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Fun and campy over-the-top vampire/comedy
Having just been interrogated by the police, a woman accused of killing her brother but is forced to be let go is confronted by a savage vampire who takes a liking to her plight and tries to save her when her actions bring about the attention of a doomsday cult trying to spark the end of days.

There was quite a lot to like with this effort. One of the best aspects here is how this one goes for the meetup between her and the vampire which brings them together to start their journey. Having already been wanted by the police for the brother's murder, getting that distrust going and the concern for her behavior to continually be innocent of the crimes is a fantastic start to where the two intersect. Getting attacked by the thugs and the way he saves her afterward brings about their relationship together which is handled nicely with the slow ease with which they begin hanging out together and spending more time together which offers a nice bit of uncomfortable humor to their confrontations. That uncomfortableness is another big plus here in association with all the comedy featured here. With the idea of him trying to be accepting and acclimating not only to a human but a woman being that he's gay, it adds a wholly unique bent to their relationship as it's quite unexpected and goes in a slightly different direction than what would usually be featured here. As well, the more traditional comedy here from the infuriated policeman who continually has to put up with the smart alec quips made by the other officers or even the jokes about the sexual hang-up that the bumbling patrolmen got into when confronted by the main vampire has a lot to like and laugh at as well. The last plus here, which carries over from the comedy, is the over-the-top action and gore on display. From the pre-credit attack in the car with the severed member coming into play, the practical effects here are fantastic with the best being the attack in the alley as the one has their head pulled apart in a huge geyser of blood flowing everywhere and the second victim impaled and spurting in a huge mess. Other scenes, from the attack at the mothers' house to the victim being fed to the vampire in the graveyard, it all sets the stage for the grand finale where they confront the cultists and their diabolical plans in a spectacular bloodbath of ripped appendages, stabbings and slices that give a ton of splatter. Overall, these create a lot to like about although there are a few issues featured here. The main problem is the films' revelation about what the cult is actually doing which comes so late in the film that it's nearly impossible to tell what they're trying to accomplish. With so many cryptic conversations between the married couple involved about how things are going and the daughters' arrival which results in some more cryptic messages that just seem to be excuses for things to keep going as they are without filling in the blanks. It stands out as a result, much like the laughably inept main girl who doesn't really do much until the finale as she just seems to stand around watching everything. She doesn't do much and isn't a really important factor in the story based on what she does, which lowers this one just enough but has plenty to like about it.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and comical Male Nudity.

Beyond Hell

Underrated and somewhat enjoyable indie effort
Heading out to a friends' house, a shy teenager trying to go a little wild reluctantly joins in when their host reveals a local drug to try out, bringing them into contact with a demonic entity looking to reenter our realm after being banished and must find a way to stop it before its mission to overthrow the world succeeds.

For the most part, this one wasn't all that bad. Among its better aspects is the fact that there's a rather enjoyable and intriguing introduction of the demonic infestation in their lives. With their arrival at the party and decision to partake in the drug session works rather nicely in bringing the creature into their existence giving the film a fine entrance for what's to come later. As the possession scene offers the trippy, psychedelic visuals of the demon approaching and possessing her followed by the attack scene on the friend checking on her since she left the ceremony, the eventual reveal of what happened and how they get affected is quite thrilling to see play out. That leads nicely into the fun series of demonic attacks that begin to plague the group. The opening scene of the victims being sacrificed by the cult at the original location gives this a strong bloodsoaked start much like the attack in the house where the one victim is graphically devoured. The continuing scenes of the group being attacked by the demonic version of the possessed individual going around before seeing the true version of the demon launching into the attacks gives this some great action It all sets the stage for the big confrontation in the finale in the demons' realm where the concurrent mission to stop it in the regular world alongside the fight to stop it with the other demons getting involved in the action. Granted a nice twist that offers up a fun ending and plenty of impressive practical effects both with the demons and the gore for the kills, the film features some pretty entertaining positives. There are a few issues featured within here. The biggest drawback is the decidedly obvious and cheesy-looking CGI featured in the demons' attacks that take the viewer right out of the scene. From the distortion blurring the scenery to never once interacting with what's happening on-screen, the entire time it's featured here looks plain fake and low-rent making it look all the worse especially as it keeps going on. Moreover, the decision to include the love triangle amongst the survivors makes no sense as this initially seems to be included for dramatic purposes without building anything concrete why any of the participants would like each other after what transpires early on. It's just lazy and underwhelming, making for the main flaws that hold this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, Language and mild drug use.

Quella villa accanto al cimitero

Entertaining, if confusing, zombie-slasher
Moving to a new house in the countryside, a family comes to believe their sons' claims that someone else is living in the house with them and realize a deformed serial killer indeed living in their basement conducting gruesome experiments forcing them to fight him off to get away alive.

While this is decidedly on the lower end of the spectrum, it's still a wholly enjoyable effort. What really makes this one so enjoyable is the atmosphere here within the house as this setting gives the film a really creepy vibe that's quite suspenseful. From the woodlands creeping around the entire property, the generally decrepit and disused look washing over the house just in the condition it's left in as well as the basement laboratory where he goes through his experiments, this all comes together so well with the Gothic locations and wooden outlines it does make for a wholly creepy place to launch the atmospheric proceedings throughout here. That also plays rather nicely into the other great ploy here in that the over-the-top bloodshed comes off in really fun, gruesome moments. These all come from the rather enjoyable stalking scenes that occur here as they pack a decided punch with some great, classic scenes including the opening attack on the copulating teens who break into the house to great kills each, the attack on the realtor sneaking up on her and getting an absolutely crazy kill as a result while the most suspenseful scene involves the babysitter which occurs down in the basement lair and sets off the rousing, charged finale. Again using the Gothic basement to full effect while also getting in some more in-depth work showing off the other mangled bodies strewn out on the table or hanging up on hooks ready to be utilized later on for his own use in the experiments which all manage to make the film's final positive in its thrilling final half. Armed with great action carried out over its creepy locations, the big brawling against the killer which all makes for a wholly enjoyable and entertaining effort. There's not a whole lot really wrong here with this one, but what does stick out here is the fact that the storyline to this one is so utterly confusing and scattershot that it doesn't make any sense or even follows any kind of logic by leaving so many unanswered questions it's mind-boggling how much is unexplored here. From the hinted-at yet never -explored marital affair between the two that's never even brought up, the need to clarify the relationship between the boy and the girl based on the ending, which itself is a wholly confusing matter, the manner in which he goes all the years undergoing experiments and killing in that house yet is simply thought of as an urban legend, this one raises so many questions yet never answers any of them at all in a thoroughly confusing storyline. Thankfully, it's the only one present here.

Rated R: Graphic Violence and Brief Nudity.

Sette note in nero

Really fun and enjoyable giallo effort
Attempting to help herself, a woman marred by psychic visions finds a long-missing body walled up inside her husbands' house which puts him in the police's custody for the crimes and forces her to set out to save him, but soon becomes troubled when the vision leads to something else.

