Alien Vs Predator (2004)

The prospect of an ALIEN VS PREDATOR movie pitting two of Science Fiction's greatest foes against one another is a dream come true for Horror fans. With decades of video games and comic books from which to draw upon, coming up with a thrilling new concept to bring these two franchises together should have been easy. The project had one fatal flaw, however: Paul W.S. Anderson. A talentless hack that had already single-handedly destroyed the RESIDENT EVIL franchise. Perhaps he was chosen to direct specifically for his hatred of plot and character development, with producers hoping he could recreate the same mindless action of his previous films in a blockbuster battle between the two species. Well, he accomplished half of that...

An ancient temple is found buried deep beneath icy Antarctica, bringing Charles Bishop Weyland and a group of experts in to explore the architectural anomaly. In a brilliant feat of contrived storytelling, the group discovers that the temple is used as a proving ground for a race of advanced hunters from another galaxy, who use human hosts to breed a deadly form of prey. The complexity ends here, as the plot is only used as an excuse to get the humans into the temple. From there, it must be non-stop action and suspense, right? Wrong. For all of the tedious exploring and pseudo-scientific jargon that the audience is subjected to, there is only one five-minute melee between the Predators and aliens. Despite a flashback depicting three Predators fending off thousands of the aliens atop a pyramid, it only takes a single alien to kill two of the Predators in this small amount of time. By staging the battle on Earth, the threat of the aliens reaching the planet that served as the overriding theme in the ALIEN series is completely diminished. Even more shameful is the lack of dignity given to the Predators. Rather than reserving his self-destruct mechanism as a final act of Sepuku, the Predator removes the device and casually tosses it in the chamber to destroy the temple, an act that goes against the creature's very nature of honor and nobility. Anderson couldn't have found a more unconvincing cast, either. Sanaa Lathan can never be taken seriously, especially not in her transitions from scientist to she-warrior in just a few simple steps. She is only given the worst throwaway lines, like "We're in the middle of a war. It's time to pick a side." Only Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. allow the film any credibility at all by bringing along more of their incredible costume designs for both species.

What could have been the greatest Science Fiction spectacle of all-time was revealed to be a complete flop, garnishing nothing but negative feedback from fans and the filmmakers who helped establish both series to begin with. You are honestly better off watching fan films like BATMAN: DEAD END or AVP: REDEMPTION any day.  

Rating: 6/10.

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Alien Resurrection (1997)

What do you do when your main character is dead and you are out of originality? Start cloning, of course! ALIEN RESURRECTION marks the unfortunate return of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley; Unfortunate, in this case, because of the ridiculous direction in which the filmmakers have taken the character, and the poor scripting that makes her a shell of her former self. 200 years after sacrificing herself to protect the human race from utter annihilation, Ripley has been cloned with unexpected results: The DNA of the Queen Alien that she is harboring within her has fused with her own. Military scientists have successfully managed to remove the Queen while keeping both alive, but it isn't long before a new breed of aliens are unleashed upon the vessel. Like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS and DEEP BLUE SEA, ALIEN RESURRECTION was tailored specifically for the MTV Generation. Acclaimed director Jean-Pierre Jeunet gives us a flashy, gore-filled spectacle, but one that is agonizingly boring and entirely without substance. RESURRECTION pastes together bits and pieces from the previous films without achieving a single success of its own. It just goes to show that the series should have died with Ripley at the end of the third film.

Rating: 6/10.

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Get On Set for 'Zombies Vs Strippers!'

Zombies vs. Strippers
Goes into production in April 2012
Now YOU can have the Ultimate Zombie Set Experience!

LOS ANGELES, CA - March 30, 2012 - Full Moon is going into production on what is sure to be an instant cult classic: Zombies Vs. Strippers. The sheer mayhem that comes with a set full of zombies and strippers has to be seen in person to be believed... And that's exactly what Full Moon is offering fans right now!

This is your chance to be ONSET during the shooting of Zombies Vs. Strippers! With the Zombie VIP Set Experience, you'll get to immerse yourself in a Full Moon movie like no fan ever has before!

It will include:
· All-Access pass to the Zombies Vs. Strippers movie set
· All-Expense-paid trip to Los Angeles, CA, which will include roundtrip airfare*, 4 star hotel**, and transportation to and from the set
· Unprecedented behind the scenes access to the movie making process, including meeting Charles Band, eating meals with the cast and crew on set, and watching the shooting of the movie from off camera
· And SO much MORE!

Click HERE for all the details on purchasing the Zombie VIP Set Experience! It will be unforgettable!

*Airfare is included for U.S. residents, including Hawaii & Alaska. International purchasers will be billed additional charges for travel, including Canada or Mexico.

**Hotel stay will be for three days and two nights in downtown Los Angeles, near the set.

-Charles Band

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Alien 3 (1993)

A jettisoned space pod comes crashing down to the prison world of "Fury" 161, leaving only two survivors: Lieutenant Ellen Ripley, and an alien stowaway. Now, Ripley faces twice the danger on a planet filled with murderers, rapists, and another deadly alien creature. ALIEN 3 is, by far, the darkest film in the ALIEN franchise, surpassing each of the earlier entries only in its apocalyptic vision of the future. A young David Fincher gives us no hope whatsoever on this wretched planet. "Fury" 161's facilities are rusted and inoperable, its caretakers comprised solely from the dregs of society. The devout prisoners are swept away in a religious fervor as Ripley's arrival along with the alien is interpreted as their final judgement. This drastic shift in tone and overall design can be a bit jarring at first, but repeat viewings create a newfound appreciation for the film when looking at it as a sort of alternate universe or split timeline from the original series. Given the production hell that David Fincher was cast into, it is a surprise the film even came out as well as it did. Studio interference both during and after filming resulted in bad blood and a complete reworking of the film, although the original "Assembly Cut," which is widely considered to be the definitive version, is now available. This version restores over thirty-minutes of vital character development and improved story structure that are missing from the theatrical release. Underappreciated and often overlooked, ALIEN 3 is a unique but welcomed entry into the series.

Rating: 8/10.

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Get Stuck in 'Detention' This April!

LOS ANGELES, CA - March 27, 2012 - Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Shanley Caswell and Spencer Locke star in DETENTION, a hipster, teen horror-comedy where the local students of Grizzly Lake must survive their final year of high school. Standing in their way is Cinderhella, a slasher-movie killer who has seemingly come to life and is preying on the school’s student body. As the clock ticks and the bodies pile up, the likely suspects are embroiled in a race against time to stop Cinderhella and ultimately save the world… if only they can get out of detention.

DETENTION will hit theaters on April 13, 2012.

