Franchise Weekend – The Devil’s Rejects (2005) Movie Review

Director: Rob Zombie

Writer: Rob Zombie (Screenplay)

Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook

Plot: The murderous, backwoods Firefly family take to the road to escape a vengeful police force which is not afraid of being as ruthless as their target.

Tagline – Hell doesn’t want them. Hell doesn’t need them. Hell doesn’t love them. This world rejects them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Big Improvement

Story: The Devil’s Rejects starts as the Firefly family have been dubbed ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ by the media see their house surrounded by a vengeful police force led by Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe), with a massive shootout on the ranch. Mother Firely (Easterbrook) is captured, while Otis (Moseley) and Baby (Zombie) escape turning to Captain Spaulding (Haig) for shelter.

Otis and Baby find shelter in a motel, taking a family hostage, while they wait for the showdown with the Sheriff, giving them a chance to continue their murderous way.

Thoughts on The Devil’s Rejects

Characters – Captain Spaulding still runs his house of horrors away from the house, despite being part of the house, he must go on the run to meet the other members of the Fireflies, which sees him showing a much nastier side than we have seen before. Otis is the most twisted member of the family, he will punish anybody, he doesn’t care about anybody and will show his sadistic side too often. Baby is the youngest member of the family, she has grown up in this environment, acting like it is just second nature to her, she enjoys the punishment even turning it into a game at times. Sheriff Wydell is determined to capture and kill the whole Firefly family after they killed his brother, he will break a few rules along the way to make sure it gets done.

PerformancesSid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie have helped develop their characters to have a much darker side to them, which shows us more about how sadistic they are meant to be through the film. William Forsythe brings us a strong police figure that clearly shows the vengeful side he is going through in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the events of the first film, the Firefly family have been discovered and are now on the run from a vengeful sheriff that wants the whole family dead for what they did to his family member. Where this story improves on the original comes from seeing just how the fireflies are able to react to a threat, we get a glimpse of their sadistic side, but instead of it just them being twisted, we get to see them dealing with a relentless cop that isn’t going to let them get away with their crimes. The story is constructed better too because we don’t just have random clips like we had in the first film, which shows how the film can be put together to give us a better story.

Action/HorrorThis is much more action back with shoot outs going on between the two sides, while the horror is still there when the fireflies get to step into their sadistic ways.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show how the Fireflies can go on the run from the law, we see the back country motels which they would hide out in and the connections of other shady business they would know.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show the gore being done by the family, it shows the wounds looking brutal and real through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It still doesn’t give us any likeable figures in the fight.

Final Thoughts This is an improvement on the first film, it does give us a more rounded figures in the Firefly family and shows us just how capable they are when pushed against the wall.

Overall: Sick Improvement.

The Devil All the Time (2020) Netflix Movie Review

Director: Antonio Campos

Writer: Antonio Campos, Paulo Campos (Screenplay) Donald Ray Pollock (Novel)

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Haley Bennett, Riley Keough, Harry Melling, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska

Plot: Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality.

Tagline – Some people are just born to be buried.

Runtime: 2 Hour 18 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Devil All the Time starts as Willard Russell (Skarsgard) returns from war, in a place where he had to commit an action he will never tell anyone, losing his faith in God, the one thing that had driven him for years, until he returns home marries Charlotte (Bennett) and have their first child Arvin, even though his mother prayed to keep him safe to marry Helen (Wasikowska).

When Arvin (Holland) grows up, he decides he wants to protected his loved ones, including Lenora (Scanlen) his step-sister and when a new preacher, Preston Teagardin (Pattinson) arrives in the town, something doesn’t connect with the way he handles his community.

Thoughts on The Devil All the Time

Characters – Arvin is the son of a war veteran, he has been incredible pain through his childhood, this gave him the mentality to protect the people he loves, one that will see him commit violence towards the people who go against them. Preston Teagardin is the latest preacher to the area, he tries to make everyone feel welcomed to the town, even if he has a way about him, which is one that will cross the lines. Carl and Sandy spend years luring men into their own sadistic pleasure, while the film does have many more characters we meet who find themselves getting involved in something they shouldn’t.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are strong, with Tom Holland being the standout of the whole cast, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough work well together too and Robert Pattinson, keeps up his trend of giving us the unusual roles.

