Tag Archives: horror films

Not So Secret Santa Review Swap – Lovely Molly

This post is part of the Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap being held over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer, in which participants ‘gift’ a film for another blogger to watch and write about. You can check out the full list of entries here. Here’s my post on the film that was gifted to me, Lovely Molly.

I knew I’d end up with a horror film.

Lovely Molly is the story of Molly (Gretchen Lodge) and her new husband Tim (Johnny Lewis) who, following their wedding, move into Molly’s childhood home. However, painful memories soon surface for Molly and a powerful force soon envelopes her.

Now it’s not that I don’t like horror films (I love The Shining and Halloween), it’s just that they scare me. I know that’s the point but I’m not a massive fan of being scared. Even the worst horror films that most people sneer at will probably have me weeping like a small child.

However, the only thing that scared me about Lovely Molly was the streaming quality on my laptop.

That’s being slightly unfair. The first 20 minutes or so had me on edge a little, although that may well have been simply my expectation that I was going to be scared. After that, however, it did little to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

See, there’s a bit too much going on with Lovely Molly. It’s part home invasion, part slasher, part supernatural horror, part possession horror, part found footage; it just doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. There’s also some stuff about horses it seems. It does most of these parts admirably enough, but put them all together and it’s somewhat of a mess.

After that promising first act, the film just gets a little boring and I found myself really not caring what happened to Molly. As she seems to go more and more insane, she turns into more and more of a douchebag and I just wanted one of the other characters to do her in. Whether or not I was supposed to identify with her or not in some way I’m not sure.

There are also some of the most pointless sex scenes ever created in the history of film. As far as I was concerned, they served absolutely no purpose whatsoever. I have no problem with a bit of sexy time, but here it just stood out like a sore, naked thumb.

I did think that certain parts of the film worked quite well, however. The more supernatural side of things was probably the most successful, and the film’s climax was pretty interesting, taking a rather leftfield turn of events. However, in this film it seemed a little too leftfield and didn’t really fit well with that had gone before. Good climax but in the wrong film. It’s also one of those films that lets the audience decide how much is actually happening and how much is in Molly’s head. Sometimes that seems like a cop out but it works reasonably well here. The denouement, however, can be seen coming a country mile off and is massively cliched.

So, going into Lovely Molly I was a little wary that I’d need new pants but that was not to be. Not totally sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Lovely Molly isn’t a horrible film; it does flirt with some good ideas but just never really follows through with any of them.

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Quickie: You’re Next

Crispian (AJ Bowen), along with his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson), sister, brothers and their respective partners, celebrate his parents’ wedding anniversary out in the sticks at their new, swanky house. However, it’s not long before the celebrations are cut short by a brutal home invasion by masked attackers.

Some people are more freaked out by supernatural horror (me), whilst others find themselves gripping their seat with slasher-esque movies. If you fall into the latter category then You’re Next will likely have you double checking the locks when you get home.

The film has a distinctly b-movie feel to it, which is by no means a bad thing, and doesn’t hold back with its violence. There are even a couple of particularly grisly deaths that verge on video nasty territory. It’s well filmed with plenty of close up shots to give you that claustrophobic feel and restrict your on-screen peripheral vision. The use of shaky cam, however, does get a little tiresome after a while.

Whilst the film is tight and well constructed, it’s also a little shallow and you may well find yourself with little empathy for the main characters. Indeed, the attackers have more personality than most of the protagonists even though they’re masked up.

You’re Next is a pretty blatant attack on the middle class, but it does so with its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek. It recalls Scream at various instances, almost riffing on the home invasion sub-genre at times. It’s at no point cerebral but is a succinctly packaged piece of good gruesome fun.

4 pigeons

4/5 pigeons

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Film Review: The Conjuring

When the Perron family move into a New England farmhouse and are harassed by malevolent spirits, they call in renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga) to rid the house of the spirits. However, this is a case unlike any the Warrens have experienced before.

The Conjuring is based in the ‘true’ case files of Ed and Lorraine Warrens (probably most famous for their work on the Amityville case), which will no doubt set off alarm bells with a lot of people, as will the fact that we have yet another haunted house tale – is there anything here to set the film apart from those we’ve seen before?

Well, yes and no.

