By Paul Anthony
Okay Okay, I get it, I am behind with posting this blog, trust me so much is going on, so just bare with me. Now Justin recently did our classic 13 blog on Hellraiser, so it was a no brainer then to do a review on the sequel, which was release just 14 months after the first film. Now I can tell you that I have watched the first film plenty of times and though, its creepy thought it was a good horror film and usually when films that have sequels come out so soon, they aren’t usually good. However there are few that are a good follow up and that is HellBound. The film was blessed with pretty much everyone coming back from the first film and this includes cast and crew. Only one who didn’t return was Andrew Robinson who played Larry Cotton, though there were a few reasons why that is though Andrew stated he wasn’t a fan of the script and his character was done anyway, which I do agree with. in replace of Robinson, they added Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Philip Channard, the film’s true bad guy. Now Let’s talk about the plot.
This film picks up directly where the first film ends in overall events. We do get a opening where we see Pinhead becoming Pinhead basically and we learn that he was indeed human in the British army and was known as Captain Elliot Spencer before he got sucked in the Lament Configuration. After that we cut to Kristy who wakes up in a psychiatric hospital pleading her case regarding her father and the events of the first film but they blow her off basically or so we thought. The head doctor who we would soon learn is obsessed with the Lament Configuration and after listening to Kristy’s story, Dr. Channard decides to take the bed from Larry’s house in which he then brings over a mentally ill patient to cut himself and the blood results in a skinless Julia being freed. They work out a deal where he brings her more of his patients so she can get all her skin back. Meanwhile Kristy keeps getting hints that her father is stuck in hell and needs help and that’s where we meet Tiffany who is basically a puzzle master. However Dr. Channard knows this as well and kidnaps her to solve the Lament Configuration to enter the world of pinhead. That’s where Kristy enters and confronts Pinhead who allows her to explore since she will be trapped here forever. She also learns that it was her uncle who made those hints to trick her to come to hell. At this point Channard has now become a cenobite himself but a more powerful one, even more powerful than Pinhead, which Pinhead and his team were killed by Channard, After Kristy convinces him that he was once human. In the end Kristy and Tiffany defeats Channard and escape the gates of Hell before it closes on them. But the film ends with a mover getting killed and another one witnesses a pillar rising out of the bed that Julia died on.
Now this film was pretty much on par with the first film. Though it didn’t stand out overall but at the same time it was on par with the first film which helped when you had everyone returned basically and you were able to wrap up everyone story and leaving the series open for what would be the third film in the series. Which gave part 3 its fresh start with hardly any ties to these first two films. If you like the graphics from the first film then you’ll like the graphics here as well. The acting was on par as well, so in the end if you liked the first film then you’ll like this film. In the end I am giving this film a B for a rating and recommend you watching this film if you have watched the first film!!
By Paul Anthony
Earlier in the week, I got a chance to review the first film in this series after some time of wanting to watch it, so it is only natural that we talk about the sequel for this edition of Saturday Sequel. Now like many films in the early part of 2021, they were postpone since early 2020. Even now it is hard to talk about a film’s success because most studios have their own streaming services and so forth. This film was released in theaters and then 45 days later on Paramount plus. Now the film’s budget had grown a lot compared to the first one. The total budget for this film was 61 million compared to 21 million. In a pandemic box office the film still managed to be a successful film by grossing 296 million dollars. yes it was down from the first film but because of the situation, we won’t compare the numbers. The Main cast pretty much returns including Krasinski in a cameo role. The film did add a new main cast member in Cillian Murphy. Now most critics praised this film and even giving it higher remarks then the first film which is honestly rare these days but let’s check out the plot.
