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Since I started the website I've done a Slasher marathon every summer. This time I thought I'd start things off in the first week of...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Graveyard Disturbance (1989)


edit: Instead of a trailer, which was impossible to find since this was made for Italian T.V. I linked the entire movie above. It was available on YouTube so I figured why not. 

Italian cinema, especially the horror/sci-fi exploitation stuff, can be an acquired taste. Sometimes the narrative seems weird, or the dubbing bugs the audience but if you can get past that there is a lot of fun to be had. Graveyard Disturbance is a prime example of this and as an added bonus it was directed by Lamberto Bava of Demons fame for Italian Television. 

The story starts off with a van full of kids ripping off a grocery store for some food. Basically, they shoplift and take off with the police in pursuit! It is implied that there is a crash but the next time we see them they are still trucking on down the road. That is until the van breaks down and they are forced to sleep in a creepy old abandoned church. Well maybe not that abandoned, as they soon find themselves in an odd bar that was built in the basement of the ruins. The locals are a bit weird, but the drinks are cheap, and they have food, so all is good.

Of course, things aren’t as they seem. Eventually the kids are challenged with the chance to spend the night in the catacombs below the bar. If they can survive the night, they win a big bowl of loot. Now that seems like some sort of setup to me, but these kids are pretty dumb. Before you can say “Hey wait a minute!” they are all running around being chased by all sorts of supernatural critters. Zombies, vampires, miniature werewolves… There is a lot going on. They even end up facing death itself before things are all over! 

First off, I have to say that the kid’s van has a sweet paint job! Really it kicks much ass! Now onto the serious stuff. Graveyard Disturbance has the feeling of a movie that was written with the motto “Let’s throw stuff at the screen and see what happens”. You get all sorts of goofiness being pitched at the audience. The creatures are plentiful and oddly grouped. My favorite example of this is the family sitting down for supper that is interrupted by the kids. There is no explanation as to who or what they are. And while some of the other creatures they meet are menacing these flee back into their coffins the moment dinner is interrupted. Yeah, they run away from the kids! Other creatures like the eyeball monster in the pit and the vampires seem to want to do them harm. What is the difference between them? We never find out. 

Speaking of the monsters I thought that the makeup effects work was really good. The mutant lady with tons of eyes and the creature wearing the Kiss t-shirt were highlights for me. You get a couple obvious dudes in a rubber mask moments, including the big finale, but there is quality here as well. Spoiler alert… There aren’t any kills. The ending is a bit goofy and seems to indicate that the kids beat death and crawled out of the ground. At least I think that is what happened. 

This isn’t a movie that you should try to figure out. It is more like a haunted house carnival ride. It is a bit random, but if you turn your brain off it can be fun. Not a classic movie but one that is worth checking out I recommend Graveyard Disturbance. 


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer





Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Fatman (2020)

 


I get a lot of links for trailers sent to me from friends, family, and people trying to sell me on their flick. Honestly most of the time I’ve already been aware of the movie or am total disinterested. But I always take a couple of minutes to check them out because you just never know. When I clicked on the trailer for Fatman and saw a crusty slightly pissed off Santa Claus movie where he does battle with a hitman, I was all in. Now this is the sort of holiday flick that puts a smile on my face.

The movie kicks off with this snotty annoying overachiever named Billy sending off a letter to Santa. He is a rich kid with an absentee father who steals money from his grandmother to hire a hitman/enforcer to intimidate a young lady into giving him her 1st place Science Fair ribbon because he doesn’t think she should have beat him. Yeah, the kid is a little sociopath with some serious entitlement issues!

Santa, played by Gibson, realizes this and poor Billy ends up with a piece of coal for Christmas. This leads him to send his hitman, portrayed by a scene stealing Walton Goggins, to kill Santa. We see that the hired gun also has an axe to grind with Santa because of his collection of toys made in Santa’s workshop. If that isn’t twisted enough for you, we also see that Santa is subsidized by the government to help stimulate the economy with his holiday cheer, but things have been off and the payments are much shorter then they need to be. So, the elves get hired out making circuit boards for the military’s latest jet fighter.

Eventually there is a big showdown at the North Pole with a lot of bodies hitting the festively snow-covered ground. Santa survives… because you basically can’t kill him. It is like he has mutant healing powers or something. Billy gets a visit from the titular Fatman where he is warned Santa had decided to become more proactive with his naughty list. What does that mean? I hope we find out in a sequel.

He takes the science fair very seriously
I loved this movie. It is so weird which I sort of expected with the crazy concept. Gibson is perfectly cast as the crusty worn-down Santa Claus. Goggins is awesome as the hitman and as I mentioned above steals every scene he is in. These guys are playing this material deadly serious and it works. In fact, I was expecting this to be a comedy and it really isn’t all that funny. Sure, the concepts of Santa’s workshop contracting out as a military supplier is amusing, especially the scenes with the Elves talking to the soldiers, but it isn’t played for laughs. This is more of an action movie with lots of blood spraying and bullets flying. I didn’t expect that at all when I sat down to watch Fatman.

Gibson and Goggins are the only actors doing a great job. Chance Hurstfield shines as the twisted little shit Billy. He is excellent playing what comes off as a prepubescent mafia boss. There is a real sense of danger with the character as you think he might have sent someone to kill his Science Fair rival’s parents in revenge for losing. Again, this could have been played for laughs but it isn’t. This kid is a great actor.

A few other things I wanted to mention. The plot is solid and paced very well. There isn’t a wasted scene between the opening credits and the big showdown at the end. The characters are well established, and the movie does some good worldbuilding setting things up so that the viewer can believe and more importantly become invested in what they are watching. The action sequences are spot on and executed well. There is enough violence to keep action movie fans interested. Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing that I don’t love about Fatman.

This is going to become a new Holiday tradition in my house. I think that Fatman will pair nicely with my other favorite Christmas flick, Die Hard. I see many Gibson and Willis double features in my future. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. I highly recommend it.

 

Ó Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

Monday, December 21, 2020

I Trapped the Devil (2019)


Sometimes I find crappy movies and sometimes they find me. This is one that thru no fault of my own I ended up watching. I could tell right away from the trailer that I was in for something not entirely bad, but probably mind numbingly boring. It just had that vibe and I was right.

