Hilarious Trailer/Review of Chupacabra VS. The Alamo (2013) From Dread Central

The creature effects are hit and miss, to be polite, but when they’re a miss, it’s actually quite hysterical. The Chihuahuacabras are already amongst the least menacing looking Syfy monsters ever, and seeing these unconvincing computer effects tackling live-action victims with terminal velocity, even dropkicking humans and tossing them into the air with their surprisingly powerful jaws, is ridiculously entertaining.

-Dread Central Review of Chupacabra VS. The Alamo

Not exactly the most threatening Syfy movie monster...

Not exactly the most threatening Syfy movie monster…

You can also watch a hilariously bad trailer for the movie, along with the review by Foywonder, by clicking on the big red link below.

Chupacabra vs. The Alamo (2013) Review – Dread Central (Yeah, it’s a Syfy Original Movie).

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Barricade (2012) Gets A Dreaded One Stabby-Knife (Out of Five) Rating From Dread Central – Read Their Hilarious Review Here!

“My rewritten lyrics to Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” should have been the theme song for Barricade, easily one of my least favorite horror movie experiences of the past year. A tedious and muddled mess boasting an ending so lame it made me reconsider how hard I was on The Devil Inside.”

-from the Barricade Review by Foywonder on DreadCentral.com

So, Mrs. Horror Boom has been having a rough month (as you can see from the almost bare-minimum amount of posts/pieces the last few weeks)*  and watching as much as possible when she can for the entertainment and escapism value. Today I saw The Day (2012), which I was expecting to be about a 5/10 tops, with what I’d heard was a couple unexpected turns and some good acting from Ashley Bell (AKA, the actress whose amazing acting performance was the best thing in The Last Exorcism and the… OK, the only redeeming quality of The Last Exorcism 2). I admit, also heard there was at least one giant-sized, “HOAH!“** contained.

I’ll elaborate with my review later, but I was pleasantly (if you can describe a bleak post-apocalyptic horror/thriller movie with that adverb) surprised. Ashley Bell’s acting was nothing short of amazing (she may well have stolen the movie) and even though she plays a very stoic, tough woman who doesn’t speak one word more than she needs to,  and makes some possibly questionable choices to survive, I was rooting for her to survive the movie.  When I was briefly skimming some reviews before putting it in my Netflix DVD queue, I happened across a spoiler that some inconsiderate bastard didn’t feel it was worth the extra three-second hassle it would have taken them to put a spoiler warning in front of, even though it happens at the climax of the movie. Fortunately,  they mixed up the characters in question, so it was still a jaw-dropper… and a pretty fucking awesome one.

This is the GOOD movie, not to be confused by "Barricade".

This is the well-reviewed movie, not to be confused with the terrible “Barricade”.

I’d give The Day 7/10, only taking it down from an 8/10 because it was one of those bleak/dark movies the film-makers decide to bleach nearly all the color out of (à la 30 Days of Night, I’m too tired right now to look up the technical name of the process) expect for one flashback scene and adding some slight color to a couple other scenes, which isn’t a favorite choice of mine. Though in the filmmaker’s defense, I’m pretty sure in this case it was no avoid an NC-17 rating, because it is a violent, bloody movie, most of the gore coming from two or more humans trying to kill (and in one nasty case, torture) one another to survive. None of it is exploitational or really unnecessary, it fits in the plot and is earned, rather than just gore for the sake of gore. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love Grand Guignol, as long as there’s some sense of showmanship about it, done right.

OK, I’ll save a longer review for later, but I do recommend The Day, especially if you like the survivalist genre, realistically tough chicks, and a clever script where the choices characters make are ones you could see yourself making. ANYWAY! The DVD rental showed a decent-looking preview for the movie Barricade, and it actually looked like a potential decent rental with a couple creepy moments in the preview. Not a lot of plot background, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. Turns out in this case, it does!

“Detailed” plot synopsis from the IMDB, which doesn’t exactly set you on fire to see the thing in the first place:

This movie is about the Shade family, a year after the death of the mother/wife Leah, the husband and father (Eric McCormack) and his two children go to a cabin retreat in the mountains. While there they are tormented by visions and happenings that start to scare them. But are these incidents real or in their minds? The father feels compelled to barricade them in the cabin in order to keep them safe. But will it work out?

Ooooooo!

No, no it probably won’t work out, for them or the audience. Oh, and the Parent’s Guide (contributed to by one of those neuters individuals that lists a man not wearing a shirt or a woman wearing a bikini, under “sex/nudity” …sigh)  lists the following under ‘Violence/Gore’:

A younger man rough-houses an elderly man. There are sounds of someone in pain being heard frequently throughout the residence.

