Horror Express (1972)

Director: Eugenio Martin

Writer: Arnaud d’Usseau, Julian Zimet (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto De Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Pena, Angel del Pozo

 

Plot: In 1906, in China, a British anthropologist discovers a frozen prehistoric creature and must transport it to Europe by train.


Tagline – A nightmare of terror travelling aboard the Horror Express!

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Lovers Horror

 

Story: Horror Express starts as anthropologist Professor Sir Alexander Saxton (Lee) has made a prehistoric discovery in China and must now transfer it back to Europe for further studies. He discovery is secret and Dr Wells (Cushing) is curious about what is in the box and after people start disappearing and dying, Saxton is forced to open the box.

When the creature gets loose on the train, the bodies start piling up and the decision on whether to follow science or just survive get bought up.

 

Thoughts on Horror Express

 

Characters – Professor Sir Alexander Saxton has travelled the world for his anthropology missions and his latest find could well be his biggest find of his career, now he must fight to keep it from being killed as it hunts for prey. Dr Wells wants to conduct his own investigation into the creature which soon leads him to let the monster out the box. The characters on the train each face their own problems on how to tackle the creature roaming the halls.

PerformancesChristopher Lee and Peter Cushing are two of the biggest icons of horror films, they both shine with their characters which they bring to life. The supporting cast are good without being overly stand out.

StoryThe story follows the transportation of an unknown prehistoric creature from China to Europe when things start to go wrong and the question of science and faith come into question. The story here gains from being on the train meaning our characters must com together for the solution to the problem instead of running and hiding. This is good for a story, but sadly it doesn’t end up being as engrossing as it should be.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in the film comes from the idea of a creature loose on the train that is taking victims, with the sci-fi side looking at the history of life’s unknown moments before history was recorded.

SettingsThe film takes place on the train, we don’t leave the train which leaves out characters trapped at the mercy of the evil hunting them down.

Special EffectsThe effects for the movie are good for the time, the change in the characters after the creature attacks do work well.


Scene of the Movie –
The change in eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to believe in the supporting cast for the most part.

Final ThoughtsFor a cult movie this is a good movie, this does the basics for a horror to make us entertained throughout.

 

Overall: Good cult horror film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – Hazard Jack (2014)

Director: David Worth

Writer: David Worth, Doug Vandegrift (Screenplay)

Starring: Amanda Maddox, Kevin James Sporman, Alison Lani, Macauley Gray, Jason O’Neil Hudson

 

Plot: A group of college kids get together for a weekend of booze and war games at an abandoned hospital. The hospital has become the haven for a PTSD stricken war vet coping and acting upon his delusions. Who will survive the game?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uninspiring Horror

 

Story: Hazard Jack starts as we follow a large group of college student who locate the abandoned hospital for a weekend booze, sex and wargames, our main characters would be the organiser Earl (Sporman), the new team member Stella (Lani) and the old couple Bridget (Maddox) and Dillon (Gray).

The problem the students will face is the war veteran living in this hospital who is struggling to deal with the consequences of war that he likes to kill anyone that enters into his home. Who will survive the wargames turned deadly.

 

Thoughts on Hazard Jack

 

Characters – Bridget is the one of the group who is least interested in going, she is have relationship troubles with her boyfriend and a easy final girl figure.  Earl is the smartest of the guys who has the location scouted for the best location for wargames. Stella is the newest member of the team which gives us a reason to be told all the characters name in an introduction style. We do have a lot of students I think there are actually 6 just to have sex whose names are forgotten quickly, we also have a gay couple who are painfully generic.

PerformancesIt would be fair to say none of the actors in this movie get enough time to perform anywhere near their best, we have a good selection of actors here just to get naked too.

StoryKids go to abandoned location for booze and sex weekend and end up being picked off by a crazed serial killer, been here seen this, it does work but we needed less characters to focus on so we could focus on so we can care about the ones who are still alive. This isn’t the strongest of the gorefest storylines.

HorrorThe horror is all blood and gore as we follow the villain butchering the students.

SettingsThe abandoned hospital does make for a good setting because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and can party as loud as they like.

Special EffectsThe effects are good blood filled effects but away from that nothing is overly impressive.