This proved to be an incredibly enjoyable giallo. Among the film's best qualities here is the sparkling setup that gets the film going and gives this one plenty of strong aspects. That we're given enough early on to show her abilities and gifts into the paranormal where we can both see the past as well as into the future, this becomes a driving force throughout the rest of the film. As the initial sequence of her coming under the influence of her latest vision as an adult, going through the contents of the room and looking over everything she finds there gives quite a fantastic setup to the film focusing on this aspect. Once that's firmly in place, the idea of the film resorting to an investigation into the cause of the woman that's found there death within the house gives this an intricately developed and played out mystery. The connection and build throughout the film, generated mainly from the need to prove her husband innocent of the crimes, is quite far-reaching as she goes through each of the clues from her vision and goes through each step, from the photograph to the investigation into the taxi company's history and even what the cigarette brands she finds. This is an important aspect that keeps the film going along nicely and logically with plenty of strong leads and reasoning done to keep throwing everything off. That this still keeps some thrilling suspense present in this section gives this a fantastic finish. As the final stages of the investigation take her into the sphere of the politician who's trying to keep the dead body a secret, there's a great enhancement of the action featured here were the series of chases and confrontations they have. From the back-and-forth hide-and-seek game through the apartment to the chase through the church, this all sets up the dark and chilling finale where the real meaning to her visions and gifts gets into some dark areas with how everything gets played out. It's a fun finale and gives this one a lot to like overall. There are a few minor flaws here. The main issue here is the notable lack of a nominal killer knocking victims off which plays such an integral part of the genre. This one tends to introduce the threat to her life so late here with the majority of time investigating the crime that it's almost entirely possible to forget she's in danger without threats on her or her friends which are quite important. The other issue is the finale, where the twisting plotlines are so over-the-top in how they get resolved in the context of the story as well as what emerges with the final revelation that's not nearly as shocking as it thinks it is. These here are enough to lower this one overall.

Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.

Grimewave: Cockface III

Really fun and over-the-top sleazy slasher
After a series of strange murders, a reporter comes to believe the culprit is the legendary killer who's terrorized the area in the past and sets out to find out the truth, but as the killers' rampage puts him on opposite sides of rival gang groups they all come together to stop the perverted madman's spree

This is a pretty solid sleaze-filled slasher. Much like the other entries, this one tends to get a lot to enjoy with the over-the-top exploits of the dirty, grimy exploitation offerings on display here. Much like the other efforts, the choice of the killers' attire, dressing in black decked bondage gear with a dildo strapped under their face and wielding another one as a main choice of weaponry, gives this a clear indication of where it's going which carries over into the opening scene of him running amok through a dirty massage parlor using the weaponry he does. As well, the constant sexual conduct throughout here with acts blurred out altogether to the wholly viewed acts that are left in and the general atmosphere being around strip clubs and open sexual debauchery. The offensive nature and atmosphere this creates, aided by the use of racial stereotypes done mostly for laughs or the absurd nature everything gets brought into the main plotline As well when this gets to the stalking and slashing aspects of the sleazy storyline it has a lot to like. From the blood-soaked rampage on the massage parlor to the big attack on the strip-club patrons where everyone gets taken out by the killer and the massive rampage of what goes on at the sex celebration being conducted at the end, this one manages to generate some rather impressive and enjoyable set-pieces. Given that this is carried out throughout the film as a whole with the confrontations with the supposedly-skilled ninjas that just come off with a delirious satirical bent to everything, it features a fantastically-cheesy and goofy atmosphere that makes the deaths a lot more impactful and impressive with an aspect of the film that makes them all the more impressive for how they're integrated into the storyline. Given a relentless, fast-paced storyline that never really offers a dull moment and plenty of enjoyable sleaze, this one offers up plenty to like about it. There are a few minor aspects to knock this one down. One of the main ones is the absolutely over-the-top sleaze and grime that may not be for everyone. Being as open with the excessive body fluids and sexual antics this one is quite free with as the concepts at play here offer up the kind of platform for those to be included which can be off-putting. Not only is the frequency a potential issue but it's also the concept of these as the highly-sexual nature of what's going on with the storyline here has the potential to offend even though that should be a given going into the third film in this particular franchise. As well, there's also a highly underwhelming and somewhat confusing storyline about the secondary reporter getting the storyline which doesn't offer much in the way of impressive or likable antics. It's cliched and doesn't add much beyond a one-note joke that wears itself out rather quickly, but beyond that, there's not much to bring this down.

Rated Unrated/NC-17: Extreme Graphic Violence, Extreme Graphic Language, Full Nudity, and strong sexual scenes and themes.


Enjoyable if slightly flawed genre effort
Attempting to continue a break-through research project, a scientist at the end of his rope regarding funding for the project is forced to use his wife as a subject when she suffers from a strange disease, yet when the experiment causes her to become a vicious shape-shifting monster she tries to understand what's going on.

This was an underwhelming if still somewhat watchable entry. When this one works the best is with the actual build-up and reveal of what's actually happening to his wife as she undergoes the process. The initial scenes of her coming under the influence of the change with the confrontation at the abusive household or actually discussing the change in her apartment come across as quite important to give this a strong hint of what's going on, and when the latter scene gives way to a full-scale transformation scene in practical effects there's a lot to like here. Given the indie-flavored attacks that are carried out throughout the rest of the film resulting in some solid stalking and ambush scenes featuring tons of nice gore as well as some strong and stylish sleazy sequences, there's far more to like here once this one gets going. There are a couple of issues with this one. The main problem is the film's rather overlong running time that easily could've used some trimming with several issues that don't add much to the running time. There's the beginning showing the exploits at the lab with the scientist cheating on his wife with the assistant, the wife going around trying to keep doing her job while suffering from the physical stress or the banal scenes of the doctors trying to figure out what happened to her during the experiment which all make for a wholly underwhelming beginning to this one. It takes so long before things start happening that there's nothing much going on that keeps it interesting as the plotlines serve it well but take up too much time and stretch the running length out far longer than a story like this is necessary. The secondary storyline about the second patient afflicted with the condition as he had the same procedure could've been removed entirely and not done anything to the story at all being perfect fodder for the possible sequel. There's also the issue of the films' low-budget tendencies coming into play against it at the worst times. The most obvious and apparent is the lighting featured here which is quite dark and renders a lot of the scenes rather difficult to make out which isn't helped by the close-up camerawork and quick-cut editing. Others are just so dark that the effect is ruined by the inept work featured in that setup. As well, there's also the weak CGI featured here that tends to announce itself quite obviously with the inability to really mesh at all with what's going on or featuring the tell-tale halo buzzing around it which isn't natural and adds even more to the scene by not interacting with the rest of the scene. While there's a fun cheesy tone throughout here due to that, there's still the obviousness of the imagery standing out here which all lower this one slightly enough over its positives.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity and sexual scenes.

