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1995 – NR – 97 Min.
D: Sheldon Inkol
S: Michael Pare – Marian Skretas – Tara Maria Manuel
DVD Courtesy of MPI Home Video
Fullscreen/Dolby Digital 2.0
Extras: Trailer – Photo Gallery

Try to imagine 1992’s Mindwarp if it had been co-written by Raymond Chandler after a long weekend and you’ll be on the right track. In the distant future mankind has damaged the world beyond repair. People are forced to live in metal cities at the top of towers high above the deadly ground. The only thing that gives many the will to go on is virtual existence in a game world created by the only corporation left. It’s called Dream Life. The number one draw in the Dream Life world isn’t the scenario that offers sexual freedom and/or depravity, it’s something called After Life. In After Life you fight your way through levels filled with zombies, demons, creatures of all kinds and of course, other players. All in an effort to win and be able to reach the final level… Heaven. The game was designed so that this was impossible, not to mention the adjustments to ensure addiction. Those tasked with monitoring the game are called Dream Breakers and they are the only police force left or necessary. That is, until the creator of the game is murdered. Enter Michael Pare as Carver, a Dream Breaker who was at one time in love with the games creator. It’s discovered that a device has been made that can create a rift between the real world and the game world so that you can enter it and be there for real. Problem is things in the game can also come out. Some want to use the device to design a future for mankind while others want to facilitate a mass exodus into the false reality and live out the final days of mankind not worrying about anything else but the game. Made for cable movie is certainly ambitious and showcases cool monsters and F/X, but the acting is uniformly sub-par and the budget is not up to the task at hand. Interesting, but unsatisfying except for maybe the most die-hard sci-fi fans. Ahead of its time in some ways, Carver’s Gate is worth a one-time watch for those made curious by the description. Keep your expectations reasonably low, though. - Michael Mackie

2010 - NR - 11:30 Min.
D: Jesse Griffith
S: Ronny Cox - Hellena Taylor - Karl Champley
DVD Provided by Griffith Pictures
Widescreen/Dolby Digital
Extras: Screener - None
In the future, we are at war with an alien race that can bend our minds via delusions and thought control. Since this is the case, there are strict protocols for the military to battle this deadly foe to keep them from destroying mankind. Outback (Karl Champley) is one of those pilots on the way back from a bombing mission. Only he hasn't returned with his partner (they travel in pairs). Now it is up to the captain (Ronny Cox) to make the decision to let him back aboard the main ship since Outback's life support system is about to fail, or to blow him out of space. His gut instinct is to let him back aboard, but a government agent (Hellena Taylor) is on board and reminds him of his duty. The decision is made, but what will the outcome be? This is an eleven minute short that is destined for a full length feature shoot sometime in the near future. Consider this a teaser for us fans and a short film for director Jesse Griffith to raise funding for the full project. So, the question is, after seeing the short, will I personally go out of my way to see the final full length feature? You bet I will. This is good stuff and in a short 11 minutes, it gets intense with great visuals and acting. It was so nice to see Ronny Cox in a Science Fiction project where he is truly a good guy. Most of the time, he's on the good guy side, but such a nasty character that he becomes more of an opposition than the enemy. He's great in those roles, especially on STARGATE SG-1, but his emotional range in the short time here really shows some of the great strength that has made him a great character actor for the last four decades (has it been that long since DELIVERENCE?). If you get a chance to check this out while it's playing the festival circuit, do so. If not, consider this a hopeful pre-recommendation for the final product. - Mark Engle

2009 - NR - 80 Minutes
D:Geraldine Winters - Daniel Dowding
S: Thomas Daniel - Theresa Galeani - Rocco George - Chris Luperi
DVD Provided by Seminal Films
Anamorphic Widescreen
Extras: Screener - None Available

