By: Justin Hopkins
** Spoiler Warning **
Hello, and welcome to the Classic 13, and in honor of Doctor Sleep coming out. Can’t think of a more appropriate time to look back at Stanley Kubrick’s 1980’s The Shining. Movie cited a lot of the times, as one of the best horror movies of all time. From the elevator scene, room 237, Redrum, and the scene at the bar. Everyone can seem to recite a favorite scene from this movie. A classic that has stood the test of time. Let’s take a closer look and throw my opinion, on a movie that has been talked about almost at nauseum.
The story start off by showing Jack Torrance, being interviewed for the winter Caretaker position at The Overlook Hotel. Where him, his wife and son Danny would spent the winter at, while Jack maintains the hotel over the winter. Learns about the grisly past of the hotel, but believes it will be okay, due to having his Family with him, and the quiet solitude will help him write his play and help with his sobriety. Meanwhile, back in town, Danny is shown a psychic vision, and goes into a seizure like fit. He is taken to a doctor by his Mom Wendy, and we learn of his imaginary friend Tony and an injury a drunk Jack had given him. From there we see them going to the Overlook for their extended stay. While Jack goes off to talk to the owner. Wendy and Danny get a tour from Hallorann. Who sense the power in Danny, because he has the same thing. A power he shared with his Grandmother that they called, The Shining. Told him the house has spirits that will tempt to mess with him, and to not let them get to him and to stay out of room 237. As months go by, and the spirits not only haunt Danny more and more, but begin to eat away at Jack’s Sanity more and more, until he snaps in a terrifying climax that doesn’t let up till the end.
Casting was pretty spot on for this movie. Shelley Duvall did a great job as Wendy. From the start you can tell she is a woman who is kind of suffering silently. She wants so badly for her family to pull through the hard times they had been going through and is willing to do what it takes to make sure that happens. As Jack loses his mind and goes crazy, she really plays well off of that. To learn how she was being treated on set, during all of this, as well makes it that much better that she managed to pull it off. Danny Lloyd played Danny excellently. His interactions with the likes of The Twins and later on with Jack in the maze were some of my favorites in the movie. Even the secondary actors really stood out. Such as Scatman Crothers as Hallorann, Philip Stone as Grady, and Joe Turkel as Lloyd were all spot on for their roles. Of course, Jack Nicholson. For the time being, I’ll say, he did phenomenal as crazed Jack, and will come back to it later on.
I loved the way this movie was shot. Can never go wrong with long shots in my opinion, and the tracking shots were great way to tell the story going on. Transitions were amazing. The downward shot of Jack look at the model of the hedge maze, turning to Wendy and Danny in the maze. Showing Danny’s knowledge of the maze which would speak volumes toward the end. It was a slow burn of a ride, but was perfectly built up. Wouldn’t have had the same effect, if the scares just kept coming. Instead it let the tension build and build Only teasing and showing a little here and there and shows how well Kubrick is at pacing the story. Alright, time to trigger some of you, but time to go to the negatives.
This is one that is more personal toward myself, but this is all my opinion so it is here. I use to really love this movie. Right up until I read the book, and I hate to be that person, but wow, this is just a shell in comparison to what it could have been. A good shell mind you, but one nevertheless. Say that, because the characters could have had so much more to do. All could have had so much more and the cast was so strong and could have brought out those aspects to perfection. Jack never got his redemption and died as a deranged man lost in a maze. Danny had so much more and Wendy’s character was gutted. Feel like the writing just failed the cast on this.
Kubrick did a very good job at creating isolation and horror aspect, but there was one problem, and that was largely the start. You never really feel happiness. When it’s supposed to be a descent into madness. There has to be a point of happiness somewhere. Wendy come across as someone on the brink of a breakdown. Never do enough with Danny, and Jack comes across as a crazy person who just gets even more crazy throughout. Outside of some splashes between Wendy and Danny, everything comes across as cold. Could have been due to how much of the book was left off or the fact they were doing some scenes over a hundred times, but the story suffers from not having this.
I want to forward this next part, with the reminder that I do think crazed Jack was great, but Jack Nicholson never came across a caring husband and Father. The scenes sprinkled in to try and make it come across that way failed miserably. Like I said above, could have been because the countless takes robbing the scenes of any emotion, but I took notice of this on my first watch and has gotten worse with age.
And that is that, for this months Classic 13. I know not a lot of you will share my views when it comes to the negative and that is perfectly fine. Even with those in mind, still recognize this as an all-time great movie. Flaws and all. It has inspired a slew of people to get into the horror genre and with next year being it’s 40 year anniversary. Don’t see that changing anytime soon. Final Grade: A
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
** SPOILER WARNING**
Hello and welcome back to this weeks, B Movie Sunday. Coming back from a bit of a break and aam doing so by breaking a bit of a rule I had for myself involving this series, and that is the movie in question, can’t have a theater run, and this one, did have one. For the life of me I don’t know how, because in my opinion; Alone In The Dark is very much a B Movie and to be honest, I can’t possible do a list like this without covering a Uwe Boll film. It would just be sacrilegious. Having seen many, many deem this as one of the worst movies ever. Kind of had to see for myself. Before we jump in, want to disclose that I have never played any of the Alone In The Dark Games. Read that it is loosely based off the fourth game, but with that said. Won’t be pointing out any changes made here, because I simply don’t know anything about that. Ok, good, lets begin.
