Good. Evil. I’m the Guy with the Gun. “Ash vs Evil Dead” review!

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Ash is back! The chainsaw for a hand, fouled mouth, Deadite destroying retail stock boy returns to face Evil with his boomstick once again after the last monstrous incident some 30 years ago. Trying to stay under the radar and not make waves amongst the ignorant living, Ash has sunk low into the drunken and fat state of barely living until he accidentally reads from the pages of the Necronomicon during a night of irresponsible reefer madness. Now, evil forces thrust Ash into an impossible position to which he’s unable to remove himself from and with the help of his enthusiastic co-worker Pablo, a loyal immigrant sidekick, and the pessimistic Kelly, the orphaned daughter of Deadite victims, Ash and his gun-toting, ass-kicking haphazardness crew will take the terrifying show on the road, tracking down a way to destroy this Evil and the Necronomicon before it swallows the world and release a demonic wrath that’s never been seen before!

Many horror fans thought the day would never come. A number of us believed the rumors were a myth, a hoax, or a bamboozling viral campaign set forth to stir up fandom and the water cooler conversation. Then, a trailer was released and Starz! brought “Evil Dead” back to audiences’ who wanted to relive the the havoc Kandarian demons, to an audience who wanted to expand more upon the mythology of Sam Raimi’s epic hero, and delivered to an audience who don’t even know who Bruce Campbell, the legend, is and why he’s important to the horror community.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” blends seamlessly into the series’ saga, pitting once again our chainsaw wielding hero against a body-possessing force that’s more vicious and blood thirsty than ever. Any and every soul is up for the shredding and ripping grabs when Kandarian demons are concerned while also new, unseen variations of Kandarian demons make a fashionably late appearance. This time around is slightly different than before as, unlike Ash and his unlucky bunch caught in evil’s clutches, Ash has willing assistance in Pablo and Kelly to form a battle trio and take on this evil head on. Ray Santiago (Pablo) and Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly) are a fresh contrast to an aging Bruce Campbell, but Campbell pizzaz and rudimentary quick-wit dialogue manages to steal the scenes. Campbell, Staniago, and DeLorenzo are joined by a fourth; an actress reuniting with Bruce Campbell from long ago in her own fantastical series “Xena: Warrior Princess.” None other than Xena herself Lucy Lawless dons a mysterious Ruby Knowby who holds a deeper understanding of Necronomicon.

Sam Raimi also makes his grand and spectaculr return to his rightful spawn. Raimi, Campbell, and long time Evil Dead collaborator Robert Tapert’s production company Renaissance Pictures, along with Starz!, are the chief production companies on the television series that was originally meant to be the third sequel installment of the “Evil Dead” franchise. However, the zany-comical horror writing and directorial style that only Sam Raimi can deliver was reproduced for the first episode of season one to recreate the devilish “Three Stooges” slapstick atmosphere bred for a brooding, yet hysterical, Starz original series. A handful of directors take the helm of nine more episodes after Raimi, with one of the “Xena: Warrior Princess” directors Rick Jacobson being the most recognizable name among the list, and once the story expands further into the season, a loss of slapstick buffoonery that trademarks Raimi so very well is lost, but doesn’t slow down the blood spattering carnage.

Starz! and Anchor Bay Entertainment’s 2-disc Blu-ray edition of “Ash vs Evil Dead” season one is available today at your local or online retailer! Presented in a HD 1080p widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio with an English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and a Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0 mix, the 10-episode, 294 minute runtime, unlimited goriness will soak into your funny bones right before shattering them into axe-cleaved pieces! Special features include an audio commentary on all episodes, Inside the World of Ash featurette, How to Kill a Deadite featurette, and the Best of Ash featurette. Plus, the release comes with a lenticular slip cover. Bring on “Ash vs Evil Dead” season two! Hail to the King, Baby!

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“Blood is Blood” Going into the Family Scrapbook this September!

Multicom Entertainment Group is releasing psychological family horror “Blood is Blood,” the first digital acquisition from under the horror banner channel “ThrillGoreTV.” “Blood is Blood” release will be on digital HD and VOD September 1st! Sooner than you think!

“For privileged siblings Brie, Daniel, Crew and Jess family has always come first. But when Crew (Danile DiTomasso) invites his girlfriend Sara (Kate French) into the family, distrust begins to bubble between the siblings. Seeing Sara as a threat, Brie grows spiteful and suspicious that she is being replaced… That is until the night Crew attempts to murder her in their family house. Traumatized, Brie is sent to a mental facility where she is tormented by hallucinations of Crew from the night of the attack. But when the visions begin to bleed into reality, Brie starts to fear that it’s not just her sanity that’s in danger, and she flees the facility. In a frantic attempt to return to her remaining siblings and warn them, Brie begins to uncover a trail of gory, sinister secrets that leads her to question whether she knows her family as well as she thought.”

