Erotic escort Love falls for on the side boyfriend Ned, a regular client with who she’s madly in love and with who she doesn’t charge a dime for her services. When Love wants out of the escort business, her controlling pimp Sunny says otherwise by sending her and two other girls on Love’s final trick, an all night mansion party. When the girls arrive at the gated mansion, they’re greeted by three strange hosts: Cleb, Selma, and Hate. Each of the three girls partner up with each of the hosts and move forward to their separate rooms where the escorts fall victim to sadistic tendencies, but Hate has more in store for Love. Ned, concerned when Love didn’t call once all night, sets out on a rescue mission to track down Sunny and gain information in means necessary on the whereabouts of the girl who love struck him.
“The Last House” is a 2011 mixed subgenre film directed by b-horror director Sean Cain that was originally released under the title “Breath of Hate” and was penned by first time writer Wes Laurie. The ambitious story plays out cordially with a talented cast of actors behind the camera, but the story, though larger than life for a b-horror flick, follows a non-linear path that builds and builds for a grand finale and while that sort of tension usually creates a good setup, the ending nearly fizzles, not generating enough pizzaz and spark worthy the wait of the last five minutes of the total 91 minute runtime. However, the Laurie script fascinates and entertains throughout because of character structure through the aforementioned non-linear layout and because of the physical and emotional outpouring portrayed by the actors such as Lauren Walsch, Timothy Muskatell, Jason Mewes, and, especially, Ezra Buzzington.
“The Hills Have Eyes” remake actor Ezra Buzzington steals the entire movie as Hate, leader of the three sadistic maniacs, and Hate, in himself, is an interesting character who seeks to start revolutions against humanity through brains and brutality and maybe even something more. Buzzington embodies a “Die Hard with a Vengeance” Jeremy Iron’s type personality with a calm demeanor on one face and a ruthless side on the other, but he single handedly separates the character from the likes of any other and creates Hate, with the help of a Laurie twist ending, to be potentially a long time running franchise character. There is a fierce downside alongside Hate where his lackeys were served a overshadowed injustice. Monique Parent plays another sadist, Selma, and her time on screen didn’t add to the girth and felt unnecessary. The then 46-year-old actress, with more than 100 film credits to her name, looked absolutely stunning, sizzling with lust for her cougar age. That should be no surprise to fans of Parent who are mostly familiar with her previous work in a number of softcore porn films. Sadly, Parent has no nude scenes though the part strongly suggests it; “Evil Head’s” Joanna Angel and “Amateur Porn Star Killer 3’s” Regan Reece take the burden of skin diligently – thank you Joanna and Regan. The third sadist, Cleb, is portrayed by Jamaican native Ricardo Gray. Gray’s take made Cleb, frankly, my least favorite sadist as Gray went overboard with a character that could been a menacing psycho-sexual deviant to a half-witted, Jurassic role-playing pervert. If there was perhaps more of Cleb’s backstory, a better picture of this sadist’s mindset might have reversed the first unfavorable impression.
Jason Mewes has always played the part of the funny guy character. The same stereotype description can be laid upon other actors of similar character such as Hollywood studs Jim Carrey, the late Robin Williams, or the cult favorite Bill Murray. Mewes, a strong supporter of independent work, has most famously, for most of his career, teamed up with writer-director-actor Kevin Smith and produced some of the most notably comedic material to ever be released for about around a decade starting near the mid-1990’s. Not many audiences, aside from fanatical Mewes fans, are aware that the same Jay, of “Jay and Silent Bob” films, has had quite a few horror credits. From John Gulager’s “Feast,” to David Arquette’s “The Tripper,” Jason Mewes doesn’t just do comedy, but what makes “The Last House” unique from the other independent horror films is that Mewes is cast in a serious horror film whereas “Feast” and “The Tripper” are horror-comedies that still tap into Mewes endless vein of laughs. Instead, “Dead Girl” actor Timothy Muskatell takes the reigns on the comedy as a pot smokey, womanizing lackey and Muskatell is born for that type of part. Porn star Timmy Pistol also delivers some goofy laughs in a brief cameo with Jason Mewes and also, fun fact, Tommy Pistol and Joanna Angel were both in “Evil Head!”
Mewes, Buzzington, and even Parent are major, recognizable names in the movie industry, big enough that even audiences so attached to Hollywood stardom would still be familiar with them. Two of the names mentioned headlining “The Last House” are accompanied by one more name that isn’t familiar to mainstream audiences, but any knowledgeable horror enthusiast would surely recognize. “Sleepaway Camp” actress Felissa Rose is that third headlining name and, unfortunately, shouldn’t have been exploited. Rose’s on screen appearance runs a total of around two minutes as the mansion realtor, but her presence falls from the face of “The Last House’s” universe after her single scene. Her iconic name alone will draw in the horror masses, but when she filmed the minor role, Rose was near popping at 9-months pregnant and she didn’t have one single story merit line or action.