Movie kicks off with an opening Prologue about The Abkani Tribe. Summarizing the information, which is a lot. The tell us about The Abkani Tribe, and their beliefs on there being two worlds; One of light and one of Dark.When they open the gates to the otherside. Something came through and The Abkani was wiped out. Somehow the keys were hidden and The Creatures were seeking them out and Agency 713 was created to hunt down the Supernatural. Hudgins wqas involved and started doing experiments on Orphans to bind man with creatures. He was shut down, but not before setting us a lab in a gold mine, and it goes on and on. Too much information, but we do finally get to the movie and it is a flashback. We see Hudgins and a Nun yelling about how it was for the betterment of the Human Race and reporting the Orphans were gone. Only one had escaped. A young Carnby. We see our first monster and what looked like Carnby being electrocuted, but he wakes up, and is a grown adult on a plane, scaring a kid in the seat next to him. He is returning home with an Abkani artifact, and is attacked in his cab, but a man, who turns out later to be a former 713 agent who had been missing for 20 something years. Now infected by a parasite. We get some semi decent action and a beautiful bullet time camera shot through a block of ice. Then we see Hudgins fishing out a crate from the ocean with the cliche doom is nigh fisherman, who throws that right out the window when he sees the box is made of pure gold. Has Hudgins locked away tp claim what is inside; which we don’t see but everyone near is killed and a psychic wave goes out and a bunch of people, Orphans who were tested on, stop what they are doing and just walk off. Except Carnby, who is simply knocked unconscious. While his girlfriend is working on decoding a tablet. After being notified that his friend is missing and a little investigation later. He goes to his Girlfriend to examine this piece he has, and is kissed and hit and the dialogue starts to slip here. They are attacked by a monster, that they call Xenos, and the 713 saves them. You start to think that things will start moving at a faster pace, and it sort of does, and sort of dies, but it leads up to the final climax and battle at the gold mine. Will leave it at that for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet.
Know, you might be slightly confused by all of this, and yes I did summarize a lot of it, but it’s not much more clear in the movie. At times it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s a mystery, due to what happened at the orphanage, but there is no real investigation because they just tell you like it was some big reveal. An awful scene that feels like they shot it just to make a music video out of it, and is so bad that if they did make a music video out of it. Have no reason to even seek it out. A sex scene that is used to just drag out the run time, because they couldn’t be bothered to try and right a reason for it into the story. A James Bond style scene with all the weapons that the 713 invented to fight the Xenos but the monsters tank the bullets and are never really affected by it, and they don’t focus on any of the deaths matter because you don’t care about any of the character, minus maybe Carnby, who doesn’t die anyways. The plot holes in this are massive and hard to ignore. Have characters shocked and enraged by the fact their radios and remote detonator fails to work. Despite them stressing the fact the monsters emit waves that interrupt electronics. Carnby spends his life trying to figure out what happened at the Orphanage, but misses the massive piece. Makes them look more dumb as it goes along, and the dialogue is rough to say the least.
It wasn’t all so bad. Christian Slater was pretty solid as Edward Carnby. Likable enough to keep my interest. He made the dialogue work and chemistry was strong enough the ones he interacted with. Especially with Stephen Dorff, who got better as the story went along. They did something with his character that I thought was truly special. He played the character that acts as a roadblock for you main protagonist. One who is dead set in his thought process and refuses to listen till they are dead, but he did not. Believed Carnby was a threat because he knew he had a parasite, but once he saw him fighting alongside his men. Knew he was telling the truth and they fought together. No questions asked. He was actually smart, and nice to see. Tara Reid and Matthew Walker were okay. They tried their best, but the dialogue came back to haunt them, and hindered them hard.
Minus the gunfight at Carnby’s House, the action scenes were fine. Nothing really special but I did enjoy the first altercation. Lastly, I did enjoy the design on the monsters. The CG looked terrifying and were well designed. They worked with what they needed to be, and could have been much worse.
Still have no idea how this made it to theater, but with all that said; I did have a bit of fun with this movie. It’s not good by any meaning of the word, but far from the worst that I have seen. I enjoy the performance from Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff. I am going to say check it out, but going to put a massive asterisks next to it. Have to be aware of what you are getting into. It’s not quite on the level of it’s so bad it’s good movie. It has a lot of dumb moments and cringy dialogue that make me chuckle, but definitely not for everybody. Key is to sit back and have fun with the stupidity of it all.
Thanks for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome into the foggy realm of the entity and the world of Dead By Daylight. For those who unaware of, Dead By Daylight is an online multiplayer game. Pitting 4 survivors trying to escape versus a killer trying to sacrifice them to the Entity. Most fun and frustrating time I have had with a video game for quite some time, and after a year and a half playing. Still sticking around, but last week, a new aspect has been added to the game; called The Archives. In it contains a Tome and a Rift, and today we will be taking a look at each and seeing if it is any good. Starting with The Rift.
I don’t know much about Online Gaming. After playing around with Friday The 13th and a bit of Fortnite. This is the first one I have ever really dedicated myself to. The rift is pretty much a Battle Pass. Don’t know how they work, but this one has a free side and a premium, and as you climb up the ranks, you get rewards. From Cosmetics, Serum to purchase The event cosmetics, emblems for survivors to wear and killer can put them to their hooks, and Aurric Cells, and I thoroughly enjoy all of this. The cosmetics look really great, and varied across a multitude of different characters. I only normally buy for a few and is nice to be getting them for the others now as well. Which is really nice, because the skins are very nice. Especially the Wraith and always need more stuff for the Huntress. I get a big kick out of the addition of decorating the hooks. It can be a bit of a grind at times, but it’s not like I am not playing anyways. Would much rather feel like I am working toward something then simply playing for Bloodpoints or just buying the pieces.
Now, on to the Tomes, which are in game challenges. Such as trap survivors in bear traps, heal x amount of survivors, and such. Sprinkled throughout as rewards, are bits of lore. Going into further depth, on some of the characters. This round we got The Hunger, Blood, Brass, and Grit, and Claudette’s 8th Birthday. One of my favorite things about this game. That goyt me to stick around and learn how to play, was how much I enjoy the lore, and have not been disappointed by either of these stories. The Hunger, being the lesser. Mostly because I don’t know much about the alchemist or care about his. The stuff about the Serum was good. Claudette’s was just sad though. Not having friends to invite to her Birthday Party. Almost feel bad for slugging them now.. no, I don’t. Blood, Brass, and Grit though. That is so good. What we knew of Evan MacMillan, The Trapper, to this point was that he idolized his Father and helped run the workers with an Iron Fist, but this gives us a far different take on the big guy. Putting Evan at fourteen, he was friends with the miners. Keeping their secret plan to unionize away from his abusive Father. Who likes to draw because of how much his Father hated it. I want to know more. What happened to sway him so far to the otherside, but I can’t because I have to wait for the next round of challenges. Which is.. Mildly frustrating.
