fantasy, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 1st, 2017 Movie – Roadkill (2011)


Man, here I was thinking that it had been a while since I had watched one of the Maneater series of movie, and now I get my second one in less than a week. Now by the time this movie came out, I no longer had cable so I didn’t necessarily catch when a lot of these movie would air on Syfy. So my options were to try and find it online, or wait to pick it up on DVD. Naturally, I would do both but there were times that it got to be a bit tricky finding safe sites to watch the movie on so I pretty much got tired of it and started just buying them on DVD, usually when they were released in a 3-pack of movies. So let’s get right into today’s movie, Roadkill (2011).

The plot: In rural Ireland, a cop is hiding in a barn while waiting for his partner to show up but before his partner arrives, a large creature smashes through the roof of the barn and flies off with the cop, leaving his partner staring at a hole in the ceiling when he finally gets there. Sometime later, Kate is unpacking some boxes after just moving to Ireland and her friend Anita is helping her when Kate’s brother Joel shows up. Meanwhile, Kate’s ex Ryan and their friends Tommy and Chuck are pulling up in an RV, with Chuck and Tommy giving Ryan a hard time about still having feelings for Kate. As they pull up to Kate’s apartment and start loading the bags, another friend, Hailey, shows up and they set off for a tour of Ireland. After a couple of hours on the road, they make a pit stop at a small shop and while everyone heads inside, Kate takes the opportunity to try and talk to Ryan alone for a few minutes. When Ryan goes looking around, a one-eyed woman approaches Kate and offers to tell her fortune. Kate says no at first but when the woman says that Ryan is Kate’s true love, she asks if they will get back together, the woman freaks out as Ryan approaches and says that they should leave right now. Back inside the shop, Anita notices the necklace that the shop owner, Luca, is wearing and asks how much it is and he tells her it is not for sale but when she offers him 100 euros, he agrees to sell it to her but as they are leaving, she opens the box to find a different necklace inside. Chuck takes the box and confronts Luca about the switch but Luca dismisses him so Chuck grabs the necklace off of Luca and has everyone run back into the RV. Chuck starts to drive off but the accidentally hits the one-eyed woman with the RV and when they get out to check on her, they find her barely alive and she curses them, saying that the roc will kill them all, before she dies. As Luca and the others exit the shop, the kids quickly get back in the RV and drive off, arguing over whose fault this was. As they are driving, a thick fog suddenly envelopes them and as they make their way through it, they hear the sounds of something scraping against the roof of the car. When they finally break out of the fog, they find themselves completely lost and are shocked to see a kid standing in front of them, making the throat slash gesture towards them. Realizing that they need directions, Anita goes outside to ask the kid only for him to run off and before she can get back in the car, the roc swoops down and grabs Anita in it’s claws and flies off. As the others cry out in shock, Anita’s body suddenly drops from the sky and as she stands up, the others are horrified to see that her face is all slashed up, just as the roc returns and flies off with her again. As they drive off, they keep trying to call for help while the roc continuously flies at them and it eventually causes them to blow a tire when they swerve to avoid it. Ryan and Tommy play rock paper scissors to see who goes out there and when Tommy loses, Ryan hands him a walkie talkie and a flare, saying it is the only thing they have to use as a weapon. As Tommy works on changing the tire, the others keep watch and try to warn Tommy when they think it is getting close. Tommy finishes with the tire but looks up to find the roc perched on top of the RV and he pops the flare as it lunges at him. The others hear the noise and go outside only to see Tommy with half of his face ripped off and Ryan tries to help him but the others drag him back inside as the roc grabs Tommy and flies off, ripping his head off in the process. As Ryan and Chuck argue over what happened to Tommy, the roc attacks the RV again and they start driving again and see a house in the distance. As the roc flies away, they quickly drive up to the house and head inside, asking the inhabitants if they can use the phone. A woman, Drina, points them towards the phone but as Ryan starts dialing, Luca shows up. Seeing the kids, Luca tells Drina that they killed Nadine (the old woman) and when asks them for the medallion. When he asks where Anita is, Kate tells him that she is dead, as is Tommy, and they ask him to lift the curse but he says only the one who cast the curse can remove it. Luca escorts them outside at gunpoint and plans on taking them into the forest so the roc can kill them but when Kate says she knows