Distributed by Wild Eye Releasing, “The Last House” picture quality looks amazing presented in a detailed widescreen format. The audio quality comes and goes; at some points during outside scenes the ambience or the soundtrack plays at a whisper. When in more confined scenes, the tracks blare with some crackle. However, none of these will impact watchability nor take away from the film itself. “The Last House” aka “Breath of Hate” will make a deep gash into the independent horror scene and Wild Eye Releasing will help deliver Hate into your home entertainment on November 24th.
Here’s some grade-A bullshit if I’ve ever heard so. The word on the street (Deadline) is that Eli Roth’s directorial feature “The Green Inferno” has been put on hold indefinitely by Open Road Films due to the fact that the company’s financier, Worldview Entertainment, is being tied up with an ex-CEO, Christopher Woodrow, decision to withhold any print and advertisement for the film.
Why hold the P&A?
Some sites suggest that the business end is causing a halt to the film’s September 5th release, but others, including myself, is that the film’s cannibalism subject matter has always been a taboo subject (think “Cannibal Holocaust’s” animal cruelty and has there really been a cannibal film that has had any note of success to it? Perhaps the Alexandre Aja remake of Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes”?).
“The Green Inferno” revolves around a group of activist who travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a dying, primitive tribe, but when their plane crashes in the jungle, they’re taken hostage by the very tribe they sought to save.
Always does this seem to me is that all the root causes of demonic possession in films stem from the ye ole ages when the land was young and naive. Nearly in the same vein are The Evil Dead and Ginger Snaps in which these prequels explore ancient curses and demons to be the reason for all the present carnage and this is just to quickly name a couple of examples. Darrin Reed and F. Miguel Valenti’s The Eyes of the Woods follows a similar structure but separate’s itself by beginning in the past with a pilgrim village Knobb’s Creek being slaughtered by a vengeful father who lost his daughter and blames God for his loss. He leads Satan into his soul giving him ultimate strength, sustaining life, and a thirst for human flesh. Four hundred years later to the present day, five friends are hunted and tormented by the legendary creature of Knobb’s Creek whom has consumed numerous lives over the years feeding his body with souls.
What might be the most interesting piece about the Eyes of the Woods is Mark Villalobos whom’s hands are deep within the bloody special effects and also behind the creature played by Walter Phelan (Dr. Satan of House of a 1000 Corpses). The prosthetic applications on lanky Phelan are a nice touch making Phelan look like Baraka from Mortal Kombat 2, but naked. What a shame that the sound editing screws up the whole character; at best the foley sounds come off as loony-toony and the boom mike, or whatever was used, doesn’t produce quality sound – what can you expect with 2.0 Dolby?
However, the Creature has been overshadowed and not by the our young fresh-faced victims. The forest becomes more frightening than the actually villain much like, again, The Evil Dead. Entire lakes move, night is actually day, day is actually night are only a few examples of how our group of kids get turned around and completely “mind-fucked!” The Creature is completely overshadowed and becomes just a meager product of it’s environment – the forest. Unlike my comparison to The Evil Dead, the trees don’t reach out and rape women nor bust down doors to swallow souls. Instead, the trees act as an Electric Magnetic Pulse disabling phones and cars. How and why you say? Fuck if I know. Eyes of the Woods doesn’t explain much about the cause and one could guess that evil forces, especially demonic forces, are working to keep modern technology out of the bush!
Our young bunch deem very unlikable and audiences will have a hard time sympathizing with them. We want them to die just because there is nothing interesting about them, no showy love poise, no fight for something to live for and if anything, we can cheer for the character of “Winter” portrayed by Johnny Moreno, who in my opinion acts and looks just like James Duval from Cornered! Quirky and likable, had me rolling a couple of times, yet completely idiotic and still doesn’t become a character that you can root for to live. Even the female characters (who give us any gratuitous nudity and only gratuitous lake crossing in their bikinis) are just, well, blah. Now, there is gratuitous nudity with a chick walking out of the cave, covered in blood, and walking aimlessly through the woods and stumbles upon a backpacking couple who are not helpful. The backstory on this naked, covered in blood, chick doesn’t explain much of a background besides that her friend went in a cave and died. That’s about it – just walking tits.
Eyes of the Woods, not to be confused with The Hills Have Eyes or The Woods Have Eyes, homes into other horror flicks, but tries too hard to become a cult favorite. Instead, a mesh of mess chops off the film’s livelihood and throws it out the window because, basically, there is no use for the film’s manhood. Eyes of the Woods becomes another direct-to-video to take the direct-to-graveyard, do not pass go, do not collect $200 route. Even with a veteran villain, a special effects guru, and a decent, if a confusing, premise, this satanic creature feature won’t settle well with horror fans and will certainly leave a bad taste.