HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: BORNLESS ONES (2016)

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BORNLESS ONES (2016)

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

At it’s core, flick is a basically an Evil Dead (both old and new) retread with a group of people in an isolated cabin and an ancient evil taking them one by one. This cabin in the woods horror has pretty Emily (Margaret Judson) moving into a remote house/cabin so she can be near her brother Zack (Michael Johnston), who she is going to send to a nearby institution for his spastic monoplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. Her boyfriend Jesse (Devin Goodsell) is with her and their friends Woodrow (Mark Furze) and Michelle (Bobby T) have come along to help set things up. When they enter the house…which they apparently bought sight unseen…they find evidence some kind of cult ceremony or witchcraft was performed there previously. When they remove some creepy symbol adorned boards, something malevolent moves into the house with them. It first possesses poor Zack, who can now walk and talk…saying scary things, of course…and makes it known that they all shall fall prey to The Bornless. Sound familiar?

Flick is written and directed by Alexander Babaev with very little originality or novel additions to the cabin in the woods sub-genre. Zack’s affliction is one of the scant few original wrinkles and with it does come an interesting element that the demons healed him somewhat to use him more efficiently and there is evidence that this healing power is what provoked the original owner to invoke them. This is, however, for the most part, a retread of a classic using elements from it and it’s remake, thought sometimes effectively and I can’t say it wasn’t somewhat entertaining. Babaev may have little originality in his screenplay, but it’s atmospheric and he does direct some of the zombie/possession scenes well. He also has a good visual eye, too and there are some amusing bits where possessed cabin mates reveal their host’s darkest secrets just to be nasty and where some are visited by ‘spirits’ from their past to taunt them. There is some decent and effective gore, but unfortunately the “bornless” demon spirits are represented by some cheesy CGI and aren’t nearly as effective. The one time Babaev tries to deviate and actually show his demons, is a time he should have taken a cue from Raimi and let our imaginations do the work instead. Sometimes less is more. Thankfully they don’t have all that much screen time.

Cast are all fine. Margaret Judson makes a solid heroine. She nicely conveyed her character’s concern and affection for her illness inflicted brother and that makes her Emily endearing. She also turns into a resilient fighter once things start going bump in the night and proves to be effective final girl material. Michael Johnston was good as Zack. He at first has to emote with very little due to Zack’s condition and then gets to have a little fun once he is possessed and becomes fully functional. He has some creepy moments once things get going. Goodsell is fine as boyfriend Jesse whose deeper secrets and feelings are brought to the surface by the demonic presence and he’s not the person he pretends to be, though that’s not all that much of a surprise. Furze and Bobby T are also efficient as the friends who have secrets of their own and wind up not having a good time at the cabin…if you know what I mean.

I can’t give this flick much credit for originality, as it borrows far more from Evil Dead both past and present than it comes up with on it’s own. There are a few original ideas and they do work, but instead writer/director Alexander Babaev seems content to replay a lot from Raimi’s classic and Alvarez’s remake. It’s a shame. He does show some chops with some effective scenes and some nice atmosphere. A compassionate and strong heroine played by Margaret Judson also helps keep this from being a dull retread and the cast, overall, are fine in their roles. There is some nice gore and the cabin setting works well despite being so blatantly familiar. Ultimately, it’s definitely worth a look and was entertaining, but expect extreme amounts of Evil Dead envy.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1/2 scared sh*tless sisters.

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: WHAT WE BECOME (2015)

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WHAT WE BECOME (2015)

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

While the film is overall about a zombie outbreak, Danish filmmaker Bo Mikkelsen chooses instead not to focus on the carnage, but the effect the initial quarantine and then eventual spreading out of control, has on a typical Danish suburban family. It starts out with father, Dino (Troels Lyby), his wife, Pemille (Mille Dinesen), rebellious teen son, Gustav (Benjamin Engell) and young daughter, Maj (Ella Solgaard), hearing about some viral outbreak on TV. Soon their neighborhood and surrounding area is quarantined by gun toting military and news on TV becomes more and more sparse. Anyone who tries to leave the neighborhood is shot and soldiers routinely patrol the streets with gunfire being heard throughout the night. As the tension rises in their home over concerns as to what is exactly going on, the family soon find they are confined in their house with something out of a nightmare lurking outside…in the form of their former neighbors.

