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The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 464: Troll (2022), Monster Movies, and Large Rocks

December 5, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune 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.

Mark and Zanandi (@ZaNandi on Twitter) discuss the 2022 creature feature Troll. Directed by Roar Uthaug, and starring Ine Marie Wilmann, Mads Sjøgård Pettersen, Kim Falck, and a gigantic troll, the movie focuses on what happens when an ancient monster starts strolling across Norway. In this episode, they also talk about troll movies, likable monsters, and church bells. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

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

John’s Horror Corner: The Hills Run Red (2009), a pleasant surprise of a grimy, gritty, gory slasher wrapped up in a movie within the movie.

December 3, 2022

MY CALL: The raunchiness and gory feistiness of Wrong Turn 3 (2009) meet the brutal, grimy Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) in this unexpectedly pleasant surprise. The writing and acting may feel more than a bit unpracticed, but this movie still does an excellent job delivering the goods from story, pacing and over-the-top villainy to mean, gritty gore and wild twists.

Most likely inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and aiming to take its grotesque themes to the next level, the opening scenes of this movie are successfully wincing in this bloody, flesh-snipping endeavor with graphic imagery of visceral self-mutilation.

After the release and subsequent ban of a sadistic slasher movie in 1982, no sign of any film prints nor cast members nor even the director Wilson Wyler Concannon (William Sadler; The Grudge, VFW, Ava’s Possessions, Tales from the Crypt) were ever found. Determined to find the long-lost original film, Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink) sets out to make a documentary of his investigation as he visits each 1982 filming site. After recruiting the filmmaker’s daughter Alexa Concannon (Sophie Monk; Blood Feast), Tyler is joined by his girlfriend Serina (Janet Montgomery; Salem, Wrong Turn 3) and friend Lalo (Alex Wyndham; Yellowjackets) to pursue this project.

Visiting one site at a time, they interview locals and people who saw the movie back in 1982 as they trek deeper into the woods and farther from humanity. We also enjoy gory flashback recounts of the lost movie’s scenes as they arrive to locations of death scenes. The “tree scene” is grotesque and reminds me of the gory, booby trap feistiness to be found in Wrong Turn 2-3 (2007, 2009).

Something that took me aback is that this movie features a LOT of nudity. So much, in fact, that I was highly skeptical of the quality of the film to come. It’s not unlike when an adult filmmaker tries his hand at horror, but sticks to what he knows to an uncomfortable degree. However, much to my surprise, this movie needed no such thing. Yes, there’s a lot of completely gratuitous nudity; so much that it doesn’t make sense sometimes. Yet, this is a substantially entertaining horror film all on its own. It never needed these cheap tactics.

Director Dave Parker (Tales of Halloween, Puppet Master: Doktor Death) combines the raunchiness and gory feistiness of Wrong Turn 3 (2009) and the brutal, grimy Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) in this really pleasant surprise of a movie! Among the gore, we see a meat hook-impaled victim ripped in half at the middle, a menagerie of elaborately mangled corpses, a vile and long torture scene, and various acts of brutal bloody violence.

The Babyface killer (Danko Jordanov; Wrong Turn 6) is a dark force of nature, with an incredibly creepy cracked mask. His hair and skin harken of Jason Voorhees whereas his mask, behavior and backstory smack more of Leatherface’s origin. When this hulk springs into action, he is fast, agile, skilled and shocking. Any gorehound ought to be quite pleased with this.

The writing and much of the acting is B-movie quality (but more by inexperience than just plain badness), and the story takes some wildly interesting turns. Truth be told, I wasn’t wowed with the twists within, but it didn’t matter. I was still very entertained by this movie overall, from the plot points and back story to the death scenes. The end is a fun, bloody, double-crossing free for all. Very fun watch for gorehounds and fans of the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) (and sequels) and Wrong Turn 2-5 (2007-2012).

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 463: Scream 3, Parker Posey, and Trilogies

November 29, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune 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.

