Puppet Master (1989)

I am a product of the home video era. I was raised in a video store. The earliest memories I have as a child were running up and down the isles of the numerous local video stores my mother managed. See, My mom had been working in the home video industry for quite some time when I came around. I can recall sitting in back rooms of NUMEROUS video stores watching any video I wanted… As long as I didn’t get out of line and start acting them out. One of the first horror movie covers to really intrigue me was Full Moon Video’s Puppet Master. I thought it was great, dolls that come to life to do their masters bidding! I was instantly hooked. Every chance I got I would pop in the series and just watch terrified of the possibilities that my action figures could do the same. But unfortunately we all grow up sometime, some faster than others, some just look grown up. I always held on to this film, even after all my wrestling and cartoon action figures had long been goon and forgotten.

While this movie is definitely not perfect, there is a quality of charm that make up for the continuity issues and goofs. And while this film doesn’t give me the awe struck feeling it used to, it still manages to take me back to a time when things were simpler. Charles Band’s Puppet Master is a creative film with very innovative villains. The dolls are my favorite part of this film. Blade, Leech Lady, Pinhead, Tunneler, and Jester all struck a chord with me. I even at one time had a small jester action figure. All the creative elements in this film make it a stable in the horror genre, & also did enough to spawn 9 total films, the 10th which is due out in October of this year. While critics have almost nothing but hate for these gems, the fans have giving their stamp of approval on this Full Moon Franchise.

puppet master posterLong story short this film is about a group of psychics brought together again by the death their colleague. Soon things in the Bodega Bay Hotel starting getting strange when friends start disappearing and the group begins to have violent visions of the demise. Aside from the creativity and amazingly crafted puppets, this film is hit or miss. Most of the acting is subpar at best, and there are so many continuity errors if your playing a drinking game to them you would probably be passed out on the floor before the movie ends. Fortunately as I said before this film has this charm about it that really keeps me interested, even when I am utterly disgusted by the events that are unfolding on the silver screen. Maybe is nostalgia, or maybe not.

Even though the actors could have stepped up their game, the gore and special effects are very well done. Full Moon Entertainment thrives off putting out B-Movie’s with gore and t&a. This film delivers both in rather creative style. Without giving away anything, lets just say the endings practical effects really carry the film. Let’s not forget the animatronics! At the time of Puppet Masters release Child’s Play had come out only a year before, and Stuart Gordon’s Dolls (Produced by Full Moon’s Charles Band) the year before that. The animated doll had not been done so well before this point, with the exception of the Made-For-TV classic Trilogy Of Terror in 1975.

I rather enjoy the work of Full Moon Entertainment, even if they are low on production quality and full of campy cheese. I thrive to be entertained and Full Moon delivers the goods. With all that said Puppet Master is no masterpiece. While full of awesome effects and creativity, the acting is lack luster at best. In the case of this film, the dolls carry the work. The dolls make you want to watch the whole movie. I mean, come on… Killer Puppets… That’s pretty sweet in my book. GLP gives this Full Moon effort a 3 out of 5 stabs for creative villains, great special effects, and amazing puppet design.

You can pick up the movie at Amazon by itself  or in a boxed set with move of the Puppet Master movies.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idsk__J3weA

 

GLP Rating:

3 stabs

Critters Screen Cap

Critters (1986)

First there was Gremlins, then there was Critters. Critters is one of those cheesy sci-fi flicks that came out in the 80’s as an answer to a film by another company. While this is tactic has been denied, there are a lot of similarities between the two. Fans will never know what is true for sure, but at any rate we all received a very nice bit of 80’s cheese out of it!

Critters PosterCritters is about a race of small fuzzy aliens that escape from a prison asteroid, crash land in a small American town, and reek havoc on its inhabitants. Critters is all good fun, while its defiantly not cinematic gold, it has its charm. The creatures themselves are the best part of the film. They all have their own personality and in-turn makes the film a lot more entertaining.

The film boasts some nice puppet and practical effects, and one of my favorite songs from an 80’s movie “Power Of The Night” by the fictional rocker Johnny Steele. That song is just classic 80’s! The lyrics are so funny and the song makes about 2000 appearances in the film as well which add to the hilarity.

Critters stars Dee Wallace (Stone), Scott Grimes and Don Keith Opper. While the acting is defiantly typical 80’s, the actors add a bit of humility to roles. Dee Wallace screams some more and Scott Grimes causes entertaining mischief. The film also sports a younger, fuller haired Billy Zane in his second feature film role. Just wait till you get a load of that hair!

This film is just all around fun. I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it or is looking to kill some time with a fun sci-fi creature feature. This rather simple formulaic effort gets a 3 out of 5 stabs for the sheer fun of the film!

GLP Rating:

3 stabs

The Shallows Screen Cap 2

The Shallows Preview

An injured surfer stranded 200 yards from safety. What stands between her and safety? A great white shark who has already bitten her and killed two other surfers.  What will she do? How will she survive? The Shallows surfs into release on June 29th, so get the popcorn ready.

the Shallows movie sitll

In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.

