Rabid (2019)

Rabid
Director: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska
Writer: Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, John Serge
Remake of: Rabid (1977)
Cast: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Ted Atherton, Hanneke Talbot, Stephen Huszar, Mackenzie Gray, Stephen McHattie, C.M. Punk
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Quiet, mousy Rose (Laura Vadervoort) works in the fashion industry as an assistant who dreams of becoming a designer. But when she is disfigured in an accident, her entire life takes a turn. She agrees to participate in a new treatment and the results are astonishing, giving her model looks. Rose would be very happy – if there wasn’t a side-effect for the treatment that she could not see coming.

Rabid is a solid film with good performances, but also a couple of lengths and a weird obsession with “purity”. Overall, it was pretty okay, but didn’t quite get all the way to good.

The film poster showing Rose (Laura Vandervoort), her face covered in bandages,
Continue reading

Papa, sdokhni [Why Don’t You Just Die!] (2018)

Papa, sdokhni
Director: Kirill Sokolov
Writer: Kirill Sokolov
Cast: Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev, Evgeniya Kregzhde, Michael Gor, Elena Shevchenko, Igor Grabuzov, Aleksandr Domogarov
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2019
1-gif-review

Content Note: gore

Plot:
Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) shows up at his girlfriend Olya’s (Evgeniya Kregzhde) parents’ place, hammer in hand, ready to kill her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev). Andrey is a dirty ex-cop who is far from easy to kill and doesn’t shy away from violence himself. The ensuing battle between the two gets interrupted by a few revelations that neither of them expected.

Why Don’t You Just Die! is a debut feature and all the more impressive for that. But mostly it’s a fun and extremely bloody romp that entertained me wonderfully.

The film poster showing Tasha (Elena Shevchenko), Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev), Olya (Evgeniya Kregzhde) and Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) posing as if for a family picture, only the men are covered in blood and Matvey is obviously hurt.
Continue reading

After Midnight (2019)

After Midnight aka Something Else
Director: Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella
Writer: Jeremy Gardner
Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Brea Grant, Henry Zebrowski, Justin Benson, Ashley Song, Nicola Masciotra, Taylor Zaudtke, Keith Arbuthnot
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 21.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Hank (Jeremy Gardner) thought he was happy with Abby (Brea Grant) but one day she was gone and just left a weird note. And then, in the night, a monster starts coming to their house, trying to break in. Hank barely sleeps anymore and hopes to find some proof of the monster’s existence. But even more than that, he hopes to find a way to get Abby back.

After Midnight had a lot to live up for me because Gardner’s The Battery is still one of my favorite films I ever saw at the /slash Filmfestival. I was a little afraid that I had maybe pushed my expectations too high for After Midnight, but I need not have worried: After Midnight is a wonderful that again made it to my favorite films list of this year’s festival.

The film poster showing a monstrous creature in a bloody heart.
Continue reading

Riot Girls (2019)

Riot Girls
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Writer: Katherine Collins
Cast: Madison Iseman, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Munro Chambers, Atticus Mitchell, Jenny Raven, Jordana Blake, Ajay Friese, Ajay Friese, Evan Marsh, Chris Mark, Keanu Lee Nunes, Robyn Alomar
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 21.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
It’s 1995 and a plague has wiped out all the adults. In a small town, the remaining kids have split into two gangs: the rich West side and the poor East side. In the West, Jeremy (Munro Chambers), the oldest kid in town, rules the Titans with an iron fist, excluding anyone who can’t master martial arts. In the East, anyone is welcome and the ragtag group there barely gets by. Part of that group are Scratch (Paloma Kwiatkowski) and Nat (Madison Iseman). When Nat’s brother gets taken by the Titans, Scratch and Nat make their way there to get him back.

Riot Girls may not quite live up to its potential, but it is still good. Scratch and Nat are awesome and the film is fun. I was thoroughly entertained.

The film poster showing Scratch (Paloma Kwiatkowski) and Nat (Madison Iseman) in punk gear. Scratch is carrying a baseball bat with the words "Fuck off" written on it. Behind them in pale black and white we can see two guys in athlete jackets.
Continue reading

Bit (2019)

Bit
Director: Brad Michael Elmore
Writer: Brad Michael Elmore
Cast: Diana Hopper, Nicole Maines, Zolee Griggs, Friday Chamberlain, Char Diaz, James Paxton, Greg Hill
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 21.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Laurel (Nicole Maines) just finished high school and doesn’t yet know what comes next. But she will be spending the summer with her brother Mark (James Paxton) in LA. Once she arrives there, she meets Izzy (Zolee Griggs) and through Izzy, Duke (Diana Hopper). She leaves Mark and goes off clubbing with the women, only to wake the next morning and find bite marks on her neck. Now Laurel has to decide whether to join the all-female vampire crew and fight against men.

Bit claims to be queer feminist and that’s just not the case. If feminist-baiting is a thing, this film is it. It does have some nice ideas, but overall it was a little disappointing for me.

