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Monday, June 26, 2017

7 Witches (2017)



Last night, not only did I miss one of the best episodes of Twin Peaks to grace the screen, I was away from the computer and could not keep my posting streak. I did get to see an awesome concert with The Regrettes in a very intimate setting at Mr. Smalls Funhouse so that at least made the evening entertaining. To catch up today, I decided to finish with the 2017 independent entry 7 Witches.


Plot/ As their big day approaches Cate and Cody should be celebrating, they've got their family with them, they've rented an island for the big day, but unbeknownst to them, their wedding falls on the day when a 100-year-old curse comes to fruition. Instead of celebrating, they find themselves fighting for their lives as a coven of witches risen for revenge.


I knew nothing about this one when I picked it up at Family Video, and because of that, I was thoroughly satisfied with what I found. While there were some clichéd moments toward the end of the film and the idea may not have been overly original, it was an entertaining film that came across as a mix of art house cinema and a larger budgeted suspense flick. The characters were interesting, the cinematography was atmospheric and solid, and the pacing was fitting for the short run time. Yes, there are the clichés and the short run time will definitely turn some people away, but those elements are minor flaws in this intriguing flick. In the end, this one has just enough of a horror vibe to be somewhat satisfying. Yes, it is not the most original film out there, but it is better than many entries in the low budget arena. Give it a shot.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Shakma (1990)



Although I planned to watch 7 Witches last night, the remote for the DVD player again seemed to disappear. So, instead, I decided to dive into Shudder for the 1990 creature feature Shakma.


Plot/ An experimental drug that is supposed to reduce aggression has the opposite effect on a baboon that is being experimented on by a group of medical students and their professor. While they are playing a fantasy role-playing game in their research facility, the baboon escapes and begins hunting them down.


Coming off the slasher craze of the 1980s, this creature feature takes on that genre in an amazing way. Yes, it is mindless and full of some awesome baboon induced blood and guts, but it is in no way anything more than a midnight low-budget schlockfest (although, the Dungeons and Dragons LARP is a nice twist). Even with the mild level of gore and a storyline that is rather predictable and cliché (other than the baboon madman), this movie is fun to watch and on par with some of the classic straight-to-video flicks of the era. Yes, the performances are uneven (Roddy McDowell is perfect though), the storyline is unbelievable, and overall the age of the film shines through in the technology, but that in no way makes this movie any less entertaining. In fact, after these decades, the movie is still just as cheesy and laughable as it was the first time I saw it. In the end, if you are searching for some campy fun, full of schlock and cheesiness than give this one a shot. Plus, it is on Shudder, so there is really nothing to lose if you have that service.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Life (2017)



After surviving the crazy storm that hit town last night and spending some time at the mall with the Re-Create fundraising event for the Phoenix Art Center, it was time to relax. Now that I am back awake, it is time to catch up on the next flick from last night, 2017s sci-fi entry Life.


Plot/ A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.


This is a hard movie for me to review, not because of the subject matter or anything like that, it is because I swear I watched the same film previously only this time there were some minor differences. I know that might sound a bit crazy since it was just released in March 2017, but I felt like I knew every point spot on, except for the ending, which was similar in visuals, but different with where the characters (and creature) end up. Who knows, maybe I saw it in some parallel dimension. I did like a lot about the movie, with some of the great cinematography, awesome special effects, and an interesting storyline that was actually rather believable considering the subject matter. Even the atmosphere was dark and claustrophobic enough to make me want to see more. Yes, the characters were a touch flat, the tension level was lacking, and the performances were uneven with what was taking place inside the story. In the end, I did like this one, although it did feel predictable and at times, somewhat forced. It may not be for everyone, but it can be a fun flick to watch if you aren’t looking for the next Alien film.


Friday, June 23, 2017

The Undying Monster (1942)



While my plans for this first weekend of vacation are still a bit up in the air, I decided that I would watch some classic horror in case that I don’t make it to Monster Bash. My selection was the 1942 werewolf flick The Undying Monster.


Plot/ A legendary monster threatens surviving members of an aristocratic English family when they venture out on chilly, foggy nights.


