Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DVD Movie Review #206 Anatomy 2

Well here we are again. In my wonderings I came upon the original movie in this series and was impressed by its complex murder plot and thrilling nature. When I heard there was a sequel I wanted to get on board with this and obtain a copy for myself. Sure enough I got lucky and this out of print movie was back on the shelf long enough for me to snag a cheap copy. So here we go again into the Chambers of Germans in Medical School.
The Boys are Back and they are ready to make more trouble.
The Good
The Bad
The Summary

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DVD Movie Review #205 Amityville: A New Generation

What is it about the Amityville series that makes me come back for more? I mean I must be an addict as I have been seeking out movie after movie in this series. One of the hardest parts as an Amityville collector is that many of these films are out of print, including this beauty. So in a bit of Christmas madness I ended up doing a bit of Amityville buying and got hold of a few more movies in the series so this time I give you the movie "Amityville: A New Generation".
We start out or movie with our protagonist, a starving artist with a secret past. Everything changes one day when he runs into a strange street person with an old antique mirror. After getting hold of the mirror many of the people around him seemed to keep dying as the curse of the mirror infects them all. In the end his strange and dangerous past comes back to haunt him in this strange and paranoia inspiring film.
These films are interesting as they really run the gammit. They range from really good to mediocre to just plain bad. There is one common theme here though and that is the theme of paranoia and agitation. Throughout the entire film I felt my anxiety rising as the film kept creeping towards its climax. I felt the main character's paranoia grow and after learning his dark secret it only made the feeling worse. I have to give this to the film as it got the feelings right overall. I also like the art motif in this movie with one art piece in particular having to do with a TV and a Shotgun. The creepy art and cast of strange characters lent itself to the atmosphere the film generated to its advantage. The effects were nothing special but then there were not a lot of needed effects to make this special and it had just enough to make this work. This film accomplished most of what it was going for and as an Amityville Spinoff that is a good thing.
The Acting was one of three drawbacks from this film. This was the main one as it almost ruined the mood of the movie at times such as with the scene above which nearly made me laugh instead of give me the feeling that I had earlier on watching this. Many of the characters were wooden in their presentation and a few even overacted leaving a pretty mixed presentation. The second drawback was the music. I usually try hard to not dwell on dated material being used in a film as it was good at the time and they couldn't know that it would be that bad. This movie had an obviously cheesy soundtrack that reflected the time of its making and it didn't translate well to the current time. Instead of filling us with the feeling the directors had intended this instead left us feeling cheesed out a bit. Finally I have to say that the ending was not as good as it could have been. I feel like many of these movies are overly predictable and this was still the case. The plot moved slowly and then because of it you could see the ending coming from way back at the half-way point of the movie.
This movie had a number of drawbacks yet it was still enjoyable and the director got across what he was trying to convey with all of these problems in play. I feel that this movie is one of the better movies in the Amityville series and definitely worth a watch if you can. In this case the positives far out weigh the negatives.

