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2010 - NR - 27 Min.
D: Rick Kelly & Charlie Ruckus
S: DEADNEKS - Brenna Lee Roth - Elysegirl - Natisha Gardner
DVD Provided by Ruckus Productions
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1/Dolby Digital

Three arguing psychobilly ladies are headed cross country and pick up a hitchhiker to break up the monotony. They are cordially invited to a late night party and Deadneks barn concert ala southern hillbilly-trasho-style. What they don't know is that these good old boys took H.G. Lewis' 2000 MANIACS to heart and just love cutting off limbs, hog-tying up the ladies, slice & dice and have a good old fashioned cannibalistic barbeque. The "Trilogy" in TRILOGY OF TERROR refers to three songs performed by the DEADNEKS and the storyline follows the three gals as they meet their gory demise. For a reported 68 dollar budget, there's tons of cheap gore, lots of nudity and great southern horror-styled psychobilly trash for those of us who love it (count me in as a fan). At one point a girl goes running across the screen, through the woods screaming. Her assailant then comes running across the screen wearing nothing but a tube sock on his dick. Yup, it's just that kind of movie! It gets crazier with the guy having "relations" with a rusty old tractor while another girl sticks a hand-turn beater up his butt. The acting is pretty on par with Lewis' BLOOD FEAST and the gore is on the same level. Actually, considering the budget, quite a bit is accomplished. It's only a shame that they didn't spend another $136.00 and make two more stories to flesh it out to 72 minutes or so making it a full length trilogy that would give it a better shelf life with horror fans and the Deadneks followers. If you read this far and it still sounds great, then this "psychotic hillbillies crazed for carnage" opus is recommended. If not, then your BBQ spices and sauces were probably made in New York City. - Mark Engle

2008 - NR - 85 Minutes
D: Jozef Lenders
S: Corey Feldman - Tanya Memme
DVD Provided by Cinema Epoch
Extras: Still Gallery - Trailer

In a tiny little town, Joe (Joe Abby) has been doing some well drilling. He thinks he’s struck pay dirt, but the soil carries a bizarre virus that switches the pain and pleasure sensors in the human brain. Self inflicted pain feels orgasmic. Joe is attracted to waitress, Maria (Tanya Memme), but is not aware that Allen (Corey Feldman) has been in Maria’s life for a long time. On his next visit to town, Allen intends on asking Maria to marry him, but when he arrives, the small town has transformed into a dark version of itself and everyone is behaving…well, weird. Now he has to find out what is going on and find a cure to save the woman he loves. Okay, if I had to depend on Corey Feldman to find a cure for something I would know that I was in some deep stuff. Plus, Feldman looks weird in this flick. Greasy, jet black short hair and his face seems puffier than usual. Not sure if it’s just age or weight creeping up on him, but he looked a little off. The movie plays like one of those SyFy movies of the week with a little extra gore, but not much else. You get a ‘seen it coming’ ending that leaves it open for additional movies if they so wished. I noticed that Feldman was one of the producers on the movie. I guess if you’ve got the cash you can still make movies. In the end, TERROR INSIDE is a lukewarm, unamazing entry into the whole epidemic on the loose in a small town genre. Meg Tilly and Tim Matheson did it better in IMPULSE. - Douglas A. Waltz

Also Known As:
Yume jû-ya
Japanese/2006 – NR – 112 Minutes
D: Keisuke Toyoshima, Atsushi Shimizu, Yûdai Yamaguchi, and others
S: Kyôko Koizumi, Kôji Yamamoto, Mikako Ichikawa, Ken'ichi Matsuyama
DVD Provided By Cinema Epoch
Extras: Film essay and stills

The way this anthology movie was put together is interesting in itself. Based on a book by Natsume Soseki, a talented group of ten Japanese directors were each given one of Soseki’s “dreams” to shoot. The end result is 10 short subjects, all of them ethereal in tone and look and each one creatively crafted. One of the strong points is that each segment really does play like a dream, but that can also be puzzling for the viewer. The stories aren’t linear in their structure and the imagery is imaginative but sometimes downright confusing. Even so, all the episodes are lavishly photographed and directed extremely well. My two favorites belong to filmmaker Atsushi Shimizu, who adds some cool mystery to his project, and director Keisuke Toyoshima, who spices things up with some blood and suspense. Also, very much worth mentioning is the last episode by Yûdai Yamaguchi, which is way out weird and involves a pig morphing sequence that you have to see to believe. I was disappointed that the subtitles were burned into the picture instead of using a letterboxing technique, but that’s mainly because the picture quality is so amazingly crystal clear and beautiful that I hated seeing anything disrupt it. Admittedly, this is definitely for the adventuresome genre fans that are on the prowl for something different, but I get the feeling that most Cultcuts readers are exactly those kinds of fans. – Craig Hamann

