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Monday, September 19, 2016


   “Brains” is an original web series set after a three year zombie apocalypse on a college campus. 23­year ­old Alison Sumner is a neuropsychology student with a zombie (Carl Markham) as a best friend, who spends her time doing research about the zombie plague and crushing on a fellow student (Damian Phillips). Alison “vlogs” her quest to seduce her crush as an independent study art project, as well as her life post apocalypse.

Starring: Bri Castellini, Marshall Taylor Thurman, Masha Danilenko, Connor Bowen, and Kmur Hardeman

Directed by: Andrew Williams, and Bri Castellini

Written by: Bri Castellini

  "Brains" the web series starts off with Alison (Bri Castellini) talking about her love life three years into the apocalypse. Yes, that's what she's worried about. Now this might not be something guys what to see to start off with, but it gets better. Actually, there are many things to like about this series, as it proves to be for all audiences.
  It's only ten episodes, but does a good job of developing the characters in such a short time. Alison moves from complaining about guys to making her move on one. Her love interest is Damien (Marshall Taylor Thurman), who's focus seems to be only protecting the campus from zombies. Alison finds one thing they have in common, and uses that to draw closer to him. 
  Alison has the support of the most unique character in the series, her best friend Carl (Connor Bowen). Carl's unique because he's a friendly zombie. While most zombies are out for the brains of the college students, Carl wouldn't hurt a fly. However, when one of the students gets attacked, he's the first one to be accused forcing Alison to find the real killer.
  Both the characters and story are well developed, and so are the individual episodes. Each one is done a little differently giving the audience a fresh perspective each time. It moves from inside Alison's room, to the lab, and even outdoors. One of the outdoor episodes provides a funny perspective because as Allison talks there's a host of different things happening in the distance.
  While there isn't a lot of the blood and guts like a typical zombie story, there are plenty of twists and turns. There are several interesting characters that fans will be drawn to as the series goes on. Some even have big secrets that are revealed in a shocking season finale. The acting is solid, and they never give away what's coming next. The episode themselves are well shot no matter where they take place. Since this is definitely a series you should be watching, I give it 3 pools of blood.


Find “Brains” at:

Thursday, September 15, 2016


After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister's experiences in the demonic woods of the Blair Witch, James and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling.

Starring: James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid, Brandon Scott, Wes Robinson, and Valorie Curry

Directed by: Adam Wingard

Written by: Simon Barrett

  Lionsgate originally entitled this movie “The Woods,” which seemed intriguing enough. Then they surprised horror fans changing the name to “Blair Witch,” and let everyone know this is a sequel to the 1999 “The Blair Witch Project.” This sent a buzz through the horror community, and instantly made this one of the most anticipated horror films of the year. So does it live up to the hype?
  Much of the beginning to middle of the film is complete story set up. It provides a few chuckles, but is mostly boring. The audience is presented camera view after camera view from all the characters, and it goes way too fast. Talk about a nauseating experience to start off with.
  When it finally slows down just a little, it gives the audience a better look at all the characters, and how they are related. James (James Allen McCune) has been looking for his sister, Heather, who disappeared in the woods in the original movie. He brings along his good friend, Peter (Brandon Scott), and Peter’s girlfriend, Ashley (Corbin Reid). Lisa (Callie Hernandez) is accompanying them as a friend too, but also interested in documenting everything for a project. There’s nothing wrong with this group of characters except that it sadly doesn’t take long to figure out who’s going to die first.
  They also spend time going through all of the different cameras that the characters are using. As expected, the technology is a clear upgrade over the original movie. The best thing the characters use are earpiece cameras that provide a good look at exactly what the characters are seeing. They even bring a drone along. However, as cool as it sounds, the drone proves to be pretty useless. 
  James and his friends finally pack up, and head off to talk with Lane (Wes Robinson) and Talia (Valorie Curry). They’re the people who posted the video that convinced James to go on this mission. Lane talks the group into letting them come along, and finally everyone ends up in the woods. However, not everyone is getting along on this trip, and there’s some tension before the real terror begins.
  The first night fall couldn’t come any sooner, and it’s so time for the witch to start working her magic. The first true scare is all right, however they repeat it several times causing it to lose effectiveness each time. Probably the most shocking thing is what one of the characters does to another by accident. More of those kind of moments would have definitely been welcomed. For those that get squeamish, there’s a nice scene where one of the characters is pulling something out of their leg.
  But what about the scene in the house? Well, this time the scene is extended out a little longer, and the audience gets to see a little more of the house. One of the characters ends up having to tunnel their way under it in a reasonably claustrophobic moment. There’s a surprise or two, but just like the rest of the movie, it’s just too much of the same. 
  With “The Woods” fans were hoping for something new. When it became “Blair Witch” that hope died, and did so in a big way. While this movie offers new characters, technology, and some more backstory, there are too many times when it feels all too familiar. The one thing it really should have kept but left out are the personal and intense moments that truly made “The Blair Witch Project.” While it’s the true sequel fans never got, it’s not a stretch to say that the sequel doesn’t live up to the original. With that, I give it 2 pools of blood.


