All posts by Cthulhuwho

Slightly odd. Intrigued by creativity. Lover of cheese. Nothing beats a great movie. Few things beat a great book. Lot of things beat working for a living.

Avenged – Raw Review

The butchered will be Avenged, the butchers will be Savaged.

Supernatural horror revenge movie where a deaf girl is brutalized and seeks revenge.

Avenged (originally titled Savaged) is a tightly crafted journey into the darker plains of the American Southwest. Clearly a labor of love for filmmaker Michael S. Ojeda, he’s credited with writing, editing, and directing the film, along with cinematography.


The storyline is fairly straight forward. When a deaf woman falls prey to a gang of evil men her body is inhabited by an apache warrior on a quest for vengeance. Sounds similar to any number of other films but what sets Avenged apart from the rest is style and attention to craft.


The film is visceral, both graphically and emotionally. There is brutality, rape, and quite a bit on screen gore, yet it never consumes the story. Every scene furthers the plot. Ojeda manages the film’s violence well, giving us a healthy amount when appropriate but never going over the top.


Horror movie kill, death by arrows, lots of arrows, apache warrior style.

Avenged’s screenplay is tight, well written and cleverly crafted. Things make sense. The characters are consistent and don’t suddenly decide to change personalities right when needed. Standard isolation tropes that even a majority of big budget tentpole films suffer from are avoided completely – cell phones have signal, local police are able to conduct crime scene investigation, government corruption doesn’t run all the way to the top.


Bar fight, zoe kills three men and pulls out one's intestines slowly, inches at a time.


Solid performances across the board from the troupe of actors . Amanda Adrienne is extremely compelling as Zoe. She handles both the action and dramatic scenes equally well and is quite frightening when in full combat mode. It’s nice to see another film where the female character kick the shit out of the bad guys.


West and Trey wait for Zoe to attack. Both men are going to die horrible horror movie deaths.


The villains are also much more complex than they seem. Throughout the film Ojeda deftly drops clues to their motivations, which as it turns out are built on more than just bad attitudes and intolerance.  Tom Ardavany puts in a solid performance as West, the sort-of second in command of the family responsible for all the horrible shit that happens. And Rodney Rowland… holy fuckin shit… he steals the show as Trey, the self-proclaimed leader of the gang. Trey is despicable in every way, as evil as them come, but Rowland’s handling of the character is so compelling he quickly becomes just as compelling as Zoe. A standout performance by Rowland that will hopefully see him land more starring roles in the future.

Apache medicine man finds Zoe and tries to save her spirit, unwittingly letting the apache warrior in.

Avenged is destined to become a classic within it’s genre. Raw and powerful storytelling combined with exceptional filmmaking turn what could have been a standard revenge film into a complex and powerful journey between opposing moralities. Attention to detail, solid acting, excellent cinematography and heavy action make this one of our favorite movies so far this year. Michael Ojeda is a filmmaker to an eye on.


Do you recommend this movie?

Absolutely. There is so much more to enjoy here than a simple supernatural revenge film.

Not sure I can handle rape and torture, is there a lot?

The story depends on certain horrible acts taking place. There is a brutal captivity scene but Ojeda doesn’t go full torture porn. He knows when to dial it back and what not to show. I think you can handle it.

Anyone I know in this movie?

Most of the cast have a long line of television and/or film credits. It doesn’t matter though because all the performances are well above what you’d expect. Bonus points for casting Joseph Runningfox as Grey Wolf (Seems Like Old Times, Geronimo, Ravenous).

What was your favorite scene?

There are three (minor spoilers):

  • The bar fight. Beer bottle, pool cue and intestines. Gave us Taken flashbacks, and that’s a good thing.   
  • The truck battle. Fucking fantastic set piece. Intense, physical and filmed perfectly. As good a set piece as we’ve seen in any movie.
  • Body repair. Wrist, guts, sand and duct tape. It’s a powerful scene that was unexpected.


Film poster for Savaged, supernatural revenge flick releasing at Avenged worldwide on April 21st.


Where did you see the movie?