Director: Joseph Kahn
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Shanley Caswell, Spencer Locke and Dane Cook
Language: English
Rating: R

Official Website: Read The Full Post HERE!

Fright Night (1985)

Charley Brewster has a problem... It seems his neighbor may be a vampire, so he has enlisted the help of his friends and local celebrity Peter Vincent to oust the fanged fiend from the neighborhood, but his toothy adversary won't be going without a fight. "Welcome to Fright Night!" Tom Holland brings us his own hilarious homage to the traditions of Gothic Horror in the 1985 classic. The clever plays on genre conventions are pleasing to any Horror fan, as Holland exploits the vampire mythos for maximum effect. Cloves of garlic, crosses, holy water... All of the standard rules still apply, but it is how Holland uses them that casts such a sharp reflection on the Universal and Hammer films. FRIGHT NIGHT is filled with wonderful performances from the entire cast, beginning with William Ragsdale in a coy lead as the paranoid Charley Brewster. Roddy McDowall's campy portrait of Peter Vincent, vampire hunter, is a wonderful caricature of the characters played by both Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. The homage to DRACULA in which McDowall discovers that Jerry is truly a vampire is a shining moment in the film. Stephen Geoffreys is just as amusing as Charley's eccentric friend, "Evil" Ed Thompson, whose shrill, nasally voice and wicked sense of humor have made him a fan favorite for years. And then, of course, there is Chris Sarandon as the vampire Jerry Dandridge. Sarandon brings all of the same suave sophistication and courtly manner as his Gothic counterparts, yet he never feels out of place amidst the modern setting. The film's wit is only matched by its incredible special effects, which give a horrifying new look to its vampire hosts. With the help of NEAR DARK and THE LOST BOYS, FRIGHT NIGHT helped to reinvigorate the vampire film in the 1980's, and it has since endured to reach a cult status in Horror.

Rating: 9/10.

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Aliens (1986)

By 1986, James Cameron had already made a huge impression on the Science Fiction genre with THE TERMINATOR, yet no one could have anticipated the scope of the man's talents before he was approached to direct the sequel to Ridley Scott's ALIEN. In ALIENS, Cameron improves on perfection, delivering all of the same thrills and chills from the original along with blockbuster action sequences and mind-blowing special effects. Not only that, but the film stages an excellent assortment of characters and a gripping plot that dramatically expands upon Dan O'Bannon's original universe. ALIENS is quite simply the greatest Science Fiction adventure the genre has ever known.

Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley has been rescued from deep space 57 years after her deadly encounter with the alien organism that she and her crew recovered from a remote world. Since then, the planet has been inhabited by terraformers sent by The Company to prepare LV-426 for colonization. When communication to the command center is lost, The Company requests that Ripley joins a group of elite military soldiers on a rescue mission to LV-426, but what they find is a planet overrun by the killer alien species!

Cameron has no reservation whatsoever in taking his time with ALIENS. Although the first half of the film is entirely without action, Cameron's pacing never falters. The opening act is used primarily to demonize the cold, heartless company, whose bottom line means more than human lives. We are also drawn closer to the character of Ellen Ripley, who is given more emotional depth as she deals with the death of her daughter and prepares to risk herself for the lives of others. The action is stalled even after the marines disembark on LV-426, where we find terror and anticipation stalking the halls of the abandoned colony instead of aliens. Once the first aliens are discovered in the reactor core, however, it is non-stop action from there on out.

The Colonial Marines of Earth's future are the second key to ALIENS' success. As Hudson so eloquently puts it, "I am the ultimate badass! State of the badass art! You do NOT wanna fuck with me." And he's right. These marines are armed to the teeth with an arsenal of advanced weaponry and futuristic vehicles that make them a force to be reckoned with. Bill Paxton, as Hudson, is loud-mouthed and head-strong. Michael Biehn, AKA Hicks, is the noble guardsman, selfless and brave. Jenette Goldstein, AKA Vasquez, is the ruthless mercinary and weapons expert who prefers to shoot first and ask questions later. Together, they form the baddest team the universe has ever known, but they still can't compare to their civilian escort, Ripley.

Sigourney Weaver succeeds even over her previous performance in ALIEN, solidifying the character of Ellen Ripley as SciFi's leading heroine. Ripley outsmarts and outmuscles even the strongest and bravest of the space marines, yet through her maternal relationship with Newt, we find a softer and more vulnerable side to the character that allows her to retain her humanity. These two worlds collide as Ripley arms herself to do battle with the alien menace one-on-one after they kidnap her surrogate daughter.

Like Scott before him, Cameron chooses to keep the aliens hidden throughout the majority of the picture, despite the fact that there are several hundred more of them in the sequel. Stan Winston steps in to handle the creature effects, giving the aliens an even more insect-like appearance that carries over into their hive mentality. With the help of his talented crew, he also brings to life the Alien Queen, a monstrous new addition to the series that is meaner, nastier, and more impressive than the drones, themselves. This towering 15 foot beast required two men in costume in addition to several puppetiers and a hydraulic lift to fully articulate its head and body. In the final climactic battle, Ripley mans a robotic powerlifter in an intergalactic grudge match against the snarling Queen that demonstrates the pinnacle of practical effects. The Academy would later recognize ALIENS with the Oscar for Visual Effects, which it most clearly deserved.

While it is impossible to decide which is the better film between ALIEN and ALIENS, each are remarkable in their own separate ways, and must be considered masterworks of the Science Fiction genre. The claustrophobic tension of Ridley Scott's film has been traded in for a galaxy of terror.

Rating: 10/10.

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Alien (1979)

The crew aboard the Nostromo, a mining vessel, are awakened from hypersleep to respond to a distress signal that is coming from a remote planet. While investigating the derelict spacecraft, one of the crew members comes into contact with an alien life form that attaches itself to his face. He is brought back on board for medical attention, but after the creature frees itself, the real terror begins as the seed it has planted in its human host gestates into a monstrous killer.

Gritty. Realistic. Terrifying. Just a few words that could be used to describe Ridley Scott's ALIEN, the Science Fiction Horror film that changed it all. ALIEN provides us with a grim future that is not unlike the present, where Earth's resources have been depleted and must be harvested on distant worlds. The crew aboard the Nostromo are not daring cosmonauts, but blue-collared workmen and women, appropriately coined 'space truckers' by critics and fans alike for their crass behavior and neighborly personalities. These are average people that are thrust into extraordinary circumstances while performing their mandated duties. We relate to them because we are them, separated only by a few thousand light years.

