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    “RETURN TO NUKE ’EM HIGH VOLUME 1” (Film Review)

    There’s a saying that’s commonly used to negate all consequence of bad behavior in the name of acting upon instinct: “Boys will be boys.” In the world of genre entertainment, that same phrase should be applied to Troma, as Troma has, is and always will be Troma. Transcending limitations of taste and logic, the company has returned to present one of its funniest and craziest films of all time, RETURN TO NUKE ’EM HIGH VOLUME 1.

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    Fango Flashback: “TOTAL RECALL” (1990)

    After making a splash with the ultraviolent sci-fi satire ROBOCOP, it’s not a giant shock that Verhoeven’s next blockbuster venture would be the Philip K. Dick adaptation TOTAL RECALL, which paired the unpredictable director with one of Hollywood’s most reliable action stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a way, the pairing is somewhat perfect, matching two of Hollywood’s most promising imports and vibrant personalities to create a film about a surreal identity crisis. The casting of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a common construction worker stuck in a world of intergalactic espionage and sabotage was bizarre yet appropriate, and as such, he simultaneously delivers one of his most over-the-top performances, while being somewhat restrained and emotionally conflicted. Somehow, Verhoeven strikes gold with Schwarzenegger, who is brave and grateful enough to dive into another one of the director’s living universes, although this time much more alien in nature.

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    “HAUNT” (Movie Review)

    Sometimes, when telling a story about the afterlife, there’s an inherent understanding that plot and character can fall by the wayside in the name of pure, visceral terror. This particular subgenre is one of the oldest and easiest to execute, and thus there’s only so much in the way of originality and personality one can bring to ghost movies—essentially forcing filmmakers to choose style over substance. But if a horror story devotes itself solely to eliciting fear and subverting expectations, how much or easily can one forgive a lack of novelty or inspiration?

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    Stream to Scream: “LAID TO REST”

    As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu channel. To give you a better idea of what’s in store, FANGORIA will be taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with this newest feature, Stream to Scream. Today: Robert Hall’s LAID TO REST.

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    “THE DEN” (Movie Review)

    The anonymity of the internet is the monster of THE DEN, a new POV/Found Footage title that aims (for at least the first half) to tell its story entirely from a computer screen. Opening with what must be a self-aware cheap jolt, director Zachary Donohue then unfurls a wide spectrum of malicious intent that Elizabeth (and by proxy you) is prey to by simply just being online. Viral pranks, swinging dicks and the harsh invalidation of your existence by someone immediately deciding they don’t want to chat with you give away to true evil, of course. As a film essentially about the horrors that await us online, THE DEN must go big in its cautionary tale and it does, alternately being effectively eerie and stumbling along the way.

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    Bill Zebub’s “INDIE DIRECTOR” (Movie Review)

    For years, this writer had been avoiding the work of enfant terrible filmmaker Bill Zebub for no other reason than they just didn’t speak to me. Zebub’s greasy oeuvre includes such quaintly christened features like ANTFARM DICKHOLE and JESUS, THE TOTAL DOUCHEBAG and I’ve seen enough no-budget junk in my time to be wary of pictures like this: movies that bait their audiences with cheap shock tactics, the cinematic equivalent of the grade school brat in the corner of the class with the cone hat, farting and making faces while the teacher contemplates murder-suicide. Just not my speed. 

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    “ROBOCOP” (2014; Movie Review)

    Well, there goes the review I had written in my head. The new ROBOCOP is not an instant classic like Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original, but on its own terms—and the fact that it can be judged on its own terms is an accomplishment in itself—it succeeds as a confidently told science-fiction thriller cleverly and intelligently reconceived to reflect modern concerns.

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    Stream to Scream: Lucio Fulci’s “THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY”

    As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu channel. To give you a better idea of what’s available, FANGORIA is taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with Stream to Scream. Today: Dr. Freudstein, Bob and Lucio Fulci’s THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY.

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    “VAMPIRE ACADEMY” (Movie Review)

    VAMPIRE ACADEMY didn’t screen for critics, and seeing it for review purposes risked the awkwardness of being the only adult male in a theater full of teenage girls. As it happened, the show I attended was nearly deserted, which posed another kind of disadvantage: Perhaps a young fan of the source novel could have explained to me what the hell was going on.

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    “NURSE 3D” (Movie Review)

    There’s a point in the long-delayed psycho thriller NURSE 3D where our anti-heroine, the deranged and lovestruck RN Abby Russell hisses, in hard-boiled noir-tinted voice over, that she “ate” the protagonist’s “ass” and  “fingered her to three orgasms.” It’s a delightfully off-color passage, one whose effect defines the lurid appeal of co-writer/director Douglas Aarniokoski’s sex-soaked shocker. After you get past the frisson of the pornographic wordplay, you jump to a tension-breaking laugh, before locking in a state of mild arousal (and really, what living organism wouldn’t be aroused by the lady playing Abby, Amazonian actress Paz de la Huerta?) and then, after running this gamut of sensation, you’re also left with the feeling that maybe the movie is just low-grade trash. Maybe it’s all beneath your otherwise sophisticated cinematic palette. But by the time you seriously start believing that, something explicitly violent and sexually outrageous has happened and you know what? You just don’t give a damn.

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    “DEAD SNOW; RED VS. DEAD” (Sundance Movie Review)

    Fake it till you make it; whether you put any stock in the old adage or not, it seems to have worked wonders for Norwegian filmmaker, Tommy Wirkola. Having broken through with a film based on a great concept that rarely results in something great (Nazi Zombies), Wirkola had cultivated a true fanbase. Still, and without discounting the undoubtedly hard work that goes into crafting a feature film, the director received much (justified) criticism for over-relying on stylistic influence and homage, particularly to the comedic horror of Sam Raimi and early Peter Jackson. In the intervening five years however—which saw him hit Hollywood with the goofy good time HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS—the filmmaker seems to have honed his horror-comedy craft, developing his own style, confronting his past shortcomings and delivering a film both worthy of its base idea and a packed house.

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