Friday, 21 October 2016

PART TWO - NETFLIX is POO, SHUDDER is GOLD: Reviews By Greg Klymkiw of DEAD SNOW 2, FATHER'S DAY, JOHN DIES AT THE END, MANBORG, MIDNIGHT SON, MONSTER BRAWL - all available in Canada, UK and USA on the magnificent

(MORE reviews following preamble)

I tried Netflix for the free one-month service. It took one day to realize I would never pay for it. Shudder launched October 20, 2016 (in Canada, the UK and Ireland). It took about one hour to decide it would stay with me forever. Netflix was stuffed with unimaginatively programmed product: bad television, (mostly) awful mainstream movies, a lame selection of classics, indie and foreign cinema, plus the most cumbersome browsing interface imaginable. Shudder, on the other hand, is overflowing with a magnificently curated selection of classics, indie, foreign and mainstream cinema, plus a first rate browsing and navigation interface which allows for simple alphabetical listings as well as a handful of very simple curated menus. Yes, Shudder is all horror, all the time, but a vast majority of the product is first rate and, depending upon your definition of horror, there is plenty to discover here that's just plain great cinema!

A rotting, flesh-eating Obergruppenführer der
Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei Zombie
Waffen is no mere wurst einen Gehackte Leber!

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead aka"Død snø 2" (2014) ***
Dir. Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Ørjan Gamst, Martin Starr,
Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas, Stig Frode Henriksen,
Jesper Sundnes, Tage Guddingsmo, Charlotte Frogner

Review By Greg Klymkiw

The plucky Nazi Zombies of Dead Snow have returned to invade contemporary Norway, but there's no need to see the precursor to this sequel, since the first instalment wasn't especially good. All one needs know is that the latest shenanigans of Der Führer's rotting, flesh-eating Waffen-SS is a truly jaw-agape treat of the highest order. Here we are reacquainted with Martin (Vegar Hoel), now hell-bent on avenging his girlfriend's death from Nazi Zombies. Alas, a major screw-up finds zombie Kommandant Herzog's (Orjan Gamst) hand sewn onto Martin's arm. Herzog, in turn, now sports Martin's hand. Complications ensue from the swap and lead to laughs-a-plenty and a running homage to Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead. Read the full Film Corner review HERE.

Do you love your father enough
to rape him in the ASS?
Father's Day (2011) ****
dir. Astron-6
(Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie,
Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Steven Kostanski)

Starring: Conor Sweeney, Adam Brooks, Matt Kennedy, Brent Neale,
Amy Groening, Meredith Sweeney, Kevin Anderson, Garret Hnatiuk,
Mackenzie Murdoch, Lloyd Kaufman

Review By Greg Klymkiw

This is the astounding feature film from the brilliant Winnipeg filmmaking collective Astron-6 (Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Steven Kostanski) who have joined forces with the legendary Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment to generate a film that is the ultimate evil bastard child sprung from the loins of a daisy chain twixt Guy Maddin, John Paizs, early David Cronenberg, Herschel Gordon Lewis and Abel Ferrara's The Driller Killer. Father's Day combines the effects of asbestos-tinged drinking water in Winnipeg with the Bukkake splatter of the coolest artistic influences imaginable and yields a work which steadfastly adheres to the fine Groucho Marx adage: "I refuse to join any club that would have someone like me for a member."

Chris Fuchman (Mackenzie Murdoch), is a serial killer that specializes in targeting fathers for anal rape followed by further degradations, including torture, butchery and/or murder. Our madman, Fuchman (substitute :k" for "h" to pronounce name properly), turns out to be a demon from the deepest pits of hell and a ragtag team is recruited by a blind infirm Archbishop of the Catholic Church (Kevin Anderson) to fight this disgusting agent of Satan. An eyepatch-wearing tough guy (Adam Brooks), a young priest (Matthew Kennedy), a twink male prostitute (Conor Sweeney), a hard-boiled dick (Brent Neale) and a jaw-droppingly gorgeous stripper (Amy Groening), all of whom follow the trail of this formidable foe whilst confronting all their own personal demons. Read the full Film Corner review HERE.

John Dies at the End,
but not before he uses
John Dies at the End (2012) ****
dir. Don Coscarelli

Starring: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Glynn Turman, Clancy Brown

Review By Greg Klymkiw

John Dies at the End gives new meaning to the oft-heard phrase in only the finest grease-laden, alley-cat-for-chicken-serving Oriental restaurants in the Occident - "Can you please pass the Soya Sauce?" The film's director Don Coscarelli is, without question, the real thing - a truly inspired Master of Horror. (He might also be certifiably insane, but what do I know? I'm no shrink.) As the director of cult classics like the Phantasm pictures (with Angus Scrimm as the diabolical wielder of blood suckin' and a spurtin' silver spheres) and the finest entry in that unbeatable genre of Elvis-duelling-with-dangerous-denizens-of-Ancient-Egypt Bubba-Ho-Tep, his latest offering is one mo-fo of an eye-popping mind-bender.