Rating:  7/10

Saturday, January 14, 2017

DVD Movie Review #204 Beware! Children At Play

Hello all and welcome back for the next installment of our DVD Movie reviews. This time I am covering the Troma film Beware! Children at Play. I admit I didn't know this was a Troma film when I found this beauty but after seeing the poster I really had to get it. I mean look at this thing! Can you not see it and say "wow! I gotta see this". This film was a little harder to find due to it being Troma and therefore out of print but It was wroth having in my collection. So here we have our review.
So we start out or movie with a little father and son time where a simple bonding camping trip leads to rampant cannibalism, you know like always happens. We then cut to our protagonists and their daughter visiting the countryside. They learn that many of the town's children have been going missing and soon they find that their very own daughter is at risk. Will they find out what is going to happen to the missing children? Will they live long enough to understand the dark truth?
 I must say I am reminded of a little film called The Children when I watched this film. The vibe of both films is very creepy and disturbing in their very nature making it worth the watch, though not anything new it is something that you don't see a ton of in the horror genre. I felt that with the budget they had and the fact that this is a Troma film it did manage to keep me interested for most of the time. You do have a good level of suspense and of course the graphic nature that is a Troma Film. The Acting is decent and believable so I am able to sit through this without any major issues and some of the child actors were breaths of fresh air overall. With that and the eerie plot having you wonder "just what is going on with these kids?" It is worth at least a single watch.
I did have a few issues with this film. I think that older horror moves a lot slower than we are used to in this day and age so it takes a little while before you really feel things ramp up. I am also no too keen on seeing the violence against children. One of the first pics you see if you do an image search for this film is of one of the kids getting their head blown off. I have decided not to show that one as it is a bit too graphic for here and I kind of got disturbed by it. (So if you must see it you can do your own google search). I was overall not as impressed with this as I wanted to be and I feel that this was not a good thing due to the unreal expectations given by that awesome poster!
In the end this movie is a nice little gore fest from Troma but If you are looking for something that is fast paced or you cringe at violence against children, or any Troma film I would recommend you look elsewhere. Though if those things are your bag find this gem it is worth seeing at least once.

Rating:  6/10

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

DVD Movie Review#203 Trouble Chocolate

There are a lot of anime series out there and this is one that the packaging just got my attention. I mean it is orange ant it looks like a Chocolate wrapper. It is also has a lot of shiny bits to it so it catches the eye. I got this series very cheaply at around the $15 mark for a 5 volume set and this was a great by around 10 years ago. Well the first disc came lose in the box when it got smashed during a move and I wanted to test it out to make sure it worked. I figured this series would be pretty fun so I decided to go ahead and try it out.

This series is about Cacao a rather rambunctious teenager and Hinano a tree spirit that was magically trapped in a wooden doll. They have plenty of adventures throughout their strange school and have a lot of dealings with magical creatures, robots and even vampires. Through it all we must hold hope for the love of a teenage glutton and his wooden doll.

This series is very colorful and it makes the series appealing to look at some of the time. The DVD series has very cool box art and it is right effective at drawing the eye as seen above. I also love the second ender it is energetic and enjoyable. There are a few jokes that even had me chuckle a bit when I watched the series and that was a good thing. I am also a fan of Ted Cole (English Kuno from Ranma 1/2 ) so his voice stylings are always entertaining to listen to I kind of miss him as the only positive part of the 4 kids One Piece Dub. One last fun part about this series is that it is only 20 episodes when it could have been 24 or 26.

I really didn’t like this show for many reasons. Lets start with the animation and color scheme. Though It brings you in it is waaaay to bright and is a tad garish. If you watch this moderate to low quality animation you can even get a headache. It is plain with some missing action scenes and jumps from point A to point C at times. The story was supposed to be a quirky romantic comedy but a lot of the time the jokes fall flat on their face and the strangeness involved leaves you scratching your head most of the time. The story, or lack thereof kind of takes a weird turn in the middle of the series and overall doesn’t make much sense to me. I mean what is it with the “evil organization” appearing half-way through the series. What are these “monster” cards that keep appearing  and is there a resolution? Why is one of the organizations hunting down all magic users?  On top of that I don’t even get the setting with all these odd monsters tech and wizards I don’t get the series premise at all. They do a flimsy half-hearted attempt to explain all of these things but it felt lazy and the development of the characters and villains especially was weak at best. Of course I feel like the series actually hoped to get a continuation…heh. Finally we talk about the characters. The main character is a Jerk, he’s a lazy glutton that has very little redeeming value with even Ataru from Urusei Yatsura being more likable as a protagonist. The main female interest in a source of extreme annoyance and the other characters are simply forgettable anime stereotypes. What about the voice acting and music you ask? Well I tend to like most English Dubs but I feel the actors liked this series about as much as I did for the quality of acting with the quality produced. The first ender is ok but the opener is catchy in an annoying way that makes you wish it was never heard in the first place.

This is not a super bad series in the end but it is so predictable and lazy that it falls totally flat of any potential it might have had.

