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Monday, October 14, 2019

Review Rabid (2019)

Rabid (2019) Review
By William Pattison

Gore and Scare everyone! It is now my pleasure to once again review a film done by The Twisted Twins, Jen and Sylvia Soska. The film in question is the remake of David Cronenberg masterpiece Rabid, a very challenging thing to do.
Rabid tells the story of Rose (played excellently by Laura Vandervoort) who is a meek introverted and rather plain aspiring fashion designer who is working under the iron hand of fashion mogul Gunter (played by Mackenzie Gray). Rose’s adopted sister and best friend Chelsea (played by Hanneke Talbot) tries to help Rose get out of her shell by getting her a date with fashion photographer Brad (played by Benjamin Hollingsworth). While at the party Rose goes to the restroom to quell her anxiety caused by being with Brad and being at the party. While sitting in a bathroom stall she hears two shallow model twins (played perfectly by Jen and Sylvia Soska) talking shit about her and laughing about how her sister had to talk Brad into going out with her. This is enough for Rose. Upset she tries to leave riding her scooter. She doesn’t watch where she’s going and gets hit by a car. After she wakes in the hospital to find the lower part of her face disfigured and her intestine damaged so she would never eat normally again. Luckily an experimental surgeon who was obsessed with transhumanism offers Rose a chance to be healed through a unique stem cell procedure. The result is that Rose’s face and body are completely healed, though the doctor has her drinking special nutrient drinks as part of her recovery. Unfortunately, for Rose she doesn’t realize she is the carrier of a new strain of rabies that has a shorter incubation period. Also, she finds she has strange dreams and a hunger for blood. Oh, and not to mention the worm-like appendage with a needle-like point that comes out through her mouth and armpit. Now the city is in danger of being overcome with the new rabies plague and Rose is the cause.
Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for…what I thought about this film. Well, first off obviously this film is nowhere near the masterpiece that the original Rabid is. There just was no way that Jen and Sylvia Soska could outdo Cronenberg. Cronenberg is a horror master and he has far more education, skill, and pure artistic genius than The Twisted Twins could ever muster. But I will say that as a remake and homage to David Cronenberg’s work the Soskas film is not bad. I honestly have to say this the best film they’ve done in the horror genre. This film is solid. The ladies' use of pace, shock, and gore value were matured, unlike their earlier attempts. I was glad they stuck to classic practical makeup FX rather than CGI, like they did in See No Evil 2. Also, as much as the red doctors' gowns and gloves gave me a red light in the trailer, but when I saw it in the context of the film itself it worked excellently and really pushed the fact that the doctor was like a cultist. Also, the ending is royally Cronenberg and kind of reminded me of The Brood.
Since I was first introduced to the twins years ago, when they were promoting their film Dead Hooker in a Trunk, a film I loved, I’ve been royally disappointed in the films they’ve done since. I felt the films for the most point felt shallow and lacking the spark I saw in Dead Hooker. With Rabid I see that the girls have matured as filmmakers and in the case of this film took the time to really craft a film that shows the potential I saw in those fresh film students I knew who were running around in bars showing their first film. This was the work I was waiting to see come from them. I hope they take these words to heart and continue to craft their film rather than just throwing things out quick and not putting the love into the work. That is the lesson you should get from David Cronenberg. He puts everything into his art and never compromises. One little suggestion for Jen and Sylvia…if you could please go back to your roots in a future project. Leave the shallow world of social circles and give the fans a well-crafted grindhouse horror film, like of like your own From Dusk Till Dawn. I’d like to see a bit of grit and humor again. Congratulations on your achievement ladies.
If I was to rate this film from a 1 to 5 rating I would give Rabid a hard 4.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hey Internet, It’s William and here is what Eric Hyde and my haters wanted suppressed….

