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!

Insemination EVILS in “Bigfoot: Blood Trap” reviewed!


The folkloric Bigfoot goes bananas on one man’s family, killing his wife and young daughter before leaving him crippled. Years later, the same beast rips the guts out of two tattooed women filming a girl-on-girl romp in the middle of the woods after mistakingly gunning down Littlefoot with their accompanying high powered rifles. Meanwhile, gun store owner, Shannon, receives news that’s she’s inherited land from her estranged, molesting grandfather that could be worth a small fortune. Before opting to sell the land, Shannon, her brother Billy, and her two uncles, Bob and Chester, aim to have a good old fashion hunt, but are viciously attacked by the monster. Barely surviving the ordeal, they managed to capture the creature with a tranquilizer gun and phone in an eccentric cryptozoologist, Dr. Corman, who presents a radical proposition: To prove his missing link genome theory, he wants to conclude that Bigfoot can, in fact, inseminate a human female to produce an offspring. Though crazed and inhumane, the wild idea could bring in loads of capital from all sorts of scientific angles, but the greedy captors soon learn that’ll it’ll take more than a pretty face to get the legendary and mysterious Bigfoot into the proper mood for lovemaking!

With the exception of a few films, the lesser known Sasquatchsploitation genre has been more schlocky exploitation than of Bigfoot doing some serious rampaging. Critics from around all outlets, small and big, have mercilessly dumped upon the hairy big fella, calling the flicks stinky as much as reeking Bigfoot in it’s natural habitat. Unfortunately, “Bigfoot: Blood Trap” sustains the same fodder and, perhaps, evens lowers the bar even further. Despite claims of the satirical motivations and plenty passion for the project, the John Orrichio directed film released in 2017 is a bit of giant mess. The New Jersey based Orrichio (“Paranormal Captivity”) collaborates with Edward X. Young, who was thrusted into scandalous controversy with this film as he was then an active candidate for a member on the New Township Board of Education. Safe to say, a storyline involving young women being kidnapped for rape and insemination didn’t go over well with parents, but Young and Orrichio sallied-forth to bring us a plot about an abomination from the abominable.

As aforementioned, Edward X. Young steps into the role of a creepy cryptologist named Dr. Corman whose obsessed with impregnating an abducted, innocent young women. With extensive credits in no-budget horror, including “Mold!” and themed holiday slasher “Easter Sunday,” Young is highly enthusiastic about his part, being one of the main fixtures of the overhauled production, evening tackling the special effects rich with blood soaked intestines. Another lasting cast member is “The Soulless” actor John McCormack as uncle Chester. Rustic as as he is rusty, McCormack bulldozers through his lines, never letting emotions and inflections carry his performance to fruition. Playing Chester’s nephew, Billy, is “Bloody Christmas’s” Dennis Carter Jr. With turbo energy and a high, if not zany, voice, Carter blossoms more of the satire from hiding, especially when contrasted against his sister, a gun-toting, possessive, money grubber named Shannon played by Chrissy Laboy (“Long Island Serial Killer”). Young, McCormack, Laboy, and Carter are the staple four that have the most scenes, but since the production spanned over the course of years, main characters came and went like yesterday’s bagel, introducing other characters into the fold from a supporting cast that included K.J. Hopkins (“Witches Blood”), Richard Szulborski (“Paranormal Captivity”), Gregory Stokes, and John D. Harris Jr.

As much as one can open their mind to all types of movies, across a vast spectrum of genres, sitting through “Bigfoot: Blood Trap” tested patience, will, and interests. The over-the-top gore, with strewn organs being, sometimes awfully blatantly, ripped from the bellies of Bigfoot victims did not turn heads away in disgust. The problem is more insidious with sloppy, shoddy technical gaffes with a brain seizing storyboard and choppy editing topping the lineup. Performances eek by without much scathing and one could even look past the joker in the “Trading Spaces” monkey suit passing as a vicious Bigfoot, but the lack post-production effort, especially with such a lengthy shoot, kinda says, “Hey! Let’s wrap this up! “Pronto!” and carry on with our lives without batting an eyelash in attempting at beautifying a hunk of ho-hum creature feature, but there is one positive thing about “Bigfoot: Blood Trap,” Orrichio manages to pull off 95 minutes in a sex with Bigfoot bonanza and I’m sure nobody else can claim that title.