where the medallion is, he has Drina go with Kate while he takes the others, promising to let them go when he gets the medallion back. Luca leads Ryan and the others to a spot int the woods where they find the remains of other people tied up to stakes and Luca and his friend proceed to tie them up to the stakes. Meanwhile, Kate leads Drina inside and opens the safe in the RV but when Drina sees that it is empty, she tells the man that accompanied them to shoot Kate but Kate grabs the shotgun and shoots the man, then knocks out Drina. As the roc approaches the others, Kate shows up and frees Ryan and they proceed to free the Joel, Hailey, and Chuck but when the roc swoops down towards them, it catches sight of the medallion, which Kate was wearing, and suddenly flies off. As everyone wanders what happened, Hailey is shot in the stomach by Luca and the others quickly make a run for it through the forest. Ryan, Kate, Chuck, and Joel find a place to hide as Luca and his family search for them but they end up getting separated when they are shot at. Ryan and Chuck run through the forest and come to a hunting camp when Chuck notices that Ryan was shot. Realizing that the blood will leave a trail, Ryan grabs some dead rabbits and uses their blood to lure Luca and the other man away. Kate and Joel run into Ryan and Chuck and they head back to the RV but Kate trips and is confronted by Drina. Drina demands the medallion and when Kate throws it to the side, she knocks Drina down when she reaches for it and quickly puts it back on while Ryan grabs Drina’s shotgun. Drina begs them for the medallion and as the roc approaches, Kate realizes it is some sort of protection from the roc as she and Ryan run inside the RV while Drina is killed by the roc. As Chuck drives down the road, Joel tends to Ryan’s wounds and then tells Chuck to stop when he sees a rest stop nearby. Ryan comes up with a plan to have the others use the RV to lure the roc away while he makes his way through the woods to the rest stop to try and call for help. As he steps out of the RV, Kate hands him the medallion but Ryan kisses her goodbye and secretly slips the medallion back in her pocket. As the roc approaches, Chuck starts driving and it begins following them, allowing Ryan to make it to the rest stop and try to call for help. When the roc heads towards the rest stop, Kate and the others go back to try and rescue him and distract the roc, managing to chase it away when Kate uses some hairspray and a lighter to make a flamethrower but when they check on Ryan, they find the phone damaged and covered in blood. As they hide in the bathroom, they hear a cop car approaching and go out to ask if Ryan called him but the cop pulls a gun on them. After getting the medallion from Kate, the cop has them lie on the ground and starts to bind their wrists, explaining that they can’t lift their curse but he can lift his by making sure the roc kills them and he brings the medallion back. Kate manages to grab his billy club and knock him down, then frees the others but as she goes to get the medallion, the cop grabs her. Joel and Chuck save her and Chuck knocks her out, then they head back to the RV while Kate heads to the police car to try and radio for help. When the roc attacks the police car, Joel goes to save Kate but drops the medallion and as he grabs it, the roc flies towards them, he quickly throws it to Kate just before the roc grabs him and flies off. Chuck manages to get Kate back in the RV and when he sees the police officer getting up, runs him over and then drives away. As they are driving, they get a call from Ryan’s cell but when Kate answers it, they can’t hear anything. They try calling Ryan and hear his phone ringing in the woods so Kate runs off looking for him, with Chuck following after her with the cop’s shotgun. Kate runs into Luca, who is holding Ryan’s phone, and he tells Kate that Ryan is inside the roc’s nest but is already dead. As Kate jumps into the nest and sees Ryan’s body, as well as those of their friends, Chuck chases off Luca and tries to get Kate to leave with him. Kate hands him the medallion and grabs the shotgun, telling Chuck to leave her and after he does, she begins firing wildly into the air in an attempt to kill the roc but when she runs out of shells, she turns to see the roc behind her and it quickly kills her. Chuck drives away and makes a call to his parents, leaving a voicemail for them, when he sees a sign for Dublin and starts to celebrate. Realizing he is almost of gas, he manages to find a gas station and starts pumping gas only to see Luca there. Luca asks him for the medallion and Chuck sets the gas pump down, with it still pumping gas, and tosses the medallion to him. As the roc approaches, Chuck races back into the RV, then ducks out the back as the roc crashes through the windshield to try and get him. Pulling out a lighter, Chuck lights it and then throws it into the pool of gas, causing an explosion that kills Luca and blows up the RV, knocking Chuck to the ground but as Chuck recovers, he sees the roc flying towards him and realizes he failed to kill it.

