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The MFF Podcast #288: Drop Zone vs. Terminal Velocity – A Skydiving Movie Showdown

July 11, 2020

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re pitting Drop Zone and Terminal Velocity against each other. We love both of these 1994 skydiving movies, and had a fun time deciding which one can claim the “Best 1994 People Jumping From Planes” trophy. In this episode, we discuss cool sidekicks, Gary Busey, and guitar heavy soundtracks! Enjoy!

The car scene in Terminal Velocity is brilliant.

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean,or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast: Check Out Our Latest Podcast Series!

July 9, 2020

You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Itunes, Spreaker, Spotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Deep Blue Sea is the Citizen Kane of genetically-modified shark movies, and now it has its own podcast. In honor of the 33 chapters on the DVD, we’re releasing 33 episodes that dive deep into the film, and cover every aspect of it. We here at MFF are big fans of Deep Blue Sea (articles and podcast episodes here, here, here, here, here), and we think this podcast will finally help people realize that it’s a legit classic.

Find it wherever you listen to podcasts, and please make sure to rate, review, share and subscribe!

John’s Horror Corner: Belzebuth (2017), a mystical murder mystery.

July 7, 2020

MY CALL: This morally intense Mexican horror film is steeped in religious mysticism and supernatural mystery. Its content may test your moral comfort zone, but it remains true to itself and never gratuitous in doing so. MORE MOVIES LIKE Belzebuth: Deliver Us from Evil (2014) and HBO’s The Outsider (2020) come to mind as similarly strange films revolving around mysticism (or religion) and mysterious murders.

Disclaimer: A screener was provided by a PR-Media group. However, I was not paid or compensated to write this nor were there any conditions to my receiving the screener other than my solicited review and the timing of its posting.

Short Summary: “In BELZEBUTH, Special Agent Emanuel Ritter leads a police investigation into a series of shocking deaths. But after a priest from the Vatican finds a link between the murders and an ancient demon, a descent into horror ensues.

Where can WATCH NOW?
AMAZON Prime or Shudder. Just CLICK HERE.

SOLICITED REVIEWS: On occasion I accept requests for solicited reviews. But make no mistake, I have a day job, limited time and I’m not a professional. My favoritism to accept solicitations leans towards those who offer a physical screener, but that favoritism does not de facto earn a favorable review—but a “fair” review. Examples of my solicited reviews include Iron Sky: The Coming Race (2019), The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019), The Unseen (2017; aka Amourosis), The Belko Experiment (2016) and The Barn (2016).

While not directly showing us anything on-screen, we face a thematically brutal murderous sequence that will make any new parent squeamishly reel. And this mean-spirited, soul-crushing early scene culminates in an intensely graphic throat-slitting suicide accompanied by very impressive blood work and visuals. Yup, this is intense, and the blood work here is oddly artistic.

Now, years after having his newborn viciously torn from his life, Detective Ritter (Joaquín Cosio; The Strain, Rambo: Last Blood, Narcos: Mexico) leads the investigation of a horrible school shooting in which a young boy murdered numerous kindergartners.

As Vasilio the Vatican-excommunicated exorcist, Tobin Bell (Saw I-VII) channels his trademark dire Jigsaw persona with raspy warnings of the evils to come. Both Vasilio and a government paranormal specialist (Tate Ellington; Sinister 2, The Endless) join Detective Ritter in a race to prevent more prophesied tragedies against the innocent.

Featuring mass murder-suicides against and by children, swallowing the barrel of a gun and scalpel-slicing arterial bloodspurts… this film is not pulling any punches. Despite the unnervingly alarming nature of the violence thematic to this story, the content is handled tactfully in terms of what we’re shown yet still unapologetically in terms of how it will make you feel.

But now that we know the theme of this film, you will get nervous any time you see kids on screen and fear what horrors will befall them. The abrupt shock and the dread leading up to the events are clearly this film’s strength. Whereas the paranormal aspects and the mystery behind the killings are less compelling. This film is also brandishing some strong religious (i.e., sacrilegious) themes. So if that bothers your moral sensibilities—you’ve been warned.

