Just about things that go bump in the night
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The Violent Kind Review

This was one of those movies that I saw because of a particular actor. In this case, it was for Taylor Cole who I immediately recognized from The Event. And I’m glad that she was the lead in the movie receiving plenty of screen time.

The movie description itself seemed interesting enough. Bikers and rockabilly demons. How bad can it be?

The Violent Kind was surprisingly well written and acted, but it left me often confused. There was a lot of action but very little overlying story line throughout the movie. We met the characters, learned their names, the circumstances surrounding their situation and the slightest bit of background. But that’s about it.

taylor cole in the violent kind

At first this movie could be seen as homage to Sons of Anarchy or another biker related movie, but when Cody, Q, and Elroy find themselves at a farm house in the middle of the woods things get weird. From there, it became a mix of, say, The Exorcist and The Strangers with a dash of Harry Potter.

Though I never quite knew exactly what was going on, I wasn’t really bored. But I did find the ending a little lack luster leaving the audience with an obligatory cliff hanger to a movie that never really explained itself in the first place. This movie is definitely unique and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the horror genre.

Rating: ★★★☆ 

September 30, 2011   No Comments

The Haunting of Marsten Manor

haunting-of-marsten-manor-dvdThe Haunting of Marsten Manor is a haunted house chiller with an uplifting Hallmark-movie vibe. It’s not a ghoulish tale of the supernatural as the DVD cover may insinuate, but it has enough spine tingling moments to keep you interested till the end. I suppose that if this was book, these spine tingling moments will be the page turners so that you keep on going and going until you finish reading the story.

Acting is not eye opening with the exception of C. Thomas Howell who lit up the few scenes he was in. Kinda goes to show you how underrated he is nowadays, despite his superb 80s movie credentials (Red Dawn, The Outsiders, The Hitcher).

This movie has a made-for-TV feel about it. I just can’t verify from IMDB whether or not it was shown originally as such or simply straight to DVD. The production hits the right notes. The story didn’t call for special effects of big production movies so none were included.

Overall, the movie is well made and I’m glad I had the chance to see it though I was expecting something entirely different. Of course, I’m only going to see this movie once.

Rating: ★★★☆ 

May 15, 2011   No Comments

Rise: Blood Hunter

I wrote this review back in 2008, and I’m just reprinting it here with some minor changes. I still feel the same about this movie today as I did back then.

lucy-liu-rise-blood-hunterI became curious when I saw the promo poster for Rise: Blood Hunter DVD in the local video store that I visit often. I do not remember seeing it being released in the theaters. But the movie had some pretty big names attached to it, namely Michael Chiklis (The Shield), Carla Gugino (Sin City, Spy Kids), and, of course, Lucy Liu (Kill Bill, Ally McBeal). So I rented the movie but with reservation and low expectation. To my surprise, it wasn’t bad. But the straight to DVD release, if that’s truly what happened, was justified.

The first few scenes of the movie was titillating as the vampire Sadie Blake (played by Lucy Liu) was in an erotic tease with another stunningly beautiful woman. It so turned out that Sadie was simply using this woman as a decoy to locate the hiding place of the vampire leader who turned her into a bloodsucker and kill him to avenge her “death”. We discovered a little more about Sadie’s concern for living humans as she was not about to let any harm come upon the woman despite placing her in danger as a decoy. From there on, there was a series of flashbacks that led us back in time when Sadie was hapless victim herself who became a reluctant vampire.

The premise for Rise: Blood Hunter was nothing new. We had seen this story in the Blade series, a long established Marvel comic book turned movie about vampires hunting other vampires. To distinguish Rise from Blade, I thought that Lucy Liu had to be compelling in her portrayal of a vengeful spirit. Instead, she fell flat. She was simply not believable as an action hero. Her part required someone who can portray hatred of all things vampire, even herself. It just didn’t work out that way.

Another disappointment was the under-use of Michael Chiklis of The Shield and Fantastic Four fame. Chiklis was able to carry a movie given a chance. He played the role of a police officer searching for the killers of his daughter who teamed up with Sadie Blake to find the same vampire leader.

If you’re a die-hard fan of the vampire genre, you’d be disappointed with this movie. But if you’re a fan of Lucy Liu, then this should be one of the handful of movies in your collection.

Rating: ★★★☆ 

April 15, 2011   No Comments