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Mania Terrors: World War Z & Dead in Tombstone Review
Plus New Munsters Figures!
By Tim Janson
October 09, 2013
World War Z review by Mania.com
© Paramount Pictures
Welcome to Mania Terrors! As you no doubt noticed we’ve changed the name of the column from Tuesday Terrors to Mania Terrors for no good reason that we just didn’t want to be tied down to a particular day of the week and we’re looking to bring the column to you on a weekly basis, especially at this time of the year when interest in horror is at its highest. This week we bring you reviews of World War Z, Dead in Tombstone, and the Colony.
Trailer for Tobe Hooper’s Djinn. In Djinn, an Emirati couple returns home from a trip and discover that their new apartment has been built on a site that is home to some malevolent beings.
Loss of Life release date. Loss of Life is a found footage horror film that tells the story of a group of high school friends on their way to a party on Halloween night 2012. Terrifying and twisted events are captured on film as the group documents their attempt to survive the night and a killer that relentlessly stalks them at every turn. The film is set for VOD, Digital and DVD on October 25th.
TV Spot for Big Ass Spider. Here’s a look at the TV spot for Big Ass Spider. In the film, the unlikely heroic duo of a blue-collar exterminator and Latino security guard must save the day when a giant spider escapes from a military lab and rampages the city of Los Angeles.
Debut Trailer for Paradox Alice. The sci-fi/thriller takes place in 2040 and stars Amy Lindsay (Star Trek: Voyager), Jeneta St. Clair (The Appearing), Ethan Sharrett (Homecoming), and Stewart W. Calhoun (The Eves).
A group of astronauts have been sent on a dangerous mission to retrieve water from Europa, one of the several moons orbiting the planet Jupiter. After narrowly escaping the moon to head back home, the team discovers that a nuclear war has left earth uninhabitable. While the remaining male astronauts come to grips over their losses, one of the crew members spontaneously transforms into a woman.
Release Date set for Ritual. Lionsgate will release Ritual on DVD/Digital on December 31. Starring Lisa Summerscales, Dean Cates and Derek Phillips, Ritual tells the tale of a young woman and her estranged husband,who become entangled with a horrifying cult and find themselves swept into a world of kidnapping, violence and satanic rituals.
A long time ago, Tom and Lovely were married and everything was perfect. But that's over. When Lovely kills a man after he tries to drug and kidnap her, she calls Tom for help and while cleaning up, they find a VHS tape that depicts a satanic ritual in which a woman is brutally murdered.
Trailer for Savaged. While travelling across country, Zoe, a lovely deaf mute woman, stumbles on a horrific crime – a gang of rednecks slaughtering two Native American boys. Zoe’s brave attempt to save one of the boys seals her fate. She is captured, raped and left for dead. When an Indian shaman finds her clinging to life in a shallow grave he attempts to save her – but something goes horribly wrong. The spirit of an ancient Apache warrior takes host of Zoe’s dead body. So now she walks amongst the living, hell-bent on getting revenge. One by one she slaughters the men who brutalized her, while the clock ticks away on her quickly decomposing body.
Diamond Selects Series 3 Munster figures are here! The Munsters are back, with all-new outfits, a new family member and the greatest pack-in accessory ever! Coming this fall, Series 3 of the award-winning Munsters action figure line includes Hotrod Herman in his racing leathers, Hotrod Grandpa with goggles and cigar, Raceway Lily with parasol and the never-before-made Uncle Gilbert! As a bonus, each 7-inch, fully poseable figure includes one piece of the staircase at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, home of their pet dragon Spot! Collect all four and build the coolest diorama ever!
Trailer for Loss of Life. Loss of Life is a found footage horror film that tells the story of a group of high school friends on their way to a party on Halloween night 2012. Terrifying and twisted events are captured on film as the group documents their attempt to survive the night and a killer that relentlessly stalks them at every turn.
UK Horror game show! Release the Hounds is the name of a new horror-themed game show arriving in the UK. The show is a one-hour format that mixes the two genres by sending three unsuspecting contestants into a forest at dusk as they seek out chests full of prize money. Little do they know, in order to win big, they’ll face the “scariest challenges ever endured on TV” – those include navigating a field of crucified scarecrows, descending beneath the floorboards in a deserted cabin, and reading bedtime stories in the nursery from hell.