Mark and Zanandi (@ZaNandi on Twitter) discuss the 2000 horror sequel Scream 3. Directed by Wes Craven, and starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette and the always great Parker Posey, the movie focuses on what happens when the Scream franchise goes to Hollywood. In this episode, they also talk about costume design, excessive screaming and the brilliance of Parker Posey. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

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

John’s Horror Corner: The House by the Cemetery (1981, aka Quella villa accanto al cimitero), Lucio Fulci’s gruesome Italian horror classic from his Gates of Hell trilogy.

November 27, 2022

MY CALL: Right up there with Fulci’s Zombie (1979), all three films in Lucio Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy (this being one of them) are delightfully gory affairs. A must-see for gorehounds who desire to cover their influential horror of the 80s.

This movie gets off to a gruesome start right away with a horribly mangled body and a stab “through” the back of the head (Daniela Doria; The Black Cat, City of the Living Dead, The New York Ripper) and out the mouth! Gorehounds will delight in this deliciously gross film.

Along with their young boy Bob (Giovanni Frezza; Manhattan Baby, Demons, A Blade in the Dark), Norman (Paolo Malco; The New York Ripper, Demons 3) and Lucy (Catriona MacColl; City of the Living Dead, The Beyond) rent a New England home at the edge of a cemetery. There for Norman’s academic research, it is readily apparent that Norman knows more about the house than he is letting on to his wife. He is there to continue the research of the late Dr. Peterson, who was researching a turn-of-the-century surgeon known for his questionable practices: Dr. Freudstein (Giovanni De Nava; Murder Rock).

We find suspicious warnings of the dangers ahead from a local little girl Mae (Silvia Collatina; Murder Rock, The Great Alligator) and their babysitter Ann (Ania Pieroni; Inferno, Tenebrae), who also secretively seems to be up to something in the old Freudstein house. And if that shouldn’t be enough to scare someone away, not only does the cemetery encroach the yard and driveway of the house, but Freudstein’s sarcophagus is in the floor of the house.

Of course, the more time spent in the house, the more weird and dire things develop. There is a comically insane, over-the-top scene involving a manic bat attack and the extremely bloody dispatching of the bat. Blood bubbles and spurts and sprays across the room and paints the floor. Fulci certainly had fun with this one. The plentiful corpses in this movie are so mangled and gross with chunky, scrappy wounds. As hokey as some of the stabbery may appear by today’s standards, I’m thrilled by how much of it is fully showcased on-screen. This movie also features one of the grossest, “most maggoty” stabs ever. And when we finally see him, Dr. Freudstein is a monstrosity.

This seems to be on the more coherent side of director Lucio Fulci’s (Demonia, City of the Living Dead, Zombie, The Beyond) filmography. But regardless of its comprehensibility (as some prefer the zany incomprehensible Italian horror fare more), this was a pleasant, fun, nostalgic rewatch for this horror fan.

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 462 – The Pulp Fiction and A Night at the Roxbury Soundtrack Draft

November 22, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune 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.

Mark and Nicholas Rehak (@TheRehak on Twitter) draft their favorite songs from the Pulp Fiction and A Night at the Roxbury soundtracks. In this episode, they also talk about 1990s dance hits, surf rock, and how Tarantino puts together his soundtracks. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

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

The Movies, Films and Flix Podcast – Episode 461 – Collateral, Tom Cruise, and Jamie Foxx

November 18, 2022

You can download or stream the pod on Apple Podcasts, Tune 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.

Mark and Phil discuss the 2004 action thriller Collateral. Directed by Michael Mann, and starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith and some coyotes, the movie focuses on what happens when a taxi driver is forced to drive a surly assassin around Los Angeles. In this episode, they also talk about car flips, non-running Tom Cruise, and Foxx’s Academy Award nominated performance. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of the podcast, make sure to send in some random listener questions (we love random questions). We thank you for listening, and hope you enjoy the episode!

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

Bones and All (2022) – Review

November 18, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B+ – Bones and All is an original experience that can best be described as a love story between two cannibals who go on a roadtrip through rural America. It’s a unique watch and it’s fun seeing director Luca Guadagnino explore the backroads of the United States. As always, Taylor Russell (watch Waves now) and Timothée Chalamet are excellent, and the supporting cast of Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg and Chloë Sevigny all create memorable characters who may or may not eat the bones of their victims. 

