Evil Exes Never Die! “Burying the Ex” review!

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Max believes he’s found the perfect move-in girlfriend with Evelyn: she’s nice, she’s hot, she loves sex. However, when Evelyn’s over-protective, save the planet, go vegan or go home boorish attitude becomes too much for Max to bare, he attempts to break up their dwindling relationship, but ends up accidentally killing her long after making a solid promise, in front of a mysterious satanic genie figurine, to always be with her. Max’s regrets surge him into a depressive state until he meets the beautiful Olivia, the perfect opposite sex carbon-copy of himself. Everything seems to be coming together for Max until Evelyn digs up and out from her grave and returns to him as a decomposing and clingy zombie girlfriend, picking up right where their relationship left off.
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The 2014 romantic horror-comedy “Burying the Ex” is the first feature film from “Gremlins” director Joe Dante since 2009; a six-year stint that resulted in the outcome of this odd, but familiar blended genre film. Dante hasn’t kept his directorial hands too much in the horror genre pot in over two decades with the small exceptions of a “Masters of Horror” short film and 2009’s “The Hole,” the director hasn’t lost his signature touch of dishing out deadpan humor and fusing a knowledgeable palate of horror to go with it making “Burying the Ex” one of the most morbidly fascinating horror releases in the modern zombie age. Another trademark of Dante is casting a familiar face and sure enough, Dick Miller makes a cameo appearance. I swear I thought he was dead.
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“Burying the Ex’s” cast is compiled of seriously underrated, but without a double awe-inspiring generating actors and actresses with the reboot of “Star Trek’s” Anton Yelchin headlining the way as the film’s main character Max. Max’s passiveness quality fits perfectly with Yelchin’s dry delivery and awkward mannerism style and Max’s passion for horror feels natural coming from Yelchin with the actor’s similar background work from “Odd Thomas” and the remake of “Fright Night.” However, aside from playing Chekov from “Star Trek,” this character is more of the same from the 26-year-old actor. Yelchin’s antagonist portraying co-star Ashley Greene, from the vampire romance series “Twilight,” marks well being the strong, opposing character against Max, portraying the snobby and overbearing girlfriend Evelyn. Though Greene is usually quite beautiful and stunning in other roles, the Evelyn character is a breath of fresh (or rotten in this case) air with a bit a sassy appeal. Greene casts an already slightly models-like thin appearance with features that strike well with the characters overall gaunt look, creating a well on it’s way decomposing zombie.
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The supporting actor and actress completely round out Dante’s playfully twisted take on a stalking ex-lover. Oliver Cooper has Max’s back as his sex-crazed, exploitive half brother Travis. Cooper’s fast talking, negotiating-type personality reminisces his “Project X” work and though Cooper’s range as an actor feels limited, Travis works here as being the yang to Max’s yin. Finally, the absolutely gorgeous Alexandra Daddario’s relieves the, if any, thrilling tension and Max’s shortcomings with a quirky, adorable, and cute as hell horror-inspired malt shop owner. Though Daddario’s role might not spark a social media firestorm like her “True Detective” bare it all role, Daddario’s Olivia attempts and achieves an one-eighty, pulling off a split personality from the standard hot girl part in these types of romantic horror-comedies and showing that even the most nerdy of girls can be the girl of your dreams. Daddario is also almost unrecognizable in this role when compared to her previous works.
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The script penned by newcomer Alan Trezza needs some fine tuning. This fantastic hard sell doesn’t fall to fault from with the cast as the story moves along at a roadrunner pace and fails, purposely I’m speculating, to explain the background on the satan genie statue that’s extends the root cause of Max’s problem. Not even a smidgen of background to alleviate any the tiniest inquiries of satan genie is revealed and just leaves the audience wondering just who sent the evil wish granting product. However, the subtle tongue and cheek manner of Trezza’s first feature revels in quirky contentment, leaving the horror and the comedy as equals. “Burying the Ex” shares a similar story we’ve all seen before – “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Life After Beth,” “Warm Bodies” – but each of those tales told have a distinctive quality and a cast of a different caliber.
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Since this a screener copy from UK distribution company High Fliers Films, I’m unable to review the picture and audio quality nor comment on the extras, but as far as a distributed film pickup for the company to release, “Burying the Ex” will live, and return, beyond the grave again and again and again. Dante’s romantic horror-comedy feasts on horror homage and dry wit while delivering surprisingly only little gore. “Burying the Ex” is available on UK DVD from High Fliers Films and can be purchased from most UK online retailers.

