Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Horror (2005 - 2011)

Movies: 2.5/5
Video: 3/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: .5/5
Overall: 2.5/5


2:13 (2008): 4/5

2:13 tells the story of a cop (writer and co-producer of the film, Mark Thompson), who is going after a serial killer who leaves a particular type of evidence to the crime scenes. At the same time, the detective is dealing with his own problems after his ex (Teri Polo, The Arrival and Meet the Parents) tries to re-connect with him. As the group gets closer to discovering the identity of the killer, they might have all ready know who it is...

If you have watched this film. does it play kind of like a Saw film? Does it also seem to have that same style of color saturation to a Saw film? Well, the film was co-produced and shot by David A. Armstrong who has worked on the first six Saw films. It appeared fairly evident as soon as the film starts. I really liked that they were able to capture that look and feel, especially since it's been a good three years since we've had a Saw film. I give the film a 4/5.

Gingerdead Man 3 (2011): 2.5/5

For what it was, a parody of numerous films ranging from Saturday Night Live, Carrie, and Silence of the Lambs; Gingerdead Man 3 is a slow paced horror film with a few laughs. Gingerdead Man 3 starts with a Silence of the Lambs parody with Gingerdead Man basically being like Hannibal Lector. Animal rights activists break in and think that all of the captive killer foods are animals. One thing leads to another and Gingerdead Man is now freed and is on the lamb. As he runs through the prison, he hears two scientists talking about a time machine that can send food back through time. He escapes and finds himself in 1976. Gingerdead Man then finds himself in between a parody of Saturday Night Live and Carrie.

The movie has a few laughs but the pacing is slow. When there is laughs, it is funny. One of the biggest flaws in the film, and slight spoilers, is that people are able to use this food time machine. Two kids finds the remote as soon as the Gingerdead Man drops it and are then sucked through time. The women were nice to look at it. I have a strong suspicion that there was a porn star present on set. She's in the background and her face is barely visible and whenever it cuts to a dance scene, whenever she's about to come into the shot, it cuts to another shot. And to point her out, she's wearing like a green jump/bodysuit; not the girl in the green dress, but suit. I give the movie a 2.5/5.

Hoboken Hollow (2005) : 2.5/5

Based on the true story of the so-called "Texas Slave Ranch" which went down in the 80's, the story deals with a group of people wrangling up hitchhikers across Texas and turning them into slaves. If you try to leave, you will be executed. In this modern day telling, Travis (Jason Connery, Alone in the Dark II) is a soldier who's lost everything after being deployed to Afghanistan. While out fighting the war, one of his best friends is killed by insurgents and returns home and soon heads out across the country after his wife leaves him. At the same time he is out, three other poor souls are taken into the ranch where they might never get out.

For what this film was, I thought it was average. If you want to watch something around the lines of this and enjoy it, go for House of 1,000 Corpses or it's sequel, The Devil's Rejects. This movie was also made around the same time C. Thomas Howell made his come back after being hospitalized and coming close to dying because of his appendix. I think for this being one of his comeback films, I think he really did good as a neutral character in the film. Michael Madsen also pops up in this for a good five minutes and his this horribly taped on mustache, but just disappears halfway through the film. And Dennis Hopper shows up for a good five minutes throughout the film as the local deputy. Hoboken Hollow tries, but at the end of the day, I give the film a 2.5/5.

Keepsake (2008): 1/5

Janine's car breaks down. She calls for a tow truck to come and get her. The man, named Earl, arrives but cannot speak because his tongue is gone. While searching for a pen in his truck, she comes across the driver's license for the real Earl and tries to make a run for it. Earl captures her and handcuffs her to a bathroom stall while a police officer comes across the empty tow truck. Earl kills the officer and takes her to a barn and keeps Janine there as his prisoner.

In my honest opinion, if I could sum this film up in one word; awful. The pacing is slow as hell and the film has these dream sequences like it's an episode of the television show Lost. And these dream sequences are pointless to the plot because of this plot twist that takes the film on a sharp left turn. I hated it. This movie was 105 minutes too long. If this would have been about 80 minutes, I would have probably liked it more. 1/5.

Killjoy 3 (2010): 3.5/5

In this third installment of the Killjoy franchise by Full Moon; Killjoy is brought back to life by a professor who bails on the ritual process. A group of college kids are house sitting for the professor when a magical mirror to Killjoy's world is brought to his household. The kids place the mirror on his wall and are soon sucked into his world of hell.

For a 76 minute horror-comedy, it works. The comedic aspects of the film worked really well for me. It's a horror film that doesn't play for the safe gags. There's blood and guts and nudity, especially with one of Killjoy's minions being just an actress, naked, and covered in paint. For a movie with a shorter time length, I give Killjoy 3 a 3.5/5.

