"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Posts Tagged ‘Jonah Ray’

Shudder Double Feature: Suitable Flesh / Destroy All Neighbors

Monday, February 12th, 2024

SUITABLE FLESH is the latest from Joe Lynch, a director who has a certain credibility in my book because his debut was a DTV sequel. I was mixed-positive on WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END (2007) and wrote some things in the review that I now consider out of line, but I definitely respect its joyful spirit toward sequelizing and in many ways outdoing a studio movie I really wasn’t that into. Since then Lynch has directed a comedy that got taken away from him, the Salma Hayek action vehicle EVERLY, the gory outbreak-in-an-office-building movie MAYHEM (which I liked but apparently didn’t review) and the Frank Grillo/Anthony Mackie car chase buddy movie POINT BLANK. But now he’s returned to horror with a sacred task: to manifest an unfinished project of the late great Stuart Gordon.

I didn’t realize it from the name, but it’s one of those unfulfilled ambitions we read about for years – here’s an example of Gordon talking it up while promoting STUCK in 2008, but using the title of the H.P. Lovecraft story it’s based on, “The Thing on the Doorstep.” The script is by Gordon’s regular collaborator Dennis Paoli (RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM, CASTLE FREAK, DAGON) and it’s produced by RE-ANIMATOR/FROM BEYOND/CASTLE FREAK star Barbara Crampton. (read the rest of this shit…)

Pooka!/Pooka Lives!

Tuesday, December 19th, 2023

It’s here – that special time of year when I drink eggnog, watch the Star Wars Holiday Special, and try to find some new Christmas horror or crime movies that hit the spot. This year I watched one that’s a distant cousin of the killer doll movie.

In fact, the kind of doll that’s a Christmas present. POOKA! (2018) fulfills the important holiday horror movie duty of having lots of seasonal content. It centers around this Christmas season fad toy. Multiple scenes take place at a Christmas tree lot. The protagonist practices a monologue from A Christmas Carol for an acting audition, and the story includes a supernaturally-looking-back-at-your-life aspect vaguely similar to that or IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. There’s a (weirdly birthday-like) Christmas party. And lots of red and green lights. So it does the trick. (read the rest of this shit…)

Christmas Bloody Christmas

Tuesday, December 20th, 2022

CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS is the new one from writer/director Joe Begos. I previously reviewed his first two features, ALMOST HUMAN (2013) and THE MIND’S EYE (2015), but I’ve been sleeping on his 2019 double whammy of BLISS and VFW. Nevertheless I had to see his new one as soon as it hit Shudder because it’s Christmas horror. There’s a timeliness factor.

It’s a low budget movie but seems huge and lush compared to those other two I mentioned. It continues in the same tradition of filtering a specific ‘80s horror aesthetic through Begos’ brain, now with more dialogue and humor. But I wouldn’t call it a comedy. After the comical advertisements that open the movie and introduce the absurd horror premise, there aren’t really jokes. The laughs come from the characters themselves being funny. Otherwise it comes across as very serious – an odd choice that I like. (read the rest of this shit…)

Victor Crowley

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

VICTOR CROWLEY is part 4 of the HATCHET series. Despite the title it’s not any kind of a reboot or a prequel or anything. Part I-II director Adam Green made it secretly and surprised fans with it at an event advertised to sound like a tenth anniversary screening of the first one, and it’s very much designed as a fun time for dedicated fans of the series and the people who buy t-shirts of Green’s dog  and stuff.

So the fact that I didn’t love it shouldn’t scare fans off, because it’s not really for me. I really liked part III, a final girl vs. slasher standoff cranked up to 11. This is more in the tradition of parts 1 and 2, with the quirky character business, broadly cartoonish performances and occasional over the top chopping and splattering of bodies, done with a scream and a wink. Also you got your cameos by horror people, though some of them just in cell phone footage this time. (read the rest of this shit…)