Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lovely Molly and a Very Scary Coincidence..?

7 of 8 viewers "Liked" "Lovely Molly" (USA, 2011)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Impostor - ""Lovely Molly" is a creepy old fashioned horror film. Builds mystery nicely yet still spooky and scary, a must watch." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "A modern "Repulsion", mixed with even darker themes." - 4 1/2 Stars

Huntress - "A beautifully shot, perfectly paced descent into isolation; this movie worked in a nice touch of found footage." - 5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "An ideal horror film should, at least for it's duration, make you believe in the eldritch, dread agency of the darkness. Most films fail at this endeavor. This does not." - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "Is she mad, haunted or just high on drugs? I don't care." - 2 Stars

Bug - "There was so many great moments in this movie, I really enjoyed it!" - 3 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - "Really shows how messed up and dark the human mind can be." - 4 Stars

The Great Hornito - "A truly haunting film. I didn't know if this was a decent into madness or a haunting. I love this kind of genre film." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
While screening very tense films I've started to notice that people get extra quiet, as if scared to make a sound, like it would draw the attention from the characters in the film. This may seem commonplace but some viewers (reviewers) seem impervious, like no film is sacred and all tension shall be defused by lame comments, but not "Lovely Molly". I'll admit it wasn't completely silent and we even ended up pausing it 3 times (I really hate stopping a film) but Molly's "descent into isolation" (perfectly worded by Huntress) is so captivating that it easily survived being paused and almost completely muted chatty reviewers.
I honestly can't think of a better way to complement a film then to express it's command over an audience (another film so suspenseful it commanded a chatty crowd is "The Marked Ones").
The main themes in this film are pretty obvious and even though I'd love to discus the idea behind the horse motif, I think that's better suited for Facebook or the comments section but I do have something interesting to say...
We have to go back a year to October 10th, the day this film came into my life (I remember the date because the film takes place around the same time October). The Great Hornito, Huntress, and I were narrowing down which stupid horror film we should watch on Netflix when Huntress and I noticed Johnny Lewis's name among the cast of "Lovely Molly". This stood out to us because we are fans of Sons of Anarchy and Johnny Lewis plays a character named Half Sack.
Who cares, right? Well to skip ahead we loved the film and were totally caught of guard by how awesome it was, especially considering we put it on for laughs. Skip to the next day and we reach the point of this story.
The Great Hornito loving the film as he did went online that night and looked up the actor that lead us to the film. I couldn't believe what he found.

"Johnny Lewis dead at 28: Sons of Anarchy actor killed elderly landlady and dismembered her cat before plummeting off roof, sources say."

That's the headline of the Nydailynews article that elaborates on this terrifying story.
 The facts about what Johnny Lewis did are horrifying and totally crazy and seems to fit all to well with this films story. Especially because no one knows why he did any of this and really it could have been any number of things. The article says they think it was a new drug he took (in the vein of Bath Salts) that caused his strange behavior but this later article from Dailymail says his postmortem tests were negative. Then there's the whole thing about his dad being a high up in Scientology, a group a lot of people refer to  as a cult and yet another link to the film?
I'd continue with this connection but I'm starting to feel it's in bad taste, so let me finish by saying I was incredibly creeped out when looking up these articles just now. As last year I didn't notice something, I'll highlight it for you.

Not once in the article do they mention "Lovely Molly" but they happen to head the post with this photo. I feel it necessary to say that I love the pin he is wearing and would love one for my jacket but the fact that the symbol appears in one of his last photos deeply creeps me out. If the symbol wasn't all over the Blu Ray menu and cover I may have missed this again but now that I've noticed it I just had to share.
On a lighter note...
The trailer above is one of the best I've ever linked, it shows enough but doesn't give anything away. It just goes to show I should put some effort into looking for good trailers since apparently some exist.
-Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Break is Over

With this stack of assorted films I officially end my holiday absence and will return to the blog daily. The Facebook page has still been active and I highly recommend you checkout the post about "Evil's City", the movie may be bad but the drinking game is deadly. Also my instagram has been active but that's turned into me just taking pictures of stuff I've framed...

