The Spooktacular Eight #16: Bloody Delinquent Chainsaw Girl (2016)

I assume if you clicked this review you’re familiar with the japanese style of grindhouse splatter exploitation horror, which often involves schoolgirls equipped with machineguns in the ass, boobular rifles, zombie vaginas that spit flame, quadruple amputeed gimps with blades as limbs, gallons of fake blood, decapitated heads talking or moving about, zombies coming out toilets, mutant freaks with biomechanical chainsaw growing on their arms, etc.

You know the famous ones, from The Machine Girl, Robogeisha, Helldriver, Tokyo Gore Police, Dead Sushi, Mutants Girls Squad, Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl (which i revisited earlier) and last year we featured Big Tits Dragon, also based on a manga of the same name by Rei Mikamoto.

This adaptation is directed by a lesser known name in the field, Hiroki Yamaguchi (Hellevator, various live action Messiah Gaiden films and TV series), which i’m not really familiar with, and i can’t say i’m familiar with the original manga by the author of Satanister – Satanic Sister.

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The Spooktacular Eight #14: Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (2010)

As they announced via a trailer early this month, we’re gonna have Bonelli, an italian comic books publishing house, give another crack of turning one of their decades long running series into a live action film, with the movie adaptation of Dampyr, a horror comic book series created in 2000 by Mauro Boselli and Maurizio Colombo about the supernatural adventures of the protagonist, a hybrid between a human and a vampire (so, yes, a “dhampir”), set to release very soon in theathers here.

Not only that, this is supposed to kickstart the Bonelli Cinematic Universe, and while to many non-italians readers this sounds like a cheap joke i’m making up…. it ain’t, and from a more marketing-oriented view, it makes sense, as now the time is ripe to give it a shot as audiences are familiar and used to superhero stories and stuff alike.

Still, it sounds hilarious to me to see them still trying to go this route, as if Universal itself tried and managed to cock it up not once, but twice, and in general very few players can do the MCU thing.

So it’s worth bringing back that the precedents aren’t exactly high in terms of inspiring any confidence or actual committment to any long term plan, as we saw Sergio Bonelli’s publishing house try it more than a decade ago with the live action adaptation of a far more famous italian horror-supernatural comic book series that will ring a bell even outside of Italy.

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The Spooktacular Eight #13: Eaters: Rise Of The Dead (2010)

You don’t want zombies that much.

Buf if italian zombie movies?

NOT the old ones you probably like, obviously.

Despite horror having mostly plauted as a prolific genre in terms of high profile releases here in Italy (and indie releases often being insanely obscure to find and often almost not worth bothering)…. somehow i still find here and then a low budget obscure italian-produced horror movie that managed to get itself released on DVD in the UK.

And if Arachnicide could do it, of course Eaters can too.

The subtitle to help cataloging can be stamped on the UK cover art for the DVD, why not?

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Vampire Holmes (2015) [REVIEW] | Everlasting Love

YES, i’ve heard of this by doing a research on the worst voted/rated shows on AnimeList.

I could have talked about NAMI (no, not that one, not that Nami either, most likely not even your thrid guess), so you decide if you lucked out or not in this occasion.

I’ve held off on covering it because it’s so goddamn obscure and has such infamous reputation… that even finding english fansubs for it was a notable task.

And it figures the only english subbed version i could find around it’s from a group labelling themselves as “BetterThanNothing”, i’m sure even they eventually did so moved by piety, as nobody even wanted to bother making it more available. It’s a rare case of people finding an anime so shit that they don’t even spread awareness by shit-talking it, they figured it was more deserving of wallowing in the dark, unspoken and unheard of, still more valuable than trying to actively focusing a spotlight on it, even if just to trash it for easy views on Youtube and socials.

Can’t say that it was a bad stance to take, in hindsight, this is no Chargeman Ken.

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The Spooktacular Eight #11: The Corpse Grinders (1971)

Let’s celebrate this Halloween (and adjacent) season with some aged cheese and wine, picking from the prolific film portfolio of good ol’ Ted V “step on me ass with stilettos please” Mikels, may his toy robot laden soul (and his mustache too) rest in peace.

We’re doing one of his more notorious ones too, the one that’s not Girl In Gold Boots nor the cheap plastic zombie masks classic, The Astro Zombies.

Yep, it’s time to go King Crimson (the band) on your culinary habits and unseal a can of killer cat movie (again), which if nothing else it’s a refresher in how making great posters that are way BETTER than the movies they advertise has always been a thing for exploitation flicks since forever, and not just a modern thing. The more things change, the more some don’t, i guess.

Seriously, if you expect to see anything as graphic (or disturbing) as what the poster depicting you’re dreaming, because that would be accurate and require money to make effects for, and this ain’t just the style or budget good ol’ Ted V. Mikels was known for.

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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.

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[EXPRESSO] Hatching (2022) | My very own Birdperson

I said it before, many other fellow reviewers said it before, and indeed it’s a great year for horror films. This Finnish body horror thriller being no exception.

The trailer felt a little too honest and overly spoilerish, but it’s actually not, as it doesn’t revolve about a drawn out reveal of the creature, since it shows you fairly quick how it came to be and how it looks. It’s just the bait, so to speak.

The plot concerns a young girl that trains hard as a gymnast to make her monstruosly demanding mother happy, but one day feels bad for a bird that enter their house, made a mess, and was almost killed by her mother, as she later founds the bird isn’t dead yet, forcing her to tearfully finish it.

