Evil Dead TV: Bruce Campbell Back as Ash Sam Raimi to Direct

Evil Dead TV: Bruce Campbell Back as Ash Sam Raimi to Direct

It has been confirmed, Evil Dead TV is happening on Starz and Bruce Campbell is back as Ash and Sam Raimi is to direct at least the pilot. The news is thrilling fans of the original franchise starring Bruce as Ash Williams who defeats The Evil Dead with a chainsaw and his “boomstick.” The fact that the Starz network has commissioned this new series, titled Ash vs. Evil Dead has caused the whole thing to trend on Facebook, although it has not made it over to Twitter just yet. There are no hashtags of any description celebrating the news…yet.

Evil Dead Remake (Blu Ray Review)

Evil Dead Remake (Blu Ray Review)

Grave Encounters 2 Better the Second Time Around

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I watched the previous Vicious Bros film, Grave Encounters (2011) which was also written and directed by the two men. I enjoyed the film, apart from a few annoying moments and when I reviewed it, I was pretty fair in my assessment. It was a good film, but nothing to write home about. It was a great first effort.

Since I hadn’t turned cartwheels after seeing the first one, I somewhat hesitantly decided to watch Grave Encounters 2. It follows the first film in the “found footage” genre that is being done to death, but, the film was helmed by  John Poliquin and not the Vicious Bros. They wrote the second film was well, but decided to leave their involvement  to writing it and doing a humorous cameo.

This is director Poliquin’s first feature length directorial effort and he does a good job. The  overall pacing of the film is good, with the odd interlude of meandering action that causes it to lag in places. The main protagonists are an eclectic bunch of students, one of which wants to be the Sam Raimi. (In fact their film that they are making at the beginning of the movie really made me think of Raimi’s Evil Dead.)

The cast was full of “unknowns” or at least they were unknown to me, with the exception of the lead actor from the first film and the “smarmy” producer who was also in the first film.

The sophistication of the scares were better in this sequel and I can honestly hold my hand over my heart and say that it was a lot better than the first one. For a start, the screaming ninny in the first film, that I wanted to kill, was obviously absent in the sequel and none of the students felt the need to screech non-stop at the scary things that were happening.

My only real complaint was going to be about the horrible acting from the students in the little “film within a film” until I saw a real student film to review where the actors were so bad, that the “bad acting” in Grave Encounters actually looked quite good in comparison.

Grave Encounters 2 was a delightful find and it proved that the Vicious Brothers are better the second time around with a different director. Enjoyable fun and the script gives another dig at scary movies and the found footage genre.  A definite 3.5 out of 5 stars with a somewhat confusing plot that doesn’t really spoil the overall film.

An improvement on the first one.

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Murder Party (2007): Bargain Basement Fun

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I’ve been passing over this film choice on Netflix for months. I don’t know why, but something about the film’s poster put me off. To be brutally honest, the poster that starts this blog post actually looks better than the one on Netflix and it’s the same one!

Last night I finally bit the bullet and decided to give it a go. I girded my loins (whatever that means) and forced myself to watch it. I expected to wince constantly and turn the dammed thing off at the mid-way point.

Well…

I didn’t do that. Why? Because if there was ever another film in the world that could be the ethereal twin of Sam Raimi and co’s first film Evil Dead, it is Murder Party.

It is like the comedy/horror version of Judy and the kids saying, “Come on gang lets put on a show in the barn!” But in the film makers case it was in the warehouse of a cheap set.

Because despite the low-budget of Evil Dead (remember now, I’m talking about Raimi’s film, not the re-make), E D at least had a budget. Murder Party started rolling with a budget of 0 dollars and cents.These guys made a film so cheap, it made Raimi’s first film out of the gate look extravagant by comparison.

I am digressing, but, dammit; I have to. I looked this achingly funny film up on Wikipedia after I’d wiped the tears of mirth from my eyes while the end credits rolled.

“Who are these guys?” Looped through my head like a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid mantra. I had to know!

It turns out that the guys who made, starred in, and financed this “zero budget film” were all childhood friends who grew up and went to various film and media schools. They kept in touch and made a short film or two. It was while they were waiting for another film that they really wanted to make, but was caught-up in turn-around limbo, that they decided to make Murder Party.

Chris Sharp as Christopher Hawley aka Mister Average.
Chris Sharp as Christopher Hawley aka Mister Average.

The film is about an average guy who is a bit of a lonely loser. A sad sack (and points for those of you who remember this comic book character – answers, as always, on a post card please) who has no friends and his cat bullies him.

It is Halloween and on his way home from work, he finds an invitation to a “Murder Party” floating around on the sidewalk (path). He decides to go and in a burst of creativity makes his own costume with cardboard and duct tape. *It actually looks pretty good in a childish sad sort of way.*

He finds the party’s location and goes in. He finds to his consternation that it is a real murder party and he’s the victim.

All the members of this “party” are a consortium of artists who are trying to get funded by a rich pretentious pain in the ass rich boy. Each of the artists are flakey as hell and quite funny. Each of them are dressed up as iconic horror and science fiction characters. As “flakey” as each of these “artists” are, the rich boy prat Andrew is worse.

This film is great, gory fun and has a load of horror film references scattered throughout. I sat through this film giggling, laughing, and chuckling. *At one point, I believe I even snorted, but don’t hold me to that.*

It just goes to show that entertaining movies can be made for very, very little money and still look fantastic.

Murder Party was written, directed and produced by Jeremy Saulnier. It stars Chris Sharp as “everyman” Christopher S Hawley, meter cop non-extraordinaire and he does a brilliant job as the feckless hero/victim of the film. Every one of the actors does a splendid  job with their characters and at no point did I feel like any of them (apart from the foreign drug dealing chap who was a bit two-dimensional) were anything other than what they portrayed.

This is a real horrific comedy of errors that will have you cackling with laughter though out. If you haven’t seen it yet, hop on Netflix right now and watch it.

If you don’t love this film, I’ll eat my  metaphorical cardboard hat/helmet.

5 out of 5 stars for hilarious effort.

Murder Party Cast and Crew.
Murder Party Cast and Crew.