A man and his wife, Matt and Karen, decide to stop in to check on his brother, Steve. It is Christmas… oh crap this is a Christmas movie! Anyway, they decide to check in on him as he lives at their parent’s old house all alone. Steve clearly doesn’t want them there and tries to get rid of them immediately. But they stick around and after some awkward silence he eventually lets them know he has someone locked in the basement. He believes it is the devil and that he is saving the world from all the evil that would result from him wandering the Earth. Also, the phone keeps ringing and Steve believes that someone is coming to set his prisoner free.

Cool setup, right? Not really because nothing happens. As I thought from the trailer it is a struggle to get thru I Trapped the Devil as it is one of the slowest flicks I’ve seen in a while. I have no idea what they were thinking with this movie. They never explain how Steve came to think the person in the basement was the devil. Why Matt and Karen don’t dial 911 right away to have the police show up isn’t adequately sorted out either. Heck Matt goes from “Oh My God my brother is crazy” to “what if he is right” in a matter of a couple of minutes without explanation. There is also a dream sequence that comes out of nowhere and seems to exist for the shock value of what happens during it. They don’t even try and tie the dream into the plot such as maybe the maybe devil in the basement is responsible.

I will say that the movie has a cool soundtrack and is shot beautifully. Though the basement scenes use red lighting that seems to cause some distortion in the digital cameras they were using. That I didn’t like, but the rest of the movie looks great. The visuals are bleak and seem to be setting the scene for some disturbing tale that never develops. I even think that the actors do a good job with the material given them as all three of our leads sell the story very well and seem like real people in a weird situation. Though again without a cohesive story this is all wasted.

I Trapped the Devil can be wrapped up with the phrase ‘All Style no Substance’. The technical stuff and acting deserved a much better story than what we get here and that disappointed me. Clearly, I’m not going to recommend this movie. If you want to watch something with a similar vibe but much better plot check out The House of the Devil.

 

Ó Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Wyvern (2009)


I’ve mostly been covering old seventies made for T.V. movies in these marathons. But I thought I’d switch things up with some newer Sci Fi channel flicks. And yes, I know they have some douchey way of spelling it now. Not going to do it… not ever! With that in mind lets dive into some creature feature goodness with Wyvern.

This is a very simple setup. You have a small Alaskan town coming off of ninety days without night, which is a thing that happens when you go that far north. Everyone is a bit jumpy and ready for a good night’s sleep so when a few locals start talking about a giant flying lizard swooping around no one really buys it. Probably should have since we the viewer know that there is a monster killing off anyone or anything that has the misfortune of crossing its path. The Wyvern, which we find out in a bit of exposition, is a Nordic dragon has been released from the ice due to that pesky global warming stuff. They need to kill it before it kills all of them and before the eggs they found hatch. Luckily our hero has some awesome big rig skills and a new truck that is perfect for the job. 

For a few years there the Sci Fi Channel was cranking out old school “B” monster movies like crazy. This is a perfect example of that as it follows the classic creature feature formula. An isolated group of victims/heroes, a monster that no one saw coming or believes exists, the flawed hero with a past, and a love triangle with a damsel in danger. Here we have an Ice Road Trucker (way to tie another popular show into the movie!) who is doing odd jobs and waiting for his replacement rig to be delivered. Clearly there is something dark and disturbing about how he lost the previous truck and his brother that will play into the big finale. 

Things don't end well for the doc!
We also meet the local doctor who is his primary competition for the love interest that runs the local café. Of course, he doesn’t have much chance of making it, nor does the local law enforcement who definitely are going to end up as Wyvern chow. Now don’t get me wrong in spite of being very predictable this movie does a good job of making you like the characters before they meet their doom. We also have some fun dialogue and set pieces that make the movie very entertaining in the sort of cheesy way that a flick like Wyvern should be enjoyed. Manage your expectations as a viewer and understand what they were trying to do with this one and you will have fun for ninety minutes. 

The creature is all CGI and for the most part looks decent on screen. Towards the end when it attacks the big rig there are a couple cringe worthy shots, but I feel like that is the equivalent of bad stop motion monsters in old school creature features so I’m willing to give Wyvern a pass on that. The kills are mostly off screen and you get a rubber limb here and there. Again, you really need to manage your expectations and understand what you are getting into with this movie. It is meant to be a silly monster movie and is exactly that. 

One final note before I finish up. The late Don Davis plays the local prepper/crazy along the lines of Bert Gummer from the Tremor’s franchise. This is one of the last roles that he filmed before passing away and it is a decent one. It was nice to see him chewing up scenery as the Colonel. He was icing on the cake, a cheesy cake filled with monster movie goodness that harkens back to the “bad” creature features that I grew up watching. I found Wyvern to be surprisingly fun and recommend that you check it out. 


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The best movies that I watched in 2020

It has been a while since I did a list for the website and since it is almost the end of the year I thought that I'd toss out my list of the best movies that I watched in 2020. Sure it has been a crappy year in general with conventions being shut down and theaters on life support as we all hunker down at home, but there have been some stellar flicks. I should also mention that this is a list contains some older movies that I just found this year which means not all of them were released this year. With the rules in place let me kick things off with the 10th best new to me movie...


10. Bad C.G.I. Sharks (2019) - This movie ended up not being at all what I had expected. Instead of a silly shark flick with a bunch of poorly rendered sharks swimming around the ocean picking off annoying characters it ended up being a really interesting story about a couple of brothers reconnecting all while being chased around town by some badly rendered sharks. I'm not doing justice to how great of a movie that this is. You can watch it for free on Tubi T.V. as of the writing of this article. I highly recommend that you do. It is worth your time. You can check out my full review here

9. Love and Monsters (2020) - A romantic comedy about monsters and the end of the world. Not since Shaun of the Dead have I seen such a wonderfully executed blending of the horror and romance. My wife, who normally isn't into monster movies, watched and enjoyed this one with me. This is a fun movie with cool looking monsters that also has a sweet side with a young man risking it all to reconnect with his high school sweetheart. This is a perfect date night choice for the horror fan trying to get their significant other.

