'Mortuary' Poster. Directed by Tobe Hooper. Image courtesy Echo Bridge Entertainment.

Tobe Hooper ‘Mortuary’ – brain-dead zombies and black fungus

[The following review of ‘Mortuary’ by Tobe Hooper was originally written for the content site Examiner.com in 2015. No substantial changes to the original article have been made. Tobe Hooper died on Aug. 26, 2017. His last film was ‘Djinn’, released in 2013]. Mortuary, directed to Tobe Hooper, received a limited theatrical release in 2006. The…

Poster for 'Memory' 2006), starring Billy Zane.

Review of ‘Memory’ from 2006, starring Billy Zane

Memory (2006) is a low-budget thriller starring Billy Zane (Titanic), with supporting roles from Tricia Helfer, Terry Chen, Dennis Hopper and Ann-Margret. The film was directed by Bennett Joshua Davlin, who also wrote the novel from which the film is based. With a budget of approximately $3.5 million, according to IMDB, Memory seemed to have a very limited theatrical run, then saw a…

'They' (2002) film poster.

2002 film ‘They’ explores night terrors

They (2002) was directed by Robert Harmon, known for directing the original The Hitcher film from 1986. While They is no Hitcher, the film is reasonably well-shot and provides some minor scares, despite being unimaginative and predictable. They is presented by Wes Craven. They tells the story of four young adults who suffered “night terrors” as children. The central character Julia Lund (Laura Regan)…

Wes Craven ‘Cursed’ falls short of potential

Flawed production leads to disappointing results for collaboration between ‘Scream’ creative team of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson 2005’s Cursed seemed to have all the elements of a great horror film, at least on paper. For starters, it was written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, the same creative duo behind the wildly popular Scream series. Scream was a…

Poster for the 2010 mockbuster 'Mega Piranha' from The Asylum.

‘Mega Piranha’ – so bad it’s good?

April 10, 2010 saw the release of Mega Piranha, which debuted on the SyFy network. The film was obviously intended to ride the coattails of Alexandre Aja’s Piranha remake of the same year. Produced and released by The Asylum, Mega Piranha follows the company’s pattern of releasing “mockbusters”, low-budget fare with similar titles and plotlines as current mainstream movies.…

Warwick Davis in Leprechaun

Leprechaun – Decades later and still not scary

Leprechaun, the quirky horror-comedy starring Warwick Davis, was released in 1993. According to IMDB, Leprechaun cost an estimated $900,000 and grossed $8,556,940. It also inspired five sequels and a prequel. The latest film in the series, Leprechaun: Origins was released in 2014. The film was released by WWE Studios (yes, the wresting federation) and was the first of…

Mon Ami actress Teagan Vincze with Producer Scott Mainwood.

Seattle’s 2012 MIFFF opens with Mon Ami

Seattle’s 4th annual Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival (MIFFF for short) opened its doors on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm. The festival’s opener, Mon Ami (2012), played at 8:30 pm at the SIFF Film Center, located at Seattle Center, following a brief introduction from Festival Director Eric Morgret. MIFFF dedicates its programming to independent “genre” films and shorts that…

Hostel: Part III a missed opportunity

Review of direct-to-DVD film Hostel: Part III  In the opening scene of the 2011 film Hostel: Part III a young American backpacker, Travis, enters a dank hostel room. Surprise – it’s occupied by an attractive Ukrainian couple, Victor and Anka. Victor is hostile at first but soon lets his guard down and invites Travis to drink out of an oversized…

Cover artwork for Scream Factory 'Shocker' Blu-ray

Shocker by Wes Craven is shockingly bad

Wes Craven’s 1989 film Shocker had a great concept, at least on paper. The idea of a mass murderer sentenced to death in the electric chair, only to come back stronger than before, is completely original and has loads of promise. There are any number of ways Craven could have woven this story to make for a compelling and…