Friday, May 29, 2009

Pontypool (Review)


Pontypool (2009)

Directed by Bruce McDonald

When you're me, you think you've seen every kind of horror film ever made. Especially when it comes to zombie films. So when I went to go see Pontypool, I figured I'd be seeing another variation of The Signal or Pulse or 28 Days Later. You know, that old run of the mill story of zombies hordes attacking stereotypical survivors trapped in a confined space.

But I was shocked that Pontypool was a totally different type of pretzel I've never seen before.

It's an actually intelligent virus turning the masses into a bunch of crazies type movie that can be perceived in many ways. Is it a satire of censorship? A commentary on geopoliticalisms? Or is it just a suspense driven horror film to scare the crap out of you.

Well, it's all 3 and so much more.

Pontypool is definitely this years The Signal (which I ranked #3 on my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008). Yes, Virginia you can make a movie about a virus gone awry and make it thought provoking and clever. We can thank the Canadians for making that. Hollywood hasn't done this in years. Even the great George A. Romero can't satire zombies in an intelligent way. Jeez.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Shock jock Grant Mazzy has, once again, been kicked-off the Big City airwaves and now the only job he can get is the early morning show at CLSY Radio in the small town of Pontypool which broadcasts from the basement of the small town's only church. What begins as another boring day of school bus cancellations, due to yet another massive snow storm, quickly turns deadly.

Bizarre reports start piling in of people developing strange speech patterns and evoking horrendous acts of violence. But there's nothing coming in on the news wires. So... is this really happening? Before long, Grant and the small staff at CLSY find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that this insane behavior taking over the town is being caused by a deadly virus being spread through the English language itself.

Do they stay on the air in the hopes of being rescued or, are they in fact providing the virus with its ultimate leap over the airwaves and into the world?

Awesome Review-O-Matic

You would think a movie that takes place in one area (a radio station) and that relies at length on the dialogue would be a dull movie. However, it's the constant setting of a church basement radio station that makes for a good case of clausterphobia run amok. And it's a kudos to the actors whose performances mesmerize you with their voices.

With the recent swine flu outbreak, it's fitting that we'd see a movie that is about how the media would react to a killer virus. Lets see what have we learned? First, panic everybody. Second, panic some more. Third, try to verify the information and gather patients or eyewitnesses to shed some light on the outbreak. Finally, offer advice that leads to more panic.

This is pretty much how Pontypool goes about covering a weird outbreak in the small Canadian town of Pontypool. Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) is a semi Imus clone, outspoken brash and Chomsky-ish. He wants to talk the talk but is forced by his producer Sydney Briar (Lisa Houle) to be the more professional DJ. Mazzy is eager to get his listeners thinking but Sydney scolds him and forces at the scene reports from Ken Loney in the "Sunshine Chopper". Assisting Sydney is war veteran Laurel (Georgina Reilly) who could be a Anna Farris lookalike. She techs up and screens the calls for Mazzy's show.

The set up of another mundane day in the snowstormed town of Pontypool is interrupted by a breaking story of a huge riot at a doctor's clinic (who makes an appearance later on). Mazzy, eager to run with the story before its verified battles his producers before succumbing to having to interview and hear a song from a troupe of actors in Lawrence of Arabia.

Later, Mazzy interviews Ken Loney, the "on the field" reporter as he describes the chaos. It's done "War of the Worlds"-ish. I would have never imagined watching a movie that relies on a radio drama to get the story moving. We are suppose to be watching a MOTION PICTURE, but the 180 we get here on hearing rather than seeing makes it mesmerizing to watch. McHattie's voice and concern seem dirty realistic.

It's the same way you get when you hear NRP's "This American Life" where the sounds and your imagination create much more than any visual could. Some humor is also thrown in when Mazzy is interviewed by a BBC affiliate looking for answers on the chaos.

The virus then hits home, when poor Laurel gets infected causing her to go all mumbly. Locked in the sound booth, we then meet the ever fluent Dr. Mendez. Some light is shed on what may be causing people to go crazy. The doc and a hacked military signal tells our heroes and us that the English language is responsible for the insanity. Yes you read that right. The English language. Soon our heroes are forced to speak Rosetta Stone French to keep sane.

The last half of the movie has Mazzy and Sydney doing the old reliable run and hide amidst the invading now dictionaried and zombified masses pouring into the station. It's tenseful at times, possibly even 3% scary, though nothing a 13 yr old couldn't handle. As we head to the final 15, the thought bubbled lightbulb goes off for Mazzy but not before we get an apocalypse.

