Tag Archives: accents from hell

KNOCK KNOCK

knockknock
1.5 Stars  2006/18/90m

“Answering the door will never be the same again!”

Director/Writer: Joe Ariola / Cast: Kim Taggart, Antonio Mastrantonio, Joli Julianna, Sal Sirchia, Lou Savarese, Anthony Palidino, Matt Fraley, Misty Meeler, Jim Ford, Chris Bashinelli, Kat Casteneda, Matt Lish.

Body Count: 9


Another cheap DVD flick with nothing we haven’t seen a thousand times before and a thousand times better… The teens of a small New York township are being punk’d by a masked killer who crafts each kill on their father’s occupation in revenge for the prank that maimed him X number of years earlier…

Grizzled ex-NYPD cop Mike Soato (Mastrantonio, no relation to Mary Elizabeth it seems…) swaggers in with the intention of getting to know his estranged granddaughter and steps on the (female) lead detective’s feet when deciding to ‘help’ with the investigation until they learn to work together. Also known as, she shuts her mouth and becomes completely subservient to his ‘cop wisdom’, which includes such epiphanous insights as “I don’t believe in coincidence!” and a whole lunch tray full of similar cop movie cliches.

But then, that’s all Knock Knock is, a factory line of seen-it-all-befores with particulary horrendous acting from all involved, the usual teen exploits and exploitations (shower scene included), rubbery gore effects and a remarkably annoying character in Soato, who talks with an exaggerated Noo Yawk accent and needs a decent haircut. Cut n’ dried cheapness sinks this one from five minutes in.

Blurbs-of-interest: Jim Ford was in Frat House Massacre.

RED MIST

redmistRED MIST

2.5 Stars  2008/18/82m

“Do not resuscitate.”

A.k.a. Freakdog

Director: Paddy Breathnach / Writer: Spence Wright / Cast: Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Carter, Andrew Lee Potts, Stephen Dillane, Alex Wyndham, Martin Compston, Katie McGrath, Christina Chong, Michael Jibson, MyAnna Buring.

Body Count: 8

Dire-logue: “So, Kenneth is somehow taking over people’s bodies and killing us one at a time – have I got that right?”


When I picked Red Mist off the shelf and saw that it was “from the director of Shrooms” I almost involuntarily squawked “yuck!” and slammed it back from whence it came. However, due to this stupid penchant for slasher completism I have, I Lovefilmed it and it turned up just t’other day. The good news is that it’s way better than the tripe-fest that was Shrooms, although the director still has a thing for passing off British/Irish productions as American (accents n’ all…) but that’s alright, I can see why he’d do it. In fact, despite similarities to old 80’s horrors Out of the Body and Aenigma, Red Mist is pretty damn promising, it just kinda gets a few things wrong… Read on…

A group of uniformally popular and good looking interns at a hospital upset weirdo self-harmer Kenneth (also good looking considering his status), who confesses he has video footage of one of them pocketing drugs from the pharmacy for recreational purposes and their resolve is to ply him with booze and drugs, unknowingly inducing an epileptic fit that descends the lad into a coma, which they cover up by dumping the body outside ER and driving away. All but nice girl Catherine (Kebbel) exhale with relief when told of his condition and that, due to expired insurance and no relatives, his life support will be turned off soon. Guilt-ridden Catherine does some research and discovers an untested phase one drug that may help and doses Kenneth on it.

redmist1This is where things become ambitious but also a bit shit. Wonderdrug allows Kenneth to possess individuals and use them as his weaponry to kill the med students responsible: one girl gets her head slammed in a car door by the security guard while a sexy nurse force feeds nasty ringleader Sean with acid. Some of the other kills occur off screen while Catherine runs about trying to convince people of what’s going on until she herself is possessed and later wakes up in the woods unaware of what she might or might not have done…

Some sub-lot blurb about a selfish doctor trying to steal Catherine’s glory provides a little resistance come the end but by this time Red Mist has slid too far down its self inflicted slope and the contrived “it’s not done” ending, similar to that in Breathnach’s earlier film, is a groaner. It’d work better as a straight-up revenge slasher and only feels rushed in its present state, with many characters quickly dispensed with rather than given their due comeuppance for their early nastiness. A good try with a good cast and ideas but too little in terms of pay-off.

redmist2Blurbs-of-interest: Arielle Kebbel was in Reeker and The Grudge 2; Sarah Carter was in Final Destination 2; Katie McGrath was the lead in the TV show SlasherMyAnna Buring was one of the potholers in The Descent.

Harper’s Island: Episodes 7 & 8

harpersCumilative body count so far: 14

Dire-logue: “Terrified, unskilled people should not be handling weapons.”

With the murders out in the open, Episode 7 takes us into flashback territory. Groan. Ergo, things are padded out with Abby and Jimmy’s blossoming relationship and John Wakefield’s murder spree that claims her Mom.

We also meet Cole Harkin, a deputy who’s burnt up by an explosion rigged by Wakefield – he’s pally with J.D., who is now the chief suspect. Trish is having second thoughts about Henry and the frat boys discover Mal’s secret and the truth about Booth (complete with rhyme!) which culminates in Ep. 7’s one and only murder, which is a bit of a lamo off-camera affair… Things end with creepy kid Madison receiving a note “from Daddy” (who’s, like, dead) and entering a room where the door is slammed shut.

