Bird Box

I’m a little late of the mark with this post, but Bird Box is a film I’ve wanted to talk about for a while. But before we get further into this post, there’ll probably (most likely) be SPOILERS in this post, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want it spoiled, you might want to stop reading.

Back to the movie, all in all the film itself was okay. It isn’t the greatest film I’ve ever seen but it’s watchable and has an interesting concept. However, when rating apocalypse type films I like to consider how difficult it would be to survive them. Sadly, for Bird Box it would be very easy for a particular large group of people to survive and I don’t mean the mentally ill people in the movie or the fully blind. But before I explain, let’s have a quick summary of Bird Box’s concept for those who are unfamiliar with the movie.

thumbnail_20917FB7-E651-4538-BE7D-E9D29AFF3F15Essentially in the film there is a monster on the loose that causes people to kill themselves if they look at it. This leads to people wearing blindfolds to avoid catching sight of the monster. However, the monster has a different effect on the mentally unwell and they see it as the most beautiful thing they’ve ever set eyes on. Which in turn, causes them to have an overwhelming desire to run around pulling off blindfolds and trying to force people to look at the monster (causing the victim to die from doing so). It’s a pretty interesting concept, but when you give it a bit more thought it sort of falls in on itself. Considering you have to see the monster for it to have an effect, there is another rather large group of people (other than the completely blind), that could easily survive Bird Box, which quite a few of you and myself belong too.

So, what is this incredible superpower that protects from the monster? Well, its probably wouldn’t be considered a superpower in a normal situation, but in the Bird Box world it pretty much is. Anyway, this superpower is poor eyesight. By this I don’t mean complete blindness, I mean eyesight just poor enough that you can’t navigate this world without wearing your glasses. Let me explain more.

Something I’ve never really mentioned on this blog is that without glasses I have dirt poor eyesight (everything’s a blurry mess of fuzzy shapes and colours and without glasses I can’t even identify family members. I also tend not to draw myself wearing glasses. Not because of vanity, it’s because I’ve had to wear glasses all the time since 8years old and forget I’m wearing them). From doing quite the remarkable Mr. Magoo impression while not wearing glasses, I’ve discovered a monster sized loophole in Bird Box’s plot that would mean a rather large percent of mankind could survive the Bird Box apocalypse.

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It probably seems obvious at this point, how a poor sighted person could survive Bird Box, but just for fun I’ll go into detail. Basically, all they’d have to do to survive is remove their glasses (yeah, it’s really as simple as that). If you can’t even make out objects 2 feet in front of your face, it’d be impossible to see a monster standing on the other side of the street or sitting up in a tree. Let’s just face it, with dirt poor eyesight the monster could probably walk up and headbutt you and you still wouldn’t be able to see it. So, you’d be very much immune to the monster’s powers (you still wouldn’t be immune to walking into a lamp post or tripping over a cat, though).

But wait what about those crazed monster worshiper people, you ask? What if they attack you, forcibly put back on your glasses and force you to look at the monster?  Well, here’s the hard part. After you remove your glasses, you’re going to have to break them into tiny pieces, including the lenses, then have a cry over how expensive those glasses were.

thumbnail_20917FB7-E651-4538-BE7D-E9D29AFF3F15After that you’d be pretty safe from the monster worshipers too, because even if the monster worshipers forcibly took you to the pharmacy to get a pair of those over the counter glasses, those glasses won’t make a button of difference. They’re more like a reading glasses than seeing glasses, so you’ll still be able to see bug all. It’s also highly unlikely that there’d be an optician amongst the monster worshipers to provide you with proper glasses, so you’d still be immune to the monster.

thumbnail_FF1830A8-FC1F-4DF0-B002-B4E5321DA78AI know the monster worshipers are still quite dangerous, they’re heavily armed in the film and could attack you for not loving the monster. So, for an added safety precaution you might want to put your acting skills to the test and pretend to be one of them, if you bump into monster worshipers in the Bird Box apocalypse (to be honest, they all seem pretty high on monster so it probably wouldn’t be that difficult to fool them. Just compliment the monster or comment on how beautiful it is and they wouldn’t notice your not one of them).

thumbnail_FF1830A8-FC1F-4DF0-B002-B4E5321DA78AOverall, I wasn’t very taken by Bird Box and think it was slightly over hyped. Right enough, a monster that causes death by just looking at it, is scary and could be seen as fantastic symbolism. But with a sieve-like plot, it loses its impact. The more you think about this film the more plot holes you find. For example, it didn’t matter if the babies seen the monster because they don’t have the ability or understanding to hurt themselves. Also, being in a situation where a deadly monster seems to be always present just waiting for its chance to strike you dead, would in itself be enough to drive a person to madness, therefore the monster would lose its deadly effect. Considering all this I would only recommend watching Bird Box if you’re curious/interested about its concept. Just don’t expect too much from it.