Writer/director Bo Mikkelsen creates a tense and suspenseful film by focusing on the family and not what’s lurking outside. While, as horror fans, we know what we are going to eventually discover, the family does not and they are kept in the dark and are afraid as the situation escalates. This puts us in their shoes and creates tension as the situation gets worse and our suburbanites are told less and less and are treated harshly by the military, with no explanation. This tension turns to outright terror when they realize in the last act that this virus turns their neighbors into something horrible and violent and they are sealed in the quarantined area with them. This leads to a bloody final third which finally unleashes the horror, literally in their own backyard and we get a more traditional zombie climax that delivers what we expect in one of these movies. The difference is that Mikkelsen has taken time to escalate the tension and make us familiar with our likable family unit. So even if it ends on a familiar note, it has impact, as we like these people and now watch them fight for their very lives with no one coming to help. It works and is a bit of a refreshing spin on the over-saturated zombie sub-genre. The production values are solid and the gore FX are quite effective when they finally arrive.

The cast are really good. Lyby is solid as the patriarch Dino. A caring man thrust into a situation where even he is not sure how to protect his family. The actor portrays well the fear and concern as his world gets darker and more uncertain each day. Mille Dinesen is good as the mother Pemille. She is a strong woman who sometimes has to make hard decisions especially in a situation where they world seems to be spiraling out of control. Engell portrays a typical rebellious teen, who, even in an apocalyptic situation like this, defies his parents and risks all to be with his pretty neighbor, Sonja (Marie Hammer Boda). Rounding out is young Ella Solgaard as youngest Maj, who like most children, finds a way to retain her child-like innocense even in a fear filled situation as this. A good cast that create a likable family unit for us to endear to.

Despite being a familiar tale, Danish horror is a well told one from a less familiar angle. Instead of focusing on the carnage of the infected, it focuses on a family and tells the story from their point of view as an outbreak scenario spirals out of control. The cast give us three dimensional characters to get attached to and filmmaker Bo Mikkelsen keeps things mysterious and tense even though we ultimately know what’s coming…and when it’s does come, it is very effective. A very entertaining slant on the over-saturated zombie genre.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 and 1/2 bunnies.

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BARE BONES: IRRATIONAL MAN, LAKE EERIE and LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS

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IRRATIONAL MAN (2015)

Odd flick from Woody Allen has philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) trying to find meaning in his life. When an affair with a married member of the faculty, Rita (Parker Posey) and a relationship with one of his students, Jill (Emma Stone) doesn’t help, he decides to murder a judge who is about to rule on having a woman’s children taken from her. He thinks he has committed the perfect crime and done some good, when it all starts to unravel as both his lovers begin to figure out whodunit.

As per the plot synopsis, this is a weird flick from Allen who has kinda been on autopilot for quite a few years now. The film is intriguing and has some quirky and eccentric characters, but starts to unravel in it’s last act just as the professor’s plan does. The whole notion that mild mannered Abe would just commit a random murder to give his life some meaning is a bit out there, as it is. It also seems a little too far-fetched that it would be both his lovers that start to put the clues together and actually come to believe Abe committed the murder, as it seems equally ludicrous that he would so easily conclude that he had to do it again to keep his lady loves silent. It’s one of those movie’s were it seems to be taking itself very seriously, but would have worked far better as a comedy, which it’s not, though it feels like it should be. Would also love to see Allen, for once, make a film that didn’t involve upper class elitists, that might be refreshing, too.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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LAKE EERIE (2016)

Written by and starring Meredith Majors and directed by husband and co-star Chris Majors, this is a little horror that may be too ambitious for it’s own good. Film has artist and recent widow Kate (Meredith Majors) moving into an old lakeside house. No one has lived there since the previous owner disappeared in 1969 and soon Kate starts to witness weird phenomena. Her research into the house reveals that the previous owner was an archeologist (Chris Majors) who may have discovered an amulet that could open dimensional portals. His notes indicate he may have entered one of these portals in pursuit of a banished Egyptian princess…you read that right…and Kate teams with her neighbor’s niece (Anne Leigh Cooper) to find the doorway and finally free the missing explorer.

