Well the powers that be have listened to my legions of readers (all two of you), and given in to the Coffin Club’s demands…namely more of your’s cruelly! So without further arcane ado; here comes the kick off of the That’s Not Current version (as opposed to the four million other websites that this garbage has called home over the years) of The Outre Eye of Daniel XIII!
Do I really need to recap the basics of Beauty and the Beast? I mean, c’mon…it’s a tale as old as time, possibly even a song as old as rhyme (okay, shit ain’t that old…but it’s at least 277 years old, because that’s when the briefly named Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve put pen to paper and jotted down this beloved yarn). Anyway, for the none of you unfamiliar with the story, here’s the ol’ nutshell version; a hard luck merchant happens upon the rad ass castle of The Beast; a being that was once a man, but is now…a beast (a lion man to be precise)…yeah, sort of obvious there. Anyway he gets in a jam when he tries to steal one of the Beast’s roses for his comely (and in this version, chesty AF) daughter Belle. Speaking of Belle, both her and her ever-heaving bosom take her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner. Before long the two begin to fall in love (I mean, it’s not so strange…the guy sort of still looks like a man…if you can get past all of that hair…and the tail…and the cat face…uh…okay, Belle may have a few repressed sexual hang-ups). Soon trouble comes a knockering…sorry, knocking and Belle and her pussy must fend off invaders looking to bring their happiness to a halt.
First things first, this version of Beauty and the Beast is nothing like any version that has come before, especially in regards to it’s asthetics; the film is absolutely, jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The director of this flick, Christophe Gans, is an amazing visual stylist (as evidenced by his other works such as Brotherhood of the Wolf, and his cinematic adaptation of the Silent Hill video game), and he really holds nothing back here as every design choice presents an impossible world of enchanted castles, living statues, mysterious forests, magic, and curses all brought to over saturated, vivid, life that echoes the palettes of the Romantic paintings that were popular a few decades after the orginal story’s publication. For that alone I’d give this film a recommendation, but another huge plus is Vincent Cassel’s portrayal of the tragic Beast; he is perfect as the doomed creature that deals with his inner turmoil and grief by masking it in ferocious bravado, and his scenes with Lea Seydoux (who is also terrific) are enjoyable as we see their relationship grow as Belle tames his wild heart. I also like when he murders people.
On the negative side, some of the CG on display isn’t the best in the world, in particular when it comes to the puppy creatures. Yeah, there are these overly cutesy puppy things that exist for no good reason and not only were the effects utilized to create them kind of dodgy (read: horrendous beyond all human ken), my hatred of them in general was of the kind most people reserve for folks like Josef Mengele.
As for extras on this Blu you get serviceable interviews with Director Gans and stars Cassel and Seydoux, and the film’s trailer. Personally I would have loved a “making of” feature detailing the work that went into creating the look of the film, along with some concept art galleries…but you can’t have it all (especially when it comes to special features that I just made up).
Sumptuous, enchanting, and filled with good ol’ cinematic magic; Beauty and the Beast is a visual masterpiece and comes highly recommended for those looking for a perfect representation of a fairy tale come to life (and yes, even those abhorrent puppy creatures couldn’t crap on my praise parade)!
Online dating can be a real horror show…and with Slasher.com it’s a real horror show…’cuz it’s a fright flick…well, that’s not really real…it’s reel…my god, what has my life become…
Anyway, two folks meet online, they go on a lil’ hanky panky trip to the backwoods and they run afoul of a murderous family ((whose ranks include genre vets Jewel Shepard and R.A. Mihailoff, one of whom masturbates with a spoon in a bathtub, but I’ll leave that a mystery) who run a bed and breakfast cum torture porn dungeon …we’ve all seen it elsewhere (minus the online dating and spoon f**king); it’s as cliche as it gets, and…it’s pretty damn fun!
