Trancers: City of Lost Angels (1988) – Trailer – Trailer Video

udIAYvjGhoI.jpgTrailer: Trancers: City of Lost Angels (1988)
A trained female assassin escapes a maximum security holding cell and travels to 1988 to kill Jack Deth.

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The Visitants (1986) – Trailer – Trailer Video

jU1Bx8c5K3E.jpgTrailer: The Visitants (1986)
Aliens chase a teenager who stole one of their ray guns.

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Venom Life-Size Bust by Sideshow Collectibles

The Venom Life-Size Bust created by Sideshow Collectibles measures 27.5” tall, bringing Eddie Brock and his symbiote straight from the Marvel universe.

“Venom’s massive maw features jagged fangs and his iconic, terrifying tongue on full display. Clear resin drool glistens from his teeth and tongue, giving the Venom Life-Size Bust an added degree of disgusting realism!

The fibreglass Venom Life-Size Bust has been sculpted with painstaking detail to capture his monstrous presence. His muscular shoulders are detailed with dynamic black symbiote textures, providing a stark contrast to his glossy white eyes and the raised spider-symbols on his chest and back. A sleek, simple black base puts the focus on Venom’s terrifying silhouette, while complimenting the other Marvel Life-Size collectibles from Sideshow.”

Artists: Ryan Peterson (Design & Sculpt), Matt Molen (Design), Richard Luong (Design), Simon Garcia (Mold & Cast), Chadwick Andersen (Mold & Cast), Anthony Mestas (Paint), Steve Riojas (Paint), Casey Love (Paint)

Expected to Ship: June 2019 – August 2019

Product Size: 27.5″ H (698.5mm) x 16.5″ W (419.1mm) x 15″ L (381mm)

Price: $1,195

Sideshow Collectibles

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Scanners II: The New Order – Canada, 1991

Scanners II: The New Order is a 1991 Canadian science fiction horror feature film directed by Christian Duguay (Screamers; Scanners III: The Takeover) from a screenplay by B.J. Nelson, based on David Cronenberg’s Scanners characters. The Malofilm production stars David Hewlett, Deborah Raffin, Raoul Trujillo, and Yvan Ponton.

Plot:

David Kellum (David Hewlett), a young veterinarian intern, discovers that he has mental abilities to read and control minds of others. When he moves to the city to continue his studies, he finds difficulty in controlling himself: the congestion of many minds and the ability to hear voices overwhelm him.

During an armed robbery of a store David kills the gunman with his mind. Police Commander John Forrester watches the store’s security tape. He tells David that he knows what he is: a Scanner. And, there are others like him around the world. He enlists David’s help in tracking down elusive criminals…

Review:

Scanners II presents a neat twist on the original format, having the dysfunctional scanners being exploited by a right-wing police chief, who uses them to dish out vigilante justice. There are some nice touches dealing with the addictive nature of the drugs used to control the telepaths too, and some good gore set-pieces. The lead performances are passable – certainly no worse than Stephen Lack’s in the first film – and it’s likely that if you hadn’t seen David Cronenberg’s movie, you might well find this an impressively original movie.

As well as obviously aping the first film’s broad story, Scanners II also throws in another exploding head, taking a dramatic images from the original film and turning it into a thematic point – the implication being that you can’t have a Scanners film without an exploding head.

Obviously made with one eye on the prospect of further sequels, French director Christian Duguay – making his feature film debut -handles the material well, and although critics were generally dismissive, the target audience were generally happy with it in its video heyday, making a third instalment inevitable.

David Flint, HORRORPEDIA

Other reviews:

“Some surprising familial links are made to the first film, but Scanners II plays things too safe. David has a girlfriend and loving parents. Raoul Trujillo plays Drak as more goofy than menacing. The plot flirts far too lightly with the alarming ethical issues of the Morse Neurological Research Institute deploying the EPH-2 drug to revert Scanners to a near comatose state.” Mat Bradley-Tschirgi, Battleship Pretension

“Hewlett is an affable enough type, he makes a good hero. His teaming up with Raffin as Vale works and ties into the original continuity of the first film in an appropriate enough manner. Ponton is fun as Forrester, watching him attempt to basically climb to power is enjoyable while Butler makes for a fine scientist. The movie is well shot, making good use of its Montreal locations…” Ian Jane, DVD Talk