1960 - N/R - 92 Min
D: Paul Helmick
S: Rory Calhoun - Connie Hines - Race Gentry - Alan Hale Jr.
DVD Provided by VCI Entertainment
Anamorphic Widescreen/Dolby Digital
Extras: Several 1950's Chevy Shorts - Trailers

Rory Calhoun stars as Mitch Cooper, a race car driver at the top of his game. That is until a horrible accident leaves him with a bum leg. He heads back to his home town stomping grounds to lick his wounds and befriends a young naive garage owner and mechanic Les York. Les also wants to be a stock car racer and soon they strike up a partnership. Mitch also happens to think that Les' wife Rene is part of the deal. Soon all three are on the fast track to spills and thrills along the raceway. Sounds exciting, but it all plays out pretty ho-hum. Rory seems to be channeling a washed up Dean Martin, constantly coming the Exxon Valdez through his hair while hitting on anything with two legs and mostly striking out. Race Gentry is just aggravating and Connie Hines gets some of the meatiest lines, but doesn't quite know what to do with it except look pretty. Alan Hale Jr. is aka The Skipper is on board for this faithful trip and as usual is fun to watch. Nothing like a crippled mechanic with a dead arm to add to the drama. THUNDER IN CAROLINA covers most of the basics and clichés of the racing genre including death, loneliness, drinking, bad owners, cheating, superstitions (never eat peanuts!) and even works in the past of liquor smuggling in dry counties to boot. It all comes down to the big race when Mitch and Les go separate ways and have to race each other and everyone else in the final Southern 500 (taken from actual 1959 footage). The live footage, cars and extras alone make this disc worthwhile for stock car racing enthusiasts. The rest of us may just want to stick with our copies of TWO-LANE BLACKTOP. - Mark Engle

2006 – NR – 88 Min.
D: Jeremy Kasten
S: Matt Keeslar – Clare Kramer – Jeremy Sisto – Serena Scott Thomas – Adam Baldwin
DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anamorphic widescreen / 5.1 Dolby Digital
Extras: Commentary – Deleted scenes – Photo Gallery

Kramer is Lisa, an ex-drug addict stripper with a terminal illness who manages to cheat death when a female vampire turns her because she likes the way Lisa dances. Keeslar is Maxx; the ex-drug addict boyfriend who meets up with his recently deceased love at a fetish club and is himself turned so that they can remain together. The vampire ‘family’ looks at the reunited couple as an experiment of sorts. Maxx responds to his new sanguinary cravings with the same obsessive recklessness that defined his previous addiction. Events quickly snowball out of control until Lisa and Maxx decide to seek help, a decision to which the original group is violently opposed. Much carnage ensues. Grimy, foul-mouthed movie meanders along reveling in its conceit while offering no sympathetic characters and attempts to make up for its shortcomings with an abundance of exaggerated splatter, nudity and sex. Inappropriate soundtrack consists of punk/goth/industrial/metal melange blaring obnoxiously while the kinetic flash cut editing style frustrates. The ridiculous ‘withdrawal’ scene shows the couple in their old apartment trying to kick the habit and ends with them eating their cats after sucking blood from a mattress doesn’t work. Brain Damage this ain’t. A friend commented that it was as if the filmmakers were trying to emulate Near Dark (FAIL!) with every bloodsucker acting the Bill Paxton part – this is certainly a valid observation. The running time is 88 minutes but it feels like 3 hours. Recommended only to the most indiscriminate splatter fiends. – Michael Mackie

French/2006 – NR – 77 Minutes
D: David Moreau & Xavier Palud
S: Olivia Bonamy, Michael Cohen, Adriana Mocca, Maria Roma
DVD Provided by Dark Sky Films
Widescreen/Theatrical DVD Screener