The film stars at day 1 where we see the Abbott family enjoying their oldest son’s baseball game, Lee arrives late though he was picking up some fruit and caught a glimpses of a news report of attack but blows it off. At the game the fans notices an explosion in the sky and soon after begins flee the ballpark and right after they do, the creatures start to attack everyone that makes a noise. Then we skip to the present and the family is on the move since their house was destroyed at the end of the first film. during their travels they break into a old abandoned steel foundry. But Marcus steps into a bear trap which he has no other choice but to scream in pain and at that point a man saves them and is to be revealed as the family’s old friend Emmett, who tells them they need to leave soon because they can’t stay here with him. Evelyn pleads with him. At the same time Regan starts to realize the song that plays on the radio is a clue and determines to find help and armed with the knowledge on how to defeat them she sneaks away and soon after Emmett goes after her to save her but in the process she explains the clues and at first Emmett seems like he is still shady and leaves Regan with no weapons or anything only to come back to their hideout and reveals he found a boat. The two travel to the dock and are basically attack by feral humans. As a last ditch effort to survive Emmett makes noise to attract the creatures. during this battle we learn as well as the characters that these creatures can’t swim and travel to this island where they see people living as if nothing ever happened. There they are told that the coast guard put out signals to tell people that and now Emmett tells Regan that she was right about him that he is nothing like Lee but She is just like her father. However the creatures manage to travel by boat and begin to attack the people but at a radio tower Regan manages to turn her hearing aid and once again kills the creatures and sends out a warning and plays the sound of her hearing aid and the film ends with the idea that the humans will get ready to fight.
I have to say that this is no doubt a great follow up and I really mean that. This film decided to built on the first and had a good story to go along with it. Everyone played a good role in this film and that was great to see. The mystery and the emotion continued to be there with the right combination of both. Them adding Cillian Murphy was a plus for sure and still manage to add Krasinski was a good touch and once again only giving the creatures a small amount of screen time was a great touch. In the end I am giving this film an A+ and label this as a must watch film. I am truly looking forward to the third film!!
By Paul Anthony
It is no secret that here at SmashWriting, we love to review movies and there are plenty of movies to review so there is always a backlog of movies and for me this A Quiet Place has been on my to watch list some time. I seen what the critics were saying and they all seem to be praising this film. The film starred real life married couple John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt. The film wasn’t just a hit with the critics but fans alike. The film was made from a 22 million dollar budget but was able to make 350.3 million in its theater run making it a true hit. Now the concept of the film plus having a deaf character made it interesting because Krasinski didn’t want to cast a non-deaf actress to play his on screen daughter who was deaf, so they cast Millicent Dimmonds, which in my eyes was pretty cool to see. Now if you haven’t seen this film then please note that this review will contain spoilers!
The film starts with them showing that this film is taking place on day 89, here we meet the Abbott family, Wife Evelyn, Husband Lee, daughter Regan, oldest son Marcus and youngest son Beau. We learn that 89 days ago, aliens from outer space. These creatures who are blind but have hypersensitive hearing which forces the human race to live in silence, but add insult injury these creature’s skin is some type of armor that makes them immune to bullets and explosives leaving the human race defenseless. One day as the family is on the move the young son who was playing with his shuttle toy the sound is activated and before lee could save him the creature kills the young sound. We then skip ahead to a year later, the family is still struggling to survive but Evelyn is pregnant and almost to her due date, Regan who gave her brother that toy has been guilting herself over her brother’s death and feels that her father no longer loves her because of it. One day Lee takes Marcus’s on a hunting trip to learn how to take care of the family, Lee as it turns out is an engineer which he has been using his skills to learn how to fight these creatures and to restore his daughter’s hearing. Lee reveals the creatures travels in three’s and as long as there is background noise such as waterfall, and at that point Marcus tells Lee how Regan been feeling. Back at Home Evelyn goes into labor and on her way to the basement she steps on a nail and screams which alerts the creatures. at some point the family gets separated and it becomes Lee’s mission to save his kids which causes him life but not before he tells Regan that he loves her and always has. The kids return home to Evelyn and see their new baby brother. But fight is on and Regan realizes from before that her radio frequency from her hearing aid annoys the creatures and exposes a weak spot which they are able to kill it. Evelyn looks on the camera and see the other two on their way and now know their weakness the film ends with the mother-daughter team no longer afraid and prepared to fight as the film ends
Wow so where do I start? Let me say this , the film being nearly all silent was something new and refreshing and not seeing the creatures until the end really kept the suspense. The acting was on point, each death you felt it as well. You didn’t know too much about the family but you grew to love them. The one negative I had with this film was the way to defeat them made sense the whole but no one thought about it? Once the human race learned that these creatures could hear anything, making such a loud high pitch sound would have made sense once they knew. Besides that point the film was a good film in the end, I am giving this film an A for a rating and looking forward to watching the sequel.
