Archive for independant

Return To Nuke ‘Em High Vol 1 (review)

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2014 by splatterpictures



What’s going on at Nuke Em High? Jesus Christ, that’s what I’d like to know…




It’s beeReturn-to-Nuke-Em-High-Postern awhile. I left to chase the comic book dragon for a couple of years and at least for now I have an immense burning desire to return to celebrating horror. (Technically reviewing them) Since I’ve been away there have been a lot of comings and goings in the horror movie industry but, considering that this is a return for me I want to talk a little about Return to Nuke Em High Vol 1. Like me, it’s an instalment to a franchise that hasn’t seen life in about twenty years. Well I haven’t been away that long but it sure feels like it. Let’s go!




Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol 1 is as the name suggests. It’s not only a return to the Troma franchise Class of Nuke Em High from 1986 it’s also the first part of a two part movie. Apparently Quentin Tarantino told Director and co-founder of Troma, Lloyd Kaufman to split up the film in to two parts like Kill Bill. The Film Stars Asta Paredes and Catherin Corcoran.



The film opens with narration (provided by Stan Lee) that breezes us past the last three movies general plot which is; a high school in Tromaville that’s built next to a nuclear power plant. We’re then told that Nuclear activism is passé so instead the plant is demolished and replaced by Tromorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate. They are evil and power hungry. So much so that they end up feeding toxic Taco’s to the student body. The foodstuffs still contain the very same toxins from the nuclear plant and well…they mutate the kids in to Cretins. Cretins are essentially evil 80’s punk-rockers.

"We thought we were in that other "return" movie"

“We thought we were in that other “return” Movie”


Troma films have their own brand of humour, violence and sensibility that make them wholly unique as a company’s brand but not on an individual level. What I mean by that is that this film will feel very familiar to Troma fans. Viewers unfamiliar with the company will be taken aback by the amount of nudity and violence in it. It goes for it in a big way. Duck-Rape, melting bodies, giant mutated dicks the works.


Casual people may dismiss it as crass and cheap entertainment but there are moments where this movie’s humour is brilliant. By calling attention to absurd plot points or the narrative structure it generates genuine laughs that won’t make you feel too immature for going along with. I liked all of the casting in this movie. From the leads to the minor characters, everyone seemed very game with the material. Also, the amount of cameos in this thing is ridiculous, most of them friends of Lloyds and independent films who took one afternoon out to do minor scenes. Christ, some of them could have been filmed at any time.


The weaker moments in the film are honestly hard to really pin-point. The frantic script is something of a patchwork. For all of the diologue that’s fast, slick and genuinely funny there are just as many moments that are dumb and cliché. Three official hands passed over it; Travis Campbell, Derek Dressler and Aaron Hamel. If that wasn’t enough there was added material by Lloyd Kaufmen and Casey Clapp.



Kaufman’s hand in direction and “added material” are very apparent. He’s a man who does a lot of interviews so if you follow him as many fans do you can tell he let’s his opinions and humour speak through many of his characters. I Honestly believe I can pick out any line he wrote himself. Mainly jokes involving Obama care, Justin Beiber and Miley Cirus. These Jokes come off as lazy and will do nothing but serve to lock the film within the timeframe it was made. They also poke fun at kids obsession with cell phones and instagram. In a word. Snore. It seems very much like the franchise that started in 1986 was still trying to exist there with a few pop cultural jokes to make it current but oddly comes off as anachronistic Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but they were eye rolling as oppose to laugh inducing. There are ways to do that kind of humour beyond the joke itself being saying that Justin Bieber exists.


The special effects are fantastic which I’ve come to expect from this company. People die in gooey gruesome and outrageous fashion. Myself being a fan of Japanese Grindhouse, the giant mutated dicks and breast milk didn’t phase me but the uninitiated might be shocked. The apathy of the characters towards the copious amounts of sex and violence in the movie is oddly charming.


“It’s exactly what it looks like”


The biggest problem this film has is the ending. While, I realize it’s meant to be cut up in to two pieces I think it could have been cut up better. I’ve taken some time to consider the plot and have come to realize that the reason I disliked the ending is because it doesn’t have one. If we take, for example, Kill Bill which was also one movie cut in two, both parts still adhere to a basic three act structure. This film however, doesn’t really have a climax. Nor does it really have a cliff-hanger. It just sort of ends. Considering this film has a very sparse eighty minute run time I think they could have goosed up the material and maybe brought this film to a satisfying conclusion or even just set it up so you’re excited for the next one. People on the fence with this movie will not be compelled to seek out the next one at a shame because there is some great stuff here.


