Hellbent on being the first to discover something big between 1000-feet, talented marine biologist and ecologist, Olive Crown, constructs a convincing case in a video hiring application to test a deep sea diving suit invented by Dr. Fletcher, but a harrowing encounter with monstrous creature at 2500 feet nearly claims Olive’s life. Blamed for a botch dive and unable to remember the incident, Olive has been fired from her dream position, but when she double checks the dive suit for evidence of what might have happened, she discovers an alien substance, an egg-like object, attached to the outer layer and smuggles it home. The egg hatches to birth a blood thirsty, Cthulhu being that has marked Olive as in a symbiotic relationship as protector and mother. Olive senses everything the creature does, even it’s hunger, and caves in to her discovery’s need to feed with those who antagonize Olive and her creature baby, but at an alarming rate, the life form grows into a mammoth creature and Olive might be losing the perspective of who is really in control.
“The Creature Below” puts a spin on a popularly wild H.P. Lovecraft tale and adds a notch into the belt of the Cthulhu mythos. From director Stewart Sparke in his first feature film comes one woman’s tragically macabre endowment that runs amok through the uninteresting confines of her own life and obliterate it from within. Co-written by Paul Butler, the British Cthulhu feature, “The Creature Below,” melds together a very grand unearthly story into the restrictive walls of an unwanted love triangle Olive’s involved in while dipping toes into also being a pre-Romero zombie film with the automata slave. Though very modest in story and budget, “The Creature Below” is an itsy-bitsy speck in a bigger mythological genre and that’s usually the case for indie Cthulhu flicks, as they should be, because giving a little mystery to Lovecraft’s myth tends to build worlds later, sparks the imagination aflame, and leaves a lasting impression long after the movie is over.
Anna Dawson stars as Olive Crown, creature’s foster parent, and Dawson’s first impression of Olive emits a fierce, go-getter ecologist, looking to make a name for herself in the deep dive exploration field. That egotistical drive tapers off a bit once she’s canned for botched dive, delivering a more humble and reserved Olive Crown, but Dawson puts on the sunken-eyed, icy-cold skin that’s clammy and deadlike in order to fulfill the infant Cthulhu’s bidding. Daniel Thrace embraces the lovably sweet boyfriend, Matthew, whose sensible, charming, and overall nice guy. The pair are complete oil and water, a welcoming dynamic, when Olive’s rationality goes off track. Olive and Matthew are really the only two developed characters as, disappointingly, three considerable major characters don’t build too much of a reputation to warrant their value, especially with Olive’s sister, Ellie, played by Michaela Longden. There’s something more between Ellie and Matthew that doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head and there’s also more to her staying with her sister, Olive, that the audience is not aware of and the scenes where Olive comments on her sister’s freeloading just loses all it’s credibility. The other two actors, roles awarded to Johnny Vivash and Zacharee Lee, are more involved in Olive’s deep sea dive and bring more of a well rounded antagonistic or betrayal personality to the table.
Sparke doesn’t linger too long on the creature, shielding it mostly behind a plastic tarp with a nude façade and that’s, perhaps, more in line with the micro budget constraints. In any case, Sparke focuses the story around Olive’s paranoia and obsession with the creature and with her boyfriend and the bitterness between him and her Sister, Ellie, seemingly toward Olive. Dave Walter has composed from start to finish a low and slow synth soundtrack, that’s familiar to a slowly anticipating heartbeat, and really heightens Olive’s spiraling paranoia similar to that of Ennio Morricone’s work on John Carpenter’s 1982 remake entitled “The Thing” where the eerily sounds of a personified isolation breaches every corner of your body, mind, and the dark room you’re in and all you can hear is that thump…thump…thump in a chest vibrating synchronicity of tones. While the soundtrack is riveting throughout, the story becomes a bit sluggish around the midsection in the sense that space and time don’t exists and Olive’s encounters with Dr. Fletcher, Dara, and various others, are halted to develop any kind of affluence amongst each other or with the audience. Even the ending, which I do adore on a certain level, bares the mark of being incomplete and devoid of substantiating that monolithic ending. There is some post-view satisfaction with the blend of practical and computer generated special effects and as I reflect on the film as a whole, to display a species from birth to adulthood, Sparke and his special effects team had amazing results that are fanned out well enough to leave a lasting impression of the unearthed creature’s visceral and intelligible girth.
