Thursday, May 25, 2017

Diary of a Madman Movie Review







Diary of a Madman is a 1963 horror movie directed by Reginald Le Borg and starring Vincent Price and Nancy Kovack.

A man called Simon Cordier(Price) is being buried. A few people attend his funeral. He was a French magistrate. His last wish was for a group of people to assemble and read his diary. The story begins in 1886 and Simon is called to talk to a man who has killed people and is awaiting execution. He tells Simon that something made him murder people. He was possessed. He had no will of his own. Simon doesn't believe him. The man wants to die so the thing has no power over him anymore. He tries to kill Simon and there is a green light around his eyes. He struggles with Simon and then he dies. Simon is upset over it. When he goes home, someone has put a picture of his dead wife on the wall.
He thinks that it is a prank.


Simon puts it away in the attic. He sees the words 'hatred is evil' written in the attic. He thinks that it is another prank. His servant Pierre looks and there is nothing there. Simon wonders what is happening to hum. Things begin to happen and he hears laughing and talking. The voice speaks to him and it wants him now. He thinks that he is going insane. The green light comes into his eyes. The voice orders him to kill his pet bird and he does so. Afterwards, he is horrified. He goes to see the doctor and he tells him that it is his imagination. He tells him to do other things so Simon decides to go back to sculpting which he used to enjoy. He meets an art model called Odette(Kovack). She agrees to pose for him. She is married to an artist called Paul. Odette goes over to Simon's to pose.


He begins his sculpture and the two get on well together. He tells her that his wife killed herself. Later, when he is alone, the voice comes back to him. It tells him that it is called the horla. It tells him that he is a murderer. It tells him that he drove his wife to suicide. It tells him that he blamed her for the death of their son. It wants to take him over. It tells him to make Odette love him. Simon woos her and she wants to marry him. She leaves her husband for Simon. Paul is upset and his pal Jean tells him that Odette is greedy. Paul goes over to confront Simon. Paul warns Simon off. The voice tells Simon to kill Paul. Then it tells him to kill Odette. He obeys the voice and he kills her.


The next day, he sees blood in his house. There is a trail of blood. Odette's head is underneath the sculpture. He realises what he has done. The police arrest Paul for Odette's murder. The  horla makes him dispose of the body. Paul wants to talk to Simon. Simon denies that he knew Odette. Simon tries to kill himself but the horla stops him. Jean calls to see Simon and plead Paul's case. She threatens to make his servants talk to the police and get him into trouble. The horla orders him to kill her before she ruins his life. He goes after her wot a knife. He sees a priest and he is put off. The horla turns on him and tries to kill him. He calls Jean to his house and gives her a box with a letter in it explaining about his life and the diary. He waits for the horla. He sets fire to the house and it gets trapped. Simon tries to escape but he can't. The movie ends with the diary clearing Paul. The diary warns that wherever evil is, the horla lives.

I enjoyed this movie. It was good fun with some great scenes. Price is flawless as always and he is the reason that I watched this film. He plays the role perfectly of the tormented man who doesn't know what is happening to him. It is really entertaining and I would definitely recommend it! I will give it a 7/10.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Twin Peaks:The Return Episode 1



 This review is full of spoilers, so if you don't want to know what happens, don't read it!!!

So, last night the world of Twin Peaks came alive once again.It is one of the most eagerly awaited TV premieres of the last few years.The last time we saw Agent Cooper,he had emerged from the Black Lodge but there was something wrong with him.It was the evil Cooper doppelganger who escaped and the good Cooper was trapped in the Black Lodge. Cooper was BOB and BOB was Cooper. That was twenty-five years ago and things are different now.Let's begin with part 1 of the premiere.


There is a flashback of Laura Palmer in the red room. She says that she will see Cooper again in 25 years. Meanwhile, he is stuck in the Black Lodge. Cut to the Giant who tells Cooper that 'it' is in our house now' and he tells him to 'remember 430 and Richard and Linda'. Cooper understands and he is the only one who does at this point!! We move to Twin Peaks and Dr.Jacoby(Russ Tamblyn), who is seen living in the woods. We move to New York City where there is a large glass box with a hole in it, through which the city can been seen. A man called Sam(Benjamin Rosenfield) is sitting in a room watching the box. There are cameras on it and they are recording everything. The memory cards are placed in a huge storage unit. His girlfriend, Tracey(Madeline Zima) brings him coffee and asks to come inside and see what he is doing as it is top secret. The security guard, played by UFC fighter Michael Bisping, is watching to make sure that she doesn't go in. She goes away. 