There is very little new in The Conjuring that we haven’t seen in countless other horror films. It ticks just about every horror film box which does unfortunately drag the film into cliche a little too often and make the whole thing somewhat predictable. Isolated farm house? Check. Nervous dog? Check. Spooky boarded up basement? Check. Creepy kids’ toys? Check. I could go on for quite a while.

Having said that, even though the film does tread familiar ground, it does so very effectively. Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) knows how to pace a horror film and doesn’t miss a beat throughout. Whether it’s a fleeting face in a mirror, a creaking door or sleepwalking child, Wan executes it with aplomb and delivers on the scare front more often than not. And it’s in these slower, more subtle moments that the film is at its most effective, with Wan’s use of long takes, dolly zooms and disorientating camera angles really intensifying the atmosphere.

We don’t always see what the characters see, allowing our own imagination to fill in the blanks. As such, when the film does show its hand, often resorting to standard jump scare tactics, it feels a little cheap.  Everything then gets ramped up in the final third, as you’d expect, and this does reduce much of the impact, although as this is based on ‘actual events’ it’s difficult to see how it could have been much different.

A lot of credit must also go to the cast. Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor do well as the Perrons but it’s Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga who are the stand outs here. They are wholly believable as the famed demonologists, with Farmiga in particular excellently portraying Lorraine Warren as a caring but slightly damaged individual, although with the actual Lorraine Warren helping out with the story it’s hardly surprising the pair are sympathetically portrayed when others would argue they perhaps shouldn’t be.

For diehard horror aficionados, The Conjuring probably won’t offer up anything you haven’t seen umpteen times before and it may seem rather too ‘by numbers’. However, for the casual horror fan there’s enough here to have you gripping the edge of your seat whether you believe it’s a true story or not.

3 and a half pigeons

3.5/5 pigeons

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What Dya Mean You Haven’t Seen… The Evil Dead?

The Evil Dead

As I have mentioned before on here and on others’ blogs in the past, I’m not the biggest fan of horror films. I like them in theory as I’m fascinated by the paranormal, myths & legends, and psychological nutcases. However, when it comes down to actually watching a horror film, I’ll quite often want to weep within the first 15 minutes. Even horror films that everyone apparently thinks are awful will quite often reduce me to a quivering wreck. And yet I’m still somehow drawn to them.

I had seen the trailer for the remake of The Evil Dead and thought it looked fantastic, even though after just a two-minute clip I still wanted a massive cuddle afterwards. This intrigued me to check out the original, a film I know is loved amongst cult horror fans and is apparently the inspiration for many horror films that followed. So I turned the lights off (I like to do things properly) and booted it up.

Plot: A group college students take a holiday to a cabin in the woods where they find a creepy old book and an audio tape. When they play the audio tape it is a series of incantations of writings from the book which releases evil demons that one-by-one possess the hapless students.

The Evil Dead was made way back in 1981 and was director Sam Raimi’s first feature film. He had made several short films prior, including Within the Woods which would serve as a trial run of sorts to drum up investment for The Evil Dead.

Bruce Campbell as AshAs shown above, the plot of The Evil Dead is incredibly simple but that’s no bad thing at all; it’s the films simplicity that is it’s strongest element. We don’t need deep back stories or complicated love triangles; instead, we’re thrown straight into the story, essentially just being told to accept what’s happening without giving it a thought. The whole thing pretty much takes place in and around the solitary cabin which gives it a very claustrophobic feel, amplifying the horror.

And it is scary. Despite the fact that it’s obviously become dated and hasn’t aged particularly well, it still remains a lesson in how to do low-budget horror. There are a few jump scares, but the film mixes it up and there are plenty of other techniques used to get under your skin. The camerawork, for instance, is very clever; one scene sees Ash (Bruce Campbell) try to drive his girlfriend away from the cabin but stops the car to get out. It appears that the car is parked on flat ground but was actually parked on a slope and the camera tilted to correct the slope. This adds an eerie disorientation to the shot as Ash walks away from the car at a seemingly strange angle.

As I mentioned, the film hasn’t aged particularly well, which could well be why Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are revisiting it for the remake. The acting is pretty atrocious, although that’s what you often get with low budget films. You could argue that it’s part of the film’s charm, but there’s no denying that the acting is somewhat laughable at times. Some of the effects are also dated, but on the whole they don’t really take anything away from the film. The OTT effects are a hark back to the B movies that influenced the film and are what gives it some personality.

