Author Archives: Ray Van Horn

Film Review: Tales of Terror from Tokyo (2003)

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SYNOPSIS: Movie anthology inspired by Kaidan, contemporary spins on time-honored Japanese ghost tales, based on the television series Tales of Terror from Tokyo and All Over Japan. REVIEW: Directors:¬†Takashi Shimizu, Norio Tsurata, Shiro Sano, Akio Yoshido, Eiji Arakawa, Keisuke Toyoshima, Ichiro Nakayama, Ryuta Miyake, Ryo Nanba, The Examination:¬†Tame but occasionally effective guerilla filmmaking from the creators of Ju-On, Premonition, Ringu and others in a series of hot-and-cold vignettes revolving around the supernatural. You might think … Continue reading

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Film Review: Laid to Rest (2009)

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SYNOPSIS: Amnesiac wakes up in a coffin and is stalked for fun by a spree killer in a silver-plated skull mask who videotapes his gory adventures. REVIEW: Director: Robert Hall Cast: Bobbie Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Johnathon Schaech, Sean Whalen, Richard Lynch, Nick Principe, Anthony Fitzgerald The Examination: The nearly-washed-up stalk ‚Äėn slash motif gets an elevated upgrade in this tech-oriented chiller with solid performances and nervously realistic gore. You have … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Haunted Drum (2007)

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SYNOPSIS: A young Thai musician joins the house of a renowned drama school master in the Panthumthani province and discovers both horror and love focused around an enchanted set of drums harboring a propensity for evil. REVIEW: Directors:¬†Nathapeera Chomsri and Sarunya Noithai Cast:¬†Kate Thunthup, Woranuch Wongsawan, Pisal Akkarasenee, Anusorn Techanpanya, Sonthaya Chitmanee and Chalad Na Songkhla The Examination:¬†Sometimes gory romance yarn from Thailand focused upon a drumming disciple and a beautiful ghost proverbially (and literally) … Continue reading

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Film Review: Rusted Body: Guts of a Virgin 3 (G√īmon kifujin) (1987) – CAT III

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SYNOPSIS: Oversexed female interrogator with a penchant for sadomasochism and torture plots a scheme with her deviant troupe to extort the considerable fortune of a city embezzler. REVIEW: Director:¬†Kazuo ‚ÄúGaira‚ÄĚ Komizu Cast:¬†Keiko Asano, Saeko Kizuki, Ayu Kiyokawa, Ryota Sakanishi, Hirokazu Yoshihara, Hitomi Kazama The Examination:¬†Sicko exploitation film from 1987 featuring a few disgusting scenes of torture along with mondo sex.¬†Right up your alley, you say?¬†Careful what you wish for‚Ķ Here comes a gross shocker of … Continue reading

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Film Review: Cruel Restaurant (Zankoku hanten) (2008) – CAT III

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SYNOPSIS: There‚Äôs something strange going on with the filling in those dumplings the town‚Äôs raving about‚Ķ¬†What the hell are they made of? REVIEW: Director:¬†Koji Kowano Cast:¬†Mihiro Taniguchi, Sakae Yamazaki, Katsuya Naruse, Yusuke Iwata, Miho Funatsu The Examination:¬†You truly won‚Äôt believe how the dumplings are prepared in this gonzo sex ‚Äėn splat circus. One thing about Asia‚Äôs Cat III films, you can count on the limits being pushed to the utmost extreme just short of up-close … Continue reading

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Film Review: All Night Long (1992) – CAT III

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SYNOPSIS: Three youths of differing walks-of-life develop an unhinged friendship after witnessing the gory slaying of a young girl and ultimately turn into murderers themselves on a night filled with bad karma. REVIEW: Director:¬†Katsuya Matsumura Cast:¬†Eisuke Tsunoda, Ryosuke Suzuki, Yoji Ietomi, Hiromasa Taguchi, Ryoka Suzuki, Yumi Goto, Yumi Kayama The Examination:¬†Hard-to-find Japanese extreme series makes its way to DVD courtesy of Tokyo Shock in the first of three films overseeing the violent side of human … Continue reading

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Film Review: Hansel and Gretel (2007)

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SYNOPSIS: South Korean spin on a time-honored fable as a young father-to-be wrecks his car in a wooded area where he is led by a ostensibly innocent girl to a picturesque cottage where the seemingly-perfect family appears to dwell.¬†Little does he know there‚Äôs no perfection to be found and of course, no escape‚Ķ REVIEW: Director:¬†Kim Min Suk Cast:¬†Cheon Jeong Myeong, Eun Won Jae, Shim Eun Kyeong, Jin Ji Hye, Yeong-Nam Jang, Kyeong-ik Kim The Examination: … Continue reading

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Film Review: Tokyo Zombie (2005)

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SYNOPSIS: A pair of bumbling wannabe jujitsu masters fight to survive a zombie infestation in Tokyo. REVIEW: Director:¬†Sakichi Sato Cast:¬†Tadanobu Asano, Show Aikawa, Kauzo Umezu, Erika Okuda, Shatoshi Hashimoto, Hina Matsuoka The Examination:¬†Frequently funny zombie romp filled with zen, over-the-top slapstick and of course, nods to Romero. Zombies have never been as popular as they are these days and not to be outdone in the undead spoofing sweepstakes by the UK‚Äôs smarmy Shaun of the … Continue reading

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Interview: Anthony Masi (His Name is Jason)

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Anthony Masi is your average Gen-X fright fan who was there in the theaters of the eighties when profit-turning horror franchises featuring Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Pinhead and of course, Jason Voorhees were raking in duckets by the month, much less the entire decade collectively.¬† What is not average about Masi is the access he‚Äôs had to the players and creators of these standout vehicles as producer of expository documentaries such as Halloween:¬†The Shape … Continue reading

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Interview: Stevan Mena (Brutal Massacre, Malevolence)

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The art of mingling horror and comedy together is more subtle than one might think, despite the slapstick ease of say, Evil Dead II or even Lou Costello and Bud Abbott shambling against a Universal goon squad.¬†Some horror films are inherently dark and serious, though yielding bursts of perfectly-timed humor, as An American Werewolf in London did with glorious pastiche. Brutal Massacre, in case you‚Äôre late to the show, is both a subtle and direct … Continue reading

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