Thanatomorphose 2013 Review

Thanatomorphose 2013 Review

Thanatomorphose Poster Image

Thanatomorphose is about a young woman who wakes up one day showing signs of decay. Thanatomorphose is a French word meaning the visible signs of an organism’s decomposition caused by death.

I really wanted to like Thanatomorphose as mentioned in my last review I am in the middle of writing a new article about underrated films. I made a list of 7 films, actually, it was more than 7. There were two movies I put on that list that I had not scene but have wanted to for a while now. Deadgirl and Thanatomorphose. I was positive I was going to enjoy both these movies. So positive that I added them to the article. I am still working on the article but I thought these two films would be perfect. So with the long weekend upon us I planned to spend my Friday night watching these two films so that I could complete my list this morning.

Instead of completing my new article, I have to write this review because I can’t keep Thanatomorphose on my list of underrated horror movies. This movie was so boring I kept pausing it thinking it had be near over and it never was. At one point, I was sure it had been like a half-hour since the last time I checked, it had only been 11 fucking minutes! So, I am here sipping my coffee writing this review instead of completing my article on underrated horror movies.

I don’t plan to completely shit on this movie. There are some good qualities. Mainly when it finally faded to black and the credits rolled. But, before I get into what was good about the movie, let me discuss why this movie failed. So many reasons, I don’t have time to discuss them all.

First, the acting wasn’t that good. It just wasn’t. Second, it was too dark. I don’t mean the content, I mean, it was just too dark to make shit out most of the time. I am sure there were some really good effects but they were lost in the low light and that is a true shame. Third, the story. At face value, this had everything going for it. What a fun, dark idea for a story. Sadly, there really wasn’t a story. It was mostly, all visual, little dialog and zero fucking explanation as to what the fuck was going on.

For example. There are a couple of times our main character Laura (Kayden Rose) actually refuses to go to the hospital. This makes no fucking sense at all. But, I can accept it, she’s depressed, feeling nothing and so on. That’s fine but a few times throughout the film, her guy friends stop by and see how fucking terrible she looks. They offer to take her to the hospital. She refuses, she seduces them, they leave. Being a guy. Being single. Always horny. I get it. But, there a came a time when it was just time to call 911. Seriously, if you’re holding on to woman’s head, wrapped in a bandage while she blows you and it starts to bleed, it’s time to call for help. You want to drop your load first, fine. But, then you call for an ambulance, stat!

Thanatomorphose No I'm Fine

Just got done having sex walks to the bathroom and passes out. Boyfriend be like, I’ll just put her back to bed and leave. I’m sure she’s fine.

Yet another example of poor story telling. At one point, out of nowhere, there was scene I don’t understand. As it happened, I thought, “Oh, shit, I get it!” Then, what I thought they were doing, wasn’t what they were doing. It appeared to me for like a second that maybe she was already dead and on the autopsy table living out the end in her mind. All that we had seen had just been a delusion. Nope! It was just a weird delusion she had while past out, continuing to decay and refusing to do fuck all about it.

At one point I started laughing. Thanatomorphose became in many ways like that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The scene where the Knight keeps lopping off parts of the guy guarding the bridge. Meanwhile the guard is shouting back, “It’s just a flesh wound!” This film was sadly, tedious and boring.

I wanted to like it but it literally was just a movie about a girl that for some unknown reason just started to decay. There was no other story. There was never an explanation. You are left sitting there for more than an hour and a half wondering if anything is every going to happen other than watching shit ooze from her body and fucking the two men her in her life. That’s it. And, none of it was interesting to watch. It was slow going. Even the fucking sex was boring.

Thanatomorphose She's Fine

Ok, she’s blowing me but her head is in bandage that’s bleeding on me. Do I call 911? Nah, I’ll finish then leave awkwardly.

Now, onto the good. Some of the special effects were well done. Mostly the bruising on Laura at the beginning. I thought those were really well done. The more serious her decay became, I felt it got a little too muddy. However, I think it was just the bad lighting that made the make up look more like they just covered her in ooze instead of doing a real makeup.