Speaking of Challenges. This was stage one, and don’t know how, but after finishing, can view stage 4, and my god the difficulty spike. On the Killer side, you have some like sacrifice 3 survivors using NOED, five basement hooks using Agitation, and 4 sacrifices in the basement and on the Survivor side, gets even harder with; complete 4 gens using Dark Sense, unhook 3 survivors, and make 2 flashlight blind saves. Oh and each have to be done in individual games… Damn. I am not one to back down from a challenge. Much rather knuckle down and try my hardest over being given training wheels, but Behavior really has it cranked high. These could all be wrong and have a nice laugh at the idea later on, but if not. They are really expecting miracles. Most survivors run small game and keep an eye out for Hexes, especially if they catch whiff of NOED. Killers are going to be hugging walls if they see a flashlight, and trying to save that many on a timer is insane, and to complete 4 gens yourself would mean no other survivors are doing anything. Survive with friends and Kill your friends will have an easier time, but for solos like me. Certainly have our work cut out.
Know these may sound like small things. Cosmetics, bits of lore, styling the hooks, but it’s the small things that matter. Can feel a bit of rinse, wash and repeat, but to have challenges and goals to work for helps out greatly. Game is going on three and a half years, and still putting out stuff like this is a pretty cool thing to me. Big props to those working at Behaviour for the work they have done and looking forward to more challenges.
Thank you for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
It is the most wonderful time of the year. Better than the rest of the holidays and most birthdays as well. That magical time of the year, where you try to cram as many horror movies into one sitting as humanly possible, while eating way to much candy. The Thing, Pumpkinhead, It… And the one you may have already seen. Maybe on the marathon or maybe on a loop from you personal collection. Of course, I am talking about the timeless classic, known as Halloween. A staple in most people’s horror movie watchlist for today, but I have a question; which one do you go for? John Carpenter’s 1978’s classic, or Rob Zombie’s brutal ride from 2007. With some pretty diehard fans from both sides of the fence. Let’s dive in shall we. We will take a closer look, separate pro from con, and declare a winner at the end. Like always, we will begin with the original.
The story starts off, with the death of Judith Myers at the hands of her Brother Michael. Watching her death through his eyes. On his way out, he is met by their parents, who take off the mask and we see Michael is just a small child. We then get a quick jump ahead. Where we Doctor Loomis and a Nurse on there way to the Mental Institution. Where they find the patients out and about. When Loomis gets out to investigate. Michael gets the nurse out of the car and escapes. Heading back to Haddonfield, with the good Doctor on his trial. Meanwhile, we are introduced to our Lead Girl, Laurie Strode. On her way from school. Stops at the Myers house to put the key under the mat. Unknowingly, catching the eye of Michael, and became his obsession. Following her throughout the town, as well as the little boy she was slated to babysit later in the evening. Along with her friends, Annie and Lynda. As nightfall takes hold, Michael begins to eliminate those around her. Till only his obsession remains, and Laurie must find a way to survive.
Story is simple, let intricately woven together, in a compelling manner. The shots were beautiful, especially the long shots used throughout. Creating an aura that they are being watched, even when Michael is not around, and early on, he is used perfectly to ramp up the tension. Seeing him in passing, or just standing off in the distance, or over there shoulder. Always, in a way, where he is watching, but they are not in position to see him. And what can I say about the score that you haven’t heard. It’s as iconic as this movie is.
The casting is spot on. PJ Soles and Nancy Kyes were excellent as Annie and Lynda. Two very important roles, since they were Laurie’s Best Friends and we spent enough time with each to have their deaths not only mean something, but be memorable in the same instance. Donald Pleasence is the best. Dr. Loomis is one of the best parts about watching this movie, and is a joy to deal with, and of course, we got Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode. While, I do believe that she is not the best Final Girl, her performance here, created the formula for what a Final Girl should be, and all of us in the horror community do owe that to her performance here, but I will be circling back to her, in just a little bit.
Nick Castle did a fantastic job, portraying Michael Myers here. He is not a particular big man, at a lean five feet ten, but through his mannerisms and way he held himself. Didn’t have to be. His body language in the presence of someone much bigger. Not to mention the brute force Myers displays throughout.
Now, this movie does have a few minor flaws, and one of which, is with Laurie. It is one thing to fall down while running away. Not going to fault someone for that, but her constant desire to not only stop near the body, but discards her weapon gets infuriating. There are two occasions where she can escape, with the kids, but doesn’t take it. For someone who is supposed to be smart, makes a lot of dumb mistakes. Movie is slightly outdated, particularly around Annie’s death. Bit more tame than most horror movies we see today, but didn’t have to be. Psychological, suspense and characters added more then brutality. Final Grade: A
And on to the remake, from the mind of one Rob Zombie. Much like a good remake. He had put his own spin on the movie. We start off again, with young Michael, who kills his pet rat. Dad wants to get it on with Step-Daughter Judith, and both are… highly unlikable I’ll say for a lack of non swearing words. Both of which bully Michael, and gets the same from the bullies at school. Dad, Judith, and the bullies are ramped up to as far as they can get, in just about every despicable way. Leaving Mom to try and hold her family together, on top of stripping. Later, we find out Michael is killing all sorts of animals, and we get introduced to Dr. Loomis who is trying to evaluate Michael, but he runs off first. Killing the school bully. Then later on that day, kills the Dad, Judith, and her boyfriend. The later introduces the iconic mask to the equation. All three die in brutal ways. When Mom comes home, finds him covered in blood, sitting on the steps. Baby Laurie, cradled in his arms. We then take a jump to him in the institution. Gets one last kill as a kid, and never speaks again. Mom kills herself. Then we jump ahead to him as an adult. Doctor Loomis saying his goodbye to him. Having nothing left to give, after years of attempting to reach him. Michael escapes, killing a wave of guards, and the lone worker who is friendly to him. Going back out, to find his sister. From here, we get into the Laurie part of the story. While a lot of it remains a homage to the first. Michael leaves a much bigger body count in his path. Every again, ramped up. Sex, hormones, violence. All turned way up. All leading up to a much more climactic finish.