Okay so now that all media has been plugged, I'm heading out to frame some stuff I got from Electric Zombie and then I'm showing films all day. Expect a review tonight.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top 50 Scariest Public Service Announcements

I wasn't planning on posting anything today but I came across this randomly while watching videos in the theatre. The top 50 scariest public service announcements sounds boring but trust me on  this one it's worth sitting through the 40min run time. Another impressive thing about this list is how well it's numbered, sure some videos don't feel like they belong but over all you can feel the PSA's getting darker. So Merry Christmas, here's my present to you!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shitmas Fest: 25 Days of Shitmas

To celebrate the holiday right, we've recently screened and reviewed "Santa's Slay" for the 25 Days of Shitmas. It's a pretty cool event with lots of big horror writers participating. Check that out here.

Crash and Burn, Not Such a Giant Robot Flick

2 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Crash and Burn" (1990, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Great Hornito - "The ending was great but most of the movie was boring." - 2 Stars

Dungeon Master - "Not Excellent but still fun to watch, Sci-Fi horror possibly set in the "Robot Jox" world(?), watch to fuel post-apoc. fantasies." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "Incredibly detailed, well presented background used to inform a version of "10 little Indians"." - 2 Stars

Lord Battle - "I'm not a huge fan of post-apocalyptic films set in the desert but I really enjoyed the slasher elements." - 3 Stars

Huntress - Fell Asleep - Default 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
This is a pretty old review from back when I saw "Pacific Rim" and had a big robot themed marathon in it's honor. For the most part this Full Moon flick suffers from a lack of budget and an idea that ultimately cost to much. Viewing this film in the 90's was mostly just waiting for a giant robot to appear, at least for my generation.
- Spoiler -
The robot featured on the cover of this film is not only broken in the film but only appears in the ending for like 3 minutes. Another odd decision was casting Bill Moseley as a surprise slasher... Who didn't see this coming? I didn't even know this would turn out to be a slasher but the moment I saw Chop-Top I knew someone would be murdered.
For the most part Dungeon Master nailed it by saying this film is pretty good at setting a Sci-Fi horror mood but other than that it really only offers a couple of laughs centered around a shotgun and 3 minutes of a robot. Definitely deserving of it's 2 stars.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Only God Forgives and My Understanding of it

6 of 8 viewers "Liked" "Only God Forgives" (2013, Denmark/France)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Johnny Ocelot - "You want scenery, check. You want violence, check. You want Ryan Gosling as an introverted badass, again check. The man that gave you "Drive" grants you another offering of blood soaked revenge in seedy underground Asia. Oh and Muay Thai fans can be excited by the choreography." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "Even love seems unfamiliar in this journey through a surreal neon nightmare." - 4 Stars

Book Wyrm - "The mise en scene for this movie was exceptional. The enrapturing scenery gave me a light in this movies eternal darkness. Story wise? I couldn't tell you about that." - 2 Stars

Huntress - "My first impression was that I didn't like this movie because it was too fragmented and abstract. But thinking back, all the questions I had were answered in due time and through some very inventive scenes. This movie would definitely benefit from a rewatch." - 3 Stars

Ice Giant - "I enjoyed this movie but a one time viewing was enough, It seemed to have everything I'd love in a movie but it went down pretentious alley one too many times for me to consider it a classic." - 3 1/2 Stars

Math Mage - "There are three movies here that collided (Psychic cop battle/Creepy incest mafia/Brutal torture pron)." - 3 Stars

The Great Hornito - "I really enjoyed this movie. The pacing was slow but the visual beauty kept the film interesting. The characters and the acting made the movie watchable despite the lack of story and lack of suspense. Overall I thought this film was a very good watch." - 4 Stars

Drumachine - Fell Asleep/Left - Default 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
Most people watched this film expecting a Drive 2 and were caught totally off guard. But really it is kinda implied, I mean Gosling and Refn are taking on neon neo noir again... That is still no excuse for the backlash this film suffered, especially when you find out this is an homage to Alejandro Jodorowsky (king of violent surrealism, among other awesome things). So instead of crying about people not giving the film a chance because it's not what they wanted it to be, I'm gonna take a shot at what this film is about.
- Spoiler -
I'm going to start with what I know, this film is an homage to Jodorowsky. This tells me to expect provocative (if not outright offensive) surrealism and heavy (yet hidden) themes of religion and spiritualism. But before I get into that though, I need to point out that Julian (Ryan Gosling) was molested by his parents. This is most strongly supported by the extremely uncomfortable contact between him and his mother and the fact that she knows how big her sons' *ahem* members are. Another couple of hints could be his brother seeking an underage partner and the unexplained reason Julian's mother had him kill his father (being obviously abusive towards his family). This sets up the theme of innocence (which I feel lame even mentioning as most people who don't understand film theory say every film is about, well more of a "loss of innocence").
Innocence is the driving force of this film, as children are coveted. Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm) gives a father a chance to avenge having his daughter's innocence being stolen from her, more so than her murder. Chang also tells children to cover their eyes as he tortures a man. Julian also chooses to spare Chang's daughter. 