So, what we have here is a woman who's brother dressed up like a clown and killed their parents, leaving mommy chopped up in little pieces outside of sister's bedroom door. Many years later and she's now in charge of an asylum where she picks the patients and they all have CLOWNSTROPHOBIA. Bro escapes in full clown gear just around the time a group of minors are introduced to the place for the first time. Oh yeah, at Bro's asylum there's a costume party where the employees put two nuts into an elevator at a time, bang on the cage doors and bet who's going to kill who thus showing his escape and how he gets a clown outfit. There's also a separate story (at least I think it's a whole different subplot) where a woman deathly scared of clowns is on suicidal watch in her padded room, which also happens to have a kitchenette with a chorded lamp next to a sink! Smart move folks! Our first victim at Sister's mental house of idiocy is the 17 year old looking security guard. He gets a manual hand drill up the wahoo (can we say VIOLENT SHIT IV: SEND IN THE CLOWNS!) followed by the tool being yanked from his anus only to have Bro lick the bloody mess off the blade. Sis is off to bed, heavily medicated while her effeminate whiney psychiatrist and new teen subjects are either killed one by one or kidnapped and tortured. There's some minor nudity, some gore including a quick decapitation and gut pulling during the torture scenes. None of it very realistic, but still works better than most of the acting, dialogue, editing and lack of atmosphere. I guess if you had a serious fear of clowns and we're talking the word "clown" being whispered is enough to send serious chills down your spine, you might get some goose bumps out of this. Otherwise SHAKES THE CLOWN had more frightening moments. - Mark Engle

2008 – NR – 80 Min.
D: Mark Stouffer
S: Devon Sawa – Sanoe Lake – Dan White – Fernanda Romero
DVD Provided by MTI Home Video
Preview disc – Edition details N/A

Well, the J&B has begun to numb the emotional pain so let’s get down to business. An alien shows up and experiments on a pilot who tells the story to his nephew before being locked away in a mental institution. The nephew is inexplicably haunted by nightmares of the unfriendly invader and, along with a group of friends, ATVs his way through private military land to go camping where his nightmare is going to be hunting. All this is an effort to disprove the existence of the titular creature which, of course, fails miserably. One of the many problems here is that you won’t have a clue what’s going on until about the halfway point. You get nothing. NOTHING! Nothing in the way of plot, characters, purpose, motivation…. N O T H I N G!! Then, when you’re finally on the brink of a total meltdown brought on by your frustrated mind caving in on itself, you get the aforementioned details. Thing is, it’s all crap and there’s a better than good chance you won’t care about the remarkably loose storyline by the time they decide to let you in on it. The acting and dialogue are trite, to say the least, and the CGI is exactly what you’d expect to see in a movie you’ve never heard of that took two years to show up direct to video. On the ever-so dimly lit bright side, the prosthetic creature effects are reasonably cool and there’s a smattering of funky gore for any brave souls that manage to stick it out. These positives are stated in the interest of full disclosure only and should in no way be interpreted as an effort to tempt you into watching this extraterrestrial turd ball. An eclectic collection of other movies were brought to mind as this thing unfolded before my tear-filled eyes; The Thing, The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 (the Craven version), Predator, Xtro 3…. It’s doubtful anybody will accuse Creature of Darkness of cutting edge originality. The disc reviewed seemed to have been edited; not always mind you, just sometimes! Perhaps this trouble is screener specific but, regardless, it’s an annoyance that’s extremely difficult to make sense of. If you ignore these warnings and shell out your hard earned cash for this bowl-blaster of a flick, make sure the liquor cabinet is well stocked before the cut-rate, gangster-rap-playing, credits show up…. You’ll be glad you did. - Michael Mackie

2003 – NR – 92 Min.
D: Jose Prendes
S: Jose Prendes – Richard Lynch – Debbie Rochon – Linnea Quigley – Felissa Rose – Brinke Stevens
Asylum Home Entertainment DVD
Extras: Commentary – Welcome To Linnea’s – Trailers

Mind numbing tale of a CIA special agent with amnesia who, while not busy living someone else’s life thanks to chemical injections from the military (?!), must help a commando unit figure out a way to close the gates of hell. The world is clouded in darkness and the ‘serum operative’ is, we’re told, the last hope to solve the mystery. Convoluted and nonsensical drivel from beginning to end. A myriad of styles and techniques (and we use the terms VERY loosely) are thrown together in haphazard style to create this lame genre-hopping hybrid that simply never amounts to anything greater than an irritating way to cure insomnia. The presence of a number of veteran scream-queens and character actors does nothing to save this mess; even their most die-hard fans are sure to be disappointed. As if things weren’t bad enough already, the filmmakers deliver some of the least exciting martial arts demonstrations seen since Hong-Kong Phooey cartoons were on the air. There’s a noticeable lack of zombie mayhem, no nudity, virtually no gore, and the only emotions elicited are frustration and anger brought on by a steady stream of insulting references to other far superior movies. At the end a sequel is threatened. Avoid at all costs. Next! – Michael Mackie

