28 January 2009


This film is not a fantastic film, I'm sure by viewing most of the other "reviews" you can tell. But basically THE BOTTOM LINE IS this film is fantastic to watch if you're a teen (14-17?) sat [sic] at home with your mates, smoking some weed.

Connor K. on IMDB

When I began this new horror movie site the idea was to have a blog that focused on modern horror films and allow my sister Uranium Café site concentrate more on older films. I thought the film selections would be more adult and gory and I would have loads of sexy, disgusting vidcaps. That’s was really was I was hoping for when I downloaded Shrooms. I wanted some T&A and brutal mayhem. I just get in those moods once in awhile. I saw on Box Office Mojo that the film was not rated in the States and came with a warning. This sounded promising indeed. Well, I soon discovered the warning was about the use of drugs in the film and that sex and violence in the film would probably only get the film a PG-13 rating. I also saw these revealing stats while on Mojo:

The facts are there. The film on its opening weekend make a staggering $1,849. You could argue that it only played in four theaters but that only adds more one nail in its rotted coffin lid as far as I am concerned. The film was nominated for some awards held by the Irish Film and Television Awards. I am not sure what the significance of that is. What if a film won 1st place at the IFTA? Is that any sort of recommendation? Much less getting simply a nomination? Look this is the place that produced James Joyce and Ulysses okay. A "novel" that requires the use of hallucinogens to comprehend.

The story follows a group of Yankee college kids who go to all the way to Ireland to do magic mushrooms for the first time. Lat time I heard the US had psychedelic shrooms and even peyote. The group consists of three girls, the sweet virgin Tara (Lindsey huan), the sexy but angry bitch Lisa (Maya Hazen) and the hippy chick Holly (Alice Greczyn). The two guys are even more stereotyped. Troy (Max Kasch) is a stoner and looks like Jay from the Jay and Silent Bob team. His buddy, aptly named Bluto (Robert Hoffman) is a bonehead jock. They are all met by Tara’s potential beau Jake (Jack Huston) who talks to them about how to scramble their brains on mushrooms as if he were a university professor lecturing on Schopenhauer. They are all in awe of his drug abusing insights and wisdom.

Now where is a nice place to go drop some mind altering psychedelic shrooms so that everyone can feel nice and mellow and turn off the old mind, relax and float down stream? How about some place out in the middle of the boondocks that has a reputation for people being found butchered during shroom season. And to add to the soothing ambiance the area is populated by inbred Irish hillbillies that make the folk in Deliverance look like Harvard grads. And still more why not drop the damn event in the shadow of a deserted and infamous boy's reform school where the lads were tortured regularly by monks in black robes and hoods and where one night some guy was givien a pound or so of Death's Head mushrooms and chops up 78 of the kids. How could anything go wrong in this atmosphere while tripping away right?

The Death's Head mushroom concept is a problem for me. I did my share of dabbling with psychotropic substances back in my hippie days and so know a thing or two about the subject. Not as much as our hero Jake of course, but a little. In a scene sweet girl Tara, despite warnings from the always reassuring Jake that the mushroom can make your heart explode at worst and at least give you convulsions and make you see into the future at the least, decides to eat one on a whim. She has a reaction within seconds from one mushroom and the effects last for well into the next day. Well, until the end of the film anyway. The effects of the drug would take longer than that to become manifest nor would they last that long. Here is a site that states that the onset of poisoning by the Death's Head mushroom would take about 10 to 12 hours, not two seconds. And no mushroom can make you see the future. Of course this is a horror fantasy film so we go along with the ride.

Later that night Bluto has had it with getting blue balled by Lisa and so he goes out to the campfire (where earlier Jake soothed the group with vivid tales of the torture and slaughter at the boy’s reform school up ‘round the bend) and decides he will drink the entire brew of shroom tea that the group was going to share the next day. Jocks are always so selfish. Soon he is running around the woods talking to a cow and getting anonymous blow jobs from “doggers” from inside their cars. Well the movie went from sort of absurd to simply bad when Bluto gets castrated in the woods. Castration is not scary or even disturbing. It is disturbing in that it occurs so often in horror films anymore I guess but not in any moral since that it is totally wrong to rip some jock's balls off. Nothing really wrong with that I guess. It is simply a lame gimmick that may appeal to a few psychotic females and not to too many others. Genitalia mutilation belongs to the low end Last House on the Left exploitation type films. After this scene I decided the film was a loser but finished it anyway. I had to do the review after all.

