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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ABC’s of Death 2 – movie review

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ABC’s of Death 2

(Various directors)

Ok, we know the deal from the first film. 26 directors, each one takes a letter of the English alphabet and builds a short-short around it.

How do you tell a full story within a small amount of time and with limited dialogue? These shorts are not like watching a regular anthology or film. They are flash fiction pieces put to a visual medium. Some will make you chuckle others will jolt you with shock value. Still others will have little effect and little reason to be remembered. I often like the animated segments best ABCs of death 2 posterbecause of their unrestrained creativity. Many come off as art house films or student films with better production values. There is nothing remotely scary in the film as the cover art would suggest. I don’t find gore scary at all. It may make me squirm or cringe but it garners little fear in me.

B is for Badger was excellent. A real A-hole of a newscaster meets his untimely fate.
C is for Capitol punishment is super realistic gory and tragic.
D is for Deloused a gory animated short, extremely bizarre and unnerving because of it.
H is for Headgames is another unbridled animation segment.
L is for Legacy was a cool little demonic conjuring segment.
O is for Ochlocracy is exceptional, where zombies put a woman on trial for killing zombies.
In Y is for Youth, a teenage girl imagines the worst possible deaths
for her annoying family members. There are some imaginative gory
deaths in this segment that makes it comically entertaining.
T is for Torture Porn; a young woman auditioning for the latest skin
flick, gets the ultimate revenge against the pornographer.

Many of the segments are amusing but as a whole the film leaves little lasting impression. The film is like a calling card for directors and effects teams rather than an entertainment vehicle itself. Without any unifying thread it’s just too long to watch in one sitting. I liked this one a little better than the first because I was turned off by some of questionable subject matter in the 1st one, but overall, the ABC’s of death films are nothing more than a novelty. Unless they do something drastically different in the future, I probably wouldn’t bother wasting my time on another film in the series.

Added note – Some of these segments can be seen on Youtube. I myself, watched it on Netflix (in 3 sittings, a third at a time).