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.

Monsters Dark Continent – Review

War in the time of mosques and monsters. 

military fights monsters and terrorists in the middle east sci-fi action war movieSimply stated, Monsters: Dark Continent is a mess. Before sitting down to view this film I wondered why the producers decided to call the movie ‘Dark Continent.’ Two hours later while the credits rolled down my television I’m still not completely sure but I have a theory.

Monsters: Dark Continent is very different from it’s predecessor. It takes place in the same ‘universe’ as it’s predecessor, 10 years down the line, but in Dark Continent we are thrown into the Middle East as opposed to Central America and the movie is shown through the perspective of the U.S. military rather than civilians. In the film monsters have spread the the Middle East (the explanation so throw away that you could miss it if you blink) and are multiplying. So the U.S. takes it upon itself to bomb monsters wherever they are found. the only problem is the bombs kills civilians which creates more insurgents. See where this is going?

soldiers fight giant monster



Gareth Edwards, writer/director of the first film, was tied up with commitments to Godzilla and therefore couldn’t come back to direct on this one. He dodged a bullet and he’s probably thanking his lucky stars.

So whats the theory?

I think couple executives sat down early on and had a conversation that went something like this:

“Hey, did you see that Monsters movie? The one the guy wrote and directed on a shoestring.”

“Are you talking about the one with hardly any monsters?” 

“Yeah. We need a sequel.”  

“Okay, any ideas of what it would be about?”  

“Well you’re right, the first movie didn’t have enough monsters in it so we’d need to add a whole shit ton this time.” 

“So what, like the monsters are spreading around the world?”  

“Yeah…and we need army guys shooting and blowing them up.”  

“Army guys?”  

“Definately, the final scene in the first movie with the giant monster and the explosions was the best part of the film. And we had to wait through the entire movie to see it.”

“So military fighting monsters, sounds good.” 

“We can show how brutal fighting the monsters are, and we can have the writer incorporate military jargon into the script so it sounds more authentic.” 

“That’s still not a story, what should the movie be about?”  

“How about a platoon of soldiers who are in the shit, learning it’s not all fun and games?”  

“So Platoon with monsters? That’s big budget.” 

“A squad then. Or maybe a small special forces unit. But either way, they’re fighting monsters.”  

“Just monsters?”  

“Maybe…no, oh no I have it! The military isn’t just fighting monsters, they are fighting terrorists.”  

“Hmmm…doesn’t sound very original.” 

“We can make it just like all the other middle east war movies. Squad of young soldiers sign-up all gung-ho, then find out war sucks. The monsters can be an extra threat that will add some cool sci-fi elements to what is otherwise a war picture.”  

“Now that sounds interesting, but we need to get this into production soon so we don’t have a lot of time to be creative.”  

“It’s okay, we’ll hire a couple of no-name guys, guys with credits but no major commitments, and we’ll instruct them to write a dark gritty war film with lots of monsters sprinkled throughout.” 

“Sounds like a solid plan.”  

“If we’re lucky the writers will come back with something like Apocalypse Now, only with monsters.” 

“That would be awesome!”

So basically my theory is the title is a semi-ripoff of Apocalypse Now source material Heart of Darkness.

Dark Continent suffers from several major problems but the worst, and one that brought the entire movie down, is the first person narration. One member of the squad (who are all friends from the same town and join to get away from poverty, crime, and numerous cliches) provides a voice over throughout the movie, giving us his feelings, thoughts, and growing disillusionment as reality does what it does. It’s really annoying and not done very well.

Had Dark Continent simply tried to present a military perspective without all the stylistic bullshit it would have been a better film. The monsters are cool as hell and the idea that the U.S is still in the middle east and still fucking shit up works, mainly because it’s not far fetched.

Johnny Harris (Black Death, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Nicholas Pinnock (Eastenders, Fortitude)  give great performances as the veteran Sergeants. The rest of the cast are pretty forgettable, including the stereotypical Islamic terrorists.

I really wanted to like this movie and it had/has a lot going for it, but the contrived voice over and unlikeable soldiers serve to undermine the better aspects of the film.


war movie with monsters terrorists and death

So it’s a war movie with Monsters? 

Think of the monsters as a force of nature. In westerns the good guys and bad guys have to fend off a stampede on occasion.

Good date movie?

Naw. Other than the half naked hookers in the opening twenty minutes I’m not sure there is another female role of any substance in the film.  

How do the monsters look? Good CGI?