Thursday, September 8, 2016


Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Sheri Moon Zombie, Pancho Moler, and Jeff Daniel Phillips

Directed and written by: Rob Zombie

  Horror fans have been waiting a long time for the next Rob Zombie film, and it’s finally here. Audiences are sometimes split on his films, and they come with all kinds of expectations. Going into “31,” I wasn’t sure want to expect other than another crazy film. To some disappointment, it didn’t turn out to be as crazy as expected.
  The story is actually kind of standard just set with maybe an unusual group of people. It starts off very much like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “The Hills Have Eyes,” and soon enough becomes a game of survival like “Saw.” The difference might be the eventual victims, who aren’t a group of kids, or family. They’re a group of carnival workers, who might be the expected killers and not the victims in this case. 
  The carnival workers are held against their will in some kind of factory, and given twelve hours to survive in a game of ‘31.’ It’s not too clear what 31 is exactly other than a chance for Father Murder (Malcolm McDowell), and others to bet on the survival of the workers. What’s funny is how at the beginning of each round Father Murder recalculates the betting odds, and they are announced to the workers. Each round begins again with the death of either one of the workers, or killers.
  The best part of the movie are the killers, which have some bizarre names. First there’s Doom-Head (Richard Brake), who’s absolutely insane and loves killing way too much. At the opening of the movie, there’s a great look at just how crazy he is in an up close conversation with one of his victims. Richard does a terrific job showing just how intense, and out of his mind Doom-Head is.
  The next best killer is a totally unexpected killer. His name is Sick-Head (Pancho Moler), and he’s a little person. Not only that, but he’s a Nazi, who also speaks Spanish. Now you know why he’s such an unexpected character. Sick-Head is hilarious as he taunts his victims while hunting them down. And don’t be fooled by his size, he’s plenty vicious.
  Overall, I expected a crazy story with some crazy characters, but didn’t quite get that. The story has a touch of crazy, but really is too familiar. Doom-Head, and Sick-Head are the type of crazy characters expected, and their scenes will be the most memorable in the movie. The other characters and acting is all right. However, casting Sheri Moon Zombie in her role makes the direction of the story kind of obvious. Wishing there was something more outrageous in “31,” I give it 2 pools of blood.


Thursday, September 1, 2016


Zack Connors and Rachel Meadows were born with incredible psychokinetic capabilities. When word of their supernatural talents gets out, they find themselves the prisoners of Michael Slovak, a deranged doctor intent on harvesting their powers. After a daring escape, they are free from his sinister institution, but the corrupt doctor will stop at nothing to track them down so that he may continue to siphon their gifts for his own use.

Starring: Graham Skipper, Lauren Ashley Carter, and John Speredakos

Directed and written by: Joe Begos

  Sometimes horror can be down right fun to watch, and that’s the case with “The Mind’s Eye.” The audience might expect a fun movie is coming their way because it opens with a disclaimer that “This film should be played loud.” Yes, it’s loud, really loud! It turns out to work perfectly with the feel of the movie, and particularly well in the action scenes.
  Speaking of action, there’s no storage of it. Right off the bat, Zack (Graham Skipper) is confronted by some cops, and the audience gets a look at his psychokinetic power. They manage to arrest him, and take him to jail where he meets Dr. Michael Slovak (John Speredakos). Dr. Slovak seems like he wants to help Zack, but he’s really out to steal his power. The doctor has already been taking power from Zack’s friend Rachel (Lauren Ashley). 
  What’s interesting about how this story sets up is that it’s a horror movie that plays out much like a superhero movie. Zack is the hero, who is looking to reunite with, and save a woman in distress, Rachel. Dr. Slovak starts off looking like he’s innocent, but then turns completely evil. They tie it together with the fact that Zack and Rachel have powers, and the villain is trying to steal them.
  So where’s the horror? Well audiences won’t see the kind of blood spilled in this movie as they do in a typical superhero movie. The psychokinetic powers let these characters literally tear each other apart. There are several heads that are blown up, and body parts are left broken. Everything is fair game because they can pick up almost anything with their minds, and use it against each other. There comes a point when they are dripping so much blood it’s hard to believe they are still standing.
  There are a lot of crazy scenes, but nothing is crazier then the final showdown between Dr. Slovak and Zack. Both are at the peak of their powers, and try everything to show the other who’s more powerful. They take each other to the max, and the scene is made so dramatic that audiences will be left smiling at the madness. The only problem here is that they stretch the ending out, and almost repeat what just happened. It might be a tad much.
  Some call this movie the “Scanners” sequel that fans never got. True or not, this is a fun, and really loud movie. It plays out like a superhero movie, but filled with action scenes ending with blood splattering everywhere. Just like the blood, the acting is exaggerate so that the audience can’t help but laugh. Because “The Mind’s Eye” is a mind blowing experience, I give it 4 pools of blood.


*“The Mind’s Eye” was shown at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival
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