Evil Has Fallen Far From the Father Tree. “Auteur” review!

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A failed filmmaker sets forth to claim is stake in fame by creating a documentary about a legendary horror director who disappeared during his latest highly anticipated masterpiece “Demonic.” The filmmaker is hellbent on finding the director and discovering the truth on why the director had a melt down during filming and stole all the film’s footage. After sitting down with various interviewees and finding the long lost director, this film has become notorious for it’s dark background of death that surrounded some of the cast and crew and their families. The notion seems to becomes evident that “Demonic” should have never been made and that some films should never be released or else more peoples’ lives would be in grave danger.

I surely wanted to believe that Cameron Romero had the same masterful skill set as his father George or also I wouldn’t have mind if Cameron went into a total opposite direction of his zombie king father and create a whole new and eloquent horror genre that puts his name on the map. “Auteur” is my first look into Cameron Romero’s work and my hopes hit the highest of ceilings and anxiousness and eagerness helped drive me to pop this disc into the player as soon as able to without interruption. Unfortunately, I found myself glancing through friends’ comment walls on Facebook and watching various PornTube videos because I was so disappointingly bored with the result of “Autuer.”
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My heart knew something was amiss when Tom Sizemore headlines a movie and sure enough my heart was right and I should have been more perceptive to it’s warnings. Now, I have a soft side for Sizemore; I enjoy the man’s earlier work in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, The Relic, and in Saving Private Ryan – all very great material – but Sizemore has lost his knack as of late. Also, Sizemore doesn’t really have anything to do with headlining “Auteur.” His runtime is no more than maybe 15 minutes tops and I swear he’s reading off cue cards in the restaurant scenes with actor/producer BJ Hendricks playing the documentarian who’s trying to make a documentary about “Demonic” in which Tom Sizemore stars in – got that? Sizemore is just a recognizable name to try and sell home entertainment units.
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What really hurts “Auteur” is that it’s too much of a talking head movie. Basically, BJ Hendricks drives around searching for Ian Hutton’s character, the great director Charlie Buckwald, and does a number of interviews with cast and crew members along with other interviews with people who met Charlie outside the studio. Not until in the middle of Act three does the film get somewhat appealing with the levitation scene of Madeline Merritt’s character Kate Rivers. There some scare appeal there that would have been nice if implemented perhaps through the rest of the movie.
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What also could be construed about “Auteur” that would compare to most of his father work is that Cameron attempts to convey some social commentary about Hollywood and their stressed out, coming to a breaking point actors and directors losing their cool and jumping off the deep end into a psychotic break abyss and that there are directors and producers out in Hollywood that would jump the wagon to try and make a easy dollar by exploiting their downfall. Cameron, hypothetically, turns the table on the exploiter making this ambulance chaser pay with the story being more sinisterly deadly. In that regard and if that has any truth what Cameron was trying to accomplish, then I applaud him on successfully mocking Tinseltown.
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No one should certainly take my word on whether one should watch Cameron Romero’s “Auteur” or not, that’s up to them. I only give my humble critique and my overall impression with the film had cold heartedly, but quietly, crushed my hopes in being something I would enjoy from the next generation of Romeros. But hey, Cameron’s father had to start somewhere and build upon that and that is what I suspect Cameron will do as well.  It’s great to see that Cameron did give a little nod to his father in the DVD store scene – twice. You can buy “Auteur” from MVDVisual on DVD Home Entertainment on April 21st.

Nudity Report

No nudity 😦

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World War Evil! Frankenstein’s Army Review!

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Wolfenstein has come to life! What seemingly looks like a video game turns into a motion picture unlike any other. Other filmmakers have only half-assed an attempt to take the Nazi industrialization and combine it into cybernetic top secret warfare. A reconnaissance company of Soviet solders receive an S.O.S. transmission from an abandoned mining facility in the middle of nowhere behind enemy lines. The squad finds themselves in the middle of hell where soldiers are took apart and sewn together with machine parts creating a killer, monstrous army. These abominations are the work of the grandson of Viktor Frankenstein. What’s worse is that the soldiers are a part of a secret mission that will put their lives in more danger than the hell they’ve stepped into with Herr Doctor Frankenstein!

I was once in e-mail contact with the film’s director Richard Raaphorst many years back when he was trying to fund an on screen production for Worst Case Scenario. A project I couldn’t wait until the dream came true on the big screen. I waited and waited and waited. Only two promo reels were released and then the project just drifted off into the dead project pool and drowned out of existence. Raaphorst was inspired again, most likely, by his failed project to create Frankenstein’s Army and even using some of the monster nazis he was once going to input into Worst Case Scenario. I’m stoked that Raaphorst was able to see his creation in another, more profitable direction.