Julian himself is a lost child in the body of an adult as he too had his innocence stolen at a young age. He constantly struggles with how he is expected to act and how he feels he should act, like when he spared the man who killed his brother (his brother also represented his father as his mother respected him much more, demonstrated when his mom went as far as to belittle his manhood in front of his love). Julian let him go because although the man took his brothers life, his brother was evil and deserving. This of course was Julian's personal justification, no one else would understand.
We don't see the extent of Julian's delusion until we see Mai (Yayaying Rhatha Phongam) for the first time. Mai is a prostitute that Julian is obviously in love with, just that he has no idea how to convey his emotions to her. Julian ends up with a hand fetish (most likely due to the abuse he suffered in his youth) and pays to be tied to a chair and watch her touch herself. This fetish becomes a metaphor for love, which we see as he lovingly puts his hand into his mothers open wound (this is not a pun, get your mind out of the gutter). Hands representing love also explain why he thought the man that murdered his brother had suffered enough, after he lost his arm. This also drums up the image of praying hands, which I'm sure Jodorowsky would want.

Lastly, (as this is getting kinda lengthy) the Math Mage added that Chang is a paladin and his sword is his holy avenger. This would explain why only certain people were worthy of a sword death, being the sword could only harm evil people worthy of its justice.

All in all, films that favor a visual narrative are more open to interpretation, so learn to have fun with it and look for clues as to what might actually be going on. If I ever get around to it, I'll post my thoughts on "The Lords of Salem" and show you how I think Rob Zombie made a cooler movie than even he knew.

The crazy poster above was found here impawards by Randy Ortiz, awesome work.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

American Mary and a Third Act Explanation

6 of 7 viewers "Liked" "American Mary" (2012, Canada)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Math Mage - "A mad scientist film for the modern age." - 4 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I really like this movie but it also made me want to throw up." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "Leaps and bounds better than the twins' first movie. What it lacks in parts of the plot, it makes up for with cool sets and aesthetically pleasing shots." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "The Soska twins team up to create a stylish and modern mad scientist flick that showcases horrors newest queen, Katharine Isabelle." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Impostor - "One of the most original horror movies of the year. "American Mary" is daring, dark and entertaining. I'm excited to see what the Twisted Twins come up with next." - 4 Stars

The Great Hornito - Spoiler - "I really liked the first 30 minutes or so of the movie. The Soska twins have great ideas but I just thought the movie lagged a lot. I didn't like the Mary character either. I was actually happy when she was killed in the end." - 2 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - "The Soska twins' shitty German accents took a star away but I loved everything else which surprised me because of how much I hated "Dead Hooker in a Trunk"." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
I had to swear that this movie was better than "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" before anyone would agree to watching it. I don't think that's unreasonable either and you'll understand if you've seen the Twins' first film. Love or hate Dead Hooker, American Mary is at least worth a once over.

The Soska Twins undeniably have an eye for horror. American Mary is a stylish character driven story about a woman paving her own way in a mans world. I myself found the Twins' "I am woman, hear me roar" attitude to be less than entertaining in Dead Hooker but in American Mary it's clever and well disguised. Mary suturing a turkey in her kitchen makes the visual statement that she can "play" doctor as long as she stays in the kitchen (where women belong) versus Dead Hookers portrayal of males as gullible sex-crazed assholes (i.e. cops, inn keeper, main villain), who all made ludicrous decisions in hopes of sex. And no I'm not looking into something that isn't there. The Turkey statement is no mistake as when she moves the only boxes we see are marked "kitchen" but yet her new place has no kitchen (another awesome visual statement). And the main villain in Dead Hooker was motivated by a "forked dick"...