Rating: 2.5/5

Hope you enjoyed this post, it might seem a bit of a strange way to review this film, but I thought it’d be nice to shake things up and add a bit of fun to the post.

As always thanks for reading!

The Wailing

00ba897d-bbf6-4493-be80-b0b3a78f181cThis week something terribly unfortunate happened. I was in the middle of creating some digital art for this post, when suddenly the app crashed and stopped working. After a few panic-stricken minutes, I finally got the app to open again to be met by the horror that the app had wiped itself clean and deleted everything, including the piece I was working on (literally could have cried). Over 200 digital drawings gone and all the brush settings reset. The only thing to remember them by is thumbnails saved on my computer and the saddest thing is there where pieces I hadn’t completed yet. They’re just thumbnails now that can never be finished or opened on the app as a digital drawing again. They will forever be incomplete. So, what has this got to do with this review? Well, it mostly affects the art work for the review, because now all the brushes have reset back to their default settings, which makes them kind of awkward to use. I will eventually get the brush settings back to the way I like them, but that’s going to involve a lot of trial and error. In the meantime, I hope you still enjoy my more resourceful approach to digital art.

Getting back to the film, The Wailing is a South Korean horror movie about a police officer (Jong-goo) who is investigating a series of strange violent attacks and murders, that all involve the offender falling ill with a mysterious sickness before committing the crime. Soon into the investigation Jong-goo hears rumours of witchcraft and a terrifying naked man attacking people in the woods and eating raw flesh. Things rapidly go downhill for Jong-goo when his young daughter contracts the mysterious illness and doctors tell him they can do nothing. This leads to Jong-goo enlisting the help of a shaman and things take a bit of a demonic turn. Will the shaman be able to cure Jong-goo’s daughter or will it all end in tragedy?

The Wailing completely took me by surprise, I really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. I went into this movie expecting it to be just another demon horror movie. The sort of film where a demon shows up and torments a family then possesses someone. Everyone freaks out and they call for the Padre or a paranormal fighting duo to come exercise the demon. You know, the type that are filled with jump scares and clichés and sends your heart racing. Luckily, The Wailing has a little more to it than that and is not your run of the mill demon themed horror movie.

You may be thinking now, what does this film have that all other demon movies don’t have? The answer to that question is suspense, breath-taking scenery and a rather unique storyline with one hell of a plot twist. The Wailing is a bit of a slow starter, but when it gets going glob does it suck you in. Between wanting to see if Jong-goo solves the mystery and finds the true cause of the sickness and sitting in suspense, waiting to find out if the daughter survives, this film gets you totally invested in the plot. The amazing scenes of greenery and countryside on top of that, just really holds your attention, keeping you glued to the screen.

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 My face after losing all those drawings. It also aged about 20 years in that moment.  

The brilliant twist and mind screw at the end, truly puts the cherry on the cake. I for one certainly didn’t see it coming and while viewing the last part of the film, I was in a state of confusion, wonder and awe watching the tale spin and mystery unravel. At one point, I was completely baffled over who was actually the evil one and really couldn’t tell. Both possibilities seemed equally as untrustworthy and both were creepy as fudge, with a presence that screamed evil.

Which takes me to my next point, like all good horror films The Wailing was incredibly creepy and really leaves a lasting impression on you. Meaning it could quite possibly keep you up at night, checking and rechecking that all the windows and doors of locked and secured. There’s just something about a naked demonic feral person, running around, eating raw deer and attacking people, that’s pretty terrifying. Not to mention, the horror of being attacked by a possessed extremely violent 9-year-old (you can’t punch a child, so not sure how you’d defend yourself against that one). Making this film pretty scary to watch at times.

The Wailing isn’t without its flaws, the biggest flaw being the excessive use of foul language (in the subbed version at least). This may seem like an overreaction to a bit of swearing, but it really isn’t the case. Truth be told I usually wouldn’t care about swearing or even notice there was swearing. However, this film goes a little too far with the strong language, like even the kid was swearing obscenely. It seemed as if they couldn’t even make it through a sentence without swearing, which really killed the atmosphere of certain scenes. Maybe in the subbed version someone got a little carried away when creating the subtitles and the actual version it isn’t as bad. But glob that amount of swearing really wasn’t necessary.

There are also a few strange bible references throughout this film, which may put off some viewers. But considering the ending of this film, those references are more like well hidden clues to how the film was going to end and who was actually the evil one. So, you can’t really cringe too hard at them. However, you could probably cringe rather hard at the acting from some of the minor characters. Their overacting is quite comical at times, but mostly it’ll have you holding your head in your hand and shaking your head in distaste. In saying that, the acting of those in the main roles more than makes up for this.

