All posts in Seasonal & Holiday

DVD Review: Malicious Ain’t No Pretty In Pink!

Malicious DVD Box ArtMalicious and Pretty in Pink have two things in common. The first is lead actress, Molly Ringwald. The second is both are good. In fact, Malicious is surprisingly good. The main thing that I like about this movie is it isn’t your typical Molly Ringwald film. To sum it up, she’s downright evil and pretty damn good at it! While this is a very predictable movie and it’s been done before, this does not detract from the fact that I really did enjoy Malicious.

I was expecting something bad. Molly Ringwald has always been the precious princess for me. I loved her in Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, etc. because she was so good at playing the good girl. She was our poster child, as 80s children, for the slogan “do the right thing”. Essentially, she was a happy go lucky, John Hughes kind of film girl. So, when I heard she was playing a psychotic girl in Malicious, I was both intrigued and frightened. As frightened as I was when I heard Anthony Michael Hall played a serial killer.

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DVD Review: Curse of Alcatraz Isn’t Quite There

Curse of AlcatrazI had high hopes for the Lionsgate horror film, Curse of Alcatraz. I love anything that could be related to Alcatraz so I was all set to be spooked by ghosts, disturbing deaths, and so much more. I have to admit that Curse of Alcatraz does try. It really does. It just never really gets to the point where it is a movie you can actually enjoy. It ends up being a disappointment all around as a result.

Curse of Alcatraz was supposedly shot on Alcatraz Island. Filming locations for IMDB say the film was shot in Oakland and San Francisco. If anything was shot on Alcatraz, it was probably just exteriors. Those of us who have never been to the prison and seen it, wouldn’t really know for sure now would we? I believe this was “advertising” similar to the “Leatherface is real” advertising done for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s all talk and was only meant to attempt to make the movie more “horrific”, but it doesn’t. Not even Alcatraz can save this film.

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DVD Review: Bug Will Make You Think

Bug DVD BoxWhile some folks might seem cheated or tricked when they purchase or rent the newly released movie Bug, by Lionsgate, the overall film should be viewed and not judged on what fans had hoped to see. Lionsgate marketing is responsible for many of us thinking this would be as gory and disgusting as Saw (which was great in that gory and disgusting sort of way). Instead, we get one helluva psychological thriller that “surprisingly” ends up working out for what it is.

It would be hard to describe this moving without giving out too much information. If you expect disgusting bugs manifesting and eating everything in sight, you might be disappointed. This isn’t a horror film designed to gross people out. This is a horror film designed to make people think. I’d like to liken the film to something along the lines of Conspiracy Theory, though the acting was far superior to that of Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson and the storyline was more concretely etched out.

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DVD Review: House of 1000 Corpses is the Right Kind of Freaky

House of 1000 CorpsesWhen Halloween is approaching, I think about spooky movies. I like freaky, over the top horror flicks, so I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a cool, fall night then watching House of 1000 Corpses. Who knew Rob Zombie could make movies? He’s freaky enough to get into horror films and make a movie nobody has really ever seen before. That’s exactly what he’s done with House of 1000 Corpses. This movie marked the directorial and screenwriting debut of Zombie, and he does so with plenty of attitude and pizzazz. This is what you expect of the horror genre, and is why this film is the perfect Halloween movie.

If you like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre you will like House of 1000 Corpses. This movie obviously pays homage to the classic horror film (and several others). The plots are similar though Zombie puts his own twist on the story making a new film all his own. Zombie also pays homage to the Marx Brothers (naming multiple characters after Marx Brothers characters). House of 1000 Corpses is available in the newly released Rob Zombie DVD Boxset from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, with the sequel to this film, The Devil’s Rejects. I can’t think of any better box set to purchase and watch this Halloween.

House of 1000 Corpses takes place in rural Texas. Four teenagers (two couples), Jerry (Chris Hardwick), Denise (Erin Daniels), Mary (Jennifer Jostyn), and Bill (Rainn Wilson) travel together through the backwoods of Texas. They are following up on urban legends in an attempt to write a book on the off-road attractions. During their trip, they stop at the shop of Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig). It’s an off the road shop dealing with the weird, obscure, and potentially murderous. It is here the four learn about Dr. Satan, and they set out to find out if the legend is real or not.

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DVD Review: Night of the Demons 2 is better than the First

Night of the Demons 2I reviewed Night of the Demons for Literary Illusions last Halloween. This was back when LI was a new site, and I wanted to write about a horror movie that was so cheesy it was actually good. Night of the Demons is one of my favorite horror movies, so when I heard Night of the Demons 2 was going to be released by Lionsgate, I was elated. I couldn’t wait to review this movie. All I can say is that after Day Two’s pick of The 31 Days of Horror Movies (Borderline Cult), Lionsgate has redeemed themselves by releasing this film!

