For those who haven’t yet seen KONG SKULL ISLAND, see it..

It could be the best movie of this type (monsters bashing each other and humans being caught in the crosshairs) since JURASSIC WORLD..

Mostly kid-friendly. I worry about those things now that I have a son. He noted that the “big” curse was in it once, and that there were lots of ‘poops but just the other word’ being uttered.

Despite the number of violent deaths, it’s relatively gore free..

And it’s just cool.

Really cool.

I really wish it would have come out in the summer instead of the dead of winter–this is the type of film that summers are made for..

Opening night lights out.. ROGUE ONE on the theater in front of me.. Truly a monumental show.. One of the best STAR WARS movies.. and it far exceeded FORCE AWAKENS in my opinion…

But that is my opinion.

Yesterday I posted a story about just how divisive some of the ROGUE ONE reviews have been. Some love it.. some hate it. No middle ground. 

The same experience occurred last night. The group of pep[le I went to see the film with actually thought it was mediocre at best.. They loved the DARTH VADER scenes, but for the most part they chalked this up to a less than memorable movie about what happens just before THE NEW HOPE arrives..

And I thought completely different.

One of my major issues with the FORCE AWAKENS was how it seemed to almost completely rip off NEW HOPE in storyline –this time a massive death star instead of the older more modest version the Empire built– and how it relied on old characters to get it rough the movie instead of eloping new ones..

ROGUE ONE stood on its own. It made you believe in the force and gave you a few good reasons to do so. The Empire has always been similar in its storyline to Nazism. But in this film, we get a more hardcore glimpse into just how ruthless they were.. and how often disturbing the tactics the resistance was before Luke Skywalker gave them reason and morality.. 

ROGUE ONE, for those who had lived under a rock, is the storyline of how the Empire loses its prized possession: The plans to the death star. The rag tag group of rebels referred to in later movies is explored in depth in ROGUE ONE. It gives a face and name to the once nameless storyline. And the brilliance of it is that we did not need Yoda, or Luke Skywalker, or even Chewbacca. There were a few homages and very brief appearances to the old characters we love, but the joy I found in this movie is that I felt like I was walking a new STAR WARS movie for once! It felt creative.. it felt fresh.. it relied not on old gimmicks but instead a limitless storyline.

And my God, Darth Vader was the most merciless we have seen yet. 

At one point during the film, I breathed in a big sigh and realized that I was seeing, in a theater, BRAND NEW scenes in a major movie featruring Darth Vader and James Earl Jones as the voice. How much better can that get!

Did this film had flaws? Sure..why not. But did it have any many flaws as the FORCE AWAKENS? Not to me.

ROGUE ONE is a movie STAR WARS fans deserved.. and the people who stole those death star plans certainly needed credit. Now they have it. Finally, the names are revealed and the heroes and heroines of the rebellion finally have their story told.

…indeed…I may very well be going to see this movie again.

I have a recommendation for fans of darker comedies, or maybe movies not int he mainstream of the entertainment world; THE COBBLER was one of the most creative, strange, and fun films I’ve ever seen..

The movie starred Adam Sandler and was originally released September 2014. The film explores the life and times of a cobbler in the modern city, someone trying to make it in a world of technological advancement.. But the film turns haywire fast with a magical gift that Sandler discovers:  If he cobbles shoes on an old contraption, he is able to physically and literally walk in the pair of the person who owns them. He can become anyone he wants to become–and it is at this point that a dramatic turn in life takes place.  He learns quickly about crime, murder, mystery, and heartbreak..

It’s not a laugh out loud movie,  instead one that penetrates a bit deeper. I had moments of chuckles at best, but the quickly developing crime comedy that develops was enough to keep my interest.

In fairness, it is a PUNCH DRUNK LOVE type film .. Sandler seems to be in his element in this film, even though it was not a highly advertised bigger budget flick. It is a simple movie, and Sandler plays a simple man with perfection. He was convincing as a cobbler. Though the plot took paranormal turns at times, the cobbler seemed to end up being a very believable movie.

