Victor Crowley Lives! Hatchet 3 is GO!

Squee! So EXCITED! No real details yet regarding cast or crew, or even if Adam Green will be back in the director's seat, but I am hopeful on all fronts. The Hatchet series has been a real breath of fresh air for me in the modern horror scene. I'd love to see the lovely Miss Danielle Harris take another stroll through Victor Crowley's swamp. More details to come as Dark Sky Films releases them!

Squee! Hatchet III!
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Super 8 - Movie Preview & Trailer Analysis

I can recall first seeing the original teaser trailer last May and wondering what sort of monstrous creation Abrams would treat us to this time around. The fact that legendary film director Steven Spielberg would be producing the film only helped solidify Super 8 as a "must follow" film. Below is the latest trailer for the J.J. Abrams' written and directed science fiction film, Super 8. Take a watch now if you haven't seen it yet, as I'll be subsequently discussing some of its elements.

As documented by the articles published in the early days of this website, the Abrams' produced Cloverfield managed to capture my imagination in a big, bad way. This was partially due to my own passions as a consumer of film, owing largely to my boundless love for giant monsters, or kaiju as they are called in Japanese. Cloverfield promised to be the perfect blend of American story-telling and special effects without just being another soulless creature feature. For the most part, I thought that film was successful.

I mention Cloverfield in reference to Super 8 only because of the initial similarities between the two properties. After the May teaser trailer for Super 8 hit, it seemed a foregone conclusion that another giant monster flick was coming our way. After the trailer above, I'm no longer so sure. Super 8 does not feel like a monster movie. All good monster movies of course have a strong human element at their core, but the focus here seems subtly different. Rather, Super 8 appears to be a coming-of-age tale built around elements of the fantastic, not unlike Spielberg's ET.

I have read the potentially SPOILER-filled article from Latino Review which may or may not detail the exact nature of the adversarial force in Super 8. Not to go into too much detail, but based on the atmosphere and the brief clips presented in the trailer, Latino Review's conclusions seem consistent with the tone of the film. Personally, regardless of the true nature of the "lost cargo," I suspect the film's true adversaries will be the military or adults in general. It seems like the kids in the film are being set up to have a life-affirming adventure and not simply running for their lives.

The latest Super 8 trailer has revealed a film that is quite unlike the movie that I originally envisioned.  I am partially saddened that I will not be getting another "pure" giant monster film from one of the greatest creative minds currently in Hollywood, but I am also glad to see Abrams' expanding his vision and delivering a different type of film that still includes elements of science fiction. Regardless of my expectations, Super 8 looks like it will deliver a solid summer blockbuster with a bit more substance than we're otherwise used to. Super 8 hits theaters on June 10, 2011.

What are your thoughts on the Super 8 trailer? Leave a comment below!
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Scream 4 - Publicity Photos

The Scream trilogy holds a special place in my heart, having been released right in the midst of my teenage years. This was the big horror series that, for each installment, I had to hatch some elaborate plan as to how to get into the local theater to see it (By elaborate plan I mean 'Have girlfriend make kissy-lips at the cashier'). I'll be the first to admit the diminishing quality as the series progressed, beginning with the hip post-modern horror flick that was the first Scream which ultimately regressed to the Scooby-Doo mystery-like mess that was Scream 3. Still, I think some time away from the series will help the fourth film feel fresh when Ghostface returns to theaters on April 15, 2011. Speaking of the new film, here's some recently released publicity photos for Scream 4. Enjoy!

I'd like to draw attention to the photo of the bloody murder scene. Frankly, it looks like an amazing visual -I don't recall any similar scenes of gore in the original trilogy, excepting maybe for the brief shot of Drew Barrymore swinging from a tree via her entrails in the opening of the first film. If this is an indicator of a bloodier edge to the violence in Scream 4, count me in.