Night of the Demons wasn’t a high class movie. It didn’t have famous actors. It wasn’t a high budget film. It had cheesy effects, a comical plot, and hilarious looking demons, but I loved the movie anyway. This film was and still is your typical “fun” 80s horror flick. Night of the Demons 2 was made a few years later in 1994, though it still retained that 80s-esque horror film, with a few upgrades in the special effects department.

The film revolves around an old character from the first movie, the only one to return from the original movie, Angela Franklin (Amelia Kinkade). Fans of the first will remember that Angela becomes an evil demon. Well guess what? She’s back and she wants something or should I say someone, to come join her at the evil “Hull House”. The first few moments of the film are hilarious. However, Angela, who could pass as a teenager in Night of the Demons looks about 20 years older in Night of the Demons 2.

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DVD Review: Borderline Cult Falls Flat as a Horror Flick

Borderline Cult BoxFor Day 2 in the Literary Illusions’ The 31 Days of Horror Movies series, I’m going to have to recommend a film you should never see. While our first film 1408 had the right blend of jumps, scares, and thrills to make it a horror movie, Borderline Cult will make you scared…in a whole different way. This film will scare you into never wanting to watch another film by its Z-List director, Ulli Lommel.

I seriously have to question what Lionsgate was thinking by picking up this piece of drivel. I am usually on the same page as Lionsgate. I love Saw. I love many of the other movies they put out, but this film just made me laugh at how pathetic it was. I wondered if I was the only one who thought this film sucked, but based on its IMDB rating of 1.6 and the random comments about how the film director makes films “faster than Walmart can stock their DVD shelves” and how he should “take up poison dart throwing” for a hobby, I see there are many other people who dislike both the film and its director.

Ulli Lommel does have quite a few films under his belt. Sadly, the actors who portray the three main characters of Borderline Cult have been in more than one of them. It is like he recycles bad horror movies or true life events and casts the same people in them over and over again. For example, he’s made movies on the Black Dahlia, the Green River Killer, and the Zodiac Killer, though from those who have seen these films, he’s done so poorly and inaccurately. Unfortunately, he’s also responsible for writing the script for some of his films and he does so for Borderline Cult.

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DVD Review: 1408 marks the Return of King

1408 Movie PosterWe’re going to start the 31 Days of Horror Movies on Literary Illusions with the newly released film inspired by a Stephen King short story entitled, 1408.

I admit it. I have been a fan of Stephen King’s for years. I have also been a fan of John Cusack ever since his film appearance in the John Hughes 80s classic, Sixteen Candles. I must admit, I never thought that Stephen King and John Cusack might actually have something in common, but they do. They both worked on the film 1408. From the moment I heard this movie was being made I wanted to see it, but after the last few mediocre films inspired from King’s novels (Dreamcatcher anyone?) I was anxious to find out whether this was going to be the same caliber of films like Carrie, Misery, and Cujo or if it was going to be a disappointment.

1408 is based on the short story written by King by the same title. The story was adapted for screen by Matt Greenberg and Scott Alexander. Despite the adaptation, this movie screams Stephen King. As the King of horror, this is the type of psychologically twisted drama the audience should expect from his work. This movie made an excellent adaption (albeit some minor issues with flow when it came to the main character’s back story and the reality of the film). Nevertheless, you can expect to jump a few times and be surprised at more than one unexpected moment when watching this film.

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Literary Illusions Halloween: The 31 Days of Horror Movies

Freddy Kruger PictureWe love to celebrate holidays at Literary Illusions. That is why we plan to offer you 31 days of at least one “Halloween-related” DVD title. Sure, some of the DVDs are scary. Some will be movies we recommend while others we’ll hope you will pass on lest you suffer the same fate we did when trying to get spooked while watching these films.

Either way, our selection of “frightening movies” should have something to appease the most picky horror fan. If you enjoy gore, screams, chills, and thrills then you need to make sure to check out the 31 days of Halloween Horror Movies, sponsored by the best website online for reviews, Literary Illusions. Make sure to check us out when we begin on October 1, 2007.

To give you a sneak peek at some of our picks, all we can say is that Stephen King, Rob Zombie, and Freddy Kruger all have their place in the 31 Days of Horror DVDs. You will see some independent horror flicks, some higher budget flicks, some with famous actors and others with unknowns or b-list actors who can’t seem to get jobs in anything but horror flicks. Some mark the beginning of a budding and exciting career for today’s Hollywood superstars.

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