Official Trailer For Cassadaga. Devastated by the death of her younger sister, Lily Morel seeks solace at the spiritualist community of Cassadaga. But instead of finding closure, she contacts something else - the vengeful ghost of a murdered young woman. With her life crumbling all-around her, Lily races to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the woman's death - a task that will bring her face-to-face with a sadistic serial killer known only as "Geppetto."
Debut Trailer for Skinwalker Ranch. In 2010 “Skinwalker Ranch” gained media attention after experiencing a wide range of unexplained phenomena. Reports ranged from UFO sightings to livestock mutilation, but maybe most notable was the disappearance of ranch owner Hoyt Miller’s eight year old son, Cody on November 11, 2010. Close to a year later, Modern Defense Enterprises (MDE) has sent a team of experts to document and investigates the mysterious occurrences, which only escalate upon their arrival.
The Secret Village coming in October. Directed by Swamy Kandan, The Secret Village follows Greg, (Jonathan Bennett) a screenwriter and Rachel (Ali Faulkner), a beautiful journalist research an outbreak of mass hysteria in a small village. They start to uncover a secret about ergot poisoning that has affected this village for years. But the cult activity has been kept a secret by the locals (Savante, Riehle) and when Greg disappears, Rachel is left alone to unravel the mystery and save their lives. Arriving on DVD December 18.
Teaser Trailer for Beneath. From director Ben Ketai and Revolver Pictures, Beneath concerns a young attorney and a group of miners who are trapped underground after a disastrous collapse and begin a descent into madness.
Debut Trailer for The Dead 2: India. The Ford Brothers have a sequel to The Dead on the way called The Dead 2: India. The film follows the story of American engineer Nicholas Burton in a race against time to reach his pregnant girlfriend Ishani. Burton enlists the help of an orphan street kid Javed and together they make a perilous 300 mile journey across deadly landscapes as a zombie apocalypse threatens to engulf the entire nation.
THE TERRIFYING REVIEWS
The Dead Run (Adam Mansbach) Harper Collins
Here is an eerie little Southwestern horror that is in the vein of Joe Lansdale featuring zombies, a creepy cult leader, and an ancient evil. Jess Galvin finds himself in the unenviable position of being locked up in a Mexican jail when he tries to help a prostitute who is being abused. Galvin was seeking to get custody of his daughter from his loser ex-wife but now finds himself wrongfully jailed. However he meets a sinister figure named El Cucuy, an oddball shaman figure who offers Jess the opportunity to get out of jail and reunite with his daughter if he performs a task.
A mysterious box is strapped to Jess and he has to transport the box across the Mexico/U.S. border and deliver it to a cult leader named Aaron Seth. Galvin is used to running contraband but he’s never had a job like this. The box contains the still beating heart of a virgin which will be used in a ceremony which will unleash an ancient Aztec evil on the world. On top of that we have girls missing on both sides of the border as a Texas sheriff and a psychologist search for one of the missing girls. Outlaw biker gangs and corrupt Mexican cops all are tossed in for good measure.
The book is break-necked paced from beginning to end with all of the action taking place within a day. The characters are over-the-top but wildly colorful from the mysterious El Cucuy to the deranged cult leader. I didn’t think the Sheriff’s plotline mixed as well with the main story but other than that The Dead Run is a brisk but chilling read.
World War Z (Paramount)
From George Romero’s ultra-low budget classic “Night of the Living Dead” to this $190 Million dollar mega-budget epic, zombie films have certainly come a long way. Based upon the Max Brooks novel, World War Z presents a modern day zombie epic with the shortest incubation of a zombie virus we’ve seen so far. With influences of “28 Days Later” and the “Dawn of the Dead” remake, Director Marc Foster isn’t afraid to use the “Z” word as opposed to merely referring to the infected as, umm…the “infected”.
Former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is caught up in the initial outbreak in heavy Philadelphia. The virus takes hold in seconds sending its victims into a horrifying and violent rampage, only too will to use their own heads to bash their way through car windshields. If nothing else, Foster’s zombies are terrifyingly ferocious. Lane is called back to service the UN Deputy Secretary-General to accompany a team to South Korea where it’s believed the virus originated. An imprisoned former CIA agent, bordering on the psychotic, tells Lane to go to Jerusalem where the Israeli’s have somehow been forewarned of the virus and were able to erect a large wall around the city. Before long however, the swarming zombies are able to breach the defense and have Lane and the rest of the city’s refugees running for their lives.
