Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Blood Ferry: Ghost Ship (2002)

Ghost Ship (2002)
Rating: ***
Starring: Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, Ron Eldard

It's better than you expect but not as good as you hope. This is how film critic Roger Ebert described this film and, yeah. He's right. It's an early-2000s horror movie about a haunted ship with murderous apparitions killing off anybody who steps into it and if you're not expecting anything more than that, then the movie is serviceable despite the clich├ęs.

Starting the scene with, honestly, one of the best opening sequences in a horror flick, it's 1962 and about dozens of wealthy passengers aboard the Italian ocean liner, Antonia Graza, are having a great time dancing in the ballroom and at the decks. A young girl named Katie, however, isn't finding any of this dazzling so when the Ship’s captain notices her boredom, he kindly offers his hand to dance with her. All the while, another pair of hands pulls a lever to unravel a thin line of steel cable from a spool. A snap is then heard and almost everyone on the dance floor looks out in shock as a projected cable slices across, dissecting them in a mere flash. Only Katie is spared due to her height, as the Captain didn't fare any better than the rest, with his head decapitated by the mouth as Katie screams in horror.

Flashforward forty years later, we now follow the self-proclaimed best damn salvage team in the business, made up of team leader Epps (Julianna Margulies), first mate Greer (Isaiah Washington), engineer Santos (Alex Dimitriades), tugboat captain Murphy (Gabriel Byrne) and a pair of best buds Dodge and Munder. (Ron Eldard and Karl Urban) The gang was celebrating a successful haul when weather service pilot Jack Ferriman (Desmond Harrington) approaches them at a bar for an opportunity to salvage a spotted vessel adrift in the Bering Sea. Being in international waters meant that the ship can be claimed by whoever is able to bring it to port and, by luck, said ship happens to be the Antonia Graza, which mysteriously disappeared in 1962 and was believed to be lost at sea, crew and the passengers never heard from again.

By the time they make it to the rotting ocean liner, the crew ponders the possibilities of salvaging such a rare find for cold hard cash, as well as discover that the ship has hidden stashes of gold and various valuables cargo. They will, unfortunately, discover that within the abandoned rooms and hallways hide haunting memories and deadly secrets which would soon start preying on the salvage team one by one.

From what I read, screenwriter Mark Hanlon's original draft of Ghost Ship (2002) was more like Stephen King's The Shining set on a boat rather than a straight-up supernatural horror film, centering itself on the uneasy dynamics between four members of a salvage crew after they get stranded in the titular ghost ship. Much like Jack Torrance in the Overlook Hotel, one of the crew mates goes cuckoo for murder after spending one night of spooks, paranoia and panic, though changes were made through rewrites and the final product ultimately ended up resembling a slasher with gnarly kills and a paranormal villain, much to the disappointment of the casts who favored the dropped psychological aspect. 

As a supernatural bodycounter, Ghost Ship (2002) is favorably entertaining so long as you don't demand a lot from it; the casts plays the average B-grade slasher fodders and the pacing does take a while before getting to the body pickings, spending a fair bulk of the early act looking into the characters' encounters with various oddities and scares as they try to make do with their current situation. The further the film goes, the more the salvage mission goes from bad to worse by the minute, thus leading way to more haunting imageries, a couple of fun scares and the ghoulish forces becoming more bloodthirsty as not only do we get a climactic reveal as to what happened to the passengers and crew of the Antonia Graza, but the ship practically becomes alive and starts snuffing out the crew with whatever moving parts it has. A cheeky bad guy motive then gets added into the bloody affair, and too a hammy finale involving heavenly lights and a last might surprise that I'm sure no one was, um, surprised to see, just little slices of outrageousness that keeps the generic plotting of Ghost Ship (2002) an amusing watch. 

The premise of a boat-set horror flick will always be a refreshingly intriguing set-piece as the idea of surviving whatever horrors lingering within a vessel afloat a vast body of water often invokes a sense of isolation and helplessness, factors that would greatly benefit any scares and thrills to come. Ghost Ship (2002) projects the same sentiments here, albeit on a tone and direction communicating a more fun angle with the conventional thrills of bloody killings and hokey supernatural action. It isn't offering anything new to the table, but for what it is worth, the film definitely works as a popcorn B-flick and I can respect that! 