So how do you interpret a movie where a virus is spread thru language? Especially the English language.

Bruce McDonald, the director was on hand during the screening I attended and vaguely Area 51d an explanation of the multi-verse theories. It's open to many interpretations he said. I sensed for the most part that Pontypool was a crack at Americanism and how we spread our language, our values and our very annoying pop culture throughout the world.

Does one's culture get lost when they adapt another culture's language and values? Lots of interesting questions are posed. We often joke Canada is the 51st state. Could this actually happen in say 50 years?

Language is power and how we use it is subliminally virus and disease like and perfectly satirized in Pontypool. We can spread ideas through language that affect us all. Even McDonald quipped during the Q&A that Pontypool was picked up to be distributed in South Korea with the tagline "Fear English!".

Pontypool is intelligent, witty and thought provoking and reminds us perfectly how the horror genre can be used to satire the world we live in. It's punched a spot into my list of top 10 horror movies of 2009.

So take off that white mask and head outside. No time to be paranoid about H1N1....your next words could be your last.

WTF moment

Laurel going all word sick and crazy
"Sydney Briar is not dead" chant

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

First some fun facts about the movie.

-The movie is adapted from Tony Burgess book "Pontypool Changes Everything"
-It was shot in 15 days and in chronological order
-Stephen McHattie and Lisa Houle are married in real life
-McDonald also directed the Tracy Fragments which starred Canadian hottie Ellen Page

For more information head over to the IFC.

Oddly enough I can actually use the same final description I gave the Signal for Pontypool.

"... [It] is not entirely horror, but is sort of an artsy cinema engulfed in a horror apocalypse."

Now be quiet.


Check out the trailer.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Unrated (Trailer)

I'd have to say my college years represented the golden era of when I watched horror movies religiously. I would scour the interweb looking for the most fucked up goriest horror movies ever made.

So it's pretty fitting that I'd came across German goremeister Andreas Schnaas' Violent Shit trilogy and got hooked by the amounts of gore and splatter a little indie movie could hold.

Schnaas has made a few others, most notably Nikos the Impaler and his newest horror opus Don't Wake the Dead.

But in his new movie he joins with a new German horror auteur Timo Rose to co-direct a splatter film the likes we've all haven't seen before.

So what happens when these 2 join forces?

We get Unrated.

From the looks of the trailer, we're going to get some fucked up slashers as well as supple amounts of gratuitous nudity. Good times.

Slashers with names like "Death Trooper", "Templar", "Succubus", "HellHound", "Melting Man", "Fat Zombie", "Slice Face" and "Ragnator".

I can't wait for this. Kudos for the heads up and trailer from Fangoria.

Check out the trailer below.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Adam Green's "Fairy Tale Police" (Short Film)

I'm a subscriber of ArieScope's channel on YouTube, which is home to Adam Green's (Hatchet) collection of awesome shorts. I blogged about this short a while back, after seeing his recent short "Saber". then hopped onto Xbox live to view it.

Well now the full version is on YouTube so you can all check it out without going onto Xbox Live.

Starring the hot Rachael Leigh Cook and the Green regular Parry Shen, these cops "kick ass so you can happily live ever after".

Check out the entire short below. Good times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Colin (Trailer)

I first read about Colin and it's $70 shoestring budget on CNN which has a interesting article about the film and its UK director Marc Price. Now that its premiered at Cannes and is getting hype among the horror-sphere I am intrigued by the set up.

It's a zombie film from the zombie's point of view.

Now's that's different. But on the proverbial flipside of the coin is the thing I hate the most. From what I read it's got that Blair Witch/Cloverfield point of view shaky cam also. Arghhh.

A movie POV where we are not tagging along with survivors sounds interesting to a point. I'll have to check this out when it gets distributed. You can check out the trailer below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Landlord (Review)

The Landlord

The Landlord (2009)

Directed by Emil Hyde

A few months I posted up a trailer for a little indie horror-comedy flick called the Landlord. I recently got a screener of the flick and after my hectic schedule I got around to watching it.

The thing about the horror comedies is that if you attempt to do one, you have to be ready to be compared to the ultimate horror comedy and that of course is Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy. Especially the first one which broke all the rules for low budget but low budget done sooo ultimate freakin well.

