Written and Directed by R. Lopez
Catherine Daisy Coleman as Sheena Star
Bryan Slusher as Muppet
Cody Calderas as Andy
Dakota Danger as Sidwell
Melesa Murphy as Teresa
Special appearances by Benjamin Bartlett and Jeff Homan as Tobi and Duke from The Toking Dead
No Sauce LLC.
Rose Parlor Tattoo
The Toking Dead
Crude Comics Inc.
I FINALLY got a chance to sit down and watch a screener of a movie I was sent a while back. I am kicking myself that I didn’t watch it sooner. It’s a horror comedy made by R. Lopez at Crude Comics Inc. I personally LOVE horror comedies. It seems to be one of the most unbridled forms of horror freedom on film.
Now, to truly appreciate horror comedy you need a good sense of humor, a strong stomach and a passion for horror. You have to be willing to overlook things like budgeting and film resolution quality in order to get to things like having fun and letting loose. When people decide to create a horror comedy their purpose is for the audience to have FUN and the makers want to have fun in the process of that creation. These guys OBVIOUSLY did exactly that.
Now, I don’t want to give a lot away because I really, really want you guys to see this. But we start out meeting Stoner Jesus. (Oh, stop being offended, it’s a comedy film, for crying out loud, nobody’s preaching anything). I was laughing the whole way through. This film has all sorts of humor in it. Everything from slapstick to toilet humor. I do have to admit, and I giggle even as I write this, that if you haven’t done certain drugs in your lifetime, there are probably parts of this movie that aren’t going to be funny or make sense to you. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. But for those that may (or may not, depending on the advice of your attorney) have had a misspent youth, some of this stuff is going to be absolutely hilarious to you. (On the advice of counsel, I decline to answer as to whether or not I have any sort of direct or indirect knowledge of any aforementioned substances that may or may not give me insight on the hilarity factor of this film. Moving on…)
If I were going to try to describe this film to someone, I would have to say it’s like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses got into a head on collision and then comedy of all kinds violently poured down upon the crash site. There are so many small jokes, funny little references, snappy one liners. There’s regular stuff that really happens in real life between stoners that people that get high truly do laugh at.
I recognize that, to an extremely straight arrowed kind of person, this movie would seem very haphazard and without flow, might seem strange (to say the least) and might seem like a waste of time. But that’s not who it’s meant for.
I loved watching this film. It’s like watching a home movie of a bunch of stoner friends take a road trip and then some weird creepy ass stuff gets thrown in the mix. There’s weird stuff going on with Sasquatch type monsters, creepy old men, creepy younger men…ravioli.
All in all, definitely fun to watch. If you need laughs this is your ticket to them. Oh, and a killer side note…our killer friends over at The Toking Dead not only have their comic and some of their TTD gear shown in this film, the guys actually make a special appearance!!! I was so excited to see them!!! I was already stoked when I kept seeing their comic and merchandise but, then POOF there they were! Totally cool!
Lopez and his crew really worked hard on getting this comedy right and it shows. They had fun and in turn, I had fun. Total success!!!!
You can buy a copy at crudecomicsinc.com
Bragi F Schut and Maria Melnik
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, Jay Ellis, Yorick van Wageningen
Budget $9M Box Office $155.7M
IMDb 6.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes 49% Metacritic 48/100
Okay, so, the whole premise of this film got me from the beginning because I have always been fascinated by the idea of an escape room. Not that I am convinced I could get out myself but, with a certain select group of friends, it would be interesting to try. However, this is a film that might make you think twice about signing up for such an entertainment activity.
Now, if you don’t know, (and honestly the only way you couldn’t know is if you are say, over the age of 80, under the age of 7 OR you’ve been living in a cave being raised by wolves and have no idea what lengths human beings will go to for entertainment, to prove their intellect and for a good adrenaline rush) an escape room is a form of a puzzle room. People sign up and pay sometimes a good sum of money to get locked in a room that presents a hypothetical danger and they must find the clues hidden within the room to piece together the final answer to unlock the door. (If you hate logic games, puzzle games or anything like that, even hidden object games, you probably wouldn’t like or do well in an escape room.)
However, if you like watching people freak out, turn on each other, bond together, logic puzzles, human behavior, killer graphics and movies that give you an edge of your seat suspense feeling with an adrenaline rush kind of feel…then you’ll probably dig this film.
In Escape Room, six people are given invitations to participate in a highly coveted, top-rated Escape Room challenge. IF any of them can be the first to escape, they will win a prize of $10,000. Sounds pretty enticing huh? I mean, it’s just a game, right? Like a haunted house. What could go wrong?
The mix of participants is interesting. We find that among them is a very successful money manager/stock broker type guy. His invitation was a gift from a client for instance. Then, there’s an incredibly intelligent, genius-level intelligent, but, wickedly shy and closed in college student. She got her invite from one of her professors. Next, we have Ben. Ben comes into work one day at the stockroom to find his invite waiting for him on a stack of the inventory he should be putting away. We have Mike, who is a regular guy who drives a truck for a living and we have Amanda, who is an Iraq War Veteran. Last but certainly not least, we have Danny. Danny is an escape room fanatic and has done pretty much every single one in the area…and more. It’s funny to see all six of them sitting in the waiting room looking at each other trying not to look at each other. (I mean, this movie was made this year and that is a perfect example of human behavior. Why is eye contact NOT okay anymore? When I was growing up it was REQUIRED. It’s like people are scared to look at other human beings and make some sort of human connection with them.) Upon entering the main building entrance, they were required to relinquish their phones, otherwise they would have all been looking at a tiny digital screen, pretending to be incredibly absorbed in whatever is on their home screen, homepage or what texts they AREN’T getting at that moment.