Overall, The Wailing is quite a good horror movie. It does have its shortcomings, but in whole it’s an interesting and very exciting watch. With its plot twists and interesting concept of how demonic possession works, The Wailing will really grab your attention. If you fancy a change from your typical demon horror movie like The Conjuring or The Exorcist and don’t mind reading subtitles, I would recommend giving this film a try. It quite the creepy watch and will please the lovers of horror.

Rating: 3.5/5

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

d91c2f21-3199-4c68-b757-60635b94777eVampires have always been something I liked from the horror genre. There’s just something about a monster that’s incredibly charming and looks human but can potentially suck you dry of your blood in an instant, that’s makes my skin crawl. So, for this review I thought I’d go back to the classics and share with you me thoughts on a movie about the Daddy of vampires himself, Count Dracula.

As you’ve probably guessed this film is closely based on the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. If you’re not familiar with the story, don’t worry I’ll fill you in. A young lawyer Jonathan leaves his fiancée Mina in London, to travels to Dracula’s castle to do a spot of business with the Count himself. When Jonathan arrives at the castle, Count Dracula tricks him into staying. However, Jonathan soon realises he’s being held against his will, when he tries to leave. Dracula then decides to travel to London, leaving poor Jonathan to be fed on by his lady vampires.

Once at London, the Count starts feeding on Mina’s friend Lucy, all while trying to win Mina favour. Eventually Jonathan escapes from Dracula’s castle and the vampire ladies and makes it back to London. However unfortunately, Lucy dies and becomes a vampire. Now faced with numerous vampires, a man known as Van Helsing steps in to lead the hunt for Dracula and his band of lady vampires.

Yeah, there’s a lot that goes on in Dracula, but is the film any good? All I can say is, it won’t be for anyone. Like the book it can be a little heavy and strange at times, which may put off some viewers. But if you love the book, I could see you thoroughly enjoying this film. It very closely follows the book, only leaving out a few details and even tries to maintain the letter/journal feel of the book. The only thing is, I don’t remember the book containing as much toplessness as this film. But I guess it depends on your own opinion, whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

6aaef467-e576-48a0-bfa4-8f36fb1e8c27The portrayal of Dracula himself is pretty good in this film. He starts off looking creepy as hell, sporting the famous Butt shaped hairdo, and gives of some real psychotic vibes. He then transitions into an extremely charming and attractive man, but still gives off a bit of a creepy vibe and by the end of the movie, he loses his charm and become a super gross batman creature. That’s pretty true to the book. However, unlike the book, the film doesn’t explain why Dracula’s appearance changes, very well and pretty much takes for granted that the viewer would know the reason for this. On a more positive note, the Film’s Dracula was a lot less ranty than the book’s and doesn’t go off on a tangent as much.

I must admit that the special effects in this film are a bit dated. However, they still look kind of cool, especially the play with Dracula’s shadows. The pacing also seems a little strange, feeling slow and heavy at times and kind of rushed at other times. But considering how long the book is, you can forgive the pacing.

Overall, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is an okay film. It does have its problems, but as book adaptations go, it’s pretty good. Sticking very close to the source material and leaving out only a few details (most likely for time-saving purposes). The film may now seem a little dated now, but if you’re a lover of the book or Dracula himself, you will most likely enjoy this film. Leaving me to recommend it, to anyone mad about vampires.

Rating: 3/5

The Thing in the Apartment (Short Film)

thumbnail_ec2a1929-a644-48f3-bc04-53efa6494674It’s not too often you come across a horror film that is genuinely terrifying, let alone a short film. Being less than 10 minutes long, The Thing in the Apartment still manages to give you Goosebumps and leave you a little afraid of the dark. It has been a while since a horror movie has scared me this bad, so I’ve decided to give The Thing in the Apartment a review of its own.

The Thing in the Apartment, begins with Sam getting a phone call from her friend (Lindsey), asking if she can come pick her up, because something happened in her apartment. Sam, being just a good friend, goes picks the frightened Lindsay up. However, in true horror movie idiot style, Sam decides it’s a good idea to go check the apartment out and as you can probably guess, things take a bit of a horrible turn from here.

From the offset, this short film is very creepy and gives you a really uneasy feeling. As the film progresses, it gets a lot more intense and is filled with jump scares. Leaving you very on edge and praying that nothing messed up, jumps out and grabs either of the characters. Having 5 jump scares in less than 10 minutes, this film will most likely send your heart racing (not the best if you have any heart problems) and have you cuddling your blanket for dear life.

As for true scare factor goes, this film feeds on the fear of the unknown, the unseen and being attacked while alone and/or helpless. So, anyone that has experienced sleep paralysis, has had the feeling something sinister watches them or feels uneasy when alone or in the dark, will most likely find The Thing in the Apartment absolutely terrifying.

The down side to this film is that the acting is not the greatest and it has a lot of stupid moments that makes no logical sense. Like, entering the apartment when there’s a suspected creeper inside and walking about in complete darkness. This made things slightly predictable and takes away some of its fear factor.