This movie was rented by accident at a REDBOX.. I didn’t really hear of the movie prior to this, nor was I aware even as to what it was about. Truth be told, when I saw the cover, I thought it said the ‘Gobbler’ and was going to be a film about Sandler eating too much—he did get a little top heavy as of late.  I ended up being pleasantly surprised at the imaginative movie..

Not everyone may agree with me.
I took a glance at the reviews on a variety of places including IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. And boy are they bad.. Some people were downright cruel about their reaction to this film.. The movie got an icy reception—and just like many others that did, I liked it.

I have learned to take reviews with a grain of salt. When I saw the 1 star that THE HOUSE OCTOBER BUILT is getting on NETFLIX, I figured it was going to be a waste of time.  When I watched it, though, it ended up being just like the movie I wanted to see: Cheap thrills, scary clowns, and a horror haunted house feel.

Back to Sandler..
I would say this: IF you have a spare moment to see a film, and most other choices you really wanted are gone, try the COBBLER.
Just try it..
But don’t ruin a good pair of shoes hunting it down.

I am finally able to say I feel more on top of the horror genre. Friday night I saw BABADOOK. Last night at 945 in a movie theater, I saw IT FOLLOWS.

And it did follow indeed.

By now you surely know the concept. Kids have sex to transmit not an STD but a demonic other worldy force. Then it follows them. And wants to kill them..

Let me first stop before anything else and reflect on what I was told IT FOLLOWS was, and then give me thoughts. IT FOLLOWS was the horror movie of the decade, some said. Other painted a haunting picture of a movie that hits deep, that means something, speaks volumes about poverty and modern day economic problems, youthful angst and casual sex without thought. The horror flick has scored well on a number of different websites. Movie reviewers found little about it to be critical ..

So in the constant spirit of daring to be different, I had to find something, right?
Well it was tough.

There really wasn’t anything done wrong in IT FOLLOWS, just a lot of things done much better than other films..

The best, overall, the utmost best part of IT FOLLOWS was the score.  I am considering purchasing the soundtrack but figure I may not listen to it  because it would scare me too much. The music was foreboding. It was somewhat similar to HALLOWEEN at times.. It caused your heart to race and quite often sort of forced you to glance around in the dark movie theater to ensure you weren’t going to see someone follow you. The music set the tone. It was amazing.

The other tone setting aspect: The setting. Detroit, 8 mile, and the clash between the suburbs and the inner city. There were so much political, sociological, and economic commentary in the film, you lost track.

The cast of the movie further complimented the storyline. Maika Monroe deserves all of the credit she has been getting. She became a scream queen without screaming.. She is faced with a force that, if you follow it through, will never stop following her and eventually will catch up.  Keir Gilchrist played a believable role as Paul.  Jake Weary was the ‘bad guy’ but not really bad as Hugh. It’s a tough movie to pin the blame on anyone in..  The rest of the cast compliment the best players in it. . . and they are all likeable and believable as people. In horror sometimes, we get the less interesting characters thrown to the wolves first. In IT FOLLOWS, we were given a cast of people we wanted to see live. We liked them.. Though a bit more background  could have been done as to why they all seemed jobless and sad, I think that was the point. Detroit. Economy. Manufacturing base crushed and kids just having too much time on their hands in the fraying safety net of the BURBS.

There were a few other things I thought were amazing..In IT FOLLOWS, we don’t really know what the force looks like. It takes on the appearance of many different people.. so what is really behind those human faces? That is the creepy mystery that persists even after the movie is over.

And speaking of over.. the ending 15 minutes were intense. The movie is a little slow in building up a story, but the last few scenes are heavy in action and emotion, raw in horror, and epic in production. The final final final scene gives rise to the possibility that the viewer of the movie is either paranoid or the makers have perfectly set the scene for IT STILL FOLLOWS, a potential sequel..

