Friday, 28 April 2017

Roadside (2013)

Interestingly in line with Phone Booth.

Roadside. Not to be mistaken for Roadhouse.

Dan and Mindy drive through the desolate wilderness to meet with friends when they are held up by a gunman in the darkness. You're standing in the middle of the road. An unseen gunman has you in his sights. What do you do?

Largely, that is the entire premise. So, with so much to be held up by the cast, does it?

The couple, played by Ace Marrero (Triangles) and Katie Stegeman (Contracted) do so with some flair. Dan is clearly cheating on pregnant wife Mindy, and so the favor falls very much with her, and, given the predicament they are in, she could, save herself at any point. Although, interestingly, some small sympathy is garnered by Dan.

The gunman, voiced by Brad Douglas (Interestingly nothing of note) is chilling.

Director and Writer Eric England made some interesting choices. One that tips the movie over from being good, to being interestingly good. But more on that in a moment.

A well held up thriller, but - if you've seen Phone Booth - with this set up the end can make or break the movie.

Ace Marrero / Katie Stegeman

So. The end.

This appears to be a sticking point with some reviewers. You see, the film just ends. There is no resolution. Some have said it is merely sequel baiting.


Eric England is clever.

Within the credits of the movie, a coy animated sequence plays - think the intro to Catch Me If You Can. And within the sequence is the end of the movie. Do they live? You find out. Who is the gunman? You find out.

In conversation with Dead Celluloid, England states, "I think most people either missed the whole movie or didn't want to sit through the final animation."

We say: Their loss.

For whatever reason England included this - especially the flack he's received by reviewers belittling the ending - it's like Marvel Credit Scene to the max. And especially rewarding.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Fled (1996)

KABOOM! 'splotions! Chasing! Shooting! THE 90'S!


A-Typical 90's action flick, Fled, starts with hacker, Dodge (!) and, um, criminal, Piper (!), breaking free from a road gang, and fleeing the law. What follows is 98 minutes of action. Cars explode on impact. Guns wielded at funny - yet extremely effective - angles. All meetings happening in strip clubs. Floppy disks. Yes. Floppy disks.

For it being about escaped convicts however, it couldn't be more of a buddy-cop movie.

Stephen Baldwin and Laurence Fishburne star as the two escaped convicts. Baldwin trying to carve an action man niche for himself, and Fishburne sitting comfortably in his. Baldwin has a mixed career, going well until the mid-nineties (starring in Bio-Dome in the same year, ouch), and then slowly drifting towards straight to DVD obscurity. Sadly, I mostly know him for the latter, so could have given this a miss, which would have been a shame. Fishburne is always likable, and his performance here reminds me of his role in 92's Deep Cover opposite Jeff Goldblum. As leads they're both capable and carry the film well.

The supporting cast is large, but not overly memorable, with the exception of always great Will Patton, and the sudden appearance of RuPaul, bizarrely.

Lawrence Fishburne / RuPaul

The film is as you would expect it to be. It has a little Lethal Weapon. A lot of generic 90's action. There are certain aspects drawn from earlier Die Hard II, which leads to comparison.

None of this is a bad thing. 

It is what it is. 90's action. Well enough made, and enough explosions to sate any Michael Bay fan.

If you've not seen it and want a fun action flick, go see it now. It's as good as any other of the period.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Bunnyman (2011)

The IMDB synopsis for this movie is: A couple of dimwitted teens get chased by a killer dressed in a bunny suit. 

I shit you not.

He's behind you!

This is a strange, strange, movie. The synopsis is surprisingly accurate, however, before we get to the couple there were six.

Six lonely travelers in a car doing twenty.

With no dialogue to speak of, which is not a bad thing because of the quality of the acting, six friends (whose names are so unimportant we aren't given them, nor do we know where they're going) get driven from the road by a large, lumbering truck - that they could have sped away from should the driver have known how to drive. They are then picked off by a man in a bunny suit.



Trying its hardest to be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and failing miserably, Bunnyman is simply a man in a bunny suit offing 'teens' with a chainsaw in the forest. A couple of the gore effects were okay, and I put that down to them being practical rather than CGI.

The acting is terrible, the direction as base as it can get, the screenplay non-existent, and the killer was in a bunny suit.

Says it all really.

Starring Cheryl Texiera (Girl Meets World) and Matthew Albrecht (The Eves) as the two final 'teens' and Carl Lindbergh (Director of Bunnyman) as Bunnyman, the movie hardly has a reason to be good. It tries, which is something, but comes off as a group of friends mucking about at the weekend with a camera.

It also spawned two sequels, which I now have to watch.

I can't recommend the movie, however, I feel a one star rating is a dupe. Only for hardcore bad horror fans, this one.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Lights Out (2016)

I might have pooped. Slightly.

Lights Out

To say too much about the movie is just a spoiler nightmare. Opening with the death - by possible supernatural forces - of Paul, it appears that a curse of sorts has befallen the family. The son is seeing the same force. The mother has a 'friend'. I'm trying to be vague.

A superior horror film is made, and of course, none other than producer James Wan is present. The man largely behind Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious etc. Of course it's good. The man has had a hand in most of the best horror movies of the decade so far.

Billy Burke as Paul
Based on the award winning short of the same name, below (2013), I honestly wasn't expecting much. Sure the trailer (below-er) is scary. But I couldn't see how it could be made...real. Feature length. It seemed too good to be true.

The short is nothing less than fucking terrifying. Here:


The movie is a distinct step aside from the short, but while offering a little plot, is a simple film destined to scare. 

Acting is well done. Teresa Palmer and Gabriel Bateman do a solid job. But this film's secret lies with direction and editing to make it scary. Director David S. Sandburg does a stellar job. He was the mind behind the short, and this is his first feature length presentation.

Good job, man. 

So what's the film about? It's a...ghost?...story. It doesn't matter. The film rates up there with The Conjuring, and Insidious. It betters The Babadook, in my opinion. 

It's new. Different.