EVIL’s a Face-Off to the Death! “Guns Akimbo” reviewed! (Saban Films / Screener)


Miles, a thirtysomething video game developer, remains stuck in an unfulfilling and lonely existence where being an internet troll gives him his only taste of dominance over those who normally succeed above him in all other life aspects. When he pokes and prods a popular and sadistic underground death match known as Schism, the virally trending sensation sweeping the internet nation comes knocking at his apartment door to officially install him into the next melee bout. With guns crudely surgically bolted to both hands, Miles, whose used to running from just about everything, now has to nut up against Schism’s most prolific killer, Nix, and save his kidnapped ex-girlfriend from the deviants behind the game.

Social commentary runs amok in this grisly balls to the wall, gunplay stimulating action-comedy, “Guns Akimbo,” from the New Zealander, “Deathgasm” writer-director Jason Lei Howden. Trading in doom metal horror for a crass bullet ruckus, Howden barrels down with an on fleek supercharged story like a runaway freight train or a 6,000 round per minute minigun, shredding through a high body count like in a high occupancy round of a first person shooter. Under the production wing of Occupant Entertainment and distributed by Saban Films, who released films such as “The Girl with All the Gifts” and Rob Zombie’s “31” and “3 From Hell”, “Guns Akimbo’s” edgy dystopian air gangling along nerdy humor scraps “Robocop” utilitarian veneer for a fresh coat of millennial trivialities, fleshing out, in a ream of firepower, relevant societal topics and facing their adversarial shades head on in a barrage of blood soaked bullets.

Spearheading “Guns Akimbo” is Daniel Radcliffe, who seemingly continues to distance himself from the world of wizardry of “Harry Potter” and focusing his current career on off-Hollywood and chic films that has gained Radcliffe a cult following alongside his cache of wizards and witches fandom. Feeling content stagnant, Miles lounges comfortably in the power of being a keyboard warrior and Radcliffe leads the non-exuberant charge until pushes comes to guns bolted to my and someone is trying to kill me-shove. Opposite Radcliffe is Samara Weaving as a brashly confident and hard-hitting character of familiar skin that’s similar to her Melanie Cross role in Joe Lynch’s “Mayhem.” Instead of being a mild-mannered woman infected to be a savage, floor-clearing combat artist, Weaving bares no dissuasion embodying another uncaged killer becoming the nitty-gritty, tattooed, and uncouth Nix, hard-nosed with violent tendencies stemmed by the fiery murder of her family. Together, Weaving and Radcliffe make engaging adversaries and friendlies who both end up on working on themselves while working with each other in a do-or-die game. Ned Dennehy plays the creator of Schism and overall bad guy Riktor. The Irish actor, who recently had a role in Nicholas Cage’s “Mandy,” finds himself just as tatted up as Nix, waving a nihilistic-revolutionist banner like its something to be proud of, but despite Dennehy’s best efforts in alleviating his cynical nature with a few sarcastic quips, Riktor comes off as bland and unfulfilled as a story’s aortic villain; instead, I found myself more curious about his fascinating short-lived henchmen played by Mark Rowley as a Zangief Street Fighter doppelganger, Racheal Ofori shelling out with double barrels, and Set Sjöstrand as a gimp mask wearing Fuckface. The international cast rounds out with Natasha Liu Bordizzo (“Hotel Mumbai”), a once in a lifetime hilarious homeless man act by funny man Rhys Darby, Grant Bowler, and Edwin Wright (“Turbo Kid”).

“Guns Akimbo” could have been pulled straight from the crimson flashy illustrated pages of a popular graphic novel and, most definitely, would have worked as one too, soon to come for sure, but as a feature film is concerned, as fun as Howden drapers it with explosions, expletives, and executions, “Guns Akimbo” ultimately shakes at the knees with acute breakneck, 24-hour speed that clocks in at a 95 minute runtime. While that’s the standard runtime of choice for movies, average around 90 to 100 minutes, consequences from flying through backstories (Miles, Schism, Riktor, Nix) in a blink of an eye at the story’s expense to hastily push for gun blazing glory puts all the pressure on the viewer to keep up. The story’s non-linear moments also factor into being an onerous barrier for audiences which are shiplapped together egregiously just for the sake of going against the atypical plot structure design and interspersed with flash backs and wishful thinking near death pipe dreams all jam and crammed packed into the sardine can that is the very eye-candy combat of “Guns Akimbo.” Yet, enough time was mustered for symbolism where Miles finds himself ensnared in the sticky negativity that is the social media sludge, fueled by the sadistic voyeurs enjoying the show in a violence-porn tapestry. From troll to titan, Miles rises as the unlikely gladiator presence in Schism, pushing him toward being a viral sensation from which he can’t escape despite the lack of enthusiasm to anything related to Schism and his skyrocketing social media status. The whole showdown thrusts him into controlling his own life whether he likes it or not, a kick in the ass for a lack of a better phrase, to get him motivated.