Overall, considering The Thing in the Apartment is a short film, I would say it’s worthwhile checking out, if you’re a lover of horror. Although, the acting isn’t great it still manages to leave you feeling very creeped out and wanting to sleep with the lights on. If you fancy a quick scare and have 10 minutes to spare, I’d recommend giving The Thing in the Apartment a watch. As I’m so nice, I’ll even leave a YouTube link to this film, somewhere in this post.

Rating: 3.5/5

Silent Hill (2006)

thumbnail_8559fdf1-ae0c-4fd7-bae7-16a2433aa6f6Rewind back 10 years+ ago, where a young and daring 13-year-old me, thought to herself. “Hmm… I’m incredibly bored and no one else is awake. I know what would be fun. Watching horror movies in the dark by myself.” After sneaking downstairs like a ninja, quietly raiding the DVD cupboard and hightailing it back to my room, with my goodies (so not to get caught roaming the house at night). I decided Silent Hill would be the perfect movie for this little horror fest, I was holding in the darkness of my room.

Long story short, this was not a good idea and I scared the muffins out of myself, so bad that I couldn’t sleep. But, what does that have to do with this post? Well, it’s been over 10 years since I first seen this movie and I was curious to see, if it was still as scary as I found it back then. However, before I answer that, let me tell you a little about Silent Hill’s story.

The main character, Rose is worried sick about her adoptive daughter (Sharon), sleepwalking and having night terrors. The child’s dreams are being plagued by a town called Silent Hill, which leads Rose to think, that bringing Sharon to Silent Hill would rid her of the nightmares.

After making a dramatic entrance into Silent Hill, Rose and Sharon are separated. Rose searches the town frantically for her daughter, but soon realises there is something very wrong with this town. After experiencing, what happens when darkness falls and terrifyingly warped monsters come out to play, and after meeting the religious cult of witch hunters, that occupy the town. Will Rose ever find her daughter and will she learn the chilling secrets of Silent Hill?

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Chibi Pyramid Head

All I can say is, “wow, horror movies sure have come a long way since 2006.” However, in saying that, Silent Hill still manages to be creepy as fudge, even if the monsters look incredibly fake and computerised. The acting is also bit monotone at times, particularly with the character Rose (it was like watching an emotionless robot, at points). Luckily, the storyline and its generally creepiness in enough to forgive the acting.

By today’s standards, Silent Hill is still a pretty good horror movie. It maintains a real eerie feel, that keeps you slightly on edge the whole way through the film. Even when the wallpaper isn’t peeling from the walls and there isn’t a horribly mutated and charred monster on the screen. But for me, the best thing about this film was the storyline. It really sucks you in and keeps you wandering, in suspense about what the fudge in going on in that town. As well as exploring some of darker things in society, like mob mentality, mass hysteria and the idea that people are more likely to partake in horrible inhuman acts, when in a group or/and they fear being shun for not partaking or for speaking out. This gives the story that real twisted feel, that can make horror so interesting to watch.

Overall, Silent Hill is one of the better horror movies, I have seen. Despite the acting being a bit dead at times, it still had a suspenseful storyline, with some depth. Silent Hill was also very eerie and its monsters, looked like they were straight out of a nightmare. Creating the real horror movie feel. I would definitely recommend Silent Hill to lovers of horror.

Rating: 3.5/5

To answer the question, I posed earlier. 10 years on, did Silent Hill still scare the muffins out of me?
Thankfully no, it just mildly creeped me out.

Crimson Peak

thumbnail_65dfb950-d461-40fd-bde1-449ac3960c70The last review of this little Halloween horror adventure. A horror film about creepy ghosts, a lunatic with a knife and a helpless idiot, that breaks all the rules of surviving a horror movie, seems the perfect way to end this series. Crimson Peak had all this creepiness and alike bit more.

Crimson Peak is about a young woman Edith, who is hunted by the ghost of her dead mother. Her mother returns from the grave to bring her a warning of Crimson Peak. Although terrified by these ghostly visits, Edith decides to ignore the warnings and give it no more thought.

An English baronet named, Sir Thomas Sharpe appears out of the blue one day, at Edith’s father’s business. After only a few day Edith falls deeply in love with Thomas and after the mysterious dead of her father, she agrees to marry Thomas and move to his stately home in England, in a place known as Crimson Peak. Shortly after moving to Crimson Peak, Edith realises things are not as they seem and quickly discovers a horrifying secret about Thomas and the place called Crimson Peak.

With badly decomposed ghost skeletons jumping out from every corner, this movie should by terrifying. Unfortunately, Crimson Peak falls short of this and is more, creepy than scary. This film starts of good and set a scary tone, but sadly this doesn’t last long and is lost, when the film tries to become a psychological thriller. But before I end up ripping completely into this film, I think I should start with, what was good about this film.

