Tuesday Terrors: Aftershock and Hatchet III REVIEWS - Mania.com



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Tuesday Terrors: Aftershock and Hatchet III REVIEWS

American Horror Story Coven Plot Details

By Tim Janson     September 03, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Welcome back to Tuesday Terrors, Mania’s one-stop spot for all things horror.  This week we have four new film reviews: Hatchet III, Evidence, Aftershock, and No One Lives to go with a coffin full of new horror trailers!
 
THE HORRIFYING NEWS!
 
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane Trailer.  Starring Amber Heard and Anson Mount, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is about a group of high-schoolers who invite Mandy Lane, “a good girl” who becomes the object of everyone’s affection after returning from summer break, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to mysteriously drop one at a time.

Joy Ride 3 ready to begin production.  JOY RIDE 3 begins production in Winnipeg, Manitoba beginning September 3.  This gruesome third-installment of the franchise that follows 2001’s Joy Ride, and 2008’s Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead, is written and directed by horror auteur Declan O’Brien (Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines)
 
 Rusty Nail is back on the road again looking to punish injustice at every turn — and this time it’s with a group of hotheaded street racers on their way to the Road Rally 1000. As they drive through a desolate shortcut on the way to the race, an encounter with Rusty turns sour and soon he is tracking, teasing and torturing them until the end of the road.
 
Trailer for Butcher Boys.  a birthday celebration at an upscale restaurant sets in motion events that bring a group of friends face to face with the macabre world of cannibals, the Butcher Boys. The Butcher Boys are international predators who deal in human ­flesh - dead or alive.  Phase 4 releases the film on September 6th.

 
Trailer for We Are What We Are.  A seemingly wholesome and benevolent family, the Parkers, have always kept to themselves, and for good reason. Behind closed doors, patriarch Frank rules his family with a rigorous ferver, determined to keep his ancestral customs intact at any cost. As a torrential rainstorm moves into the area, tragedy strikes and his daughters Iris and Rose are forced to assume responsibilities that extend beyond those of a typical family. As the unrelenting downpour continues to flood their small town, the local authorities begin to uncover clues that bring them closer to the secret that the Parkers have held closely for so many years.

Plot details for American Horror Story: Coven.  American Horror Story: Coven will premiere on FX on October 9th and we finally have some plot details.  "Coven" tells the secret history of witches and witchcraft in America. Over 300 years have passed since the turbulent days of the Salem witch trials and those who managed to escape are now facing extinction. Mysterious attacks have been escalating against their kind and young girls are being sent away to a special school in New Orleans to learn how to protect themselves. Wrapped up in the turmoil is new arrival, Zoe (Farmiga), who is harboring a terrifying secret of her own. Alarmed by the recent aggression, Fiona (Lange), the long-absent Supreme, sweeps back into town, determined to protect the Coven and hell-bent on decimating anyone who gets in her way.
 
The Moleman of Belmont Avenue on DVD Septmeber 10th.  Two years ago, the Mugg Brothers, who have never worked a day in their lives, inherited a brownstone apartment building.  In that short time, their slacker ways have run the building into the ground.  Tenants are moving out, no one drinks at the bar downstairs, and the building's pets are going missing.  If all that isn't enough to make them sit up and take notice, they soon discover a mysterious creature is hiding in the basement and trying to eat every living thing in the building one by one!  Written and directed by Mike Bradecich and John LaFlamboy, THE MOLE MAN OF BELMONT AVENUE was shot on location in Chicago, IL. Starring Bradecich and LaFlamboy as the Mugg Brothers and featuring supporting performances by Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Tim Kazurinsky (“Saturday Night Live”).

 
Night of the Naked Dead coming to DVD November 3rd.  Well hell, why not!  A storm from hell brings mysterious strangers who come with secrets to a B&B on an isolated island. Emma, the B&B owner, is a struggling romance writer. David, a handyman, is a traumatized war veteran wrestling with his past and sleeping in his van. They face a menace more shockingly evil and wickedly terrifying than anything in their wildest dreams. Veronica arrives naked. Coby has blood on him. Then the Others appear. Sex and murder, lust and revenge will make this a night that the romance writer and her new friend will never forget... if they survive.