“All the ideas of the original are translated into absurdly physical terms. The original’s head exploding trick was a show-capping novelty but here the effect is overused to the point of tedium – now heads explode every time scanners battle. The sequel is a film devoid of any intellectual content…” Richard Scheib, Moria

“Director Christian Duguay isn’t Cronenberg and in all fairness he doesn’t try to be either. He’s more of an action director and Scanners II moves at a pace more suited to something like The Hidden. The political machinations of Forrester are interesting to watch but the real fun is in the sequences like the opening in the video arcade.” Horace Cordier, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The plot suggests a computer game called ‘RoboCop meets the Scanners’, while Duguay’s visual style consists entirely of pop promo clichés […] The cast is anonymous, the plot confused and sluggish; only Michael Smithson’s cheap, inventive special effects warrant attention.” Nigel Floyd, Time Out

” …there’s just no drive or urgency to the proceedings. There’s no fire in the flick’s belly. On top of that, it bogs way the f*ck down once Hewlett touches base with his sister. Oh, and if you take a shot of your favorite alcohol every time a character says “The New Order”, your head might explode.” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

Cast and characters:

  • David Hewlett … David Kellum
  • Deborah Raffin … Julie Vale
  • Yvan Ponton … Commander John Forrester
  • Isabelle Meijias … Alice Leonardo
  • Raoul Trujillo … Peter Drak
  • Tom Butler … Doctor Morse
  • Vlasta Vrána … Lt. Guy Gelson
  • Dorothée Berryman … Mayor Lanzoni
  • Murray Westgate … George Keullum
  • Doris Petrie … Susan Kellum
  • Emily Eby … Reporter
  • Jason Cavalier … Convenience Store Thug

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High Voltage (2018) – Trailer – Trailer Video

BBmewPQZ7AM.jpgTrailer: High Voltage (2018)An emerging rock band, managed by industry vet Jimmy Kleen (Arquette), strike a deal with record executive Rick Roland (Wilson). Things take a sinister turn when the band’s lead singer, Rachel (Gonino), and her mother, Barb (Reeves) are struck by lightning and killed. Rachel is brought back to life, but she is […]

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Jonathan (2018) – Trailer – Trailer Video

5CIdLnhNunw.jpgTrailer: Jonathan (2018)Jonathan leaves the office everyday at noon. When he gets home, he goes to sleep. Every morning he wakes up and there is a breakfast prepared for him along with a video telling him about the second part of his day.

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FILM REVIEW: SILENCIO

Isolated in the arid high deserts of Northern Mexico, at the junction of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango, spanning about 50 kilometers across, lies the Zona Del Silencio or “Zone Of Silence”. Often considered Mexico’s answer to the Bermuda Triangle, it is a literal hot bed of bizarre phenomenon. The perplexing anomalies hosted here include, mutated plants and animals, malfunctioning compasses, high concentration of meteor collision and (God help us) no cell phone signal. Naturally, this serves as the perfect backdrop for director LORENA VILLARREAL‘s (LAS LLORONAS) new supernatural sci-fi thriller SILENCIO which gets a well-deserved US theatrical release on October 26th.

SILENCIO’s story and performances are expertly led by the radiant MELINA MATTHEWS (MAMA, THE CHESSPLAYER) as Ana, the only survivor of a car accident that killed her father, mother and sister as they drove through the Zone of Silence several years earlier. Occasionally faced with unwarranted guilt, Ana now finds family support in her young son Felix (IAN GARCIA MONTERRUBIO) and her stoic yet gentle-natured Grandfather James played by tragically underrated character actor, JOHN NOBLE (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, RUNNING SCARED). Admittedly, this set up does seem pretty standard and almost cliché for an emotion driven science fiction film. However, by about the 30-minute mark SILENCIO takes an unanticipated and refreshingly dark turn.

In the early scenes that introduce us to Grandfather James, we learn that he is one of the leading researchers of the Zone of Silence. He also owns a highly coveted mystical stone with the power to time travel and ultimately alter its possessor’s reality. However, notoriety comes at a cost, and the higher the stakes the more of a target you become. In a botched attempt to acquire the now lost stone by a mysterious antagonist, Ana is forced into a frantic search for the stone as the only means to rescue her kidnapped son Felix.

