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Thursday, September 16, 2021

BORIS KARLOFF THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER REVIEW

 


Karloff, examining his illustrious 60-year career in the entertainment industry and his enduring legacy as one of the icons of 20th century popular culture.


Starring: Ron Perlman, Guillermo del Toro, and Christopher Plummer


Directed by: Thomas Hamilton 


Written by: Thomas Hamiton and Ron MacCloskey


  “Boris Karloff The Man Behind the Monster,” that is the man behind Frankenstein. An iconic character played by an iconic actor. This film is a documentary that covers Boris Karloff’s time as Frankenstein, but goes way beyond that. It goes back to his beginnings with a film like “Criminal Code,” other horror movies like “The Mummy,” and of course more Frankenstein titles. Also, it touches on his work outside of films like on stage and television.

  To help with this journey through his career, the audience is treated to interviews with the likes of Peter Boddanovich, Guillermo del Torro, Christopher Plummer, John Ladis, Roger Corman, and more. They help provide background on some of his roles, and what was going on in the film industry around that time. And to top off this tribute to him is some commentary from his daughter, Sarah Karloff.

  It would have been easy to appease horror fans and give them a documentary on Karloff’s time as Frankenstein. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to know all they could about that experience. However, this was more about honoring his career beyond Frankenstein, and it certainly does that. Admittedly, I’m one that didn’t know much about his career outside of the monster so it was impressive to learn the wide range of work he did. Not only in the roles he took, but also the influence he had on other films.

  While there’s plenty of interesting things covered here, two things mentioned by his daughter caught my attention. One was early on when she said he narrated “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Some people might have known that, but that was surprising news to me. And then the documentary closed with her talking about his fans, and how nice they’ve been to her. How they’ve shown her how much her father has meant to them, and their fandom. It was heart felt, and definitely the way to end this tribute to his career.

  “Boris Karloff The Man Behind the Monster” definitely goes behind the monster. While most horror fans like me know him for Frankenstein, this goes way beyond the monster. Have no worries, there’s still plenty mentioned about Frankenstein, and how playing the monster effected other roles. But it’s learning how much more he contribute to the film industry that’s really special here. Not only in the number of films he did, but his influence on films and then moving to other areas like television. I definitely encourage you to join in on honoring a legend, and watch this documentary. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood.

  

  HorrO


Abramorama will release the film in theaters on September 17th.


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/08/18/frankensteins-monster-comes-alive-in-boris-karloff-the-man-behind-the-monster-acquired-by-shout-studios-released-theatrically-by-abramorama/

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

SHELTER IN PLACE REVIEW




When a global pandemic limits the possibility of travel, a honeymooning couple gets stranded at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where a skeleton staff of two employees tend to them. When tensions escalate amidst a forced lockdown, it becomes apparent there is more to fear at the storied hotel than just cabin fever.


Starring: Brendan Hines, Tatjana Marjanovic, Kevin Daniels, and Ola Kaminska


Directed and written by: Chris Beyrooty and Connor Martin


  “Shelter in Place,” a phrase that has become all too common these days. Now there are some places that one would definitely not want to shelter in place, and some that might not seem so bad. One of those places might be the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the ever so famous hotel in Los Angeles. That’s where newlyweds Sarah (Tatjana Marjanovic) and John (Brendan Hines) have found themselves during the latest shelter in place.  

 Not bad considering they have the place to themselves, and a two person crew made of Adela (Ola Kaminska) and Ty (Kevin Daniels) to serve them. They get room service, their room cleaned, and can do whatever they want in the hotel. She takes the time to create social media posts with the hotel backgrounds, and he tries out some of the hotel’s amenities. Soon they start spending too much time together, and tension rises all while something strange seems to be happening around them.



  Being in the big hotel with almost no one in it immediately screams “The Shining.” Like that classic, this one is going to start slowly focusing on the couple while displaying what the hotel has to offer. The couple seem fine at the opening, as they take in what the hotel has to offer. There’s swimming, and an unique bowling game before the arguments set in. While they want the audience to focus on their relationship, the real interesting stuff is happening with the two person staff. 

  There’s certainly a slow pace through much of the relationship stuff, but they’ll keep the audience curious with flashes of things in the background. Is it a haunting, or is someone suffering from cabin fever? It will be hard to tell, but surprisingly it’s going to get a lot bloodier than the audience might have thought. The strange stuff is going to finally come to the forefront, and give the audience an exciting ending.



  “Shelter in Place” is another horror movie capitalizing on our current pandemic. The small cast, and their isolation will make things feel a little familiar. Some of us can relate to the cabin fever, and growing on each others nerves like this couple. While it might seem like it takes a little long to get there, horror fans should get a very pleasing ending. One where the cast gets to finally shine, and some blood is spilled. One that might make you think twice before staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt, or maybe any hotel at low capacity. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood! 

  

  HorrO


SHELTER IN PLACE will be available on VOD and Digital September 14, 2021.

Order Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/shelter-in-place/id1580216980


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/08/27/shelter-in-place-hollywood-roosevelt-hotel-horror-film-september-14th-release/

Monday, September 13, 2021

SKINWALKER: THE HOWL OF THE ROUGAROU REVIEW

 


Do real werewolves exist? In the American south legends tell of encounters with a creature that stalks the swamps and bayous. A creature who was here long before the immigrants who settled the region. An ancient evil called the Rougarou. Legends tell of a cannibal tribe of shapeshifters who retreated deep into the forests where they slowly lost touch with their humanity. A tribe who went on to become something far darker; a skinwalker. Now, nearly 400 years since the origins of the legend of the Rougarou first began to circulate, people are encountering the creature once again. The truth behind these vicious, horrifying brushes with the unknown will make your blood run cold. Does the Rougarou still stalk the swamps of southern Louisiana? The truth may surprise you..


