This is a decent zombie horror-comedy from multitalented director Peter Ricq. While on vacation, three kids discover a nearby neighbor is harboring her undead family who need to be fed, and they have to save their unsuspecting parental guardians. It’s kind of a tourist trap led up by Lauren Holly as the neighbor. There’s some good humor from the father Roger (Donavon Stinson) who’s got good timing even if those around him don’t. He was the highlight for me, while the kids were all decent as well.
This is a fun little zombie flick, offering up cute comedy and decent gore effects, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The biggest problem for me was a tonal shift; what’s relatively lighthearted for 90% of the movie is heavily marred by a shockingly grim finale. Worth a look for fans of the genre, just don’t expect a lot. Raven Banner has acquired the film for release in the near future.
LE MANOIR (THE MANSION)
A group of horny, rowdy, party hungry teens head to a secluded mansion for a wild weekend, only to discover that they aren’t as alone as they think. A killer with a deer skull and horn mask is lurking around, and it’s going to kill them all one by one. This French comedy-horror from director Tony T. Datis is largely unfunny and doesn’t deliver on much actual horror, but a few twists and turns keep things interesting, and one kill is absolutely hysterical. The film also looks pretty great, as seen below.
This kind of reminded me of Christopher Smith’s terrific Severance, albeit without the level of brutality among the laughs that made that one stand out. What I discovered that was so interesting is that this would be a perfect prototype for an Apatow production. Even the character traits felt like they hint towards who of Apatow’s regulars would be cast for each character (who would knock this out of the park). Middling at best, but ripe for an American re-try. Couldn’t find any information on a stateside release or acquisition.
Rebecca Forsythe (daughter of William) is Kira, who doesn’t want to grow old. Her mysterious, debilitating disease is causing her to do so in an accelerated fashion. Enter Dr. Rafaela Crober (Barbara Crampton) with a solution, and Kira volunteers for a new process in which her skin can be replaced with that of others. This leads to an obsessive psychosis of some sort, with some…violent side effects.
Director Norbert Keil co-wrote the feature with none other than Richard Stanley (Hardware). If Stanley’s involved, it’s gonna be weird, and indeed it’s a bizarre movie with methodical, plodding pacing that Left me bored. But it’s an intriguing flick that only scratches the surface of a big idea. Shades of Cronenberg’s cold body horror are conjured up, along with Re-Animator mainly due to Crampton’s involvement. Forsythe is gorgeous and very strong in her role, but sadly she can’t make up for an incomplete concept that isn’t explored to satisfaction. Still, the film is worth seeing for fans of sci-fi tinged thrillers. The symphonic and alternative score from Tom Batoy and Franco Tortora was the highlight of the movie for me. Couldn’t find any information on a stateside release or acquisition.
78/52 is the upcoming documentary, filmed in black & white, that examines the infamous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It is a talking head documentary that has some great subjects talking about the scene (just the scene, not the film). They range from Peter Bogdanovich, Karyn Kusama, Bob Murawski, Jamie Lee Curtis (Janet Leigh’s daughter) and many more – including an art dealer who talks about the painting that Norman removes to spy on Marion. The documentary is pretty great as a starter conversation to the importance of the scene to society and as a huge driving factor of genre film to come. Most of the subjects analyzing the film and the scene are very interesting to listen to. The documentary does a great job at catching up the viewer to what films were like up until this time and covers every aspect from storyboards, editing and even Herrmann’s iconic score. The film also tends to borrow from a commentary Highly recommended for fans of Hitchcock, Psycho or even people who love hearing discussions about film.
Spielberg, Hill, Verhoven, Cronenberg, Landis, Carpenter, Lucas, Friedkin, and many others built my taste in youth. Then filmmakers from Italy, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Spain crept in. Now I’m an unstoppable film fiend, and living and breathing ALL the visual mediums you can find. I’ll take any excuse to talk movies or TV, so writing and podcasting are my outlets!