficient cast for a low budget horror spoof.

What can I say, this was fun. Director Rubin mixes the horror elements with the comedy very well…which isn’t easy…as does the script. It could have been a bit more clever or funny at times but, is far more successful at what it’s trying to do then you might expect. It delivers enough beaver jokes, zombie beavers and spattering blood to satisfy and gives us three likable and very adorable heroines to root for and crush on. What else would you want from a movie called Zombeavers?… oh, and stay through the credits.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 zombeaver besieged babes.

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