We are taken to the Great Northern Hotel and see Ben Horne(Richard Beymer) is still in charge there which is a welcome sight. The last time that we saw Ben, he was bleeding on Dr. Hayward's carpet after a confrontation over Ben being Donna's real dad. We were never told if he lived or died, so it is great to see him back. In comes Jerry Horne(David Patrick Kelly) who is now an aged hippy who sells pot legally. Jerry is introduced to Ben's new secretary, Beverly(Ashley Judd).  He suggests that Ben might like her and want to make a move on her but Ben denies this. Then we visit the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station and we see Lucy Brennan(Kimmy Robertson) at the reception and she is still her old self!


Then, we are introduced to bad Cooper(Kyle MacLachlan)who is sporting a very unusual hairstyle. He has grown his hair and he dresses differently. He is bad to the bone! He goes to a house of weirdos and comes away with two people- Ray and Darya. He takes them off with him for some task. Cut back to NYC and Sam is waiting for Tracey who comes with her coffee once again. This time, there is no security guard so he lets her inside to see what he is doing. She sees the box and is bewildered. He tells her that some billionaire is paying for all of it. They start kissing and then having sex. While they are doing this, the box goes black and something starts to appear. It is some sort of figure. It emerges from the box and kills them both violently.


In the town of Buckhorn, South Dakota, the body of a woman, Ruth Davenport, is found in her apartment. The problem is that it is her head that is found on someone else's body. The cops find fingerprints all over her apartment and they are the fingerprints of local headmaster, Bill Hastings(Matthew Lillard) who seems bewildered by all of this. He knows more than he is saying so the cops are suspicious of him. Deputy Hawk(Michael Horse) receives a phone call from the Log Lady(Catherine E. Coulson). She tells him that 'something is missing' and  he has to find it. She tells him that it has to do with Agent Cooper and that he has to use his heritage to find it. He sets to work retrieving old boxes of files.


The first episode was great. Seeing those old faces again was like meeting old friends and it was so good to revisit Twin Peaks again. I love that it is still the same town that it was all those years ago.
I love that the bad Cooper is on the loose and it is interesting to see Kyle MacLachlan playing the part so differently this time around. Bad Cooper's hair was amusing but there is something menacing in his eyes which seem blacker than midnight! This episode has David Lynch stamped all over it and it is wonderful. There are a lot of different stories here, so you have to pay attention or you will become lost easily. This is for Twin Peaks fans only, I would think, because if you have never watched the series, you will be so lost that it won't make any sense. I loved the scene with the creature in the box as it was really creepy. This is shaping up to be one of the most memorable TV shows of the decade. David Lynch is back and he has not lost his touch. Not by a long shot. Any doubts that I might have had about him being able to recreate the Twin Peaks universe are gone now. I am delighted with this show so far and I can't wait to see more!!! I will be back soon with part 2 of the premiere!!!!



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Get Out Movie Review





Get Out is a 2017 horror/thriller directed by Jordan Peele and starring Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams.

A guy is kidnapped while walking through a neighbourhood. Chris Washington(Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose(Williams) are a couple. He is black and she is white and they are going to visit her parents for the weekend. He is a bit nervous about it. They travel to her parents house and he meets them. They are neurosurgeon Dean(Bradley Whitford) and his wife Missy(Catherine Keener) who happens to be a psychiatrist. They seem overly nice to him and he feels a little uncomfortable, especially when he sees the black maid, Georgina and the black groundsman, Walter. They seem a bit weird to Chris. Rose's weird brother, Jeremy arrives for the weekend too and there is something really odd about him.


Chris ends up being hypnotised by Missy and she messes with his mind and asks him about his mother's death when he was young. She has done something strange to him. There is a party on that day and the guests are mostly white with one other black man, Logan,being present. He seems very strange too as he is with a much older woman. Chris calls his pal, Rod, who is a TSA agent and he tells him all about what is happening. Chris takes out his phone and he is going to take a picture of Logan but he succeeds in causing him to have some sort of fit from the flash. Chris wants the get out of there. He tries to tell Rose to go with him. That evening, there is an auction with all of the odd party guests in attendance. Chris' picture is up and they are bidding for him. A blind guy called Jim Hudson(Stephen Root) wins him.


The whole thing becomes clear when Chris sends Rod the picture of Logan and Rod recognises him as someone who had disappeared. Chris also finds pictures of Rose with her other boyfriends, who have all been black. What is going on? SPOILER ALERT. STOP HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE ENDING....
Rose turns on him and he realises that the family are weirdos. They want him to use as a host body for Jim Hudson. Jim's brain will be inserted into Chris. This will allow Jim to see through his eyes and become whole again while Chris will be lost forever thanks to Missy using her hypnosis to send him away. In short, Chris will be the body, but Jim will control it all. Jim is ready for his operation and the family try to get Chris to surgery, but he fights back and kills them, except Rose.


