5th Annual Macabre Month of Horror – Day 1 “Pieces”

macabre month of horror day one pieces

brickwall pictures team watching piecesSam and his Brickwall Pictures team down in Winter Park, Fl are spending every day this month not only going to classes at Full Sail University and working on film projects, but they are also posting a horror movie video review every day.

Follow along for recommendations on what to watch, what to avoid and some fun stuff thrown in for your viewing pleasure.

Please keep in mind these are Horror Movies and the video reviews contain content from the films that may not be appropriate for younger viewers, or those with a weak constitution for that matter.

Day One: Pieces

Join Sam, Brian, Tara, Jamile, and Kaylee as they watch Pieces a 1982 Giallo film.


macabre month of horror day one pieces“One of my top horror films of all time! Not only is this the ultimate chainsaw movie, it’s the ultimate slasher film. It has everything you could possibly want, by the bucketful. Full on chainsaw violence, absurd amounts of nudity, and the greatest ending in horror history.  A masterpiece of early ’80s sleaze.”   – Eli Roth, director of HOSTEL and THE GREEN INFERNO

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Turbo Kid (2015) Review

turbo kid title card

Sam Kench reviews the 2015 post apocalyptic 80’s throwback Turbo Kid written and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell , and Yoann-Karl Whissell, and starring Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Aaron Jeffrey, and Michael Ironside.

 

 

If you think Turbo Kid looks like your cup of tea you can find it on Amazon right here

Brickwall Productions Christmas Special (Cool World review)

cool world title card

This is a Good/Bad/Grindhouse review on Cool World

Escape From Tomorrow (2013)

Escape From Tomorrow is made interesting by the very way that it was shot. Escape from Tomorrow is a feature length film shot almost entirely in Disney World/Land without permission from Disney.  Just the fact that they were able to make this is a crazy thought, even more so that it has received such a wide release, even being shown in theaters and added to Netflix. The spectacle of seeing a dark horror movie filmed in Disney World is the reason to watch it, but the question is; Does Escape From Tomorrow have any depth or entertainment value beyond the production gimmick?

Well sadly the answer is; not really.

The story follows Jim, the father in your typical Disney going family. Jim is a sexual deviant who stalks a pair of young french girls around the park and the mother is nagging and annoying. The two children completely lack any traces of character.

Escape From Tomorrow manages to have fairly good cinematography for a large amount of the film which is especially impressive considering how it was shot, with many real people walking around and the general chaos of the park around them. There are some shots that they spent a very long time planning to achieve. The effort is valiant and doesn’t go unnoticed, but then there are particularly awful looking scenes. There are a handful of scenes that would horrible on their own, and are highlighted more so by the overall nice presentation of the rest of the film. More than one scene has the actors very obviously and poorly green screened into B-roll footage of the amusement park and it does not look passable at all.

Escape From Tomorrow is full of really bad acting. The best acting you can find in this film is passable, while the worst actually comes from the lead actor. He is consistently terrible throughout. By the end of the film I had actual become accustomed to the bad acting and stopped being as distracting, but adjusting to the bad does not make it good.

Escape From Tomorrow attempts to be a creepy screwed up horror film, but largely fails. The “scares” are too few and far between and when they do pop up they often fall flat. The closest the film got to be effective from a horror standpoint was actually the opening credits which managed to provide a genuinely surprising moment, but this one solid moment was cheapened when it was revisited later on in the film, to lesser effect.

The film seems very unsure of the tone that it wants to convey. It presents itself as a cerebral horror film, but then it throws comedic elements at you which don’t mix well. In the end both elements miss their mark and what few moments could have been funny, are muddled and ruined by the confused tones of the movie.

The Pacing is dreadful. Escape From Tomorrow has a meandering plot that kills far too much time following the characters as they walk around the park, go on rides, and do absolutely nothing of any importance. The movie wastes time and feels as though much of it was shot without purpose other than stretching out what probably should have been a 20 minute short film into a feature length film. As a 20 minute short this concept may have actually worked better. A more condensed runtime would have helped Escape From Tomorrow as most of the time it will have you waiting for something to happen, and when it does happen, it will likely disappoint. It also doesn’t help that pretty much all of the set pieces and interesting moments are given away in the trailer.

The gimmick is interesting but the film fails to impress beyond the fact that it actually got made and released the way it was produced. I would only recommend it to those who are seriously interested in the concept of a film shot guerrilla style in Disney world, otherwise definitely stay away. The concept is incredibly intriguing, but a much stronger plot and acting would have been needed to stop this film from being a disappointment.