Love is never easy in the films of Luca Guadagnino, between A Bigger Splash, Call Me By Your Name, and I Am Love, there’s always a certain amount of violence, lies, and remorse that goes along with romantic entanglements. Things are no different in Bones and All, as it’s about a cannibal named Maren (Taylor Russell) who meets a fellow cannibal named Lee (Timothée Chalamet) during her travels around the United States. The reason they meet on the road is because they’ve had to live on the periphery of society as their need for flesh doesn’t exactly make them great neighbors or coworkers. The cannibals in Bones and All  scrape out an existence on the road that finds them stealing from grocery stores and picking up human “familiars” who keep them safe and fed. They behave exactly like humans do, but if they don’t eat flesh they become zombie-esque (it’s implied) monsters which puts the people they love in danger. Also, craving human flesh destroys their humanity as they are forced to either die, or commit to a life of murdering people for food. Basically, life is tough for the cannibals because they were born with a taste for people, and they need to eat.

An interesting wrinkle is that the cannibals can smell each other, which leads to Maren meeting Sully (Mark Rylance), a clearly deranged person-eater who keeps the hair of every person he eats. Sully claims that he can smell people who are dying and that’s how he picks his prey. After having lunch with him (AKA eating an elderly woman), Maren boards a bus to escape the maniac, and this leads her to a grocery store where she meets Lee. The two decide to travel together, and eventually they fall in love as they plan future meals, meet fellow cannibals, and enjoy the vast expanse of America. They work well as a duo, and are able to overcome the fact that cannibals don’t normally do well in groups because when they watch another cannibal eat, it acts like a mirror and they don’t like being reminded that they eat the organs of dead people. 

I’d love to share more, but I don’t want to give away anything that could spoil your enjoyment of the film. Just know that it’s a patient movie that occasionally gets very bloody. As expected, Russell and Chalamet are solid and their chemistry is the reason why the movie works so well. They understand the roles, and are able to create likable characters who occasionally lure people into cornfields so they can eat them. 


Final thoughts – Bones and All is an original experience that is worth a watch.

Preman: Silent Fury (2022) – Review

November 17, 2022

Quick Thoughts – Grade – C+ – Preman: Silent Fury is a fun low-budget Indonesian action film that’s at its best when it focuses on familial relationships and face smashing. Director Randolph Zaini clearly pulls from Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, and The Boondock Saints, and this is when the film loses its way as it unnecessarily leans into stylish dialogue and action that don’t mesh well with the core story. 

The best and worst thing about Preman: Silent Fury is that it defies expectations. On the surface, the story is about a deaf Indonesian preman (AKA a member of an Indonesian organized gang, encompassing street level criminals up through crime bosses) named Sandi (Khiva Iskak) fighting for his life as he struggles to protect his kid from a psychotic hitman/barber and a gang of criminals who want him dead. Much of the advertising revolves around Sandi’s usage of a monkey fist/slungshot (a type of knot that’s tied to the end of rope to give it weight), which bashes the skulls of dozens of opponents who attempt to kill Sandi and his son Pandu. Why is he being hunted? As a member of a group of preman, he runs afoul of his bosses when he refuses to kill a local sage Haji (Egy Fedly) who stands in the way of the redevelopment of his town. After a bloody skirmish, Sandi and Pandu go on the run, and find themselves being hunted by an eclectic hitman named Ramon, who runs a highbrow salon when he isn’t cutting people into bloody bits with his ultra-sharp scissors. 

As I mentioned earlier, Preman: Silent Fury is at its best when it focuses on the father/son relationship, and when it lets Sandi unleash havoc on Indonesian stuntmen. There’s a fun fight between Sandi and Ramon inside a cramped home that features scissors being used in ways I never thought I’d see. It’s a creative brawl that puts Sandi on the defensive as Ramon’s scissors cut through his rope weapon, and forces him to endure a painful amount of cuts that hurt to watch. 

