Archive for the Gore Category

MOVIE REVIEW: TREMORS: A COLD DAY IN HELL

Posted in DVD, Gore, Monsters, Movies, Sequels with tags , , , , , , , on May 4, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

graboid in air

The timing of the announcement seemed both odd and strangely fortuitous. Just one day before the May 1 home video release of the latest Tremors sequel, A Cold Day in Hell, the Syfy network declared that it was not picking up the Tremors TV show after all, despite shooting a pilot with the original film’s star Kevin Bacon last year. And while the prospect of seeing Bacon reprise his Valentine McKee character was tempting, perhaps it is for the best, as two Tremors franchises would be just too many Graboids for anyone’s taste. Plus the film series, starring the first film’s other star Michael Gross as cantankerous survivalist Burt Gummer, is, against all odds, entertaining as hell in its own right.

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This sixth Tremors film sees Burt on the verge of having his property in Perfection seized by the government – truly his worst nightmare come true – when he receives a call from scientists in the Canadian Arctic who report Graboid sightings. An incredulous Burt, accompanied once again by his smartass son Travis (Jamie Kennedy) and a small arsenal, hightails it to Canada to deal with the creatures, who turn out to be ancestors of the desert varietals previously seen, this time stirred up by global warming.

burt and graboid

Helmed by Tremors 5: Bloodlines director Don Michael Paul, A Cold Day in Hell sticks to the series’ strength: lean, mean Graboid action and snarky banter between Burt and Travis. The creature effects are impressive, and Gross and Kennedy are endearing as macho idiots who every once in awhile let their guards down to acknowledge their humanity and love for one another.

graboid pounces on jeep

There are weaknesses. Despite plenty of our flags being on display, the film’s Canadian credentials are a bit dodgy. (Even the excuse of global warming cannot hide the fact that the film was shot, like Tremors 5, in South Africa.) And a subplot involving a local military base that feeds into Burt’s conspiracy mindset is never really explored.

But those issues aside, A Cold Day in Hell is a strong Tremors film. Gross’s Burt Gummer is one of the great action movie heroes; a man motivated by resentment and paranoia but also fear. Despite Burt’s bravado, Gross engenders real affection and pathos with his portrayal of a rugged individualist whose devotion to his ideals has cost him dearly.

Leaving that seriousness aside, Cold Day is also fun, with lots of ooey, gooey Graboid guts splattered across the screen. We’re not sure where the franchise can go from here (Graboids in space? ), but wherever Burt Gummer goes, we are sure to follow.

BLU-RAY REVIEW: DEEP BLUE SEA 2

Posted in Blu-ray, Gore, Movies, Sequels with tags , , , , , on April 17, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

 

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It may only be a coincidence that the long-gestating sequel to 1999’s Deep Blue Sea, first announced ten years ago, is finally coming out just four months before Warner Bros., home to both projects, unleashes their long-gestating big-budget shark movie The Meg. Or it may not.

In any case, Deep Blue Sea 2 is now available for your viewing enjoyment, or rather it would be if it was at all enjoyable, which it is not.

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Filmed in South Africa, DBS 2 introduces us to Misty Calhoun (Danielle Savre), a scientist and shark conservationist hired by pharmaceutical magnate Carl Durant (Michael Beach) to consult on the behavior of a cadre of genetically-modified bull sharks. It seems that the belligerent beasties, whom Durant nominally controls via brain implants, have been sneaking out of their aquatic pens and feasting on local fishermen. Of course the sharks, whose intelligence has been boosted exponentially by Durant’s meddling, are controlled by no one, and shark munching mayhem ensues once a significant number of victims have been gathered at Durant’s offshore research facility.

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The original Deep Blue Sea, which essentially had the same plot, was an A-budget B-movie that reveled in its outrageousness. It also featured – spoiler alert for those who have not seen this 19-year-old movie – a spectacular Samuel L. Jackson death. Like, absolutely no-fucking-way! spectacular. You could call it a guilty pleasure, except we feel no guilt. Deep Blue Sea is awesome.

But the law of diminishing returns (and budgets) means that Deep Blue Sea 2 is, pardon the pun, pretty toothless. It rehashes key scenes from the original – will that anesthetized shark chomp on the scientist sticking his arm in its mouth? Will there be a sudden shark-related death of a major character? – while adding little that is original. We expect sequels to use their predecessor as a jumping off point, sure, but Deep Blue Sea 2 is peculiarly shallow given the amount of time that has passed since we first saw Jackson dragged away mid-motivational speech back in the last century.