While the direction by Paddy Breathnach is okay he is not given much in the way of a script to work with. The hallucination scenes are well done as is most of the photography. At times it has that grainy, jerky heavy metal effect that works well for a few minutes but not for an hour and a half, but he has some talent behind the camera. The problem for me is that all the murders really happen off camera. There is simply no real violence or gore. We see people covered in blood but never see the blood being drawn from them by an ax, knife or blunt instrument. We are treated to an over load at times of visual and audio effects and this can be explained as part of the trip they are all on. I have seen horror films where this visual/audio explosion goes on and on and there seems no logical explanation for it. At least here we can write it off as the hallucinations of the freaked out kids. They are all wind up disoriented in the primeval woods running from the drooling Irish rednecks as well as from black robed monk apparitions. They need a plan. Leave that to leader-guru Jake. Best thing to do is have the surviving members all meet at the proverbial dark house of blood and murder and formulate a plan there while still tripping on mushrooms. Not a good idea Jake. Really.

In the final scene, that some people actually praised as a “great twist”, we find Tara being driven away in an ambulance as the attendant starts telling her about his family and how they all want to find a place in the country to live. Okay, in any film when some guys starts showing pictures of his wife or girlfriend and talking about plans for the future what do we know is going to happen next? Right. It winds up that sweet little Tara took one single Death's Head mushroom and it drove her into such a state that she killed all her friends one by one and now kills the sentimental ambulance attendant. Happens everyday as we know, One shroom. One kill.

I could have accepted some of this lame excuse for a horror film had there been more violent deaths and a little more skin or underwear. Okay Bluto did wander around in his boxers but not what I mean. What in the hell did I begin this new blog for? Is this what new horror is about? And I now refer back to the quote from Connor K. that opens my review. I am sorry, but 99% of the movie watching world want a film that appeals to someone with a little more cerebral capability than a stoned fourteen year old. Should fourteen year olds even be getting stoned? But sadly I have to agree with Connor K. here. That is about the scope of the market niche for this one. Stoned adolescents. I mercifully give it two skulls because of Paddy Breathnach’s noble attempts to do something with this mess of a script but that still did not help much.

23 January 2009


Once in a while when you do a site like this you run across (or step into) a mess of as film that is so rancid there is so need to do any research on the cast and crew really, no need to search for production trivia, no need to do original vidcaps or make an original clip and upload it to Youtube or Metacafe. There is a need however to warn your fellow man to stir clear of the waste matter lest they too spend a week watching the film in snippets just trying to end the torture. Is Spiker (aka Blood Rails) the worst horror film I have ever seen? Not by a long shot but it is one of the worst I actually finished for no other reason than to pan it here and give it my first ever 1/2 skull rating. Normally I eject a total stinker within the first 15 minutes and may give it one more shot later. American Zombie is an example of this. I tried twice and it was popped out. I maye try it again to review it here. Spiker was an exercise in endurance and I made it!

The story line is one we have seen before and will see again so long as there is a horror genre. High school kids. Old house in the woods. Serial killer or some malevolent entity. Drinking. Drugs. Sex. Death. Goofy ending. A lot of fairly entertaining films have been made using that tried and tested formula. And a lot of crap has been produced using that formula as well. The last film reviewed here, Dead Mary, is as good as any to make a general comparison with I guess. I gave Dead Mary an average score of 2 1/2 skulls, which is what most films will get here. That’s means it is not a great film, in my opinion anyway, but also I can marginally recommend it to genre fans for one reason or another. Mary “could have been” a good film with some adjustments to the story line. Less psychobabble between the spoiled twenty something brats and more spirit possessed zombies and gore and a better ending would have made it an above average film. But it missed the mark.

Spiker never even took aim. The film, directed by and starring as Spiker himself Frank Zagarino, is poorly written, poorly acted, horribly shot and is nothing but one genre cliché after another with no wit, parody or homage giving in any of them. I will just cite at least one scene to base the reason for my disdain on. The title character, Spiker is a local serial killer to some hick town I could care less about. He killed 27 or more people 20 years ago when his bride married another man. She is a ghost now in a totally unnecessaary supernatual sub-plot. Bodies are still popping up here and there. The instrument of killing he chose was railroad spikes. I forget why. Who cares.