Honestly, there is nothing better than the B-movies of the early sci-fi and horror that came out during the cinema’s infancy and this is a great example of that. This 1942 werewolf entry has all the elements that made those films popular. With its dark and heavy atmosphere, some solid performances, and a storyline that does a great job mixing mystery into the werewolf genre. Yes, some of the dialog is a bit off, the characterizations are uneven, and there are some of the typical flaws that plague movies from that era, but those are easily overlooked. In the end, this is one of the better B-class werewolf films and a movie that those that enjoy classic horror/mystery should enjoy. Check it out!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Peelers (2017) Official Trailer and Press Release



One great thing that comes with having a blog like The Ringmaster’s Realm is the opportunities that come along to help promote independent horror and catch some interesting flicks before they are released. That will be the case with Peelers. While this is not a review (which will be coming shortly), it is a great synopsis and trailer for a movie that looks both fun and gory.

Check out the trailer and press release – and more importantly, stay tuned for the review.


MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE & GRUESOME RELEASE


June 15, 2017 – Independent Horror Feature Film PEELERS to have US DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASE on July 4, 2017, & CANADIAN VOD on July 11, 2017.

The makers of the Independent Cult Horror feature film SKEW (2011) bring you their bloody action/horror follow-up flick PEELERS.

PEELERS - What starts out as the last hurrah on the closing night of an infamous small-town strip club, quickly turns into a night of bloodshed when a crew of coal miners shows up and with them, a deadly contaminant. Former baseball player and current club owner, Blue Jean Douglas has decided to hand over her bar to a new owner and leave town for good. But Blue Jean’s plans are thwarted when she discovers the magnitude of the epidemic that has been unleashed. With victims piling up, Blue Jean must step up to the plate to protect her family, her friends, and her bar before it's too late and she loses everything she holds dear.

PEELERS destroys the cliché stripper horror sub-genre by giving us a story packed with exciting twists, baseball, strippers of unusual talents, and a strong female lead. PEELERS has quickly become 2016’s horror festival hit, premiering in 67 festivals worldwide while carving up 54 nominations and 31 wins. What’s being described as “Rodriguez meets Tarantino” and “… a pretty damn fun trip” (Dread Central) that “might as well have a tagline of ‘make horror great again’” (Blood Guts UK Horror) has Director / Producer Sevé Schelenz stoked to give genre fans the indie horror cult hit of 2017.

PEELERS US DVD/BLU-RAY – July 4, 2017 (from Uncork’d Entertainment)
PEELERS CANADIAN VOD – July 11, 2017 (from levelFILM)

Get ready to own all the never-before-seen spine-tingling EXTRAS on the US DVD & Blu-ray including Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Behind the Scenes, Special Effects, Digital Comic, Script To Scene, Director and Actor Commentaries and much more!

Still not bloody enough for you? Here’s more:

Website: www.peelersthefilm.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peelersthefilm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peelersthefilm

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Axe Murders of Villisca (2016)



One thing that is a challenge during this time of the year is balancing the blog with my daughters travel softball schedule. This weekend was no exception, as we spent most of Saturday and Sunday in some brutal heat. Couple that with my Sunday evenings being dedicated to Twin Peaks and I have to skip some posts. That all changes on Mondays when I can get baVick to movies and the blog, like tonight when I ventured into the 2016 horror flick The Axe Murders of Villisca.


Plot/ Three outcast teenagers break into the Villisca Axe Murder house in search of answers but discover something far beyond their worst fears.


I had no idea what to expect from this one, but always being intrigued by the story of the Villisca Axe Murders, I decided to give this one a shot. Yes, there were some clichéd moments as the teens explore the house; yet, there is enough story development to make those moments easy to overlook. While the movie is not perfect, the storyline is interesting; the pacing works, and the atmosphere is much better than I would have initially imagined. Sure, the ending could have been better and there were some predictable moments, but that is somewhat typical in lower budgeted films. In the end, this one may not be for everyone and honestly; it did not reach its full potential. While it is not a bad movie, it could have been better.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Displacement (2016)



Earlier, I was having a conversation today about the Mandela Effect and time travel. While I am not going to go into detail about the theory that I postulated involving these elements and the potential Antichrist, I do believe that I may be onto something and will have to start doing some more research. Ironically, while I was at Family Video, I stumbled upon a new time travel/ temporal disturbance film, 2016s Displacement.


