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    From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 10th, 2017

    Season 1 of From Dusk Till Dawn gave us a ten-episode remake of the hit original movie while setting up a mythology to stretch its story over numerous seasons. Season 2 took us deeper into the culebra syndicate, and we got to see how they operate in their world as Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama) searched for an ancient blood source and sought to sit at the throne as the leader of all the culebras (a snake/vampire hybrid of sorts).  All while the baddest outlaws North and South of the border, the Gecko brothers Seth (D.J. Cotrona) and Richie (Zane Holtz) were forced to work out their differences ever since Richie was made a culebra.
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    Blair Witch (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 10th, 2017

    In 1999 The Blair Witch Project was released, and it was a horror film that created a stir like I had never seen before.  I remember going to Tampa Theatre to see it opening week.  The line was wrapped around the building for the sold-out screening.  Discussions were going on in the line about the film actually being real, some even talking about how they heard the bodies of the three filmmakers were never found.  It’s this kind of mindset going into the film that made it such an impact as I walked out of that first showing.  At the time I knew I had seen something unique, but I never would have expected it to spawn an entire style of genre filmmaking that would be copied over and over again.
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    31 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 9th, 2017

    There is something about a Rob Zombie film that will always be a draw, and it is always the realism that he brings to the screen.  Whether it’s The Devil’s Rejects or his version of Halloween, he always presents it in a way that I feel is grounded in reality.  Perhaps it’s also because I live in Florida, and there are some small towns that you don’t want to break down in at night for fear of crossing some crazed backwoods types.  To put it out there, I was a fan of Rob Zombie before he was putting out movies, and I have all of his albums; he’s just a guy who does stuff that I really dig.  That being said, I can be objective in saying his films have been a bit all over the place, but Lords of Salem was a piece of work that I simply loved, and I felt it showed a lot of growth from his previous films and worked well as a slow burn.
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    Never Open The Door (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 2nd, 2017

    Since we are knee-deep into the holidays, it would only be fitting to discuss the independent horror film Never Open the Door; after all it takes place on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a shame we don’t have more horror films to watch during turkey day, but for some this new title may be a nice fit to change all that.  When I picked up the title I hadn’t heard a peep about it, but I’m a sucker for horror, and seeing that it was shot in B&W just made it all the more enticing.  Now, when I watch a title like this, one thing has to work. It has to have a story that engages me; story is what matters with these smaller films, because the budgets tend to not have room for big makeup FX or big-name actors.  The limitations placed upon the filmmakers seem to force their hand and have them get more creative with the execution of scenes, whether this means creative camera work or unique storytelling.
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    Return Of The Living Dead 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on November 29th, 2016

    Fresh out of the vaults comes another cult classic. Vestron Video has decided to unleash Return of the Living Dead 3 for horror fans to snatch up this holiday season.  Considering the titles that Vestron has already released, for some this might be a title that will leave fans scratching their heads about there being an urge to re-master this film, much less crank out a Blu-ray with so many features.  Well, the simple answer is that the person in charge of acquiring and releasing these titles knows that there are fanboys like me out there who will shell out the money for a product that’s given this kind of attention.  Return of the Living Dead is a cult classic and is mostly responsible for casual moviegoers making the connection with zombies and brain eating
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Id (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 30th, 2016

    This is one of those titles that came along where I had no idea what to expect.  I knew it was a horror title, and really that is about it.  The problem with doing films in a single location, though it may save you money when it comes to the actual production, is that in return you put an added pressure on your performers and the story to not be boring and keeping the story moving.  It can be done; after all, 10 Cloverfield Lane is one of my favorite films of the year, and most of it takes place in a bunker.  When it comes to The Id, how did the film turn out? Well, I feel it was a victim of its own design.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Lights Out (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 23rd, 2016

    Everyone is afraid of the dark…and that’s what she feeds on.”

    Despite rumors to the contrary, I am a full-grown adult. That means I can’t in good conscience admit to being afraid of the dark. The most I’ll concede is a sense of uneasiness if I’m in a dark space because I might bump into something. And if I hear a strange noise in the middle of the night, my mind might start creating sinister shapes out of shadows. (Hold on…am I afraid of the dark?!) Either way, that primal and unshakable fear of what could be hiding just out of sight is what powers Lights Out, one of the leaner, nimbler, and flat-out most enjoyable low-budget horror flicks in recent years.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Waxwork/Waxwork II (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 22nd, 2016

    The third release of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series that Lionsgate has decided to put out isn’t just one film but two, Waxwork and its sequel Waxwork 2: Lost in Time.  If you think just because it’s a two-for-one release that they may have taken the lazy route on handling the transfers and features, well, I can happily say that you’d be wrong.  If you like campy horror, especially the kind that existed during the late 80’s on into the early 90’s, then this is the kind of double-feature set you’ll have a blast with.  It doesn’t hurt, either, that it’s being released just in time to be enjoyed for those of you looking to put together some horror movie marathons during the Halloween season
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Satanic (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 13th, 2016

