Tag Archives: Schlocktoberfest

And another ones gone… And another ones gone… Another one bites the dust!

I don’t know what’s more difficult, devoting a full 31 days of the year to Schlock or working on the post game summary.

Boom! Done! Finished! Hasta La Vista Baby! Elvis has left the building! This year’s Schlocktoberfest was brought to you by the letter C which stands for Creature Feature and holy hell I think I set a personal record as there were 8 films that consisted of giant monsters, Giant Octopuses, Sharks of the Mega and 2 headed variety, carnivorous tentacles, 7 foot wasps, and hostile aliens.  If you’re sensing a bit of deja vu with several of these entries its because I went back into the archives and condensed older reviews from the first version of The Direct 2 Video Dungeon. This is also why you might have spotted a lot of this year’s list focusing on productions from 2012 with several coming from The Asylum.

The variety was off the charts – regular zombies, vampiric zombies, homicidal paper boys, psychotic grandparents, a couple generic slashers here and there and an reanimated corpse that dresses up as Uncle Sam. Go ahead and pick your poison.  Oh plus a book and soundtrack review that ended up taking the place of the horror based video games I covered last year (my gaming habits have been pretty sporadic lately and didn’t have enough time to look for any games that fit into the Schlocktoberfest mold).

Before I get to my top 10 Schlocktoberfest 2K16 picks I would like to once again thank all of you who came along for this wild ride. Schedules can be difficult to work around and there were days where life got in the way but I was still able to throw together an update of some kind. I know that in the last two years I’ve stated that I had plans to update this blog more often and thanks to procrastination getting the better of me that never happened. Well I do plan to be back very soon as I have a couple ideas I want to expand on so you’ll most likely be seeing me around sometime in Mid-November. As of right now I intend to enjoy the rest of my Halloween and start November off by catching up on the latest episodes of Elementary, West World, Gotham and the season 3 finale of The Strain. Until the next time – keep a stiff upper lip.

Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Must Watch List: 

1 – Stranger Things – Technically not a movie unless you view this Netflix hit as it was intended through binge watching and even then each episode is presented in chapters so really this is what I’d refer to as an episodic live action book. A series starring children with adult tones. Horror, science fiction, drama, romance wrapped up tightly in an coming of age bow. You’ve had an entire month to watch this so if you flat out ignored my recommendation never come to this blog again…. EVER!

2 – The Witch – Beyond effective delivery, stunning performances, spine tingling results. If you grew up with a basic of witch folklore prepare to have all of your senses jolted.

3 – The Poughkeepsie Tapes – Blending the popular docudrama style of Discovery Channel’s New Detectives with the found footage genre there were moments where I felt a twinge of legitimate fear that wouldn’t subside until two or three days later. Can only hope John Erick Dowdle wasn’t blowing smoke about getting a distribution deal with MGM finalized as this needs a proper DVD/Blu-ray release.

4 – Godzilla vs. Destoroyah – 2016 featured another big return for Japan’s native son and when Funimation signed a deal with Toho to distribute Shin Godzilla for a limited U.S. theatrical engagement I don’t think The King’s handlers knew what was going to happen. One week and $1.5 million later and Shin Godzilla decided to stay take in the sights and sounds of the good old U.S.A. for a little while longer. I still missed out so Funimation when you announce pre-orders for Blu-ray I’ll be ready. Godzilla vs Destoroyah on the other hand is a real treat for G-fans as at the time it was intended to be a hiatus for Toho and what a send off the effects are completely jaw dropping, the story features a few new concepts all the while paying tribute to Godzilla’s humble origins. If you don’t have this in your collection you’re not a true Godzilla fan.

5 – Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies – Don’t really have to say much here. Abraham Lincoln kills zombies and does so in such a kick ass way you’ll be completely shell-shocked  when you realize this was an Asylum production. Thank you Bill Oberst Jr. without your screen presence this production would have been brain dead long before the zombies reached it.