Ok, so, as you all know the new episode of my podcast An Awakening of Horror was pulled by both Facebook and Youtube because a certain person named Eric Hyde complained about it and said it was harassment focused on him. But here is the truth, horror fans. The truth is that Eric wanted to mute the fact that I proved him and his buddies wrong on a supposed wrong they accused me of. That being that I stole the idea for my short story Robert Diablo from a treatment the Soskas sisters wrote for a screenplay they had intended to do after American Mary. Well, the Soskas didn’t do their story, which was simply called Bob, after American Mary. Nope. They sold out to Vince McMann and all thoughts of Bob disappeared. Yep, They had See No Evil 2 that they were doing and they had bigger projects in their heads than the quirky tale of a morose person and their friend who was a demon from hell.
Honestly, I think they made a mistake doing American Mary over Bob. American Mary is humorless and negative, where Bob would have been a nice multi-layered dark comedy.
So, honestly when I thought about throwing together and writing a bunch of my old horror treatments I thought I’d take that idea I thought had merit and shouldn’t be wasted. So, I decided to develop it myself.
But here is the point, people. I did nothing wrong. In fact stuff like this happens all the time in the entertainment industry.
What Eric and his buddies want to ignore is that treatments and ideas can’t be copyrighted. Scripts and completed movies can, but not ideas.
Here is a prime example that you people may remember. It is the case of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5. Creator of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, went to Paramount Studios to try and sell them the idea for Babylon 5. Paramount wasn’t interested, but a couple years later Paramount used Stracznski’s idea for Babylon 5 to create Deep Space Nine. Of course, just after Paramount launched Deep Space Nine Straczynski got the backing to develop and put Babylon 5 on TV. Well, there you have it. You have two TV series based on the same idea and no one is suing anybody. Also, we have two unique and individual series.
It is the same with Robert Diablo. I took the Soskas idea and developed it. I added a lot to it. In Bob the morose was not the heir to a billion dollar business. Also the morose character wasn’t being held in jail having been accused of a murder. Also, and more importantly my story is told from the perspective of the psychiatrist the family lawyer hires to evaluate the morose character and prove his friend Robert is a figment of his imagination. My story is only on the most basic level like the Soskas’ Bob and that’s it. I breathed life into it. I gave it substance.
And, to make a long explanation short (right) another thing that blows away the haters is that Robert Diablo is a book, not a screenplay. If eventually it does it won’t matter either because it will be a screenplay based on the story I developed, not the Soskas.
So, there you have it. This is the real truth that Eric Hyde didn’t want put out, but now it is.

It is the same with my work on the treatments for Star Trek II and III. The treatments don’t really matter. They are the beginning. It is the finished script and who writes that that matters. But Eric and the haters want to make mountains out of mole hills. No one really cares, except them so they can paint me in a negative light. Don’t believe the bullshit. These people lie so much they wouldn’t know the truth if it fell on them like a tone of bricks. Enough said on this….

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review: Land of Smiles, aka Thai-Sanity

