Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review: House of Evil (2017)

Review:  House of Evil (2017)
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone and welcome to my latest movie review. This time I’ll be looking at the retro 70s style demonic haunted house thriller House of Evil.
House of Evil tells the story of Kate and John McKey (played by Lucy Drive and Andrew Harwood Mills) who have moved into a remote old mansion in the countryside. Kate is a portrait artist and John is a photographer. They have come to the country for inspiration, the quiet and to start a family.  Unfortunately, unknown to the couple the mansion is infested with a demon and the spirits of its victims. As time goes on the couple begins to suffer horrifying nightmares. John starts to get obsessed with his photography and spending all his time in the cellar where he has his darkroom. Kate sees phantom children and keeps dreaming of the demon stalking her and her unborn baby.
I loved the style of this film. It reminded me of the haunted house films of the late 60s and 70s, like House of Dark Shadows. The clothing, hair styles, light blue Volkswagen van the couple drives screams the 70s. John even has the long sideburns that were popular.  Also the pace of the film is very 70s, meaning slow, which will annoy a more modern audience, but for me it was a nice change. The annoying part for me was when the cult with the old guy in the Catholic priest outfit show up.(Spoiler) Having them explain to Kate that they had called up the demon, before the last owners of the house murdered themselves, and that Kate’s baby is not really John’s but the demon’s. I just found that a lazy, sloppy, way to end the film. After all the build-up and work the filmmakers  put into the story to end it in that way, like The Last Exorcism, spoiled the film for me. So, unfortunately, I can’t recommend this film. Though it did manage to capture the 70s feel and pace the last ten minutes of the film trashes all that good work.  I ended up leaving this film feeling cheated and I don’t want to put anyone reading this through that….Also they tried to end the film by saying that it was based on a true incident…I sorely doubt that….

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review: Circus Kane

Review: Circus Kane
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone! For my review this time I have the torture porn style fun house from hell film Circus Kane.

Circus Kane tells the story of a group of people from various parts of the horror community, a memorabilia collector, a scream queen a blogger, a movie reviewer, a website owner, and an everyday horror geek, who get sent messages to meet in a certain place for a chance to win $250,000. When they get to the meeting place they are all roughly put in an old S.W.A.T. van by men wearing clown masks. In the van they find that the wall are covered with old posters that promoted a traveling horror circus called Circus Kane. Big Ed, the collector (played by young Al Pacino look a like Ted Monte) remembers and is a fan of The Circus Kane and it’s circus master Bathazar Kane. He also reminds the others that Kane is infamous for burning a man to death in his act, so famous that he inspired a song all of them know. It is then that a monitor lights up and the shadowy image of Bathazar Kane (played masterfully by Tim Abell) appears. Kane informs them that they are in route to take part in the revival of the Circus Kane and the chance for one of them to win the money if they can face their fears. After this, knock out gas is released in the back of the van. The group is woken up when they arrive at their destination, a huge mansion decked out in plastic gargoyles and other horror decorations. After the guys in the clown masks let them all out they all head up to the house and are greeted at the door by a tall pale man in a bowler hat (played by former Night Court star Richard Moll). Inside the house Kane appears again on another monitor and informs them that in order to win the money they must make their way through his house of horrors and his “friends” that they will meet along the way. He tells them that some of them will die during this journey through terror and pain. He also tells them all they have to do to give up is say the magic words “Bathazar Kane, you win.” and they will lose out on the money and will be set free. What these unfortunate people find is a hell full of horrifying rooms full of traps, a demonic killer clown, a sadistic court jester swinging chains with hooks on them, a cannibalistic Nazi zombie, and the burned and scared master of this house of terror Kane himself.

I have to say I really enjoyed this film. It has been quite a while since I saw a really good film of this type. The pace of this film is perfection. There is no filler in this film and it keeps your interest from the beginning to the end.
I also loved the makeup work as well. All the characters were well designed without being so over the top as to distract you from the story.

And I have to say I was completely caught by surprise by the twist at the end, which is a rare thing for me.

All in all I can highly recommend Circus Kane if you want a slick well craft horrorfest. This is a horror pleasure you will enjoy…

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog….!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: IT