Freshman film of writer-director Stuart Sauvarin and stars Fiona Dourif (daughter of iconic Brad Dourif), Kate French, Daniel DiTomassee, Andrew James Allen, Tessa Harnetiaux, and Caitlin Harris. Website: http://www.bloodisblood-movie.com/

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Can Evil Be Thwarted From Plaguing Your Family? “The Hours Till Daylight” review!

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Ever since he was a small child, Marco has been haunted by a malevolent presence inside his family home. The nighttime darkness has become Marco’s most feared adversary, staying up late and sleeping with the lights on has been molded into the normalcy of his life. While recollecting his childhood, a happy and tragic period in his life, Marco tracks downs and locates a Curandero, a Witch doctor of sorts, named Luis Ortiz, hoping for a resolution to the spirit’s relentless torture before Marco’s son becomes the spirit’s next target. The unorthodox Ortiz discloses a self-exorcising ritual that only Marco can perform to ultimately rid Marco’s family’s curse. Armed with ritualistic candles, a barrier of salt, the holiness of water, and a slither of courage, Marco transforms his childhood home into an evil eviction dwelling that will be the last stand.
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Director Jon Garcia’s first step into the horror genre with “The Hours of Daylight,” a ghost film through-and-through, starring Quinn Allen as Marco. Set within the confines and on the outskirts of Corpus Christi, Texas, Garcia’s uses the industrial and river-ridden backdrop to contrast a stark outline between the metal and the nature qualities of the coastal city, a demarcation dividing the otherworldly evil versus the organic man. However, the diverse landscape is only a embellished blanket over a lingering underdeveloped story written by Garcia. Marco spends much of the time wandering the land, pondering the what ifs of his past, and doing a lot of soul searching in order to build courage against a lifelong and unknown force, but the story goes stagnant for a good portion of the first two acts doing nothing to motivate and build upon an established character from early into “The Hours Till Daylight.”
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Interesting aspects of the film such as Curandero Luis Ortiz and the stricken girlfriend of Marco left a befuddled teaser in a Quinn-centered story. Dan Braverman (Dylan Dog: Dead of Night) portrayed the Curandero, a character whose disability, threatening protection, and greedy candor made a highlight when Marco comes calling for unconventional assistance. Braverman’s “gangster” charisma overpowers Quinn Allen’s timid and drab performance of a desperate man on a mission to do and try anything to end his family’s suffering. Marco’s girlfriend, credited to Sarah Jannett Parish, begin to experience the affects of Marco’s torment as the apparition clings onto her and their unborn son, pursuing a legacy of spirit attachment. Again, the scenes are brief and unexplored; these scene would heighten a clear and present danger that provokes Marco.
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I previously read that the slow pace of “The Hours Till Daylight” was well worth the wait at the finale. I disagree. The finale was better with a blue tinted, “not-of-this-Earth” force, naming itself Hate, makes a confrontal appearance when Marco challenges it and though the ghost effect does the job, final bout lets the air whoosh out, deflating any kind of tension and excitement right out of moment. Technical details crash Garcia’s initial horror achievement and its the little things that create an atmosphere. Garcia has an eye for horror, but not the eye it needs to be more defined in it’s training to capture the tiniest of details that makes a scene, or a movie, truly scary. Whether or not Garcia’s intentions we’re to display a blatant ghost thriller or to exhibit Marco’s severe mental distress stemming from the tragic loss of his sister and his emotionless father doesn’t matter if the film isn’t technically and emotionally sound. Garcia’s film isn’t technically sound and borderlines being emotionally there, but falters through the inconsistencies.
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Breaking Glass Pictures distributes the 84 minute not rated DVD of the Jon Garcia’s Lake Productions feature film presented in a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio on a singer-layered disc and the video quality is solid sans some compression artefacts. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix could you some work leveling out of the LFE with the audio tracks. The special features include an in-depth look into the behind the scenes of “The Hours Till Daylight,” the film’s theatrical trailer, photo stills, and other BGP promotional trailers. Overall, “The Hours Till Daylight” atmospheric creepiness bleeds in the conformity of filmmaking, offering nothing new and unique to the psychological horror thrillers. Director Jon Garcia has talent and ambition that needs tweaking and more experience in order to accomplish horror at it’s scariest.

