maarck6

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Reviews

After Dark
(2012)

Nice try, but no cigar.
We start off in 1977, as a pretty girl ghost with smeared mascara, is drifting through an old weathered graveyard as a trio of people are searching for this same graveyard looking to recover pieces of a talisman. This ghost, the ghost of a witch long dead, comes across them and kills one of them, but warns the others off, promising to track them down someday.

The movie then cuts to the present day, when a mad scientist/doctor is trying to raise his long dead daughter, who looks as fresh as a daisy, through some vague form of scientific serum. It, of course, doesn't work, and he comes to the conclusion that only the supernatural will work. And so he hires some thieves to break into a not really guarded at all file cabinet at a local museum to steal the talisman that they have, only to find that the talisman is incomplete.

Meanwhile, a relative of one of the released, but later killed, members of the above expedition to the witch's graveyard learns of the theft and goes to the museum to help retrieve the talisman and runs into his ex-girlfriend, the cute Tara Bixler, who is playing the curator of the museum. They figure to go get the last piece of the talisman that is in the graveyard in Salem.

So off they go, while the thieves are off on the same, but separate mission. Both expeditions arrive there only to find that the witch is in a foul mood and wants them all dead. Will anybody survive, or will they all end up hamburger? Watch and find out.

This is a short, eighty minutes, so-so movie. It's not so bad that you will want to start drinking, live on the streets, and never watch a movie again, but then, it's not so good that you will want to start throwing money at the makers of this to encourage them to continue to waste our time with more content of the same. Director James Ian Mair insists of filming everybody in such extreme close ups that you can count the pores on their faces, the acting is straight out of community theater, although they try their best, and the script is mediocre. All-in-all, what you get is pure fan fiction hackwork.

The House on the Witchpit
(2016)

No amount of vodka can make this movie watchable.
"The House On The Witchpit" is a so-called horror movie told in an incompetent semi-documentary style, and the movie starts off with a journalist looking into the reason as to why people involved in the movie keep ending up dead. The semi-documentary style continues with recreation actors acting out scenes leading up to the remaking a lost horror movie that was made thirty years ago. This movie continues with its pseudo-documentary style with the recreation actors being "interviewed" about the roles that they play in the movie about the "lost" movie. This commentary easily being the stuff that would be found in videos bonus tracks. After we view some playing of the, stilted, recreation and the interviews, we cut to an earlier twenty-year anniversary showing of the original lost Witchpit movie, where the arrogant, but washed up cult director/creator John Canning has some arcane passages from some equally arcane occult volume read aloud to the audience. After this scene, we quickly cut to the latest of John Canning's awkward annual dinner party from hell as all of the original lost movie's principles, now played by recreation actors, gather about for some awfully nasty things to eat, with John Canning acting as creepy as possible. This dinner party is peopled with upcoming and wannabe filmmakers during which the arrogant Canning gets to strut his stuff and put his guests through the emotional wringer. As the movie cranks along, we also get some urban explorer, Lanky 414, filler clips start to get randomly inserted throughout the rest of the movie, to no noticeable effect, as it furthers neither the movie's point, or it's plot. This is because the movie just seems to be created as it is filmed. And just as often the plot movies along in such a herky-jerky way as to give the impression that huge chunks of the movie have either not been made, or has been edited out, all of which leads to a real mess of a viewing experience. Then there's also the acting. It gets really hard to tell if this movie was badly acted or not, as most of the actors aren't given much to do except stand around and act as obnoxious as possible, all while being filmed on grainy video. A couple of examples would be John Canning's character not doing much except to strut about being snarky, snotty, smug, self-superior, obnoxious, and to make ugly faces at the camera. And the actress who plays one of a set of twins is just all over the place, from acting insecure to being pathologically psychotic. There is also some nonsense about how the director, Pat Higgens, initially destroyed, after the movie's premiere showing, the original version of this movie in front of the premiere's audience, and then went out and REMADE the movie, and how this movie, the remake, was withdrawn from the market, and hasn't been seen again. All of which is rot, as I saw this flick on the internet. If you get a chance to see this movie, don't, but the cast, all of whom were probably desperate for money, who are not listed on this site, consist of: Melissa Coyne as Toni and Tanya Alice Cy Hentry as John Canning Mike Reddihough as Damon Reid Lisa Keast as Rebecca Woods Pat Higgens as Jame Tick Luke Mason as Andy Lightman Melany Dante as Callie Ken Mortimer as Lanky 414 Despite it being marketed as such, this is not a horror movie, it's more of a psycho-drama with little payoff, and which is crying out for cult status. All-in-all though, despite the hoopla and the hype Pat Higgens may have staged about this movie, "The House On The Witch" is a dull, non-sensical, incoherent, and micro-budgeted non-event. Avoid if possible.