2007 – NR – 90 Minutes
D: Jimmy O
S: April Monique Burril, Mark Redfield, Gunnar Hansen, Herschell Gordon Lewis
DVD Provided by Shock-O-Rama Cinema
Extras: Commentary track, making-of featurette, Interviews, artwork gallery, music video

Writer/Director Jimmy O (aka Jimmyo Burril) brings dark humor, gore, and cool music together in this indie gem called CHAINSAW SALLY. Why is it called that? Umm...you've got to be kidding. The chainsaw lady here rips up her victims because she considers them to be “bad people.” This includes such meanies as a girl who hasn't returned a book back to the library for weeks (Sally is a librarian), a waitress who flirts with Sally's date, and a smug creep that wants to buy the land that contains the house where Sally and her cross-dressing brother secretly live. There is plenty of gore, some interesting and ghoulish death scenes, funny dialogue, and over-the-top shenanigans peppered through out the movie. The viewer will also enjoy some cameos along the way, such as Gunnar Hansen and Herschell Gordon Lewis, plus several obvious tributes to other genre films. Lots of good extras, too. This one is definitely worth a look for genre fans. – Craig Hamann

2007 – NR – 71 Minutes
D: Timothy Friend
S: Megan Goddard, Ryan Seymour, Jennifer Friend, Christopher Booth, Kieran Hunter, Santiago Vasquez
DVD Courtesy of Brain Damage Films
Extras: Photo gallery, Music Video, Trailer, Special Effects Featurette, Commentary

This twisted but creative take on the “Cinderella” story is a lot of fun. Here the lead girl, or more correctly the Cinderella take-off, is hardly nice or shy. Quite the contrary, she is an acid-tongue cutie with a stripper step-mom, and is pursued by a crippled boyfriend that she often mistreats and another admirer who is an absolute psycho, with neither guy being much of a Prince Charming. The editing is inventive, the direction and writing is efficient, and the effects work is budget stuff but well executed. There are a bit too many filler scenes, some not so great acting here and there, and the weird humor is oftentimes pushed too far. That said, Megan Goddard is funny, sexy, and offbeat engaging as Cinder. In fact, with all respect to director Timothy Friend and his hard working crew, Goddard is the main reason why genre fans should see the movie. – Craig Hamann
2005 – R – 86 Minutes
D: Richard Griffin
S: Andrew Vellenoweth, Tanith Fiedler, William DeCoff, V.Orion Delwaterman, Adam Jarmon Brown
DVD Provided by Shock-O-Rama Cinema
Extras: Commentary, Behind The Scenes, Deleted Scenes, Trailers

This is yet another monster on the loose stalking dumb hicks out in the middle of nowhere movie. To its credit, it does supply the prerequisite nudity and cheap gore. The creature itself is a cross between many Creature From The Black Lagoon rip-offs and CHUD, so it looks kind of cool. Some scientists that look way to young to be anything but senior high school students get stuck in the woods with the local backwoods sheriff and his cohorts of hicks as they are stalked one by one. Also seems that if one is attacked by the creature but survive they slowly start turning into one of the creatures themselves, sporting really fake looking gills and webbed fingers. One of the students also happens to be an undercover agent for a bio testing facility who has been dumping their chemicals into the local fish swamp. The incest, hick and penis jokes run rampant, but all fall as flat as a bottom fish. The gore is ultra cheap, but there’s enough to please maybe some of the more indiscriminate trashfiends out there. This is dumb Z-grade schlock at best, so those who like it might want to check it out, for me, it would do much better sitting at the bottom of the lake soaking up pond scum where it belongs. – Mark Engle
2007 – NR – 82 Minutes
D: Various
S. Various
DVD Courtesy of Cult Epics
Extras: Director intros, collectible postcards