The one thing that kept me from loving "American Mary" and giving it a 5th star was it's third act. I along with many others felt that the ending was very lacking. I honestly thought they had overrun a deadline and had to rush a conclusion, it really felt that strange to me. It wasn't until viewing the film with the Math Mage that I had heard a good defense for it's uncharacteristic ending.
- Spoiler -
My issue with the third act starts when she finishes killing the cop, that scene is followed by 2 or 3 scenes in the bar and then her untimely murder. It honestly felt like they had run out of ideas, given the first 2 acts felt like a roller-coaster called the modern mad scientist. A roller-coaster so fun that when you exit you talk about getting right back on but then find there is a long line to get back to the park... What I'm saying is the rest of the movie is a breath of fresh air and a lot fun and the ending dragggggggsssssss.
Math Mage made this argument, he said the film is all about this woman's rise to fame among the community she becomes master of, so when she peaks (operating on the Twins') she naturally will become complacent, thus resulting in the lacking 3rd act. 
I really like this explanation, I think the 2 or 3 bar scenes I whined about earlier even back this idea. I mean 1 scene is her analyzing her career and second guessing her life choices and the other is her becoming jealous of a man who has been chasing her forever, she just had too much going on to care, and of course she does once he is with another woman.
The one thing about Math Mage's theory that keeps me from changing my rating to a 5 and stopping at 4 1/2 is the fact that it feels more like an interpretation of a bad ending than a planned thing.

The awesome poster art used above comes from Matthew Therrien check out his Tumblr here.

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and it's Mastery of Mise en Scene

5 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" (2014, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Paranormal Activity finally leaves the bedroom, 100% of this film is shot on handy cam, and things get so crazy it ends up feeling like a long video in a "V/H/S" film. The Marked Ones is the best Paranormal Activity by far." - 5 Stars

Huntress - "After the craziness started I couldn't relax till the end credits. Easily my favorite in the series." - 5 Stars

The Impostor - "The Marked Ones gets the series back on track. Funny, likable characters, nice jump scares and a new approach to the series makes the marked ones a must watch for any horror fan." - 5 Stars

The Great Hornito - "The Paranormal Activity series is my favorite movie series and this spin off did not disappoint. The characters were very likable and the story was as scary as ever. The writing was spectacular, they made all the previous movies make more sense and offered a unique story to go with it. This movie was almost my favorite since part one. I can't wait to see it again." - 5 Stars

Ice Giant - "Paranormal Activity has hit it's stride. Likable characters, an excellent story, didn't throw out needless questions and answered a few of the more annoying ones. By far the best entry in the series and I hope a sign of things to come." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
I never would have guessed that a Paranormal Activity film would be the first to receive a perfect score but here I am about to write about how awesome The Marked Ones is. A couple weeks ago, The Impostor told me he had been watching  the Paranormal Activity website waiting for the RSVPs to go up. The website had a game set up where they took a photo of a building and gave a brief clue as to where it is located, and when the first Paranormal Activity fan finally finds the location, the RSVP for that city would open. By the time I had gone on the website, San Francisco was already open. The date of the show happened to fall on Friday the 13th, and with that being the final straw, I was officially very excited.

After a brutal week of waiting, the date finally came up. We gathered at the theatre and began screening "Paranormal Activity 2", and we got about 40 min in before we decided it was time to wait in line. The San Francisco Metrion is only a 20 min drive from my house, but we left about 4 1/2 hours early. With traffic and a parking hunt, we were in line about 3 hours early, which honestly flew by, talking about horror films and hanging out with the paranormal priest (seen below) making for a lot of fun.

Normally these lines have old ladies with babies in them and of course the babies seem to like crying through R rated films, but to my surprise there was not 1 old lady or baby in this line. I was so excited at this point that I knew the movie could never hold up.

The line started moving before we knew it and upon showing our tickets to the usher we were given two vouchers 1 for a free popcorn & soda and another for a free shirt (which I ended up getting a few of). And as if that wasn't cool enough, we got perfect seats. And when I say perfect, I mean perfect, not too high or close and dead center. The show was being hosted by 106.6 KMEL, a bay area radio station that plays R&B and rap, not my cup of tea but still cool that they were there.  Now with all that said, I realize I had an awesome experience and that alone easily could have enhanced the film, and with that out there I feel comfortable speaking about the film. The Marked Ones was so good that the young crowd that was in attendance was completely silent throughout the entirety of the film, excluding the begining of the film which like all good found footage is light hearted and funny.

Without giving anything thing away about the marked ones, here are a few things you can expect from the film. First there are no more recordings of people sleeping and a door slamming, in fact the camera is constantly being operated by a person. The film is not afraid to elaborate on the lore of the Paranormal Activity universe, in fact it even explains some things that happened in past films.