Whether directly influenced or not, Dan O'Bannon's brilliant script bears a striking resemblance to a number of earlier space terrors. In QUEEN OF BLOOD, two cosmonauts are sent to Mars to recover an alien ambassador from the wreckage of her spacecraft, but the green-skinned beauty sates her hunger for blood on the crew once aboard ship. PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES is far more suspect as an early inspiration for the design and story structure in ALIEN. Mario Bava's technicolor space epic begins with two spaceships setting down on a remote planet in response to a similar signal for distress. After their investigation, several of the crew members turn up dead as others fall under the influence of an unseen alien invader. The characters and low-tech vision of futuristic space travel can also be attributed to O'Bannon's earlier film DARK STAR, a collaboration he had worked on with John Carpenter while attending USC.

Under Ridley Scott's direction, however, ALIEN produces some of the most frighteningly unexpected moments the Science Fiction genre has ever known. From the time the crew lands on the planet until the film's thrilling climax, we are not given a moment to recover from the growing tension and sheer terror. The audience is only temporarily disarmed as Kane rejoins the crew with no reason to suspect any further danger, but this is hardly any relief. In the famous 'birthing' sequence, the expressions of disbelief and utter horror that plague the faces of the stunned crew members mirror our own. Our increasing heart rates mimic the pulsing sound of the scanning device as Dallas enters the ventilation system to flush the creature out. Just when we think that all is well, we are shocked to find that the creature is even more clever than we ever could have imagined.

Dan O'Bannon would call upon an unusual Swiss artist that he had met while working on an early adaptation of DUNE to give the alien its unique design. H.R. Giger is known for his bizarre joining of metal and flesh, creating a grotesque beauty out of his highly-sexualized but cold and mechanical imagery. The designs used for the creatures, worlds, and spacecrafts in ALIEN are entirely unlike anything the world has ever scene as a result. As Ash describes it in his final moments, the alien is 'a perfect organism [whose] structural perfection is matched only by its hostility... [It is] unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.' Giger's insectoid realisation of the creature brings this statement to life with no less perfection.

ALIEN also introduces us to the character of Ellen Ripley, Warrant Officer aboard ship, but soon to become a film icon and the embodiment of female empowerment. Brave, resilient, and resolute, Ripley is a woman of action, and no one has portrayed these strengths better than Sigourney Weaver. Had the crew not broken Ripley's strict quarantine procedures, they likely could have avoided this entire mess, and it is ultimately up to her to finally destroy the creature when no one else can. These traits would only continue to grow in her future appearances within the series, especially when Ripley faces off with a horde of aliens and their temperamental queen in ALIENS.

ALIEN has unquestionably become one of the defining classics within the Science Fiction genre, spawning countless sequels and spin-offs across all forms of media along with an endless list of imitations. Everything from action figures, custom t-shirts, boxed DVD sets, and much more have appeared with the ALIEN logo over the years. The strength of character and design along with the unmitigated terror that was first found in ALIEN is what sets it apart from all other films.

Rating: 10/10.

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The Happening (2008)

Something in the air is causing a widespread panic as a rash of suicides overtakes the East Coast. Has a biological weapon been unleashed, or is this some random act of nature? No one is certain, especially not Elliot Moore or the small group of survivors that have chosen to flee the cities, but wherever they go, the deadly contagion seems to follow. It is difficult to decide whether or not THE HAPPENING was actually intended to be a comedy or not, but if it was, M. Night Shyamalan certainly has a morbid sense of humor. One can't help but laugh at the deranged methods of dispatch that Shyamalan has chosen for his victims. He plays an even bigger joke on the audience by trying to pass Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo off as science teachers, which is even more unbelievable than his latest twist ending. It is unfair to say that THE HAPPENING is a terrible film when it successfully captivates one's sense of curiosity with the growing mystery and intrigue, but Shyamalan leaves us with no identifiable characters and a threadbare plot. The jarring suicides are a surprising change of pace, however, from the director's typically-benign scares.

Rating: 6/10.

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Planet Terror (2007)

Big budgets. Big name actors. And talent. Three things that would never be found in any of the films that filled the 42nd Street theaters throughout the 60s and 70s. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino set out to emulate the Exploitation experience for mainstream audiences in their double-bill GRINDHOUSE, with mixed results. Rodriguez brings us PLANET TERROR, about a toxic bio-weapon that transforms half of Texas into deformed, pus-spewing maniacs. A lone band of survivors take on this mutant menace, lead by the one-legged go-go dancer Cherry Darling and her mysterious gunfighter boyfriend known only as El Wray. With a total budget of $53 million dollars and a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Rose McGowan, Josh Brolin, and others, GRINDHOUSE is about as far removed from films like DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT and I DRINK YOUR BLOOD as anything could be. There is nothing cheap about the explosive special effects that plaster the screen in an absurd amount of blood. When it comes to the exploitation of violence and gore, however, Rodriguez knows his audience better than anyone, and comes out with another wildly entertaining thrill ride that assaults the senses from start to finish. As if to justify the use of the name "Grindhouse," Rodriguez ages the look of the film in post-production and removes a reel of footage to create a forced nostalgia, but PLANET TERROR is simply too large to ever truly fit in with its peers. The real Grindhouse experience would have placed both filmmakers under the same constraints of time and money as their predecessors, but where would be the fun in that? Regardless, gore fans are sure to enjoy PLANET TERROR in all of its head-splitting, gut-spilling splendor.

Rating: 8/10.

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Night of the Lepus (1972)

Three years before JAWS attacked audiences world-wide, another diabolical beast was unleashed from the bowels of hell... Man's selfish attempt to control the rabbit population in Arizona turns deadly when an experimental hormone causes the animals to grow into giant-sized killers in NIGHT OF THE LEPUS! A film so baffling and benign that the distributors were forced to remove any indication of the furry critters from the marketing materials in order to dupe audiences into seeing it. The first question, of course, is "How can you possibly make giant rabbits frightening?", with the obvious answer being that you can't. NIGHT OF THE LEPUS is ridiculous in its attempts to scare, generating nothing but laughs from start to finish. The rabbits are filmed up close in slow-motion and dripping with blood as they maul the locals, but they are only as cute as they are harmless. What makes things even more absurd is just how serious the film takes itself. Horribly mutilated bodies are left in the wake of the rabbits destruction after they hippity-hop their way through town. Most unbelievable of all is how professional the special effects and miniatures are handled for a film about giant killer bunny rabbits. Janet Leigh, Stuart Whitman, and Rory Calhoun deserve Oscar nominations just for withholding their laughter during filming. When it comes to unintentional humor, B-Movie fans can do no better than NIGHT OF THE LEPUS.

Rating: 5/10.


