I was asked to review Dawning of the Dead from the TERROR DAVES’ site, and I typed in BOLD letters “you had me at ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!” This film has a well thought-out story line with great special effects and some great acting. I will say though that over the last few years there have been more misses than hits in this genre and I am glad to say this film falls into the latter. The director did a great job showing the global scale of a zombie apocalypse and there are many nods to the George Romero zombie classics. Improvised weapons harken to memories of Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive (1992) as well.
I love when I get an email from my friends, the Terror Daves, and it starts with, “Would you be interested in reviewing this film?” My answer is almost always “YES” and it’s even better when the film turns out to be a decent found footage film such as this.
Hello, Terror Dave readers! It’s time for a retro 90’s drive-in double feature!
First I have to ask…do 90’s “B” movies stand the test of time? Well I’ll let you know what I think after watching the two rerelease features I’m discussing today – Bio Tech Warrior and Time Trap!
I first read Stephen King’s “IT” when I was a sophomore in high school. It was the longest book I’d ever read at that point (later beaten by King’s full version of “The Stand” a few years later) and I remember being consumed by the story and characters. The iconic author is known for his uncanny ability of capturing the angst of youth as well as tapping into what scared us. In truth, it wasn’t until my late ‘20s when I read IT a second time that I truly appreciated that. We adults tend to romanticize childhood, reminiscing about our favorite cereals and TV shows, while dismissing the grimmer realities of neighborhood bullies, parental pressure, and how helpless we were. Many people site their first exposure to IT via the 1990 TV mini-series but I’ve always been much closer to the source material.
Today’s review is about another great Australian film. The film scene down under consistently puts out a few great films a year. WYRMWOOD, Wolf Creek and Animal Kingdom come to mind as great thriller/horror films since 2005. It also goes without saying FURY ROAD is in another category all together! But before I get into KILLING GROUND I think it is worth a moment to clear up what is a HORROR film and/or THRILLER film. When I am asked what makes a film a thriller or horror I often give a quote ex-vice president Al Gore’s wife stated (for another reason, but works for me) during her fight to censor music lyrics. When asked what are explicit lyrics she said, “Well it’s like pornography. I am not sure but I know when I see it.” I feel the same way about a HORROR film or THRILLER film. Hard to define, but I know when I see it. I did a little research and here are the best definitions I can find (although vague) that make it easier to really know the difference and why so many films have been described as BOTH!
Horror: an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust. Thriller: with an exciting plot, typically involving crime or a high degree of intrigue, adventure or suspense.
This is another film I was able to see because of attending Days of the Dead (DOTD) in Indianapolis in early July and I am so glad I did. I was able to meet the director, Brooke Ewing, a first-time director that pulled no punches telling everyone and anyone that she made the film for $0. Brooke had an idea, friends, passion and time. I was able to hear her talk about her film making experience on a panel where she spoke about the joy and pain of being an indie film maker. Making her movie was the easy part and selling her film was a challenge and hence her marketing phrase $5 movie “Buy it, don’t pirate it”. I loved chatting with her at her vendor table and was excited to hear that she had wrapped on her sequel to SHE WAS SO PRETTY!
I spent our last night at the 2017 Indianapolis Days of the Dead just like I did the first one; taking in another screening at their “48 Hour Independent Film Fest!” This time around I’d be seeing Plank Face, an Independent film created by a group of Indianans who’ve managed to put out several genre movies for the past few years. I got my first taste of them here and would categorize them as “B horror films,” though this is not a criticism. I grew up on a steady stream of low budget films that I loved and will forever cherish. In fact, in my home state of Rhode Island, I work with an Independent movie company called Scorpio Films Releasing and consider several of their films to be the hallmark of my movie library.