80 victims cut in half by a projected steel cable
1 male decapitated by the mouth by a projected steel cable
7 males found dead inside a submerged room
1 male immolated in an explosion
1 male falls down an elevator shaft, impaled on steel rods
1 girl killed offscreen, body seen hanged (flashback)
1 female impaled in the jaw with a crane hook (flashback)
1017 crew and passengers massacred via poisoning, stabbing and gunfire (flashback)
1 male found drowned inside an aquarium
1 male gets caught on gears, crushed into pieces
1 male killed offscreen
Total: 1112

Friday, June 23, 2023

A Feast Fit For A God: Yellow Dragon's Village (2021)

Yellow Dragon's Village (Japan, 2021)
Rating: ***
Starring: Yuni Akino, Itsuki Fujii, Wataru Ichinose

You all know this dance: After a night of being drunk and merry, a group of eight teens plan to go on a camping trip the following day, only for their travel to be cut a little short when their car blew a tire. Fortunately, there's a nearby village they can leg to and get help, although the grounds suspiciously appear to be mostly devoid of youth and the elders living there are acting a tad strange upon their arrival. 

Any worries from all of these, however, are temporarily put at ease when the village people have the kids stay at a lodge for dinner and rest. And then comes the day after; one of the teens is missing and another gets knifed in the back during breakfast. People in masks and shrine uniforms then arrive to crash the stay and it's soon revealed that the villagers have chosen their young visitors as sacrifices to a deity centered on cannibalism. Not wanting to be the main course as anybody would, a brief struggle have our hapless group escaping into the woods, where the insane villagers proceed to hunt them down one by one. You all know this dance...

Or do you?

Clocking only for about an hour and nine minutes, Yellow Dragon's Village (2021) may look like your classic backwoods slasher set-up, but, without spoiling a lot, there's more to the story than just dumb teens getting hunted down by a cult of cannibals; For its worth, the film's horror elements are steady and effective, creepily building on growing uncertainties and dread for its scares before eventually leading to murderous cannibalism and distressing cult behaviors as exploitative set-pieces. It is around the height of the plot's madness when the film throws a curveball at us, a twist that may put off those expecting the usual blood and gut stab-a-thon all the way, but those who are willing to keep an open mind and have a good sense of cinematic cheese, expect the second half to be an entirely different movie. One that's full of well-choreographed fights, a little bit of explosions and a lot of corny dialogue! 

From that point on, Yellow Dragon's Village (2021) becomes a revenge-driven action thriller as everyone who took part on the village's macabre traditions start paying dearly for their atrocities when their own past comes back to get even. The intense dread of horror is completely gone and the tone shifts to silly and fun, high flying kicks and swordfights clashing as heroes and villains duke it out while throwing hilariously smug banters at one another. It plays on this theme of criticizing blind devotions towards tradition and the enforcement of it towards the youth, it's an idea brought upon by our protagonists often as they lay waste on their enemies, though the execution of it leans more on the cheeky side thus not overly serious and still entertaining. 

The production's small budget limit can be sensed throughout the movie, particularly the minimal gore effects and use of CG for the story's more dynamic visuals, but that did little to nothing on making Yellow Dragon's Village (2021) less enjoyable as a fun B-grade horror-comedy action thriller mash-up. If you have the chance to catch this and you happen to be in the mood for a hammy romp, I say give it a try!

1 male knifed on the back
1 female shot on the head with a shotgun
1 female shot on the head with a hunting rifle
1 male shot on the head with a shotgun
1 male killed offscreen
1 male shot with a shotgun
1 male shot with a shotgun
1 female had her neck snapped
1 victim shot with a shotgun
4 victims knocked out, implied killed later
6 victims seen killed, bodies piled up
8 victims seen strewn all over
7 victims knocked out, implied killed later
1 victims knocked out with a kick, implied killed later
2 victims seen killed
7 victims mentioned killed
1 victim had their neck broken
1 male shot with a shotgun
1 female shot with a shotgun
1 male blown apart with a grenade
Total: 48

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Beary Traumatic Experience: Arbor Day (1990)

Arbor Day (1990)
Rating: ***
Starring: Scott Bradshaw, Chris Calomino, Michael Calomino

So what do you get when you cross the spoof comedy of Airplane! (1980) with the paint-by-number tropes of a slasher flick? Probably Student Bodies (1981). National Lampoon's Class Reunion (1982). Wacko! (1982). Pandemonium (1982). Scary Movie (2000), even. Well, joining in this cavalcade of comedic creeps is a film lost for three decades after its initial run through art houses, comedy clubs and indie theaters midnight screenings around 1992 West Babylon, NY. Unearthed and restored from the nothing via a successful crowdfunding, it is now here to terrorize and satire one of America's most beloved National Holiday, one that is cherished by men, women, children, quadrupeds of all age, gender and race.  It is now here to show that no holiday is safe anymore, not even... Arbor Day! 