This movie had a lot of promise but kind of flaked out towards the end. The acting was ok, with Kacey Clarke (Kate) and Ned Dennehy (Luca) doing the best jobs. The story wasn’t entirely original, with the idea of a gypsy cursing people being used plenty of times before, but the idea of the gypsy family somewhat worshiping and caring for the roc being an added twist to the story. The special effects were about what you would expect, but I actually did like how the roc looked, giving it a somewhat unique look instead of making it look like just another giant bird. A fun movie to watch and a good entry into the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

fantasy, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review

May 29th, 2017 Movie – Rise Of The Gargoyles

rise of the gargoyles

I apologize for being late posting yesterday’s movie review. As it turns out, some friends decided that since my 40th birthday is coming up, they decided to take me out on the lake and have me go FlyBoarding yesterday. I will admit, I had a blast doing it, though I did face plant into the water several times. Anyways, it has been a long time since I have watched one of the “Maneater” series of movies for this blog so let’s get right into today’s movie, Rise Of The Gargoyles.

The plot: In Paris, France, two construction workers are working underground on demolishing an old church and discover an ancient buried catacomb hidden behind a wall. As they explore the catacomb, thinking they can find something valuable inside, they find an iron grate covering an opening and pull off the grate to check inside only for a gargoyle to awaken and kill them both. The next day, Professor Jack Randall is teaching a class on gargoyles in the use of gothic architecture when his friend/agent Carol Beckham tells him that the draft for his book has been turned down. After speaking about his divorce, Carol tries cheering Jack by telling him about something interesting that was found underneath Saint Jean Andre Church. The two sneak onto the grounds and head down into the hidden chambers and begin exploring, As they separate to look around, Carol finds some strange oblong stones and places them in her purse. Meanwhile, Jack is taking video and pictures of everything when he hears something pounding against a wooden door and when he tries using the video camera to see what it is, he sees something charging at the door. Jack grabs Carol and they leave the catacombs but later, as they are at a cafe talking about everything inside there, Jack says he wants to go back during the day. Suddenly, they hear a car alarm going off and find that Jack’s car has been destroyed and as he approaches it, a body suddenly drops from the sky and lands on the car. Inspector Gibert questions them about what happened but they have no answers and tell the same thing to Nicole Ricard, a news reporter for a somewhat disreputable newspaper. That night, Carol is in her apartment when the power suddenly goes out and as she is stumbling in the dark, she is attacked by a gargoyle. Carol manages to escape onto the roof and tries to call for help but the gargoyle flies up behind her and decapitates her. The next day, Jack can’t reach Carol and decides to head over to her apartment, where he discovers the wreckage from the gargoyle attack and Carol’s body. At the police station, Gilbert questions Jack and tells him he is a suspect, not just in Carol’s murder and the man that fell on his car, but for several other similar murders that have occurred recently. Returning to his hotel, Jack gets drunk and the next day, he looks through the pictures of the church and notices a gargoyle that was on the side of the church in pamphlets for it, but not in the pictures he took the night before. Going to the church, he sees a priest, Father Gable, arguing with the workers who are tearing it down but the priest is angry and refuses to talk to Jack. Returning to his hotel room, Jack sees a news story from Nicole’s station and gives her a call, asking to meet with her in order to discuss Carol’s murder. As he is leaving, he is stopped by Gilbert, who takes Jack to breakfast and tells him another girl was murdered close to his hotel. As Gilbert suggests a motive for Jack killing Carol, as it was her pushing that lead to him writing a controversial book that ruined his career, Jack gets angry and leaves. Jack heads to the station to speak with Nicole and her cameraman, Walsh, and tries to explain