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John’s Horror Corner: Chaw (2009, aka Chawu), a Korean film about a boring giant killer boar.

June 24, 2018

MY CALL:  This film completely failed me on all levels. It was boring, unexciting, terrible effects and CGI, no gore, and the alleged “comedy” was horribly executed.  MORE MOVIES LIKE ChawFor more (and better) killer pig films, try Razorback (1984), Pig Hunt (2008) and the upcoming Australian film Boar (2018). For more Korean horror, I’d recommend Train to Busan (2016), The Wailing (2016), I Saw the Devil (2010), Thirst (2009) or The Host (2006).

I love foreign horror films. LOVE THEM. But, admittedly, “reading” films can pose a challenge to one’s attention to the visual cues, timing and tone. Subtitles can result in a lot being lost in translation, and subtitles often paraphrase resulting in a change of perceived context. Yet, with this film, I cannot help but to feel that the writing is weak, highly simplistic, and that the frequent attempts at hokey comedy are cheap and uncompelling. I’m just not buying into it… and that sucks.

A small town outside of Seoul finds its share of excitement when a recent grave is dug up and the local police force investigate. After another body appears and it’s evident that a large wild animal is responsible, the local police try to keep everything quiet in their famously crime-free village until things get out of hand. It feels a bit like the premises of Hot Fuzz (2007) and the mayor from Jaws (1975) are behind this.

Eventually a professional hunting team is hired and they fail—catching the much smaller female mate and effectively just pissing off the big bad male. After the big bad boar wreaks havoc on the village celebration, the villagers take things more seriously, setting traps with claymores and dutifully working together to track the beast to its lair.

So… the boar is really a bore—sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Really bad CGI effects fail to bring any credible life to this Korean-ScyFy movie-of-the-week monster. Even as some scenes deliberately echoed the classic Razorback (1984), I couldn’t get into it. The effects were too lousy, the scenes never felt dire, and nothing is ever exciting. Even the chase scenes are flat and uninspired, and gore is hardly present at all. Nothing relevant transpires onscreen. Worse of all, the finale battle with the boar was lame—even boring.  [Sigh.]

Despite my recent obsession with giant killer boar films, writer/director Jeong-won Shin (To Catch a Virgin Ghost, Ghost Sweepers) has royally failed to entertain me. Terrible writing. Terrible and boring. I watch a lot of bad movies and, quite frequently, I manage to find the good in them. However, this may be my most regrettable movie of the year so far. I find noting redeeming about it.


John’s Horror Corner: Star Crystal (1986), E.T. (1982) meets a fun gory B-movie Alien (1979) rip-off with a gooey tentacle monster.

June 23, 2018

MY CALL:  This feels like two shorter movies back to back—one is a gory Alien (1979) riff, the other is a light-hearted yet gooey play on E.T. (1982). Weird, gory, a bit funny, and surprisingly worthwhile.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Star CrystalFor more low budget Alien (1979) rip-offs, you should seek Contamination (1980; aka Alien Contamination), Alien 2: On Earth (1980), Scared to Death (1980), Galaxy of Terror (1981), Forbidden World (1982; aka Mutant), Inseminoid (1982; aka Horror Planet), Parasite (1982), Creature (1985; aka Titan Find), Creepazoids (1987), Blue Monkey (1987), Nightflyers (1987), Deep Space (1988), The Terror Within (1989), Shocking Dark (1989; aka Terminator 2, aka Aliennators), The Rift (1990), Xtro 2: The Second Encounter (1991), Dark Universe (1993) and Zombies: The Beginning (2007).  

Directing his first film (of only two in his career), Lance Lindsay follows in the heavily-treaded tracks of Alien-copycats before him with this surprisingly entertaining B-movie that ambitiously covers a LOT more ground than you’d expect.

