Tag: monsters!

jackthegiantkillerpeekaboo

 

Oh, Cheezy Flicks, how we love you. No other company seems to be made for us as much as you are. With everything from Slashers featuring erotic cow milking, to Nazisploitatin, to outer space epics that are..not so epic, Cheezy flicks knows it’s cheese and is unapologetic in it’s marketing strategy. If you buy something from Cheezy Flicks, you know what you’re getting and we love them for that. When They got in touch offering up a little known classic from my childhood that I hadn’t seen since I was under five, I jumped for joy, rounded up my 11 year old son Caleb and popped in Jack The Giant Killer..but was it the breathtaking, fast paced action packed epic I remembered it as?…Weeeeeeeell..Not quite.

 

JACK THE GIANT KILLER Introduces Jack,the world’s oldest farmhand (Seriously, this dude has to be at least 40) who gets himself in the good graces of the king by saving his daughter from a giant monster that an evil wizard named pendragon set loose on her. The Princess and Jack fall deeply in love but Pendragon isn’t done, with the help of a double agent spy, a group of “witches” and a mad assistant, Pendragon unleashes an endless flood of monsters before successfully kidnapping the princess. Thankfully Jack is also not alone, joining him on jis journey are boy pirate Peter, a viking, and a leprechaun..that’s right a motherfucking leprechaun..

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TAKE THAT WIZARD OF OZ! Will Jack succeed in his quest? Of course he will but will you succeed in getting through this without pissing your pants with laughter? I highly doubt it!

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It’s always gotten to me that so many people shit on little movies like this one but celebrate films like The Wizard Of Oz like it’s an untouchable classic. I mean, yes, of course The Wizard Of Oz is classic..but it’s also dated, silly and let’s face it, cheesy as fuck. This movie deserves that same kind of reverence. Yes it’s chalk full of ineptitude and it’s hysterically off kilter..but holy fuck, how can you not love a movie that boasts a puppet magically turning into a giant two eyed version of the cyclops from The Odyssey, going on a rampage and destroying things with ease only to be thwarted by that scorn of all giant monsters..a doorway that’s too small!Jackthegiantkillermonsterpuppet

Or how’s about a Leprechaun in a bottle turning a skeleton arm into a whip that can be used against an army of…slow moving “dragon guards”..I mean come now, what’s more terrifying than extremely slow moving guys in cheap armor moving in unison? How’s about a monster fight between a two headed version of our biclops and a cross between the Loch ness Monster and a squid? jackthegiantkillermonsterfight

Not enough? BLAM, Here’s a dragon that is a cross between a dog, an eagle and a bat! Because FUCK YOU, AWESOME! THAT’S WHY!  jackthegiantkillerdragon

Oh..and our witches? Are they hooked nosed hags? Nope, they’re extras from Troll 2 (the Goblins not the witch) and a miniature Godzilla who swallowed a fire extinguisher and has the power of over exposing the film and dimming the lighting!

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Even our Wizard is epic..Does he look like Merlin? Nope..It’s motherfucking Doctor Strange! I dare you not to love this movie!

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The acting here is actually pretty damn good considering the material. Everyone manages to play things completely straight faced no matter how amazingly off the wall the scenes get. One hysterical detail to notice is Jack’s obviously modern (for the early  60’s) hair cut and the fact that sideburns seem to be the identifying mark of whether a character is evil or good. My favorite character here is Pendragon who chews up the scenes like pacman on bath salts. This guy doesn’t just look like Doctor Strange..He IS Doctor Strange..In fact I’m convinced this is secretly a prequel to Marvel’s residential sorcerer..I’m aware that that assessment doesn’t make any logical sense..but I stand behind it nonetheless.jackthegiantkillerjack

The special effects here are…amazingly silly. claymation and the use of platforms poorly hidden behind super imposition make for some truly hilarious scenes. Add to it the actors being substituted with obvious clay stunt doubles during certain scenes and the constant change in the monsters size and you’ve got some great cheese for sure.

The cinematography here was very well done, showcasing a beautiful 35mm that utilizes naturally lighting in all of the exterior shots and smoothly transitions to the man made set shots with ease. There’s some moments like the witch attack scene where the lighting and approach drastically change..but I’m pretty sure that was intentional..although baffling.