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Predators (2010)

A group of warriors and weapons experts from all across the world are transported to an alien planet to face off against an elite band of otherworldly hunters in PREDATORS, the long-awaited third entry in the action-packed series. While director Nimrod Antal strikes many successful chords in the look, sound, and feel of the film, he somehow misses the mark in the overall production. There is no subtlety to be found in the bold references to the original. Instead, PREDATORS shows more imitation than appreciation for John McTiernan's film. The poorly chosen characters are awkwardly assembled, making it difficult to accept that they would work together as a team when there is no sense of camaraderie between any of them. It is also impossible to take Laurence Fishburne and Adrian Brody seriously in their ridiculously over-the-top roles. What is worse, the contrived dialog has Brody's roughneck leader spell out the Predators' plans every step of the way. Despite its many flaws, the lush jungle setting and steady action beats help to drive the film forward. KNB EFX Group comes out the winner with their excellent redesigns on the all-new aliens, referencing the classic appearance that they had helped to create alongside Special FX wizard Stan Winston in the late 80's while revamping them with all-new weapons and modifications. PREDATORS may be pretty to look at with its big explosions and loud noises, but its lack of originality and weak storytelling make it a bland sequel overall.

Rating: 7/10.

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Anchor Bay Brings About the Apocalypse in 'The Collapsed'

“Genuinely Shocking.”

“Extremely Effective.”
Ain’t It Cool News


from Anchor Bay Entertainment

Making U.S. DVD Debut June 5th

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - March 18, 2012 - Already generating buzz from screenings at the Fangoria Film Festival, the Fright Night Film Festival, Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear, as well as winning awards at the 2011 Metropolitan Film Festival of New York and the Crypticon Film Festival, Anchor Bay Entertainment presents the U.S. DVD debut of the apocalyptic thriller The Collapsed on June 5th. A chilling glimpse into one family’s battle to stay alive while traversing a hellish landscape of barbarism and cannibalism, The Collapsed carries a gaunt SRP of $22.98. Pre-book is May 9th.

“I'm very excited to have Anchor Bay as a distribution partner,” noted the film’s writer/director Justin McConnell. “It feels like the perfect home for The Collapsed. They're a company I've proudly collected titles from while growing up, and I'm proud to have a film on their roster."

In wake of an unknown event that has catapulted civilization into a fatal downward spiral, the Weaver family – father Scott (John Fantasia), young adult son Aaron (Steve Vieira), mother Emily (Lisa Moule) and teenage daughter Rebecca (Anna Ross) – desperately tries to survive.

Fleeing the city, their only hope of sanctuary is a rural hometown from their past, Dover’s Bend. With the constant threat of violent death forcing them to stay as far away from civilization as possible, they take to the forest. However, they soon discover that the danger posed by other survivors may be the least of their worries. Someone -- or something -- seems to have followed them into the wilderness...

Go behind-the-scenes behind the end of the world with the bonus features on The Collapsed DVD, including:

· Feature length behind-the-scenes documentary "Apocalypse On A Budget: The Making of The Collapse;"

· Two audio commentaries: director/writer/producer Justin McConnell & co-story/co-producer Kevin Hutchinson; lead actor John Fantasia;

· Music Video: Rob Kleiner's "Devil In Disguise;"

· Trailers, photo gallery, original score jukebox & MP3 album download, original screenplay, easter eggs and more!

In addition, The Collapsed DVD will have a special QR code, giving fans even greater inside access into the making of the film!

Kevin Kasha and Josh Thomashow of Anchor Bay Films negotiated the deal on behalf of Anchor Bay and Managing Partners Michael Paszt and James Fler of Raven Banner Entertainment negotiated on behalf of Producer/Director, Justin McConnell.

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Predator 2 (1990)

A war is waging in the streets of Los Angeles between two rival gangs. Lieutenant Mike Harrigan of the LAPD is caught right in the middle, but he and his team are about to receive help from the most unlikely of allies: an alien Predator that has chosen LA as his new hunting ground! Conceptually, PREDATOR 2 is the perfect sequel. It does not attempt to recreate the first film, but rather moves the setting to the next logical location: The concrete jungles of LA. The Thomas Brothers turn in another action-packed script that attempts to outdo the original at every turn. There is more blood, more violence, and more gadgets as this sleek new urban Predator sets out to collect his human trophies using metal shurikens, razorwire nets, and spears. The redesigned costume and differing attack patterns show us that the Predator race is as varied and diverse as our own, which leads up to a shocking finale aboard the Predator spacecraft. Danny Glover offers a welcomed change of pace from Arnold and the gang, playing a breakneck cop with no regard for authority. For all of the awesome action sequences and gory murders, however, the story itself is often contrived, and conveniently places the Predator in all the right places at all the right times. PREDATOR 2 comes as close as any sequel could to reproducing the thrills and non-stop action of the original, while giving us something new entirely.

Rating: 7/10.

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Predator (1987)

Arnold is back in one of the biggest and baddest Action/Sci-Fi adventures of all time: PREDATOR! A team of special operatives are sent on a rescue mission to save a group of American hostages, when they quickly discover that they are the ones being hunted by an unseen foe deep within the jungles of South Ameria. By combining the wall-to-wall action of RAMBO with the otherworldly terror of Ridley Scott's ALIEN, PREDATOR has become a universal classic that brings together fans of Science Fiction, Action, and Horror. The plot is simple yet effective, and leaves plenty of room for the bloody set pieces to follow. The key casting creates a powerhouse of memorable characters, led, of course, by fan favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger, but backed by equally enjoyable performances from mean man Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke, Sonny Landham, and Carl Weathers. PREDATOR plays out like your average shoot 'em up, until we hear the unnerving clicking of the alien creature as the screen shifts into infrared, warning us that our heroes are not alone. Armed to the teeth with futuristic weaponry and light-bending armor, the Predator is the perfect hunter. It is smart, resourceful, and equally deadly. With reptilian skin, sharp mandibles, and a defining set of dreadlocks that reach down from beneath its battle helmet, the Predator is one of the most unique and interesting creature designs ever caught on film, adding to Stan Winston's impressive collection. Alan Silvestri's primal score also adds excitement and intrigue to the fast-paced action and violence. At the time of this writing, PREDATOR has produced two sequels and countless spin-offs in all forms of media spanning over the course of the last two decades, which proves the lasting impact of John McTiernan's classic film in pop culture.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like PREDATOR:

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The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)

THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN tells the tale of a pompous young Victor Frankenstein, who returns home from university to resume his studies of the human anatomy at his family estate. Weird happenings begin to shroud the Castle Frankenstein as Victor embarks on his most diabolical experiment yet: The creation of a living being that has been assembled from the bodies of the dead! Hammer Films turns back the clock in this veritable remake of THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, which follows a much younger version of the Baron. Peter Cushing takes a forced sabbatical as Ralph Bates steps into the role of Victor Frankenstein, bringing his own contemptuous vices to the character along with a wry, cynical sense of humor. THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN then becomes a dark satire of Mary Shelley's classic tale, and one that plays off of a very subtle wit. David Prowse portrays Frankenstein's unholy creation as a rather lifeless brute, while Dennis Price puts in a rousing performance as the kooky graverobber. Writer Jimmy Sangster does an excellent job recreating the Gothic allure of the earlier Hammer pictures in his directorial debut, making THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN a welcome sidestep from the original series.