Meanwhile, Rod is at the police station, telling them his story about Chris. They think that he is insane. Chris finds out that Georgina is actually controlled by Rose's grandmother's brain and Walter is controlled by her grandfather's brain. Georgina is killed in a car crash and Walter kills himself, but not before coming back to himself and realising what has happened. He shoots Rose. She doesn't die immediately. Chris is going to kill her, but he can't do it. Rod turns up to save the day and he takes Chris away to safety while Rose dies.


I wasn't crazy about this film at all. It did remind me of The Stepford Wives. The twist was obvious from the beginning and I was not surprised at all how things worked out. It was unfortunate that it was so predictable and just plain obvious. It had little in the way of scares and the ending was just dull. I am one of the few that didn't love this film and I will not change my mind on it. I got a sinking feeling about thirty minutes into this and realised that I knew what was happening already. I hoped that there might be a different twist, but it ended as I assumed it would. I wanted to like it and I tried to like it, but I just didn't. So, in my opinion, this is a predictable sci-fi/thriller. Not much horror in this one really. If you are expecting a horror movie, then you will be disappointed. I will give this one a 4/10.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning Movie Review






Friday the 13th Part 5 is a 1985 horror movie and the fifth in the series. It is directed by Danny Steinman and stars John Shepard and Melanie Kinnaman.


The movie begins with young survivor Tommy Jarvis(Corey Feldman) visiting Jason's grave and witnessing him being dug up by two men. Jason comes back to life and comes for Tommy. It is just a nightmare and the older Tommy(Shepard) wakes up. He is being taken to Pinehurst Halfway House, a treatment facility as he has lots of problems caused by his ordeal with Jason in the previous movie.
He meets the director of the facility, Pam Roberts(Kinnaman). She knows all about Tommy and she wants to help him. He also meets the doctor, Matt Letter(Richard Young). The facility is to prepare him to reenter society. Tommy has flashbacks about his mother and his sister. He keeps a knife under his bed. He meets a young guy called Reggie(Shavar Ross) and they get on well.


He meets some of the other kids there too. A local weirdo called Ethel comes to complain about the kids. She wants the place shut down. Two people get killed when their car breaks down. It seems that  Jason HAS come back to life after all. Tommy thinks that he sees Jason. Jason goes on a rampage and he kills anyone who comes into contact with him. The cops wonder what is going on. The Sheriff thinks that it might be Jason Voorhees. Reggie's brother and his girlfriend get killed by Jason. Weirdo Ethel and her oddball son meet Jason and he takes care of them. Jason makes his way to Pinehurst and he comes for Tommy, Pam and Reggie.


They get separated and Jason chases Pam. Reggie saves her when he drives a digger into Jason.
 Of course, Jason is not dead. He chases them into the barn. Pam gets a chainsaw and fights him. She manages to injure him and then Tommy shows up. Jason sees him and wants him dead. Tommy stabs him in the leg. Jason will not die!Tommy and Pam push him out of the barn window and he dies. But the shocker is that it was NOT Jason at all, but the dad of a kid who was killed at Pinehurst when another inmate turned violent. He used the guise of Jason to kill everyone in sight. Tommy is relieved that Jason has not come back to life and banishes Jason from his mind. The movie ends with Pam coming to see Tommy in hospital only to find his window open and he has seemingly escaped. He is hiding behind the door wearing the infamous hockey mask. What the hell???


I liked this film. I didn't like it as much as the others because there was no real Jason in it. The ending was a bit silly too. I enjoyed it for the most part and it was good fun on the whole. They probably could have come up with a better story for this one involving the REAL Jason, I felt. It seemed like a missed opportunity to me. I do think that this is a must for Jason fans, though. It is not as bad as some of the later sequels, so I recommend it to fans of the series. I will give it a 5/10.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The River Murders Movie Review





The River Murders is a 2011 thriller directed by Rich Cowan and starring Ray Liotta, Christian Slater and Ving Rhames.


A woman's body is found by the river and a cop is called in because he knows the woman who has been murdered. His name is Jack Verdon(Liotta) and he is considered a suspect in the killing due to his relationship with the dead woman. He is put on administrative leave and told to stay away from the case. He snoops around anyway and turns up at the crime scene. His mother dies in an accident and he is upset. A special agent called Agent Vukovich(Slater) is called in to investigate the case and he is suspicious of Jack. The two don't hit it off. The cops think that Jack is not the killer, but the FBI don't share their faith in him. Vukovich is not sure that Jack is innocent.