Overall I absolutely loved this movie. My son Caleb and I had a hell of a time laughing and riffing through it and I think that this is one that works both as something to watch with the kiddies and also something to watch with bros over some brewskies for a night of drunken laughter.

I give it two middle fingers chopped off and sanded to the bone. Director Nathan Juran (famous for Attack Of Th 50 ft woman, and The Voyage Of Sinbad) created one of the most memorable children’s epic of all time and it’s really too bad that so many people overlook or never hear about this gem..just avoid the remake and stick with this one trust me.

I talk about the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s so much that alot of you out there probably assume that I belong to one of these eras. Truth be told though, I was born in 1986 so most of my childhood was spent in the 90’s. I still enjoy the earlier eras’ music, films and wardrobes but the 90’s did have some cool stuff as well; Namely, metal. Metal music existed far before the 90’s (with Blue Oyster Cult being recognized as the first official metal band) but it wasn’t until the 90’s that metal truly became what it is today, growling vocals, loud gritty guitar, heavy bass and savagely beaten drums, the 90’s was the era where metal (or more accurately Death Metal) really took off.  It was also an era where SOV horror films were in full swing. The trend that had begun in the 80’s had pretty much completely dominated the mom and pop video stores by the early 90’s (sadly most of the SOVs were dumpster bound by the late 90’s but we’ll leave that for another article)and quite a few classics emerged in this time frame, classics like the film we’ll be reviewing today;DEATH METAL ZOMBIES

DEATH-METAL-ZOMBIESDEATH METAL ZOMBIES: Showcases the diabolical plot of Satanic death metal band Living Corpse, who decide to unleash an evil curse on a special track of their newest album that will only be heard by the winner of a radio contest. Metal headed moron Brad and his goofy head banging pals Tony, Angel, and Kathy are  ecstatic when Brad is announced the winner. It turns out to be a blessing in disguise when Angel has to work and can’t listen to rare track with the others. The lead singer of Living Corpse turns out to be the ruler of the dead world ,Shengar, and the curse he put into the new song turns the three who do hear it into murder driven zombie slaves on a mission of destruction and rounding up new converts! To stop the madness all that must be done is the tape must be played backwards, which would be no problem…accept for the fact that it’s missing!

Silly to the point of being comedic, gleefully gory and showcasing some really great metal tunes, DEATH METAL ZOMBIES is an under appreciated time capsule to the 90’s and shluck cinema.
The plot is often forgotten in favor of seemingly random asides like a two minute shower scene and a ludicrous fight scene featuring characters we never see again. There’s massive holes in the plot (if Shengar wants an army why did he only put the cursed track on one tape instead of all of them? And if only that group heard the tape why are there 30 zombies shuffling around? What happened to the zombies in the beginning..I could go like this for days) but far from removing anything from the film all these little issues only add to the fun!

The acting here was hysterically bad, and knowingly so. Every character stares directly into the camera at least 4 times each, they constantly have a visibly difficult time holding back grins (accept Brad who showcases an unrestrained shit eating grin in almost every scene we see him in) and every line is delivered in that exaggerated, unnatural maniac way that we see in community theater and public access. This is another film i can’t help but to compare to Troll 2, a prime example of acting that is so bad it’s not just good but great.

The gore here ranges from great to horrible but all of it shines with an amazing level of creativity. This is obviously a production where money was nearly nonexistent and to be able to pull of any level of passable stuff is an accomplishment. The few instances where the gore didn’t quite work it failed so bad that it became comical, like in the first scene in the film when the Nixon masked killer (yeah there’s a serial killer in the mix here too) stabs a guy from behind, pretty basic stuff right? Except we never see a knife in the scene and non protrudes after the stab..Now picture this scene; a man goes up behind another man, grabs him, the attacker thrusts forward and the attackee grunts in pain, blood appears on the front of his shirt and he dies..I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on what this scene looks like.

The camerawork here was actually really well done. Utilizing dozens of wide angle zoom shots, overhead and under hand shots, and other techniques very seldomly used in a production with so little money. Combined with the gritty homemade look the VHS format it’s shot on has, these expert shots gave the film a feel that is truly unique, almost as if for a period of time Todd Sheets and Dario Argento were one person and that person was Todd Jason Cook while he was making DEATH METAL ZOMBIES.