The monsters are cool as hell. They add some new monsters into the mix and show people interacting with them as they would other animals. 

So you wouldn’t recommend the movie? 

I did not like the movie, although I wanted too badly. I’m all for supporting genre flicks, especially sci-fi, but it’s not anywhere near as good as the first film and not an especially good war movie either. If you’re going to watch it wait till it’s on Netflix or Amazon Prime. 

If you’re looking for a good monster movie that captures the darker aspects of human nature/survival check out Stake Land


Good Night Kiddies.

Sleep tight and enjoy this little lullaby gif from Evil Dead.
Evil Dead Demon in the cellar begging to released.
Hush little baby don’t say a word…

New Schwarzenegger Movie Looks Interesting

We’re going to jump on the bandwagon and agree with everyone else that ‘Maggie’ the new Arnold Schwarzenegger film looks really interesting.

Jo Blo Movie Trailers provides this summary of the film:

Directed by Henry Hobson, the story follows Arnold Schwarzenegger setting out to protect his infected daughter (Abigail Breslin) when a zombie epidemic is threatening the world. It looks to be a refreshingly small-scale, compelling drama with the zombie aspect simply a backdrop, and we’ll find out soon if that’s the case. Also starring Joely Richardson, Laura Cayouette, and Dana Gourrier, check out the trailer below.

Sounds pretty damn good. The trailer looks pretty damn good. We don’t really care how good it is, it’s just nice to see old Arnold back to making movies on a full time basis. Check out the trailer and let us know what you think.

In theaters and On-Demand – May 8th, 2015

New Schwarzenegger Movie Looks Interesting

We’re going to jump on the bandwagon and agree with everyone else that ‘Maggie’ the new Arnold Schwarzenegger film looks really interesting.

Jo Blo Movie Trailers provides this summary of the film:

Directed by Henry Hobson, the story follows Arnold Schwarzenegger setting out to protect his infected daughter (Abigail Breslin) when a zombie epidemic is threatening the world. It looks to be a refreshingly small-scale, compelling drama with the zombie aspect simply a backdrop, and we’ll find out soon if that’s the case. Also starring Joely Richardson, Laura Cayouette, and Dana Gourrier, check out the trailer below.

Sounds pretty damn good. The trailer looks pretty damn good. We don’t really care how good it is, it’s just nice to see old Arnold back to making movies on a full time basis. Check out the trailer and let us know what you think.

In theaters and On-Demand – May 8th, 2015

Make-Out with Violence

Zombies Need Love Too

high school guy finds girl dead, tied to a tree. shes a zombie and he tries to play house. If you found the remains of your high school crush hanging out in a field what would you do? You’d take her home, feed her, wash her, dress her up and play house with her, right?

This movie suffers from what I like to call storyline schizophrenia. It can’t decide what type of movie it wants to be – zombie horror or John Hughes horror.

I actually enjoyed the relationships between the living characters better than the dead girl infatuation. In fact, if you removed the undead storyline altogether it wouldn’t hurt the movie at all.

Q: Is this a good film?
A: Eh, yes and no. If your looking for a horror film then your not going to get it.

Q: Is this a good date movie?
A: If you want your date to think your deep and artistic, just be prepared for them to fall asleep.

Q: Is there nudity in this movie?
A: None whatsoever. Its an indie film about 17 year old kids sorrow, not a shallow tits and ass film! (insert sarcasm where applicable)

Q: Is this another necrophilia themed movie? (see my Dead Girl review)
A: Nope, this is closer to Wes Craven’s 1986 horror film Deadly Friend – subtract the horror and add a lot of teen melodrama.

Q: Is this a zombie film?
A: Well there is a zombie in the film, does that count?

Make-Out with Violence

Zombies Need Love Too

high school guy finds girl dead, tied to a tree. shes a zombie and he tries to play house. If you found the remains of your high school crush hanging out in a field what would you do? You’d take her home, feed her, wash her, dress her up and play house with her, right?

This movie suffers from what I like to call storyline schizophrenia. It can’t decide what type of movie it wants to be – zombie horror or John Hughes horror.

I actually enjoyed the relationships between the living characters better than the dead girl infatuation. In fact, if you removed the undead storyline altogether it wouldn’t hurt the movie at all.

Q: Is this a good film?
A: Eh, yes and no. If your looking for a horror film then your not going to get it.

Q: Is this a good date movie?
A: If you want your date to think your deep and artistic, just be prepared for them to fall asleep.