In an unbelievable stretch of credulity a judge has decided he can be rehabilitated and he needs to be transported to a hospital to begin the process of becomng a member of society again. Of course this is nothing but a set up for his escape on the river ferry. He pulls this off with too much ease since the cops are all idiots. He jumps into the river with cops ready for him to bob up his head so they can blast him. He never surfaces. Well, of course he does later. He walks out of the water into a work area where some guy is banging railroad spikes into something. Yes, railroad spikes. Spiker grabs a spike, kills the guy then walks over and grabs a coat that just happens to be one of those long duster type coats you see in cowboy movies, and loads up the pockets with plenty of railroad spikes. Right here in this one scene the absurdity of the entire film can be witnessed. The guy must be able to breathe under water to make it from the ferry all the way to the shore without coming up once for air. When he does surface he is just walking out of the river to make the scene look freakier. He is not gasping or tired. And of all the spots on the river to reemerge from where does he come out at? A spot where some guy is repairing something with railroad spikes, lots of them. The very same instrument he prefers to murder people with. And the guy even has a big long duster jacket available so Spiker can look scarier. Don't movies like require suspension of disbelief to enjoy them? Absolutley. But I am not a friggin' mongoloid either.

I was going to rip apart some other scenes but that’s it. I am not going to waste anymore time on this one. Bad acting all the way through. Corny scenes and illogic abound. I replayed one scene where a girl finds her uncle all spikes over his carcass because I had seldom seen such lousy acting. Sometimes I can recommend a bad movie just for the cheesy fun of it. There is some of that here but it was more imbecilic than campy. You see this one at your own risk brethren. You have been warned.

19 January 2009


This film is really slammed on the net but I did not think it was a total waste of time. Mrs. Uranium Willy and I had a fairly good time with it. There are some issues and I will deal with those but this production from a Canadian film crew lead by director Robert Wilson is in no way poorly put together. The photography and score are above average for a low budget horror genre film and the acting, led by “Lolita” Dominique Swain, is pretty decent. What might be the problem is the characters that the actors have to bring to life. There is really not one likable person amongst the lot. There are some major let downs to this film and in particular the cop out ending. However it is not a total mess and I can recommend it.

A group of old high school buddies all gather for a weekend at a cabin near the lake. We all know what happens then in one form or another right? Be it psycho-slasher, evil spirits, rabid big foot or malevolent invaders from outer space they are all going start dying off no later than 45 minutes into the film. That is to be expected and that is why I bought the DVD (and by the way, there are no original vidcaps here as my PC would not read the disk. The images are what I was able to find online, sorry). The big question here is why in the hell did this gang decide to reunite for the weekend in the first place? There is not one joyous moment spent between them. The tension and distrust is palpable and after a while the soap opera atmosphere gets too thick and I was ready for anybody or anything to start killing off this group of stoned whiners. The main conflicts revolve around with who is sleeping with who and who has slept with who in the past and it seems like everyone has slept with everyone except the new girl who is an outsider to the gang anyway. Lucky her.

The leads are Kim (Swain) and Matt (Jefferson Brown) who are breaking up none too pleasantly. They are both asinine and spoiled and can’t stand each other. Next is the married couple Amber and Dash (Reagan Pasternak and Michael Majeski). Amber is the proverbial door mat and Dash will bait his hook with anything that gives him the time of day. This is common knowledge among the gang but Dash is a new man now. He said so while puffing on a hooter so we know he can be trusted. But little miss goody two shoes Amber has dallied with Baker (Steve McCarthy), who now is the cradle robber of the old gang and is banging the pretty hot and individualistic Lilly (Maggie Castle). And left alone is Eve (Marie-Josée Colburn) who might be waiting for her boyfriend Ted who never shows up. Eve we find out later has been sleeping with Matt.

After an afternoon of bitching and moaning the group settle down to an evening of bitching and moaning and after a joint or two or two and a bottle or two of hard liquor they decide to play Dead Mary, the more serious version of the Bloody Mary urban legend. Actually Dead Mary was chosen because using Bloody Mary would have created copyright and distribution issues for the film company and the film was originally going to be called Bloody Mary. Well a few fairly buzzed, over sexed bitter post teenagers who still act like they’re sixteen hobble into the bathroom and look in the mirror and chant dead Mary three times. Not a good thing to do in an isolated cabin in the woods.

