Press Start to Play EVIL. “First Person Shooter” reviewed!


A nasty viral plague eats and decays victims from the inside out, blood oozes from every poor in the skin and boils fester, and can be transmitted through the saliva and blood. The hot zone spreads fast among the nation’s crumbling society, but one isolated clinic, the also epicenter of the disease, experiments with a cure, testing the trials on the infected. Young, wife Linda, a nurse at the clinic, goes suddenly missing and her husband gears up to search for her at the clinic to only find out that his wife has fell into the grasps of a maniacal scientist exploiting the cure as a baleful booster to create the already plagued-ridden with another side effect – extreme violence. The playing level turns increasingly difficult with maximum carnage when finding himself trapped deep inside the callous clinic straight from hell and must use any melee weapon to his advantage in each ghastly stage if he wants to save his wife from the deranged creatures and the complete governmental noxious gas eradication of the disease in the next 24 hours.

For those of us who’ve fired up a DELL computer with Radeon gaming hardware installed, sat large noise-reduction earphones over our ears, and ran a CD-ROM through the disc drive to start up a MS-DOS video game, a bit of nostalgia will revert the senses back to a more primordial time of a young gaming culture and evoke the obsessive behaviors of our adolescent selves. A game that will inherently put you into the player’s shoes with a weapon at hand and many antagonists to cut down at the whim of a mouse click as the priding first person shooter. That’s what one German filmmaker, Andreas Luetzelschwab, who goes by the credit Andreas Tom, titled his script now film project, “FPS: First Person Shooter,” that harks back to the good, yet not so old days of 8-bit blood, command cheat codes, and with a hero bestowing a snarky, snide tongue. The 2014 action-horror recalls the disk operating system gaming graphics of the early 1990s that’s been long lost and seemingly forever forgotten for nearly 20 years.

Now, since Andreas Tom’s “First Person Shooter” puts the viewer in place as the player, a BDSM gimp dressed hero ready to face the mutated virus head on. No real character takes the stage with only the voice of the iconic voice actor, Stephan Weyte, resurrecting his distinctive and black vocal quips for the player hammering away at the ghoulish zombies. Weyte’s a famous name in the world of first person shooter games being the voice of the antihero Caleb in the excessively violent and demonic “Blood” and “Blood II: The Chosen” horror inspired FPS PC games from the late 90s. Weyte’s deep, sometimes raspy, tone suits the film’s temperament much the same of those gloriously carnage cult classic PC games and he’s essentially doing all the dialogue for the film, with the exception of some in and out characters. The genetic makeup of the remaining cast are relatives of Andreas Tom, including co-producer Atlanta Lützelschwab as the attic’s nurse zombie complete with barbed wire around the eyes, Hans Lützelschwab as a boss-level surgeon zombie, and assistant director Achim Lützelschwab as the cook who whips vats of stew made of human chunks. Obviously, these are German actors being voiced with an overlay language from English speaking actors, such as Stephen Weyte, and so other vocal and action performances come from Tobias Winkler as a tall clown zombie, Sebastian Kettner, Ines Klein, Rick Whelan, Rob Banks, Jürgen Sütterlin, and Sascha Strack.

This past August, another first person shooter was reviewed, Giulio De Santi’s “Hotel Inferno,” which delivered an energetic and chaotic run amuck bloodbath that really sold the experience of playing a FPS and though “First Person Shooter” was released after, the film still provides the same kind of gun-toting, ass-kicking euphoria while on a smaller scale and focusing more on making that connection to the audience that you’re the gamer playing the game. For example, the movie begins with the DOS game’s screen of a static menu and once all your difficult settings are set and in place and the press start button is pressed, a virtual newscaster delivers the backstory of the viral outbreak and dons a principal figure, in the form of a 8-bit man, going to the clinic to search for his missing wife. The, the video game seamlessly transitions into live action, but the attributes of the game are still abound with a life bar, the gaining of objects, autosave, and disappearing bodies (that are a symptom of the virus). At the surface level comparison of “First Person Shooter” and “Hotel Inferno,” both films are akin to characterization, but differ in executions with “Hotel Inferno” just outright more violent without referring to itself outside the context of just another movie whereas the focus here is centered on video game idiosyncrasies inside that very context. The patients in developing scenes out of the virtual combat simulation ethos exhibits remarkable talent to fathom-to-fruition all the nuances like weapon caching, ominous camera angles and interpersonal communications to push the story along menacingly, and splicing the recording of level playing video with the composition of a pair of gesturing and weaponized hands to simulate that type of game play. For a loyal gamer, “First Person Shooter” bares the berserk survival horror instincts while for the loyal cinema goer, the ostentatious design is unique and graphic, even for the casual horror fan.