The Laurie part of this story is great. Keeping Annie alive to bait Laurie in, showed he was more than a brutal killing machine. Michael taking out her Step-Parents was a great touch. Really leaving Laurie completely alone by the end. Keeping Annie alive to bait Laurie in, showed he was more than a brutal killing machine. The acting was stellar as well. Danielle Harris was great fan service and a wonderful Annie. Kristina Kleb was a decent Lynda, but maybe needed a bit more screen time. Scout-Taylor Compton blew it away as Laurie. Had some massive shoes to fill, but I think in her own way, may have outpaced Jamie Lee Curtis. I know, made some of you.. alright all of you mad at that, but here me out. The reason, I am saying this, was that she was more of an active fighter at time. Bludgeoned, broken, and battered, but still going. Staring him down, ready to blow his brains out. That was really lacking in the first movie, and glad we got it here. I even liked Malcolm Mcdowell’s performance as Dr. Loomis. He was not Donald Pleasence, but played the Doctor role a bit more legit here. Donald’s character just wanted to kill him, while Malcolm’s wanted to still save him. Yes, he did shot him, but only because he was going to kill Laurie, and even after that. Unable to get up, he still clung on to Michael’s leg. Hoping beyond hope, to stop him. It is just a shame that so many good performance are wasted, because of how this movie started.
I don’t want to call it out right awful, cause in the right movie, could work well. If you take the entire front half and change the kid to Freddy Krueger, it would work out so much better. Cause that I believe is his childhood. That’s kind of my problem here. Take that childhood, it would be more of a surprise that he didn’t turn out to be a killer. His childhood is the stuff of several real ones. They try to sell you on him being pure evil, but he is not. Just a kid with an awful, awful childhood, who snapped. Nothing even inhuman about his strength, because they brought in Tyler Manes, who did a good job, but at his sheer size, you believe that he could easily do these things, because he is huge. The front half of this movie, just stole all of his mystique and turned him into just another bland killer, and the front half did a whole lot worse and hurt the back half in the process.
All the sex and nudity made sense in the second half of the story, because they are young adults, who just want to get laid and have a good time. However, because we had to deal with the likes of Roy who wants to sleep with a waitress and gets it on with Judith, and Judith and her boyfriend, and the bully who mocks Michael with a flyer of his Mom stripping and wants to know how much she would charge him or how much Judith is charging for this and that and goes on and on. By the time you get to the part where this all makes sense, you are just so tired and over it, and you still have an hour of it left to go. It is fine when it makes sense, but as a method to make you hate them, is just dumb and lazy way to go.
There is one more negative to go, and that is the way this movie closes. They tumble out of the window together. I like it. She is on top of him, gun to his head. Pulling the trigger, click, nothing. Again, nothing. His arm grabs hers, and another blank shot. All of which is great stuff, until the gunshot rings out, and she lets out a hellacious scream. Unraveling in front of us, and no. I will never be okay when the lead goes, crazy. It is lazy and ridiculous thing to do. After everything she did to survive. Just mentally break at the end, and I know the argument over realism of what she has been through and you are wrong. Michael eats bullets and knife wounds for breakfast. Can’t ignore that and use realism later on. Her unraveling at the end, is the only negative I have, around the back half of this, but it is a big one.
I may be a little more generous than I should. Scout, Danielle and Malcolm. Along with enjoying some of the later kills. The second half of this movie, dug it out of a massive hole, and if I could forget the first hour or so. Then the grade would be much higher, but since I can’t. Final Grade: C –
Winner- The Original
At the end of the day, it’s not even really close. I do understand why people like the remake. It’s bold and brutal, and over the top. It had splashes of genius and great casting in Laurie, Annie, and Loomis. If more effort was put into the writing and pacing and a little restraint. Could have been a real challenger, but Carpenter weaved a simple story into a timeless classic. Everything flowed well, and let Suspense and Psychology add to the terror and built up over time. Do you disagree? Feel like I have overlooked or missed something? Let me know in the comments. In the meantime, Have a Happy Halloween and…
Thanks for reading.
Have a happy halloween.
By: Justin Hopkins
Saved this for last. Mostly, because I think it took years off my life. Every time I thought I had the list the way I wanted, found a movie they had been in, and while I have watched way too many horror movies. My knowledge of horror games, comics, and everything else are all over the place. Some more then others, my fault. Ever growing to do list, but alas. Proved to be a very difficult as far as picking out 8 good characters to feature on a list, but I was determined to see it through. Try and give you list you won’t see a dozen of everywhere else. With that said, let’s get down to it, with number 8, from a storied franchise.
8. Twin Victims – Silent Hill 4: The Room
It would be almost wrong to not include a Silent Hill creation on a list like this. While the movies wisely used the big popular ones. There was still a few to be utilized and for my money, it’s got to be the twin victims. Their unsettledness upon first meeting them. A giant black cloak, walking on two massive arms and dueling masks looking back. Stopping to point directly at you, trying to run away when you get too close and swing defensively. Due, to you playing as the man who killed two twins early on in his life. Psychologically hitting you with not only their look, but the fact they are killing them all over again.