Now we are never really sure what happens next since Dead Mary is never shown in the film, though she is shown on the DVD cover glaring back out of the mirror in a pissed off mood. Did Dead Mary come back and curse the group? Maybe, since the three who went into the bathroom were the ones who become possessed later on as well as one who is bitten. Or is the woods itself cursed and possessed as in Sam Rami’s Evil Dead? The film certainly feels like Evil Dead and in some ways like John Carpenter’s The Thing. No one is certain who is possessed or not and while someone can claim they are not how can they prove it as they did in The Thing with the blood test scene? The first to go is poor Matt. When his mangled body is found later, with Lily claiming Eve did it, he comes back to life and starts spouting off about who is screwing who and ex-Kim shuts his big mouth up with a shovel. Later the gang douses him with gas and burns him to ashes.

Eve is the next to show the symptoms and attacks Dash who either becomes possessed or already was and is left tied up in the tool shed. Also tied up in the closet is new girl Lily who everyone suspects of killing Matt. Before getting tied up Dash whoops Bakers ass for having sex with his wife, even though his track record of fidelity is less than perfect. The mood is pretty tense and later Baker is bitten in the rainy woods by Eve while some of the group seeks help. Amber does the right thing and burns Dash to death with BBQ fluid. She does the stupid thing and stays in the tool shed and burns herself up as well. The pacing and action moves along well enough but in the end we are left with a totally disappointing ending. In fact I had over looked the problems with the film until the totally lame ending, where the last “witty” line of the film emphasizes the frictions in the group over infidelities. There is no fight to the death between the still normal Kim and Lily and the possessed Eve and Baker. It all ends with a can of gasoline and a flare gun and a submissive evil spirit who does not try to run away or avoid its own destruction. What?

The title character who never appears in the film.
Only on the DVD cover. Sweet dead Mary herself.

I think the film could have been fifteen minutes longer or had the arguing and “character development” trimmed form the first part of the film. But even with those issues I do not think the film is a total waste of time. I think along with the let down ending the fact we never see Dead Mary is troublesome. We also have to wonder what ever happened to Ted? who never shows up but is discussed throughout the film. Nor do we know how widespread the situation is as the group notices how quiet the lake is for a weekend. I will give it 2 1/2 skulls but it could have gotten 3 at least if the ending had been tighter.

12 January 2009


This 2008 remake of a Thai film with the same English title was directed by Masayuki Ochiai and stars Joshua Jackson, Rachel Taylor and Megumi Okina. It has that feel of the Grudge 2 which was also a Japanese, American collaboration. That feel, to be more precise, means that there Americans working in Japan and that the Japanese themselves all supply secondary acting roles except for the evil spirit of course. To be honest for all the Japanese actors we see this could have taken place in the States in any city with a large Asian population. The movie has a few problems but I would recommend it as a boyfriend/girlfriend type movie. I certainly have never been a devotee of ghost films but I know, from living in China, the ghost theme is really a creepy issue with people here and sometimes movies like this can really freak out an Asian audience. I was sort of left wanting more from this PG-13 bloodless, sexless thriller. But my dear Chinese wife Ivy was certainly scared more than a few times and this helped me enjoy the film a little more than if I had watched it alone. One thing is that I am so bored with is the Japanese ghost girl, a yūrei, with pale skin, long black hair and dark circled eyes who basically just sits and stares at you. However that effect sends teenage girls here in China, and I will assume Japan (the last time I was in Japan I was four years old) into a near crying fit. So while it may not effect me it certainly does others.

The story is similar to the Ring series. In that movie the intentions of the malevolent spirit are conveyed through a telephone while in Shutter they are revealed through cameras and photographs, called spirit photography. Benjamin and Jane Shaw (Jackson and Taylor) travel to Tokyo after their wedding so that Benjamin, a professional photographer, can do a high paying assignment there. He has worked in Japan before and has connections and a history there that Jane knows little to nothing about. While traveling down a dark country road one night Jane hits a woman in a thin white dress who appears in the middle of the road causing an accident. Later there is no body or blood on the road and Jane remains shaken up.

