[EXPRESSO] Violent Night (2022) | Santa Hard

Tommy Wirkola is back after last year’s The Trip (available on Netflix) to the snow tinted realm of horror…. but not quite.

This time around he cooked up a christmas black comedy that has been described as “Die Hard but with Santa Claus instead of John McClain”… because it’s pretty much that, set in a rich family’s villa where a group of terrorists (with the leader played by John Leguizamo) lies in wait to get their hands on a big chunk of million money.

It just happens that by accident the real, factual Santa Claus finds himself in that very house when shit goes down, and decides to fight them to save the family, especially as the younger child earnestly believes in him, by way of some magic, a warhammer and a lot of gruesome violence.

Yeah, it isn’t strictly a horror movie, it’s definitely heavy on action and comedy as you would expect from this deliberate pastiche of Die Hard and christmas movie, but again, it’s a Tommy Wirkola film, so it doesn’t really matter that this isn’t a new installment of Dead Snow or a christmas slasher, because we also get to see Santa pile up a more than respectable bodycount, using everything from ornaments to shovel to woodchippers and even a warhammer (tied to his backstory/lore here)

Heck, for good measure there is a straight up Home Alone “trap scene” and even that provides a lot of gore effects played for laughs that will still make you go “OW”.

There’s also the “Bad Santa” angle to the main character, but not quite, since he IS real here, and otherwise the surprisingly decent emotional moments would lose any kind of weight.

Violent Night it’s a pastiche of familiar elements indeed, but it’s a bloody fun holiday romp, too.

The Spooktacular Eight #9: Blood Rage (1987)

Some of you might wonder why i’m doing it now, why i’m not waiting for late november to review adequately unknown slasher flick Blood Rage, as it’s often regarded as a “holiday slasher” due to taking place during Thanksgiving, hence its lumped alongside 1981’s Home Sweet Home and Thankskilling (yes, sadly that’s not just a fake trailer anymore) as one of the very few Thanksgiving themed horror movies.

First, i’m not American so i frankly don’t care, second, this is a movie that might have had a cult following of sorts, or just be remembered a bit more if it leaded into the movie taking place at Thanksgiving, instead of just having people talk about Thanksgiving dinner in like 3 lines?

Then again, i don’t think it would have mattered much, sure, it does have people at a table eating turkey, Thanksgiving is mentioned more than once in the script, but even the fact it’s set during the aforementioned holiday… really doesn’t matter to the plot at all , which isn’t a problem per se, but seems like a missed marketing opportunity, hence it’s not surprising that not many people remember either this and the aforementioned Home Sweet Home from 1981.

Continua a leggere “The Spooktacular Eight #9: Blood Rage (1987)”

[EXPRESSO] Studio 666 (2022) | Dave Grohl Made Me Do It

No, this is not a Jojo reference, nor its one of those weird hybrid music video-concert films (see for example Metallica’s Through The Never), this a full on fictionalized affair, and one i’ve been looking forward to since it was announced. Sure, rock and metal superstar bands aren’t new to cinematic experiences about their personas, but the pitch-premise of a comedy horror starring Dave Ghrol and his bandmates as themselves it’s so good it’s hard to ignore.

As the band Foo Fighters it’s struggling to come up with ideas for its tenth studio album, they get recommended a secluded house in Encino, California, where in the 70s a band called Dream Widow went to record an album, ending with the frontman massacring all the band members before killing himself. The band settles in despite the creepy vibes they pick up from the house, but things get progressively out of hand, leading to Dave Grohl being possessed by a demon. Among other things.

It’s a good dang premise, and thankfully the script and direction are up to snuff to make the most of the pitch, having a zany time with horror cliches and the expected “behind the music” stuff, with the band proving to be very good sports in this delightfully ridiculous comedy horror romp, especially Dave Grohl overacting like a champ as he grows progressively more obsessed once he manages to “magically” get over his artistic block.

Yeah, it’s pretty funny, there’s more to the story than expect, and Studio 666 isn’t afraid to be extra cheesy and honestly it’s kinda surprising that the effects are very good, but besides that, i’ve seen horror movies that try to take themselves seriously but ultimately wish they could pull off even half-successfully a random jumpscare this movie uses as a joke.

Recommended!

Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW

Given my adoration for the ero-guro master that is Shintaro Kago, i was gonna jump immediatly at the chance of adding an artbook of his to my collection (which it’s quite extensive, if i say so myself)… and i did. Had to import it, since it was gonna be handled by french publisher The Mansion Press, instead of the many italian and international publishers who usually publish his works (including underground – and fellow italians – firms like the excellent Hollow Press).

Not that it mattered, since The Mansion Press ships worlwide, it’s an artbook, and it happens to be localized in english.

“Localized” in the sense the publishing credits and the few titles-thems of the pieces are translated in english. It’s absolutely 100 % import friendly, so worry not on this regard.

Continua a leggere “Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW”

12 Days Of Dino Dicember #10: Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds/Legends Of The Dinosaurs (1977)

We previously spotlighted the delights of live action tokutatsu monster and superhero anime hybrid with the Dinosaur War Izenborg 4 episodes-to-compilation film “Attack Of The Super Monsters” by Tsuburaya Productions, so let’s talk about an even more obscure kaiju film, this time by Toei, with Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds, also known as Legend Of The Dinosaurs.

