Tag Archives: comedy

Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (2015) – Raw Review

Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse isn’t going to get anyone their film-making merit badge.

Scouts  is yet another offering in the zom-com genre, one that’s become saturated with lackluster and genuinely terrible films. Scouts doesn’t quite fall into the latter category but lackluster is an apt description for a film that for all purposes could have been much better than it was.

Starring Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan and Sarah Dumont, Scouts vs Zombies (original working title) follows three teenage ‘boy’ scouts who find themselves unknowingly thrown into a zombie outbreak during a camping trip. The film plays all the standard teen comedy, coming-of-age tropes you might expect but it does so half heartedly at best. Director Christopher Landon, whose writing career is prominent with films like Disturbia and all but the first film in the Paranormal Activity franchise, shows his lack of experience in handling Scouts comedy beats which come off silly and flat throughout most of the film. Much the way Cooties failed to hit the mark, Scouts suffers an even worse fate due to the lower caliber of acting from the cast. Tye Sheridan does a decent job, and silly but decent cameo by Cloris Leachman is a nice addition, but a pretty ridiculous recurring role for David Koechner will leave a lot of people scratching their heads.

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Zom-com films, when handled poorly, often enough go overboard on either the horror or the comedy. Scouts misses the mark on both, leaving horror fans wanting more fleshing eating zombie scenes and comedy fans stuck with the same ol’ stupid sight gags. I’ll give Landon credit for not relying on toilet humor, which one might expect for a movie of this caliber, but there are several boob and dick gags that do little in the way of laughs and nothing at all for story or character development.

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All-in-all, Scouts is a poor addition to the ever growing list zom-com films. For those who enjoy the genre there is little to find here that hasn’t been done exceptionally better in films like Cockney’s vs. Zombies, Shaun of the Dead, Zombeavers, Fido, Zombieland, Dance of the Dead, etc etc.

Stung (2015) – Raw Review

There is an understandable reluctance to give much print space to low-budget genre films, mainly due to the similarity of subject matter that inundates various forms of visual media. Zombies, vampires, slasher/torture porn, and found footage evil are themes that dominate the market, and act to dull viewer sensibilities to the point where new titles are generally avoided rather than sampled. The category dealing with large monsters/critters is particularly susceptible to cut-and-paste storylines using bad CGI (examples abound, but for the sake of verisimilitude, see any title involving a sharktopus, or a whalewolf, or a megapirahna). It takes a bit of skill, but mostly just dumb luck, to find a film of this type that makes even a token attempt to present a decent screenplay, good acting, competent directing, and professional production values. Fortunately, a new German-US film, Stung, which just popped up on Netflix streaming along with DVD and Blu-ray release, meets most of those criteria.

Stung grabbed this viewer immediately with a nicely-shot pre-credit scene that follows a bumblebee as it meanders lazily over a beautiful, bucolic countryside. Ho-hum, you say, another killer bee film. Nope. Following the bee is a sinister black insect that attacks its prey in mid-air, driving both to the ground, where a nasty, retractable stinger dispatches the peaceful bumble. We are talking killer wasps here. But it gets even better. There are BIG killer wasps in the immediate future.

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The single setting for the film is an isolated summer mansion where the wealthy owners are throwing an outdoor celebration of… something or other. This kind of detail is really unimportant in an extremely simple story. Our protagonists are Julia and Paul, two young entrepreneurs who are struggling to keep her catering business afloat. Julia, in a fine, emotive performance by Jessica Cook in her first feature film, is a focused, frightened young woman who wants to make a good impression on her customers, and is oblivious to her mumbling, moon-struck helper/bartender Paul, played by veteran actor Matt O’Leary (Frailty, 2001; Brick, 2005). They arrive at the mansion, begin the outdoor setup, and a horde of wasps erupt from an underground nest. Chaos ensues. But the extra added attraction is that the wasps lay eggs in their hosts that grow into gigantic flying monsters complete with host characteristics. Thus, human wasps, dog wasps, and even bovine wasps. The beasties are presented in quite competent CGI forms, mostly when flying, and in excellent practical animatronics when on the ground. And that is the entire 82-minute (plus credits) film. It ain’t major award material by any means, but neither is it remotely akin to a sharktopus.

stung-3

What is most interesting to this reviewer, however, is that Stung is the offspring of rookies. Adam Aresty’s script is his first screen credit; while the story is linear and simplistic, the dialog is sharp, occasionally funny, and surprisingly emotional. Director Benni Diez does a very competent job in his first feature film. The fine photography and scene composition by Stephen Burchardt is the sophomore effort after a TV movie (sf/thriller Killing All the Flies, 2013). Acting is confined to four major characters, all of whom are fine to acceptable. And it appeared to this reviewer that the director allowed some ad-libbing by O’Leary and supporting cast member Lance Henriksen (genre credits too numerous to mention).

As a complete package, Stung turned out to be a very entertaining little genre film, never pretending to be something it’s not. The effort by all of the creative people listed above is greatly appreciated by those of us who fondly remember the low-budget, black-and-white Big Bug films of yesteryear. There is still some life in this old trope.

Stung Movie Poster Raw Review, Horror Movie, Monster Movie

 

 

Freaks of Nature – (Official Red Band Trailer)

If you haven’t seen the trailer for Freaks of Nature then you’re in for a treat. There is no way to know how good this will be but it sure looks like a lot of fun. Release date is October 30th in select theaters.