Opening with a black-and-white callback to gothic horror (and, for some reason, Citizen Kane (1941)), we see an elderly man expiring after uttering the word Arbor Day, which the visiting doctor believes is a reference to what happened many years ago, when everything is in color; cue in a flashback of our psycho-killer, Elmer Jacobs, is a kid, celebrating Arbor Day by finding a spot to plant a tree with his dad and mom, the latter very likely a man in a dress. Things go horribly bad, however, when dad spots a man in a bear suit and cockily played with it to show young Elmer that there's nothing to be afraid of, only for his noggin to be clawed off while his wife gets mauled (and apparently raped) by the angry grizzly. 

The horrors of that memory left Elmer catatonic in an insane asylum over the years to come, all except during the one day when his brain activity gets restored and his strength gets a big buff: Arbor Day. As an annual precaution, the doctors and nurses do their best to avoid mentioning his parents' deaths or show anything bear-related during the holiday under the risk of triggering Elmer's murderous rampage. This year, however, an orderly made the mistake of mocking him just minutes before the clock strikes midnight at Arbor Day, igniting Elmer's killing spree as he eventually escapes and slay a few more randomly placed people along the way.

In come our casts of hapless victims-to-be consisting of a cool guy stoner, an annoying prick of a prankster, a pair of babes, an unremarkable final girl and her geeky kid brother. The gang is celebrating Arbor Day inside Elmer's abandoned home, an idea so terrible that a random doom-sayer manifests himself out of some nearby bushes, enthusiastically telling them that they'll be sorry if they go in any further. And as any of you would have guessed, they still did. They all went inside. And now they have to face the murderous wrath of Elmer Jacobs, now armed with deadly gardening tools and donning a handmade paper daisy mask...

Oh, and there's a detective who's supposed to be out trailing on our killer, but he's busy pigging on Arbor Day turkey and cake.  

As a slasher parody, Arbor Day (1990) does its fair job of lampooning the tropes slasher films are built upon, from the tendencies of the killer suddenly going superhuman after long periods being a vegetable, to the obnoxious use of caricatures as character personalities. At times, the humor can get too silly and overcooked whenever it focuses too much on a joke, like this one gag where the killer tries to cut a simple phone line only for his efforts to be dwarfed by the unusual strength of the cable, or when the finale is practically just one fake out to the next that seems to go on forever, though the intentional unhinged direction these gags run on does have its enthusiastic charm. A kind of silly playfulness with a clear goal to be simply entertaining despite being made under a production budget that's obviously cheap considering the flick's abundance of terrible costumes and make-up, the rubbery special effects and intentionally atrocious acting. Heck, one could even say that the clunky, shoestring production may as well help build up the movie's insane sense of humor for how hammy the sight gags can get!

Any horror elements still present in Arbor Day can be found through its collection of murders and its generous amount of bloodletting and gore. In execution and tone, though, they're in par with the cartoony nature of the film, even more so when the killer committing them is the type of maniac who thinks a giant papercraft daisy a kid can make in kindergarten counts as a threatening slasher mask, or daydreams about their potential future with the final girl should he decided to turn over a new leaf as a loving husband! (A random emotional ballad in the movie did say that behind every masked killer, there's a regular guy!) Frankly, I find the killer here to be the movie's strongest point as everything from his (very preventable) tragic childhood to his refusal to die from being shot with submachine guns and a fiery house explosion is just one outrageously jokey, tongue-in-cheek stab at a slasher trope and I love every one of them! 

A lost satirical gem that deserves a growing audience, Arbor Day (1990) can be a tad rough in its edges, but it sheer ridiculousness and bonkers bodycounting makes it enough to be a worthwhile slasher spoof to scratch one's itch for crazed obscure comedies. Watch it with friends or watch it alone, see it sober or redonkulously drunk, chuckles are guaranteed!

