Archive for found footage

Rechargeable Aliens

Posted in Aliens, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, UFOs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Phoenix Tapes '97

The found footage “movie” The Phoenix Tapes ’97 is YET ANOTHER attempt to cash in on the REAL EVENT of UFOs buzzing the Arizona night skies back March 13, 1997. It was on the news, so it had to be real.

Four smelly guys pile into an RV and go on a man date in the Arizona desert, filming every tedious dialogue interchange along the way. During the night, loud explosion-y booms are heard and meteors are seen crashing into the desert mountains. [Spoiler: this was the ONLY cool thing about the movie.]

The Phoenix Tapes '97

Daylight brings more questions, like how to air out the RV and where is one of the dudes. And what the heck was shaking the RV at night and making stomping noises on the roof? I’m thinkin’ pranking frat brothers, but likely it was extraterrestrials. Kinda the same thing when you think about it.

The Phoenix Lights

As they argue like whiny b*tches and abandon the stalled RV and wander back towards civilization (they weren’t that far off; you can hear a dog barking in someone’s back yard), they see those famous patterned lights in the sky and go WTF?!?

1997 Sony Handicam

One by one, each gets drug off into the night with the video camera still running. You sorta kinda maybe get a glimpse of the aliens, whose legs appear to be riddled with arthritis. But my issue is with the camera. That thing kept running (with night vision) long after they four guys were slipped a date rape drug and probed. Video cameras back in 1997 could barely hold a charge and were notorious slow to recharge, which was not done the entire time. (So an RV battery conks out overnight, and a video camera battery lasts all through the abductions?) And to think I was gonna buy an RV.

I believe in UFOs. I do not believe in 1997 video cameras. So there.

Creatures, Ghosts and STDs

Posted in Aliens, Evil, Ghosts, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Man VS

Watched a documentary on 1980s horror movie scream queens the other day. Surprised to find out these often naked and hired-to-shriek actresses made less than an average 7-Eleven™ manager’s assistant’s intern. Shocking revelation, but at least you get a screen credit; no one in the history of 7-Eleven™ has ever had their picture — let alone their name — on any one of its fine and potentially healthy microwaveable products. Talk about unsung heroes.

Here’s some upcoming low paydays for a few people…

MAN VS (February 14, 2017/VOD)
As host of his own hit TV series, MAN VS, Doug Woods is forced to fend for himself for five days in remote locations with no crew, food, or water, only the cameras he carries on his back to film his experiences. Doug’s in the remote woods for a routine episode, until he’s awoken by an earth-shaking crash. Things get weirder as it becomes clear Doug isn’t alone. Someone or something is watching him. MAN VS is a gripping ‘found footage’ thriller about one man’s extraordinary desire to survive at all costs.”

Not a fan of these types of TV shows. I’m always rooting for nature to put these fame hungry participants out of my misery. So what might be in the woods going after Woods? (Really? They couldn’t give him another last name?) My guess is media critics and/or low ratings.

Lake Alice

LAKE ALICE (2017)
“It’s Christmas at an isolated cabin in the subzero temperatures of northern Wisconsin where the days are short and the nights last forever. As a blizzard descends on Lake Alice, so does evil, as the Thomas family is hunted down one by one. The family struggles to stay alive as their numbers slowly dwindle.”

Numbers always dwindle in subzero temps — and casinos. My first thought is why would a family go to an isolated cabin in a blizzard on Christmas when there are lots of nice and warm cocktail lounges within $1 of gas distance? As for the “evil” dogging the Thomas clan on Christmas, it’s probably Krampus. Gotta say, I like that guy.

Gremlin

GREMLIN (2017)
“A man receives a mysterious box containing a terrible secret, a creature that will kill everyone else in his family unless he passes it on to someone he loves to continue its never-ending circulation. He can’t destroy it. He can’t escape it. He can only give it to someone he loves before it’s too late.”

Sounds like a cross between The Ring (2002) and It Follows (2014). As for passing along a terrible secret to someone he loves, I’m thinkin’ herpes.

The Lodgers

THE LODGERS (2017)
“A sister and brother are haunted by a secret curse that forces them to remain in the large estate home left to them by their dead parents. But when a young man who falls in love with the sister tries to free her, his attempt sets off a deadly chain reaction.”