The film poster showing a drawings of the main characters in blue with some red overtones.
Continue reading

Porno (2019)

Porno
Director: Keola Racela
Writer: Matt Black, Laurence Vannicelli
Cast: Evan Daves, Jillian Mueller, Larry Saperstein, Glenn Stott, Katelyn Pearce, Robbie Tann
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 21.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Abe (Evan Daves), Todd (Larry Saperstein), Chaz (Jillian Mueller) and Ricky (Glenn Stott) are the four teenage employees of the cinema in their small Christian town. They are joined by the projectionist Heavy Metal Jeff (Robbie Tann) to make up the entire crew. So when it’s time to clear out the basement, that’s also their job. To their surprise, the cleaning becomes more interesting when they discover what looks like porn. Little do they suspect that watching it will lead to them summoning a succubus that soon wreaks havoc.

Porno starts off well enough, has some nice jokes and then, when the story should actually get going, it completely falls apart. They could have made more of it.

The film poster showing a drawing of a horned skull surrounded by portraits of the main characters.
Continue reading

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

The Slumber Party Massacre
Director: Amy Holden Jones
Writer: Rita Mae Brown, Amy Holden Jones
Cast: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra De Liso, Andree Honore, Gina Smika Hunter, Jennifer Meyers, Joseph Alan Johnson, David Millbern, Jim Boyce, Pamela Roylance, Brinke Stevens
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 20.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Trish’s (Michelle Michaels) parents will be gone for the weekend, so Trish invited her friends Kim (Debra De Liso), Jackie (Andree Honore) and Diane (Gina Smika Hunter) for a slumber party. When she wants to invite new girl Valerie (Robin Stille) as well, the others balk, though. So the four of them find themselves at Trish’s house, preparing for a nice evening in. What they don’t know is that killer Russ Thorn (Michael Villella) is on the loose – and he set his sights on the girls.

As one of the few slashers written and directed by a woman, The Slumber Party Massacre has been on my watchlist for a while, so I was very glad that the Festival programmed it and even more glad that I really enjoyed the film. If you like classic slashers, make sure you see it, too.

The film poster showing four women in underwear cowering in front of a man with a huge drill.
Continue reading

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

The Hitch-Hiker
Director: Ida Lupino
Writer: Collier Young, Ida Lupino, Robert L. Joseph, Daniel Mainwaring
Cast: Edmond O’Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman, José Torvay, Sam Hayes, Wendell Niles, Jean Del Val, Clark Howat, Natividad Vacío
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 20.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Roy (Edmond O’Brien) and Gilbert (Frank Lovejoy) are on their way to go fishing in Mexico. Just after the border, they pick up a hitch-hiker, Emmett (William Talman). This turns out to be a very bad decision as Emmett is a murderer on the run – and he now forces Roy and Gilbert to ensure his flight by driving ever further into Mexico. Meanwhile Roy and Gilbert try every trick in the book to escape Emmett.

The Hitch-Hiker had been on my watch list for a while, so when it was included in this year’s /slash Filmfestival’s focus on female horror filmmakers, I jumped at the chance. And while I’m not completely enthusiastic about the film, I’m glad to have caught up with a film that is rightfully considered a classic.

The film poster showing two men sitting in the front seats of a car, a gun pointed at them from the backseat.
Continue reading

Extra Ordinary (2019)

Extra Ordinary
Director: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
Writer: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O’Doherty, Jamie Beamish, Terri Chandler, Risteard Cooper, Emma Coleman, Carrie Crowley
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 20.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Rose (Maeve Higgins) is a driving instructor and she would like nothing more than leading a quiet life with somebody by her side. But Rose has supernatural abilities and the constant requests from the spirit world do take their toll on her and so she lives mostly withdrawn. But when rockstar Christian Winter (Will Forte) strikes a deal with the devil to reignite his career just outside her town, Rose is called to help: Martin (Barry Ward) fears that his daughter Sarah (Emma Coleman) is in grave danger.

Extra Ordinary is a completely charming, funny, offbeat film. I had a whole lot of fun, especially because it is just such a nice and friendly film, proving that even a film for adults can be nice.

the film poster showing Martin (Barry Ward), Christian (Will Forte) and Rose (Maeve Hggins) standing in front of a ghost that looks like a blanket with eyes.
Continue reading

The Lodge (2019)

The Lodge
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writer: Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 19.9.2019
1-gif-review

Plot:
Grace (Riley Keough) plans to spend Christmas with her fiancé Richard (Richard Armitage) and his two children Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) in their lodge. It’s supposed to be a way for the children and Grace to get to know each other better and to get used to each other a little more – especially because the kids don’t accept her. But Richard has to leave for work, leaving Grace alone with the children. They get snowed in to boot. And their relationship is put to a hard test when strange things start happening around them.

After Ich seh, ich seh, Fiala and Franz had a lot to live up to and with The Lodge, they absolutely did. It’s an atmospheric, gorgeous and above all gripping film that will have your eyes glued to the screen.

The film poster showing a window from a cabin in the snow, three blurry humans can be seen inside.
Continue reading