Author Archives: Ross Peterson

Film Review: Chupacabra vs. the Alamo (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: Chupacabras have come from Mexico to San Antonio, Texas through drug cartel tunnels. A DEA investigation of some brutal killings turns to a brawl at none other than the Alamo, as chupacabras are discovered to be the menace. REVIEW: Erik Estrada plays Carlos Seguin, a tough-as-nails DEA agent who happens also to be a single father. He “grew up on the street.” He “knows what’s out there.” But even his world is tossed into … Continue reading

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Film Review: Death Row Diner (1988)

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SYNOPSIS: An executive of a movie studio is wrongfully tried for murder and sentenced to death by the electric chair. Before he is executed, the prison staff denies him his last meal. Decades later, a movie crew works on a horror film inside the same prison. The studio exec returns from the dead to exact revenge, killing off the film crew and eating them. REVIEW: Here’s one for you, if you like DIY shot-on-video schlock … Continue reading

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Film Review: Elimination (2010)

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SYNOPSIS: A large group of people gather, ready to perform auditions for a new, different kind of show. It’s an online reality show, but none of the prospective performers know much about it. Unfortunate for them, they might get killed on it. Assuming they don’t, they could win one million dollars. REVIEW: Wow, what a bunch of attractive people about to meet their demises. And in a way totally unlike THE RUNNING MAN and SAW. … Continue reading

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Film Review: Hide and Go Shriek (1988)

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SYNOPSIS: Eight teenagers, after having just graduated from high school, throw an all-night party in a furniture store. They’re not the only ones spending the night in the store, though. A mysterious killer lurks among them … and hunts them down. REVIEW: HIDE AND GO SHRIEK is a slasher movie made after the Jason flicks started going straight to video. By ’87, seemingly every garden tool, face mask, and bad situation to shower in had … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Wicksboro Incident (2003)

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SYNOPSIS: A documentary team and a retired government engineer go to the site of what was once Wicksboro, Texas to investigate a population which completely vanished in the 1950’s. They believe alien invaders were responsible for the mass disappearance, and set out to prove it on film. REVIEW: THE WICKSBORO INCIDENT opens flashing a few courier-fonted title screens and a close-up interview with a retired electrical engineer named Lloyd. Lloyd explains the research he was … Continue reading

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Film Review: Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972)

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SYNOPSIS: A druidic cult wreaks havoc on a small town in upstate New York. They capture victims and drain them of their blood for a ritual intended to maintain the life-force of their ancient queen. REVIEW: What, you ask, is a blood farmer? Well. I’m here to tell you. Blood farmers dress a lot like normal farmers: overalls, plaid, straw hats. You’ll know one when you see one, though. Their artificially colored, silver hair gives … Continue reading

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Film Review: Timesweep (1987)

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SYNOPSIS: A group of people—filmmakers, local history buffs, students, and journalists—all gather to explore a now-defunct, dilapidated movie studio. They soon learn, however, that time—past, present, and future—have coalesced into one, and entities from the past and future travel through the movie studio, often terrorizing its visitors. The group must try and escape the building, but it is surrounded in a deadly, flesh-eating fog. REVIEW: Wow, “distributed by Carrera Topline.” I admit, TIMESWEEP is the … Continue reading

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Film Review: Cannibal (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: Carlos is a tailor by day, serial killer by night. A young woman named Alexandra moves in next to him, tries to befriend him, and goes missing. Her twin sister, Nina, turns up afterward, asking for Carlos’s help investigating. He agrees, although–unbeknownst to Nina–is responsible for the disappearance. Nina then becomes dangerously close to deadly Carlos and his secret life. REVIEW: CANNIBAL begins dark–slow, bleak, and brooding. We follow Carlos, the psycho predatory protagonist … Continue reading

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Film Review: Killer Legends (2014)

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SYNOPSIS: A documentary team looks at the true origins of common urban legends in America. REVIEW: If you grew up losing sleep over episodes of UNSOLVED MYSTERIES—and, strangely, remember the experience fondly (I did), then KILLER LEGENDS is the movie for you. It is wonderfully sensationalist, replete with eerie piano music and gritty stock footage. The real events, which, in turn, urban legends grow out of are way scarier than the myths themselves. That, anyway, … Continue reading

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Film Review: After Death (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: After the death of their eccentric inventor father, four siblings gather at his home to sort out his affairs. They confront their own problems, too, as well as bizarre phenomena which challenge most notions of reality. REVIEW: AFTER DEATH is unconventional, genre-bending, at times postmodern, and . . . to use one of my least favorite adjectives, whimsical. It’s also inconsistent, and not much happens. You could say the same thing about a lot … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Addicted (Rehab) (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: A reporter, in an effort to get the big story, ventures into an abandoned re-hab clinic with her friends. Rather than the big story, she finds a malicious ghost. REVIEW: You wanna talk plot devices? How about a struggling journalist after a big story—one that may even turn her career around? How about several friends exploring an abandoned building . . . then getting hunted by a malevolent force?