Meanwhile, we see the killer, who is dressed as a priest, show up at another ex girlfriend of Jack's and kill her. When she is found, Vukovich talks to Jack. He won't allow Jack to come back to the force yet. The cops try and come up with a profile of the killer.Vukovich asks Jack if anyone else knows about his sexual history. Jack works with a partner, Jenny and he wonders if she will be a suspect because he slept with her . Jack makes a list of the women that he has been with and he tells his current girlfriend to go away and be safe as he thinks that the killer will target her too.


Jenny meets the killer and he chats to her. He offers her a lift home. They get on and he calls to the police station to see her. She takes him home with her and he kills her. Jack finds out that his first girlfriend was pregnant and that her son is the one who is the killer. He is also Jack's son and this makes it all a bit weird. So, the gist of the story is that the son was trying to punish Jack for not wanting him etc and he was trying to get revenge etc etc etc. It ends well anyway. I won't bore you with the details...


This movie was okay. I like the cast. Liotta is not bad in this. He is always pretty dependable and even though the movie is not great, he is good. Slater is fine. He does his job but the film is standard serial killer fare with little in the way of surprises or scares, I think. It is not the finest hour for Liotta and Slater here and they must have needed a payday to consider this movie. It isn't crap, but it's not great either. It is mediocre, at best. So, if you like the cast, you might want to try this one, but don't expect too much or you will be disappointed, as I was. I will give this a 4/10.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Bunnyman 2 Movie Review







Bunnyman 2 a.k.a. The Bunnyman Massacre is a 2014 horror movie. It is the sequel to Bunnyman which I have reviewed here.It is directed by Carl Lindberg and stars David Scott.


The movie begins with a school bus going along the road. It is full with children. It stops for a girl who is sitting on a bench. She falls over. She is dead. The, Bunnyman appears. The kids think that he is friendly until they see his chainsaw. He slices and dices his way through the bus of kids. Nobody is spared. Bunnyman lives with Joe(Scott) who has a run down local store in the middle of nowhere. Joe and Bunnyman both kill people for pleasure. Anyone who crosses their path will die a gruesome death. Two girls come to Joe's store and they look around. They are disgusted with the state of it.
Joe hears them and he isn't pleased. There are also four girls in the woods camping. Bunnyman is watching them so there is plenty of victims for them.


Joe takes the girls hostage and brings them to his shed for some torture and rape. One of them says that she saw the girls in the woods camping and that she will bring them to him if he lets her go and get them. Joe gives her a gun and she takes the girls hostage in return for her and her friend's freedom. Now, you would think that she would be wise enough to know that you can't trust some weirdo who brings women back to his shed to torture and kill them, but hey, this is a horror movie so logic doesn't come into it. Joe lets the two girls go, but he sends Bunnyman after them. It's going to be a bloodbath!


Bunnyman finds them and takes one of them back to the shed for disposal. Meanwhile, Joe is at his store when a Sheriff comes in asking questions. Joe is his usual charming self and the Sheriff smells a rat.Oh yes, I almost forgot- Joe makes jerky out of the dead bodies and sells it in his store!! What a lovely guy. So, more bodies are liquidated in fascinating ways. Joe gets into trouble when he takes on the Sheriff who he shoots and kills but not before he gets hurt himself and Bunnyman has to finish him off in a really tender way!! Bunnyman wanders off into the sunset, swinging his chainsaw....Happy ending!


This film was actually fun. Violent, yes. Plenty of blood, yes. A man in a bunny suit with a chainsaw, yes. What is not to like. All in all, I enjoyed this movie. I liked the Joe character. He was good fun and there were some funny scenes in this and while it might not be to everybody's taste, it is well worth a look for horror fans. Good, low budget fun with lots of blood!!! I will give this one a 5/10.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rings Movie Review






Rings is a 2017 horror movie sequel directed by F.Javier Gutierrez and starring Johnny Galecki, Alex Roe and Matilda Lutz.