    When you have a title like Satanic, it’s kind of hard to not start to build up expectations right out of the gate.  I like a horror film that isn’t afraid to go dark and play with the subject matter of the occult, because honestly it’s the only topic that can manage to get under my skin.  The Exorcist in my opinion is hands down the best horror film of all time and manages to haunt me after a viewing simply because the boy I once was who went to Catholic mass every Sunday knew that it could happen.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Penny Dreadful: The Final Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 12th, 2016

    “…And then all light will end, and the world will live in darkness. The very air will be pestilence to mankind. And our brethren, the night creatures, will emerge and feed.”

    We could be talking about the end of the world. We could also be talking about the untimely demise of Penny Dreadful with just its third season at Showtime. It came with a suddenness, and not without controversy. John Logan originally planned for the series to go 6-7 years.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Masks (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 8th, 2016

    After the release of The Editor on Blu-ray last year and with the remake of Susperia in the works, it would seem that there is a slow revival of the Giallo film.  For those unaware of the term or style, it’s basically a horror/ mystery film that tended to have slasher elements that emerged out of Italy.  These were beautiful and stylish films that directors like Dario Argento, Mario Bava, and Lucio Fulci were the ambassadors of.  While The Editor was more of a spoof of the genre, though well done, it is Masks that has really gotten my attention.  Though it comes out of Germany, the love and attention to detail in adding so many of the familiar hallmarks of the Giallo film makes Masks more than just a simple homage, but it’s so well executed I could have believed this was a lost Dario Argento film.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Neon Demon (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 6th, 2016

    “Are you food or are you sex?”

    When it comes to director Nicholas Winding Refn, he’s a director from whom I’m never all too sure what to expect.  For me Drive is one of my favorite films in the past ten years, while Only God Forgives simply bored me; despite the stunning imagery, it had nothing else going for it.. His films going even further back are just as much of a mixed bag, so coming into The Neon Demon I knew better than to get my hopes up, and that I should just go ahead and let the film stand on its own, as it should.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Blood Diner (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 3rd, 2016

    Warning! The truly unusual motion picture you are about to see contains many scenes of graphic violence. It is not intended for the faint of heart, nor the young and impressionable.”

    Anyone who makes it all the way through 1987’s Blood Diner — a gleeful, inspired exercise in bad taste — can’t say they weren’t warned. That being said, the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that precedes the film still may not be enough to prepare you for the utter silliness and depravity that follows.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Chopping Mall (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 1st, 2016

    “I guess I’m just not used to being chased around a mall in the middle of the night by killer robots.”

    It’s October, and that means it’s the start of 31 Nights of Terror, and this year we’re kicking things off with one of my guilty pleasures growing up, Chopping Mall.   This came out at a time when slashers were pretty much a dying genre, but there was still a demand to have horror films up on the big screen.  I never got to see this in theaters, but I remember the VHS box art from my local mom-and-pop video store.  The idea of the robotic hand clutching a shopping bag with a head on it was something that gripped the teenager in me.
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    Supernatural: Season 11 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 15th, 2016

    “This is encouraging.”

    For the first time in a long while, the Winchester Brothers end and begin a season together. Dean’s just had the Sign of Cain removed, and the cost is the approaching darkness. I’m not talking a little storm blowing through. Here in Florida we know all about that kind of darkness. No. This is The Darkness, and it’s the big bad for season 11 of Supernatural. You heard that correctly. We’re talking 11 years with number 12 arriving any day now. Once again it’s “end of days” kind of stakes, and we have another season to save the universe.
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    The Ones Below (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 14th, 2016

    When a movie that so clearly lifts its inspiration from the films of Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock, I would have expected to simply embrace this film for the nail-biting thriller it is attempting to be.  Instead I found myself sitting back wondering why I just couldn’t get into this film.  Is it because the storyline seems uninspired?  Whatever it is when it comes to The Ones Below, it may hit all the right notes when it comes to what to expect with a thriller, but that’s the problem; it plays everything by the book and doesn’t dare to take unexpected twists.
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    Clown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 1st, 2016

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have a fear of clowns, but more of the people beneath the paint. I’m not sure if anyone has recently seen in the news, but there are reports of people dressing up as clowns behind an apartment complex in South Carolina attempting to lure children into the woods.  First off I immediately think this is a prank, but also there is the side of me that is curious as to there being something more sinister at play; after all, it seems like a good start to a horror film. Going back through my childhood, I can’t think of any one moment that caused me to despise clowns, but I do remember a trip to Circus World that left me convinced all the clowns there were bad.
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    Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 24th, 2016

