Sunday, March 17, 2019

KOLOBOS (1999) Blu-ray review



Kolobos (1999) d. Daniel Liatowitsch / David Todd Ocvirk (USA) (87 min)

An advertisement seeking individuals to participate in an “groundbreaking experimental film project,” one that involves living in a secluded mountain lodge together under constant observation via omnipresent videocameras, attracts a quintet of varied and attractive participants: troubled artist Kyra (Amy Weber), unfunny comic Tom (Donny Terranova), aspiring actress Erica (Nichole Pelerine), clean-cut college co-ed Gary (John Fairlie), and extroverted fast food worker Tina (Promise LaMarco). With their social dynamics primed to be exploited, things take a nasty turn when all the exits and escapes are sealed and an array of mechanical boobytraps make their lethal presence known. To make matters worse, a self-torturing sadist (Ilia Volok) dubbed “Faceless” has incorporated himself into the mix, seeking to hasten their collective demise.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

THE HOUSE (aka HUSET) 2016 DVD review



The House (aka Huset) (2016) d. Reinert Kiil (Norway) (88 min)

Set during WWII, two German soldiers, Nazi officer Kreiner (Mats Reinhardt) and German soldier Fleiss (Frederik von L├╝ttichau), are escorting a Norwegian prisoner (Sondre Krogtoft Larsen) back to base. But as their compass falters, maps conflict, and the sun sets in the south, it quickly becomes apparent that sinister forces are at work. With supplies running low and desperate from the cold, they stumble across an empty farmhouse near the forest. They take shelter (after replacing the Norwegian flag flying outside with the Swastika, naturally) and encounter warm stew bubbling on the stove and all creature comforts in place – but no visible inhabitants. However, there are those noises coming from upstairs, behind the door with the strange symbols….


Friday, March 15, 2019

JACK THE RIPPER (1959) Blu-ray review



Jack the Ripper (1959) d. Robert S. Baker / Monty Berman (UK) (81 min)

While other films had previously been produced based on the notorious Whitechapel slayings of 1888, including Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927), this feature from producing/directing team Baker and Berman (and distributed in the US by legendary showman Joseph E. Levine) was the first to call the Ripper by name in its story (and title, for that matter). It also represents the first time the iconic imagery of a caped figure with top hat roaming the London streets had been seen on screen (though it had been referenced in literature). Despite the talents of legendary scribe Jimmy Sangster (The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula) and being as effective as many of Hammer’s post-Psycho black-and-white thrillers of the early 1960s, it failed to resonate with audiences on its initial release and slipped into relative obscurity.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

SNOWFLAKE (2017) Blu-ray review



Snowflake (2017) d. Adolfo K. Kolmerer / William James (Germany) (121 min)

Set in a near-future Berlin, the murders of two different families spark a collision course of revenge, with a supremely varied ensemble of bizarre characters bumping each other off en route to a final confrontation. However, the twist-within-a-twist is that their ongoing misadventures are apparently being conceived and manifested by a screenwriting hobbyist (Alexander Schubert) who has included himself in his own story. Now hunted by a pair of cold-hearted assassins (Erkan Acar, Reza Brojerdi) who have stumbled onto a partial draft of the script, it’s a race against time and fluttering keystrokes as to who will survive.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

LUCIFERINA (2018) Blu-ray review



Luciferina (2018) d. Gonzalo Calzada (Argentina) (111 min)

When a 19-year-old novice nun, Natalia (Sofia del Tuffo), reluctantly returns home to say goodbye to her dying father, family tensions reignite with her sister Angela (Malena Sanchez), as well as Angela’s violent boyfriend Mauro (Francisco Donovan). During her visit, Angela’s friends decide to travel into the jungle to meet up with a shaman who has distilled the liquid of a mystical healing (and potentially hallucinogenic/euphoric) plant. But instead of the ultimate high, they encounter terrifying visions, brutal slayings, and the sisters’ mysterious dark past rising up to haunt them.


Monday, March 11, 2019

THE DEADLY MANTIS (1957) Blu-ray review



The Deadly Mantis (1957) d. Nathan Juran (USA) (79 min)

After our titular prehistoric big bug is released from an iceberg in the Arctic Circle by an earthquake, it begins a southerly wave of destruction, eventually climbing up the Washington Monument and hiding out in New York’s Holland Tunnel. Released during the height of gargantuan screen mayhem, the menacing mantis murders everything in its path while military man Joe Parkman (Craig Stevens, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and paleontologist Ned Jackson (William Hopper, 20 Million Miles to Earth) work feverishly to stop the beastly insect, with beautiful photojournalist Marge Blaine (Alix Talton) livening up the scenery.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

THE CRAFT (1996) Blu-ray review



The Craft (1996) d. Andrew Fleming (USA) (101 min)

When new student Sarah (Robin Tunney) falls in with a trio of “bad girls” (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True), they are soon dabbling in the dark arts with squealing abandon. Courtesy of a relatively chintzy ritual, the feminine foursome conjure “Manon, the Spirit of All Things” to allay their personal hardships (poverty, racism, romance, physical scars). At first, everything seems rosy as the supernatural forces work in their favor. However, the desires to sample blacker magic create a rift with Sarah’s “natural witch” and the breezy movie turns marginally malevolent as the conflict escalates.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Fool's Views (2/15 - 2/28)


Forget Letterboxd - I've got a system of my own....

Greetings!

The second half of February yielded a wealth of fright flicks for review from the good folks at Severin Films, Arrow Video, and Shout! Factory, as well as an unexpected plunge into the De Palma pool. (We also reactivated our Netflix account for a brief spell in order to enjoy a few exclusives, which you’ll see more evidence of in next month’s installment.)

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 1, 2019

INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS (1972) Blu-ray review



Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972) d. Ed Adlum (USA) (77 min)

After a local townsperson staggers into a Jefferson Valley bar gushing blood from every orifice before dropping dead, “renowned pathologist” Professor Roy Anderson (Norman Kelley) and his assistant Don Tucker (Bruce Detrick) are shocked to discover that the blood cells themselves are reproducing at a greatly accelerated rate. Along with Anderson’s daughter (Tanna Hunter), who also happens to be Don’s Best Girl, and police chief Frank Spano (Frank Iovieno), our heroes discover that a cult of druids have moved into one of their neighbors’ farmhouses with a nefarious plot to raise their beloved Queen Onhorrid from the dead.