Come February 28th, Saban Films’ “Gun Akimbo,” produced by Occupant Films’ Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino, and New Zealand film producer Tom Hern, will go full blown trigger happy into select theaters, on demand, and on digital. Since this movie is yet to be officially released, is a screener, and doesn’t have a home video release just quite yet, there will be no audio and video critique portion of this review nor were there bonus material. There have been many great dual wielding action heros in our lifetime, including John Weston from “Equilibrium,” Selene from “Underworld,” and even that Counter-Strike terrorist avatar with the option to wield Dual Berettas. Now, we have Miles from “Guns Akimbo,” an immense ball of New Zealand vitality, un-tapered exploitation, and twofold in gun fun.

Pre-Order “Guns Akimbo” on Amazon Prime!

Evil Plots and Plans From Within! “Money Movers” review!


When a deadly robbery strikes one of Darcy Security Services armored cars, the security company’s chief executives aim to crack down on the already rigorous operational security protocols by implementing vastly unpopular and Union-irritating measures. The hit not only induces change to security procedures, but also opens up a can of worms that forces the hand of the three internal company men, who’ve been planning to steal from inside Darcy Security Services over the last five years, to accelerate their timeline. Their carefully laid out plan quickly becomes complicated when the mob gets wind of their elaborate heist, compelling the small three man crew to work for the crime boss without much of a choice as life and limb come to stake. Now the only thing that can stand between them and millions of dollars are two new Darcy recruits, a highly trained former police officer with a penchant for doing what’s honorable and a gun shy bloke targeted to be a prime suspect in previous armored car robberies.

Based loosely on a pair of actual robbery events authored by novelist Devon Minchin, “Money Makers” bares a ruthless resemblance to hardnose acts of crime as filmmaker Bruce Beresford captivates as the maestro behind the orchestration of Minchin’s book that’s gritty and enthralling on the big screen. The “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Double Jeopardy” director also pens a script full of bloody encounters and unflinching greed that delivers “Money Movers” as the first R-rated feature to stem out of South Australian Film Corporation, a production company that, up until then, co-produced dramas, mysteries, and family films, such as Peter Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and “The Last Wave,” with McElroy & McElroy and later co-produced the widely successful Outback horror “Wolf Creek” starring John Jarrett nearly 30 years later.

While numerous characters are subject to suspect and their roles’ intentions are guarded to the very end, the plot, for all intents and purposes, circulates around Eric Jackson, a former champion race car driver who now tenures as a 5-year senior security guard at Darcy’s, played by Terence Donovan. Donovan gives the performance his all with a wide range of subversive behavior. From cool, calm, and collective to feral gumption, Donovan race ends in drenching ferocity that’s fueled by his fellow costars who meet him at his level of performance. The most recognizable face, at least for me, is “F/X’s” Bryan Brown who portray’s Eric’s brother, Brian Jackson. They butt heads with former police officer Dick Martin and his no tomfoolery. The late Ed Devereaux had an old school acting method, very impersonal and straight forward like a John Wayne-type, and that worked perfectly in the role of Martin who befriends the projected patzy Leo Bassett played by “Quigley Down Under’s” Tony Bonner. Bonner’s able to capture Bassett’s unconfident, yet smooth persona that’s complete opposite of his partner Dick Martin, whose confident, but brash. What’s curious about the characters lies under the surface of a domineering male lineup – the women. Not one female character is apparent in a co-lead role and each role has a presumable flaw to them. Candy Raymond is an undercover private eye who uses her body and wits for information, Eric Jackson’s wife, played by Jeanie Drynan, has an absent and naive approach, and a handful of minor roles involving non-verbal girlfriends and late night secretary carnalities. The cast rounds out with Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Alan Cassell, Lucky Grills, Hu Pryce, Terry Camilleri and Frank Wilson.

“Money Movers” doesn’t scream perfection, but plays a major influential part in the infancy stages of violent crime thrillers that paved the way for such films like “Heat” or “Point Blank” and supplies another keystone in constructing the genre a solid foundation. “Money Movers” is bookend with graphic shootouts and peppered with conniving dealings and unsavory characters toward a shoot’em up heist climax that Bruce Beresford was able to depict visually and script confidently. In early scene, the storyboards could have been revised, restructured, or reordered to unearth a clear picture of establishing character backstories and setup that still process a puzzling connection between their nefarious intentions, but the ample storyline corrects course quickly without loosing too much time to ponder about the after effects of the early scenes.

Umbrella Entertainment re-releases “Money Movers” on a PAL DVD home video. The region free DVD is presented in a widescreen, 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Definition is key as the colors are, for lack of a better word, washed, but the clear cut outline that produces a sharp finish image grants this release of “Money Movers” a seal of approval that isn’t asterisked with blatant enhancements. The English Dolby Digital 2.0 track is on point with clarity in the dialogue and properly aligned, volumed, and untarnished ambiance. What’s interesting about “Money Movers” is the lack of a score that forces the viewer, subconsciously, to hone in more acute to the characters and their brazen actions. Bonus material includes “Count Your Toes – a making-of featurette with writer-director Bruce Beresford and cast members Bryan Brown, Terence Donovan, Tony Bonner, and Candy Raymond. There’s also the theatrical trailer and Umbrella Entertainment’s propaganda material. One of the first to be up on a prestigious pedastal of heist films, “Money Movers” is a violent, toe-cutting, experience armored with a great cast of acclaimed actors and filmmakers in this Ozploitation classic.