Kayden Rose’s acting at times was pretty good. At other times, it came across as awkward and forced. But, I have to give her credit. She is full frontal naked a lot. I mean, seriously. I frame-by-frammed it once because I thought, I saw something in a flash and I couldn’t believe she was really that naked, and yes she was. That takes an amazing level of commitment. Kayden Rose has so much potential. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Also noteworthy. There are a few moments of male full frontal nudity in Thanatomorphose. That too takes commitment. It’s just that when compared to what Kayden Rose must have endured shooting this movie, it’s just doesn’t even compare.

One last note. The writer and director Éric Falardeau tried to do something interesting here. As much as I think this movie failed. I have to give him credit for the attempt. I would love to see this movie remade but with an effort to actually tell a story. There really wasn’t a story here. I think the goal was to let the decay just be the story. If that’s the case, it still failed. There had to be a reason why Laura just let it happen other than she was feeling void of feeling or depressed. If the audience is left to wonder what’s going and why the entire time they get bored. It’s nice to let the audience work for it a little but at some point, you have to show your cards and Éric Falardeau as the writer and director never of Thanatomorphose never does and that’s a real shame.

Watch the Trailer

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Recommend

The Legend of Harrow Woods 2008!

The Legend of Harrow Woods 2008!

The Legend of Harrow WoodsA group of students go to a haunted forest called Harrow Woods in New England for a weekend vacation to investigate the disappearance of horror novelist George Carney and his family who have been missing (presumed dead) for two years. Led by lecturer, Karl Mathers, the group embark on their investigation into the forest. They discover that in the 17th century the infamous witch, Lenore Selwyn, was burnt at the stake within Harrow Woods. As she struggled against the flames she cursed the land her ashes fell upon. The group are murdered one by one. The George Carney story appears in flashback as the students, particularly Anna, a psychic, investigate Harrow Woods and the abandoned log cabin where the Carney family was suspected to have been murdered two years previously.”  – Wikipedia

So let me tell you about The Legend of Harrow Woods / Evil Calls: The Raven / Alone in the Dark.  The movie suffers from an identity crisis.  It was called, Alone in the Dark.  Then it was changed to Evil Calls: The Raven and then sadly it was released on DVD, with the title The Legend of Harrow Woods.  The crisis doesn’t stop there.  If it weren’t for the Wikipedia plot outline posted above I wouldn’t have been able to make sense of this film.  Wish I had read it first because this movie is confusing, it expects you to make assumptions that films shouldn’t have you make.  Remember what they say about assumptions. “They make an ass out of you u and umption”.  Everything about this movie is in crisis.

Keeping in mind it took years to make this movie, I am surprised it made any sense at all.  As I understand it, production was started in 2002, it was finished and released around 2008 and in 2011 released on to DVD.  This movie is so confusing because it doesn’t explain things that need to be explained.  You have got to take time in a story for a characters from to time to recite some exposition.

The film gives just enough exposition to know that some people are going out to the woods to the to investigate the disappearance of the Carney family a few years ago.  It seems to stop there.  Soon we discover that these people doing the investigating are being watched via a live feed by some old creepy dude in a suit.  Is he CIA, some kinda weird businessman?  It’s later revealed that that these investigators have set up cameras everywhere so their investigation can be streamed through some website.  Until then we have no idea the investigators are aware they are being streamed to the net.

There’s a medium who keeps having visions of the missing guy, George Carney played by Richard Driscoll, that make no sense.  At first, we don’t know if she’s having a vision or the film is just showing us what went down.  While our medium is searching a basement in a cabin in the woods, I think they knew was there, where the family went missing a few years ago.   Without any exposition, we are forced to make judgments about what we are seeing and left wondering if we are right.  This takes us out of the film. In this case, that’s a good thing.  Because, anything taking us out of this film is appreciated.

The Legend Of Harrow Woods 2011 Hot Chick in Mask

I have no idea WTF is going on here however my philosophy is simple when it comes to nudity in film. One should never question the boobie. Instead one should simply thank the film gods for their existence.