Foster smartly keeps at such a rapid pace that it doesn’t give you enough time to think about some of the holes in the film such as why a retired UN investigator would be the best person to accompany a doctor and a team of soldiers in the first place, or how in the hell the Israeli’s managed to build 40’ walls around an entire city in so short a time period and why our intelligence agencies DIDN’T notice what in the hell they were doing. But hey, I’m not nit-picking!
The film underwent several reshoots including the ending but despite that the ending clumsily falls across the finish line like a long distance runner on his last legs. The ending comes too abruptly and too clean but it’s mostly an enjoyable two hours despite its many foibles and the lack of a strong secondary lead.
Dead in Tombstone (Universal)
If Danny Trejo is not the busiest actor in Hollywood don’t know who is as I count at least half a dozen films coming out either theatrically or on home video in just a few months in which he stars or co-stars. Dead in Tombstone is a mix of “The Crow” and “High Plains Drifter”, A supernatural revenge western and the perfect vehicle for Trejo’s talents. The film begins with Guerrero (Trejo) leading his gang in a daring rescue of fellow member Red Cavanaugh (Anthony Michael Hall) who is about to be hanged. After his rescue, Cavanaugh reveals a tip he received about a small Colorado mining town that has struck gold but its residents are in a dispute over rights and the gold is locked away in a vault. The heist could set the gang up and Guerrero agrees to lead the raid
The gang easily overruns the town’s sheriff and meager resistance but while Guerrero wants to take the gold and leave, Cavanaugh wants to take over the town. This leads to Red and the rest of the gang killing Guerrero and renaming the town Tombstone. Guerrero is buried in the town cemetery but that’s where this western takes a turn for the supernatural. The outlaw is condemned to Hell and confronted by Lucifer himself (Mickey Roarke). Guerrero makes a deal with the devil to deliver the six souls of the murderous gang members in exchange for his own. Guerrero literally crawls out of the grave to seek revenge on his former mate in a violent and bloody rampage.
Roarke’s satanic portrayal isn’t much different than a lot of his recent performances. He’s kind of laid back and smarmy but his devilish side comes out as he digs his fingers deep into Guerrero’s chest, licking the blood from his fingers with a malevolent grin. His part is small but oozes wickedness from every pore. It’s also to see Anthony Michael Hall in a villainous role and he clearly is having a wonderful time being the bad guy. Dina Meyer is also tossed into the mix as the wife of the Sheriff. Other than that, however, the rest of the cast is just there as fodder for Trejo to mow down. And this is the film’s weakest point. Trejo doesn’t seem to either be tortured enough or enjoying his revenge. The action when he returns is ho-hum and lacks thrills although there are a few creative kills along the way.
The Colony (Image Entertainment)
The Colony is set in the near future of 2045 when the world is in the midst of an ice age and the remnants of human civilizations have moved into underground silos to escape the bitter cold and snow. Colony 7 is led by former soldiers Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) and Mason (Bill Paxton). The community is slowly shrinking due to outbreaks of flu but they manage as best they can, having created greenhouses to grow plants and a small supply of livestock. Those who suffer from sickness are given the choice of leaving the colony and taking their chances in the open, or being shot on the spot. Mason no longer wants to expend the colonies limited medicines on trying to cure the sick and begins executing the sick, against the orders of Briggs.
They receive a distress call from Colony 5 and Briggs, Sam (Kevin Zegers), and Graydon, leave to investigate. Arriving at the colony they find the place covered in blood. Eventually they come across a gruesome scene of a pack of cannibals who are cutting up and eating the remains of the colonists. The men attempt to escape, blowing up the hatch behind them. But the cannibals survive, following them back to Colony 7.
An interesting premise is marred by poor writing and gaping plot holes. Upon reaching colony 5 they are able to view a garbled transmission from another colony that they have been able to repair their weather controlling machine and have been able to melt the snow and ice in a large radius…but they have no seeds! Incredible leap there that one colony is loaded with seeds and the other has none. We are also to believe that all the weather machines just stopped, allowing the ice age to begin with no explanation as to why they failed. Briggs blows up a huge section of a tall suspension bridge in order to stop the cannibals. And yet somehow they manage to get around the gaping divide, arriving at the colony only a few hours later. Of course this is all off camera. There’s also no good explanation why mere colds and flu are able to kill the people even though they have medicines and a quarantine room.
Director Jeff Renfroe borrows far too much from 30 Days of Night, even to the point of the cannibals having their teeth filed like the vampires in that room. Even the cannibal leader bears a resemblance to the vampire leader. Decent premise and some harrowing action sequences make the film watchable but forgettable.