The House on the Witchpit
(2016)

No amount of vodka can make this movie watchable.
"The House On The Witchpit" is a so-called horror movie told in an incompetent semi-documentary style, and the movie starts off with a journalist looking into the reason as to why people involved in the movie keep ending up dead. The semi-documentary style continues with recreation actors acting out scenes leading up to the remaking a lost horror movie that was made thirty years ago. This movie continues with its pseudo-documentary style with the recreation actors being "interviewed" about the roles that they play in the movie about the "lost" movie. This commentary easily being the stuff that would be found in videos bonus tracks. After we view some playing of the, stilted, recreation and the interviews, we cut to an earlier twenty-year anniversary showing of the original lost Witchpit movie, where the arrogant, but washed up cult director/creator John Canning has some arcane passages from some equally arcane occult volume read aloud to the audience. After this scene, we quickly cut to the latest of John Canning's awkward annual dinner party from hell as all of the original lost movie's principles, now played by recreation actors, gather about for some awfully nasty things to eat, with John Canning acting as creepy as possible. This dinner party is peopled with upcoming and wannabe filmmakers during which the arrogant Canning gets to strut his stuff and put his guests through the emotional wringer. As the movie cranks along, we also get some urban explorer, Lanky 414, filler clips start to get randomly inserted throughout the rest of the movie, to no noticeable effect, as it furthers neither the movie's point, or it's plot. This is because the movie just seems to be created as it is filmed. And just as often the plot movies along in such a herky-jerky way as to give the impression that huge chunks of the movie have either not been made, or has been edited out, all of which leads to a real mess of a viewing experience. Then there's also the acting. It gets really hard to tell if this movie was badly acted or not, as most of the actors aren't given much to do except stand around and act as obnoxious as possible, all while being filmed on grainy video. A couple of examples would be John Canning's character not doing much except to strut about being snarky, snotty, smug, self-superior, obnoxious, and to make ugly faces at the camera. And the actress who plays one of a set of twins is just all over the place, from acting insecure to being pathologically psychotic. There is also some nonsense about how the director, Pat Higgens, initially destroyed, after the movie's premiere showing, the original version of this movie in front of the premiere's audience, and then went out and REMADE the movie, and how this movie, the remake, was withdrawn from the market, and hasn't been seen again. All of which is rot, as I saw this flick on the internet. If you get a chance to see this movie, don't, but the cast, all of whom were probably desperate for money, who are not listed on this site, consist of: Melissa Coyne as Toni and Tanya Alice Cy Hentry as John Canning Mike Reddihough as Damon Reid Lisa Keast as Rebecca Woods Pat Higgens as Jame Tick Luke Mason as Andy Lightman Melany Dante as Callie Ken Mortimer as Lanky 414 Despite it being marketed as such, this is not a horror movie, it's more of a psycho-drama with little payoff, and which is crying out for cult status. All-in-all though, despite the hoopla and the hype Pat Higgens may have staged about this movie, "The House On The Witch" is a dull, non-sensical, incoherent, and micro-budgeted non-event. Avoid if possible.

The Way Home 2
(2016)

"You will die."/"I am dying."
Yu Yang plays Hu Bolin, a single father who seem to be the lone survivor of a zombie apocolypse in an apartment complex, and to survive he sends out a small remote controlled robot vehicle to look for food and check the landscape to see what is developing. Then one day the vehicle is waylaid by somebody, as the zombies have previously ignored it in its travels. Looking through its camera, Hu Bolin sees two women, a young and an older woman fighting off a zombie attack. The older woman will die, but the younger woman escapes.

