The Dentist Review

The Dentist (1996)

Starring: Corbin Bernsen, Linda Hoffman, Ken Foree
Directed by: Brian Yuzna




This was a gem I remember from the 90's as being the movie that made me worry about visiting the dentist like Child's Play made every kid worry about owning a My Buddy doll. I think I may have just showed my age there. Oh well, here we go...

In The Dentist, after catching his wife cheating on him, successful Dr. Feinstone loses it and begins to find under every clean white surface exists a layer of filth and decay that must be dealt with.

The Dentist is a dark tale that delves into the psyche of a man who just can't take it anymore. A practitioner who is already high strung, wound tight and close to the edge is tossed overboard headlong when he sees his wife pleasuring the pool boy with, of all things, her mouth. This movie really makes you feel for the titular character because at first, he seems like a bit of a tight ass, but soon you realize he's deprived. He's neglected and betrayed by not just his wife, but in a way, society.

I like to consider this movie in a similar vein as films like Falling Down not because the main character is also the villain (of sorts), but because he's been brought to that boiling point by society and has fallen into a steep downward spiral of losing his sanity, causing him to do things he normally wouldn't on any other less stressful day. I guess the real difference, though, is Dr. Feinstone is far from being a vigilante--removing all the teeth from his wife's mouth, sexually assaulting a beautiful actress patient, mangling, mauling and those who step in his way. You can only feel so bad for the guy.

Ultimately, though, I do like the plot for this movie. It's initially told from the point of view of Dr. Feinstone (who, mind you, is miming his usual dentistry motions as he begins speaking), which lends a bit of sincerity to the story. Every time the good doctor sees things through a lens of distorted reality isn't an interpretation, it's how he was really seeing things at the time. That's pretty fucked up when you think about it.

Most of the characters in this movie really do seem to be out to screw Dr. Feinstone as he's extorted by an IRS agent, cheated on by his wife and the list goes on. Again, it does make you feel for him in the long run, though he does do his own unforgivably evil deeds. It's a fine line, really.

Being a horror from the mid 90's, this film has some pretty decent special effects, all being practicals. They're not the best, but it helps add to the atmosphere. While not the goriest scene, my favorite is probably when he gets his revenge on the pool cleaner. The way the blood sprays on the ground as he slashes at him with the kitchen knife, I felt, was superb.

By no accounts is this a perfect movie, it's actually quite average, but it is definitely worth a watch for any fan of 90's/old school horror. Don't expect to be wowed or deeply moved or anything, just sit back, relax and enjoy some classic horror.



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Overall Rating: Going For The Jugular

Mother's Day Review

Mother's Day (2010)

Starring: Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Shawn Ashmore
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman



Sometimes it feels good to see a movie that's all about family values. This one, though, takes that concept to the violent extreme. Oh and Rebecca De Mornay. I don't need to follow that up with anything.

A psychotic family, the Koffins, return to their childhood home and terrorize the new tenants and their party guests in this remake of Mother's Day.

Loosely taking from the original 80's film of the same name, Mother's Day is a film that takes brutality and the concept of torture porn and has its merry little way with it. Even from the very beginning of the movie, you get a sense of urgency and that things are not going to be alright as one of the Koffins is severely wounded from a recent bank robbery. The first thing they do is head to their childhood home, which early on, you find out could have been avoided with one phone call. From the jump, you know you're in for a long, bumpy ride.

Even for those who are not into the "torture porn" sub-genre, one can say this movie has a fantastic plot and cast, including Lyriq Bent (also known as "Not Danny Glover" from the Saw series). The real crown jewel of this movie, though, is Rebecca De Mornay, a classic actress with more than enough chops to spare. Starting at the 20 minute mark, she easily (and dare, I say, sexily) steals the show as the calm sociopath, "Mother". Throughout much of the movie, her character is portrayed as a sort of teacher--someone her kids are constantly trying to impress and do right by. It actually makes you feel a little bad for them at times.

Without much of any relief throughout, there is a heavy feeling of tension as the new homeowners and their friends' lives are in constant danger, going through a series of torturous events ranging from being pitted against one another to the death to having boiling water poured into one of their ears. Even two strangers are forced to kill one another at an ATM. Yeah, this movie gets pretty brutal. But that's part of the fun, to be honest. And speaking of the torture and pain these characters go through, the special effects in this film are great. Nauseatingly so at times.