But I hope there is no sequel.
I think this movie will stand on it own and be a place marker in the history of horror–and perhaps a game changer more than anything. It may sweep away the pointless and give us something we can cherish… a horror film that scares but doesn’t do it in a cheap and pointless way. A movie about sex and with nudity, but somehow done in a way that doesn’t cheapen the story.

But the music..
The foreboding music.

I think the scenery and the score of the film are dramatic and done the best of all.. I am not going to conclude, as some others have, that this is the best horror movie of the past ten years. But I will certainly say it has the best elements of horror that could make me eventually feel it was the best movie in a decade… that may have started last night driving home in the darkness… when even in a safe car, I found myself glancing at the night time air and pitch black forest around me to ensure that no one was following me.

By now you most likely have too. And even more, if you didn’t, you read enough to decide if would even appreciate the film.

I won’t write a long winded review at this point, simply because I’m late to the game. But I will say that it was a little painful to watch.  The horror element is interesting. We are deflected at first, in a sense, and told to fear the BABADOOK.  The mother continues to try to burn the book containing the BABADOOK’s words. The child, in this case a remarkable Australian actor Noah Wiseman who I think carried the film much better than even the main star Essie Davis, is also battling demons. His demons aren’t typical, though. He has fears like other children.. he has sadness and grief. And in this film, he has a clearly mentally ill mother.

I am going to perhaps spoil it a bit, but not intentionally. Read on if you want..

I think the BABADOOK is a farce. I don’t believe it to be real.. even more, Essie Davis’s character Amelia is a former children’s author. I think she understands the profound ways to either comfort to frighten children. In BABADOOK, she does both, sometimes simultaneously.  Her demons are in the basement in this film–the death of her husband defined her existence. She never fully mentally recovered from it, and as a matter of fact, descended into mental illness. The BABADOOK wasn’t real, but she made it real. She created it in her own mind and convinced her son that it was real, too.  The ‘monster’ that Samuel was forced to battle in the end was his own mother–a mother who slipped by police and circles of friends with her mental illness. Instead of anyone helping her, they shoved her away. As we often do in society.

Samuel and Amelia had no family or friends in the end. They were abandoned.. they were alone. Amelia to somehow deal with her mental problems alone and her son, Samuel, forced to grow up without a father and under the gun of a mother who either may hug him or try to stab him.

The movie is heavy handed with metaphors. It’s scary at first.. but when I started to consider what I thought it was really about, I was left was the final impression at the end of how sad it was. How hopeless..

Even though the final scene provided comfort after a movie of some rough stuff–and a dog strangling–I wasn’t at ease at all. I think the mental illness–the BABADOOK–will rise again. You can never get rid of the BABADOOK. And in this case, as long as Amelia tries keeping her personal demons locked away, the BABADOOK indeed will return again.

Let me begin this somewhat review of a film this way: IF you don’t have a large group of people to watch this movie, consider getting one.. Maybe you don’t have friends, so find some family. If you don’t have that, join a club.. maybe a bridge club.. or a golf team,  or a bowling league. Either way, get a group of people..

..because if you watched ZOMBIE ASS: TOILET OF THE DEAD alone, you’d most likely quickly turn it off in revolt..
A large group is a must for a film of this quality and caliber.

Let’s start with the ‘story line’ .. This Japanese *and subtitled* horror comedy is not scary at all.. the 2011 film (released in Japan in 2012) may make you squeamish.. The movie featured a karate expert, Megumi, with four of her friends, go into the woods.. One friend is a nerdy male, another is a voluptuous model who wants to get thin by eating a parasite, another is drug addict driver, and finally, we have the drug addict’s airhead girlfriend. The stage is set..

The next thing that happens to our unsuspecting group, is they meat up with zombies covered in fecal matter, along with a doctor who performs horrendous experiments on the zombies with parasites..