During a 2035 Mars mission, two working class astronauts recover a Martian moon rock with a unique electronic signature (whatever that means). But if Alien Contamination (1980), Species (1995) or Apollo 18 (2011) have taught me anything, it is to NEVER trust space rocks or minerals! Naturally, this rock is more than it seems and starts emitting gas and leaking glowing goo before it “hatches” a sort of crystal and a squeaking pulsating alien thing (perhaps analogous in size and form to a chestburster).

Shortly after meeting our chipmunk-sized alien, the spaceship engine shuts down and a loss of oxygen leaves the crew dead and blue-in-the-face. Two months later a subsequent crew recovers the wreckage… along with a now bigger, gooier, pulsating glowing alien thing with a bulbous body and very long tentacles (much like The Boogens (1981) or The Kindred (1987)).

About 10 minutes into the running time, watch out for sculptings of the Millennium Falcon on the doors of a space station and another that might just be a Starship Enterprise moments later. This is more than a cheap homage… the extensive use of quality models and set design continue to impress me.

The model spaceship design and sets are ambitious for a low budget feature (much as Creature), the pacing is actually quite pleasant (not making us wait for 45-60 minutes for anything interesting to happen), and the acting is far more competent than most films of its kind and loaded with smarmy dialogue.

The special effects include blood spurts, dripping slime, monstrously life-drained melty corpses, gooey alien slime-molting, and some fun tentacle monster attacks that get ample screentime. Instead of a facehugger parasite, our alien has a tentacle with three claws that attacks victims’ faces, and our xenomorph’s body looks like a mucus-glazed translucent E.T. (1982) with big neotenous eyes. And like E.T., this alien can speak, has the powers of telekinesis, and just wants to go home.

From here the film transmutes into something much more light-hearted and even somewhat humorous as we lead to an unexpectedly happy ending for both our alien and the surviving crew members of the ship. How’s that for a change of pace?

All said, this was among the more entertaining Alien (1979) rip-offs I’ve seen. Not just for it’s weird approach, but the care and vision behind it. Oh, but it’s still a B-movie. Make no mistake!

Forget Dinosaur Soldiers, Here are 10 Movie Monsters the Military Should Use for Military Operations

June 22, 2018

The idea behind the military folks in Jurassic World wanting to turn dinosaurs into super-soldiers never sat right with me. The amount of money, time, research, development and resources needed would cost in the billions and the result would be unpredictable. Why not train more soldiers or build nanotechnology to infiltrate enemies lairs? Why would a tiny
velociraptor be better than a spy satellite? Despite it being a horrible plan, I still love the idea of militarized movie monsters, so I’ve come up with 10 movie monsters who would be better soldiers than the dinosaurs in Jurassic World.

Let us know which monsters you’d love to see on a military mission.

1. Gremlins – Gremlins

I 100% guarantee the military would regret unleashing Gremlins on their foes because it would result in a deadly apocalypse. All it would take is a tiny rainstorm to transform the small unit into a world killing amount of intelligent monsters who would keep spawning until there is nothing left. The world would be over, but the military operation would be a success.

It would be the end of the world if it rained on a crew of Gremlins.

2. Graboids – Tremors

If the military could train a Graboid to run underground missions that destroy pipelines and bunkers it be would game-over for their foes. We already they are smart and can plow through any type of terrain, so it isn’t far-fetched that they could become military contractors.

Death from below.

3. Penguins – Batman Returns

I think they are adorable and it would really confuse villains when they see hundreds of armed penguins slowly approaching them. I guarantee nobody would expect a surprise attack via penguin and an added bonus is they could be released far from their targets because they have no problem marching for long distances.

Adorable and deadly.

4. Smart Sharks – Deep Blue Sea

The sharks took out a sea laboratory by themselves, so I don’t see them having any problems with submarines, boats or coastal ports. They already know how to work as a team and it really wouldn’t take much to get them trained and ready to go.

The sharks are great at sneak attacks.

5. Tribbles – Star Trek

I know they are from a television show but a Tribble invasion would be very easy to set up. All you have to do is dump a few of them on enemy territory and give them a few days to totally overpopulate the place. It would be a slow and terrible invasion.

Just drop them and wait.

