FilmHorrorReviews

Art of the Dead (2019, USA) Review

Art of the Dead (2019)

It’s rare that I’m left speechless or lost for words after a horror film but perhaps the only way to describe Art of the Dead is to say that it defies any definition! Brimming with influences that range from Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) to American Horror Story and Dario Argento, this offering from director Rolfe Kanevsky (who has a prolific output) is a visceral feast for the eyes. It’s fair to say that this is a horror based in spectacle, shock and sensory overload rather than it being a deep and searching exploration of fear. If this film were a painting itself, it could be described as schlocky, daring and off the hook.

“Lust. Gluttony. Greed. Sloth. Wrath. Envy. Pride. What’s your sin?”

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Women of Mafia (aka Mafia Women) (2018, Poland) Review

Women of Mafia (aka Mafia Women) (2018, Poland) Review

While you don’t need to take a ball-peen hammer to the forehead to enjoy Patryk Vega’s film Mafia Women (aka Women of Mafia), it sure would help. The movie’s biggest failure is the unbelievably bad plot, which would be laughable if so much money hadn’t been spent trying to turn such a cinematic sow’s ear into the semblance of a silk purse. The only reason why certain characters survived the events of the film was because everyone around them made so many stupid, unintelligible decisions…

“Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium, and you think women can’t make drugs?”

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The Beyond (1981, Italy) Shameless Blu-ray Review

The Beyond (1981, Italy) Shameless Blu-ray Review

Directed by the prolific master of the macarbre, Lucio Fulci, The Beyond is the second film in Fulci’s ‘Gates of Hell‘ trilogy; a series of horror films all connected by a unifying theme, and actress Catriona MacColl. In each of these films, one of seven gateways to hell is activated, bringing misery to those unfortunate to stumble upon the doors of death.

“The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places… And from the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth.”

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Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND on Special Edition Blu-ray (13 January) from Shameless Screen Entertainment

Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND on Special Edition Blu-ray (13 January) from Shameless Screen Entertainment

Shameless proudly presents Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (aka …E tu vivrai nel terrore! L’Aldila’) from a 2K-scanned and restored source; available 13 January 2020 on Blu-ray.

“The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places… And from the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth.”

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Red Christmas (2016, Australia) Review

Red Christmas (2016, Australia) Review

There’s an old joke that goes something like, “If God can do anything, can He create a rock so heavy that even He couldn’t lift it?” Adapted to the cinema, the question becomes, “Can you make a slasher flick so bad that even Dee Wallace couldn’t save it?”

Yes. Yes, you can. Red Christmas is that movie. There are such things as good slasher flicks. Maybe they’ve got some funny lines, some memorable kills, or a distinctly horrific antagonist. Unfortunately, Red Christmas has none of those things…

“This Christmas, the only thing under the tree is terror.”

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Botoks (aka Botoxx) (2017, Poland) Review

Botoks (aka Botoxx) (2017, Poland) Review

Botoks is unafraid to address controversial subjects like abortion, though it does so in a way that might charitably be described as clumsy. For example, an OB-GYN doctor manipulates the system to allow a woman to abort her 22-week-old baby, and the wriggling, mewling child, having survived the procedure, is placed on a metal tray in an empty room to die. This is considered Standard Operating Procedure, apparently. Later in the movie, when the doctor herself gets pregnant, she has a change of heart and refuses to perform any more abortions. She then gets fired by her amoral male boss.

“What the fuck is going on in this hospital?”

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Silent Night, Bloody Night (aka Night of the Dark Full Moon) (1972, USA) Review

Silent Night, Bloody Night (aka Night of the Dark Full Moon) (1972, USA) Review

Christmas time approaches, snow is falling and the once opulent and lively Butler House has now stood abandoned for many years following the mysterious death of its proprietor. Jeffrey Butler, grandson to the property’s namesake is in town to sell his inheritance but just why he has appeared after so long and what dark secrets lie within the Butler family history are a puzzle to the locals. An entertaining piece that often has a charm in its roughness, Silent Night, Bloody Night gives us some memorable kills complete with the help of that old favourite Kensington Gore.

“The mansion… the madness… the maniac… no escape.”

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The Crow (1994, USA) Review

The Crow (1994, USA) Review

Dark, poetic and a visual masterpiece.

The Crow is a movie that is very much dear to my heart. Released in 1994 on the back of some very serious hype (for all the wrong reasons) involving the death of star Brandon Lee, it was billed as a sort of adult version of Tim Burton’s Batman. I can clearly see why people would perceive this as it’s a very dark piece. Audiences hadn’t really seen many movies stylistically like Burton’s Batman, so it was easier to class them in the same vein. Even more so with both being comic book incarnations…

“It can’t rain all the time.”

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The Bouncer (aka Lukas) (2018, France / Belgium) Review

The Bouncer (aka Lukas) (2018, France / Belgium) Review

You know ’em, you love ’em; Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan…all beloved martial arts action stars. Discovered in the 80s, all of them have had interesting and varied careers, with plenty of highs and lows. There have been the duds and there have been shining moments of celluloid (and silver screen) magic. If you’re a fan of cult classics, these names ring a special bell, one with a resounding gong. It’s interesting to note that they’ve all displayed their serious sides as well as their comedic chops…

“You do everything they tell you, eh? You’re their little doggie!”

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3 from Hell (2019, USA) Lionsgate UK Blu-ray Review

3 from Hell (2019, USA) Lionsgate UK Blu-ray Review

There’s a problem with Rob Zombie. As a filmmaker he’s a conundrum. He’s a jigsaw puzzle, but with a few pieces missing and those missing pieces are what’s stopping him from connecting fully with fans of the horror genre.

Never has a director in the horror genre been as polarising. There are the people that see Zombie as an extremely creative talent and there are the ones that absolutely despise him

“The evil returns.”

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Skinner (1993, USA) 101 Films Blu-ray Review

Skinner (1993, USA) 101 Films Blu-ray Review

Skinner is an American slasher flick that has been frequently and unfairly compared with Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991); overshadowed by a high-profile scandal involving its director Ivan Nagy, and his ex-girlfriend, the “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss; cut to shreds by the Motion Picture Association of America; whose original film elements were thought to be lost; and stars Ted Raimi in the leading role as Dennis Skinner! Yes, Skinner is sick, slick and most definitely sleazy!

“He’ll get under your skin.”

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Lionsgate UK Presents Rob Zombie’s 3 FROM HELL on Digital Download, Blu-ray & DVD 14 October

First, there was House of 1000 Corpses. Then there was The Devil’s Rejects. Now, Rob Zombie presents the next blood-soaked chapter in the most violent crime saga in movie history: 3 from Hell. After barely surviving a furious shootout with the police, Baby Firefly, Otis Driftwood and Captain Spaulding are behind bars. But pure evil cannot be contained. Teaming up with Otis’ half-brother Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, the demented Firefly clan are back to unleash a whole new wave of death and depravity. A firestorm of murder, madness and mayhem will be released in this terror ride to Hell and back.

“Free the Three.”

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