I lunghi capelli della morte

Absolutely spectacular Gothic horror effort
After being put to death, a witch's daughter grows up in the care of those who executed her mother and finds herself forced to marry into the family, but when a stranger arrives at their castle home they soon find that the mother's dying curse might come true and race to keep it from happening.

This was a spectacular Italian Gothic horror effort. Among its best features is the standout opening that sets everything in motion as a true force in the scene. With the hysteria around the event and her quest to get the truth revealed at all costs, this already starts at a frantic rate even before the de rigueur burning and curse being enacted. This sequence really sells the film alone by offering a truly fascinating sequence where the victim is placed inside a wooden enclosure which is then lit up, the ever-growing flaws chasing them around until the final conflagration is featured. From there, this generates even more Gothic-flavored fun with the daughter growing up to resemble her mother which is where this really gets going. Making her aware of the true nature of her lineage and the secrets she holds within her, the resulting struggle for power in the kingdom between the king and his son using her as a spawn simply to appease the so-called curse enacted on the village works nicely. The progressiveness of this featuring all the sexual politics including her blatantly refusing him for her own inner strength makes this quite intriguing overall. When this, in turn, leads to the curse coming to life and affecting the village, the film becomes an out-and-out masterpiece detailing these efforts. As the resurrection scene in the cemetery takes place alongside the church ceremony during the driving rain, this signals the start of the fun as the newcomer begins intervening in the castle's orders. With the affair in the open but happening in conjunction with the poisonings to change up the power dynamic, this offers a series of fun scenes featuring them working in the crypts together or moving along secret passageways in full-on genre traditions and expectations. This all leads to the outright amazing finale that brings the Gothic leanings full-bore into the psychological mind-games as the final point of the revenge. Featuring the games they employ to drive him mad to the point of failing to recognize what's going on, the chases around the catacombs finally reveal the eerie truth and set the stage for a marvelous and outright chilling conclusion which is the perfect capper to this one. About the only issue is a confusing nature featuring the removal of a body into the crypts below only to bring it back later on for no reason, but that's all it has wrong with it.

Today's Rating-PG-13: Violence and Brief Nudity.

5 tombe per un medium

Quite impressive Gothic horror adaptation
Arriving at an abandoned villa, a lawyer meets with the daughter of his boss who informs him that his intent is in vain and to leave, but when a violent storm strands him there overnight they discover the deceased control the dead strewn around the grounds of the house from a plague infestation years ago and must find a way to stop the deadly revenge being carried out.

This is one of the finest Italian Gothic horror films. One of the best things about the film is the fact that there's an overabundance of high-quality Gothic images. There's the mansion it takes place in, which is great and looks exactly like the kind that usually features in here, from the arrangement of the furniture to the way it has the setup for the creepy surroundings out in the marsh or the various rooms inside the castle. Even more, is the shots of the graveyards illuminated from the moonlight and the way the gravestones are simply impressive-looking and create an authentic air to it, and perhaps the most memorable is the shot within the tombstone of the hands along the side of a coffin springing to life with a jolt as it's the one true shock in the film and manages to generate some really nice suspense scenes. Of course, the fact that there's a lot of scenes that feature a character walking around in the flimsy nightgown through the long, dark hallways as a thunderstorm blasts away in the background allows for an even more Gothic atmosphere. The early scene during the rainstorm, where the flashing lightning illuminates a gravestone in the cemetery quite eerily while he's on the phone is also one of the top scenes in here to demonstrate this. When the plague victims start showing up, they're just as good and actually help to give some more atmosphere to the proceedings. The scarred faces and mangled features are graphic for the time and look disgusting, and even the other victims here are great looking leaving a striking impression and comes off as really unique. There's also a rather fun ending to this that generates some nice action, mainly from the rising zombie plague that forces them into a frantic scramble around the house, and it's quite exciting. All of these here is what makes the film so entertaining as this one doesn't have all that much wrong with it. The main issue with it is the fact that this one does take a while to get going with its story. The beginning of this, with the weird coincidences of the lawyer arriving with the mysterious letter behind his being summoned there and meeting with the family members, are all quite dull and just manage to suck a lot of life from the film from it's beginning segments before the film even has a chance of getting started. The only other flaw is that it doesn't ever show off the titular creatures at all, offering gloomy glimpses of shadowy figures rather than any sort of prolonged look at them, which is something to take offense with. It isn't that detrimental, though, as it's an overall fun entry.

Today's Rating-PG-13: Violence and Brief Nudity.

Danza macabra

Highly enjoyable and chilling Gothic horror effort
Upon hearing of a fabled castle, a journalist is invited to spend the night at the location as no one else has in the past, and after arriving finds a beautiful woman is living there who warns him of the dangers living inside its walls but is unprepared to face the actual terrors when confronted by them.

This was a solid and highly enjoyable Gothic genre effort. Among its better elements is the immensely creepy setup involving the cursed castle as the gentleman's agreement to bring him there into that environment works wonderfully. The subsequent arrival and journey through the castle grounds are immensely chilling, from the dead and rotting trees in the graveyard to the systemic search inside using only the candelabra for light as the dusty, decrepit location and rather obvious disuse paint a wholly effective setting here. This is wholly effective at setting up the kind of location where the later events have a plausible foundation. Those actions are where this one works quite a number of impressive, chilling scenes. Not only is the relationship between the two girls there the source of mysterious events between them, but the actual events traveling through the castle make more sense following this conversation. The various attacks with the figures coming out of the shadows to impart this own version of events regarding how they died in the past get really enjoyable once that begins happening as the Gothic melodrama during this section gives way to horror incredibly well with the finely-staged attack scenes that he's helpless to stop. Moreover, those attacks are merely setting the stage for the superb Gothic-laden finale where the ghosts and spirits make their ploy known and spring into action. With the big reveal about the final ghost and his purpose connecting to the frantic series of chases and encounters to be featured here, there are some fine chills to be had especially in the gloomy crypts where the real action takes place. The romance angle that comes into play is highly enjoyable and gives off a nice touch as the series of obstacles that come into play here due to that truly affect the atmospheric touches in fine form, and with some delicate effects-work give this one plenty to enjoy. There are some issues with this one. One of the biggest issues is the wholly underwhelming tempo and pacing on display, especially in the mid-section where this one drops what it's doing to explain the plot. The introduction of so many characters out of nowhere and seemingly disparate rules about their actions and appearance are all laid out to the detriment of any on-screen action as hardly anything happens. The lack of action featured is a real drag with the slowed tempo resorting to a string of scenes featuring him reacting to reenactments which aren't that impact, but with a rushed finale are all that holds this one down.

Today's Rating-Unrated/PG-13: Violence and Language.

Amanti d'oltretomba

Watchable but incredibly slow Italian gothic horror
After catching his wife in an affair, her husband chains the two up in the basement of his castle and forgets about them by marrying her exact double and setting about a plot to drive her insane over time, but all matter of complications halt the plans to do so when human and supernatural forces intervene.