So here they are, these six strangers in a waiting room, waiting for the “game” to begin. The only problem is, it already has. They don’t know it but once they all got there and that door closed, the game was on. Now, a lot of escape rooms can be just one room, ya know, like a beginner level. Then there are ones out there that have many rooms with many puzzles that you have to get through. THIS one these people are in…has multiple rooms. BUT, they aren’t just regular rooms.
A LOT of money has been put into this game. A LOT. Who knows who’s backing this sort of thing? Some sicko millionaire? The government? Foreign enemy forces? Some whacked out scientist? I mean, when you think of the things ACTUAL people have done in REAL LIFE for entertainment, the possibilities for the mastermind villain in this movie are endless.
I did enjoy this movie. And since it IS so new, I am not going to tell you a whole lot about it. I will say that I think it was made well. I liked the actors. I think they portrayed their characters particularly well. And the special effects and graphics, very cool. Very well done.
I have to admit there were many times I was surprised and impressed with the way they were able to bring things to life on screen. And whoever came up with the puzzle ideas, they’re good. This guy, gal, people, whoever, talk about some creative work.
One of the best things about this film is that not all of the normal horror movie rules apply.
One of the not so great things about it frankly, was the ending. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. But, to me, incomplete. It makes me wonder if they are leaving it open for a sequel, a franchise perhaps. But then again, it could have been that they got to the ending and just had a hard time closing it down. That happens so often with horror movies. So many times, we expect that climactic ending like we got in Friday the 13th, an ending that shocks and scares, that final heart-stopper, that final scream. And so many times we are let down. I’ll let you decide for yourself if you feel like the ending was befitting the rest of the film.
Starring: John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Steve Buscemi, Matthew O'Leary
Budget $75M Box Office $54.2M
IMDb 5.6/10 Rotten Tomatoes 24% Metacritic 29/100
Although this is not a HORROR film, it is certainly a suspense/thriller of sorts. Now, I'm going to tell you right up front that there isn't a lot of hardcore murder, action, blood, gore or the intensity that you might expect from a suspense or thriller type movie.
However, this was, in my opinion, a good film. As you can see, once again, I disagree with the peeps at Rotten Tomatoes but, really, what else is new? I seriously often wonder who these people are and what their criteria are for a good movie?
In this film, John Travolta plays a regular guy named Frank Morrison, who is an old-fashioned wooden boat builder. His son, Danny, lives with his ex-wife and her new soon-to-be husband, Rick (Vince Vaughn). The two exes seem to get along well and the only problem seems to be Danny's behavior.
Danny seems to have a problem with lying. Well, let me rephrase. He doesn't have a problem with it. It doesn't seem to bother him at all. He lies to everyone. He lies to the police, his mother, his grandmother, his teachers, strangers, everyone. Everyone except his Dad, Frank.
So, when Danny comes to Frank frantic saying he's just witnessed Rick commit a murder, Frank has to take him at his word. Unfortunately, this revelation comes on the heels of not only Danny's mother, Susan's marriage to Rick BUT also the news that she and Rick are going to have a baby.
Frank must now decide whether or not to believe his son and if he does, what to do about it? The stakes are high when children are involved and the cost could be considerable. Frank has no idea who Rick truly is…and honestly, neither does anyone else.
I enjoyed this film for several reasons. First, we see Travolta in a role other than some sort of military-trained badass or psychotic villain. I know there are other movies out there that he's done like that such as Saturday Night Fever, Look Who's Talking, A Civil Action, Wild Hogs. However, I feel it's rare we see Vince Vaughn step so far out of the comedy genre and I think he did very well as the creepy new husband. He still has the sly sarcastic delivery and it's perfect for his character. You can't help but want to like Vaughn's character in this film and yet, at the same time, you just know he's a bad dude.
Again, this is one of the few movies out of Travolta's 40+ year film career that he doesn't play some sort of trained killer or secret badass living in suburbia, that kind of thing. Not to mention some sort of psychotic villain, which I love those roles. All of them. I've often wondered if his involvement in Scientology helps in those roles of psychopathy…just saying. And believe me, it's not the actual faith base of that "religion" I question, I mean, to each his own. But, that…culture…functions more as a cult and a business than an actual religion and THAT is where my questioning only begins. I don't care if they believe in aliens and all that jazz. Big deal. I do care that their practices can cause harm (emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, financial) and that's NOT what faith is about. So, you might be able to see how I may draw a connection between those practices and his ability to portray a psycho. But moving on…Scientology is a whole different article.
So, this is a decent flick. Don’t be expecting a whole lot of suspense type action. I mean, you know the truth the whole time the film is rolling on however, what you DON’T know is how it will all turn out. It’s definitely worth watching at least once.