1 elderly male dies of old age
1 male decapitated by a man in a bear suit
1 female mauled and molested to death by a man in a bear suit
1 male had his gullet disemboweled
1 male killed offscreen
1 male killed offscreen, got a fishing rod through his head
1 female brained with a shovel, guts scooped out 
1 male gets a water hose shoved down his throat and inflated with water, bursts open
1 male decapitated with a weed whacker (Not the way you think, though)
1 male and 1 female squashed with hurled bags of fertilizer
1 boy had his head twisted around
1 male mauled apart by a man in a bear suit
Total: 13

Monday, June 19, 2023

The House of Goatface: Kill Her Goats (2023)

Kill Her Goats (2023)
Rating: *1/2
Starring: Arielle Raycene, Ellie Gonsalves and Danielle Mathers

From Steve Wolsh, the creator of 2015 Saint Patrick's Day-set swamp slasher Muck, comes another slasher film that's just as bad! Why bother, Mr. Wolsh. Why bother?

Described as an 80s style home invasion-turned-slasher flick, the plot revolves around an infamous local Massachusetts property known as The Tupp House and the bimbo who now owns it as a graduation gift thanks to daddy buying it for her. She invites two of her gal pals to get soaked up and topless at the beach, get drunk on quality wine, and do whatever else doomed ladies in wearing eveningwear do during a housewarming party. Some weird stuff happens at the house that night and one of the girls gets a surreal dream sequence involving a goat, a cemetery and a booby goat demon emerging out of a puddle, all of this leading to this movie's goat head-wearing psycho "Goatface" to pop up and attack the girls (all the while sparklers are attached to their weapon for some reason), thus starting our stalk-chase-kill act fifty minutes into the film...

As you can tell, not a lot happens for almost an hour after the opening murders, which would have been alright if the slowburn approach is anywhere as interesting as it imagined itself to be. For a long while, we are practically just sitting through girls doing whatever it is they feel like doing to get the run time reach feature length, a quite a dulling experience considering these Playboy playmates have the acting chops of a braindead mannequin playing easy-on-the-eyes but unlikable, boring characters. Once "Goatface" finally shows up (played by none other than Kane Hodder), Kill Her Goats (2023) had the opportunity to glow as a potentially wicked throwback to golden age slashers and it did look like it was going with that angle with its fairly decent chase scenes, brutal attacks and a fair dash of bloody slayings done in pure practical effects, but this is soon squandered by a lackluster twist, two sisters having a catfight with axes and bad puns, as well as a last act where one of them goes on a random killing spree that's nowhere as shocking as it sounds. All that good stuff, ruined by dumb writing direction...

The whole thing is just one tedious mess. The story just hardly made any sense at the end of it, the production is handled clunkily with its lack of budget and any shots taken by the film to be cheeky and hokey is just infuriatingly terrible. A tired and messy affair of girls in skimpies running away from a big, powertool-wielding loon in a mask, Kill Her Goats (2023) is just cheap, run-in-the-mill and paperthin, even for a slasher. 

1 male slaughtered to death with modified hedge trimmers 
1 female had her throat cut against modified hedge trimmers, forced to bleed to death after killer hoisted her by the neck
1 female found slaughtered to death
1 male decapitated with a sword
1 male hacked to death with an axe
1 male hacked to death with an axe
1 female beaten to death
1 female impaled on a sharpened wood, smothered with a pillow
Total: 8

Friday, June 16, 2023

The Price of Fame: The Comeback (1978)

The Comeback (United Kingdom, 1978) (AKA "Encore", "The Day the Screaming Stopped")
Rating: ****
Starring: Jack Jones, Pamela Stephenson and David Doyle

Oh yes, Pete Walker! This is a name any slasher fan should be familiar with as the man directed, wrote and produced a fair number of reviled horror and titillating sexploitation movies back in the days, practically providing 70s British horror its share of gruesome proto-slashers such as The Flesh and Blood Show (1972)Frightmare (1974) and, one of my personal favorites of his, House of Mortal Sin (1976). Here, we see him basically laying out the stepping stone for various mystery-adjacent slasher flicks, focusing more on plotting and even managing to reel in American Grammy Award-winning straight-pop singer Jack Jones to lead. This is The Comeback (1978)!

After a six-year hiatus from the music industry and dealing with a crumbling marriage, Nick Cooper (Jack Jones) returns to England looking for a comeback. His fickle manager Webster (David Doyle) is willing to give him another shot and found Nick an old country manor to stay at to sort things out and write his new material in luxury. Unbeknownst to our comeback star, his ex-wife Gail (Holly Palance) also returned to England with the intention of taking expensive valuables from their former penthouse, only to fall victim to a sickle-wielding, shrieking ghoul in a hag's mask and a crocheted shawl. 