Now in select theaters, if you get a chance, check out this new French exercise in terror. Based on true events, a couple is tormented during a night of hell by several assailants. It’s a simple enough premise, but the direction, editing and use of sound and shadow are all top notch leaving the viewer completely breathless. The chase scenes are on par with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the ending as shocking as I’ve seen in a long time. The acting is top notch by the two leads, Olivia Bonamy and Michael Cohen as they run for their lives while being trapped throughout the entire running time. This is one exciting adrenaline inducing scarefest that made me nervous. Gorehounds will want to look elsewhere, but if tension building scares is what you are looking for, either check it out on the big screen or get the DVD when released from Dark Sky Films. Who would have ever thought the French would be releasing one of my favorite horror films this year. And I thought Haute Tension was just lucky! THEM comes highly recommended. – Mark Engle

1984 – R – 85 Min.
D: David Fisher
S: Terri Garber, Jason Miller, Cleavon Little, Tim Robbins, Tracy Scoggins
Anchor Bay DVD – Now OOP
Anamorphic widescreen / Dolby Digital Mono
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

A group of rich college kids party their way down the coast of Central America on a yacht guided by the exceptionally gruff Sarge (Miller). After a practical joke leaves Sarge miles behind, one of the hopelessly intoxicated cracks his skull open on the boat and several (more sober) friends lead him ashore to find medical help. Terrorist death squad captures the youths with plans of ransoming them back to America (fully intending on killing them later regardless) and only Amy (Garber) manages to escape thanks to Sarge tracking her down. He is summarily dismissed from his duties anyway due to his perceived incompetence and soon Amy decides it’s her responsibility to go back and save her friends. She gathers her remaining boat-mates, enlists the help of the sympathetic butler, tempts Sarge and his pilot buddy into helping with money raised by selling Dad’s limo to Freddie the Fence and they are off to battle. Obscenely far-fetched premise is often hard to negotiate. Several amusing set pieces are entertaining to watch though the mix of straight-faced drama with rocket launcher fart-noises doesn’t always mesh successfully. Sometimes goofy, sometimes mean spirited, always bordering on the absurd, Toy Soldiers is enough of an 80’s oddity to get some enjoyment out of. The same attitude that can be found in movies such as Death Before Dishonor and Born American is well displayed here. Miller plays his part over the top. Little, as his long-time friend and fellow veteran, doesn’t have much to do in what amounts to a throwaway role. Violence, torture, and implied sexual abuse keep the bad guys sinister and Garber shows talent without a lot to work with. Toy Soldiers rates as average, if not entirely memorable, entertainment. Proceed with caution. – Michael Mackie

2005 - NR - 104 Min.
D: Sakichi Sato
S: Tadanobu Asano - Show Aikawa
DVD provided by Anchor Bay Entertainment
2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen/Dolby Surround 5.1/Japanese w/English subtitles
Extras: Making Of Featurette/Actor Interviews/Trailers

According to the box, fans are calling this the "Japanese SHAUN OF THE DEAD." Besides the fact that there are zombies in both films and the two protagonists happen to be slackers, I consider the statement to be a slap in the face to both Japanese Cinema and SHAUN. Two bumbling idiots who dream of becoming ju-jitsu champions (one as a trainer) accidently kill their boss and decide to dump him off in the local and huge waste dump. Unfortunately for civilization, many others have done the same and toxic waste causes a massive wake-up call on the corpses buried there. Soon these morons are stuck in a Post Apocalyptic nightmare as the countryside is overrun with the living dead. The last half deals mainly with their exploits and shenanigans as they try to survive from one minute to the next. This includes a chance to wrestle/fight with corpses in a arena. Some interesting ideas are completely wasted while other moments test the patience of the viewer (15 minutes watching one sit on the other as they discuss ju-jitsu techniques). Not to mention this silly comedy seems to have pedophile fetish that goes way over the top. Any moments and chances of witty or sly comedy (much of which you find in SHAUN) are completely non-existent in order to beat the viewer over the head with stupid and unfunny slapstick that is painful to watch. If you are a fan of SHAUN OF THE DEAD, do yourself a favor and watch in for the 13th time. It will still be better and fresher than this turd. - Mark Engle

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