Shout Factory to release extended cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed in 2014.  Shout! Factory and Morgan Creek Productions officially announced today a strategic distribution alliance to bring Clive Barker’s classic horror film “Nightbreed” extended director’s cut to the home entertainment marketplace in the U.S and Canada and on digital entertainment platforms next year. The announcement was made by Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos along with David Robinson, President of Morgan Creek Productions. The news initially broke at Comic-Con 2013, however the agreement formally reached by both parties occurred today.
 
For years rumors swirled about substantial missing footage from the film.  A fan-driven movement was created (www.OccupyMidian.com) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released, which was not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker’s book “Cabal,” but is what originally he intended “Nightbreed” to be. 
 
Clive Barker said, “I had a dream about the tribes of the moon. They would live in a city called Midian and, though they were monsters of every shape and size, they would be the heroes of a movie called “Nightbreed.”  However, when I made the movie, the studio was not comfortable with this inversion of the classic structure. They wanted the monsters to be simple-minded scare machines, while I wanted them to be the dark side of all of us, mysterious and misunderstood.  Finally, with this new version of “Nightbreed,” which contains over forty five minutes of previously unseen material, my original vision has been realized. Come with me to Midian, the city of monsters. The tribes of the moon await us.”
 
Bloody Homecoming heads to DVD September 24th.  A group of seniors anxiously prepare for Homecoming night in the sleepy town of Winston. Three years after a tragic accident left a student dead at the annual dance, they find themselves haunted by a deadly visitor from their past. Unable to bury old demons, it looks like it’s finally payback time, and someone’s out for blood. Before the night is over, the halls will run red as they are stalked, staked and butchered by a relentless, savage killer bent on revenge. They must stop whoever is hunting them, or this year’s dance is going to be a killer.

 
Trailer for Rigot Mortis!  Rigor Mortis is the debut feature from Hong Kong's multi-talented celebrity, Juno Mak. A re-imagining of the popular 1970/80's Chinese Vampire (Geung Si) genre, the filmwill have an early November rollout in Hong Kong followed by the rest of Asia.  It will be distributed in the U.S. by Well Go USA.

 
Official trailer for Danielle Harris’s Shiver.  Shiver follows the ordeal of Wendy Alden, a young secretary lacking in self-esteem who becomes the target of a savage killer but, somehow finds resources  of courage to fight back and escape. Obsessed with killing Wendy, Franklin Rood, penetrates a police cordon to guard her. Again, she escapes, earning Rood's twisted sense of love. He later kidnaps and brings her to his hideout where he subjects her to a horrific ritual of psychological intimidation. During the final climax, Wendy confronts the monster of her living nightmare, transforming to a lioness of great courage and determination.  Shiver comes to DVD in October. 

THE TERRIFYING REVIEWS
 
Hatchet III blu-ray review (Dark Sky Films)
Rated: Unraged
Grade: D+
 
We all know that the killers in slasher films can take an inhuman amount of damage, enough to kill dozens of normal men, and still keep going.  But Hatchet’s Victor Crowley takes this amazing recuperation to new heights in Hatchet III.  The film begins right where part II left off.  Marybeth Dunstan (Danielle Harris) has just blown Crowley’s face clean off with a shotgun blast.  But even that isn’t enough to stop the bayou beast.  As Crowley rises again, Marybeth slices him in half from head to toe with a chainsaw.  Thinking that Crowley is finally dead, Marybeth turns herself in to the Jefferson Parish sheriff, covered in blood.  Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan of Gremlins) locks Marybeth up and sends a team of officers and paramedics out to investigate her claims of the slaughter at Honey Island Swamp.
 
The cops arrive on the scene to find dozens of mangled bodies including the split-in-half body of Crowley.  Crowley’s remains are bagged and taken about a paramedic’s boat for processing.  This is where Crowley pulls off his amazing feat of putting himself back together whole.  And perhaps even more amazing is that his overalls also magically are repaired without a stich out of place. 
 
Ok, I have not been overly impressed with any of Adam Green’s Hatchet films even though he turns directorial duties over to BJ McDonnell.  But Hatchet III reaches a new low.  We’re given some new mumbo jumbo about how Crowley is actually a ghost and needs to be reunited with the ashes of his father in order to finally kill him.  As Marybeth is the last relative of the men that killed Crowley years earlier and only she fan deliver the ashes.  Yeah, ok, anything to suck the remaining life out of the series.
 
