drama, horror, movie, movie review, mystery

October 17th, 2017 Movie – Soul Survivors

soul survivors

There are plenty of times that I find myself with a movie and honestly don’t know why I bought it in the first place. That is definitely the case with today’s movie. This is something that might get my attention in watching but not necessarily wanting to buy unless it is really good. That being said, when I first watched this movie I don’t recall thinking it worth buying and yet, here it is. So let me give this another viewing and see if something might have changed my mind about Soul Survivors.

The plot: Cassie walks out of a college party and when her friend, who yells at her from a window, refuses to drive her home, she decides to walk. As she stops to light a cigarette, she notices a strange man with a scarred face following her and she quickens her pace only for a second man, wearing a clear mask, to grab her and the two drag her into an alley. After placing some duct tape over her mouth to keep her from screaming, the slit her wrist and collect the blood in a bowl. Some time earlier, Cassie is packing to go to college and her boyfriend Sean is helping her move, along with her friends Annabel and Matt, who is also her ex-boyfriend. When they get to Middleton college, they attend a frat party but Annabel tells them of a rave at an old church and convinces them to go to it. As Cassie and Annabel start dancing on the dance floor, they attract the attention of the man in the clear mask and the scarred man. The man in the mask heads to the dance floor and tries to grab Cassie but she pushes him away, then meets back up with Sean. The two head outside and after kissing for a while, start talking about their relationship and saying goodbye to each other, unaware that Matt is listening. After they say they love each other, Matt makes his presence known, pretending to be drunk, and Sean goes back in the club to get Annabel while Cassie helps Matt into the car. In the car, Matt convinces Cassie to give him one last goodbye kiss but Sean sees them and refuses to talk to Cassie as she tries to explain what happened. As they leave the club, Cassie continues to ask Sean to talk to her, not noticing a car passing them containing the scarred and masked man. When the car suddenly stops in the middle of the road, Cassie slams into it and both cars go rolling down a hill. Cassie’s next memory is of being tended too by doctors and learns that Sean did not survive the crash. Returning to school and trying to move on, Cassie falls asleep in her room only to be woken up by Annabel pounding on the door, as she is trying to get Cassie to come to a party with her. As she tries to convince Cassie to come, Annabel’s new friend Raven enters Cassies apartment and asks about the pictures of Sean. saying that he is there and saw Cassie kiss Matt. Annabel and Raven leave and Cassie decides to go for a walk but she ends up being chased by Deathmask and faints when she has a vision of Sean. After coming too, she sees Matt keeping watch over her, telling her a priest had found her fainted on the ground and carried her to the hospital. After Matt escorts her back to her room, they talk and Cassie says that it is their fault that Sean died. While taking her midterm, Cassie has a hallucination that her nose is dripping blood and she is back on the operating table from the crash and ends up rushing out of the class. As she catches her breath outside, she is approached by Father Jude and she thanks him for helping her. Cassie ends up telling Father Jude about the accident and Sean’s death and how she is having trouble dealing with it and he says she is welcome to come by the church and talk any time she needs too. Cassie sees Matt and starts to walk over to him when she notices Annabel walking with Raven and the scarred man, which makes her pause. Matt signs Cassie up for a swim meet, then takes her shopping for supplies so they can paint her apartment. When Annabel shows up, they end up goofing off and painting each other, then Cassie and Annabel go to clean up but Cassie has another vision of blood erupting from the drain. Afterwards, Annabel wants to go dancing and when Matt and Cassie don’t want to go, she gets upset when it seems like Matt is trying to get back with Cassie. That night, Cassie has a dream of Sean making love to her and wakes up to find Matt in her bed. As she confronts Matt about it, Annabel shows up and finds them in a state of undress and accuses Cassie of stealing Matt after losing Sean and Matt argues with Annabel outside the apartment. After having another hallucination, Cassie heads to the library and sees Annabel making out with Raven but when they spot her, they quickly leave. Cassie leaves the library but ends up being followed by the scarred man and she quickly runs from him and races back to her apartment. She finds Matt there and she tells him what happened but he doesn’t believe her, simply giving her her medicine that she was prescribed after the crash. Some time later, Cassie is practicing swimming for the meet when she is attacked by Deathmask, who attempts to drown her, but she manages to break free and when she surfaces, he is gone, with nobody having seen him there. Cassie heads to the gazebo and sees Sean there and they talk for a while before he leads her into the woods. When she hears someone calling out to her, Sean warns her that if she stays there she will die and she runs away, but when she returns to the gazebo, she sees Matt talking to the scarred man. She heads to the church and Father Jude invites her in and talks with her, He then gives her an amulet of St. Jude for protection and lets her rest in his bed. When Cassie wakes up, she notices the calendar in his room is from 1981 and she goes to speak to the attending priest and asks to speak with Father Jude but learns that Father Jude died in 1981 and she runs from the church. Cassie competes in the swim meet but as she is swimming, she sees Deathmask watching her, which throws her off, but then sees Sean at the finish line and quickens her pace to reach him, winning the race. Afterwards, Cassie is talking with Annabel and Matt and questions them about her seeing them with the scarred man and Deathmask and Annabel gets mad at Cassie and the two argue before Cassie slaps Annabel and Annabel storms off. Cassie goes to change clothes and is attacked by Deathmask again and she manages to stab him with a fluorescent light bulb before the both fall into the pool and she quickly gets out and leaves, running into Matt who says there is nobody there. Cassie asks Matt to take her home and he agrees but takes her to the old church, saying that he is going to get Annabel first. Cassie follows him inside but they get separated and Cassie is chased by the scarred man. She ends up in a bathroom and sees Annabel and Raven fooling around and tries to get Annabel to leave but Annabel says she likes it there and runs off. Cassie goes to follow but Raven tells her to leave them alone, as they are not her friends anymore, and that she should go be with Sean. Cassie leaves and gets back in the car only to find Matt there, wanting a final goodbye kiss. She smashes him in the head with a bottle then drags him out of the car before taking off. She heads back to campus and finds Annabel lying dying in the gazebo and Annabel accuses Cassie of having killed her. As the police and crowd move towards Cassie, Cassie backs away and ends up getting hit by a car. She sees Father Jude approaching her and has a hallucination of Sean holding her hand as she is going to the emergency room. She freaks out and races out of the emergency room, with her mind going back and forth between her being back in the club or in the hospital. As the scarred man attacks her, she finds herself in another car crash, with someone trying to rescue her. She then finds herself in a hospital bed, with Raven laying in the bed next to her. Raven tells her not to be afraid before she dies and the doctors cover her face. Cassie then sees Father Jude, who explains that she is in a dream and that she shouldn’t be afraid to be with Sean. Cassie calls out to Sean and she tells him she loves him and they kiss. Later, Cassie is her hospital room and as she goes to put her necklace back on, the scarred man and Deathmask use it to strangle her. She ends up waking up in bed with Sean, revealing that everything that happened after the original car crash was all a coma-dream, and Sean had lived but Annabel and Matt died in the crash.