The music here was out of this world, showcasing some really great underground 90’s metal bands I hadn’t previously heard of. I’ve long since outgrown my Heavy Metal obsession (mostly because today’s metal is mostly incoherent growling and untalented “musicians” playing the same cords and riffs on every song) but this stuff was really great and I caught myself on the verge of head banging along with the characters multiple times.

I Give this movie no middle fingers up.I have to say this one really brought me back to my youth in a big way, it’s cheesy and inept in alot of ways, yes, but somehow the blending of great and so bad it’s good elements really made this strange little time capsule of a film work. If you’re a 90’s kid who loves metal and movies with blood boobs and cheese then this movie is your GONE WITH THE WIND!
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As a kid, I was addicted to haunted house attractions. Anywhere I went, be it to a Carnival, Fair, or even Someone’s  front yard on Halloween, If there was a fright attraction I was there. Some were terrifying, most were just silly but all of them were fun embodied .
 Something about getting excited, letting my adrenaline pump and curbing my disbelief long enough to allow myself that I was walking, not into a building with paid actors and props but into another dimension, a dimension where zombies, werewolves, slashers, demonic clowns, living dolls, Ghosts, Vampires and all other varieties of things that go bump in the night are not only very real but rule supreme is beyond amazing, there’s nothing quite like it..But I often wondered what the people who ran the places were really like..What kinds of things did they struggle with, what made them want to do what they do, and just what did it take to run something like this.. Directors Brian Cunningham and Joe Laughrey had those same questions and With their wonderful documentary MONSTERS WANTED The answered them, delving into an element of the business very few outsiders have ever been and bringing us along for the wild wild ride!

MONSTERS WANTEDMONSTERS WANTED Follows the lives of Rich Teachout and Janel Nash, a 30-somthing couple who share one all encompassing dream..To scare the living shit out of people! To make this dream come true the two literally put everything they own and their own sanity on the line and create a haunted attraction for The Asylum, a haunted attraction previously known almost solely for it’s paintball based zombie shooting range. Watch as the duo, along with friends, volunteers and one very resistant very aggressive partner and one passive one put their blood, sweet tears, hours of work, life savings and very souls into making their dreams a reality against all odds.

Wow, Going into this thing, I would never have considered that it might get me teary eyed but indeed it did, watching this couple and their rag tag group of misfits desperately trying to stay above water and put on the show of their lives was nerve wreaking, tear inducing and ultimately extremely inspiring.
Watching this documentary i could literally see the couple noticeably age from start to finish, as if the project was literally sucking the life out of them, but no matter how much it drained them, no matter how much the rug got pulled out from under them and everything that could go wrong did, they never lost that childlike sparkle in their eyes when discussing their dreams and how they were making them reality no matter the cost.

But Rich and Janel were far from the only notable characters here. The group of actors were..out there, but in a good way. This was a group of people who didn’t see this as a job but as an opportunity to show their true colors, monsters stuck in human bodies, if you will, the passion with which they embraced their various characters was almost scary. One man in particular, an older gentleman with a chainsaw fetish came across so believable that I wondered if he’d ACTUALLY be killing people without an outlet like this.  The relationship these people grew by the time the fun was over and everyone had to go back to their other lives was extreme closely nit, coming across like the relationship Carnies have. They were very much a family drawn together by one noble (if bizarre) cause, to be what we all secretly need and want, to be the bad guys, the boogie men, the nightmare people!

I can honestly say that this was one of those documentaries that there wasn’t a single moment I was bored, by midway I realized I really cared about these people. They ceased to be just people on a screen and became old friends some how, and by the end I was left wondering what happened next, these people and their lives are interesting enough that it could easily turn into a reality TV show and in an extremely rare occurrence be one that is watchable and inspiring instead of  obnoxious and obscene like the programs we see today.

The cinematography and editing, as well as the decisions on what to shoot and what not to was all done extremely well, this was one of those rare documentaries where there was no side to push, no point to try to get across, it was made for the sheer joy of celebrating and illustrating the joy, pain, sadness, struggle and even fear that go into one of the coolest and least examined industries of all time. The filmmakers involved deserve not only praise but reverence for this masterpiece.

I give this film two middle fingers chopped off, I was entranced by it and It will be days before I can get it out of my mind I really hope that these filmmakers will consider revisiting the couple a few years into the future, this is defiantly good enough for a follow up!