Plot/ A young physics student must find a way to reverse a deadly quantum time anomaly and solve the murder of her boyfriend while battling short-term memory loss and time slips caused by the event.


I had no idea what I was in for with this one when I picked it up at Family Video but was a nice one to gamble on. While it starts off in a confusing manner, once things begin to fall into place the storyline definitely draws you in. Overall, the scripting is outstanding, the technical aspects especially the cinematography and editing work, and the performances are solid. Yes, some of the actual quantum physics theory may be a stretch, the confusion from the time slips may not be for everyone, and there may not be enough true science fiction for the diehard fan, but those aspects do not really bring this one down. In the end, this one may not be for everyone, but it is an interesting film that does create some thought provoking moments. If you are like me and fascinated by the idea of time travel, give this one a shot.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Moth (2016)



Having just watched the documentary The Mothman of Point Pleasant as well as following the Owl Man sightings in Chicago, I have been motivated to spend some time in the field doing some research. Unfortunately, with this being the middle of travel softball season, this has not worked out the way I had hoped. To help ease some of the disappointment, I decided to kick back and watch the 2016 flick Moth.


Plot/ A teacher and her student travel to the European countryside to investigate 22 recent Mothman sighting reports, but what begins as an attempt to stop a catastrophe becomes a nightmarish fight for survival.


This found footage film does suffer through some of the typical problems that seem to always pop up in this realm; yet, it does add some elements that are not typically seen in the genre. More of a slow burn drama than straight found footage horror flick, this one comes away with a more realistic feel because of the dated look it has. Plus, there is an interesting twist added in that actually works within the storyline. Yes, the performances are uneven (especially with the lead actress); the dialog is laughable at best, and as usual, there are clichéd moments littered throughout. For me, this did not ruin the film, as the subject interests me and the low budget nature does allow for some flaws to be overlooked. In the end, this movie is far from perfect, but it is also far from the worst film in the found footage arena. Is it for everyone, no way, but it is somewhat entertaining and a decent way to pass some mindless time recovering from a long day.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Cure for Wellness (2016)



There are times where I enjoy thought-provoking thrillers more than any other genres. Unfortunately, finding entertaining films that do not follow a clichéd and predictable template is becoming more and more challenging. Fortunately, that was not the case with the 2016 entry A Cure for Wellness.


Plot/ An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious wellness center at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa's treatments are not what they seem.


This is a movie that I wanted to see when it was in the theaters, but unfortunately, I was not able to align my schedule and had to wait. Fortunately, I was able to get it tonight and found it exactly what I somewhat expected. Visually, this film is amazing and offers some of the best technical execution I have seen in some time. The performances are solid, the soundtrack works in creating an unsettling mood, and the storyline is interesting (even though there are some predictable elements). Sure, not everyone will enjoy the ending, the movie develops at a slow pace, and there are a bunch of unanswered questions, but those do little to bring down the positives. In the end, this one will not be for everyone. However, if you enjoy creepy surrealistic psychological thrillers, this one is for you. Give it a shot!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Planet Mars (1952)



After watching Slugs last night, I decided that I wanted to watch some type of classic sci-fi tale. After some searching, I settled on the 1952 entry Red Planet Mars.


Plot/ An American scientist is able to contact and communicate with Mars with shattering political, economic, and spiritual repercussions.


This one is an entertaining and interesting film that is definitely more of an intellectual drama than a pure sci-fi flick. Released during the early part of the Cold War, the sentiments of the day with the communist hysteria is evident throughout. Hell, this could have been one of the flicks that educated McCain and Feinstein on the Russian threat. The acting is solid, the cinematography excellent, and the storyline does have some twists that make it a fun watch. Yes, there are some strong religious overtones, there are no real action sequences or effects, and the flow is a touch choppy, but those are not deal breakers. In the end, this was a fun watch and a movie that does embrace the thoughts and attitudes of that era. Not for everyone, but a movie that should be seen.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Slugs (1988)



After spending the weekend camping at a softball tournament, it was nice to finally kick back and watch something mindless tonight. After some thought, I decided on the 1988 schlockfest Slugs.