Soul Survivors was completely panned by the critics, holding a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Soul Survivors‘ stock characters and utter lack of suspense gives viewers little reason to attempt deciphering the confusing plot.” James Marsden turned down the role of Sean to take part in X-Men, which lead to Casey Affleck’s taking the role, though he claims it to be one of his least favorite roles. The movie was a box office bomb, earning $4.299 million off of a $17 million budget.

This is a confusing mess of a movie and I still don’t know why I have it. The acting was ok, with nobody really standing out in their roles. The story was a confusing mess, doing a poor job of explaining what is going on and who survived the crash and who died. There wasn’t much in the way of special effects and the camera work felt pretty shoddy, which added to the confusion in the plot during the scenes where she was halucinating between two visions. Definitely not something that is worth watching unless you are really, really bored.

Rating: 1 out of 5

comedy, horror, movie, movie review

October 16th, 2017 Movie – Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama

sorority babes in the slimeball bowl-a-rama

Ahh, another 80’s B-movie is a good way to start the week. Today’s movie is a nice little collection of 80’s scream queens, which I had heard of but never got around to seeing. Heh, the term “scream queen” has always made me laugh. You know, I wonder if Fay Wray could be considered the first scream queen, as she is known for her role in King Kong, where she did an awful lot of screaming. Anyways, I wound up buying this movie during one of my numerous B-movie binges and watched it shortly after I got it. So let’s see how fun this movie is as I watch today’s movie, Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama.