There was a lot to like with this Gothic horror effort. One of the strongest elements featured here is the enjoyable setup and presentation that generates quite a lot to like about it. From the discovery of their tryst and removal of the two to the dungeon where they're chained and tortured provides a spectacular start to this one and settles on a fantastic note to come. Knowing that he's out to get the money left in the new will and his sudden plans for the new girl in the house through devious means starts to make for a fantastically suspenseful time here with the plans to torment them inside the opulent castle serving rather nicely overall. Those torture tactics are quite impressive as well and generate a lot to like. The idea of deliberately setting her on edge from the very beginning is quite enjoyable, with the sideways glances, eerie voices calling out in the distance or the hallucinations she has looking at back on past events as well as the gaslighting nature of their relationship telling her that everything's fine giving this a dark edge. Although she's clearly right in the matter with her visions and beliefs, the longer she's there it paints a spectacular picture of mental instability rather than her struggling pleas for sanity and helps to add even more to the potentially unstable plot around her. This all leads to the glorious Gothic showdown in the finale where all the build-up about her mental state and the ghostly visions come together in a fantastic setup. When the murder attempt fails and the plan comes to fruition, the charge into the chilling finale happens rather nicely when the actual figures thought to be a dream emerge and play into the action rather nicely. With fantastic reveals and some chilling moments brought about by the reversal of fortunes as the old stand-by of the burning-down-the-house finale is worked over incredibly well for the revenge to be complete, this one gets a lot to like about it as one of the finer genre efforts. There are a few issues to be had here. The main issue is the absolutely dreadful pacing in the mid-section that drags the film down to a crawl as they attempt to dupe her out of her sanity. This is overly talky and exposition-heavy as they conspire amongst themselves to drive her out of her mind and as a result, nothing much happens. This melodramatic Gothic soap opera isn't driven by scares or action and ends up leaving the film drained of life with the gaslighting plot being put into effect for the most part. As well, this is somewhat hampered by its low-budget when the ghosts emerge and their cheesy look, but it's more the pace that holds this down.

Today's Rating/Unrated-PG-13: Violence and Language.

Top Sensation

One of the greatest sleazy giallos ever
Setting off on a trip together, a woman and her friends try to force her dim-witted son into adulthood by engaging in his first sexual encounter, but when his attention turns elsewhere than their intentions, an effort to keep everything on schedule is threatened when several strangers are brought into their games.

This was an exceptional and highly impressive sleazy giallo. This one gets so much of the enjoyable elements featured through the use of its appealing and frequent amount of nudity or sexual situations from those well-qualified to deliver it. Considering the participants, this one gets plenty of mileage out of not just the nude couplings or just casually lounging around which is played for such a fiery, erotic tone. Given that everything is designed for sexual manipulation and is part of a game at some point with the trip being an effort to make the son lose his awkwardness around women, there's plenty on display here to enhance the eroticism featured with a generally raw sexuality based on getting them into these positions as often as possible. Moreover, with the sexiness on display, there's a lot to like with the gradually darker turn this makes. As the main focus of the trip is to bring the son into adulthood by using their feminine wiles, there's already a perverse tone apparent from the start where sexual games are par for the course and seduction plays a huge role in the outcome of everything. When this is turned around with their own thrills involving the island girl brought into their circle, the innocence she displays is in stark contrast to their free-spirited ways even after the attempt to introduce her into their lifestyle. That it turns into a veritable bloodbath at the end with some unexpected bodies showing up and the rather risky nature of trying to get away with it all offers a fun series of thrills on top of the somewhat shocking action featured. These here all make for a highly enjoyable and impressive genre effort with a lot to like about it. There are some minor issues on display here. The main problem is that there's very little about the son that actually endears us to want to see him succeed in his quest. A shy, quiet introvert who stays by himself, tends to get into trouble due to a curiously unexplained child-like view of the world and just seems completely bland compared to everyone else, this one has very little interest in getting his sexual experience. The scenes of him on the boat playing with the island girl are just excruciating as they have no chemistry at all and the whole affair tends to go ignored for such long stretches it can easily be forgotten. The other issue here is the odd and unsatisfying motivations in the finale which are highly underwritten and don't seem genuine to what's come before in their characterization which creates wildly inconsistent characterizations in this section. Otherwise, there isn't much to dislike here.

Rated Unrated/R: Nudity, sexual scenes, Violence, Language and mild drug use.

L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo

One of cinema's greatest debut films
Walking home after work, a writer witnesses an attack at a museum gallery and is taken into custody as a witness and possible suspect forcing him and his girlfriend to solve a spree of murders from a black-gloved maniac which soon puts them as a potential target on the hit list as they try to avoid becoming another victim.

This really has a lot going for it and is one of the best Italian horror films of all time. The main aspect of the film is that it lays the groundwork for all the typical motives found inside the giallo sub-genre. There's the traumatic initial murder, the artistic outsider who feels compelled to play detective after witnessing the crime who, upon after-thought finds something is not as it seems, the blurring and confusion of gender distinctions; and the murder by a black leather-clad maniac are all present. That these would be exploited so frequently shows their resourcefulness work wonders, each being a critical reason why the film works so well. The main three elements, the outsider happening upon the crime, the black-bestowed killer, and the traumatic opening murder all come together in the mind-blowing opening kill, where through a huge plate-glass window, a killer attempts to murder a woman on top of a stairway, and then flees the scene, leaving the attempted victim to plead for help, only for them to become trapped in the building's security devices. It's a marvelous scene that is so breathtaking in its execution and concept that it's hard to describe how well it works, and the fact that it's in the opening five minutes of the film makes it a hammer-blow to the viewer even more so. The later attempts at suspense are no less effective and are just as great. One of the murders provides a jump scene, as the victim watches through POV after they extinguish a cigarette off to the side when the killer suddenly appears in the doorway in front of them unnoticed. Even the flashy kill, where through the POV it's shown the killer using a straight-razor is a nice little touch, and a chase through a darkened bus terminal is monumental for having a large variety of great mini-scenes inside of it. There's also the traditional scene where the killer violently hacks through a door to get at a victim trapped inside the room, and the fact that there's no escape possible other than stopping the killer adds to the intensity. It's also incredibly straightforward, as the clues offered are for once useful in deducing the identity of the killer and are thoughtful on their own. The use of flashbacks as a major clue is handled the best, and the revelation of the killer is quite a shock. With all the other Argento efforts in top form here, there are really very few parts in here that don't work. The one big thing against this one is that it isn't as gory as it could've been, as the murders are pretty bloodless and several aren't even shown on screen but are happened upon at a later point. Otherwise, there isn't anything else wrong with this one.

Rated Unrated/R: Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.

Ecologia del delitto

Mario Bava's timeless horror classic
After a series of strange deaths, a private investigator is drawn to a lake in northeast Italy to look into collecting blasting rights to the area for his company, but as the series of savage murders continues the revelations about the series of killings puts everyone around the lake in danger of being killed.