RaaaarMany cite The Evil Dead has an example of horror/comedy, albeit very dark comedy, but there’s something about that that doesn’t really sit right with me. I believe that this was never intended as a piece of comedy but as a proper, straight-up horror film. However, various things (largely due to the budget) led it to become slightly amusing in places. The bad acting, the over-the-top gore and make-up, etc, now seem worse than they did back then and any comedy drawn from them is likely accidental. Recognising this, Raimi maybe thought he would embrace it with the sequels (of which I haven’t seen but am aware). I could be wrong but I doubt Raimi would have made the film as it was if he had a larger budget, which could well have eliminated much of what added a level of comedy. I have a feeling that people may be laughing at it slightly more than with it.

What is very interesting is the obvious effect The Evil Dead has had on horror films that followed it. I doubt it was the first to feature an isolated cabin in the woods or a cursed book that released the dead, but it’s certainly one of the most influential. It’s hard to think that any filmmaker incorporating anything like that into a horror film doesn’t have The Evil Dead at least somewhere in their mind as they do so. It’s even spawned a number of comedy horrors, such as The Cabin in the Woods and Tucker & Dale vs Evilwhich use The Evil Dead as such an obvious point of reference that they don’t even attempt to hide it.

The film also gained a lot of its cult popularity from the fact that several attempts were made to censor it. Many countries, in fact, banned it for some time. It was labelled as a ‘video nasty’, a title reserved for only the nastiest and most disturbing films. This definitely adds to the film and gives it a certain level of expectation going into it. This could well explain why I was left feeling ever so slightly disappointed by it. It was entertaining enough but it didn’t really enthrall me as much as I was expecting. Perhaps if I had seen this when it first came out I would have a higher opinion of it. I appreciate and respect The Evil Dead’s significance and what it achieved with the resources available but I’m not sure it belongs in the higher echelons of cinematic greatness.

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What Dya Mean You Haven’t Seen… Carrie?

As it’s still Horror Movie Month (just, at time of writing), I thought this next What Dya Mean You Haven’t Seen…? should probably be horror related and one of the big horror movies missing from my viewing was Carrie. With news, trailers and images of the impending remake starting to land, I thought it was the perfect time to get acquainted with Brian De Palma’s original telling of the Stephen King novel.

Plot: Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) is an unassuming, high school loner who gets teased by her classmates and suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her super-religious mother (Piper Laurie). Odds things start to happen during some of Carrie’s more irritable moments: a light bulb smashes, an ash try flips off a table and a boy falls off his bike after teasing her. However, when a prank at prom humiliates Carrie on front of the whole school, she unleashes a fury that has disastrous results.

Spoilers ahead, obviously.

Strip it down and Carrie is a coming of age story but with a horror twist. The film starts out with Carrie getting her first period whilst in the shower at school, an obvious statement that she is becoming a woman. This is mirrored with the onset of her telekinetic powers, symbolising the fear and confusion many experiences when going through that stage in their life. It’s also an excellent example of foreshadowing, a scaled down version of what will happen at the prom later in the film.  However, she grows as the film progresses, standing up to her mother and getting her revenge on those who tormented her. This her sexual awakening, and the sexual imagery throughout only cements this; often an act of torment or violence is closely associated with something erotic or sexual. The opening sequence with Carrie in the shower is a prime example of this.

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Guest Post: The Strangers

This Guest Post comes courtesy of Daniel over at Daniel’s Film Reviews. Thanks to Daniel for the privilege of using one of his reviews; please go check out his excellent blog.

Release Date: May 30, 2008

Director: Bryan Bertino

Stars: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward

Runtime: 86 min

Tagline: Lock the door. Pretend you’re safe.

The StrangersThe Strangers offers a spooky and fairly unique experience.

James Hoyt (Scott Speedman) and Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) have just returned to a remote Hoyt family vacation home after a wedding reception. In the middle of the night, they get a knock on the door. The porch light is off, and the young woman is mysterious. Soon enough, they begin to get terrorized by three masked strangers. The couple find themselves thrown into a wicked game of cat and mouse. This violent struggle they have been unfairly plunged into makes them make quick decisions for survival that they never thought possible.