Forced to remain in a large estate home without parents? Sucks to be you. Try living in a nightmare apartment building with loud and obnoxious butt-heads being loud and obnoxious day in and day out. And don’t get me started on the overflowing recycling dumpster that only gets emptied once a month or the never ending semi trucks delivering frozen hockey puck “meat” patties to the McDonald’s™ behind said nightmare apartment building.

Our TVs Are Filled With Horror

Posted in Aliens, Evil, Science Fiction, TV Vixens, Vampires, Witches, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Walking Dead

It’s been a banner year for horror/sci-fi TV, the nightly news notwithstanding. While I’ve dipped my couch into stuff like The Strain, Preacher, Van Helsing and Outcast, due to there being only 24 hours to a day, I was only able to watch 1,825 hours of quality genre programming. Doesn’t scratch the surface of what’s out there. That established, here’s a few 2016 horror/sci-fi viewing habits…

THE WALKING DEAD
Like it or double love it, season seven’s opener was one of the all-time jarring shockers of this or any other year, setting the bar unreachably high on all out line-crossing torture porn. New hammy villain Negan (rhymes with “vegan”) makes season three’s Governor look like a Wal-Mart™ door greeter.

Fear The Walking Dead

FEAR OF THE WALKING DEAD
Barely made it through season one. Then I watched the season two opener and walked away from it. Too many unlikeable characters in implausible circumstances. The zombies, ironically, are the most believable aspects of the show.

Stranger Things

STRANGER THINGS
By far and away THE best new horror/fantasy series hit of the year. A monster called Demogogon exists in an alternate dimension called the Upside Down. (I’ve been visiting there every since discovering alcohol.) The darn thing gets into the regular dimension and all mystery heck breaks loose with pre-teens — and the magnificent Winona Ryder — Scooby-Doo’ing the heck out of said mystery. P.S. The Upside Down would be a great name for a dive bar.

American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MY ROANOKE NIGHTMARE
Like goat cheese on pizza, this season did not work at all. The problems? Start with the first episode and end with the last one. I’ll give ‘em props for trying to mix a reality show premise with found footage. But there’s a reason why reality shows and found footage suck. And the muddled, no questions answered season end was indeed a nightmare. P.S. Lady Gaga was vastly underused this season.

Ash vs Evil Dead / Stan Against Evil, From Disk ’Till Dawn

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
As amazingly corny, campy and killer as you’d expect. Why didn’t they think of doing a TV series years ago? (Ash should’ve been elected president.) The evil dead still have it in for Ash after all these years. Good for us. Not so good for him.

STAN AGAINST EVIL
Stan Miller, a grizzled, forced-into-retirement redneck sheriff, Archie Bunker’s his way through an inexhaustible stream of demons stinkin’ up his New England town. One great crack after another: “My shirt smells like low tide at A**hole Beach,” and “Ever been beaten with a bag of oranges?” An easy and obvious successor to Ash.

FROM DUSK ‘TILL DAWN
On its third season, the Gecko Brothers really flesh out the franchise’s storyline and take it to new extremes with a shocking (and satisfying) amount of blood and violence. Pushing the boundaries of censorship, TV vampires have never looked this nasty cool.

The Exorcist, The Returned, Channel Zero, Salem

THE RETURNED
One of the quiest, unsettling and beautifully creepy made-in-France eight-episode series (based on a French movie of the same name) in 2016. Will make you rethink what a zombie is/should be. Don’t worry about moving your lips to the sub-titles; there’s not a lot of wordings. Or screamings. As I said, quiet.

THE EXORCIST
Who knew they could take one punchline and make a tense and nervewracking TV series out of expunging demons from beleagured souls every week? Looks fun. Wonder if I can schedule an exorcism appointment for myself? My stupid health insurance probably won’t cover it, though.

CHANNEL ZERO
A tooth monster. Yep, you read me right. There’s a monster made of human teeth in this slow-burn awesome SyFy Channel™ original series. The show has bite. C’mon — how could I not say that? The joke was sitting right there.

SALEM
Tried to get through the first season of Salem a while back. Even with plenty of icky, gnarly witches and the demonic gunk/insects drooling/crawling out of their orifices, was not able to emotionally invest in it, which is why I haven’t pursed it in subsequent seasons. Probably should should go back and recommit to evil and see where the show takes me.