The best thing about this film is the ghosts and the stately house. They’re both creepy as fudge and set a really nice tone for a horror film. The ghosts are these horribly mangled figures, that look more skeleton or zombie like then human. The house, you could not pay me to stay overnight in. It just looks like a place you’d meet a horrible bloody end in and screams haunted house. Perfect for a horror film and setting an eerie tone.

thumbnail_8992c439-92a4-4c04-96a3-7911508f1428When the film finally gets going, the storyline is pretty interesting. Before, Edith goes to Crimson Peak the movies a bit boring and not that interesting. However, when she finally arrives at Crimson Peak, things get very interesting and a very nice mystery is unravelled. Along the way, terrifying ghosts appear everywhere. Seemingly with the intent to hurt Edith. But things are not as they seem and the presence of these ghosts deepen the mystery even more.

Although, Crimson Peak has its good points, it unfortunately also has a lot of bad. I could go on and on about what’s wrong with this film, but that would get boring really fast. So, I’ll just touch on the two biggest problems with this movie. Crimson Peak didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be. It jumps between horror, murder mystery and twisted romance constantly. If this was meant to be a blend of genres, then they blended the genres very badly. At times it seemed like two different movies. One about a murder mystery with creepy ghosts and the other about jealous twisted love triangle. Making the movies direction seem confused and lost at times.

Also, the main character, Edith was incredibly annoying and a complete idiot. Edith receives numerous warnings from a ghost, but pays no attention. A strange guy and his creepy sister show up from nowhere, looking money. Then Edith’s father dies mysteriously after an argument with this guy. But for some crazy reason, Edith still agrees to marry this guy, despite only knowing him for a few days and the fact her father just died. That whole scenario stinks of black widow. More annoying, Edith even comments on the fact that this guy wants to appear to have money, but clearly doesn’t and you would also think she’d be wary of strangers, after being warned about an unfamiliar place. So, what the fudge was this lady at. She clearly has no sense.

When Edith finally gets to Crimson Peak, she just takes the complete biscuit. From doing ridiculously stupid things that always leads to injury or death in horror movies, to letting herself be treated and talked to, worse than a dog. She was clearly missing a back bone and possibly a brain as well. She had so many warnings and opportunities to escape. It was like was she wanted to be killed.

Overall, Crimson Peak was just Okay. It had an interesting mystery and terrifying ghosts, but seemed to missing that one thing that makes for good horror. It was also very confused about its direction and genre and at times was boring and predictable. However, in saying that, it did have some good going for it.

As a film for a Halloween horror binge watch, I would not recommend this movie. There is just so many other better horror films you could watch, that would more suitable and a lot scarier.

Rating: 2/5

Vampire Hunter D

thumbnail_40227db9-e179-4e51-8e3f-484b538e1305_1With Halloween ever getting nearer, I might as well bring on the horror and start my expedition into the shadows. Horror and anime is not something I’ve really mixed, but I’m all up for new film experiences. So, why not kick of this journey into the darkness, by doing exactly that.

I had a lot to choose from, but any film that promises slithery demons, vampires, hunters and a creepy evil Migi hand, is a film I’m going to want to check out. Vampire Hunter D promised this and delivered so much more.

Set in a dark future, where humans must fend off vampire, demons and other creatures, to survive. A young lady, Doris Lang is attacked by a Noble vampire (Count Magnus Lee) and is bitten. Doris somehow escapes this first attack, but is still at risk from Count Lee, as he plans on kidnapping Doris and forcing her to become his bride.

Suspecting Count Lee will come for her again. Doris hires a mysterious stranger known as D, to hunt down Count Lee and kill him, before he can attack her again. This leads to a series of bloody events, as D enters Count Lee’s lair and set out to save Doris Lang.

To be honest, Vampire Hunter D (1985) is quite a bit older than myself and has some of the typical problems of anime from that time. Such as bad dubbing, weirder shaped heads and random nudity. So, to be fair when rating this anime, I’ll overlook these problems. It just what 80’s animation is like and isn’t isolated to Vampire Hunter D alone.

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Despite being an older anime, Vampire Hunter D was actually pretty good and had a half decent storyline. Granted it didn’t wow me to a great extent, but was still very watchable and had a good element of mystery and excitement. It very nicely unravelled, the mystery surrounding D and managed to capture my attention right up until the end. Making it very enjoyable to watch.

Vampire Hunter D also had a nice amount of gore, which is always a bonus for any horror fan. In addition to this, it had a good share of unintentional comical moments. Including scenes that look, all so wrong and that could be hilariously misconstrued as something else. If you’re as immature and dirty minded as I, you’ll have great fun with this movie. Particularly the ending scene, where characters shout “I love D” from a hill-top. I’m not even joking, they actually shouted that. Makes you wonder how the hell, they let that one slip without noticing and if it’s unintentional, at all.

