brandonsites1981

IMDb member since September 2001
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Reviews

The Masque of the Red Death
(1989)

* * out of 4.
A dying millionare decides to throw one last party for old times sake. The theme of the party is Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of Red Death, but someone seems to have token the theme of the party to heart, because all of the guests are being slashed by a mysterious red masked, cloaked figure.

Starts out suprisingly interesting with some good shocks in spite of Z grade cast and low budget, but unfortunately the film is not able to keep up it's momentum and it becomes flat and boring. Still, some of the visuals (sets, costumes, and a tad of the make-up) are lively and flashy enough to bring this film slightly out of the gutter at times.

Rated R; Nudity, Strong Violence, Profanity.

Anatomie 2
(2003)

* * * out of 4.
Surprisingly sharp sequel to the original Anatomy finds a young med student getting involved with a drugged up woman who gets him involved with the AAA. The AAA has expanded their field of medical research from the first film. This time around they are using their youngest members to test out synthetic muscles, but of course their experiements get out of control which results in plenty of murder and mayhem.

Right on the same level, if not slightly better then the original. The script expands itself and tries to head in a different direction instead of being a copy of the original. And the film crew give the film a visually appealing look. It's one fast paced, sexy, smart, and thrilling ride.

Rated R; Violence, Profanity, Drug Use, Sexuality.

Complicity
(2000)

* * * out of 4.
Vile, violent, but intelligent thriller about a writer for an expose newspaper shocked to discover that everybody he was going to ruin in the press is turning up dead and all the clues point to him as the killer.

The premise may not sound like much, but just give this film a chance and watch it. You'll be surprised. It goes in directions that you would never expect, yet they are all credible. It also doesn't go for the easy answers in trying to wrap up it's little mystery. As good as the whole film was I never expected them to create a good ending for it, but yet again the script surprised me there too. A very good film.

Rated R; Graphic Violence, Profanity, Drug Use, Adult Themes, Sexuality.

Satan's School for Girls
(1973)

* * * out of 4.
Hold on to the edge of your seat! This is one exciting ride!

The story finds a young woman creating an alias so that she can attend the same school her sister did because she is convinced that her sister did not committ suicide, but was murdered instead.

One of those rare excellent made for television films of the 70's with a cast of raising stars. It is not the best film plot wise, but the film starts out strong with a lot of momentum and it never slows down to the point where it is ever dragging. It is exciting and fun from the very beginning to the end.

Not Rated, but would probably earn a PG. It contains some violence.

Dream a Little Evil
(1990)

* out of 4.
A favorite on USA's now cancelled Up All Night and a very obscure title to find. The film is a horror updating on the classic teen comedy Weird Science. It makes very little sense, but I'll try to explain it for you....

The film is about two feuding brothers living together in an isolated mansion. One of them is a computer geek and the other is a stud. The stud seems to be in bed with his girlfriend all the time. However, one day the brother that is a computer geek finally is able to create his dream woman on a computer, but things get out of control and the computer generated woman turns into a demon who kills everyone in sight.

This could have been a campy low budget treat, but it isn't. The budget is so small that it doesn't even leave room for standard cinematic devices, like halfway decent editing or make-up. The film moves along at a snail's pace and the acting is really terrible. The cast must have known they were making a campy film, but they fail to play up to the camp elements of the film. And the horror elements are unfocused and rushed at best. Still if I ever happen to catch it on TV, I always find myself watching it.

Rated R; Violence, Profanity, Nudity, Sexuality

Possession
(1981)

A review for both the 80 & 123 minute versions.
Both versions * * out of 4. (Though I would say that I liked the 80 minute version slightly more)

123 minute version-

Sam Neil is shocked to discover that his wife doesn't greet him with the warmest of welcomes when he returns home from the war. He is shocked a little bit more when he discovers his wife is slipping into mental illness. What shocks him most is that she is having multiple affairs, one of which is with a tentacled monster. Her affair with the creature sends both of them into a murder spree to cover up her actions.