Rating: 7/10.

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The Terror Experiment (2010)

Several of America's federal buildings have fallen under attack by embittered war veterans, who unleash a deadly toxin that turns normal people into psychotic killers. THE TERROR EXPERIMENT is a muddles mess of a film that can never decide if it wants to be a disaster movie or a zombie shocker. It throws out references to everything from Area 51 to the attacks on 9/11 to the military's experimental drug use in Vietnam in a vain attempt at social significance that is undermined by the overall unintelligence of the script. The extra money that was used to sign Jason London and C. Thomas Howell would have been better spent coming up with a more inventive plot, but instead we are left with a typically bland revision of George Romero's THE CRAZIES as set in a federal office building. The real test becomes trying to make it to the end of this dreadful experiment.

Rating: 5/10.


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Creepozoids (1987)

CREEPOZOIDS crawls out of the same acrid pit that brought us other abysmal ALIEN clones like CREATURE, INSEMINOID, and FORBIDDEN WORLD. It is the year 1998, and the world has been destroyed by nuclear war. Those unlucky enough to survive struggle to find food and supplies by scavenging the ruined cities. One such group happens upon a deserted laboratory, which they soon discover is home to a number of horrifying genetic experiments that are still living within its walls! With no further plot to speak of, the audience is left waiting for a monstrous payoff that never arrives. At least the F-Grade cast can rely on the special effects crew to distract from their acting with the shoddy creature designs. The three mutant monsters share no similarities whatsoever, so it often feels as if the script was written around whatever rejected creations the studio had lying around at the time. But what can you really say? It's a DeCoteau. CREEPOZOIDS is currently being held in strict reserves for B-Movie fans only.

Rating: 3/10.

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The Hitcher 2 (2003)

It has been 15 years, but Officer Jim Halsey hasn't forgotten the horrible events that he experienced as a teen out on that desolate stretch of highway in Texas. He decides to return with his wife to face down his own personal demons, only to find that the hitcher from his nightmares has been waiting for another ride... C. Thomas Howell returns as the paranoid Jim Halsey in this late sequel to the high-octane thriller THE HITCHER, although it is Kari Wuhrer who ultimately faces off with the demented killer. Jake Busey fills in for Rutger Hauer this round, who is a suitable choice for the villain (if not completely over-the-top). While the throwaway lines and dialog are all deeply embedded in genre cliches, the unexpected action sequences are fresh and unpredictable. They still have a very small feel to them as opposed to the explosive action of the first film, though director Louis Morneau does leave off with a dogfight between a crop duster and a tanker truck. As unnecessary and repetitive as THE HITCHER 2 may be, it still provides mild entertainment for the jaded viewer.

Rating: 6/10.

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Repo Men (2010)

In the future, corporations can reclaim much more than just your house or your car... Fall behind on your organ payments, and they will repossess your lungs! Repo Man Remy heads out on his last assignment, when a freak accident lands him in the hospital. He awakens to find himself indebted to his employer, The Union, for the artificial heart that is keeping him alive. It is only a matter of time before he is unable to pay, and The Union is forced to send its best men out after one of their own. Similarities to REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA aside, REPO MEN takes an ingenious premise and just doesn't know where to go with it. It is a patchwork of many more successful films, with pieces of PULP FICTION, OPEN YOUR EYES, and FIGHT CLUB hastily strewn together. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker present a likable pair of working class heroes, who aren't without their fair share of humor as they scan the cities looking for customers who have skipped out on their responsibilities. The real problem is that REPO MEN attaches no deeper meaning to the concept of organ repossession, and simply uses it as a facet towards violence rather than establishing a true moral dilemma between any of the characters. With some biting cynicism and a few big action set pieces, however, REPO MEN is generic enough to appeal to the masses.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like REPO MEN:

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2012 Tribeca Film Cinemania Line-Up Announced


NEW YORK, NY – March 10, 2012 – The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by American Express, today announced its feature film selections in the Cinemania section. The 11th edition of the Festival will take place from April 18 to April 29 in New York City.

The crowd-pleasing Cinemania section returns to the Tribeca Film Festival, tempting audiences to experience the most exciting genre films from all corners of the globe. Typified by tense thrillers of all types, this year’s program takes viewers from the simmering home invasion drama Replicas to a twisty underworld kidnapping plot in Graceland; from the intense action of France’s Sleepless Night to online gaming run amok in Rat King. The Cinemania films this year also embrace a darkly comic edge, including the darkly satirical Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal, the over-the-top comedic violence of Revenge for Jolly!, and Jackpot’s heist-comedy-gone-wrong. This gripping lineup, alternately suspenseful and hilarious, serves up just the right number of twists and laughs for late-night filmgoers.

-Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal, directed and written by Boris Rodriguez. (Canada, Denmark) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Onetime art star Lars Olafssen is all washed up. Unable to paint without inspiration, he accepts a teaching stint at a small-time art school in podunk Koda Lake, Canada, and along with it the guardianship of the offbeat town’s neighborhood weirdo, Eddie. As their unlikely friendship evolves, Lars uncovers a dark and violent secret about Eddie’s nocturnal impulses, and finds himself torn between his duty to his friend and his duty to his art.

-Graceland, directed and written by Ron Morales. (Philippines, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Family man Marlon Villar is the longtime chauffeur of prominent politician Manuel Chango. While he and his daughter accompany his boss’ preteen daughter home, Marlon is ambushed and the wrong girl is kidnapped. Suddenly the unassuming driver is propelled into a horrifying downward spiral and, as events in his life unravel, Marlon, Chango, and their families become entangled in a game of deceit and betrayal that will leave no one innocent. In Tagalog with subtitles.

-Jackpot (Arme Riddere), directed by Magnus Martens, written by Jo Nesbø. (Norway) – International Premiere, Narrative. Terrified, bloodied, and gripping a shotgun, Oscar Svendsen wakes up in what used to be a respectable strip joint, surrounded by eight corpses and with a gun pointed at him by a detective with the National Criminal Investigation Service. Naturally, Oscar is taken into custody, and during his interrogation a bloody and darkly comic story of betrayal, murder, and lottery winnings emerges—but is this the whole story? In Norwegian with subtitles.