We searched VOD through our provider but couldn’t find it so we went with a rental on Amazon Instant Video. The rental price is a bit steep at $6.99, basically the same price as a single matinee theater ticket. Given the quality of the film it ended up being worth the cost. The film is available in DVD format for pre-order through amazon. We highly recommend you pick up a copy.

Avenged – Raw Review

The butchered will be Avenged, the butchers will be Savaged.

Supernatural horror revenge movie where a deaf girl is brutalized and seeks revenge.

Avenged (originally titled Savaged) is a tightly crafted journey into the darker plains of the American Southwest. Clearly a labor of love for filmmaker Michael S. Ojeda, he’s credited with writing, editing, and directing the film, along with cinematography.


The storyline is fairly straight forward. When a deaf woman falls prey to a gang of evil men her body is inhabited by an apache warrior on a quest for vengeance. Sounds similar to any number of other films but what sets Avenged apart from the rest is style and attention to craft.


The film is visceral, both graphically and emotionally. There is brutality, rape, and quite a bit on screen gore, yet it never consumes the story. Every scene furthers the plot. Ojeda manages the film’s violence well, giving us a healthy amount when appropriate but never going over the top.


Horror movie kill, death by arrows, lots of arrows, apache warrior style.

Avenged’s screenplay is tight, well written and cleverly crafted. Things make sense. The characters are consistent and don’t suddenly decide to change personalities right when needed. Standard isolation tropes that even a majority of big budget tentpole films suffer from are avoided completely – cell phones have signal, local police are able to conduct crime scene investigation, government corruption doesn’t run all the way to the top.


Bar fight, zoe kills three men and pulls out one's intestines slowly, inches at a time.


Solid performances across the board from the troupe of actors . Amanda Adrienne is extremely compelling as Zoe. She handles both the action and dramatic scenes equally well and is quite frightening when in full combat mode. It’s nice to see another film where the female character kick the shit out of the bad guys.


West and Trey wait for Zoe to attack. Both men are going to die horrible horror movie deaths.


The villains are also much more complex than they seem. Throughout the film Ojeda deftly drops clues to their motivations, which as it turns out are built on more than just bad attitudes and intolerance.  Tom Ardavany puts in a solid performance as West, the sort-of second in command of the family responsible for all the horrible shit that happens. And Rodney Rowland… holy fuckin shit… he steals the show as Trey, the self-proclaimed leader of the gang. Trey is despicable in every way, as evil as them come, but Rowland’s handling of the character is so compelling he quickly becomes just as compelling as Zoe. A standout performance by Rowland that will hopefully see him land more starring roles in the future.

Apache medicine man finds Zoe and tries to save her spirit, unwittingly letting the apache warrior in.

Avenged is destined to become a classic within it’s genre. Raw and powerful storytelling combined with exceptional filmmaking turn what could have been a standard revenge film into a complex and powerful journey between opposing moralities. Attention to detail, solid acting, excellent cinematography and heavy action make this one of our favorite movies so far this year. Michael Ojeda is a filmmaker to an eye on.


Do you recommend this movie?

Absolutely. There is so much more to enjoy here than a simple supernatural revenge film.

Not sure I can handle rape and torture, is there a lot?

The story depends on certain horrible acts taking place. There is a brutal captivity scene but Ojeda doesn’t go full torture porn. He knows when to dial it back and what not to show. I think you can handle it.

Anyone I know in this movie?

Most of the cast have a long line of television and/or film credits. It doesn’t matter though because all the performances are well above what you’d expect. Bonus points for casting Joseph Runningfox as Grey Wolf (Seems Like Old Times, Geronimo, Ravenous).

What was your favorite scene?

There are three (minor spoilers):

  • The bar fight. Beer bottle, pool cue and intestines. Gave us Taken flashbacks, and that’s a good thing.   
  • The truck battle. Fucking fantastic set piece. Intense, physical and filmed perfectly. As good a set piece as we’ve seen in any movie.
  • Body repair. Wrist, guts, sand and duct tape. It’s a powerful scene that was unexpected.


Film poster for Savaged, supernatural revenge flick releasing at Avenged worldwide on April 21st.