By Paul Anthony
This film series begun way back in 1979 and finally ended in 2016, from the title you know I am talking about the Phantasm film series. The first one which was released in 1979 off a budget of 300,000 managed to make 22 million with using such a small budget and a cast that up to this point were just amateurs and aspiring professionals. At first the movie was indeed considered a failure though it made money. The Director Don Coscarelli revealed that he was under pressure to make a sequel though he couldn’t come up with a good story until later in the 80’s. Part 2 was released in the summer of 1988. The film is the only film that doesn’t include a few people from the first film, the biggest issue was recasting the role of Mike Pearson which was now being played by James LeGros, which was only for this film. The film was made from a budget of 3 million and only managed to grossed 7.3 million. Now we know there were films after this one but for now let’s look at this film!!
The film takes places seven years after the event of the first film and meet a young girl name Liz who has psychic bond with Mike and the Tall Man and she is trying reach Mike because she fears that The Tall Man will come for her grandfather when he dies and she needs Mike’s help. Here at this point we learn that Mike has been institutionalized since the events of the first film and fakes his recovery so he can leave and help Liz out. Mike Knows he can’t do this on his own so he sets out to find his old friend Reggie, who believes Mike after his family dies and Mike tried to warn him. They begin to travel from small town to small town and finally the run into Liz who by now has lost her sister and her grandfather. With the help of Reggie’s new girlfriend who was just a hitchhiker they decide to take on the Tall Man and his army of zombies. In the end seems like the four beat the Tall Man and all the hope is restored except the movie ends with Reggie’s girlfriend being on the side of the Tall Man and The tall Man revealing he is still alive and they hope that this is a dream which the Tall Man reveals it is not a dream!!
Now honestly I have to admit I had to watch the first film to be able to do this review because up until like two months ago, I never seen the first one but was always a fan of the second because that it is the only one that I really watched before this of course. I understand the casting of Mike was one that the fans were bitter about but From watching the first film I didn’t have a problem with it to be honest. The Story felt random with adding Liz into it. Mike had enough reasons to finish the job. The acting was on par with the first film, same with how the scenes were put together. So honestly more amateur than professional. best part of the film had to be the Tall Man and the killing spares with the spikes. Everything in between has and always seem a bit cheesy. In the end I am giving this horror film of the 80’s a B or 80 percent!!
By Paul Anthony
I have been wanting to review this film for so long now because overall I do like this film franchise and do for the most part enjoy the found footage style when it is done right, tough Justin mocks it, well that is another story for another day. When I was kid, I didn’t know that The Blair Witch Project was fake because the found footage style of films were so new to me in fact the Blair Witch Project was the first found footage movie that I have ever watched. The Blair Witch Project was a big time hit, the film was produced on a budget of 500,000 dollars and took only 8 days to film. Now the film made 248.6 million dollars, pretty good numbers I would say but also we know that a sequel would come but how fast? Very fast would be the answer, basically 15 months later we got a sequel and it wasn’t what we were expecting. They decided to go away from the found footage style to a more of dramatization story telling approach or metafiction. I wasn’t a fan of this changed but I didn’t hate it either. The film was produced on a 15 million dollar budget but only made 47.7 million dollars, which was still a hit but nothing compared to the first film. Filming took only 44 days and everything was being fast tracked. This was because Artisan wanted to get a sequel out well the buzz was still going on, which is tactic that hardly ever works. They should have let the buzz die down then take time off and make a better sequel. The cast was led by Jeffery Donovan but also starred Erica Leerhsen, Stephen Barker Turner and as well as Kim Director and now let’s check out the plot.
The story takes place in November of 1999, just a few months after the first film was released and tourist and fans of the film come to Maryland to see if the events of the film actually did take place. In all of this Jeffery, who is an obsess fan and was just released from the psychiatric hospital decides to put a tour group together to make money. Once he has his first group together they begin going in the woods and each member of the group has their own reasons for wanting to see this location. As the night goes on supernatural events start to happen forcing the group to go to Jeffery’s loft where slowly but surely everyone starts to argue with each other. Everything leads to one of the members dying and the rest being arrested for the crime though they plead their innocents and tell their stories, the tapes in Jeffery’s house tells a much different story and shows them killing the member and other videos shows the other members killing people and hiding bodies as well, which makes them wonder what was real and what was all in the their heads. The film ends with mourners visiting the woods to mourn the deaths of all those people who lost their lives because of the Blair witch.
