By: Justin Hopkins
We are back again after a little break, sorry I will get better with sticking to a schedule, but here we are with another B Movie Sunday, with a movie from the U.K in the form of Book Of Monsters. I don’t normally get to watch foreign films, something that will be changing going into the next year, so was rather excited to sit back and watch this film. Lets dive in and see discuss how this one is shall we.
We start off with a little girl, Sophie, reading a demonic looking book of monsters under her blanket, when her Mom catches her. Laughing it off, being that it was a regular story for the two of them. Reading about Grota, before lights out, but before she leaves. Hears something from under her bed. Pulling a knife as she goes to inspect. but disappears under the bed. When Sophie goes to check on her, Mother comes up for a moment screaming, before a massive monster comes out from under the bed. Starting toward Sophie, but she wakes up. Older now, and about to turn 18 years old. We meet her friends Mona and Beth, who are going to throw her a massive happy eighteenth birthday party and while they are inviting everyone, have to invite her bullies, Brice and Arya, because they hangout with Jess, Sophie’s crush who Mona is trying to set up. They head back to her house where her Dad set up more of a childish party in sweet display. Gifting her the same book that she hadn’t seen since that night, before he left and they set up for the party, which started late and got out of hand. Leaving Sophie scrambling to keep things clean, while a mysterious redhead is going about sniffing people, before settling on one and took him back to Sophie’s room and getting her hands on the book and began to carve a pentagram into his chest and sacrifice him. All the while, Sophie is being just tormented by Arya’s prank of hiring a male stripper and unveiling her past in a mental hospital for all to here when they are interrupted by an attacking monster. Making quick work of the partygoers. Forcing the survivors into different groups and that is where I will leave it now.
I liked the concept they brought with the monsters. A monster each for the points of the pentagram and a stronger monster being a puppet master. Really loved the Plague Mask Killer. A simplistic look in comparison, but let him really move and looked menacing with is sickles. An interesting take on the Jinn and would have liked to see more from it, but fun while it was there. You can see where they get some of their inspirations from and played most of them nicely and made for a pretty fun story.
While it seemed to have a lot budget they did put a lot of attention in practical gore. People getting ripped to bits and slipping on body parts as they tried to run; all good stuff. The cheesy effect of the neon blood pouring down the wind shield of the car was spectacular. Taking you right back to cheesy horror of old and added a fun feel around it. Like I said, thought the Plague Doctor was the best, but the Shapeshifter looked good as well when it might not should have. Kept it lit up just right to maintain it’s presence.
The chemistry between Lyndsey Craine, Michaela Longden, and Lizzie Aaryn-Stanton was strong. Actually feeling like their characters would have been friends and when they were fighting the monsters, they were not swinging weapons around like seasoned pros. They showed fear and hesitation. Acting like normal people would in this situation. It was a nice change of pace having Lyndsey’s Sophie being a lesbian who has to save the damsel.
Negative wise, the bullies couldn’t have been worse. Would say they were paint by the numbers but Brice at one point simple just through his drink in Sophie’s face. I can’t get over that. Wasn’t even a set up. Just threw the drink. Lazy and didn’t really need two of them. Arya was good on her on.
Then there was Gary, who I did like, but they had him in this tense moment. Going to kill the Shapeshifter and save Jess and he stops to pee. I don’t have words. He could have heard a sound or saw something out of the corner of his eye. Nope.. he had to pee… yeah.
With all said and done though, had a fun time watching this movie. Fun characters and interesting monsters and some good gore. If you are a fan of cheesy horror, would suggest checking out Book of Monsters, with some friends and good food and drinks.
As always, hope you enjoyed and…
Thanks For Reading
By Paul Anthony
With the pandemic going on I have been looking at so much to review until life goes back to normal, so let me say I am sorry for not reviewing this volume of episodes a lot sooner because honestly I did watch this show as soon as it came out but just had other things to write about. Now let’s get to talking about the last six episodes of this season. Volume 2 covers 6 episodes much like volume did and those episodes are the following. Washington Insider Murder, Death In Oslo, Death Row Fugitive, Tsunami Spirits, Lady in the Lake and the last episode is title Stolen Kids. Like before with the first 6 episodes, there is no host which to me is the only mistake I could fine and that is just being picky because though Netflix makes good documentaries, they all seem to be the same except this could have been different. But that is the just a minor knock against it.