Breaking Glass Pictures with Dark Rift Films in association with High Octane Pictures release “The Creature Below” onto DVD. The 16:9 widescreen presentation of this sci-fi horror thriller explores a sleek and clean, with a hint of being just a little hazy, picture that puts forth the appropriate dark grey and blue tone for an underwater or above water creature feature. The English Dolby 5.1 sound’s slightly muffled, but solid. Special features include a behind-the-scenes, deleted scenes, “Rats” a short film, and a Frightfest Q&A. Stewart Sparke’s “The Creature Below” is not perfect and does have appalling, laughable moments, but underneath the surface is a UK film that’s budget-busting bold and aims to be a goliath in an indie market.
Alex and Jane just graduated college with an uncertain future ahead of them. In financial debt with no aid from their family because of their lesbian relationship, Alex can’t shake the uncomfortable sensation that her life spirals down an unknown path. Jane’s optimism stems from the upcoming reboot woodland retreat with friends. Booze, drugs, and a whole lot of sex is planned to escape reality’s harsh unforgiving grip. There’s only one problem. A creature lurks in the woods, sniffing out the moment of vaginal penetration, and ripping to shreds the naked, sweaty bodies that were entangled in raunchy passion. A jock, a cheerleader, a geek, a stoner, and a pair of lesbians are the familiar horror film tropes fighting for their very lives in a grisly battle against a ghastly man-beast.
“Don’t Fuck in the Woods,” an alluring cavalier horror film title, is the indie project from writer-director Shawn Burkett. Burkett’s crowdfunded low-budget venture doesn’t piddle around the subject matter with interpretive titles or undertone stories. Burkett, with every intention, aimed his sights on developing the most proverbial scenarios of horny young folk in the woods being stalked by an inhuman monstrosity and achieved great success while also topping his film off with a sexually explicit cherry, defining “DFITW” as every young boy’s wet dream with gratuitous nudity and blood splatter mayhem! In fact, nudity, at least in my belief, outweighs the creature in screen time with the majority of the female cast baring more their breasts than the creature bares it’s teeth.
Brittany Blanton and Ayse Howard lead in the lesbian roles of Jane and Alex and are the only two actors to have characters to have some meat on their depth chart. Hence, why they’re in the lead role shoes. Blanton and Howard alternative style spills into the rest of the cast pool. Roman Jossart, the stoner, naturally gushes with wit and delivery that makes the sweaty, large, and overly perverted character very likable. Then there’s the inexplicable Nadia White. The “Give It To Me Grandpa” actress (look it up in Google) wears many shameless hats off screen, from modeling to fetish porn, but the stark blonde who once wrapped herself completely in duck tape except for her massive boobs, dons a hardly uncharacteristic character whose attached to the hip of her tall, dark jock boyfriend Conor, played in a debut performance by Brian Cornell. Hannah Herdt picks up the geek trope with credulous rant about iconic scream queens and their rise to fame without having to bare it all on screen. Kayla Stone, Brandy Mason, Derek Wehrley, and Scott Gillipsie in a dual role as Luke and the creature round out the rest of the “DFITW” cast. What I love about this cast is the fact they’re not these super slender and fit individuals with four, six, eight-pack abs you typically see in horror films. Instead, each one has their own little mid-section cupcake pudginess or pooch and that’s okay!
Above paragraphs contain praise for admiration and passion toward everything that’s right about “DFITW,” but there’s also plenty to dislike and many viewers, and reviewers too, have spoken publicly their harsh negativity. In a more constructive criticism, the first point is that Burkett’s film has no real logical story structure. Why should we care about these characters who trek into the woods, bone like rabbits, and then become lunch meat for an anti-fornication fiend? Secondly, the editing and special effects need firming as some kill scenes felt unnecessarily rushed and prolonged terror scenes didn’t really induce the terror, requiring that edit to break apart the monotony of the scene. The cheaply made creature passes, but the imperfections in the latex, or whatever material it was constructive of, can be clearly captured. Which leads me into the Alfred Hitchcock quote at the beginning of the film, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” The anticipation of the creature was sorely absence as much of the film focused on the group and their shenanigans and didn’t give the creature much hype, reducing it to a powerless vessel until rearing that jacked up Ninja Turtle head into the campers’ den.