7. Grey Jack – Resistance: Fall Of Man
This guys were a nightmare to contend with. Racing full steam ahead at you, and even if you knew they were coming. If you blink they were on you and resulted in heavy damage. There long elongated bodies were stood to the husky and thick bodies of the rest of the Chimera you have been dealing with. They were not even armed, but no matter what you were doing. They took top priority due to how fast they can end you.
6. Baron Of Hell – Doom
Whether he is pixelated or towering monster of hatred. The Baron stands out in a seas of just awesome designs. Was amazed by his design when I first saw him in Doom 2016 right to the point where he knock me silly and send me running to the cave. Being among the highest ranking members of hell and fighting process to back it up. May have fallen from grace a bit from their final boss status, but can end you quick if you are unprepared and still a force to be reckoned with.
5. Alma Wade – F.E.A.R.
Kids will always be creepy, and Alma is one of the few to ever make me jump during gameplay. Just a google search and you’ll see why. Her just popping up and disappearing within a moment. Wondering if she was even there or if it has happened so much and you are starting to see things. Being a powerful psychic who tortured and drove the scientists mad was chilling. Yet, when you learn more about the awful things done to her. Start to understand her rage a bit. Even if it is directed at you in the process.
4. Witch – Left For Dead
If you ever played Left for Dead and heard her crying. Did you avoid at all cost and immediately run up and cause your own demise. I was the second one exclusively. The witch baited in unexpected survivors during their escape from a zombie infected area, and those who stumbled upon her, or inadvertent flashlight beam would soon be staring down and at the incoming missile on two legs. Knocking you down with a swipe of her claws and killing you, and if you did not preemptively strike or start blasting away the second she got up. There wasn’t much you can do to stop her. While there are many threats lurking in Left For Dead. None were as lethal, as the Witch, and the thing was; You were the one who caused it.
3. Lisa Trevor – Resident Evil
Among those to appear on this list, or in general really. None are more sad, then that of one Lisa Trevor. She was forced to be the lab rat of the Umbrella Corporation at a young age and began to develop horrific mutations. Her Mother was as well, but when her Mother tried to escape and was killed and replaced by an imposter, to appease Lisa. Under the impression that the imposter stole her Mother’s face. Leading Lisa to ripped her face off. Dead set to return it to her Mother. Her terrifying appearance is matched only by the fact she is unstoppable enemy who will kill you even if you try to fight.
2. The Darklings – The Darkness.
If there is one on this list that I am shocked they have not used in a movie let, it is The Darkness. With how popular Comic Book Movies have been and more turning towards a darker tone. The Darkness seems ripe for the picking, but their loss is this lists gain, because the Darklings are terrifying horde. Don’t let their short, over the top antics fool you. They are lethal as they come, who not only will kill you, but keep the onslaught going after your demise, for nothing more then sheer enjoyment. The fact that they are creation of whomever is wielding the power of the Darkness, is irrelevant, because they ultimately take their marching orders from the Darkness itself. As long as they remain bathed in darkness. There is little they can’t do.
1. Huntress – Dead By Daylight
This is an absolute, personal choice, and you can at me all you want, but it will not stop her from being top of the list . For all Dead By Daylight’s faults, and their lore is tremendous to read, and Anna’s stands out among the rest. After the death of her Mother, Anna was left to fend for herself at a young age, not much older then seven, in the wilderness. She has never mentally aged beyond that moment. Growing into a hulking, hunting goddess. Taking out everything from deer to bear and later humans, with nothing more then her instincts and trusty ax and hatchets. Except little girls, needing to protect them from the dangers out there. Leading to their death of illness or hunger. Even her mori, one kill shot to the head, and two to the chest. Like a little kid celebrating over their downed victim. She is a raw nerve that can’t be reasoned with, because she doesn’t know she is doing anything wrong. The moment in the game, when you first hear her humming lullaby. The entire game changes, because the moment a chase begins. You have to ready for incoming hatchets. All of your usual tactics go right out the window and even when you are unhooking or out in the open. Never knowing when a hatchet will come from nowhere.
And that is all I got. I hope you enjoyed. As challenging as it was, had a good time trying to find the best that I could find. Now is the real fun part. Do you disagree? Have one that I left off? Are you Sally Smithson, blinking over for daring to put Huntress on over her? Let me know in the comments. All for conversation and love to know more about horror characters that I don’t know about. In the meantime;
Thank you for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I know, it’s Sunday and this is not the normally B-Movie Review, but wanted to mix it up just a little bit, and in line with the rest of the lists I have put up this month. It would be almost a shame to not make one up for these as well. After all, this is the season of gory slashers, monsters, ghosts and all things that go bump in the night. It can be easy to get lost in the big three, Stephen King, and various others that might sneak onto TV, but these 8 can mix it up a little bit. While they may or may not hold up to the norm. They are still entertaining and is good to mix up your usual watch list from time to time. However, I have changed some things up, and a few important things to note before I begin. Number 1, being the obvious, I have had to of seen the movie to make the list. I don’t want to B.S a about a movie that I have never seen before. I am sorry, but wouldn’t be right to you and I am not going to do it. So, movies like Dead Alive or Terrifier or Satan’s Little Helper may be excellent movies, but haven’t seen them. So, they are not here. 2, I normally go for B-Movies that don’t have a theater run, but have lifted that rule, just a little and have allowed for limited runs to be present. Number 3, this is not a normal ranking, from worst to best kind of deal. Don’t take the numbers to literally. It’s just 8 suggestions that I feel can be fun to kick back and watch. Nothing more than that. With that said, lets get things rolling.
8. House Of The Dead
It would almost be a mistake to no include a Uwe Boll. To be fair, despite some over acting and cheesy moments. This zombie packed film isn’t a bad one. Bringing the arcade game to life, in gory fashion. Some fun characters in the form of Kirk and Skipper, and over the top zombie kills. Particularly enjoy the montage to the song Fury, where you get a long action sequence of the survivors taking out waves of zombies, with bits of gameplay weaved throughout. It’s a fun movie, not to be taken seriously, and in an over bloated genre such as zombies are now a days. That is all I am asking for.