 

All the trailer really shows is Nancy stranded on a rock and then on a buoy, so it makes you wonder how this is going to make a full featured film. That being said if it can be pulled off looks to make a splash this summer. Watch the trailer below and see for yourself. For more information about the movie check out the official Facebook page and official website.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa5qc-8N2uo

Bloody Bible Camp Screen Cap

Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (2011)

It seems like comedy and horror seem to be melding together a lot in recent years. Typically I am not much of a fan of the 2 genres together, but recently a slew of comedy slashers have been peeking their ugly little faces out of the proverbial horror vagina. Not to mention they have been good if not great combinations of the 2 genres. Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (BBBC) is no exception. This fallen angel of a flick will have you rolling with laughter and cringing with disgust simultaneously…and its totally fucking worth it

BBBC is low budget horror flick by Vito Trabucco and Shelby McIntyre. Basically without spoiling anything, BBBC is about a Bible Camp in 1977 that is decimated after a crazed killer in a nun costume picks off the campers one by one. 7 years later (1984) another church decides to chance the tainted camp and take some new campers out for a weekend of worship and love. But someone is lurking in the woods waiting for the right moment to unleash terror on the camps bible thumping occupants.

bloody bloody bible campI really loved this movie, I laughed literally 75% of the movie. The comedy lines were well written by Vito and Shelby and the actors did a tremendous job of haming it up for the camera. If I had to describe the movie using other films it would be a combination of Friday the 13th and every 80’s sex comedy. The movie works, it does its thing and is highly entertaining, it does have its flaws but they are mostly minor and I’ll get to a few in a bit. I love that the movie is set in the 70’s and 80’s, you get a blast of lingo, style, and references that are sure to make any 70’s and 80’s horror/ film buff smile.

The film stars Reggie Banister of Phantasm fame, Ivet Corvea, Matthew Aidan, Jessica Sonneborn, Deborah Venegas, Christopher Raff and a few more. I think everyone did a great job in this film. Mattthew and Christopher were the stand outs for me, their little montage had me laughing hysterically. There is a surprise cameo from Mr. Long Dick himself, Ron Jeremy, that will leave you saying…what the fuck!?!

The special effects are great, there is a slew of awesome death scenes the will have may a gorehounds drooling at the mouth. You get some decaps, an axe to the vag, some nice stabbings, and a serious head crushing scene that you have to see to believe. The viewers also get a hefty does of skin and a sex scene in the beginning that will make you cry from laughing so hard.

As I said before this film is not without its faults. There are some editing mishaps, and the most tragic of the issues is the final 10 or so minutes. At a certain point the film goes from a happy meld of comedy-slash to completely over the top silliness that I could have done without. While it tries to redeem itself by finally laying out the killers story, (which had the view had been seeing glimpses of throughout the film) the overboard silliness really distracted from what could have been a great ending. However that still doesn’t completely take away from the overall success of the film.

BBBC is a hilariously bloody romp through cliches of the church and one hell of a fun ride. The film legitimately succeeds in the first 3 acts but falls a bit short on the 4th. Regardless the film is a much watch in the horror community. GLP gives this slasherriffic horror-comedy a 4 out of 5 stabs for overall story, look, and gore. You can check it out on Amazon, there are a few DVD’s available as well you can buy the digital copy there.

GLP Rating:

4 stabs

Mask Maker Screen Cap

Mask Maker (2010)

With so many unknown and turkey titles its great to find the nice diamonds in the rough. Mask Maker is no exception.

Mask MakerMask Maker is about a young couple who buy an old farm house in hopes of flipping the property to make some money and finally get married. The more time they spend in the house, the more they find out about the homes tumultuous past. This film surprised me, I went into the film with low expectations and came out of it a believer.

The acting in this film was pretty good. Nikki Deloach does a great job with the leading lady role, she carries with film and really brought a genuine feel to the character. The rest of the cast does a good job as well. Every character seemed legit, and we all pretty likable. Veteran’s Michael Berryman, Treat Williams, and Terry Kiser make appearances in the film and do great as usual.

The downfall of the film is the killer. Nothing special to talk about here, which is a rather big bummer. The films killer is like a cross between Jason and Leatherface, and his motives are about as generic as they come. I feel like with the story the film created the killer could have been a lot cooler. The only gripe have with this film is the killer, although he is slightly redeemed in the end. All in all too generic for me.

The films special effects are the strongest part of the film. The gore, and kills are impressive. I am not a fan of cg effects but it seemed the film used them in a moderate manner, and also mixed in great practical effects as well. The gorehounds will be happy with this modern slasher. We get stabbings, decapitations, skinnings, and a pretty sweet meat hooking…sort of.  The fans of T&A are surprisingly rewarded with some very nice booties, and a couple beautiful pairs too.

All in all the film was a pleasant surprise. Mask Maker serves up a rather by the numbers slasher flick with good acting. The biggest down fall of the film is unfortunately its killer but the gore and nudity make up for the lack of creativity. GLP gives this mediocre slasher a solid 3 out of 5 stabs for good story, acting, and gore. Check out this film on DVD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwt4ekCqt2k

GLP Rating:

3 stabs