Thursday, September 26, 2013

Halloween Happenings: Indoor Halloween Decorations!

While October is still more than a few days away, the Halloween celebration has been in full-swing here at the CNAMB dungeon of doom. Naturally my bare breasted vampire woman and I have already spent countless hours perusing the Halloween goodies that all the stores have to offer, looking for various ideas and sales and such. Furthermore, and the reason why I’ve brought you all here today, we’ve already decorated the inside of our humble abode of doom, which you can see for yourself in the video below!

Hope you all enjoy our spooky decorations, and I’ll be seeing you all in less than a week for the start of Chucktober!

Monday, September 23, 2013

V/H/S/2 (2013): Tapes of Terror

VHS 2 2013 horror movie review

The 2012 horror anthology V/H/S left me with feelings that were mixed at best. I enjoyed the different approaches to what were essentially simplistic classic horror stories as well as the film’s overall tone, which effectively projected a feeling of unease. On the other hand, more than a few of the stories weren’t really all too satisfying. Furthermore, and this is especially the case with the wraparound segment, some of the characters were quite deplorable in a fashion that really turned me off.

Regardless of my mixed feelings, I enjoyed V/H/S enough to where I was moderately excited about a sequel, especially considering the good feedback that it had been receiving at festivals and such. But was my slight anticipation for V/H/S/2 destined to be a letdown, or could this sequel actually deliver the goods in a way that the first film wasn’t quite able to do?

Tape 49
Directed by: Simon Barrett

VHS 2 2013 horror movie review Tape 49

Serving as the wraparound story, Tape 49 is very similar in both tone and setting to the first film’s wraparound segment, Tape 56. Tape 49 follows two private investigators searching for a missing college student, eventually ending up in the student’s home where they find a stack of VHS tapes and other various video equipment. One of the investigators, Larry, decides to investigates the house, while the other P.I., Ayesha, watches the tapes with the hope that she’ll be able to find some clues as to the college students whereabouts.

As was the case with V/H/S’s Tape 56, the contents of these VHS tapes serve as the gateway to the four tales of terror found within V/H/S/2. However, like Tape 56, this wraparound story brings little to the table other than a slightly eerie atmosphere, which mostly has to do with how certain shots are staged. There’s something inherently creepy about watching a character sitting in a room with an open background, as it portrays this sense of vulnerability that has a way of making my skin crawl. Outside of that aspect, and a cool moment or two during the finale, this wraparound does little more than serve as a conduit to the other stories.

Phase 1 Clinical Trials
Directed by: Adam Wingard

VHS 2 2013 horror movie review Phase 1 Clinical Trials

After an accident, a man named Herman (played by Wingard) is fitted with an experimental robotic eyeball. Seeing as this is the first time such technology is being used, the doctors inform Herman that they will be recording everything he sees as a way to collect data. He is also told that he might see some visual glitches while his new robotic eyeball adjusts. And soon enough Herman begins seeing strange things, but he chalks them up to his new eyeball; however, soon these visions begin to manifest themselves into something far more sinister.

The biggest strength of Phase 1 Clinical Trials is definitely in its visual style, and the first person perspective is handled in a way that effectively creates the opportunity for some nice jump scares. Overall it’s your typical transplanted organ body horror by way of Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void, but maybe a Noe comparison is giving it a bit more credit than it deserves. Regardless, I found Phase 1 Clinical Trials to be a solid entry and an admirable way to start off the anthology proper.

A Ride in the Park
Directed by: Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale

VHS 2 2013 horror movie review a ride in the park

Adorned with a GoPro type of helmet camera, a young man falls victim to a zombie attack while mountain biking in the forest. What proceeds is a refreshingly original take on zombies, as much of the segment is shot from the perspective of the victim from his initial death to when he first becomes a zombie and eventually to the point when he begins to attack humans as a member of the living dead.

Anytime a filmmaker or filmmakers can give an audience a fresh take on the zombie genre is welcome, as that well has long run dry, no matter how popular it is with the youngsters. A Ride in the Park is not only immensely clever, it’s easily one of the highlights of V/H/S/2. Furthermore, it’s nice to see Sanchez involved in such a great segment, as something like V/H/S wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for him and Daniel Myrick’s The Blair Witch Project. It’s like seeing the whole found footage genre come full circle.