Scene of the Movie –
End credits were good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple blood splatter movie which spends too much time on boobs than kills.

 

Overall: Boring blood splatter fest.

Rating

 

 

 

 

Hollow Body (2018)

Director: Alex Keledjian

Writer: Alex Keledjian (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Luke Wilson, Allie Gonino, Ryan Donowho, Perrey Reeves

 

Plot: Hollow Body is a struggling rock band led by Jimmy (David Arquette) who makes a deal with Rick (Luke Wilson) a shady record executive. Unfortunately, the band’s shy lead singer Rachel (Allie Gonino) suffers from severe stage fright and cannot play in front of a live audience. The band breaks up and as Rachel’s controlling stage mother Barb (Perrey Reeves) drives her home, they are struck by lightning and killed. Rachel comes back to life, now able to give electrifying performances, but at a terrible cost. Jimmy and bandmate Scott (Ryan Donowho) must decide if they are willing to pay the ultimate price for success.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Music Horror

 

Story: Hollow Body starts on aging Rockstar’s Jimmy (Arqutte) birthday, looking back at his career until he meets new younger musicians at his party with vocalist Rachel (Gonino) and writer Scott (Donowho) seeing this as a chance to come back to the top of the industry.

When the band gets their first gig disaster strikes with Rachel suffering stage fright and on the way home she is struck by lightening and killed. She doesn’t stay dead though and comes back full of confidence and the bands success takes off, only Rachel isn’t the same person she was when they started the band.

 

Thoughts on Hollow Body

 

Characters – Jimmy is our narrator, the aging Rockstar who has one big hit that keeps his name relevant in the industry, spotting new talent he wants to do a comeback, he uses his connections to give them the start and knows how to get the most out of their talents. He will however always be looked at as the aging star that hadn’t succeeded. Rick is the record label manager that Jimmy turns to when he needs the record for his new band, he is hard of Jimmy who had mostly worked with his father. Rachel is the new lead singer in the band, the problem is that she has stage fright, until she dies and comes back as a new improved performer that lights up the stage with her performance only to take on a much darker side. Scott is the writer for the new band, he is married and has an attraction to Rachel which puts his marriage in danger and is easily the heart and soul of the band.

PerformancesDavid Arquette in the leading role is great to see, he always gives a performance that fits this character, slightly outside the normal and being the rock star lets him enjoy performing. Luke Wilson is the biggest disappointment, not that he isn’t good, its more we don’t get to see enough of his character in the film. Allie Gonino is the breakout star from this movie, handling two different personalities through the film, showing off the singing skills and become her character in each scene we see her in. Ryan Donowho brings us a grounded performance which is needed with the wilder characters in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the upstart band that faces difficulties that start with performances problems and soon turn supernatural after the lead singer comes back from the dead. Now while the story goes in a different backstory to what is going on, you can’t help but get the same vibes that ‘All Cheerleaders Must Die’ had with he seductive return from the dead. We get to see how cutthroat the music industry is, with the stage performance issues, the rise and the vices that come from being in the industry. This is a story that can be enjoyed if you like your rock music even if we don’t get too many songs and just fits in the horror world nicely.

HorrorThe horror comes from just what Rachel comes back as and what she does, this is known by the band only to make sure that the success goes on even with what is going on.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings around the rock industry, we have the aging stars house, the stages and the parties which makes the settings work for every single scene we are watching.

Special EffectsThe effects are what we want to see, they are consistent with everything each time we see the lightening style used.


Scene of the Movie –
The first reborn performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked more music.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror thriller that takes us into the rock music world that does show just how far people will do to be part of the industry however much evil is guiding you.

 

Overall: Horror music fans dream

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – H – How I Live Now (2013)

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Writer: Jeremy Brock, Penelope Skinner, Tony Grisoni (Screenplay) Meg Rosoff (Novel)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, George MacKay, Harley Bird, Danny McEvoy, Anna Chancellor

 

Plot: An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Surprisingly Good

 

Story: How I Live Now starts as American girl Elizabeth who wants to be known as Daisy (Ronan) heads to England for the summer with her cousins Isaac (Holland), Eddie (MacKay), Joe (McEvoy) and Piper (Bird) in their countryside home but busy Aunt Penn (Chancellor) who does have her hands tied with a potential new world war.