6. Xenomorphs – Alien

This would be the most unpleasant option of the 10 because trained Xenomorphs are a high risk, high reward option when it comes to military options. They would wreck havoc on enemies, but the majority of the people training and arming them would die too.

The Xenomorphs are nightmare creations

7. Mist Monsters – The Mist

If the military could control the mist the creatures travel in it would be a crazy effective weapon. However, the book/movie proves they can’t control it, so it would be another high risk, high reward option. The Mist monsters would be absolutely terrifying for opponents, but who knows if they would actually do what they are told because we all know Mist monsters are flaky (no proof of this).

These monsters are nightmare creations

8. Crites – Critters

The Crites are dangerous criminals who eat people and don’t care about the law. They also lay a lot of eggs and are almost impossible to exterminate after they are let loose. This makes them perfect for military operations but terrible for everyone else.

You need to watch this clip

9. The Merman – Cabin in the Woods

I’m not sure how successful the Merman would be, but I know he would try really hard to accomplish his mission. We here at MFF love the Merman and have tracked his movements and even declared him the winner of our sea beast tournament (listen to the podcast). Just give The Merman a tiny unimportant mission and we guarantee he’ll accomplish it.

The Merman will get its prey at all costs.

10. Psychic Shark – Jaws: The Revenge

This shark is a combination of the It Follows monster and the sharks from Deep Blue Sea. It is smart, vengeful and always knows where to go to kill its prey. The best part about this shark is how it always sticks to the mission and has a one-track mind for success. I’m pretty sure it will never abandon a mission and will swim massive lengths to attack its foes.

The shark planned this…

Which movie monsters would you pick? Let us know in the comments

The MFF Podcast #133: Fright Night (1985 vs 2011), part 1

June 20, 2018


Download the pod on iTunes, PodBean, Stitcher or

SUMMARY: This (and next) week we discuss Tom Holland’s Fright Night (1985), a contemporary vampire film loaded with gooey practical special effects and humor; and discuss the documentary of the making of Fright Night (1985) (You’re So Cool, Brewster), covering the inspirational behind-the-scenes story of the film. On our banterous journey we muse the best (i.e., our favorite) vampire films, the role of Billy Cole (and what he actually is), and the wonderfully charming vampire neighbor Jerry. Next week (in part 2) we’ll move on to the Fright Night (2011) remake!

For more horror podcast discussions, check out…

Episode 129: The Babysitter
Episode 128: A Cure for Wellness
Episode 126: The Shape of Water, del Toro’s gill-man love story
Episode 123: The Ritual, Swedish hiking and the Norse Jötunn
Episode 117: Event Horizon, Hellraiser in space, and wrestling Graboids
Episode 116: Happy Death Day
Episode 115: Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Episode 114: Office Horror, Mayhem & The Belko Experiment
Episode 113: Elise, her Demons and the Insidious Franchise
Episode 108: The Best Horror Films of 2017
Episode 78: Carpenter vs Zombie Halloween Rematch (1981 vs 2009)
Episode 76: The Blair Witch Pod (1999 vs 2016)


Download the pod on iTunes, PodBean, Stitcher or

The World Destroyers Cup: What is the Best Movie Featuring the Destruction of Earth?

June 14, 2018

With the World Cup upon us, I figured I would create a “World Destroyers Cup” bracket that pits 16 earth destroying (or attempting) movies against each other. I started with 32 movies, cut it down to 16 and did way too much analysis into who would win. I am really happy with the final result and I think the 16 movies represent many facets of earth destruction. 

I don’t want to bore you with all the matchups, so I’m going to highlight a couple of them to explain how I figured out the champion.

Rita Vrataski is awesome. Edge of Tomorrow is the best. I love hyperbole.

How did Avengers: Infinity War lose to Slither?

Avengers: Infinity War has already made two billion at the international box office so I don’t think it cares too much that it lost here. What I love about director/writer James Gunn’s 2006 movie is how bloody, funny and gross it is. The tiny budget was stretched perfectly and it’s always nice when an original science fiction story hits the theaters. I watched it again recently and really appreciate the practical effects, cheeky characters, and inspired dialogue. Here is a small taste of the beautifully weird dialogue.