Now I don’t think this was the best follow up to a hit film and I can see rushing this film was just a bad idea. Good things do take time and that’s the advice they should have taken with this film. The casting, I was okay with but the characters I had a problem with because you a goth, a crazy person, a want to be witch and researchers and yet this was random. It just felt out of place to me. heck I was okay with the story as well it made sense to see how this film change the little town. In the end I am giving this film a B or 80 percent for a rating. If some things would be different and the overall product was better than the grade would be higher!
By Paul Anthony
In August of 2001 we saw the release of Jeepers Creepers and the film though was simple became a hit, the film starred a young Justin Long and Gina Philips. The film which is in the genre of Mystery-Horror Monster film was a hit when it grossed nearly 60 million dollars on a budget of 10 million dollars. The film told us the story of a brother and sister traveling home during spring break through Florida when they start to be chase down by a old box truck, turns out this wasn’t just some random person but a creature who on every 23rd spring for 23 days eats human parts and make them his own parts and the Creeper which is its name picks his victims through fear and this time he wanted a pair of eyes but with the film making money we all knew a sequel was coming. Just two years later in August of 2003 we got the sequel. Here the movie takes place just days later which was a good thing because we really didn’t some future movie that would kill the series like a Jason X. The film had a higher budget but not by much it went from 10 million to 17 million which was understandable. You had a bigger cast this time around and needed a little more graphics. Only two people returned for this film and that was Jonathan Breck as the Creeper and Justin Long made a cameo. Like always we have to ask was this film better then the first one? Like always lets talk about the plot first.
Here we start the film on day 22 of the same spring as the first film when we get to see the Creeper back in action this time he kills a young boy in front of his family on their farm. We then move to day 23 with a school bus full of high school basketball players celebrating with the fact that they won the state championship but soon they blow out a tire but manages to keep going down the road until they blow out another tire that forces them to stay park and anyone who has a cellphone doesn’t have service, they do their best to call for help on the CB Radio but soon the creeper starts to basically pick on them, it is revealed that he threw homemade weapons to blow out the tires. Sure enough he picks them off one by one though they do some pretty good damage to his as well but he keeps on coming after them. Just when hope seems to be lost Jack Sr and jack jr the family from the farm shows up with a homemade Harpoon to kill them but just as it seems they could the Creeper’s time runs out and goes into Hibernation before it bleeds out saving it’s own life. The film ends the when we a see a pickup truck carrying teenagers to a farm and we learn that its Jack Sr and Jack jr’s farm and it has been 23 years or close to it and they been selling photos of it calling it a Bat from hell and we last see Jack SR waiting with his harpoon and tells the teenagers that he’s waiting for it to awake which should happen in a day or 2.
Now I have to say the film wasn’t better or worse than the first film, basically it was on par. what hurt this film was the audience knew and saw too much of the Creeper already, we knew what he was and what he wanted, we knew all the facts and what film could have done was give us more details about him but they didn’t. the main cast of students had no real character to them, they just seemed to be there, actually all the cast seem to be that way. The acting was okay, no one stood out in this film, plot was predictable which most horror films are. In the end I am giving this film a C for a rating though it didn’t stand out , it wasn’t bad either.
By Paul Anthony
Here we are reviewing a film that should have never happen or at least should have never been rushed to be made. Chucky was defeated in part one and found a way to come back. Thanks to the toy company getting the remains of the Good Guy doll that Chucky was using and basically rebuilt the doll which I guess gave Chucky enough power to come back to life which never made sense tome in first place, Why rebuilt a burnt doll. In part two once again Andy defeats Chucky again and once again destroyed the body this time in the plant in which he was rebuilt in. At this point its safe to assume at the very least the series should be over but Child’s Play 2 made money and that was the problem. The film made 35.8 million dollars from a budget of 13 million. Now here is the sad part because this film made money the studio wanted a sequel which we knew they would but we got a sequel just 9 months later. Which was a fast turn around by anyone standards and that was the biggest problem. No doubt a another break would have done justice for this franchise. Anyway 9 months later we get Child’s Play 3. The film made 20 million as gross against a unknown budget, which safe to say had to be around the 10 million marker.