Sex, Drugs, and Satanic Evil! “My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence” review!

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Allister, Bubba, and Charlie are friends.  They’re friends who do drugs together.  They’re friends who do drugs together and steal from people.  They’re friends who do drugs together, steal from people, and kill people.  Allister, Bubba, and Charlie are serial killers.  Serial killers on a drug fueled killing spree without limitations or exceptions, not even some of their closest drug distributing friends are exempt from their murderous wrath.  Being serial killers isn’t their only disturbing hobby as they dig up the graves, lay torch to corpses, and torture-to-kill innocent, doughy eyed animals.  Deep rooted depravities clutch so fiercely to the fragments of their tattered souls that the Devil himself can communicate to them through the hallucinations of a bad trip and, after that little glimpse of hell, hailing Satan and spilling blood feels too good to pass up on command.
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Underground filmmaker Dakota Bailey helms a rough and insensitive “My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence” that’s extremely gratuitous in it’s violence and purposefully plotless to be episodic in Allister’s and his ghastly friends’ grisly acts. Labeled as an anthology, “My Master Satan” is suppose to intertwine the individual stories of Bubba (Matt Marshall), Charlie, and Allister into a single entity, but the Bailey written story is more literal than described. The stories circle more around Allister, the glue that pieces the story together, and his interactions with Bubba and Charlie rather than with Bubba and Charlie saturating the scenes with their own segments. Allister is the kind of friend to have in your corner and not piss off; he’s merciless and nihilistic, burning to rip to shreds anyone and anything for the simple joy of delivering pain in the name of Satan. The supporting characters come and go in and out of the story, but seem to motivate Allister, Bubba, and Charlie with tasks of drug dealer’s assassinations and perversions along with conversing, briefly, with other just as insane homicidal friends.
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Bailey intentionally downgrades the video quality to start the ambient hallmarks of an underground shock feature on a VHS format; a film we may experience and see from Unearthed Films distributed features similar, yet watered down versions, of “Slaughter Vomit Girls or the “Guinea Pig” installments or films that were shot by a Hi8 or VHS camcorder made gloriously from cult favorite directors like Brad Sykes, Donald Farmer, or Tim Ritter. Though the video quality purposefully sets the disconsolate tone, the two-third inaudible dialogue audio negates the desired brazen effect from the lack of good mic placement, leaving our ears more toward the screen than our eyes. However, Bailey surely epitomizes the film as a clandestine venture into shock horror that will only find a niche market for those who adore sadomasochistic ultra-violent behavior accompanied with a death metal soundtrack. Luciferian Insectus wasn’t affected by the audio and paired well with the scenes.
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The real shocker to take away from “My Master Satan” is the lack of good practical effects that usually coincide with a micro-to-zero budget project. Underground movies usually require gallons of blood, mise-en-scene implemented extreme violence, or to somehow find a way to stand out amongst the herd of the countless independent filmmakers. A high school biology class skeleton and an actor having simulated sex with a blow up doll doesn’t speak highly of the film’s caliber and won’t cut the mustard. The editing techniques are shaky at best and, even sometimes, relied to heavily on the words on a screen exposition to help the viewer along.
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“My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence” feels like a labor of love from Dakota Bailey and his crew of supporters; however, the film staggers along with unoriginal content that just becomes part of the collective. The intention to unnerve is evident, but the execution didn’t connect nor could the story spark any interest. Not even the autoerotic scene aided in produced a jump to unsettle. The hindrance of dialogue audio loses much of the film’s plotted course, especially when Little Blunt sends Allister on death calls. Not even Bailey’s baritone and slightly raspy voice could be heard at times. Again, an underground feature from Denver, Colorado needs polishing, but shows heart and initiative to relay hurt and allegiance to the dark Lord.

Buy “My Master Satan” on DVD today @ Amazon.com

It’s Bloggin’ Evil is Seeking EVIL WRITERS!

Its Bloggin’ Evil needs a few good writers to keep website fresh and up to date with the latest and greatest of horror, thrillers, and exploitation. I’m looking for writers who are 18 or older with some writing experience in a blog atmosphere. I would run this blog all by myself if I could, but at the moment I can’t and need your help!

Please, send me a writing sample at TheEvilBlogger@gmx.com along with your name, age, and your favorite horror movie.

Also, I can’t pay you. I’m sorry. But think of this blog as a great entry level, internship, volunteer service to build up your resume and to fine tune your writing skills. Hell, if I can, I might hook you up with a screener or two. Maybe even an interview with an indie movie director and/or actor. Who knows. If you can currently provide your own material – whether new theatrical movies, retro movies, Op-eds, horror literature, horror gaming, etc – let me know in your submission e-mail as well.