Review: Land of Smiles, aka Thai-Sanity
By William Pattison

For my review this time a have a new film by Australian director Bradley Stryker, Land of Smiles.
The film centers on a girl named Abby (played by Alexandra Turshen). Abby has just gotten out of college and is ready to start her life. Her best friend, Jen (played by Jen L. Burry), wants to take Abby on vacation to purge her inhibitions, since Abby is a bit of the good girl type. Abby tells Jen she doesn’t want to go. This starts an argument. Abby tells Jen it has nothing to do with Abby’s boyfriend Brad. Jen walks off in a huff. Abby ends up going home to find Brad having sex with another girl. Abby shoots them both in the face with pepper spray. Then we see Abby on a plane alone to Thailand, not a good idea. Once she gets to Thailand Abby meets documentary filmmaker Ben (played by Keenan Henson) and his girl Jewel (played by Caitlin Cromwell, aka Caitlin Stryker). The threesome decide to travel around Thailand together because Ben has been all over the island and knows the best places. Then they add an Australian, Dale (played by Bradley Stryker) and Penny (played by Krista Donargo) It is around this time that Abby receives a video that is handed to her by a stranger. The video shows her friend Jen tied up and painted up in clown makeup. There is a man with her in a yellow jumpsuit and a disturbing clown mask. The man tells Abby that if she doesn’t play his game and do as he says that he will cut Jen to pieces with an electric saw. He tells Abby not to tell Ben or Jewel as well. Abby immediately goes to Ben and Jewel and shows them the video. Ben tells her not to worry because he figures it is Jen pulling a trick on Abby to help get her out of her shell. He backs this up by showing her a couple of videos of people pulling a similar trick. Abby doesn’t believe him and wants to get the police involved. Ben reminds Abby that the Thailand police are corrupt will only help if they are paid enough. He suggest she just go along with the game and that he is sure it’s all a big joke. The next day Abby is given another not from the clown masked man. He tells her that now that she has told Ben and Jewel they must play the game too and if any of them fail to go by the rules Jen will suffer. They decide not to tell Dale or Penny what’s going on, since they don’t want them involved. It is a little bit later that they find out this is all no joke when they find Penny, painted up in clown makeup, murdered in a motel covered in sheets with clown scrawl over them with blinking green, red, and blue Christmas lights as well. It is also soon after that they receive a finger in a package and a pendent Abby gave Jen. Now the game has become serious and the tension builds to the twist at the end.
I have to say that this is a very well done psychological horror film that also exploits the setting very well. You have an American tourist in a strange country where she can’t even count on the police for help. Bradley counters the incredible beauty if Thailand with it’s darker underbelly.
The actors give excellent performance, especially Alexandra Turshen and Keenan Henson as Ben. Bradley Stryker adds a lot to the film as Dale as well.
Of course, now we got the downside of the film. I honestly did not think the clown motif worked well with the setting. I know clowns have been the big thing the last few years with the clown sightings and attacks all over the globe. Also I understand that clown masks are the easiest thing to find, but I just don’t see clowns and Thailand as a good match. It all looked cheap to me and thrown in. The backgrounds in the videos of the clown who was supposedly keeping Jen in a secret place in Thailand didn’t match up with the rest of the film. Also, the big twist and reveal could have been done far better. I was less than impressed with the execution and it brought down a really good build up. Though I doubt Bradley Stryker is going to read this review, I hope he does a better job ending his next film.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: The Void

Man, I just finished watching The Void. I have to say I'm stunned. This is a beautifully ghastly horror film. It is Clive Barker meets H.P. Lovecraft. Excellent writing. Good character work. Great atmosphere. Tense as shit. This is the best horror film I've seen in years. This is my choice for best of the year. I doubt I'll find a film that will surpass this film. This film royally raised the bar on horror. You, got to see this. This is a grotesque masterpiece.....

Friday, April 14, 2017

Commentary: Horror Awards Season

Well, it's horror awards season. But the issue I have is that most horror awards are really based on social status rather than the real quality of the work. It is truly sad that people are awarded more based on who they are friends with or who they got drunk with at conventions rather than the virtue of the work. I've seen filmmakers who have spent years to craft fantastic horror films and they get completely ignored. And, I've seen great works of horror writing get ignored because these "horror awards" will lump novels, short stories, comics, and biographies into a single category and give one one award foall these. Sorry this is outrageous.

Honestly, the only awards I have any respect for are The Bram Stoker awards, and that is sad.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Film Review: Vendetta (2015)