There is always room for giant man eating monsters, and while we have the likes of Anaconda and Boa floating around. Python has been my go to for a long time. Really enjoyed the characters throughout the story. The little town setting and the issues they were having, that did not revolve around the giant snake. Of course, having a horror icon Robert Englund goes a long way as well. The CGI snake didn’t look to bad and the kills were fun and because of the attention they had on building characters. The deaths felt like they meant something to the story. All big pluses and a reason to give it a watch.
6. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
I mean, do I really have to give a reason to watch this. It’s killer aliens designed as clowns. It’s great fun from start to finish. Kills are over the top and fantastic. Being as creative as they could with stuff you’d find at a carnival to weaponize. I did a review on this a few weeks ago, and if you haven’t watched it. Now is the best time. If you have watch it again. Can never have enough of this one.
5. The Stuff
This is still one of the most bizarre movies I have ever scene. Right from the start, where the two men find white stuff coming out of the ground and eat it and turn it into a food craze that the world loves, and turns people crazy and under mind control and slowly eating them alive from the inside. With an investigator trying to sabotage them and later stop them before it is to late. Crazy ride from start to finish.
4. Black Sheep
This tongue and cheek, gore fest of a B-Movie is brought to us from New Zealand and is tremendous. It’s so hard to look away, no matter what craziness they throw at you. From flocks of deranged, scientifically altered sheep, Weresheep, and stupid one liners. The actors were top notch, characters were a joy to watch. Felt sorry for the main and his genuine fear of sheep in seriously traumatizing moment and enjoyed Angus get his comeuppance. And for those who like bloody and extreme death scenes. Black Sheep has you covered.
I want to remind everyone, this is not an official list. Sharktopus, is one of my favorite shark movies and movies in general. Do I think of it as the best of either category, no of course not, but I find it to be one of the most fun movies I have watched, and it is hard to explain why. The story is as out there as they come. Think the actors had a good chemistry together. The main characters took the situation seriously, while the side characters and those meant to die, were goofy and over the top. I enjoyed the look of Shaktapus himself. Crack up every time I watch him using the tentacles to walk across the beach and through the resort. Why do I suggest this, because with all the serious and dark movies to watch during Halloween and on this list. Sharktopus has a light heartedness to break them up and give you a bit of a break between them.
Speaking of dark and gritty, we land on the love letter to the 80’s Slasher Genre, Hatchet. Telling the story of the deformed Victor Crowley and his sad demise and vengeful return and my god they do not hold back on anything in this. Victor rips and tears people apart with his bare hands and chucks body parts at poor Ben. This movie gets you from the start with some fun moments of mardi gras and solid character build ups before a rather great introduction to Crowley himself. This should be a regular Halloween watch, but if it’s not. Then do yourself a favor and add. It is well worth the time.
1. Evil Dead
Could it be anything else. The King of the B-Movies. Almost hard to think of something new to say here that hasn’t already been said before. It’s not a particularly scary movie, but gave us a wild tale, of Ash becoming the least likely hero of all time. Everyone involved loved this movie and wanted it to be successful and showed first hand how well a B Movie can do. Of course you have seen it. If you ever needed a reason to watch it again. None better then now.
And that would be that. My 8 B-Movie suggestions to watch for Halloween time. Tell me what B- Movies you like to watch in the comments below. Be back next week with our regular scheduled B-Movie review and in the meantime.
Thanks for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome back to the roundabout. Where we go through bits of news through the last week that I feel like deserve another little go over. Some bigger than others. From movies to video games and a little in between. Taking all the stories and narrowed it down to 6. So without further adieu, lets jump in with the most recent bits, swarming around the Merc With The Mouth himself, Deadpool.
Rumors have been breaking all day that Deadpool 3, has been moved to In Development and will be released in 2022. This coming off the heels of Ryan Reynolds having a meeting at Marvel Studios. While their has been no official statement, the sources tend to carry some clout, and Deadpool 3 just has to happen in my opinion. He has proven to be a huge money maker, and with a much wider pool to use, with the entire MCU roster. It would be foolish to not use him, and have no reason to believe them when they say they will diverge from the R rating. Looking forward to an official statement and hope 2022 date sticks.
Hoping from Marvel to DC. We have the signing of two names for The Batman movie, in Zoe Kravitz to play Catwoman and Paul Dano taking the helm of The Riddler. Most of the controversy around this to this point has been around Robert Pattinson and I am not sure if either of these two have drawn much ire, but like I have said for him. I have gone down the route of judging based off casting decisions. Tom Hardy as Venom, Ben Affleck’s Batman, Heath Ledger, Will Smiths Deadshot… This can go on for a while, and kind of tired of being proven wrong. So, I will wait and give them all a shot. More hyped over Robert’s interview saying this Batman is no hero and hope they portray him in more of a brutal sense.
In other casting notes, we have Neil Patrick Harris being signed to Matrix 4, in an unknown capacity. I didn’t mind Matrix Revolution as much as people hated it. I completely understand why it is hated. Very much in the right, but I can go back and watch the Mr. Smith and Neo scenes and be entertained, and hope the Matrix 4 can try and leave a better taste in the viewers this time around, and with the intriguing characters within the Matrix World. Neil Patrick Harris can really shine in whatever capacity they sign him in.
Now, I know how much everyone loves a good reboot, especially when it revolves around a still loved TV Show such as Walker, Texas Ranger. We got news really early in the week that Jared Padalecki, from Supernatural, will be taking up the lead, in the roboot titled Walker. I am actually excited for this. I enjoyed Walker, Texas Ranger, but it is more on the cheesier side of things, and if the approach it with a little more serious side. Think it can go far, and with Supernatural coming to an end Jared can throw his attention into this, and think he can thrive well as the Texas Ranger. And now that I am saddened by the Supernatural part. Let’s get to the part that killed me internally.