Stranded (The Good, the Bad, and the Grindhouse)

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Here is a comedic video review of the movie Stranded

Feedback is appreciated and encouraged

Cottage Country Review

cottage country

Cottage Country

Cottage Country is a movie that I saw a trailer for and then just sort of forgot about until they added it to Netflix. The sole reason I watched this movie was for Tyler Labine from the excellent Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

This movie seemed to have the same kind of idea, both being dark comedies centering around accidental murder. Was Cottage Country as good as Tucker and Dale VS Evil? No. It’s not that close either. Tucker and Dale is a much better movies all around and it is especially a great deal funnier. That being said I still very much enjoyed Cottage Country.

After watching the movie I was somewhat shocked to see all the negative reviews for this movie. This film has a bad reputation and seems to be getting a lot of undeserved flak. Is this movie perfect? Not at all, but it is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an enjoyable flick that doesn’t deserved to be labeled as trash as it has been. I’m expecting this movie to actually gain a cult following in a few years.

Let me just say real quick that this movie has one of the worst IMDB pages I’ve ever seen. THIS is the poster they used for the movie

cottage country worst poster ever

What the hell is that?! I could find a better poster for the movie on google images, in fact I will.

cottage country

Okay that’s still pretty bad, but at least it’s a poster this time. Only B movies have posters like this, and really gives the audience the wrong idea about the quality of film they should expect.

Cottage Country tells the story of Todd and Cammie who go to Todd’s cottage so that he can propose. Some unwanted guests lead to Todd and Cammie covering up multiple murders in a very dark comedy. The movie is morbidly funny and mixes the horror with the comedy in a way that not everyone’s pallet will be able to handle. Sometimes the mixing of the two genres is a little uneven, and I would’ve liked a bit more comedy in there, but the movie remains funny enough throughout, to not lose sight of it’s goal. There are standout moments that are very very funny, but the movie would’ve benefited from having some smaller laughs sprinkled in throughout.

The dramatic and horror aspects are surprisingly effective. I love horror comedies, and what usually ends up happening, is that the comedy takes center stage, while the horror is merely a backdrop. Most horror comedies simply use the horror as the setup and fail deliver on actually being frightening. Cottage Country, while never being scary, does manage to competently build tension and even manifest a creepy vibe in a few scenes. The way these different elements are mixed, could have been handled better, but I found that they still worked. These elements work especially well given the excellent acting and the good musical score.

Tyler Labine is great as Todd. He pulls off the comedy and handles the dramatic moments just as well. The cast of characters is surprisingly varied and everyone does their jobs very well. The female lead, Cammie, played by Malin Akerman is great and her character, that at first seems generic, is actually rather interesting. SPOILER Her character actually becomes the antagonist of the film near the end and while the writing on her transition wasn’t particularly good, the actress manages to make it work fairly well. The climax of the film went in an unexpected direction, but I think it works for this particular movie. END SPOILER

The supporting cast all do a very good job. Horror movies in general get a bad reputation as having terrible acting, but that is not always the case. The acting in Cottage Country is good all around. There are some standout characters that manage to be fully developed even though they may only have a couple of scenes. There is a Hasidic Jewish man named Dov who goes all detective on the disappearance of Todd’s brother Salinger who he murdered earlier (Not a spoiler it’s in the trailer). This character is delightfully strange and his outcome is gleefully funny.

The one character I found underdeveloped was the vagrant. He is only seen twice and a little more action from him would’ve been appreciated. There are two other standout character I want to mention. The female cop and Todd’s father both manage to be terribly cool, despite having little screen time. The cop is a bonafide BAMF and really goes out with a bang and Todd’s father might actually be the funniest part of the whole movie when he starts screaming at his wife.

Overall I found Cottage Country to be a thoroughly entertaining film. Despite the direction sometimes being a bit misguided and the different elements getting occasionally crossed the film remains very enjoyable. It definitely could have been funnier, but what we got with Cottage Country is still a satisfying flick, if perhaps a little forgettable. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the horror comedy subgenre.

Movie Recommendation of the Week #6

assault on precinct 13 poster

assault on precinct 13 poster

Assault on Precinct 13

For some reason a lot of people seem to think that Halloween was John Carpenter’s first movie. It was actually his 3rd feature length film and it wasn’t even his first great film.

Assault on Precinct 13 was John Carpenter’s 2nd feature film and it came out in 1976, two years before Halloween in 1978.