8. Blood Vessel (2019) - Low budget horror movies are hard enough to successfully pull off. One set in the past, here during WW II, are even harder. Blood Vessel manages both extremely well. Here we have a batch of characters on a life raft after their ship is sunk by a U-boat. They end up on a mysterious Nazi freighter with some dangerous cargo. Great practical effects work and a creepy setting make for a must see movie. You can check out my full review here

7. Becky (2020) - Kevin James plays a Nazi who terrorizes a family, especially a young teen/pre-teen girl named Becky. Let that sentence sink in for a minute. While I was disappointed with them not going full on racist asshole with the Kevin James character I will admit I might be a bit jaded with all the exploitation movies that I've watched. Still his character is very effective and the ending is disturbing enough that I will be checking it out again soon. This is another great movie that everyone should see. You can check out my review here

6. Tremors: Shrieker Island (2020) - The Tremors franchise is one of my favorite creature feature series. I was excited to check out this latest entry and had a blast watching what appears to be the last adventure of everyone's favorite monster hunter Burt Gummer. Honestly the last thing I needed in 2020 was to see Tremors come to an end. I'm sure they might decide to continue things without Gummer, but it won't be the same. This is a must watch for Graboid fans. 

5. We Summon the Darkness (2019) - There has been a few movies that have come out in the last couple of years that have a distinct retro vibe to them. Either they are set in the past or have an old school vibe to them that makes it feel like they would have fit in on the shelves of a late '80s or early '90s video store shelf. This is one of those and in fact might be the best one of the bunch. Here we have some dudes going to a rock concert and hooking up with some pretty girls. They head back to their place to party and things go sideways on them. Lots of mayhem and fun are had along the way and we get a couple of fun twists and an excellent performance from Alexandra Daddario. Check this one out. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

4. Snatchers (2019) - This twisted bit of fun was a blind buy at a local big box store. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked it up and man did I have a blast watching. Here we have a high school girl giving into peer pressure and giving up her virginity to her boyfriend. Weird thing is that she gets pregnant... well that isn't the weird bit. The fact that she gives birth to some sort of alien or supernatural killing machine a couple days later is what is odd. This movie has a ton of fun gore, great creature effects, and some of the best dialogue of the year. If you are looking for a crazy bonkers movie to watch then this is the one for you. 

3. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019) - I'm a huge Kevin Smith fan. The guy makes movies with characters that I can relate to. Here we have not only Jay and Silent Bob, but other recurring characters all dealing with getting older. Part nostalgia and part growing up I really enjoyed it. I do wonder if the Reboot will speak to others like it does to me. But there are some funny jokes and performances along the way so if it doesn't pull on your heartstrings I think you will at least get a few laughs out of it. 

2. VFW (2019) - Up until late November this movie was at the top of my list. What we have here is a stylish siege flick with a bunch of vets protecting a girl who stumbles into the VFW from a bunch of drugged up whack jobs sent to kill her and retrieve what she stole from a dealer. Great dialogue, characters, a fantastic cast, and some decent violence/gore make for a fun time. This is as close as we fans are ever going to get to another John Carpenter flick so I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy. 

1. Fatman (2020) - Mel Gibson is Santa Claus. Worn out and cranky about how the world has turned out he is forced to subcontract with the government to make some circuit boards for their latest fighter jet to keep the workshop doors open. Walton Goggins is the Santa obsessed hitman hired by a little shit of a kid to kill Santa for leaving him a lump of coal. This surprisingly great movie could have been played for laughs but instead of silly they go for serious and it works. This is going to be part of my holiday traditions from here on out. You must check this one out. 

I thought that I'd also point out the movies that I dug but that didn't make my list. I call this my honorable mentions aka. other good stuff. Underwater is a fun Kirsten Stewart flick (never thought I'd say that!) with some Cthulhu action. The Mortuary Collection is a cool little anthology flick. Sweetheart is Cast Away with a female lead and a land shark! Rabid is one of those rare remakes that I think not only is worthy of the original but maybe surpasses it. Bliss is another flick from the director of VFW that I enjoyed almost as much and is an entirely different kind of movie. Patchwork is a wonderful mashup of Frankenhooker and Reanimator with the single greatest line of the year. "Send in the Owlcat!" Finally we get to Killer Racoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark which is a sequel to my favorite killer racoon movie ever, Coons Night of the Bandits of the Night. 

I hope that this list maybe pointed you in the direction of some movies you might have missed or want to revisit. Like I said earlier this year has been terrible. I know that I've missed seeing friends, especially the communal experience of going to a screening of an old favorite. Hell I even missed my occasional foray into public to see the latest Hollywood Blockbuster. Fingers crossed that 2021 gets us back to normal or at least some semblance thereof. Until that happens stay safe and have a wonderful holiday season. 

-John


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The House that Would Not Die (1970)

One of my favorite things growing up was checking out the made for television horror and science fiction movies that filled the schedule in the seventies and early eighties. I thought it might be fun to check a few more out here at Crappy Movie Reviews.

The legendary Barbara Stanwyck portrays Ruth Bennett who has just inherited an old New England home from a distant aunt. She brings her niece, Sara, with her to check the place out. The locals are friendly and very interested in the house. Not only is it historical but because her deceased aunt was a recluse and unfriendly no one has a clue what it looks like on the inside. This leads to a small party and a séance where things get strange. Sara becomes possessed by the spirit of a long dead girl that has something to share with them. Something that the house or perhaps something else in the house doesn’t want to be known. This leads to all sorts of shenanigans until at last the truth sets the ghost free!

I love old school ghost movies, and this plays out like one of those. You have a creepy house and a new family moving in only to discover their new home has a mysterious past. At first no one believes the haunting, but when faced with more and more proof they decide to help the ghost. But what does it want? This leads to them poking around the city archives, old newspapers and of course the spooky attic. Along the way paintings fly off the wall, doors creak open menacingly, and family diaries are tossed into the fireplace. These are the old Hollywood tricks that were used to create the atmosphere and vibe of ghost stories. Now we get jump scares and CGI nuns… Not a fan. Sorry about the mini rant, now back to the review.

Seances are never a good idea!
What is the big secret and who is haunting the house? I can’t really say more without spoiling things. Though I will say that when you are investigating a haunting and find that the basement has a false wall you can be pretty sure that someone is buried down there. We have all seen these stories enough times to figure that out. Still The House that Would Not Die does give us a cool twist and motive for the shenanigans that have been going down. While comfortably predictable I was still pleased by the ending.

