Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Peelers (2016)

Director: Seve Schelenz

Writer: Lisa DeVita (Screenplay) Lisa DeVita, Seve Schelenz (Story)

Starring: Wren Walker, Caz Odin Darko, Madison J Loos, Cameron Dent, Al Dales, Momona Komagata, Kirsty Peters, Nikki Wallin

 

Plot: A small town strip club owner must defend her bar, her strippers and her life when violent infected patrons show up on the final closing night and all hell breaks loose.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: From Dusk Till Dawn With Infection

 

Story: Peelers starts as we meet the colourful characters in the strip club, owner Blue Jean (Walker), bouncer Remy (Darko), bartender Tony (Dent) and strippers Frankie (Komagata), Licorice (Peters), Baby (Wallin) and Tina (Gomez).

With this being the closing night the banter between the staff and customers is at a high with local miners attending for the very first time, but it isn’t long until the miners show the signs of their infection with violent consequences. Add in the bad boy son Logan (Loos) we watch as the group of survivors must face ravenous enemies they can’t explain just why they keep coming.

 

Thoughts on Peelers

 

Characters/PerformanceBlue Jean as the owner of the strip club works because she also has a past in sports with great respect from her staff, customers and even the law, all I could see was a female Sam Malone from Cheers. Remy is your typical bouncer who is clearly the biggest physical threat within the bar. Logan as the bad boy criminal son of Blue Jean is character that is the screw up but also the rebel without a cause. The strippers all make for a laugh through the film each making sure they are different from the other.

Performance wise I feel everyone is good, Wren Walker is the star of the show while everyone else does their job well enough to make their characters involved in the story.

StoryThe story is easy to follow, with it following the idea that the closing night of a strip club becomes a battle to survive against zombie like creatures. This does create a new origin behind the infection which does feel fresh but the core of this story is easy enough to understand without testing us with any twists or turns along the way.

HorrorWe have a nice check list here,
Gore
Blood
Over the top kills
Big Body Count
No One Being Safe
Infection causing Ravenous Side
this has plenty of material for all the gore horror fans out there to enjoy.

SettingsThe whole film is set within the strip club which helps us identify with all of the characters in the films and also explain why the characters would be out late at night in the club in the middle of nowhere.

Special EffectsHere is the potential weak point of the film where we get to see the certain moments of special effects looking very low budget.

Final ThoughtsSometimes you just want a film to be fun, this does that on all the levels you need it to be. We get laughs when needed without being a flat out comedy or gore fest.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy the blood bath.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake – Poseidon (2006)

poseideonDirector: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Mark Protosevich (Screenplay) Paul Gallico (Novel)

Starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Mia Maestro, Mike Vogel, Kevin Dillon, Freddy Rodriguez, Andre Braugher

 

Plot: On New Year’s Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glossy but Pointless Remake

 

Story: Poseidon starts on board the Luxury Ocean Liner Poseidon and we go through meeting al our characters Robert Ramsey (Russell) and his daughter Jennifer (Rossum) who is with her boyfriend Christian (Vogel), we also meet gambler Dylan Johns (Lucas), Elena (Maestro) who has snuck on board to be with her boyfriend Marco (Rodriguez) who works on the crew. Richard Nelson (Dreyfuss) is celebrating his trip away wanting a midnight call from his loved one even though he has had his heartbroken back home with Captain Bradford (Braugher) keeping everything calm. This character introduction feels very rushed and I am not sure if I want to cheer for any of these characters. Actually I want to see Richard’s story.

New Year’s Eve again and the celebrations start the new year before the disaster strikes as a rogue enormous wave strikes the ship rolling it upside down. As if all the characters we met are important they are the ones that survive and go out to search for a way out while the rest stay behind in safety so we have Robert, Jennifer, Dylan, Elena, Marco, Richard, Maggie (Barrett) and her son Conor (Bennett). It would be fair to say this is slightly too many characters to be dealing with so I guess we need to trim them down by having over the top deaths for the supporting ones, there we go it starts.

We are left to wonder which ones of the survivors will make it out alive even if we use the process of elimination we know which ones will make it to the end.

Poseidon is a remake of the classic disaster film and what this film does this time is go for the overkill on the characters that are not part of the main group, be it through the first wave, the survivors who didn’t want to go with the rest or just the less important characters have big, Hollywood style kills. The threat remains good because if your ship gets tipped upside down it is easy to create the peril needed for this film. It ends up being nothing but a Hollywood glorified over the top disaster film with under developed characters.

When it comes to the cast you see Josh Lucas get a leading role in an action film where due to poorly written character he is never good or bad with the way he behaves this can also be said about the Kurt Russell character with neither taking the roles filled by Hackman or Borgnine is the original. None of the other performance stand out with as I said before just being disposable characters throughout the film. This film almost feels like a pointless cash in remake for a film that never need to be remade as an action set piece rather than the quest to survive.

 

Overall: Easy to watch disaster film that lacks character development needed.

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Original v Remake – The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

poseidonDirector: Ronald Neame, Irwin Allen

Writer: Stirling Silliphant, Wendell Mayes (Screenplay) Paul Gallico (Novel)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson, Leslie Nielsen

 

Plot: A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One True Disaster Film Classic

 

Story: The Poseidon Adventure starts as we are on board the S.S. Poseidon on route to Athens from New York as they find themselves going through a storm. With the storm calm we get to meet our main characters a priest that has lost his faith Reverend Scott (Hackman) short tempered detective Mike Rogo (Borgnine), lonely man James Martin (Buttons), singer Nonnie Parry (Lynley) and the Captain (Nielsen) trying to keep the cruise ship on time against the representative forcing his hand.