The plot: Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith are hanging out in their dorm room and while Calvin is sitting there watching a horror movie, Jimmie and Keith are discussing going to watch the Tri-Delta sorority initiation ritual. They try to convince Calvin to go with them but when he is reluctant to do so, they decide to get him drunk and bring him with them. At the sorority, Babs Peterson, Rhonda, and Frankie are getting ready for the initiation, with Rhonda and Frankie complaining about the robes they are wearing but Babs tell them that it is tradition. Dowstairs, the two initiates, Taffy and Lisa, are discussing why they are joining the sorority when Babs and the others come downstairs and begin the initiation by spanking the girls for talking. Outside, Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith are watching this occur from a window and Keith decides that they should sneak inside the house to get a better view. Inside, Babs finishes spanking the two initiates and then Frankie and Rhonda spray the girls with whipped cream, then have the girls go get cleaned up before the final stage of the initiation commences. As Lisa and Taffy shower off the whipped cream, Calvin, Keith, and Jimmie sneak upstairs to spy on them but they are caught by Babs. Babs tries to figure out what to do with the three boys and eventually decides to have them help Lisa and Taffy with the final part of the initiation; breaking into the bowling alley at the mall and stealing a trophy. As they head to the mall, Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda get there ahead of them, intending to sneak into the security room and scaring them as the wander the bowling alley. As they break into the security room, the accidentally trap the janitor in a closet. Meanwhile, Calvin and the others reach the mall and as Keith tries to break in, a drunken Calvin simply grabs the door as he almost falls, revealing it is unlocked. The 5 head inside and split up to look for the trophies but Calvin ends up running into Spider, a female thief that was in the process of robbing the bowling alley. As the others go see what the commotion is, Spider starts insulting them all so they leave, but Calvin stays and continues talking to Spider. After Spider helps them get into the are where the trophies are, she heads to the arcade and Calvin follows her. Jimmie grabs a trophy and they start to leave but when the pick on Calvin for continuing to hang out with Spider, Spider hit’s Jimmie and causes him to drop the trophy. Suddenly, the trophy starts smoking and the bottom pops off, releasing a strange imp called Uncle Impy, who offers the group a wish for each of them. Jimmie takes the first wish, wishing for lots of gold, and is happy to see a pile of gold bricks appear behind them. Keith takes the next wish and asks that Lisa be attracted to him and she suddenly appears in just her bra and panties and they quickly run off to have sex. Taffy uses her wish to become the prom queen and finds herself in a nice dress and sash but Spider and Calvin decide to leave, unaware that Uncle Impy has locked and electrified all of the exits to the mall. Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda can’t believe what is going on but Uncle Impy senses them watching and uses his powers to attack them through the security monitors. Babs avoids the attack but Frankie and Rhonda are changed; with Frankie becoming the Bride of Frankenstein while Rhonda becomes a demonic minion. Babs runs out of the room, accidentally knocking the Janitor back into the closet, and tries to leave the mall but gets knocked unconscious when she is electrocuted by the doors. Calvin and Spider find the unconscious Babs and decide to warn the others, just as Jimmie and Taffy discover their wishes were fake. Frankie and Rhonda attack Jimmie, and end up placing his head in the bowling ball polisher before ripping it off, with Rhonda deciding to use it as a bowling ball. Calvin and Spider barricade themselves in a storage room, where they manage to find a gun and as Rhonda tries to come after them, Spider shoots her several times and they quickly run. Meanwhile Keith finds that his wish had made Lisa insatiable and after several attempts to get away from her, he finally does so by telling her he is getting ice for them. As he wanders through the concession area, Rhonda catches him and shoves his face in a fryer. Frankie starts chasing after Taffy and catches up to her but Taffy hits her repeatedly with a metal pole, then runs when she starts to get back up. She sees Keith sitting in a booth and approaches him only to discover he is dead and as she backs away from him, she is grabbed by Frankie and Rhonda, who proceed to pull her apart. Babs regains consciousness and tries to hide in the back of the bowling lanes, where she ends up meeting the Imp. After he talks with her for a bit, Rhonda shows up to kill Babs but Babs manages to shove Rhonda through one of the lanes, trapping her there. Calvin and Spider see Rhonda is stuck and Spider throws a bowling ball down the lane, which ends up killing Rhonda. As Babs laughs about Rhonda being dead, the Imp turns her into his next minion. Meanwhile, Calvin and Spider find the janitor, who had finally gotten out of the closet, asleep in the janitor’s office. After waking him up, they tell him what is happening and the janitor is upset that they let the Imp out, explaining how he had been trapped in the trophy for 30 years. The janitor tells them about how the Imp was trapped so Calvin and Spider decide to try and find the others and trap the Imp again. Meanwhile, Lisa is still in the bathroom waiting for Keith when Babs, now turned into a dominatrix, assaults her. Calvin and Spider go looking for the others but Calvin is attacked by Frankie but manages to get away, though Frankie grabs the knife that Spider was carrying, using it to kill the janitor. Calvin and Spider head to the restrooms, where they are attacked by Babs but they manage to burn her to death. After finding Lisa’s body, they head back to the janitor’s officer only to find Frankie standing over his body and they run, with an axe-wielding Frankie chasing after them. As they get close to the doors, Frankie and Spider begin fighting over the axe and Spider manages to get it and cuts off Frankie’s head, with the severed head flying into the doors and managing to open them. Spider tells Calvin to get the car but as he drives it towards the exit, he is attacked by Rhonda, who was in the back seat, and ends up crashing the car. As the Imp laughs over what is happening, Spider manages to trap it inside a large tobacco tin and then heads outside to check on Calvin, who had managed to survive the crash. As morning breaks, Spider tells Calvin that with the Imp trapped, all it’s power was broken, then tells Calvin that they had to leave before the authorities got there and tells Calvin to get on her motorcycle so she can take him back to her place. As they leave, the Imp can be heard asking to be let out of the tin, eventually asking the audience if they want a wish.

This is a pretty ridiculous and funny movie. The acting was about what you would expect, with the Linnea Quigley (Spider) and Andras Jones (Calvin) doing a good job and had some good chemistry in their on screen relationship. I also liked George “Buck” Flowers character, as he added a lot of comic relief in his constantly being knocked into the closet as well as his conversation with Calvin and Spider. The story was interesting and a the wish aspect kind of felt like a play off the “Monkey’s Paw” story, at least in the fact that the wishes ended up turning bad. As for the whole Imp story, I think that was added to try and boost the horror aspect but it came off as more of a joke. The special effects were on the cheap side, with the Imp basically being a claymation puppet that honestly didn’t look that good. This is everything you would expect out of a horror B-movie and definitely good for some laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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

October 14th, 2017 Movie – Something Beneath

something beneath

Ahhh, the Maneater Series; my old movie friend. It has been a while since I have watched one of you guys. Now this is kind of interesting because the “maneater” in this movie doesn’t really have an actual form. It is basically just some sentient sludge that causes people to die by making them experience their worst fears. It honestly sounds like some story out of a Batman comic involving Scarecrow. This was actually the last of the original Maneater movies that I bought, which leaves just one movie in the series left for me to buy but that will come at a later date. Now let’s get on with today’s movie, Something Beneath.

