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John’s Horror Corner: The Mutilator (1984; aka, Fall Break), an 80s slasher that’s maaaaybe just good enough to be worth your time.

July 26, 2020

MY CALL: I was really unimpressed with this. That said, it also wasn’t a regrettable viewing. There were so decent gore gags to be enjoyed. I’d just rank this very low among “worth a watch” 80s slashers since there are simply so many better ones. MORE MOVIES LIKE The Mutilator: Looking for more (and hopefully much better) early 80s slashers? I’d recommend Maniac (1980), Happy Birthday to Me (1981), The Prowler (1981), The Burning (1981) and Pieces (1982).

After a young boy accidentally kills his mother while playing with his father’s guns (I guess there’s a message here), the boy’s understandably upset father drags his dead wife into the den, pours himself some birthday whiskey, and becomes a disturbed alcoholic for the next ten years. Now in college, that boy has grown up and he has to clean up his father’s beach condo. So he invites his classmates to join him for the long weekend.

This movie makes no effort to keep secrets from its viewers. We know his father is the killer as soon as they arrive to the beach house. He skulks around with minimally convincing menace and has stashed weapons in the garage storage room where he hides out like the Black Christmas (1974) killer in the attic.

As was the style at the time (i.e., the early 80s slasher era), all of the kills needed to be very different. The death scenes start out weak, but build some inertia with every additional kill (not that they ever develop into anything impressive). The pool scene is stupid, with as boring a death scene (if you even call it that) as one could imagine. At least it’s quickly followed by a gory chainsaw death scene (even if we never see chainsaw meet flesh, the blood and wounds looked good). Next is a fence post stabbed to the face followed by a nice gory decapitation. Most memorable for me, however, was the fisherman’s gaff brutally hooked up a woman’s you-know-what as she watched!!! Knowing it was the father the whole time didn’t help the lame ending. But at least that final death had a sloppy gory de-torso-capitation.

I was worried this would be complete dribble. I guess, after a dreadfully slow and boring start, this was actually pleasantly surprising even if still not very good or easily recommendable. There are just too many better slashers from the early 80s one should watch before getting around to this for the sake of completeness (as was the case for me). Still, I didn’t exactly regret it. After all, there were some decent gory gags to be enjoyed.

John’s Horror Corner: Yummy (2019), a funny, gory, awkward, gross Belgian zombedy.

July 25, 2020

MY CALL: I was quite pleased with this movie. It strikes a good balance between funny, gory and mean, and the pacing is steady to keep you entertained throughout while cultivating awkward laughs. MORE MOVIES LIKE Yummy: For more recently made quality zombedies, aim for Cooties (2015), Zombeavers (2014), REC 3: Genesis (2012), Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015), Cabin Fever 2 (2009), Dead Snow (2009), Zombieland (2009) and, of course, Shaun of the Dead (2004).

Unhappy with her excessively ample chest, Alison (Maaike Neuville) is traveling to a shady Eastern European hospital specializing in discount plastic surgery for her breast reduction. Joining her is her supportive boyfriend Michael (Bart Hollanders) and her disapproving mother Sylvia (Annick Christiaens), who wants yet another facelift.

We are introduced to this film’s gross sense of humor when a not-quite-roadkilled animal, with its innards exposed as it still squeaks, is run over (again) splattering across a man’s clothes and face. Between that and Sylvia’s incessant advice that Alison keep and treasure the “gifts” she was given duly inform the tone of the film.

While Alison is getting her pre-surgery consultation and prep, Michael wanders an apparently unused wing of the hospital and encounters a naked patient bound to a hospital bed with a sort of muzzle over her mouth. When he frees the restrained patient, I’m reminded of the ending of Deadgirl (2008) signaling the zombie pandemonium to begin swiftly thereafter.

A cautionary tale for the use of stem cell treatments, our Eastern European doctors at this facility are using aborted fetuses to fuel stem cell research in rejuvenation. But, like what happened with Resident Evil’s (2002) or Rabid’s (2019) research, it ran afoul of flesh-eating monsters. Have movies like The Rejuvenator (1988) and Re-Animator (1985) taught us nothing?

Quite gory with graphic fleshy bites, awesome guts work and squishy head trauma, this movie is a gore-slathered delight. We also enjoy a zombie eating its own intestines and leaking its own consumed ooze, a head gets crushed into chunky chunder chum, a man’s “you know what” gets lit on fire in a rather gross scene, a giant salamander fetus is zombified, and there’s a lot of projectile vomit.

Salamander SIDEBAR: You may be wondering why it is that there was a salamander in one of the labs. This may seem random to most viewers. But it’s actually a nice touch. Salamanders are the subject of much research in regeneration and evolutionary biology for their ability to regenerate surgically removed spinal vertebrae (among limbs and other things). This is no joke or exaggeration. In grad school, I took a class under a professor conducting such research and likewise had another EvoDevo salamander researcher on my graduate committee. So really, this zombie salamander was a surprisingly insightful touch.

This movie does a good job cultivating awkward laughs. For example, when a recent amputee about to fall to his death reaches with his now-missing arm for help, or when a man’s not-yet-healed penile enhancement is painfully prompted for intercourse.

For his first feature film, writer and director Lars Damoiseaux certainly succeeded at making me smile, wince, grimace and giggle at this gross zombedy. The movie packs a lot of gross effects, a consistent energy and pacing, and a mean ending.