Buy “The House Till Daylight” at Amazon!

Evil’s One Kaboom Step Away! “Landmine Goes Click” review!

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Three backpacking American tourists and good friends Daniel, Alicia, and Chris tour through the Georgian countryside, looking for that one last hurrah before Daniel and Alicia tie the knot. When the trip seems to be going well, Chris steps on an old landmine, leaving him grounded and motionless to the spot. The next series of events will determine their fate as an psychopathic local and his Rottweiler happen upon the frightened and helpless Americans. Caught in a maniac’s twisted game, their only chance for survival is to play by the local’s Machiavellian rules or otherwise take their own life-risking chances by stepping off the a shrapnel-exploding, flesh-piercing, life-ending mine.
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“Landmine Goes Click” bares no one identity. The Georgian thriller from director Levan Bakhia cleverly abridges four genres together, resulting in one intensely merciless story of unfortunate and deadly circumstance intently set to destroy one’s emotions. Bakhia teams up again with writer Lloyd Wagner, both who’ve previously worked on heated horror chiller “247°F,” and are joined by Adrian Colussi to substantiate a story that’s dices through a range of plot subdivisions from thrilling and exploitive to revengeful and tragic.
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Kote Tolordava, the late Georgian actor who tragically died of a heart attack shortly after filming, defines the look and the manner of a sleazeball psychopath. A straggly comb over laid upon unkempt shoulder length hair with a stubbly five o’clock shadow that rests beneath a bushy Georgian bred mustache combined with an over extended gut stretching a bulbous silhouette in a white under shirt that’s covered with a breast opened, military-like navy colored coat sizes up Tolordava’s Iiya character as a harmless human joke, but pair that look with a loaded Remington, a muscle-laden Rottweiler, and a taste for taking advantage of the situation and you have a maniacal genius ready to reap the benefits of your misfortune. Tolordava’s wears Ilya’s clammy skin as if it’s his own, playing the local kook with a sadistic hard-on.
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But Sterling Knight, as Chris, carried the film to a jarring conclusion, especially in the last acts. My initial reception of Chris was a big question, why does Chris, whose unable to move from the landmine, severely antagonize a creature like Ilya? Once the characters progress to a level of no return, to a level of depravity and maliciousness, understanding Chris was no longer an enigma and how Chris follows up with Ilya begs, absolutely begs, for retribution. Knight’s day and night performance tells tales of his acting talent. Don’t let the youthful face, the deep blue-eyes, or the Justin Beiber vocals fool you, Sterling Knight demonizes handsomeness.
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With Tolordava and Knight, Spencer Locke, K-Mart from “Resident Evil: Extinction” and “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” had the toughest role to be burdened with as Alicia being an object of affection for not one, not two, but three characters and, in two of characters’ cases, in a malevolent way. Locke’s scenes were the most difficult to gape at, but her character ends up being the driving force behind almost everything that happens, even to divulged information prior to the beginning of this film to which we are not privy. Alicia is essentially the epicenter that crumbles the foundations of lives around Daniel, Chris, and even Ilya and like an epicenter, Alicia becomes the butterfly effect that ripples devastation from a single event. Like I said, a role that bares a heavy burden.
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Bakhia utilizes effects that can be easily overlooked. His use of miniatures of the Georgian countryside, compositing them with the live action motor vehicles, is a stunning visual, alluring to our minuscule selves in the world. Also, the director, I noticed, does many long takes by swerving the camera from side-to-side that may consist of a stationary position or even tailing to characters, obtaining individual reactions and letting the scene play out without as much as a single edit for a lengthy period of filming. My first experience with Bakhia at the helm isn’t spoiled with gaudy gore or an outlandish unrealistic script; “Landmine Goes Click” thoughtfully provokes our inner animal and is constructed and edited similar to the style of Oscar winner Martin Scorsese. No film goes without flaws as I thought some of the fade to black editing was oddly placed and the overlapping during genre transition didn’t settle with the mood at the time. However, I’m not a big fan of exposition, but I thought there was enough exposition to get us through on how Chris managed to step on a landmine and also to what really happened to Alicia. Any more footage would have been overkill, making the 110 minute runtime that much smoother.
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“Landmine Goes Click” rightfully found a home as an Icon Home Entertainment Frightfest Presents. Spurred with volatile tension and a dynamically charged cast, “Landmine Goes Click” is the tip of the Levan Bakhia ice berg and watch out for more films from Sterling Knight, an actor that can steal a scene, or in this case, a movie right from under another talented actor Kote Tolordava. Since the disc sent to me was a screener, I am unable to review the audio and video qualities, but I can say that there wasn’t much bonus material aside from an introduction of the film by Frightfest’s Alan Jones and Paul McEvoy and the other Frightfest film trailers. Like a good concealed explosive device, “Landmine Goes Click” exploitatively shreds through your soul, cleaving barbed shrapnel to linger and rot in the confined spaces of psyche.