“Bigfoot: Blood Trap” is released onto DVD home video courteous of Wild Eye Releasing on their Raw & Extreme label. The DVD is presented in a widescreen, 1.78:1 aspect ratio, that often looks stretched over a canvas with plenty of digital noise and low lighting woes. Colors look okay and same can be said for skin tones. There’s hardly any tinting so all, if not most, scenes are in natural lighting. Some lens cleaning wouldn’t hurt either on the drone for ariel shots. The English language stereo 2.0 lossy mix has hard stops when regarding quality. Swelling vocal tracks lack fidelity gusto and wander into the crackling territories often associated with poor mic placement or an unfinished track mix. Dialogue also comes and go from the forefront to the background. Bonus features include a production interviews, which are basically actors introducing themselves and being advocates for their characters. Also included is a segment entitled “Andy Girffith,” where little foot and Bigfoot reenact that rememberable son and father walk with a fishing rod with whistling that recognizable and catchy thematic tune. “Killing the Girls” is a true behind-the-scenes look into two of Bigfoot’s potential unwilling mates meeting their ends at the monstrous hands of the hairy beast; it’s a glimpse of Edward X. Young, wearing his special effects technician hat, gooey up the gore on the girls as the act out their best scream queen impersonations. Rounding out the extras is a music video and trailers. From the Wild Eye Raw & Extreme’s snarling, bloodied-teeth, Bigfoot faced DVD cover, high hopes created a false foundation leading into a John Orrichio’s Sasquatch breeding farm film! Yet, no matter how enthusiastic the cast, “Bigfoot: Blood Trap” unsavory independent charisma snared time that we’ll never get back into our precious lives ever again.

Own this Raw & Extreme film today!

Evil Loves a Good Plot Twist! “Open Wound” review!


In the moments before attending a pool party, apparent strangers-to-acquaintances, a distinguished, if not quirky man and a promiscuous, self-involved German woman, withdraw to a secluded building in order for the brazen woman to shave the bikini line exposed excess hairs before strapping on a suit. Their intricately deep discussions about desires, sex, and kinky foreplay fair nothing more but course, blunt banter between two familiarities, but when the woman pretends she must be tied up and punished for playfully biting the man’s ear until bleeding, the next few moments after fall into a state of obscurity of a he said, she said rape accusation. As confounding declarations are made and fingers are being pointed to decimate lives, a sack of deceptions and an abundance of threats accrue through a blackmail scheme and an abduction based vendetta. Nothing can be certain and no one can be trusted between the two, but one thing is definite, a third man watching from afar has nefarious plans of his own.

Like sitting front row at a bastardized version of an off-broadway show, “Open Wound” is an immaculate stage performance of battered psychologies and visceral deceptions from writer-director Jürgen Weber. The thriller, also known as “Time Is Up” or “Open Wound: The Über-Movie,” measures extreme lengths of human bitterness while constantly shapeshifting into plot twist after plot twist aggregated with clusters of popup violence. The Chinese born Weng Menghan, under her moniker Tau Tau, is the financial backer of “Open Wound. The globetrotting author makes her breakthrough imprint into the feature film business that modestly begins with an opening scene about anal sex among other verbal sexual references before man versus woman fisticuffs and a pivoting third act that rapidly alters character compositions into, essentially, a free for all. So metaphorically speaking, a Chinese producer walks into a bar, sits onto a stool next to a German director, and orders one of the more absorbingly chic cocktail thrillers in English. “Open Wound” is a melting pot of cultural influences and a display damaged egos that’s simply brilliant.