Hu Bolin decides to go on a rescue mission. He does end up rescuing the woman (Zhang Xuhong as Li Yue) but she is traumatized and so she resists, and he has to "convince" her to be rescued. Dr. Phil wouldn't approve. When she awakens back at Hu's apartment she realizes she has been rescued to look after his child, a job that also includes wet nursing it.

So they enter into a contentious relationship, as she will only do what he requests under certain rules, which he agrees to. As I said, the relationship becomes contentious as she wants to leave, and he's satisfied with holing up in the apartment and awaiting rescue, which doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon. Both realize that neither is a good option.

Then on a foraging expedition Hu runs into trouble. Seeing her chance to escape Li packs some supplies, and makes a break for freedom. But she fails at this, and then she is captured by Han Yanbo playing Qin Quanli, a local criminal who's escaped from prison to wreck vengeance on those that have betrayed him. Too late, they've already turned. Han Yanbo chews up the scenery in such a way that Dennis Hopper would be proud, and if he can't have one thing, then he'll have another. He wants Li, and he's gonna have her, and saying no won't help.

Meanwhile Hu has resolved his resolved his troubles and he gets back in time to save his baby, and to rescue Li. Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the worst for Hu, and now he realizes that both he and Li have to get out. Now! The only thing is that to get out they will have to rely on Qin, and wants only one thing in payment from Li. Complications ensue, and a dirty deal is made.

Everybody has a backstory, some more developed than others, but not having seen the first movie in this series, I found myself liking Zhang Xuhong's character as she goes from self-entitled to a mother and a survivor. True, she's not a superwoman, but she gets the job done in-the-end. As I said, Han Yanbo can truly chew up the scenery when needed, and as a villain he's not sugar coated. Yu Yang's character is the weakest, perhaps because he's a hold-out from the first movie? Anyway, the movie is totally professionally done, if a bit short. No nudity, but there is beheadings, brutality, and cannibalism. This is a Chinese movie, and you do get the idea that it's been edited, but plotholes aside, the only real flaws that I saw were some choppy editing and the subtitles were often white against white.

Maggots
(2017)

Warning! Warning! Avoid! Avoid!
** The story of the microbudgeted movie "Maggots" starts off with a non-verbal narrative that states that in 1920 Earth fought a war with these scientifically created maggots, and after a vicious war that almost ended mankind, the people of Earth finally won. The surviving maggots were then store housed, and then later shot into space by the C. I. A. (?) to fight otherworldly lifeforms. Huh? We are told that the "false news networks" of ours then rewrote history and hid this vital historical fact from the public. Okay, but I guess that the almost extinction of mankind would seem to be a hard thing to hide, or forget.

** But our space war has backfired on us, and so, hitching a ride on a meteorite, the maggots are back, and they're not fooling around, and they're hungry. Oh yeah, and they're ugly. They initially look like big, segmented, and cackling penii with a headful of teeth. And the more that they eat, the more that they grow, and the more that they grow, the more that they eat, until they are the size of houses. Of course, we never find out what they eat as there aren't enough people to feed the horde of maggots that are running amok.

** Into this mess comes, amongst others, four way over-age jds and their sponsor, who looks like Henry Rollins' little brother, who have turned up for a camping trip, two scientists there to study the meteorite, a waitress, a moonshiner, and a bunch of assorted redshirts. The war of attrition starts immediately as all are there to continuously bite the dust. The story, such as it is, is pure drive-in fare, with the acting ranging from god-awful to fairly professional, with the best actors Catherine B. Johnson and Sarah Stringer, with Stringer being way too old to play a gothic teenager. By-the-way Catherine, I'm still single, give me a call sometime. Anyway, the dubbing looks and sounds terrible, and it's completely out of sync, the special effects are even worse, the green screening is mind-numbingly laughable, and let's not even mention the soundtrack, the visual and sound effects, and the god-awful editing, all of which equals a movie whose technical aspects are such, that Ed Wood would have blushed with embarrassment. But really, what else can you expect from Fred Olan Ray?

**Oh, and forget the review by firstaidflame on this movie. It seems that this person is a pseudonym of director Bob Bragg and his reviews consist of giving all of his movies tens. However, if released in the early seventies this movie would have been passible drive-in fare, but with today's tech there's just no call for this level of laziness. This is a movie only for Ray and micro-budget film fans. I've seen worse, but that's like stating that I've worse cases of dysentery.