Directed by: Seth Breedlove


  “Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou” is the latest documentary from Seth Breedlove and Small Town Monsters. They’ve been to multiple locations to tackle monsters like Big Foot, and explore the possibilities of UFO’s and aliens. Now they’ve found themselves in the bayou of Louisiana. While many people might look for alligators down there, this crew is looking for something much different. Something that might resemble a werewolf, or something close to that depending on who you ask. 

  Like some of their other documentaries, this one also focused a lot on people’s stories, and experiences. They reached out to the locals for these stories, which many seemed happy to share once again. Some were personal stories, and others were probably passed down through generations. Mixed into some of the stories are some pretty cool animations, or maybe even live shots of the skinwalker. It always helps to try to bring the story to life a little.



  Admittedly I’m more familiar with the typical werewolf story than Rougarou origins so this was pretty interesting. A tribe of cannibal skinwalkers sounds like the start of a good horror movie. Listening to some of the stories that were passed along were intriguing, and were a good starting point. However, the personal stories were a little more entertaining. There’s just something about how someone tells a story about a possible run in with any kind of creature.

  Whether done on purpose, or just an outcome of all the interviews, it was a little curious how there were different versions of the Rougarou. Some stories seemed to focus on it being a creature, while others focused on it changing forms. Some suggested it to only be able to change into one form, and others gave it more flexibility. It could even change into human form, which is creepy. 

  “Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou” takes their look at the Rougarou straight from the peoples’ mouths. Some of the stories are passed along, and others are from personal experiences. Sometimes it takes both perspectives to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Whether you believe it or not, the Rougarou is a terrifying creature for future horror stories, or those who unfortunately cross paths with it in the swamps of Louisiana. With that, I give this documentary 3 pools of blood.   


  HorrO


"Skinwalker: The Howl of the Rougarou" will be available to purchase or rent on September 14th on a number of platforms from 1091 Pictures, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and FandangoNOW. Small Town Monsters will also release a special edition Blu-ray ($18.99) and DVD ($14.99) from their official store.


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/08/27/small-town-monsters-dissects-a-cajun-werewolf-tale-in-skinwalker-the-howl-of-the-rougarou/

Sunday, September 12, 2021

DON'T BREATHE 2 REVIEW

 


The sequel is set in the years following the initial deadly home invasion, where Norman Nordstrom lives in quiet solace until his past sins catch up to him.


Starring: Stephen Lang, Madelyn Grace, and Brendan Sexton III


Directed by: Rodo Sayagues


Written by: Fede Alvarez, and Rodo Sayagues


Check out the video below and find out how many pools of blood it received...

Friday, September 10, 2021

FANTASIA 2021 REVIEW: MARTYRS LANE

 


Leah, 10, live in a large vicarage, full of lost souls and the needy. In the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty, a space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. A small, nightly visitor brings Leah comfort, but soon she will realize that her little visitor offers knowledge that might be very, very dangerous.


Starring: Denise Gough, Steven Cree, Kiera Thompson, and Sienna Sayer


Directed and written by: Ruth Platt


A Fantasia International Film Festival Review


  Some people live happily on “Martyrs Lane,” while others just can’t find happiness. Leah (Kiera Thompson) wants to be a happy little girl, but her family isn’t making it easy. Her mother Sarah (Denise Gough) and father Thomas (Steven Cree) are caught up in their own worlds, and don’t give her the time she needs. Not helping is an older sister that bothers her whenever possible. 

  Leave a little kid alone and they will find trouble and that’s what happens to Leah. While exploring the home she finds a piece of a special bracelet. She also manages to steal something that turns out very important to her mother. Both are clues to a mystery she’s about to get caught up in.



  The most intriguing parts of this film are when Leah speaks with another young girl who visits her at night. Yes, she’s a ghost, but a friendly one at least to start. This mysterious girl seems to know something about Leah’s family, and drops clues to Leah on where to find more of this bracelet. The closer Leah comes to the truth the ghost with angel wings becomes darker. The film doesn’t go to extreme levels of darkness, but this is where the audience will find most of the horror.

  Behind the ghost story is the other important aspect of the film. It’s about grief, and how it affects the family. Leah might not be going through it, but the others around her are, and it’s definitely effecting her relationships with them. They don’t really take her feelings into consideration, and the final moments show that. Their lack of attention to her opens the door to the mystery she solves, and her relationship with the ghost.



  As “Martyrs Lane” comes to an end, the audience should appreciate what they’ve witnessed from young actresses Kiera and Sienna. Their characters’ relationship is vital to the film, and they’re on point from the start. Not only is the acting great, but keeping them mostly in Leah’s room, and keeping it dark just adds to their strange conversations. The overall mystery to solve might not be to difficult to figure out, but that’s fine so that the point of the film can be taken in. Grief is a tough subject to tackle, but it’s done well here. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood.


  HorrO


“Martyrs Lane” played as part of the 2021 Fantasia Film Festival.


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/08/04/focus-on-fantasia-2021-martyrs-lane/

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