6 – 10 Cloverfield Lane – Goodbye handheld camcorder hello Hitchockian suspense. The not so much a sequel as it a completely different concept that no one saw coming. What a pleasant surprise give John Goodman a fallout shelter set off an apocalyptic event and watch the tension build to a fever pitch.

7 – The Final Girls – Would have been much higher up on the list if not for a PG-13 rating. I’ll say it one more time for good measure – A PG-13 slasher flick?!?!?!? Never in all my 35 years of life would I have thought such a thing could exist. Oh well it dusts off some old ideas applies some polish and presents them in like new condition.

8 – Deep Rising – Oh Stephen Sommers how I miss thee, this is back when you presented some actual fun ideas. There’s not one person in the entire cast where I feel their talent was wasted. There are one liners galore, thrills, chills, gross out moments and plenty of laughs. Don’t get any second ideas here just because Deep Rising is in the number 8 position doesn’t mean it’s not as good as the films above in fact its the second highest rated creature feature next to Godzilla so if you’re looking for something completely campy but is so much fun don’t pass this one by.

9 – Don’t Breathe – Want to really throw audiences for a loop? Make a movie where 90% of the time the characters don’t even talk to one another. Don’t Breathe locks in the tension in a way where you don’t care if there’s dialogue you’re too concerned with monitoring your own pulse and wondering if your heart is going to into cardiac arrest by the time the credits roll.

10 – The Millennium Bug – Demented hillbillies, a normal everyday family getting off the grid to avoid any Y2K catastrophe and oh yeah a grotesque behemoth who’s rudely awakened from his  peaceful hibernation. If you miss the days of Stan Winston and Rick Baker this indie creature feature isn’t afraid to raise its practically created middle finger towards every CGI heavy production polluting the entertainment industry.

Advertisements

Another Schlocktoberfest in the books…

Well there we go guys and gals October 2015 is now just a memory. Wow! What a crazy adventure.

The key theme of this year’s Schlocktoberfest would have to be deviation. As I stated back in September I had no idea what direction this year’s marathon would go in. In terms of totals there were 28 days where movies were featured 2 days where I decided to shake things up and look at a couple horror based video games (1 classic and 1 contemporary) and I have to say that was a pretty fun change of pace that I might have to consider incorporating on a permanent basis once Schloctoberfest 2K16 gets here.

Looking at the highlights of the past month here are my personal top 10 movie choices worth looking into:

1 – The Dark – This one was a lot of fun. You can’t say that very often about a movie that centers around a monstrous rat that goes around eating recently deceased corpses. Plus not to mention a Neve Campbell in her early 20s. Major eye candy overload!

2 – Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil – The horror comedy genre has become so one dimensional to the point that everyone and their mothers are trying their hand at it. The key to merging the two successfully is not trying to be deliberately funny. The best comedy comes from being yourself and winging it and that’s exactly why Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil breaks down barriers.

3 – Backcountry – All wild life can be unpredictable it’s how we go about conducting ourselves when we cross paths with a deadly animal that will have us either walking away from the situation without a scratch or as we’re running for our lives we’ll be swearing never to set foot in the wilderness again.

4 – Tourist Trap – Definitely one of a kind. Chuck Connors acting up a storm taking creepy to a new level.

5 – Horror Express – Peter Cushing. Christopher Lee. The horror genre’s dynamic duo stealing every scene they’re in. Put anyone else in the lead roles and it would be nowhere as good.

6 – Tremors/Tremors 2: Aftershocks/Tremors 5: Bloodlines – No one will argue with me in saying that the original tops every sequel that has come down the pike but those of you still looking for a fun day in will get their fill on direct to video sequels that managed to make the best of their minuscule budgets. Aftershocks is still plenty inventive and after watching Bloodlines a few times since it hit I’m moving it higher than my initial rating, it fits well right behind the first two.