Speaking of nazi monsters, the creations where spectacular especially the creature “Mosquito Man.” Mosquito Man has blades on all fours and a drill for a mouth – pretty fucking frightening. There are also creatures with razor sharp blade fingers, cast iron maiden-chopping faces, slice and dicing propeller heads, and whatever your demented imagination can conjure. Frankenstein’s Army is an ultimate take on the Frankenstein legacy and spins it into the 20th century during World War II the most crucial and humbling time in the world’s history.
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Raaphorst chose to film Frankenstein’s Army in first person using the story of a soviet solder recording a documentary of the team’s reconnaissance mission and to show back home in mother Russia, to the socialist people, that their solders were happy and safe and brave in the face of the enemy. I watch a lot of movies and I stand by my personal decision that the first person use has been overused, abused, and old as a Roman shoe. In saying that, the first person works here for Raaphorst because we’re only given glimpses of the creatures leaving more to the imagination and probably so the audience can’t really see how bad the costumed nazi getups may have turned out.

Mosquito Man!

Mosquito Man!


Usually in screening the portrayal of any historical war, I can usually tell if a war’s historical accuracy is off or how I feel on how believable these characters can be in period piece. The Soviets soldiers felt like Soviet soldiers. The war felt like war. Saving Private Ryan is a good example of what I’m trying to convey where we, the audience, can empathize and experience the gruesome war with Tom Hanks and his band of brothers. That same sensation didn’t strike me when viewing Nicholas Cage’s Windtalkers which seemed to bastardized by Hollywood. Raaphorst had me in the dark, dank underground tunnels of these spooked Soviet lads and had me feel the fear in the face of patchwork humanoid creatures.
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I can’t recommend Frankenstein’s Army enough. The unique concept and the precision of execution should be a great draw for this film. More likely, Raaphorst’s film won’t win any major awards. Dark Sky’s picture presentation is clear. The audio suffers tremendously as much of the background noise drowns out the fake Russian accents. The extras are a little thing with a 31-minute “making of”, the trailer, a “creature spot” which displays the picture in a slide-show like feature. Raaphorst steampunk horror-thriller will keep you entertained and see what kind of man-machine construction will lurk around the corner, but the movie does feel like a video game with creatures hacking away at the camera while others stalk in the dark.

If you want to see Raaphorst Worst Case Scenario promo reels and see the similarities – see below.


Promo Trailer 1


Promo Trailer 2

Evil Scars Are Not So Visible. Visible Scars review!

My, oh, my how far Tom Sizemore has fallen from actor grace. The once Saving Private Ryan, The Relic, and Black Hawk Down star’s career the past decade has been riddled with drugs, criminal abuse, and sex – (Sizemore made a homemade porn with two “working” girls….no lie). And so Sizemore currently takes a role here and there in small productions granting him the headline of DVD covers and a small fortune for his appearance. The once great villain or, sometimes, anti-hero has been reduced to a bite-size actor for a few thousand in the pocket and the truth comes to light with the movie Visible Scars, but this film is not the first in which Sizemore stars.
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Backwoods redneck, no good guy Mike Gillis shacks up with a whore and strangles her for her two newborn girls. Gillis steals them and gives them to his wife who can’t bare children herself. Years go by and the girls are subjected to isolation and mental abuse which included the cannibalistic feast of their own adopted mother forced upon them by Gillis. A fiery accident claims the life of Gillis and the girls are thought to be dead and their souls haunt the forest in which they once lived and plague four friends who can’t seem to escape their own past as well as the hauntings in the woods.

Visible Scars leaves more unintentional questions which are produced by numerous scenes that just don’t make much sense – you might say these scenes leave lasting scars. To be more detailed, these scenes just didn’t go into more description of the reason behind the characters’ actions. Why did Gillis go cannibal? What about the enormous span of time between Gillis’s death and the incident with the friends? I won’t sit here and type them all, I rather not bore the readers, but Visible Scars has a bad taste once the credits start to role. One thing is certain, the title is fairly straight forward about the evil in this film, more straight forward than the film itself.
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Even though Sizemore headlines the film, his appearance only lasts a third of the way through the film and then the beauty Jillian Murray (The Graves) takes over. The dual story, Sizemore’s and Murray’s, intertwines by the way of the twin girls – twin girls and twin stories – and only separated by the years in between. The mediocracy of Visible Scars won’t win any film festival awards nor will give Sizemore his reclaim to fame, but I wish more thought was put into the story as I believe there is much more potential with the evil in the woods, yet this mine is far from being tapped and I sense no gold will be struck any time soon for a sequel.