I appreciate trying to do something a little different than the routine haunting, but this flick gets a bit convoluted long before the credits roll. The story mixes a haunting flick with something out of Tomb Raider and it doesn’t quite mesh together. The acting is also questionable from our leads and one thinks the writing/directing/producing couple should maybe have left the performances to more experienced actors than multi-tasking here. The film also doesn’t have the budget to really portray it’s alternate dimension, so it goes the Insidious route with staging it in the house with different lighting. It worked in Wan’s film, but here it just looks cheap. There is some nice atmosphere early on, but once the story starts to go all Indiana Jones meets Amityville Horror, it looses it’s grip. Yes, the attempt to do something more original is certainly admirable, but here a simpler haunting story might have been easier to pull off on a small budget and easier to swallow by the audience. Also stars Betsy Baker, who was Linda in the original Evil Dead and the incomparable Lance Henriksen in a small part as Kate’s concerned dad.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 star rating

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LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS (2013)

Written by Micael Skvarla and directed by Matt Jackson, this is a fairly unremarkable and only mildly amusing horror comedy. The story has sisters Carla (Marissa Skell) and Marla (Gena Shaw) heading to a family getaway lodge to meet up with Carla’s fiancé Johnny (Jade Cater) who works there. Toxic chemicals dumped in a nearby lake start to turn the forest life and a few of the employees, including Johnny, into zombies. Now the girls and the survivors must band together and fight for their lives…oh, and there is a Sasquatch mixed in there, too.

Sure, the girls are hot and there is a lot of gore, but aside from having the zombified lodge employees dressed in Sasquatch costumes, this is another routine zombie outbreak comedy. Most of the humor falls flat and the acting and dialog are equally sub-par and that would be OK if the flick were witty and had more of a devious sense of fun, like the similar Zombeavers. There are a few amusing bits, but aside from an actual Sasquatch appearing in the last act to take on the zombified animals and people, there is little to set this flick apart from all the other by-the-numbers zombie comedies.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 star rating

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BARE BONES: DEATHGASM (2015)

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DEATHGASM (2015)

New Zealand horror/comedy is written and directed by Jason Lei Howden and tells the story of outcast and death metal-head, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), who is forced to live with his straight-laced uncle and family after his mom is arrested. He meets rebellious Zakk (James Blake) and together they form the death metal band Deathgasm. A chance encounter with reclusive, former death metal star Rikki Daggers (Stephen Ure) puts them in possession of the Black Hymn, a piece of music that can summon the king of all demons. They play the song and all hell breaks loose…literally. Now can Brodie and Zakk undo the nightmare they have unleashed?

Sure, this flick appears to be written by and for fourteen year-old metal-heads, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are some legitimate laughs and a delirious amount of giddy and well-orcestrated gore, as our metal-heads battle a town full of demon possessed zombies while trying to figure out how to stop the king of demons from rising. There are some slow moments and it is all very silly, but there are some clever bits, too and some, just raunchy enough and bloody enough to elicit continual chuckles…such as a scene were Zakk and Brodie battle demons with dildos, vibrators and butt-plugs…yes, you read that right. Maybe not a classic, but it is fun and certainly has some memorable moments. A death metal Spinal Tap meets Dead Alive, if I were to paraphrase…and while it’s not quite as good as those flicks, it has it’s black heart in the right place. Also stars Kimberley Crossman as the apple of Brodie’s guy-liner adorned eye, Medina.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: NIGHTMARE CITY (1980)

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NIGHTMARE CITY (1980)

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

Italian filmmaker Umberto Lenzi is probably most known for his notorious cannibal film Cannibal Ferox, thought, many believe this to be his best film. Story has a radioactive spill occurring at a nuclear power facility and a group of people becoming contaminated by the radiation. It gives them a mutated appearance, superhuman strength and an appetite for blood, as the radiation depletes their red blood cells. These mutated, zombie-like creatures lay siege to a nearby city and soon all bloody hell is breaking loose as they kill and spread the contamination. The film focuses on the efforts of the military to contain and stop the outbreak, while a news reporter (Hugo Stiglitz) and his doctor wife (Laura Trotter) try to get out of the city alive.

