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DVD Review: Lake Dead

Lake DeadWriter: Daniel P. Coughlin
Director: George Bessudo
Cast: Cyrus Alexander, James C. Burns, Ryan Coughlin, Edwin Craig, Kelsey Crane, Jim Devoti, Tara Gerar, Alex A. Quinn, Malea Richardson, Christian Stokes, Trevor Torseth, Vanessa Viola, Kelsey Wedeen, Dan Woods
Rating: Unrated
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 18, 2008

I didn’t know exactly what I’d be getting into when I reviewed movies from Liongate’s “8 Movies to Die For” of 2008. One of those movies is Lake Dead. I’d never even heard anything about the making of this movie nor had I seen any of the actors in anything before, by my recollection. Still, I went into this, curious to find out whether Lake Dead was any good or not. I guess you could say that the premise for Lake Dead was somewhat terrifying (in a real life sense) when it really comes down to thinking about how the events of the movie unfold. Still, it’s pretty clear this isn’t a large budget affair and the place where the film crew apparently skimped seems to be in the acting budget.

By B movie standards, the actors are great. Some of the performances might even be deemed exceptional. By standard cinema, it’s pretty clear to see why these actors are starring in Lake Dead and not a high budget film. While the acting didn’t ruin the movie, it also didn’t compliment it. Still, this movie does give you that fun kind of romp you experience when watching somewhat substandard horror flicks. If you’re a fan of the genre, this should be watched at least once, just so you can say you’ve experienced Lake Dead.

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DVD Review: Outpost

Outpost DVDWriter: Rae Brunton
Director: Steve Barker
Cast: Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Paul Blair, Brett Fancy, Enoch Frost, Julian Rivett, Michael Smiley
Rating: R
Studio: Sony Pictures
Release Date: March 11, 2008

I’ve liked Ray Stevenson since I first saw him on the now defunct HBO epic series, Rome. This means that I was looking forward to watching Outpost. I knew it was about a Nazi bunker, had parallel elements to the story and the events were happening in war-torn Eastern Europe. Overall, I probably would have wanted to see the film even if Stevenson wasn’t in it though his presence was a definite plus.

Outpost has used some recycled themes, especially when looking to other, similar films in the horror genre. However, the events of history coupled with the paranormal elements are what make Outpost at least watchable. No one wants to think about the possibility of this film happening. It’d be one heck of a reality if it were truth. Still, some may look to other horror flicks and think this story isn’t folded as neatly together as it could have been and I do have to agree in some aspects. While the tension level was high throughout the entire second half of the film, there could have been some things done to more quickly establish the purpose of the film prior to the entrance to the bunker. Until then, I just wasn’t sure what this story was about.

Release Information:
Outpost never really had an official theatrical release in the United States. It premiered at the American Film Market on October 31, 2008. The film was leaked through the internet in February and there are plans for a theatrical run throughout Europe. However, as far the United States goes, this is pretty much a direct to DVD release with no plans of appearing in theaters.

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DVD Review: Leprechaun Triple Feature

Leprechaun Triple featureWriter: David DuBos, Mark Jones
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Cast: Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, Robert Hy Gorman, Shay Duffin, Charlie Heath, Shevonne Durkin, Sandy Baron, Adam Biesk,James Lancaster, John Gatins, Lee Armstrong, John DeMita, Michael Callan, Caroline Williams
Rating: R
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 11, 2008

As many horror movies as I’ve seen, I had never seen any of the Leprechaun movies. I always thought the idea of a murderous leprechaun was kind of hokey and perhaps even a bit goofy. I guess it’s about as goofy as a My Buddy doll going on a killer rampage, but I still managed to see Child’s Play. It wasn’t from my desire to avoid watching any of the movies in the Leprechaun series. I just didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t so interested in them that I had to see them.

I was surprised by the fact that the movies were somewhat enjoyable. Sure, Leprechaun and its predecessors are no A Nightmare on Elm Street, but so few horror movies are. The concept is silly, the leprechaun is silly, but the premise is actually kind of inventive if you think about it. Who would believe a little leprechaun was running around killing people? In some ways, you might even say it was ingenious.

Release Information:
The Leprechaun Triple Feature is comprised of the first three movies in the series. The three are aptly named Leprechaun, Leprechaun 2 and Leprechaun 3. While the first has a few notable faces in it, other than the leprechaun, the other two movies have smaller names or virtual unknowns playing the main roles in them. The first Leprechaun movie was released in 1993 with Leprechaun 2 and Leprechaun 3 coming out in 1994 and 1995 respectively. The series has somewhat of a cult following, as many horror movies seem to have.

The Leprechaun Triple Feature is just one of the various DVD sets that have been released for the multiple movies in the series. This set was released by Lionsgate and it will be available for you to purchase on March 11, 2008. The Leprechaun Triple Feature is available for pre-order at Amazon. You can purchase the three disc set there for $12.99.

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DVD Review: Automaton Transfusion

Automaton TransfusionWriter: Steven C. Miller
Director: Steven C. Miller
Cast: Garrett Jones, Juliet Reeves, William Howard Bowman, Rowan Bousaid, Ashley Elizabeth Pierce
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Weinstein Company
Release Date: March 4, 2008

I love horror movies. I love horror movies that are labeled so gruesome that they aren’t able to be shown to mainstream audiences. However, one thing I don’t love is when a movie claims to be the scariest, nastiest thing I will ever see, and then turns out to be a yawn-fest not even capable of igniting one moment of adrenaline pumping fear.

Welcome to my hell, because Automaton Transfusion is officially as scary as watching your grandfather masturbate. Scratch that, because that would be pretty scary. It’s about as scary as watching him play shuffleboard. I’ve never watched gramps play that, but I imagine it’s not too scary.