A Romantic Getaway Turns Evil! “The Perfect Husband” review!

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Nicola and Viola attempt to escape their dismal past involving losing their child at birth, traveling to an isolated cabin in the woods to rekindle and reconcile their bitter relationship. Once there, Viola feels a menacing presence lurking amongst the trees ever since arriving. As the strain on their past and present union becomes nearly too much to bare, tensions overflow with jealously and bewilderment that turn the delicate situation into an explosion of violent behavior. A cat and mouse game of carnage and death follows the couple through the dark woods toward a bizarre and psychological ending that reveals the true nature of their disturbing affliction.
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Director Lucas Pavetto’s “The Perfect Husband” is an Italian psychological horror film from 2014 starring “Nightmare Code’s” Bret Roberts and Gabriella Wright and based off Pavetto’s short film of the same title. Even though “The Perfect Husband” is an Italian birthed film from Italian production company DEA Films, “Il Marito Perfecto,” the Italian title of “The Perfect Husband, has a crew, aside from Pavetto hailing from Argentina, that maintains the country’s native ethnicity. London born Gabriella Wright, who masks her English accent very well, co-stars alongside the Alaskan-American Bret Roberts; both actors could certainly pass having Italian heritage with their olive skin tone and dark features elsewhere and with filming location set in Catania, Sicily, the actors fit right amongst the rugged and mountainous Sicilian landscape. Roberts has a low-raspy articulation that makes him seem always out of breath that transitions beyond the catalyst, but Roberts plays villainy insanely well. Wright maintains a cryptic temperament from start to near finish. However, the duo’s dynamic is quirky at best as the couple treat themselves more a boyfriend and girlfriend than husband and wife, which might be a product of the writing.
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Lucas Pavetto and Massimo Vavassori go fairly formulaic with their script, writing about strife-stricken couple working out their marital issues alone in a remote cabin surrounded by a dense forest. The setup screams horror premise clockwork and attempts to shift gears after lengthy character development that takes some time to build into something concrete, or at least halfway tangible. The shift in disposition is, however, so rapid and so sudden with unwarranted ferocity, that the effect goes from a scale of a tense filled two to a run-for-your-life ten in a matter of microseconds. The series of events portray Bret Robert’s character Nicola as a jealous misogynistic ready to snap at any given moment while Viola’s mysteriousness and her unconscious readiness to break with reality puts an undisclosed strain on her psyche that what she experiences may or may not be real. A twist ending tries to fill in the Nicola and Viola omissions, but misses the mark that still leaves gaps here and there, especially conveying more about the events that took place at the refugee station between Viola and the Ranger, played by “Apocalypse Z’s” Carl Wharton. Perspective becomes surreal; a fantastic journey that terminates toward a twisted unveiling, leaves more questions than answers about Viola and Nicola prior to their weekend getaway.
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Plausibility. Probably “The Perfect Husband’s” fiercest enemy as the story tries to turn itself upside to throw the audience for a loop. The disillusion feels cheaply thrown together to try and wrap up, what could have been, a thoughtful psychological thriller and that’s where plausibility doesn’t formulate, frustratingly feeling like an square box with only three sides and a gap left carelessly open. I wanted to like “The Perfect Husband” because I thought the mayhem was present at the beginning moment of the snowball effect. Everything went down, fast and furious style, with unforgiving brutality that was surprisingly gory at times.
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“The Perfect Husband” has been honored an unrated Blu-ray release in a 1030p transfer presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio from the ever bold Artsploitation Films. The video has a slight grayscale imbalance that contrasts scenes a bit heavily, but other than that minor issue, the image looks solid. The English 5.1 surround with optional English subtitles is also solid with a balancing the appropriate tracks. Bonus features include a behind the scenes segment that exhibits the takes of scenes in and outside of the cabin. The original short “Il Marito Perfecto” is included along with trailers for upcoming films from Artsploitation Films. Turns out “The Perfect Husband” wasn’t perfect, but raw, exploitive barbarity is a must see for any violent hound in need of a good scratch.

Own “The Perfect Husband” on Blu-ray. Available at Amazon.com!