For the first time on US DVD home video, “First Person Shooter” is distributed by Wild Eye under the Raw & Extreme banner, the same as “Hotel Inferno,” with a widescreen, 16:9 aspect ratio, presentation that’s clean and composed of a double recording, along with an 8-bit Wolfenstein or Doom gameplay edited in for some extracurricular slaughter activity. The colors reduced some, I’d say by 20-30%, to exact a bit of bleakness atmospherics and some details are smoothed over due exact a true video game effect, like in muzzle flashes. The English language stereo dialogue track is an obvious dub on the German made film and another good dead giveaway is that all actors have their mouths covered by surgical masks, gas masks, hockey masks, etc., but Stephen Weyte’s crystal clear derogatory comments show no sign of being muddled. The ambient track’s a little soft at times, especially with the gatling gun, that should be ripping bullets and fling casings with puncturing hundreds of holes into zombie girth. Bonus features include behind-the-scenes outtakes, a walkthrough examination of the set, composing the looming score, and trailers. Wild Eye’s illustrated DVD front cover also pays homage to Duke Nukem with a tall standing and beefy dark hero blasting holes through zombies at his feet. “First Person Shooter” markets goods sold as advertised of intense game play without the need for a single controller and without omitting one single ounce of blood to shed in this mercurial fascination of when gory cinema magic meets gory computer gaming.

Come Get Some!!! Available on DVD today!

Undead EVIL Versus Hot Shot Mercenaries in “The Jurassic Dead” Review!


After being terminated from Government involvement and dismissed as a professor at a prestigious university, controversial scientist, Dr. Wojick Borge, vows retaliation against those who deem his life work, re-animating lifeless cerebrals into fevered ferociousness, irresponsible and dangerous, but before developing his plan of attack, an irefully distracted Borge is struck down and crippled by a pickup truck. Surviving the accident, Dr. Borge joins a radical militant group with a mission of destruction toward the United States of America. An elite team of five special ops hired guns are dispatched to Borge’s isolated desert compound to locate and destroy the mad scientist and revoke his dastardly end of days card that also involves a pre-calculated asteroid strike on Earth, leaving an EMP trail that wipes out all electronics and with America dark, the crazed scientist intends on releasing his toxin amongst millions of people that will vehemently destroy themselves. Caught in the mix are college kids on a road trip when their car dies and nothing can prepare them when they come face-to-face with an undead pre-historic sentinel at Dr. Borge’s compound.

First, there was the baaah’d-ass, four-legged, undead lamb chops in Jonathan King’s “Black Sheep.” Then, these living dead aqua rodents didn’t give a dam in Jordan Rubin’s “Zombeavers.” Now, directors Milko Davis and Thomas Martwick go full pre-historic carnivore with “The Jurassic Dead.” A indelicate cross between “Jurassic Park” and any zombie film you could probably think of for a film that’s has nifty alternate titles, such as “Zombiesaurus” and “Z/Rex”, Milko Davis co-writes an intrinsic script with “Generation X-tinct” screenwriter Michele Pacitto that narrates the mining of calcified tree sap and extract the DNA from fossilized mosquitoes in the Jurassic period….wait….that’s, uh, “Jurassic Park.” “The Jurassic Dead” isn’t that problematical, so forget I said anything about an intrinsic script. No amber colored fossils and no GMO dinosaurs here. Just chomp and chew action that’s “Jurassic Park” meets “Re-Animator” in this farcical, action-packed tour de force.

With a film about a miniature zombie Tyrannosaurus that infects people into burning-eyed and enraged zombies with a single bite, just like your typical dead head would be able to accomplish, “The Jurassic Dead” moreover has character flair gaudy with macho-isms and sarcastic tiffs lined in every scene and entrenched in a saturated dialogue and the character flair is flared by an eclectic cast, starting with professional bodybuilder Andy Haman. The 53-year-old built like a Mac truck steps into the platform combat boots of Duque, head mercenary in charge, and is notably mentioned resembling the video game pop culture stud, purposefully varied as Duque, Duke Nukem with the blonde spikey hair, shades, cigar, and muscles bulging out from a sleeveless shirt. Get this guy a seven-figure contract before he gets any older! Another noteworthy cast member and biological badass is an Ultimate Fighter Championship boxing style fighter, Raquel “Rocky” Pennington. The 30-year-old Pennington goes silent, but deadly as Cuchilla, one of the mercenaries with a liking for raising a machete to one’s manhood. Haman and Pennington already pair as formidable force, but the rest of the mercenary actors based in Colorado, where “The Jurassic Dead” is filmed, stacks more assorted attitude and brute. Big Fish Talent’s Ruselis Aumeen Perry (“Tsunambee”) masses what’s left of his team against Dr. Borge and his re-animated fossil as Stick and then, there’s Spivey, a fitting role satirically portrayed by another Tsunambee actor, Shale Le Page. Spivey’s rootin’ tootin’ good ole boy show is the cherry on top levity that tops a mound of primordial preposterousness. The Hits’ lead singer Mia Klosterman (“Battered”), Ben Johnson (“Curse of the Black Lagoon”), Cooper Elliot, Adam Singer, Mary Jo Mauro, and Juan Gonzoalez bring up the tail end of the cast.

