I'm a huge low budget, cheesy, B-Movie and Horror movie fan and this is a place for me and like-minded people to review and post thoughts on the B-Movies and Horror movies that we watch. If you wish to contact me for any reason you can reach me at desperado.newfie[at]gmail.com. You can click the drop down menu on the left side of the blog for more options as well.
A documentary crew follows an elite unit of soldiers in the wake of an alien invasion.
REVIEW: Alien Outpost, also known as Mankind's Last Stand in parts of the world for it's upcoming home video release, came out
this past Friday on the usual Video-on-Demand locations such as
Itunes, Vudu, and the like, and the trailer looked so interesting to
me I had to order a digital copy and check it out as soon as I got
home from work that day. Now, the original title that some people may
know it under from news articles in the past was Outpost 37, but I
feel that, for once, the name change is actually beneficial and Alien
Outpost is the much better title. Usually I find last minute B-Movie
title changes to be annoying in that they always change it from
something great to something 'meh', but Outpost 37 was so plain and
generic and didn't really help portray what kind of movie it is, so
in that regard I feel Alien Outpost was a well-needed upgrade.
This one was brought to us via
IFC Midnight, which is a pretty well-known VOD-distribution company for
those who run in these circles. They've acquired and released many
great fun genre titles in the last several years, such as Alien Abduction, Extraterrestrial, Dark Summer, The Pact and its sequel,
Inner Demons, The Babadook, and Hangar 10 just to list but a few in
their vast catalogue of acquisitions. I actually really enjoy a lot
of what these VOD-distribution companies put out, and among them IFC
Midnight is easily one of my top favourites, sharing the spot only
with the equally-awesome Magnet, which is the company responsible for
bringing to our T.V.'s and computers such modern classics as The
Troll Hunter, the [REC] movies, the VHS trilogy, The Last Days on
Mars, Stage Fright, and The Protector 2, to name a few in their
equally-vast library of titles. I seriously cannot get enough of
either IFC or Magnet and always look forward to whatever they release
next. And luckily for me, IFC's most recent, Alien Outpost, also
turned out to be one of my favourites!
Alien Outpost picks up ten
years after an invasion by aliens dubbed The Heavies happened and
they were held off and eventually retreated, leaving many of their
kind behind. Various Outposts were set up around the world to monitor
for and seek out the remaining Heavies and the movie takes place at
one such outpost, located in Afghanistan. If any of you have seen the
war documentary Restrepo, this movie is pretty much a cross between
that and District 9, in that this was made in the style of a finished
and polished faux-documentary, very similar to Europa Report,
complete with a very effective musical score, talking head
interviews, overlaying text narration, and clips of news reports,
but, you know, with aliens.
I love found footage in
general, but some movies I feel just don't need it and could have
been even better had it been a traditionally-shot movie. The Dinosaur Project and Frankenstein's Army are two other such ones I feel that
way about, and there were many times during this movie that I was
thinking to myself that, while as cool and fun as this flick is, there was almost no reason for it to be found footage-esque and could
have been even better had it just been a regular movie. With that
said, the first person camera perspective here really helps make you
feel right there in the war zone alongside these soldiers, with
bullets whizzing by and explosions going off all around, and the fact
that it's not so much found footage per sey, but done as a finished
documentary, helps make it feel a bit more fresh and professional than
the average found footage fare.
This 'documentary' follows
one military unit as they arrive at the rundown outpost that's been
left in disrepair, and after they get hazed in by the current
soldiers stationed there they start bonding with them and play
various games and goof off and do whatever other activities they can
come up with to pass away their boredom in between their regular
patrols of the area as the days go on, during which time we kind of
get to come to know many of these soldiers and start feeling attached
to them. Because of that, we actually give a shit when, during a
routine patrol, the platoon is ambushed by the Heavies and their
commanding officer is taken prisoner, and in another part of the
movie one of the younger characters is taken by surprise and suddenly
killed off with no warning. Very often in these kind of flicks you
just don't care much about what happens to the characters on screen,
but this movie went above and beyond to make you get to know these
people and care about them. Of course that wouldn't be possible if
the actors were crap or eye-rollingly bad, but they were all actually
really damn good and believable. There's not a wide range of
characters outside army soldiers and a couple cameramen, but everyone
played their roles well, never once taking me out of the moment. I
also love how the one Japanese character was nicknamed Zilla, which
is an obvious and comedic (though perhaps somewhat racist) nod to Godzilla.
