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Also Known As:
2009 - NR - 73 Min.
D: Hijiri John
S: Nonami Takizawa - Airi Nakajima - Mika Inagaki
Anamorphic Widesceen/Stereo
DVD Provided by Cinema Epoch
Extras: Trailers - Behind the Scenes (Japanese only) - Still Gallery

Three girls go to the beach, one heavily endowed in the chest department and frolic on the beach and the waves. One showers in her bikini only to be stalked by an unknown source (does our shark have legs?). They meet a local boy who likes to kill girls while the beach house owner or the guy's dad films them. We have a dream sequence about half way in showing a bad CGI fin for about 15 seconds. Then our shark makes a final and only appearance for about another 20 seconds at the very end. I've seen more terrifying sharks in Hanna-Barbera's JABBERJAW. Director Hijiri knows how to use a DV camera, but he lacks focus on story, cohesion, characters, atmosphere and well, the list goes on. The movie bounces (pun intended) around all over the place, sometimes showing the same scenes over and over again for what seems to go on for no reason and forever. Oh, and if you are praying for something, anything, when you get to the fourth time of seeing the same scene, it might just be in slow motion! I get more entertainment from a paper cut. The three actresses may be alright to look at, but they are annoying to listen to and you pray, seriously pray they become shark food. I'm still dumbfounded that the original title was JAWS IN JAPAN. PSYCHO SHARK seems more appropriate if it is symbolic of our serial killer beachcomber, but with a cover like that and an original title such as it was, this becomes one of the most misleading titles of 2010 DVD releases. Outside of some serious cleavage (no nudity) and a splash of blood, this short movie seems to drag longer than counting sand accurately on a windy beach. Don't bite the bait of this DVD cover, what's inside is pure rotten chum. - Mark Engle

Also Known As:
1968 – NR – 72 Min.
D: William Rotsler
S: Naked hippies
DVD provided by VCI Entertainment
Widescreen / Mono
Extras: Original trailer

PSYCHEDELIC FEVER (aka LIKE IT IS) is the main feature on VCI’s Drive-In Grindhouse 4-pack, which features 3 other equally awful sexploitation flicks for your viewing pleasure (or displeasure). Unlike the rest of the titles on the box set, PSYCHEDELIC FEVER is a “documentary”…and I use that description very loosely. I mean what do you call a movie that features footage of hippies doing their thing (drugs, being naked) while a few different stoners ramble on about things they ramble on about when they’re stoned—that is if you were high would probably sound genius, but if you’re sober sounds like blah-blah-blah? In fact, this movie was most definitely made for people to go see right before dropping acid. How do I know that is a fact? About 15 or 20 minutes in the film goes from being a documentary on the lifestyles of San Francisco hippies to trippy shots of naked chicks under psychedelic lighting and film effects, which goes on for a good 3/4ths of the movie. No talking, just really bad music, trippy lighting and naked chicks shaking their moneymakers. Personally I didn’t have a problem with that at all, but I feel it important to stress that this is not a real movie, but a long form music (albeit bad music) video, with some occasional hippie rambling. I happen to love the Haight/Ashbury era of music and hippie debauchery in general, and I feel this movie is an excellent time capsule of the era—just don’t go into this movie expecting anything, other than great visuals. My advice would be to play this film with the sound off, in the background of your next party, put on some better music and enjoy….oh and be sure to get really high. - Fred McKennon

2005 – NR – 90 Min.
D: Michael Heagle (As Gianni Mezzanotte)
S: Heidi Fellner – Leitha Matz – Ted V. Mikels
DVD courtesy of Heretic Films
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Making of (60 Min.) – 3 commentaries – Mikels interview – Deleted Scenes – More

Convoluted sci-fi western tells the story of a large government container lost on a war torn planet. Several organizations want to find it first and each has a reason to claim what’s inside for themselves. Among those who go searching are bounty hunters, psychic warriors, and military squads. Many are willing to kill to get at the mysterious lost bounty and the future of galaxies may be at stake depending on who crosses the finish line first. Jumbled mess has garnered a lot of positive reviews for reasons far beyond my understanding. Sarcastic tone of film and many over the top performances ensure that Planetfall is tough to endure (Fellner is the exception), but none of that is nearly as damaging as the CONSTANT and utterly laughable CG F/X work. Those who played Sega CD full motion video games a few years back will likely experience a sense of nostalgia at some point while just about everyone else will be praising the inventor of the fast forward button. Scenes lifted from films like Star Wars and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly are distracting and insulting. A lot of effort was put forth to create Planetfall, but effort doesn’t translate into quality. – Michael Mackie