The Maid
(2005)

The Maid (Singapore, 2005)
ONce a year, for thirty days the gates of Hell open and the hungry and the angry spirits walk again in Singapore. Now Rosa comes from the Philippines to an arranged housekeeping job to replace the missing Ester, the previous housekeeper, who seems to have vanished, only to find weird and strange things happening at the household. I love ghost stories and I love horror movies, and this one is both. The movie is completely helped by the beautiful Alessandra de Rossi, whose looks are downtuned some to play the poor impoverished Rosa. Also good is Huifang Hong who is both beautiful, and the driving force behind the strange happenings, as she only wants what is best for her son (Benny Soh), who is a huge muscular man who is both childlike and retarded, something which leads to some really difficult times when he forgets himself. The rest of the characters are all pretty unimpressive, although nobody embarrasses themselves. All-in-all, a great watch of a movie that I never would have seen if it weren't for the internet, where I saw it. . This is a movie that I will have to watch again. I love ghost stories, and I didn't guess the twist until I had my nose rubbed in it. Now that I know what this movie's twist is, I can now watch this movie again with a fresh perspective.

I Love Trouble
(1948)

I Love Trouble.
I was interested in seeing this after just reading and reviewing the novel on Amazon. A pretty good adaptation, containing scenes and dialogue lifted directly from Huggins' novel. The story has been speeded up and abbreviated, and some of the names have been changed, but if you liked the novel you'll like the movie. Probably one of a million in 1948, but well worth watching for now because of Franchot Tone, the smarty pants Glenda Farrell (The Mystery Of The Wax Museum, Torchy Blaine), and early roles by Raymond Burr (Perry Mason), John Ireland (any number of John Wayne movies).and the prolific character actor Arthur Space. This convoluted movie and the novel were written by the great Roy Huggins (The Fugitive, Rockford Files, and 77 Sunset Strip, which was based on this movie and his novel), and directed by S. Sylvan Simon who died at age forty-two soon after this was released. For those who want to look up the novel, the ending is identical. Enjoy, enjoy.

Blood Theatre
(1984)

Holy cow! A lost cult movie
I used to have this movie on the original VHS and I used to watch it all of the time, and I always found it to be fun.

The story goes as such: a really, really sleazy theatre chain operator, he bootlegs copies of the movies that he shows, and who shows movies like "Amputee Prostitutes", has come up with a brilliant new idea. Open up a long abandoned theatre as a singleplex, and steal from that one too. The trouble is that the theatre has a shady past, people died there, although we never learn the particulars.

So he sends his three most capable employees, which ain't saying much, over to his new property to clean it up and to get it ready for its grand opening. This movie then splits into two as the movie details the plot (?) from two important viewpoints; the home office and the new property. And then both murders and supernatural events happen.

The movie proceeds down its road of predictability, as it is populated with a cast of characters that are all scheming and who are dumber than dirt. Maybe I was just in a forgiving mood, or maybe I got its tongue-in-cheek snarkiness as the whole movie came across as a Saturday Night Live, or National Lampoon parody of a horror slasher.

This is a movie chock filled with murder, bad music, bad acting, bad special effects, bad dubbing, a cheesy soundtrack, college girls in cheerleader outfits, a homicidal ghost, slapstick, a cast whose careers were ended by this movie, a decent body count, a mugging, a dead rat, an out-of-control fog machine, Jamie Foxx in too tight golden spandex pants, a topless Jamie Foxx in a catfight, a death by popcorn machine, a plot that makes absolutely no damn sense, and Mary Woranov who looks like she's having a blast stealing every single scene she's in. And don't miss how she quits her jog. Go Mary!!!

I mean, what's not to like here? I found myself laughing continuously, in a movie richly deserving of cult status. Why hasn't this movie been released on Blue Ray already? Bad movie mavens everywhere should see this movie if they can.