Preman: Silent Fury loses its way when it leans into unexpected and stylish distractions that grind the film to a halt. Whether it’s a conversation straight out of a 1990’s Pulp Fiction-wannabe movie, or a brawl involving Sandi battling people in animal suits, these stylish moments don’t feel organic and instead make you think of other movies. The biggest offending moment is when Ramon goes full Willem Dafe (from The Boondock Saints), and recreates a murder scene in his head. These moments make the film more complicated and take away from an interesting story about a deaf Indonesian gangster hitting people with a deadly weapon. 

In the end, director Randolph Zaini has created a unique and interesting action film that features inspired production design, several solid action scenes, and memorable characters. Also, the on-location shoot gives the film an authentic vibe that greatly aids it. 


If this sounds interesting, make sure to watch the movie on Hi-Yah!, and then check out all the other fun films that the streaming service offers.

Audible Featured the Movies, Films and Flix Podcast in Their “These Are the Best Film Podcasts to Listen to in 2022” List!

November 16, 2022

We have some great news! Audible recently featured us in their These Are the Best Film Podcasts to Listen to in 2022 list (alongside How Did This Get Made?, We Hates Movies, The Empire Film Podcast, You Must Remember This, and The Big Picture). Thank you to everyone who listens to the show and went out of their way to rate, review or subscribe. We have some very fun plans for 2023, and it will be fun to continue growing the show (and dedicating more episodes to Deep Blue Sea and Malignant). Thanks!

John’s Horror Corner: V/H/S/99 (2022), a pleasantly surprising horror-comedy horror anthology.

November 12, 2022

MY CALL:  The only theme in this anthology is horror comedy, but it does that quite well. I was pleased with the relatively consistent quality of the horror segments and they covered a nice range of themes, from zombies and urban legends to a ridiculously macabre spin on Nickelodeon game shows. Lots of fun to be had here!

MORE HORROR ANTHOLOGIES: Dead of Night (1945), Black Sabbath (1963), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), The Uncanny (1977), Screams of a Winter Night (1979), Creepshow (1982), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye (1985), Deadtime Stories (1986), Creepshow 2 (1987), From a Whisper to a Scream (1987; aka The Offspring), After Midnight (1989), Tales from the Crypt Season 1 (1989), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Grimm Prairie Tales (1990), The Willies (1990), Two Evil Eyes (1990), Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Campfire Tales (1997), Dark Tales of Japan (2004), 3 Extremes (2004), Creepshow 3 (2006), Trick ‘r Treat (2007), Chillerama (2011), Little Deaths (2011), V/H/S (2012), The Theater Bizarre (2012), The ABCs of Death (2013), V/H/S 2 (2013), All Hallows’ Eve (2013), The Profane Exhibit (2013), The ABCs of Death 2 (2014), V/H/S Viral (2014), Southbound (2015), Tales of Halloween (2015), A Christmas Horror Story (2015), The ABCs of Death 2.5 (2016), Holidays (2016), Terrified (2017; aka Aterrados, a pseudo-anthology), Oats Studios, Vol. 1 (2017), Ghost Stories (2017), XX (2017), All the Creatures Were Stirring (2018), The Field Guide to Evil (2018), Shudder’s series Creepshow (2019-2021), Scare Package (2019), The Mortuary Collection (2019), Xenophobia (2019) and V/H/S/94 (2021).

After four V/H/S horror anthologies in the last 10 years (2012-2021), a fifth installment has come about to grace anthology fans and this time with a perhaps more playful tone than ever before. In its wraparound story, some kiddishly silly stop motion army figures go to war, which turns out to be much more entertaining than I expected even though the wraparound only strongly linked to one of the anthology segments.

Director Maggie Levin’s opening act is Shredding, about a teen foursome of emo-rock skaters that venture to the underground site where a popular band of four girls were trampled to death by their own fans. They cruelly prank a friend and desecrate the site with a crass reenactment of the trampling death. But they get theirs when the restless zombified spirits of the band peel off their flesh, rip them apart, and then make their own macabre, dead teenager band marionette performance.