Roman (2006): .5/5

Roman tells the story of man who is mentally unstable who falls for a girl (Kristen Bell). Once Roman (writer of the film, Lucky McKee) gets her attention, he takes her back to his place and ultimately ends up killing her. While keeping her body in his bathroom, Roman falls for another tenant in his apartment building named Eva (Nectar Rose). Eva's obsession is talking about death. Is Roman able to keep his love for Eva going with her obsession or let her go?

This film is GOD AWFUL! I do not think that I have ever sat through something that I really wanted to truly turn off. But, for reviewing this release, I had to sit through it. This and Tree of Life and Crazy/Beautiful are the worst damn movies that I have ever sat through. Lucky McKee as Roman is an uninteresting sad piece of crap that I couldn't care for. Kristen Bell must have done this movie as a favor for someone because I don't think that she would have really done something like this. Angela Bettis should stick to acting instead of directing.

Just everything about this film, I downright loathe. This film is filled with examples of filmmaking  dos and don'ts. If your film has shots that go on for far too long, that's a no-no. If your shot composition has your actress with tons of dead space above their heads, that's a big no-no. When Roman is strangling Kristen Bell's character, there's so much dead space as he's killing her at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. It's just atrocious. .5/5


2:13 (2008): 4/5

Shot on 35mm and presented in 1.78:1, 2:13 has a very beautiful HD presentation. Grain is present throughout with an instance or two of print damage that you will not really catch unless you have your eyes glued to the screen. There was some weird macro with the black levels present whenever the group of detectives go to Dwight Yoakam's sex shop in the film. Other than that, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the same transfer on the German Blu-ray release. 4/5.

Gingerdead Man 3 (2011): 2.5/5

Considering this was shot in High Definition, Gingerdead Man 3 has an average looking transfer. Whenever looking at the bitrates, the video stays in the mid-10's in the Mbps; which means that the datarate is slightly higher than a DVD. I don't know if that's just how the transfer was handled by Full Moon whenever they handed the transfer off to Echo Bridge. Towards the end of the film in the final fifteen minutes whenever the massacre happens, there's some interlacing which occurs in a few shots that's makes the video look a little rough. I give the transfer a 2.5/5.

Hoboken Hollow (2005): 3/5

Shot in the early days of High Definition, this film must have had a nice budget. Picture is nice and clear pretty much throughout. There is an exception to this as I spotted a few shots in the film, possibly re-shoots, that looked like standard definition footage blown up to HD. This was mainly in the opening chase sequence in the film where two men escaping. You'll be able to notice the shots when it switches from HD to SD. And then there's a shot where someone is looking through a hole in wood shed where you can tell that as well looked like SD footage. Also, throughout the last half hour or so when Travis is freed and it takes place at night, there's this nice sized white vertical line on the right side of the image. It is pretty distracting and it is present until the last five minutes of the film. But, the image is nice to look at, I give the visual presentation a 3/5.

Keepsake (2008): 3.5/5

Keepsake sports a very nice high definition transfer. I wonder if Echo Bridge compressed this video transfer down any as the bitrate kept around 21 kbps throughout the film. Only problems I have is that the dream sequences have a very drab and a little too much grain to the image. There was an outdoor sequence towards the end when Janine is outside and the image looked like it could have used some sort of color correction to it. Other than that, I give the transfer a 3.5/5.

Killjoy 3 (2010): 4/5

You would think by the opening studio logo shot of Full Moon Pictures that this would have a horrible transfer, but, Full Moon proved me wrong. The transfer is pretty flawless for an HD transfer. There is a few slight things here and there with the effects shots not being completely cleaned up which brings the video transfer down. A character gets decapitated, as he stands there and falls, there's a white box that falls with the body. Other than that, I give the visual performance 4/5.

Roman (2006): .5/5

Roman is a film that will never look beautiful in Hi-Def. The film was shot with a basic DV camera and it shows. When we have the first shots of Roman who is sitting in his apartment, you see how God awful the video presentation is in HD. The flaws of blowing up a Standard Definition source to High Definition show throughout the whole entire film. When Roman is out burying parts of Kristen Bell's character in a swamp like environment, the color is vibrant, but the definition is horrid! .5/5.

Audio: 4/5

Echo Bridge has given all six of the films a nice DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track. Couldn't really find a problem with these audio presentations. I had no problems regarding turning up my sound on my television. They all sounded great. 4/5.

Extras: .5/5

Only extras included is a digital copy of all six films via Vudu. I love how Echo Bridge is pandering to Wal-Mart with all of their recent Blu-ray releases because it's printed on the artwork itself that these are "Blu-ray + Vudu Combo Pack". Maybe Wal-Mart can license out their films to Echo Bridge and we can have all of those crappy "FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT IS BACK" crap shoved onto one disc. Despicable. I give the extras a .5/5.

Overall: 2.5/5

You can pick this up for $8 at Wal-Mart. Considering that I am giving this set a 2.5/5, I can recommend it if you love indie horror films. 2:13 and Killjoy 3 are probably the best films in this set. If you're a Kristen Bell fan, go else where, these are not the droids that you are looking for. 2.5/5.

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