The Strangers offers a fairly unique experience, poor character development, and a fine story that plays out well.

The fact that this film is based on actual events (that happened in the director’s [Bryan Bertino’s] childhood neighbourhood) makes the film about twenty times spookier. That’s really what makes this hit closer to home, because it just makes you more aware than you already were that these sort of occurrences tend to actually happen a lot.

I usually really like watching this film because it often offers an entertaining experience, but I’ve seen it about four times and I think I’ve finally worn it out, and if I ever want to watch it again – it probably won’t be for another few years. Its ups are that it offers an entertaining ride, it isn’t all that time consuming, and it has some effective scares. The real scary thing about this are the masked villains, the true happenings of it all, and it’s a film that has a large abundance of fairly effective pop–out  scares. It is more of a psychological horror/thriller because the killers terrorize the couple, and they really don’t rush to attack them – they just mostly use a whole charade of mind games at the start. Also, the use of music in this film is truly clever and very effective. There isn’t a whole lot of gore, only at a few scenes – so for those who are faint of heart won’t overly mind this one.

There are unfortunately a number of flaws for this one. A huge one is the unruly camera work, it isn’t like The Blair Witch Project bad, but it still isn’t very steady at all. The opening scene isn’t a huge flaw, but it just makes the conclusion really predictable. The character development is really quite awful. I always criticize this one scene, because one character is just so darn stupid (people who have seen this might know the scene I’m speaking of). The said character isn’t a major one, but I should make a commentary for that scene because they’re really that dumb. Anyway, the character development: the beginning doesn’t allow any great character development at all. It isn’t a huge plot point, but here’s your SPOILER ALERT warning anyway. Since Kristen declines James’ marriage proposal, the viewer may just see the female lead as cold-hearted, which in turn, doesn’t allow for a great view on the lead characters. Some of their decisions are just really stupid, too, because they really don’t believe in the buddy system at all.

It’s like they always want to be alone, which isn’t a clever idea in this sort of situation. One thing

I also greatly criticised in this viewing because I was looking for it, the terrorizers always knew wherever the couple was. It maybe took about ten to thirty seconds for them to locate each other. It’s a big property; it just shouldn’t be that easy!

I have three silly theories of how the strangers could find the couple so easily, so you shouldn’t really take them very seriously. The terrorizers must have ran into the couple beforehand, maybe the wedding reception or something, and put tracking devices in their drinks, and when the couple had digested the small devices, the strangers could just track them on a tracker and find them no problem. Or, my second theory, is that the masked strangers must have had a fourth party somewhere in the woods. That person would be equipped with night vision goggles, black clothing and  would tell the strangers wherever the couple ended up. So if either James or Kristen had their back to a door, the person would be like: “Mr. Masked Man, one of the couple has their back turned to the house, so walk up behind them with an axe in a menacing manner.” And my third theory is that the strangers are simply a family of psychopaths who have psychic abilities.

The film is written and directed by Bryan Bertino, and stars Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward as Dollface, Kip Weeks as Man in the Mask, Laura Margolis as Pin-Up Girl, and Glenn Howerton.

The Strangers has quite a few flaws, from character development to pacing to an often lack of realism; but, it also offers some good entertainment, an effective use of music, an effective true story, and a good psychological ride. I did definitely like it enough to be excited for a sequel. I can recommend it to those who like psychological horror a lot, or lots of pop-up scares.


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Film Review: Rosemary’s Baby

You’re not likely to jump out of your seat or hide behind the sofa when watching Rosemary’s Baby. In fact, there are very few individual moments at all that many would consider scary in the traditional sense of the word. However, there’s something about the film that is supremely chilling and unsettling from the outset that ensures it is an effective, if unconventional, horror film.

Young couple Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (Mia Farrow & John Cassavetes) move into a New York apartment building that has a reputation for terrible things happening. Babies being eaten, that kind of thing. They soon meet their neighbours, the eccentric Minnie and Roman Castavet (Ruth Gordon & Sidney Blackmer) who Guy strikes up a rapport with despite their overbearing nature. Rosemary is thrilled when she becomes pregnant but soon falls ill, has some freakish nightmares and encounters a string of bizarre circumstances that lead her to believe that a group of witches is conspiring against her and her unborn child.