The movie’s title is actually a big misconception. The assault doesn’t take place on Precinct 13, nor is there a Precinct 13 anywhere in the movie. The precinct in the movie is actually Precinct 9, District 13. John Carpenter’s original title was “The Anderson Alamo”, he later changed it to “The Siege”, but the movie distributors changed the title when they released it to “Assault on Precinct 13”, because they thought it sounded cool, and they were just not bothered to check their details.

Reasons to watch:

John Carpenter is in great form – Even though this isn’t a horror movie, it has Carpenter’s signature dark and foreboding style. It’s an action thriller (idealized as a western) that has a horror like atmosphere that works surprisingly well.

Great action – While there may not be a ton of action, what is there is great. The effects are fantastic. This is back in the 70’s so we have all the glorious assaultsquibs that sadly aren’t as prevalent in more modern films. The action is well shot, well performed, and is very intense.

Good characters – The acting is very good and the characters are very well rounded. The character development is done surprisingly well.

It seems like the kind of movie where you wouldn’t care about the characters, but John Carpenter did a great job as writer/director making the characters napoleon wilsonlikable and relate-able. They are believable in the situation and the good guys are fun to root for.

One character in particular is just so damn cool. Partially because of the excellent writing and partially because of the fantastic performance given by Darwin Joston. That character is Napoleon Wilson. This character is so Goddamn cool, he has to be on a list of coolest movie characters, but I feel he often goes overlooked.

It’s an overlooked classic – Assault on Precinct 13 is one of John Carpenter’s best films and it really is a classic.

Sam’s Movie Recommendation of the Week #5

grindhouse movie poster for piieces

By Sam Kench

grindhouse movie poster for piieces

Todays recommendation is a 1982 grindhouse film called “Pieces”.

NOW, be aware that my recommendation of this film does not mean that it is good. This movie is not good at all, it’s actually one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen (technically speaking).

So why am I suggesting you watch it? Because it is absolutely hilarious. It’s a true “so bad it’s good movie”. 

People love films like “The Room” and “Birdemic” because they are hilariously, and “Pieces” is truly funny. It’s not supposed to be a good movie, as long as you go into the movie knowing what to expect, I think you’ll have a good time.

This movie might be a little hard to find and there’s also some really slow bits where nothing happens, so instead you can just watch this review I did of it. The review is funny and it talks about all the key standout funny moments so give it a watch.

Macabre Month of Horror 2013 #24 – Jack Frost (1997) guest review by Shaun Hathaway

jack frost poster

Jack Frost

jack frost poster

*SPOILER ALERT* (Don’t worry, you’ll still love the film)

As I browse Netflix looking for a film to watch, I notice a poster for a film that gives me an odd sense of nostalgia. It’s the poster for the film Jack Frost, a 90’s horror film about a serial killer, named Jack Frost, whose DNA gets infused with snow because of a toxic chemical spill, making him a  nearly unstoppable snowman. I do remember watching it as a child, but the thing I remember most was whenever I went to Movie Gallery (R.I.P.), I would immediately go to the horror section of the store (which might explain my psycho/sociopathic ways now) and would see the “special edition” VHS cover of Jack Frost, where if you look at it head on, it looks like a regular snowman, but if you looked at it from another angle, it would be a creepy looking snow-covered skull. I can still feel the scratchy feeling cover, where if you swipe your fingernails on it back and forth you would feel like a DJ.

This movie was screwed over by every single awards show, as this amazing movie was not even nominated for any awards. It should have at least won best special effects if not best picture, best director (Michael Cooney), best adapted screenplay (Michael Cooney), best actor (Christopher Allport), best supporting actor (Scott MacDonald), and best cinematography (Dean Lent). Considering that I slam my head against a nail riddled 2×4 for an evil snowmanhour every day knowing that Titanic not only exists, but also won best picture and best director at the academy awards. This movie is so amazing that Steven Spielberg cries every single day he wakes up because he regrets not doing it first. 3 time winner and twelve time Academy Award Nominee Jack Nicholson gets up and punches his butler square in the jaw twice a day because he wishes that he played Jack Frost instead of Scott MacDonald, but you can’t always get what you want, Jack.

The second murder (the first one was just an old dead guy whose neck gets bent back that we didn’t get to see happen) happens when Frost goes to the house of the detective who locked him away in jail and the son of said detective is being pushed around. The kid is getting pushed around because the bullies want to have a sled race that starts on the kid’s lawn so he pushes the son out of the way and a kid starts sledding. This prompts Jack to push the douche down causing the kid on the sled to lop the freaking kid’s head off! The police show up and so do the parents of their freshly decapitated child prompting the father to start yelling like one hella pissed mofo at the Detective (whose name is Sam by the way). Sam tells them to chill out (Ha!) and the parents go home (big mistake).