    For years (at this point we can say decades), fans have been holding out hope for a new installment in the Evil Dead franchise. Over the years there have been rumors of a fourth film, even talks of doing a crossover involving Ash (Bruce Campbell) taking on various horror icons.  In the end these talks seemed to be nothing more than pipe dreams, but then in 2013 something special happened.  A remake/sequel occurred for the series that actually was pretty awesome and gory while also being a financial success…but it was the stinger at the end of the credits that got people excited, the brief appearance of the man with the chainsaw hand himself.
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    The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 22nd, 2016

    The Vampire Diaries is finally living up to its name. Elena is asleep until Bonnie dies, so the characters have promised to keep a record of all the goings on in Mystic Falls and with their lives. And there’s a lot to write about. Mystic Falls has been evacuated so that Lily and her family of heretics won’t kill everybody in town. They’re living in the Salvatore mansion, and Carolyn is carrying twins that don’t really belong to her. And Damon…he’s just being…Damon. All of them are either trying to steal or running away from something called The Phoenix Stone. Elena’s going to have a lot of catching up to do, and so do you if you haven’t been watching all along.
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    Viral

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 7th, 2016

    The setup for Viral is promising enough. Throughout the early part of the film, we get subtle yet effective hints at the escalating catastrophe that is about to infect the story. (We hear about someone’s mom coughing uncontrollably, plus a video of a bloody, unexplained elevator attack goes, well, “viral.”) So it’s a shame that this sci-fi/horror thriller is limited by both its micro-budget and (more importantly) a filmmaking team that only sporadically delivers the goods.
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    The Invitation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 29th, 2016

    It seems there have been a lot of horror films involving dinner parties that have gone wrong.  You’re Next may be the best example to take on this idea, and I have to admit to being a fan of the film. It was a fun hipster horror film that kept the story moving forward and delivered more than a fair share of violence and gore.  Then there was last year’s creepy gem The Gift, a film that captured the horror of the past coming back to haunt you.  When it comes to The Invitation, it’s a film that seems like a hodgepodge of both You’re Next and The Gift, but also a handful of other films.  It’s a film that feels so familiar, but as you watch it manages to avoid many of the stereotypical film tropes viewers have grown used to over the years.
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    Jeepers Creepers Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 6th, 2016

    “I don’t know if it’s a demon or a devil, or just some hungry thing from some dark place in time. I just know it’s not going to stop coming after you or anyone else it wants to. ‘Cos once it has the scent of something it likes, it can’t be stopped.” 

    Just days before the tragic events of 9/11 brought so much real-life horror into our lives, Victor Salva attempted to resurrect some old-school monster movie magic on the movie-going public. The low-budget thriller hit the box office with a bang. Its $13 million opening weekend was a record for Labor Day and is partly responsible for studios taking a closer look at the traditionally slow release weekend.
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    The Other Side Of The Door (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 5th, 2016

    We’ve all heard and seen the story before; a family loses a loved one and consumed with grief they meddle with unknown forces to see their loved ones again.  The Monkey’s Paw is one of my favorite stories that cover the topic. I’m sure everyone at some point had to read this short story in school.  Having read the story and seen the numerous films that have covered the topic, you’d think by now people would have learned to not mess with forces they don’t understand.  The Other Side of the Door is the new paranormal horror film to cover the subject, and it seems people still just haven’t learned. Is the film worth taking a look to see what lies beyond the door, or is this one better left alone?
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    10 Cloverfield Lane (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 15th, 2016

    Bad Robot, in my eyes, is simply the best at keeping things a secret.  In this day and age, to be able to surprise audiences is just about an impossible task.  When the first Cloverfield trailer was released in 2007 in front of Transformers, it was a trailer that had us all guessing up until its release.  In my opinion Cloverfield was one of the best found-footage films to come out and was a grand achievement, considering it was a monster film that had been pretty much been kept under wraps until its actual release.  Bad Robot managed to surprise us again, releasing a trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane that set the internet on fire with theories and hopes for this to be a long-awaited sequel.  But is that what this really is?
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    The Witch (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 19th, 2016

    After Robert Eggers received best director out of Sundance, The Witch became a film that went on my radar. Following the release of the trailer to the film I was hooked; its startling yet beautiful imagery was enough to get my attention.  As buzz built around the film as it continued to awe audiences in various festivals, my anticipation for this film was getting out of control.  Could a film really be this great? Is it possible to make a film that still shocks and terrifies audiences?  By the time I found myself getting to this screening, The Witch now was a film that unfairly had something to prove to me, I poked the bear and dared this film to blow me away. As the lights dimmed and the film played out, I came away with more than I asked for.
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