The MFF Podcast #291: Sorcerer, Horrible Bridges and Mud Puddles

July 25, 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 talking about the 1977 masterpiece Sorcerer. Directed by William Friedkin, and starring Roy Scheider, Sorcerer focuses on four dirtbags driving through a dense jungle, so they can blow up an oil fire (it’s amazing. Watch Wages of Fear too). It’s an incredibly tense film, and we love how grimy and dangerous it all feels. In this episode, we discuss the troubled production, terrible bridges and mud puddles. Enjoy!

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 Witch: Part 1: The Subversion (2018; aka, Manyeo), another awesomely shocking Korean action movie.

July 24, 2020

MY CALL: This film begins slow and interesting for 60 minutes, then shifts into full-tilt Matrix-meets-Wick-like action for the final 30 minutes… and it is brutal! Very stylish, edgy, hyper-violent movie.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The Witch: For more brutal superhuman action, take a stab at Lucy (2014), Upgrade (2018) or The Night Comes for Us (2018).

The opening scene of this film reminded me of a more brutally dire iteration of Morgan (2016) or The Darkest Minds (2018) as a “modified” 8-year old girl escapes from the facility of her creation with no memory of her past or her identity. Ten years later, Koo Ja Yoon (Da-mi Kim) has been raised by the farmers who found her nearly dead and she has lived a completely normal life as their Tomboy daughter; basically like a female Clark Kent in Smallville, South Korea. And with that the tone of the film is very light during our introduction to Ja Yoon’s simple family life as a high schooler. In fact, the first hour is quite slow and relatively actionless while we get hints of Ja Yoon’s abilities and her past slowly catches up with her.

But after this slow (but certainly not uninteresting) hour, in just one scene the film shifts from a soft PG-13 to a very hard-boiled R complete with abrupt limb breaks and tandem face-splattering palm strikes. And once we entire the final act—once all the cards are on the table—things shift into a full-tilt action meltdown of heads splatting against walls, rapid stabbings to vital organs, bloody free fire gun fights, and some Mr. Anderson vs Agent Smith-inspired fighting.

The special effects and choreography are pretty slick. This is especially showcased when someone is thrown with Thanos-like strength into walls or launched through them with Hulk-thrusting kicks. And, boy, is the third act violence mean. People are getting dismantled with a gleeful smile and going down in brutal style.

Ultimately, we spend a looooong time quietly waiting for action to blossom in this film. Whether or not it’s worth it depends more on the type of viewer you are. If you expected Korean John Wick, then you might be woefully disappointed by the complete lack of action spanning long runs of this film. But if you are on board for the story and wish to collect occasional Matrix-meets-Wick-like action scenes even when not the major theme of the movie, then this will suit you better. But I will say, even if you are the full-throttle John Wick former and not the collector latter, the last 30 minutes packs in an entire movie’s worth of action. And whereas the sum of the action may pale to John Wick 1-3 (2014-2019) or The Night Comes for Us (2018), it’s still a LOT of awesome shoehorned in that half hour. So, writer and director Hoon-jung Park (I Saw the Devil, The Tiger, The Showdown) has wowed us yet again with his firm grasp on shocking violence.

This was titled as a part 1, so we all know there will be more and the film ends on an obvious cue as to what comes next.

Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast – Chapter 3: Fanta-Sea Island, Grouper Curls and Chekhov’s Shark Riding

July 21, 2020
You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Spotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page!

Please make sure to rate, review, share, and subscribe! Thanks!

Chapter 3! This week we’re covering “Louisiana License,” the third chapter on the Deep Blue Sea DVD. In honor of this iconic section of the film, we brought in Zanandi Botes (she joined me for the popular Doctor Sleep MFF podcast episode), an excellent writer, and Deep Blue Sea superfan. In this episode, we discuss working out with grouper fish, swimming with sharks, and insane cross-country road trips. Enjoy!

The MFF Podcast #290: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spin Kicks and Ernie Reyes Jr.

July 19, 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 discussing the 1990 blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Directed by Steve Barron, this PG-rated film managed to be kid friendly, super gritty and very fun. The film is loaded with iconic visuals (Leo in the bathroom) and filled with creative fight scenes featuring masked ninjas and teenager turtles. In this episode, we discuss Ernie Reyes Jr., pizza delivery, and comic book movies. Enjoy!

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 Podcast #289: Out Cold, Casablanca and Carp Seizing

July 15, 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 Chris Kelly (of the Classic American Movies podcast) joined us to discuss the 2001 cult classic comedy Out Cold. Directed by Emmett and Brendan Malloy, this cheeky comedy features some solid gags, and an excellent cast including Zach Galifianakis, A.J. Cook, Thomas Lennon, Lee Majors, David Koechner, Willie Garson, David Denman, Caroline Dhavernas and Jason London. In this episode, we discuss seizing carp, Casablanca, Weezer and the comedies of the early 2000s. Enjoy!

Also, Chris Kelly interviewed director Emmett Malloy about the film for his Classic American Movies podcast. Check it out!

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: Chapter 2: Giamatti Uncut, Helicopter Music and Sharks in Sweden

July 14, 2020

You can listen to Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Spotify, Tunein, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to like our Facebook page!

Chapter 2! This week we’re covering Alcatraz Floats, the second chapter on the Deep Blue Sea DVD. In honor of this fantastic scene, we brought in a fantastic guest, Nicholas Rehak (French Toast Sunday, Exploding Helicopter, Gary and the Rancors) to help us over-analyze the chapter. In this episode, we discuss Paul Giamatti’s ficitonal deleted scenes, sharks chasing Elvis, and the classic film Sharks in Sweden. Enjoy

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, Google Podcasts 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!

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