The plot: At the construction site for a new conference center, Dutch, a construction worker who is having an affair with another worker’s wife, is warned that the husband Bob is on his way over. As he goes to leave, he is cornered by some bulldozers and killed when a wire cuts off his head but when the other workers find his body, he is shown to be impaled on some rebar. Meanwhile, Lowell Kent, the owner of the property, is having a meeting with Dr. Connolly of the EPA, who tells him that he can’t endorse the development due to pollution concerns and the decline in wildlife population in the area. Kent refuses to stop and has Connolly thrown out of his building, with his assistant saying that he is a security risk. One year later, the conference center is open and holding it’s first event, an ecological conference organized by Father Douglas Middleton. As he goes to check in, Douglas introduces himself to Khali Spence, the events coordinator for the conference center, her assistant Aimee, and Symes, the hotel manager. As an argument starts between Eugene Herman and Mikaela Strovsky, the two speakers for the event, Khali brings an abrupt end to it when she accidentally drops Mikaela’s dog when it jumps out of it’s carry case, explaining to everyone that she is afraid of dogs. As a strange black goo is shown to be leaking from the pipes in the basement, Eugene is outside rehearsing his speech when he gets the same goo on his hand after touching a tree. Suddenly, Eugene finds himself lost in the woods and as he calls out for help, he ends up being pulled underground by some roots. At dinner, Douglas and Khali see Mikaela working on her video blog, then Douglas invites Khali to join him for dinner as Eugene has bailed on him. While they are eating, Douglas comments on the necklace that Khali is wearing, noting it’s Chippewa design. The next day, Eugene is still missing so Khali takes Douglas to see the head of hotel security Jackson Denmarsh, whom Douglas knows due to his church having sued him on behalf of a Native American who said that Denmarsh framed him for murder. When they reach the security office, Denmarsh is not happy to see Douglas there but agrees to let Khali inside Eugene’s room but tells Douglas he will have to wait outside. Khali and Denmarsh head to Eugene’s room and find Reggie and Hank, the maintenance workers, working on his room and when Khali asks, they tell her they haven’t seen him. Meanwhile, Douglas is walking down the hallway towards the library when a strange figure enters the hotel through a side door after he passes. Hearing the door close, Douglas turns and starts to investigate when he runs into Mikaela, who complains about the goo coming out of the faucets in her room, which has gotten on both her and her dog Cleopatra. When Cleopatra runs off, Douglas offers to help get her but Mikaela begins flirting with him and then heads back to her room when he turns her down. Outside, Denmarsh and his assistant Tony find Eugene’s body and Denmarsh tells Tony to call the local funeral parlor and have them hold onto the body. Back in her room, Mikaela is updating her video blog again when she gets some more goo on her and begins hallucinating, seeing herself as an old crone and she ends up smashing the standing mirror, slitting her wrists in the process. As Symes complains to Khali about Eugene’s death, one of the maids finds Mikaela’s body and calls them about it. Khali wants to call the cops but Symes stops her and tells her to get Denmarsh and to find Reggie and Hank to fix the mirror. Symes then calls Kent and tells him what happened and Kent tells him to ensure that word of Mikaela’s death doesn’t get out to the press until his PR firm can get a handle on how they will spin it. Khali heads down to the basement to find Reggie when some goo falls onto her face from an overhead pipe. When she sees Cleopatra, she tries to overcome her fear of dogs and get her but Cleopatra runs off. Khali goes after her but soon encounters a wolf/dog hybrid that had chased her when she was a kid and she finds herself hallucinating that she is back in some old ruins. As the wolf/dog goes to attack her, she is saved by Douglas and she finds herself back in the basement with no sign of the hybrid but the body of Cleopatra nearby. As Khali tells Aimee and Denmarsh about the dog that attacked her as a child and how it was the same one that chased her in the basement, Reggie and Hank don protective gear and head into the sewers to try and figure out where the clog is in the system and clear it out. Douglas finds Khali sitting outside and talks with her some when they spot Connolly, who warns them to leave, and they follow after him. Inside the sewers, Reggie is concerned over the fact that the sewers are almost bone dry and there is almost no sign of any toxic gases, but there is plenty of methane pockets bubbling up. As Hank decides to take a break, Reggie continues forward and finds a pipe filled with roots and strange goo. Meanwhile, some goo gets on Hank’s hand and he starts hallucinating that he is in a cemetery and being attacked by zombies. Hank begins attacking the “zombies” and ends up in the same room as Reggie, where he attacks the mass of goo until Reggie manages to snap him out of the hallucination briefly. As they stare at the goo, they start screaming when it forms a face and suddenly grabs them. Back outside, Douglas and Khali come across an old shed, which Khali says hasn’t been used in months but Douglas notices the new padlock on it. After picking the lock, Douglas and Khali head inside and find Connolly’s lab, with Connolly telling them not to touch anything. He then shows them a sample of the goo and reveals that it is alive and growing throughout the sewer system but gets upset when Douglas says that they have to kill it. Meanwhile, Denmarsh finds Mikaela’s palm pilot and starts watching her video blog and sees something in it that scares him but when he tries to find it again, it is no longer there. Khali goes to talk with Symes and warn him about what is happening but he is more concerned with keeping up the hotel’s image and threatens to fire her if she can’t get things under control. Symes then heads outside to make a call but he gets the goo on him and ends up being controlled by it. Khali heads to her office and tells Aimee to start evacuating all of the guests and staff while Denmarsh searches Mikaela’s room and ends up getting splashed by the goo. He then heads into the sewers with Tony to look for Reggie and Hank, as well as figure out what is going on. They encounter Symes, who has been driven mad and threatens to shoot Denmarsh but Tony kills him. As Denmarsh continues on, the goo falls on Tony and he hallucinates that Symes has come back to life and he ends up being killed. Douglas, Khali, and Connolly encounter Denmarsh and they tell him what is going on, then continue forward to try and find the hive mind of the creature. After finding the bodies of Reggie and Hank, they see the creature is sealing them in and continue forward, eventually finding the creatures main body but Denmarsh seals them in, telling them he will try to keep the rest of the creature away from them as he is already infected. He ends up seeing the man he framed for murder and after talking with him, Denmarsh sets them both on fire by igniting the methane in the area. Inside the chamber, Connolly is amazed by the creature when the walkway breaks and he grabs on to the railing to keep from falling but when Khali tries to pull him up, he chooses to let go and be absorbed by the creature. When Khali falls over the edge, Douglas manages to grab her and keep her falling into the creature’s mouth but he loses his grip and she ends up falling. Suddenly, Khali reappears back in his grip and she begins chanting a chant that her grandmother taught her and the creature begins to go back into the earth, allowing Douglas to pull her to safety. Sometime later, the authorities have been called and Khali is recovering in an ambulance when Douglas approaches her. She thanks him for saving her life and he tells her that he saw her fall and she saved all of them by chanting the Ojibwe prayer, which caused the creature to forgive them for injuring it when the workers put in the sewer system. Douglas then asks her to come with him on his next assignment and she agrees before she kisses him. Meanwhile, Kent has arrived at the hotel and tells his new assistant to have the place reopened in 6 months but as he rolls his wheelchair towards his car, he finds the wheels covered in the goo, which infects him, while a nearby manhole cover is shown to have goo coming up through the openings.