First off, the acting in this stalk n’ slay offering is rather good, with the aforementioned legends of the horror biz delivering game performances along with the newer faces in the cast (Ben Kaplan, Morgan Carter, and Rebecca Crowley), all of whom are required to be surrounded by various and sundry unpleasantness (and the villains eat that shit up with a spoon…literally). And while the story isn’t the most original thing under the sun; it is fast moving and doesn’t fail to entertain. Additionally, there is a strong streak of black humor coursing through this thing that makes it all the more appealing (it knows what it is and where it’s roots lie, but it isn’t afraid to take the piss out of it either), plus the synth score is fun (still not tired of that lil’ number in our throwback horror pictures).
As for the negatives; well this is a low budget affair, and the seams show more often than not. The cinematography gets the job done, and doesn’t do much else, and in a rather shocking turn; the violence on display is kept to a minimum, so you gorehounds are going to go rather hungry with this one.
Speaking of going hungry; those of you that like a beastly bounty of bonus content will be rather disappointed (read: freakin’ enraged) that this DVD comes with the pulse pounding addition of the film’s trailer…and not a damn thing else. Rock n’ rollll!!!!
I’d recommend Slasher.com, especially to aficionados of the genre; it’s fun, kinda perverted, filled with old chums and fresh talent that is actually talented, and moves along at a good clip…just don’t expect a gore drenched bacchanal (or extra features) and you’ll stay gold!
It isn’t every day day (or admittedly any day besides today actually) that I get to review a vampire flick set during the oldie-moldy days of prohibition, yet here I am sitting down to feast my eerie eyeballs upon Bloodrunners; a fang banger flick set during that precise period in time…starring Ice-F’n-T because…because…my brain just broke…
So, how about that Bloodrunners huh? Well the basics are as follows; crooked cop Jack Malone shakes down every bootlegger and no-goodnik in town (to collect that hoary ol’ chestnut the “luxury tax”) which goes swimingly until he tries to apply his strong arm tactics on a freshly opened speakeasy called Chesterfield’s. Guess what? this new establishment is home to a multitude of vicious vamps (lead by the eponymous Chesterfield) who just so happen to be smuggling blood rather than radiator distilled rot gut. What follows is a delightful slice of old timey racism, war flashbacks, some bullshittery set in a cathouse, talk, talk, and more talk (with a dash of chit-chat), and not a whole lot of that sweet, sweet vampire action we were promised.
I don’t really know how to adequately describe Bloodrunners. For starters the whole thing is a study in mind-melting dichotomies; for instance there is a high level of production value on display (great period costumes, vehicles, and one decent location), yet most of the cinematography and lighting would be right at home in a lower tier porno flick (minus a creative shot or two). The story is much the same; a great and novel premise (vampire bootleggers…seriously, that’s original and pretty damn cool) that fails to deliver the ghoulish goods (way too much time is spent with blathering coppers and hookers with a heart of gold than with our be-toothed beasties). I will say that the one area this thing is consistent is the acting; the cast is game and equal parts campy and dramatic…and that really helps sell the goings-on, now if only said “goings” were more interesting.
While the film left me a tad underwhelmed, the Blu-ray of Bloodrunners does offer a an artery full of extras (does that even sound like a lot…just humor me and say yes…I ask so precious little of you lot, just throw me this one bone…) including; a gag reel, deleted and extended scenes, and an informative commentary track with Writer/Director Dan Lantz and Co-Writer/Actor Michael McFadden. There’s also a trailer for the film…yeah!!
So would I recommend Bloodrunners? Surprisingly, yeah I would. While talky and a tad on the cheap side, Bloodrunners is nevertheless mostly entertaining, original, well-acted, and ambitious in what it attempts to present on screen (period accurate trappings on a lower scale budget is a dicey proposition at best, and the fact these folks do it well should be applauded)…it also has it’s heart in the right place; I just hope if there is a follow up it concentrates waaaay more on the full-on vampy side of things.