Those who watch Rosemary’s Baby expecting the usual horror movie scares are going to be sorely disappointing. Director Roman Polanski (this was his first American film) dispenses with the usual horror rulebook, which may lead those indoctrinated by the stale techniques that plague other horror films to wonder where the scares are and even question its place within the genre. However, this isn’t our horror. This is Rosemary’s horror. She’s the only one in the film affected by her experiences; everyone else is either oblivious or presumes she’s crazy. As such, it’s much more personal and we feel her terror rather than being directly frightened by scary children, axe murderers or other horror 101 staples.

Polanski uses an ordinary setting of an apartment building as the predominant setting for the film. This brings the horror into a real setting, making it all the more believable and tangible. Polanski also utilises long takes to add tension and help build the growing sense of paranoia and suspicion. These are the overwhelming feelings that develop as the film progresses and we are constantly being challenged to decide what is real and what is happening only in Rosemary’s mind.

And that’s one of the most fascinating things about Rosemary’s Baby – almost everything is up for interpretation. Search forums and message boards discussing Rosemary’s Baby and one of the major topics for discussion is whether the developments of the film are as they are portrayed on screen or whether they are little more than a figment of Rosemary’s imagination. There are those who believe Rosemary is delusional and paranoid, whilst there are others who insist that what happens on screen is exactly how it seems. Whichever way you choose to view the film, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience and one that will have you guessing and second guessing long after the credits have rolled. It is most definitely a film that could benefit from multiple viewings, allowing you to pick up on the subtleties in the plot and performances that really add to the overall experience but maybe passed you by on initial viewing.

The film’s slow burning plot really gives the actors a chance to shine and both Mia Farrow and Ruth Gordon do so expertly. Farrow handles Rosemary’s descent into paranoia (or is it?) with subtlety helping to make it feel like a worthwhile payoff following the groundwork laid down before it. Ruth Gordon as the overbearing Minnie is every bit the neighbour from hell, delivering her performance with equals amount of domineering oppressiveness and devilish delicacy. Whilst on the surface her performance may seem a little overstated, there are myriad nuances that give it a deceptive amount of depth make her fully deserving of her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Rosemary’s Baby might not live up to some people’s expectations of a traditional horror film and, indeed, the term ‘horror’ may be the wrong word to use entirely. However, even those questioning where the scares are going to come from after half an hour, it won’t be long before they become absorbed and beguiled by the story’s intrigue and mystery.

Chris Thomson

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Guest Post: Headinavice.com Interviews….. Norbert Caoili

This guest post, kindly lent to me by Tyson from Head in a Vice, is a little different, coming in the form of an interview with Norbert Caoili, co-director of Frayed. Tyson posted this not too long ago on his site, so you may have already read it, but in case you haven’t, do take the time to give it a read before checking out his site if you’re one of the few who already hasn’t.

I am proud to share with you today an interview with Norbert Caoili. Norbert co-directed the movie Frayed (which I loved and you can see my review here) as well as being one of the writers and producers.

We got talking after he found my review, and very kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the film. He was very generous with the answers he gave, and as this was my first ever interview, I cannot thank him enough for being so patient and answering more and more questions as I thought of new ones. This was an absolute honour to do, first and foremost because I am a huge fan of the film but also because of how cool and friendly Norbert is. There are even some exclusive details and a trailer for a potential sequel, as well as an excellent behind the scenes making of video. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and please be sure to check out all the videos and links shown here, as well as the movie obviously!


A small town sheriff’s worst nightmare comes true when his homicidal son escapes from a psychiatric hospital. A security guard tries to stop him, only to find himself relentlessly hunted. The sheriff launches an intense manhunt to save the town and his family from his son’s violent psychosis. Their fates and the dark secret behind his son’s evil past are revealed in this stylish and suspenseful film that will leave you shocked and disturbed.

Tyson – Hi Norbert, thank you so much for giving up your time to do this. First things first, how did the title Frayed come about? It is certainly a unique name!

