31 in 31 – “The Faculty”

(Oopsie. Thought I’d put this up on the 1oth, but apparently I just wrote it on the 10th. My early morning bad. But here, have it now!)

“Looks like you picked the right week to quit football.”

Story: Herrington High is your typical Midwest high school. Football is #1, the school budget is crap…and the teachers are out of this world. Like, literal aliens, now that their human counterparts have been replaced. I’m guessing pop quizzes are really gonna start to suck.

Scares: Jumps, and lots of “ooh, that’s definitely not good” moments. Continue reading

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31 in 31 – “WNUF Halloween Special”

“I’m Frank Stewart, we’ll be right back. Okay, all right! All right, relax! Come on!”

Story: Halloween 1987. Local news reporter Frank Stewart hosts a Halloween special at the Weber house – and it’s the first time in 20 years anyone’s been inside. Stewart invites paranormal researchers Louis and Claire Berger and their ESP cat (sure) Shadow, along with a priest there to amp up the audience. But in-between commercials and call-ins from viewers, it seems that this may be much spookier than anyone at WNUF intended.

Scares: None, unless you’re a very light touch. Continue reading

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31 in 31 – “Eat Locals”

“I can live with that.”
‘We’ll see.’

Story: A group of eight vampires holds a meeting in a secluded farmhouse. But maybe not quite as secluded as they thought, as soldiers and a Vatican official are there to take down a vamp. Maybe they should have planned for more than one… Meanwhile, a human has been invited to the meeting, but what’s his deal? Fear, most likely.

Scares: Chuckles, not creeps.

Splat factor: Meh. Some blood, but deaths are either off-screen or in at least a medium shot.

Closing scene “shocker”?: Nope, though there’s a fun bit right before the end that pulls away from the basic story.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original, save for some vampire myths.

Trick or Treat?: An action packed horror comedy that feels like a blend of What We Do in the Shadows, Ready or Not, and Dog Soldiers (but with less fur obviously.)

And GAAAAAAH – it’s Freema Agyeman, aka Martha from Doctor Who! I love her! Actually, there are several actors in Locals that I love watching. Daredevil‘s Charlie Cox, the Pirates franchise’s Mackenzie Crook, and Defiance‘s Tony Curran. Good actors equal good fun watching them dig into the genre, and that’s exactly the case here.

As for the vamps, they’re an interesting mix of time honored myth, Kindred: The Embrace’ed/Vampire: The Masquerade hierarchy, with a touch of 30 Days of Night in the teeth. They turn to dust at death, ala Buffy the Vampire Slayer, they’re cold and show up that way on heat vision, and have irises that glow reflectively like cats. The vampy FX is mostly minimalist, and that works for this action-y genre romp.

And there’s a heckuva lot of action here, with soldiers and vamps unloading like Arnold’s Commando on a bender. But there’s plenty of time for deadpan humor, and scrambled expectations. I just wish one particular death – one more chosen than meted out – was given a bit more exposition. Just an extra sentence or two, because I’d come to care about many of these characters.

But I’m not mad. I love a good “who are the real monsters” trope, especially when the answer seems to be both sides ain’t innocent. And the cast does a great job with the script as well as the hard core physical demands of the film. Heck, their “fight consultant” is JASON STATHAM y’all. Seriously.

Even the end credits music is kickass. How can I not enjoy the hell out of this movie? It’s good blam-blam-fangy fun.

Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.

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31 in 31 – “Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight” (aka “Gam man da song si”)

“Real estate agents are crazier than zombies these days!”

Story: A strange square chicken monster starts creates zombies. (Just go with it.) So it’s up to two twenty-something idiots to save Hong Kong. Should be a piece of cake.

Scares: More WTF than scary.

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31 in 31 – “Mad Monster Party?”

“Uncle? I may have the blood for the job, but I sure don’t have the stomach for it.”

Story: Baron von Frankenstein has done it!He’s discovered the secret to pure destruction! Time retire, and leave everything to his klutzy human nephew Felix. But the monsters – and Frankenstein’s assistant Francesca – think they’re a better choice.

Scares: Only if you’re very young. Otherwise this is fun not frightening.

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31 in 31 – The Lie

“That’s your daughter. … Act like it.”

Story: The girl from The Kissing Booth is a murderer. The detective (and the guy on death row) in The Killing try to cover it up.

Scares: Mostly thrills.

Splat factor: Some glimpses of a dead body.

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31 in 31 – “Aaah! Zombies!”

“You almost killed Kitty Meow-Meow!”

Story: Army doctors make a “Superman” serum that works great. Y’know, after the subject dies and reanimates. Prolly needs some tweaking. Meanwhile, four friends – two dude BFFs and their respective crushes – decide to try mixing soft serve with beer… But those cream-base containers have been sitting outside, soaking in the Superman gloop. (Oopsie. Guess getting trying to cover up your science goofs doesn’t work if the goop gets knocked off the truck.) Does your tummy hurt?

Scares: This one’s played for laughs. Continue reading

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31 in31 – Fido

“Grandpa’s fallen – and he’s getting up!”

Story: in an alternate mid-20th Century, zombies are real, and the world defeated them. Hooray! Thanks to the ZomCon corporation, zombies – ones with ZomCon collars – are docile and can be used as slaves…er, servants. Just be sure to check that collar on the reg. You never know what kind of domino effect could happen. Oops.

Scares: More comedic and satirical than spooky. Continue reading

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31 in 31 – Wow Such Gaming’s “Why You Wouldn’t Survive Train to Busan’s Zombie Apocalypse (Peninsula/Seoul Station)”

Had to share this because Wow Such Gaming does a fantastic job breaking down every last bit of this zombie apocalypse.

Sorry, but it’s the truth; if this was a thing that happened? We’d be brains on toast for the herd of sprinting zombs gunning to get us. This K-horror series is deadly and chaotic, and WSG is just being realistic. But this vid is a fantastic look at how fantastic the mythology is in this series. Just bend over and kiss it goodbye y’all. Because there’s no getting out of this one. Pleasant dreams!

 

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31 in 31 – “The House That Jack Built”

“If you feel like screaming, I definitely think that you should.”

Story: Jack is an engineer by trade , an architectural hobbyist, and an extremely successful serial killer. He discusses his life, art, and “works” with new friend Verge as they take a stroll down memory lane… And even further down.

Scares: Minimal. Mostly shocking acts of violence you damn sure know are coming. so there’s more of Hitchcock’s simmering “nobody knows there’s a bomb under the table” suspense than outright terror. Continue reading

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