I usually do not have hopes too high when it comes to zombie movies because I have seen enough to know that the storylines are all pretty similar. For one reason or another, zombies have overtaken an area. They are hungry and out for blood. They want to eat brains and other miscellaneous body parts. Most of the zombies succeed and get to eat people. One small group gets stuck in various buildings and tries to get away. Some do. Some don’t. All zombie movies are about like this. Unfortunately, seen one, seen em all. Automaton Transfusion is just like every other zombie movie in how the story unfolds, but for various other reasons, it’s much worse.

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DVD Review: Catacombs

CatacombsWriters: Tomm Coker, David Elliot
Directors: Tomm Coker, David Elliot
Cast: Shannyn Sossamon, Pink, Emil Hostina, Sandi Dragoi, Mihai Stanescu, Cabral Ibacka, Radu Andrei Micu, Cain Manoli, DJ Kosta
Rating: Unrated
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: February 19, 2008

The thing I hate most about the horror genre is when a story has promise, but just doesn’t live up to its expectations. That is what I consider to be the major flaw of Catacombs. With the potential to be claustrophobic, intense, and freakishly heart pounding, you think I’d be somewhat satisfied with this movie. I wasn’t and in fact, I was disappointed by how un-scary it really was. That is just one of the major flaws of Catacombs. Well, that and the fact that Catacombs would work out much better if it were a short.

Unfortunately, the movie drags on for 30-50 minutes too long, and the audience, who could have been gripping the arm rests of their seats, are instead left to twiddle their thumbs, wondering when the movie is going to end. There are a few twists that might be surprising, though I’ve heard some say it was predictable, but by the time you reach that part of the movie, you’re already going to be bored out of your mind.

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DVD Review: Saw IV Unrated

Saw IV Box ArtWriter: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Lyriq Bent
Rating: Unrated
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: January 22, 2008

Putting out a new movie from the Saw franchise has become a yearly tradition. Every Halloween, there will be blood. The biggest question for 2007 was whether or not this blood would be worth watching fall as the fourth film in the franchise, Saw IV, was released.

Saw III brought on the demise of the cancer inflicted Jigsaw (Tobin Bell). Without the perpetual harbinger of likely death for the uncompromising and unwilling souls, I couldn’t help but wonder how this movie would fare. With Jigsaw dead, one had to wonder if Saw IV would pan out or be a complete and utter waste of time.

Many have likened this and other Saw films to torture porn. As a lover of horror movies and action films I am so utterly tired of this phrase. If you hate horror movies then don’t watch them. It’s really as simple as that. Torture porn should be likened to snuff films, which generally are not reviewed at all, much less by the general populace. Needless to say, I disagree. Saw does offer more substance than torture porn, whatever that may be.

In relation to this particular chapter in the ongoing ‘Saw’ story, how much you like Saw IV will depend on your penchant for pain and a pseudo-Sadistic storyline that hinges on a victim’s ability to properly play a game and follow each of the rules therein.

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April Fools Day to Hit DVD Shelves March 25, 2008

In the tradition of Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer comes APRIL FOOL’S DAY

The New Film by Rising Horror Mavens The Butcher Brothers Debuts on Unrated DVD March 25, 2008

CULVER CITY, CALIF. (January 14, 2008) – From rising horror mavens The Butcher Brothers (Mitch Altieri and Phil Flores, writer/directors of The Hamiltons) comes April Fool’s Day, debuting on unrated DVD March 25 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In the tradition of Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer, the directors selected a stellar cast featuring many rising young stars, including Taylor Cole (TV’s “Summerland”), Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween, Sleepover), and Josh Henderson (TV’s “Desperate Housewives”, Step Up). The unrated DVD will be available for $24.96 SRP.

SYNOPSIS:
Each April Fool’s Day, fabulously wealthy young Desiree Cartier (Cole) hosts the most killer coming-out parties at her to-die-for southern mansion. And this social event is never complete without one of her patented pranks. But when this year’s joke turns deadly, Desiree, her brother Blaine (Henderson) and five of their friends all become the targets of a twisted killer who begins hunting them down one by one in this chilling tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge.

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DVD Review: Resident Evil: Extinction

Resident Evil ExtinctionWriter: Paul W.S. Anderson
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Cast: Milla Jovovitch, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Ashanti, Mike Epps, Christopher Egan, Spencer Locke, Matthew Marsden, Linden Ashby, Jason O’Mara, Madeline Carroll
Rating: R
Studio: Sony Pictures
Release Date: January 1, 2008

I think they might be on to something when they say third time’s the charm. The third installation in the Resident Evil series of movies actually was my favorite. Perhaps it was the unique outlook that was taken by the director and writer of the film during the production or perhaps the story just happened to be better. Either way, if you plan to see a Resident Evil movie you definitely need to see Resident Evil: Extinction. If anyone had doubts about Milla Jovovitch’s ability to act and kick ass, this is the movie that will prove the critics wrong.

Based on the popular, ‘Resident Evil’ video game series, Resident Evil: Extinction and its predecessors, Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse set a new standard for zombie movies by mixing the horror genre with that of the action thriller. While the other two are important for telling the story of Jovovitch’s character, Alice, up until the events in Resident Evil: Extinction, this movie stands alone on its own.

While some who may not have seen the first two flicks may want to know more and may be slightly lost by how Alice came to be the way she is (or even what she is for that matter), seeing the first two movies isn’t necessary to understand the overall plot of Resident Evil: Extinction. Either way, this film has brought new life back into a series that had not quite as many critics as it does fans.

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