-Rat King, directed and written by Petri Kotwica. (Finland) – International Premiere, Narrative. Eighteen-year-old Juri spends his days absorbed in his computer gaming world, to the exclusion of school, friends, and ultimately his exasperated girlfriend. When his internet ally Niki turns up at his door fearing for his life because of a mysterious new online game, Juri eagerly follows him down the rabbit hole. In this taut, violent thriller, the lines between reality and the game blur as Juri and Niki are drawn into its increasingly morbid world. In Finnish with subtitles.

-Replicas, directed by Jeremy Regimbal, written by Josh Close. (Canada) – World Premiere, Narrative. Following the tragic death of their young daughter, the Hughes family decide to escape to their upscale vacation home in the woods. But their attempt to get some quality time together is violently interrupted when a neighboring family with a hidden agenda drops by for dinner. First-time director Jeremy Regimbal builds tension to a calculated and ultimately brutal crescendo in this home-invasion thriller. Starring Selma Blair, Joshua Close, James D’Arcy, and Rachel Miner.

-Revenge for Jolly!, directed by Chadd Harbold, written by Brian Petsos. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Harry (Brian Petsos) will stop at nothing to avenge the death of his beloved dog, Jolly. He and his demented cousin Cecil (Oscar Isaac) follow a series of clues in a frenzied attempt to track down the dog’s murderer, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Elijah Wood, Kristen Wiig, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, Gillian Jacobs, Bobby Moynihan, Kevin Corrigan, David Rasche, Amy Siemetz, and Garret Dillahunt all stand between Harry and revenge for Jolly.

-Sleepless Night (Nuit Blanche), directed by Frederic Jardin, written by Frederic Jardin and Nicolas Saada. (France, Belgium, Luxembourg) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Vincent is a dedicated police officer, or so it seems. After he steals a massive bag of cocaine, his young son winds up being held for ransom by the mob boss it belongs to. When Vincent travels to the outskirts of Paris to trade the drugs for his son, he gets caught in an intense cat-and-mouse game that quickly spirals out of control. This night might not only be the longest of his life—it could be the last. A Tribeca Film release.

Starting March 12, the Film Guide will be live on and detail all feature films announced to date; additional programs will be added upon announcement. The screening schedule will be live on Monday, March 19, 2011.

To keep up with Tribeca, visit the Tribeca Film Festival website at, and log in at, where you can also subscribe to the Tribeca Newsletter.

Like the Tribeca Film Festival Facebook page at Follow us on Twitter @TribecaFilmFest and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TFF.

Tickets for 2012 Festival:

Tickets for the Festival will be $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings, and $8.00 for all late night and weekday matinee screenings.

Advance selection ticket packages and passes are now on sale for American Express Cardmembers, and go on sale Monday, March 12 for the general public. All advance selection packages and passes can be purchased online at, or by telephone at (646) 502-5296 or toll free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

Single ticket and discounted ticket package sales begin Tuesday, April 10 for American Express Cardmembers, Sunday, April 15 for downtown residents, and Monday, April 16 for the general public. Single tickets can be purchased online, by telephone, or at one of the Ticket Outlets, with locations at Tribeca Cinemas at 54 Varick Street, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea at 260 W. 23rd Street, and AMC Loews Village VII at 66 3rd Avenue. The 2012 Festival will continue offering ticket discounts for evening and weekend screenings for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Discounted tickets are available at Ticket Outlet locations only. Discounted ticket packages can only be purchased online and by phone. Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at

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Battle Royale 2 (2003)

After narrowly surviving the last Battle Royale, Shuya Nanahara raises an army of teens to wage war against the Japanese government and their deadly student lottery. Japan decides to reform the Battle Royale Act in response, enlisting a new class of students to fight the terrorists for them on a remote island. This continuation story offers little more than an excessive amount of violence and a glaring anti-American sentiment. Character and plot have been stripped away as director Kenta Fukasaku spends more time focusing on the fire fights that rage on throughout the majority of the picture, lending far less impact to the deaths of the students who are killed in an endless barrage of bullets. The class size is cut in half before any of the kids even reach the shore in a scene that is clearly meant to resemble the opening in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. As we struggle to find an identifiable hero, we are force-fed political oppositions towards American foreign policy. BATTLE ROYALE 2 attempts to link the terrorist acts of 9/11 to America's own ruthless regulation of world events with the threat of the bomb, but the script is far too immature to handle the material in a meaningful way. What we are left with is an exhausting 155 minutes of petty violence and political posturing that is as unlikely to entertain as it is to elicit any form of response in the viewer.

Rating: 6/10.

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Immortals (2011)

Long ago, a battle raged in the heavens. The victors took the name of the gods, and cast the defeated titans down into an earthly prison for all eternity. Now, the vengeful King Hyperion looks to find the weapon of the gods in order to free the titans and wage war against all humanity! Our only hope lies in a young warrior, who must rise up to lead the Hellenes against the armies of Hyperion. Tarsem Singh delivers another stunning visual experience that owes as much to Zack Snyder's 300 as it does to the Neoclassical paintings of Jacques-Louis David, contrasting its vibrant colors and surreal landscapes against the bloody violence. For all of the incredible style seen in IMMORTALS, however, it is mostly devoid of character and emotion, streamlining the plot in a rush to reach the over-budgeted action sequences. As truly awesome as these scenes may be, they are spread far too thin, and the final battle lacks the epic scale promised by the opening act. Henry Cavill plays a competent hero alongside another wildly over-the-top performance by Mickey Rourke as the sinister Hyperion. IMMORTALS packs enough mind-blowing imagery and memorable movie moments to win over fans of 300.

Rating: 7/10.

Movies like IMMORTALS:

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Psycho (1998)

If ever a film could be deemed 'unnecessary,' it is in the case of Universal's PSYCHO remake from 1998. No one is more aware of this, however, than director Gus Van Sant, who laughingly spits in the face of the studio system by literally creating a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's original shooting script. The initial results are quite amazing, and replicated to an impressive degree. Even more so than Hitchkock, Van Sant attempts to show that actors are nothing more than pawns under his control, but in the process, he proves there is much more that goes in to the success of a film than simple framing and editing. Van Sant's experiment in terror inevitably fails, no matter how close he comes to replicated the physical structure of the original. His is a soulless film, played out by an otherwise talented cast who are unable to bring the essence of life to their characters. By working off of Joe Stefano's original script and under the constraints of a duplication process, the delivery of the now dated dialog becomes forced and unnatural. We see actors acting, rather than characters interacting. Or, in Vince Vaugh's case, we see actors failing. Vaugh is a poor substitute for Anthony Perkins, and is simply unbecoming in the role. The novelty of Van Sant's cinematic prank wares off soon after Norman Bates is introduced, and without any new surprises left to look forward to, the remainder of the film becomes disastrously boring. In the end, the PSYCHO remake is nothing more than an intriguing concept and an experiment gone wrong that further solidifies Alfred Hitchcock's position as the Master of Horror.