Hotel
(1981)

You can check in, but you can't check out. Really.
Starts off as a melodrama as a land developer in Donald Trump category scams an old priest out of his land and the cemetery he's caretaking. Turns into a crime drama with a murder, and then drifts into horror and comedy with lots of pratfalls. And let's not forget the musical numbers, which keep stopping the movie. Now, I hate musicals and in movies like these I tend to skip the musical parts, but the song and dance number with Prema Narayan in hot pants at the halfway mark almost had me running to take a cold shower. Helluva climax to the dance though. There's a shooting that leaves an animal actor looking realistically dead, allowing me to wonder if the dog was really hurt. However, back to the story; plotwise, this movie just meanders all over the landscape, and the comedy parts just don't work. Unless you're a fan of the stars or a completist, you should probably just avoid, as it seems longer than it is. There's a reason these things never took off in America. Hotel needs to be seriously edited, and the plot needs focus. It was a chore for me to get through, so I can't really give it a higher score.

Terror
(1978)

Terror from 1978
Saw this movie the first time in the early eighties when I saw it on the all-blackly owned channel 62 in Detroit. A channel that would show huge blocks of movies of all kinds; spirituals, westerns, sleazy horror, mysteries, black and white or color. It just didn't matter. Unfortunately, because of the generic title, this movie was lost for years. I saw it once on VHS then not again for thirty years, then not again until five years late, and now I get to see it again in an excellent print. What can I say about this supernatural slasher? British exploitation at its best with amputation, beheadings, impaling, poltergeistic activity, hypnotism, bloody murder, stabbings, garrotings, full frontal nudity, a s&m stripper, immolation by fire, beautiful English babes, a trans-generational curse, a levitating car, a plot with as much logic as anything by Dario Argente, stiff and bad acting, and Tricia Walsh as a ginger haired ditz who manages to steal every scene she's in. Ghod, what more can you want? Should be taught in film schools. Eight stars because I've never been less than entertained by this movie. A good double feature with Superstition.

Tower of Evil
(1972)

Tower Of Evil
Classic British exploitation with overblown melodrama, sex, nudity, violence, amputation, blood, an explosive climax, dynamite, mystery, thrills, chills, and lots of pretty British babes. Well and competently acted, this is clearly a groundbreaking slasher, as only The Bay Of Blood (1971) came first, while other more well known movies , Black Christmas (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), and Friday The 13th (1980) all came later. This also one of the few over-the-top exploitation movies to feature inbreed nutjobs, at least in British cinema. I saw this movie at a drive-in years after its initial release and loved the gothic atmosphere of it. It's not great cinema, but it IS great fun. Well worth seeing for fans of the genre. I'm giving it nine stars because I have a soft spot for this flick, results for others may vary. Would not have been out of place in the old American pulps of the thirties and early forties. Get a couple of cold ones and just sit back and enjoy the mayhem.

Ten
(2017)

One-By-One
Ten young adults, fresh out of Mariner high school, arrive at an isolated hotel where they are the only residents, having been invited by a trendy hipster, whose invitations to party cannot be ignored. Soon after the obligatory bickering one of the guests is found hanging from a stairway.

As the murders and disappearances continue to escalate so does the suspicion between the survivors and old grievances rise to the top, and soon the survivors are at each other's throats.

"Ten" is a movie based on a book that copies the plot of Agatha Christie's classic novel "And Then There Will Be None/Ten Little Indians", right down to the deaths.

However, what's a downer is that this movie doesn't really copy the ending of Christie's novel but instead copies the various previous movies' endings, which to those uninitiated, I won't give away.

To help propel the novel forward, there is tension between the two lead characters Meg (China Anne McClain) and her ex-boyfriend (Rome Flynn), which is detailed by the pages of a girl's diary, a girl that had previously committed suicide, that are continuously found scattered about the household. Refreshingly, the leads here are black, instead of being the first kills, they may be the heroes. Or maybe not. Watch and see. Also fun to watch was Angie Q who is the only one at first to use her noggin to realize that being suspicious of her fellow classmates may be the smart way to go.

All-in-all, a very entertaining movie, and while this plot has been ripped off dozens of times in the past, I just found this flick entertaining for what it was. It didn't bring anything new to the table, but it didn't subtract anything from it either. This is a movie meant for the early high school crowd, and I can't see why those wouldn't like it, although I don't know how it matches up against the book.

