Saturday, December 31, 2011



Shout out to youse:
 Maynard Morrissey of Horror Movie Diary
Melissa Bradley
Michelle (the Girl who loves horror!)
Christine Hadden (who has a cooler blog than me)
George  "Nebular" (nice of you to drop by, too!)
Craig Edwards (Let's Get Out Of Here!)


assuming this is a good year and not the end of the world as the Mayans know it...hehe...ohhhh...

Ask me a Question: Is Patrick Bateman Really Dead?

For long, we slasher fans, or any horror fans out there, may know and accept that the charismatic, serial slasher yuppie Patrick Bateman is dead. Killed off in a snap of a finger at the hands of a little brat who would later grow up to be an FBI agent moonlighting as a serial killer.

By then, many of us are likely devastated by the results of what would later follow. Hell, that little bitch couldn't hold the flame to what the real American Psycho had done. Hell, she's not even hot! (Gemma Ward is Hot. Pamela Springsteen is Hot. Amber Heard is hot. Her? Not...just annoying) Everything that the first worked up, reduced to standard, stereotyped slasher that offers very little and done a lot of things done before. (Way better before...)

But the more I starts to dwell in the fact that Bateman is dead, the more I begin to have an epiphany, a revelation of sorts. So I beg to question: Is Bateman really dead?

The Thousand Yard stare...
Look at it this way, at the first movie, Bateman hold many aliases such as Paul Allen and Marcus Halberstram, all of it he hated since he claims that the people who call him those names always mistook him for another person. Soon enough, he murdered the real Paul Allen, hacking his face with an axe while dancing to Huey Lewis' Hip to be Square. After disposing the body, he was left unsuspected of a crime by pretty much everybody as he simply claims that Paul left for London. Later in the film, his psychosis starts to break down to a small-time massacre, shooting number of innocent citizens, an action of which he described in full detail (along with many other killings) to a lawyer over the phone.

The next morning, he met up with his lawyer, who claims it was a joke and mistook Patrick for someone named Davis. Patrick breaks down further, trying to convince the massacre was real, but his lawyer claims to had seen Paul Allen in London and has talked to him. In addition to this, his personal assistant saw a number of detailed drawings of every murder and taboo he committed.

Now, if we're going to put the book's context into this, where the later chapters seems to be more and more delusional, we could assume that it was all in his head and Bateman didn't commit any of the crimes. Not to mention the number of times he had been mistaken for other people. If this is the case, then what are the odds that Patrick Bateman being the real "Patrick  Bateman"? What if Christian Bale's character is actually just modeling himself to a REAL serial killer, who goes by the name "Patrick Bateman" and just fantasized himself committing these murders and taboos? I mean Christian Bale's character talked a lot about serial killers like Ed Gein and Charles Manson, what are the odds that Bateman, the real Bateman is a separate entity? Who's just as real and fatal as Bale's character.

For all we know, he's psychologically imbalanced and is a ticking-time bomb himself, it would be a matter of time before he starts committing his own brand of murders. All the while, we have another case; In 2002, we have the sequel to this film, smaller in budget and in imagination, about one Rachael Newman attending a university for Behavioral Science, aiming to be an assistant to a beloved professor who she looks up to. Well, it was all peachy-peach until she starts watering down the competition, not to mention unearthing a scandal. She had her own brand of murder and mayhem at the end, but she's actually made infamous for many fans by one act of sin...SHE KILLED BATEMAN! THAT BITCH!

Okay, okay, personal issues aside, We get to see how the sin was committed: Rachael was very young when her babysitter brought home a date, unknown to her was really Patrick Bateman. Just as Bateman began to eviscerate his new victim, Rachael escapes and sticked an ice pick into her captor's head. He dead. Rachael lives and soon all hell broke loose.

Now, we could all assume that, due to budget restrains, the sequel hired another face to play as Bateman, who now wears a mask as he commits his crime, but we could also look at it this way: this is the real Patrick Bateman. The real serial killer. the face Christian Bale's character idolizes so much. If this is the case, then Bateman, the real Bateman, is killed by a brat. Bale's character, Bateman's number one fan, is still alive and probably devastated by this fact and would go into further psychosis which would lead to a full blown serial killing, all the while Rachel got away with it and is now an FBI agent.

That, or the old story: Bale's character is really Bateman and he finally worked up the guts to commit murders one day, plastic surgeries his face into a different one to avoid suspicion and, after so long, made his first mistake and bit the big one at the hands of a six year old.

Then again, this is just a theory. It's up to the fans of the first, and if any, of the second, to conclude whether this notion is probable or improbable.

So there you have it! Til' next time, mates as I tackle more of horror cinema's hidden and long debated questions!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fate Worse Than Being 'Scared Alive':Island of Blood (1982)

Island of Blood (AKA Scared Alive/Whodunit) (1982)
Rating: *
Starring:  Marie-Alise Recasner, Rick Dean and Ron Gardner

I decided to take a tiny lookie-lookie into this supposed bad boy, boasting a kickass poster and claiming to have taken its idea from my favorite Agatha Christie book And Then There were None. I like that book. A lot. So yes, I dashed to the nearest copy around. (Thank you, Youtube! ...Sorry I take that back) What hit me at the end is something like a badly written rip-off of that book made into film, put to a blender, mixed with cupid's ambrosia and a home made energy drink filled with kerosene.