“Open Wound” has a short character list comprised of three characters. The first is woman who is introduced first, or rather her lips do when she declares her love anal sex and the parallel criteria for types of cars in one man’s garage, as she’s using a straight razor to trim the dark haired pubes from her bikini line. She oozes eroticism like a bodily fluid that gravitationally seeps from between the legs, spilling innermost desires, whims, and historical sex-capades with in a philosophical prose. #Nippelstatthetze advocate, German podcast expert, and stunning model, Leila Lowfire engrosses herself into the role of fierce, proud, confident, and strong woman. With an established vigorous sexual prowess, Lowfire culminates the femme fatales and breakneck show-stoppers female roles, notably similar in Quentin Tarantino movies, with high-brow tastes and a debasing reprove. Lowfire’s accent is low and thick and can be considered her weakness here as getting your brain to interpret the fluidity of the words, structures, and compositions is undeniable challenging at times, but acts upon fervor while in her lingerie or even topless throughout the film. The contrast against man is stark. His introduction paints him as unequipped, socially inept, and hopeless desperate. Man longs for Woman, but knows he doesn’t have a chance with her until she offers up a random game of role-play that inevitably leads to disarray. Jerry Kwarteng’s man performance is systematically peerless and a complete joy. Even if the character lacks depth, Kwarteng’s range is devilishly good with the only comparison coming to mind would be James McAvoy and his multiple personality disorder in “Glass.” Once Man and Woman comes to terms after a back and forth bout with dominance, the Suicide King’s grand appearance bestows upon the plot an even bigger, clunkier monkey wrench. The Suicide King’s an ex-con, looking for revenge in a small vat of acid, and his mark and him have a long, complicated history which parts personally shock the other. Erik Hanson’s raspy voice, feeble appearing physique, and lofty age has a second row seat to his character’s unwillingness to die, in a slick performance that’s part nihilist and part psychotic to which Hansen pulls off.

Weber’s choice toward “Open Wound’s” narrative layout conflicts with how the DVD release is specifically marketed. “Open Wound” rides the dark comedy pine that is peppered with black tongue-and-cheek dialogue and violence and as will be noted later in the review, the advertising depicts something far more extreme and graphic. On the shock value scale of one to ten, “Open Wound” hovers around a solid five and maybe a seven or eight for the casual popcorn viewer and, personally, I don’t believe “Open Wound” was intended to be a source of utter distress and visual barbarity. There’s brisk lighthearted comedy that softens the blunt force. For example, in the room with the Man and Woman, a record player will every so often, to comically assist in explaining the actions, play the cheesy tune of lounge background music with a singer narrating the character’s every move and also be the voice of between chapter contention or bewilderment. The singing is privy to only the audience just as the twelve chapter titles that offer a mixed bag of sequences that interchange between English, German, and Chinese title introductions, a toilet paper title card in reverse action, and an artistic rendering of chapters titles and just like his title card introductions, Weber also utilizes an assortment of styles to tell his story, whether be a 5 minute sepia, nitrate film burn effect, or day dream sequence, that peers the sudden twists and eruptive chaos between the characters. While the effects work to sensationalize the context, they tend to be equally be nauseating and annoying as a disruptive structure that seemingly doesn’t make sense to the naked eye.

MVDVisual and Wild Eye Releasing distributes Jürgen Weber’s “Open Wound” onto DVD home video as the the 11th spine feature under the Wild Eye Raw & Extreme sub-label. The DVD is presented in a widescreen format and the image quality holds up well, withstanding Weber’s bombardment of stylistic techniques of distortion, over exposure, sepia, and contrast. There’s a little softness around the skin, more noticeably during facial close ups, with a slightly lower bit rate in the compression but still very agreeable detail. The stereo two channel audio channel does the job, but has flaws with Weber’s score have an equal playing field with the dialogue tracks. The audience already has to manage Leila Lowfire’s thick German accent and their ears will also need to try and filter out the soundtrack that’s invasive upon the colloquy. Not much range to warrant mentioning, but the depth was well tweaked amongst Weber’s visual compliments. There are unfortunately no bonus material with the feature, but the DVD reversible insert is graced with a semi-naked and bound Leila Lowfire. “Open Wound” is dangerous, sexy, thrilling, and complicated to say the least, but stamped as a Raw & Extreme film it should not; however, see this film! Director Jürgen Weber’s visionary molotov cocktail of a story is an underground must for arthouse lovers and noir enthusiasts.