This was one of the more impressive and enjoyable elements out there. one of the films' strongest elements is the highly impressive manner this takes trying to keep all the storylines straight. It's really like him to be able to balance a really confusing plotline into an entertaining film like this is as so many different characters are successfully woven into the plot line, which is what adds to the confusion. That the real identity of the killer keeps on changing as other people are either killed off or something else happens keeps this one feeling much in the vein of the original aspects of the genre with the investigation into the incidents revealing tons of hidden affairs, secret meetings and clandestine planning that would feel much more at east in another effort. It is also a wonder how much fun this generates from the resulting slashing scenes. While previous films were based on elaborate sets, lighting and atmosphere, this one is pretty brutal and' relies more on gore. We get a couple of very bloody stabbings, a realistic-looking decapitation, several strangulations, and a fine-looking hanging to boot. The best of the bunch, however, is a true double impaling that is seen in all its glory. This is added to the whole stalking scenes that are shown here, from the chase through the woods to get to safety and just coming up short to the senses at the cabin working through the darkened rooms once the power is out to the utterly impressive scene in the woods where mistaken identity creates a fun sequence in the moonlight. All combined with the fantastic twist ending that isn't seen coming at all, there's a lot to enjoy here although. this one has some issues. The one main drawback to this one is the somewhat slack pacing that can be a detriment to get into the film. This does take a while to get going, as most of the killings don't start until after the first thirty minutes. There is also a second, even longer stretch of the film where there are no deaths, which perhaps can lead some to boredom. Despite the high body count, the deaths all occur in small blocks, with no real randomness to them at all. Within about three minutes, at least two other people die after they finish one-off. It does take a long time for those blocks to come up, so there are odd lengths of time for things to happen. As well, the ending could be a real sore-spot with the wholesale randomness to it all, but otherwise, there's not much at all wrong here.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity, Language and a short sex scene.

5 bambole per la luna d'agosto

Fun and enjoyable off-beat giallo effort
Gathered together on his private island, a brilliant inventor finds that his friends and colleagues have gathered together to reveal the latest discovery of his, but when a series of strange deaths affect the various suitors on the island they try to figure out who's responsible and why before they're all killed off.

There was quite a lot to like with this one. Among the more impressive elements is the fact that there's quite an enjoyable atmosphere and air of intrigue throughout the film as this one generates a wholly impressive whodunnit setup. With the entire cast composed of ethically and morally corrupt citizens looking to get their hands on the fabled formula he's invented, there's no shortage of characters ready and willing to start bumping everyone off which is what happens. There's never a surprise at all that this has happened and it's down to who is more willing to sell themselves out to get their hands on a deal, resulting in a wholly enjoyable atmosphere of greed that makes the resulting kills seem to feel quite like the next logical step for some since it's only logical and fair that they'd resort to this after snooping, backstabbing and seduction. Likewise, once the bodies begin to pile up and things start happening with the series of discoveries made around the island. The first kill involving the discovery of the body along the beach with the crabs crawling over the body is a solid start to things, much like the later discoveries involving the body with a gaping bullet hole in their head and another tied to a tree in their underwear with a knife embedded in their chest continue this along rather nicely. With this acting concurrently with the continued deviance to obtain the formula and the desire to figure out who's behind it all, there's a lot to like here as this one brings about the full-on twist involving everything and how it plays out. This is intriguing and quite unexpected, coming across as a real surprise and shock which gives this some highly enjoyable aspects that hold it up over the minor flaws. There are a few issues to be had here. The main drawback is the completely underwhelming and unexplained storyline that doesn't offer up much of anything at all here to make sense of the confusing storyline. The central compound is not explained at all and acts as a true Macguffin with no mention of anything involving it's creation, purpose or powers which would help explain why it's being sought after by these unscrupulous figures who are willing to kill to acquire this fabled thing for an unexplained purpose. As well, the ironic twist ending tends to make the constant showcase of the free-spirited woman staying with them as this completely random and unimportant figure that has no bearing on the film at all which floats in and out of the film like a randomly written figure from another film altogether. It just feels cheap and lazy to come across this setup which is what holds this down the most.

Rated Unrated/R: Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.

Devil's Prey

Enjoyable if somewhat flawed genre effort
Struggling with a dark traumatic past, a man trying to hide his true self as a serial killer from the police detectives trying to catch him slowly begins unraveling mentally from the stress of everything a pair of angels trying to battle for his eternal soul try to tip the balance in their favor against him.

This was an incredibly frustrating and problematic effort. One of the biggest issues here is the complete confusion that arises out of the storyline which is incredibly involved yet never given any time to sort itself out. The feat involving the war between the angels, his past troubles affecting him and the missing child case with the investigating officers are all dropped on us immediately at the start of this one with little lead-in or build-up, making for a sort of jarring whiplash-effect trying to keep everything straight. One doesn't even lead into another factor, it's just all dropped on us without doing anything to separate it all, and given the intricacies of the main storylines involving both the two angels fighting each other and the serial killers' psychological torment, these especially need time to work out what's going on. While this eventually happens and everything becomes quite clear, it's not until later and the introduction to everything seems quite off-putting. That also manages to highlight a few inaccuracies with their own personal war that goes on throughout the film. The fact that the evil demon is actively trying to influence him for his personal gain without the good one interfering under orders not to makes it seem incredibly unbalanced about this process. If the end goal is to save him, then the not-interfering while the other one constantly does so offers up an easier chance of being corrupted by the more prominent figure in his life ruining their entire purpose to redeem him as the counterbalance against the negative impact. Moreover, the typical flaw associated with this genre tends to get introduced again where there's nothing given about why he's as special as he is to their battle, forcing them to battle over him for no real reason out of the billions of other people on the planet. This goes unexplained and could've used something else to tie into this storyline, which all together holds this one down. There are some enjoyable aspects here. The fact that this one is built around the serial killer's psychological breakdown from both his troubled past as well as the guilt over what he's doing is a major point and carried off quite impressively. As mentioned, this is all done to clarify a lot of the storylines from later on which gives us plenty of insight into the psychological breakdown as doing it through implanted visions or forced hallucinations between the two angels battling for his soul in their own private war. As they grow in intensity and vividness this one grows in interest as these far more frightening exploits including the grocery store confrontation, the breakdown at work and the memorable sequence in the church all helping this setup along. That also works for the rather satisfying finale, opting for a more realistic bent rather than the supernatural aspects that had been featured elsewhere which ends this on a rather fun note, giving it some really impressive aspects.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.


An underwhelming effort with only a few positives
After receiving word from his superiors, a brilliant doctor is informed of the need to produce evidence of his experiments and decides to push through on the testing by using himself as a subject, yet when he begins experiencing unintended side effects he races to find a way to keep it from consuming him.