Scream 4 was directed by Wes Craven, written by Kevin Williamson and stars David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell, Emma Roberts, and Hayden Panettiere. Scream 4 is in theaters on April 15, 2011.
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Breaking: Cthulhu Apologizes for Charlie Sheen

Given recent developments, Cthulhu felt it best to preemptively apologize for the recent behavior of Charlie Sheen. He had not realized the extent of the madness to which Mr. Sheen's mind would be filled as a result of gazing upon his visage.

Little known fact: Cthulhu loves the smell, taste and texture of tiger blood. It is considered a delicacy amongst the Great Old Ones but is found only rarely within his house at R'lyeh.
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The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu - Movie Review

I hope that it might be understandable when I say that I approached The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu with some caution. I hadn't really heard anything about the film from my usual sources and only came across the title while randomly browsing on Netflix. I checked out the trailer and knew then and there that I had to give this one a watch. In case it had gone unnoticed by the casual web visitor, I'm something of a closet geek for the writer HP Lovecraft and his Cthulhu mythos. Tales of the Great Old Ones have long captured my imagination and are one of the cornerstones of my horror genre fandom. Unfortunately, there have not been too many good films based on his works. With Re-Animator as one of the few exceptions, I've been fairly disappointed with Lovecraft-based films in general.

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu tells the tale of Jeff (Kyle Davis), the last living descendant of the author HP Lovecraft. Together with his slacker friend Charlie (Devin McGinn), Jeff is charged with protecting the Relic of Cthulhu and preventing it from falling into the hands of an evil cult. Having already resurrected the general of Cthulhu's army, Starspawn, the cult wants to use the Relic to awaken Cthulhu and thereby bring about the end of the world. It's a suitably heady situation to force upon the bumbling, unsure heroes and serves well as a framework for a horror-comedy.

I thought that the use of Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos was particularly inspired and congratulate the writers for making the idea work. It's not often that I think of the Great Old Ones and think comedy. The seriousness and gravity Lovecraft lent his writings provides the perfect juxtaposition for the tongue-in-cheek approach employed here. Further, I thought the film did a great job summarizing the mythos and simplifying story points such that the uninitiated should have no problem following along. A slick and entertaining animation sequence helps quickly cover large amounts of exposition, serving to fill in the back story and allowing the audience to watch Cthulhu brandish a decapitated Triceratops head as a weapon! A win-win situation, if there ever was one.

The acting is strong overall, but I feel that the supporting characters overshadow the lead. Kyle Davis plays a solid everyman-type hero but cannot compete with the boundless energy injected by Devin McGinn's performance. Although the majority of the film's runtime is spent on the two leads, the real highlight of the film for me was the nerdy sidekick character, Paul (Barak Hardley). Whether breaking both of his arms or awkwardly trying to give away a friendship bracelet, Hardley demonstrates superb comedic timing and is a real pleasure to watch. I hope to see more of his work in the future.

Another highlight for me was the quality of the overall production, which was generally quite high. This movie demonstrates good cinematography, particularly for an independent film. Further, it's not often that direct-to-DVD films have copious amounts of special effects, especially practical ones, and it's even rarer that the effects look as good as they do here. There are a few monsters with some fun, creative designs that get a decent amount of screen time. The way in which these creatures and effects are filmed and presented reminded me a lot of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy films, by which I mean they are generally well-lit and unabashedly put on display. The filmmakers want the audience to see these creations and to celebrate in their other-worldliness. In short, the effects are as good as can be expected for a film of this budget, even if they aren't all exactly perfect (looking at you, fish-wolf things).

The Bottomline: The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu is a fun, entertaining film that horror-comedy fans will want to see. The film is hugely successful given its independent roots and budgetary constraints. Highly recommended and available now on Netflix. Three Bruces.

Directed by Henry Saine
Written by Tom Konkle & Devin McGinn
2009 - 78 minutes

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Scream 4 - Cast Poster

Well, here it is. This is the poster for the long-awaited Scream 4. Take a gander at its pure wonderment below!