The film does a big time jump from part 2, we are now 8 years after the events of part 2 and Andy is a now a 16 year boy who is going to Military school after he has been bouncing from one foster home to another in the last 8 years. Meanwhile Chucky remains in the plant that he died in and that’s because the company shut down the plant that makes the Good Guy dolls after their second run in with Andy and his situation. However they felt that 8 years was long enough to go without their most popular toy. So they order the plant to reopen. With Chucky blood still being in the doll they melt the doll down and his blood travels to a new doll which once again makes him powerful enough to come back to life and this time he’s really made and determines to find Andy and after killing the CEO and hacking into his records he finds where Andy is at. Now once again Andy is having a hard time fitting in though he does befriend his roommate and a girl named Kristen and a younger student called Tyler. Who now becomes Chucky new target because he revealed himself to Tyler in his new body. The fight is on for Andy defeat Chucky to save Tyler but its far from easy because once again no one believes him until the very end. Needless to say Andy defeats Chucky once again this time basically cutting his body up through a big fan. the film ends with Andy being taken to away in cuffs for questioning and Kristen rushed to the hospital and Tyler faith being unknown.
We know the series didn’t die after this, seven years later we got the film called Bride of Chucky which takes place only a month after the time line which the small time jump closes the window for the big jump that they did. Now why did this film didn’t do well as the first two even though everything was pretty much the same. The 9 month turn around, The second film was still fresh in people eyes and then release the film on a holiday weekend wasn’t the best idea in the end. Now I will give a C for a grade because it wasn’t a bad film just wasn’t good either!
By Paul Anthony
I have to say reviewing movies can be fun, writing about it can be fun, even if the movie is bad but then there are movies like this one where I just have to scream at watching. Okay let’s start at the beginning, today I am reviewing a film called The Car: Road To Revenge, which is a sequel to the 1977 movie The Car which starred James Brolin and Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley and Ronny Cox. The plot was simple a small town was being haunted by a car that drove itself and Brolin’s character has to stop it before it kills anyone else in town. The film ends with revealing that the car clearly survived the events of the film. We now jump to 2019 when this film came out direct to video 42 long years after the first film. Now you would think a reboot would be better or something but no we got a standalone sequel. Now both films are about the same length around a hour an a half but unlike the first film this was a rough hour an a half.
First and foremost the story takes place sometime in the future in a dilapidated cyberpunk looking city, where an District Attorney is working on putting this gang away for life but just when he gets the evidence that he needs the gang leader sends his henchmen to kill the attorney which by the time we get to this point we learn that the attorney isn’t a bad guy but isn’t good either, in fact he seems like a jerk pretty much when the girl he likes wants no relationship with him, he basically kidnaps and they have a little argument. So when the guys is killed you really don’t feel sorry for him. However shortly after he is buried, his brand new car begins to kill the henchmen one by one. Now we have a detective trying to saw his murder and teaming up with the guy’s girlfriend or ex girlfriend or whatever she truly is to him, they come together and track down the gang as well. Midway through the film the car does take some blows and finds it way to junkyard where the mechanic finds it and rebuilds it using parts from the first car in the first film, which is very random by the way, once the car is rebuilt it decides to now go after the detective and the girlfriend and they have to defeat the car and gang which they do!
This film honestly made no sense to me. One minute it seems like we should root for the District Attorney then the next minute you want him dead which would work if the people he was after was being framed or something. We have no character back stories, so we can’t connect with them and you get to the point where you don’t know which side is good and bad. The only bright spot to this film is that Ronny Cox does make a cameo in this film which pays homage to the first film. In the end I am asking you don’t waste your time watching this film. I am giving this film a failing grade or 40 percent.
