HIGH TENSION 2005 (filmed in 2003) Alexandre Aja
This film starts out like a Mentos commercial with two French girls traveling in a small car singing along to a bad pop song on the radio. The scene cuts a creepy guy in a truck with a severed head in his lap giving him pleasure. So you have a good idea what you are in for from the start.
The story Marie and Alex college friends travel to Alex’s parents house for a school break and some studying. Marie has the guest room in the attic. Some one break in kills the girls family and takes Alex. So Marie follows the killer to attempt to save her friends life.
A return to the anything goes, more blood is more blood of the early 1980’s late ‘70’s horror films. Leaves a sick taste in your mouth, your stomach upset, relentless non stop gore and suspense. Made in France. Has English dubbed voices with some scenes in French with English subtitles but it works out fine. The director Aja is working on The Hill’s Have Eyes remake so it sounds promising. At the theater when the film ended a cowboy looking guy decked out in western ware complete with the big cowboy hat (that took a seat by itself) stood up and said “That was fucked up.” Yeah this film is fucked up but in a good way. Not for every one. Hollywood take note if you are going to copy and remake earlier films do the shit right and forget the PG13 Rating and bad comedy. My favorite scene is the slow motion running at the gas station. Buy the unrated DVD that comes out October 11. official site

LAND OF THE DEAD 2005 George A. Romero
George A. Romero’s fourth installment in his living dead series. Night of the Living Dead 1968, Dawn of the Dead 1978, Day of the Dead 1985. Also the 1990 re-make of Night of the Living Dead that Tom Savini directed. Now fifteen years later the follow up to Day. After countless years of projects not working out for Mr. Romero, such as The Mummy and Resident Evil (the games are a straight rip off of his films) both directed by others with a fair amount of box office pull. As well as a few other projects he spent time on that didn’t work out. Universal studios finally stepped up with the proper financing for this one. Thanks to the Dawn of the Dead re-make that didn’t involve Romero at all and Shaun of the Dead popularity.
I honestly never expected to see this one get made. The script has been floating around to different studios for years (with a rewrite after 9-11, since the original had a scene of a helicopter crashing into a sky scrapper in the ending.) Was it worth the wait? Yes and no, It wasn’t the knock down, pedal to the medal zombie epic the fans have been waiting for. It’s more a stab a current politics and culture. By this film the zombies should have become the main characters with the humans being secondary to the plot. It follows the similar formula of the previous films. A group of humans who go out into the surrounding towns of a fortified city to get supplies. The towns that are still full of zombies. The city has wealthy citizens living in a high rise building acting as nothing ever happened. The film deals with struggles of conflict within the group, greed, addiction, and ignoring the problem. The zombies seem as secondary characters to what the main actors are doing. This is the main flaw of the film. Not that it’s a bad movie just not as good as it could have been. The main characters are interesting and well played. The acting is flawless. Asia Argento is a nice addition with the history of her father Dario Argento co producing Dawn of the Dead as well as being the director of may horror films.
KNB handle the effects this time out since Tom Savini doesn’t do effects much any more and does mainly acting. They do a good job, Gereg Nicotero the N in KNB was Savini’s assistant on Day of the Dead. The zombies look good. A fair amount of gore. Lots of machine gun shots of zombies getting blown away. A nice scene of a girl getting her belly button ring ripped out. Also some good blood spurting against glass shots. A funny line when Riley says he wants to leave the city and head north. It’s funny since the movie was filmed in Canada. Look for Max from the DEADLY SNAKES in a big role as Mouse. Canada has some filming laws that over half the actors and cast have to be Canadian. It’s cheaper to film up there (or it use to be, not so much now) with the currency exchange. This one really should have been made in Pittsburgh.
I’m a huge Romero fan so I was not let down. Overall I would say this is a real good movie. The re-teaming of Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo from Super Mario Bros. Works well. A few scenes reminded me of Escape from New York and Ghost of Mars, I know John Carpenter and Romero are friends. Snatch this one up when it hits on October 18 with a unrated edition.

Rated R for Pervasive strong violence and gore, language, brief sexuality, and some drug use

LINKS Official site, Romero site


Bob Zombie’s sequel to the studio hopping HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. It has a lot different feel then the first one. The look is more dirt and grit, a cheaper feel. The Firefly house is no where close to the way it looked in HOUSE. It is now in the desert with few trees around it. Mother Fire fly is also played by a different actor. Okay its easy to overlook these two points. Maybe that part of reason for not calling it HOUSE 2. The movie opens with a big shoot out scene at the house with the police. Otis and Baby escape and go on the run. Stop at a motel for a little killing and torture. Brian Pohsen from Mr. Show is one of the unlucky guest at said motel. As well as Priscilla Barnes who played Terri on later seasons of Three’s Company a show I like quite a bit. She gets assaulted by Otis. The gang then meets up with Captain Spaulding at his pimp brothers whorehouse. You figure KFC would give out toys in there kids meal for this one. Fans of B-movies will enjoy the casting of countless genre actors. With Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead) PJ Soles (Rock and Roll High School, Halloween), Michael Berryman (Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science), plus more. You get to see the full Moon in this one, that is Sheri Moon Zombie’s ass numerous times. A lot of dark comedy, It seems Mr. Zombie spent more time trying to write jokes then a proper ending. This trend of always having one line jokes in horror movies doesn’t all ways work. It works for the most part in this one. With funny parts and dark parts. Follows the revenge theme that has been overused. You can’t really top “NEXT OF KIN” can you? Zombie’s story telling needs some refining. It seems he is tired of these characters already. I need to see this one again to see if its just average or not. I’m sure there is a lot of little details that will pop up on the second viewing.
It has a 1970’s rock soundtrack that works good since the movie is set in that time. It has that 70’s sleazy movie you would see at a crappy dive-in theater. That you snuck into in the trunk of your fried chicken cooking clown dad and his black pimp brothers car, with a dead cheerleaders body next to you of course. More female nudity, profanity, drug use, and vomit then most movies around. I say give it a try. The soundtrack has a twenty minute behind the scenes DVD with it. On unrated DVD out November 8.

LINKS Official site, Motel, Banjo and Sullivan,


You still have a chance to see these in select theaters, with the DVD's coming out soon...