The main reason I loved this film so much is the fact it involved witchcraft and went way more into the occult side of the series as opposed to just hauntings, and it really does feel like a V/H/S story. The other thing I loved about the film was its mastery of mise en scene. The Marked Ones truly makes each shot feel real and authentic which really amplifies the horror. The characters houses and rooms feel lived in, not like Micah and Katies mostly empty set-like house. The Latin culture also works well with the occult aspect of this film and the characters also react in a believable manor, unlike the typical skeptic dads. But what I really thought was awesome was they way they familiarize the audience to locations, which of course amplifies the horror. Knowing how close the room is that is making the scary noise is very big and in a found footage film it's also terrifying. The best part is when they reveal past locations... I wont give away more than that though, I promise.

It turns out to be a lot harder than I thought to comment on this film without getting into the awesome stuff they did. I hope explaining how excited we were to see this film and how happy we were with it after is enough to get you to buy a ticket.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Willow Creek or the Film that made Bigfoot Scary

5 of 5 viewers "Liked" "Willow Creek" (2013, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Great Hornito - "One of the best found footage I've seen this year. It was really scary and the tension was really thick. The characters are very likable and the pacing was perfect. Felt a lot like the "Blair Witch" but it still kept it's originality." - 4 1/2 Stars

Huntress - "Impossibly tense with minimal effects. Charismatic characters who make the build up as enjoyable as the payoff." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "I just cant get enough found footage and Bobcat proves the genre still has more to offer. Damn, I couldn't believe Bigfoot could actually be scary. And I mean really scary." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Impostor - "Very simple yet effective, "Willow Creek" is a fun addition to the found footage horror genre." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "Normally scenes that linger that long would annoy me but it really built the suspense and made a great movie." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
The reviewers and I headed out to the Historic Balboa Theater to see this (supposedly) very scary new found footage film from none other than Bobcat Goldthwait. Bobcat was actually going to be presenting his film at the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival but sadly could not make it. Instead we got a few words from the angry man in the middle of the woods, which for the most part was pretty cool, just not as informative as I imagine Bobcat would have been.

Before I get into the movie, I have to start by saying how much I really love the movie poster. I have honestly day dreamed about the terror that is about to befall the two little people unknowingly walking under the Bigfoot skull monster. I guess the poster just properly portrays the tension you can expect from this film. And damn it gets tense. In fact, it gets so suspenseful that I'd compare it to the film "Evil Things" (another suspenseful found footage film brought to my attention by Freddy in Space).

The film finished in what seemed like no time and I mean that in a good way as it was not short. I think we were all impressed and just wanted to discuss what we had witnessed. "Willow Creek" in a word is suspenseful (as mentioned above) and feels like something bad could happen at any moment and it doesn't let up when they finally head into the woods. Also this film is very open to interpretation as the Bigfoot is pretty elusive (not to say you won't see him... or will you?); he definitely channels his friend the Blair Witch. There is one scene which shows our main characters during their first night in the woods. This scene is one of the most realistic I've ever seen. In fact it's so important that it feels like most of the movie when you think back on it. The main reason for this is Bobcat's use of 1 long single shot, which is so damn suspenseful you won't know what to do with yourself.

 I really hope that Bobcat returns to horror; I'd definitely see another of his films. And as for "Willow Creek", it fully deserves it's rating of 4 1/2, which I might adds is hard to get from these picky bastards I call the citizens of the Overlook Theatre.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Tonight some of the reviewers and I are celebrating Friday the 13th by going to a screening of "The Marked Ones", hopfully this means a review of the film will be up tomorrow. Also I am trying to finish up a "WillowCreek" review right now.

Oh and you need to checkout Fright-Rags.com, they have a line of awesome horror holiday shirts that just released today. Okay thats it for my quick update!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Fallen Ones and The Great Hornito speaks

0 of 5 viewers "Liked" "The Fallen Ones" (2005, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Huntress - "Starts off fun but that quickly fades." - 2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "Amon!!!" - 2 Stars

Lord Battle - "The few laughs this film has to offer are not worth the time it takes to sit through it. There is a transformer made out of cadavers in this film..." - 2 1/2 Stars

Brewha - "Consistently inconsistent." - 2 Stars

Ice Giant - "Giant erector set robot was fucking stupid." - 0 Stars (Default 1)

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
"The Fallen Ones" is by no means a good film. In fact, I found out a bit too late (already bought it) that it was a made for TV movie. The story revolves around fallen angels called Nephilin, they are something I know very little about but The Great Hornito happens to know a lot. Hornito is our resident conspiracy theorist and paranormal expert, which you'd never know this from his drunken luchador character but it's true. So when we turn this film on and he heard them talking of the Nephilin, he got very excited. Sadly this film  failed in entertaining him too.
I wrote up everything but this closing section a long time ago, in hopes that Hornito would eventually say something about the Nephilin. He never got around to doing it, so tonight while he was drinking I ambushed him with questions and took down his response as quick as I could. "The Fallen Ones" is by no means worth watching, so I hope you have fun reading this brief rant, and once again I am sorry for these late night posts.
- Lord Battle