Review: IT
By William Pattison for Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and Scares! Yes, I know you’ve probably read so many reviews of the mega blockbuster, which has become the biggest grossing horror film ever, film adaptation of the first half of Stephen King’s novel IT.
Ok, since you’ve been through this so many times, IT tells the story of the small town of Derry, which has a horrid history of mayhem every twenty-six years. The reason for this? An evil thing that can only be called IT has nested there and has been feeding on the fears and flesh of the town during its feeding season.  This thing loves to take the form of a demonic clown called Pennywise. A bunch of the “loser” kids in the town have noticed IT’s pattern and one of the kids, who lost his little brother to IT has vowed to stop it.
Now I have to admit I was a huge fan of the mini series of IT that came out in 1990 with Tim Curry playing Pennywise, but I was willing to give this adaptation a try. I have to admit I was impressed. This film did not feel like a retread. The filmmaker did the right thing am moved this part of the adaptation from 1956 to 1980 and changed scenes to fit an audience that for the most part had been born in the 80s period. For one thing the filmmakers made the things that Pennywise used to scare the kids more on track to what scares kids now a days, like zombies.  But one thing they kept true to the novel as well as the mini series was that they focused on the kids and spent a lot of time developing their characters and their individual sub-plots, thus making the audience care for these characters, which is the only way to really build tension and bring on some real scares.
As far as the special effects, I was pleased to see that they weren’t perfect. There is a certain charm about a little cheese in the special effects, at least for me. I have to say the only makeup effect that I really didn’t like was the one with the diseased leper. For me it felt way over the top and pulled me away from the scene. Though I do have to acknowledge that this was the image of a leper from a germ sensitive kid’s perspective, I would have liked it to be a bit more realistic for the gross out factor. Seriously, people were actually laughing at the scene.
But all in all I can honestly say I enjoyed this version of IT and I look forward to Chapter 2 in 2019….

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog….

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Galaxy of Horrors

Review: Galaxy of Horrors
By William Pattison, aka Eric Morse
For Horror Bob’s Blog

As a person who absolutely loves original anthology films I was excited to get my chance to see Galaxy of Horrors. It is really rare to find a horror/sci fi anthology. This one was created with the help of Rue Morgue Magazine and Unstable Ground Productions using shorts films from their Little Terrors Festival.
The wrap around story is about a man trapped in a malfunctioning life pod. Each segment is of him trying to figure out the password that will release him. Unfortunately every time he fails to say the correct password he is forced to watch a film, which cuts down his life

There are eight films in this anthology, all radically different.

The first film is titled Eden and the world it presents is far from that. It shows us a dystopian world where the air is so polluted you can’t breath without a mask. Also the government is corrupt and the rebellion is using children as freedom fighters. Finally the place also has what appears to be the beginning of a zombie problem.

Iris tells the story of an intelligent Smart Phone that is unfortunately in the hands of a killer for hire. What can a killer do when he has to face a phone with a conscience?

The next film, The Flesh Computer, introduces us to a half biological half mechanical computer that monitors a building. This story asks the question is this device conscious?

The story Pathos tells a story where people are hooked to machines to control their bodies. In order to advance in society you must pass a series of test which are simply to go to one side of the room you are in learn a code and punch it into a keyboard on the other side of the room. If you do it right you win prized that will give you a good life.  If you fail you lose a sense and eventually if you continue to fail you die.

Eveless tells the story of a male couple in a society where women have died and men must now carry children for the future of humanity.

They will all Die in Space tells the story of a technician that is woken up from hyper sleep to do repairs on a disabled ship but he soon learns that the two other men who are awake have horrific plans for him.

Entity tells the story of the survivor of a ship explosion who finds herself alone tumbling through space in a spacesuit until she come face to face with a strange space anomaly.

The final story is titled Kingz and tells the story of two drug dealers who go to drop off a bag of drugs to a night club owner only to find out he has been taken over by an alien entity and his security guards are now remote controlled drones.

Ok, well I found this to be an ok anthology, and I stress on the word ok. The stories varied from interesting to just plain boring. The writing varied as well. A couple of the stories were extremely weak. They had interesting ideas but the stories weren’t fully developed. Another problem was a couple of the films came from other countries and the viewer was stuck having to labor through a lot of subtitles. Also, the wrap around story was weak and did nothing to enhance the film at all.

So, in the end I have to say film was ok and I wouldn’t suggest you rush out and check it out. This is more something you might want to check out as a 99 cent VOD. It is definitely nothing I’d want to include in my anthology collection….

Keep on Creepin, Horror Bob’s Blog!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Ichi

Review: Ichi
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob's Blog

I just finished watching a wonderful samurai film from 2008 titled Ichi. It is a spin off of the incredible samurai series Blind Swordsman Zatoichi.
This film tells the story of Zatoichi's daughter whose name is Ichi. She is also blind. When she was a child Zatoichi left her in a home where they taught her to be a singer. Zatoichi visits on occasion and teaches the girl how to use a sword. When she grows up the head of the house rapes her and she kills him. She is thrown out of the house and travels the countryside of Japan looking for her father. It is during her journey that she runs into a samurai that has a tramatic condition where he can't pull his sword to fight. It is because of this that Ichi ends up getting in the middle of a conflict between a village and a group of bandits. I guess it runs in the family.
As a long time fan of the Zatoichi I royally enjoyed this film and highly recommend it....
Keep on Creepin', Horror Bob's Blog

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: Land of Smiles, aka Thai-Sanity

Review: Land of Smiles, aka Thai-Sanity
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

