REVIEW: Grave Encounters 2 (2012)


Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Grade: C+

Meta:  A term, especially in art, used to characterize something that is characteristically self-referential.

This is all Wes Craven’s fault.  First he made A New Nightmare (1994), where Robert Englund plays not only Freddy Kreuger, but also himself, haunting real-life Heather Langenkamp, best known as Nancy, the original “final girl” of the Elm Street series.  He then perfected the concept with 1996’s Scream, a horror movie where the characters allude to other horror movies and knowingly behave according to their “rules.”

“Meta” horror took off, culminating with today’s subject, Grave Encounters 2.  Why do I write “culminating”?  Because the answer to the question: “How much more meta could a horror movie get than Grave Encounters 2?” is “none.”  None more meta.

As Bloodcrypt’s resident found footage guru, I have to admit I got a little half-mast chubby during the first 10 minutes of the film, where random horror fans name drop the titans of the genre: Blair Witch, Rec, Paranormal Activity.  They do so while discussing the original Grave Encounters with varying degrees of rapture and disdain.

The protagonist, a scrawny little turd named Alex, becomes convinced that Grave Encounters (about a ghost-hunting t.v. crew who set up shop inside an abandoned mental hospital) actually happened.  Like, those were real people, and some producer acquired the footage, gave the victims “actor” names on imdb, and even created the name “The Vicious Brothers” as auteurs of the film.  Of course, the Vicious Brothers wrote the film you’re currently watching, Grave Encounters 2.

See what I mean?  No more fucking meta could this shit be.

Adding to Alex’s case is that he keeps getting comments on his YouTube posts from “DeathAwaits666” which direct him to the site of the hospital featured in the film.  If what you’re thinking right now is, “Loomis, don’t tell me a fucking demon signed up for a YouTube account and posts comments on scrawny little turds’ video blogs to lure them to their deaths,” well, I’m sorry.  I have to fucking tell you that.  Thankfully, unlike other shitshow horror flicks that have tried to make the internet a conduit of supernatural evil (FeardotCom limps lamely to mind), it’s not a central plot point.

I’m making this all sound pretty terrible, but it’s actually executed pretty well.  Anyway, Alex and his crew make it to the hospital, and I’ll be honest: It’s nice to see the ol’ girl again.  It really is a creepy fucking building.  The couple scares Grave Encounters 2has are pretty derivative of the first film, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  If it were, then fuckwits like me wouldn’t have sat through all those Friday the 13th sequels, now would we?

There’s a nice bit in the middle where you think the film’s taken a crazy turn, and an easily predictable (if you’ve seen the first one) appearance toward the end by one of original “cast” members.  Other than that, it’s only the concept that’s especially memorable.

So.  Much.  Meta.

REVIEW: The House that Screamed (2000)

house that screamed

The House that Screamed: F-

Fuck you. Fuck this movie. Fuck everything/everyone I saw/knew thought about immediately after seeing this movie. This movie is pure shit in a bag that’s been tossed around a vomit factory… yea… where vomit is made and stored I guess.


This movie was made in 2000, which is nuts as its so cheap and crappy I thought early 90’s… and is basically a Shining rip off without ANY thing cool about the Shining. It’s about a middle-aged horror novelist named Marty (who look like DiVino from Big Lebowski and Bob Huskin’s retarded brother… son… whatever). Surprise, Marty has writers block and is looking for a place for inspiration to write.

