With the increasing popularity of subscription boxes and most of them being little more than dollar store junk in a fancy box, we here at B-is For Best thought it was about time for us to check some out and share our thoughts…this proved to be much more difficult than we had first imagined. We contacted literally thousands of companies and out of that group only a select few responded. Most of them were either entirely dismissive, rude or asinine enough to suggest that we pay for a box and than review it (sure guys that sounds fair) but there were indeed a few shining stars in the shit pile. Among them was a smaller company called Horror Pack. Horror pack offers DVD or Blu Ray plans where every month they send you a surprise selection of films. Horror Pack was delighted to hear from us and immediately emailed us back with tracking info. Their customer service was polite, helpful and most importantly friendly. Watch the video bellow for the unboxing of the February 2017 DVD box that we received:
If you watched the video you now know that the value of the box far exceeds the price so it’s more than worth the amazingly low price..but we at B-is For Best like to go the extra mile..so let’s check out the actual films and see if the fun (and fright) factor is there..Just a recap for those who skipped the video. The Box included Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, Virus, Shocker, Legion of The Dead,and And Now The Screaming Starts.
Since this is more of a review of Horror Pack and not a film review article we’ll keep the film reviews short and to the point. If you’d like us to look a little more deeply into these titles like we do with most of our film review articles in the future, please feel free to leave comments and let us know!
Let’s start with Bag Of Bones
BAG OF BONES introduces Mike Noonan, a writer who’s suffering a dry spell and desperately trying to cope with the sudden death of his wife. He heads out to their summer cabin to escape from it all but soon finds himself involved with a young woman named Mattie and her daughter Sara. Mattie is fighting a losing custody battle with Mattie’s eccentric millionaire Grandfather. Add a vengeful ghost to the mix and you’re in for some true blue Stephen King style madness.
Originally released as a two part mini series on TV Bag Of Bones is one of Stephen King’s less known film adaptations and that’s a damn shame. High drama, a convincing developing romance, built around tragedy and the ever relevant topic of the failings of the family court system make this one one of the very best Stephen King Films I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong I love the cheese fests the modern day master of Horror novels churns out but this one actually did a damn good job sticking to the wonderfully disturbing novel that birthed it. It’s not often that a drama with Horror themes succeeds on the screen but low and behold that is precisely what we get with Stephen King’s Bag Of Bones.
I give Stephen King’s Bag Of Bones two middle fingers chopped off and sanded to the bone. If you’re looking for the Kingster without the side of Gouda his films usually include then this one is for you, Highly recommended.
Wes craven Is celebrated as the creator of Nightmare On Elm Street and Scream, but there’s one film that tends to not only be the unsung hero but downright hated by the fans. That film is the 1989 supernatural slasher film Shocker..But does Shocker deserve all the shit it gets?
SHOCKER Introduces all American boy Jonathan Parker. Jonathan was adopted by a police officer and his family at a young age and enjoys the simple life, playing football, spending time with his family and wooing his girlfriend. This all gets thrown to the wolves when Jonathan starts suffering terrifying dreams where he sees through the eyes of a killer while he dispatches his victims. It soon becomes clear that the dreams are actually a psychic connection to a local serial killer Horace Pinker. Jonathan teams up with his father and the two make sure Pinker gets brought to justice…But the electric chair is just the beginning of Pinker’s reign of terror!
The biggest issue audiences had with this film is the same thing that made it so appealing to me. It’s not just another Nightmare On Elm Street film. The audience expected the next Freddy (and with good reason considering that’s how the film was being pitched) and Pinker has very little in common with our beloved dream slasher..Sure he’s snarky, has otherworldly powers and is dead, but Pinker is less funny and more fucked. His humor is only funny to himself and rather than inspire delight, Pinker’s banter is a lot more likely to inspire cringes and disgust.
The thing that really made this thing work was the sprinkling of goofy off kilter humor throughout. While this film is indeed a horror movie, it’s also very clear that Wes Craven wanted to let his silly flag fly full mast and it really worked here. The acting was well handled (especially in the case of Pinker who’s rubbery facial expressions and tendency to sneer nonstop make him quite believable as a serial killer) and the now dated film effects make it a wonderful little time capsule capturing the last year of the 80’s as it descended into the 90’s.
Overall I give Shocker no middle fingers up, It’s a fun, weird silly little flick and comparing it to Nightmare On Elm Street makes just about as much sense as comparing Swamp Thing to Scream. Best of all it’s a standalone so we didn’t have to see Pinker in the hood..However am i the only one who noticed how heavily Jason Goes to Hell borrowed the body jumping element? Shame Shame Jay Huguely
Jamie Lee Curtis is most known for her scream queen roles in films like Halloween, Terror Train and Prom Night. You’d be hard pressed to find a fan of hers who upon being asked what their favorite Jamie Lee role is would reply “Kit Foster in John Bruno’s Virus” ..In fact most people (myself included to be honest) completely forgot this 1999 release even existed despite it having a pretty big release, toys, shirts, posters and other memorabilia created..but does it deserve the obscurity?
VIRUS follows the crew of a ship destroyed by a typhoon who out of desperation board a seemingly abandoned Russian Communication and research vessel. The only crew member they find seems to be stark raving mad and the computers are suffering from some pretty severe malfunctions. Things get more and more bizarre as an alien intelligence that has identified the human race as a virus manifests itself and begins to hunt the crew down one by one.
Atmospheric, claustrophobic and at turns truly scary and unintentionally hilarious, Virus is a late arrival Alien rip-off with elements of John Carpenter’s The Thing tossed in all wrapped around the (even then) dated fear of technology replacing mankind. The acting is fairly decent (although nothing to write home about) and the special effects are stellar..So why did this thing fall into obscurity so quickly? Well, firstly as I said the ideas that fuel it, both the Alien clone angle and the fear of technology were very dated…They also had the misfortune of the inevitable comparison to Deep Rising which came out a year before, and that cocky prick penis whistle Roger Ebert had to state that they were “essentially the same movie” despite the films having virtually nothing in common other than their ship settings. Virus isn’t a bad film, but Deep Rising is better and the audiences comparing the two spelled trouble for Virus.
The two final issues with the film were the biggest. Firstly, the character of Kit Foster was far underused. Alien worked because Ripley was such a strong female lead, she took charge, made things happened and kicked ass…Kit Foster having to contend with the cuntish Captian Sutherland diminished her effectiveness in many scenes..Kit is no Ripley. Then there’s the lighting. I fully understand the warrants of low lighting to increase the effectiveness of effects and add mood to a scene but here some scenes are so poorly lit that I could barely see a thing. I hate to agree with Ebert on anything but on this front he was right.
Overall I give the film 1 middle finger a quarter of the way extended.Even with the problems I mentioned I still recommend checking out Virus, it’s not the best but considering the shit fests that came out in 1999 it’s far from the worst and if you’re looking for a fun little action/sci-fi/horror hybrid this one will do you right
Because I plan to use the two remaining films as part of two articles where I’ll be fully discussing them (Revenge Of Gorey Guts And Goofiness and Hey Days OF Horror pt 1) We’ll leave those two out of this article..But let’s just say they add up to the rest and prove definitively that Horror Pack most certainly IS WORTH YOUR MONEY. So if you’re on the fence on whether or not to give them a shot I say FUCK YES! We’ll definetly be trying to hook up with Horror Pack Again to showcase some of their future boxes but in the meantime go snatch one for yourself at http://HORRORPACK.COM