The PO’d father sits in a pool of his own anger while the timid and cautious mother sits, looking as morose as the actress could portray. After a few seconds, their whore of a daughter comes down the stairs and says she wants to go to see her boyfriend because apparently dead siblings are a huge turn on for her. The disgruntled as a post office worker, father points out that her brother hasn’t even been dead for five hours and she wants to get her swerve on. She claims that she loved her brother, and then leaves because keeping her boyfriend a little bit would just be plain rude. This leaves her polar opposite parents to sit in a cesspool of half-grief.

Time passes and the father announces that he has to go get some more firewood and goes outside and starts to just sit on a log until he starts to hear a noise and completely ignores the fact that there is a huge goddamn snowman staring him down (he just assumed it was there already). Jack Frost gets closer and eventually goes for one of the coolest goddamn murders of the 90’s. Jack Frost grabs the axe by the furnace(?) and does the ax dudeexact opposite of what you would think to do with it. He grabs it and shoves it through his head handle first, leaving the axe part of it coming out of his throat. Then he goes for the mother. I should mention first that the mother says earlier in the film that when she was a little kid, she always wanted to be the angel on top of the tree. Jack, oh so, subtly sneaks up on him and makes her get near the tree. He then wraps her up with Christmas lights and shoves an ornament in her mouth and then slamming the top of her head, making the ornament shatter in her mouth. The ornament part was actually done in one, brutal, shot. He also kills their daughter (in the bathtub, mind you) and her desperate boyfriend.

An FBI agent and the scientist who created the chemical that turned Jack Frost come to town to try to capture the ungodly creature but leaving the sheriff under false pretenses that they are only here to investigate the murders, when in turn they knew about Frost, but the town still does not. They go on a witch hunt to find the mutated snowman and all they find is more dead bodies. Jack kills the other two, twin-like, police officers, leaving only Sam as the entire police force for the town. Frost drives back to town in the police car that the newly dead officer was driving. At first they only see a large puddle of water, but they soon find out that Jack Frost can turn into water, move around, and then turn back into a murderous snowman. This proves to be one helluva effective method of transportation.

This eventually leads to a large showdown between Jack Frost, Sam, the FBI agent, an eccentric store owner, and the scientist. At one point, they lock Jack into a furnace by tricking him to get there, only to be proven completely ineffective because all it does is turn him into water (which he had been doing along). After they realize how goddamn retarded that was, they go back to the showdown. Sam and his son go into a car at one point to try to escape the clutches of mean old Mr. Frost, but instead of nipping at their noses, he turns himself into water and goes into their car, and turning back to himself. Sam manages to get out of the car, but that is more than can be said about his apparently incompetent son. Jack tries to kill Captain Incompetence, but Oh, Captain, my Captain! finds a bag of “oats” that he made his father earlier that day and chucks it into the anthropomorphic car mansnowman, and it starts actually killing Jack. The confounded father then asks his son what the hell was in those oats and he says that he put antifreeze in it so that he didn’t get too cold. The thankfully not dead father then tells a shop owner to meet him in a certain location with the entire back of his truck (lined with a tarp) filled with antifreeze.

This leaves us with the epic finale to a more epic movie. Sam and Jack Frost go mono-y-mono in a house with a short-but-awesome chase sequence. Jack eventually pins Sam to a wall and starts slowly inserting a blade into him, but Sam had this planned out. He then grabs ahold of Frost and jumps out of the window and into the truck full of antifreeze waiting for him outside. Jack and Sam wrestle until Frost is completely melted. This leaves the town relieved, so they all join together to collect the antifreeze (that contains Jack Frost) in large jugs, that they then bury, thinking that they are safe. The camera shows us the jugs under the ground and the jugs start to bubble. Jack Frost is alive, baby! Also, what’s the difference between a snow-woman and a snowman? Snowballs! (They use that joke multiple times in the film).

If you want to buy this cinematic masterpiece click HERE, and keep checking back the rest of the month for a new horror review everyday of October with this year’s Macabre Month Horror.

Macabre Month of Horror movie review #17 Re-Animator special video review

reanimator ackground

**WARNING THIS REVIEW IS DEFINITELY NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES**

This is a very special video review for the Macabre Month of Horror. Our seventeenth review is “Re-Animator” anda special guest will be stopping by.

So check out Re-Animator and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see any new videos coming out, and keep checking back here everyday for the rest of October for a new review everyday.