I realize that I’m talking this movie up a lot. As I’ve already mentioned I’m a sucker for old haunted house movies like The Uninvited and The Haunting. This movie isn’t nearly as good as those but has that same sort of charm to it. There is something about a movie that uses doors opening slowly on their own and the wind blowing to give the impression that something unseen is with the characters that puts a smile on my face. Clearly this is the vibe that The House that Would Not Die is going for and they nail it. But if you don’t dig classic Hollywood chillers like this then this isn’t the movie for you. I enjoyed the movie but it likely isn’t for everyone. If you want to give it a chance I've linked to the YouTube link above where you can watch the movie. 

 

Ó Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

Monday, December 7, 2020

The Mist (2007)


It is strange that I’ve been at Crappy Movie Reviews for over three years now and I haven’t gotten around to review The Mist. From the first time that I saw it in the theater, which was frigid since the heat was broken, I’ve always liked this movie. The whole siege in a grocery store was a fun gag and that ending… damn. But I don’t want to spoil things so if The Mist is new to you stop reading this review and go check it out. Spoilers will be flowing freely from here on out. You have been warned. 

Thomas Jane plays David Drayton, an artist living in Maine. The movie kicks off with a big storm that drops trees and cuts the power. David grabs his son and heads off to town for supplies leaving his wife at home to watch things. Tagging along is his neighbor Brent who isn’t terribly friendly but has a smashed car to deal with. The three head to town and end up at a grocery store. While waiting in line a strange fog or mist rolls into town, the same one his wife had noticed rolling across the lake towards their house before he left. Another local named Dan comes running up bloody screaming that there is something in the mist and they lock the doors. 

Are you hooked yet? The rest of the movie is them discovering that yes there are dangerous and strange creatures in the mist that want nothing more than to make a meal out of them. This includes a mysterious tentacle monster, giant bugs, and spiders that spit an acidic web. As if fighting them weren’t enough to deal with in the store people start to crack and suddenly the local loony, Mrs. Carmody, and her rantings about judgement day begin making sense. This leaves us with David, his son, and a small group of survivors having to make the choice of what is more dangerous. The monsters in the mist or the people in the store. 

I’m a huge fan of the short story/novella that this movie is based on. Normally Kings work has had issues being transferred to the big screen, so I was initially worried if they were going to be able to capture what made the story so great. Not only did writer/director Frank Darabont do a fantastic job, but the one massive change he makes gives the movie an emotional gut punch that lingers with you long after the movie is over. I’ll talk more about that later in the review. 

The characters are written and portrayed in a manner which has you rooting for or against them. Jane is excellent as David Drayton with Andrew Braugher holding his own as the angry neighbor Brent Norton. Though just like in the story Norton makes a decision early on that shall we say removes him from the equation. He leads a group of survivors out into the mist sure that nothing is there. Well, you know how that probably ended for them. Toby Jones and William Sadler are also excellent in supporting roles. But really the best performance is from Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody. She manages to be as scary if not scarier than the actual monsters! Finally, if you didn’t know Darabont was also responsible for season one of The Walking Dead so we get a lot of familiar faces here including Jeffrey DeMunn, Laurie Holden, and Melissa McBride. 

So, we have a good adaptation of a bad ass story filled with characters we can root for. These are all great things and makes it much more suspenseful when they are put in danger. This is what the best horror movies do but that isn’t enough for Darabont. He follows thru with an ending that the story only hints at. Drayton, his son, and three others successfully make it out of the store and start driving south hoping to get out of the mist. They eventually run out of gas and we get a stomach twisting scene with no dialogue where he pulls out a gun and counts the bullets. He only has four. Saying he will figure something out and with the tacit agreement of the group he does the unthinkable. He shoots everyone including his young son. Then steps out of the truck and yells for the creatures to take him. There is a loud grumbling sound, and it looks like his wishes will be answered. Only the sound turns out to be a tank and the army is there collecting survivors and killing the monsters. This all happens seconds after he kills everyone. Holy shit did the movie get dark.

This ending is a kick in the butt!
The creatures in the movie are brought to the screen with CGI. Given how otherworldly they are supposed to be I’m okay with that. Plus, the CGI is well done. We get spiders, wasps from hell, tentacles, weird flying lizard creatures that appear to eat the wasps, and finally a giant-sized horror that stomps across their path as they are traveling. Seriously this is a Kaiju sized beast. While the creatures are great there isn’t much in the way of gore. We get some stuff after the fact like the lower half of a guy with some intestines, a few gnarly desiccated bodies from the spiders, and a guy who was used as a hatchery for the spiders. Not bad for a Hollywood flick but I’ve seen much bloodier monster movies. 

Between the story, characters, monsters, and that damn ending The Mist gets a huge recommendation from me. This is a great movie and one of the best monster movies that I’ve ever seen. Considering how many I watch that is saying something. If you have read this far, ignored my spoiler warning, and still haven’t watched this one you need to right away. Too many times fans like to assign classic to a newer movie. Here in my opinion, I think it applies. Check it out!


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer


Friday, December 4, 2020

Becky (2020)

 


Becky is your typical tween girl, I think she is thirteen, who is taken out of school early by her father. She is still trying to get over the loss of her mother and her Dad, played by comedian Joel McHale, is taking her to their lake house. This annoys Becky since she is angry her father is selling the place as it was apparently important to her late mother. He surprises her with the news that he has changed his mind and that they are keeping the house. Though that news is followed by the arrival of his new girlfriend and her son. Becky is not amused.

This family drama is only half of the story. We are also introduced to a skin head Nazi who with the help of some of his cronies breaks out of jail and murders a bunch of people on his way to retrieving a key that is very important to him. A key that was hidden at the same lake house that Becky and her family are currently spending the weekend at. Of course, she found the key when she was younger and has it tucked away with her other treasures at her clubhouse in the woods. Things get violent, nasty, and bloody as Becky decides to go to war with the men.

Where do I start with this movie? I suppose the first thing I should say is that there will be spoilers coming. This is one of those movies that is almost impossible to talk about without dropping some big plot twists on you. I’d recommend that you go watch the movie before reading any further. Seriously Becky is a great movie that I don’t want to ruin for you. Now that you have been warned I’ll continue.