Oh, I don’t know if even us jaded horror buffs have the stomach to experience that!  Inside (2007) and Hatchet 2 (2010) were one thing, but rough-housing is where I have to draw the line! Anyway, I had a dim memory that I may have been strongly warned against it, but since I could have confused it with a similarly-titled movie, I headed to trusty Dread Central (after seeing a 4.3 average on the IMDB) and discovered this hilarious review. Check it out below if you want a good laugh!

Barricade (DVD) | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central.

I don't know, this looks like it might be a little bit  too scary for us...

I don’t know, this looks like it might be a little bit too scary for us…

*Sorry for the skimpy content, an old friend had a very sudden, serious medical crisis last month and passed this week. Hard to focus much on anything and both all of us at Horror Boom appreciate your patience – and thanks to those of you who sent kinds words.

**We’ve also heard this described as a “Holy Fucking Shit Moment” (or HFS moment, depending how easily offended the person you’re discussing it with is) Moment. Once we figured out how to spell it phonetically to exactly reproduce it, though, we like to use it a lot more. Example- audience reaction to a bus/car/truck coming speeding into frame out of nowhere suddenly and mowing down a character, often when they have just finished (or are even in the middle of) a sentence, sometimes causing them to more or less explode on impact. “HOAH!”

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 4.53.18 AM

 

Review: Would You Rather (2013), Now Available On Demand and Amazon.com, Is Worth Your Time! (Includes Horror Boom and Dread Central’s Review)

I was lucky enough to find director David Guy Levy‘s Would You Rather  available today to watch on Amazon (and not for an insanely expensive price, either; more reasonable than the Comcast/Xfinity price). The set-up goes like this:

Desperate to help her ailing brother, a young woman, Iris (Brittany Snow), desperate to help her ailing brother, agrees to compete in a deadly game of “Would You Rather,” hosted by a sadistic aristocrat, Mr. Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs), at his luxurious mansion/estate. Iris –and the other seven ‘players’– have no idea they are in way over their heads until it’s too late to opt out. They all need the money desperately and let that cloud their judgement when agreeing to play, even after hearing the rules and being given a chance to leave. Needless to say, they begin to regret their decisions shortly after the game begins. The very apt tagline, which takes on new meaning once you’ve seen the entire film, is: Tell yourself it’s just a game.
Screen shot 2013-02-13 at 5.45.16 AM

I’m including the Dread Central review because I agree pretty closely with theirs on more or less all their points – though I think any kind of comparisons to Saw  (or the sequels, anyway) aren’t really that accurate.  Click the big red link below to read Dread Central’s great review by The Horror Chick, then Horror Boom’s thoughts on the movie after the link.

Would You Rather (2013)  Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central.

 

OK, now our turn:

The film takes the first half hour to set up the situation, the characters, the setting, and finally the actual rules of the “Would You Rather” game. None of this is remotely boring; screenwriter Steffen Schlachtenhaufen knows exactly the right amount of time to spend to interest and hook the audience, taking a slow-burn approach (if you could call this movie a slow burn… I guess it depends on your definition of a slow burn, I’ve found it to be a subjective term for viewers). We’re in the dark more or less the same amount of the characters–we discover the rules of ‘would you rather’ and how horrible or painful the choices are going to be right along with the characters, with information being doled out to the poor “guests” at the same time it is to us.*

Towards the end of the first third of the film, things start getting tense and uncomfortable as the guests eat a gourmet dinner served to them, but nothing gets too ugly until after dinner, when the game actually starts. All eight guests get one chance to leave after the rules are explained– Comb’s character reminds them of the game they might have played as kids- but no-one acts on it then, of course. This time the host asks the questions, taking turns, and for the first round they only have 15 seconds to make the decision.  During the first round, two characters at a time have a leather strap which is hooked to a machine. When a button is pressed by the guest who has been asked would you rather, they have the choice to shock themselves or the other person depending on what button they press. While not gory, it’s fairly tense as they only have fifteen seconds to decide before being “eliminated.”  Oh, and by “eliminated”, Lambrick means “executed by gunshot”.