2006 – NR – 94 Minutes
D: Kevin Higgins
S: Brian Dixon, Kathryn Merry, Josh Macuga, Ernest Dancy, Raine Brown
DVD courtesy of Arts Alliance America
Extras: Alternate Ending, Deleted Scenes, Trailers

Four college kids, driving across country to Florida for winter break, end up on a back road and stuck in a town called Rollin Glenn. After ending up in a rural farmhouse, they discover the legend of Plasterhead, a man who also made a pit stop there fifteen years before only to be beaten beyond recognition and left for dead. The townsfolk and the sheriff bury the evidence and now using Plaster to cover his disfigured face, he’s back to kill Leatherface style. This is pretty much your “by the numbers” slasher-flick that supplies just enough intelligence, nudity and gore to make it a passable timewaster. For such a low budget, director Higgins and Cinematographer Jeffrey Kayal put in enough talent and professionalism into their production they can making it rise above the usual slasher fodder. Unfortunately, some of the acting doesn’t rise up as high as the rest of the movie. The leads do okay, nothing really standing out, but some of the supporting acting is so amateur, it takes you right out of the story. Definitely worth a rental for all you slasher completists, everyone else might want to give it a miss. – Mark Engle

2007 – R – 95 Min.
D: Michael Hurst
S: Lance Henricksen – Amy Manson – Bradley Taylor – Lynne Verrall
DVD provided by Sony Home Entertainment
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: Trailers

The infamous battle of the Hatfields and the McCoys is dredged up yet again. Can a plot device so worn that it was old when The Flintstones used it contribute anything of value to the mythology of everybody’s favorite demon of vengeance? The feud between the two families has been raging for years. Despite this, Jodie Hatfield (Manson) and Ricky McCoy (Taylor) manage to fall in love. They sneak around and steal moments whenever they can. One night, Ricky’s younger sister is keeping watch for the oblivious couple when two Hatfield boys make a violent attempt to rape her. During her struggle to escape the sister is killed and Ricky ends up beaten as Jodie is driven off screaming. It should be no surprise what course of action Ricky chooses to take from here. Pumpkinhead is summoned and all hell is about to break loose at the Hatfield homestead. The first couple of murders are blamed on the McCoy’s so there’s rough confrontations before the reality of the situation is made clear. Understanding finally comes with help from the local sheriff who is himself all too familiar with the ways of Pumpkinhead, and he’s got the scars to prove it. Most everything I said about Ashes to Ashes goes for Blood Feud as well. Music, F/X, gore, pacing, and the fact that Lance Henricksen equals cool… period. Although we do get stronger and more relatable characters this time out, which helps considerably, the country-fried Romeo and Juliet storyline is so excessively familiar that… Well, they say familiarity breeds contempt. The series itself is dancing dangerously close to the precipice behind that adage as well. However, a first and ever-so-slight hint concerning Haggis’ back-story was a welcome surprise; one that might serve to bring needed freshness to a steadily ripening series. If you enjoyed Ashes to Ashes you should be safe enough with Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud. Other than that, it might be time to leave ol’ Pumpkinhead lay. – Michael Mackie
2005 – N/R – 81 Minutes
D: James Bai
S: Stephen Galaida, Robbie Shapiro
DVD Provided by Life Size Entertainment
Widescreen/5.1 Stereo
Extras: Commentary, Trailer, Deleted Scenes

Walter is an inventor in a bleak civilization who manages to make a replica of himself via an android. But when his alternate “Puzzlehead” manages to befriend a girl that Walter has had his eyes on for some time, things take a turn for the worse. Walter can’t get beyond his reclusive non-conforming lifestyle while Puzzlehead is discovering some of his own personalities and freedoms. James Bai’s Puzzlehead shares a lot in common with Android (Klaus Kinski) but on a much smaller budget. It requires some patience, but it’s worth sticking it out until the end when both characters start playing cat and mouse games with each other for the love of Julia, a girl just as mixed up as both of them combined. Special Effects are minimal but effective and the acting is impressive all the way around. There are no signs of mentally healthy people in this dark movie, thus giving a sort of Eraserhead feeling without being absurd. For fans of indy scifi, definitely try and check it out. -Mark Engle