I've seen my share of low budget black horror-omedies done extremely well (see Thicker than Water) and I've seen my share of "it's so bad it's MST3k worthy".

The Landlord to me just wasn't funny for what it was trying to do. I recognized the jokes, the strategically placed gags and all, but I had hoped to see a bunch of talking monsters in the vein of an episode of Buffy or Angel. You know acting natural about the supernatural. Vampires, demons, etc just being wickedly funny about being wicked. Sure there were attempts, but the attempts just missed.

What the Landlord felt like was watching those low budget flicks of the 80s (Troma-ish) in a way with rubber bloody leg gags and cheesy special effects. The 100 minutes is filled with many many attempts to be funny about a world full of demons and monsters...but I just couldn't get the joke.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

The Landlord is the story of Tyler, the unfortunate young owner of a demon-haunted apartment building. Finding tenants has never been a problem for Tyler, though he does have trouble keeping them alive to pay rent. No matter how nicely Tyler asks the demons not to eat the renters (or to at least wait a month or two), they never listen. And why should they? As far as the demons are concerned, humans are merely dumb, tasty animals - kinda like chickens - and Tyler is their pet monkey.

But all that might change when Tyler takes a liking to the newest tenant, a desperate young woman running from demons of her own…

Awesome Review-O-Matic

Tyler is the landlord in The Landlord. He's like an Apatow clone, chubby but lovable. He has been feeding two demons (one that looks like Lorne from Angel) and another woman demon with a face of a dog?!?

Tenants who rent the apartment and are quickly eaten by the 2 resident demons. Besides these demons, we meet Tyler's sister Amy, who is a cop...a crooked cop who with her brother has made a deal with the demons. Tyler and Amy feed em and they clean up the mess. In return, well you'll see why they do what they do at thee end. Amy and her cop partner also have a deal with the underground vampirey demons. They get to eat the wasteoids and degenerates and they turn a blind eye and score some loot.

As much as we accompany Tyler on his little journey, I'd have rather just watched his sister be the star of the movie. She is a cheating whore who steals, kills and get a loving mom. Wow, what a character. In no way is Amy anybody you would remotely want to root for, which is why you'd want to see what she would do next.

Instead we follow Tyler who then rents the apt to Donna, a southern belle whose on the run. They share a few karoake laughs and soon she discovers the real "tenants" of the building. But the humans in this film are instilled to be the "straight guy". It's the monsters who should be carrying the laughs. And unfortunately they come across as retarded.

The Lorne looking monster is goofy and does a majority of the kills. A yuppie couple, a couple of annoying cops and a jealous boyfriend. Their ultimate demises is summed up in Halloween body part gags.

There a few gags that gag away. An infomercial was quite cute as is a few throwaway one liners.

I could see what Hyde was attempting to do in so far as making the laughs Munsters like and giving you a few ha ha's of Satanic rituals gone awry. The movie is definitely low budget, but shot in nice HD. The special effects have that LSD effect to em and indeed a drinking game was invented for the flick to capitalize on monster teeth and gratuitous demon vanishes.

I think my biggest gripe was that I just didn't care for Tyler, the lovable lump who has the unfortunate job of being the monster janitor rather than the landlord.

As I said before, I'd have rather have seen the sister being evil (and by the end seems more than likely) and how she juggled being a corrupt cop, a cheating MILF, a mommy and her dealings with the monster underground.

But then if that was the wouldn't be called the Landlord.


Bat splurge
Neck trauma
Intenstine surgery



WTF moment

The sister going nuts

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

I think the Landlord would have worked better as a sketch comedy rather than a feature. It's has all the elements of something to see on stage than in a movie theatre. I applaud Hyde's efforts to go full force on a undertaking of making a horror comedy. It's not easy. Some would say they'd go to hell than attempt it. Kudos to Hyde to avoiding hell and making the attempt.

Thanks to Mr. Hyde on sending me a screener of the movie.

For more information, check out the official site.


The Trailer

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Favorite Scene from The Terminator

With Terminator Salvation coming out today I was going to write a Top 5 list with my favorite John Connor quotes.

A few of my faves are:

"Easy money."

"Now who's the dipshit, you jock douchebag?

"Don't take this the wrong way, but you are Terminator right?"

"No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don't say "affirmative," or some shit like that. You say "no problemo." And if someone comes on to you with an attitude you say "eat me." And if you want to shine them on it's "hasta la vista, baby."

"We got Skynet by the balls now, don't we?"