To placate her guilt she decides to take care of the egg the dying bird crawled back to, only to be surprised at the creature that eventually emerges and she seems to share a psychic bond with…

Aside from the creature being a stunning delight of horror with excellent effects, there’s plenty of outright disgusting moments, and a character that actually one ups the creature in the “monster” factor, the girl’s mother, what a gloriously despicable, narcissistic, commanding, guilt tripping abomination of a human being that you really want to see killed.

And the movie isn’t afraid to go to some heavy scenarios that reinforce the family (mostly the mother) as more than “typically disfunctional”, feeding into the manifest but effective and heavy themes explored, the fairly reinforced symbolic parallels, but the narrative actually develops in an interesting way, the characters are quite good and there’s plenty of that nordic horror stylical furnishings and love for pulling no punches.

Great feature-lenght debut for director Hanna Bergholm.

[EXPRESSO] Smile (2022) | Shaped Like A Friend

Not related to that one you’re probably thinking off. Or the sequel.

No, it’s just a new horror movie with a very simple and explicative-but-not-really title.

What did Doflaming Doquixote do this time?

Surprisingly not so much, as the plot involves a psychiatric doctor, Rose Cotton, seeing one of her patients committ suicide in front of her eyes, sporting a horrific grin before committing the deed.

Aside from the understandable shock and trauma, Rose starts having horrific visions and getting involved in strange phenomenons. What’s worse is that the entity that seems to haunt her is acting exactly as her patient told her in the moments preceding her unpumpkin face carving, and as Rose tries to make any sense of the situation, she discovers that similar incidents occured before…

It’s that kind of supernatural horror movie reminescent of early 2000s (and It Follows came to mind too) as we have this evil entity spread itself by using people, acting as a parasite of sorts to the hosts, which he fucks over by playing with their minds, shapeshifting into the victim’s fears, forcing Rose to confront a trauma from her past…

In a way, it’s a pretty simple concept that picks various elements from other movies, but dang it, the execution, characters and pretty much everything in Smile it’s more than “good enough”, it’s honestly very good. The characters are smart, react in believable ways to the increasing sinister events that come their way, the gore it’s quite grisly but not overused, and the reveal of the entity it’s definitely some good stuff.

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good, features a very nice atmospheric soundtrack, and it has been a while since i’ve seen some good jumpscares like these.

We eating good horror this year, indeed!

Original horror, to boot!

The Spooktacular Eight Return & starting a Dead Island Retrospective

Yeah i know this is the older logo and art.

Since that thing i improvised last October did okay… let’s try to make it a yearly tradition, why not?

8 selected horror reviews sparkled through the whole month, in a pick-n-mix fashion!

Also, starting from October onwards, each month i will have a full lenght, in-depth review for each installment of the Dead Island franchise, with the retrospective culminating on the release of Dead Island 2 in February 2023.

Yeah, since this time we actually have real gameplay footage, Deep Silver isn’t waiting for a topical release date anymore for its zombie game, and wants this out before the unthinkable happens and they’re forced to restart the project from scratch for the 4th time or something.

Or before Goat Simulator takes further piss of that old E3 trailer with Pigeon John’s The Bomb playing to the sprinting dead.

The ONLY game i won’t be reviewing it’s the smarthphone spin-off Dead Island Survivors, because aside an old EXPRESSO review made in italian years ago (which i’m not unearthing or reusing in any way), i don’t have much written thoughts on it, as i didn’t play it that much when it released, and the game shut down in July 2020, so…

It wasn’t bad either, it was a top down action rpg with tower defense elements, free-to-play with all the shingle that it entails, but it was basically akin to Orcs Must Die, so it’s kind of a shame i can’t revisit it anymore.

That’s free-to-play smartphone games for you.

[EXPRESSO] Don’t Worry Darling (2022) | Sure It’s The 50s

Leaving aside the absurd controversy that surrounded the movie pre-release and pretty much – as it usually does- dominated the discussion instead of the movie itself, the trailer itself immediatly shot most of the interest i had in Don’t Worry Darling, because it basically gave away the whole thing.

It’s one of those trailers.

Then i went to see the movie in theathers… and yep, my fears were correct. Mostly.

I wasn’t expecting the specific kind of the twist the movie pulls, which i won’t comment on since it’s pretty spoilers and any direct comparison will give it away, but if you think you know where this movie it’s going from the trailer, you’re right.

The premise sees Alice live with her husband Jack, living in the experimental 50s community of Victory, an utopic gated paradise where the men go to work on “innovative material developments” and the wives tend to the house and prepare to welcome them back.

Obviously the facade starts to crack as Alice starts asking questions about’s Jack actual work, and notices some odd things that do not match their perfect lives…

It’s a shame the visuals are great, as there are some good ideas here, but the script it’s really flawed, like, even the actual reveal of the twist and its implications are undermined by how the writing it’s overreliant on pure narrative commodities (characters are mostly infodumps for the audience), some notable repetition, notable holes and “horror allucinatory sequences” that deliver some solid visuals but are also just.. kinda randomly there.

While flawed, Don’t Worry Darling it’s entertaining and pulled through by the performances (Florence Pugh alone carries the whole thing), the excellent cinematography and some remarkable directorial ambition, so overall i’d say it’s ok, i liked it more than i expected to, honestly.