This was a slightly disappointing overall genre effort. What brings it down at first is the beginning to this one which keeps this one from generating any interest. The brilliant yet egotistical scientist ranting and raving about funding for his mythic experiments isn't an endearing move to get us onto his side since he comes off as arrogant and elitist. That he comes to believe his entire work is to be completely and utterly isolated from interference and continues to value the unregulated nature of the experiments at all cost doesn't make us root or feel sympathy for him in the slightest. Moreover, this whole first section of the film comes off as interminably boring. The focus on him fighting with the various members of the college board or romancing the girl who feels compelled to help him all but drains any life this could've presented with the storyline which itself doesn't make any sense. Through all the technical and scientific jargon this utilizes to try to play off what he's doing, very little of it is understandable and the cliched romance angle is exactly a cliche being completely expected as well as underwritten, making for a dull middle section to the film. That's carried over for the rest of the film where hardly anything interesting happens. The romance angle serves no purpose other than building to an ill-fated territorial battle for her, while the investigation from the doctors into his experiments is inherently time-consuming delaying the inevitable. All of this ends up cutting into the horror elements until so late in the film that they're barely useful in overcoming the flaws built up previously with the overall lack of content about what he's turning into or what happened as the uninteresting pace or focus away from these features for the majority of its running time. That leaves the few horror elements present in this one which are incredibly hit-or-miss. The first half is based on underwhelming ideas and setups, from the laughably inept attack on the slutty student to a flashback attack on a random waitress, both of which are fine in concept but fail in execution. The hospital escape and resulting rampage offer up much more impressive attacks taking advantage of the fabulous metamorphosis make-up and the inability to recognize who he is until it's too late providing some decent gore in the process. Coupled with the suspenseful stalking throughout the college where this takes place, it does have some positive points.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Language and Nudity.

Al tropico del cancro

Unimpressive atypical giallo effort
Arriving in Haiti for work, a doctor trying to keep the various figure from getting their hands on a miraculous drug being developed runs into a friend and his wife on vacation trying to save their marriage, and when they all start to become involved in the growing body-count must try to stay alive against the attackers.

This one turned out to be a rather pedestrian and underwhelming giallo. The main issue that holds it back is that hardly anything here is interesting with nothing being given a worthwhile status to them. The espionage story at the center of the film is a major obstacle with barely anything about the miraculous drug beyond lip-service denoting its hallucinogenic properties as this reputation is all that's given to this one. Basically given nothing to work with doesn't make it interesting nor does a stranger going around beating up random people trying to get information out of them intriguing as this just doesn't make for an interesting time, rather just gets confusing. On top of that, the married couple going around trying to repair their relationship is simply tedious as they go through the usual woes associated with this tope and just end up wasting time for the most part. It's also not that impressive if there's not much in the way of traditional genre action here. As the exploits of the style denoted a masked killer wandering around trying to kill someone off, this one barely has any of that occur as the focus appears to be on the doctor running around the island performing his duties or the married couple getting lost in the tourism side of the area while trying to be civil with one another until they run into him who saves the couple. This industrial espionage type of action comes across as being in the wrong film altogether as this grounds the film more realistically compared to the series of hallucinations and visions which have little connection to what's going on. All in all, these are what hold it back for the most part. There are a few slight positives to be had here. The biggest plus is that even though the hallucinations and visions feel out-of-place they're pretty impressive visually. Especially noteworthy is the big sequence often buying the fertility being statue as that's quite expressive and appealing which is quite fun. As well, there's also the intriguing amount of stalking scenes on display, which are rather fun as this one manages to bring in some excitement to this one. From the ambush in the hotel room to the stellar stalking of the henchmen looking for a secret payout in the factor which results in a nice surprising scene and the series of double-crosses and foot-chases which are featured here, there's quite a lot to enjoy here with some decent kills mixed in. Along with some fine nudity mixed in, this one offers up some decent points if not a whole lot overall.

Rated Unrated/R: Full Nudity, Violence, Language and violence-against-animals.

Return to Splatter Farm

Fun and enjoyable genre effort
Arriving at a legendary farmhouse, a woman and her friends arrive to look at it due to her inheritance including the location, and once they begin to slowly disappear one-by-one realize the legend of a deadly killer haunting the farm are true and must try to save her friends from the intruder.

This was a highly impressive and enjoyable sequel. Among the better aspects to this one is the rather impressive atmosphere here that's quite a bit more involved than expected. The arrival at the farm with all the homages to the past with the way the house is set up and the various belongings found while they clean up, it paints a fine picture of the past alongside the verbal connections bringing it all together. The stories about her past history with the relative of hers being the one who snapped and went insane create a wholly intriguing setup that gives this a lot to like. That all helps to make the strong revelation here that manages to tie into the build-up from the connection to the past. Getting a rather nice manner of explanation for the whereabouts throughout the years and what he's been doing all this time, this one truly comes off with the true sequel vibes that are only enhanced by those given details about the events in the interim all the more fun. This all helps to tie everything together in regards to the overall feel and tone with all the time off between entries. The other plus to this one is the later scenes with the stalking being rather fun. The opening ambush on the couple checking it out for the urban legends behind it are rather enjoyable and cheesy enough, much like the montage sequence of the various kills shown on the property over the years all manage to offer some incredibly enjoyable sequences. There's quite a lot to enjoy in the second half when the killer strikes even more intently with some vicious and enjoyable ambush scenes with the fun gore of the creative kills coming into play here, and combined with the thrilling pace that keeps things moving nicely offers up plenty of positives. There isn't much to dislike with this one. The main issue to be had here is the fact that there's nothing really noted here about the finale and how it plays out. Rather than carry out the killings as normal, the idea of keeping her hostage locked up in the house seems incredibly out-of-character despite being a family member who's kept there. Nothing is given as to how he knows that, though, so it just feels rather underwhelming as a whole. Alongside the somewhat obvious and apparent low-budget work that can be a detriment, these are really all it has wrong with it.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity and mild drug use.

Il coltello di ghiaccio

Far more fun and enjoyable than expected thriller
Heading off to a lavish estate, a mute woman arrives to visit her cousin only to be rocked by a violent murder in the area, and when it appears the culprit belongs to a Satanic cult that has now targeted her brings a danger to most of those around her forcing her to bring an end to the killings.

Overall, this one is a rather fun genre effort. One of the better elements is the fun start to things where we get introduced to everything going on. From the revelation about the accident that leads to her current condition as well as the subtle hints that she's actively interested in the occult, this sets up some intriguing plotlines relatively quickly. The idea of following up the mystery laid out by the surprise murder showcases some pretty solid plotlines to come about since this drops the characters into the fray rather nicely. This is another intriguing aspect as the central murder mystery and investigation leads to a lot of fun. The connection to an ongoing and seemingly unrelated kills offers up a great starting point much like the strong connection to the occult with the Satanic paraphernalia recovered from the crime scenes. As the investigation reveals a slew of solid red herrings over the course of the film as the few clues to be found offering up a nice amount of intrigue when people act shady or suspicious for no reason, especially in the middle of a murder investigation. There's also a lot to enjoy with the suspense derived in the latter half where the body count rises considerably and more substantial attacks occur. Managing to get some solid scenes from the chase through the cemetery to catch the fleeing suspect, a chilling game of hide-and-seek played at the house and the outright chilling stalking through the house where we finally get the killer in action in a prolonged sequence that has a lot to like, these generate some thrilling aspects for the film which overall well incredibly well for this one. This one doesn't have much to dislike about it. The most egregious and outright appalling is the wholesale opening as the real-life animal slaughter shown during the bull-fight, which is unnecessary and cruel in a matter that gets even more unbearable with the repetition to denote her shocked state. The other issue here is a rushed and confusing ending that doesn't answer anything, has no motivation for anything and is done in such a matter as to make it seem utterly unimportant like its sole purpose is to be surprising. These factors keep it down for the most part.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic-Violence-Against-Animals, children-in-jeopardy, Language and Violence.


