01 May 2015

BEYOND THE GRAVE/PORTOS DOS MORTOS/2010

I have been meaning to get around to saying something about this interesting film from Brazil for a long time, but I am just not an enthusiastic blogger these days. But I am trying my best. I want to first thank producer Isidoro B. Guggiana for trying so hard to get me a screener of Beyond the Grave for me to try out. The guy sent me two DVDs and one was lost here in China and the other was returned to him. The mail system here is a joke and I am frustrated over never getting important papers from the IRS I need. Well, lets not get off onto a China tirade right now. He finally got me an online screener version though a hard copy of the movie would have been great.  I have been offered a couple screeners but after the people promoting the movies found out I was in China they gave up and never sent it to me because of the high postage rates and my warnings to them that stuff vanishes here in the mail. But Isidoro came through and this is my first ever screener review here at The Uranium Café.

Beyond the Grave is written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro and while it does not on the one offer anything totally new (what can anymore) it actually takes a few motifs from horror and action films and tires into a strange little bundle that might described as a “spaghetti zombie” film. And while there are zombies in the film I would not really say the movie was focused on zombies and zombie killings. The story is more of an occult or Satanic type drama than a “shoot ‘em in the head” zombie thriller. The story is set in the near future and the world is in a shambles for reasons I never quite understood. I am not certain if it is due to something nuclear, chemical/biological or even other-wordly. Riding through the back roads of Brazil in a sleek looking black Ford Maverick is the vigilante hero we only get to know as The Officer. He is searching someone or something known only as the Dark Rider. The Dark Rider is able to inhabit the bodies of people and is released upon death of the person to go into a new body. Actually, I am never clear on who the Dark Rider is but it does not matter. The element of uncertainty does not detract from the story. He hooks up with and befriends as best he can a couple of wandering teenagers. Together they team up with a trio of survivors in what seems to be an abandoned school and united they seek to face and destroy the Dark Rider. While the story does not center on the zombies (or “Returners”) they are an issue and contribute to death and tension when one least expects it.

The film is directed and shot well enough and the music score works with what is happening on the screen. It has an old school Italian horror movie feel to it and the version I saw was subtitled from (I assume) Portuguese into English. I am certain the references to old Westerns and even Samurai films are intentional homage’s. In fact, really, the film seems to be more of a modern Western and even crime film than a horror movie most of the time. But make no mistake, there are monsters and evil spirits enough to make this one creepy enough for the underground horror crowd. Do not know how easy or difficult this may be to find in the States but if you can find it give it a viewing. I am including the official Lockheart Films trailer to give you a sense of what it is about.






BEYOND THE GRAVE TRAILER

25 April 2015

THE POSSIBLE RISING FROM THE DEAD OF NECROTIC CINEMA


I have no idea what is up, but I am just getting more and more followers to this blog over at its Facebook Page. I tried to kill it but it won't stay dead. In fact it has more followers than The Uranium cafe has there. While I am really not in the mood to blog the way I used to it seems there is a market out there still Necrotic movie reviews, with the emphasis being on newer, modern horror films, with an often scathing tone running through the reviews. It is a bit odd. I have moved over half of the reviews here over to the UCafe and was considering disabling this blog when all of that was done. But I dunno, seems like I may continue with some blogging here after all. everyday NC has a follower or two. I like it. While the glory days of my manic blogging binges are over I still like to write and the next time I want to do a modern horror review it will be posted here. May still double post stuff over to the UCafe, to had some color to that site which is suffering from my blogging apathy as well. I am not writing much have I have yet to swear off blogging. The day may come. But I still enjoy it. Have watched gobs of stuff, most of total drek and deserving of an Uncle Bill review. Yea. I think Necrotic Cinema is alive again. In an undead sense of course. 

03 September 2014

THE DEMISE OF NECROTIC CINEMA


I have been mulling this over for a while and I have come to the conclusion it is time to retire Necrotic Cinema. I am struggling with blogging as a whole and have lost most of my passion for it really. Most, but not all. I really like the blog but after several years at it I have yet to get even 100 posts completed. it does not mean I do not want to do posts and have a zillion (give or take a billion) in the plump draft folder, but to be quite blunt I just am having a hard time giving a fuck any more. I seem to still give a shit, but the giving a fuck part is really becoming a burden. In the end my main blog is and always has been The Uranium Cafe and that has become a burden as well for me and I am wrestling with retiring it as well. As a sort of compromise I have decided to expand The Uranium Cafe (always baffles me whether or not to capitalize the indefinite article there) and allow more modern movie posts there as well now. I tried to keep it an obscure movie blog and it will still be that, but when I think about it a lot of the modern movies I gravitate towards -horror and other types- are pretty damned obscure by most standards so I will simply merge the content really. I may even move over some of my cooler posts from here to there to get the ball rolling as they say. I have no intention of deleting the blog and if you found your way here you can still support the concept of Necrotic Cinema (where some movies are better left buried) and visit The Uranium Cafe, where old and new drek are pandered with willful and wanton abandon. RIP NC.

