Director: Stewart Raffill.
Starring. Michael Madsen, Peter Tuinstra, Sherry Edwards. USA. 1h 40m.
In the terms of B/Indie/Lo-fi movies, this isn’t that bad.. the premises is of a huge man eating crocodile that terrorizes a Thai village, much like Jaws (1975), but with more snap than bite. In reality it’s just another Syfy movie that attempts to undo all the hard work from the decent creature features, but at least it’s a slightly more believable story unlike Sharknado (2013).
We are expected to believe in giant monstrous mutant animals despite some of the footage coming from the cutting floor of National Geographic and it just looks like an average Croc. This all comes at time when a croc amusement park in Thailand run by a foreigner becomes centre of attention when the bitten bodies turn up, he finds himself in a battle with a prominent family who want his site to develop on but while they have their land and property war, the leathery beast is chowing down on anyone who crosses his path. Continue reading Croc (Godzilla of the Swamp) (2007)
Director: Jeff Renfroe
Starring:Jason Gedrick, Tamara Hope, Elias Toufexi, Sebastian Knapp, Chris Jarman. Canada. 1h 30m
Like a strange warped version of Monsters: Dark Continent (2014), blended with Jarhead (2005)and Tremors (1990), Sand Serpents doesn’t really feature a nest of deadly vipers as I expected instead the foes are more like miniature versions of the adorable Dune (1984) like sand worms but with a blood thirsty taste for human flesh.
A small group of US Army Soldiers become stranded in the remote Afghan desert, but against all odds and while teaming up with a father and daughter team from the local region they battle the Taliban and the epic worm like creatures from an unknown source, not something covered in basic training. Continue reading Sand Serpents (2009)
Director: Eric Weston.
Starring. Clint Howard, Joseph Cortese, R G Armstrong, Don Stark, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson. USA. 1h 37m.
Part teen revenge part occult horror, Eric Weston’s Evilspeak is a venture into the unknown by a downtrodden young man looking for revenge and biting off more than he can chew. but this well worn revenge story has a much needed transfusion by stripping out the detailed build up to a justified revenge scene and instead opens it up for wild violence with a Satanic edge, showing enough gore for it to be banned in the UK in the 1980’s.
Opening with a Dark Ages sun setting on a Satanic mass on the beach, the group are approached by a church official telling them, they will be banished from Spain and denied the glory of a christian god, the naked group don’t pay much attention and the opening credits roll. Continue reading Evilspeak (1981)
Director: Stephen Sommers.
Starring. Treat Williams, Kevin J O’Connor, Wes Studi, Anthony Heald, Djimon Hounsou, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis, Derek O;Connor, Famke Jassen. USA. 1h 46m.
The 90’s was a great era for cool action flicks with questionable levels of bravado and badassness , everyone was hot with a weapon, spitting corny one liners, and pulling hot chicks is nothing but a hobby. This era was owned by a few huge names, Arnie, Stallone and Gibson to name a few but at the back end of the 90’s there was a few toys to play with, the addition of advanced computer enhanced effects really ignited something in a lot of directors who tried to break through old limitations and create groundbreaking horror sci fi action flicks just like this and despite there being a few holes in the plot and physical side to story, Stephen Sommers was certainly building his craft into something quite spectacular, only a year later he returns with The Mummy (1999) and a host of other big popcorn titles were to follow. Continue reading Deep Rising (1998)
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)