Solid and thrilling genre effort with a few minor flaws
After suffering a tragic accident, a woman is asked by her ex-husband to recuperate at his seaside villa and takes him up on the offer, only to find his wife to be the one to call her over so they can hatch a plot to kill him but things soon become complicated when even more obstacles present themselves.

This is a fine if decidedly lacking genre effort. When this one works best is the enjoyable setup that plays out as to who's trying to corrupt who. Being dropped unexpectedly into their marriage out of the blue where they're well-aware of her past infractions requiring rest and their dissolved relationship is a solid way to go about introducing the eventual plot against him. Although the suddenness of the proposition is a big factor, the fun of seeing their reconciliation which proves the way for the two to come up with their execution plan is a generally fun time throughout here. The second half then showcases how much fun this setup becomes with the twist involving a fateful accident and how things change. The accident on the boat is a wholly shocking incident that truly feels accidental in the heat of the moment and serves this one well to launch into the second half involving their need for secrecy over the situation. The suspense derived from whether or not they can keep the ruse going while the intrusive nature of the daughter keeps interrupting to throw a wrench into their plans as a series of expert twists and turns featuring plenty of solid suspense and surprises. These manage to give this a lot to like even though this one does have a few issues. The biggest problem is the sheer lunacy of trying to buy into the backstory involving their relationships with each other as these are inherently goofy and tough to swallow. Her race-car driver mindset that we're introduced to is a completely ridiculous idea to try this out as a means of getting back together as none of it means anything in the long run with this being forgotten about almost immediately anyway. It comes into play even further when no one gets worried about the disappearance or notices the connection afterward which really makes the whole purpose here silly and unnecessary. It's also somewhat problematic in the asinine reasoning displayed to carry on without their getting caught. While the reasoning for keeping up appearances is a solid one that each of them manages to continually act in such a way as to give away what's going on, especially around the daughter is a strikingly sore point. Freaking out over nothing, breaking into hysterics whenever the moment strikes and eschewing any sort of natural cover-up in favor of suspicious melodramatic breakdowns is a sure sign that something's wrong and forcing the issue of investigating further while also managing to lower the likeability factor, all of which bring this down somewhat.

Rated Unrated/R: Nudity, Sex Scenes, Mild Violence and Language.

Così dolce... così perversa

Fun and enjoyable thriller effort
Trying to keep their marriage afloat, a man begins to be slowly drawn to his new upstairs neighbor and begins to woe her even though she claims to be in danger, and when it proves true as he becomes a stranger's target tries to get to the bottom of her stories to be able to save her.

This was a rather solid and enjoyable outing. Among its best features comes from the strong build-up to the overall thriller aspects here. As this one generates some intriguing elements here with the strained, loveless marriage fueled by his unfaithfulness, the potential intrigue of a new relationship with the upstairs neighbor and the baggage she brings featuring the troubled relationship involving the strange man following him around creates an engaging setup. As everything gets equal timing to where his womanizing matters interfere with their marriage and their new burgeoning romance at the expense of his time around his wife gives everything a nice clarity. There's also quite a lot to like as the series of games that emerge from this setup. As the idea of the stranger following them is also planning to kill him by using her as bait in the orchestrated plan, there's a fine intrigue at play here with the change in loyalty involving who she's really playing for as the constant claims of his mistreatment towards her contradicting her claims of what she's doing it for. The exceptional twist about their game gets played off masterfully about the necessary steps to carry it out which is a logical plan to think through in how this thoughtfully changes everyone's allegiances when all the pieces get revealed. As this setup gives the film a lot to like regarding the sleaze elements on display, there's quite a lot to like with this one. There are some issues to be had here. One of the main problems is the somewhat sluggish first half that doesn't develop much in the way of a thriller setup. Since it focuses on his cheating and romancing the neighbor in such a lazy manner, this doesn't offer much in the way of excitement as there's nothing about why he does. Despite being incredibly attractive, there's nothing given here about why he goes for her as deep as he does as quickly after meeting, overall making this feel somewhat underwhelming. The other real issue is a somewhat problematic factor in the second half where the twists are revealed and the hysterical screaming doesn't seem realistic to the setup since everything's gone to plan but instead this just feels highly unrealistic about the purpose for it. While none of these are truly detrimental, they do lower this slightly.

Rated Unrated/R: Nudity, Sex Scenes, Language and Mild Violence.


Impressive and entertaining sleazy suspense-style giallo
Following her husbands' death in a car accident, his widow decides to head to a lavish villa in Italy to grieve and try to move on, yet when a pair of siblings arrive looking for shelter she takes them in only to find herself a pawn in a dangerous game she may not be able to away from.

This was a highly enjoyable and generally fun effort. Among its better features is the immediacy with which it starts in on the general theme of the psychological mind games. Given that it opens with her literally stepping off the plane to a field of reports and arrives at the house, it gives a quick listing of the situation that goes along with them meeting her mere days later. As that introduction turns to romance but just as soon afterward leads into the sisters' arrival and swept into the gray with them, it wraps all its fantastic storylines up quite easily and quickly which is a fine touch to this one. That, in turn, leads into the actual mind-games that are present. With the cars' breakdown that he employs to stay there and the sneakiness to not only get inside the house but sleeping with her the first day they meet, the surprise of everything goes a long way to starting her downfall as the opportunity to do so is granted. Since this then plays up her deteriorating emotional state being away from him through the fainting, drinking and general frazzled-out nature compared to the calmer and more level-headed version around him makes sense that they'd quickly fall for each other. The best part, though, is when his sister shows up and the games really begin in earnest. Adapting a full-on assault with sexual and narcotic angles as their constant pill-popping or shoving a drink in her hands as well as easily any argument through sexual shenanigans, they manage to drag her pretty deep into a stupor that gets quite enjoyable as the games continue. As their blackmail scheme takes hold and she begins slipping further the continued back-and-forth nature that erupts as she tries to free herself manages to be immensely enjoyable and entertaining. Overall, these elements give this one quite a lot to like although there are some issues to be had here. One of the main flaws is the absolutely inane motivations for everything as the hypocrisy of their words doesn't match their actions. Repeatedly claiming not to do anything for money, this is belied when the final reveal is given about blackmailing her for the money. This causes plenty of outright annoying scenes here with the claims about not being interested in her money yet obviously ecstatic when they come across any of it, adding tons of hypocrisy on top of that irritation. These are the main flaws to be had with this one.