While I am excited for this film, I acknowledge the decrease in quality that occurred over the course of the original trilogy. Still, the return of Wes Craven makes me hope this will be a strong genre entry despite some of his recent stumbling. Looking at the new cast members at the bottom I can't help but feel that they're trying to appeal to the emo-angst Twilight generation a little bit. I mean look at the size of that dude's hair on the right. I don't know, something just seems wrong when David Arquette is the least douchey-looking person on your character poster. Scream 4 is in theaters on April 15th 2011.
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Best Worst Movie - Movie Review

I rented Best Worst Movie, a documentary regarding the cult film Troll 2, with relatively few expectations. I knew that the documentary had been making the rounds on the independent film circuit, and had heard good things about it. I've also seen the film that the documentary revolves around, so I am well aware of the depths of wretchedness to which Troll 2 succumbs. Still, I didn't really know what to make out of a film that was going to attempt to chronicle the story of the worst movie ever made some twenty years after the original film's release.

Best Worst Movie is about Troll 2, but it doesn't really chronicle how Troll 2 was made. Yes, there are interviews regarding the atmosphere on set, but these moments sharing behind the scenes anecdotes are not the focal point. The documentary is really about the fans of Troll 2 and about the cult following that has risen around the film. It is about the idea that somehow this crappy little film from 1990 has managed to pervade the consciousness of pop culture and resonate with its audience in a manner never really intended by those involved in making it. In case it isn't clear yet, I really enjoyed this film.

Michael Stephenson is the director of Best Worst Movie and is also the child actor that portrayed Joshua Waits, the main protagonist of Troll 2. Like most of the cast, Michael has spent the majority of his life just trying to forget about the embarrassingly-awful film he starred in. As the years passed and young Michael grew, so did the cult of Troll 2 until it became a sort of living entity that would no longer be ignored. In making Best Worst Movie, Michael Stephenson has faced Troll 2 and owned it, transforming the film from a source of personal embarrassment and into an experience deserving of celebration.

Joining Michael on his odyssey to document the strange wonder surrounding the worst film ever made is George Hardy, the actor that portrayed Michael's father in Troll 2. A good portion of the documentary focuses on George Hardy and paints a pleasant picture of this enthusiastic and good-natured dentist from Alabama. George comes off as a genuinely nice guy, one perhaps surprised by the Troll 2 phenomenon but overly-willing to embrace it. The documentary jumps around the country, showing conventions and fan gatherings where throngs of people show up to watch Troll 2 and meet the cast members. George is our ambassador to these moments, clearly thriving on the crowds' reaction to him and his reciting of lines from the film. Whatever your assessment of George Hardy as a person or his prowess as an actor, it is clear that this is a man that loves to perform.

Although mostly positive in the tone, there are a few lingering moments of near-heartbreaking poignancy. The director of Troll 2, Claudio Fragasso, although happy for the attention surrounding this nearly-forgotten film clearly has some reservations accepting the film as being the worst ever made. George Hardy also has a moment of self-realization at a horror convention where none of the fans seem to know or like Troll 2. He makes the observation that fans of Troll 2 and fans of horror in general may not have a large degree of overlap. This point is reinforced by George himself over the course of this segment, unable to correctly recall the title of genre heavyweight "A Nightmare on Elm Street" at one point. I've personally spent some time thinking about this over the last few days as I am one of those people that love both horror and B-movies. I'd never really considered that my point of view might be the exception rather than the rule.

It's clear that the reputation of Troll 2 is one that has grown organically and as a result of a genuine love from B-movie fans. The cast and crew of Troll 2 did not set out to make the film that now exists, but there are some of us that will be forever thankful that things turned out the way they did. I'm glad to see that at least some of the people making these films get as much enjoyment out of them as I do, even if it takes them a decade or two to realize it.

The Bottomline: Best Worst Movie is a thoughtful look at both B-movie fandom and the effects of cult followings on those involved in the making of these films. This is a balanced documentary with some thoughtful points to make. If B-movies are a hobby of yours, you'll be as happy as I was to see the genre get a love letter as well made as this. Four Bruces.

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