By Paul Anthony
On the eve of Friday the 13th, I had to do a review on an horror film since we are now moving towards Thanksgiving and Christmas, this might be the last one for awhile, who knows. Today I decided to review as the title said House of 1000 Corpses, which is Rob Zombie’s directorial debut and this film would go on to be the first film what would be known as Firefly Film series. There would be two more films The Devil’s Reject and 3 from Hell. This film stars Sheri Moon ( Rob’s real life wife), Bill Mosely and the late Sid Haig. The film was made from a small budget of 7 million but was slammed by credits but still managed to make nearly 17 million and would of course become a cult film. This to me this film introduced me to black comedy horror films. Though Zombie was inspired by films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and The Hills have Eyes (1977), there is no doubt he added his own touch into the horror genre and it would be a shame not to give it it’s own name but that is a topic for another day. This film mixed black comedy for sure but added so much more grit and darker tone to it. Now critics bashed it but was it really that bad?
First the plot like always, the film takes place starting on Halloween eve of 1977, the film starts with a creepy gas station getting robbed but the owner who dresses as a creepy clown and call himself Captain Spaulding ( Sid Haig) instead kills the would be robbers and cleans up with his assistant just in time as four travelers come in for gas though they are exploring roadside attractions. Which the gas station itself is basically a monster house with stories to each monster it has, it even has its own roller coaster ride which the four (Jerry, Bill, Mary, Denise) take the ride and Bill and Jerry gets attach to the idea of Dr Satan and would like to know more which Spaulding gives them directions to but as they get close they pick up an Hitchhiker named Baby (Sheri Moon) she takes them to her family house after their car gets a flat and the group quickly learns this family is not normal the leader of them all has to be Baby’s adoptive brother Otis ( Bill Moseley) one by one they get picked off basically. At the same time we hear about these Missing cheerleaders and the police are on the hunt for whoever kidnapped these girls which we learn the Firefly family as they known by had them this whole time in which they do kill them. Denise manages to escape the night only to be saved by Captain Spaulding but realizes he is with the Firefly family and she passes out and awakes on Dr. Satan table screaming leaving her fate unknown.
The movie was only 90 minutes long, so it moved pretty quickly. We didn’t really have much character development to learn why this family was really all crazy and s0 forth but that may have been the point here. The story was weak at best and the jump scares were far in between. I can see why the profit was low but the great thing it did do was to me introduce a new genre to the horror genre though its under Black Comedy Horror as I said earlier it felt like it different. In the end I am giving it an C for rating. though it did some great things it just needed to be more.
By Paul Anthony
I think this topic was the best topic to do for a blog for this week and my title says it all! That’s right we are going to talk about the scariest movie according to science which is a interesting twist to this subject. Every generation has as scary movie that just gets to us and then there are movies that affects each person in different ways which often makes a movie regardless of the genre a debate amongst fans. Heck even here at Smash we often have debates just about one movie. However as much as we review movies based on things such as the plot or action or even jump scares we never used science to determine this. However I do want to make this clear with ever study unless they include every person out there I don’t know how much you want to believe this but the winner of the study, is still a scary movie regardless!
First let’s go ahead and talk about the winner and that is no other than Sinister a film that came out in 2012, starring Ethan Hawke who is a writer that writes true crime books and his next book basically leads to his death and if you haven’t watched it then please do. So how did science help determine this, well by measuring your heart rate of course and here is where we talk numbers. The study made 50 people of all different ages watch over 100 hours of horror movies. Now the movies were selected were the highest rated horror films, there they hooked everyone up to heart monitors and the films begin. Sure everyone’s heart was different but the increase was all the same when the film Sinister started to play the increase was all the same proving that Sinister was the film that did it to them.
Now though overall Sinister took the top spot there was another film that had the biggest one time jump and that was Insidious. The average starting heartrate was around 86 but one scene made everyone’s heartrate jump to 133 but besides that the difference stayed around 21 through the rest of the film. Sinister on the other hand stayed around 32 for the difference and its highest heartrate peaked at 13.
The study did make a few notes that should also be mention here and that is people still found the older films to be better horror films just not as scary as some of the newer titles which I don’t know how that makes sense but let’s just go with it and we might be giving James Wan the title of Horror master because he had a few films that made the top ten which was Insidious, The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. Not to mention he did start the Saw series.
Now I have to say based on my reaction the top three films which were Sinister, Insidious and The Conjuring, to be some of the best horror films of all time but now I guess science just proves it! I would say watch all three films!!