Jack MacReady: [Jack & Bill are discussing what caused Grant’s transformation] It’s obvious the bastard’s got Lyme disease!

Bill Pardy: What?

Jack MacReady: Lyme disease. You touch some deer feces, and then you… eat a sandwich without washin’ your hands. You got your Lyme disease!

Bill Pardy: And that makes you look like a squid?


Why Edge of Tomorrow

Some people might be shocked by it beating Independence Day but I legitimately think Edge of Tomorrow is a better movie. Edge of Tomorrow is easily one of the best action films of the 21st century and I love how it combines a Groundhog Day plot with an alien invasion. It features fantastic performances from Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise and I can’t wait until the sequel hits the theaters. It deserves to be #1.


Let me know who you think should win in the comments!



The MFF Soccer Squad: A Collection of Cinematic Characters Who Would Easily Win the World Cup

June 13, 2018

With the World Cup on the horizon, I thought I’d put together a cinematic soccer squad that would give Brazil, Spain, and Germany a run for their money. I’ve previously put together an American football squad (podcast here) and a basketball team (podcast here) and I believe this team rivals the weirdness and talent of the previous squads. I went out of my way to make it as eclectic as possible and I hope you enjoy!

Let me know which movie characters you would add to the team in the comments.

Elastigirl – The Incredibles – Goalie

Pros – I have no clue how anybody could score a goal on her.

Cons – Disappears occasionally so she can fight crime.

She would keep a clean sheet every game.

Gandalf – The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit – Central Defender

Pros – “You Shall Not Pass!!” Gandalf is an unstoppable defender who would never let a striker get past him. He would be a great captain and would also provide the fireworks for when they win the World Cup.

Cons – He goes on too many adventures and smokes a bit too much.


Bryan Mills – Taken – Central Defender 

Pros – Bryan Mills would work extra hard to make sure nobody kidnaps the ball from him. Also, his skill set is impressive

Cons – He gets a lot of red cards.

TAKEN 2 © 2012 EUROPACORP – M6 FILMS – GRIVE PRODUCTIONS. All rights reserved.

Come at me, bro.

Mystique – X-Men/X2 – Left Back

Pros – Mystique is a great athlete who confuses opposing teams when she becomes one of them on the field.

Cons – Sometimes she forgets which team she’s on and scores a lot of own goals.


Mickey Haller – The Lincoln Lawyer – Right Back

Pros – This defense attorney has a game plan for everything and I guarantee nobody can outmaneuver him.

Cons – His cardio is suspect and he argues with the referees too much.


Nigel Gruff – The Replacements – Central Midfielder

Pros – Gruff’s experience would be invaluable in the midfield because he could keep the ball moving forward and he would be a constant long-ball threat. I see him taking all the free kicks and he would be the go-to guy for any penalty shots.

Cons – He is old, out-of-shape and is a nightmare around reporters.


Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman) – Central Midfielder

Pros – She is invisible and can steal the ball from anyone.

Cons – She is invisible and her team doesn’t know where she is most of the time.


Rama – The Raid – Left Midfielder

Pros – Rama has cardio for days and his soccer kicks would be lethal for anybody willing to take him on.

Cons – His high-kicking exploits result in lots of penalties and you’d better keep him away from fans rushing the field


Black Dynamite – Black Dynamite – Right Midfielder

Pros – Black Dynamite could hold-up the ball with ease and create time for his teammates to get up the field. Also, he has great Kung-Fu which would aid him with his kicks.

Cons – Nobody can interrupt him during his training and he doesn’t like to play defense.


Lestat – Interview With the Vampire – Forward

Pros – The only thing on this planet who can run faster than Tom Cruise is a vampire Tom Cruise. The dude would have cardio for days and I guarantee the opposing defense would hate chasing him around.

Cons – He can’t play at night.

The problem is he can only play night games.