Acting Evil Isn’t Necessarily Evil. “Sins of Dracula” review!

output_xnW8RJ Billy, a good church-going man, reluctantly leaves his choir to join the community theater at the request of his girlfriend Shannon.  What Billy doesn’t realize is that there are all different kinds of characters who partake in the community theater – the nerdy gamers, the anti-establishment antagonizers, the gays, and, of course, Dracula.  Yes, Dracula – the Prince of Darkness.  The theater’s director is a satanic worshipper who feeds off the sins of his actors to resurrect Dracula and start a whole new world order of vampires. vlcsnap-2015-03-27-18h46m37s8 “The Sins of Dracula” film is a homage to multiple horror genre branches. Decades including the 1970s and the 1980s source the brilliantly colored and expression heavy of the Hammer horror era and combine it with the gore of video nasties marking all present and accounted for in this ode to classic horror and that’s the creative style of director Richard Griffin and his Scorpio Film Releasing company which quickly produces many independent films that hit many media platforms. My previous film experience with Griffin includes “The Disco Exorcist” that implements film stock imperfections and the hardcore porn of the 1970’s. The other Griffin film, “Murder University,” aims to create a satirical look at a murderous cult gone collegiate. Lastly, my very first Richard Griffin film was Feeding the Masses wanted to be a social political zombie following in a George A. Romero fashion. So there is no surprise here that Griffin does what he does best, but after seeing “The Disco Exorcist” and “Murder University” both which I liked in previous reviews The Disco Exorcist review here and Murder University review here, “The Sins of Dracula” warranted high hopes for Griffin to do something new and cut ties with the old, regurgitated scenes. vlcsnap-2015-03-27-18h48m14s212 Enough about Griffin, let’s talk about “The Sins of Dracula.” Just from reading the synopsis alone, one can conclude that this horror-comedy will come off as a bit outrageous, delving into and dissecting the sins of certain kinds of people who walk in all kinds of life and exploiting them for the sake of our good boy Scott’s heroic journey and also exploiting them to awake the evil Dracula. The story doesn’t waste any time putting to waste the sinfully deemed characters and going on a Godsend vampire hunting spree. At the end, most peoples’ personal views are made light of in a satirical fashion. vlcsnap-2015-03-27-18h49m10s0 Michael Thurber, a staple actor of Griffin’s, does a solid job as a Hammer horror Dracula mirroring the likes of the vampire exposed Christopher Lee. Steven O’Broin, as Lou Perdition the satanist devotee theater director, had some excellent lines and quips and made his Vincent Price-esque character enjoyable when on screen. Another of Griffin’s minions, Aaron Peaslee pranced around fairly well as a gay theater actor and his raunchy sex scene with fellow actor Johnny Sederquist was the most controversial aspect of the film. I can’t say that about the other characters. Other characters fell a bit flat and didn’t convey their characters intentions well enough to pull off a spoofy-stereotype. The fact that their characters where put to death way too early in the film doesn’t give the character a chance to make their presence more well established. vlcsnap-2015-03-27-18h47m22s202 The blood letting could have been, well, bloodier, but there is enough letting to super soak and saturate one’s thirst. Some of the scenes are restaged from the likes of “Fright Night” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” the movie. Like I was saying early in the review about the film’s originality, the lack of new material makes the likelihood of repeating a viewing of “The Sins of Dracula” very unlikely which is difficult to say about a solid homage. vlcsnap-2015-03-27-18h49m25s152 “The Sins of Dracula” is good for a one time single viewing and but lacks new and fresh material to really captivate attention. The MVDVisual DVD cover also doesn’t explicitly want you to go out and rent this title, but the disc art is amazingly detailed and you shouldn’t judge a film’s material by the cover. I do strongly suggest to check out “The Sins of Dracula” if you’re into the Hammer horror scene and into Griffin’s Quentin Tarantino homage style of directing.

 

 

Evil LIVES in the Shadows! Midnight Son review!

midnight son3What really makes the hair bristles stand straight up on my arm is a really obscure and overlooked vampire movie.  Not because I’m savagely frightened by the content, but because those films that don’t make the theater cut or have a promotional parade across the internet just get the shaft and my heart breaks when the thought occurs to me that I never would have come across such a movie if I wasn’t such a die hard horror enthusiast.  My review tonight is about one of those overlooked, passed on the rental shelves, not selected at the Redbox movies called Midnight Son.

A lonely night security guard named Jacob has a rare condition in which his skin literally burns when exposed to sunlight.  Jacob also can’t quench his hunger with any food with the exception of fresh human blood.  The doctors tell him his condition is Anemia due his malnutrition, but Jacob dreads his ailment to something more dark.  When he falls for a pretty vendor girl Mary, his condition kicks into overdrive and drives his cravings to an all new heights causing blackouts, terrible dreams, demonized eyes and a irresistible craving for blood.  Before Jacob realizes that what his newfound symptoms are really about, he’s already committed dastardly deeds that will change his once dull and lonely. life.