Well what you know that's 5. Anyway, lets use the time displacement machine to go back to 1984 and watch my favorite scene of the original Terminator.

You know the one. The landlord, the rundown motel room, the 6 choice responses. This is fuckin classic. In case you missed the Terminator vision, I've put the choices below. Enjoy!

Possible Response:



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Power Kids (Trailer)

The fun about searching for trailers on YouTube is that you can search for one thing, which leads you to another which then leads you to another.

Then before you know it, you see a bunch of kids OngBaking the shit out some baddy bad men.

So I may be a millisecond late on this little trailer but fuck's totally rad-irific. From the producer of Ong Bak and Chocolate, come little teenage Ong Baks kicking ass. If they keep going all Benjamin Button with these movies, we're gonna see a fuckin fetus Muay Thai-ing in the womb.

Great stunts, choreography and uber action. Wow. I'm excited about Power Kids. It begs the question is this just all normal shit in Thailand. While American tweens are lip syncing Hannah Montana, Thai tweens are kneeing and elbowing people through windows.

Check out the trailer below. Also, the official site for more info-rama.

Also here is another promo for the film with some live action stunt-o-rama.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Murder Collection Volume 1 (Trailer)

The guys from Toe Tag Pictures are back. Fred Vogel, the sick mastermind that brought us the August Underground trilogy (I'm ashamed to admit this but I've seen all 3) are back with a new flick filled with fake snuff, mock executions and "real footage" of deathiness.

Well this has got to be 10 years too late don't ya think?

Sorta like Faces of Death with some Mondo Cane-ness, from the reviews I've read, the kills look mega realistic. This is of course the slice and dice expertise from Toe Tag.

The plot is below.

The film revives an early 1990’s Internet clip show, Murder, which was notorious for streaming videos of actual killings. After gaining popularity, the infamous show was discovered by authorities and shut down forcing the host, Balan, into obscurity.

Over more than a decade in the shadows, the obsessed host continued to search for scenes of brutality that provoke a maelstrom of emotion. Balan has recently emerged from the darkness and is eager to show you his collection.

I met Vogel once during a Chiller convention and bought August Underground Mordum (a signed copy!) and he was rather chill as we talked about horror shit. Good times.

Check out the trailer below.

I also have watched their most recent non snuff movie Redsin Tower which was pretty horroficly adequate. But I'm glad their back to their old sicko, twisted shenanigans.

I'll probably have to order this pretty soon. Only sick bastards need apply.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yoroi: Samurai Zombie (Trailer)

It's been a weird week this week. I've been lacking time to review anything though I did receive something in the mail today that made me laugh. I'll probably detail that next week. In the mean time, for the rest of the week I'll be posting some trailers you may have missed via the horror grapevine.

First up, Yoroi: Samurai Zombie trailer.

Directed by Tak Sakaguchi and written by Versus/Azumi/Midnight Meat Train director Ryƻhei Kitamura this is one hell of a flick.

A family, a bunch of crooks and cops and the undead. Has that Versus-feel would gratuitous arterial spraying.

And monsters!

What's not to love.

Check out the trailer below.

It will be premiering at the New York Asian film festival this June. Thanks to Fangoria for the heads up.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fox Renews Dollhouse

Well Fox has officially renewed Dollhouse for another season. So more reviews to come from your friendly, neighborhood jaded viewer for the 2nd season.

You can find out more info by going here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Top 5 80s Horror Movies Hollywood Might Actually Think Would Be Good Remakes

With all the horror remake hell that's invaded screens of late, who knows what the fuck Hollywood will remake in the near future. Remember, Hollywood DOES NOT come up with new ideas anymore. They are actually like the New York Yankees. They either do the following (or sometimes they do both):

1.) Remake an old, crappy, 80s horror movies (similar to the NYY buying old, has been players and overpaying them)

2.) Remake an independent, foreign or surprise film that has gained a cult following (similar to the NYY scavaging for players in the minor leagues)

It's sad but true. So after libraring thru the 80s horror movies of old, below are the Top 5 I think Hollywood would pick the rights up to and remake because they actually think these would be sellable and profitable movies to the millenials and Gen Y generation.

If I've Nostradumsed any of these, I'd like Hollywood to cut me my check.

On to the list!

Top 5 80s Horror Movies Hollywood Might Actually Think Would Be Good Remakes

5.) Q The Winged Serpent

Why Hollywood would remake this:

Because after the success of Cloverfield, people want to see monsters attacking Manhattan

In Q, NYC is being terrorized by a giant lizard. A photographer is the only one who knows where Q's nest is.