He finds a haunted house (that screamed) and goes to rent it from a guy that used to live there who wears sunglasses indoors, which is never brought up… Guy warns Marty about the place but Marty is in it to win it so he rents the house (that screamed). So Marty tries to write and fails cuz he sucks at life when a fat chick appears… in the house (that screamed)… and Marty doesn’t question it (that’s his thing… just accepts things… it builds character) So the fat chick tells Marty she wants to sleep with him… very quickly… no foreplay, no flirting, she’s all business. So the viewer (me for some un-godly reason) begs Marty not to, but of course he gets ridden by the fat chick in a quick, unsexy sex scene and then she reveals she’s dead and somehow equally as nasty as not dead version. (Remember in the Shining when this same shit happens but the chick is decent looking… yeah, fuck that. Make her nasty before and after. That’s what the audience wants.) Anyway, more spooky shit happens, Marty hears voices and the usual haunted house (that screamed) shit happens, so Marty goes back to the land lord guy (who couldn’t be bothered to make a costume change) and is like “wtf”. So landlord guy tells Marty he used to live there and had to tear out his eyes so he wouldn’t see the horrors any longer… (safe to assume he also fucked the fat chick). NOW the guy removes his glasses and we see he has empty BLEEDING sockets under his glasses. I don’t mean under his eyelids… no no… He apparently ripped through his lids to grab his eyeballs, and yank them out… along with the lids. Does that mean there are cool looking holes or something? Fuck you. No. Just bloody red latex or something covering the actor’s eyes. STUPID. So marty goes back to the house (THAT FUCKING SCREAMED) and tries to write… the house keeps talking to him… in many voices so you don’t know what the fuck it’s saying to him… and gues what marty does!!!! He tears out his eyes!!! But wait!!! He then tears out his ear drums!! (Isn’t that impossible?” Nope!! Marty apparently pushes his fat fingers into his ear canal… grabs his ear drums and pulls them out. Then he walks into the basement (with no trouble… with no eyes) walks into a coffin (that was just chillin there) and closes the lid. THE END.
Yep… The end. Goodnight sweet prince. I can’t convey the proper emotion that came from viewing this film… but it was hate-rage-suicide-esque… I should have torn out my eyes and eardrums… but I did watch the whole thing… so F-

REVIEW: Satan’s Slave (1976)


Satan’s Slave: D

A lot of Grindhouse films use this tactic of showing a totally insane, out of context prologue scene before or during the opening credits in order to cultivate some buy-in from the audience. That way, people will hopefully sit through all sorts of low budget garbage with the hopes of finding an explanation/resolution for the prologue or seeing something like the prologue repeated. Usually, the proverbial budget/action “wad” is blown during these introductory scenes and what makes up the other 98% of the movie is semi-torturous in its lameness.

This movie has two intro scenes:

1. A dude in red robes and an awesome looking goat mask leads a Satanic ritual in which a panicking blonde is stripped naked and sacrificed to Satan. All these Jawa looking motherfuckers hold torches and chant around him.

2. This dickhead yuppie named Steven tries to rape some babe in his bedroom. When she successfully repels him, he acts like everything’s cool and walks her to the front door. Then he slams her head in the door until she dies. Lots of red corn syrup and synth stabs.

The credits end. The movie begins. 19 year old Catherine is out for a nice drive with her mom and dad. They are going to visit her Uncle Alex (played by the same guy who was Alfred in the Michael Keaton Batman movies) at his beautiful home out in the country. The car crashes and her parents die.  Wah-wah!

Uncle Alex finds the traumatized, physically unscathed Catherine at the scene of the crash and takes her under his wing. He drives her home and gives her a tranquilizer so she will stop her stupid whining about her stupid dead parents. She wakes up and we find out that Alex’s son, Catherine’s cousin, is that door-slamming asshole Steven!

The movie is a Rosemary’s Baby rip-off. Catherine thinks she is Uncle Alex’s guest, but really, she is his prisoner; Uncle Alex is keeping her doped up on tranquilizers and grooming her for a Satanic sacrifice (like the blonde-Jawa-torch scene from the beginning) which is scheduled for a few days later on her 20th birthday. Steven is in on it too. While he seduces Catherine for some cringe-worthy cousin incest action, Uncle Alex uses voodoo to kill her BF who is just minding his own business back in the city. Fucking asshole, Alfred! I mean, Alex! There are other cultists helping them out as well.

The sub-plots are off the hook. Catherine has an inconsistent Shining-like psychic power. Steven’s mom was the sacrificed blonde from the prologue. Catherine’s ancestor was molested/tortured/murdered by Puritans. Catherine’s dead dad was in on it the whole time.

There aren’t anymore door-related deaths. There’s an eyeball shanking and ol’ Steven stabs some woman in the mouth with a piece of mirror. The movie is pretty boring, low budget Grindhouse with all the goofy music and shitty acting you could ever wish for.