The plot is as simple as it can get; a group of film makers and their casts go to an island to shoot a "positive youth film", and by that they actually meant it's secretly a porno shooting. Why keep it a secret at all because, apparently, none of the young ragtag of actors seem to mind. Or notice.

Well that's not the point. The thing is there's a crazy person among them and they just started a killing off the crew, basing their murders on a bizarre rock song's lyrics. Which curiously involves a lot of deaths and killings. What is that? A lame whiney version of Gloomy Sunday?

Yeah well, fuck it. Personally, This movie's really just a long, big wet drag. Does that sound too personal? Well, maybe. I can't help it since it'll take a monumental fuck-up to screw something so simple as a paint-by-number slasher flick! Island of Blood just suffers from a lot of hobbles like bad lighting, awful scripting, cheesy acting ("I'm sorry, it isn't every day that I find someone boiled to death!" ), and lots and lots of draggy scenes. If there's anything more shaven bald dull than this, then I don't know what side of the world I'm in it right now!

You wanna know where that single star in my rating come from? The kills. A likable bunch, I'll tell you that, but not even these deaths could save the Queen from this utter dreck. Do yourself a favor and if you ever see this film in a rental. Steal it and burn it. It'll get you into trouble, but watching this damn film is a fate worse than  parole.

1 female shot in the face with shotgun
1 male boiled to death in jacuzzi
1 male has spike pushed into his face
1 male immolated in explosion
1 female showered with battery acid, burned
1 male gets a machete through his gut
1 male dismemebered with chainsaw
1 male killed off camera
1 female found nailgunned to death
1 male nailgunned to death
1 male shot with shotgun
Total: 10

Before Malevolence: Bereavement (2011)

Bereavement (2011)
Rating: ***1/2
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Spencer List and Brett Rickaby

Though I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of the 2004 direct-to-video chiller Malevolence, a throwback of sorts to the simpler, tone and character-driven slashers of the early 70s/80s, I do understand its decent fan following seeing how effective it is on recapturing the feel and look of a vintage slasher despite the lack of gory grandeur or messy exploitation. So seeing this decent fan reaction, I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise we have this prequel detailing the life and times of our killer from Malevolence before he wore the mask.

The first half of Bereavement jumps back and forth between two focus characters, one being young Martin Bristol, a kidnapped child taken under the wing of a serial killer named Graham Sutter who have been targeting and murdering young women as offerings to a Scythe wielding figure he is deathly afraid of. (And possibly just a product of his own broken psyche) The other character is Alison, a young orphaned teenager moving in with her uncle's family, adjusting to her new life in the process and even finding a new lover who her uncle isn't that fond of, all in the same town where Graham's committing his crimes.

The Martin and Alison's paths get entwined one day when Alison sees Martin inside a slaughterhouse and, upon following the boy, gets captured by Graham. When she fails to return home, her second family and her boyfriend decided to look for her, only to meet a grisly end on Sutter's hand one by one. It's only a matter of time before he finishes off what is left of Alison's loved ones, but what does this all mean from Martin's point of view?

While you can see the ending from far away, Bereavement sports a jagged raw edge that's missing from the first installment. Though the first's sluggish pacing is still present, dragging us to its prolonged family drama-meets-coming of age elements that stomped a few scenes dead and felt unnecessary at times, the film thankfully provides us more complex and intriguing horror elements that it's worth sitting through until the fiery climax, giving us the same grim and sullen atmosphere that the first film is best known for.

A lot more thought was certainly put through this one, making it more of a psychological character study as it details a psychopath's work and the things he's willing to do to make his prodigy just as "successful" as he is. There are no twists or shock scares, just a brooding horror flick that tries to amp itself a bit from its "parent" movie and, to simply put, do what a prequel film does: explain in cold patience the horror Graham Sutter suffers from and how he throws this mentality at his kidnapped victim, going as far as cutting the boy's cheek and pinning the boy's hand to the table with a knife (!) to make a point, all the while getting an unpleasant feeling every time said child victim appears on screen as we see Martin slowly transform from a scared little boy to a hardened killer at a young age.

Still a slow-burner, but at least a decently crafted psycho-thriller at that, Bereavement is a step up in some places but it definitely still has a long way to go when it comes to decent editing or dishing out a better set of murders. Still, for what it is, the movie fails to be boring and can actually be creepy, as well as distressing to watch, something that can be seen as a good thing for an effective slasher.