This one is a collection of underground cinema vignettes, with each one highlighting a different graphic theme. ADORATION (Belgium/1987) is a linear tale about a Japanese man who brings a pretty girl to his apartment. He films her reading poetry and then shoots her dead with a rifle. What happens next is downright creepy. DISLANDIA (USA/2005) is weird, very weird, and maybe should be called “Disjointed” instead. It rambles on revealing a little girl wearing a mask and doing a bunch of odd things in a manner that would be well suited for genre fans presently experimenting with LSD. The infamous Nico B also offers two entries here. The first one is PIG (USA, 1999), which tells the story of a killer wearing a pig mask while tormenting a male victim with different S&M acts. The second film is called HOLLYWOOD BABYLON (USA, 2000) and is co-directed by Kenneth Anger (Mr. Hollywood Babylon himself). I think this photographic tribute at the Museum of Death is the best of the works on this DVD. The last short is LE POEM (France, 1986). It involves an actual autopsy accompanied by the poem “The Drunken Boat (aka “Le bateau Ivre”). Here's the deal. These are cinematic exercises more than films. If you're into that kind of thing, then get the DVD. Personally, it's not my cup of tea. – Craig Hamann

Britain/1940 – N/R – 79 Minutes
D: George King
S: Marius Goring, Helen Haye, Penelope Dudley-Ward, Patrick Barr
DVD Provided by RetroFlicks
Extras: Bonus Film BEFORE DAWN

Based on a story by Edgar Wallace, The Case of the Frightened Lady comes with all the usual trappings. Secret passage ways, sinister villains, blackmail and hidden agendas are prevalent throughout only they have nothing to do with the murders except raise the red herring quotient. The Lebanon family seemed doomed now that they are down to last remaining descendent, young Lord William, who can marry and have children while still keeping the Lebanon name alive. Only in this family, they believe in keeping their blood as pure as possible by marrying cousins (creepy today but more common with the elite back then). Unfortunately, since neither of them feels the same way about the union, mom keeps sticking her nose in while covering up the family secret. Once the murders start, it’s up to Ilsa (the cousin) and her new boyfriend along with Scotland Yard to figure out what’s going on. Like most poverty row productions, there’s too much going on too quickly to focus on the atmosphere to make it thrilling, but this one sticks out among many others by having an absolutely loopy ending! The print is decent with some serious scratches around the reel changes, but other than that, it definitely is worth watching on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Check it out if you are a fan of Edgar Wallace. Others may find it too convoluted to sit through. -Mark Engle
2007 - NR - 106 Min.
D: Julian Doyle
S: Simon Callow - John Shrapnel - Richard Franklin
DVD Provided by Anchor Bay Entertainment
1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen/Dolby Surround 5.1
Extras: Commentary/Making Of Featurette/Deleted Scenes/Trailers

When is pushing the envelope enough? For myself it is when tedium sets in while watching something disturbing. Just one of my main problems with CROWLEY, a movie mostly known for as being co-written by Iron Maiden front-man Bruce Dickinson. During a virtual reality experiment gone bad ala ALTERED STATES, a milquetoast professor (Callow) becomes possessed by Aleister Crowley. From there on out, he loses his shyness and lifelong stutter only to shit on the dean's desk, take up with prostitutes, give long and violent reacharounds to males who submit to him and finally plan the ultimate black mass occult event of the century to unleash true evil upon the earth. Some interesting ideas get lost along the way while director Doyle seems to see how much debauchery he can put on the screen. Thankfully, the performances will keep horror fans interested along with ample amounts of freaky nudity. Otherwise this tale is just another exorcise (pun intended) in predictability and the mundane. The whole thing plays like a Ken Russell script without a sense of direction. LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM this is not. - Mark Engle
1986 – PG-13 – 86 Min.
D: Stephen Herek
S: Scott Grimes – Dee Wallace – Don Opper – Terrence Mann – Nadine Van Der Velde – Billy Green Bush – M. Emmet Walsh – Billy Zane
Available on New Line Home Entertainment DVD
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Trailers for the Critters series – Hidden Alternate Ending

