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  • “NORTHMEN – A VIKING SAGA” (Film Review)

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    When life hands you lemons… start throwing axes at random nameless, faceless baddies.

    Such is the maxim the marooned berserkers of NORTHMEN—A VIKING SAGA seek to honor and invoke fewer than five minutes into this viscera-festooned, manic-in-a-good-way, unabashedly over the top ninth century adventure flick: Think the popular History Channel docudrama series imbued with a little John McTiernan-esque swagger and sheen—not to mention a considerably more laissez-faire approach towards graphic violence—and your expectations will be roughly in the right longship.

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  • “DER TODESKING” (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

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    With a human skull placed right next to him, director Jörg Buttgereit tells us we’re about to see “a movie against suicide” in his introduction to the new Blu-ray and DVD of DER TODESKING—a film about seven characters committing suicide on each day of the week. And like Buttgereit’s other films that we’ve been covering as they fortuitously ooze onto disc via Cult Epics, DER TODESKING rubs your nose in the beauty and nausea of death and decay while greatly respecting you for bearing witness.

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  • “KNOCK KNOCK” (Film Review)

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    While Eli Roth may be known for his particular and popular brand of horror, ranging from his directorial work on HOSTEL to his acting in AFTERSHOCK to his producing work on the big screen and small, one might forget that Roth cut his teeth in one of horror’s most longstanding institutions: Troma. And while Roth’s horror geek cred has never come into question, what with his penchant for provocative, Eurohorror-influenced content, Roth’s sensibilities have long existed within the realm of exploitation. But with KNOCK KNOCK, Roth’s most recent directorial effort, horror audiences will see a new side to Roth as a filmmaker as those sensibilities collide into something completely different: a midnight movie made for the mainstream horror fan.

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  • “THE UNWANTED” (DVD Review)

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    Writer/director Bret Wood’s moody microbudget melodrama THE UNWANTED (out now on Blu-ray from Kino-Lorber) has been met with general critical indifference since its release. Too glacial in its pacing, too light on hard sex and violence for many horror movie hounds and too modestly financed to thrill those looking for a glossy arthouse piece, THE UNWANTED is certainly an anomaly and doesn’t fit comfortably anywhere, really. That, of course, is part of its fascination; it’s a film that goes against convention and has a strange power that is hard to shake.

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  • “COP CAR” (Fantasia Movie Review)

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    COP CAR, in which two preteen boys steal a cruiser from a sheriff who’s very, very anxious to get it back, is not the kind of movie you’d get from a studio taking on this premise (shenanigans ensue!), nor is it a ruthless, transgressive indie nightmare (THE HITCHER with kids!). Rather, it derives its tension from the matter-of-fact way it plays out the story’s inevitable developments.

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  • “SCOOBY DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY” (Film Review)

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    Ardent fans of Hanna-Barbera’s ludicrous and legendary 1978 TV movie KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK (of which this writer is one) love it unconditionally; the film (directed by recently deceased genre filmmaker Gordon Hessler), is absolutely one of the strangest, inadvertently hilarious and patently ridiculous cult films of all time and there’s truly nothing else quite like it, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. But for the band, PHANTOM is of significant historical relevance. By the time the film began production, KISS was at their commercial peak and, with of co-founder and self-confessed pop culture junkie Gene Simmons’ enthusiastic blessing, had found its garish painted visages stamped across every sort of mass-marketed merchandise known to man. And, after the success of STAR WARS the previous year and the pomp of their literally blood soaked Marvel Comics appearance, it made sense to push the KISS phenomenon into the realm of cinema.

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  • “DEATHGASM” (Fantasia Movie Review)

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    The metalhead helped make the horror genre strong. That Manpower LP cover with devil ladies and lightning, a parental nightmare during the Satanic Panic hysteria, and the power harnessed by rolling the die as a Chaotic Neutral Dwarf that would annihilate your enemies: This spirit existed in horror cinema’s heyday, meaning the ’80s. The real stuff. Denim warriors. Studs.

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