This was a little bit confusing, and somewhat disappointing of a movie. The acting was ok, with Kevin Sorbo (Douglas), Natalie Brown (Khali), and Peter MacNeil (Denmarsh) did a good job in their roles. The story honestly felt poorly written, as it kind of did a piss poor job of providing the details in how the creature really came about or started killing people; choosing to just make one giant intuitive leap in reasoning. The special effects were a little on the weak side and the noise when the goo infected people was kind of annoying, sounding a lot like cicadas or some other bugs. Not my favorite movie in the series but worth watching just to complete the series.

Rating: 2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 13th, 2017 Movie – Snowbeast (2011)

snowbeast 2011

So this movie kind of slipped by me. I mean, I had multiple copies of the original movie but had no idea that any sort of a remake was being made. I honestly don’t remember how I came across this movie; it was either on a horror movie site or a Facebook group. Either way, I would eventually find out about it but it took a while before I actually got around to buying it during a B-movie buying binge. Now let’s see if it was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Snowbeast (2011).

The plot: In the Canadian mountains, a kid is snowboarding down the mountains when he gets separated from his friend and ends up being stalked and killed by Yeti-like creature. Some time later, Jim Harwood heads up to Canada with his team, Marci and Rob, to study lynx up in the mountains. Jim brings his daughter Emmy with him since she was recently expelled from school, though she is less than thrilled to be there. When they arrive at their cabin, they work on getting things situated and Emmy is annoyed that she is being forced to help, prompting Jim to talk with Marci about the changes in Emmy since his wife Kim left him. Meanwhile, Park Ranger Barry is putting up missing poster for the missing snowboarder and later, goes through old missing person reports and starts plotting the area where they all went missing or where people saw some creature but his partner Gibbons thinks he is wasting his time. The next day, Jim and the others are unable to locate any of the lynx that they tagged last year so they head out to set up motion cameras and try and locate a den or two. When one of the cameras isn’t working, Rob heads back to the cabin in order to take the truck to the resort stores in order to get the supplies needed to fix it, unaware that Emmy had hidden in the back of the truck in order to sneak off to the resort. After getting his supplies, Rob runs into Barry and the two talk for a bit before Rob notices Emmy talking to a guy buy the ski lift and quickly goes and grabs her. As they head back to the cabin, Rob admonishes Emmy for sneaking off like that, then covers for her when they get back and Jim asks where she had been. As they are lounging around after dinner, Emmy asks about the tension between Marci and her father, embarrassing Jim as Marci and Rob quickly make their exits. The next day, they see no sign of anything on the cameras, though they did get video of something briefly moving through the forests during the night but did not get a clear picture of what it was. They head out to set up the last camera, with Emmy coming with them, and they find some strange tracks in the snow and wonder what it could be but don’t investigate them. That night, the creature shows up at their cabin, waking them up as it trashes one of their snowmobiles but they don’t see any sign of it. The next day, they take a look at what happened and after noticing the tracks in the snow, Marci decides to head to the ranger station and report what happened and see if there are any similar reports. While she is gone, Rob notices that the camera he fixed is still not working so he goes out with Jim to fix it, leaving Emmy to keep watch on the cameras in case something appears. Meanwhile, Barry and Gibbons are driving through the area when Barry stops the car, saying he saw something, and goes to investigate but ends up being killed by the creature. Gibbons, who was waiting in the truck, goes looking for Barry and eventually stumbles across his body before the creature kills him as well. Back at the camera, Rob gets it fixed but ends up falling through the roof of a cave and Jim goes looking for the entrance so he can help him. As they are in the cave, Emmy sees the creature moving across the camera monitors and radios her dad to warn him. Inside the cave, Jim and Rob find the body of the missing snowboarder and decide to leave, getting back to the snowmobile and making their escape before the creature can catch them. Back at the cabin, Marci is excited about the possible discovery of a new creature and wants to study it but Jim and Rob say they should leave in the morning and possibly come back with more people. Early in the morning, Marci sneaks out and goes looking for the creature but when she encounters it, she tries to run and ends up being killed. Jim wakes up and after noticing that Marci is gone, goes looking for her with Rob while leaving Marci to keep watch on the monitors for her. They find the truck but are unable to get it started, as it was damaged when the creature killed Marci, and no sign of Marci either. Meanwhile, Emmy sees the creature dragging Marci’s body on the monitors and tells Jim and Rob when they return to the cabin. Jim decides to take the snowmobile to go get help but when he spots the creature, he ends up crashing the snowmobile and getting knocked unconscious by the creature. Rob and Emmy see the smoke from the crash and head back to the truck to try and get it started but are unable to get it working so Rob grabs the tranquilizer gun from inside and they head back to the cabin. That night, the creature attacks the cabin and Rob and Emmy are forced to barricade themselves inside the upstairs bedroom. The next day, they come up with a plan to disable the creature so they can try and find Jim, using raw meat and food to lure the creature out of it’s cave and then Jim shoots it with the tranquilizer gun. After knocking the creature out, they head into the cave and find Jim and work to warm him up. When the creature returns to the cave, Jim and Emmy run for it while Rob tries to hold it off but he ends up being killed. As the creature chases after Jim and Emmy, Emmy tries shooting a flare at it but misses, which gives Jim an idea. He grabs the flare gun and shoots it at a snow bank over the creature, causing an avalanche that buries the creature, while he and Emmy manage to survive by taking cover behind a tree. Some time later, Jim and Emmy are at home and discussing how people think their stories about the creature are a hoax and Emmy wonders if the creature’s body will ever be found while back in Canada, two people are hiking through the woods when the creature bursts through a snowdrift and attacks one of them.