I think the biggest selling point of this film, is the Mysterious D himself. As vampire hunters go, D’s pretty kick ass. If I was a vampire and heard, D was coming to whip my butt. I wouldn’t sit around sniggering and acting pretentious, like Count Lee. I’d be shaking the kittens from my trouser legs and heading to the nearest airport. D just made mincemeat of whoever stood in his way, without much effort. Not to mention, he sounds like Liam Neeson in Taken.

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Blast from the past. You might recognise this drawing. It’s the first vampire drawing, I did for this blog. I occasionally like to throw an oldie into my posts, for nostalgia purposes.

Like all films, Vampire Hunter D has its short coming. Its biggest being, the huge plot holes and things that didn’t make sense. For example, if D could kill Count Lee that easy, why the hell did he not kill Lamika and the mutant, the first time he fought them. He could have saved himself a butt kicking later on, as well as a lot of time and bother. It also would have sent one hell of message to Count Lee. It would have made it very clear to Count Lee, that he would have to be prepared to die, if he wanted to take Doris.

Another rather annoying aspect of this anime is the flashes. They were a bit excessive with the flashing lights, in Vampire Hunter D. The odd flash of light is fine in a film, but not whole sequences lasting minutes. I felt like I was at a 90’s nightclub and my eyes were starting to sting, from looking at the blinding light. I like being able to see after watching a movie, so this really wasn’t good.

Overall, Vampire Hunter D was good for an old anime horror movie. However, in saying that, if you dislike old anime, you’ll probably not enjoy this film. It’s very typical of 80’s anime and if this isn’t too you’re taste, then Vampire Hunter D will not impress you much. On the other hand, if like me, you have a soft point for older anime and love horror, Vampire Hunter D is worth checking out. It would make for the perfect start, to a horror or old anime binge watch. It has a real creepy weird feel to it, that is great for putting you in the mood for more horror.

Rating: 3/5

Sorry this post, was so long coming. I originally was going to review Akira, but after watching it I realised it was a massive hint at something else. Although I did really enjoy Akira, reviewing it would have turned into a deep analysis of the film.
To do this properly, I would have had to re-watch Akira a few times and had to pull apart some of the scenes, to explain its hidden clues and its hints at other things. Basically, Akira was making so many hints, it would have taken me ages to collect and analyse them all and the review would have been so long, I fear it would put people of reading it. So, I had to find something else to review, last-minute.

Stake Land

thumbnail_dbac8e0c-e41d-48d7-90de-0258798ff0c3The zombie thirst is back. A thirst that can only be quenched, by watching ridiculous amounts of zombie films and shows. So, why the hell did I end up watching stake land, when it’s a vampire movie?

Stake land, is one of those films that dance with the line between zombies and vampires. Their vampires, behave like zombies, look like zombie and feed like zombies, however obey 2 important vampire rules (these being, they have fangs and burst into flames in sunlight). Essentially, more zombie like, than vampire. So, I renamed these creatures, zompires.

Stake land is about a boy (Martin), who is orphaned after vampires (zompires) devour his family. Martin is saved from this fate, by a vampire hunter called Mister. Martin’s father uses his last breath, to ask Mister to save his son. Mister then takes, Martin under his wing and trains him as a vampire hunter.

In an attempt to escape, the growing numbers of zompires, Mister and Martin travel north. This turns out to be a very eventful journey, involving mutant zompires, cults and survival of the fittest.

For a vampire movie, this wasn’t bad. It’s one of the better vampire films, I’ve seen. Even as a zompire movie, it was okay. In saying that, it does have a lot of flaws. The biggest being, poorly edited scenes. Throughout the film there’s scenes, where characters magically appear and disappear and jump from one position to another. Making the movie look very choppy, at times and badly Frankensteined together. Having watched so many zombie films (both high and low budget), I can forgive this and in whole, it doesn’t destroy your enjoyment of the film.

It also had a lot of subplots, that went nowhere. For example, Martin was warned about survivor in the north, resorting to cannibalism and no cannibals materialised and there was no more mention of these cannibals. Being cannibalised, is the scariest thing I can think of, so this was very disappointing. It got my hopes up, that I’d be scared by cannibals and there was none. There was a lot of other nowhere-subplots like this, that just left you disappointed or confused about the direction of the film. Due to this, the film had a very unsatisfying ending.

Despite its short comings, Stake Land had a lot going for it. Such as Mister. Mister was extremely bad ass. He single-handedly, knocked rainbows out of the zompires and completely destroyed them. He survived being thrown to a pack of zompires, with no weapons. The zompires really didn’t stand a chance, against Mister. (He was also rather nice to look at, for an old guy.)

thumbnail_aeed6214-5681-407d-ad6d-8e4c915d8ef9His relationship with Martin, was really sweet, too. They had more than, just a teacher pupil relationship. It was more like, father and son. You could tell they both, cared very much for each other and that they weren’t just using each other, as tools to survive. You could tell, they seen each other as family. This made Stake Land, really nice to watch and very touching. However, this is what makes the ending, kind of sad and unsatisfying.