The night is New Year’s Eve when a sub-surface earthquake hits sending a giant wave straight for the linear over turning the ship in the middle of the ocean. Reverend Scott leads a group of survivors through the ship from the dining hall to search for rescue before they find themselves going down with the ship.

The Poseidon Adventure was one of the most influential disaster based movies of all time. It took something that seems so safe cruising in the ocean when a freak weather condition strikes causing the ship to overturn. This works because now it has created a fear in something people can be doing when a disaster could strike, the ‘adventure’ through the overturned cruise ship it a race to survive with characters that we have all come to know from disasters films we know and love.

Hackman shows he is the biggest name in the movie with a brilliant leading man performance while Borgnine was also fantastic in what fast becomes the most important character to have in these styles of film the aggressive angry character against the hero. While Buttons, Winters and Albertson are all great in the supporting roles it is the overreactions caused by the rest of the surviving members that comes off as the weakest point in the movie. The special effects for the time are still standing the test of time to make this a staple of any disaster movie discussion.

 

Overall: Stands the test of time as one of the greatest disaster movies of all time.

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Patriots Day (2016)

patriotsDirector: Peter Berg

Writer: Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer (Screenplay) Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Kevin Bacon

 

Plot: An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intensely Thrilling

 

Story: Patriots Day starts as we meet Tommy Saunders (Wahlberg) a police officer dealing with consequences of his past which has seen him needing to walk the beat on the latest Boston Marathon to get himself out of the dog house with Commissioner Ed Davis (Goodman).

Patriots Day arrives as we see a host of people getting prepared for the marathon including Tommy, Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (Simmons) and the Tsarnaev brothers Dzhokhar (Wolff) and Tamerlan (Melikidze).

With the marathon, underway and the celebrations started the Tsarnaev brother arrive to turn this celebration into a tragedy that shocked the world by placing bombs on along the finishing straight. With the chaos of the scenes the police and rescue teams work to help as many people as possible before a nationwide manhunt searching for the brothers who the police are unaware of as they work with the FBI led by Special Agent Richard Deslauriers (Bacon).

 

Thoughts on Patriots Day

 

StoryThis is the story of the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings as we see how the police, FBI and city of Boston come together to search for the terrorists behind the crime. So the story is well known but the details behind everything is truly shot here to near perfection keeping you on edge from the opening sequence to the conclusion at this is over 2 hours long. The story telling process within this film is easily one of the most intense thrilling experiences you will have all year long.

Drama/History/ThrillerThis will always be known as one of the most successful capture of domestic terrorists within America even though we have the tragic loss of life. This is easily one of the most thrilling stories you will see this year because it literally just doesn’t stop.

Characters/PerformanceEach character is based on the real people involved the ones that were victims, the police officers hunting the suspects, the suspects themselves and even the political members involved trying to do the right legal side of the story, it would be unfair to question any of the characters within the film because they are real. The performances are all fantastic fulling portraying the people who were involved in the tragic event.

SettingsThe settings re-create the Boston streets for the events with each looking just like it was everyday scenes, we see the peace before the events and the aftermath of the attack.

Final ThoughtsThis is bar far one of the best thrillers we have had on the modern day true stories and true 2-hour edge of your seat thriller.

 

Overall: Brilliant thriller that just never lets you take a breath.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Pitchfork (2016)

pitchDirector: Glenn Douglas Packard

Writer: Glenn Douglas Packard, Darryl F Gariglio (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel Wilkinson, Brian Raetz, Lindsey Nicole, Ryan Moore, Celina Beach, Nicole Dambro, Keith Webb

 

Plot: A group of friends return home with a friend to help him share a secret only to learn that sometimes older secrets are even more deadly.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slasher Turns Torture Porn

 

Story: Pitchfork starts in true horror film style by giving us an early victim we know nothing about or will never learn enough about. Starting off with our main characters of Hunter (Raetz) who is returning to the country to reveal his secret with his friends in support Clare (Nicole), Matt (Moore), Lenox (Beach), Flo (Dambro), Rocky (Webb), Janelle (Leason) and Gordon (Raghave) *Hint we have a lot of victims to pick from here*.

With the friends, all at a barn dance with plenty of drinks and sex we get to see Pitchfork (Wilkinson) make his on screen debut with one hand being a pitchfork and after killing Hunter’s family the friends become his latest victims.

 

Thoughts on Pitchfork

 

StoryLet’s start this by making it clear I am a huge fan of the slasher sub-genre of horror and I am always hoping somebody will create the next horror icon. I did like how this film started with the killer which does have a great look to be something new just picking off victims which I think is all good for a slasher. Where I think, this film goes slightly off track is by turning into a torture porn styled film because it doesn’t fit anything that has been created beforehand. I can see some horror fans enjoying this but for me this just felt like an extension of what is otherwise a short story.

HorrorWe do get elements of the slasher genre which all work nicely but it is the dive into torture porn that makes this film lose what was created in the opening half.

Characters/PerformancesWhen you look at the character the arc Hunter is meant to go through feels like it should be much more important in the overall story having to find the courage to face his disapproving father about his true nature but that gets forgotten and he just becomes a bland hero, we also get the same from most of his friends that all have the trademark, good friend, the asshole, the nice girl and awkward romance angle. They all fill the check box for slasher horror. The performances are not going to be making any real waves in the horror industry but all work for low budget horror.

SettingsThe film is set on the farm which does keep everything feel isolated with the vehicles being taken out of the question early on.

Special EffectsWe have a couple of good kills which all come off very effective for the ow budget style this film is designed to be.

Final ThoughtsThis wasn’t the best or ever going to compete for the best horror but it does everything it needs to without falling into the terrible level.

 

Overall: Enjoy the bodies pile up throughout the film.

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