At first glance, the shoddy digital effects and disjointed storyline (like what’s up with the two prefaces about Dr. Borge’s downtrodden woes that really have no standing leading into the meat of the story) might write off “The Jurassic Dead” on surface level viewing, but look closer, beyond the 1990’s sorely stretched rotoscope and a dino who bites like a puppy dog playing with a knotted rope toy and you’ll notice a respectable layer of re-played movie magic that includes just as much practical effects than it does visual. Detailed miniature models and a man, who I believe was Cooper Elliot, donning those realistic personal T-Rex costumes used more notably when pranking unsuspecting Japanese denizens walking clueless down a vacant building hallway. Hell, even some of the black drums are miniatures constructed from food cans sprayed painted black and the military-esque Humvee is a RC doctored battle-worn. The man behind the effects, Thomas Martwick, shows that Davis and Markwick are a pair of jacks of all trades and wear many hats that define dedication to indie filmmaking culture. A quality that surpasses subjective tastes of good and bad effects or films in general.

MVDVisual and Wild Eye Releasing present another wild horror film with “The Jurassic Dead” onto a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. The Blu-ray was the sold reviewed format which is a MPEG-4 AVC encoded BD-25 disc presented in a widescreen, 16:9 aspect ration, with a region free cherry on top code. From the view point of looking through some of the sour effects, the image quality is like looking through the murky surface level to find cleaner, bluer ocean water, but the non-green screen portions of the film are sharp and more defined. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound caters to a lossy audio mix that betrays the dialogue track, favoring a generic and boring stock soundtrack over what I think was semi-important dialogue about how events play out. Bonus features include director’s commentary, a petite behind-the-scenes featurette, a few outtakes and trailers. While saturated heavily with chintzy composites and a scare level hover around nil, the ambitious “The Jurassic Dead” still bares entertainingly sharp teeth as a fun, no frills, feast or famine action horror abundant with Dino action.

Undead DINOSAURS!!!! ROAR!

Take A Magical, Evil Ride on the “Caroushell” review!


Extremely frustrated with the lack of respect from snot nose kids and the monotonous, round-the-loopy-loop that is his life existence, Duke, the carousel unicorn, has finally had enough the moment after a fat kid mounts him for a ride, smacks him like a giddy-up horse, and wiping his snot onto Duke’s glossy wooden eyeballs. The latter being the final straw that broke the unicorn’s back. Duke breaks free from the amusement park ride in search for a better quality of life when he happens to discover that killing makes him feel good, real good. With a newfound purpose, Duke vows to hunt down and end that fat brat, slaughtering anyone and everyone in his path of carnival-esque carnage that leads the unicorn not to water, but to a house party where the kid stuffs his chubby face full of cake and other goodies while his older sister and her friends order pizza and hit hard the alcohol as they discuss a love and hate for a popular kids show, My Tiny Unicorn. When Duke shows up at the front door, his statue-like presence is a big party hit amongst unicorn show fanatics who are unsuspecting of his murderous desires. The only person capable of stopping the mayhem is the amusement park mascot, a jovial warden cowboy named Cowboy Cool with his trusty, evil unicorn stopping six-shooter.