This was a pretty decent movie. The acting was good, with John Schneider (Jim), Paul D. Hunt (Rob), and Kari Hawker (Marci) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Jason London (Barry), though his appearance was pretty limited, but I thought that Danielle Churchran (Emmy) was pretty annoying, and that is despite the fact that she was playing an annoying teenager. The story was interesting, basically saying that the creature had killed all of the native wildlife and simply moved up to the next available food source, people. The special effects were about what you would expect while the creature design was pretty interesting. It’s good for a watch but not one of the better B-movies I have seen.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review

October 12th, 2017 Movie – Snowbeast (1977)

snowbeast 1977

I think there was some hidden conspiracy to get me to watch today’s movie. Years ago, I bought a box set of movies which contained this movie. Then I bought another box set, which also contained this movie, as did a third box set that I bought. So I got the hint and, after seeing a still from the movie on a horror website, actually got around to watching it and for a made-for-TV movie, it wasn’t bad. Now I haven’t seen today’s movie since that initial viewing so let’s see if Snowbeast (1977) is still as worthwhile as I initially thought.

The plot: Two women, Heidi and Jennifer, are skiing down a mountain in Colorado but when they stop for a break, they notice some strange tracks in the snow. When they hear something, Heidi gets scared and continues down the mountain but Jennifer is killed by a strange creature. At a ski lodge at the base of the mountain, owner Carrie Rill is welcoming guest and discussing the annual winter carnival that is occurring that weekend. Meanwhile, one of the rescue workers goes to get Tony Rill, Carrie’s grandson and manager of the lodge, and takes him up the mountain to the rescue station where Heidi is being tended to for shock. Tony tries to get some details about where Jennifer was last seen and Heidi is eventually able to tell them so he has one of the workers take Heidi back to the lodge while he and the other workers go search the area. Tony eventually finds the bloody remains of Jennifer’s ski jacket and hearing a roar, spots a strange, Sasquatch-like creature among the trees. Back at the lodge, former Olympic skier Gar Seberg and his wife Ellen arrive at the lodge and Gar tries to catch Tony’s attention but Tony motions to hold on as he heads into the office. Inside, he tells Carrie what he saw but she tells him not to say anything that will cause a panic, as they need the carnival to go on without any problems in order to keep things running smoothly. Leaving the office, Tony greets Ellen and Gar, who asks Tony for a job, and Tony agrees and says they will meet up for drinks when he gets done for the day. Tony tells one of the rescue workers to keep everyone off the section of mountain and post signs saying it is off limits but the worker disobeys Tony’s order and heads up there to keep looking for Jennifer only to be killed by the creature. At a ranch a little ways down the mountain, a young boy finds the body of Jennifer inside the barn and tells his dad, unaware that the creature is watching them. As Tony sees Sheriff Paraday at the lodge, he tries to talk to him but Paraday gets called out to the ranch. Tony then talks with Ellen while Carrie is showing off Gar in order to attract more people to the lodge and Ellen admits that her marriage is on the rocks due to Gar’s attempts at reliving his glory days and not living in reality. Later, Tony is talking with Gar about what he saw and wants his opinion and Gar thinks it is a joke but Tony insists it is real and Gar agrees to help him look over the area. Ellen decides to do some skiing but as she is leaving, she sees a deputy looking for Tony and leaving word to head up to the Fairchild farm so she heads there to investigate. When she gets there, she notices some strange tracks in the snow and decides to start following them. Meanwhile, Tony and Gar head up to the farm and Paraday shows them the body and Tony says it is Jennifer as her clothes match the jacket he found. When Paraday questions Tony about his not telling anyone about the jacket, Tony says that his grandmother wanted things kept quiet to avoid panicking the guests. Gar says that Ellen had done a story about the Bigfoot controversy but whether it was a Bigfoot or a bear, whatever killed Jennifer needed to be destroyed. Meanwhile, Ellen continues following the tracks and finds where the rescue worker was killed. Hearing the creature’s roar, she starts skiing back down the mountain and ends up seeking shelter in the barn. At the lodge, the coronation of the Winter Queen is about to commence when Betty Jo, this years winner, and Carrie spot the creature outside the window. As it smashes the glass, everyone in the room panics and starts running and screaming while the creature ends up killing Betty Jo’s mom, who is waiting in the “Queen’s Carriage”. After the paramedics arrive and take Carrie, who was injured, away, Gar returns to his room and when he finds Ellen isn’t there, he goes looking for her and finds her in the barn. As the two settle down to stay the night, they end up talking and reconnecting with each other again. The next morning, they find the remains of the dead rescue worker, just as the barn is attacked by the creature. As they try to escape, the creature ends up being chased off by the arrival of Tony, Paraday, and his deputy. Paraday and his deputy head up the mountain after the creature while Tony takes Gar and Ellen back to the lodge and arranges a funeral service for the dead rescue worker. Afterwards, Tony plans to go back out and hunt for the creature and Gar wants to go with them when word reaches them that Paraday killed the creature. As Paraday and his deputy return to a cheering crowd, Gar, Ellen, and Tony see that Paraday killed a bear. Later, Gar and Ellen question Paraday about it and he says that the bear had come out of the brush at them and how he was hoping to avoid a panic, gun carrying mob heading up the mountain and shooting at anything that moved,  including each other. With Tony’s urging, Paraday agrees to joining the three of them in searching the mountain for the creature. Using a camper as a base camp, the 4 head out on snowmobiles to search the mountain but the creature finds the camper and attacks it, ripping the ladder and ski rack off of it. When they get back to the camper and see what happened, they decide to alternate a two man watch for the night. In the morning, Gar goes outside, where Tony and Ellen had been standing watch when they hear a roar and see that the creature had knocked loose a log pile, sending the logs crashing down the mountain towards the camper. The logs knock over the camper and Gar and Tony go try to help Paraday when Ellen sees the creature approaching and they run, leaving Paraday to be killed. The three hide out in the barn but decide that all of their supplies are in the camper so they head back. As they search for the rifles, the creature returns and Tony manages to shoot it with a pistol, then tosses the pistol to Gar, who heads off after the wounded creature. Following it’s tracks, Gar comes across the creature as it tries to attack him and shoots it several more times before stabbing it with his ski pole, which finally kills it.