I mean you could do this on a meager budget and shoot it POV style ala Cloverfield.

Millenials love monster movies and if there are teenagers running around being eaten you can bank on Hollywood trying to cash in.

The Trailer

4.) Night of the Creeps

Why Hollywood would remake this:

With the success of creepy crawlie and zombie movies, this combines both.

I mean the tagline reads: The good news is your date is here. The bad news is...he's dead.

This is ripe for Hollywood to exploit.

Teenagers, the prom, a small town, the inept cops and sluggy like creatures turning people into brainwashed zombies. This is a proven formula for success.

Throw in some jokes and you've got American Pie meets Slither.

Hollywood is probably salivating to remake this.

The Trailer

3.) Deadly Friend

Why Hollywood would remake this:

Well they are already remaking Wes Craven's Nightmare on Elm Street. So why wouldn't they just rape his other movies too.

I mean this would have a nerd kid, a hot next door neighbor and a girl who becomes an unstoppable, killer robo-coppy killing machine.

The original starred Kristy Swanson as Samantha, the dead neighbor who comes back to life through microchip technology (Intel inside!)

They could easily turn this into a PG-13 borefest.

This movie had an awesome death scene by way of a basketball which you can check out here.

The Trailer

2.) Chopping Mall

Why Hollywood would remake this:

I don't think Hollywood would remake this. But then again they remade My Bloody FUCKIN Valentine so who the fuck knows anymore.

But if they can remake Dawn of the Dead, why can't they have 8 teenagers in a mall getting slaughtered by killer robot mall security??

I'm sure Hollywood can easily PG-13 this little turd and cast Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens to be dual final girls.

When Terminator Salvation puts the spark in killer AI and cyborgs, Hollywood will want to get the rights to any films where a machine goes on a murderous frenzy.

The Trailer

1.) Night of the Comet

Why Hollywood would remake this:

Valley Girls+Apocalypse = FUN and Ca Ching!

Take any pseudo reality stars and have them fight a horde of flesh eating zombies will inevitably give Hollyood the appetite to remake Night of the Comet.

It takes place in Los Angeles and it could have a bunch of Valley Girl, Clueless and Buffy-isms so we can all start would be cool.

And instead of the Native American guy, it could be Tyrese firing a gun.

This has all the elements of remake-hood. Sci fi, horror and comedy. Chances of this happening 3 to 1.
The Trailer

Other films they may infect:

The Howling
The Gate
Near Dark
The Wraith

I'm so sick of the pillaging Hollywood has done to my horror movie childhood. I even sometimes get brainwashed and see the damn things. Friday the 13th, Halloween and even My Bloody Valentine.

So it wouldn't surprise me if any of the movies on this list were remade.

Did I miss any others that you think should be on this list? Let me know.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Eagle Path (Teaser Trailer)

It's always a big event here at the jaded viewer when a new Jean Claude Van Damme movie looms over the horizon. JCVD is back in The Eagle Path, a movie he wrote, edited and directed.

I mean look at that fuckin poster! He's holding a damn hand cannon.

And the freakin tagline is: Haunted By The Past, His Vengeance Knows No Limits.


He's Jean Claude Van Damme!

Trailer looks pretty "character action" oriented. Just the way JCVD likes it. Lots of car chases, double fisting Woo-ish gun battles and a freakin eagle.

What's not to like?

Check out the plot.

A military veteran and former mercenary, Frenchy (Van Damme) works as a taxi driver, hiding somewhere in East Asia, haunted by his past. After his driving shifts he often frequents the Eagle's Nest, a seedy bar that houses a caged eagle. In the midst of the chaotic Asian traffic Frenchy picks up a beautiful female passenger who will change him forever.

Driven by dark memories of his childhood, he becomes determined to improve her life and, without her approval, he embarks on a journey which proves to be more dangerous and complicated then he expected. After encountering a series of harrowing obstacles he calls in favors from his special ops friends who immediately join him. His military team engages in the biggest fight of their lives. War is hell, but nothing they've done could have prepared them for this.

It’s an adrenaline-fueled, full-on, maximum firepower thriller, filled with the intense psychological conflict that Van Damme fans love the world over.

The Eagle Path will be premiering at Cannes and TIFF this summer.

Check out the trailer below. Thanks to Twitch for the heads up.