The fact that this nonsensical flick has three writers attached to it is actually the most entertaining thing about it. The film has a bare bones plot, but is basically a series of random ultra-violent attack sequences as the creatures butcher their victims in a variety of ways. It gets tiresome quickly and despite a lot of gore, it and the make-up effects are cheesy, even for an 1980s Italian gore movie. The story makes little sense as the ‘zombies’ appear to be animalistic and bloodthirsty one moment, then very coordinated and strategic the next. They savagely rip their victims apart yet, seem to be organized enough in their attack patterns and smart enough to hijack and fly a plane, then later take out the airports to avoid military bombings. They seem crazed and don’t speak, but act as if their is distinct communication between them and possibly leadership, but we never see or hear evidence of it. Even more ridiculous is that the army figures out quite early that they can be stopped by a bullet to the brain, yet soldiers and police rarely use that option when in direct combat. It’s just silly. There is no suspense and Lenzi doesn’t seem to have much in terms of choreographing in the mayhem, so the film almost seems made up as it goes along. If not for the continual violence and bloodshed, which as stated, gets quite monotonous early on, there really isn’t much to recommend as the acting, dialog, story and action are all bad…and it’s up to you as to how much entertainment you can find in such epic fail badness.

So, despite liking these 80s Italian flicks and certainly having a strong tolerance for bad in my movies, I found Nightmare City to be tedious, repetitive and just, overall, bad. This flick has it’s fans and I can understand why, but even my ‘so bad it’s good’ tastes couldn’t find much to entertain me with this. I was not a big fan of Cannibal Ferox either, but did find some amusement in Lenzi’s scatterbrained Ghosthouse. Apparently this flick is set to be remade with horror legend Tom Savini in the director’s chair…and this is one flick that could use an update!

-MonsterZero NJ

2 irradiated zombies with make-up and acting of equal badness!

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: EXIT HUMANITY (2013)

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EXIT HUMANITY (2013)

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

Exit Humanity is an interesting approach to a typical zombie story. It is told by a narrator (Brian Cox) and in chapters from a journal by Confederate soldier, Edward Young (Mark Gibson) who details the story of a zombie outbreak that occurs just as the Civil War is ending and the personal quest he embarks on in the midst of it.

Director/writer John Geddes does give us a lot of the traditional zombie movie elements like the flesh eating, the shot to the head and the humans who are worse then the ravenous zombies, but, also gives us a unique setting, some nicely visualized dream sequences and even some really cool flashbacks and montage sequences done with animation. The make up effects are good, although the film lacks the abundant gore fans look for, and Gibson makes a nice hero trying to keep his humanity despite what is happening around him. There are some flaws that keep the film from being a really strong entry in the zombie sub-genre as the pace is rather slow, the film is a tad long, and despite his novel touches and setting, there really isn’t anything new story-wise here, or themes that others haven’t touched on before in these films…although, the cause of his zombie plague was a cool twist once revealed.

Aside from a serviceable lead in Mark Gibson, the cast also includes genre favorites Dee Wallace as Eve a healer thought to be a witch and Bill Moseley as General Williams a megalomanic who wants to find a cure to the zombie plague, so he may become rich and powerful. Williams doesn’t care how many innocents die while his outmatched doctor (Stephen McHattie) experiments on both the dead and the living.

All in all, it’s not bad and certainly worth a watch if you like zombie movies and, most of all, John Geddes shows some nice potential as a filmmaker and some growth after the OK cannibal horror Scarce. He utilizes his more unique touches well, he frames his shots very nicely and pulls off some effective moments. A nice, though not without it’s flaws, horror flick from Mr. Geddes.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 Confederate caps.

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MONSTERZERO NJ’S 25 ZOMBIE FLICKS TO WATCH DURING THE HALLOWEEN SEASON!

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Can’t have Halloween without zombies, so, whether they are fast or slow moving, eat brains or …well, all of you…here are 25 zombie flicks that you might want to sink your teeth into…or will sink their teeth into you…during the Halloween season! (Also, remember some of these are part of a series and a few have decent remakes which can be part of a theme film-fest along with your favorite beverages!)

(Click on the titles below the movie poster gallery to get to our reviews of the titles covered here at the Movie Madhouse!)

 

Click on the highlighted titles here to go to the review page for the corresponding movie!

1. Night Of The Living Dead (The 1990 remake directed by Tom Savini isn’t bad either!)

2. Dawn Of The Dead (Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake is pretty good, too!)

3. Day Of The Dead

4. Zombie

5. The Gates Of Hell

6. The Beyond

7. The Return Of The Living Dead

8. Return Of The Living Dead 3

9. [REC] (Also parts 2, 3 and 4 are good in varying degrees!)