Safe Haven
Directed by: Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto

VHS 2 2013 horror movie review Safe Haven

A group of documentary filmmakers enter the compound of an Indonesian cult to interview their maniacal leader, not realizing that this cult has a very special surprise planned for their visit.

Honestly, there is very little I can or want to say about Safe Haven, because I wouldn’t dare spoil the experience of what is easily the best segment in both V/H/S and V/H/S/2. Safe Haven is scary, it’s smart, it’s flat out awesome, and V/H/S/2 is worth a watch for this segment alone. It’s truly refreshing to see something so creative and original in a modern day horror film.

Slumber Party Alien Abduction
Directed by: Jason Eisner

VHS 2 2013 horror movie review slumber party alien abduction

Already being perfectly summed up with its brilliant title, Slumber Party Alien Abduction follows a group of young kids who torture their older step-sister and her friends by constantly playing pranks on them, naturally capturing it all on camera for further humiliation. Taking place over the course of one night, and with their parents being out of town, the kid’s have the house to themselves, which means it’s pretty much anarchy from the word go. However, their night of innocent fun takes a horrific turn as the children find themselves under attack by aliens.

Slumber Party Alien Abduction is an entertaining take on alien invasions, and this is due, in part, to Eisner’s ability to capture the wild world of kids running free from supervision in a way that is surprisingly genuine. However, all the innocent fun and games are indeed fun and games until the invasion begins, and when the horror kicks off, Eisner delivers the goods. This is especially true during a superbly effective shot involving a boat dock that I won’t get into too much detail about as to avoid spoilers, but it’s a moment that’s at least worth mentioning. Overall, Slumber Party Alien Invasion is a satisfying way to round out the meat and taters of V/H/S/2.

In Conclusion:

Not only does V/H/S/2 greatly improve upon what was done only a year ago with the first V/H/S, it is easily one of the best horror anthology films I have seen in many years, and one that I believe I will be revisiting on a fairly regular basis.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Salute Your Shorts: Orpheus (2011)

Orpheus 2011 short film review

Written and directed by James Button, Orpheus takes an experimental approach to the many emotions that come with grieving the death of a loved one. Shot on 16mm, this 7 minute short focuses on a man (played by Jason Goddard) who seems to be living in a nightmare in which he cannot awaken from. As the short progresses, and the main character’s state of being deteriorates, it becomes clear that he is filled with guilt due to the loss of a loved one. His dreamscape is filled with confusion and pain, and the reasons for this is initially unknown to the man, that is until he begins to put the pieces together and find a path to acceptance.

Orpheus allows the viewer to experience the five stages of grief as experienced through the painful psyche of the main character. While it excels with a revelation that gives weight to the man’s guilt, the success of this short film comes with the somber resolution that grief can be a cycle that never ends but lessens with process of time.

Salute Your Shorts 3.5

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bounty Killer DVD Giveaway Winner!

As you’ll quickly figure out by watching the video, I’ve done more than all the typing I want to do for the day, so I will simply let the video, err, speak for itself.

Congratulations to the lucky winner, and again, thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Matt-suzaka Takes Manhattan… and Gives it a Big Old Kiss!


Good morning class of 1989! Hopefully you got your permission slip signed for our big trip to Back Online. Back On Duty., but if not, I’ll probably let you slide if you’re promiscuous enough and have some cocaine. Anyway, the trip should take about an hour, and when we get there. we’ll be spending most of our time on rooftops, in back alleys and down in the sewers, but you guys won’t know the difference, right?!

Okay, now that I’m done being an idiot, I am here to encourage you to take a few minutes out of this lovely Friday the 13th to head over to the OCP approved Back Online. Back On Duty. to check out a piece I did for a brand new segment entitled Back Online. Back On Doodie. The idea behind this segment is simple: guest bloggers are invited to share a film that they once hated, but somehow, someway, have learned to love over the years. I have a number of films that fall under this category (and vice versa), but after much thought and deliberation with my favorite stuffed bear, the one I went with is Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan!