7 – The Return of Godzilla – Released at a time where the Godzilla franchise had been on a decade long hiatus the king returned to being a unrelenting force of nature. The only downside is he doesn’t face off against another monster however when reminding the world of your dominance there can be no other contender to the throne. Hail to the King, baby!

8 – Joy Ride – Bringing the CB Radio fad into the 21st century you get thrilling action, tension, and a mentally disturbed trucker who takes road rage beyond whipping the bird.

9 – Horror Rises From The Tomb – Never have a seance, never communicate with the severed head of a warlock, never discover the resting place of his severed head, and never allow his head to reconnect to his body. Doing such things will not get you a first class ticket to nowhere it will just leave you and all the friends that accompanied you lying in gutter possessed out of your gourd or dead.

10 – Trick ‘R Treat – A lot can happen during a single Halloween night and while you might think that its a night where you can dress up and pretend to be something else don’t even think about doing anything mischievous believe me getting a stomach ache from all the candy you over indulged on will be the least of your worries.

To wrap things up thanks to everyone who clicked on over to the Direct 2 Video Dungeon to celebrate Schlocktoberfest. May you all have a wonderful time celebrating tonight. Have fun and stay safe! Oh and on a closing note tonight on Starz is the series premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead starring the legendary Bruce Campbell. Check out the preview below it looks to adhere to the standards that made the original Evil Dead trilogy more fun than a barrel full of Deadites. I’m counting down the hours in eager anticipation.. Until the next time around (whenever that may be) keep on keepin’ on!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unnLg1TPCYM]

Schlocktoberfest 2K15 is right around the corner…

Okay first off I just want to go on record in saying that my track record for keeping this blog updated on a somewhat consistent basis downright sucks. In the course of the last nine months I was hoping to post reviews at my own leisure but it turns out once spring & summer kicked in my life found little to no time to dedicate to leisure.

With summer winding down and the infant stages of fall 2015 beginning to take effect its one of my favorite times of the year and that’s to bring everyone who still enjoys reading the Direct 2 Video Dungeon along on my journey through the 31 days of October by watching one horror movie a day. Quite honestly I was hoping to have some sort of list figured out in what general direction I wanted to go in but 2015 will be another year where I just wing it. All in all I promise everyone there will be plenty of variety blended with an equal amount of godawful schlock.

See you all Thursday!

Happy Halloween!!!…

Hey gang,

Well here we are – Schlocktoberfest 2014 is officially in the books. I just wanted to take this time to say that this was some of the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. At the end of September I was throwing ideas around on how to bring The Direct 2 Video Dungeon back in a way that would celebrate the build up to Halloween all the while having an easy way to update the blog. The idea hit me like a bolt of lightning to incorporate my twitter account & tweeting completely random (sometimes funny) thoughts while watching a movie. I must admit reading some of these tweets back to myself makes me think I tend to ramble a little too much but than again this is what made Schlocktoberfest 2014 a success.

In terms of the method I used to compose this year’s list a majority of the entries were found on Echo Bridge Entertainment’s Midnight Horror Collections (Volumes 2 and 8 specifically) as well as a random 10 movie horror pack from them as well. The screening process I used was a combination of Internet Movie Database ratings, trailers/previews on Youtube, reviews on independent horror movie blogs & word of mouth. A majority of these features were downright excruciating to try & get through and ultimately had to be cut all together.

On the other hand I purposely made sure to even the playing field by including several well known cult classics that defined their specific genres. Since we’re on the topic of genres I feel there was a good representation of zombies, werewolves, hostile alien invaders, presidential vampire hunters and giant monster destruction.

Before wrapping things up here is my top 10 recommendations from the last 31 days that are well worth your time this Halloween season:

1. John Carpenter’s The Fog – I always make it a tradition to watch one John Carpenter film on Halloween. The Fog has high replay value, solid acting, & bone chilling atmosphere.