Granted, Hatchet III should satisfy most gore hounds.  Among Crowley’s more notable kills is thrusting his fist into the belly of a man and ripping out his spine with the skull still attached, leaving behind an empty meat sack.  The effects however are cheap looking, even for low budget horror film.  The blood looks like it was left over from a Herschell Gordon Lewis film.  It’s too bright and lacks the viscosity of actual blood.  
 
The cast features Sid Haig, Derek Mears and of course, Kane Hodder as Crowley,and  is a lot of fun, but largely wasted.  In particular Danielle Harris is given little to do other than apparently say F**K as many times as she can in 81 minutes.

Evidence Blu-Ray Review (RLJ Entertainment)
Rating: Unrated
Grade: C
 
I’m not a big fan of found-footage films but at least in Evidence there is a purpose to the footage.  After the brutal murders of several people at a rundown truck garage outside of Las Vegas, local detectives uncover several cameras and phones that recorded the deadly events.  Radha Mitchell and Stephen Moyer (True Blood) play detectives Burquez and Mitchell.  Reece has just returned to the force…that every day…from a leave of absence which is never fully explained.  The fact that he would return and immediately be put on such a high profile case immediately stretches believability but it’s explained as Reese being an expert at analyzing video.
 
Frankly the half dozen characters that are stranded in the desert and terrorized by a maniac in a welding mask are not compelling in the least.  They are stock characters who get little character development.  The action shifts between the police lab and the found footage.  Reece tries to piece the video together; much of it damaged by fire and has to use computers to augment the footage as he tries to figure out the identity of the killer.
 
While there are plenty or red herring suspects tossed out there…basically every single character including possibly Reese himself, the mystery isn’t all that difficult.  Director Olatunde Osunsanmi tips his hand within the first few minutes of the film and then numerous times throughout.  Who is going to continue to hold their camera and film the action when they are being attacked by a maniac?  The answer is no one would unless that person had a good REASON for filming the events.  
 
Evidence is a tedious, predictable film that wastes the talents of Moyer and Mitchell.  Osunsanmi’s clumsy direction fails to any semblance of suspense. 

Aftershock Blu-Ray Review (Anchor Bay)
Rated: R
Grade: D+
 
The latest Eli Roth vanity project which proudly proclaims above the film’s title that “Eli Roth Presents” is Aftershock, a tedious, low-budget horror/disaster film that was produced, written, and stars Roth.  In other words, he owns this film for better or worse…mostly worse.  Roth plays an unnamed American who is referred to only as “Gringo” by his friends.  He is on vacation in Chile to visit his two friends Ariel, and Pollo who is the stereotypical rich boy.
 
The three friends are concerned with little else other than meeting women at local clubs and soon connect with Russian model Irina, party girl Kylie (Lorenza Izzo) and her stern sister Monica.  Roth and director Nicolás López essentially waste the first 30 minutes of the film following this uninteresting cast of characters travelling from club to club, drinking, dancing, and playing childish pranks on each other.  The film tries your patience so much that you begin to hope the impending earthquake just ends things quickly.
 
Once the earthquake hits, killing many in the club, the six friends flee but find themselves trapped within the city.  As if the earthquake was not bad enough, sirens warn of an incoming tsunami and the walls of a local prison have been destroyed, spilling its dangerous convicts onto the streets where they rob, rape, or murder anyone who crosses their path.  The group’s only hope is to make their way through a cemetery and to a local church which is rumored to have tunnels that can lead them to safety.
 
Aftershock was originally slapped with an NC-17 rating and had to be re-edited to get an R rating.  Look, Roth loves this crap.  He’d much rather push the envelope of good taste rather than actually make a good film and the publicity he gets from these ratings wars are more than he’d get from the film on its own merits.  The film is filled with characters who have no redeeming qualities whatsoever so why should we care about them?  The convicts are mere blood-crazed morons.  If I’m in prison and the walls come tumbling down, I am going to use the opportunity to get as far away as possible, not stop to loot an appliance store.
 
Aftershock is a grim, slow-moving film that never manages to engage the viewer on any level.

