Movies+Beer: DOCTOR SLEEP

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James is joined by Brian in watching an early morning showing of Doctor Sleep, the sequel to 1980’s The Shining. Listen in as they chat about it at Sean O’Casey’s, and stick around as Brian rants a bit about the upcoming Star Wars movie in December…

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Movies+Beer: ENS RATIONIS + Top 5 Favorite Horror Movies Talk

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James is joined by Kari once again to discuss the new short film Ens Rationis, as well as chat a bit about their Top Five favorite horror movies. It’s in the title, there. What makes the list? Are there some hidden gems to check out? Only one way to find out, tender listener…

ENS RATIONIS on Amazon Prime

Movie Review: HORROR HOTEL The Movie

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horror hotel the movieIndie Rights
2016
NR

“Dairy farms in Oregon aren’t cheep.”

The anthology series continues dishing out short slices of sci-fi/horror/mystery tales with plenty of quirky characters and twisted endings. Aliens, psychos, brain robbers, clones and more are caught up in extraordinary situations at this mysterious hotel located in rural Georgia.

I came across the Horror Hotel movies (there are two of them…don’t worry, tender reader, I’ll get to the other one in due time) by way of Amazon Prime streaming. They’re both available on the site to watch for free for Prime members. And of course I would put them in my watchlist. If it turned out to be incredibly bad, at least I didn’t pay anything extra for it.

Spoilers: I still wanted money back after watching this. So you can imagine how the review for the “sequel” is going to go. But, I digress.

So, from what I could glean from the interwebs, Horror Hotel began life as a web series anthology show, obviously inspired by the likes of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Tales From The Crypt. There are three-ish seasons available, and after going through the episode titles, it looks like the first movie was essentially consisting of the second season of the show. This may sound a bit lazy, but for those of us where we were unaware of the series, this is as good as any an introduction to what’s out there. If one was morbidly curious. So help me, I was morbidly curious.

There’s no wrap-around story with this anthology. The movie wastes no time with leaping into the stories, beginning with “Aliens Stole My Boyfriend”, where we’re introduced to the titular boyfriend being tossed out one of the rooms of the Horror Hotel (technically, this is more of a motel, but I’m guessing the creators wanted to go with alliteration or whatever) by his girlfriend because of not being satisfied with their quality of life, when a couple of blonde female aliens crash into the girlfriend’s car and immediately begin flirting with the boyfriend. It doesn’t waste time getting to how bad the quality of these selections are, and it doesn’t help that the two aliens’ whole thing is that they learned about Earth culture by watching old television broadcasts from the 1960s, what with their means of dress, talking, and dancing to the radio. Seriously. The next short, “Coma Girl”, is slightly less painful, and involves a groundskeeper of a nursing home who has fallen in love with the titular lady in a coma, and tries to steal her away from her loving husband as they celebrate their wedding anniversary at the hotel. The following short, “The Problem With Clones”, follows a bounty hunter skip tracer wearing an outfit that will make your eyeballs bleed as he tries to find a particular woman who has skipped out on her trial for murder of her clone “sister” over a lottery ticket. In “Brain Robbers In Love”, the CEO of a book publishing firm is looking to do some espionage into a rival company, by swapping brains with a younger lady who works for said firm. “Four Eyes” finds a man who is trying to hire a paraplegic hit-man to kill his ex-wife, brainstorming the best way to do so. Finally, “Life After Men” takes place in a non-descript future dystopia, where almost all of the men have been hunted to extinction in the female-dominated society in which life is controlled by The Server. Two women are staying the night at the “hotel”, while a couple of agents of The Server show up due to rumors of a man being in the area.

While watching Horror Hotel The Movie, I couldn’t help but think–more than once–that there was very little by way of actual horror in this anthology, making the title a bit of a misnomer, issues with this being set at a motel notwithstanding. I mean, the whole thing starts off with an attempt at science fiction comedy, the second story implies that the janitor may have done some unspeakable acts with a comatose woman, and the third story is once again an attempt at science fiction comedy, with a bit of noir thrown in for…reasons. The two positives I could glean from this were “Life After Men” and “Brain Robbers In Love”, both of which had some interesting concepts going, and one wonders if there was some script doctoring and a decent enough budget behind them, fleshing things out, we could have had a good one-two punch. “Four Eyes” is just…dull. Predictable. Forgettable.