Walker – Timecop – Striker

Pros – Not only is Walker a great striker but he could go back in time to change the result of any game. He would win the Golden Boot easily. I’m predicting 78 goals just in the group stage.

Cons – He thinks spin-kicks are a useful soccer skill and all of his stretches revolve around splits.



The Sarlacc Pit – The Return of the Jedi

The Blob – The Blob

Deadpool – Deadpool

Ren McCormack – Footloose

Trantor the Troll – Ernest Scared Stupid

Fezzik – The Princess Bride

Black WidowThe Avengers

Godzilla – Godzilla

Selene – Underworld

Brienne of Tarth – Game of Thrones

Rey – The Force Awakens

Who would you pick to play on your World Cup squad? Let me know in the comments!

Bad Movie Tuesday: Shocking Dark (1989; aka Terminator 2, aka Aliennators), an Italian B-movie Aliens (1986) rip-off that doubles as a Terminator (1984) rip-off.

June 12, 2018

MY CALL: Definitely one of the weaker Alien/Aliens rip-off films and boasting little in the way of creature effects or gore. You could do a lot better. This is best left to 80s B-movie completists. MORE MOVIES LIKE Shocking DarkXtro 2: The Second Encounter (1991), The Terror Within (1989) and Zombies: The Beginning (2007) provide shameful Aliens rip-offs while Lady Terminator (1989) provides an exquisite and supernatural Terminator (1984) makeover. For low budget Alien (1979) rip-offs, you should seek Contamination (1980; aka Alien Contamination), Alien 2: On Earth (1980), Scared to Death (1980), Galaxy of Terror (1981), Forbidden World (1982; aka Mutant), Inseminoid (1982; aka Horror Planet), Parasite (1982), Creature (1985; aka Titan Find), Creepazoids (1987), Blue Monkey (1987), Nightflyers (1987), Deep Space (1988), The Rift (1990) and Dark Universe (1993).

IMDB synopsis: “In a polluted future Venice, researchers work to improve the situation. One day, unknown forces start killing them. A team of soldiers and a couple of civilians are sent to investigate. Soon, they encounter strange murderous creatures.”

Director Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn; Hell of the Living Dead, The Other Hell, Zombie 3) clearly held the 1986 playbook tightly to his chest. We have our shady company representative, a Ripley-ish scientist, a bitey feral Newt character, and our rough-around-the-edges Colonial Marines (here named the Omega Force). Like “bad movie” sprinkles, we find needless racism, top dog locker room banter and nunchucks as we meet our shotgun-toting future soldiers (including Geretta Geretta; Demons, Rats: Night of Terror, 2020 Texas Gladiators).

The dumb dialogue and one-take rough-cut scenes create a strong exploitation film vibe—just without all the sex, nudity, monster rape and (sadly) gore. Many of the scenes are carbon-copies of Aliens (1986) with positively no soul to them. Sadly, even the monsters were phoned in, in terms of creativity. But sometimes we enjoy clunky monsters. They can give us something to giggle over.

The monsters are super slimy fish people that feel closer to Humanoids from the Deep (1980) than xenomorphs, with some attention to making them look like the star gazer engineer. The effects are limited to their rubber suits and their slimy mouths. The monsters move slowly and stupidly, posing no real menace as they slowly reach their giant claws towards victims and are swiftly dispatched with one shot like a FPS videogame. We basically see no gore or guts, and I was also disappointed they didn’t copy other life stages (i.e., body forms) of the alien or elements of chest-bursting—probably all due to budget constraints. If I’m being honest, this is pretty weak even for a B-movie.

As if this movie wasn’t silly enough, our Ripley and Newt characters time travel away from the ichthyoid xenomorphs only to be followed by a double-crossing member of their crew who turns out to be an evil Terminator who chases them around Venice. And while all this probably sounds like a laugh riot, it’s surprisingly unengaging—on the verge of boring. Sigh. As such I’d give this a weak recommendation, suggesting that only Aliens-riffing B-movie completists venture into this territory.


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