For my review this time a have a new film by Australian director Bradley Stryker, Land of Smiles.
The film centers on a girl named Abby (played by Alexandra Turshen). Abby has just gotten out of college and is ready to start her life. Her best friend, Jen (played by Jen L. Burry), wants to take Abby on vacation to purge her inhibitions, since Abby is a bit of the good girl type. Abby tells Jen she doesn’t want to go. This starts an argument. Abby tells Jen it has nothing to do with Abby’s boyfriend Brad. Jen walks off in a huff. Abby ends up going home to find Brad having sex with another girl. Abby shoots them both in the face with pepper spray. Then we see Abby on a plane alone to Thailand, not a good idea. Once she gets to Thailand Abby meets documentary filmmaker Ben (played by Keenan Henson) and his girl Jewel (played by Caitlin Cromwell, aka Caitlin Stryker). The threesome decide to travel around Thailand together because Ben has been all over the island and knows the best places. Then they add an Australian, Dale (played by Bradley Stryker) and Penny (played by Krista Donargo) It is around this time that Abby receives a video that is handed to her by a stranger. The video shows her friend Jen tied up and painted up in clown makeup. There is a man with her in a yellow jumpsuit and a disturbing clown mask. The man tells Abby that if she doesn’t play his game and do as he says that he will cut Jen to pieces with an electric saw. He tells Abby not to tell Ben or Jewel as well. Abby immediately goes to Ben and Jewel and shows them the video. Ben tells her not to worry because he figures it is Jen pulling a trick on Abby to help get her out of her shell. He backs this up by showing her a couple of videos of people pulling a similar trick. Abby doesn’t believe him and wants to get the police involved. Ben reminds Abby that the Thailand police are corrupt will only help if they are paid enough. He suggest she just go along with the game and that he is sure it’s all a big joke. The next day Abby is given another not from the clown masked man. He tells her that now that she has told Ben and Jewel they must play the game too and if any of them fail to go by the rules Jen will suffer. They decide not to tell Dale or Penny what’s going on, since they don’t want them involved. It is a little bit later that they find out this is all no joke when they find Penny, painted up in clown makeup, murdered in a motel covered in sheets with clown scrawl over them with blinking green, red, and blue Christmas lights as well. It is also soon after that they receive a finger in a package and a pendent Abby gave Jen. Now the game has become serious and the tension builds to the twist at the end.
I have to say that this is a very well done psychological horror film that also exploits the setting very well. You have an American tourist in a strange country where she can’t even count on the police for help. Bradley counters the incredible beauty if Thailand with it’s darker underbelly.
The actors give excellent performance, especially Alexandra Turshen and Keenan Henson as Ben. Bradley Stryker adds a lot to the film as Dale as well.
Of course, now we got the downside of the film. I honestly did not think the clown motif worked well with the setting. I know clowns have been the big thing the last few years with the clown sightings and attacks all over the globe. Also I understand that clown masks are the easiest thing to find, but I just don’t see clowns and Thailand as a good match. It all looked cheap to me and thrown in. The backgrounds in the videos of the clown who was supposedly keeping Jen in a secret place in Thailand didn’t match up with the rest of the film. Also, the big twist and reveal could have been done far better. I was less than impressed with the execution and it brought down a really good build up. Though I doubt Bradley Stryker is going to read this review, I hope he does a better job ending his next film.

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Commentary: What is in a Moniker?

Commentary: What is in a Moniker?
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob's Blog

Ok, here is something I’ve wanted to get off my chest. It seems that a minority of people in horror have an issue with me using the moniker King of Splatter Punk. Well, whiney bitches here is what I have to say on this….too bad. A guy I knew years ago started calling me that. I was reluctant to take on the moniker, at the time because I was calling myself The Harlan Ellison of Friday the 13th, which I still do on occasion. Of course, I also call myself The Alpha Wolf of The Wolf Pack and Shogun of The Wolf Pack.
The point I’m getting at is monikers are meaningless. They are just cute little names people, especially in entertainment use with a tongue in cheek. Look around you people. How many tattooed girls with website that have been extras in films, or if she is lucky had a short speaking part, call themselves Scream Queens or Queen of Horror. How many Kings of Horror are there out there. My buddy Al Omega calls himself the Alpha and Omega of Horror. More power to him.
A few people say I can’t call myself on my shows The King of Splatter Punk because. David J Schow and some of his friends invented the sub-genre of Splatter Punk. I say if David wants to fly banners calling himself King of Splatter Punk more power to him too, but I really don’t think he cares. David is more interested in doing the work of writing and getting the pay than giving himself gray hair over a mere moniker. Nope, it is just a few narrow minded, petty, nitpicky jackasses out there that make a mountain out of a mole hill and waste their time writing page after page on how I can’t call myself The King of Splatter Punk. Sorry, this is William Pattison, King of Splatter Punk, The Harlan Ellison of Friday the 13th, Defender of Horror, Alpha Wolf of The Wolf Pack, and Shogun of The Wolf Pack saying get a life….

Keep on Creepin' Horror Bob's Blog