The story is solid and paced very well. The characters are established quickly and effectively before being tossed to the action. We know who is who and the role they will play in the story. That said I love how the movie throws one huge twist at us. As the story develops Becky goes from your typical angry teenager dealing with the loss of her mother and her father moving on with his life to something else. Right away the story is drawing some interesting parallels between Becky and the killers.

Kevin James is awesome!
The fight at school and the prison sort of mirror each other and in a way begin to set up what happens later. Then of course we have the big speech from the Apex character (one of the killers) who tries to leave and warns Becky that the violence she is committing will “stain” her. When she finally snaps and starts murdering the men whom invaded her home, I did say there were spoilers, it seems logical. The ending with her sitting in the interview room clearly telling the police and social worker what they want to hear is disturbing. From the look on her face and the fact that we just watched her straight up murder people the movie hints that not only is she changed by the violence but that she sort of liked it. That is a cool twist.

Not subtle about him being a bad guy though...
Kevin James is fantastic as the racist gang leader looking for his key. This is a guy that normally plays the loveable goofball but is cast totally against type here. Not only does he pull this role off, but he is genuinely scary. The character isn’t just a unfeeling murderer but the movie also establishes that he is a charismatic leader that can manipulate his followers into doing some horrible stuff, including killing kids. I never would have thought that James would be able to give this sort of performance, but he nails it.

Lulu Wilson, the young actress that portrays Becky, is incredibly good. Her performance could have been over the top but is instead quite subdued. The more violent that her character gets the more glossed over and empty the look on her face is. This is so creepy and is by the end of the movie a huge kick in the butt. The girl wasn’t right to begin with, but we get to watch as she slowly snaps. The fact that this works at all depends heavily on Wilson’s performance and much like James she nails it.

In addition to two excellent performances, we get some violent deaths on screen as well as some implied offscreen. There is a death by craft supplies, an outboard motor to the chest, and an execution with a bullet to the head. That last one was really cold and sort of seals the deal on what we are watching. The fact that it interrupts another big speech from the Apex character sort of tells you where Becky is at by the end of the movie. But my favorite death in the movie has to be the ATV to the face. Well really by the time she rolls off and we see the results there is only half a head left. But still it is obvious what happened. There is also an awesome gag with an eyeball that is the most explicit and extended bit of gore in the movie. It was also informative in that I learned safety scissors aren’t the best way to sever an optic nerve.

Becky is a great movie that I’m going to recommend, but there is one thing that I want to point out. We have the Kevin James character being a racist Nazi whom we have already seen ordering his men to murder children. What I haven’t mentioned is that Becky’s father is dating a black woman, so when the bad guys show up I was expecting things to get really nasty. I mean a mixed-race couple… that had to be on purpose. Other than talking around the issue by using the idea of keeping dogs purebred and not “muddying” the blood this is basically glossed over. Why is our homicidal racist Nazi talking around this? Would he not take the time to be a dick about it?

I get that I watch a lot of exploitation movies which might have my expectations different from your normal movie viewer. I also understand that in the current climate that sort of language might not be acceptable and could hurt the movie’s commercial chances. But it just seems like an odd choice and a missed opportunity. If you are going to put a scumbag character in your flick, then go the whole way and make them realistically shitty. Again, that is just my opinion and, in the end, doesn’t affect my enjoyment of and recommendation for Becky. This is a great flick that I encourage everyone to check out and support.

 

© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

 

 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Crazies (2010)



Here we have another remake that does a good job acknowledging the original while ramping up the gore and violence. Before I spoil too much, I’ll just point out one thing. Like the Dawn of the Dead remake The Crazies also uses a bad ass Johnny Cash song in the opening credits. Maybe the next time someone decides to make a crappy Day of the Dead flick they should think about adding some Cash to their soundtrack. It certainly couldn’t hurt. Now onto the movie. 

The movie briefly shows us how the town is going to end up before jumping back to before shit hits the fan. We met David, the sheriff of Ogden Marsh, and his wife Judy who is the local doctor. They are expecting their first baby and are generally enjoying life in their small Iowa town. One day while watching the local high school baseball game a local walks out onto the field carrying a shotgun. David tries to calm him down, but it goes poorly, and he ends up shooting the man. The man was a recovering alcoholic, so everyone assumes he fell off the wagon. But then the autopsy comes back with him not having a drop of booze in his blood. 

Soon after this another man kills his family by locking them in a closet and burning the house down. Then more people start acting strange. When some hunters find a body attached to a parachute in the woods the David and his deputy go looking for a plane. They find one crashed in a marsh that feeds into the town’s water supply. Suddenly all communication with the outside world is cut, the army shows up, and people start to get crazier. Our survivors find out that the plane was carrying a bioweapon and when it crashed it was unleashed on the town. Who is sick and who isn’t? That is the question they keep asking themselves as they attempt to dodge both the army and the now homicidal sick people, all of whom are trying to kill them. 

I catch some heat for my love of Romero’s The Crazies, but I don’t care. I think that movie is a wonderful bridge between Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. So, my standards are pretty high, and this movie met them. The pacing is brisk as we get right to the good stuff and never have a slow spot. We see the beginning of the outbreak and watch as the town quickly falls apart. The script does a good job of keeping the characters in the dark until it is revealed by a scientist trying to get out of town exactly what is happening which also serves to fill in the blanks for the audience. By then they have already been thru hell and lost several of their own to the murdering infected. It makes for a fun ride.

If I had to make one observation where this movie was better than the original, it would be the crazies themselves. This is treated as a sickness that has stages. First the infected get real quiet and sort of disconnect with those around them. Then they seem to start with some obsessive behavior before finally snapping and calmly committing murder. Physically the makeup effects change as well. It starts with bloodshot eyes but ends up with pasty skin with veins showing thru. They do a great job of making this disease feel like it is running its course while destroying those infected with it. 

I dig the creature design.
The kills are plentiful in the Crazies with eleven on-screen and many more implied off-screen. Some highlights are a knife to the throat, a hanging, death by oil change, a couple pitchforks to the chest, and my favorite the bone saw to the torso. They don’t shy away from the gore and I appreciate that. The settings for some of the kills are a fun as well. We get people strapped to beds watching a crazy kill people (the aforementioned pitchfork) as well as a surprisingly creepy sequence in a car wash that ends with that hanging. Not only is the gore good but the kills are well thought out and creative. Not too shabby. 

