31 Days # 4 – Just Before Dawn Review

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IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082592/?ref_=nv_sr_2

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This is a blind watch, highly recommended, which has mostly been the bane of this blog and these 31 day projects. In fact I think success rate with these films, being above decent is 10 percent at tops.
I know very little of this, except it is reasonably pricey since is out of print, I am thinking it’s a prototype for Wrong Turn, or any of the other kids go in woods genres.

We start off with a rather large hillbilly, stabbing a hunter with a rather large knife, through the balls and out the ass. Relatively well done too. Then we are introduced to our 5 twenty something leads, in their pricey camper, going for a weekend in the mountains. With some par for the course results.

This started off so strong, but quickly degraded into mediocrity and then boredom. There is nothing really new here, besides death by mandible claw towards the end. It’s so cliched for the genre even, there is very little to almost no gore, violence or suspense. Things happen for no real revealed reason, and I didn’t care by the end of it. Damn though, did the setting look great. Set in the Oregon wilderness, is a beautiful mash up of mountains, waterfalls and dense forests, which saved this from being a complete failure for me.

RATING: C(65%)

PROS: amazing setting, some early great gore, attractive ladies

CONS: Not a lot goes on, nothing new at all, no motivation or explanation of our villains. Some bad lagging issues

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31 days 2014 – Day 1- Pieces Review

I was not going to do this, this year, since the last 2 months have taken their toll on my personal life.  Long story short, my wife of 17 years, met the 19 year old new neighbor and 1 week later I am kicked out, he is moved in and now they are getting married in November this year, having known each other 2 months now.  So I have lost a lot of passion in life in general.  As well, I`ll be honest, the views on this blog have been at an all time low, and continue to plummet, so maybe I will start this, see where it goes and if things don`t improve, or I am not into it, will cancel it flat out.

Enough of that though.

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IMDB:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082748/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Pieces has been on my must see list, well as long as I have had one really.  I have never got around to it though, since the prices of the different releases on this are so up and down, mostly up, I just passed on it.  I have a good feeling about this film, although I am walking into it, with an epically bad mood, hopefully this wont cloud my judgement or enjoyment of it.

First thought,  This has that awesome late 1970s and early 1980s exploitation look and feel to it.  I instantly have gotten a feel of Don`t Go in The House and it`s ilk.  So I may do very well with this.  After a relatively violent opening, I think we are going to get along just fine, this film and I.

Our film here opens, with a young boy putting together a puzzle of a topless pin up^, when his mother catches him and goes back shit fucking crazy on him over it, he responds to her lunacy with a nice axing to the face, and some saw action….go stuff here.  Oddly, there are offscreen killings in this.

The basics of this story are simple, done to death, horror cliched.  A masked killer is stalking a college and dispatching young ladies in various states of undress using a chainsaw.   He is accumulating body parts for a human puzzle of sorts,  with gory results.  There is the standard red herrings all over the place, some awful dialogue and bad acting, with shockingly sparse amounts of decent enough gore through out.  The mains are mostly unlikeable, and are normally quickly dispatched before they have the chance to become annoying.  The dark look of this, as aforementioned was a nice touch, but really was just a product of the time, not intentional.  There is a lot of lag in this, the emphasis on the police investigation was so painful for me, it took me out of it completely, several times.   Then there was an over long tennis match bit, by this point I was completely removed from this film.   I swear these 31 days are cursed, in the 62 films featured in it,  films I have not seen before have turned out to be awful, dull or just mediocre about 65 percent of the time, and if this is an indication, I am in for it again…  But moving on, the carefully guarded, twist, the big killer reveal, is completely predictable, in fact I figured it out, the 1st time the character was on screen.  By the 45 minute part I had to pause it and walk away for it, this was painful, I almost couldnt finish it.

So barely violent, mediocre gore, done to death plot, cliched to hell, and frequent moments of nothing at all, completely killed this for me.  I do not get the following and reputation this has.  It is boring to the Nth degree.  It picks up a bit in the final 30 minutes, but was far too little too late, And the telegraphed twist ending or reveal as one might say, completely killed any redeeming value.

Strong start for sure, but damn did this burnt out faster than I could have ever imagined.

RATING: 55% (D+)

PROS:  Decent beginning, some good gore, an elevator scene, although brief is fun.  There is an odd kung fu moment, that happens for, well nothing but was fun. Strange shock epilogue which was entertaining enough and well done.

CONS:  Boring to an art form, predictable in every sense, some offscreen violence, little gore, annoying mains.

Unhinged Review

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To buy this title, included in a decent set for really cheap, click here. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009WPLP8?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B0009WPLP8&linkCode=shr&tag=violviscandvi-20&linkId=S36R7DTZG3FOCCVW&=movies-tv&qid=1405199438&sr=1-3&keywords=tormented+souls via @amazon

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180274/?ref_=nv_sr_1

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Ahhh the multipacks, an often regretful purchase, which sometimes yields a very rare gem or two, occasionally saves some serious cash from an overpriced legit release, which only turns out to be awful, or of course, loaded with absolute crap. I purchased a multipack in November, Tormented Souls, for just that hope, a rare gem, which I thought would be Unhinged.