Check out this site for more information.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1 (Review)

Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1

Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1 (2008)

Directed by Phil Messerer

Fuck zombies.

With all the Twilight hoopla and Let the Right One In, I predict a big renaissance in the vampire genre. But you won't see this in Hollywood in a big BOOM overnight.

Where you will see it is the college radio station world of independent horror.

Mark my words. When Hollywood starts surfing the horror interweb and sees praise for a movie like Thicker Than Water from the indie horror blogs, they are going to think they've hit the fuckin pot of gold.

Because this movie is a damn good movie to sink your teeth into (sorry for the bad pun).

Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1 is a black horror-omedy that puts the function in dysfunctional. It's a credit to Phil Messerer who was sort of of a jack of all trades (who wrote, edited and directed) this indie masterpiece.

It's a radical little horror Lifetime movie of the week that could be part HBO TV show (look out True Blood!) and part music video. All I can say is it's a damn good movie.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Thicker Than Water is the first part in the Vampire Diaries Trilogy. It tells the story of the Baxters, an ordinary suburban family whose world is turned upside down when their youngest becomes a vampire. Lara, a precocious teenage Goth, hates her wholesome sister, Helen. She envies her popularity, her looks and most of all, her mother's pride and affection.

One day, after their 16th Birthday party, during which she is particularly humiliated by her sister's friends, Lara performs an intricate ritual in front of her Anne Rice alter involving a Margie doll and calf's heart. The next morning Helen awakens with a severe nosebleed. Then she dies in her sister's horrified arms. The family is desperately grief stricken. Lara is filled with guilt, Mom with philosophical anguish and Raymond, the gay neuro-scientist brother, with curiosity, as he discovers a strange virus in Helen's blood: one that feeds on red blood cells.

Suddenly there is a knock on the door. Helen, still wearing her white body bag, is standing outside, covered in blood. It is clear that all is not well with their resurrected family member. For one thing, she requires human blood as sustenance. The family realize they must find 'sacrifices' to keep her alive. But the vegetarian cheerleader refuses to feed. She suffers gut-wrenching blood withdrawals until she blacks out and rips her victims to shreds. The first 'sacrifices' are a pair of Mormon missionaries doing the local rounds. After that it is pretty much up to Raymond, who cruises the local gay bars in search of prey.

With their world crumbling around them, the Baxters find themselves lulled into atrocity, the daily carnage destroying their sense of morality while bringing them closer together as a family. And how did Helen become a vampire? What exactly are vampires? Forget everything you think you know and get ready for a completely original retelling of the most ancient of myths.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

For a movie that runs a little less than 90 minutes, Thicker than Water packs a lot into this little juicebox. The Cooperstown small town feel (it's Sugar Loaf, NY) , the believable yet quirky characters, the vampire mythos and the blood, splatter and gore are perfectly blended into a milkshake of horror goodness.

I originally expcted to see a possibly MST3K worthy, shot on video amateur, local theatre group kids making a YouTubey horror film. But TTW is none of that. Yes, there is a low budget, grindhousey feel of the movie. However, that's soon forgotten when you see how this movie is shot, tightly edited and performances by the cast that are not amateurish at all.

Throw your expectations out the window, this is one fun hell of a ride.

Welcome to the Baxter household. Let's meet the family.

We've got Lara (Eilis Cahill), our narrator and total outcast, goth Anne Ricey vixen. She's the vampire lore expert. On the total opposite end of the family spectrum is Helen (Devon Bailey), the cheerleader-ish, blonde, beautiful, popular girly girl. We also meet their brother Raymond (Michael Strelow), a gay scientist and part time mad doctor. Also, we meet Dad who goes divorce AWOL early on which leaves us finally with Mom (Jo Jo Hristova), the former Bulgarian ice skater religious momma.

It's your typical family not normal family but whose family is. These are not the Beavers or the Bradys. More so the Munsters on LSD.

After Lara goes all Voodoo weirdo (a great The Craft-y homage) Helen wakes up with a vicious nosebleed. Soon she's gone to the great beyond. Raymond soon discovers Helen's blood is gone all virusey (nope not Swine Flu) and tells the family. But a knock from the door sees Helen back, body bag covered and all and drenched in blood.

Let the hilarity ensue.

From here the movie gets into Heathers like territory. The family starts to feed Helen with a variety of victim fodder. Two Mormons, Raymond's gay one night stands and others become food for our hungry, bood thirsty Helen.

