Director: Alexandre Aja .
Starring. Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, a few CGI Gators. USA. 1h 27m.
I ain’t gonna lie, Crocs and Gators have always frightened the crap out of me, Sharks are pretty scary and if I were lost at sea then they would be my biggest priority but Gators have the added bonus of being shark like and able to cover some distance on land, which means it’s harder to run from one.. long story short, all those fears eventually came flooding back in this strangely heartwarming and slightly predictable creature feature.
Alexandre Aja really astounded his audience with such classics as the blood lusty hellride Haute Tension (2003) which became a cult classic new wave of Extreme French Cinema which you can find a list of here, and in my opinion a very good remake of The Hills Have Eyes (), but something must have really affected him during Piranha 3D (2010) because he eventually came back swinging with Crawl, a water soaked adventure with a lot of predictability but some cracking scares and a super sentimental bonding story between a father and daughter which set this aside from the stereotypical creature feature where lots of mindless young people are systematically picked off by predators. Continue reading Crawl (2019)
Director: George McCowan.
Starring.Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam USA. 1h 31m.
You’ll have to forgive me for the review you’re about to read, but I adore this low budget eco horror which is widely considered to be a very poor movie, but for me it’s cinematic gold and I make very few apologies for adoring it, and thankfully writer Fran Lebowitz agrees with me when she called this movie “the best bad movie I have ever seen in my life.”
If YOU Are Squeamish Stay Home!!!
Many eco horror movies are quite subtle in their approach, the most famous is probably Long Weekend (1978) where a couple struggle to deal with their personal issues while taking it easy in the outback until nature decides to throw them a curveball, but others are more dramatic and usually after some kind of negative human influence, be it radiation, pollution or a truck load of PCP, the wildlife come to life and rally against mankind. From the dynamic Birds from Hitchcock, to Franco Prosperi ‘s Wild Beasts (1984) where a zoo’s water supply is compromised, sending an array of wildlife into a frenzy stalking the city streets. Continue reading Frogs (1972)
Director: Andy Milligan
Starring: Allan Berendt, Hope Stansbury, Patricia Gaul, Michael Fischetti . USA. 1h 9m
This bloodfest has everything in it, monsters, romance, carnivorous plants, a host of deformed servants, affairs, crooked solicitors and a batshit crazy old woman, and all in just over an hour, Andy Milligan really knew how to make a thrilling movie on no budget but with a bucket of originality and a touch of lowbrow comedy.
A stuffy estate agent takes a doctor to view a new property, there he attempts to make his excuses about the state of the property and show the man around but before he can lay on the bullshit he’s given a hefty cheque and forced out the house with reasoning not to return, the second his foot is out the door screaming shrouded figure is rushed in the back door by two crippled servants and a crazy freakish woman. The ghoulish melting corpse they uncover is one of the more gross scenes in the movie and it’s legendary that it’s done so early in the production, it turns out this vile thing is really the beautiful wife of Doctor Orlovsky, a brilliant scientist who’s returned home to claim his family fortune to further fund his experiments. Continue reading Blood (1973)
Director: Chris Sun.
Starring. Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, John Jarratt, Simone Buchanan, Melissa Tkautz. Australia. 1h 35m.
With all of the cult success of Razorback you’d think that a future giant killer pig movie would try to work on that cult goodness and up the ante, but for so many reasons Boar kept trying to deliver but for me it stumbled and fell flat in the mud.
There are two intermingling storylines, one surrounds an Australian family, with a new American patriarch, Bruce (Moseley) who’s pretty iconic when it comes to the horror scene but sadly he’s really out of place and underused in terrible way, people really should be arrested and jailed for this kind of neglect. The family is on vacation and are aiming to camp out and meet family, kicking back and having a good time. Meanwhile an eagle eyed wisen old man of the land Ken (Jarratt) is looking to kick back with some beers and a friend when he notices something strange and head out in the night to investigate. After this laborious introduction the movie fails to pick up the pace but it does try to delight it’s audience with a few blood thirsty killings and they are pretty mediocre. Continue reading Boar (2017)
Director: Ian Messenger
Starring: Justin Celani, Tim Christie, ach Etter, Austin Messenger, Ian Messenger, Jake Pigman .USA. 1h 16m
A slightly unusual found footage, mockumentary movie, which sees a young group of film makers divert from their original movie as they discover a myth of a animal testing site which may or may not still be operation. Ian Messenger’s quirky film, tries to achieve something only very slightly different from the average found footage movie but it fails to really strike fear and hides it’s biggest asset, luckily it’s only just over an hour long so it’s not too painful to check out.
Initially the group are making a film about animal testing, it’s unclear what the motives really are, after interviewing a few professionals they collect testomonies for and against the testing but one Doctor invites them to visit a place known as the Monkey Farm, and after a bit of Googling the head out to see what’s left of the site which was once used for animal testing but is now a Sanctuary. Continue reading Monkey Farm (2017)
Director: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Peter Weller, Jennifer Dale, Lawrence Dane,Kenneth Welsh, Louis Del Grande. USA. 1h 28m.