Q: Is there nudity in this movie?
A: None whatsoever. Its an indie film about 17 year old kids sorrow, not a shallow tits and ass film! (insert sarcasm where applicable)

Q: Is this another necrophilia themed movie? (see my Dead Girl review)
A: Nope, this is closer to Wes Craven’s 1986 horror film Deadly Friend – subtract the horror and add a lot of teen melodrama.

Q: Is this a zombie film?
A: Well there is a zombie in the film, does that count?

New Friday the 13th Details

According to Dread Central, Friday the 13th is coming back to the big screen and it’s just obtained a solid writer. 

Of course if they are just picking up a writer it’s early enough in the process that it may never actually make it on screen, but we’re hoping.

Book Review – The Frozen Sky by Jeff Carlson

Action packed science fiction thriller.

            

The Frozen Sky by Jeff Carlson is a fine example of how the price of a book can result in a wonderful read and discovery of a new favorite. Let’s not kid ourselves, books are expensive. You may not agree with such a generalization but money is money and out of pocket costs for entertainment demand return on investment.

In this case the price is what resulted in the purchase. $3.99 for an e-book isn’t too bad, and certainly isn’t a gouge by the publisher (as so many other book prices clearly are). So once the book was downloaded and opened and the words began to spill out off the pages several things became instantly clear.

First, Jeff Carlson can write. Maybe not the best in the business, but the ability to write well stands out in the crowd, and Carlson has skill.

Second, The story is hard science fiction. Before anyone starts throwing rotten lettuce and tomatoes, the differing positions on what constitutes ‘hard science’ in novels is understood by the meat men here at Raw Movie Reviews. Our position is this – the story is closer to hard science than no science or pseudo-science or christian science, or Scientology. So drop it and move on to the next point, which is…

Third, the story is great. It’s intriguing from the first sentence. The action begins and doesn’t really stop. The points of view are extremely limited establishing the feeling of isolation that is critical to the tone and really helps set the stage for the entire story.

For the price it’s more than worth the read. Bonus – if you have Amazon Prime you can check it our for free. Awesome right? What don’t have Amazon Prime? You should… click here.

Q: What’s the story?
A: It’s a first contact story on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Q: Is it hard science fiction?
A: You’re just trying to start an argument. 😛 We stick my tongues out at you.  …and waggle several other tongues we have lying around the shop.

Q: Has Carlson written anything else of note?
A: This is the only book we’ve read by this author, however we just discovered he has written a squeal to this book. So now we have a new book to read. Yay!

Q: Is there nudity??
A; Dude it’s a book.

Check out some other great books on the Recommended Reading page.

Book Review – The Frozen Sky by Jeff Carlson

Action packed science fiction thriller.

            

The Frozen Sky by Jeff Carlson is a fine example of how the price of a book can result in a wonderful read and discovery of a new favorite. Let’s not kid ourselves, books are expensive. You may not agree with such a generalization but money is money and out of pocket costs for entertainment demand return on investment.

In this case the price is what resulted in the purchase. $3.99 for an e-book isn’t too bad, and certainly isn’t a gouge by the publisher (as so many other book prices clearly are). So once the book was downloaded and opened and the words began to spill out off the pages several things became instantly clear.

First, Jeff Carlson can write. Maybe not the best in the business, but the ability to write well stands out in the crowd, and Carlson has skill.

Second, The story is hard science fiction. Before anyone starts throwing rotten lettuce and tomatoes, the differing positions on what constitutes ‘hard science’ in novels is understood by the meat men here at Raw Movie Reviews. Our position is this – the story is closer to hard science than no science or pseudo-science or christian science, or Scientology. So drop it and move on to the next point, which is…

Third, the story is great. It’s intriguing from the first sentence. The action begins and doesn’t really stop. The points of view are extremely limited establishing the feeling of isolation that is critical to the tone and really helps set the stage for the entire story.

For the price it’s more than worth the read. Bonus – if you have Amazon Prime you can check it our for free. Awesome right? What don’t have Amazon Prime? You should… click here.

Q: What’s the story?
A: It’s a first contact story on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Q: Is it hard science fiction?
A: You’re just trying to start an argument. 😛 We stick my tongues out at you.  …and waggle several other tongues we have lying around the shop.

Q: Has Carlson written anything else of note?
A: This is the only book we’ve read by this author, however we just discovered he has written a squeal to this book. So now we have a new book to read. Yay!

Q: Is there nudity??
A; Dude it’s a book.

Check out some other great books on the Recommended Reading page.