To be honest, if it wasn’t for this blog I would have stopped watching this movie about a minute in to it. The only notable moments were the voice over from Christopher Walken reading Poe’s The Raven.  Why in the hell is voice over is constantly playing throughout the film is never explained, or if it was I must have missed it one of the times I zoned out while day dreaming about a time when this movie would finally end. The other notable moments were the nudity.  I did zone right back in for the nudity of course.  Being a creepy old guy, that’s usually enough for me to give a movie an A+ but not in this case.  Though thankful for it, it wasn’t enough to save this film.  And, unfortunately the biggest nude scene in the movie I had to waste being confused as to WTF was going in this fancy club bathroom.

Seriously, they tried to give the visions of this family man gone missing a Shinning feel.  They even did the blood rushing down the walls and out of doors multiple times to bring the point home.

It was also hard to tell where in the hell we were.  By that I mean, a few of the characters had British accents and the ones that didn’t I am pretty sure where faking their American accents.  I was lead to believe that we were in New England somewhere.  Maybe they mentioned it and I just zoned out again or maybe I had read it somewhere prior to watching the film.  Doesn’t matter, the story was just hard to follow, put together poorly and was simply just hard to watch.

Once again, I hate slamming a horror movie.  Specially one like this where it’s obvious that someone cared enough about it to spend over a decade working with it.  But, it’s just bad.  I am not here to protect filmmakers, I am here to offer my opinion on horror movies.

Low budget horror filmmakers really need to watch Friday the 13th.  The original one.  It had a simple to follow story.  It was scary, it was fun and it made millions.  It was low budget, if you read up on the story of how the film came to be you can learn a lot about how to make money from the horror genre.  In a nutshell, make something watchable, easy to follow, throw in some scares and put money into real special effects and leave the CGI to shitty big budget movies.

The Legend Of Harrow Woods 2011 Night Scene

I love night scenes where you can’t see shit. Said no one ever.

I will place a link to buy the DVD of The Legend of Harrow Woods.  And, because I am nice guy, here are some reasons why you might enjoy it…  You love barely being able to hear Christopher Walken recite Poe’s The Raven, over and over again.  You don’t care about a story, gore, logic or scares, you just want to fast-forward though the movie to see some titties.  You like scenes that take place in the dark and are filmed in just about total blackness so you can’t see a fucking thing.  You want to see poor excuse for a 3D movie.  You like being bored.

Cast of Characters:
Jason Donovan … Gary, a website designer who helps plan the trip into Harrow Woods
Rik Mayall … Winston, a menacing spirit of a former hotel manager who tricks writer George Carney into killing his wife
Sir Norman Wisdom – Shot a small scene in 2002, aged at 86, under the title Alone in the Dark. Wisdom had no idea it was gratuitous[citation needed]
Robin Askwith plays George’s brother Vincent who is having an affair with George’s wife (played by model Jules Wheeler).
Richard Waters plays Karl Mathers
Sonya Vine plays Rachel
Kathryn Rooney … Anna – Filmed In 2002
Charlie Allan … Lewis
Ben Tolkien … James
Paul Battin … Steve
Jules Wheeler … Vivienne Carney
Eileen Daly … Victoria
Vass Anderson … Professor Jackson
Keren Hatcher … Lisa Carney
Jamie Roberts … Steve Carney
Jim Johnson … Vincent Price’s voice
Rebekka Raynor … Demon’s mother
Marianne Faithfull … Narrator – Faithfull lent her voice to the film although it was recorded several years earlier, when the project was still titled Alone in the Dark (I have no recollection of a narrator in this movie.)