Of the sci-fi superhero stuff, watched most but not all. (Looking in your direction Arrow season 5 and D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow.) Speaking of Arrow, his famous line before shooting criminals in the chest with his name always says, “You have failed this city…” At the beginning of season 4 his girlfriend attempts to make him breakfast. He looks at it and says, “You have failed this omelette…” That’s not just funny, it’s dang funny.

Anyway, here’s what else I warmed the couch cushions to…

Supergirl, The Flash, Gotham

SUPERGIRL
Season 2 episode (“Changing”) is where Supergirl gets drunk — on one drink — and her Black-Ops step-sister tells her she’s driving her home. Supergirl: “Well, I’m sure not flying!” I LOL’d over that one. Supergirl gets smacked upside the “S” in almost every episode, sometimes by space alien criminals instead of delicious adult beverages. I’ll give it to that super cutie — she can take a punch. Just not from the punch bowl. Heh.

P.S. Digging the crossover stuff, like when The Flash showed up in Supergirl’s world. Her day job boss at Catco (media conglomerate), not knowing who Flash is, named him The Whoosh. Priceless.

THE FLASH
Turns out there’s hundreds of Earths, each one accessible with the help of a user-friendly meta-human. This means more Flashie knock-offs, more meta-criminals, more storylines and more opportunities for the Flash to get beaten up every time he slows down. Quite nifty they’re invoking Flashpoint (time-travel and the Butterfly Effect) from the cartoons. Even still, a bit on the lightweight side. It’s not like I can change the channel or anything. Wait a sec…

GOTHAM
Pleasantly graphic and unflinchingly violent re-imagining of the classic Dark Knight universe, with a pre-pubed Bruce Wayne (not quite Batman) sporting a bat-a-rang for Selina Kyle (Catwoman as a street kid), the Penguin (criminal turned mayor — there’s a stretch), Edward Nygma (Riddler), Joker (killed off way too soon, but coming back somehow), Poison Ivy (played by three different plant species), and a D.C. sampler of legacy super criminals (Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange). Despite all these tasty elements, it’s police detective Jim Gordon and Bruce’s now-legal guardian/servant Alfred (cast as a former member of the the British Special Air Service) who are the standout ass kickers here.

Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luke Cage

DAREDEVIL
Season one was good at establishing Matt Murdock — blind and struggling public defender — as a serious defender of justice with the business end of his fist. Season two’s storylines were better developed, but it’s the all-out slobber-knocking fight scenes, which often leave Matt a candidate for emergency medical attention, that leaves one’s mouth agape. Simply agape.

AGENT’S OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
This was a personal fav, but the storylines are jumping around like meta-frogs. Finding it interesting that Marvel and D.C., both of whom boast superheroes with the same abilities (Green Arrow/Hawkeye, The Atom/Ant-Man, Flash/Quicksilver, Hawkman/Angel, Aquaman/Sub-Mariner, El-Diablo/Human Torch), are using similar terms, if not story lines with Hive/H.I.V.E. It’s kinda like comparing apples to, um, windows. Heh. And an Aussie beer swillin’, womanizing, obnoxious Ghost Rider? Brilliant.

LUKE CAGE
Best surprise hit of the getting-crowded-by-the-minute superhero TV series. Luke, first introduced in Jessica Jones as her “friend” with mattress benefits, returns as a super smooth, reluctant, big city neighborhood hero impervious to artillery and sharp stuff while dispensing much-needed street justice with super strength, all against a backdrop of current day Harlem. (You’ll forget you’re watching a contemporary show and not back in the ’70s. An excellent homage to Shaft.)

Besides being a top-notch African-American superhero, the show’s music, performed in a criminal’s nightclub with today’s artists (Raphael Saadiq, Charles Bradley, Faith Evans, The Delfonics and more), is beyond groovy. I could easily dance to it. That’s MY super power. (Yeah, I prefer metal, but that’s where I let my neck dance.)

P.S. And why the flip is there not a second Jessica Jones season? Do I need to go all Daredevil on someone’s decision-making process?

P.P.S. And where the flippin’ fudge is iZombie season three? The CW’s™ website says it’ll be a two-hour season premiere on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Get your cookbook ready for more brain-eating recipes.

Die Kill Bleed Jubilee

Posted in Evil, Ghosts, Misc. Horror, Scream Queens, TV Vixens, Witches with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Krampus: Unleashed

Four more new ones as of today to throw on the “I’ll watch ’em when I get to ’em” backlogged fire.

