Showing posts with label lionsgate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lionsgate. Show all posts

20 May 2013

Curandero: Dawn of the Demon DVD Review

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Back in 2005 Grindhouse maestro Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror, From Dusk Till Dawn) wrote a Spanish-language script about a satanic descent into the seedy Mexican underworld, where a sheepish exorcist and kick-ass cop are on the hunt for a bloodthirsty cult. The film was shelved and hasn’t seen the light of day until now.

Curandero doesn’t bother to hit above its weight, it’s got a keen understanding of where it sits on the quality spectrum and embraces its B-movie roots gleefully, spinning an ever more gruesome web of black magic and gore. At points the film revels in its total lack of CGI but flips and starts flaunting some truly wobbly effects, even then they arguably fit into the film snuggly. Eduardo Rodriguez has an obvious talent for filming this sort of thing, the gruesome and vicious come naturally to every frame however some dodgy editing makes viewing difficult during indoor scenes which can sometimes be too dark to see what the hell is going on.

Carlos Gallardo’s reserved performance is a key reason why this film should be the beginning of a franchise, as he can hold the screen without over acting or seeming like he’s seeking out our attention. His enigmatic performance is why Curandero feels like the seedy Mexican equivalent of Constantine. The whole plot seems like an origin tale, unsure of what exactly to do first, but that doesn’t hold it back too much, this film is focused on giving the viewer a great time whilst throwing enough demonic imagery at you to make the more superstitious viewers out there have a heart attack.

Fast paced, immersed in Mexican culture and superstitious iconography, yet drenched in gore and visceral sequences of violence, Curandero forsakes the straight path by shaking its tale of good vs evil up with acid-trip imagery and some intriguing style decisions. Hopefully the release of this B-movie extraordinaire will spawn a sequel.


Scott Clark

Rating: 18
DVD Release Date: 20th May 2013 (UK)
DirectorEduardo Rodriguez
CastCarlos GallardoGizeht GalateaSergio AcostaErnesto Yáñez

Buy: Curandero: Dawn Of The Demon [DVD]

9 October 2012

The Thompsons DVD Review

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In a cinematic landscape where the vampire sub-genre is populated with constant reworking and, more specifically, buggered half to death by Twilight, The Thompsons, the sequel to 2006’s The Hamiltons, is a rough but charming pick-me-up.

The Thompsons picks up the brutal family’s story as they escape the US, after a bloodbath puts them on the wanted list, to hide out in the UK.  Desperate for some kind of protection in this new country, they set out to find a shadowy group rumored to be sympathetic to vampires.

The scope of The Butcher Brothers’ latest effort is one of the things that marks it out from your average vampire film, dotting from the US to UK and a peek at two family members’ exploits in France helps make the film feel bigger than it actually is. It’s a road movie after a squalid one-set affair, just like Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, the epic follow-up to House of a Thousand Corpses.   The narrative style of jumping back to fill in the blanks and show us how Francis Hamilton (Cory Knauf) ends up captured is, at first, intriguing but eventually lends a disorganized flow to the plot. If you really consider it, aspects of the film (excluding the existence of vampires obviously) strain believability; parts of the plot seem to rely on not looking too deep into the characters. For careful viewers this film may anger, for die-hard vamp fans, who can abandon critical viewing, this is a nice slice of brutal fun, since the one thing the film isn’t is boring.

At a run-time of one hour seventeen minutes there’s little time to doddle around so the pace reconciles by keeping the characters on the go. The action is quirky and the gore can be gruesome, but the dialogue is the major weakness of the piece: lacing an otherwise enjoyable affair with so much cliché and cheese you‘d think it’s funny.  But that encapsulates the film, some good scenes mirrored by woeful one’s: Francis’ arrival at the pub is pretty tense, then there’s a bizarre barn dance where nobody seems to know why they are there.

An earlier sequence showing two of the British vampires hunting alludes to a more sinister and unnerving aspect that, in its haste, the film neglects.  Which is a shame when you’re watching a horrormovie. Even when the film gathers a bit of momentum and throws itself at a climax well-setup, the end fight throws a wobbly, looking jittery and anti-climactic. Fluid camera work and careful editing keep previous scraps visceral so the end seems a lazy mistake. After a bloody finale, the film very quickly swaps rails and goes back to being poignant and open, leaving the story not-quite-finished.

Parts of the film are unrealized  others have the right idea, but a generally woeful dialogue drags down an otherwise well-conceived film. The Thompsons is a faulted but brutally enjoyable vampire flick that has its eyes set somewhere beyond your run-of-the-mill sex and death extravaganza.

Scott Clark 


UK DVD/BD Release Date: 15th October 2012
Directed by: Mitchell Altieri, Phil Flores
Cast:Mackenzie Firgens, Cory Knauf, Ryan Hartwig, Samuel Child, Daniel O'Meara, Selina Giles
 Buy The Thompsons On DVD

24 August 2012

Frightfest 2012 – Meet The Thompsons aka The Hamiltons,World Premiere This Sunday

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The premier European horror film festival Film4 Frightfest is well under way today and over the weekend here and at our other site we will be bringing you our coverage. This Sunday will see the return of  Horror’s favourite dysfunctional vampire family The Hamiltons now with a new name The Thompsons.  Set and filmed mostly here in the UK, horror movie The Thompsons is receiving its World Premiere this Sunday at FrightFest in Empire Leicester Square at 10.30am. There will also be a cast and crew Q&A before the screening at 10am.
The Hamiliton siblings were a dysfunctional, orphaned family living in sunny suburbia. On the outside, they appear normal enough but they harbour a very dark secret…the need to drink blood in order to survive. A bloodbath at a local gas station means the family has to go on the run, eventually seeing them resurface in the U.K. with a new identity as The Thompsons. Desperate for protection in this unfamiliar country, the deadly family seeks out the help of a shadowy underground group rumoured to be sympathetic to vampires.
THE THOMPSONS is a new release from acclaimed horror writers and directors The Butcher Brothers and is being screened at FrightFest on the 26th August 2012. On October 15th You will be able to own The Thompsons on DVD, stay tuned for review and possible competition nearer the release date.