Good ol’ Yolner (if you don’t get this reference in regards to hammers you really need to up your geek game, my creeps) is a complete failure at life. In one day he manages to lose his girlfriend and F up getting to work six ways to Sunday. Well; when Big Y finally does get to work he gets dosed with drugs by his co-workers (isn’t that always the way?) and ends up going berserk as he emulates his childhood hero Thor and smashes things (namely other humans) with a rather large hammer. Cultists, co-workers, cheerleaders…apparently everything that starts with the letter “C”; including his major “C” of a girlfriend, is safe from the swingin’ smackdown of Yolner.
Sledgehammer is as cheap as it is simplistic; the effects are bottom of the barrel, the acting is atrocious, and the whole thing comes off as a slap-dash attempt to make a flick just for the shit of it. That mountain of negativity being climbed; I do have to admit the whole affair is pretty damn entertaining (it sure doesn’t have a case of the “drags” that’s for sure); the (intentional) laughs come quick, it’s trippy AF at times, and there’s a sequence on bikes that’s damn impressive! There’s also boobs and buckets of blood; so you know the primordial brain o’ XIII is right pleased!
While not technically proficient by a damn sight, Sledgehammer is nevertheless a good time in the ol’ horror biz; it has the three B’s covered in spades (boobs, blood, and bad guys for those following along on their scorecards at home), and I was never bored which gets a huge check mark in the plus column. If you dig on early Troma I think ol’ Sledgehammer will pummel your funny bone (and various other parts of your anatomy into submission!
A real brain trust of “teenage” rock n’ rollers decide to party hard on the 24th anniversary of the death of your local garden variety serial killer…who just so happened to die on St Swithin’s Day…ok, I’m just blowin’ smoke up your ass; he died on Easter Sunday (as if that title didn’t give it away…although a soggy slasher base on ol’ St Swithin’s is just low hangin’ fruit if you ask your’s cruelly). Anyhow; those teens naturally resurrect the bunny masked maniac and they have until the stroke of midnight on the eponymous holiday to put the kibosh on the killer!
From the get-go, it’s obvious that writer/director Jeremy Todd Morehead has a real love of the good ol’ days of the stalk n’ slay pics’ dominance of that far off land of near forgotten wonder (known to old farts like you and me as “the video store”). He hits all of the beats; quipping killer, iconic mask, some nudity, dopey goofs just ripe for the slaughter putting themselves in harms way with reckless abandon…yup they are all here, and for what they are, they ain’t bad. Speaking of “ain’t bad” the kills in Easter Sunday are plentiful, gory, and at times creative (be still my black lil’ heart). I also should mention that for the most part the acting was pretty solid as well (also of note, this flick marks one of the last appearances of the late, great Robert Z’Dar…ol’ Maniac Cop himself). Unfortunately, it isn’t all blood and roses with this slash ’em up.
The main complaint I have with Easter Sunday is that it’s tone is kind of all over the place…is it a straight up slasher flick, a satire, a comedy? F’d if I know, and the film sure as hell doesn’t seem to know either as it skips across these genres willy-nilly. This really does the film no favors as it’s hard to get invested in something that changes gears so damn much. Also, as much as this thing wants to be an ’80’s fright flick, it really doesn’t look like one despite the fact that Morehead slapped a few filters on this bitch and desaturated the image. There’s a lot to be said for framing and lighting, and even some of the cheapest of the moldy oldies new this and at least tried to look as professional as possible (minus those crazy ass S.O.V. flicks, but that’s another creepy can of wicked worms all together).
As for extras, there is a pretty damn awesome “making of” that runs just over an hour and details the trials and tribulations faced by those that brought Easter Sunday to life. As much as I felt the feature had some problems, this feature is well worth the price of admission for anyone trying to bring their own low budget shocker to the screen. Also included is an extensive trailer vault for other releases from Camp/Alternative Cinema.
For all of the issues I had with Easter Sunday, I would still recommend it to fans of the slasher genre; it’s seams show, and it’s held together by tape and bubblegum…but it’s heart is in the right place, and there’s an infectious “let’s put on a show” mentality to it that makes it engaging to a degree, plus the kills are fun…and that’s why you watch this shit in the first place, right?