Middle of the Road – film reviews – 2015

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Middle of the Road – film reviews

Monsters Dark Continent
The Damned
Iron Sky

Here’s some film reviews of horror movies that weren’t bad and weren’t great, just somewhere in the middle. They are all quite watchable, it’s just that none have completely blown me away. On my dark star rating scale they all probably hover around 3 stars for different reasons.

Monsters-Dark-Continent-poster The Damned Movie Poster iron sky poster zombeavers poster

Monsters Dark Continent – 2015
Before you attempt to watch this, there is something you will have to understand. This is a war movie that has monsters in it, not the other way around. It’s not a bad movie at all, but it’s just somewhat disappointing for a monster movie fan. It’s right there with Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, and They Were Soldiers, bringing to light the big questions of our recent wars and it does tug at the heart strings. A group of young men from Detroit, facing a jobless and hopeless future are called into duty. In the combat zone they meet the older seasoned soldiers who attempt to set them on the right path. The few scenes of the nomad desert monsters are fantastic, they are beautiful creatures and quite enormous. However they are more like the backdrop of this film and more symbolic than anything else.
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The Damned – 2014 (Gallows Hill)
This is a decent Spanish film about a young reporter in South America whose father (and new GF) convinces her to return home in time for his wedding. They are traveling the back roads of Bogata when a storm and a flash flood hits, toppling their SUV and stranding them at an old house in the country. The owner is reluctant to let them in, but seeing their desperation decides he has no choice. When they settle in, they discover the man has a ten-year-old-girl captive down the cellar. The visitors let her out and open a Pandora’s Box by doing so. I know the plot sounds familiar but it is presented in a way that seems fresh and captured my interest. The girl holds the spirit of a centuries old witch bent on exacting revenge upon the townspeople of the nearby village and destroying anyone who gets in the way.
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Iron Sky (2012)
The Nazi regime has survived and have retreated to the dark side of the moon. They have waited over 70 years for a rematch and have been working on new weaponry to ensure they will win. There’s a good ‘what if’ story here, some good humor, and original ideas. The plot and pacing are excellent and the film ramps up to some wonderful high action. There are some spectacular aircraft (and spacecraft) dog-fight scenes in the climax of this flick, worth watching for the special effects fans out there. The Nazi invasion from space has begun, but can our reluctant hero save the day? Yeah, it’s all sorts of politically incorrect but it’s a comedy folks, don‘t be offended.
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Zombeaver (2014)
If you go into this with low expectations you can enjoy this film for exactly what it is, a campy b-monster flick with some young women parading around in bikinis (and sometimes not in bikinis). It’s the Roger Corman formula for b-movie horror. Not much story depth here, not so great acting, and the monster beavers look like angry Muppets, but enjoyable light horror and humor despite these aspects.

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Beavers! by Joseph F. Parda – Book review

Beavers! by Joseph F. Parda
Midnight Bookshop

I began reading Beavers! with some enthusiasm, enjoying the B-horror flick style of the cover artwork. Let me say, I was pleased that the story contained within the pages perfectly matched the mood of the cover art. Too many times I have picked up a novel because of the cover and discovered something quite different inside.Beavers! - Joseph F Parda - websize

This is the first novel by Joseph F. Parda but seems to be written by an experienced novelist. The story cruises along at a break-neck pace that keeps the reader turning pages, wanting to devour all the gory details. What many of you may find interesting is that Joe Parda is an experienced writer, having produced and directed indie horror films for over 20 years. With titles such as ‘5 Dead on a Crimson Canvas’, Guilty Pleasures, and the horror anthology, Evil Streets (which included a segment written by me), he had paid his dues honing his craft of story telling. His films were very art-house in style and avant-garde, in such a way that I’ll admit, for most of them I didn’t even understand the plot. So I was shocked and delighted to discover Beavers! to be mainstream story-telling. It oozes Roger Corman, has a simple premise and is pure, fun horror entertainment. It is loaded with comedic ironies, well-defined characters, and plenty of violent endings at the hands, and buck teeth, of our furry little friends.

There are plenty of innuendos to keep a smirk on the reader’s face including a whole chapter on a singing sensation and teen heart-throb star, Justin Beaver, whose punky-gangsta attitude leads to an untimely demise by the chomping, chattering teeth of his namesake. If you just read that one chapter alone, it would be worth the price of the book, enjoyably funny! The tale has a true hero in Gary, a single father who lost his wife on an expedition to Mount Everest. Taking some time off to spend with his son, camping at Beaver Falls, the two are thrown into extraordinary circumstances as a new aggressive species of beaver stakes its claim to the land of its forefathers. Shades of The Birds, Food of the Gods, and Night of the Lepus are woven through the story-line, but are counterbalanced with innuendos and campy horror fun.

If you’re looking for a fast paced, fun and entertaining horror novel to sink your teeth into, look no further. Beavers! is a Damn good read!

Purchase it now for: Amazon Kindle

For other formats visit the website: The Midnight Bookshop 

Joseph F Parda

Joseph F Parda