So many times, when you watch a movie, you hope it will be an experience that will make you want to re-watch it. With WE GOT A MONKEY’S PAW, we got a winner. This short film has a running time of 8:32. The film is not short on entertainment. Jakki (Jakki Jandrell) and Zack (Zack Ogle) are best friends living in an apartment. Zack has a love of all things occult and Jackie seems to have gotten tired of his enthusiasm for his artifacts. She keeps turning Zack down for plans that evening until he says he has a monkey’s paw. Jakki cannot wait to start using the monkey’s paw. Does no one ever learn when it comes to a monkey’s paw? As you can guess bad things begin to happen and that is when the laughter starts. This movie is over the top and great ride. It has a short running time, but it delivers with comedy. There are mombies (yes, I said mombies), time paradoxes, possessed stuffed animals, dolls that cry blood, a demon box and a catchy end credits song. The two roommates soon realize that they are over their heads with wishes gone bad. Try as they might, it seems as if this may be the end. However, one thing situation they created at the beginning may be the key to getting things back to normal. During their fight against the living dead and various other horrific situations they get into, Zack discovers Jakki is moving out of their apartment. If they survive and get out alive, Zack will have to find a new roommate. That is scary all by itself. This film is well acted, well written and funny. The director, Aaron Pagniano, has delivered a great film and the editing is terrific. I would rate this at 8.5. I have watched it three times and look forward to watching it again. Time is running out. Will Jakki and Zack survive and if so, who gets the dishes when Jakki moves out?
Movies put us into a time and place. Horror movies are meant to put us in situations that we as viewers, are glad we do not actually have to endure. A movie should get you into the story quickly. THE DEAD ONES puts you in a bad place from the first frame. The viewer learns very quickly that the main characters are being punished for things they have done and have one task to complete, (clean up a school) to pay their dues. The four characters, Mouse, Scottie, Emily and Louis are being supervised by Ms. Persephone, but it does not keep them from wandering off while they are cleaning the school at night, when things are scarier. Soon each of the four notice that they are being locked in the building by four cloaked and masked figures outside the school. The four call themselves the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Four also lock themselves inside. They do not seem to care if anyone sees them. As the movie progresses, more and more details come to light. The mess is not just simply a mess. There are flashbacks and the only way to know when a flashback is occurring is by the tint of the shot. The film is surreal. The visuals will make you believe the poster’s tagline; High School Is Hell. Not everything is explained and does not have to be to tell this story. The characters are well written and acted. Katie Foster stands out in her portrayal of Emily. Emily is insane and at times the viewer forgets she is acting. All of the characters have been cast very well and the film has a look all its own. Symbolism in THE DEAD ONES along with good direction keep the viewer’s interest to the end. There is a bit of a twist at the end and the meaning of the title, THE DEAD ONES, becomes apparent. Clocking in at about seventy-three minutes, it makes for an easy viewing. Some movies feel as if they overstay their welcome, but not this movie. The director knew how long it took to tell the story and paced it well. I recommend this movie.
In 1978 there was no MTV. I have always wondered what a music video for John Carpenter’s Halloween with Blue Öyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper would’ve been like. Since video editing is part of my daily work, I decided to create one. This video is created with the idea that it should be a good balance between BÖC’s 1976 hit and Carpenter’s breakout film. I hope you enjoy this treat from Horror-fix. Happy New Year!
The summer is well under way and movies have been steadily rolling out for the season. Every year movies are released with the studios banking heavily on them. While many films come out, some films get lost in the wake of the major releases. A number of good movies get missed and don’t find the audience they should. THE DEAD DON’T DIE is one of those movies. The film takes place in a small town called Centerville. The town and the rest of the world are seeing the results of polar fracking. Earth is tilting off its axis. Things begin small with ants being affected. Cats, chickens and cows disappear. If that’s not bad enough, the dead begin to reanimate. Who can save Centerville from the zombie horde? Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny are the police officers that make up the first line of defense against the undead. Bill Murray solidly inhabits the sheriff character and is a joy to watch. Tilda Swinton is a sword wielding Scottish Ninja mortician who takes out her fair share of zombies. In addition to these well known actors, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Rosie Perez, Danny Glover, Carol Kane and Selena Gomez are welcome additions to the cast. It is something a little different from zombie films. There is a social message in the movie as well as dry comedy, overt comedic situations and the film has a great look to it, directed by veteran filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. I really enjoyed this film. I went into it with no preconceived ideas and just went along for the ride. I recommend this film to anyone one who loves horror films and has a sense of humor. I give THE DEAD DON’T DIE a 7.5 out of 10.
COME, SAID THE NIGHT is a film about a family trying to isolate themselves from the world and honor the memory of Magda Grady, the daughter and sister who passed a year earlier. Roy Grady, a father who is hands-on in the upbringing of his children, homeschools them and has them following a religion of gods and mythology. The problems start when his daughter, Sprout, starts to see what she believes is a gorgon. Roy reassures her the gorgons have all been killed. Have they been slain or is it just something she sees in her dreams? The gorgon is only one of the problems for the family. Stella Woodhouse, a local park ranger and her son have been visiting the Gradys. Roy has told Sprout and his son, Percy, that boys and girls don’t play together. Percy is supposed to be the only one playing with Stella’s son Max. Meanwhile, Sprout begins to notice the attraction between Roy and Stella. This becomes obvious to Sprout and begins to question the things she has been told and taught. What does her upbringing and the appearance of a gorgon mean in this coming of age tale? COME, SAID THE NIGHT is a movie that really has to wind up to get going. It’s a good movie but it takes a while for the film to deliver details. The film is beautifully shot, the characters all have different personalities. No one seems to be a cookie cutter version of another character. There are several standout performances. Roy is the well meaning father played to the hilt by Lew Temple (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood). Sprout Grady has the most complete character in the film. Nicole Moorea Sherman (My Haunted House) seems very natural as Sprout and is believable when the terror begins. Stella, the friendly lady ranger is played by Danielle Harris (Halloween -2007) is a great addition to this film. Stella is the love interest of Roy and befriends Sprout. What the movie does well is character development and setting. It is beautifully shot with nice aerial photography. The sense of being isolated is well established early in the film. More music in the film would have added to the mood. If the movie was tightened up a bit to have a slightly shorter running time the film would benefit. The ending of the film is interesting and satisfying. This film is worth a look. On a scale of 10, I would give COME, SAID THE NIGHT a 6.6.