Fast-paced, imaginative sci-fi/horror thrill-ride sets itself apart most admirably from other similarly themed ‘little things that want to kill you’ offerings of the 80’s. It’s a fun sub-genre to explore, but one with many pitfalls. In Critters eight aliens, Crites, with voracious appetites lay siege to the Brown family farm after escaping from a prison asteroid in deep space. They are followed by a pair of no-nonsense shape-shifting bounty hunters who tend to be as destructive as the furry little garbage disposals they’re after. Opper is Charlie, a drunken farmhand who’s been afraid of aliens for a long time and soon finds himself caught in the middle of the chaos. The actors are all first rate; Wallace with her balance between hysterical fear and the will to fight, Grimes with his convincing young optimism which gives him the guts he needs to try and save his family, the sister, the father, the hunters, the sheriff, there are no weak links. Opper earned my respect with his first project, 1982’s Android, and has held it ever since. Also, it’s fun to see a young Zane brandishing that hilarious ponytail as ‘the dork from New York’. Excellent F/X from the Chiodo Brothers bring those terrifying and hilarious little space hedgehogs fully to life. The rest of the F/X work is equally strong. There’re lots of little jokes and references to spot for those who look. Nice soundtrack, great editing, solid direction, a fantastic time all the way around. - Michael Mackie
2009 - NR - 92 Minutes
D: Donald P. Borchers
S: David Anders - Kandyse McClure
DVD Provided by Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anamorphic Widescreen/Dolby Surround 5.1
Extras: Interviews - Behind The Scenes - Trailers

A totally unnecessary remake of yet another Stephen King movie. Depending on one's opinion, not even a retelling based on a very successful one at that. Be that as it may, this one starts out with a pig being sacrificed and completely skips out on the adult slaughter that gave the original it's opening punch. From there, we do get one hell of a nasty car hitting a child in the road scene and then it just goes downhill from there. The kids aren't creepy, the effects minimal (some old dead corpses look great, but they've been doing that since the 60's) and the acting over the top. I'm not a huge fan of the first time this was made, but even here they dropped everything that worked in the original. And CGI flies in the cornfield? Really!? If that wasn't bad enough, one half of our married couple on the rocks duo is such a horrible person, I actually was rooting for the kids and cheered when the husband finally got enough cahonies to slap her across the face (and that's something I never root for, until now). This remake makes fatal changes from the original script and then doesn't offer anything new for the fans. Catch this one on ScyFy if you must, but other than that, you will probably be more horrified eating a husk than watching this piece of corn. - Mark Engle

2007 – NR – 82 Min.
D: Gregg Simon
S: Kit Paquin – Mark Hengst – Brooke Lenzi – Nina Fehren – Makinna Ridgway
DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Trailers – Commentary – Behind The Scenes – Cook Audition Footage

The successful melding of comedy and horror has proven time and time again to be a difficult and risky proposition for filmmakers. This generally flat and uninspired title proves once more how tricky it can really be. Plastered across the back of the box is the following…. Sorority Babes: The OTHER White Meat. Yeah, it’s hard not to know what you’re getting into. Sorority girl stereotypes, gratuitous nudity, soft-core sex/masturbation scenes, lesbian bondage action, and a slightly better than modest amount of graphic splatter are the ingredients The Cook has on offer. A new temporary cook arrives at a sorority house and starts whittling away the cast so he can serve them up to the survivors. That’s really about it for plot, there just isn’t much going on in terms of story. The acting is decent, but it doesn’t matter since it’s really all about the blood and boobs. It’s not that funny, and it’s not that terrifying, but it’s well made; you could do worse. The Cook is a throwaway so give it a rent for a quick nudie-gore fix, but it’s little more than empty calories so you’ll probably be hungry for a real horror movie an hour after it’s over. – Michael Mackie

1988 – PG-13 – 92 Min.
D: Mick Garris
S: Scott Grimes – Don Opper – Terrence Mann – Liane Alexandra Curtis – Barry Corbin
Available on New Line Home Entertainment DVD
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Trailers for the Critters series