A lot of the "kills" are done montagey in that Rob Zombie music video sort of way. I must admit, it seemed kinda tacky but I didn't mind.

The performances by Cahill and Bailey are right on point. Cahill has that Winona Ryder Burtonized look to her and black humor logues her performance like Ryder's Veronica character in Heathers. Bailey, the unlikely vampire puts a nice, sweet virtuous spin on her character going all puppy dog eyes as she stares at a soon to be yummy victim. These were both top notch performances that could even make True Blood look cheesy.

Later, we get the Interview with a Vampire cameo when the mysterious Patrice Duchamp III (who looks like a 1800s throwback puffy shirt and all) to recruit our newborn vampire Helen.

This all leads to a Christmas dinner, a twisty twizzler and an ending that lives up to the dysfunction of this entire family.

Interspliced within the flick are explanations of the 1st vampire and the mythology of pure bloods, etc. This is probably a set up in the eventual sequels of this proposed trilogy. Even in these Wikipedia scenes I was still intrigued and interested by how this vampire lore will play out.

With all the heaping amounts of praise, there were a few gripes that seeped in. The look is definitely low budget and some angles were a bit too cinematically overused. Aside from Cahill and Bailey, the other actors were a bit cardboardy though mediocre at best. Even the gore and splatter had moments of FAIL. Though that can be forgiven as it's not like they went to the Tom Savini school or splatter.

But the biggest screeching tire is the slow pace of the first 30 minutes and some drag in between. Though, in some low budget movies, the filmmaker stretches what should be a 8-10 minute scene into a punch me in the face 15-17 minutes. Thank Lestat, Messerer didn't do that too much.

All in all, The Vampire Diaries is a complete and awesome debut from Messerer. If he can learn from his mistakes (which are few) Part 2 of the Vampire Diaries will be spectacutastic. I can't begin to applaud filmmakers who go after their dream and make a movie. This is why we should support the indie scene, horror or non horror alike.

It's rare when a movie like Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries surprises even a jaded viewer like myself. And when you do, that's saying a lot.


Blood drenching
Neck trauma
Face removal



WTF moment

The ending

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

The movie is on the film festival circuit and is kickin ass and winning awards. According to the official website it took 3 years to make.

If somehow you can see this movie, do so.

I first heard about this movie from The Bone Breaker and after watching the trailer I was psyched.

Thanks to the director Phil Messerer for sending me a screener of the film.

I guarantee I've totally Nostradamused this vampire boom. Trust me.



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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dollhouse "Omega" (TV Review)

Well this is it. The last episode of Dollhouse for this season.....or *gasp* ever. It's been fun reviewing the show for

As I sit here hoping Dollhouse gets picked up for a 2nd season, I don't know why this show never picked up steam among the masses.

It's a good show, with a cyberpunk scifi-ness to it and filled with quirky dialogue, hot women and kick ass action.

But I guess that wasn't enough.

The finale was sort of lacking any oooomph. It felt like a little kid that wanted one more cookie. Poor kid.

Well check out my final review of the episode "Omega" on

We will miss your super hotness Eliza Dusku. I'm going to miss my favorite faves Sierra and Ivy. And you to Topher. You are frakin funny.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Laid to Rest (Review)

Laid to Rest

Laid to Rest (2009)

Directed by Robert Hall

Welcome to Chromeskull's world.

Our new slasher on the block Chromeskull will be remembered for his style, his knife and his damn sicko looking mask.

Laid to Rest is the best techno slasher movie of the 21st century. If Hatchet was old school American horror, Laid to Rest is new school American horror.

What Robert Hall has created here is purely an homage to all the slashers films that have come before. It's also a pure millenium based slasher film that is so sly and witty and full of top notch splatter and gore we all need to give him a standing O.

Laid to Rest should be seen if you call yourself a horror fan. It's easily one of the best horror movies of 2009.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

A terrifying story of a young girl who wakes up in a casket with a traumatic head injury and no memory of her identity. She quickly realizes she was abducted by a Deranged Serial Murderer and in an isolated rural town she must survive the night and outsmart the technologically inclined killer who is hellbent on finishing what he started.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

As always, we here at the jaded viewer go through our "what makes a good slasher movie" list.

Does Laid to Rest achieve everything on this list?

1.) Is there a mysterious, insanely strong, ridiculed as a child, deformed, inbred redneck slasher?