At 123 minutes the film is way too long given the material. The same metaphors, same sybolmism could have been told in a much quicker narrative. The material is too thin and too shallow to justify such a long running time. The tour de force acting by the entire cast grows tiring even punishing after a while. Some parts of the film are way too slow while other parts move at a brisk pace. Plus as everyone has mentioned some parts of the story can be confusing and require several viewings before you can get them. However, the gross special effects are terrific and the ending is an all out shocker filled with nasty graphic violence, sleazy sex and plenty of weird situations. Too bad only a few select scenes prior to the finale match the quality of it.

80 minute version-

Scenes have been rearranged, other scenes have been cut out all together and the violence has been toned down. Still it really isn't as confusing as other people try to make it out to be, but the editing in this version is pretty bad overall. Still at least with this version the acting is sensational and never grows tiring and it better sustains the twisted tone of the film. It moves quickly enough and keeps you entertained throughout.

Schock
(1977)

* * out of 4.
Family moves into their dream home only to have it turned into a living nightmare. Their son becomes possessed at random and the wife suffers from ghastly, violent images.

Mario Bava's final outing as director is extremely disappointing (Plus people who want to become familiar with Bava's work should avoid this one for a while, as this is a bad place to start). Sure, it does look handsome in the new digitally remastered Anchor Bay DVD, a few of the effects are a tad memorable and I will admitt one or two of the jolts scared me, but their is one big problem with this film. The material is so old, so tired, and so predictable. No real surprises. Every twist can be seen coming from miles, including the so called shocking finale. However, the dubbing is a bit better then usual.

Rated R; Graphic Violence, Profanity, and Sexual Situations.

House of the Dead
(2003)

* * out of 4.
A bunch of people travel to a small island for a rave. When they arrive they find the island completely empty. Their is no rave going on either. So for a lark, they decide to have some fun of their own. However, they soon discover that zombies have token over the island and are intent on killing off everyone.

Recycled horror is a good term to describe the story and character of this flick. Totally and utterly predictable in every sense with the exact same people making the same dumb choices. However, I like the way the film was set up. It is exactly like a big old video game in live action. You get the introduction, different levels complete with bosses, and even a character selection in slo mo. Quick, quick pacing and groovey techno music make this a lot of fun. Plus the girl from Halloween 4 and 5 (I think her name is Eli Cornell, did I get the spelling right?) is pretty darn good in a role that is against type for her.

Rated R; Nudity, Sexual Situations, Graphic Violence, and Profanity.

Death Line
(1972)

* *1/2 out of 4.
Several years ago, a crash in the subway system caused several people to be trapped alive. To survive the survivors ate the flesh of those that had died. Now all of those people that survived have died but one. The one lone survivor is now back in the subway system kidnapping innocent people to feed off.

One of the earliest cannibalism films ever made. A little slow to get started, but once it does it's pretty darn creepy. The script lets you understand what drove the cannibal to his existence without being corny or shallow. You even feel a little sorry for the villian of the film and this human side of the story makes the film all the more frightening. Plus the effects are realistic. However, don't get me wrong the script is not perfect. It's under plotted and for a film that isn't about gimmicks, the ending is awfully gimmicky.

Rated R; Graphic Violence.

Cryptz
(2002)

* out of 4.
Kind of a black version of From Dusk Till Dawn only without all the excess of the latter. Anyway, this is a direct to video film from Full Moon. It is better then a lot of the films they have been putting out lately (much, much better then Dead and Rotting), but because these films budgets have been so extremely limited right now, there really isn't anything the makers of this film could really do. I will give them credit, they certainly tried. Budget limits pretty much kill an interesting idea.

Unhinged
(1982)

*1/2 out of 4.
Three young girls heading to a rock show make a wrong turn and end up crashing during the middle of a rainstorm. They awaken several hours later in a creepy mansion owned by a sexiest handicapped woman in a wheelchair where they each meet grisly faiths.