All the episodes seem to be roughly around the one hour mark when it comes to time. Also each episode does a good introduction to the story you are about to watch as well as give you as much details from from what we heard and interviews from people who were close to investigations. The first episode follows the mysteries death of John P. Wheeler 3rd. Second episode follows a death of an woman in a nice hotel in Norway, which she gave them false information about herself including her name which truly left everything a mystery. Next we follow the case of convicted murderer and sex offender Lester Eubanks who escaped from prison. The fourth episode follows the claim in which people from Japan sees the ghosts of those who lost their lives in the tsunami of 2011. This one really peaked my interest because it’s a case we all truly remember and the clean up and the lost of life was truly a sad thing and one for the ages. Then the death of Joann Romain who disappeared in 2010 when she so called walked into the icy lake St. Clair. the last episode covers the disappearance of two toddlers from Harlem in 1989 and where they might be. The toddlers were Christopher Dansby and Shane Walker and they were last seen at the playground at the Martin Luther King Jr towers. Truly another episode that caught my attention because it sadly involved innocent kids.
Now the second half of this season had some good moments but not as much as the first half. Overall these two volumes made up what is the 15th season of the show and far from what the they are calling a reboot. in the end I do give this season a must watch status and a grade of about a B plus or 85 percent. I would say its good for a Friday night with popcorn! Please if you have any information regarding these cases please report it and help these mysteries become solved!
By: Justin Hopkins
Off the excitement I had leaving the first story in Calexa Rose Dunhill’s story. Was eager to jump to the next story, Inheritance. Which going off the title sounded pretty ominous. Didn’t read the description, because I preferred to go in blind, but started to worry about the safety of the returning characters. Lets jump in and see if my fears are warranted shall we.
We start off two months down the road. Winter growing closer and Calexa is talking to the stone angel, before heading off to Lucinda’s for dinner. Lucinda is beginning to get more worried about her. Not wanting her to suffer winter in the Cemetery and trying to convince her to go to the cops for help. Calexa is not quite ready and doesn’t want to move into the spare room because of fear of being found, but agrees to stay in the attic bedroom for the night. Where she has a dream about being haunted by the ghosts on Dunhill. Troubled by the fact that she can’t help them if she can’t help herself. Awaken by a sound. Getting downstairs to find Lucinda being attacked by a masked assailant. Stabbing her before she could stop it. Knocking the knife away from the attack which scares them off. Holding Lucinda close as she fades away. Seeing her spirit rising from the body, but to her dismay, flies into her instead of flying off. After a flurry of memories wash over her. She begins to clean the house of any of her prints before calling the police before fleeing back to the cemetery. Watching the scene from her tree. Swearing to find out who did this is where I will leave it for now.
This was more of a whodunit story as opposed to the first one .It was a gamble to kill of Lucinda this early on, but they used it to maximum effect. Really throwing Calexa’s make shift world upside down. She still has the same issues of not wanting to be exposed yet, but now she doesn’t know who it was or if she is in danger. She doesn’t have the skills to solve it on her own. Leaving you wonder who it could be and keeping her on her back foot and reacting to most of the things around her. The wildcard of Mason and if he wasn’t going to take it upon himself to call the cops. Then they throw in the element that Lucinda left everything to her, but if she came forward, she would risk exposure and it all worked so well.
This was as much of a stepping stone to the next story as it was a sequel to Pretenders. Setting up Kelner as someone who is going to get behind her in more of an assertive way while at the very end, they end with Mason being left alone with a man wanting to know all about the ghost of Dunhill Cemetery. Ending with a massive cliffhanger and what could possibly happen next.
Graphic Audio continues to knock it out of the park with their audio books. Sound Affects and background noises, all down to the smallest details are top notch. Emilyn McFarland has really got Calexa down pat. Chris Stinson was a nice addition as Mason and look forward to seeing how he plays out in the next book. Same with Andy Brownstein’s Kelner.
There was a negative to this though and that was having the gang involved. They didn’t add anything to the story. Were suppose to try and lead you to think they were involved with her death, but never at any time did I suspect them and to lead her to where she needed to be for the discovery. Which could have been done another way. Small gripe but still a negative for me.