Rating: 6/10.

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Enter 'The Fields' with Cloris Leachman This April!

Cloris Leachman and Tara Reid Enter

Available April 24th from Breaking Glass Pictures

PHILADELPHIA, PA - March 3, 2012 — Academy Award winner Cloris Leachman’s (Fox’s “Raising Hope”) thriller The Fields is coming to Blu-Ray (SRP $29.99) and DVD (SRP $24.99) from Breaking Glass Pictures (5 Star Day, Cropsey, The Living Wake). Written by Harrison Smith (Six Degrees of Hell) and directed by Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni (cult favorite The 4th Dimension), the film also stars Tara Reid (American Reunion) and newcomer Joshua Ormond (Sundance hit Robot and Frank).

Based on actual events, The Fields follows a young boy named Steven during the summer of 1973. Steven (Ormond) is sent to live in the Pennsylvania countryside with his grandparents while his mother (Reid) and father (Faust Checho) work through their marital troubles. Though his grandmother (Leachman) and grandfather (Bev Appleton) are happy to host him, they warn Steven not to enter the cornfields next to their house.

Meanwhile, Steven hears news of the notorious Manson Family and their gruesome killing spree. He develops a morbid fascination with the murderous cult and at the same time he can't help but be drawn into the mysterious cornfields. Eventually he enters the fields, where he makes a terrible discovery. Then, menacing noises begin haunting the family from outside at night and soon turn to violence. Though Steven's family tries to protect him, whatever's lurking in the fields is about to make their lives a living nightmare.

The Fields enjoyed critical acclaim and audience approval on the festival circuit. Among its awards are: Erie Film Festival (Winner Best Directors, Best Actress for Leachman), Terror Film Festival (Best Feature, Best Actress for Leachman, Best Emerging Actor for Ormond), Philadelphia Terror Film Festival (Best Picture, Sound Design, Score, Emerging Actor for Ormond), and the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (Best Picture).

Film Threat gave The Fields four stars and called it “American gothic suspense at its subtle best.” The Blunt Film Review called it “brilliant,” promising “this film is gonna scare the b’jesus out of you,” and The Independent Critic hailed it as “a heady and complex thriller.”

The DVD and Blu-Ray will hit shelves on April 24, loaded with special features including a making-of documentary, behind-the-scenes footage, hilarious Leachman outtakes, interviews with the real people involved, and clips from the world premiere.

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Helldriver (2010)

Japanese Splatterhouse director Yoshihiro Nishimura defies you to find a plot in his newest gross-out, HELLDRIVER. An asteroid comes barreling to Earth and crash-lands into Kika's abusive mother, unleashing a deadly virus that turns half of Japan into zombies and sends Kika spiraling into a coma. When she awakens, she has been fitted with cybergenic enhancements and a chainsword which she must use to destroy the growing legions of the undead before they overrun the living! Though not without its share of unbelievable, jaw-dropping moments of zombie gore, HELLDRIVER quickly proves to be another painfully stupid example of the modern J-Horror trend, where quantity always precedes quality when it comes to exploitation. Looking for nothing more than to sicken and offend, Nishimura often exceeds his goals once again, packing everything from Zombie Hitler to zombie babies into the film's exhausting runtime. The comic gore just has so little impact when it is taken to such extreme lengths, but then, Nishimura plays to a very specific audience. In spite of all the random on-screen insanity, we do find a glimmer of hope. HELLDRIVER addresses population concerns, disease control, human rights, and the growing drug problem in digestible terms through this undead allegory. HELLDRIVER will certainly find its place amongst fans of TOKYO GORE POLICE, ROBOGEISHA, and the like, though mainstream audiences should tread lightly.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 10/10.

Movies like HELLDRIVER:

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Battle Royale (2000)

"42 Students, Three Days, One Survivor, No Rules."

Fearing that the youth of the nation has spiraled dangerously out of control, Japan passes the Millennium Education Reform Act (better know as the Battle Royale Act) in order to stop teen delinquency. The law calls for a student lottery that will select one class each year to participate in a battle to the death on a remote island, where only one student will leave victorious. Nanahara is just one of the 42 students in Class B that must struggle to survive when all of his friends are out for blood.

BATTLE ROYALE explodes onto the screen from the pages of Koushun Takami's novel. Mixing survival horror with fast-paced action and suspense, it transforms the screen into an ultra-violent live-action comic book. The characters in the film take more closer after the ones described in the manga, where each of the forty-two students have their own unique personalities and strategies within the game. Some fight for survival while others try to find peace, but the two mysterious transfer students that have entered the game unannounced have much more sinister intentions...

Kinji Fukasaku's film can most closely be compared to Stanely Kubrick's A CLOCKWORK ORANGE in terms of its pitch black humor, unrelenting violence, and extreme final solution towards teen delinquency. It is as much a social satire as it is a brutal and bloody action film. BATTLE ROYALE contains shocking portrayals of murder committed by and against its teen characters, which led to a great deal of controversy in the wake of the school shootings that occurred around the time of its release. Unlike Joey Stuart's exploitative THE FINAL which glorifies teen violence, or the camp ridiculousness found in splatter flicks like MACHINE GIRL, the deaths in BATTLE ROYALE are instrumental in creating a microcosm for far greater social concerns. The incredible cinematography and superb editing also help to bring these elements together in a beautiful overall display.

BATTLE ROYALE contains an overwhelming cast of over forty teens in addition to the various adults, and yet each of them have been perfectly selected to fit their specific characters. Tatsuya Fujiwara and Aki Maeda provide memorable roles as the two central protagonists, although they are often overshadowed by many of the supporting characters. Kô Shibasaki's performance as the cold-blooded Mitsuko Sôma is among the best, while Tarô Yamamoto also creates a multi-layered personality as Shôgo Kawada. The vengeful headmaster played by Takeshi Kitano is yet another expertly cast role in this lengthy lineup.

The serious themes found within the context of the film are frequently broken up with its brilliantly dark sense of humor. Kitano's cynical remarks are delivered with such enthusiasm as he sends the students out to their demises. The irony or surprise found in many of the deaths also serves as a release from the horror. Perhaps the funniest moment comes in the form of the televised introduction to the rules that the students receive from a bubbly game show host.