Return to Nuke’em High is a really fun movie and comes within striking distance of being as good as the original but I honestly believe breaking it up in to two movies was a huge mistake. We’ll have to see how Vol 2 plays out but until it does I don’t recommend bothering with Vol 1 until you can view both films together.

Crawler (50 Tonnes of TERROR)

Posted in Updates with tags , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by splatterpictures

One of the best things about Indie horror is the free range a lot of the filmmakers have to create movies around concepts that would make mainstream movie-goers scratch their heads. I don’t mean mainstream as a derogatory term at all but more to draw a distinction between the kind of person who hears “Bulldozer that kills people” and doesn’t roll their eyes. Well okay maybe most people still do. Crazy or not that is the plot of Crawler.

Crawler was released in 2009 and directed and written by Sv Bell. Robbie Ribspreader ( I guess that’s his real name?) also contributed with writing It was produces by Blackflag Pictures. The film stars Deke Richard, Heidi Hawkins and Keir Cutler.

Now when I say it’s about a bulldozer that kills people I’m not being entirely accurate because the thing in question isn’t actually a bulldozer at all but a “glamour djin” which is apparently an evil entity that has the ability to “look like something else” apparently for the last few decades it’s taken the form of a piece of construction equipment.

The film starts off with a guy coming in to rent a bulldozer for a construction job that needs to be done but sadly he was a day late so the dozer he was going to get had already been rented out. This is the kind of situation that dooms the lives of characters in horror movies. Sure enough after enough begging the construction worker convinces a clerk to rent him out this mysterious bulldozer that had a tarp on it that says not to rent it ever. People never read tarps.

Enter our hero Jimmy (Richards) who is the sites foreman, he has a troubled past and looking to do right. It looks like his past is catching up to him though because somebody deeply affected by that past mistake Karl (Cutler) is also on site. The two seem to share an uneasy truce until people start going missing. Eventually all hell breaks when the bulldozer starts picking off victims through various means and Karl seems to be completely under the bloodthirsty equipments power.

So whether this bulldozer is a demon or an alien or some thing from another dimension is never really specified but its pretty evil. The film itself shares a lot of elements of Stephen Kings Christine, you know the story about the car that kills people. This movie has that in common but the dozer itself has all kinds of creepy living components, like mouth tentacles that reminded me of Tremors, and probably the grossest ability which is to infect others with some sort of painful virus.

Cutler is really good in his role and was easily my favourite character in the film. He becomes obsessed with the bulldozer and worships it like some sort of dark god. The addition of his character goes a long way to putting some kind of face on the enemy who could at least communicate with other characters.

The special effects on this movie are well done. I really enjoyed all of the practical effects that were used, from the tendrils to the bulldozer itself. Plus the slow infection of one of the construction workers were fantastically disgusting once you got to the final shot of him bloated and spewing out black sludge.

I’d say the problems with the movie come from the plot itself. I know the premise is weird enough on its own but I thought a little more explaination on a few things would have helped. For example, they never really explain why the dozer was “sleeping”. It was just sitting there in the rental lot with a tarp over it. As soon as the tarp comes off it starts killing people and goes to the jobsite itself? How did the bulldozer know where to go? Another thing was that the entity or whatever it was seemed to random powers. Like it could infect people, take over their minds, project images into their heads, reanimate the dead and shoot lighting. Of course it also had all the benefits of being a giant bulldozer with mouth tendrils.Although, now that I think about it I really shouldn’t waste too much time trying to pick apart the plot holes in a movie about a killer bulldozer

It was interesting how serious the movie took itself. I don’t mind that really because honestly this wave of self aware horror really is getting old. It’s almost as if you can’t make a cheesy movie without making sure you’re winking to the audience every five minutes.

As I said before the best thing Independent horror has to offer audiences are more “out there” concepts. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t get into a conversation with people about how much they dislike all the remakes, prequels and sequels that Hollywood churns out. Some people go so far as to say that creativity doesn’t exist in cinema. My flat response to that is that maybe you’re just watching the wrong movies. Sv Bell and Blackflag Pictures have made something that blends a lot of horror elements together and did it well and is a worthy addition to the growing genre of “things that randomly kill people”. Crawler is a hell of an entertaining ride that you should check out.