The wedding party attempt to leave but Madison’s disappearance keeps the main set at the Candlewick looking for her. Abby, Henry and Katherine discover Richard’s body and Abby gets a call from Madison claiming that if anybody leaves the island, they’ll die! (how, we don’t know – maybe the killer can fly too). Said killer breaks J.D. out of jail by shooting a nameless deputy and the killer strikes twice more before the end of the episode, which also sees disharmony between the guests, who think they’re immune from the hitlist because it’s mainly the Wellington’s who are under fire.

I’m still banking on my suspect of a few episodes ago, now as one half of a psycho duo, but wish they’d start offing some of the look-a-likey female characters – isn’t that what this genre’s supposedly all about? Not much bloodshed this week, but Abby is still at the centre of things… But why?

AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION

amityville2
3 Stars  1982/18/100m

“If these walls could talk… they would SHRIEK!”

Director: Damiano Damiani / Writers: Tommy Lee Wallace, Hans Holzer, Dardano Sacchetti / Cast: James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Jack Magner, Andrew Prine, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn, Erika Katz, Brent Katz.

Body Count: 5


‘Tis not a slasher film, you say. ‘Tis right, it ain’t. It’s for the Final Girl filmclub and, frankly, I could do with the traffic, so here it is. Suck it!

I think I’ve seen all but two of the Amityville films and, shockingly, this is the best one and the most slashy-like, so the wisest choice for a review here, methinks.

Most folks should know the story of Amityville, Long Island. A family moved into 112 Ocean Avenue after the previous occupants were shot dead by a family member and promptly bailed out less than a month later after a series of ghostly shenanigans, which have been attributed as hoaxes in the following decades, after several books, nine films (including the horrendous remake), and loads of morbid curiosities which ended with the house proper being renovated and changing it’s address detail.

But the film. It’s a schlocky exploitation affair, a prequel to the James Brolin/Margot Kidder original of ’79, loosely based on the DeFeo family who occupied the place until they were murdered by their eldest. Mom, Dad and four kids move into the waterfront property and straightaway become the targets of an invisible force of eeeeevil who lived there first and likes its own company. Breezes blow, nobody knocks on the door at midnight, brushes paint a giant pig on the wall and numerous rooms are trashed.

am1am2

Prize-prick Dad, Anthony Montelli, blames everything on Sonny, the oldest son and likes badmouthing everybody and generally being an arse. At one point, a mirror falls off the wall after Dad hung it up. Somehow, it’s Sonny’s fault despite the fact nobody was anywhere near it! Mom Dolores (the fab Alda), tries to keep it together, while daughter Tricia somehow enters into an incestual relationship with Sonny after he’s porked by the malevolent spirit one night.

"What's...happening to us?"

“What’s…happening to us?”

As time plods on, Father Adamsky drops by to bless the house and realises how eeeeevil it is and racks up a few boxes worth of guilt coupons when he ignores Tricia’s pleas for help and Sonny takes a shotgun to the whole clan. This occurs around about an hour into the film and thinking of the two or three times I’ve watched this film, I can never seem to remember what happens next. It gets boring, I’ll tell you that much. The haunted house stuff is all well and good, nicely dealt with and making great use of a floaty steadicam that locks many scenes into single shots. The major flaw is the first two thirds is that it all just looks…silly. Kinda like a parody with every cliche in the book tossed in to a spooky salad.

am4

am5

OK, so when it works it is somewhat creepy – Sonny’s alone time in the house, the basement scenes – but the family largely over act their parts to the point where I burst out laughing at some of the dire-logue: Adamsky attempts to seek help from his superior who gives him wonderful advice to this effect:

“I thought I saw a ghost once. It could have been a ghost. I don’t think it was a ghost though. I think it was something else… Not a ghost.”

F&%£$^!!!! Stop saying ghost!

Then there’s the spirit itself. Sonny slowly morphs into a freaky-ass looking thing with the demon in full residence, which talks to him through his retro foam-capped headphones, “why didn’t you pull the trigg-urrrrr?” it asks in a weird accent. We see it at the end where the film most likely earns its 18 certificate and it looks a bit dumb, but still gross.

am6am7

In the end, I was too bored to worry about the impact of the ending and what it all meant, wishing a director with a name was cool as Damiano Damiani had had the sense to edit it down to 70 minutes, finishing at the murders. It proves that the Amityville franchise is a bit rubbish, but at the very least the first two films and the one with that lamp are good for a laugh.

Blurbs-of-interest: Alda turned up in a few horror films around this time, she was Mrs Mendrakis in the original When A Stranger Calls, as well as appearing in Girls Nite Out and You Better Watch Out! Andrew Prine was in The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

Harper’s Island – Episode 2

harpersCumilative Body Count so far: 5

Dire-logue: “Do as you like: hunt, fish, kill – I don’t care.”

Week 2 on the Island of Death for us and the mystery thickens like milkshake that’s in danger of spending too long in the mixer…

Abby meets Kelly, an islander whose mom was another of the Wakefield victims seven years earlier, then she spends time with her ex-beau Jimmy and his dickheaded friend Shane and there’s mucho talk about how they all used to get along or, in some cases, didn’t.

First to bite it is a friendly old Reverand and then the wedding guests embark on a scavenger hunt around the island, conveniently splitting them up into smaller groups and making easier targets for the killer.

Some characters are totally absent, but they could still be involved…and I’m thinking there are maybe two killers, or three!! No creepy little girl today and, for me, no suspects as yet. Can we discount anybody though – even Abby could be the psycho, stranger things have happened. Definitely a progression from week 1, it looks like the murders might be discovered next time…

1 6 7 8 9