Finally, the most important thing. The quality of the zompires. They were pretty good. They looked scary, weren’t incredibly cheesy and didn’t look fake. They weren’t TWD quality, but are probably as good as you can get, without making them look too graphical or unrealistic. They were still creepy as hell. They drooled blood and made what I think is, bear noises. Creating a very disturbing and frightening looking zompire, that when vocal, sent chills down your spine.

However, there wasn’t very many of zompires and no super gory or comical zompire deaths. For a vampire/zombie horror movie, I would have expected a lot more zompires and would expect them, to be more of a problem. They just seemed to be a background danger, that wasn’t that big of a threat. But, I think this was down to, the film focusing more on other groups of survivors, as a bigger threat.

Overall, this film was a very mild horror movie. It wasn’t scary and could be watched, by those easily scared, without becoming too frightened. It did have a jump scare in the first 5 minutes, but after that, it was very mild and there isn’t very many scary parts. It also took in interesting look at, how religion would impact society, if the world was filled with zompires, which is kind of scary, but fascinating.

Stake land isn’t that bad of movie. It’s okay, but just okay. I would only recommend it, if you were stuck for something to watch and wanted a horror. For hard-core zombie fans and lovers of gore, this film will not quench your zombie thirst, but is a good start, in a zombie film binge watch.
Rating: 2.5/5

Blame!

fdc2d917-8d47-4702-ad4c-6d66352a04b4Where can I watch this: Netflix (Netflix original)

If I was to describe Blame! in as little words as possible, I would describe it as, future anime I, robot. The similarities between these two movies is remarkable. Even one type of evil robot in Blame!, looks near identical to the robots in I, Robot, expect for the way they move. These robots move more like spiders than humans and have a red light instead of blue.

Both stories start very similar too, with robots no longer obeying humans, going rogue and taking over a city. The only thing that was missing was an anime Will Smith. Instead, Blame! had a more silent hero, called Killy (Kirī).

After the beginning, the two storylines start to differ, but the overall motivation for the main characters remain the same. This aim being, to destroy the robots and regain control of the city. In Blame!, they even find a nice non-evil robot to help them, fight the evil robots.

However, Blame! was a manga, long before the film I, Robot, so I can’t be too hard on Blame! for being similar. I’ve never read this manga (because you can’t properly get manga here), so can’t tell you how similar I, Robot is to Blame!, the manga.

I’m still not sure, whether I like the animation style of Blame!. It has a very video game look and occasionally the characters move very much like a video game character. Making their movements kind of choppy and not very smooth. It’s definitely not the animation style I’m use too. One positive, about this style, is that it looks very realistic at times, which is amazing.

thumbnail_20170609_161121Despite the unusual animation style, Blame!’s story is exciting and enjoyable. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic city, where robots are hell-bent on killing all humans without the NET terminal gene. Regarding them as illegal residents of the city, that must be exterminated. Initially, all humans in the city, had the NET terminal gene and the robots obeyed the humans, building and protecting the city. Then after some type of contamination (we are not told what type) of the city, the humans lose the NET terminal gene and the robots turn on the humans and kill most of the population. A group of survivors are forced to live in isolation, in a safe zone, protected from robot invasions. Never knowing, if there are any other humans surviving in the city.

The survivors must venture out of the safe zone, in search of food. It is on one of these ventures, that they run into another survivor, Killy, after he saves them from a robot attack. Curious of this stranger, they take him back to their village, in the safe zone, to see the elders. It is there, Killy reveals to the elders, that he is searching for a human with the NET terminal gene. He believes if he finds a human with the NET terminal gene, the robots will obey them. Hence, take control of the city back and end this apocalyptic nightmare. Unfortunately, no one in the village has this gene, so Killy must go in search for more survivors. In the hope of finding food and other survivors, the elders decide to help Killy, in his search.

Overall, Blame! is pretty good. If you can get past the unusual animation style, it’s quite an enjoyable film. It has a lot of action and an interesting storyline. Most of the time, you are left in suspense, wondering if the survivors will escape the robot attacks, unharmed and if they should trust Killy or the robot scientist.

There was also quite a lot of arm losing. All I can say is that, I hope I could be that calm, if I ever lost an arm (people lost arms and were surprisingly relaxed about it. They didn’t even seem the slightest bit bothered). The only thing I could find wrong with Blame!, is their use of light and colour in battle scenes. Netflix really should have put a light/brightness warning on this film. The brightness of Killy’s and the safeguard’s gun, really stung my eyes and had them watering like hell.