his theory about what killed Carol and hands them his busted camera, suggesting they try to repair it and see if he has proof of his claim that a real life gargoyle exists and killed Carol and the others. When Jack leaves, Walsh thinks he is crazy but Nicole says they should see if he did see something and tells Walsh to work on the camera while she heads over to Carol’s apartment to see if she can find anything herself. As Nicole is looking around, she discovers the strange rocks that Carol had taken from the church only to discover that it glows in the dark but when she holds it to the sunlight to get a better look, it stops glowing. Nicole heads back to the station, where Walsh excitedly tells her that he restored the video and it shows the gargoyle hiding beneath the church. They try getting in touch with Jack but when they can’t Nicole decides to head to his hotel. Meanwhile, Jack, having gotten Walsh’s message, shows up at the studio just as Nicole calls as she is being attacked by the gargoyle. Nicole realizes it is after the stone, which is actually and egg, and rolls it out from under the car she is hiding under and the gargoyle grabs it and flies off just as Jack and Walsh arrive. Jack and Nicole try to explain what they saw to Gilbert but he doesn’t believe them so Jack says they have to stop the creature themselves. Meanwhile, Gilbert has the evidence from Carol’s apartment brought to him and finds another egg in one of the bags and takes it with him as he leaves. Jack, Nicole, and Walsh head to the catacomb under the church and find Father Gable there with a dead body. Gable had planned on using the body as bait to lure the gargoyle back to the catacomb and tells them that it has always been underneath the church. Elsewhere, Gilbert arrives at the scene of where the pizza boy was killed and looks around, finally discovering the body. As he pulls out the egg and notices it glowing, the gargoyle grabs him and kills him. Jack, Nicole, Walsh, and Gable make a plan for finding and killing the gargoyle when the gargoyle appears again and goes after, trying to grab the eggs she is carrying. When they see it go back into the church, Jack, Walsh, and Gable head inside, with Jack convincing Nicole to stay in the van. ┬áJack look inside to try and locate the creature and realize that it has gone back to the catacomb and make their way down there. Meanwhile, Nicole sees Gable grabbing several sets of explosives and realizes he plans on blowing up the creature, along with Jack and Walsh, and she heads out to follow him. As they all end up in the catacombs, Nicole finds Jack and warns him about Gable just as the gargoyle appears but Gable begins shooting at it and lures it away from them. Jack and Nicole find Walsh and they try to find their way out but the end up discovering the gargoyle’s nest, filled with more eggs.. Jack and Nicole explore the nest while they send Walsh to look for Gable but he finds no sign of him. Walsh rejoins Jack and Nicole and they use a powerful UV strobe light to begin smashing the eggs. When the gargoyle shows up, they manage to get away and head back into the church but the gargoyle attacks them, injuring Gable. They manage to use the strobe light to stop the gargoyle temporarily and Gable reveals he has the last egg, then tells Jack and the others to leave as he lures the gargoyle towards him and blows himself and the gargoyle up. As Jack, Nicole, and Walsh recover from the blast, Jack says that this would make for great material in a book, while Walsh reveals he has the tape of the gargoyle, saving his and Nicole’s career at the station.

To be honest, this was a decent movie, but a little disappointing on the whole. The acting was good, with Eric Balfour (Jack), Caroline Neron (Nicole), and Justin Salinger (Walsh) doing a good job in their roles. The story was ok but I honestly expected a bit more depth to it. I felt like they could have done more with the history of the gargoyle and the ancient church believing it to be a sign of Satan. I also didn’t really like the very end of the movie, not because the three lived through it all, but because it just kind of ends with “Oh, I’m going to write a new book.” “We are going to be famous.” The special effects were pretty good and a bit on the gory side, which honestly wasn’t really necessary for the movie. Not the best entry in the series but an enjoyable bit of time killing entertainment.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5