Rating: 3/10

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Top 10 Horror Movies to watch on Christmas

With Christmas time comes a good time to sit in front of the fire and try and scare up a good time…ok I am just joking around a little. We do love our horror and it is the time of year to enjoy specific holiday oriented horror. This list will include a number of items seen elsewhere but I can guarantee I’ve seen all of these involved and will be able to make a case for all.

1. Jack Frost 1 & 2  
Who doesn’t like a good evil killer Snowman.  We start off with an executed serial killer and a vat of chemicles spilt into the snow. In the end we get an evil mutant snowman with a penchant for murder. This series had two entries and to me is a bellowed classic. It is cheesy and for a slasher it is nearly hilarious  in its obserdity which is then doubled down on for the sequel. If you want a good Christmas watch go for this one.  
2. Santas Slay 
“How about a little Yule Tide Fear?” When you take a wrestler a twisted myth about Santa Claus and a cast of kooky characters you get Santa’s Slay. This is one of the best B-Movie Christmas films of all time. I really enjoy this the most of all of them and hope that this continues to be a holiday Tradition, especially for the first scene.

3. Black Christmas/X’Mas
Who doesn’t like a little Christmas Killing as we go from B-Movie Horror/Comedy to straight slasher horror. Both movies are really good at displaying the derangement of a crazy killer going after co-eds on Christmas Eve. I feel that the major difference in the series is that the older one comes with more story and the remake has more violence and gore. Both are great films and both are good for a horror Christmas tradition.

4. Silent Night Deadly
 Night Series 1-5 
So we come to yet another Christmas Slasher Series in the vein of the Halloween movie series. We have a Michael Myers style killer going after people during the Christmas holidays dressed up as Santa Claus. Even though it may bear some similarities this is not Santa’s Slay and if you are looking for a laugh instead of a thriller then you need to keep away from this one.

5. A Christmas Horror Story 
This is a good alternative to those who love your traditional Horror story anthologies and much like Trick r’ Treat is for Halloween this is a good one for Christmas. This story also involves Krampus but isn’t a Krampus movie. The big plus is that William Shatner narrates.

6. Gremlins 
Who would do a Christmas Horror marathon without Gremlins.  This movie is a classic tale where you learn the lesson to not adopt strange pets and to feed them in a timely manner. This movie also spawned a Sequel but this one is the only one with a Christmas theme.

7. Krampus Series 
If you have read my series in the past you will know about my Krampus series of reviews. Krampus is the evil brother of Santa Claus that punishes mean kids. The most famous of these is the new one coming out in 2015 and the other movies have a varying degree of goodness. I suggest you at least check out the 2015 film or #5 in order to introduce yourself to the Krampus character.

8. The Children
This is probably the most disturbing film on the list. I mean you have killers and you have the horror of being stuck in the middle of nowhere but when the killers are your own children?! This is an exercise in terror and despair that you can’t leave alone.

9. Tales from the Crypt 
This was a great horror anthology movie (also reviewed here earlier) but here we only have one segment that falls around Christmas and a killer. I won’t give away the rest of this but the series will definitely come in handy.

10. Ceasar and Ottos Deadly X’Mas
This is probably the lowest point on the list. This is another slasher type of movie but this one is lower in budget. I have s soft spot in my heart for this film but it can be a tad boring at times. Please get off and enjoy this movie and the other movie that is Halloween fixated.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DVD Movie Review #200 Krampus Unleashed