Concept Media and Shawn Burkett’s “Don’t Fuck in the Woods” is a horror homaging and referencing machine, spitting out as much time-honored horror movie no-nos and final-girl conventionalism as one film can, but the story feels hollow inside and doesn’t offer worthwhile character development in neither protagonists or antagonist. Definitely the title, and even the film as a definitive whole, borders that thin line of becoming a ridiculously bad, but very interesting, parody porn, exploiting the rules of the slasher genre and having little-to-no girth of a plot. Roman Jossart’s hilarity, notable “Predator” references and remarks, and the fair amount of fair skin saves this exploitive film from being a total loss and, as well, the overwhelming communal participation and support to have this film see the light of day is absolutely amazing as a title like “Don’t Fuck in the Woods” would financially scare the money bag pants off any potential backer. You can see “Don’t Fuck in the Woods” on Vimeo On Demand by clicking the link below!
Four dark and terrifying tapes tell tales of a petrifying horror through the camera lens of various found footage assets. Whether between the bleak, grim nature of disturbed mankind or the ominous, otherworldliness of menacing creatures, each story’s ultimate objective is to expose what lies behind the scenes, to shine a light upon what lives shrouded in shadows, and to unearth what lurks in the mind’s subconscious. At first glance, the dark tapes might seem uncorrelated, but at closer examination, the tapes share a deep rooted evil that connects every afflicted recorded event and makes one think twice about their perception on reality.
“The Dark Tapes” are a formidable found footage anthology that resembles a familiar “V/H/S” layout under the meticulously constructed eyes of co-directors Michael McQuown and special effects guru Vincent Guastini (Child’s Play 3). Scripted by the anthology creator, Michael McQuown, “The Dark Tapes'” four interlocking episodes will leave inside you a paralyzing case of nyctophobia as the genre-spliced anthology has no shortage of bone-chilling creepiness; in fact, “The Dark Tapes” epitomizes the very term and with an alternate universe mixture of ghastly ghouls, ghosts, and grisliness, the extremely exhausted found footage genre might have discovered some new, and much needed, life before being on the brink of a near death extinction in this quaint independent production from Michael McQuown.
The three internal tapes, directed by McQuown, are entitled, and in this order, “The Hunters and The Hunted,” “Cam Girls,” and “Amanda’s Revenge” with Vincent Guastini’s external wrap around segment, “How to Catch a Demon,” being broken into four parts between each tape and each tape should be viewed in complete and utter darkness to achieve maximum level of pants-pissing fright. Your overworked heart will skip with long deadly pauses in between, your lungs that keep you breathing will cease to provide breath, and your mind will warp to unfavorably play tricks on your eyes from an unrivaled nightmare witnessed on “The Dark Tapes.” The full body-stopping, comatose-inducing effect can’t be accomplished without the collaborating cast that includes Brittany Underwood, Tess Munro, Stephen Zimpel, Meredith Thomas, David Roundtree, “Sushia Girl’s” Cortney Palm, Anna Rose Moore, Shawn Lockie, Jo Galloway, and Michael Cotter to just name a few.
Much is right about Michael McQuown’s “The Dark Tapes.” Always welcoming practical effects are better than most indie ran features, especially in the anthology category, and the effects can best some lower-end Hollywood productions inside eye-glueing, on the edge of your seat narrative designs that are smart, gripping, and definitely heart-stopping scary, but to be somewhat of a devil’s advocate, the acting was overall a bit stiff across the plane with an awkward uneasiness in the vary of lackluster performances and overzealous deliveries that petered scenes from reaching full potentials. Production wise, “The Dark Tapes” impress inside the sets of bland reoccurring locations, but coincide them with a vast amount of timely, well placed special effects that quickly mutate the stark locations and the uninteresting backdrops turn into vivid portraits of hell.
The Thunder Road Incorporated produced, “The Dark Tapes,” has been slated for a worldwide video on demand distribution release come this mid-April after a theatrical stint this past March courtesy of the Epic Pictures Group. VOD platforms include Google Play, Vudu, iNDemand (Comcast- Xfinity, Time Warner, Cox, Bright House & more), Dish TV, Amazon, Vubiquity (Verizon Fios, Charter, Sudden Link, Media Com &more), Xbox, Playstation, Sling TV & Vimeo. Unfortunately, I was provided with an online screener of the festival favorite and can’t necessarily comment on the video or audio qualities nor any bonus features that might be available on a home entertainment release, but I can firmly state that, visually, “The Dark Tapes” is the Haribo of horror eye-candy with the different flavors of thrilling genres in a pint-sized package and while a little tame with the cherry red graphic content, director Michael McQuown seizes the opportunity to instill an open faucet of fear rather than tease with gore and sleaze with sex. If I had to recommend a horror anthology for 2017, “The Dark Tapes” would be on the very short list.