2006 – R – 94 Min.
D: Jake West
S: Lance Henriksen – Doug Bradley – Douglas Roberts
DVD provided by Sony Home Entertainment
Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1
Preview disc – Edition details N/A

A group of small-town degenerates desecrate corpses; they collect the skin and parts for profit (And Meth!). Occasionally they also harvest organs from unfortunate strangers who happen by. Among this villainous group is the mildly guilt-ridden Bunt Wallace (Roberts) who, in the original, pointed Ed Harley to the witch in the woods. Leading them is the local M.D. (who manages to stay inexplicably above suspicion). Everybody simply refers to him as Doc (Bradley – Try to spot the collection of Hellraiser puzzle boxes hidden in the Doc’s house!). After the discovery of the bodies, four outraged relatives of the defiled departed visit Haggis and Pumpkinhead is called upon to violently avenge those who have been wronged. Wisely choosing not to acknowledge the abysmal would-be sequel known as Blood Wings, Ashes to Ashes connects solely to the original. The atmosphere is not on par with that classic first installment, but it is fast-paced and interesting throughout. The poor CG is thankfully infrequent and takes a backseat to the many excellent physical effects. Pumpkinhead is still a cool creation and perhaps in a worse mood than usual as the kills are protracted and graphic. It’s always great to see Lance Henricksen, the story moves, the F/X (courtesy of Gary J. Tunnicliffe and friends) are strong, the direction is solid, and the soundtrack is moody as all get out. Unfortunately, the films biggest flaw comes from the fact that there’s nobody to really relate to or root for until very far along, and even then it’s a stretch. It’s all bastards and bad-guys, which keeps the viewer at a disadvantageous distance. Despite its flaws, this Sci-Fi Pictures effort remains an entertaining watch. Though unable to reach the greatness achieved by the original, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes is still a good time and worth checking out. – Michael Mackie
2005 – NR – 57 Minutes
D: Jam Ald
Narrated by Jamie McDonald
DVD Courtesy of Kultur Films

Whatever happened to pulp fiction magazines? This informative film offers a decent rundown regarding the history of pulp fiction art, including its beginning, its high point, and the sudden death of the colorful and often hard-boiled graphic style. No doubt there are plenty of genre film watchers who are avid fans of the splashy covers that used to adorn pulp magazines at the newsstands. It's not as if one has to be an old-timer to admire the art either. Many of today's more exploitive DVD jackets borrow from the pulp work of yesteryear. In some ways the nostalgic tone of the this production makes this a sad movie. The viewer gets to see countless examples of pulp art, only to find out that many of the originals have been lost or destroyed. Anyway, I really believe all genre fans should give this DVD a look. It's a cool educational film that covers a subject that should be close to every genre film fan's heart. – Craig Hamann

2009 - NR - 90 Minutes
D: Jason Connery
S: Alesha Rucci - Peter Holden - Graham McTavish - Kristi Culbert
DVD Screener Provided by MTI Home Video
Widescreen/Dolby Digital
Extras: Trailer

Jason Connery, son of Sean, made his own name and breakthrough with the hit UK Television series Robin Hood. Here he tries out his directing chops and comes up with mediocre results. Something is killing the local livestock in a small New Mexico town. Soon humans also fall victim to this deadly virus. Animal Vet Aleshi Rucci is on the case and after hooking up with the local doctor, they decide to call the center of disease control. In less than a half hour, the military shows up and starts its quarantine. Soon the plot is plagued (yes, that's on purpose) with government secrets, terrorist plots, conspiracy theories and the chase is on and the plot holes deepen. Coincidences seem so over the top, you think you would find some camp value, but alas, it all feels middle of the road. Outside of a few F bombs, you would swear this was made for the Lifetime channel. Alesha Rucci does an adequate job in the lead and some of the virus effects are decent, but in the end you have an okay time waster that is easily forgettable. - Mark Engle

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