Another interesting thing to note is how each of the weapons that are given to the various students resemble their personalities. Noriko is stealth and observant, which is why she is allotted a pair of binoculars. Nanahara is given a pot lid, representing a shield. He is a peacemaker and a defender, and this would only seem fitting for his character. Yukiko similarly tries to cease the fighting using her weapon, a megaphone, but it only leads to her destruction. BATTLE ROYALE's sociopathic villain Kiriyama is given a fan, which he quickly exchanges for a submachine gun. The erratic rain of bullets it produces reflects Kiriyama's 'fire-from-the-hip' mentality as he sets out to kill as many students as he can for sheer pleasure. These are just a few of the many examples found throughout the film.

Whether it is enjoyed purely for the high-powered action and suspense, or for its underlying social significance, BATTLE ROYALE proves to be one of the most exciting, intelligent, and thought-provoking films in modern Japanese Horror cinema.

Rating: 10/10.

If you liked BATTLE ROYALE, check out:

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Sinister Spotlight: Cannibal Holocaust

When it comes to shock and exploitation, no film has built a more notorious reputation for itself than Ruggero Deodato's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, a disgusting and disturbing journey into the Heart of Darkness that features animal slaughter, rape, torture, castration, and cannibalization. I Like Horror Movies joins the cruel creator of Mephisto's Castle, Jose Cruz, for an in-depth study of the film in this week's Sinister Spotlight: Cannibal Holocaust:

Be sure to visit Mephisto's Castle for this and many other wonderfully weird features:
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Image Refs 'Monster Brawl' This June!

“The undisputed smack-down hit of this year’s bumper crop of comedy horror!”
- Twitch Film

“Monster Brawl is 85 minutes of pure fan service.”



The Cult Horror Comedy enters the ring June 12th
On Blu-ray™ and DVD

CHATSWORTH, CA – March 1, 2012 - Prepare yourself for monster wrestling mayhem as Image Entertainment presents Monster Brawl, the Official Selection at the FANTASIA International Film Festival starring David Foley (A Bugs Life, Cars), Robert Maillet (Sherlock Holmes, 300), WWE superstar wresting veteran Kevin Nash and legendary wrestling manager Jimmy Hart, coming to Blu-ray™ June 12th with an SRP of $29.97 and on DVD with an SRP of $27.97. Pre-Book is May 15th.

In the tradition of a Pay-Per-View event and set in a cursed and abandoned graveyard, comes a fight to the death that’s as hilarious as it is grotesque. Eight classic horror monsters – supported by their colorful and eccentric managers – compete in visceral bloody combat to determine who will be the most feared and powerful fiend of all time. You can witness an ordinary wrestling match anywhere, but Monster Brawl is your ringside ticket to a fight of the living dead!

Narrated by Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Terminator) and featuring an eclectic cast, including Art Hindle (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Brood), and famous mixed martial arts referee Herb Dean, Monster Brawl is sure to quench any fans thirst for violence, horror and humor.

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The Psycho Legacy (2010)

No film in classic Horror is more notorious than Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO. Likewise, no set of sequels are more notoriously overlooked, grossly underrated, and sickeningly scorned in their bare-bones video releases than the PSYCHO-sequels. Thankfully, writer/director Robert V. Galluzzo has set out to create the definitive documentary on the series by compiling years of behind-the-scenes photos and press cards with an extraordinary number of interviews, including such esteemed filmmakers as Tom Holland, David Schow, Adam Green, Stuart Gordon, Mick Garris, and countless others (many of whom have been intimately attached to the films). While Galluzzo falls just short of his ultimate goal, THE PSYCHO LEGACY does pull together an excellent assortment of entertaining stories, revealing facts, and reflections on all four entries, many of which have never been shared in the past. Rare footage of the late Anthony Perkins is also integrated into the feature, along with past interviews with co-stars Vera Miles and Janet Leigh. For the most part, the conversations are topical and are spliced together smoothly between interviewees, although the questionable choices in editing and computerized transitions cause minor distractions. In addition to the standard runtime, the Shout Factory! 2-disc release includes over 3-hours of bonus material, featuring Anthony Perkins' unedited panel discussion and footage from a recent PSYCHO cast reunion. THE PSYCHO LEGACY is an essential addition to any fan's collection that finally bridges the gaps left by the Universal releases.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked THE PSYCHO LEGACY, check out:

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Psycho 4 (1990)

Looking to enlighten the audience of a local radio station with his story, reformed serial killer Norman Bates decides to call in to a segment about matricide, reliving the traumatic childhood events that drove him to kill. This unique framing story allows Anthony Perkins to remain in the prequel as our narrator, often injecting himself as a spectator to his own troubled past. Though many may say that PSYCHO needs no introduction, others will argue that Joseph Stefano's treatment delivers a welcomed back story to the screen's most infamous killer. With the stunning Olivia Hussey playing Mrs. Bates, it is no wonder Norman developed such an odd relationship with his mother. Norma's wicked treatment of her son through verbal castration and taunting sexual torments makes it quite clear why Norman should turn out the way he has. But Hussey also embraces the kinder moments, giving us a dual perspective that accounts for Norman's love and obsession with his mother. Henry Thomas is competent as the young Norman, but his performance is lacking in personality. With a twist ending that closes the book on the PSYCHO series, we feel satisfied that Norman's story has been told to completion.

Rating: 8/10.

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Psycho 3 (1986)

Anthony Perkins steps behind the camera to direct this third entry into the PSYCHO series. The Bates Motel is back in business, but Norman's first patron bares a striking resemblance to an earlier victim, which forces a flood of emotion as Mother threatens to do away with the young woman. Perkins shows all of the artful enthusiasm of a first-time director, coupled with the same inexperience as well. Both the religious iconography and stylistic attempts are perceived as being heavy-handed in their approach, while the acting and dialog are far more staged than before. The added elements of nudity and gore more closely resemble the teen Slashers of the 1980s than Hitchcock's suspense thriller, which has a cheapening effect on the overall production. Yet there is a deep underlying theme of redemption and forgiveness which cannot be ignored. We continue to see Norman as a sympathetic victim, and externalize his acts as being the work of his controlling 'Mother,' who becomes the real villain once more. Notable moments include a reversal on the shower scene where Norman discovers Maureen with her wrists cut, and a playful gag where the town sheriff nearly discovers a body Norman has hidden in the new ice maker. PSYCHO 3 does not stack up to the other films in the series, but it is a worthwhile entry nonetheless.

Rating: 7/10.

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