A batch of Crite eggs left over from the first film are discovered, traded for generic beer and a couple of Playboy’s, purchased by a church, used for their Easter egg hunt, and inadvertently hatched. Wow. As expected, Critters hit the ground hungry and prove it by instantly eating a dog, a grumpy old fart, and a cop in a bunny outfit. It only gets worse from there. That statement could be taken two ways… and both are right. Brad (still Grimes but now with earring) is returning to town for a visit with his Grandmother; the family moved away after the events of the original. Charlie (still Opper) has joined up with his bounty hunting buddies and is busy battling creatures in deep space when word comes down that the job hasn’t been completed yet. Harv the sheriff (Corbin replacing Walsh) has moved to the outskirts of town and would really rather not be bothered with any of it, too bad Harv. There are a lot more Critters this time and the whole place is in danger of becoming one big redneck buffet so the old group gets together, rallies the townspeople to fight and we’re off and running. The battles are bigger, the body count is higher, and the effects are significantly grislier. Even so, Critters 2 falls remarkably short of its predecessor in directing, plot, script, editing, viewer involvement, characterization, heck, essentially everything that matters. The F/X are still great, and the man-eating Critterball is indeed a sight to behold, but it’s just not a satisfying good time like the original. This is often the case with sequels, true, but you get the sense that this could have been, not just should have been, much better. Critters 2: The Main Course is watchable, even likeable, but ultimately disappointing. Best tactic? See this by itself and as far removed from the first as possible. Followed by Critters 3 and Critters 4, both direct to video, both best avoided. - Michael Mackie

Directed by – Andy Koontz
2003 – 60 Minutes/Widescreen
Black and White

CLEARWATER has a powerful opening scene; a woman is kidnapped, beaten, thrown in a trunk, beaten some more, tied up in some out-of-the-way location and photographed with a camera as she struggles to maintain consciousness. For her, the worst is still to come. It’s all presented in the manner of dated newsreel/documentary footage, sometimes reminiscent of an old silent movie with its flickering and fading lights. There is no dialogue, save for the screaming of the victim, and the soundtrack is moody and methodical. It’s a hell of a beginning and an impressively disquieting way to start any film. This is the set up; a psychopath has taken the aforementioned person (right off the streets) and has decided that her life is not in his hands, but in the hands of another. Jonathan is a different kind of target. The killer has chosen him, seemingly at random, to be the one to save the woman… or not. This guy sends tapes, pictures, hints to his location – essentially everything Jonathan will need to save Mellisa’s (the victim) life, if he so chooses. The murderer says he needs proof that people care and, if Jonathan cares, Mellisa won’t die; he’ll be able to save her. This guy is a serial killer, he’s done it before and nobody has cared enough so the others… There isn’t a lot of dialogue and that’s okay, it isn’t that kind of story. What it is, though, is an intensely emotional and challenging piece of work. The way the whole thing is constructed, you can’t help but ask yourself what would you do? Jonathan is a very human character that’s drawn believably; you really feel for this guy, you can’t help it. It’s paced well, the direction is patient and mature, and I can’t help but think that if Koontz keeps following this track he’ll surely become a filmmaking force to be reckoned with. Keep your eyes on this guy. Full of striking images and powerfully resonant, CLEARWATER is highly recommended. – Michael Mackie

Alao Known As:
2007 – NR – 76 Min.
D: Sasuke Sasuga
S: Yuka Kosaka
DVD courtesy of Switchblade Pictures (Section 23 Films)
Non-Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 2.0
Japanese with English subtitles
Extras: Nothing

Switchblade Pictures unleashes one for fans of the women in prison genre. Nami (Kosaka) arrives in a specialized penitentiary for a vicious murder she claims she didn’t commit. She’s hit from all sides beginning at moment one. The warden is a sadistic predator interested only in sexual dominance and strict order, Nami’s fellow inmates are ruthlessly violent vixens who want the newbie to learn her place and join their cellblock clique, and the ladies of the other cellblocks, well, there’s just no getting along with them at all! The plot is about survival and revenge. There won’t be much of anything new to see, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; you’ll get what you paid for! Brutal cat-fights, torture, whippings, nudity, and some fairly graphic sex are all well-displayed. Mercifully, there are no scenes of sexual assault. The warden wants all the women for himself (leaving all other male staff completely out of that part of the picture) though he simply doesn’t go about it that way. Instead, he prefers to shatter the will of his intended victims, destroying their spirit until they give in to him willingly. There’s an air of sleaze helped along by the nature of the subject matter itself, but the ‘late night on Cinemax’ look and feel is counterproductive to achieving the level of grimy unpleasantness we can assume the creators were aiming towards. Still, Kosaka is a pleasure to watch and there’s enough happening to hold viewer attention. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into; a budget W.I.P. movie with a small cast and a light plot. Chain Gang Girls is passable entertainment for its intended audience to be sure. - Michael Mackie