1 female gutted with knife
1 female had her legs hacked off with machete, mostly offscreen
1 female burned alive in incinerator
1 female gutted with knife
1 male shot on the gut with shotgun
1 male bludgeoned to death with shovel
1 female stabbed on the chest with kitchen knife
1 female knifed to death
1 girl killed offscreen with knife
1 male hacked to death with axe
Total: 10

Money bags and Bagheads: Malevolence (2004)

Malevolence (2004)
Rating: ***
Starring:  Samantha Dark, R. Brandon Johnson and Heather Magee

A gang of bank robbers find themselves in a dire situation when one of them gets fatally shot and another seemingly runs away with the money. Now under pursuit of the cops, the remaining criminals hijack a car and hold its occupants, a mother and her daughter, hostage in an abandoned cabin in the middle of a nearby woods as they plot what to do next. Things, however, will take a turn for the worse when one of their hostages escapes and finds refuge at a nearby slaughterhouse which, unknown to her, is the dwelling place of a psychopath who will soon be made aware that there are people nearby for him to kill.

Instead of bombarding its story with cheese, shocking kills and annoyingly dumb victims, Malevolence's focus was more on establishing build-up and atmosphere, kinda like a homage to early 70s/80s bodycounters that often try working their attention within characters before dishing out the killer and the massacre that often follows. This is in some way made evident with not only the direction and characterization Malevolence done for its plot, but you can also see it in the movie's use of grainy yet picturesque film quality, a lot of Halloween (1978) inspired cinematography and even some Mario Bava/ Dario Argento inspired colored lighting.

For this attempt to recapture the golden days of simple slasher movies, Malevolence is near spot-on and benefits further from the decent acting of its no-name casts, but there is one issue that divided my feel for the film and it is pacing. The reason for this is that while the bank-robbery-gone-wrong-meets-psycho-slasher is a relatively ingenious story for some, this wasn't my first rodeo as I already saw Scarecrows (1988) and The Cottage (2006) before this, both being slasher titles with a similar premise albeit different in style, tone and goriness. So seeing this kind of plot stripped nearly to the bone with little meat hanging, I find Malevolence kinda predictable at some parts and for a tension driven slasher, this meant it can get a tad tedious. Thankfully, the rest of the film works well with the creeper pace, particularly involving people going through the isolated houses, may it be the robbers, the kidnapped family, or even the killer himself.

And speaking of the maniac, the killer here is what I can best describe as a tribute to bagheaded killers like the ones at The Night Brings Charlie (1990), The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976) and even the first Friday the 13th sequel. Though not overly impressive, what he offers in turn is a creep factor that strikes on the fact that whenever he is in the scene to attack a victim, there's a sense of realism to its brutality despite the lack of a higher kill count or creativity. He also has an origin that doubles as this film's twist reveal, which is unfortunately handled messily here for how expositionary it is (in vein of Psycho (1960) just to give a hint), but thankfully explored way better in this film's 2011 prequel.

Malevolence has a lot of strengths which, for some, might also be its own double edge blade; the film can be an ingenious and original take on a slasher film that just goes to show it can work without exploitative elements, but for some who prefers their bodycounting trashy, loud and messy, this can be a chore of a movie to watch. Still, as a slasher, it did something rather daring for its time when blood and guts are making a comeback thanks to SAW (2003) and the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake; it personally took a while for me to appreciate its attempts but in the end, I am appreciative of its efforts.

Worth a rent or a keep depending on your taste.

1 female stabbed with knife
1 male dies from gunshot wound
1 male stabbed with knife
1 female knifed to death
1 male skeleton found
1 female skeleton found
1 bloody corpse found
1 male shot
Total: 8

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nightbreed Gallery: the many Faces from the Races

I got to hand it to Clive Barker when it comes to monsters. His imagination is completely limitless and thanks to Image Animation (the Special Effetcs company behind creating the Nightbreeds) we get a handful of these beautiful creatures littered all over the movie. Here are some of the pretty (or unpretty) faces that popped out to greet us as we ventured down to Midian
Boone's Nightbreed form
Peloquin (normal)
(Girls will swoon)
Peloquin (Raged)
(nerds will swoon)
Dirk Lylesberg
Shuna Sassi
Babbette (creature form/dying)
Babbette (transforming)
Babbette (near completion)
Babbette ("Natural" form)
Babbette (clothed)
Rachel (Babbette's mother)
Devil Lude
Leroy Gormm
Kinski, Boone's Advocate
Nightbreed mother and child
Temple Nightbreeds
Medieval Nightbreed (tortured)
Female Medieval Nightbreed 
Talking Skull crying/wailing over his loved ones
rodent-like Nightbreed
Fat Man
A Nighbreed Family (cleaning a member)
Another Nightbreed family
Territorial Woman
Hoofed Giant
Skinless woman
Flesh Mass
Cat Face
Scaled Face Nightbred

Fused-Face Man
Startled Nightbreeds
Praying Nightbreed
Another Nightbreed mother with a human-esque baby
crying Nightbreed
Normal Looking boy nightbreed
Shot Nightbreed (Tumor Face)
cowering folks
more Cowering Folks
"Tar Lady"
Manta ray-like Nightbreed