The movie begins with a man on an airplane and he is talking to a passenger about a video tape which kills people. The airplane crashes. Two years later, Professor Gabriel (Galecki) buys an old video recorder and the haunted tape just happens to be with it. He watches it and gets a phone call saying 'seven days'. Cut to a woman called Julia(Lutz) who is with her boyfriend Holt(Roe). He is going to college and he leaves her. They keep in contact over skype but there is something weird going on with him and she can't get in contact. She gets pissed off with him. She goes to his college dorm to check up on him and she meets Gabriel. He knows nothing about Holt. She meets a girl called Skye who is in a total panic about the video. She wants Julia to look at it, but the boyfriend calls and stops her. Skye is in trouble when Samara turns up and kills her while Julia hides in the bathroom.


Holt finally shows his face and tells her what has been going on. He has watched the tape and he has a certain amount of time before he gets killed. He tells her that he is supposed to pass the video on to someone else and then he will be fine. Julia watches the video to get him out of it and then Gabrile tells her to make a copy. For some reason, she can't copy her copy of the video and she is screwed.
Gabriel has Holt and others in an experiment with the video and they are supposed to help each other through it but it is not going the way it should. They wanted to prove that there is life after death.
They find out where Samara was taken after her death and they go there. It is called Sacrament Valley.


They find out all about Samara and who her mother was etc etc. Vincent D'Onofrio turns up as a preacher gone bad and is good, as always.SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE END!!!
Gabriel gets killed in a car crash, Julia finds out that the preacher was Samara's real father and that he imprisoned her mother underneath the church where she gave birth to her daughter. Samara is trying to get a message through to Julia. The preacher tries to kill Holt and Julia but Julia plays the video on her phone and the preacher sees it and gets killed by Samara. Holt and Julia burn Samara's remains.
The movie ends with Julia realising that she is turning into Samara(I didn't see that one coming-groan).


This film wasn't great. I really liked the original 2002 The Ring, but this was nowhere near as entertaining or good. I didn't expect it to be this bad. The story is not original. The plot is predictable and I could see the ending coming a long way off. The two leads were not likeable and they were instantly forgettable. Samara wasn't scary as it has already been done, so there is nothing new or terrifying here. If you must watch it, then fair enough, but be warned that this is not a great movie and it feels all too familiar...I will give this a 4/10.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Invitation to Hell Movie Review




Invitation to Hell is a 1984 horror TV movie directed by Wes Craven and starring Robert Urich, Joanna Cassidy and Susan Lucci.

Matt Winslow(Urich) and his wife Pat(Cassidy) move to a new town with their two kids, Chrissy(Soleil Moon Frye) and Robert. Matt has a new job at a corporation. His friend Tom(Joe Regalbuto) is working at the company and he is delighted to have Matt there too. He tells him about this great country club that he and his family have joined. It is called Steaming Springs and everyone in the company seems to be in it. Matt is working on a special suit which is indestructible. The family meet Jessica Jones(Lucci) who is in charge of the country club. She wants them to join.


Matt has a receptionist, Grace who gives him a file to read which suggests that everything is not what it seems at the company. The next day, she has been replaced. Tom gets a promotion and he asks Matt to consider joining the club. Matt doesn't want to. Pat wants to join the club which annoys Matt. Matt asks the boss about Grace and what happened to her. The boss tells him that if he really wants, Grace will be back in two weeks. Jessica and Pat become friends and Jessica tells her that she and the children can join without Matt if they like. They are initiated into the club. They go into a special spring which seems to make people different.


Matt notices that his family are all different. His wife is trying to get rid of their dog as it knows that there is something wrong with them.Matt discovers that she took the dog to be put down and he knows that Pat is not herself. Matt discovers that Grace has been killed in a car crash and he wonders what is going on. The country club seems to be at the centre of it all. His family turn on him and he runs to work and grabs his special suit. Tom catches him and pulls a gun on him. They fight and Matt shoots Tom.


Matt crashes a party at the club and he breaks into the spring wearing his suit. Jessica follows him. He sees her but he can't kill her. He can hear his daughter calling him inside the spring. He sees his family. Jessica tells him that he has to submit. Matt looks at Pat but she can't see him. Jessica warns him that he will destroy his family he he tries to touch her. Matt wants his family back. Jessica tries to tempt him but it doesn't work. Matt talks to his wife and they hug. They get their kids and Jessica is destroyed by this. The place starts to fall apart. The family wake up in their house. They go outside and find out that the club is on fire and is being destroyed. All is well.


This was an entertaining, if a little tame movie. I liked the cast and the movie was interesting. I have to say that there is not much in the way of scares here. You would expect more from Craven, but this is more of a family drama than horror. It reminds me of The Stepford Wives because it is a similar plot. Urich is good in the lead and Lucci is good as the temptress. All in all, this is a TV movie with little horror in it. It is more suspense and mystery than horror. It is worth a look, though. I will give it a 5/10.
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