Overall, this is a movie that is not really for the faint of heart, but thanks to the plot can still be enjoyed by many. It's brutal and psychological with a touch of motherly love. You won't be let down in the slightest bit. I recommend Mother's Day for anyone who enjoys any combination of torture, home invasion and crime drama movies.


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Overall Rating: Bloody Pulp

Friday The 13th (Reboot) Review

Friday the 13th (2009)

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Amanda Righetti, Derek Mears
Directed by: Marcus Nispel



After doing the previous review, I felt tempted to take a stab at (see what I did there?) the 2009 attempt at a reboot. You know, just for shits and giggles. Honestly, that's what it feels like they did this movie for as well.
Note: In my post, Reboots, Remakes and Re-Imaginings: My Thoughts, I comment on this movie in comparison to other remakes, not as an objective review.

Friday the 13th is about a group of college kids who make the mistake of deciding to party at Crystal Lake. It isn't long before the legend, Jason Voorhees proves himself to be real and dangerous.

As I described it before, this felt more like an attempt at a reboot as opposed to a successful re-imagining. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything Michael Bay gets his hands on is garbage, but let's just say I wouldn't jump to pull this one out of a trash compactor. In Friday the 13th, the story line for the original first four movies is essentially crammed into one hour and forty-five minute film, which I'm sure you can already identify a problem with that right off the bat.

Jason's entire back story is told within the first 5 minutes of the movie, starting with the last 5 minutes of the first movie, minus any real tension or style. As a matter of fact, while Mrs. Voorhees is screaming about Jason's death, he's literally watching from two trees over. All sense of mystery or empathy is thrown right out the window. From then on, the idea of a likable character is all but non-existent as this vapid group of horny college coeds tromp their way through the woods just waiting to die. And again, don't get me wrong, I get it. That's what slasher movies usually are--horny teens getting dropped like fornicating flies. There just isn't anything that makes you care. Every death just makes you scream, "Fucking FINALLY!!" There is literally the line, "You've got perfect nipple placement, baby." What the hell is that?! The only okay character is Clay (Jared Padalecki) and even then, I think that may be a biased opinion because I like Supernatural. But to be fair, he is a pretty good actor.

And speaking of characters, here's something a bit hard to digest: Travis Van Winkle's character, Trent, is a direct reprisal of his character from Transformers. Think about that. If they're the same character, that puts them in the same universe, technically, right? I truly hope not, because that would mean a double-fucking of many good childhood memories. Man, this review is making me sad now. Onto what was actually GOOD about this movie.

Giving credit where credit is due. Friday the 13th has a decent atmosphere. It's dark. It's creepy. After the opening segment, there is some tension to be had, which is a small saving grace, given the characters. Aside from that, the best thing about this movie is occasional nudity and lots of gore. The special effects were good for what this movie has to offer. I did also somewhat enjoy Derek Mears as Jason. His portrayal was active and for what it was, terrifying. He's still no Kane Hodder, but I hold no ill will whatsoever towards him.

For fans of the originals, I'd say don't waste your time with this one. Make a night of it and just do a Friday the 13th marathon. For newcomers to the franchise, I'd suggest skipping this one as well since the last thing you need is a bad experience in your first foray into Camp Crystal Lake. Sorry, Michael Bay. Try again.



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Overall Rating: Wounded and Limping

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI Review

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)

Starring: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen
Directed by: Tom McLoughlin



I guess I should preface this by saying Friday the 13th is my all-time favorite horror franchise next to the Romero Trilogy. That being said, this particular entry in the series caused me problems for as many reasons as I loved it to begin with.

In Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, Tommy Jarvis is on a mission to find Jason's corpse and finish him off for good. Unfortunately, he ends up reviving the monster, thus setting him loose to kill again. Now Tommy has to find Jason and finally kill him once and for all.

This film, I have probably the biggest love/hate relationship with next to Jason Takes Manhattan. For one, the premise itself kinda makes me angry. One of the best movies Cory Feldman ever did was Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter. That movie was just awesome. The problem, though, is the premise of this movie completely undoes EVERYTHING his character did in that movie, technically making all the effort he put into killing Jason in the first place in vain. It wasn't enough to know the killer in the previous film *spoiler* wasn't Jason at all, but a paramedic, so he had to find the guy and dig him up. If it hadn't been for Tommy's own ridiculous need to stab him repeatedly with a metal pole, he would have never come back and started murdering people. I guess in a way, that makes Tommy Jarvis the biggest asshole in horror movie history.

