Cold Fish (2010) – Movie Review

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Cold Fish (2010)

directed by Sion Sono

This is one fantastic psychological horror film. Nobyuki, owner of a tropical fish store in Tokyo, is a humble man trying to do the best he can for his family. His first wife had passed away and he has remarried, to the ire of his teenage daughter, Mitsuko. She is rebellious and has no interest in making peace with her stepmother.Cold-Fish-poster

One evening, after dinner, Nobyuki gets a phone call from the manager of a local market. His daughter has been caught shoplifting. Upon arrival, he begs the manager not to involve the police. Luckily, the store owner, Yukio Murata, arrives and decides not to press charges. He is a successful businessman and also the owner of a giant Tropical Fish Super-store called, Amazon Gold. He takes a liking to the family. He is very friendly, always smiling, and understanding. He welcomes Nobyuki and his family into his home, store and life. He offers Mitsuko a job at his store, promising to provide structure and skills she will need for a good future. He offers Nobyuki to be in on a tropical fish business deal that will make them both a good sum of money. It seems too good to be true. It is. Behind that big smile and jovial façade lies a dark secret. Murata is a psychotic.

Soon, Nobyuki is tangled in Murata’s web of lies, an accomplice to murder, and manipulated by the overbearing man. He is plunged into a life of horrors. You can sense a real struggle ensue in Nobyuki. He tries to retain the honest family man he was, as he is influenced by Murata into a dark place in life. There is so much more to this film, but I’ll refrain so as not to be a complete spoiler. It is a gripping story, of sex, blood and horror on an insane level

I’m sure not everyone would give this such a high rating. Something about the movie really spoke to me. Perhaps it’s being a jaded New Yorker and not trusting people that are too nice or smiles that are too big. Whatever the reason, I found this to be one of the best J-horror films I’ve seen in a long time. Despite its insanity, it feels so real. It is loosely based on a true story of husband and wife pet shop owners in Tokyo. Don’t miss it!


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An excellent horror tale of manipulation and terror validating the uneasiness towards people who are too friendly.

I give it 5.0 dead guppies on the scale of upside-down floating and bloated fish.



Cassadaga (2011) – movie review

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Cassadaga (2011)

Directed by Anthony DiBlasi
Writers: Bruce Wood and Scott Poiley

This film is an overall good mix of ghost story and serial killer suspense. It takes a while for the action to develop and I usually prefer more horror scenes, but what makes up for the slow start is a fully engaging character portrayal of the main cassadaga postercharacter, Lily (Kelen Coleman). Lily is having a sad and tragic life and ends up living on a campus in Cassadaga Florida where she will also be teaching art to young students. A chance meeting with a psychic (a fun dare) awakens something inside her and forms a connection to a female spirit. There’s a good chance this woman was murdered on the campus property. She will not stop tormenting Lily until Lily finds her remains and reveals the killer. The killer nicknamed ‘Geppetto’ (for reasons you will learn) has well-developed psychotic motivations and his tortures are brutal but true to his psychotic fantasy. Not nearly as gory as the poster art would suggest, the film portrays the violence as necessary to the horror, without being exploitive or distasteful. There are some good plot twists and suspense sequences, making the film enjoyable to watch. A small role by Louise Fletcher adds some credo to the film. It gets a little too syrupy at the very end for me, but that doesn’t detract from the rest of film.

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Worth a watch for well-written, character driven horror and suspense.

I give it 4.0 severed limbs out of 5 for crazy killer conflict and horror thriller action.


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The Real Cassadaga
Cassadaga, Florida is known as the ‘Psychic Capitol of the World’ due to the high number of psychics and mediums that live there. A spiritualist camp was set up there by George Colby in 1894 which later became the town of Cassadaga. It was named after a similar camp for spiritualists in New York, for which Colby had attended. The word Cassadaga is a Native American word that translates to, ‘water runs beneath the rocks’ and was first used in New York by the Seneca Tribe. Today, Cassadaga, FL is still home to the Spiritualists Camp which teaches the ways of spiritual living. Many psychics reside in the small quiet town.

Behind the Mask (2006) – movie review


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behind_the_mask 2006Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

Journalist, Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals), and her two-man video crew follow and interview a would-be slasher/serial killer named Leslie Vernon (played by Nathan Baesal). The fledgling killer shows the young reporter and crew how he sets in motion the devious act he will eventually commit. He discusses how he chooses the victim, sets the stage, creates tension and plants the seed of fear into the victim and in the whole town itself. This is all done with a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” touch of humor, like an inside joke for fans of the genre. The movie is reminiscent behind the mask pic 2of Scream where the killer discusses the whole horror movie genre but Behind the Mask offers so much more. All during the course of the movie it is as if you are in the mind of the screenwriter creating the perfect slasher screenplay. In the third act, the movie drops the discussion and interview feel and turns into a real entertaining slasher complete with surprise plot twists and character growth.

Behind-the-Mask pic 5The film is directed by Scott Glosserman, who is involved with a lot of  documentaries, so it is no wonder that this film turned out to be well made. It has the feel of a documentary without the intentionally unprofessional camerawork of a found footage film. To see the ingredients of the plot laid out in such simple and chronological terms, then to have it all gel together so perfectly for the climax and finale of the film is extraordinary. It’s like a magician telling you how he will perform a trick before hand, then he does the trick and you’re still in awe of the way it turned out. I believe horror and slasher movie fans will enjoy Behind the Mask. I give it two bloody, severed thumbs up!!!

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The Following and filming location pics

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The Following and On Location pics

Don’t know if anyone has been watching, The Following, but I finally caught up with the season finale which originally aired Mon. 4/28/13

The Following is an FBI serial-killer, crime drama, starring Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, the down and out agent, called back to duty, in order to recapture convicted serial killer Joe Caroll. The escaped killer has a penchant for Poe, and is writing a book about the true-life crime-drama that he is creating, while taunting the FBI.

It captured my interest early on and was interesting enough to keep me watching. To my surprise, all of the outside scenes of the season finale were filmed at The Fire Island Lighthouse, which is close to where I live. It was one of those, Oh, My God! I know where that is…, moments.

So I thought I would share some pics from my family outing a while back – our last visit to the light house.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you see a location in a movie or show that is in your neighborhood or surrounding areas?