I want you all to try to go back to 1996. You just got your Playstation and you picked up the newest game called Resident Evil. You know nothing about it and when you start playing you have a wave of emotions hit you. You feel fear, excitement, and anxiety; but yet you keep playing. You were just introduced to the world of Survival Horror. Now it’s 2017 and we are now into seventh main installment of the Resident Evil franchise and sort of a moment of truth for Capcom. Last few years have been rough for Resident Evil so lets see how the latest installment stands.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. It is the seventh main installment in the Resident Evil series and was released on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The game takes place in the fictional town of Dulvey, Louisiana. You play as Ethan Winters who goes searching for his wife 3 years after her disappearance. The only information you have of her location is at the Baker estate, this is where your nightmare begins.
There is no denying that the RE engine is amazing. Resident Evil 7 passes with flying colors when it comes to visuals, the game is absolutely gorgeous. Realistic graphics with so much attention to detail really makes the atmosphere. Paired up with its excellent sound design which really puts you on edge, hearing random foot steps and loud bangs some where in the house can quickly make you stop what you’re doing and check behind you. Unlike older Resident Evil games, there really isn’t much background music. The only time i’ll hear music is either in the save rooms or during cut scenes, which is fine. No music really does build the tension and makes you listen to your environment.
The most controversial aspect of the game is its change to game play. Resident Evil 7 now puts the player in first person view, which this isn’t the first time they’ve experimented with this. Resident Evil: Survivor being the first one that was in first person, so I was quite interested when they said they were trying it again. As a big Resident Evil fan I can tell the skeptical fans that the first person view works. Resident Evil now feels even more immersive with it. The game still has its slow and sluggish movement, puzzle solving, save rooms , and combat just like the previous titles and the first person view fits perfectly. I haven’t played the game in VR because I’m broke but I have heard that game is even better with it, so now I guess I’ll have start saving up for one.
I feel I have to talk more about combat since I still see people complain how the game is like other non combat horror games, like Amnesia or Outlast. The combat feels just like an older Resident Evil, except Resident Evil 5 and 6. Thank god Capcom abandon the combat from the previous two and went right back to how Resident Evil 1 through 3 combat worked. Ammo and healing items are extremely scarce and you must manage your inventory to survive in certain situations. Enemies will move unpredictably and you must control your shots and keep your distance if you want to take down your foe. When it comes to difficulty, the game on normal is pretty easy, some parts can be a little challenging but if you’re careful and know where to go, then the game is a breeze.
Now Resident Evil 7 isn’t a long game. It took me about 7 to 8 hours to beat on normal difficulty my first time. It can easily be finished faster when you know where to go and what to do, There have been people who finished it in under 2 hours. But if you’re like me and like to explore then it will take you a while to finish. The story is where this game made me fall in love with it. This is by far my favorite Resident Evil story. The team they have behind this game is solid, the director behind the Revelation games is directing it and the writer behind the F.E.A.R 2 expansions made this a memorable experience and I hope Capcom keeps this team for future installments. Everything about the story is great, every character was interesting, and every location was awesome. The story to Resident Evil 7 is definitely more competent compared to the previous games.
As much as I love Resident Evil 7, I do have some minor gripes with the game. First one isn’t a big deal but I was a bit disappointed. Resident Evil has a tradition, when a player presses start on the main menu, they will hear a loud, deep voice reading the title of the game. Example:
Like I said this isn’t a big deal or a turn off for me but I was a bit bummed they broke tradition. Another gripe I had was the lack of variety with enemies. Before you always fought zombies, mutant dogs, and big hulking monsters. But now the only enemy you fight besides the Baker family are the ”Molded” which look very similar to Resident Evil 4 ”Regeneradors”. Yes these enemies are creepy and hard to take down but after a while you just get tired of fighting them and want something else. Hopefully in Resident Evil 8 we get a bigger cast of monsters.
In conclusion, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a great game. I’m so happy that Capcom put the brakes on the franchise and went back to how it originally was. Unlike other companies that have completely abandon their horror franchises. I’m glad that I stuck with Capcom all these years and going through many disappointments to finally see my favorite horror series come back on top. Resident Evil veterans would love this and for new people I highly recommend it. It is a great starting point for newcomers to get invested into world of survival horror.