10. The Dead

11. White Zombie

12. Shock Waves

13. Dead Alive

14. 28 Days Later (Sequel, 28 Months Later is actually very good!)

15. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (aka The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue)

16. Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

17. Tombs Of The Blind Dead (also part of a creepy four film series)

18. The Horde

19. Wyrmwood

20. Dead Snow

21. The Outpost

22. Junk

23. Open Grave

24. Pontypool

25. Maggie

-MonsterZero NJ

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: WYRMWOOD (2014)

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WYRMWOOD (2014)

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

“The name of the star is called Wormwood; and a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.”- Revelations 8:11

Leave it to the Australians to give life back to the stale zombie genre with this delightful mash-up of Evil Dead and The Road Warrior. This fun and sometimes intense and gruesome flick, tells the story of brother and sister, Barry (Jay Gallagher) and Brooke (Bianca Bradey) during a mysterious zombie outbreak. Not much is given to us about the cause except for an abundance of shooting stars on the night it begins and a biblical reference to Wyrmwood, a star which falls to earth during Revelations and brings a plague of death. Barry is with his family and Brooke doing a photo shoot in the town of Bulla Bulla. Barry looses both his wife and daughter to the mysterious condition which, for some reason, spares those with A- blood. He eventually teams up Aborigine camper Benny (Leon Burchill) who lost both his brothers. Together they run into some locals and discover that while this ‘situation’ has rendered gas and fossil fuels inert, the zombies’ blood is quite flammable and the methane-like gas they exhale works as a fuel substitute. So, they go out armed and armored to gather ‘fuel’ and rescue Barry’s sister. Brooke, on the other hand, has been kidnaped by a sinister military group who keeps her restrained and gagged in a lab where there are performing experiments on zombie and human alike. Experiments, unbeknownst to her captors, that render Brooke with the ability to telekinetically control the living dead. Obviously the two siblings and their stories will come together…and then the bloody fun begins.

As directed by Kiah Roache-Turner from a script he co-wrote with his brother Tristan Roache-Turner, this flick is a blast of fun and a breath of bloody fresh air for the zombie sub-genre. A sub-genre made stale by an over-saturation of movies and weekly zombie TV shows. They make even the silliest aspects of the story work, and work very well. They take their story very seriously…though it is laden with that off-beat Australian sense of humor, which seems to fit in perfectly with the more gruesome aspects of this deviously twisted tale. The film has a really cool visual style and is obviously made by those who love these kind of movies and who also know what makes them work. This energetic mash-up is filled with subtle references to films like Dawn Of The DeadEvil Dead, the Mad Max films and even a playful nod to The Walking Dead involving a Samurai sword. Roache-Turner, however, creates his own flick from all the hat-tipping, despite borrowing concepts from George Romero and George Miller and makes his homage to the movies he loves in his own style. One of the things I loved most about it was that the combination of eclectic elements is mixed so well and works far better than it sounds like it should…cause it’s mixed in the right amounts and given the respect it deserves. The film is action packed but, never at the sacrifice of it’s off-kilter story, or characters, and can be very intense at times. There is also a lot of gory violence, which appears to be mostly…and thankfully… well-rendered live effects, too. Abundance of action and bloodshed aside, though, what makes it really work so completely is a charming group of main characters and some delightfully eccentric supporting characters, such as a sinister scientist who prefers to listen to K.C. and the Sunshine Band while he conducts his gruesome experiments. There really is little to not like about this film, made by film geeks for the film geek in all of us. Roache-Turner is certainly a filmmaker to watch.

As for the cast, they are all engaging. Gallagher is a charming and solid hero as Barry. Despite his loses and what is happening, he is valiantly going to find his sibling, as she is all he has left. Burchill is delightful as the oddball Benny. The character is given a lot of charm by the actor and is extremely likable. He has some of the best lines and is a perfect side-kick for Barry. As Brooke, Bianca Bradey is strong and sexy and her tattooed heroine becomes quite the powerhouse once she learns to use the side-effects of the experiments against those who hold her captive. The actress spends about 75% of the movie tied up with a fetishistic gag in her mouth and has to express her emotions and thoughts in her eyes and body language and Bradey does a great job. Long before she gets free, we like her immensely and are rooting for her. The supporting characters are also an eccentric lot and help add an offbeat atmosphere to the story and film. They seem both over-the-top and yet, somehow believably human, at the same time.