Soon blurred white streaks begin to appear on the photographs she and Benjamin take. This is interpreted as spirit photography by Benjamin’s sexy and flirty Japanese assistant Seiko, who it so happens, has an ex-boyfriend who runs a magazine that focuses only on spirit photography. How lucky can you get? While many of the photographs are Photoshopped the ex, Ritsuo, shows Jane his private collection of Polaroids and explains that these cannot be faked. He suggests she see a medium and when she and Benjamin do later the situation does not go well and we get the sense that Bejamin is holding something back as he refuses to translate what the irritated medium has to say.

Jane begins to have vivid dreams and visions and senses an evil force is stalking her and Benjamin, and while Benjamin too is having similar visions he does not talk about it to Jane. Jane is able to deduce the whereabouts of the spirit from studying some of the photographs. She is actually able to determine the building and exact floor number. There she encounters the yūrei and even learns its identity. She really missed out on a career with the FBI here. Turns out the ghost is the spirit of a translator Benjamin had worked with before in Japan named Megumi. He and Megumi had an affair where she became obsessive and dependent on him after her father’s death. This is a small dilemma for Benjamin and he does what most foreign men working in Asia do when confronted with a neurotic and despondent girlfriend: he gets his two friends to help dope her up and gang bang her and take compromising pictures which he can use to blackmail her with later if she does not chill out. Of course I am jumping the gun a bit here as this is not revealed until the end of the movie but it really doesn’t matter. You can see it coming with its headlights on bright.

Later his friends get what is coming to them by sexy, brooding ghost girl Megumi. Adam (John Hensley) gets his eyeball gouged out through his camera while shooting a cowgirl in her underwear and Bruno (David Denmen) comes running out of bedroom in his underwear and jumps off the balcony. Benjamin reveals the affair part of his history but leaves off the date rape drug gang bang blackmail session. Maybe if he had just been honest with Jane form the start? After they go to Megumi’s apartment and find her in a mummified state following her suicide by poisoning they figure the matter is settled and her spirit is at rest. Of course this is not the case and just like The Grudge 2 the spirit follows them back to the sates for a final confrontation. As it turns out the spirit all along has been trying to help Jane, to warn her (which is why the ghost jumped out in front her speeding car and caused it to veer into a tree the movie’s start we realize now). Jane becomes aware of the truth and leaves Benjamin whining and begging for a second chance. He is left alone with the spirit which he tries to burn off his back, where she has been all along, causing him back and neck trouble, with some photography lights. He winds up in an institution with Megumi’s ghost slouched over his back.

I did not hate this movie at all but there is nothing original here in my book. The acting and direction is good. The story is weak in the sense is the same old Asian ghost plot we have seen a million times before and will continue to see again and again. And giving the fact this low budget film ($8 million) pulled in almost $44 million in the three months following its release I would expect a sequel if not a franchise soon. I doubt I will check out the Thai since I basically hate any Asian cinema outside Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. I may give it a try if I see the DVD but will not seek it out. It gets an average 2 1/2 skulls. More gore and more naked Japanese girls would have certainly helped this one.

10 January 2009


Cabin Fever was Eli Roth’s first film and it was released by Lion’s Gate in 1993 on a super low budget of $1.5 million. Initially the film was passed over repeatedly for several reasons, the chief one being that horror movies at the time were seen as sink holes for the studios. After the success of Scream horror was back in but Roth still had a hard time as his homage to 70’s horror was not enough like Scream to attract attention. Roth also insisted on not trimming back on his violence and sex scenes and there is a scene where the “N” word is used, though it winds up being a setup for a closing gag that I felt was pretty clever, mocking the uptight sensibilities of the most likely predominantly white audiences. Lion’s Gate took a chance and it wound up being their biggest money maker for 1993 making almost $34 million.

There is really a lot of hype, good and bad, about this film. It is highly praised by one of my favorite sites Bloody Disgusting (which is where I “borrowed” the skull image I use for my rating system) and I tend to trust them. It has been praised by Tarantino and Peter Jackson and to get to the point it is a fairly good horror film and a return to doing the old tried but true “teenagers on a camping trip dies off one by one” theme done up in a more serious fashion. It is old and tired formula and there is so much “teenager vs. slasher/monster” crap out there being done in hands of inept film makers and some of the worst movies ever have been created using this simple, but effective, theme. Wait until my review of the horrible Spiker appears shortly. After I am able to go back and finish it. However the teenager/slasher theme is malleable and functional and, in the right hands, it can be used effectively. Roth does just that in this well directed, scored, shot and acted horror-comedy film.