I created this blog, mostly because of awful blind buys, and ill advised recommendations. I’ll be honest, I have been burnt A LOT, on blind buys. Unhinged would have been one of such, had I not picked it up on this pack for around $10 shipped. How pissed I would have been, had I purchased it, on it’s own.

Misrepresentation, especially through posters and trailers, seems to be a staple of the 1980s horror genre in general. This title here is a perfect example. Billed as being banned in the UK, sure it was, but clearly censors never watched it, and all the trailers and promos play it out as a bloody, gore soaked slasher, however, instead we are treated to a dull, exposition heavy, plot whole filled, mess.

After a storm washes out the road, whilst en route to a jazz festival, three young women are stranded at an old Victorian style house, where they are tended to by the strange Marion and her overbearing, angry, senile mother. From there, disappearances occur, some odd events take place and a secret is revealed.

Now alright, by no means does that sound innovative, but tolerable comes to mind plot wise. Pretty par for the course, how could this go wrong?? Well first off, the pacing is awful in this film. About 2/3s of it is random chatter, some awful exposition with the cast almost looking into the camera at you, shoving you along. There is basically no violence whatsoever, all characters are dispatched off screen, and later a quick pan or flash of stage blood or mediocre gore effects happen. Sub plots are created and soon after prove to be pointless. There is even one character that has basically no dialogue and her only point is to be a member of the body count, the whole 4 that inhabit this film. This is not a slasher movie by an stretch of the definition, it is more so a failed thriller.

…..However, the last 15 minutes or so of this film, are batshit crazy. The twist is nothing terribly new, there are a few hints at it, if you paid attention – ok could stay awake long enough to pay attention – but a lot of people will not see it coming. It actually works, and causes a massive shift in tone. Which turns what would be largely forgettable, and severely disappointing, into an interesting footnote of the genre during it’s time.

All in all, The lead actress Laurel Munson, is stunning beyond words, she has great eyes, and a nice figure that is often in full display and the last 15 minutes including the ending, while do not redeem this, make it worth checking out for free, or as part of a multipack for sure.

RATING: C(65%)

PROS: Laurel Munson is stunning and on full display in this, the ending and the last 15 minutes were pretty good.

CONS: Awful overuse of exposition, horrible rain and lightning effects, pointless sub plots and minor characters, plot holes, and stupid characters acting stupidly.

Maniac -2012- Review

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2103217/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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I was not a fan of the original Maniac. Something in it just never went well for me. Maybe it was Joe Spinell, whom I don’t really buy as threatening, or maybe it was a bad mood, that made me hate it. Honestly, along with Martin, it is in my list re-watches, films that everyone else likes but I hated. Maybe it was a bad mood.

So walking into this, I have zero expectations. Then throw in Elijah Wood as the titular character, and you have potentially lost me.

The plot is nearly identical, a social misfit seeks out women for his collection of sorts and nefarious things transpire. He battles a multiple personality and or schizophrenia. The entire film is shown in first person, with shaky cam galore.

I could really have gone without seeing Frodo get a BJ….while looking mortified the whole time, ironically matching my sentiments exactly. There is a polished faux grindhouse style, using darks, and grainy and griminess, but it comes across as trying to hard. Some plot devices are plain stupid, like the french artist, whom specializes in mannequin photography, and the base story itself has been done to death. Then they went with CGI, why or why go with CGI?? As almost always, it looks really fake, just takes me out of the moment, however it is not always a cardinal sin for me. However when you combine it with other flaws, like a barely there sub par plot, it adds a nice cherry on top of the fuckstorm sundae for me. Which this really was.

Again, I found myself longing for this to end. To the original source’s credit, it had a great series of innovative violence, with some awesome gore. This was run of the mill, shitty CGI, done in the boring modern slasher style. This is almost akin to a torture porn, man kills women, then gets killed. No real plot, no really character development, just some shitty exposition here and there when it is called for. It took every ounce of strength I have to not turn this off. Thankfully it was on Netflix. Boring is an understatement. Elijah Wood goes between monotone and whiny, which makes this all the more painful. The ending itself, is completely laughable, somehow Elijah Wood is impervious to bleeding out and being hit by and ran over by a car. Well, momentarily. The final scene was same as the original, which was also same as Don’t Go in The House. There is absolutely no pay off in this film.

Ok I need positives here, there is a fair bit of female nudity, of various body types, it’s not a shot for shot remake, although maybe that would have been better. Oh and it’s only 89 minutes, not 2 hours or something crazy, although those 89 minutes are longest in recent memory. I guess the neighbour murder was alright. Damn I hate being this negative but this was awful.

RATING: F(45%)

PROS: ummmm, nudity I guess is sort of a pro, maybe…It breaks the POV for about two scenes, which I guess was less annoying. Nora Arnezeder is nicely attractive and a decent lead.

CONS: shaky cam, POV is stupid and pointless, badly miscast, CGI gore, pretty much no plot. Boring to an art form. Has some very heavy pretentious moments. Has 3 writers but still no discernible plot really, and is nowhere near original. I was praying for this to end especially by the 45 minute mark.