Coming from a background of comedy, Mexican filmmaker Emilio Portes (Pastorela) directs his first feature horror film and flexes is discipline by including not a hint of humor. Portes made some interesting choices. One component I quite appreciated was that our stars are not young, overly stylish CG-chic men… but older men (along with our nerdily presented Tate Ellington). I also found the opening scenes to be very impactful both in cultivated dread and grounded though still dire emotional performances.

Moving towards the end, the revelations of the finale didn’t overly impress me (not bad, but not thrilling for my particular taste). But really, I should leave you to judge the end for yourself. Horror endings can be so tricky; and our reactions, so fickle. Some people simply prefer slashers over exorcisms or mettlesome demons over mindless zombies. I think your enjoyment of the final product will depend on the horror flavors you fancy to top your scary sundae. This movie starts out very intense, shocking, provocative and promising. However, not personally being thrilled by most attempts at religious mysticism, I wasn’t as impressed with the ending.

The MFF Podcast #287: Speed Racer, Non-jas and Racing Movies

July 7, 2020

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re continuing our racing series (Rush, Driven, Ford v Ferrari, Days of Thunder) by discussing the underappreciated 2008 film Speed Racer. Directed by Lilly and Lana Wachowski, this brightly colored adaptation of the popular 1960’s anime is an absolute blast that is loaded with insane races, car catapults and fun fist fights. In this episode, we discuss eye-popping visuals, viking racers and Susan Sarandon. Enjoy!

I love this movie.

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean,or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF 2020 Mid-Year Random Awards: A Celebration of Sandwiches, Dancing and Eyeball Explosions

July 5, 2020

The MFF random awards are back, and this edition is covering the first half of 2020 cinema! It’s been an odd year for movies as the pandemic has delayed dozens of releases, and allowed smaller films to thrive on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and VOD. The good news is we’ve had zero problems coming up with the creative awards that you’ve been accustomed to since 2011, because there’s been copious amounts of fun films that gave us some excellent material.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the randomness! Also, make sure to listen to the latest MFF podcast that celebrates all things 2020 and random.

Best Usage of TrianglesGretel and Hansel

The Oz Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter) directed film features a plethora of triangles. You will love it.

Best Punches to the back of the headIp Man 4: The Final Fight

I can now say that I’ve seen Donnie Yen fight Scott Adkins in a movie.

Most Stylish Running The Gentlemen

Charlie Hunnam is excellent in The Gentlemen, and he does some A+ running.

Best dancing in a Vietnam barda Five Bloods

Before things get explosive, director Spike Lee does a great job of creating joy.

Best flour fightBloodshot

Bloodshot is an underrated action film, check out this badass flour fight.

Best BadassThe Hunt

Betty Gilpin is really good in The Hunt. Her character is one of my favorite 2020 movie characters.

Best Hallway Fight The Invisible Man

Between Upgrade and The Invisible Man, director Leigh Whannel has created some excellent action set pieces.

Best Henchman SquishBad Boys for Life

Start the clip at the 2:00 minute mark and you’ll see a most excellent henchman squish.

Best Usage of an Unseemly Amount of Rocket launchers EXTRACTION

There are so many rocket launchers in Extraction.

Best eyeball explosionSea Fever

Sea Fever is an excellent film that features a GIGANTIC sea creature. It also features eyeballs exploding – it’s great.

Best Head SquishVFW

VFW is an incredibly violent film that features some glorious smashing of heads. Start the clip at the 2:00 minute mark to see what I mean.

Best Grenade Award Fantasy Island

Grenades play a very important role in Fantasy Island.

Best Cumbersome and Cool Looking Suits Underwater

The suits in Underwater reportedly weighed 100 pounds, and their bulk looked pretty neat onscreen.

Best Skiing Impersonation Sonic the Hedgehog

Jim Carrey is really good in Sonic the Hedgehog. Watch the clip, you’ll see some old school Carrey physicality.

This award is courtesy of David Cross. Make sure to check out The Award Wieners Movie Review Podcast.