The Nephilin are a race of fallen angels; they're mentioned in the book of genesis. Their duty was to be watchers of men but they lusted after human women, mainly Adams seed. They were known as the watchers. They made a pact that they knew was wrong but they were like "Lets go fuck shit up." Basically they wanted to fuck up the blood line of Adam because they knew Christ was going to be born from that blood line. They arrived on Mt. Herman (a lot of laughter as Ice Giant makes fun of the name) in Israel. Their plan was to, ummm... I guess to uh... mess up, well Christ was supposed to be born totally human so they wanted to bang as many women as possible in hopes of polluting the line. The offspring were giants and incredibly blood thirsty. Noah's flood happened because the Nephilin and their offspring were to be wiped out. Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam. He was one of the only humans to confront the Nephilin and their offspring, and he told them that total destruction would come to them because of they're a manipulation of gods people.
- The Great Hornito

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Retard-O Tron 3, Preserving History

5 of 6 viewers "Liked" "Retard-O Tron 3" (Canada, 2013)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Lord Battle - "Cinema Sewer's masterful clipshow is not for the faint of heart but if you fancy yourself a collector (much like the ones in V/H/S & V/H/S 2) "Retard-O Tron 3" is the mother load." - 5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "Do not be fooled by the trio of stars, this film is devastatingly (in many sense of the word) entertaining and edited by a master. A dizzying flurry of obscene vulgarity and repulsive imagery pummel the viewer into guilty titters and guffaws, and when it ends you wont believe you've watched the entire thing." - 3 Stars

Huntress - "This was (almost) equal parts cringe-worthy clips I never needed to experience and fragments of cult cinema gold." - 3 Stars

Math Mage - "I'd have given 5 stars but I can't recommend it to any other human being." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "Going for shock value in the internet age is 20 years to late for the most part was just a bore." - 1 1/2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "I was scared that I was gonna be offended by this movie but I was entertained throughout this crazy shocking clipshow." - 3 1/2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
Screening Retard-O Tron 3 was a lot of fun. I pretty much kept the citizens in the dark about what this movie was about, telling them that with an open mind would be the only way to view this film. I think I got them a little scared of what might be on this Cinema Sewer mix tape. Still, no one could have guessed what this experience would really hold...
3.5 stars and 6 viewers liking the film is a lot more than I would have guessed. I actually thought I might make people think less of me for screening this film at a BBQ but to my surprise it went over incredibly well (with 1 exception). "Retard-O tron 3" is actually the third installment of clipshows to come from Cinema Sewer. The clips aren't your typical YouTube hits, in fact they range from very adult to plain wacky. I personally love the all the strange sources of their videos including local access TV, home videos, and mall quality music videos.
The icing on the cake is definitely the masterful editing job this film boasts. From the order of clips, to the music playing, to the parody videos, Retard-O tron never drags or gets boring. The only reasons I can imagine people not enjoying this film would have to be from getting offended or just considering this as a lowbrow waste of time. I honestly think if you love film you should be able to appreciate what Cinema Sewer did here, which is share and preserve some truly odd and rare footage.
If you are thinking of screening this yourself be careful - 1 scene in this film had me feeling nauseous and that has never happened. Also this film had people laughing so hard they started to tear up. I guess Robin Bougie said it best; "You'll find out who your real friends are".
-Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chastity Bites

8 of 8 viewers "Liked" "Chastity Bites" (2013, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Berkeley Blazer - "Spectacularly entertaining satire with a Disney channel timbre for 18+. The way gender roles & pop culture have congealed in this film is both refreshing and yet somehow nostalgic. More, please." - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "Evil rituals need virgin sacrifices, therefore evil wizards support abstinence." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "The Blood Countess finally has a cool feature about her. Lotti Pharriss Knowles has written a witty, nerdy, and relevant story that rivals Joss Whedon." - 4 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I felt like I wasn't watching the same film as everyone else. Maybe it's because I watch this type of newage stuff a lot but I felt like I was watching an ABC family movie it wasn't a bad movie though." - 3 Stars