Rated Unrated/R: Full Nudity, Sex Scenes, Language, Mild Violence and drug use.

The Amityville Legacy

Above-average entry in the faked part of the franchise
Coming together for a family reunion, a large family finds that part of the celebrations include a treasured replica toy from their father's youth which inadvertently causes a past tragedy to come to light in a series of brutal murders that they soon realize is tied to one of the most shocking crimes in history.

For the most part, this was a pretty solid effort. One of the better elements here is the enjoyable release of the supernatural haunting on the family. Getting the heart and warmth of the family gathering for the birthday out of the way early on, the toy present he was given to him that starts everything is a rather fun idea as the scene makes for a generally creepy time with the hallucination and distorted reality. That this turns into a wholly impressive series of psychological mind-games involving him slowly being influenced by his father's spirit into an obviously unnatural yet barely acknowledged state throughout the course of the weekend. As time goes on and he gets even crazier while under the influence of the spirit, the slow dawning realization that he's knocking off the family due to that influence provides some thrilling scenes. This includes the ambush of the couple up in the bedroom or taking out the various family members as his frustrations offer up some solid scenes here. The series of chases and confrontations that appear here give this a much more rousing finish to this one which goes quite nicely with a hilariously metal finale coda to offer up a truly fun and cheesy effort which all holds the film up for the most part. There are some issues here. The main problem is the wholly unexplained matter of how he comes under the influence of his father's ghost as the acceptance is completely nonsensical. That he appears out of nowhere telling him to begin killing the family is entirely coincidental and has little about it that becomes coherent about following the toxic masculinity-spouted by his spirit. This whole reasoning is quite illogical, just like the somewhat obvious cheapness of display which covers most of this one, from the lack of being anywhere except the house or the lack of blood featured in the kills. These are the issues that bring this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language and Violence.

Shark Encounters of the Third Kind

Fun and enjoyable cheesy shark film
Upon arriving on Earth, a group of aliens decides to mind-meld themselves with a swarm of sharks in a small-town community and use them as guards while starting their full-scale invasion, eventually alerting the locals in the town who are already convinced of alien activity and force them to fend off the creatures.

On the whole, this effort is pretty cheesy and enjoyable with a lot to like. Among its better features is the wholly impressive manner this simply dives into the cheesy nature of what's going on here. The opening shots of the crazy alien ship coming to Earth, attacking the satellites in orbit and then melding psychically with the sharks after scanning the oceans around them gives a pretty decent indication of where this one is heading from the start as the corny scenario and campy effects bring about a real charm. As well, the lovably plush puppet for the shark in the middle of the attack is a perfect capper to the sequence as it looks completely different from the CGI creature used to show it swimming around in the depths nearby but also continues its sense of goofiness with the rest of the attacks and special effects used throughout the film. This one also manages to get quite a lot to like with those main shark attacks. From the opening shot of the divers being attacked by the creatures and chomped on leaving only bloodied fragments behind, the decision to focus on the cheesy side of the genre is apparent with the attacks on the swimmer in the ocean who gets out only to be chased back in by the aliens and devoured by the sharks, a lengthy sequence in the water staking the patrol boat looking for the second diving crew or the final attack on the treasure hunters where the various sharks remaining are used for a nice series of jump attacks on the surface picking people off the boat in more scenes featuring the puppet coming into play which gives off quite a nice cheesy atmosphere. All coupled with the finale involving the resolution to the divers looking for the lost gold as well as the series of the sharks going around attacking people and aliens alike in gloriously cheesy antics, there's a lot to like here. That said, there are a few flaws to be had. The main issue is a decided lack of explanation for anything happening here, with the big issue being the early scenes of the locals being involved in their exploits with the aliens. Most of them don't connect to any kind of storyline presented here as the invasion conspiracies are quite goofy with the abduction group being a coincidence much like the secondary plot involving the treasure hunter looking for the missing gold in the area. These would all be worthwhile if they moved the plot along instead of just eating up running time in the film as that's the main culprit for the objection without a lot of shark or abduction activity to get these done with. This also means the films' ending comes off as incredibly rushed with all the information about the purpose of their visit and abductions coming in the finale just before it ends as there's no build-up to anything and uncovering of what's going on, rather just announcing everything and leaving which is a bit of a disappointment. Featuring the cheesy and outright fake-looking effects that can be a turn-off as well, these issues are what hold this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.


Fine if slightly flawed home invasion effort
Awaking like usual for the holiday, a family trying to get through Thanksgiving are shocked to learn they've been targeted by a family of deranged and demented group of psychos and held hostage inside the house while they play psychotic games with the family until they finally decide to fight back against them.

This was a pretty decent and enjoyable genre effort. Among its better features is the absolute lunacy this brings up as an introduction to the depraved and demented members of the family which offers quite a lot to like. From the perverted grandparents constantly screwing each other, the hen-pecked husband who wants to get through the day without being insulted by anyone while his wife tries to stir his amorous affections, there's a rather demented and off-kilter atmosphere present here which is only enhanced by the wholly unrealistic behavior of the kids who are just as off with the perverted fantasies and under-the-radar drug use making them out to be just as troubled. It makes no wonder why they tend to bicker and fight with each other based on this early setup and it's all quite clearly matched by the antics of the intruding family who are just as deranged and even more psychotic. That goes a long way towards making the home invasion even more fun as they manage to just come off as the deranged kind to be quite intriguing with the antics on display. Not just content to waving guns around and asserting their authority over them because of that, the way they take over and force them into depraved games for their amusement offers up some fun times involving the sexual antics with the two kids and taunting threats towards the adults. Featuring plenty of brutal yet smartly non-lethal torture tactics from being brutalized with their guns or chopping their fingers off in front of everyone while generally acting like a deranged group of psychos offers the kind of generally enjoyable. As it goes on and they start offering up different kinds of tricks to keep the family from getting an upper hand as they foil their escape attempts for help or turning the tables when they try to get their house back, letting this one get some nice bloodshed and sense of carnage when this goes along. The short running time also helps, giving this one plenty to like about it. There are some issues to be had here which hold this one down. The main issue is the non-threatening group of psychopaths who are completely random in their actions, have no real game-plan and are not very imposing physically which is what requires the guns so anyone could've taken them in a fight and have a fair chance against them. That doesn't inspire fear and a lame attempt to try to do so at the end is too little too late to try that, which also tends to feature the other flaw in the weak ending to this one. The wholly stupid notion of not pressing the upper-hand when they finally have that is completely asinine when they stand around holding larger weaponry against the dwindled and scattered psychos who are now fighting with each other that offers up even more points to press the advantage they never follow-up on. That it devolves into a gunfight is unnecessary and just moronic which makes it hard to root for them at that moment, which is all that really holds this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.

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