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    “ANTIVIRAL” (Movie Review)

    [This review was initially published out of the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012, it is reposted below in light of the film's theatrical and VOD release.]

    Any film bearing the surname Cronenberg on its credit block will be of interest to FANGORIA, and ANTIVIRAL—which had its North American premiere at the current Toronto International Film Festival following its world premiere at Cannes this past summer—is indeed a Cronenberg joint. Specifically, it’s the first picture from David’s son Brandon. Does the apple fall far? 

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    “EVIL DEAD” (Mike’s Movie Review)

    EVIL DEAD die-hards can calm their concerns—the remake of Sam Raimi’s classic is good enough that, at a certain point, you might forget it’s a remake. Recapturing the essence of its predecessor without slavishly aping its style, the new movie stands on its own and provides buckets of bloody fun.

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    “ROOM 237” (Movie Review)

    Maybe you hold onto one yourself? Some pet theory about a particular film’s hidden patterns, symbolism, subtext or allegory? Undertones that fly past most viewers but, once uncovered and analysed, cannot be ignored? ROOM 237 (in select theaters and on VOD today) is a unique and deceptively simple documentary that features five different people attempting to explain what they perceive to be the true meaning behind Stanley Kubrick’s film of THE SHINING.

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    “DARK BLOOD” (Movie Review)

    “If you want something enough, you must will it. If you’re obsessed enough, you will get the object of your desire.”

    So declares a tortured desert eccentric named Boy—portrayed by a fiery River Phoenix in his final screen role—to the pair of marooned Hollywood jetsetters he’s holding captive in a pivotal scene from DARK BLOOD, but the character might as well have been whispering through the celluloid ether to director George Sluizer, who recently (and with an effort that can only be described as herculean) plucked the film from the purgatory of fractional incompleteness in which it has lingered unseen for twenty years and made it a (qualified) whole.

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    “Strange Frame” (Movie Review)

    I really wanted to like STRANGE FRAME. It has a cast that’s made up of some of the best known names in the exploitation and voice acting field – Tim Curry (ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, LEGEND), Claudia Black (FARSCAPE, STARGATE SG-1), Ron Glass (FIREFLY), Tara Strong (almost every superhero cartoon show), Cree Summer (ditto those superhero cartoons), George Takei (the original STAR TREK), Juliet Landau (BUFFY, ANGEL), Alan Tudyk (FIREFLY, V, DOLLHOUSE), Michael Dorn (STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE) and Claudia Christian (BABYLON 5, HIGHLANDER).

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    “COME OUT AND PLAY” (Movie Review)

    [This review was initially published out of Fantastic Fest in September 2012, it is reposted below in light of the film's theatrical and VOD release.] 

    On the surface, COME OUT AND PLAY is simply a flat, soulless remake of one of the killer kid greats, WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? Coupled with one-named director Makinov’s bullshit, it’s a joke.

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    “PLUS ONE” (SXSW Movie Review)

    Were you a different person 45 minutes ago?  Is it wild to suggest you may have been? At an age like 18, 19 or 20, a significant time of development and personal understanding, it might not be. Kids are ever changing, ever evolving and often, not so organically. They revolve interests, style and friends in an effort to grasp themselves and impress others. All the while, they hemorrhage mistakes and spew nervous energy with little time to understand what’s working and what isn’t. PLUS ONE, the latest from Greek filmmaker Dennis Iliadis (THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT), forces surreal reflection on the youth at a lavish house party, in a pop art-horror spin on one-night-can-change-everything teen movies.

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    “THE CALL” (Movie Review)

    Rushed into its release slot today after Sony’s next-to-last-minute bumping of CARRIE to the Halloween season, THE CALL, which only began filming late last summer, feels neither rushed nor like a throwaway substitute. It’s an accomplished suspense/psychothriller in many ways, let down only by unfortunate lapses in the home stretch.

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    “EVIL DEAD” (Chris’ Review)

    Leonard Maltin’s 2.5 star review of Sam Raimi’s original THE EVIL DEAD in his pre-IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes printed reference book summed up the picture’s plot like this: “Five kids at mountain cabin chop each other to pieces when demons possess everything.”

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    “KISS OF THE DAMNED” (SXSW Movie Review)

    KISS OF THE DAMNED will most often be referred to as throwback. Its dreamy score, its opening titles, its visual flair and just how swooning the cast is all hark to the Roger Vadim, Jean Rollin Eurohorror aesthetic beloved by so many. More than a call, though, Xan Cassavettes’ vampire tale is a refresher. Entrenched in supernatural high society, its heightened senses, from ample bloodshed to melodramatics to lips that smash hard when they come together has found a way to make vampirism exhilarating onscreen again.

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