Well, the time has come yet again for me to do a review on a film by the Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska. This time the girls have thankfully left the horror genre behind them and have moved on to the action drama genre with their second film for WWE films, Vendetta.
Vendetta stars Dean Cane (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) as Detective Mason Danvers. Mason captures tough gangster Victor Abbot (played by WWE wrestler Paul “The Big Show” Wight) but when Abbot and his brother are released on a technicality, Abbot viciously tortures and kills Detective Danvers’ pregnant wife. Abbot is caught before Danvers, who arrived just after Abbot killed his wife gets a chance to get revenge and shoot him.
So Danvers goes and kills Abbot’s brother and a couple other drug dealers and gets himself arrested. Danvers is sent to the same prison as Abbot and put in general population. At this point the film becomes a series of fight scenes as Abbot (who somehow now runs the prison) sends convicts to kill Danvers and Danvers one by one takes out Abbots lieutenants as he works his way up to killing Abbot.
Unfortunately, I had a bunch of issues with this film. The script that was written by Justin Shady is full of blatant technical errors and plot glitches that should make any real prison film fan scratch their head. A couple of the most obvious would be the main plot point of Danvers being sent to the same prison as the man who tortured and murdered his wife.  No judicial agency is going to do something as idiotic as this, and don’t tell me that was the only prison he could be sent to. Another script flaw was the fact that Danvers was put in general population. There is no way that any prison would put a former cop in general population. That would be a death sentence because every convict in the place would be gunning for him. I can back this up because I did my homework and conferred with a friend of mine named Matt who is in fact a prison guard at a prison that is the same size as in the film. Matt and I discerned a number of outrageous errors in this film. Another was the fact that the warden assigned Danvers a just at the prison laundry, not a risk they would do with a former cop. Also, when Danvers is working in the laundry there is not a guard in sight which actually leads to a group of six prisoners nearly beating Danvers to death. Also, coincidentally, it turns out one of the guards is an old friend of Danvers and right out in the exercise area in front of the prisoners chews the shit with Danvers and tells him that the warden is working with Abbot. Right, like any intelligent guard would be stupid enough to tell that out loud with the other prisoners watching and listening. Also, to show the bad writing the guard survives till the end of the film. Excuse? Oh, and there is the amusing prison policy (which is unique to this prison) that prisoners can leave the exercise area and go back to their cells unescorted or watched by guards. This is obvious because one of Abbot’s men goes back to his cell only to be killed by Danvers who was waiting for him there. Seriously, both Justin Shady and this production in general drastically needed a technical advisor.
Another annoying thing about this film was the fight scenes. Not because they weren’t bloody enough. Oh no, Jen and Sylvia learned from the kick in their teeth they got from both reviewers and fans in regard to See No Evil 2 and threw the blood around. The problem was the fight scenes look way overly staged. You could actually see that the punches didn’t impact. Also in a number of shots the bad guys would fall the wrong way. Shoot, the one fight scene that wins my prize for most lame is one where Danvers uses a push broom to choke one of Abbots men. Now, hold back your laughter…Danvers uses the brush end and presses it down on the guy’s throat. The guy flays his arms and over acts the gagging. Then, after an unbelievable amount of time, Danvers switches to using the handle. Oh, my flippin’ god. The only good kill in this film except the killing of Danvers wife, and that could have been shot better, was a killing where Danvers uses a plastic pen that he fashions into a knife and stabs one of Abbot’s men to death. In that scene Danvers gets a stream of blood in his face from the shaft of the pen which is sticking out of the guy’s neck. Come on girls!
As for the camera work and lighting, I did like some of the colored lighting in the early parts of the film, but through the second half it seemed standard and uninspired. I’m sorry to say the camera work seemed rather uninspired too. I’ve seen forth year film students that set better angles than I saw in this film. The only scene where I can honesty say the girls did it right was in the warehouse scene where Danvers initially captures Abbot. In that one scene the Soskas managed to use the angles and lighting in a dramatic way.
When I saw the trailer for this film I was ready to applaud Jen and Sylvia Soska. Thankfully they had moved on from horror, which I can not under express that they could not do. I remembered how well they did the action scenes in Dead Hooker in a Trunk and looked forward to seeing a little of that early Soska magic on the screen. Unfortunately, all I saw when I saw Vendetta was a disappointing mess. I honestly felt sorry for the girls. There was so much of this they had no control over due to the fact that they are stuck working for a control freak like Vince McMahon. I’m pretty sure Vince just gave them the script and said shoot it. I even think most of the cast was already hired before they were even assigned. Hell, like all WWE directors, the Soskas didn’t even get the chance to even edit the damned film, which itself was sloppy and uninspired.
Given all this, all I can suggest is on their next film the Soskas put some budget to getting an on set advisor. The faults and idiot mistakes in this film are like nails on a chalkboard. It was the same with See No Evil 2 with people working in a coroner’s office and doing autopsies in plain clothes rather than in scrubs…Oh and the blue embalming fluid instead of yellow to name just a couple of things. My friend that works as a mortician nearly gagged on his popcorn while he watching it.
So, I can only in good judgment give this film two and a half stars. Do your homework next time, ladies….