This was a fun story that has definitely built my excitement for the next installment in the series. Would strongly suggest giving this audio book ago and can’t wait for the finale. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I was kind of flip flopping on which classic to review for the month, especially since I haven’t remembered to review one the last few months. Had a few in mind, but yesterday someone mentioned this gem and this just felt right. Following the spooky season, a comedic mystery of Clue seemed to be fitting. So, lets dive into the whodunit world and see how well it really is shall we.
The Movie kicks off with Wadsworth The Butler showing up. Throwing food to two ferocious guard dogs before going inside. Making sure the maid and cook were ready for their guests. As Colonel Mustard showed up. Making a point that that wasn’t his name, but Wadsworth stresses the importance of using Aliases. Mrs. White showed up next, dressed in mourning attire. Tense moment of recognition between Yvette and Miss. White, but they don’t say why. Followed by the arrival of Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, Miss Scarlett and Professor Plum, who arrived together when Scarlett’s car broke down and he picked her up. Upon their arrival dinner is served, with one guest, Mr. Body still missing. Which confuses them since they were under the impression that he was the host, not a guest, but Wadsworth is not answering any questions. Mrs. Peacock starts nervously talking, to find out Mr. Breen knows her from working in Washington. Through talking, find out Plum has a background in Psychology, Scarlet knows Mustard and everyone works or lives in Washington. Colonel Mustard grows tired of this and demands to know what is going on. When Mr. Body arrives. Already agitated, they go to the Study for the truth, before it comes out, Mr. Body tries to leave to find that they have been locked in till it is all resolved. Which is that they are all being blackmailed. From adulatory, to running an escort service, picking up those escorts, murder and homosexuality and the blackmailer is non other than Mr. Body. The cops are on their way and Wadsworth has all the evidence to have him arrested, but Mr. Body was ready for it. Suspecting Wadsworth was up to something and brought them each a box containing a weapon. Giving them the option, to kill Wadsworth while the lights are out, and they can all leave and no one will ever know that this happened. A gunshot went off and when the lights came back on. Mr. Body was on the ground. Leaving them to figure out who the killer was before the cops arrive.
This was a fun, clever way to bring the board game to life. The characters all having their own unique personalities and quirks. All trying to figure out who the killer is. Each of them having their own reason to commit murder while at the same time, not seeming to be capable of killing at the same time. Changing Mrs. White from the maid to a younger character was a wise move. The mansion was gorgeous. Focusing on the locations from the game, including the two secret passages Mixing in comedy that never derailed the build up in tension which worked its way up slowly throughout. The mansion was gorgeous. Focusing on the locations from the game, including the two secret passages
The actors were spot on with choices for the characters. Tim Curry is amazing as he normally is. Same with Christopher Lloyd Although, I think Martin Mull and Madeline Khan may have outshined him. Martin’s portrayal as the bumbling alpha male was some of the funniest moments and the reactions Madeline played the black widow, Mrs. White was really good. Throw in the fantastic chemistry they shared with Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean and Lesley Ann Warren and you have the making of something special.
The multiple endings is also probably their biggest weaknesses. I get the reason behind them. Every game of clue being different and someone new, but, none of them seemed to feel right after everything that transpired. I liked the idea of them all killing someone else, but Mr. Green being FBI was almost going a little to far. When all that really needed to happen was the cops breaking in, demanding who done it and everyone pointing fingers again. The other endings suffered similar with Wadsworth being FBI. They were just fine, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Mrs. Peacock being the killer cause that twist seemed to be most subdued.
All said in done, Clue is an absolute blast. Some great actors doing their all to bring the board game to life. Having the right amount of comedy and tension. If you haven’t checked it out, do strongly suggest giving it a go and if you have, well it is always the right time to watch it again. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By Paul Anthony
On the eve of Friday the 13th, I had to do a review on an horror film since we are now moving towards Thanksgiving and Christmas, this might be the last one for awhile, who knows. Today I decided to review as the title said House of 1000 Corpses, which is Rob Zombie’s directorial debut and this film would go on to be the first film what would be known as Firefly Film series. There would be two more films The Devil’s Reject and 3 from Hell. This film stars Sheri Moon ( Rob’s real life wife), Bill Mosely and the late Sid Haig. The film was made from a small budget of 7 million but was slammed by credits but still managed to make nearly 17 million and would of course become a cult film. This to me this film introduced me to black comedy horror films. Though Zombie was inspired by films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and The Hills have Eyes (1977), there is no doubt he added his own touch into the horror genre and it would be a shame not to give it it’s own name but that is a topic for another day. This film mixed black comedy for sure but added so much more grit and darker tone to it. Now critics bashed it but was it really that bad?