Honestly, I had no idea that Friday the 13th was nearing when I chose to write about Jason Takes Manhattan, but the coincidence is certainly okay by me. Regardless, please take a moment to stop by Back Online. Back On Duty to check out my hate-to-love relationship with Jason Takes Manhattan, then be sure you spend some time checking out all the other goodies that Eric has in store on what is truly one of the best blogs ON THE PLANET!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trancers (1985): I Put A Spell On You…


*Disclaimer!* I wrote a handful of articles for a now defunct e-zine called BthroughZ a number of years back, and when that site went belly up, so did the reviews I wrote for it. I didn’t want to lose the articles I worked so hard to write, so over the next few months I will be reposting them here for your enjoyment.

Directed by Charles Band, 1985's Trancers takes place in 2247, a time when the city of Los Angeles is almost completely under water as a result of a devastating ice age. The film follows detective Jack Deth, a tough as nails cop who has been hunting Martin Whistler (Art La Fleur), a criminal who uses psychic abilities to transform weak willed individuals into mindless zombie-like slaves who follow his every command. Personally, I would make them shovel and do dishes.

Using some scientifically accurate time travel technology (so much irony in that line), Whistler escapes to the past - 1985 to be exact - leaving his physical being behind and taking over the body of one of his ancestors. Seeing a prime opportunity to change the future for his personal benefit, Whistler begins killing off the ancestors of governing council members, completely removing them from existence. There is only one person who can stop Whistler from continuing this completely rude killing spree, and that person is Jack Deth, who has been chosen to go back to '85 to stop his arch nemesis and send him back… to the future!

Wait, wrong movie.

Trancers 1985 movie review 1

While Trancers is a cheap, low-budget science fiction film, it isn't cheap when it comes to the entertainment. Trancers comes in at a scant 75 minutes, and the pacing is really tight with a full-forward momentum that lasts right up and until the final moments. Furthermore, there are a handful of cheesy ‘80s sci-fi staples like the future being drenched in neon, and the effects used to show the waterlogged Los Angeles are poor, forced perspective images mixed with matte paintings. Which I actually love. There's even a punk rock night club scene, complete with wild dancing, a skinhead, and a band doing a shitty version of an even shittier Christmas song. Oh, and of course, what future would be complete without a few lazerz (Zs replace Ss in the future, but how would I know that?)?

Outside of the sci-fi and action aspects of Trancers, the film also has a heavy Film Noir feeling to it, and this is captured with the costuming, some of the set design and even the characters themselves. It's one of the things that I really enjoy about the film, and it also carries over in a big way to the character of Jack Deth, who while being from the future, is a cop right out of the past (our past, not his) with his hard-boiled attitude and cynical demeanor. He’s definitely the cop who plays by his own rules.

Trancers 1985 movie review 2

Speaking of Deth, the performance by Tim Thomerson, is simply wonderful. He’s got the perfect look, and he plays the gritty cop role as convincingly as anyone else possibly could have. He brings to life a truly entertaining character, one that lights matches off of his teeth and spouts off some fantastic (but not over the top) dialogue. Trancers is the film that made Thomerson a B-Movie star, and while he did have a decent career, he is much more talented than his career would lead one to believe.

Another performance that I enjoyed, surprisingly, comes from Helen Hunt, who plays Leena, Deth's '85 love interest. She has this cute and lively personality that exudes likability, all things which I do not associate with the actress at all. Both Hunt and Thomerson also have a great chemistry together, and the contrast of the spunky and fun character of Leena compared to the jaded and often miserable character of Deth is kind of a cute mix. Like kittens in a bubble bath.  

Trancers 1985 movie review

Even though the story lacks in the originality department, the film brings some smart ideas to the table and serves them up nicely for a cheaply made B-Movie. There is a healthy amount of cheese but that is certainly not a defining aspect of Trancers. The movie has great dialogue and characters, solid acting, lots of action, an enjoyable blend of genres, and most importantly, Trancers is an enjoyable, high energy rollercoaster ride through ‘80s genre cinema.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Finally Made the B-List!