We were so close. So, so close to the release of Doom Eternal, when the news dropped.. that it was getting pushed to March of 2020. I was looking forward to some more demon slaughter and Doom Slayer and getting over the nightmare that was Doom: Annihilation. But, I get it. It’s better to have a complete game, full of awesomeness. Then an unfinished product, and they are promising some awesome pre-order stuff like Invasion Mode. Where you can infiltrate other people’s games as a Demon and Doom 64 as well. Along with the other fun things they had up for the Pre-orders. I get why, but still deeply saddened by this. Had been annoying my co-workers about it and now I have to wait longer.
Alright, I wanted to have some sort of Movie trailer, but nope. Going to go in a different direction and talk about the trailer that dropped from Behavior’s Dead By Daylight and upcoming addition, The Archives. This is really exciting news if you are into the game, and maybe if you haven’t played before and thinking about it. This is going to add a much needed layer to the game. While, the main goal stays the same. Survivors repair gens to escape. Killer must kill them before that happens. This is going to give players goals to hit through various activities. Will make it worthwhile to try new killers and do more as a survivor and reward them for it. Through additional lore and cosmetics such. There will 2 layers as well. Each release, will contain a Tome and a Rift. A Tome is free and can be completed at any time. While The Rift will have a free and paid side. Costing a 100 auric cells I believe, and has even more, but The Rift is on a time limit, and when it’s closed, it’s closed. Both are so exciting, because the game can become repetitive and feel this can breathe fresh life into what is a really fun game and with the Halloween Event coming up. Hope it they will drop this to go along with it.
And that is all I got for this weeks roundabout. Are you a Dead By Daylight Player and excited for The Archives? Got an opinion on the Batman Casting news. Share your thoughts and opinions on any of these stories in the comment section, and as always…
Thanks for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I was looking forward to this. First Doom movie wasn’t bad. Solid action, Sci-Fi horror movie, but wasn’t the Doom we were hoping for. Maybe this time around would be better. Then the first trailer drop and was a little harder to hope, but still there. Then ID, the creators distanced themselves from the project, which was not a good sign, and the movie just kind of came out, without much press behind it or anything. But that was fine, I love B-Movies. Review them here every Sunday. Doom may even thrive in the B Movie genre department, and with the next game being pushed back. This can fill the sorrow till March and oh boy did it fail so hard at that. Normally, try to be positive and give a movie a fair shake, and not run down a bad one to much, but this movie… Let’s do the thing we do here, and I will try to be as impartial as I can be.
This story opens up in a lab, one on Phobos and one on Earth. Testing out what they believe to be teleporters, and their test is successful, but the man comes through as an infected monster. That they manage to lock away. We then jump to the Soldiers, and Lieutenant Joan Dark. Haunted by an old memory, and becomes clear that she is loathed by her team of extremely obnoxious and cliched soldiers. Plus a Doctor who use to date her, because why not. They are being sent to Phobos to act as security because Joan messed up bad on their last assignment and this was their punishment. Meanwhile, back in the lab. Dr. Betroger in an attempt to prove the teleporter can work. Goes through himself and causes an explosion and something bad comes through. Soldiers arrive and notice right away something is wrong and go out to restore power and find out what has happened, and are attacked by Zombie’s of the former scientists. Action and deaths are gruesome and sort of effective. You can see what happens at almost every turn here, but whatever. They find survivors and Dr. Betruger. Who has “no” memory of what happened. They then find out the portal is a gateway to hell. Although Dr. Betruger vehemently denies this. Venture off to their ship, but Daisy, their A.I. has been hacked or taken over, and isn’t about to let anyone leave, and enter the Demons, who actually look great. After a massive fight, survivors are faced with the painful truth that the portals may be their only way out, but Joan and the Doc, know that is what Betruger wants and are not going to do this, but call for help. Betruger knows and uses Joan’s failures to distract them long enough to lock them inside, and goes off to open the Gates, because someone on that side has ordered him to do so, and after more monologging, introduction the worst BFG gun imaginable, and it comes down to Joan and Betruger, and after what would be a sad death of Doc, which was more ways to slow things down when it had to be faster. She gets knocked into hell and I just want it to be over. Fights her way out, painful slow motion exit to Earth. No one listens and end scene of the portal, just before the demons escape to Earth.
This story was so bad, and I don’t even know where to start. I don’t understand the reason behind needing the soldiers, when one was all that was needed. They were cliche, and hearing the one yell, I’m your Ultra Nightmare wasn’t funny the first time, and hurt the second. Nearly turned it off the second time, and made a review on how dumb it was. If it was just to have people around for the demons to kill, could have accomplished that by having more scientist survivors for Joan to find around the complex. The pacing was so bad. They kept stopping to talk about something, and it just slowed things to a stop and all during what should have been the final climax. From stopping st the BFG, for her to have a tear filled breakdown about her being a screw-up, and then a long struggle with the Doc, and then the Demon Overlord had a speech, and then slow motion, because why not.
Feel like, they didn’t quite get the spirit of what Doom is. I mean, there is not much to the game. One person, Doom Slayer, against a massive force of demons. Armed with his wit and cache of weapons at his disposal, but there is actually something there, and that is might. One person digging down deep, and defeating a horde that outnumbers and should overwhelm, but through sheer will of his character; they can’t. That is what makes Doom Slayer memorable. They are the unstoppable force and the slayer is the unmovable object. In this movie, any time Joan starts to get momentum and looking strong. They stop to talk or have her crying and every time they do. They rob her of her internal strength, and no, the cross and faith was not the way to go. Had no place in this movie, cause like I said; needed to come from strength of character. Not an external source.
There were some positives in this movie. The setting was perfect. Attention to small details were on par. From the key cards, medikits on the wall. The holomaps. All ripped from the game. Some of the kills seemed Doomesque. The designs of the demons and imps were beautiful. Pretty decent carnage candy.