The Legend of Harrow Woods

 

Shriek of the Sasquatch 2011

Shriek of the Sasquatch 2011

Shriek of the Sasquatch 2011…

Shriek of the Sasquatch! 2011It’s 1979 and Julie (Scarlet Salem, “Strip Club Slasher”) and Nick (Donny Versiga) are on a road trip which puts them unwittingly on a collision course with Bigfoot. Will either of them survive to learn the secret of the Sasquatch? Pseudo-retro drive-in fun, complete with film damage. Filmed in 2010.
– Written by Steve Sessions (Director)

I watched two movies last night instead of Monday Night Football.  First, was The Pact and then sadly it was this movie.  Shriek of the Sasquatch! tries to be a ’70’s campy type movie.  There’s just so much wrong with this movie.  Some of the acting is just horrible.  I don’t know if that was intentional or not.  At one point there’s a phone conversation between a deputy and the coroner.  There are times when they coroner is just reading his lines off the paper he’s holding that is supposed to be the autopsy report.  It’s supposed to be 1979 and yet there’s scenes that suggest it’s at least the early 80’s.

The isn’t campy fun but rather it’s tedious to watch.  The story is hard to follow because it’s hard to tell who the main characters are.  We meet characters and they either die because our Sasquatch likes to rip off heads.  Seriously, heads are flying everywhere.  That sounds much more fun than it really is, trust me.  Or, we meet characters and then never meet them again.  For example for some reason a teenager and a slightly older lady are hanging out by a tree off the side of the road.  Like this is something people would do in the 70’s?  The scene goes on for a few painfully long minutes until the teen boy walks for what seems like a mile to throw away his “soda can” and then sees something in a field off in the distance.  Guess, what? It’s a head in a helmet!  I am shocked!  All that just to introduce another beheading by our Sasquatch?  Really?

And, let’s talk about our Sasquatch.  It’s a dude in baggy hairy suit and a rubber mask that jiggles when he moves.  The guy in the Sasquatch suit doesn’t even attempt to change his walk.  You know that traditional Bigfoot walk we see in every blurry video and movie?  Well, not this Sasquatch.  This Sasquatch walks exactly like a normal dude.

Shriek of the Sasquatch with Scarlet Salem

Not even Scarlet Salem’s extreme cuteness can save this movie.

And, as I mentioned, there’s the time frame.  It’s supposed to be 1979.  In once scene we have President Carter talking to the people.  So that’s right.  But, then in another scene we have the two random people talking by the tree I mentioned.  Well, for a moment they are talking about the movie Jaws. The older female suggests that it was years ago when Jaws was re-released.  When it was in fact ’78, when it got re-released right before Jaws II came out. In another scene, another random character is reading a magazine, it’s got a picture from the film Scanners of Louis Del Grande character’s head exploding.  Scanners didn’t come out until 1981.

How do I know all of that?  Because I was 5 when Jaws came out and living in Okinawa.  My mom said I was too young to see the movie.  I made her promise that if the movie ever came out again that I could go see it.  3 years later we’re back in the states and guess what, Jaws gets re-released and I get to see it!  By the time Scanners came out, I was a horror movie fan.  Every kid my was age talking about that head exploding in Scanners.  It was just about the coolest thing we had ever scene in our young lives except for about every single death in Friday the 13th.

So, I get what this film is trying to do.  But, it got the time frame wrong, the acting wasn’t all that great either.  Though I don’t it was supposed to be bad on purpose.  If that was the case, than the acting was actually really good.  But, the movie just dragged, it didn’t come off as campy or fun, it just came off as really boring.

The good things about this movie.  The boobs in the opening scene and the tiny, tiny boobies in the van scene because in my opinion, there is no such thing as bad boobies or even fake boobies.  If you can touch them, their not fake.  Then there’s what they tried to do with the ending of the film.  It was almost good.  It made me smile even. It wasn’t worth the boredom of the first 89 minutes but at least it was something. Oh!  And, I like the movie poster, well done.  However, the movie doesn’t live up to the poster.

If you want an example of how to make an homage film to a past era?  Take a look at the movie Alien Trespass with Eric Eric McCormack.  It’s like watching a 50’s sci-fi movie in vivid living color!

Shriek of the Sasquatch! Yet another movie, I wanted to like but it was just another bad horror movie.

Cast of Characters:
Sarah French … Julie (as Scarlet Salem)
Donny Versiga … Nick
Todd Cockroft … Deputy Hobbs

Shriek of the Sasquatch Man in Suit

If the cast of Finding Bigfoot found this guy, they’d give him back.