Best Arbitrary Abstract Structure in a Snowy Wasteland: the (probably hallucinated) cross-shaped “house”The Lodge

The building is super obvious, but it works because it’s so on the nose. The Lodge is a lot of fun. Thank you Jonny Numb for the award!

Best Use of a Breakfast Sandwich as a Plot Catalyst Birds of Prey

I really want to eat the sandwich. Who cares if the cheese is way too old.

Best Bill Nighy Usage AwardEmma

Bill Nighy is very good in Emma, the movie uses him perfectly.

Best Cave Singing – The Trip to Greece

I’d listen to Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon sing in caves for hours. I love The Trip to Greece.

Best Movie to Watch if You’ve Hurt Your Back and are Stuck Lying on the Couch AwardEurovision Song contest: The Story of Fire.

Thank you John Leavengood for this award!

John’s Horror Corner: Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993), the masochistic zombie love story you never knew you needed in your life.

July 3, 2020

MY CALL: This film is to Return of the Living Dead (1985) what A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) is to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Yes, I said it! It’s the Dream Warriors of the franchise; the best sequel the series has to offer by a landslide of brains tumbling down the mountainside. MORE MOVIES LIKE Return of the Living Dead 3: For more horror love stories, try Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Let the Right One In (2008) or Crimson Peak (2015).

For this third installment to the franchise, the military continues to refer to the incident in 1969 and the cadavers in canister-like drums, perhaps the only points of continuity linking any of the movies together. But this sequel makes no accident of the unleashed zombie outbreak. Led by Colonel Reynolds (Kent McCord; Predator 2), the military continues the research referenced in past movies by deliberately reanimating zombies. Naturally, these experiments get out of hand and people die deaths as gruesome as the franchise has yet offered.

Unlike its predecessors, there are no comedic elements to this movie. With director Brian Yuzna (Society, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, Faust, Bride of Re-Animator) in charge, you know the gory effects will be abundant and chunky! The first death is a testament to this as a scientist’s head is slammed against a wall a dozen times until the back of his head looks like a burst pinata!

The zombie latex effects are really engaging. A preposterously gross zombie tears itself asunder from its fused contorted form; another zombie missing the top of his head with his scrambled brains bare; there’s a Henrietta-inspired long-necked zombie and the long-necked shenanigans are awesome; steam melts the faces off some of them; there’s a friendly yet monstrous mecha-zombie; and Julie gives herself a provocative Cenobite makeover. It’s delightful.

At odds with his father with devastated by the death of his girlfriend in a motorcycle accident, teenager Curt Reynolds (J. Trevor Edmond; Lord of Illusions, Pumpkinhead II) tries to save Julie (Melinda Clarke; Killer Tongue) using the reanimation procedure involving the cadaver canister gas. The experiment works! Well, it sort of works. With her body slowly doing and her hunger for brains unbearable, Julie masochistically discovers that pain is her only relief—and that pain can be tough to watch as she pierces her skin with whatever implements she finds lying around while they flee the police and the military.

At this point, yes, Curt’s girlfriend is slowly turning into a zombie and eating flesh. And yes, even in undeath she blames him for her suffering. But somehow this doesn’t feel as campy or ridiculous as you’d think. Their emotional connection is palpable. Curt suffers as he watches Julie suffer and, losing her will to live, she is as emotionally fragile as ever… and we viewers really feel for both of them. As her turning progresses and her pain augments, she loses control. She needs Curt to help end her torment; she begs for it. When Julie pleas “don’t leave me,” I’ve never felt so much sympathy for a zombie.

This movie is to Return of the Living Dead (1985) what A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) is to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Yes, I said it! It’s the Dream Warriors of the franchise; the best sequel the series has to offer by a landslide. And I don’t care that Melinda Clarke spends a shocking amount of screen time topless. It’s done with a straight face and I refuse to call this campy or raunchy or cheap. Clarke did a fantastic job with her role.