Synopsis: In the town of Dillford, humans, vampires and zombies were all living in peace… until the alien apocalypse arrived. Now three teenagers – one human, one vampire, and one zombie – have to team up to figure out how to get rid of the visitors.

 

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Cooties (2015) – Raw Review

Cooties is a pretty run-of-the-mill zom-com. As an action horror it’s decent, yet unremarkable. As a horror movie it’s violent and gory, yet unremarkable. As a comedy it provides a lot of laughs, a few chuckles, and yet is unremarkable.

 

The premise is simple – tainted chicken nugget turns kid into a zombie of sorts, from there is spreads to other kids, and so forth. The film never really classifies it’s feral children as zombies. They start more as crazed infected until hair and body parts start dropping off. They are fast moving, intelligent, able to hunt, and dangerous. Always finding ways around the teacher’s tricks and traps. If you’re looking for more traditional zombie fair you might be disappointed, but for what the movie is trying to do, non-traditional works just fine.

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The main downside to the film is the canned storyline and underdeveloped characters. Elijah Wood and Amy Pill provide some good chemistry against the over-the-top shenanigans of Rainn Wilson, creating a funny if not completely ridiculous love triangle. Wilson plays the douche bag gym teacher to perfection, landing just about every one liner he’s given. Unfortunately even a great Rainn Wilson can’t hold up the film on his own. A always hilarious Jack McBrayer is woefully underutilized and Jorge Garcia’s role is almost non-existent, except to trip-out and be available when necessary.

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Adam Sandler has proven time and again that you don’t need a story or interesting characters to draw millions of people to the theatre. All you need is witty banter and a bunch of people not getting along. Cooties banks on this concept but makes the wise decision to dress the film in campy horror. A splash of gore, a few dismembered bodies, and just a touch of the apocalypse. It’s the horror that makes the movie better than it should be. Not a lot better, but fun and watchable.

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There are some genuinely awesome moments in this movie. The best involving a distracted mother, an SUV, a baby in a car seat, and an infected boy being picked up from school. First time directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion do a good job with this movie. It’s well directed and well filmed. The comedic beats are handled well enough to get the laughs, but the story beats feel like old hat a lot of the time. Had the movie been more comedic, or conversely more horrific, then it might have been a homerun. As it stands Cooties is an enjoyable film that most people will find palatable for a popcorn horror showing.  

 

Clinger (2015) – Raw Review

Clinger is the sharpest comedy to hit the Horror Genre in years.

Mashing comedy and horror is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish in cinema. More often than not funny horror film turn out to be mediocre fare that fall short in both humor and horror, leaving audience dubious about future films. If you ever needed reassurance that good comedy-horror still exists in the world then Clinger is your proof. A seemingly low budget horror story that is one of the funniest films of 2015.

When Robert Klingher, dies in a horrible (and hilarious) accident, his ghost, fueled by uncontrollable love, plots to keep his relationship with Fern Peterson. Things go sideways quickly leading to a lot of blood, guts and monster mayhem. A coming of age movie about a young high school senior and her obsessively smitten first love, Clinger can be described as John Hughes meets Beetlejuice, only better.

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Director Michael Stevens has captured the perfect blend of razor sharp humor and bloody mayhem. Having penned the screenplay along with co-writers with Gabi Chennis and Bubba Fish, Stevens is relentless in hitting the perfect comedic timing in every scene, establishing a rhythm early on and never letting go. Much of the humor crosses the line into outright spoof, but the performances by Jennifer Laporte (Fern), Vincent Martella (Robert), Juila Aks (Fern’s sister Kelesy), and Shonna Major (Fern’s best friend Moe) are so strong it works, and works well.

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Clinger is a must see movie for anyone who enjoys the comedy-horror genre. Solid writing, excellent acting, and above board direction take this film far beyond where you’d expect and it’s easy to see how bad this film might have been if placed in different hands.

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Insectula! (2015) – Raw Review

monster, 50s spoof, parody, satire, horror, cold war monster, giant bug, movie

Insectula! is the first film from writer/director Mike Peterson. Intended to be a parody/satire of 1950s/60s monster movies, it’s campiness and extremely low-budget spectacle is sure draw a large cult following. Spoofs , satires and parodies of classic monster tropes, films and styles are in high demand nowadays. Monster movies from the 50s/60s are very […]

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via Cthulhuwho

Ewwww! You’ve got Cooties!!!

Cooties is a fictional childhood disease used in the United States of America and Canada as a rejection term and an infection tag game (such as Humans vs. Zombies). – wikipedia

You mean Cooties aren’t real? WTF man? Well real or not Cooties are a large part of everyone’s childhood hence the reason games like this one exist: 
So what’s my point? Thought you’d never ask. Turns out that after god knows how many years someone in the film industry finally realized the ‘Cootie’ is an untapped goldmine. Bloody Disgusting is reporting that a new movie staring Elijah Wood is set to be released by Lionsgate. Apparently it’s a satire about a zombie-ish outbreak caused by a tainted chicken nugget. We’ve seen some decently original zombie films in the past year so this has certainly peaked our interest. Check out the article below.

Do Not Under Estimate The Sheep

Sheep Eat Farmer! 

Film at 11:00. 

Killer sheep eat farmer in horror movie meme picture. Australia is wack!