We get to know and care about the characters more (or which ones we start to hope will end up having to do something horrible to themselves–I spent most of the last half of the movie rooting for Sasha Grey‘s mean-spirited, how shall I describe her, See-You-And-Tea of a character to get the worst death in the movie). Speaking of the actors,  I had no problems with any of the cast, and it took me till over halfway in to recognize Ricky, better known as one of the Trailer Park Boys (well, the actor, Rob Wells, that played him, I realize Ricky is a fictional character), and I’m a fan of the Canadian comedy group. That’s how much range he has. I’ll also admit that I usually kind of sigh in a resigned way when I find out Sasha Grey is going to appear in a show or movie that I plan on seeing, but when she’s in a non-porn mainstream movie,  and not playing herself, I found I have no problem with her, at least in this movie (sorry guys, she keeps her clothes on). I didn’t even identify her as the actress playing the character until the credits rolled.** The only name in the cast I saw before watching the movie was Jeffrey Combs (and Brittany Snow, who I have a neutral enough opinion of that I didn’t think about one way or the other, or have it influence my decision to see the movie).  I didn’t even know Sasha Grey played the character until the credits ran, though I did recognize John Heard within a couple minutes after his character appeared.

I also applaud the film-makers for not turning the movie into torture-porn, which they could have very easily slipped into. I do think any kind of comparisons to Saw  (or the sequels, anyway) aren’t really that accurate. Certain moments did make me wince, but for the few really nasty challenges (especially two towards the end) the camera turns away during the actual (fairly quick) gruesome act; the most we see is some aftermath. I wouldn’t call the movie tame, but the poster being used below really doesn’t accurately represent the tone or subject matter of this horror movie:

Screen shot 2013-02-13 at 5.46.08 AM

During the violent moments of Would You Rather,  I mainly winced in sympathy for the poor characters, especially the ones who had some compassion for their fellow contestants and opted to injure themself—or volunteer themselves if another participant was torn between who to inflict pain on. I’ve seen things much more gory (especially just for pure shock value) in any of the Saw movies. I’m not one of those horror fans who slams them as trash, in fact I own one of them. I’m not saying they don’t  linger on torture (which I feel started with Saw 3 and progressed, as the franchise went on, to more and more emphasis on the gore and topping themselves on how gruesome and shocking the traps/“kills” were), but I’m not above them, and I didn’t watch them for the believability, but for the Grand Guignol aspect. I’m not super-proud of it, but I’m also no hypocrite.  My point, however, is that Would You Rather  isn’t this kind of movie. I was rather surprised—but not at all dissapointed— that the level of gore in the movie was as low as it was for what sounds like a torture-porn set-up, but I’d say on a scale of one to ten, it was a six. I appreciated the way that, in the two gruesome moments I mentioned before—the camera flinched away at the same time a certain horrified character in the room did.  They didn’t want to look, we didn’t want to look.

I had a couple minor complaints, but they were minor enough that I had to re-watch the movie to remind myself what they actually were. There was a snotty young male character that not only didn’t really get what he deserved at all, but didn’t really seem that necessary to the plot, but don’t let that stop you. Even after I read the glowing review on DreadCentral.com, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie.

If you can appreciate a good indie horror movie with great production values (IFC Midnight picked this one up; if you have trouble tracking it down on demand, that’s the category I found it under), you can’t go wrong. You really can’t go wrong if you’re a fan of  Jeffrey Combs–his character “runs the show” in the story, but his acting is what makes the movie work– great as the other acting is, his was the role that, if cast wrong, could have actually ruined the movie or made it tedious instead of riveting. I can think of several genre actors, who I’ll be polite and not name, that could have sunk the movie instead of elevate it. Since he’s the one who organizes and relishes the ‘game’ (though he has security/enforcers on staff to do the dirty work, he just watches), we’re probably supposed to at least dislike him, but he was too entertaining.

Also, for what it’s worth, the poster art below is not only superior but much more fitting to represent Would You Rather:

Screen shot 2013-02-13 at 5.43.52 AM

Hopefully this one will get used instead of the torture-porn-y eyeball image. Enjoy the movie! Check out the first Dread Central piece under the “Related Articles” at the bottom- it’s a wonderful interview about how the movie got made, the casting process (in the piece, Levy says the second he saw Jeffrey Comb’s reel, he knew he was the perfect actor for the lead; when he sent Combs the script, he returned it a day later, along with not just an acceptance note, but a thank you note;  a class act all the way).

Would You Rather?

 (Photo credit: Dave77459)

*OK, obviously they haven’t seen the trailer and read the synopsis or seen press kits, but you get the idea, and after the game officially begins, all bets are off.

**I actually thought there was a good chance it was the actress who played Dawn, Tig’s white-trash daughter on “Sons of Anarchy”.