In a nutshell, two best buds, David (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes), are mega-slackers - not unlike Bill and Ted, only they're not stupid and they go on an adventure that is in no way, shape or form an EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (though we, the viewers, are afforded a most excellent adventure, indeed). Having ingested a completely mind-pummelling hallucinogen called - you guessed it (or not) - SOYA SAUCE, our boys make a harrowing journey up the river into a veritable heart of Coscarellian darkness. Read my full Film Corner review HERE.

When evil delivers an unrequested butt blast,
only true heroes will rise to the challenge.

MANBORG (2011) ****
dir. Steven Kostanski (Astron-6)

Starring: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Ludwig Lee,
Conor Sweeney, Meredith Sweeney, Jeremy Gillespie

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Straight from the jaws of Hell comes Draculon (Adam Brooks), a crazed totalitarian infused with a slavering desire to inflict pain. He makes the Dictator combo-platter of Adolph Hitler (former German Chancellor), Joe Stalin (former butcher of ten million Ukrainian garlic eaters), George W. Bush (annihilator of Islam) and Stephen Harper (former Il Duce of Canada) all look like your kindly Granny Apple Cheeks knitting her umpteenth doily and churning butter. As brilliantly rendered in the opening minutes of this 70-minute masterwork, you will cringe as the Earth's pitiful armies do their best in battle with the demons of Mephistopheles, but even the best of the best of the best of mankind will be no match for the foul, pus-oozing Satanic beasts. When a brave young fighting man hits the turf and pushes up the daisies, he is mysteriously and miraculously transformed by the mad genius Dr. Scorpius (Adam Brooks) into the next best thing to Jesus H. Christ Almighty (or Robocop - take your pick!). He is, and always will be:


Read my full Film Corner review HERE.

Living Dead Love, an inconvenient kind of love.
Midnight Son (2011) ****
dir. Scott Leberecht

Starring: Zak Kilberg, Maya Parish, Jo D. Jonz,
Arlen Escarpeta, Larry Cedar, Tracey Walter

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Jacob (Zak Kilberg) is sick. Very, very sick. He leads a solitary existence in a basement apartment with all the windows sealed shut. By day, he is a brilliant young artist - painting variations on a similar theme: exquisite renderings of the sun. He pays his rent working as a night-shift security guard. He is so sensitive to the rays of the sun that his arm bears the horrendous scars of burned flesh. Of late, he's been extremely hungry and in spite of wolfing down as much food as possible, he's becoming thinner and more pale. One night he collapses at work - blacking out completely. A doctor examines him and expresses concern that he is becoming anemic from malnutrition. This, of course, simply cannot be. He's eating more than a 500 lb. circus freak can ingest in a week.

Jacob is a character who feels like somebody we could know, or even be. He's trapped by circumstance and lonely out of necessity, until he finds love. That he should discover his potential soulmate at the worst possible time isn't just the stuff of great drama, it's rooted in realism - an experience so many have had when they find something or someone special, but, damn it all, the timing proves to be so damned inopportune.

Director Leberecht's mise-en-scene in Midnight Son is superb. He captures strange corners and pockets of Los Angeles with the same eye for detail Larry Fessenden brought to the Manhattan which Habit was rooted in. Leberecht's choice of locations, shots and interiors never feel stock. Most of all, he delivers a side of L.A. we seldom see on film. It's gritty, all right, but the picture plunges us into the sort of strange places David Lynch himself might be envious of. Read my full Film Corner review HERE.

Rachelle Wilde, one of the delectable MONSTER BRAWL babes, with yours truly during my cousin Adam Klymkiw's stag.
Monster Brawl (2011) ***
dir. Jesse T. Cook

Starring: Dave Foley, Art Hindle, Robert Maillet,
Jimmy Hart, Herb Dean, Kevin Nash, Lance Henriksen

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Who doesn't love Mexican wrestling movies? You don't? Well, go to hell, then. That said, Santo, Blue Demon and Rodrigo the Hippie are all pussies compared to monsters. How then, about a movie that has wrasslin' monsters? Yes, you read correctly. MONSTERS THAT WRESTLE. What's not to like? Monster Brawl is unquestionably one of the most insane, hilarious, original gore-fests I have seen in ages. It's Canadian - which is no surprise given the wealth of truly insane films that come from this country. The plot? Well, there really isn't one. (At least, not much of one.) Does this matter when the movie is full of monsters, babes and head-stomping carnage? My question is rhetorical. Don't bother answering. The movie is not dreary, depressing, dour, desperately arty nor a downer. In fact, the only downer is that it could use more babes, but the babes it's blessed with are delectably babe-o-licious! Read my full Film Corner review HERE.

NETFLIX is poo, SHUDDER is gold.
SHUDDER is the all-new streaming service devoted to horror. Available in Canada, UK and USA, SHUDDER is expertly CURATED by programmers who know their shit (and then some), including TIFF's magnificent Midnight Madness king of creepy (and head honcho of Toronto's Royal Cinema, the best goddamn repertory/art cinema in Canada), Colin Geddes. It's fucking cheap and notably, cheaper than that crapola Netflix. Get more info and order it RIGHT FUCKING NOW by clicking HERE!!!