Don't know if he was ridiculed as a child, is inbred or a redneck. But he is mysterious and he is fucking strong. Chromeskull is like a Patrick Bateman carbon copy. Clean black suit, a haliburton case full of of your standard slasher supplies, an advanced shoulder strapped HD cam and a damn scary, intimidating mask made out of chrome. Oh and he's got a wicked knife.


2.) Gratuitous, over the top, super fleshy nudity (with Grade A boobage)?

Sorta check. Some boobage but without the full or partial frontal nudity

3.) Stereotypical teenage caricatures who die gruesome and horrific over the top deaths?

Sorta check. Sorta? What do I mean? Here are a list of our characters.

1.) A big breasted final girl (who has no name and is referred to as THE GIRL)
2.) A rough and kick ass local
3.) A nerdy momma's boy geek
4.) 2 stereotypical teenagers (one is Thomas Dekker from Sarah Connor Chronicles!)
5.) A bunch of victim fodder (includes Lena Heady from Sarah Connor Chronicles!)

4.) No Plot?


5.) Kills by our slasher that make you go "Fuck yeah!"

Check. So many I was going fuck yeah this is fuckin awesome.

6.) Gore, lots of it. Like serious decapitation, dismemberment, impalement, frenzy steroid rages and blood shooting out at various penetration wounds, limbs a flailing and mindless splatter and mayhem

Check. Laid to Rest has the most creative kills I've seen in quite a while. The special effects and makeup department did a fuckin awesome job.

Here is your Gore-ipedia. These may sound vague and cliched but when seen they are brilliantly executed to perfection.

1.) Metal pole to the stomach
2.) Knife to the head
3.) Knife to the jaw and slashed up face trauma
4.) Knife slashing stomach intenstine spewage
5.) Shotgun to the head
6.) Head explosion thru car product
7.) Slashed throat (x2!)
8.) Face melting trauma

These were such great kills, all done wickedly by Chromeskull. His technique, just utterly flawless.

7.) Geeky leader who takes charge of the hapless group as they try to escape who befriends a hot girl who knows about the "legend" (there's always a legend no one believes)

Check. Geeky leader doesn't take charge but finds out about the legend via the interweb.

8.) Funny yet ill timed dialogue but also various quips and one liners that are funny only the first time around (yet somehow funny again when you buy the DVD and only when you're stoned)


9.) Final girl goes all final girly?


10.) Wildly ambigious ending that can be used to warrant a sequel?

Sorta check. Ending seems to warrant an actual ending. But who knows.



WTF moment

Chromeskull removes his mask (you'll see)

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Laid to Rest was directed by Robert Hall who is a legend in the special effects world with his company Almost Human. He worked on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles hence why Lena Heady and Thomas Dekker make extensive cameos in this film. He even knows Jonathan Schaech who almost makes a cameo. Bobbie Sue Luther who plays The Girl is Hall's wife.

Why is Laid to Rest one of the best horror movies this year?

Hall avoids all the stupid shit that's invaded horror of late. It's not a fuckin remake. It's not torture porn. It's not something supernatural. We never find out why Chromeskull kills (because no motivation is better) Chromeskull doesn't talk. Chromeskull techs up and texts and cams his terror and he has a fuckin awesome-rific mask.

That's not to say this little slasher film doesn't fall victim to what slasher films are known for. Bad acting, BIG, HUGE plot holes, and total lack of logic.

But fuck logic.

When Chromeskull is taking care of business, you'll be throwing that logic out the window.


Check out the Red Band HD trailer.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Top 37 Hottest Women of Star Trek

Yowsers. Well ain't that a picture worth a million words.

That is of course the naked backside of the hot Jolene Blalock who played T'Pol in Star Trek: Enterprise.

I will admit, I am a part time Trekkite. I've actually watched only a handful of the Original Series. I got into Star Trek by watching the Next Generation.

But to me, Star Trek Deep Space Nine is almost as good as the reimagining of Battlestar Galactica (Ronald Moore was the exec producer on both).

So with the release of rebooted prequel coming out today, I could have bored you with a Star Trek minor characters list.

But I know the nude-ipedia sells more tissues.

So instead I implore you to check out The Hotties of Star Trek (which includes hotties from all the TV series and the movies!) courtesy of

I don't agree with the #1 pick, but 37 pages of beautiful, voluptuous aliens and humans kinda sells itself.

Will they have Orion slave girls in the new movie?

I'm hoping they do.