Step right up! Step right up! Behold and be amazed by the stupendous and the downright bonkers horror-comedy, “CarousHELL,” about a killer carousel unicorn from big top maestro, writer-director Steve Rudzinski. The “Everyone Must Die!” filmmaker helms a satirical slasher co-written by Aleen Isley in her first credited treatment. “CarousHELL,” a whimsical play on carousel and hell if you somehow couldn’t figure that out, inexplicably sprints with the inanimate killer concept that visually livens an old “Family Guy” wisecrack about the latest Stephen King novel being about a killer lamp! Instead of a bright bulb shining blood red and using the electrical cord as a noose, Rudzinski and Isley explore the macabre qualities of an inorganic unicorn by extending its cache of weapons beyond the obvious long, pointy horn to also being able to wield a machete without opposable thumbs, sharp shoot with a bow-and-arrow with hooves, and even have the capability to kill with ninja stars despite the sloping shoulder conformation. Impressive…

Rudzinski also co-stars as Joe, a diehard pizza delivery guy and passionate dog lover who is desperately trying to earn money for his ill-stricken four legged friend. Rudzinski, sustaining both roles as a director and a performer, solicitously molding Joe as an oblivious nice guy just looking to do his job and even though he’s a bit of an impatient spaz, Joe’s not the biggest spaz swimming in the character pool. Rudzinski could be considered the lead male in the one of many boisterous roles of “CarousHELL” who certainly manages to get the girl without having to lift an finger. That girl being the self-indulgent Laurie, big sister to the unicorn pissing off brother. With her face glued to her social media phone and being a spoiled brat herself, Laurie has little-to-no attachments to anything: she’s not tied down to one boy, weighs social media clicks heavily in life, and finds disrespect the choice of attitude even toward her pole–strapping stripper of a MILF mother. Pittsburgh, PA born Sé Marie (“Cryptids”) does bitchy well, finding a nice niche to nest in with this harebrained, but light-hearted slasher with bite. Joe and Laurie have excessive personalities, but nothing can top Preston who sets the field bar. The house party co-host starts off as a complete douchebag complete with popped collar and an unquenchable thirst for bare chests and the introduction of Chris Proud really makes a first impression in a truly unbearable, over-the-top role, but believe it or not, Preston is one of the few characters of the film to have what could be construed as an arch storyline. Preston, by the end, transforms into a likable character with penchant expertise for the My Tiny Unicorn universe (a spoof toward Hasboro’s “My Little Pony”) and is the only character to perceive the first hand danger from the infiltrating and evil unicorn from hell. Duke is hands down the best scribed character of the entire film. Voiced by veteran voice actor, Steve Rimpici, Duke can literally stand inanimate and still be a vital part of the story. The versatile Rimpici is like the movie trailer voiceover guy with an uncanny Duke Nukem-type voice who has movie credits including the Dustin Mills’ directed features, “The Puppet Monster Massacre” and “Easter Casket,” as well as stints in video games such as “Red Dead Redemption” and “Mafia III.” The cast rounds out with Sarah Brunner, P.J. Gaynard, Judy H.R. Kirby, Josh Miller (“Amityville” No Escape”), Teague Shaw, Haley Madison (“Haunted House on Sorority Row”), Cindy Fernandez-Nixon, Shawn Shelpman (“Red Christmas”), Corella Waring and Michael Mawhinney.

With a film like “CarousHELL,” killer special effects need to be a must as marketing an inanimate villain will be hard sell. Yeah, “CarousHELL” has catchy dialogue, witty enough banter, and gratuitous and non-gratuitous nudity. There’s even multi-positional sex with the unicorn. Thanks for that searing image Steve Rudzinski and Haley Madison! However, a slasher requires good kill moments and the special effects work by Cody Ruch meets the demand with a brutal that include a beautiful gored unicorn horn kill to the neck, a double impale followed by a goopy string entrails, and an Ronald Lacy melting scene with charring laser eyes! Even with a high body count and delectable moments of insanity at it’s peak, “CarousHELL” will undeniably find a general audience outside the scope of genre fans who will understand the context behind fashioning a unicorn slasher, those who are just easily entertained, and maybe a slither of fans of westerns.

MVDVisual and Wild Eye Releasing delivers the hell raising attraction, “CarousHELL,” onto DVD home video presented region free, unrated, and in widescreen format. The digitally shot video has a pleasing standard of quality. A few moments of brief aliasing but nothing to specifically note that matters. The dual-channel audio was the most disconcerting issue that’s affecting the release. More so with the exaggeration of performances with the screaming and the screeching, the feedback distortion is pesky and jarring. Dialogue is prevalent and forefront, but lacks range and depth and so the verbal tracks tend to blend together. The bonus features are a welcoming site with a commentary track, cast interviews that explain how the film came to fruition and that better explains what the “CarousHELL” they were thinking when creating this fun flick, a few deleted scenes that explain the disappearance of minor characters, bloopers, and Wild Eye Releasing trailers. Just like “JAWS” did with ocean, “CarousHELL” will cause hesitation when deliberating if riding a unicorn will endanger your mortality. “CarousHELL” is fun, campy, and a whole bunch of nonsense that has our full 100% support in the horror community.