These soldiers spend the next chunk
of the movie trying to find where their C.O. that was taken prisoner
and, after that, the remainder of the movie deals with a platoon of
Heavies, teamed with a large group of mind-controlled humans,
launching an assault on the outpost on their way to marching onwards
to invade the main HQ in the next town over, and it's up to our main
cast of soldiers to stop them at the outpost before that can happen.
Following that, they launch an off-mission counter attack on a nearby
alien fortress where...will let's just say a good handful of those
soldiers we've come to enjoy watching during the movie don't exactly
make it out alive.
One of the things I loved
most about this movie is that even though it takes place in the year
2030 or thereabouts, give or take a couple years, most most of the
uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and other gear are very modern-day, at
least from the human side of things, giving the entire movie a modern
war movie kind of vibe, but with aliens, which only adds to the
realism factor. Interesting to note though, that the lasers of the
Heavies have sound effects that sound almost identical to the
Covenant Needle Guns of the Halo games. Actually, more than once this
movie will remind you of the Halo games, for many reasons.
Of course none of that
would matter much if the movie dropped the ball on the special
effects like so many B-Movies do, but surprisingly they were
top-notch here for the most part. Both the CGI stuff as well as the
practical were all above and beyond what you would expect from a
direct-to-video 'found footage' style movie, and I was constantly
kept amazed at the level of effects work throughout. The only moments
of effects that weren’t really up to snuff with everything else
were any scenes with that god-awful CGI smoke that felt really out of
place with how well all the rest of the CGI is, and one scene where a
captured Heavy has it's head blown off at close range was laughably
That one shot of the Heavy
having its head blown off aside, what we see of the aliens are really
really good and well-done, easily the best effects work I've seen in
such a low budget affair in a long time. Unfortunately the aliens
themselves, outside of some news footage scattered around here and
there and a couple quick shots, are hardly even in the movie for the majority of it. I suppose that's a testament to
how good the movie actually is though, and how engaging the human
characters are to watch, because it took me until the last 20 minutes
of the movie before I realized that the aliens have hardly even been
in it up to that point. Luckily though those last 20 minutes are
heavily action-packed and exciting, and unlike most found footage
style movies, the action is actually quite well-shot and really easy
Sure, I may have a few
minor nitpicks with it, but really, the positives here heavily
overshadow any minor nitpicks and I was pleasantly surprised with
just how good Alien Outpost, aka Mankind's Last Stand turned out, both from an entertainment
standpoint as well as in terms of how well it was made.
It's certainly not the
light-hearted, fluffy, turn-your-brain off, cheesy kind of B-Movie
that the SyFy Channel airs or The Asylum makes, this is a far cry
from the Sharktopuses and Mega this vs Gigantic Thats of the genre,
so if that's what you're looking for you won't find it here, but if
instead you're hankering for some down and gritty serious war action,
something closer to Restrepo or Black Hawk Down but with aliens, this
is where you can look and, if you're anything like me, you'll have a
blast with it.
Zombie animals rise up yet again in a new animal preserve, threatening those who work there, and the world! REVIEW: The first Zoombies is one of my personal favorite Asylum movies,
right behind Age of Dinosaurs, Triassic World, and 6-Headed Shark Attack, so suffice to say I was pretty excited when Asylum sent me a
screener copy of Zoombies 2 to review, which up until about a week ago I
didn't even know was coming out.