REVIEW: Grave Encounters (2011)




Grade: B


Don’t worry about the retarded-sounding title. It’s meant to sound retarded. It’s actually the name of the cheesy Ghotshunters-style television show that works as the very clever premise of this solid little Canadian flick.


What’s clever about it, you ask? Well, Dr. Loomis is your resident found footage expert around these parts. And while I dig the genre, even I must admit that it has its limitations. In basically every film from the sub-genre, there’s that shit-gets-cray moment when you say, “Ok, nobody would still be filming this.”


Grave Encounters has that angle pretty well covered. The characters are cynical-as-fuck documentarians who take their cameras to supposedly haunted places and look for ghosts and shit. Their latest expedition leads them to an old, closed-down mental hospital, where they have a caretaker lock them inside for the night, you know, for the extra drama that the fucktards who watch these shows like they’re National Geographic specials eat up.


The film starts pretty slowly, lots of backstory and “let’s get this over with” dialogue. Their incredulity turns to frustration as morning dawns (at least according to their cell phones), but all the exits they try are either blocked up or lead to other corridors. The way events commence mildly (a rolling, empty wheelchair) and get increasingly dicey (bathtubs of blood, demons) is executed well, and there’s some very cool Cukoo’s Nest shit going on. Best of all, since they’re there to record supernatural shit (even though they don’t really believe in said supernatural shit), that’s enough excuse to keep the cameras rolling, despite the fact that demons are writing “hello” on people’s backs amongst other inconsiderate demon behavior.


It’s not a great movie, by any means, but I’m bumping it up to a B because I’d never heard of it before seeing it recommended to me by Netlix instant, and it was a pleasant fucking surprise. You don’t encounter those often, ya feel me? Of course, this means you’ll watch it and be all like, “Loomis, that was nowhere near as good as you said it was, you fucking quack. And your lame-ass puns suck all the dicks.” Then I’ll give you your money back, you ungrateful cocksuckers.


REVIEW: World War Z (2013)


Grade: B


I was sitting in the theater about to watch Tyler Durden take on some zombies when some asshole had to go and tell me that this movie was based on a book. A book? About zombies? That’s about all I wanted to hear, because I hate it when you have to listen to somebody who also read the book after you just watched a movie. They love to tell you all about how the “book was better” and “the book did X differently”. It’s like they’re bragging ’cause they’re reading, but little do they know that all that makes them is a bunch of fuckin’ nerds.

So, I don’t know nuttin’ about no book readin’, but I do know a thing or two about zombie movies. Maybe one day I’ll get around to reviewing some of the classic ones, but right now, you’re going to have to settle for this. Basically, this one doesn’t give us too much that’s different. They’re fast zombies, which we’ve seen in 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. They seem to have a scientific/natural cause, as the scientific method is what’s used to beat them. Also, the entire planet has been taken over by them, which is pretty typical.

What’s different with this one is that there’s a bit of a sense of hope at the end, whereas zombie movies usually leave you thinking: “Yeah, the good guys got out of that scrape, but they’re gonna be dead tomorrow.” It’s not like this movie ends with the zombies and the humans walking hand-in-hand, as they’ve gotta leave some room for a sequel, so you’re thinking: “You might survive the next day, but man, it’s gonna be pretty damned tough.” Am I giving away too much for those of you who get all butt-hurt about spoilers? I hope not, but if I did, feel free to lick my butt.

There are also some pretty cool visuals in this one, and the cgi is done well. This is probably the first time I’ve seen a zombie movie where I can totally buy how quickly it spreads. A lot of times, you get thrown into the action after the really bad stuff has gone down, but you actually get to see it all descending into mayhem – a couple of times, actually.

Gore-fans are going to be disappointed, as the PG-13 rating makes this more of an action film than a horror film. You see more grotesque stuff in the average episode of The Walking Dead than you see in this entire movie. There are a few good “gotcha!” moments though, and it’s all pretty danged entertaining. The nearly-two hour run time whooshes by like one of them running zombies.

REVIEW: Hatchet 3 (2013)



Hatchet 3: B

So, there’s this guy with a hatchet. A demented, redneck, indestructible guy with a hatchet. He likes to chop people up with his hatchet and this is the third movie in which he gets to.

