BABYSITTER MASSACRE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 73 minutes

While the majority of the film is spent checking off slasher list items, Couto manages to sneak in some of his trademark subversion by trying to create a quartet of central characters who might be actual people were there not a murder agenda to keep to…


Posted on October 9, 2013 by

THE GHASTLY LOVE OF JOHNNY X

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

Not to be cute, but the word “fun” recently received a new definition. Paul Bunnell, best known for his outstandingly bizarre short, “That Little Monster,” spent almost a decade bringing to life this homage to everything. It’s a ’50s sci-fi musical comedy with shades of noir and classic mythology and it all comes at you fast and furiously…


Posted on July 6, 2013 by

ZOMBIE EXS

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 100 minutes

Obviously plagued with set-noise, the filmmakers had the actors rerecord nearly all of their dialogue, so we get a very clean (if occasionally loud or echoey) dialogue track above a playful sound design and music track. This indicates not only a filmmaking team that went in smart, but also learned as they went along, giving the movie, after the first few frustrating minutes, a whip-crack pace and a gaggle of editing tricks that almost become their own characters…


Posted on May 11, 2013 by

THE CEMETERY

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes

In “The Cemetery,” from the same group that brought the surprisingly-good “Cross Bearer,” a team of ghost hunters hike to an ancient cemetery, five miles into the heart of a forest, to record weird happenings…


Posted on April 19, 2013 by

CROSS BEARER

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 70 minutes

In the movies, drug deals never go off as planned. If they did, I suppose, the running times of the movies would be a lot shorter. In the case of “Cross Bearer,” a simple plan to do the deal, rip off the owner, and retire with a girlfriend to the Greek Isles results in disaster more quickly than most. For strippers Heather and Bunny, the Morality Gods come down on them particularly hard…


Posted on April 18, 2013 by

HOUSE OF BAD

4 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

“House of Bad” is a remarkably strong psychological study from Jim Towns, who wrote the solid script with Scott Frazelle. There are no easy answers for the sisters and, as well, none for the viewer…


Posted on April 17, 2013 by

HELL FIRE

4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes

Fratto’s strength as a screenwriter and director is creating whole characters then giving his actors plenty of room to run around in them. For a reasonably-low-budgeted independent, there isn’t a single performance that can be singled out as inferior to anyone else…


Posted on April 16, 2013 by

MARK OF THE BEAST (2012)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: minutes

Transplanting the tale from India to rural America, Gorman and Seymour update “Mark” only slightly. Instead of leprous villagers worshipping a jungle shrine to Hanuman the Hindu Monkey-God, the film has them worshipping in a very lovely forest instead…


Posted on February 24, 2012 by

WITCH’S BREW

4 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes

I could complain about some of the gore effects or the few instances when victims’ reactions don’t quite match the agony they’re subjected to, but those complaints go with the independent territory…


Posted on November 3, 2011 by

THE STUNT MAN (1980)

5 Stars
Year Released: 1980
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 132 minutes

Subtle, neurotic and multi-layered, every scene in” The Stunt Man” is about multiple things at once. Paranoia, obviously, but also the stress of filmmaking and simply living…


Posted on August 18, 2011 by

RANDOM ACTS OF MIKE WATT: THOSE WERE THE DAYS OF THE DEAD

The venue is trying to kill us. We’d ask for the air to be turned up inside our room, they’d go into hyperthermia and ask for the air to be turned down. Was this Indianapolis or Hell?



Posted on August 4, 2011 by

CAESAR AND OTTO’S SUMMER CAMP MASSACRE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 89 minutes

Like a motor-mouthed Jackie Cooper, Caesar snaps, japes, and soliloquies throughout, with some of his funnier rants delivered at top speed becoming a single, very long word…


Posted on July 26, 2011 by

SINNERS & SAINTS

4 Stars
Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 100 minutes

Ho-hum, right? Another hyper-active cop movie. Except that “Sinners & Saints” isn’t the product of Hollywood but rather is an outstanding action-thriller from independent writer/director William Kaufman…


Posted on July 9, 2011 by

RANDOM ACTS OF MIKE WATT: HAPPY, HAPPY HORROR REALM

Hopefully Horror Realm will go on as long as its shuffling mascot flesh-eating corpses, which is to say, of course, forever…



Posted on March 10, 2011 by

TEENAPE VS THE NAZI MONSTER APOCALYPSE

3.5 Stars
Year Released: ???
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 70 minutes

For anyone unfamiliar with the oeuvre of filmmaker Chris Seaver or the Low Budget Pictures universe, this probably isn’t the best introduction. Come to think of it, considering that it’s in developmental limbo at Troma Entertainment and may never be released at all, it’s probably the worst choice for an introduction…


Posted on February 17, 2011 by

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