There is a strong committed performance here from Peter Weller as he stars in George Cosmatos cinematic interpretation of The Visitor by Chauncey G Parker III, but it can’t shake off how “un-horror” and this horror can be at times. Instead the literary sense behind the film stands out strong but there could have been a huge opportunity for some gory visually to back everything up.
Peter Weller plays, Bart Hughes, a banking executive that is constantly outsmarted by a peculiar rat. While finalising big business ventures he’s also modernising an impressive brownstone apartment he’s unaware of a furry visitor making his home within the constitution. Continue reading Of Unknown Origin (1983)
Director: Stephen Herek
Starring: Dee Wallace, Scott Grimes, Billy Zane, Terrance Mann, Don Keith Opper, M. Emmet Walsh, Lin Shaye .USA. 1h 28m
Critters are basically an intergalactic cross between Gremlins and Hedgehogs. I feel bad saying this as the director, Stephen Herek, got so much stick for copying Gremlins even though Critters was written and in production before Gremlins but small little creatures with a mischievous nature are all alike to me.
80’s American horror was often family based, possibly a ploy to get it into every home, but this average family find themselves having a night from hell when a group of Crites escape from their asteroid prison hijack a spaceship and speed down to Kansas where they start hunting for food. Luckily for the people of earth there are two highly skilled bounty hunters hot on their tails but on entering earth, one takes on the guise of a famous rock star but his sidekick has a bit of trouble with his green glowing face and ends up resembling random towns people he runs into, which is something that really confuses the already confuzzled local police force. Continue reading Critters (1986)
AKA – The Monster Outside – Hüte dich vor der Dunkelheit
Director: Stephen Folker
Starring: Glenn Harston, Dave Juehring, Trena Penson, Tristan Coppola, Jim Nieciecki. USA. 1h 30m
The cover for this indie horror is mightily impressive but I think that’s where the budget stopped, still it got my attention and luckily I’m a sucker for indie movies and despite it’s poor attempt at being a convincing horror, it actually a loveable movie.
I do have a soft spot for bigfoot movies and films that include one legged black guys who make root beer in old bathtubs out back, but maybe because of my magnetism to bigfoot, or maybe I just like bad movies, it’s hard to justify why I can see all the bad points in Field Freak but still have some warmth for the film. Sometimes you’ll discover a b movie with no love or care, they either try too hard to create outside of their budget or like this family horror, they just admit that they don’t have a huge budget and just set out to make something enjoyable with a lot of heart, it won’t win over a majority but it is what it is. Continue reading Field Freak (2016)
Director: Sergio Martino.
Starring. Barbara Bach, Joseph Cotten, Richard Johnson. Italy. 1h 40m.
Somewhere in this science fiction fantasy horror, there is a great director who’s floundering out of his depths. Martino has some crackers under his belt including All the Colours of the Dark (1972).
Starting with a murder is always the best way to start a Giallo and Martino with all this previous experience kept to his tradition, a couple embark on a shifty night time mission to find hidden treasures, only to be met with clawed fish hands and bloody death in the (surprisingly well lit) dank caves of an unknown island, along with their mercenary crew who are slaughtered by the same hands along the shore. A short while later in 1891 a military doctor Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) survives not one but two shipwrecks and ends up on a mysterious island with a handful of prisoners survived with him. On this strange isle the are faced with hunger and some of the convicts meet grisley ends with the fishmen and the survivors flee into the jungle only to encounter Edmond Rackham (Johnson) who’s a sadistic douchebag who’s on a power hungry ego trip, alongside him is a stunning captive, Amanda (Bach). Continue reading L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)
Director: Fritz Böhm.
Starring: Bel Powley ,Brad Dourif, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James LeGros, Liv Tyler. USA. 1h 32m.
Strangely this movie reminds me of Teen Wolf (1985), in a roundabout way it’s very much a coming of age Werewolf movie and yet speaks poetic volumes for a reawakening of feminity for anyone who feels a call for the wild.
Anna (Powley) grows up confined in a room in a remote house in the woods, looked after by her Daddy (Dourif) who is keeping her safe from the Wildlings, strange creatures with folklorish natures who stalk the woods. As Anna matures she starts noticing differences, as many girls do, although a dreaded fear sets in to her Daddy and he starts injecting her in the stomach with an unknown substance (although if I learnt anything from Ginger Snaps (2000) then this is a Wolfsbane concoction). This only slows down her development but doesn’t stop it, eventually it leads to Daddy attempting to commit suicide but it goes drastically wrong and Anna is rescued by mild and ever caring Sheriff Ellen Cooper (Tyler) while the authorities are trying to work out what do to Ellen adopts the girl temporarily and tries to give her a normal life. Ellen’s younger brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet) is a similar age to Anna and tried to help out, but by the time the pair are ready to go to Anna’s first house party, the teen, without her miracle drug is starting to transform again, her human teeth are being pushed out by something much sharper but the only person who has some insight and who is willing to help her comes in the guise of a one eyed man wearing a wolf skin who lives in the forests surrounding the town played by the multi talented James LeGros . Continue reading The Wildling (2018)