To conclude, Blame! is one of the better Netflix original anime films. It isn’t that long, so is definitely worth a watch. By the way the film ended, I get a feeling that, they may make a sequel. I’m not sure if non-anime fans would like Blame!. I think the unusual animation style might be too much for them. They might not be able to get past that, to appreciate the action or storyline. However, if you are an anime fan and like robot apocalypse films, then Blame! is the film for you.
Rating: 3.5/5

Zombie 101

e94272cc-b7a3-426d-abd7-45a767129f2fHaving watched zombie movies back to back all weekend, as part of zombie week. I’ve noticed something all zombie movies have it common (other than zombies). The characters in these movies, all are completely rubbish at surviving. Yes, I know some are hard-core zombie slayers. But when it comes to basic survival common sense, it seems to be lost on them.

If these characters were real, I doubt they would survive a weekend camping, let alone a zombie apocalypse. With the stuff they pull and the horrible decision they make, like taking on a whole herd of zombies single-handed. They should be zombie food at the beginning of the movie. But then we wouldn’t have a movie.

So, with that in mind, I created a list on how to survive a zombie apocalypse and not get eaten. (This is not a serious list and is just my opinion. Therefore, if you need survival advice, seek the advice of a professional survivalist)

1. Stay up high. You can’t get eaten, if those zombies can’t reach you. I don’t know how many zombie films I’ve watched, were night falls and they set up camp. Then just sleep on the ground. How stupid can you get? Yeah, pretty sure you would get eaten if you did that.
Sleeping high up in a tree or on a flat roof top, is a much better idea, if you don’t want to be eaten. All you need is a bit of rope ensure you can’t fall to your death. If your planning to stay long-term, you can always build a tree house for shelter or build a camp on a flat roof. The roof top would also give you room to grow food (if you can get grow-bags up there), well out of reach of zombies. Plus, you never have to worry about herds, you can wait them out, on the roof tops.

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The walking dead cup (my favourite cup)

2. Wear clothing zombies can’t bite through, like motorbike gear and leather. Zombies can’t eat you, if their teeth can’t bite through your clothing. This also prevents being bitten by those sneaky zombies, that hide down low.

3. Don’t break open locked doors. They are locked for a reason. That reason most likely being, a huge, hungry zombie locked inside. Open that door and you’re zombie food. In zombie movies, there’s always that one idiot that insists on opening that suspicious locked door and gets everyone eaten.

4. Watch your feet and stay alert. Some many deaths happen because no one looks were they are standing and watches out for hidden zombies. It’s just a shame, no one sees that zombie, causally sitting there on the ground, waiting for its next meal to walk past. It’s so obvious, but they’re too busy looking at that zombie in the distance, to notice one sitting right at their feet.

bcab1a8a-28a4-4478-8f97-d4c6b70d622f5. Keep a dog or 2 around. Not only would they keep spirits up, but they can smell dead things from miles away. Train a dog to signal when a zombie is near and you have your own zombie sniffer dog. What better way to avoid zombies and not get eaten. Dogs can also be used to hunt, for warmth, to find food and for protection from thugs.

6. Don’t rely on canned foods. Everyone will be fighting each other for canned food, so it could get dangerous. Canned food will also eventually run out, so growing food would make you a target, for other survivors. Storing food will also make you a huge target and could get you killed. A much better option is hunting and gathering. If you’re not such what’s eatable, get a book on foraging from a library or book store (probably the least likely place to run into zombies).

7. Stay away from that sick or injured person. This sounds like a no brainer, but in zombie films, they always stupidly go help, without taking any precautions. A short while later the person turns and tries to eat everyone. They could have at least tied the person up, for peace sake. It’s as if they want to be eaten.

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Coconut Head. Left alone in a car, with a notebook and a pen. Doodling bound to happen. Don’t like drawing in pen, though. You can’t erase and you’re stuck with whatever you draw.        

8. Don’t trust that random guy, that turns up from nowhere, promising shelter and safety. Seems like common sense, but no. In the films, they all follow that nice stranger to his camp, where they are attacked, robbed or imprisoned. So, if a stranger offers to take you to their camp, ran for your life, in the opposite direction, as fast as you can.

9. Avoid large groups. Large groups only attract herds of zombies. Plus, it’s much harder to find enough food to feed a large group, so you’ll most likely go hungry. A small group of 3 or 4, is much better. There’s enough eyes, to watch out for zombie and enough hands to fend them off. It is also much easier to find enough food for 3 or 4 people.

10. If trapped by zombies, with no way out, play zombie. Sounds silly, but always works in the movies and I can see why. They are zombies, not geniuses. If you look, smell and act like a zombie, they won’t be able to tell the difference. So, if you find yourself trapped, quickly smother yourself in zombie juice, pull your best zombie pose and limp the hell out of there.