Movie Review: The Hills Run Red

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The Hills Run Red (2009)
Directed by Dave Parker
Starring Sophie Monk, Tad Hilgenbrink, William Sadler, Janet Montgomery, Alex Wyndham, Ewan Bailey, Danko Jordanov

Tyler is a film student who is obsessed with a ‘80s horror film called The Hills Run Red. The film was pulled from release shortly after it premiered and none of the cast and crew has ever been heard of again. The director, Wilson Wyler Concannon (played by the always entertaining William Sadler), seems to be one of these crazy directors who think film is something more than just a movie. So Tyler sets out to try to find this lost film, making a documentary about the whole trip. Continue reading

Movie Review: Isolation

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(2005)
Directed by Billy O’Brien
Starring: Essie Davis, Sean Harris, Marcel Lures, Crispin Letts, John Lynch, Ruth Negga

Find this movie.  Watch it.  Simple as that.

Years ago, while paging through an issue of Fangoria magazine, there was a little spotlight on this movie called Isolation, that they seemed to give a high rating. I didn’t know anything about it, nor did I read any of the review, other than it had something to do with some quarantine on a farm, and figured it might be ‘inspired’ by the 28 Days Later theme. So I put it in my Netflix queue and later discovered just how wrong I was. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Horseman

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(2008)
Directed by Steve Kastrissios
Starring Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy, Brad McMurray, Jack Henry, Evert McQueen, Christopher Sommers, Bryan Probets, Steve Tandy

When this movie first arrived on our desk for review, we had never heard of it or it’s director. Sometimes that can be a scary thing, since some of the films might be severely lacking in quality or talent. But every now and then it can be a good thing, since you’re going into it completely fresh and unbiased. With The Horseman, the film starts off with a punch and never lets up. Continue reading

Movie Review: Nightmare Castle

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(1965)
Directed by Mario Caiano
Starring Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift,
Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia

In 1960, Barbara Steele starred in Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, which set her on her path of being a horror icon. Over the next few years, she starred in many gothic horror films in Italy. When she appeared in Mario Caiano’s first entry into this sub-genre, it wasn’t her first rodeo. Before that point, Caiano’s work mainly consisted in the westerns and peplum (sword & sandal) genre. It is pretty surprising that he and co-writer Fabio De Agostini came up with such a great story, with plenty of strange angles, and filled the picture with so much atmosphere that I’m surprised that the fog doesn’t just ooze out of your television when you’re watching it. The original title is Amanti d’oltretomba, but it has been released under the titles The Faceless Monster and Night of the Doomed. But now, thanks to Severin, you can get the uncut and original version under Nightmare Castle.
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Movie Review: The She-Beast

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(1966)
Directed by Michael Reeves
Starring Barbara Steele, Ian Ogilvy, John Karlsen, Mel Welles

This film has the honor of being the first movie from the young up-and-coming director Michael Reeves, who would only direct two more features, the last one being the incredible Witchfinder General, before dying of a supposed accidental overdose of barbiturates. The cinematic world lost something special that day.

The She-Beast has all the makings of a great gothic film. Filmed in a setting of a real town is better than anything Hollywood could have created. You have a pretty standard but effective story about a witch returning from the grave to make good on the curse she put on the town two centuries before. Plus, you have Italian horror icon Barbara Steele in the lead role. So how could you go wrong? Continue reading

Movie Review: Abominable

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Abominable (2006)
Directed by Ryan Schifrin
Starring Matt McCoy, Haley Joel, Christen Tinsley, Karin Anna Cheung, Tiffany Shepis, Jeffrey Combs, Natalie Compagno, Paul Gleason, Lance Henriksen, Rex Linn, Dee Wallace Stone

Matt McCoy stars as Preston, a rich guy who lost his wife, as well as the use of his legs, in a rock climbing accident several months before. Still having trouble dealing with what happened, his doctor has one of the male nurses taking him back to his mountain cabin to help him face his fears. Shortly after arriving, a group of young women arrive at the house next door for their own weekend getaway. Still dealing with the memories from the accident and not wanting to even be there, things get worse when he starts to notice something moving out in the woods. Granted, his asshole of a nurse refuses to listen to him because he’s been complaining since they got there. But then as Preston is watching from his window, he sees something come out of the woods and snatch up one of the girls right off her feet. Continue reading

Movie Review: Witchcraft

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Witchcraft (1964)
Directed by Don Sharp
Starring Lon Chaney Jr., Jack Hedley, Jill Dixon, David Weston, Diane Clare, Yvette Rees, Marie Ney, Viola Keats, Victor Brooks, Barry Linehan

I don’t remember if it was due to a review I had read, but for some reason, I had always thought this film to be one of those poverty row pictures, featuring Chaney Jr. who would appear in just about anything just to keep working, so I never sought it out or bothered with it. This is another example that shows even a well seasoned student of the genre like me can completely misjudge a movie, just because of what they may have read or heard. I was in the mood for an old black and white film and figured that since I never had seen it, I might as well fix that and at least give it a try. What I wasn’t expecting was to find just how much I really enjoyed it. Continue reading