Yeh, it is a made-for-TV movie and does have it’s faults, but it is still not that bad of a movie. The acting was ok, with Bo Svenson (Gar), Robert Logan (Tony), and Yvette Mimieux (Ellen) doing good jobs in their roles. I also liked Clint Walker (Paraday) and Sylvia Sidney (Carrie) in the brief appearance that they had in the movie. The main story was pretty basic but did a decent job of ramping up suspense when needed. The little sub story about the mild romantic triangle between Gar, Ellen, and Tony was a little weak and honestly made this feel like it was some sort of soap opera instead of a movie. Since it was made-for-TV, there probably wasn’t much budget for the monster’s costume, which is why most of the monster scenes where shot from it’s perspective and you would only see an arm or leg, except for some rare scenes where you saw it’s face at the lodge’s window or the brief glimpses of it in the trees. It’s not the greatest movie out there but it can be a decent time killer if your expectations aren’t too high.

Rating: 2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

October 11th, 2017 Movie – Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast

snow shark

So this is a fun little movie. I first heard about this movie on a horror movie blog that I used to read. The plot sounded pretty interesting and it piqued my interest enough into wanting to watch it. It would be a few years later when I would get around to buying this on DVD. I’m not usually one for buying independent movies so lets see if this was worth the purchase as I watch today’s movie, Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast.

The plot: On February 6th, 1999, Professor Jonathan Hoffman and two of his biology students, Bianca and Gabriel, head to a small town in upstate New York to investigate the diminishing animal population after a recent earthquake. As Bianca stays behind to set up camp, Hoffman and Gabriel scout around the area and come across the carcass of a recently killed deer. Hoffman determines that the creature that killed the deer had traveled underground, which worries Gabriel and they decide to head back to the camp. When they get there, they find that Bianca had wandered off and discovered a giant hole in the ground. Hoffman theorizes that the creature had been frozen in ice and the earthquake released it. As they start to leave, Bianca sees a fin circling around them and Gabriel is killed by a shark. Hoffman and Bianca make a run for it but Bianca is killed and Hoffman is able to record a brief message of what happened on his tape recorder before he is killed as well. 12 years later, two teenagers wander into the woods and end up getting killed by the shark. Mayor Shawn Overman is informed about the deaths by his aide and he has him get the sheriff so they can hold a town meeting. At the town meeting, Overman and Sheriff Donald Chapman try to calm the townsfolk and keep them from forming a mob to hunt what is killing people by telling them they have a team of scientists coming to investigate. Mike Evans tells them that it is a snow shark killing everyone but Overman and Chapman, as well as the rest of the town, don’t believe him. As more people are killed by the snow shark, Chapman gets in an argument with his son Ethan, who storms out of the house. Ethan goes to see his friend Doug and they wander out to drink some beers but Ethan ends up being killed by the shark. The next morning, Chapman goes to the crime scene and sees his son’s body and after hearing from Doug about what happened, vows to kill the shark. In the town, biologist Wendy Gardner, cryptozoologist Lincoln Anderson, and a hunter named Cameron Caine meet with Overman, and Wendy and Cameron argue on whether they should capture or kill the shark. Meanwhile, Mike gets his brother and several of his friends together and after arming themselves, they head out into the woods to hunt the shark. Meanwhile, Lincoln, Wendy, and Cameron meet up with Chapman and he helps them get situated before they head out to search for the shark. When they get to the woods, they split up into pairs to hunt the shark but everyone is killed by the shark except for Mike. Back in town, Lincoln, Chapman, Wendy, and Cameron make their plans and head out into the woods, where Lincoln sets up a motion-capture camera and Wendy takes some samples of the area as Chapman and Cameron stand watch. Meanwhile, Mike returns to town and heads to the bar and his sister Daphne approaches him, upset over Ethan’s death, and begs him to kill the shark. As some of the patrons tease Mike about the shark, Hoffman, having gone into hiding after being attacked by the snow shark 12 years ago, approaches him and offers his help in killing the shark and after agreeing, Mike heads off with Hoffman to prepare to kill the shark. Lincoln, Chapman, Wendy, and Cameron head out to the woods to check the cameras but when they get there, they find the shark circling them. Wendy is dragged away and killed and as they try to leave, Cameron is attacked and Chapman shoots him in the head so he won’t suffer. Mike and Hoffman meet up with Cameron and Lincoln and Hoffman says that he believes the shark is attracted to heat and comes up with a plan to build a bonfire to lure the shark into a trap but as he goes to light the fire, he is attacked and killed by the shark. Mike pulls out a hand grenade and tells the others to run for it but the shark attacks him and bites off his legs. Chapman wants to help him but Lincoln says that they best chance they have to escape is to let Mike distract the shark. The shark attacks Mike again but the grenade goes off and kills them both. Chapman calls his deputy to tell him that the shark is dead but as Lincoln and Chapman head back, they see several more fins approaching them. Some time later, Daphne is putting flowers on Ethan’s grave but as she leaves, a shark fin makes its way through the cemetery towards her.