But on the plus side, there are many great elements to the film. Beyond Tommy's initial screw up, there's a great horror story, complete with much gore for the hounds. One of the best deaths in the movie involves one of the counselors at Crystal Lake mistaking Jason outside her window for her boyfriend, so she dumps her soda on his head. Needless to say, the walking murder machine dispatches her in a related fashion.

Also, after that beginning sequence, there's a nice James Bond-esque title sequence that always makes me giggle with maniacal joy. One scene I love that I don't really hear anyone ever mention involves the groundskeeper. After Jason dispatches Tommy's friend and tosses him in the grave, the next morning, the groundskeeper makes a very good fourth wall-breaking joke about digging up corpses, stating "Some folks have a strange idea of entertainment." This scene alone is worth watching the movie as it is severely self-referential. There are other tidbits of comedy peppered throughout the movie, but for the most, it's a horror film, tried and true.

Truth be told, this movie had some of the most epic Jason Voorhees kills of the entire series, at least to me. The plot wasn't bad, but I'm giving it a lower score because Tommy is an asshole. Besides that, I liked the characters involved. Jennifer Cooke was a very hot final lady. And while Tommy and I have some fictional beef to settle, Thom Mathews wasn't bad replacing John Shephard in the part.

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI is classic 80's horror at its best. It doesn't take itself too seriously and it delivers a story with a fiery climax that any horror fiend can enjoy. I don't care if you don't even like horror, you need this film in your life, no matter how much the continuity pisses you (or me) off. Can you think of any bigger assholes in horror movie history?



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Overall Rating: Hurts So Good

Book of Blood Review

Book of Blood (2009)

Starring: Jonas Armstrong, Sophie Ward, Clive Russell
Directed by: John Harrison




Recently, we looked at the Clive Barker masterpiece, Night Breed. Today, we're looking at a film that doesn't seem to be as well known, but is still just as noteworthy as the rest. Book of Blood is about paranormal researcher, Mary Florescu. After a decade of investigations, she is lead to college student, Simon McNeal, who seems to have the paranormal ability of clairvoyance. As their erotic relationship develops, the lines between the living and dead begin to blur and blend, culminating in a shocking climax.

While not nearly as talked about as just about any other Clive Barker classic, this British movie delivers just as much of a punch as the likes of Hellraiser and Night Breed. One thing in common with the aforementioned is an appearance by Doug Bradley, one of Clive's best and brightest actors. Another is that Book of Blood, like many of the Clive Barker films, is based on the framing stories from the Books of Blood, a set of volumes penned by the horror great.

In the film, there is a huge mystery surrounding the young Simon McNeal (Jonas Armstrong) as he draws Mary (Sophie Ward) in to believing in him and his abilities. As strange events unfold, they are led to a house believed to be haunted. A crossroads for the dead. During one scene in the beginning, a young woman is raped and brutalized by the spirits for mocking them. While researching this, Simon and Mary become closer, the story growing as erotic as it is twisted.

Book of Blood presents a suspenseful and gory story for all to behold. The special effects are top notch and will delight those seeking to be grossed out while simultaneously gripped and pulled through this dark tale. If you are a Clive Barker fan, this is one you should not miss for any reason. Besides, don't you want to know what tales the dead can tell?


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Overall Rating: Evisceration

Thank You, Readers!!

A Thank You To All My Readers

Greetings and salutations, my con-stitch-uents! I've noticed that we're coming up on our ten-thousandth view and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been here to check out the content. I know 10,000 isn't much and is cleared by many blogs and videos per post, but for me it's a milestone. A big one. It's a stepping stone to what could hopefully be more and better content for your viewing pleasure.

I'll be honest, it's not been the easiest thing doing this blog, what with dealing with depression and moving and whatnot (read: life), but every post, I feel, brings me closer to you guys. Every post reminds me of the joy of writing. Every post reminds me that even if it's only one or two people who are viewing, that's still one or two people that are interested in what I've got to say. And that means a lot to me. So, again, thank you, everybody, for sticking through this with me! Let's hope to see more guts and gore in the future!