What else can I say about this one. There is a fun cameo from Lynn Lowry who starred in the original which I enjoyed. There is also a fun gimmick with us watching a satellite zoom in and out that foreshadows what is about to happen as well as giving the proceedings some scope. The outbreak is much bigger than the movie shows us. I really can’t think of a bad thing to say about The Crazies. It’s a good movie and I recommend it. 


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Blood Freak (2020)

Before I start the review, I need to point out something to you the reader. The directors of this movie, Daniel Boyd and Tim Gross, are very good friends of mine. I write this because I wouldn’t want anyone out there thinking that I was shilling for them. When I review a movie, any movie, I keep things honest and would never try and put over a friend’s project if I didn’t like it. It would be dishonest, and in my experience, people see thru that bullshit anyway. So now onto the review. 

Herschel is tooling around Pittsburgh on his motorcycle when he runs into a chick, Angel, whose car has broken down. He gives her a ride back home listening to her Jesus talk along the way. By the time they get to her house he is converted. That annoys Angel’s sister, Ann, so she sets out to win him away from Angel. This includes getting him to smoke some primo weed that immediately gets him hooked. The only way he can support his new weed habit is to submit to the experiments from a pair of scientists that work for the sister’s father at his Light of God Turkey Farm and Science Farm. Before you know it, Herschel is transformed into a hideous Turkey headed monster that gobbles up anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path. Heh, see what I did there? 

Just in case you didn’t realize it this is a remake of an early seventies flick also called Blood Freak. It is a legendary, at least among certain bad movie crowds, example of the weirdness that was independent drive-in flicks. It seems like an odd choice to remake, but I totally get it. The original isn’t great so if you are going to remake something then pick a movie you might be able to improve on. Boyd, who also wrote as well as co-directed the movie, does exactly that with one very important choice. He cut out all the nonsense and picked up the pacing of the movie. While the original is only eighty-six minutes long it drags horribly at times. With this remake they have managed to fix that. There isn’t a single scene that lingers too long or is pointless and have trimmed six minutes off the runtime. That is a positive for me as a viewer. 

Despite being an independent movie filled with non-professional actors the performances are pretty good. We do get a few spots where some dialogue falls a bit flat, but for the most part its well-executed. This is especially impressive since Boyd doesn’t pull any punches and fills Blood Freak with some witty back and forth banter between his characters. There are some genuinely funny lines that had me laughing. Comedy is hard and I’ve seen enough independent movies attempt and fail to pull this off, so when I see one work I take notice. On a personal note I never thought that my friend Charlie Fleming was so damn funny, but here as Pops he drops some great lines and is awesome. 

The design of the Turkey head when Herschel transforms is every bit as silly as I would expect it to be. It looks good but also has just enough cheesiness that it feels right. I mean this is a cautionary tale about smoking “the weed” where our main character turns into a turkey monster. I don’t want to be distracted by nor do I expect some incredible effects work. The creature fits the story and helps to complete the vibe that I think Boyd and Gross were going for. 

I was very nervous about watching this movie. As I stated earlier, I’m an honest reviewer and I know that in the past I’ve pissed some people off with my coverage of their movies. Thankfully the guys made a fun and entertaining movie that I can totally get behind and recommend. If you want to check the movie out and support independent filmmaking check out the Blood Freak Facebook page here to find out how to order yourself a copy. 


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer



Monday, November 23, 2020

House on Haunted Hill (1999)


My series on remakes that I don’t hate continues with this rehashing of the William Castle classic House on Haunted Hill. They were going to be hard pressed to find someone to fill the lead role that was held down by Vincent Price in the original. They did a decent job, and it doesn’t hurt that this one is more of an ensemble cast. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

The movie opens in the past in a creepy hospital where horrible experiments are being conducted by a crazy doctor played by everyone’s favorite Jeffrey Combs. Some bad things happen, and the patients get loose murdering most of the staff and setting the place on fire. Years later a family purchases the place and tries to make it a fancy home, which of course is a horrible idea. This flashback morphs into a television show hosted by Peter Graves. If you have ever watched Mysterious Monsters, you will know why this is awesome.

After this is established, we then move onto the main cast. Much like the original we have a rich man, named Steven Price in a nice nod to the star of the original Vincent Price, throwing a party for his wife. They don’t like each other, and it is established that she has already tried to kill him a couple of times. The guests are all strangers and are offered a million dollars if they stay the night in the house. If any of them die, then their money will be split up by the survivors. You know that is sort of asking for trouble, right? There is some debate and the owner of the house, Watson Pritchett played by horror icon Chris Kattan (inside joke sorry…) gets stuck in the place when it goes into lockdown. They are trapped until morning with some homicidal ghosts. Not a great party if you ask me.

This is an example of how you should remake a movie. Much of the narrative is brought over from the original including the feuding spouses, the guests being strangers, and the attempted murder for financial gain. But then they add more depth with the fire and the house being a formal asylum. In the original the guests were really strangers chosen to be witnesses for the murder to help the murderess cover her tracks. While the murder plot is still in the story, we find out that the house reached out to invite the descendants of those who survived the fire. Yes, ghosts can use the internet in this movie! Also remember I said that most of the staff died. The house has some unfinished business I suppose. The fact that this is kept secret for a big chunk of the movie and when we get to the end the survivors share a special trait it makes a lot of sense. They took an already fun premise and built on it while keeping what worked. Why is that so hard for other filmmakers?

Rush makes a decent host for our ghost party
We get the requisite jump scares, and the sets are appropriately creepy. The kills are creative and fun but not too gory. There is an electrocution, stabbing, pencils thru the neck, and the evil wifey Evelyn is absorbed by a shadow. There are some post kill scenes that are fun as well with a faceless guy and a lady gameshow host put on display. Much of the gore is practical work and is decent but there is also some CGI that doesn’t hold up great. Overall, I was pleased with the kills, gore, and ghosts.

Let me finish up with the question that is always on people’s mind when a classic starring a legend is remade. Vincent Price chewed some scenery up in the original and was awesome while doing it. How do you replace him? Well first thing is cast an excellent actor like Geoffrey Rush in the role. He does a wonderful job. Then you surround him with a cast of actors that can help him carry the movie. Here we get Taye Diggs, Famke Janssen, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, Ali Larter, and Bridgette Wilson as our cast of victims. Toss in some work from Jeffery Combs and you have a lot of talent onscreen.