The subtly of the film helps draw me into Jacob’s loneliness and awkwardness.  His role in Midnight Son comes off as a young man’s journey of self discovery and that discovery is his transition into becoming a creature of the night – a vampire.  Much of Jacob’s backstory is omitted from us with only a picture of him as a young boy with a cast on his arm is revealed.  The cast represents his lifelong ailment of not being able to withstand the UV rays of the sun.  Other than that image of Jacob, we know of no father, mother, siblings, or childhood home for that matter of Jacob’s past.  His background is as mysterious as his condition, but Tracey Walter, legendary sidekick actor (Batman, Conan The Destroyer), hints at his metamorphosis with the epiphany statement, “like caterpillar turning into a butterfly.”  My main question is is Jacob really transitioning or is he just now realizing, after all these years, the vampire qualities?  He tries to confirm his suspicions by placing a makeshift cross on his forehead wondering if he’ll scold him – he retrieved the idea from Stephen Geoffry’s Evil Ed character in Fright Night.  A good reference to use!  However, Jacob is no Evil Ed and not even close.  There are no extended canines, his reflection still reflects, and he can’t turn into a fierce winged blood sucking creature.  There is no coffin to be had here.  Midnight Son resembles similar movies like George Romero’s Martin or Larry Fessenden’s Habit where the idea of the vampire is so instilled in the character’s mind that is hard to believe the character is not a vampire, but Jacob is the real McCoy and that proves itself amongst the other characters we encounter – Mary and Marcus.

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Mary becomes Jacob’s love interest.  Their meeting happens by chance and no vampire allure was against her free will or that of we know, but Mary has her own vices.  She is also a night owl who likes to party in more ways than one – long party entrance lines and long lines of coke.  Mary vices are overshadowed by her feelings of endearment toward Jacob; she wants to take of him to perhaps give her purpose in life where she won’t have to vendor lollipops outside the local bar (this is where they met).  Jacob realizes how slammin’ Mary’s body is and how much affection she displays him.  Director Scott Lebercht could have explored this more and given more of a reason why Mary falls for an awkward, nocturnal security guard who thwarts not one, not two, but three of her advances to rock his nosferatu world.  Perhaps Lebercht wanted to show that no matter the misshaped character, there will always be someone out there in the world looking for a hardship case to take care of.

Now even though Mary has a fantastic body and a cute overbite (don’t ask), Marcus is quite the interesting character.  This thug sells drugs and blood out back besides the biohazard dumpsters of the hospital where he works – “everybody has their thing,” he says and it’s true that everybody has their thing, their vice, their habit, their overall weird hobby.  Marcus exploits other people’s addictions and makes a criminal living doing it as a side job, but when Marcus can’t shake Jacob’s relentless need for blood, Marcus’s thuggish bite pushes and shoves an object that will literally bite him back.  Jacob’s antagonist is Marcus because after their confrontation, they become one and the same.

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The best scene in the entire movie is the last.  The scene brings the movie’s rating “contains strong gory images” to light however still tame I think the scene might be, but at least we get some sort of blood satisfaction and I love how the characters embrace and bask in their enlightened stages which begs to question – is this the beginning to the end of humanity once a reluctant embraces their true self?  I’d like to see a follow up to Lebercht film and, as a side note, on my edition of Midnight Son – provided by Eureka Entertainment Monster Pictures division (thank you!) – states this film is from the director of The Blair Witch Project, but I don’t see Lebercht’s name connected to The Blair Witch Project.  Am I missing some key information here?  If you want the Monster Picture’s edition – being released February 11th – instead of the Image Entertainment’s edition, you’ll need a region free player as Monster PIctures is based in the UK.  However, I wouldn’t like something little like crossing the Atlantic stop you from seeing Midnight Son!

Hidden evils will be your undoing! Death’s Door review!

Remember those 80’s and early 90’s demonic films that had the camera pretend to be a floating spirit like in Evil Dead or the original Night of the Demons?  Exposing women’s breasts were a mere exploitive stunt as the well endowed ladies’ shirts just happen to fall off because of a single, light and accidental touch.  The blood waved in like a killer tsunami and the body count was as high as Mount Fuji!  Those were the good ole days of demonic horror with the clarity of the hero and, sometimes, villains was not so black and white.  This melancholy brings me to George Schileppi’s 2008 killer specter and possession film Death’s Door where he skims the surface of all that glory said above and never really sinks his teeth into something that has been, at least to me, long lost in the world of horror.

Television psychic Madame Camille uses smoke and mirrors to make her guest believe they’re actually speaking to their loved ones.  When an aggressive religious driven radio evangelist is invited to face his accusations of murder, Madame Camille’s psuedo-powers become a reality and she has to tap into the evil possessing the evangelist that has trapped the frightened cast and crew inside the station.  One by one people die a gruesome, horrifying death and the survivors are running out of time in finding a way out of their tomb.

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Jerry displays his evil qualities! Fright Night remake trailer!

And it is here!  The long awaited trailer for the remake of Fright Night has arrived.  Colin Farrell’s Jerry the vamp is both vicious and unruly.  My skepticism was very high before seeing this trailer, but it has subsided a little for now.  However, where the hell was Peter Vincent in the trailer?  I didn’t see him at all, but maybe for two seconds.  Check it out after the jump as it will drown you in pure vampire mayhem.

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