For the most
part, this movie is entirely stand alone from the first movie, save for one short scene towards the end that ties it directly in (I won't spoil that scene here, but it was definitely an unexpected and fun one). This movie takes place at a entirely
different animal preserve from the first, and deals with poachers that break in to
hunt the animals, except one of the poison darts they use isn't poison
but the formula discovered in the first movie, unleashing the animal
zombie virus upon this place, causing the surviving poachers and park
After killing her stepfather in self-defense, Anna Nix is sent to a juvenile detention center. As she struggles to survive in a world of girl gangs and predatory guards, kind-hearted Anna must fight her dark side to stay above the fray.
REVIEW: While still technically on my
self-imposed Christmas Break from this blog, Asylum-Regular Jared
Cohn (director of such Asylum classics as 12/12/12, Hold Your Breath,
and one of my personal favorites Attack from Beneath, aka Atlantic Rim) asked if I would be interested in receiving a screener copy of
his latest film for that company for early review, Jailbait (also referred to as simply as 17 & Life, or even 17 and Life: Jailbait) so of course I jumped at the
chance. Unfortunately that was before I was plagued by a seemingly a
never-ending stream of computer and Internet issues which prevented
me from watching the movie or updating my blog for almost a month, but now with all those
issues sorted out I was finally able to sit down and give thi…
A mercenary-for-hire accepts a mission from a billionaire to capture some
dangerous snakes that could possibly help cure a terminal illness. (Anaconda 3: OffSpring) A genetically-created Anaconda that can regenerate itself due to the Blood Orchid has escaped and must be stopped before it wrecks havoc. (Anacondas: Trail of Blood)
REVIEW: With SyFy's upcoming airing of Lake
Placid vs Anaconda I figured I'd try my hand at covering all the
other SyFy sequels from both series' leading up to this killer animal
mash-up, obviously excluding the three larger-budget theatrical
entries in the series (the first Lake Placid and the first two
Anaconda movies). But for those dying to know my thoughts on those
ones (I know I know, all two of you), I will just say that I
personally love all three, with Lake Placid being my top favorite,
followed closely by Anaconadas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid, and lastly
the first Anaconda.
Now, SyFy has had it's hand in plenty
of other big killer snak…
PLOT: To save the world, Aladdin must wager everything to get an evil Djinn back into its lamp before it can open a Gateway that will unleash thousands of its kind.
REVIEW: With my recent new-found love for classic fairy tales (thanks solely to being addicted to the new ABC show Once Upon A Time), I've been eating up these fairy tale B-Movies this year (Gretl: Witchslayer, Black Forest, Grimm's Snow White, ect), and out of all those classic fairy tales, Aladdin is easily my favorite. So when I heard SyFy was doing their own Aladdin-themed movie titled Aladdin and the Death Lamp, of course I got excited to watch and review it, even though I was also a bit worried, knowing how some of their movies tend to turn out.
Right off the bat, Aladdin and the Death Lamp does an excellent job with combining 'fantasy fairy tale' (giant killer beasties, mystical amulets, and the magic of the Djin…
Dr. Alan Green, an American Archeologist, leads Danielle Noble and her team
of cave divers on an expedition searching for the ancient long-lost Mayan Hall of Records.
Instead of finding glory, they find Hell hidden in the underwater
caves of Xibalba.
REVIEW: Curse of the Mayans, also known as Xibalba, actually turned out quite
a bit better than I was expecting. It's still not great overall, don't
get me wrong, but it wasn't the dumpster fire I was expecting it to be, and I actually found large portions of it rather enjoyable.
movie's strongest aspect, and one that surprised me so much for a B-Movie like this, is the characters. All of these characters are
fun in their own ways, even the douchy asshole ones, and they're surprisingly
acted quite well. With this being a joint American/Mexican production, we have characters that speak only American, characters that speak only Spanish, and then we also have characters that go back and forth be…
As mass of solar storms causes tsunamis, volcanoes, and flooding, a
city-dwelling family attempts to flee to the relative safety of a group
of high-elevation caves several miles away.