This was a  really fun horror film that reminded me of early 90’s gore-fests I used to watch as a kid. It probably had something to do with the fact that Kane Hodder, the guy who played Jason in a LOT of the Friday the 13th films, plays the very Jason-like murderer, Victor Krowley.

Like said gore-fests, the actual plot only bookends the film. Some sheriffs go to investigate a murder in the swamp in Louisiana. Victor is there and he kills everyone. They send in backup and Victor kills everyone. They send in the SWAT team and Victor kills everyone (in one really incestuous-horror kill scene, the SWAT leader, played by the same guy who was Jason in the Friday the 13th reboot, is killed by Victor, who played Jason in a lot of the original movies). It only takes about twenty minutes of plot to deliver an unending supply of cops for Victor to slaughter and then you get a solid sixty minutes of gore. Then Victor’s supernatural origin is exposed and he is finally defeated in the final ten minutes.

The make-up and production value was really impressive. The villain is basically identical to Jason Voorhees but sometimes all a movie needs is cool make-up and a silent killing machine.

The kills are brutal and remind me of stuff I used to watch 20 years ago. Someone’s head is cooked with defibrillators, spines are ripped out, someone’s head is sanded off with a gas powered sander, and there are all sorts of hatchet-related deaths. They even shoot someone with a short-range missile. There is heavy metal music, screams and bone-crunching noises, and all types of physics-defying murder. Every internal organ imaginable is exposed and mutilated. One guy’s spine AND HEAD are ripped out THROUGH HIS STOMACH. How? Shhh. Hatchet 3. 

REVIEW: The Prophecy (1995)


The Prophecy:B

Christopher Walken plays Gabriel, a ruthless homicidal angel who comes to Earth to steal an evil soul so he can fulfill this prophecy where Heaven and Hell cancel each other out and become nothingness. It’s sort of like Terminator but with angels; Erik Stoltz plays a good angel trying to stop Gabriel and both of them come to our world searching for this one soul with which they can change the future. Viggo Mortensen shows up for a minute and plays a great Satan.

Walken already looks like he’s from another dimension, so he fits the role of Gabriel nicely. I read somewhere that he requests all of his scripts without punctuation, which would explain a lot of his trademark CD-skipping-sounding line delivery. “I. am. AnAngel… who has come. Here, to… findasoulformy… Prof…eh, see?”

Gabriel murders people and flexes some questionable powers of The Divine including the ability to keep dying people alive as his gouls and wearing a dress shirt with no neck tie. Some of the theological issues proposed by the film might be interesting if you are a Bible nerd or into that sort of thing. Parts of Christian mythology are discussed as basis for some of the characters’ motivation. Keeping in line with Christianity, rituals are a big part of the film. Certain ceremonies, incantations, and windows of time are vital to the action and characters go to great pains to execute their plans by a certain time and with precision.

Bottom line is that it is a goofy as fuck story and if you are looking for some sort of existential, Christian-based life-changer, look elsewhere. It dances the line of horror film, thriller, and action movie. Netflix has it categorized in probably 20 different genres. The premise has spawned some fucking awful sequels and some even awfuler films. Worth a watch. If you like Terminator and Walken, you owe it to yourself to see this.

REVIEW: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)



Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters: F

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, but what I got exceeded even my expectations of awful.

Let’s start with the 3D. There was no reason for it to exist. There were probably like 7 shots in the movie for which 3D was used and it all was scraps of wood or stone flying at you after some CGI explosion.

Secondly, the plot and character development were about as thin as tracing paper. The reason H and G are killing witches is given like 11 seconds of attention, and outside of a brief explanation at the end you have no idea why they have some of their powers.

Third, the weapons they use are fuckin ridiculous. I thought for like the first 15 minutes of the movie that H and G were from the future or some shit, but it turns out they just have weapons that don’t exist yet for some unexplainable reason.

Hansel had diabetes from eating too much candy at the witches house when he was a kid. NOT A FUCKING JOKE. And it really became a key plot device. His diabetes played a central role in developing him as a character, explaining his relationship to his sister, and was woven seamlessly into future conflicts that helped add drama and tension…..


The action scenes were all right, the movie had no down-time and at least they wrapped up this shit fest in like 86 minutes, but the rest of the movie was so poorly developed that I can not give it higher then an “F.”