Where did you see the movie?

We searched VOD through our provider but couldn’t find it so we went with a rental on Amazon Instant Video. The rental price is a bit steep at $6.99, basically the same price as a single matinee theater ticket. Given the quality of the film it ended up being worth the cost. The film is available in DVD format for pre-order through amazon. We highly recommend you pick up a copy.

Banshee Chapter (2013) – Raw Review

Cosmic Horror Done Very Very Well


The banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.horrorpedia.com

Banshee Chapter is cosmic horror movie based on concepts of H.P. Lovecraft. Things want to wear us.
The most overly used tagline in movie marketing nowadays is “Based on true events” or “Based on a true story” or “Inspired by true events” etc. It’s overused, misleading, and just plain unnecessary most of the time. Sure, telling people up front a film is “Based on true events” will increase sales and audience anticipation but in the end it can leave a bad taste in their mouths as well.

The synopsis for this film says it’s “Inspired by true events” but all that ends up meaning is the story incorporates historical references to secret government experiments from back in the 50s/60s/70s. Perhaps the studio was concerned audiences wouldn’t be aware or believe that MK-Ultra project existed. Possible, but marketing true stories is better for a films bottom line, and the bottom line drives the machine.

Fortunately Banshee Chapter, by writer/director Blair Erickson, is a decent enough cosmic horror film it doesn’t matter how it’s marketed. The movie is tackling fairly complex ideas that typically don’t translate well onto screen, but Erickson does a very good job in setting a dark and mysterious path for the characters to travel down while keeping the story at a solid pace.

Essentially Banshee Chapter is a mystery. When a journalist goes in search of her college friend who has gone missing after taking an experimental drug she finds something much more sinister than she could ever have imagined. Sound fun? It is.

The film style is done in hand cam and semi-hand cam. What I mean is there are recordings throughout the movie that provide clues to previous events which are entirely hand cam. The rest of the film is shot in third-person real time but the camera continues to follow the main character around as if the cameraman were standing next to her in the scene. For continuity purposes it works to keep the viewer feeling as if they are right alongside the protagonist. Then again, those who dislike hand cam will probably take issue with the semi-hand cam, finding it unnecessary. There isn’t a lot of shaky cam, other than in targeted places, so that’s a bonus.

Ted Levine pours some of the magical liquid that will allow them to see us.
“A little for you, a little for me…”
The main players in the film are Katia Winter and Ted Levine. Both  put 
Katia Winter hears something outside. Something that wat's to wear her.
“It wants to wear us…it wants to wear us!”
forth excellent performances from beginning to end. As some of you may know, Winter also played Katrina Crane on the show Sleepy Hollow. I promise she is much better in this than she was on the show. Levine you’ll remember from his iconic penis-tuck performance in Silence of the Lambs.

What made this movie far better than expected is the cosmic horror theme and homage to H.P. Lovecraft. The movie’s been out long enough that multiple articles and reviews have emphasized the connection, but Erickson cleary is a fan of Lovecraft’s work and drew considerable inspiration from the Lovecraft short From Beyond

MK Ultra test subject. Patient is about to see things, terrible things.
“Am I getting paid for this?”
The incorporation of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program creates an Area 51, Roswell conspiracy story well suited to cosmic horror concepts. If taking an experimental drug could allow you see things, things that can see you back what would you do? The concept and mystery is very nicely put together in this film, and some genuinely creepy moments will have a lot of people covering their eyes or just feeling uneasy.
Lovecraftian horror at your door. It arrives to wear the young man.
“Do you hear that?" 

Good movie?


Yes, it’s a good movie. Fans of horror, mystery, conspiracy, and even science fiction should find something about the film that resonates with their interests.

What if I don’t like hand cam?


You should watch the movie anyway. There is very little shaky cam, it’s only used where narratively it makes sense. Also, letting a filming style keep you from watching a movie at least once is kind of shallow and dismissive. Don’t be that fan.

Is this a good date movie?