StoryThe story here follows a group of different people who are connected in a rural southern area, going through a different set of events, which will usually see them get involved in violence, while balancing the idea of God being involved in life. The story here is messy for the most part, we jump all over the place, we meet characters that don’t seem to have much point behind us needing to meet them and by the end of the film you will be left wondering what just happened. When we look into the messages in the film, it seems like we are meant to believe that things will catch up with you, if you are going against God’s will, which seems like it is trying to hard to just bump it on the nose for you.

CrimeThe film takes us into the crime world of seeing how different people will deal with problems or fantasies in their lives.

SettingsThe film is set in the Southern Rural area, which will show how people can get away with things, how people use the area to their advantage.

Scene of the Movie – Arvin meets Sandy and Carl.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters not doing much.

Final Thoughts This is a crime thriller that deals us with too many characters that don’t seem to have much to do, while trying to connect the bigger picture for the most part, saved only by the performances being delivered.

ABC Film Challenge – 80s – D – DeepStar Six (1989)

Director: Sean S Cunningham

Writer: Lewis Abernathy, Geof Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Taurean Blacque, Nancy Everhard, Greg Evigan, Miguel Ferrer, Nia Peeples, Matt McCoy, Cindy Pickett

Plot: At the bottom of the ocean, the DeepStar Six has just discovered a new and deadly alien menace.

Tagline – Six miles below the surface of the ocean, something beyond your imagination will scare the hell out of you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Standard TV Level Sci-Fi

Story: DeepStar Six starts as an underwater contracting team in the ship with the title in its name are digging for missile silos, with the contract running out, they are being forced into blowing a hole in unstable surface at the bottom of the ocean, Captain Laidlaw (Blacque) agrees to the job, with Joyce Collins (Everhard) running the operation.

When the explosion seems to release something unknown, one of the subs goes missing, while another one comes under attack, it turns into a rescue mission for the crew as they need to survive an attack from a deadly enemy from the deep.

Thoughts on DeepStar Six

Characters – Laidlaw is the captain of the crew, he keeps the deadlines running, while wanting to put his team first, he will lead the investigation into what is happening and isn’t going to let them get injured for their actions. Joyce Collins leads the scientific side of the job, she is here to question decisions for safety, even if she doesn’t always getting given the same respect back from the rest of the crew. McBride is the confident member of the team, he believes he can have any woman too which shows him needing to make the difficult life decision during the rescue mission. Snyder is the member of the team that doesn’t want to still be on the team, he believes he has done his time and when things start going wrong he hits the panic button.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are basic at best, each actor does see them get their moment to shine with most of them usually performing before their big death scene, Miguel Ferrer is the exception to this rule, with his performance that is the highlight of the acting.

StoryThe story here follows a group of underwater engineers building missile silos for the military that accidently release an unknown life form that isn’t happy about being disturbed and wants to kill them, which sees them racing to find a way to the surface without injuring themselves through decompression. This story does feel like a low budget version of ‘The Abyss’ which is easy to see with just how the everything unfolds, the characters having the same kind of arc, with this having a horror side, rather than a mystery side with the unknown lifeform. This does fit into the 80s styles of story telling and production which is all simple and enjoyable to watch.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is mostly the group screaming when they get attacked by the creature, it isn’t very intense which does disappoint for the most part, this goes for the horror too, which just never gets past the weak creature style, even if the sci-fi side of the film does want to become much more of a central point of the film.

SettingsWith most of this film being set underwater, it does give the film a contained environment for the film when it comes to the race to survive.

Special EffectsWe do go into practical effects here which should be praised, even if it is mainly just a creature wobbling around all over the screen.

Scene of the Movie – Decompression mistake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The characters aren’t very interesting.

Final Thoughts This is one of the attempts to copy a much more popular film, by putting characters in the similar environment only with a horror twist to everything.

Overall: Simple Sci-Fi


Death on the Nile (1978) Movie Review

Director: John Guillermin

Writer: Anthony Schaffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith

Plot: As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board. Can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey?