The Summer of Massacre (2011) Review

Posted in Horror Showcase, Updates with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2012 by splatterpictures

I feel like this was an attempted mob hit. Like somebody sent me this in the mail in hopes I would kill myself before finishing it. Or maybe it was really Jigsaw but the package didn’t come with a tape recorder informing me that I was going to play a game.

There is a lot of great independent horror out there. The nice thing about the genre is that you can do a lot with very little. It’s a great way for new people in the industry to get their feet wet and every so often a little movie can change the shape of the horror scene. The Summer of Massacre is not that type of film.

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie going in to it. Just what was on the DVD made it seem like I was in for a pretty fun ride with an insane body count. Sure I wasn’t expecting much but anything that boasts the Guinness book of world records title for highest body count in a film couldn’t be all bad.  I hate being this wrong about something.

The Summer of Massacre is an anthology. Each story is book-ended with a little monologue by a different serial killer. These killers have banded together to becoming the ultimate killing team. I don’t know what the four separate stories have to do with them but that’s what we’re given.

I don’t know if I should take the time to discuss the individual plots of the stories because frankly I’m not sure what they are. Oh what the hell I’ll do my best.

Story number one is simply titled “Rage” a guy wakes up on his day off from a job and proclaims that he’s going for a run. All of a sudden it’s night-time and he’s jogging. He gets knocked on the head by a guy with a foam pipe and gets his face all messed up.

I’m not sure if he died and came back or was just really hurt and got up anyways but he starts killing people. I think he is trying to get revenge on the guys who robbed him but he has to kill a lot of people along the way. (Naturally).

The second story is titled “Lump”. It’s about a mentally challenged hermaphrodite invalid on her death bed, (I’m not kidding the character is acted by a man pretending to have downs-syndrome or something). She has a loving mother, a bitch of a sister who hates her and a sweet but simple brother. She is given a short time-frame to live. The mother feels it’s the perfect time to let her kids go off on some…weird trip. Anyways they try and kill their wheelchair bound sibling even though she’s going to die anyways.  She doesn’t die and this horrible growth on her head pops. Uh, she becomes a super powerful killing machine. They try to give it one of those ironic horror endings but the acting was so bad and frankly offensive that it was lost on me. The end.

The third story is titled “Son of the Boogeyman”. In this one we learn of a woman who was raped by a local maniac who wishes to father a son for the soul purpose of terrifying him The boy all grown up now, tries with all of his might to escape his psycho killer father and save the people he loves. (Actually this one wasn’t so bad plot wise)

The fourth story is called Burn and it actually slows the entire movie down. Up until this point it’s basically been a revolving door of death scenes, this one has a pretty long set up all things considered. A group of young people are at some sort of hippie woods party when it gets late and they decide to tell the story about a pair of firefighters who are killed in a massive forest fire. The men apparently came back as vengeful ghosts or zombies or something and burn people to death. Well turns out it’s not just a story.

The acting in this movie is beyond terrible. I would suspect it’s just a cast of first timers or just friends of the people who made this ungodly mess. Nobody sells anything but instead walks through all the scenes looking and acting as confused as I was.

The worst part however had to be the CGI. Holy hell is it bad. Like how bad you ask? It makes Sharktapus look like it was made by James Cameron. The box promises gore unlike you’ve ever seen but any chance these scenes had of being effective in any way has been tossed right out the window. It’s so laughably bad that I feel as if I am missing something. They –had- to know what this looked like. The practical effects weren’t so bad really and if they maybe just stuck with those it wouldn’t be as terrible. Especially in Burn and Son of the Boogeyman, it was decent but the moment they started again with the CGI it just fucking died.

I will be the first to admit I am a pretty cheap date. I am totally fine with taking certain movies for what they are and I am notoriously forgiving but not this time. When I say this I want it to sink in. This is the worst horror movie I’ve ever seen. It was so bad it took me two separate times to actually watch the entire thing. It fails across the board, in acting, writing, directing, special effects and cinematography. Slapping a Guinness world record title on your cover is a pretty handy marketing tool so consider this your warning. I watched this so hopefully you’ll never have to.