Oh, and for the record, there are some things I've realized I've forgotten (namely a review of the Orwellian classic, 1984 for one...), so I will be looking to get those finished and posted when I can. And don't forget to take a loot at the Horror Mansion Blog as well. And while you're there, thank Dakotamoon for putting in so much damn work there, even though I know she's been slogged down lately.

So before I go, I'd like you ask you good people if there's anything you'd like to see more or less often? Do you miss the screen caps in each review? Would you like more humor or behind the scenes facts? I want to know what you think, you guys, so let loose the dogs of war and don't hold back!


Graveyard Shift Review

Graveyard Shift (1990)

Starring: David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, Stephen Macht
Directed by: Ralph S. Singleton




What's your favorite Stephen King tale? Here we have another horror based off a short story by The Master of Horror. If you haven't noticed by now, perhaps due to being under a rock for the last 30 or so years, Stephen King's work is pretty much what would be considered prolific. So much of the best horror out there, both literature and movies, come from the mind of this twisted New Englander.

In Graveyard Shift, a group of workers are hired to clean out the basement of a very old textile mill. Deep into the job, they discover a secret that has been harboring there among a major rat infestation.

Graveyard Shift is a dark tale that also happens to be a musophobia nightmare. Right off the bat, those with a fear of mice or rats will probably faint at the amount of rodents pictured here. I haven't seen this many rats since Willard. And if you clicked that link and you're musophobic, that's your own damn fault. C'mon! What have we been talking about here?

Anyway, Graveyard Shift has a decent plot to begin with, but what really makes the movie are the special effects (all practicals) and the diverse cast, including the always sexy Kelly Wolf. Even in the ugly 80's jump suits, this woman makes it work something fierce. Also in the cast are Charles Lee Ray, himself, Brad Dourif and Andrew Divoff, better known as The Djinn from the Wishmaster movies (well, the only two that mattered). There is a distinct difference between each character portrayed. As an example the foreman, Warwick, is cold and essentially ruthless, Brogan is brash and unsettled and Carmichael is...well, he's the black guy.

The setting of Graveyard Shift is majorly in the mill, mostly the basement, with a small stint in an actual graveyard (a good scene which I will not spoil). For the most part, the scenery is dank and wet. The characters spend much of their time underground dealing with rats and something so horrible, it shall not be spoiled for you. This is definitely a flick for the late night, complete with jump scares, rats and characters already on the edge.

I'd say this is one for the books. If you like Stephen King or creepy horrors from the early 90's, get yourself a beer or some popcorn or whatever you enjoy your movies with and have at it. Grab a friend, too, because this one is worth sharing. Just make sure you watch your step...

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Overall Rating: Down To The Bone

The House Of The Devil Review

The House Of The Devil (2009)

Starring: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov
Directed by: Ti West




After doing the review of Silent Night, Deadly Night, I seem to still have a bit of a taste for the 80's, so today's horror is a modern movie set in that era. We're looking at the creep fest known as The House Of The Devil, a film set during the Satanist cult scare of the 70's and 80's.

The House Of The Devil is based on the alleged "true story" of a young woman, Samantha Hughes, who takes an odd babysitting job, only to later realize she is to be used in a satanic ritual.

This is by far one of my favorite disturbing movies, next to A Serbian Film and Sick Girl that is. This is another plot-driven film that mostly doles out its punches in mystery charged chunks, saving the majority of the shocks for the ending. There is no disappointment making it through this film. Even while somewhat slow at first, The House Of The Devil delivers a product that is overall suspenseful and gory.

I feel the best way to describe the characters in this film is "genuine". I felt like I was legitimately taken back to the 80's and thrown into the thick of things. The older couple that hire Samantha are by far the most creepy, charismatic people I've seen on film in a long time. Even without knowing the synopsis, you know something serious is up when Mr. Ulman (played by Tom Noonan) speaks, beckoning Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) to stay for the job.

Throughout the movie, there is an air of creepy in just about every scene. There's nothing but "ominous" written about the location and the actions of all the Ulmans. It really kicks into high gear creepy after Samantha's friend, Megan (Greta Gerwig) drops her off and goes to leave. I won't spoil the scene, but it really sets the pace and severity of the story in that one moment. The special effects are all practical and fantastically done. This scene only gives a taste of what is to come later, since as I said, the majority of the shock value is saved for the end.

I don't know if this would necessarily be considered a "period piece", but this is one of my personal favorites and I would definitely suggest this film for anyone into 80's suspense horror as well as anyone looking for a movie with a great story. Torture porn fans may be disappointed.