Huntress - "This movie was the perfect storm of a natural flowing script, a solid cast, and an enjoyable story. I don't think I disliked a single character." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "A really witty hip current horror comedy. A cool mix of "Saved", "Veronica Marrs", Buffy and "Mean Girls". The cast was perfect and the movie had me cracking up the whole time. This movie gets a solid five. I wish I could give it more stars." - 5 Stars

Unicorn Slayer - "Enjoyable teen horror, it plays to a classic 90's vibe; cringe worthy moments and all. The protagonists felt real and relatable, and the feminist, role reversals were refreshing while not overbearing or tropey." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "Loved everything about this movie, the role reversal in the main characters relationship was especially clever and very well acted." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
I started the Overlook Theatre for two reasons, the first being that I thought I had a unique situation that would be fun to document. The second, and real reason, is that I love film and wanted to start a blog so I could receive screeners. Screeners (and yes this is for the 88% of people who somehow don't know what a screener is but read blogs?) are films that are sent to review sites with the idea that in return for a free copy of a film the site will offer up advertising. This has worked out kinda awkwardly in the past, as talking to a director about his film then screening it for people who haven't... It can get pretty cruel. Also, I realized I am a fan of things most people wish they could unsee (Retard-0 Tron III will be reviewed soon!).
Now that the wine has set in and I'm in full rant mode... Chastity Bites was awesome. I know I only gave it a 4.5 but I honestly think it's because I was tired from laughing and as it neared its end, was just plain worn-out. I have always thought Elizabeth Bathory was a very underrated horror character; I mean she married the first real vampire, drained a city of virgins, and bathed in virgin blood to retain her beauty... Yes. I think she was conceived to have Buffy stake her but that's just me (and Knowles apparently).
Above I said this film rivaled Joss Whedon's writing. What I meant by that statement was exactly what I said in my quote - a witty, nerdy, and relevant story. These things most often come from Joss Whedon, Somehow he knows what young people are saying and how to make them seem witty yet real. Still I'd say that "Chastity Bites" has a dialogue set to a Gilmore Girls pace but backed with Joss Whedon's insight.
Okay drinking and talking about a movie I like could result in an endless post but really I used this film as an apology for past terrible ones. "Chastity Bites" kicks ass and the only thing that could ruin this film is watching it alone and paying half attention to it. The Overlook Theatre loved this film and for 8 reviews to have seen this and given it a 4 means this is a film you must see! So watch it!
-Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Framed Goblin Poster

I took this photo last night after framing my signed Goblin poster. It looks so cool that I'm considering framing the other poster I have (which is number 3/65) and giving it away here on the blog. The only reason I haven't already is because Claudio didn't sign it. Some how caught up in the craziness I failed to notice this and now have a poster missing his signature... So if enough people seem interested in a give away I will totally frame it and ship it out. 
If the missing signature doesn't bother you let me know, via email or comment.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Conjuring and A Thank You

6 of 6 viewers "Liked" "The Conjuring" (2013, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Book Wyrm - "Better than most scary movies I've watched lately. Lorraine and Ed were the most intriguing parts of the film. Their careers definitely intrigued me." - 3 Stars

The Great Hornito - "This is the best ghost story that I've ever seen. I don't think it was the scariest but it was definitely the most interesting." - 5 Stars

Lord Battle - "This is the best ghost story I've ever seen. James Wan is the modern king of hauntings, campy or serious." - 5 Stars

Ice Giant - "I love everything about this movie, Annabelle legit freaks me out." - 5 Stars

Huntress - "The best paranormal hunter movie I've seen." - 5 Stars

Bug - "I liked all the components to this movie, especially since it was a true story. I don't like many ghost stories but this was really good." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
At the time I'm writing this, the Overlook Theatre has been incredibly busy screening films, but at the same time my personal computer and phone have both recently died. The Overlook Theatre is a group project that I in no way could accomplish alone, and with that said I am the only one reporting and organizing what we are doing so this hit has all but stopped the blog and facebook page. Thankfully both issues have been resolved but another thing I've never addressed and has come up recently is that I am now employed. 

When I started this blog I was unemployed and attending school, taking mainly film theory classes and I needed an outlet to rant about film. Now however, I am working full time. I am a lead at a framing store which is something I am very much enjoying and even posted about in the past (well hinted at). On top of that I've met another huge horror fan and recruited him as a reviewer, needless to say things are going good. 