We have all the standard teenage characters here: the party hard frat boy, the too handsome lover boy, the nice guy who never gets laid, the good girl and the slut. They are celebrating the end of finals week and head off to an isolated cabin in the woods to drink beer and have sex. Early on we are introduced to some of the locals who all seem to be a cross between the hicks in Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance. Frat boy Bert (James DeBello) has no girlfriend so he opts to walk around with a rifle and shoot squirrels. While recklessly firing his rifle he slightly wounds a hermit who is sick and feverish. Bert freaks out and leaves him in the woods. Later the gang is drinking around the campfire and being told of the story of the bowling alley massacre by good guy Paul (Rider Strong). The group is startled by the appearance of stoner “Grim” (Eli Roth) and his angry dog Mambo. Later while in the cabin waiting for Grim to return with some weed the wounded hermit appears. He is obviously sick with something and when he recognizes Bert a conflict develops that eventually results in the hermit being accidentally set on fire. The group of college partiers is distraught now and has to decide what to do. They are concerned as well with catching the bloody contagion that the hermit spat up all over their truck.

It is revealed that the water supply is contaminated and the virus is spread by drinking the tap water from the reservoir. They are visited by a strange local Deputy Winston (Giuseppe Andrews) who is more concerned with partying than information on the dead hermit or the blood covered truck. Good girl (read sexy, hot tease) Karen (Jordon Ladd) is the first to show signs of infection after frustrated Paul gropes between her legs while she is passed out. He pulls his fingers out to find them covered with more than just love juice. Panic sets in and Karen is quarantined in a shed where she deteriorates rapidly. The gang becomes paranoid and later a panicky Bert returns to the grocery store to seek help from the hillbillies there. Instead he incites the wrath of the locals when the storekeeper’s autistic son with the weirdest hair in the world the screams “pancakes” and does some ninja flips then bites his hand. The locals seem aware of the virus and feel the outsiders have now infected one of their own and decide to go to the cabin to take care of the infected city kids.

During that time pretty boy Jeff (Joey Kern) has high tailed it off on his own, taking all the beer which is all he has been drinking ergo he is contagion free. In his absence the always horny Marcy (Cerina Vincent) has tension relieving sex with Paul, after which he washes off his seldom used manhood with Listerine. She is infected by now and for some reason logical only in horror flicks decides to keep shaving her leg long after gobs of flesh have begun to peel of. Flesh eating viruses and razors obviously make a bad combination. Paul discovers the source f the infection when he later finds the hermit in the reservoir in a state of rancid decomposition. His luck turns really bad when he falls into the slimy water and lands right on top of the rotted hermit. The pace picks up and Marcy is eaten by the savage Mambo (played by a police dog who was so hard to manage none of the actors would work next to it) who is killed by Paul using the rifle. But he earlier caught Mambo munching on Karen, who is now all rotted but still alive. Paul decides that’s what shovels are made for and beats her over her head about ten times. I counted.

The hillbillies return and kill off Bert but are killed off in turn by Paul who has gone completely over the edge by now. He later crashes a party with Deputy Winston and his friends and pisses off the deputy for ruining their good time. this deputy loves a good party I gather. After Paul winds up in the local hospital where the doctor on duty decides he is terminal and contagious Deputy Winston maybe shoots him first (I am not sure) then dumps his body into the local river, where happy looking kids are filling up their water cooler. Jeff returns to the cabin and is horrified by what he sees there, but shock turns to joy when he relieves he has made it. While shouting out in exuberance he is shot to pieces by the local fuzz and thrown on a heap of bodies and burned. The film ends with a truck driving away to deliver bottles of the local natural spring water to stores and markets and the resolution t the "N" word gag that I guarantee will make you laugh. And how often can guilt ridden white folk laugh at the word nigger anymore?

The violence and sex scenes in the film are not all they are hyped up to be. Certainly tamer than Roth’s Hostel films that were to follow. But the movie is still very watchable and is creepy and tense at times while adding some doses of comedy here and there as well. I would not have minded more extreme violence and more sex, but it is certainly a notch above the wave of PG-13 horror films that have swamped movie houses and direct to DVD releases since Scream. I can easily give it 3 1/2 skulls and had it been put together just a little better it would have gotten 4 skulls. But for a movie made on a mere $1.5 million it delivers the virus infected goods.