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Overall Rating: Down To The Bone

Silent Night, Deadly Night Review

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Starring: Gilmer McCormick, Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin
Directed by: Charles E. Sellier, Jr.




Because it's August, I figured I'd take a page from the book of department store marketing and do some classic Christmas horror. Also because I'm probably not going to care much about the season when it comes around. I'm a Halloween guy. No surprise there, right?

Silent Night, Deadly Night is about a traumatized teen who goes on a killing spree after a childhood of abuse from the Mother Superior at an orphanage.

This is one of those classic horror movies I just love. Not only does it have the gorgeous horror legend, Linnea Quigley, but it also has a pretty good story to follow. It's one of those movies where you can't help but feel bad for the main character, Billy, as he begins as a sort of protagonist, but is turned into the movie's killer relatively early on. The Mother Superior kinda just stays a bitch throughout the movie (seriously, where do nuns get off with this stuff??). The situations he gets caught in after he grows up are pretty messed up as he is sort of forced into playing the role that got him put into an orphanage to begin with--his parents were murdered by a lunatic in a Santa outfit and he later becomes a lunatic in a Santa outfit. Naughty or Nice?

Being a horror from the 80's, Silent Night, Deadly Night is chock full of practical effects, including a deer antler impalement and other such fun scenes. I found myself rooting for Billy's kills more and more as the movie progressed as they were very enjoyable. The holiday atmosphere really makes for good scenery throughout the film. There's something about strangling somebody with Christmas lights that really gets the blood going, no?

After watching this movie again, I've realized it really has been a while since there was a good Christmas related horror. Last one I can think of was the remake of Black X-Mas (yes, I liked that one...), but I'm sure I've missed out on some good ones. If you have a favorite or two you'd like to mention, by all means, leave a message in the comments about it. I'd love to hear what your favorites are.

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Overall Rating: Hurts So Good

Savaged Review

Savaged (2013)

Starring: Amanda Adrienne, Tom Ardavany, Ronnie Gene Blevins
Directed by: Michael S. Ojeda




In the annals of revenge/rape flicks, this is probably the coolest, yet most bizarre I've stumbled upon yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything "cool" about rape (somehow people have been known to get that impression), I'm just saying this one really took the cake in regards to providing a story to follow the brutality.

In Savaged, a young deaf woman is raped and murdered by a gang of racists. Later, her brutalized body is returned from the grave, possessed by the spirit of an Apache warrior hellbent on tracking down and murdering each and every one of the perpetrators.

Unlike most rape/revenge movies, this one lacks two very common elements found in these types of movies: nudity and an over-the-top rape scene. Instead, what you get is a story that spends more time on the action and the plot and less time trying to disturb you out of your seat. And that being said, I loved this movie's plot. Granted, it's not too terribly different from most movies of the same ilk, it does make a name for itself by adding a supernatural facet to a genre that tends to be more rooted in a dark facet of reality.

One interesting concept to Savaged is the juxtaposition of the "damsel in distress", which I will try not to spoil, but I will say it's an interracial couple and the blonde deaf girl is the one who becomes possessed. Run with that how you will. The characters in Savaged seem to be majorly one-dimensional, which is to be expected in exploitation type movies, but to be honest, that's part of the fun. It's satisfying watching them get dispatched as the movie carries on. And I will say, this movie probably has the most amount of intestinal pulling I've seen in a horror since Hatchet II.

Speaking of intestinal pulling, I was pulled both ways in regards to the special effects of Savaged. On one hand, the practicals are just fantastic. The gut scenes, the scenes involving arrows, broken limbs, etc, they were all great. The CG added was hit or miss. Granted, it was pretty much necessary for a lot of the effects needed, in some instances, it felt extremely low budget and amateur. As an example, there's a scene involving a car flipping. I wasn't exactly impressed by that moment, but it was still enjoyable.

In the end, Savaged is a movie that pulls few punches, but remains brutal and in-your-face. The special effects can sometimes seem ridiculous, but overall, it's a great movie to take in. I suggest this to fans of the rape-sploitation genre as well as those who just like action movies in general. The usage of a character with a disability is pretty cool to sort of shake things up a bit and I think many can and will find plenty of enjoyment in this film.

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Overall Rating: Multiple Stab Wounds