REVIEW: There's two things that Asylum pumps out faster than you can blink - mockbusters and Natural Disaster movies, with the generically-titled End of the World being the latest of the latter.
If you've seen one Asylum-made Natural Disaster movie you've pretty much seen them all, as they're all essentially the exact same movie just with different actors and a few minor details different - a family that doesn't quite all get along, of which one member is a scientist warning about the impending disaster with nobody listening to them, have to make their way through destroyed cities to reunite with one another, with disasters happening every few minutes, and then eventually get to a safe zone. They are pretty much all literally the exact same.
PLOT: Continuing his quest to become human again, the evil gingerbread man returns to stalk the cast and crew working at a low budget B-Movie production company.
REVIEW: Full Moon has a habit of making sure their sequels are better then the originals (Puppet Master 2: His Unholy Creations, Trancers 2, Bloodstone: Subspecies 2, The Evil Bong 2: Wrath of Bong, The Killer Eye 2: Halloween Haunt). However, sometimes it just doesn't turn out that way in the end, despite an obvious effort (Demonic Toys 2: Personal Demons, Oblivion 2: Backlash). Gingerdead Man 2: Passion of the Crust by all rights should have been better then the first Gingerdead Man movie. It had all the right ingredients to make an even better experience, and it tried to go 'bigger' in almost every way possible (bigger cast, more kills, larger location, more reanimated living objects, longer runtime) but somehow, somewhere alo…
When a young Prince and his trusted aide
learn of a beautiful Princess's cursed eternal slumber, they embark on a
journey to rescue her. They must battle an evil queen and legions of
undead monsters before she will be free. REVIEW: In 2014 The Ayslum has already outdone themselves with their first offering; Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark is quite handily the best of the “Mega Shark” series. Andrioid Cop was a lean, mean, and great looking sci-fi actioner, that caught me by surprise at how smart it was. Even their less ambitious offerings, Apocalypse Pompeii for example, have been tremendous fun. So when I say that Asylum’s Sleeping Beauty is, without a doubt, their single greatest film to date, and an absolute masterpiece, please believe me.
Directed with great flair by Casper Van Dien (one of my favorite actors!), his directorial debut is an assured and visually dazzling work of art; which I don’t say that lightly. The cinematography maximizes the gorgeous Bu…
What is supposed to be a marriage boot camp on a remote island turns
into the ultimate test for survival when a 6-headed shark starts
attacking the beach. Trapped with minimal weapons they try to fight off
the shark, but quickly discover that no one is safe in the water or on
REVIEW: 6-Headed Shark Attack is the latest in a series made by The Asylum of multi-headed killer sharks. While I loved the first two movies in this series, 2-Headed Shark Attack and 3-Headed Shark Attack, the previous
movie, 5-Headed Shark Attack, I found was a big disappointment. It was
very...plain..., the characters were forgettable, and there was nothing interesting about it at all other
than the visual aesthetic of the shark having five heads. Luckily this new
one, 6-Headed Shark Attack, injects the fun that was missing from the
previous movie back into the franchise.
This one not
only brought back fun, inventive, shark attack and kill scenes but also
entertaining characters to spend the ru…
A team of young eco-terrorists set out to reveal the secrets of an area removed
from modern day maps and hidden behind electric fences. However, once
they reach the center of the lake, they discover an island that harbors
an abandoned facility with a horrific legacy: the island is home to a
deadly predator eager to feast on those dumb enough to ignore the
REVIEW: Lake Placid: Legacy is the latest in a long line of SyFy Channel-made
TV sequels to the original 1999 creature feature Lake Placid. Luckily I
love SyFy-made movies, and their Lake Placid sequels are pretty much my
top favorite things they've made, so while I understand that a lot of
people may not like the low budget direction the series ultimately went
in, I love that shit. This latest entry in the franchise however, is
quite different from their other Lake Placid sequels, on many fronts.
start, it has nothing at all to do with any of the other SyFy Lake Placid sequels. This entry