15 August 2014

LOVE BITE/2012

Another British horror/comedy here. Love Bite, directed by TV director Andy De Emmony in one of only a couple ventures onto the big screen, is well made and well acted for a horror genre film and starts off well enough. The sex starved lads of sleepy Rainmouth are on a rainy summer holiday and all are hoping to lose their virginity this summer. On this point one poster compares the film to American Pie. Maybe since the filmmakers are British they can be forgiven, but that is probably not the best film to compare your work to. Three of the guys are hopeless dwebs but handsome and polite Jamie (Ed Speleers) would have no problems attracting the farer sex if he did not associate with his annoying mates all the time. And of course being the handsome and polite chap he is he is more the romantic and committed type, looking for lasting love and all that. Enter into the pie making community of Rainmouth two new characters: the sexy and worldly (and possibly lycanthropic) American Juliana (Jessica Szohr) and the werewolf hunting Sid (Timothy Spall) and the action in dreary Rainmouth soon gets going at a breakneck speed, right? Wrong. The movie gets stuck in its weird Porky’s world of the boys desperately wanting to get their cherry’s popped and repeated instances of that dry British humor that is funny in doses, but soon gets too, well, too dry and Britishy for my taste. The big problem, the big, big problem, is that the werewolf itself is not introduced into the film until about the last twenty minutes or so.  And then in that last stretch of film the makers try to shove a twist or two down your throat to spark things up but it is too late. The last scene in the diner (or whatever they are called in England) seems like it was stolen from The Howling as far as I am concerned. I had no issues with the revolting horny British young guy story line, but that is basically all the film is. It never really becomes a werewolf story. There are funny enough moments and it never gets as grossly over the top American Pie really but a film like this needs the monster in it before the half way mark really. You don’t want to show a monster too early but you don’t want to show it too late either. I lost interest and paused the movie and finished it the next day just to do this review about it. This definitely had potential but by the mid-point I was losing interest but held on in hopes of a bigger bang the makers were holding in store for the viewer who hung in there, but it never arrived. I can't even find any scary screen captures to liven the post up a bit. 

12 July 2014

TORMENTED/2009

This “slipped under the radar” British horror film by Jon Wright hit me in the hit places so well that I watched it twice in one week. Well, the first version I watched on a Chinese streaming site called PPTV had over 20 minutes of the film cut from it, including all the death scenes, and so I wanted to see what I may have missed, but that was not the only reason I rewatched it. The film is very well made on all fronts, including direction, editing, acting, and score. While not a perfect horror film in any sense, if there is really such a thing, the movie delivers all the goods using a pretty simple premise; bullied teenager returns from the dead to wreck havoc and revenge on his tormentors. It is never explained why he is able to return from the dead and there is no occult subplot (thank God) to muck up the storyline with. I have long felt too that British films in general deal with the whole social class issues better than their American counterparts, were the class struggle concerns are not as relevant or explored storylines. Seems a lot of films like this have come out in Britain since the late 50’s and the old b/w angry young man films of the 60’s are some of the best movies ever made. And there is some element of that class struggle in Tormented, though it is more amongst the members of some sort of elite prep school meaning most likely they all come from money. But here we have the more modern spin on things with the conflicts being between the upper preps and jocks, and the nerds and emos. But the film presents the conflict with elements of snooty British snobbery that you just do not find in American high school type dealing with the same themes. But to be clear, the movie is not really addressing any such issues on a deep level, anymore than it is addressing the problems with bullying. In fact that social issue things are not the reason I watch horror movies, not all. I watch horror movies for the tension and jolts, and to be quite frank, some blood and a bit of gore delivered in just the jut doses at just right time. And it is in that department that Tormented sits well with me. And as well as the horror and violence, it has some of that special dry British humor you either like or do not like, and which fortunately I like a lot when it is done right as it was in Shaun of the Dead. But Tormented is not meant as a spoof or parody of slasher or high school body count films, and while imbued with black humor and at times campiness the film over all takes itself pretty seriously. That can backfire on many horror films, but I do not think it does here despite a glitch or two every now and then.

Poor geeky fat kid Darren Mullet (Calvin Dean) is so bullied by the school’s popular crowd, led by pretty boy Bradley (Alex Pettyfer) that he is ultimately driven to commit suicide. He secretly holds a love for head girl Justin (played just right by Tuppence Middleton in her first role) and it is the last straw when she appears turns against him along with the gang of evil preppies. A party is help after Darrel’s funeral and Justine develops a quick romance with slightly nicer preppie dick head Alexis (Dimitri Leonidas) and soon Justine herself in with the popular crowd herself. There is basically one death and one deafening of an emo during the first half of the film, but the deaths start piling up quickly in the film’s second half, and they are a batch of grisly demises to say the least. The relationship between Justine and Alexis is actually handled rather well, and the role of asinine, spoiled Bradley is played to the hilt by Pettyfer. We do not see much of ghost/killer Darren or what happened with him and the bullies until later in the film, and as is often case you find yourself rooting for the bullied kid and hoping he gets all the bastards even if you have learned to like one or two of them. Does he get them all or not? I think you can check it out and find out for your self. It does have a twist of an ending, but not a ridiculous one that seems tacked on later in the editing room, the way many such slasher films end off these days. I saw another British bullying/suicide film recently as well called Truth or Dare and I want to review that one soon, maybe next, as there are some comparisons I want to make between this film and that one, and why I think this one worked better in the end, though truth or Dare verged on the edge of becoming a great horror/revenge movie. In closing I will say that I have not seen Tuppence Middleton (wow, I love that name) in anything else but and trying to find something. She was great in this one and was simply lovely to behold. The films listed for her on IMDB do not look at that great in a way and she certainly seems like a good actress able to do more than slasher material. I can recommend this film. If you are fan of slasher films with a bit of gore you will like it I think, and if you are not I doubt it will do much for you, but if you’re not why the hell are you reading this friggin’ blog in the first place?!