What we have here is a movie with some scares and a creepy vibe. The original is still my favorite, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch this bad boy every year around October. I recommend that everyone give House on Haunted Hill a chance remake or not.

 

© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

Friday, November 20, 2020

Dawn of the Dead (2004)


I suppose it was about time for me to get around to covering this one. There should be two things apparent to anyone that has been following Crappy Movie Reviews. One is Romero’s Dawn of the Dead is my favorite movie. Not my favorite zombie movie, or my favorite horror movie. It is my favorite movie period. Two is that I’m not a fan of remakes. Some have been okay but for the most part I’m not a fan. So clearly remaking my favorite movie means I’m going to hate it, right? Well not so much.

Sarah Polley plays Ana, a nurse who we are introduced to at the end of a long shift at the hospital. We do get some clues about a strange illness and somethings happening in the background that let the audience know something is up. Then she goes home and spends some quality time with her husband. They wake up the next morning and the cute little girl rips out the husband’s throat, he reanimates and comes after Ana. She makes her escape and drives thru a nightmare of death and destruction as the world has fallen apart overnight. She crashes her car and is knocked unconscious. How is that for an opening?

Eventually she is awoken by Kenneth, a cop trying to make it a nearby military base. The pair run into more survivors who warn them that is a bad idea as the road is filled with zombies. All of them end up in the mall where more survivors are added to the group. Some internal conflict happens, they make friends with a named Andy who is trapped in a nearby gun store, and eventually the zombies get in. Luckily, they had a plan and make a run thru the city towards a boat one of them has waiting in a nearby marina.

The cast is solid
While I really wish they hadn’t tried to cash in on Romero’s classic and it really annoys me that I have to now say “the original Dawn of the Dead” when speaking about my favorite movie I don’t hate this one. I’m a sucker for zombie movies that show us the initial outbreak, and this might be one of the best ever. The shock of everything going to hell overnight and then the brutality of the violence is amazing. The movie basically punches you in the mouth and lets you know that it is going for the throat. I dig that.

The cast is very good in their roles with Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, and Lindy Booth as highlights. But hands down my favorite performance and the one that pulls on the heart strings giving the most emotional impact has to be Matt Frewer as the doomed father. I suppose he is supposed to fill that Roger roll where a character you like is bitten and slowly dies. Though it is over a lot quicker in this movie. Frewer’s performance is excellent and the makeup effects used on him help sell what is happening. We also get cameos from Tom Savini, Scott Reiniger, and Ken Foree. There is also a reference to Galen Ross as well as the helicopter from the original Dawn of the Dead. Damn it I hate having to say that!

The zombies and makeup effects work are a mixed bag. We get a lot of CGI assists which is a bummer. I prefer my zombie movies to be filled with latex practical effects work. Though they do make up for it with some stellar practical effects work bringing the zombies to life. From the little girl with no lips, to the guy with the missing legs the zombies all have a unique look to them with many having the evidence of why/how they died. That is a nice attention to detail, though I wish the death scenes were less digital and more practical. Speaking of kills there is some mayhem. You get a stick thru the head, a poker in the eye, an exploding head, a girl’s torso gets split with a chainsaw, and lots of other mayhem. Oh, and before I forget I need to go back to the zombie design and mention my favorite zombie in the movie. A pregnant lady gets bit and we end up with a baby zombie birth! That was pretty cool.

Zombie baby rules!
A couple more things that I wanted to mention. The movie has an excellent soundtrack that includes some Johnny Cash, Richard Cheese, Jim Carroll Band, Disturbed, and believe it or not Bobby “Don’t Worry be Happy” McFerrin. The music is perfectly placed and adds to the fun of the movie. I was also impressed with how clever the dialogue is written and how upon repeated viewings I pick up more and more jokes that put a smile on my face. Writer James Gunn and director Zack Snyder did a wonderful job making a zombie movie. I really just wished they named it something different.

While it isn’t anywhere near as good as the original, I can still recommend the Dawn of the Dead remake to anyone looking for a good zombie romp. Good zombies, funny dialogue, passable gore, and decent creature design makes for a good time. Though if you haven’t seen the original shame on you and watch that first.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)



I saw this sitting on a shelf at one of my local discount stores and thought I’d give it a chance. I’ve never seen the first two movies, but this was cheap. I took it home and popped it in the old player to see what I had. First thoughts… not too bad. 

The movie takes place on the Eastern Front as WWII is winding down. The Spetsnaz are Russian special forces that have been terrorizing the German army. We see one unit setting up an ambush of a German column and after they successfully kill the enemy, they themselves are ambushed. We end up with a couple survivors deep underground in a German facility. The Nazis are experimenting with zombies and decide that the Russian commandos are a perfect way to test out the effectiveness of their latest batch. From here on out it is all violence and mayhem.

This is a perfect example of not trying to overthink your movie. The movie establishes the characters quickly, tosses the good guys into the shit, gives us some bad guy Nazis, and then lets the craziness roll. Seriously this movie is packed with all sorts of action as zombies get beat down, but not before they tear into the living. The plot is a bit thin, but they more than makeup for that with the action. Sometimes lots of well-choreographed fights are a fine substitute for plot. That said the whole idea of trained zombies as weapons is cool and the one we get to see the most is chained and used like a hunting dog. I just dig the whole thing. 

I realize that I’m maybe selling the story a bit short. Let me be very clear that the movie does make an effort to explain what is going on. We even have a Nazi Scientist that loves to chatter on to our characters what is being done to them. I believe that this is all supposed to connect into the earlier movies in the franchise, but I can’t speak to that. I can say that not having seen the first two Outpost movies took nothing away from my enjoyment of this one. 

The zombies look decent. These are less the mindless undead you are used to and more homicidal former soldiers who are twisted up and enjoy killing their victims. While we do get some munching on the humans don’t expect a big feasting scene as that aren’t what these undead are all about. Ignoring some very well staged battle scene at the beginning we get a respectable ten kills in Outpost III. Necks are slashed, guts munched, heads are bashed, another explodes, we get an axe to the noggin’, brains are blown out, and eyes are gouged. Most of these are in your face and done with practical effects work. I appreciated that. 