Well this is the end and we are back again with another tale of terror to end out our Krampus tales. This time we are going with Krampus Unleashed. I remember looking up all the Krampus films I could find and this one had not yet come out on video. I must admit I was a but cautious as I had seen the good and I have seen the bad and still don' tknow what that one had to offer.
So we go back in time where these prospectors dig of a hidden rock with the power to summon and evil demon (aka Krampus). Things don't go very well for them and we have to fast forward to the future where the rock is again found by a family visiting their cousins out in Krampus Country. A strange creature which could be bigfoot has been spotted and now it seems they may be dying before they are able to celebrate the new year.
Well this movie does do a few things right. I feel that it makes a pretty decent creature feature. In truth this is the only of its kind out of the three. Krampus is done very differently here and is more like a rabid monster that they summoned from a magic stone that now wants to kill all of our series protagonists. I felt that the acting was entertaining enough for the film and that Krampus himself was done well enough for a standard horror movie monster. For what this is I don't feel it was too terrible. This even had a few nods to other films in the genre I have reviewed if you look close enough So I give the people in this credit for their thought process. The pacing lastly is also very quick very good on the action so you don't have time getting bored. This Krampus is definitely different from your normal, Run of the Mill Krampus. Lastly I have to say the little snippet at the end is hilarious.
This is pretty much what it is summed up to be...a bad horror film. This is your typical monster kills people film you could just as easily call this creature Big Foot, drop the magic rock and have the same movie for the rest of the year. This is by far the only one that left me feel involved and that is a sad thing. Many of the characters are also annoying and those that are not annoying have very little development and you have very little attachment to them. you could tell the cheap budget behind this film much like the last review I did on Krmpus: the Reckoning and oddly enough my problem is not like Krampus, as a Matter of Fact they seemed to follow the advice I set out and they dropped the CG. It is in a lot of different things such as the slightly below par acting, the poor scene setup and finally the poor effects.
This movie was better than some but lesser than the others. If you like low budget "Monster Eats People" type films I think this is still a good film for you.

Rating: 6/10

Well this is the end. I hope that you have all enjoyed my Christmas Rantings about Krampus and his friendly batch of movies. Please stay tuned for our regularly scheduled programming :)

DVD Movie Review #202 Visions of Escaflowne

Once upon a time there was a magical kingdom called MovieStop. It was a good kingdom and they used to have a sale on anime. It was a great sale being as much as 50% off on all and a typical buy one get one too boot. Such a sale was the reason that I found this lovely series. I had watched the motion picture and was not impressed but at the same time this series had such a reputation that I had to check it out. Years went by and this continued to gather dust upon my shelf. I finally decided in the end that I needed to hunker down and watch this. So here we go I have finished it and I plan on reviewing Visions of Escaflowne.

Hitomi is a regular High School Girl who wants to enjoy her passion of running and get the handsome boy on the men’s team. Hitomi has a special power to produce oddly accurate fortunes through card readings. When she does one on herself a portal is opened between worlds that lead her to the magical Kingdom of Gaia. She is finally bound in the end to participate in a war that could shake the very foundations of all worlds and unlock the secrets of Atlantis.

The first thing I will address in the plus column here is the sound. I really did think that the composition was pretty powerful and reminded me a bit of how Skyrim had a great background that only enhanced the feelings and powerful nature of the plot. The Opener is a nice solid song and the Ender “Mystic Eyes” to me is at near legendary status if you are one to enjoy anime soundtracks. The Animation is pretty sound and has a unique style that tells me what I am seeing the minute I start watching. I feel that this is a pretty solid product overall when it comes to production value. The characters have a good depth to them and you can follow the political intrigue as you are lead down the rabbit hole with Hitomi. Of course there is plenty of action to be had with lots of mecha sword fighting and bitter rivalries.

Note that I didn’t mention the plot other than for character development. I felt it was a combination of Fushigi Yuugi and Evangeleon. This would if done right make this series very good and well renowned. I feel that it tried too hard in this department leaving me confused at times and over stressed the importance of dashing fate and making your own path. This also had a lot going on with so many minor stories and personal character issues that it made me understand why squeezing this all into a motion picture made me a little miffed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the plot by any means but at the same time I feel the plot didn’t do this series any favors. It was juggling too many balls and in the process a few were dropped by the wayside.

Despite its weaknesses Escaflowne has a pretty solid overall feel that makes it a good series overall. I enjoyed my watch through of it and would recommend it to any who are able to get it cheaply.

Rating: 6/10