Do want to talk about the character of Joan Dark, and the actress who played her, Amy Manson. There were parts during the fighting scene and some of the conversation that I feel she excelled at. She look strong when they let her, especially when she fought the first demon on the ship. Held her own and looked like a credible threat. Felt like the writing failed her more then Amy did. Who did the best she could and was at least enjoyable to watch.
This is not B-Movie Sunday, which means that this is getting an official grade, and that is a D plus. Can’t possibly give this a higher grade. Would be lower, but Amy Manson was able to shine enough when they let her and did like what the demons look like. Can’t even really suggest it to anyone. If you love ther Doom series, don’t watch this, you will probably have a bad time. If you like bad B – movies. You might have a bit of fun, with some friends and beers, but there are far better ones to go with then this. It’s a really shame, because there was a good story here, but writing and direction blew it big time.
Thank you for reading
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome back to our second edition of Classic 13. Where I go back and review a classic. From a regular or Cult and as you can tell. This month we are going through the Cult Classic route this time around. This was a rather tough choice. Really wanting to find something special for October. Went through a handful of Slashers and various monsters. Halloween obviously, was a choice, but I have other plans for that certain movie. Then it came to me, and it just had to be Sam Winston’s directed, Pumpkinhead. A monster that comes right to the front of my mind when someone asks me about monsters. Instead of going on and on about my love of this monster in the intro, lets dive in and break down the story and all the fun things that occur here.
The story opens up on a rather quick note. Where we see a man running for his life, and a family in their house, and they are in no way going to be helping him. Even to the point where the Dad threatens to shoot him if he doesn’t leave. He does, but meets a brutal end to the monster. While the son, Ed Harley sees it from the window. We jump ahead to Ed being a Father himself now, to young Billy, and you get to see them together, and they are each other’s world. Billy even helps him at their little shop, deep in backwood town, where the homes are built from hand and don’t even have electricity. Meanwhile, we are introduced to the teens. Who are going off to a cabin in the woods for vacation. Most of which are very likeable, with the exception of Joel. Who is drinking and driving as it is and reckless driving. All to set up for what will happen later. While they are at the store Joel and Steve go off to bike ride about the area, while the others shop and talk to Billy and Gypsy and a farmer with his grandkids show up, to pick up supplies, and Ed remembers he forgot the seed and leaves Billy to go get it. This is where things go south in a bad way. When Gypsy escapes and Billy tries to get him. Is accidentally run over by Joel. Who flees the scene right away, due to being drunk and on probation. When the rest couldn’t find a phone, leave Steve there to call for help. Where they are held captive for a time by Joel, who does not want to go to jail. Meanwhile, Ed comes back and finds his son, broken and inches from death, and you can just feel the pain and hatred just by the look and the camera hovering on it was perfect. In desperation to bring his son back, seeks out Haggis. Knowing she has powers, but when she told him she can’t raise the dead, enlists the help of the creature who avenges man who has been wrong, and Pumpkinhead begins his pursuit, and I will leave the story at that for anyone who has not seen it, because you really need to watch this movie.
I don’t even know where to begin to praise this story. The story of Pumpkinhead being a demon of vengeance. That he’ll seek the vengeance you seek, but you pay a massive price in the form of living the carnage he is leveling on his victims. Sending a clear message of the dangers of seeking vengeance and accepting responsibility for one’s actions. Examples of which were with Joel and Ed. Joel could have accepted responsibility for what was an accident in the first place, then it could have been avoided, but waited to long. Much like Ed, who had all the time in the world to turn stop, but by the time he realized he went to far; it was also to late. It is an age old tale, that still holds up to today, and they do such a good job weaving that message into this story, and keeps you hooked throughout.
Casting wise is top notch, and starts from the top with the great Lance Henriksen. He was stellar in the role as Ed Harley. Can feel his emotions all the way throughout. They joy he felt just being around Billy at the beginning. Bit of pride watching him watering vegetables, and the pain he felt holding his son while he died, and the anger radiating as he sought out Haggis. Lance was perfect choice for this role. John D’Aquino was good as Joel. Was unlikable enough to hate, but pulled off sympathetic. Never meant to hurt Billy and in the end, did want to own it. Just never got the chance. Cynthia Bain made for a good final girl. You feel for her and made me want her to survive despite the unstoppable force in her way. Florence Schauffler was haunting as Haggis. Her appearance was disturbing and made for a believable swamp witch. Her chemistry was on point with Lance. Which was important for their back and forth toward the tail end when he is demanding her to call him off, and she is telling him that can’t happen. When she is on screen demands your attention. And congratulations to George “Buck” Flower. He actually survived this time, and was pretty good as Mr. Wallace.
Pumpkinhead himself… was simply glorious. His appearance was grotesque and terrifying. Way he would just appear, with the wind and flashing lights. He was smart and by luring them with escape, or just plucking them from rooftops or trees, and their demise was slow and painful. Often saving the final kill to happen in front of the surviving friends. Like with Maggie. He taps her face off the window, to get their attention, rubs her face against the glass, before shoving her through, and lays her on the counter like she is nothing more than a dirty dish. Just a demented creepy monster. Played by the extremely talented Tom Woodruff Jr, who can not get enough praise for his work in prosthetics, and he shines as Pumpkinhead.
Alright, negatives, and I really only have one. First, think they killed Joel off to early. Being that is was his early actions that caused this. They had him begin to try and repent, but felt his death could have meant more, if he sacrificed himself to buy the others time. It was a good death, but feel they could have gotten more out of it.
If you haven’t seen this, do yourself a favor and check it out. It is the perfect time to watch; Halloween time. In between all the slashers, throw in Pumpkinhead, and enjoy the ride, and if you have seen it. Watch it again. You can never have enough Pumpkinhead. Final Grade – S
Thank you for reading