This is weird because while I enjoyed this movie, I don’t have any desire to track down the prior entries. Still I have nothing bad to say about Outpost III and can recommend it to anyone looking for a good violent zombie flick. It can be found easily and cheaply all over the place. 


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer



Thursday, November 12, 2020

Disaster L.A. The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here (2014)


Well I just can’t stop watching questionable low budget zombie movies. Sometimes they are awesome but most of the time they aren’t. Disaster L.A. is one of the bad ones. I guess that is a spoiler of sorts. But then again it isn’t going to take much for you to realize that. Hell, my plot synopsis should tell you all you need to know.

So, there is this party in L.A. with some friends hanging out. They are celebrating one year in the big city. The news starts to talk about some asteroids headed for Earth, but not to worry they are going to miss us. Given what I had to sit thru I really wish they would have. The asteroids are made up of water and when they hit L.A. they give off this noxious smoke. It kills some of the people who breathe it, while others are okay. Why? I have no clue. Those who die from breathing it become zombies who want to eat people. Being L.A. our survivors decide to go to the beach. That is about it.

This movie is the audience watching the cast run around empty parking garages, apartments, and hallways for most of eighty minutes. When they do venture out, we get to see cars driving leisurely in the background and the cast talks about the power being off while walking thru a shopping area that has lights blazing everywhere. Disaster L.A. is guilty of two of my biggest complaints about independent movies. One they tried to shoot a script that they didn’t have the resources for. You set your movie in a big city like Los Angeles and then have no way to have the lights off for you to shoot or to close a street? I get this is guerilla filmmaking and you were likely stealing shots without permits and I appreciate that. But this isn’t the kind of movie that you can do that with.

The Zombies are lame
The other big no no is the script or lack of one. Having the cast run from one spot to another without making any attempt to develop the characters or provide some goal doesn’t work. Their whole plan is to get to the beach and head north. Along the way the movie keeps having a character stop and sacrifice themselves because it is “the only way”. I get that movies like this use that plot mechanic quite a bit, but this movie does it not once, not twice, but three damn times! They clearly had no concept as to the story they wanted to tell. A good zombie movie needs characters to root for or at least some sort of plot arc for those characters to interest the audience. We get nothing near that in Disaster L.A. and it annoyed the hell out of me.

Terrible CGI gore
Time to talk zombie makeup and gore. The zombies are generic without a single memorable corpse among them. The kills are tame with most everything happening off screen. What we do get to see are a couple mediocre neck nibbles that wouldn’t have killed the characters, a guy getting shot and spitting up a mouthful of fake blood, and a bad digital cut of a guy getting hit by a car. We also get to see a guy missing part of his skull, but it is a painfully bad CGI effect. There is nothing here to be excited about.

I could keep going and mention the random footage shot from a car window of a pre-disaster city that is used to pad the runtime at the beginning, or the painfully bad dialogue delivered by the wooden cast of actors but do I need to? This is a bad movie and I’d recommend skipping it. I spent three bucks for the DVD out of the clearance bin and I feel cheated.

 

© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)



This is one of those wonderful movies from Europe that had several different names. I’ve watched it under The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue moniker, but it has also been released as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie and the oddly nonsensical Don’t Open the Window. Under any title this is a great movie, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The movie kicks off with us watching a man named George shutting down his shop and packing a few items up in a leather satchel. There is a creepy painting that a mysterious face appears in. Not sure why that is other than it is spooky. This is the face of the main zombie we will meet later. George hops on is motorbike and heads off for his holiday. Along the way he meets Edna who backs over his bike. He insists that she give him a ride to where he was headed to make up for it, which she does. They have to stop for directions and here is where things get tricky.

The farm where they stop is using an experimental new sonic radiation machine to kill off pests without using chemicals. They insist that the process can only affect the simple nervous systems of insects and other pests. Of course, we find out that when you die, at least according to this movie, your nervous system still functions rudimentarily. This means that the bodies get up and are filled with a homicidal rage. There is another funny bit with newborn babies also being bloodthirsty that they briefly touch on. The inspector doesn’t believe any of this nonsense and instead concludes that George and Edna are Satanists out to murder people because that somehow makes more sense to him. There is a big finale at the hospital where bad stuff happens… really bad stuff before it ends on a great “gotcha” ending.

Some great early gore
I’ve always enjoyed The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. The movie has a solid story that while is a bit vague about the rules when and why the dead rise mostly makes sense. This is one of those movies that creates a great atmosphere right away and maintains it until the end. We get a lot of wonderful set pieces including a spooking old farm, a morgue, and a great sequence in a cemetery. The characters are interesting though not fleshed out much. This is especially so for the George character that hates cops and the Inspector who thinks the worst of him because he is a degenerate with long hair. In fact, the Inspector doesn’t have a name and is just referred by his rank. That is odd, though sort of makes sense since he represents authority and isn’t so much of a character than a symbol.

This movie has a real anti-establishment vibe to it. George is rebelling against being told what to do because he just doesn’t like it. But as we see the rush to judgement and the way that the system works you can’t disagree with him. Between the Inspector and the government men that keep towing the party line about how the machine had to be tested before it was given to them, we see that those in the system are wearing blinders or at least not thinking for themselves. I find that kind of political message interesting and it is blended so well here that it doesn’t interfere with the kick ass zombie action.

Guts will be munched!
Speaking of that we get a very respectable eight kills onscreen. There are a few people getting choked to death, but we also get a nifty axe to the noggin’ someone gets shot, a copper gets his guts ripped out and munched on, but the best is the hospital operator. The zombies get her and tear her torso apart onscreen in one of the coolest early bits of gore you will see from the zombie genre. Did we see better later? Of course, but this was more explicit than anything that I can remember preceding it. It raised the bar and for that the movie should be praised. Toss in a couple fun post kill bits with a severed hand and a morgue attendant that has gone to pieces and there is enough of the red stuff to keep gore hounds happy.

I put The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue right up there with Romero’s original trilogy and Fulci’s zombie outings. If you know how much I love those movies (cheap plug… check out my reviews) then it shouldn’t be any surprise that I’m going to highly recommend this one. It is a must watch for anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of the zombie genre.

 

Ó Copyright 2020 John Shatzer