2. Godzilla (2014) – I was shocked the amount of hate Godzilla has received since hitting theaters this past May. Japanese Kaiju movies are a special breed that you either get or you don’t. Gareth Edwards made a true love letter to die hard fans and while yes it could of been improved a little more the final result is downright breathtaking.

3. All Hallows’ Eve – The only thing I sort of regret with this is featuring it on the very first day of Schlocktoberfest. I also was getting my bearings in terms of where I wanted to go with the 1 Horror Movie A Day In October concept and only posted several tweets about the movie as a whole. Anthology horror is for the most part a mixed bag (no pun intended) & centering the stories around Halloween is a even more daunting task but All Hallows Eve is a gory blast from start to finish.

4. Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon – We’ve seen the slasher formula become stale and repugnant. A group of teenagers left to their own devices make idiotic choices while being stalked & done in by a murderous psychopath. Behind The Mask flips the idea where you get to know the slasher & even like him to a point that you realize there’s no method to his madness instead he’s like a mailman or street sweeper everyone has to have a skill/trait that their good at.

5. Dog Soldiers -Werewolves that are big, nasty, vile creatures that won’t think twice about ripping you to shreds and look like actual wolves (okay these look like wolves that have been doing massive amounts of HGH) this is a fun action film that just so happens to blend in red corn syrup and silver bullets with a style and grace all its own.

6. The Faculty – More along the lines of Sci-Fi thriller than actual horror there isn’t one thing I’d change about this sometimes overlooked late 90’s sleeper. The cast is spot on, you can cut the tension with a knife, and even though Robert Rodriguez sort of ripped off one particular standoff scene from John Carpenter’s The Thing that moment is actually almost as gripping.

7. Killjoy 3 – A surprisingly fun thrill ride in the killer clown genre. Trent Haaga steals every scene he is in through a nonstop assault of one liners and unnerving mannerisms. Its tacky, low budget, and wasn’t really necessary but I’ll give the devil (or in this case the demon) his due Killjoy 3 is highly entertaining.

8. Prom Night/Terror Train – Before everyone says that its cheating to include two movies in one spot I want to point out that I was torn between what one had the better execution. Both take quite a while to get going but once they do all bets are off not to mention when you’re paying tribute to the definitive scream queen of that era, Jamie Lee Curtis, it was difficult to pick out the stand out performance. Terror Train had a thrilling conclusion that kept you guessing right up to the very end whereas Prom Night had Jamie Lee showing a little more skin helping her shed her tomboy image. Watch both and then decide which one is better chances are you’ll be stewing over that answer for quite a while.

9. Alien Abduction – Cliched? Yep! Predictable? Very Much So. Been done way too many times before? Indeed! So why is this making the list? One reason and one reason alone – effective jump scares. Make a bowl of popcorn, turn off the lights, & put this on. How many times the popcorn goes flying will most likely surprise you but hey sometimes we all need a cheesy little jump scare to make us feel more human.

10. The Coed and the Zombie Stoner – The Asylum is always ridiculed for their attempts to cash in (or mockbust) and this will never be uttered in the same sentence as Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland. For extremely low budget fare it does capably hit its marks and maybe I laughed much more than I should have. Considering I’ve seen my share of low budget trash The Coed and the Zombie Stoner proves that The Asylum will satisfy its core audience all the while continuing to p!ss off those who just don’t get it.

And there you have it. At this time I’d like to thank everyone for joining me on this wild ride. I’m sure many of you who followed the first incarnation of the Direct 2 Video Dungeon are wondering where things will go from here??? Well the blog will remain active. I’m currently developing a new review format and will return within the next couple months. I’m going to continue doing this at my own leisure so when the D2VD is updated, its updated.

Until then please feel free to share your thoughts on Shclocktoberfest 2014. What were your favorite entries? What would you like to see in next year’s installment? Any suggestions? Pass them along my way!

Take care & Happy Halloween!

– The Dungeon Master