Tagline – The only thing that could follow “Murder” is “Death”

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Murder Mystery 101

Story: Death on the Nile starts when heiress Linnet Ridgeway Doyle (Chiles) marries Simon Doyle (MacCorkindale) and go on their honeymoon in Egypt, where many of the important people in her life are, with Jackie (Farrow) the ex-fiancée of Simon’s, famous author Salome Otterbourne (Lansbury) and her daughter Rosalie (Hussey), along with famous detective Hercule Poirot (Ustinov), Mrs Can Schuyler (Davis) and her carer Miss Bowers (Smith), Colonel Race (Niven), Mr Ferguson (Finch) and Andrew Pennington (Kennedy) complete the people in attendance.

As the guests head down the river for the cruise, they find themselves being the only people away from the main land, until Linnet is murdered, with Hercule needing to put the pieces together to solve the mystery of who was behind the murder.

Thoughts on Death on the Nile

Characters – Hercule Poirot is the world famous detective that just so happens to be the river cruise when a murder happens, he must work with the clues to try and solve the crime before everyone leaves the cruise ship. He does think outside the box when it comes to figuring out the suspects. Linnet is the heiress that has just got married after stealing her husband off one of her better friends, she is the one that gets murdered, with everyone on board having a reason for wanting her dead. Mrs Van Schuyler is always after extra money in her life, she has always eyed pearls anyone else owned. Jackie the jilted ex, that is still unhappy with the fact that Linnet stole her fiancée, bringing the gun on board in the first place. Salome Otterbourne is a famous author that is always looking down on people, she bosses her daughter around. We have more suspects, each one could have motivation for killing Linnet, each has their own story for being on the cruise.

PerformancesWe have an amazing cast here, each one shines through the film, with Peter Ustinov bringing the detective to life, while each person brings their society figure to life.

StoryThe story here follows Hercule Poirot as he looks to solve a murder on a river cruise of an heiress, he has plenty of suspects to question, all with motivation for killing the victim. As in most Agatha Christie novels, we get Poirot needing to try and solve a crime with a long list of suspects, one that will keep you guessing along the way. We do have to deal with plenty of rich society people here which are all very self-centred along the way, which will make us believe the people could well have been involved with what happened. It is a little bit long though, as it takes nearly an hour before the murder takes place.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is a murder that happens, with plenty of mystery about who was behind it, one that does keep us guessing.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film on the river cruise, it shows that the suspects could only be the people on the cruise, much like Murder on the Orient Express.

Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too long.

Final Thoughts This is a nice entertaining murder mystery that will keep us guessing along the way, with an excellent cast involved.

Overall: Entertaining Murder Mystery.

The Dark End of the Street (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kevin Tran

Writer: Kevin Tran (Screenplay)

Starring: Scott Friend, Brooke Bloom, Lindsay Burdge, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jennifer Kim, Daniel K Isaac

Plot: Residents of a suburban community enjoy a night at home with their friends and family, while an ominous threat looms just outside their doors.

Runtime: 1 Hour 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Burn

Story: The Dark End of the Street starts as we meet a host of residents in a suburban community expecting parents Jim (Friend) and Patty (Burdge), Korean family, Sue (Kim), Keith (Isaac) and daughter Natalie, Cat lady Marney (Bloom) whose beloved cat Bruce is the latest victim of a string a pet murders in the community. We have other locals Isaac (Creighton), Richard (Parrack) along with teenage band members.

As night arrives strange connections are made between the residents, as the pet killer looks to strike again.

Thoughts on The Dark End of the Street

Final Thoughts The Dark End of the Street brings us an everyday incident filled time in one street, we get to see how everyone is going about there own day, there own reaction to the pet killer around, find security in a neighbour, alcohol, or just friends. Everything does seem very grounded, with nobody looking to solve the problem, only them looking to prepare themselves from the potential problem. This does make everything feel slower, because this is more about the human nature, rather than any sort of thriller on tracking somebody down, or even investigating what happened. The best way to describe this one, is to make sure you are prepared for a film about human nature, rather than wanting to see an intense story unfold. We do get to see how you will never know what people are going through behind their own doors.

Overall: Very Slow Burner.