With the good comes the bad and in this case the bad is having less time to post, which is going to result in me missing a day every now and then. Please forgive me for this as it pains me to do so. As for the facebook page it should be better than ever, as I've decided to select 2-3 reviewers to admin the page with me, posting film/blog related things and getting a chance to speak to readers.

 So thank you to everyone who's been patient with the slow and far apart posts and I promise the Overlook Theatre will be going on for a long time! 
With so many reviews waiting to be posted I thought it be hard picking just 1 to return to posting with. Then I realized that somehow "The Conjuring" managed to get lost in the pile of reviews. This is so hard to believe because almost all the reviewers love this film and is a frequent topic of discussion at the theater.

 I'm assuming most people that are reading this have already seen the film but if you haven't there are spoilers below.

One of the things that lead The Great Hornito and I to open our review with the same exact line (and I mean word for word) is the way James Wan solved the problem that all ghost stories share, a solution. "Paranormal Activity" took a new approach to haunted houses by changing the way the ghost(s) were presented and experienced, the one thing this film didn't change was the weak climax. Steven Spielberg saw the film and liked it so much he made a deal for it and also had two more endings filmed.

My point is that ghosts are a tough problem to solve and when people do "solve" a haunting it either feels very underwhelming or like the whole thing was made up. James Wan solves this problem in "The Conjuring" by removing the entity in a classic way, a good ol' exorcism. This was a brilliant way to end the film and he really needed a solid ending under his belt, since "Saw" relies on twists, and people generally complained about the whole second half of "Insidious". So I guess he owes Lorraine Warren a thank you.

The second brilliant thing about "The Conjuring" is the duel story telling aspect. Every other film I've seen that show cased a haunting always portrayed the ghost hunters/paranormal researchers as oddities and eccentric outcasts. Ed and Lorraine Warren are anything but that, in fact the film opens with them teaching students about what they do. The academic setting provides them an authority over their field that is respected in an intellectual environment, definitely a world apart from Zelda Rubinstein. After establishing their professionalism, we get a glimpse into their home life and just when the movie starts to feel all about them we are introduced to the Perron's and the movie is given another dimention. 

James Wan knows that we need to care about the characters in order to be scared and "The Conjuring" offers up not 1 but 2 loving families for the audience to worry about. I only hope he can bring this masterful story telling to a Paul Walkerless Fast and Furious 7.

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Tunnel

5 of 5 viewers "Liked" "The Tunnel" (2011, Australia)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Book Wyrm - "I felt like I was watching a real 60 minutes special. The creature beneath the tunnels really intrigued me, and I wished it was explained more." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "The Australians are making great horror lately. The monster was really unique, it was nice to see a monster found footage instead of ghosts." - 4 1/2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "A really well done Blair Witch-esk movie. The characters were well developed and the story had me deeply enveloped in this well written story. I wish they made all found footage movies this well." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "This was so refreshing, a paranormal hunting movie that doesn't take place in an abandoned mental hospital and has characters I didn't hate. I kept thinking it was a dark mix of Grizzly Man and Grave Encounters."  - 4 1/2 Stars

Lord Battle - "Imagine 60 minutes had a paranormal mishap and caught it all on tape, only to end up later devoting a special to what happened. A solid found footage film with likable characters & a believable story." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
Once again I regret adding a trailer to the review page, I would stop but it makes the post feel more complete. It's just a shame how brutally some trailers misrepresent their film. The trailer for "The Tunnel" is very revealing which is pretty typical for most found footage trailers, since for some reason a rule was written that trailers had to be action packed even when its respective film is driven by suspense... Oh well.
One thing I have learned while watching numerous found footage films is that a lot depends on how they start the film. The Blair Witch, in my opinion has the best approach. Interviews with weirdo's. Interviewing strange people offers a chance to show the characters controlling the film, which is very important since they always end up losing control (and we want the contrast!) but it also is perfect for some humor. Humor is vital in found footage since the whole film acts as a suspenseful mystery from the second it starts (I mean the footage was "found" after all) and the release is very important, Plus its a awesome character building device.
"The Tunnel" does a nice take on the weirdo interviews by interviewing the film makers after the fact, which also makes up the bulk of the film. 
"The Tunnel" also showcases Crypto-zoology (which in my opinion always trumps the spiritual in found footage) which always makes for a better climax. Ghosts and spirits always have great build up, being they are the ultimate unknown but when it comes to a climax they always fall flat. Without spoiling to much I have to say my favorite scene in this film is the discovery of the things lair, I love the development of monsters and this film offers a very interesting visual of it's lair.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.