There are those who may call this movie dumb, but I’d ask them to defrost their cold hearts and give this another chance. I’m not gonna’ lie. I get a bit choked up at the end. This is no epic love story. But for a “part 3” horror movie, it’s as powerful of a love story as you’ll find and it’s far better than any “part 3” deserves to be. It just might tug at your heart strings before it snaps at your skull for your brain. Enjoy…

John’s Horror Corner: Death Ship (1980), definitely my least favorite haunted boat film.

July 2, 2020

MY CALL: I was hoping for something so bad it’s good. I just got bad… very bad and very boring. MORE MOVIES LIKE Death Ship: Looking for much better horror at sea? Try Uninvited (1988), Deep Rising (1998), Virus (1999), Ghost Ship (2002), Harbinger Down (2015) or Sea Fever (2019) for above water horrors; Underwater (2020), The Rift (1990), Deepstar Six (1989), Leviathan (1989) and, although all Sci-fi and no horror, I’d still strongly recommend The Abyss (1989) for submerged horrors; and Cold Skin (2017) or The Bay (2012) for horror with a view of the water.

Despite the incredibly similar poster used in Ghost Ship (2002), the internet has assured me the films are not related. And that’s a shame because I actually liked Ghost Ship (2002). Wish I could say the same about this…

Leading the last cruise of his lackluster career, Captain Ashland (George Kennedy; Demonwarp, Uninvited, The Terror Within, Just Before Dawn) finds some unwelcome excitement when an unmanned freighter catastrophically crashes into his cruise ship. A handful of cruise survivors on a raft find their way to the time-forgotten freighter only to discover the vessel is completely unmanned.

Shortly after boarding, this “death ship” decides to let us know it means murderous business. The cruise entertainer Jackie (Saul Rubinek; Hunters, Santa’s Slay) is dropped overboard and dies in the ship’s propeller… and this is shown to us in the most boring way possible… as in, not at all. Where’s the blood, the severed limbs, the thrashing? Oh, dear. This is not the gory B-movie for which I had hoped.

The menace of this ghostly autonomous ship is not very convincing. It behaves in convoluted ways, almost like a Shoots & Ladders™ manner of building to the first kill (which is disappointingly entirely off-screen and shows nothing of the results), and does things that seem very defeatable to kill its passengers. Essentially, ropes and hook-pulleys swing around and knock into people, and doors and levers move on their own. It’s beyond tame; it’s a bore.

Ashland is somehow possessed by the Nazi warship via German whispers of Nazi ghosts… and it’s still boring. This is the worst haunted ship ever. The most exciting scene in the movie is also the most gratuitous: a shower scene in which it rains blood on an entrapped woman.

I absolutely never want to see this again.

The MFF Podcast #286: The 2020 Mid-Year Random Awards

July 2, 2020

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF podcast is back, and we’re bringing you the 2020 Mid-Year Random Awards! We unleashed the Random Awards onto the world for the first time in 2010, and since then they’ve become an institution of our site. We had a great time putting together these awards, and despite the lack of theatrical releases, we had an easy time coming up with a bunch of funky awards. In this episode, we give awards to Bloodshot, The Half of It, Underwater, da Five Bloods and more! Enjoy!

We love Underwater and the massive suits

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean,or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Bill Nighy should be in everything.

John’s Horror Corner: Bride of Re-Animator (1990), the wildly gory bonkers sequel that is somehow even nuts than the original.

June 30, 2020

MY CALL: Definitely a more gory and much more zany follow-up to the original. So if you enjoyed Re-Animator (1985), I’d recommend continuing the romantic blood-and-gutsy story. MORE MOVIES LIKE Bride of Re-Animator: Looking for more love stories gone-wrong via reanimation? Try The Bride (1985), Frankenhooker (1990) or Return of the Living Dead part 3 (1993).