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lord Dickwad and friends

A friend of mine a few days ago sent me a rant done by one of the trolls, aka Morse Bashers, aka cyberstalkers, aka cyber bullies that are constantly spouting their filth and the same long worn out propaganda started by the likes of Mike White, Josh Hadley, and Alex Jowsky. Honestly the pathetic loser who I will call Lord Dickwad, because every small man needs a huge title to give himself weight, though this guy is fat enough on his own (not fun when it is fired back at you Lord Dickwad???)

Anyway, Lord Dickwad wasted a whole five pages spouting off old propaganda that has been long since disproved. Also like any good troll and cyberstalker he twisted the truth and even tried to turn my putting out the olive leaf to The Soskas as something wrong.

Oh and he even tried to pull that shit that I hate women. Well, most of my female friends, including DRo (or as most horror fans know her as Debbie Rochon) and JA Steel, Maria Olson, Tiffany Shepis, and a number of others, will have a good laugh over that. They know as most people who actually know me that I don’t hate any particular race, gender, or sexual orientation. I hate ego case assholes, and low life scumball losers like you.
Also, you and others say my opinions on the Soskas' American Mary, See No Evil 2 , and their section of ABCs of Death are purely based on my dislike of them. Wrong. If you weren’t so busy trashing others and being a scumball asshole you might have read the dozens of reviews by reviewers that are not drinking buddies of the Soskas. They say American Mary is full of plot holes and bad writing as well as tanks in the last twenty minutes. Also, there are so many bad reviews on See No Evil 2 that the Soskas are drowning in negative reviews. Even Dread Central which is literally stuck up the Soskas’ asses put in their review that See No Evil 2 was a cookie cutter horror film that was lacking in real gore. But then they went pussy and said that Oh it wasn’t Jen or Sylvia’s fault since they didn’t write the film and had very little say on the editing. Yeah, that’s right, it took a year for Vince McMahon’s editing crew fix that clusterfuck into something barely watchable. Shit, most people are saying it is the worst film to come out of WWE next to, of course, this year’s other clusterfuck Leprechaun Origin. And, of course, there is ABCs of Death 2. Most reviewers specifically mention the Soskas’ section of ABCs of Death as the worst written, cryptic, and worst produced of the lot, and that is 25 other short pieces.

Also, you mouth off about how you are so superior to me because you go to conventions and make friends. Well, when I was at Epic Con I made a lot of friends and won the respect of a lot of people including a number of my haters who actually turned away from the cheap propaganda you preach and actually got to know me as a person. Since going to that convention my fan mail had tripled and people are buying my books and sending them to me to be autographed. So you and you buddies have failed to sink me and my books.

The truth is this is not just a response to you Lord Dickwad, this is to all you petty dickward that spend time writing blogs against me or posting troll reviews on my books when you have never read any of them. You are all just immature bullies and scumballs. You act like school yard bullies. You lack real talent so you attack those who do or those who are brave enough to have an opinion and don’t like the scum pit you and people like you have made of horror. My suggestion to you and your fellows is grow up. Shit, man you look like Doctor Plox from Enterprise, and I believe you are about fifty-two years old. It is time to get out of high school and act like a fucking adult. The thing is people like you are a joke. You are all transparent as shit. You are all pathetic losers who are not happy with your lives and have a chip on your shoulder. You see someone like me who is brave enough to express his opinions and you try to “Put him in his place”, which means attacking me and painting me in a negative manner. You foster lies and twist the truth to the point that it doesn’t even resemble itself. Man, you have way to much time on your hands and way too much sexual frustration. Call me obsessive? Look in the mirror at yourself. You are spending your time writing page after page of hate and it is going to do nothing. I’m not going to change. You aren’t going to shut me up. And, you are not going to destroy me. What is going to happen is your audience is going to get bored, like they have with all my haters and they will turn on you. Eventually, if you are smart, you will walk away and disappear, like so many before you. You are all truly pathetic.

And, no, Lord Dickwad, I will not go on your pathetically constructed blog and comment. I’m not stupid enough to go into your territory. That would make it too easy for you.

Now, of course, one of your fellows will make sure you know about this post, maybe the coward ANONYMOUS. Yes I know you are involved too. Well, anyway this is all the time I’m going to waste on the likes of you. Do the smart thing and walk away, because it gets brutal when the feeders turn on you…..