The Kindred
(1987)

The Kindred
Storywise, this is a two tiered tale. The first dealing with Rod Steiger as a (very) mad scientist who is performing unholy genetic experiments with humans who have been kidnapped from automobile accidents, turning them into mad half-people half-something else (watch the movie and find out what). Meanwhile, John is a young doctor who is informed by his girlfriend that his mother has just come out of a three year coma after a heart attack.

Unfortunately, she is also a mad scientist, but, having found her conscious, wants her son to go out to her house and destroy all her research and notes. Steiger, of course, takes umbrage to this, and wants to put the skids on this destruction. To help him, he plants Melissa, who is a spy, in John's camp.

John takes Melissa, his girlfriend, and some friends up to his mom's house, and it is here that strange things start happening, including a dog's bloody death and a woman being attacked by a creature possessed watermelon (!), and the pacing starts to pick up from there to a truly exciting climax.

This is an old-fashioned monster romp, full of icky monsters, monster attacks, a mad scientists, mad scientists experiments, people running amok in panic, cute babes, and a solid pacing. There's suspense and humor, although this film never devolves into comedy. The special effects are totally icky, but in a fun way. The story is full of plot holes to be sure, something that comes from a script that was written by five people, including Stephen Carpenter (who created Grimm), Joseph Stefano (Psycho), and Earl Ghaffari (music editor for such movies as Frozen, Zootopia, and Wreck-It Ralph). But it also moves at a quick pace, and all seem to be having a wacky time making it. Including the cast, which includes such journeymen actors like Kim Hunter, Rod Steiger, who just chews up the scenery, Talia Balsam, Peter Frechette (Profiler), and the yummy Amanda Pays (Max Headroom, and both versions of The Flash) as the subversive Melissa.

The best way to describe this movie is as if Frankenstein and The Island of Doctor Moreau were written by H. P. Lovecraft and filmed by a less coked out Stuart Gordon. No nudity, no real gore, good make-up, so it's fun for everybody and don't forget to bring the kids.

The Car
(1977)

The Car
"The Car" wouldn't be the first suspense movie with a haunted, or predatory car, or whatever. No doubt influenced by Dennis Weaver's "Duel" (1971), and most likely a direct influence on movies "Christine" (1983) and Charlie Sheen's "The Wraith" (1986), and "Maximum Overdrive" (1986). It even manages to lift its ending from both "Duel", and "Five Million Years to Earth" (1967), and scenes were copied in both "Christine" and "The Wraith".

An indestructible car, for some reason, shows up in a small desert city and starts killing people, its first victims being a young, and future, soap star Melody Thomas Scott, and an equally young hitchhiker John Rubenstein, who would later be known for his heavies. The deaths and the mayhem continues throughout the movie as people continue to be knocked off and the assistant sheriff continues to unravel, especially after his mentor, the sheriff, is killed. There is the requisite melodrama, the abusive drunk and his abused wife, the young single sheriff's two rambunctious children and his love interest, the hot school marm. There are no surprises to be found anywhere in this flick, it's just a fun "B" movie with an experienced cast doing the best they can with their material and for a paycheck.

The cast includes such TV stalwarts as James Brolin, as the young sheriff; Kathleen Lloyd (Magnum PI) as the school teacher and love interest; Kim Richards (Escape to Witch Mountain, Tuff Turf) and her sister Kyle Richards (Halloween), both of whom would end up being reality stars; R. G. Armstrong as the mean drunk who would redeem himself somewhat; John Marley (The Godfather) who spent his long and illustrious career as both a heavy and a Mafioso here plays an-out-of-character good guy; Ronny Cox as a young assistant sheriff who's a drunk on the side; and soon-to-be professional stunt woman Leslie Hoffman. And let's not forget the writer/director Michael Butler who was also one of the co-writers of the unofficial Dirty Harry move "The Gauntlet" and the unofficial "Shane" remake "The Pale Rider'. Not a great movie by any means, but certainly fun if you're not expecting much and you just want some fun entertainment.

The Twilight Zone: Little Girl Lost
(1962)
Episode 26, Season 3

Little Girl Lost
If I were to make a list of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes this one would be in the top five. I never get tired of watching it. Maybe its because it was written by Richard Matheson. Matheson spent his life writing about families, whether it be abusive ones (Mute, Born of Man and Woman) or ones in trouble (A Stir of Echoes, Little Girl Lost). His writings influenced both Steven Spielberg and Steven King, and Little Girl Lost later became the influence for the Poltergeist franchise. And at a half hour, there is no fat on this story of a child who falls through a temporary porthole into another dimension, where the same can't be said about Poltergeist.