Plot/ People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but the authorities laugh at his theory of killer slugs.


There is always a place in my movie library for mindless pieces of schlock that do not take themselves seriously, and that is exactly what type of movie we have here. Is a good movie? Technically no, but it is an easy watch and a great example of 1980s creature feature gold. On a positive, I have always loved the clichéd storyline, the excessive low budget gore, and the killer slugs. Unfortunately, the close-minded horror fan that is searching for a Oscar-worthy piece of cinema will probably not agree with me and point out the flat characters, the uneven performances, and the choppy editing. Yes, there are flaws, but this is the type of film that paved its way into the so bad its good garage. In the end, if you are looking for a fun, entertaining, and mindless example of 1980s schlock, give this one a chance. Especially, if like me, you have Shudder and could watch it on a push of a button. Check it out.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Eclipse (2009)



After watching a few classics, it was time to return to this era and find something different. After some searching on my different streaming services, I decided on the 2009 supernatural thriller The Eclipse.


Plot/ In a seaside Irish town, a widower sparks with a visiting horror novelist while he also begins to believe he is seeing ghosts.


As I was searching Shudder last night, this one seemed like a nice change of pace and I was right. This supernatural themed film does a great job at building atmosphere and drawing the viewer in. Yes, it may be a slow build, but it is there. The scripting is awesome, the performances solid, and the amount of emotion brought forth is really well done. Unfortunately, there are some clichéd moments and the ending feels a touch abrupt, but those are but minor elements that do nothing to bring down the film. In the end, this one is much better than I ever would have thought. If you like emotional supernatural movies, this one is for you. Check it out!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fright Night (1985)



After watching Coherence last night, I decided to kick back and watch something I had not seen in quite a while. In fact, I’m not sure if I have watched this one during the last 25 years. That movie is the original 1985 entry Fright Night.


Plot/ For young Charley Brewster, nothing could be better than an old horror movie late at night. Two men move in next door, and for Charley with his horror movie experience, there can be no doubt that their strange behavior is explained by the fact that they are a vampire and his undead day guardian. The only one who can help him hunt them down is a washed-up actor, Peter Vincent, who hosts Charley's favorite TV show, Fright Night.


As I mentioned, it had been some time since I watched the original version of Fright Night and I am glad that I decided to do that. This film is even better than I remembered it and is definitely light years ahead of the remake from a few years ago. Watching this was like taking a trip down memory lane for me. Having grown up in that era, I can relate to a lot of what is transpiring with the setting, soundscape, dialog, and even some of the thoughts that were discussed. When you couple that with some tremendous performances from an outstanding cast, awesome cinematography and direction, and a perfect mixture of dark atmosphere, creepiness, and special effects that were ahead of their time for 1985. Yes, some of the fashions seem dated and there is the typical cheese-factor that was prevalent in the 1980s, but other than that, this movie is one of the best vampire flicks of the decade. In the end, if you have not seen this one you are missing out. It is a perfect example of why classic horror films should not be remade, as there was no chance the reboot could live up to the bar set by this one. It’s on Shudder, so check it out!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Coherence (2013)



After taking a night away from the blog last night, I decided that it was time to jump back in tonight with something from a sci-fi/horror perspective. After searching the different streaming sites, I decided on the 2013 no-budget sci-fi entry Coherence.


Plot/ Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends come together for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.


I decided to take a shot on this one as I was searching Shudder tonight and I am glad that I did. This ultra-low budget flick was a joy to watch and brought forth some interesting and entertaining elements. Honestly, any film that can dive into Schrodinger’s Cat is definitely worth watching. While some may downgrade the movie for the cinematography and abrupt editing, these are but minor elements that are easily absorbed by the thought-provoking storyline, the solid and realistic performances, and a rather coherent script even with the mind-bending twists that are happening around the corners. In the end, this was a solid entry and a movie that comes off much better than many of the other higher budgeted films in the genre. This is a movie that should be seen, find it on Shudder, and check it out.