2008- R - 82 Minutes
D: Bryce Olson
S: Kira Verrastro, James Immekus, Jennifer Tilly, Judd Nelson
DVD Provided by MTI Home Video
Extras: Screener - None Available.

Six teenagers skip out on their Halloween night school dance in order to head out into an abandon orchard and party at the Caretaker's old house. The story goes, in order to scare the girls into the teen boy's pants, is the Caretaker was so jealous of his wife, he chained her up and went insane. She tried to escape with her newborn baby daughter, he caught her, killed his better half and he and his daughter were never seen again. That is until now. This lame excuse for a Slasher has only one redeeming quality. It offers Boob-A-Lanterns! Never seen them before, probably will never see them again, at least cinematically. Little gore as most kills are off screen. No atmosphere, no real characters to root for, no jump scares, no tension, BUT it has Boob-A-Lanterns! The characters want to be right out of AMERICAN PIE, right down to rude farting humor, but you just hate every one of them. Judd Nelson is completely wasted, but kind of plays a key role. Meg Tilly on the other hand (no, it isn't her with the Boob-A-Lanterns!) is so over the top psycho, she makes her role in SEED OF CHUCKY seem subtle. She's a teacher who wants to become famous in the tabloids by seducing her students, only to change her mind when sleeping with the Caretaker may just have more publicity possibilities. This being a bad Slasher movie, I'm sure you know it doesn't quite work out the way she wanted. But hey, she played in a movie that features Boob-A-Lanterns! The teen cast (mostly people in their mid to late 20's) are pretty TV character actors that include soap operas and one to four episodes of a television series. Unfortunately what little talent they may have had, is directed right out of THE CARETAKER leaving most of them to come across as poor cattle waiting for the slaughter. All I can say is two things about the CARETAKER. One is to give this rotten apple a miss. And our second thing is ... BOOB-A-LANTERNS! - Mark Engle

2007 - NR - 80 Minutes
D: Chris Lackey
S: Lance Henriksen, Chad Fifer, Chris Sarandon, Danielle Fishel, Tim Curry, Laura Prepon, Traci Lords
DVD Provided by Indican Pictures
Extras: Cast interviews, Trailers, Gallery, Commentary, History read by Old Man while looking at cats.

Slacker Lou got dumped by his girlfriend, loses his job because he never makes it to work on time, a satellite lands on his car and just when he considers himself lucky, he's mauled by an angry escaped circus bear. And that's our introduction to this whacky world where through a set of circumstances, Lou finds out via the Church of Frank that he is THE CHOSEN ONE and must make it to Kansas the new Holy Land. Unfortunately for his 80 year old roommate who is along for the ride as well as Lou's friend Donna (who has been in love with him for years), several church and religious leaders want the Chosen One destroyed and have hired a group of mercenaries to take them out. Fortunately for Lou and gang, Lucifer is on his side and lends a helping hand setting up for a few odd twists. We've got giant Moles and several insects, the Mercs, robots and other weird nasties along the way to keep Lou from reaching his destination. Sounds interesting. I suppose it is if one is in the right frame of mind. Overall, I felt like I was watching an animated and cleaned up version of Kevin Smith's DOGMA. There's a couple of chuckles, some interesting animation sequences, but not enough to sustain an hour plus movie. This would have played better in three separate episodes on Comedy Central or Adult Swim as part of larger series. What's amazing is the cast they got for this very independent and low budget movie. Definitely got me more interested than the synopsis, but luckily it plays better than the text on the back of the box. Recommendation? Well, if my description sounds enticing and you are a fan of DOGMA then I say give it a shot. All others may want to watch Family Guy instead. - Mark Engle

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