Speaking of, maybe I should fire up a crowd-funding campaign to buy more TVs so I can watch five horror movies at the same time. (Some might call that “multi-tasking.”) I’ll also need extra cash for snacks and adult beverages as well. Help me reach my goal, won’t you?

KRAMPUS: UNLEASHED (November 1, 2016 / VOD – December 13, 2016 / DVD)
“In pursuit of a lost treasure a group of fortune hunters mistakenly unearth an ancient demonic summoning stone that holds a terrible curse and awakens a timeless evil — the Krampus.”

Gotta say, even with all these Krampus movies of late, I’m still diggin’ evil K’s groove. Here’s a guy who punishes you during the holidays, not like that annoyingly gleeful other guy who rewards your unsatisfactory behavior with dry cookies and hand-knitted sweaters. I bet Santa takes uppers.

The Dark Stranger

THE DARK STRANGER (available now)
While recovering from a recent traumatic event and afraid to leave her own home. As part of her therapy she begins drawing a graphic novel in which an ominous Dark Stranger pursues a lonely girl doll, across a foreboding fairy tale landscape. As the novel progresses Leah begins to see the Dark Stranger in real life. At first she isn’t sure if she is completely losing her mind, or if the Stranger is a deadly supernatural force trying to destroy her.”

Let me get this straight — you draw an evil entity and it comes to life? Time to sharpen my crayons and get to sketchin’ a self-portrait – I have pressing need for another evil me.

The Purging Hour

THE PURGING HOUR (available now)
“With the hopes of a new life for his family, Bruce Diaz left the harsh city for the serene mountains of California. Upon arrival to their new home the Diaz family fell victim to one of the most horrific crimes in history. With no serviceable evidence being retrieved, the case was eventually dismissed. Several years later, the family’s personal home movie footage was released by an anonymous source.”

Sounds like YET ANOTHER found footage flick featuring unendurable characters with hand-held video cameras with batteries that have a longer life span than the people holding ’em. Massacre on Aisle 12

MASSACRE ON AISLE 12 (November 4, 2016)
“As a hardware store begins to close, a duffel bag of cash is found, but so is a body. Now, the employees must decide what to do with both items. Should they turn the cash in, or go on a Christmas shopping spree? Events take an even bloodier turn when the employees turn on each other.

They should donate the money to my crowd-funding page to help me buy five TVs in order to watch more horror movies more often. (I have one TV, but could use back-up in case the power goes out.)

Undomesticated Cannibals, Ghosts, Wildlife

Posted in Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Slashers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Prool

Yep, four more new ones (as of this e-scribbling). It’s almost like there’s some sort of, I don’t know, “film factory” churning these things out night and day. And yet with all these market fresh movies on the docket, no one has made me a lucrative offer to cameo as a monster, first victim, or celebrity walk-on. (I’m not really a celebrity – but I do dress like one.)

So, in case you haven’t fulfilled your daily recommended dose of infomercials…

PROOL (aka, Prey / October 13, 2016 / Netherlands)
“When the police discover the bodies of a slaughtered family living on a farm just outside of Amsterdam, they are clueless as to what happened. Lizzy, an attractive veterinarian working in the Amsterdam Zoo, confirms their suspicions; there must be a lion on the loose. And judging by the wounds of the mutilated victims, the beast must be big, strong and vicious…”

If lion/tiger gone wild horror movies are your zootopia, try The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) and Burning Bright (2010). Both are quite good. I’m not lion. Heh.

Hell House

HELL HOUSE (November 1, 2016)
“Five years after an unexplained tragedy on opening night of Hell House, a Halloween haunted house tour, a documentary crew travels back to the scene of the disaster to investigate the events of that night. During an interview with one of the original staff members, they are given never-before-seen footage taken by the staff of the haunted house. It reveals the terrifying truth about what really happened on the opening night of HELL HOUSE!”

Sounds like more tired found footage crap-o-rama, the tap water plot included. For a much better take on the “haunted house tragedy” tip, start at the top: The Legend of Hell House (1973), from which this movie borrows/pays homage to/rips off its title.

The Shelter

THE SHELTER (November 4, 2016 / VOD; January 3, 2017 / DVD)
“On a star filled night, widower and homeless man Thomas Jacobs finds shelter for the night when he falls upon a vast two-story house with the lights on and an inviting open front door. But soon enough, he realizes that the house won’t let him leave, as its doors are all locked while its windows cannot be opened or broken. Destiny has brought Thomas to this place. What does it want from him? Will he survive the ordeal?”