No One Lives Blu-Ray Review (Anchor Bay)
Rated: R
Grade: B-
 
No One Lives was produced by WWE studios but don’t hold that against it.  This is a sometimes smart, and generally enjoyable films where the tables are turned on a gang of road thieves and the hunters become the hunted.  Hoag (Lee Tergesen) leads a band of thieves that includes Flynn, Tamara (America Olivo) and Ethan (WWE wrestler Brodus Clay).  Flynn, looking to get back into Hoag’s good graces for a botched job, targets a young couple at a roadside restaurant who are in the process of moving.  Flynn runs the couple off the road and brings them back to the gang’s hideout where they go through their belongings.
 
However, the mysterious man (Luke Evans) is more than the mere yuppie that he appears.  As Flynn searches the trunk of his car, he finds a hidden compartment where a teenaged girl is being held hostage.  They discover that the girl is a wealth heiress named Emma, and she was the only survivor of a bloody rampage by a serial killer.  There is a two million dollar reward for Emma’s safe return but collecting the money will be easier said than done as they man they kidnapped is the very same killer and Emma warns the gang that he will kill them all.
 
Evans’s character, referred to only as “The Driver” reminds you a bit of Gerard Butler character in “Law Abiding Citizen”.  He’s a genius level intellect that is capable of killing with clever traps from a distance or close up and personal.  He quickly makes short work of several of the gang in devious and bloody fashion and begins to toy with the remaining survivors.  Evans fits the low-key, urbane killer perfectly, playing an almost emotionless Michael Myers characters sans the mask.
 
The one glaring weakness to the film is that there is no surprise to Evans’s character. We know from what transpires before he is kidnapped that there is something strange about his character.  What could have been a nice swerve is needlessly tossed out the window so shame on Director Ryuhei Kitamura for that.
 
The rest of the cast is nothing to get excited about although Adelaide Clemens as Emma does give a strong performance as the victim who begins to bind with her captor.  Bloody and brutal with some creative special effects and kills, No One Lives is no classic but is still a watchable film.

Child of Tomorrow and other Stories by Al Feldstein (Fantagraphics)
By: Al Feldstein
Rating: A-
 
Al Feldstein will forever be linked with legendary EC Comics.  While Feldstein the artist wasn’t on a par with other EC greats like Johnny Craig, Reed Crandall, John Severin, Graham Ingels, or Wally Wood, what he lacked in pure talent he made up for with a macabre style.  Early on at EC Felstein both wrote and drew stories but he would later become primarily a writer and editor (along with Harvey Kurtzman) with his later art being reserved primarily for cover work.
 
While known for horror, the stories included in this archival volume from Fantagraphics concentrates on Feldstein’s bizarre Sci-Fi stories which appeared in the pages of EC’s Weird Science and Weird Fantasy from 1950 – 1952.  The 24 stories feature stories written by EC Publisher William Gaines with Feldstein handling the scripting and art on most although several of the stories feature art by other EC artists like Ingels and George Roussos.  These stories are from the height of the Golden Age Sci-Fi era and American UFO paranoia.
 
The stories are based on that UFO craze of the period such as “The Things from Outer Space” in which a scientist and his assistant investigate a crater in the desert and find a strange piece of metal comprised of elements that are not of this Earth.  This them also plays out in “The Flying Saucer Invasion” when several residents of a small town report seeing the strange saucers.  But are the sightings real?  Paranoia? Or an elaborate hoax?  Once the truth is discovered it may be too late for the planet.
 
What’s interesting about several stories is that Feldstein re-uses several characters such as the U.S. Secretary of Defense who is shown in one tale to be a three-eyed alien although it’s not implied that his is an alien in other stories.  In “Destruction of the Earth” the fate of earth being swallowed by the son is a textbook tale told by Martian teachers to their students.  Feldstein weaves stories of invaders from Mars, Venus, Jupiter and planets outside of our solar system.
 
“House in Time” is the first story in the book without Feldstein handling the art and while he was talented you can certainly see a definite improvement in style in the work done by Ingels and Roussos.  Their styles are more refined and have greater depth, but the stories themselves are still classic Al!
 
In addition to the stories (all in black and white) the book includes an interview with Feldstein conducted by Gary Groth, and several other text articles including Ted White’s brilliant “The Ups and Downs of EC Comics”.  Great book for fans of EC Comics!

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