The acting is, as you may have guessed by now, rather bad, but at least it falls under the Unintentionally Hilarious kind of bad. The stories suffer from a combination of an ultra-low budget and some half-baked scripts with incredible leaps of logic that takes you completely out of the movie. Honestly, had the filmmaker been able to procure an actual budget and get to redux maybe three of the stories for the big screen, like with the Twilight Zone movie, fleshing things out and maybe, I don’t know, inject some horror into them, Horror Hotel: The Movie would have been at least a worthwhile watch. Instead, we get a repurposed bundle of crud in a shiny new wrapper. I understand there is a remnant of those who are fans of the Horror Hotel series, but I cannot for the life of me understand why. Watch only if you have the cast iron stomach for things like this. Otherwise, pass.

Movie Review: TERROR TALES

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terror talesHigh Octane Pictures
2016
TV-14

“Time to gas up.”

When abducted by a psychopath, a husband is taken on a ride from hell where he is subjected to three horrific tales of terror while his family is held captive in an attached cargo trailer.

I don’t know if it’s the Halloween season (while I write this; IDK, it could be the middle of summer when you stumble upon this review…or when I get around to publishing it), but I do tend to lean towards watching anthology type horror movies around that tie of year. And there’s no shortage of dime-a-dozen horror anthologies on the primary streaming site I utilize for the horror watchin’ goodness. And of course, Terror Tales is one of those flicks I stuck in my To Watch cue.

First off, you may have noticed that the rating is listed as TV-14. Which means that this is a horror flick that was made specifically for television broadcast. Which, in and of itself isn’t necessarily a red flag about the quality. No, it’s the fact that this is TV-14, and not TV-MA, that had me questioning the wisdom in watching this. TV-14 means it might very well be worse than a PG-13 horror flick. But, I’m nothing if not masochistic, so I clicked on this and braced myself for the worst.

Terror Tales is the type of anthology movie that has a wrap-around story to work as a presenter of the short tales within the movie. The wraparound deals with a psychotic vagabond that abducts a family on a road trip, tying up the mother and teenage daughter in a conjoined trailer, and telling the stories to the father riding shotgun with him. The first tale–“By Proxy”–is about a horror writer who dies, and is taken on a This Was Your Life! style journey with a low-rent Cenobite rip-off. The second tale–“Radical Video”–follows a detective that’s investigating a string of murders by the Sledgehammer Killer, who picks up his victims at the titular video store. And the third tale–“Epidemic”–is about a disgraced former preacher who goes up against Satan himself during a rash of demon possessions worldwide.

Quality-wise, to call Terror Tales a “bad movie” would be an insult to bad movies everywhere. It’s one of those movies that, mere minutes after pressing “play”, you’re already face-palming with the video and editing quality that’s overshadowed by acting that would make community theater actors blush in embarrassment. There are a couple of bright spots with that, though: Laurene Landon as the mother of the Sledgehammer Killer in the “Radical Video” segment and Sleepaway Camp alum Felissa Rose in the “Epidemic” segment both are delightful to watch, chewing up all the scenery in their sadly respective short appearances. Otherwise, “Epidemic” is the worst offender in the bunch, what with the extremely wooden “acting”, especially from the nun and pastor characters. Coming in a close second was “By Proxy”, and no, the cheep Cenobite rip-off wasn’t the worst thing about this. Which makes “Radical Video” the best one by default…and even that’s stretching things (though it was amusing to witness what was essentially the “80s” as written by someone who maybe read a book about the decade rather than having lived through it, like I have).

Overall, if you’re looking for a really badly made horror flick for you and all of your friends to have fun riffing on…well, there are actually better bad movies out there to do that. Really, Terror Tales isn’t even entertainingly bad. You’re not missing out much if you happen to pass this one up.

Movies+Beer: ZOMBIELAND 2 Doubletap

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Ten years after the first Zombieland hit theaters, we finally get the sequel they’ve been threatening to make. Join James and Exalted Geeks Brian, Sarah, Everett, Jessie and Jacob as we discuss what is basically America’s answer to Shaun Of The Dead, and whether double tapping the franchise was a good thing, or if they should have left the corpse lay…

Movies+Beer: JOKER

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James, Brian, Andrea, Sarah and Everett (along with some other Exalted Geeks) watched the highly-anticipated and controversial take on one of Batman’s greatest rogue gallery members; was the hubub leading up to this really necessary? Does the movie manage to simultaneously disturb you while sympathizing with the main character? Is cider technically a beer? Listen and find out…
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Movies+Beer: IT CHAPTER 2

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James is joined by long-time heterosexual lifemate Brian in watching the anticipated second chapter in the recent movie adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. How does it hold up to the first chapter? Does it blow away the miniseries from 1990? Will the Husker fans be cheering too loudly? Tune in and find out…
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