The film begins, contains, and ends with some of the best cliches in horror .. and some of the most abundant and pure and simply disgusting flatulence jokes.. As a matter of fact, flatulence itself plays an important role in this film.. it can be used for good, or the power can be harnessed for evil.

But what would you expect from a movie called ZOMBIE ASS:TOILET OF THE DEAD..

A few warnings are in order before you take part in a viewing of this amazing NETFLIX streaming classic..

1) There will be nipples. It seemed to be the gag at one point, to have a nipple constantly on display in the film..

2) There is a somewhat uncomfortable scene of lust.. it’s awkward due to the placement. Right after our fun group gets doused by zombies’ excrement.. You’ll see.

3) Expect a beautiful big busted model to be in a position you’ve never seen  one before: Squatting with gas flowing and a zombie laying in a large cesspool licking.

4) No class. None. This film enjoys mocking every sense of decency that the audience has.. Nothing is off limits, taste has been thrown at the window. And it’s amazingly funny..

And finally,

5) The best ending to a film you’ll ever see.. Just picture: Nuclear farts that can make you fly and beat the demon parasite that takes over your friend’s rear end.. A climax worth a second viewing..

The trick the move may be to not have anything to consume during it.. you don’t want to be caught with something in your mouth the first time you see someone’s derriere blow its lid.. Along with that, while your youngest of kids may want to see it, it’s best they steer clear until their formative years are over. Or until they sneak away to a friendly house with like-minded kith and kin and start their own rite of passage of watching awful movies while laughing in spite of themselves..

On a scale of 1 to 5, I cannot rate ZOMBIE ASS: TOILET OF THE DEAD without first a caveat: This rating is not because the movie is ‘good’ in a cinematic sense, but instead because it’s incredibly awful in the best way ever..

I give it a 5 out of 5 farts.
Strong, strong farts..
Nuclear.. cutting farts.

Try out ZOMBIE ASS for a few minutes. With a group of people. You’ll burst with laughter.. and your stomach be hurt by the end–forcing you to wonder if a parasitic entity will drill its way through your colon and into your reality.

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I look back now to my late teenager years, back when I joined with my friends for all night sessions of sitting in a dark room to watch horror flicks, some good and most bad, laughing until the sun came up. If only then we had NETFLIX.. The amazing world we live in now is filled with the aroma of good films and funk. We can choose what we want.. on demand. Right now..

This weekend was just that type of weekend.. a low budget horror extravaganza. When my son Ayden went to sleep, of course..

In the past, I found some gems on Netflix worth watching again. Movies such as STITCHES, HAUNT, HAUNTER, and some others..

It was a ‘low budget horror weekend’ in my house..

I watched the movie PONTYPOOL last night for the first time in my life.. It was somewhat bizarre.. somewhat dull.. somewhat comical.. It’s a psychological horror about a disease infecting the town of Pontypool. The disease is the English language.. Most of the movie is from the basement of a church where a radio host Grant Mazzy narrates the end of his world.. Without giving away too much–as you may want to see it–the movie rated about a 3 out of 5 stars for me. It was slow, somewhat unnerving.. but for the most part it was finely made with the low budget that existed for it.. But there are some critical problems with it–as pointed out by the others who watched the movie with me and hated it. Maybe that’s why it ended up only making $1,500 during its opening night in Canada..

Maybe the movie HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is more your cup of tea.. it is also slow and unnerving, but the build up suspense scenes are much more intense and well done. The film is based on the theory that Satanic ritual abuse was real in the 1980s. In this movie, a college student takes a job to ‘babysit’ .. she finds out there’s no baby and there won’t be much sitting either. What I found most well done about this movie was that, despite being made in 2009, the movie had an 80s feel. It felt like we were watching something from that decade.. the filmmakers, despite a low budget, still were able to find vintage Coke cups and used lighting effectively to make your mind think you were watching something filmed 30 years ago.. Perhaps the most frightening character for several reasons in HOUSE OF THE DEAD was the very tall Tom Noonan.