First date…no. It’s too dark and if your date is unaware of cosmic horror tropes/concepts you’ll spend way too much time explaining the references. If your date is keen on those concepts or at least has an understanding then absolutely, you’ll have a lot to discuss in bed afterward.

What the heck is MK-Ultra?


Here is a link. Yes it was a real thing

Banshee Chapter (2013) – Raw Review

Cosmic Horror Done Very Very Well


The banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.horrorpedia.com

Banshee Chapter is cosmic horror movie based on concepts of H.P. Lovecraft. Things want to wear us.
The most overly used tagline in movie marketing nowadays is “Based on true events” or “Based on a true story” or “Inspired by true events” etc. It’s overused, misleading, and just plain unnecessary most of the time. Sure, telling people up front a film is “Based on true events” will increase sales and audience anticipation but in the end it can leave a bad taste in their mouths as well.

The synopsis for this film says it’s “Inspired by true events” but all that ends up meaning is the story incorporates historical references to secret government experiments from back in the 50s/60s/70s. Perhaps the studio was concerned audiences wouldn’t be aware or believe that MK-Ultra project existed. Possible, but marketing true stories is better for a films bottom line, and the bottom line drives the machine.

Fortunately Banshee Chapter, by writer/director Blair Erickson, is a decent enough cosmic horror film it doesn’t matter how it’s marketed. The movie is tackling fairly complex ideas that typically don’t translate well onto screen, but Erickson does a very good job in setting a dark and mysterious path for the characters to travel down while keeping the story at a solid pace.

Essentially Banshee Chapter is a mystery. When a journalist goes in search of her college friend who has gone missing after taking an experimental drug she finds something much more sinister than she could ever have imagined. Sound fun? It is.

The film style is done in hand cam and semi-hand cam. What I mean is there are recordings throughout the movie that provide clues to previous events which are entirely hand cam. The rest of the film is shot in third-person real time but the camera continues to follow the main character around as if the cameraman were standing next to her in the scene. For continuity purposes it works to keep the viewer feeling as if they are right alongside the protagonist. Then again, those who dislike hand cam will probably take issue with the semi-hand cam, finding it unnecessary. There isn’t a lot of shaky cam, other than in targeted places, so that’s a bonus.

Ted Levine pours some of the magical liquid that will allow them to see us.
“A little for you, a little for me…”
The main players in the film are Katia Winter and Ted Levine. Both  put 
Katia Winter hears something outside. Something that wat's to wear her.
“It wants to wear us…it wants to wear us!”
forth excellent performances from beginning to end. As some of you may know, Winter also played Katrina Crane on the show Sleepy Hollow. I promise she is much better in this than she was on the show. Levine you’ll remember from his iconic penis-tuck performance in Silence of the Lambs.

What made this movie far better than expected is the cosmic horror theme and homage to H.P. Lovecraft. The movie’s been out long enough that multiple articles and reviews have emphasized the connection, but Erickson cleary is a fan of Lovecraft’s work and drew considerable inspiration from the Lovecraft short From Beyond

MK Ultra test subject. Patient is about to see things, terrible things.
“Am I getting paid for this?”
The incorporation of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program creates an Area 51, Roswell conspiracy story well suited to cosmic horror concepts. If taking an experimental drug could allow you see things, things that can see you back what would you do? The concept and mystery is very nicely put together in this film, and some genuinely creepy moments will have a lot of people covering their eyes or just feeling uneasy.
Lovecraftian horror at your door. It arrives to wear the young man.
“Do you hear that?” 

Good movie?


Yes, it’s a good movie. Fans of horror, mystery, conspiracy, and even science fiction should find something about the film that resonates with their interests.

What if I don’t like hand cam?


You should watch the movie anyway. There is very little shaky cam, it’s only used where narratively it makes sense. Also, letting a filming style keep you from watching a movie at least once is kind of shallow and dismissive. Don’t be that fan.

Is this a good date movie?


First date…no. It’s too dark and if your date is unaware of cosmic horror tropes/concepts you’ll spend way too much time explaining the references. If your date is keen on those concepts or at least has an understanding then absolutely, you’ll have a lot to discuss in bed afterward.

What the heck is MK-Ultra?