First the plot like always, the film takes place starting on Halloween eve of 1977, the film starts with a creepy gas station getting robbed but the owner who dresses as a creepy clown and call himself Captain Spaulding ( Sid Haig) instead kills the would be robbers and cleans up with his assistant just in time as four travelers come in for gas though they are exploring roadside attractions. Which the gas station itself is basically a monster house with stories to each monster it has, it even has its own roller coaster ride which the four (Jerry, Bill, Mary, Denise) take the ride and Bill and Jerry gets attach to the idea of Dr Satan and would like to know more which Spaulding gives them directions to but as they get close they pick up an Hitchhiker named Baby (Sheri Moon) she takes them to her family house after their car gets a flat and the group quickly learns this family is not normal the leader of them all has to be Baby’s adoptive brother Otis ( Bill Moseley) one by one they get picked off basically. At the same time we hear about these Missing cheerleaders and the police are on the hunt for whoever kidnapped these girls which we learn the Firefly family as they known by had them this whole time in which they do kill them. Denise manages to escape the night only to be saved by Captain Spaulding but realizes he is with the Firefly family and she passes out and awakes on Dr. Satan table screaming leaving her fate unknown.
The movie was only 90 minutes long, so it moved pretty quickly. We didn’t really have much character development to learn why this family was really all crazy and s0 forth but that may have been the point here. The story was weak at best and the jump scares were far in between. I can see why the profit was low but the great thing it did do was to me introduce a new genre to the horror genre though its under Black Comedy Horror as I said earlier it felt like it different. In the end I am giving it an C for rating. though it did some great things it just needed to be more.
By: Justin Hopkins
This is probably a long overdo review and not talking about the fact it came out in 2016, but the fact I first mentioned it back in December during another blog, but after having a great time during the Cemetery Girl Audiobook Review. Decided to return to this one. A story with a bit of a strange premise. Taking place between Alien and Aliens and not one return, but two. Let’s dive in and see how it did shall we.
The story starts off on the ship called the Marion. A mining vessel above planet LV-178. When a distress signal comes from two returning ships, the Delilah and Samson. The Samson manages dock, but they witness aliens killing everyone on board on the video feed. Leaving them to seal the dock door to keep them locked inside. While the Delilah crashes into the ship. Causing significant damage and sends the Marion into a slow descent toward the planet. Leaving them with no other option but to send a distress call in the hopes of being picked up before the ninety day count down to being burned up in the planet’s atmosphere. After a while though, they realize that there long range antenna was damaged and they don’t know how far out the signal has gotten, but a ship has in fact picked it up and was on it’s approach. The Narcissus, The escape shuttle with Ellen Ripley still in stasis from her escape of the Nostromo… 37 years ago. After shock of not only hearing that, but that the nightmare she barely survived once, is currently here and worse this go around. Her and Hoop go to the Narcissus to find out how she got here and Hoop checking on its conditions. To see if it can be used to escape on. She finds that Ash, the Android who tried to have her and her crew killed in its attempt to bring the alien back to Weyland-Yutani, had downloaded his programming onto the Narcissus computer and had been controlling where the ship went. Hoop shut him down, before returning to the Marion. Gathering everyone together for the news that while it was not the best, but the Narcissus was their only way to escape, but they would need the Fuel Cells from off the planet and the Samson was the only way down. Would deal with Ash once they were a safe way away. Just barely managing to deal with 3 of the 4 aliens aboard the Samson, the final one getting loose, but they leave it for the time. They head to the planet, but Ash has gotten into the Marion’s systems. Laying out plans to continue his agendas of bringing an alien back to the company and that is where I will leave things for now.
This was a really fun, intense story. Showing a crew of people trying to put their collective skills and handful of weapons together and try and survive against multiple xenomorphs and a destructive AI tilting the board against them. Having multiple aliens and spending time on the alien world, with signs of what the planet was like before the Xenomorphs wiped them out and covered by the storms with Seddon after being impregnated with a chestburster and what was going to happen to them towards the end, because we already knew where they had to end.