As the story progresses, Nick's recording sessions proceed with relative success and he even found the time to score a relationship with Webster's adorable secretary Linda (Pamela Stephenson), though his nights are haunted by the echoing sounds of a girl sobbing down the estate's darkened hallways, which progresses to demented cackling and visions of decomposing corpses as the days go by. All of this while Gail's corpse continues to decompose back at the penthouse and more of Nick's old friends start getting bumped off by the same assailant in the hag mask. This leads us to multiple red herrings that may or may not tie in to our singer's seemingly paranormal night terrors and the vicious mad slasher attacks, from Nick’s contact and friend Harry who verbally harasses Pamela by venomously commenting on her breasts when he found the time to be alone with her, to the old caretakers staying at the same estate to help around only to break down behind Nick's back, to Webster with his apparent dislike for girls and implied closet-crossdresser lifestyle of eye shadows and lipstick.

It's hammy and exploitive, much like many of Pete Walker's works, though it is noticeable that there's a length of restraint put to The Comeback (1978), giving room to establish a workable brooding atmosphere, gothic scares, and, too, an intriguing direction to the mystery in regards to what is happening to Jack Jone's character, how all of the madness and murder onscreen will somehow tie in to one another in the end. It is this angle that I find very enjoyable from this movie as the attempt on a serious psychological thriller plot mostly hits the right spot with a developing casts and story, peppered with shockingly brutal murders, gruesome imageries of maggot infested corpses, and a stellar line of casts toplined by Love Boat singer Jack Jones, who I am sure baffled and horrified his fans back in those days for starring in such a gruesome flick!   

The pace can be on the slow side and uneven at times but Walker does an interesting job in managing the horror elements with a lot of build-up and suspense, and, though the bodycount is rather lacking in high numbers, there's a genuine shock value to the murders for how swift and savage they are, implemented greatly with wild editing and a copious amount of onscreen blood. In the end, we get a fair twist and motive behind the killings after a mental institution got involved and another one of Nick's acquaintances disappears, something that I find leaning forward to feisty feta for how cheesy and overly complicated this killer's revenge plan was. But I got a good laugh out of it and I stupidly grinned at the hamminess of it all, so it's not a complete loss in my book! Elevated it actually, to be frank!

A decent treat for slasher fans who wouldn't mind a bit more dimension in their bodycounter stories, The Comeback (1978) is far from perfect, pedestrian as some people would say, yet it's far from awful. Effective and enjoyable for its honest chills, modest thrills and promised spills, it's an unsung cult gem that delivers. Color me impressed!

1 female hacked to death with a sickle
1 female corpse seen
1 male stabbed repeatedly with a knife
1 female hacked on the chest with an axe
Total: 4

Sunday, June 11, 2023

She's Titanium: M3GAN (2023)

M3GAN (2023)
Rating: ***1/2
Starring: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw and Ronny Chieng

If there's anything I learned from watching murderous robot movies is that it usually starts with a good (or, at least, "good-ish") intention; The Terminator (1984) started with a revolutionary defense network computer. Chopping Mall (1986) started with "Protector bots" getting set to patrol a mall. These machines were all designed and programmed to benefit us, but once that programming becomes problematic for the bots, the bodycount drops and all hell breaks loose. Producers James Wan and Jason Blum, along with director Gerard Johnstone jumps into this bandwagon with their film M3GAN, showing us what would happen when a highly advanced "toy" is programmed to do most, if not all child-rearing duties, all the while having the industrial robot strength to tear someone's head off.

At Funki Toy Corporation, developer Gemma wants to revolutionize robotic toys by working on a prototype autonomous doll with highly adaptive artificial intelligence. Lovingly nicknamed M3GAN, for "Model 3 Generative Android", the doll fails to show any value for Gemma's CEO boss David Lin as not only did the prototype's impromptu first demonstration end up disastrously with melted silicone and computer glitches, but the CEO is more interested in making sure Funki is still on the top of the toy market food chain after finding out competitors started making cheaper knock-offs of their more popular products, forcing Gemma to continue working on improving their pre-existing brands instead.