Of course, no telescript is any good unless it's well acted and this episode is very well acted indeed, I was especially taken with the beautiful Sarah Marshall, who gives a great performance as a mother on the verge of a breakdown, being shell-shocked, dazed, and panicky over the loss of her baby, all at once. Oh, and if you think that the premise a little too hard to believe, then you're watching the wrong show.

The Thaw
(2009)

A new type of "The Thing" for a new generation.
It starts out interestingly enough with Val Kilmer dictating another on video diary entry. What follows is a string of scratchy videos (like the Dawn Of The Dead remake) that is filled with familiar actors like William B. Davis ('X-Files') and Gary Chalk ('Stargate SG-1', 'Dead Zone', and 'Cold Squad').

Then when the credits are over we jump to a classroom where several students are being picked for a trip to help Kilmer in his studies on the tundra. They are Kyle Schmid (Feddy, 'Blood Ties'), his girlfriend Ling (Asian actress Steph Song), Aaron Ashmore (Atom, 'Smallville'), and Kilmer's on screen daughter Martha MacIsaac (Evelyn 'Emily Of New Moon, 'Di-Gata Defenders'). They will be flown up there by helicopter pilot Peter Kelamis (Mike, 'Stargate SGU', and an accomplished voice-over actor). There is an awfully lot of actors here that have appeared in mostly "G"-rated movies.

Just before they fly up there, Kilmer calls Mike from his dig, and tells him to not to bring Eve with the rest of the students. But, Eve bullheadedly decides to go anyway. When she gets there they find that the camp is deserted, the rest are away on a dig, but it is not empty. There is a dead polar bear, and after some sexual shenanigans between Feddy & Ling, during which both are bit by some revived insects.

It seems that when Kilmer & co. found a frozen mastodon, it was infected with parasites, and these parasites have decided to latch onto anything warm-blooded, like the polar bear, and their human discoverers. They have infected some at the dig, and they have infested the camp, and will infect a number of the camp's new inhabiters. There lies the movie's drama, Ling gets hysterical, Atom has a phobia, and goes off the deep end, and Mike has some impromptu amputation.

In the end, the acting, pacing, story, and special effects were so much better than your average direct-to-DVD movie, and light years better than the average Scy-Fy channel crap that you have to like this. I haven't been much impressed by Ghost House movies in the past, but this one is certainly worth a rental, and should please nature-goes-berserk movie fans, although, like "The Thing" this movie has an ending that defies logic, and leaves itself open for a sequel.

I Am Omega
(2007)

Well, of course it sux
***There may be spoilers*** Movies like this just leave me speechless. They start off with so much promise, and then they just blow it. They work hard in their active search for self-destruction. Dacascas is the last man on Earth, well, no he's not. There's others. And Dacascas slowly goes insane he gets a e-mail from the desperate Wiggins looking to get rescued. He turns her down only to be forced by two psycho soldiers to go help her. I wouldn't go to my own execution with these two annoying scuzzballs, but Dacascas has no choice and we're off to the races. Even the novel was low budget with little in the way of FX, so you would think that a good no-budget movie could be made from this. They almost did it. Dacascas does his best, and Wiggins is certainly cute and does her best. The rest don't even try, the zombies emote more, and they look ripped off from a bad Italian zombie flick. The first half or so is a fairly decent modern adaptation of the Matheson novel, but after that it's just awful, and the ending doesn't come close to the novel's, leaving itself open for a possible sequel, as about the halfway mark the "last man" is really "the last woman". One of the problems is that the filmmakers constantly have Dacascas do stupid things. Like turning his back on a pair of killers, using a convertible (?) to plow through a bunch of zombies, etc. The acting is terrible, the pacing jerky, and the movie lacks logic, I mean, we have burrowing zombies (?). As I said the first half has promise, but if you have to go to the bathroom after that, just stay there until the movie ends and you'll be better off. Here's hoping that Matheson at least got royalties for this.

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