Obviously a big worry was the inclusion of Ripley being a part of this. Since we know that she is going to survive and go back into stasis alone, but they worked around that really good cast of characters. All of them were charismatic and no one was trying to work against the other. Just trying to survive. From Lechance and Sneddon and Kasyanov and Chris Hooper. Hooper even did survive at the end. Being forced to escape in an escape pod after not being able to make it back to the Narcissus and would love to see them bring him back at some point cause he was a good addition to the story. Then you get Ash in the form of this AI puppet master was just the perfect touch and may have had the most gruesome kill on Kasyanov.
The big production they had was awesome. The background sounds were all just fantastic of sirens and elevator falling. The screams and screeches coming from the Xenos when they attacked and scurrying through vent ducts. Topped off by some excellent performances from the Voice Actors. Laurel Lefkow played Ripley so well. Not only did she sound exactly like Sigourney Weaving, but got into the character so well. Andrea Deck as Kasynaov and Mac McDonald’s Lechance and Corey Johnson’s Hoop… everyone involved did amazing selling the horror and desperation of the characters and brought this story to life in wonderful fashion.
My only real gripe with the story is Ripley having her memory wiped. I get why they felt like they had to do this, but they didn’t really have to do so. When she finally did wake up, would have just chalked up the events to one of many nightmares since there was no evidence on the ship of the stop on the Marion.
As you could tell, I had a blast with Out Of The Shadows. Start of a trilogy that at some point will be checking out the other two, but do strongly suggest checking this title out.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Back when I was over the road. Use to listen to a fair amount of Graphic Audio CDs. Listening to a lot of Marvel and Silver in particular. Cemetery Girl was one that was high up on my list to get, but stopped listening before I ever got it. As I have been playing more games such as Minecraft that doesn’t require that much sound however. Allowed me to get back to the audiobooks and I finally picked up Cemetery Girl and after giving it a listen. Decided to talk about it here. So lets dive in shall we and break down book one.
The story starts with a girl being rolled down a hill and left for dead in Dunhill Cemetery. Suffering from amnesia and takes shelter in a crypt. Doesn’t remember who she is and only a few flashes of being attacked. Afraid that if she goes to the police for help though, that the person who tried to kill her will try again so she stays at the cemetery until she can remember. While she was attempting to steal a few things for warmth was startled by a soul of a recently departed man ascend from his grave and disappear. Adding to the mystery of who she is. As days begin to go by, she makes it by blending in with people attending funerals. Stealing little things from their cars and the groundskeeper’s house. When she saves his life one even though. Dawns on her that she needs a name and gets one off a faded grave, Calexa Rose Dunhill. One night a group of teens break into the cemetery, trying and failing to raise a demon. A group she sees again when one of their friends die and they break in again, with their friend’s sister and murder her, in a sacrifice to bring him back. Burying in his burial plot when it doesn’t work. While she is watching from a distance, the girl’s spirit comes out and instead of disappearing like the other. Beelines it into Calexa. Giving her all of her memories and voice inside, longing for justice, but doing so would put her at risk of being exposed and her killer taking another shot at her.
This was a much shorter story than I am use to with this medium, clocking in at only a little over an hour and a half, but they make every bit to tell a wonderful tale and introduction into the world. Charlaine Harris did a wonderful job at writing the story. Calexa is a likeable character who really sucks you into her plight. She wears her emotions on her sleeve. Crafty and capable enough to survive in the cemetery, despite probably only being a kid, by the way the groundkeeper is reluctant to notify authorities and have her sent to a foster home, but at the same time, she is incredibly human. She is not some master thief or capable of going toe to toe with anybody. When she finds herself in a dangerous situation, you feel like she is in danger and helps you cling on to every minute of the story. Wondering how she is going to help Marla and not get caught at the same time. Lucinda and The Groundskeeper were wonderful additions and genuinely excited to see how the relationship with Calexa evolve from here.
Much like everything Graphic Audio puts together, the sound effects and background music is spectacular. Sounds of people walking and hearing a difference when people are far away or talking while they walk away. Get multiple, extremely talented voice actors voicing different characters. From Emlyn McFarland’s portrayal of Calexa. Andy Brownstein as the Groundskeeper and Shari Eliker and Lucinda and just everyone involved. May sound like a small thing, but it really makes a difference to immersing you into the story and Cemetery Girl is no different.
I do strongly suggest giving Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders. It is a perfect way to get introduced into audio books and a great short story for people who are well versed in them… and it is always a Graphic Novel for those who really don’t want to listen to an audio book. Whichever avenue you choose to enjoy what is a really good story.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.