More “Stoker” Coolness! We LOVE Horror Marketing Going Above & Beyond With Awesome, Creative Promos – Must See!

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.58.05 AM

We first decided our dream job (on up there in the top five) would be getting to work for/with Dread Central and getting things like THIS in the mail back in 2011 when DC posted a series on the “American Horror Story Artifacts” they were receiving in the mail (for S1). These artifacts, which Dread Central carefully documented with a series of still photos, descriptions, and the story behind these packages sent to them with no return address info other than “The Murder House”. One was an ice-skate, splattered with dried blood and a clump of red matter on the blade of the skate…  matted with hair. Another was a stuffed rabbit. Nothing cuddly, though, something that looked like it came from a deranged taxidermist (or a doctor from the 1920s with a ‘Frankenstein complex‘ who had been driven mad by his addiction to ether).  This was s stuffed, mounted monstrosity with tanned/cured blood-red hide, no hair, buck teeth that looked more like those of a small shark’s,  and disturbingly over-sized, bloodshot eyeballs. This writer–who is working on a piece* about that showstopper of an advertising campaign– would not display it in any room she planned on sleeping in.

We also have yet to see a shitty movie (ParaNorman and District 9 are a couple of excellent examples on going above and beyond to promote something they created)* that took such care and cleverness and craftsmanship sending out really cool boxes (usually mysterious at first) containing items, art, and ‘artifacts’.

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 5.55.33 AM
So, what does our above  jibba-jabba have to do with this? Turns out Stoker  (unleashed released on March 1, 2013) has also been doing creative promotion! Here’s an (updated) article from Dread Central about exactly what showed up in their mail to promote their movie. Click on the big red link below to read all about it–and even try to figure out why and how the PR/marketing team for Stoker  picked this specific item!

UPDATED: What’s in the Box?!? Mystery and Intrigue Arrive at Dread Central! | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central.

 

Your guess is sure as hell as good as ours! Man, what we wouldn’t give to work in an office that receives and gets to open packages like this. Hell, we’d fucking volunteer  to work our butts off there for free if they were located anywhere near us…

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 6.39.17 AM

*which, now that we think of it,  are also separate pieces we’ll do a short series on …or a longer series if we find there’s even more genre movies, TV shows and events that use such imaginative marketing than we thought out there (cross your fingers).

Amazing, Disturbing Concept Art From American Horror Story Asylum, Created By Designer Jerad S. Marantz, Won’t Help You Sleep Tonight (Dread Central)

OK, this right here is some scary shit from concept designer Jerad S. Marantz, showing off some of his concept art from the show created by him and by makeup FX artist Christian Tinsley,  who hold all the copyrights to the two images I used to feature this piece. Horror Boom had nothing to do with that, just finding them and sharing them here to scare the holy hell out of you (along with us)!

Looks like they stuck pretty close to the design for our favorite microcephalic, Pepper, and equally close (though with a different color palette) to Bloody Face. I finally figured out what separate’s Bloody Face’s look from the rest of the “cut off your face and fashion it into a mask to wear to kill my next victim” serial killers are the (bloody) teeth crudely sewed into the lips… or what would  be the lips…

Like we say above, if you’re already having trouble sleeping, maybe hold off on clicking the below link and perusing the detailed concept art/designs till daylight. You’ve officially been cautioned…

Crazy Concept Art From American Horror Story: Asylum Sends Chills | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central.

All the Rasper concept art is fucking horrifying.  I don’t know how or why they look more disturbing than the ones we saw on the show, but they do. There may be–probably is, in fact– more on the artist’s blog, I simply decided to not start roaming around on it until the sun is out.By the way, once you get to the gallery, note you can click on an image to isolate it, then expand it. I assume these took a lot of hard (or at least labor-intensive) work to create, the attention to detail is incredible.

The mid-transformation Shelley is what made the temperature in this room seem to plummet down to freezing for at least a minute, though.  You’ll know it when you see it.

Screen shot 2013-01-30 at 4.55.31 AM

The Dread Central piece within also  mentions that these images are from the artist’s (Jerad S. Marantz) own blog. Who knows, if you do a little digging, maybe you’ll find a way to buy or obtain that lovely concept art of Pepper above!  If we can find more art, up it’ll go… there ay be a slight delay depending on how dark the house is at the time, though.

 

This New Fan-Made Poster Puts the EVIL DEAD in Motion! (at Dread Central)

Fan Made Poster Puts the Evil Dead in Motion | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central. (Click Here to Read on DreadCentral.com)

 

Not too shabby!

Not a lot of green or black blood so far in the remake…