Granted, on paper, a story involving a magic time-travel stone may seem a bit groan-inducing to some. Even I was a bit skeptical at first. However, it is forgivable. No matter how arbitrary the stone may seem, it serves as a necessary vehicle for SILENCIO to explore its overarching and far more personal narrative. This is important. Thanks to a truly strong performance from MELINA MATTHEWS, SILENCIO manages to counterweight the farfetched with genuine themes of desperation, guilt, family, and empowerment. I’ve always contended that the best brand of sci-fi is that which utilizes supernatural and/or the esoteric to explore a more grounded observation of the human condition. SILENCIO thoughtfully pulls this off.

At the risk of contradicting my previous point, I do feel the supernatural elements of this film could have been employed much more. The beauty of science-fiction is that it provides endless opportunities for creativity due to its innately high tolerance for the strange and unusual. As an audience member that accepts the presence of the supernatural in an otherwise realistic story, SILENCIO only seems to flirt with high strangeness rather than fully embrace it.

At times somber, but ultimately optimistic, SILENCIO provides elevated performances and above-average tension while hitting on relatable sentiment. Though not without its flaws, it will likely be appreciated by those who seek a cerebral but still cautious approach to science fiction.  And considering the current era of vapid robot blockbusters and endless super hero franchises, I’ll take it.

SILENCIO opens in US theaters on October 26th.

 

3 Tombstones out of 5…

“SILENCIO provides elevated performances in this cerebral but still cautious approach to science fiction.”

James Karen – actor

James Karen – November 28, 1923 to October 23, 2018 – was an American character actor. He was best known by horror/fantasy fans, and probably by the wider public too, for his roles in Poltergeist (1982), The Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Invaders from Mars (1986). He died, aged ninety-four, having appeared in over two hundred TV and movies roles including a cameo appearance in 2018 comedy horror Cynthia.

Karen was born Jacob Karnofsky in Wilkes-Barre, in northeastern Pennsylvania, the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Mae (née Freed) and Joseph H. Karnofsky, a produce trader. As a young man, Karen was recruited into a production at the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre. He later attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York.

His big break came when he was asked to understudy Karl Malden in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Beyond theatrical roles, Karen went on to play numerous characters on popular TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch, The Bionic Woman and The Rockford Files. He once remarked: “People don’t know my name, but they know my face because I’ve done so damn much work.”

 

His first notable film role, billed as Jim Karen, was in 1965 in the low-budget Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster playing Dr. Adam Steele. Often cited as one of the worst movies of all-time, Robert Gaffney’s sci-fi pic is undeniably great fun for fans of trash cinema.

As previously mentioned, one of Karen’s best-known roles were in the low-budget horror comedy The Return of the Living Dead, in which he starred as the manager of a medical warehouse who inadvertently releases a military gas that re-animates the dead. Karen and Thom Matthews proved so popular with audiences, they both returned for the sequel in 1987, playing different roles because their characters were both killed in the first movie.

In the original 1982 Poltergeist he played Mr. Teague the greedy real-estate developer who built the Californian community of Cuesta Verde on the site of a former cemetery.

In a 2006 interview about The Return of the Living Dead (1985), Karen said that he helped write most scenes of his character: “It was the deal where he figures out he’s becoming a zombie and decides to incinerate himself in the crematorium…He kisses his wedding ring as he goes in. It was a very emotional scene, but it also got me out of being one of the rain-drenched zombies milling around outside the place at the end of the film. I didn’t really want to do all that muddy stuff”

Selected filmography:

Cynthia (2018)

Bender (2016)

America’s Most Haunted (2013)

Dark and Stormy Night (2009)

Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007)

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Piranha (1995)

Congo (1995)

Future Shock (1994)

The Unborn (1991)

The Willies (1990)

Girlfriend from Hell (1989)

Return of the Living Dead Part II (1987)

Invaders from Mars (1986)

The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Jagged Edge (1985)

Time Walker (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)

The China Syndrome (1979)

Capricorn One (1977)

The Bionic Woman (TV series, 1976)

The Invisible Man (TV series, 1975)

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)

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Freaks (2018) – Trailer – Trailer Video

xKpmkl4BZ-g.jpgTrailer: Freaks (2018)
In this genre-bending psychological sci-fi thriller, a bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control.

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