This is one of those films that has so much going for it, but can never live up to it's potential. The script is filled with weird & interesting supporting characters. It also has a good setting and the events that unfold are certainly different enough to have seperated it from the huge market of 80's slashers. However, the film is extremely flawed. Despite the fact that there are some good things about the script, the writer has no idea how to introduce characters, write dialouge (lots of monolouges, but little dialouge) or set up events. The direction happens to be flat too. Thus there is no build up in suspense. The director also focuses on certain scenes way too long. And the casting, well let's just say that the cast appears as though they have absolutely no prior acting experience. Film deserves some credit though. The make up / gore effects are skillfully pulled off. The cinematography is pretty good. And that ending of course. It certainly is unexpected and unlike anything else I have seen. Plus the final two lines of the film are filled with such a strong sense of irony. It is such a shame that this film hits it's stride at the very end. The ending is very powerful stuff and lingers in the mind for a very long time. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is instantly forgotten. Poor handling of pretty good material is the main fault here.

Unrated; Graphic Violence and Nudity.

Ghost in the Machine
(1993)

* * out of 4.
A killer's soul gets transplanted into the electrical system after a freak accident at the hospital. The killer now uses his new found talents to kill off his victims. So much could have been done with this film. It just oozes creativity, but with the way that the film makers decided to treat the film, it comes off as a Nightmare on Elm Street clone instead. It will keep you entertained while you are watching it, but this is one of those movies that will leave you hungry for another film. Pretty unexciting and bland.

Rated R; Violence and Profanity.

Child of Darkness, Child of Light
(1991)

* out of 4.
Two women get pregent at the same time. Problem is both of them are virgins. One will give birth to the child of God. The other one will give birth to the child of Satan. A made for TV movie that is exactly like every other TV movie. It's dull, bland and of course features a familiar face or two in the cast. It isn't really all that bad, but it isn't much of anything either. Pity.

Rated PG-13; Violence.

Lo squartatore di New York
(1982)

* out of 4.
Donald Duck is stalking New York city slashing all of the pretty women to death. Well it really isn't Donald Duck, it's just someone who likes to talk like Donald. And can you believe it, the police are baffled by the murders and have no clue to as to who it is. An uneasy mixture of laughs, gore, and sleaze. None of it really works. Lucio's film is striking to look at, but when it comes time for the other techinical aspects of the film, it looks as though he doesn't know what he is doing. The story is incoherent, illogical and a person that talks like Donald Duck...... Come on! So bad, some people just might consider it good.

May
(2002)

* * out of 4.
May is a young woman who has been alienated her entire life with her only friend being a doll that she keeps in a glass case. Suddenly though she finds herself with both a boyfriend and girlfriend in the same week after she has a lazy eye corrected. However, when both of them turn their backs on her and are no longer attracted to her weirdness, it sends her over the edge into a murder spree.

Mildly entertaining stuff. The film takes a while to get going, but by the time it does the film is nearly over with. However, the problems don't lie within the script (the script is very good in fact), because the script actually takes the time to develop the characters it is studying and explains what is driving the people in the film to do what they are doing. The problem is with the direction. It lacks flair or any kind of real momentum. As a result their is no real suspense and everything is predictable, except for the few final shots of the film which are really potent stuff. Some strong performances do help out occassionally. Anna Ferris has good comedic timing and Angela Bettis has her character nailed to a tee.

Rated R; Graphic Violence, Profanity, Sexual Situations.

R.S.V.P.
(2002)

*1/2 out of 4.
College student thinks he has the perfect chance to get away with murder so he invites over everybody that he is close to and decides to murder them all off just for the thrill of it all.

Another over exposed, over hyped horror flick from the 2002 - 2003 period. The only thing that seperates this from the droves of other horror films is the angel from which the story is told. See, the viewer knows who the killer is the whole time and the suspense lies in wheater or not he will be caught and also wheater he will be able to finish what he set out to do. However, this isn't enough to make this mandatory viewing. The film is done with style and everything about it looks handsome, but the climax is a real dud. It's far too talky and preachy.

Rated R; Violence, Profanity, Mild Sexual Situation.