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Film Review: Malignant (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: A grieving alcoholic falls prey to a mad scientist’s experimental—and maniacal—treatment. REVIEW: Alex (Gary Cairns) had a wonderful wife. He lost her to cancer, though, and has become hopelessly depressed. He’s turned to drinking, and finds himself blacked out drunk most nights of the week. One night, while at his favorite bar, he gets a text message from an unknown number that reads: “Don’t drink it.” He doesn’t pay it much heed, continuing to … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Last Light (2014)

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SYNOPSIS: A group of people have secluded themselves off from the world in an abandoned hospital after a critical apocalyptic event. REVIEW: Chained and locked doors are the first hint you get in the beginning of THE LAST LIGHT as to the apocalyptic status of the world. We don’t know what happened, but something big and something bad. And seven people have gathered for shelter in an abandoned hospital. The movie keeps flashing days—it’s a … Continue reading

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Film Review: Mine Games (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: Some college friends go on a camping trip. Their van breaks down and they find a cabin, which they stay in. They soon discover an abandoned mine, which unlocks strange metaphysical doors. REVIEW: The world did not need another “psychological thriller.” It did not need another movie about vapid youths going into the woods to party, finding only trouble. But with THE EVIL WITHIN, also known as MINE GAMES, it got one anyway. The … Continue reading

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Film Review: Anna (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: John Washington, a “memory detective,” is assigned a seemingly simple case: he must make Anna Greene, a disturbed sixteen-year-old on a hunger strike, eat. Difficulties ensue, though, as he finds Anna could be much more dangerous than she seems. REVIEW: What if a sixteen-year-old girl was a diabolical genius? For real, imagine what that would be like. For real. And such is the spirit of Jorge Dorado’s new psychological thriller, ANNA.

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Film Review: Demon Resurrection (2008)

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SYNOPSIS: A cult leader summons undead servants to retrieve what is his from a reformed cult member. REVIEW: What makes a bad horror movie enjoyable? There are so many things, I know. And every lowbrow’s taste is unique. But I find the best bad horror films are unified by their sense of daring. They’re made by people unafraid to “push it,” to go over the top. They’re made by people who recognize they pander to … Continue reading

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Film Review: Dark Universe (1993)

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SYNOPSIS: On its way back to Earth, the space shuttle Nautilus passes through a cloud of alien spores causing its sole occupant, astronaut Steve Thomas to transform into a blood-thirsty monster. The shuttle crashes into a swampy region of central Florida, creating a situation which threatens contagion and/or death to all who encounter the shuttle or its mutated pilot. REVIEW: DARK UNIVERSE would be a Fred Olen Ray production, wouldn’t it? Indeed, it stacks up … Continue reading

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Film Review: Gila! (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: A giant gila monster is causing havoc, disrupting the lives of teenagers in a small town in the 1950s. REVIEW: Jim Wynorski, director of CHOPPING MALL, the remake of NOT OF THIS EARTH, and about a thousand others, never quits. These days, when he’s not making softcore porn under his alias, Sam Pepperman, he’s cranking out made-for-TV sci-fi flicks, like GILA!, a remake of Ray Kellogg’s cult classic, THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959). The … Continue reading

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Film Review: Abby (1974)

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SYNOPSIS: Abby, a wholesome young woman becomes possessed by the Nigerian god, Eshu. REVIEW: ABBY is a forgotten blaxploitation gem from the golden age of American International Pictures. Upon its release, it had been remarkably successful, grossing millions (its budget had been under $500,000). But, shortly after its initial run, American International got sued by Warner Bros. for ripping off THE EXORCIST. Warner Bros. won the case, and ABBY, as a result, became buried in … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Aztec Box (2013)

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SYNOPSIS: 4 college students dig up an ancient Aztec relic in their own backyard, only to discover a dark force that is attached to it. REVIEW: Two things have come along, enabling almost anyone to make a horror movie: changes in technology and the found footage sub-genre. Anymore, all you need is a digital camera, some editing software, a friend with a midi synth, and a screenplay that invokes constant running cameras. Boom. You’ve got … Continue reading

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Film Review: Treasure Chest of Horrors (2012)

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SYNOPSIS: Percival Pirate goes on a journey to discover his Grandpappy’s hidden treasure chest. What he believes is treasure turns out to be four never before seen horror films. REVIEW: TREASURE CHEST OF HORRORS: it’s like an unofficial sequel to VHS. It’s an anthology flick . . . and each story is understood to unfold from an old VCR. There are no sleazoids finding scary tapes in the act of burglary, though. Instead, a pirate … Continue reading

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