Here is a link. Yes it was a real thing

Banshee Chapter (2013) – Raw Review

Banshee Chapter is Cosmic Horror Done Very Very Well.

 

The banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld. — horrorpedia.com
The most overly used tagline in movie marketing nowadays is “Based on true events” or “Based on a true story” or “Inspired by true events” etc. It’s overused, misleading, and just plain unnecessary most of the time. Sure, telling people up front a film is “Based on true events” will increase sales and audience anticipation but in the end it can leave a bad taste in their mouths as well.

The synopsis for this film says it’s “Inspired by true events” but all that ends up meaning is the story incorporates historical references to secret government experiments from back in the 50s/60s/70s. Perhaps the studio was concerned audiences wouldn’t be aware or believe that MK-Ultra project existed. Possible, but marketing true stories is better for a films bottom line, and the bottom line drives the machine.

Banshee Chapter, horror, sci-fi, thriller, mystery, monster, horror movie, sci-fi movie, scifi, Lovecraft, From Beyond, movie review, raw review, movie, Netflix

Fortunately Banshee Chapter, by writer/director Blair Erickson, is a decent enough cosmic horror film it doesn’t matter how it’s marketed. The movie is tackling fairly complex ideas that typically don’t translate well onto screen, but Erickson does a very good job in setting a dark and mysterious path for the characters to travel down while keeping the story at a solid pace.

Essentially Banshee Chapter is a mystery. When a journalist goes in search of her college friend who has gone missing after taking an experimental drug she finds something much more sinister than she could ever have imagined. Sound fun? It is.

The film style is done in hand cam and semi-hand cam. What I mean is there are recordings throughout the movie that provide clues to previous events which are entirely hand cam. The rest of the film is shot in third-person real time but the camera continues to follow the main character around as if the cameraman were standing next to her in the scene. For continuity purposes it works to keep the viewer feeling as if they are right alongside the protagonist. Then again, those who dislike hand cam will probably take issue with the semi-hand cam, finding it unnecessary. There isn’t a lot of shaky cam, other than in targeted places, so that’s a bonus.

Banshee Chapter, horror, sci-fi, thriller, mystery, monster, horror movie, sci-fi movie, scifi, Lovecraft, From Beyond, movie review, raw review, movie, NetflixThe main players in the film are Katia Winter and Ted Levine. Both put forth excellent performances from beginning to end. As some of you may know, Winter also played Katrina Crane on the show Sleepy Hollow. I promise she is much better in this than she was on the show. Levine you’ll remember from his iconic penis-tuck performance in Silence of the Lambs.

What made this movie far better than expected is the cosmic horror theme and homage to H.P. Lovecraft. The movie’s been out long enough that multiple articles and reviews have emphasized the connection, but Erickson cleary is a fan of Lovecraft’s work and drew considerable inspiration from the Lovecraft short From Beyond.

Banshee Chapter, horror, sci-fi, thriller, mystery, monster, horror movie, sci-fi movie, scifi, Lovecraft, From Beyond, movie review, raw review, movie, Netflix
The incorporation of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program creates an Area 51, Roswell conspiracy story well suited to cosmic horror concepts. If taking an experimental drug could allow you see things, things that can see you back what would you do? The concept and mystery is very nicely put together in this film, and some genuinely creepy moments will have a lot of people covering their eyes or just feeling uneasy. Fans of horror, mystery, conspiracy, and even science fiction should find something about the film that resonates with their interests.

Movie Meme Mashup

When an innocent garden gnome is kidnapped and taken on a world tour, a pit stop to a rural Pennsylvania town will become a matter of death and life.

Amelia gnome turned zombie wants to eat amelie for sending him around the world.

Tweet of the Day

Orson Galore tweeted a wonderful picture from The Exorcist. 

We’ve seen some crazy tweets but this one’s certainly a head turner! 

Norway – Green, beautiful, terrifying.

Dark Woods 2 trailer is finally here… 12 years later. 

Looks interesting. Can’t go too wrong with biohazard suits, an abandon asylum and creepy night vision hand-cam shots.