PATRICK REAWhere did you come up with the creatures in Nailbiter and what came first the story or the . creature idea?

The idea of a family caught in a tornado came first and we knew that we wanted it to be a creature feature, but we weren’t sure where to go with the creatures.  We then came up with the idea that these creatures are a lot like werewolves, but instead of a full moon causing their ‘change’, it was the storms.  I kind of based the idea on the fact that some people actually have aches and pains when the weather is changing.

Would you say you’re a big fan of creature features and if so what are some of your favorites and why?

Oh definitely.  Some of my favorites include “The Howling

 

I get alot of  films that at least try to be thought provoking, which is great, i like to think and i like movies that get my fuzzled brain going..But sometimes it’s nice to just zone out and watch something simple..Sometimes i just want to see monsters chase and kill people in the woods, maybe a twist or too but straight to the point, and in MONSTERS IN THE WOODS, that’s precisely what i got

MONSTERS IN THE WOODS follows a film maker and his cast and crew into the middle of the woods where they’ve gone to shoot some additional “sex and violence” for the film maker’s movie (Which is apparently an action/horror movie about a white beardless Jesus Christ with a bird’s nest on his head fighting a vulture man…i’m not even kidding a little) Little do they know they arn’t alone in these woods and some of the monsters arn’t of the man made variety. By the time they realize this..it’s far too late and they begin to be hunted down and eatten first one by one and then as a group..is there any escape?

MONSTERS IN THE WOODSMONSTERS IN THE WOODS Is a guilty pleasure movie all the way, with creative, cheesy yet effective rubber monsters which looked like a cross between giant lizards, spiders, crocodiles and gorillas, a nice dose of gore, a kick ass plot twist that really heralds back to the monster movies of yesteryear and acting that while not Shakespearean is still quite believable (except in the case of the obvious porn star cameo..but she was defiantly casted for her willingness to have simulated sex and show her tits…a waste of money both in the case of the director casting her and whatever amount of money she paid her surgeon to give her that disgusting hack job)
It also features a big dolep of cheese, which while not painfully obvious in most cases will nonetheless garnish more then a few chuckles from long time fans of the genre.  And the film also lacked any CGI effects which was very refreshing and lended even more to it’s late 80’s/ early 90’s creature feature feel. Bringing to mind such classics as Watchers, Predator and even a dash of Carnasaur.

There was, however one major deterant that may lose this one alot of fans.. “found footage” portions of the film. I understand that the director was attempting to make us, the audience feel more imersed in the film by letting us see through the eyes of the crew of the film through the use of their camera but to be honest all this managed to do is take away from the film, and greatly. it meant that for the first half of the film it suffered from what most true “found footage” horror films suffer from, namely, Horrible audio quality, disorientingly shakey zipping around camera work, puke inducing angles and  whoever thought it would be cleaver or seem more realistic to have the camera’s tracking go bad every couple minutes..YOU WERE WRONG It’s just annoying and it throws the viewer out of the story by continuously reminding them that it’s a movie. We don’t want to be reminded it’s a movie! We want to believe it’s real and escape reality for a few hours enjoying a showcase of ludicris, impossible visuals and story! THAT”S WHY PEOPLE WATCH MOVIES!

Thankfully the entire film isn’t shot this way, and while even the “movie style” camera work is extremely shaky and unsteady it’s scores better then the”found footage” segments.

It was hard for me to decide how to rate this one..At first i thought it would be one I’d be forced to give a horrible rating to due to the problems i just spoke about..but as i continued watching the film a funny thing happened..I fell in love with it. It’s got it’s major issues but the story, monsters and setting more then make up for it…

I give this film one middle finger a quarter of the way extended. I was going to say one middle finger but i can’t justify that with such a cool flick. if not for the found footage segments i would have given this one no middle fingers up because other then that this movie is fuckin awesome.
And even despite the problems i highly recommend you check it out and i implore you, if the beginning irks you, give it a chance and watch the whole thing, i can almost guarantee it will win you over by the end. I sincerely hope these film makers will make a sequel and skip out on the “found footage” angle the second way around

….On a side note if they ever decide to make the bird’s nest beardless Jesus vs. Vulture man action film a reality…i would defiantly pay to see that