Devil's Prey
(2001)

* out of 4.
How does this strike you for originality? In Satan's Cheerleaders a bunch of kids get stuck in a town full of Satan worshippers. In Devil's Prey, a bunch of kids get stuck in a town full of devil worshippers. Without the campy approach and the B list actors that made Satan's Cheerleaders entertaining, this film doesn't really have anything to offer. Just one long boring and derrative flick where everybody and everyone seems to be going through the motions.

Rated R; Sexual Situations, Nudity, Violence and Profanity.

Tequila Body Shots
(1999)

* out of 4.
Joey (or now Joesph) Lawrence has been (desperately) looking for a comeback movie, but if he keeps making movies like this no one is going to give him a shot. It may look a little better than most low budget horror flicks, but the story is awkardly set up and can be hard to follow at times. I think the film had the right idea; supernatural horror mixed with lush romance and a dash of spice, but the mythology comes off as silly and since this plays such a big role in the film, it ruins the rest.

Arcade
(1993)

* out of 4.
Something fishy is going on. After playing the newest, hottest video game on the market a bunch of teenagers in the neighborhood begin to disappear. The special effects are the main attraction here. At the time of it's release they were pretty good, but today they are badly dated. Pretty bland entertainment without any excitement.

Rated R; Violence.

Lightning Field
(1991)

* * out of 4. (AKA The Lightning Incident)
A woman's baby is kidnapped by a cult and the film details her struggle to get her baby back. Not nowhere near as bad as you would expect for a TV movie made for the USA channel. It has decent enough casting / performances and the direction is competent enough to rival any other theaterical horror / suspense movie on the market. It just suffers from one little problem, it is dull. Really dull at that.

Rated R; Violence.

Critters 4
(1992)

* * out of 4.
Those pesky critters are now in space to munch on some new victims. I've said it once and I'll say it again. Anytime a franchsie moves the playing field to outer space, you know it is heading for trouble. While this wasn't the one to kill the series, part three was, it isn't any better then the other Alien clones on the market. Angela Bassett adds some heightened presence to it and it's moderately entertaining for what it is.

Rated PG-13; Violence and Profanity.

Critters 3
(1991)

* out of 4.
Those critters are at it again. Only this time they have token over a run down apartment building where they hand out their own deadly evictions. With part three this series hit rock bottom. The critters are definately the main reason for why this series became popular to begin with, but they have hardly any screen time. This entry is totally flat, but then again if you're a Leo fan you might want to take a peek for a very early appearance.

The Exorcist III
(1990)

* * out of 4.
Why bother with any more sequels? The original Exorcist was a stand alone film that told a complete story. Exorcist II was a bad enough omen to tell future film makers what was to come. This one suffers from what Exorcist II suffered from. Excessive re-cutting, re-shooting and massive re-writes have made the proceedings in this one confusing and hard to follow. George C. Scott isn't even able to lift the film's burdens. Only thing saving it from a one star rating is a few memorably spooky set pieces. Otherwise, consider yourself forewarned.

Rated R.

Critters 2
(1988)

*1/2 out of 4.
Before all the critters were killed in part one, they managed to spread some eggs in and about the same town they attacked in the original. Now those little eggs are beginning to hatch. The first Critters was a welcomed surprise. It was a rip off of a lot of pop movies of the time, but it had such a sharp sense of humor and was genuinely thrilling. This entry is by the numbers stuff without any of things that made the original so good. The special effects this time around are also a lot weaker. A very lazy sequel to generate some extra cash flow from the original.

Alien Predator
(1986)

* * out of 4.
Three friends go to Spain for a vacation, but their fun is cut short when a deadly group of aliens begin killing off everybody. This was one of those films I really loved as a kid and it was one of the very first horror films I ever owned, but today as an adult it is pretty boring stuff. Has a cast of has beens who are actually pretty appealing, especially Dennis Christopher who proved what a great actor he was in Breaking Away. Nothing really happens at the beginning. It just drags and drags. However, things really do pick up at the climax and there are some really memorable moments here.

Rated R; Graphic Violence.

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