When the unthinkable happens and the war starts with a bombing in London the kids are left alone and Daisy must decide whether to take her ticket home or stay and look after her cousins with Eddie.

 

Thoughts on How I Live Now

 

Characters – Daisy starts off like your typical rebellious teenager from America, music loud, wanting to be alone, not wanting to have come to England or deal with younger cousins. When she learns to love the countryside, she finds herself needing to step up and look after the younger cousins when the war starts. Eddie is the next-door neighbour of the cousins that spends most of the time with the family, striking up a relationship with Daisy. He does look to take up the responsibilities once the war starts. Isaac is the eldest of the cousins living on the farm and is happy with the idea of living on the farm until the war comes to them where he gets taken with Eddie.

PerformanceSaoirse Ronan is great in the leading role, she looks distant from the family but by the end of the film we see how she wants to be part of it. George MacKay does a great job in the eldest of the kids role where he shows the care needed for the leading role while Tom Holland gives us a glimpse at the talent he was to give us in the years to come.

StoryThe story starts off in what you feel is going to be a generic girl goes to stay somewhere she doesn’t but soon becomes happy to stay there, this would be fine but the story stands out here because we then have the idea of war breaking out leave her to need to become the protector of the youngest cousin. This shows how the children, the innocent parts of war will face the hardest struggle to survive it.

Romance/ThrillerThe romance is teenage love, which is at times comes off rather annoying but for the sake of the story this is everything you expect it to be. The thrilling side of the story comes from not knowing what has gone on outside of the world we find Daisy in.

SettingsThe countryside is the setting for most of this film as we see the calm before the war, the chaos with the war and the peace away from the big cities that are fighting.

Scene of the Movie – The first bomb because it changes the tone of the whole movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I know the point is to not know, but it would be nice to have known who the enemy was.

Final ThoughtsThis was a film I didn’t expect too much of going in, but by the end of the film every ounce of my attention was drawn to finding out which ones of the kids will make it home, it what is a drawn out but impactful look at the consequences of war.

 

Overall: This is an impressively strong addition to the post-apocalyptic genre.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – H – Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012)

Director: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Aaron Helbing, Todd Helbing (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Green, Anna Popplewell, Enisha Brewster, Ayelet Zurer, Masam Holden, Mike Dopud

 

Plot: UNSC Cadet Thomas Lasky must conquer his inner fears and join forces with super-soldier John-117 to take down a massive faction of the Covenant.


Tagline – The story of Halo begins at dawn.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Bad

 

Story: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn starts with one of the UNSC cadets Thomas Lasky (Green) following in his brothers footsteps in training to become a Soldier in the war. He doesn’t follow the rules which has left him getting questioned by his team and captain April Orenski (Brewster).

Thomas must battle his own personal problems before being sent into the field because his tactical knowledge has shown his potential, but the war isn’t everything they thought it would be.

 

Thoughts on Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

 

Characters – Thomas Lasky has had added pressure put on him after his brother fought in the war. He is rebellious in his actions often lead his unit into trouble, but his skill is there for all to see. We do have other cadets who just blend into each other too easily.

PerformancesThe performances are not strong here, the actors feel like they are playing too young of characters which shows in their weaker performances. Most of the performances feel like they are starring in a school level production.

StoryI will start this by saying I do feel you will ned to have played the games to have any idea just what the hell is going on because this does feel like a basic training to go into war against enemies they are not prepared to do battle against. This takes so long to get going with the escape being the only redeemable part of the movie.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action does feel like a mostly parody of most that you have seen, the adventure isn’t the best either while the sci-fi side of film feels just like the beginning.

SettingsThe settings could be any training location, nothing about what we see makes us feel like we are on a different planet.

Special EffectsThe effects are not used very often and don’t seem to look very effective once we get into the bigger battle


Scene of the Movie –
The Master Chief looks cool.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing seems to happen.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the game you might get something out of this film, but if you haven’t you will just find yourself being bored.

 

Overall: Bland and boring.

Rating