Further hindering Gemma's plans on finalizing M3GAN is an unexpected turn in her life; after a road accident took the lives of her sister and brother-in-law, Gemma becomes the guardian of her young niece Cady James. This initially clashes greatly with Gemma's workaholic life, but she's determined to do her best in balancing out her work days with nurturing Cady, even if it meant finding somebody else to carry the burden. 

Somebody, or something.

This inspires Gemma and her colleagues to propel themselves to finally perfecting M3GAN and have decided to make Cady the doll's primary user. After another demonstration in which M3GAN showed great interaction with the girl, David is impressed and convinced that this will surely put Funki ahead of other toy companies, thus starts a campaign project wherein Cady becomes the poster child for a planned public unveiling for M3GAN. What everyone fails to take account for, however, is just how good M3GAN is as at bonding with Cady, so much so that the girl has grown an unhealthy attachment to the robot. Furthermore, M3GAN's growing independence is vastly improving and adapting past beyond parental and emotional support, soon developing a manipulative and mechanical bloodlust that have her eliminating anything and anyone she views as a threat to Cady's well-being.

The truth of the matter is, M3GAN is a big melting pot of varying horror tropes found not only in "bot gone rogue" fright flicks, but also in "killer toy" horror stories wherein the plaything gets to do away one victim at the time as it takes advantage that no one would suspect a child's toy to be the killer, even if said toy happens to be as tall as a child, programmed to walk, talk, learn and do dances out of the blue. That being said, what it lacks in originality, it makes up with silliness and cheese, the kind of cheeky entertainment one would enjoy once we shut off the big melon between our shoulders and accept the fact that a killer robot child can do that much damage and have enough sass to still go around. 

An attempt for depth is present, yes, with the script taking the time to bring up the consequences of children getting too attached to gadgets and technology-based toys as it affects their developing social skills and relationships, as well as showing the negative impacts of adults choosing to use technology as a rearing tool and a mean to avoid problems. The execution for these themes, though, often comes paired with directions littered with horror tropes and chuckle-worthy craziness, making the attempted drama feel majorly hammy and misplaced. For most, this would be a real deal breaker, but if you don't really see this as that big of a problem and you're just in it for the popcorn-friendly fun, then M3GAN still delivers. 

Among its share of good points, the film has a preposterous yet sharp work of writing satirizing the dog-eat-dog world of toy markets and technology addiction, helped work by an alright line of talented casts, particularly Allison Williams as Gemma, whose hyperrational and shortsighted cheerfulness towards the seeming success of her robotic creation gets satisfyingly challenged once she figured out that she may have done too well in making M3GAN the perfect child companion, thus must face the horrifying consequences that come with it. Playing her niece Cady is young Violet McGraw, with a performance that actually works well enough for a character going through grief and a longing need for loving warmth, even if the emotions she's going for feels rushed within transitions thanks to the movie's speedy pace. On the funnier side of the coin, Ronny Chieng played CEO Lin delightfully with a very short fuse, making him a very good source of some of this film's derided hilarity.

And, of course, who could forget our titular killer bot, M3GAN? Played by New Zealand child actress Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis, the automaton doll is undoubtedly the film's biggest sell, a new slasher horror icon that boasts a whole lot of presence just from attitude alone. Beautiful yet creepy, and not to mention uncannily expressive, the thing is basically the pinnacle of what makes dolls unnerving, being somehow both real and fake at the same time, only M3GAN comes with a welcoming sense of her own absurdity and silliness via TikTok dance sessions and her chirping SIA's Titanium as a lullaby. Soon enough, doll would embrace her inner late-80s slasher villain and begin throwing out quips and deadly charms as she delightfully tears off a young bully's ear or chase someone around with the stabby part of a broken paper guillotine. Her killing spree do lack a sizable bodycount and gruesome gore, but it still works thanks to it finding the time to be absurdly entertaining through the build-up of each attack. (That, and there is an unrated version of the flick which added some more bloody chunks for the kills)

As you may have gathered, M3GAN (2023) is a popcorn film through and through. It's not effectively scary nor is it shocking, but it's aims to be fun and, frankly, it managed to be fun! I, for one, welcome our new robotic killer doll overlord and those who are nuts for cheesy B-flicks should consider, too!

1 male and 1 female killed in vehicular accident
1 boy ran over by a car
1 female gets repeatedly doused with a chemical sprayer, dies from severe burns
1 male ran through with a paper guillotine blade
1 male gets a paper guillotine to the neck
Total: 6