What little faults the film has are minor and not really worth bringing up when the filmmakers get so much, so right. They somehow mash-up quite a few different genres worth of ideas to fuel their homage and, as such, make sure to give nods to the types of film’s that inspired them. It reminded me of Neil Marshall’s Doomsday in that the entire film existed to pay homage to others yet, somehow, is it’s own movie. Energetic, delightfully gory and with a fast and furious pace, Wyrmwood is a real blast of George Romero meets Sam Raimi meets George Miller and yet remains very Kiah Roache-Turner. One of the year’s best horrors, so far, in my book and by a filmmaking talent to keep a close watch on!

-MonsterZero NJ

3 and 1/2 Road Warrior-esque zombie fighters!

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BARE BONES: DEAD SNOW 2: RED vs. DEAD

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DEAD SNOW 2: RED vs. DEAD (2014)

I am a big fan of Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow. It’s was nothing new but, was an energetic and delightfully gory cabin in the woods/zombie flick with a group of friends battling Nazi zombies come to reclaim their gold hidden in the cabin. Wirkola’s sequel is sadly a major disappointment as it is just a silly, cash grab follow-up that has none of the inventiveness or devilish wit of the first film and doesn’t make any solid use of it’s amusing premise. This film finds sole survivor Martin (Vergar Hoel) escaping after a battle with zombified Colonel Herzog (Ørjan Gamst) and finding himself in the hospital. The bad news is that the doctors have mistakenly grafted Herzog’s arm in replace of Martin’s self-severed one and now he has some of Herzog’s strength and power. With the Nazi zombie army decending on a small Norwegian town to exact decades old revenge, Martin teams with a dorky trio of American zombie hunters (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas) to raise a squad of Herzog murdered Russian soldiers for a zombie vs zombie showdown. If that plot sounds fun, it should be but, Wirkola seems to have lost that devious sense of humor and instead we get a goofy and by-the-numbers comedy that has none of the sly humor and vicious edge the first film has. It has a few fun moments and I laughed a few times, but, blows most attempts to do something with it’s outrageous story, especially the epic fail, zombie vs zombie last act. The film is still gory but, none of it is as inventive and rib-tickling as it was in the first film. All around it’s a soulless sequel that seemed to be made only to cash in on the first’s popularity. With his Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters being a moderately entertaining but forgettable film, maybe Tommy Wirkola has been revealed as more of a one hit wonder than a director to watch. Not unwatchable but, far from the fun blast the first film was.

2 and 1-2 star rating

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BARE BONES: 13 EERIE and OUTPOST III: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ

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13 EERIE (2013)

Canadian zombie film, directed by Lowell Dean and written by Christian Piers Betley, is a routine one, though, entertaining enough. Flick has a group of forensics students, including scream queen Katharine Isabelle, going on a field trip to an island that once housed a prison. Unknown to them, there were experiments performed on the prisoners there that have left some of the corpses they are to examine a bit livelier and hungrier than they are counting on. The film moves quickly and has lots of action and well-executed gore but, really doesn’t do much new with the zombie formula to really set it apart from the numerous other walking dead flicks we’ve seen. Competently made and it passes the time, but ultimately it’s routine and forgettable zombie fare even with the lovely miss Isabelle as a potential meal.

2 and 1-2 star rating

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OUTPOST III: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ (2013)

I liked the first two Outpost films which tell the tale of zombified Nazi soldiers and while this latest installment isn’t outright bad, the formula is wearing thin and it is very by-the-numbers. This film directed by Kieran Parker and written by Rae Burton also takes place in WWII, like the second flick, with a group of Russian soldiers being captured by the Nazis and taken to an underground bunker where they are experimenting with the creation of super soldiers from the bodies of dead German troops and using captured prisoners as fodder for the undead’s training. Our valiant comrades must somehow fight their way out if they are to survive. The film does move quick enough, there is plentiful gore and has plenty of action, but it never really caught my interest and the endless battles with growling corpses seemed to get very monotonous after about halfway in. I suppose it’s worth a look if, like me, you enjoyed the first two films, but I think I have had enough of this series, if they decide to continue from here.

2 and 1-2 star rating

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