A widower AND homeless? Something tells me the evil house is a Tupperware™ party compared to what he’s already lived through. But hey, a warm and dry evil house with toilet paper privileges is still better than sleeping under a bridge next to hobos who are all probably evil and/or poisonous.

Escape From Cannibal Farm

ESCAPE FROM CANNIBAL FARM (2017)
“The Harver family embark on an idyllic summer camping trip to the British countryside where they can bury past tensions and enjoy some family bonding. But when their camp is sabotaged by an unseen intruder in the night, they head to the nearby creepy old farm desperate for help, where vengeful farmer Hunt Hansen and his hideously deformed son aren’t farming animals. Caged and waiting for their limbs to be severed, cooked and eaten one at a time, the Harver family must overcome their differences and unite in order to escape alive.”

Not sure what this says about me, but I totally want to see the Harver family get turned into a Sunday buffet by Hunt Hansen. I never fancied those Harvers, what with their “past tensions,” “differences” and “family bonding.” This ain’t supposed to be Leave it to Beaver (1957 – 1963). Leave it to Cleaver maybe…

Danish Aliens

Posted in Foreign Horror, Science Fiction, UFOs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Encounters

Encounters (2015) is a just-released in Denmark (available on VOD) found footage sci-fi flick. What makes it stand out from all the other “everybody is doing it” found footage flicks? Pretty much nothing. Shaky camera, screaming, annoying characters, crazy running, requisite night vision, camera batteries that just won’t die as easily as the annoying characters… You think all they did was download the cookie cutter plot, turn on the GoPro™, and start emoting with a runny nose.

Yes and no. While the filming technique is as played as this blog, there’s something more to Encounters than just another found footage knock-off. First, the plot…

Encounters

“The four young filmmakers know the stories, they’ve seen the movies and they joke about it as they travel into the Swedish woods to shoot yet another low-budget horror movie.”

“But though they make fun of horror clichés, there’s nothing to laugh about when the group gets lost and one of the actors disappears only to return hours later, naked and in a catatonic state. As much as they try to figure out what’s going on, none of them have the faintest idea of what they’re about to experience, or how to explain what’s been captured on tape.”

Encounters

If you can get past the budgetary limitations (Encounters cost $2.79 – about as much as a wienerbrød with a side of ketchup) and inevitable screaming/bleeding/dying, there’s some impressive UFO effects, decent pacing, and nice ramp ups to the instances of screaming/bleeding/dying.

Look for a worldwide release shortly. While you’re waiting, watch Encounter (2015), YET ANOTHER found footage sci-fi flick with almost the same name/premise/budget.

Encounter

Yelling About Hell

Posted in Evil, Scream Queens, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Jeruzalem

Full of themselves and/or self-righteousness, bible believers tell (i.e., violently scream from street corners) that there are three gates to Hell, alternate entrances in case the line to get in is too long. One is in the desert (lots of free parking), one is in the ocean (charter a boat and get in a little fishing while you’re at it) and one is in Jerusalem, famous religious tourist trap and home of all things worship-y.

JeruZalem, a new found footage horror movie releasing January 22, 2016, takes us there for a little “end of days” judgment, with violent screaming from street corners, divine bloodletting and zombie angels, hence the “Z”, a not-so-subtle cash-in on that other religion.

Jeruzalem

Here’s your penance: “Two American girls on vacation follow a mysterious anthropology student on a trip to Jerusalem. The party is cut short when the trio is caught in the middle of a biblical apocalypse. Trapped between the ancient walls of the holy city, they must find a way out as the fury of Hell is unleashed upon them.”

Couple of thoughts: Jerusalem/JeruZalem, or “Jesus Spring Break,” with all its biblical background, doesn’t seem like a go-to party place. (A dancing foot does not belong on a praying knee.)

Jeruzalem

Secondly, as this is a found footage flick (and after watching the trailer), there’s always one person who keeps the camera rolling no matter what demonic entity is eating your friend’s face. That alone makes you wanna thump their bible.

On that note, I’m a non-believer in camera batteries that never run out of juice. That film keeps rolling after hours and hours when my cell phone conks out after only one hour on 1-800-Boobie-Chat seems so blasphemous. Maybe the movie batteries are made by…DuraHell™. (C’mon, that was comedy gold…)