Fist of B List

Because you can never get enough me, the great Karl Brezdin of the exceptional B-martial arts film blog Fist of B-List was kind enough to feature Chuck Norris Ate My Baby (aka the blog you are reading right now!) in his latest segment of Fist of Further Reading!

In this earth altering segment, I was challenged to answer five questions that shed some light on my blog as well as my love for B-level martial arts movies. Many of these questions were quite difficult to answer at first, therefore I had to spend a few weeks training among the stone warriors at the Terra-Cotta ruins with my pet hawk to enlighten myself before answering them.

As a result of my intense training, I was able to answer Karl’s questions with the ferocity of a diamond encrusted tiger, so please take a moment to head over to Fist of B-List to read about ME! Furthermore, if you aren’t already reading Fist of B-List, then you’re missing out on one hell of an awesome blog that is solely focused on B-grade martial arts movies. And even if you aren’t a fan of B-grade martial arts cinema, I still think you’ll find some serious enjoyment out of what Karl does, so get to it, brah!


P.S. for Karl: My answer to the mystery box would have been a motorcycle ala Peter O’Brian in The Stabilizer!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bounty Killer DVD Giveaway!

Bounty Killer movie poster

I have a nice little DVD giveaway to share you that involves the upcoming post-apocalyptic action film Bounty Killer. Much like the prize pack giveaway I did for The Purge a few months back, this one is very simple and the prize is pretty sweet. All you have to do is take the Could You be a Bounty Killer? quiz below, then post your results in the comments section to be entered into a random drawing to win a DVD copy of Bounty Killers. Easy peasy, right? I’ll give you guys until Thursday, September 12th to get your answers in, and I plan to announce the winner on Friday the 13th, because that sounds like the cool thing to do.

If you’ve never heard of Bounty Killer or aren’t exactly sure what it’s all about, then you can check out the trailer below to get an idea if it’s a movie that you might be interested in. I think it looks like it could be fun. More importantly, however, there are some sexy babes in there (I’m Loken at you, Kristanna), and we all know how much you like sexy babes, you sick pervert! Now quite tugging your rope* and take the quiz… we’re talking a free DVD here, brah!

*For those of you who do not have a rope to tug, then please consider this an apology. You’re still a pervert, though.

Dumpster Diving for Gold 666

It’s been far too long since I last did a proper Dumpster Diving for Gold video, but after an unacceptable hiatus, I am back with a brand new video filled with all sorts of dumpster worthy goodies to tickle your shriveled pickle! Take some time out of your day to watch me awkwardly ramble on about all my recent-ish finds, which include VHS tapes, DVDs, records, and all sorts of other wonderful things. Also, I refer to a movie as being “great-awesome,” so there’s that.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Guest Post: Why (Action) Matters


The ever incredible T.L. Bugg of The Lightning Bug’s Lair celebrated his FIVE YEAR (!) blog anniversary in August, and to help him celebrate such an incredible feat, he asked a bunch of awesome peeps (and myself) to take a defensive stance on specific genres of cinema. In what the Bugg has dubbed Why (Genre) Matters, myself and a bunch of passionate writers tackled topics and genres spanning everything from Trash Cinema and Westerns to Hitchcock and Horror Fandom. As for my topic, I got the opportunity to express why Action matters.

Now, while this seems like an easy A for someone who absolutely adores the action genre in ways that few can comprehend, this was sort of a difficult task for me at first. However, I found an angle that I think defends the genre in a way that expresses its depth as well as its importance in cinema. Though it very well could be a bunch of nonsense, but I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

Click here to read my post on Why (Action) Matters!

Also, be sure you take the time to check out all of the Why (Genre) Matters’ posts. There are some seriously wonderful people/writers involved, so I highly encourage you to dig into one of the coolest events the blogosphere has ever seen!

Click here to read all the posts on Why (Genre) Matters!


Before I sign off, I do want to take a moment to thank T.L. Bugg for asking me to take part in such a major event. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with Bugg on a number of occasions, and he’s become someone who I consider a true friend. With that said, I want to wish him a happy five year anniversary, and I look forward to what the next five years bring us!

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