For a cheap budget independent movie, this is about what you would expect. The acting was ok, though several characters were either so wooden that it felt like they were simply reading their lines while filming or they were too over emotional to be laughable. The story was interesting and definitely the best part of this movie. I honestly feel like the people that made Avalanche Sharks used this movie as a basis for that movie. The special effects were laughably bad, with a puppet shark and some bad CGI but that is what I expected from a $7000 budget. It’s not a great movie but it can be good for a few laughs.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

horror, movie, movie review

October 10th, 2017 Movie – The Snow Creature

the snow creature

Another day, another early 50’s sci-fi movie. It’s been a while since I watched a movie from the Sci-Fi Classics box set so I am curious as to how good of a movie I have here. Funny thing is, I started to watch this movie years ago on YouTube but never got around to finishing it. So today I get to finish watching The Snow Creature and see if the wait was worth it.

The plot: Dr. Frank Parrish, accompanied by Peter Wells, is leading a scientific expedition up the Indian side of the Himalayas to find some rare botanical specimens. Making preparations in the town of Shekar, Frank hires Subra, an English speaking villager, to act as a guide and 10 other sherpas to help carry their equipment. The group reach a plateau and make camp but Frank is disappointed to find only common plants in the area at first search. Meanwhile, back in Shekar, Subra’s wife is kidnapped by a Yeti and taken up the mountain. Subra’s brother and some of the villagers make their way up the mountain to the camp and tell Subra what happened. Subra goes to wake Frank and Peter and tell them what happened, saying they have to go look for her but Frank doesn’t believe them. The next day, Subra leads a mutiny and takes control of the expedition to go look for his wife, leaving Frank and Peter no choice but to go with them. When they stop for the night, Frank and Peter try to call for help on the radio but Subra shoots it. Later that night, Peter hears something and decides to investigate but doesn’t see anything so he heads back inside his tent, not seeing the Yeti that had passed close by. The next morning, one of the sherpas sees the tracks and Subra orders everyone to pack their gear so they can follow the tracks. As the continue on, one of the sherpas is killed by a Yeti when they stop for the night and the next day, they are forced to take shelter from a rock slide. The rescue party eventually reaches a cave, where they stop to take a break and Frank talks to him about if they actually find a Yeti and capture it, they could be famous. Subra finds his wife’s necklace inside the cave and they head further inside, exploring the various tunnels until they eventually find a family of Yeti. Subra goes to shoot them but Frank stops him as the male Yeti heads to the cave wall and cause a cave in. The female and baby Yeti are killed but the male survived and before Subra can shoot it, Frank grabs the rifle from him and hands it to Peter, who keeps the other sherpas at bay. Frank decides to bring the Yeti back to Shekar so he can take it to America and after they get back to Shekar, he decides to not press charges on Subra and the others. As he makes arrangements for a refrigerated container to ship the Yeti in, Peter discusses selling the creature and making a lot of money but Frank refuses. When Frank arrives back in Los Angeles, he is greeted by his wife and boss but learns that the Yeti is being held up by customs. When he asks what the problem is, he is told by an immigration official that due to a newspaper story that Peter published, there is a question as to how to classify the creature and whether it’s entry into the country is a customs issue or an immigration one. As they try to work things out, the creature manages to break free from the container and escape, killing a woman close by. When they are told of the creature’s escape, Frank goes with Police Lieutenant Dunbar to give a description of the creature and to help recapture it. The creature continues to elude the police by moving through the sewers and hiding in meat warehouses, feeding on the carcasses stored there. Frank eventually figures out where it must be hiding and the police send teams into the sewers to find it. When a police officer is attacked by the Yeti, they begin forcing it towards an entrance, where a net is set up to capture it. As Frank and the police struggle to restrain the Yeti, the Yeti reaches through the net and starts strangling Frank. Unable to break the Yeti’s group, Dunbar shoots the creature once and as it lets go, shoots it three more times, killing it. As Frank makes arrangements for where to move the Yeti’s body, Dunbar gets word that his wife gave birth to a son and he offers Frank a ride home on his way to the hospital.

One good thing about some of these early 50’s sci-fi movies is that they are short. Other than that, there isn’t much to say about this movie. The acting was ok at best as nothing really stood out in the movie. The story was pretty bare bones and felt wooden and stiff in it’s pacing. The special effects were laughably bad, particularly during the falling rock scene, where the rocks were hitting one of the men as they struggled for cover but he just shrugged them off and kept moving completely unfazed. The Yeti itself was pretty poorly done, as when the character would simply walk forward with it’s arms outstretched and then back away from the camera. Definitely not the best Yeti/Bigfoot movie out there and I can’t really say if it is one I would recommend unless you are really curious.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5