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More importantly, DBS 2 is just not fun. The script is weak, the cast is only adequate, and the CGI sharks are menace-free. It’s too bad, but Deep Blue Sea 2 has no bite.

Deep Blue Sea 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray starting today.

MOVIE REVIEW: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT

Posted in Gore, Movies, Reviews, Sequels, Soundtracks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2018 by darklordbunnykins

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A sequel to 2008’s The Strangers has been promised for years so a horror fan might reasonably wonder whether too much time had passed for us to care about another (mis)adventure in the twisted lives of the psychopaths colloquially known as Dollface, Pinup, and the Man in the Mask. The answer comes with today’s release of The Strangers: Prey at Night, and the answer is a (fairly) resounding yes.

The movie follows a troubled but loving family of four – mom Cindy (Christina Hendricks), dad Mike (Martin Henderson), son Luke (Lewis Pullman) and daughter Kinsey (Bailey Madison) – on a final family outing before Kinsey, exiled for some unnamed offense, is to be shipped off to boarding school. But their road trip to visit relatives at a deserted trailer park descends into hell when the kids discover the mutilated bodies of said relatives and a stalk-and-slash ensues, with the kids running, hiding, but ultimately facing off against the terrifying trio.

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Director Johannes Roberts proved himself a competent manipulator of tension with the surprisingly good shark movie 47 Metres Down. Now, working from a script co-written by The Strangers director Bryan Bertino and gifted with a strong cast, he has crafted a tight little thriller that works because we believe that this family – as flawed as they may be – is just like us, and their torture and murder is excruciating to witness.

The movie, like its predecessor, claims to be “based on true events,” but how true that is does not matter. What does is that, yes, evil is banal and good people die for no good reason, something that is proven every day in every newscast. Do these people deserve to die at the hands (and knife points) of remorseless killers? No. And that is what is ultimately so terrifying about this film.

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For fans of the original, yes, Prey at Night is consistent with its stylish predecessor. The killers have no reason for their atrocities, which they commit against a background of ’80s pop fluff by the likes of Tiffany, Bonnie Tyler, and Air Supply. More importantly, like the troubled couple played by Luke Wilson and Liv Tyler in the first film, we see that violence is random and that bad things happen to good people. That may be obvious in times like these, but if it gives us more reason to hold our loved ones closer – including in the dark of a movie theatre – all the better.

SAOIRSE RONAN TALKS BYZANTIUM

Posted in Fantasy, Gore, Interviews, Vampires, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2013 by darklordbunnykins

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Director Neil Jordan’s vampire drama Byzantium is finally getting a Canadian release this weekend. The melancholy film stars Saoirse Ronan (The Host) as Eleanor, a vampire (although that word is never used) tired of living on the run with Clara (Gemma Arterton, St. Trinians). The DLB had the chance to speak to Ronan during last year’s Toronto International Film Festival during a roundtable with the young Irish star.

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NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE RISES IN TORONTO

Posted in Events, Gore, Movies, Theatre, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by darklordbunnykins
Photo: Christos Kalohoridis

Photo: Christos Kalohoridis

While I had to miss opening night of Night of the Living Dead Live — damn you, Dark Prince Bunnykins! — the theatrical version of the classic zombie film, put on by the fine folks of Hamilton, Ontario’s Nictophobia Films at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille, looks to be a fun (and funny) take on George Romero’s debut feature. The DLB spoke to co-writer/director Chris Bond, the man behind Evil Dead: The Musical, and executive producer Phil Pattison about resurrecting NotLD on stage.

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WRETCHED REVIEWS: TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Posted in Gore, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Sequels, Serial Killers, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by darklordbunnykins
Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is menaced by Leatherface (Dan Yeager)

Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is menaced by Leatherface (Dan Yeager)

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

Starring Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, and Tania Raymonde

Directed by John Luessenhop

Written by Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms

VVS Films

 

Nearly 40 years after its release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is no longer “just” a horror classic. It is a brand, with the direct sequel Texas Chainsaw 3D, out today, just the latest iteration in a line of sequels, prequels, and remakes. The fact that this new Chainsaw manages to draw fresh blood makes it all the more impressive because, really, who thought this might actually be good?

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EXCLUSIVE: FANGO EDITOR ON DJANGO UNCHAINED

Posted in Art, Gore, History, Magazines, Movies, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

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The DLB recently spoke to director Quentin Tarantino for MSN Canada about his new movie DJANGO UNCHAINED. Perhaps surprisingly, the film — a Western — is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Fangoria. I reached out to Fango editor Chris Alexander to explain their choice:

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