MORE LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR MOVIES:  For more Lovecraftian adaptations, try Screamers (1979; aka Island of the Fishmen, Something Waits in the Dark and L’isola degli uomini pesce), Re-Animator (1985), From Beyond (1986), The Unnamable (1988), The Unnamable 2: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1992), The Resurrected (1991), Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993), Lurking Fear (1994), Dagon (2001), Dreams in the Witch-House (2005), Color Out of Space (2019) and The Dunwich Horror (1970). And although not specifically of Lovecraftian origins, his influence is most palpable in Prince of Darkness (1987), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), The Void (2016), The Shrine (2010), Baskin (2015), Cold Skin (2017)—most of which are on the more gruesome side to varying degrees.

Continuing 1985’s plot based on H. P. Lovecraft’s story “Herbert West, Re-Animator,” director Brian Yuzna (Society, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, Faust, Return of the Living Dead III)—returning after producing part 1—follows in the footsteps of former director Stuart Gordon (Dolls, The Pit and the Pendulum, Dagon, King of the Ants, Re-Animator). And likewise returning with his impish scoring is Richard Band (Parasite, Mutant, Ghoulies, Puppet Master, Re-Animator) and his feisty style a la Danny Elfman meets Beetlejuice (1988).

When we left medical student Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs; Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, Would You RatherThe FrightenersLurking FearCellar Dweller) in 1985, he was being violently suffocated to death by Dr. Hill’s (David Gale; Re-Animator, The Brain, The Guyver) animated intestines as his classmate Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott; Re-Animator) fled through a hallway of naked zombies to try to save his fiancée Megan (Barbara Crampton; Beyond the GatesYou’re NextLords of SalemChopping MallWe Are Still Here)… save her with West’s reagent, that is.

We pick up eight months later as Doctors West and Cain serve as military medics overseas. I have no idea how they avoided prison or a psych ward after the events of part 1 at their medical school… which apparently still held graduation on time despite the deaths of the dean, his daughter and the school’s star professor. In some tropical war-torn country, they have further developed the reagent using recently deceased soldiers and, apparently, iguanas.

This sequel continues the next chapter to befall the Miskatonic Hospital in Arkham, Massachusetts once the two ill-fated physicians return. An investigator is looking into the death of Dr. Hill, the Miskatonic pathologist knows something pathologically strange is going on regarding the once-reanimated cadavers, Dan is falling for a couple women while still pining for his lost Megan, and West is animating adorable little Claymation fingers-and-eyeball creations.

The blood is abundant and the finger-eye critter Claymation is really kinda’ cute. I loved watching it scurry around the living room while the detective was interrogating the doctors. Meanwhile, West capitalizes on Dan’s interest in their fellow overseas veteran Francesca (Fabiana Udenio; In the Army Now, RoboCop 2) and his terminally ill yet attractive patient Gloria (Kathleen Kinmont; Halloween 4).

This sequel is abundantly more humorous than its predecessor, and the gore and effects celebrate its next-level lunacy. This wanders into Frankenhooker (1990) territory with animated legs and feet stitched together kicking someone in the face, a dog comically stitched with a human hand grabbing at you for a jump scare, a flying severed head with bat wings (yes, that actually happens!), and the psychotically amorous macabre bride of Frankenstein who rips out her own heart to present it to her would-be lover before going to pieces. This may not be of the “classic” quality of part 1, but it’s every bit as fun to watch even though I’d admittedly revisit it less frequently than the original.

This movie ends much as the first, with the fate of Herbest West seemingly hopeless when a crypt collapses over him as he is being swarmed by his own malformed miscreations. God, I love these movies.

The MFF Podcast #285: Congo, Sesame Cake, and Bruce Campbell

June 30, 2020

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker (or wherever you listen to podcasts…..we’re almost everywhere).

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re joined by Jay Cluitt (Life vs. Film) to discuss the 1995 action film Congo. Directed by Frank Marshall, and starring Laura Linney, Ernie Hudson and Tim Curry, this bonkers film tells the story of a group of people dealing with man-eating hippos, sesame cake, and deadly gorillas who’ve been trained to defend a lost city filled with diamonds. In this episode, we discuss the excellent Stan Winston creatures, martinis, and the greatness of Ernie Hudson.

If you are a fan of the podcast make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

You can download the pod on Apple PodcastsTune In,  Podbean,or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

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