My final score for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a 9/10
Boobs. They are the supreme catalyst toward obtaining professional achievement. They are the driving force behind stabling a lustful relationship. They are the cat’s meow for curbed catcalling. For flat chested Betty, a cavernous cleavage praising society doesn’t show her a lick of titty-twisting respect, being the constant butt of a running joke for her asset-less figure, until she schedules a life altering, boob-enhancing appointment with Dr. Thulu, an uncredited and unlicensed plastic surgeon seeking the perfect, wholesome vessel to host her blood hungry, elder world creatures for planet domination. Betty’s implanted funbags are all but fun when the mammary monstrosities begin devouring hounding perverts when getting handsy with Betty’s girls. The diabolical double Ds slowly take control over Betty’s consciousness and will, eventually, take full mastery, but will true love put a permanent road block toward ruling the world?
Horror-comedy “Killer Rack” is a Lovecraftian inspired schlock film from “Slice City” and it’s sequel, “Slime City Massacre,” director “Greg Lamberson and penned by Paul McGinnis, who also has a co-starring role. The slapstick riot embellishes the real life battle of young women’s self-esteem, the constant struggle with the female physique, and with lots and lots of different levels of sexual harassment to the point where “Killer Rack” is basically becomes a social awareness film. Even though “Killer Rack” is blatantly farcical, the representation of men objectifying women is quite scary and Lamberson and McGinnis hone very meticulously on every facet related from gawking to catcalling and from sleaziness to potential rape. The manufactured, boob-infatuated universe McGinnis and Lamberson create isn’t a far stretch from this one with every single scene so ingrained with breast obsession that’s, as an American, I feel almost ashamed of myself for watching “Killer Rack,” but my European bloodline revels in this type of perverse gratification.
Lamberson, also known for his novel publications stemming from the early 2000s, continues his schlep of low-budget filmmaking over the course of three decades as a producer, writer, and director and the refreshing part of his career is that Lamberson has kept the course, providing fans of undiluted horror trash in a resilient body of work with “Killer Rack” being no exception. The ambitious undertaking stars a fresh faced indie actress Jessica Zwolak in the lead sporting the killer rack and Zwolak nails the intended comedy, pulling off the center of gravity gag numerous times post-implant surgery and being able to effectively switch between conscious Betty and puppet Betty. Surrounding Zwolak are collective years of a indie filmmaking experience that solidify Lamberson’s shtick filmmaking including long time industry leader and co-founder of Troma Entertainment, Lloyd Kaufman, being his great idiosyncratic character onscreen, but the buck doesn’t stop there with a roster of vets. The fiendish Dr. Thulu is embraced by one of the genre’s favorite, hard working indie scream queens Debbie Rochon (“Tromeo & Juliet,” “Dollface”) who submerses herself elbows deep into the film’s H.P. Lovecraft mythology. By far, my personal favorite genre star making a brief cameo was Roy Frumkes, the Jim Muro “Street Trash” businessman who melts away in a glorious death, reliving that well-known death scene once again but sprayed in the face this time with toxic breast milk!
“Killer Rack” nestles snuggly in between the two dirty pillows that are indie pop culture and social undercurrents, but only hardcore fans who follow this particular niche filmmaking will understand and enjoy the special effects puppetry, the outlandish absurdity, and the homage barrage of references. Lamberson and McGinnis’ 2015 horror-comedy was completely made for us, the dedicated fans, and that’s also the downfall as many popcorn cinema goers will become lost and probably offended, especially in this particular modern culture. That’s why we should embrace actresses like Debbie Rochon, Jessica Zwolak, Brooke Lewis, and Brittani Hare for being strong and good-natured actresses for being subjected to culturally deplorable material delivered by the actors, such as by the one-man show that is Michael Thurber (“Sins of Dracula,” “Model Hunger”). The play on words titled film follows a very simple, if not already on some obsolete plane, structure of comedy that’s not necessarily a negative aspect of the film, but rather sets a modest tone for the whole blood thirsty boobies concept.
Akin to Mitchell Lichtenstein’s “Teeth,” the Slaughtered Lamp Productions produced and Camp Motion Pictures home entertainment distributed “Killer Rack” provides a similar feministic horror in a screwball, dystopian world. The unrated DVD presents the film in an anamoprhic widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio with image quality that really details the budget. Flesh tones look natural, blacks are fairly solid, and no sign of major aliasing or compression issues. The English 2.0 audio sustains clean and clear quality throughout with forefront dialogue and appropriates ambient and sound effects properly during sequences of Chtulhu inspired bone crunching, blood splattering, and torso piercing. Bonus features are nicely stacked for “Killer Rack,” including a commentary track, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, a bonus short film “Kill the B!tch” and “The Camper,” and trailers. “Killer Rack” fondles around the sexual harassment issues and hilariously denaturalizes, as if implants weren’t already unnatural, with a diabolical pair of creature infested tatas!”