Interestingly, this was a japanese kaiju movie spurred by the international success of Spielberg’s Jaws (release in 1976 in Japan) and a coincidental resurgence of reports of Nessie in Loch Ness, so Toho settled to make it about a geologist who start investing strange reports of fossilized eggs and odd events surrounding the Saiko Lake (one of the Five Fuji Lakes) community, including a headless horse carcass and mysterious disappearances of people in the lake area.

Eventually Takashi puts the clues together and surmises it must be a Plesiosaur doing this, which turns out to be true, as it attacks the lakeside attendants during an event (hi, Jaws parallel), but in japanese monster movie tradition, the creature it’s bound to fight with another monster, a “Rhamphorhynchus” (basically a type of pterosaur like the pteranodon), emerging from a hidden cave in the Aokigahara region (aka the tragically famous “Sea Of Trees”, subject of a very crap Gus Van Sant movie to make things even worse), as accidentally discovered by a young girl.

Continua a leggere “12 Days Of Dino Dicember #10: Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds/Legends Of The Dinosaurs (1977)”

[EXPRESSO] The Suicide Squad (2021) | King Shark is in it

Let me preface this by saying i find stupid the whole “release the [director’s name] cut” shtick, and i’m sorry, but i did saw the 2016’s Suicide Squad movie, and it was such a mess nothing would have “saved” it. Look, David Ayer it’s not that bad a director, at all, but he made a crap movie with Suicide Squad.

That’s it, nothing special, it happens and can happen to anyone, the world will go on.

You’re free to pursue this crusade if you will, Ayer has all the right to be happy about it (who wouldn’t?), but i personally don’t “get” it (what you’re gonna do next, request the Proyas’ cut for Gods Of Egypt?), honestly, and i was quite happy to see James Gunn give the concept another go.

So yeah, it’s the same idea of getting together a group of DC supervillains to send in a do-or-die important mission, using the expandable baddies instead of the superheroes themselves, this time tasked to take care of “Project Starfish” on a secluded island instead of an american city.

But yeah, it’s a bit surreal to see the same movie done twice in just a span of 5 years, even more since it has most of the same cast and selection of characters, as it’s supposed to be a sequel to the 2016’s movie, which explains some of it but still comes off as confusing since this is basically a re-do of the concept and doesn’t really require seeing the previous Suicide Squad movie, at all.

Honestly i loved it, it’s such a fun, bloody, stylish and funny take on the concept, it’s not just that it’s the FAR better execution of it so far, but it’s also pretty good on its own, with a lot of style and substance.

Sharks Of The Corn (2021) [REVIEW] | Wicker Shark

Like most people probably did, i found this movie while walking down the river, and it’s hard to not look when such a thing happens while you’re there, taking a tranquil stroll in the countryside of the internet mind.

I’m not surprised this movie exists, but i must admit i’ve never heard before of indie filmaker Tim Ritter, writing and directing here, apparently known as the Godfather Of Video Gore, clearly taking after H.G. Lewis, which i understand but also find quite ironical, considering Lewis notorious “disregard” for artistry in cinema as a whole.

Obvious it’s also a commercial craft, and there’s merit to the business and production side of things (and i did recently got my copy of Arrow Video’s H.G. Lewis collection, so i wouldn’t say i hate his output) but we’re going on a completely different, pointless – and uncalled for – tangent, so i’m gonna drop it.

Continua a leggere “Sharks Of The Corn (2021) [REVIEW] | Wicker Shark”

Bunnyman AKA The Bunnyman Massacre (2011) [REVIEW] | The Ice Scream Bunny

Hold onto your bunns

Sometimes you get surprised by these low budget slasher flicks you can find on amazon for pennies. Sometimes.

But most of the times you get shit like The Bunnyman Massacre, which works quite hard to be really boring, given nobody expects too much out of a movie called “The Bunnyman Massacre” (technically just “The Bunnyman”, but the UK DVD title is better, and more appropriate, even if would become accidentally confusing), just some shlock for a movie night with friends, but at least entertaining shlock.

In case the title (or the title with a person in bunny costume holding a chainsaw on the cover) isn’t indicative enough, this is yet another Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip-off, one so damn cheap it skimps on showing gore. I could end the review here, but this one deserves a full “spanking”, and not just because i – somehow – expect to see Dead Alive/Braindead/Splatters levels and quality of gore.

Continua a leggere “Bunnyman AKA The Bunnyman Massacre (2011) [REVIEW] | The Ice Scream Bunny”

Piranha 3DD (2012) [REVIEW] | Piranha Ate My Bunghole

Piranha 3DD 2012 poster

Piranha 3D was a good b-movie, directed by well respected and trustworthy horror director Alexandre Aja, who basically remade the omonymous old Jaws ripoff (produced by Corman, because why wouldn’t it be?), with 3D because it would have fit perfectly, is that kind of b-movie, the creature feature with killer fish, bikini ladies, and a party or holiday of some sort as the reason to gather people around, because fish is people too, and ripping off Spielberg never went out of fashion.

So a couple years later we got Piranha 3DD, a sequel… that’s actually a sequel, instead of just another movie about killer piranha slapping a “2” on the title, directed not by Aja, but by John Gullager, best known for the Feast Series, Zombie Night, and yes, it’s Glu Gullager’s (of Return of The Living Dead, The Last Picture Show fame) son.

And he took a surprisingly “smart” approach with this one, because why bother trying? Continua a leggere “Piranha 3DD (2012) [REVIEW] | Piranha Ate My Bunghole”