Norbert – That’s a great question. My co-writer & co-director, Rob Portmann actually came up with that title. For the longest time, the working title for our movie was “Alone”. In the behind the scenes shots, you can actually see us wearing “Alone” shirts and hats. Right after we were accepted to Screamfest for our premiere, we learned of a foreign horror movie called “Alone” also premiering at the festival. We decided at that point to officially change the title to our alternate title, “Frayed”. “Frayed” turned out to be a much more original title and better connected with the theme of the movie – to come apart at the edges – much like Kurt’s mind.

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Guest Post – Drag Me To Hell

This guest post comes courtesy of Fernando from Committed to Celluloid and covers the bizarre, scary, creepy, funny Drag Me To Hell. Thank you very much to Fernando for letting me use his review. Don’t forget to pop on over to his excellent blog. There’s still time to submit stuff to Horror Movie Month if you so wish. Anything old or new is greatly appreciated! Simply email me on chris1039@hotmail.com.

Drag Me To Hell*Quick note: if you’re a native Spanish speaker, ignore the first scene. It lacks most of the impact it should have because the actors’ accents and pronunciation are so weird they’re distracting. The movie would’ve done very well without it, since it’s unnecessary exposition.

Drag me to Hell kicks things off with a marvelous, eerie opening credit sequence, unmistakably influenced by director Sam Raimi’s experience with movies based on comic books (he helmed the Spider-Man trilogy, with varying levels of success).  I watched this movie when it hit theaters almost three years ago and it’s the last horror film I’ve truly liked. All the glowing praise that The Cabin in the Woods has received inspired me to give it another spin.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that weaves horror and comedy together so seamlessly (for the most part, anyway; that goat scene was pushing it) especially when the devices to get laughs or chills are so extremely over the top. An ominous score by Christopher Young, gross-out visuals and ghastly visual effects add to the fun and give it a nostalgic vibe. Alison Lohman makes for a very good scream queen, while Justin Long is pretty decent, playing against type. Like I said, this is a very humorous chiller, but psychics Rham Jas (Dileep Rao; Inception)and Shaun San Dena (Adriana Barraza) are dead serious. Rao is suitably mysterious and Barraza, who really should get a new agent, is great in her first half-decent role after being Oscar-nominated in 2006 for Babel. The Raimi brothers (Ivan co-wrote) close the show with one of the best endings I can remember; somewhat predictable but not any less shocking because of that.

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Guest Post – From Dusk Till Dawn

Mark from Marked Movies is the author of the latest Guest Post for Horror Movie Month. He takes a look at Tarantino-Clooney vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn. A huge thank you to Mark for letting me use his review; go check out his site, it’s a belter. If you want to have something featured in Horror Movie Month, email me on chris1039@hotmail.com.

From Dusk Till DawnDirector: Robert Rodriguez.
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino.
Starring: George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Michael Parks, John Saxon, Kelly Preston, John Hawkes.

Before their collaboration on the “Grindhouse” double-bill, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez joined up to do this crime/horror picture. Both Tarantino and Rodriguez’s choice actors also join the show, with the inclusion of a pre-stardom George Clooney.

Seth and Richie Gecko (George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino) are two murderous bank robbers on the run and fleeing for safety to a nightclub in Mexico called the “Titty Twister” which is reportedly a safe haven for criminals. To get there they kidnap preacher Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel) and his kids Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu) who are travelling in their motor home. Once they reach the club though, they soon realise that when the sun goes down, they have more to deal with at the hands (and teeth) of bloodthirtsy vampires.

If this sounds rediculous or over-the-top then thats because it is. The film starts in true Tarantino fashion with the two criminal brothers dressed in black suits similiar to “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” and spouting equally impressive dialogue. This however, changes abruptly about half way in and becomes nothing more than a horror B-movie – obviously the work of Rodriguez. As much as this is quite fun, it jars with the cool and dialogue laden beggining. It’s a transition that’s not a very smooth one and feels like two different films cut and pasted together. This a shame really, because the first half of the film is up there with Tarantino’s best stuff. I would have much preffered it if he had just completed the film in that similiar style. What I was most impressed with was the effortless performance of a cool-headed but dangerous killer from George Clooney, who at this time in his career was just fresh from his “E.R.” scrubs. He is absolutely brilliant and this was just the beginning of several fitting performances from Clooney in the future.

There’s no denying that is an enjoyable gore fest with wonderful dialogue but I couldn’t help but wonder what might have been.

* * * 1/2

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