There’s a very MTV’s Real World vibe about the documentary-style presentation. It’s a nice throwback complete with VHS snow crackle interference. But, perhaps to protect itself from budgetary limitations on the monster and gore effects, there is a bit too much VHS crackle interfering during the violence. The acting was strong, and clear efforts were made with the gore and monstrous corpse faces, but overall effects-wise this was a somewhat weak segment. Still the macabre humor of the finale marionette visual was quite satisfying, and the horror comedy of this segment was its clear strength, highlight and point.

Director Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door, 47 Meters Down, Strangers: Prey at Night) pledges Suicide Bid, which is when a freshman pledge applies to only one sorority to show her devotion at risk of being admitted to none. Our pledge is taken to the location of an urban legend-like disappearance of a past pledge who was the victim of a cruel prank. As a condition of her acceptance, she must spend the night in a coffin, buried under six feet of earth, just like the girl from the urban legend. What could possibly go wrong? The pledge is, of course, very rattled by this from the very start. And the sorority girls are, well, cruel. They make this experience as scary as possible.

This was excellent. I giggled at the mean girls’ horrible behavior, I reeled for their pledge victim, and things just kept amplifying every few minutes leading to a wonderful screaming finale doused in muddy grave water. Great segment!

Director Flying Lotus (Kuso) presents Ozzy’s Dungeon, which smacks hard of Nickelodeon’s Hidden Temple and Double Dare… if adult stoners were to weird it up. The hokey awkwardness just hurts, and in a funny nostalgic way I wince. Steven Ogg (The Walking Dead, Snowpiercer, He Never Died) does his best Mark Summers as the quippy host and he is a delight!

An unexpected leg break had me cackling, and the revenge story to follow was just as ridiculous as the initial presentation of the show. What transpires is especially uncomfortable. But what you think is the finale, is not! There is an additional level of pure supernatural madness awaiting at the end of this gloriously insane segment. We meet the “Ozzy” at the end of the dungeon and there are wild creature effects and face-melting grossness to be digested.

Tying in from the wraparound story, director Tyler MacIntyre (Tragedy Girls, Patchwork) brings us The Gawkers, which follows a group of high school boys and their perverted voyeur antics assaulting the dignity of their classmates and neighbors. When one of them helps their hot neighbor set up her new webcam, he also installs spyware so they can watch her. Classy. The twist here is that seeing what she turns out to be is a curse all its own.

The teen characters are engagingly amusing little creeps. But this segment might be my least favorite when it comes to CGI, visual effects, creature effects and gore. All of those clock in pretty weak. But the journey of these voyeur teens was an entertaining one. Also, this short features another cool, off-putting and kind of funny limb break.

Directors Vanessa and Joseph Winter (Deadstream) close this anthology strong with To Hell and Back, in which a coven of personable witches plan to summon a minor demon through a willing vessel. Right off the bat, this reminded me of a less silly What We Do in the Shadows (2014) in terms of tone. During the ritual two innocent bystanders are sent to Hell where they encounter fiends and denizens of Hell, and must figure out how to get back home. The atmosphere is deliciously silly, and remains very light and funny even when passing by piles of guts, hungry devils, or a corpse on a spit over a fire. If you saw Deadstream (2022), that’s the tone here.

We have horny peeping Tom teenagers, a sorority pledge week prank gone horribly wrong, oddly violent Nickelodeon nostalgia, a demon summoning ritual, a guided tour of Hell, and a teen prank leading us to such spoils as an urban legend revenge ghost, a classic Greek Gorgon, witches and devils, a variety of mutants and fiends, and some sort of zombie-ish revenants. Although I prefer my anthologies to have more cohesively linked stories (e.g., The Mortuary Collection, Trick ‘r Treat) or richer stories to tell with clever twists, themes or moral spins (e.g., Terrified, Holidays), this anthology still manages to deliver the goods in the form of consistent, fun-spirited horror comedy.

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