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Fireball (2009)




Fireball ReviewReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Lexa Doig, Ian Somerhalder, Aleks Paunovic

Directed by K.T. Donaldson

Fireball? The title of this flame-out of a film should have been Slow Burn because, boy, is this movie ever slow. You’d think a thriller about a roid-raging pyrokinetic lunatic out for revenge would crackle a lot more than this nearly catatonic Sci-Fi Channel (lack of) effort would; it generates about as much heat as a used match. What could have been an enjoyable throwback to classic b-films like The Indestructible Man will more likely put you to sleep than set you ablaze.

Ex-superstar pro football linebacker Tyler Draven is washed up, has a short fuse, and has become a public disgrace. The known wifebeater’s latest public fit of violent roid rage lands him in jail. The prison catches fire. As can only happen in b-movies and comic books, Draven has so much designer steroids flowing through his veins that the flames mix with his body chemistry to transform him into a hulking, paranoid, fireproof maniac with flame-inducing powers, who, after having lost his long mane of 80’s rocker hair in the fire, bears more than a passing resemblance to a gassed-up Don S. Davis.

Comparing his rantings before and after his genetic mutation, I would venture so far as to say gaining his magical fire powers mellowed him just a bit. The guy was all ready for a rubber room; now he’s a totally cartoonish bad guy, yet not an entertaining one. As a force to be reckoned with in a film that’s fairly straight-laced, nothing about Tyler Draven or the psychology behind his hot-tempered persona is ever developed enough to make him the least bit compelling or truly threatening. That said, he would have made for a perfect villain on an episode of that godawful “Nightman” series.

Draven sets about on a path of fiery revenge against everyone who has ever wronged him so long as they reside with a certain square mile radius. When that well dries up rather quickly, the human fireball sets his sights on killing as many innocent people as possible by using his powers to blow up a nuclear power plant.

On his trail is a fire inspector played by Lexa Doig of Jason X. The screenwriter barely bothered to write much actual dialogue for Miss Doig’s character to make her sound like an actual human being, opting instead to make her sound like Bill Nye the Science Guy’s firefighting sister constantly going into long-winded, scientifically detailed explanations about every single fire incident she has to deal with. A madman with the power to hurl fireballs and heat sand to the point of turning it into shatterable glass is running amok, and there she is to fill us in on exactly what accelerant was needed to trigger that propane tank explosion or how the heated air in someone’s lungs scorched them to death from the inside out and other such unnecessary technical explanations that do nothing to advance the plot or give us any insight into the villain’s psyche. It’s supposed to be a character quirk; more of a character irk, if you ask me, like a fire-obsessed Rain Man.

Fireball ReviewThe one question about Draven’s powers she can never provide any sort of explanation for is as to why it is that his clothing is immune to fire as well. The subject of his dress never burning off never gets addressed at all.

Also pursuing Draven is a federal agent (Ian Somerhalder of “Lost” and Pulse) who was after the hot-headed ex-football playing con even before the guy gained his incinerating superpowers. Not too much to say about this guy. He looks like an emo FBI agent. He likes to smoke. He has daddy issues. He sounds as bored as the rest of us.

Don’t expect any romantic sparks between the two either, despite attempts to do just that. There’s a telling moment when this old lady overhears the two engaging in one of their boring conversations and she makes a non sequitur about how she remembers back in the day when the banter between two attractive people getting together was meant to be funny. Couldn’t help but wonder if that was the writer’s way of letting it be known even he hated having to write the unflinchingly monotonous droning that this film calls dialogue.

You can also tell Fireball was a particularly cash-strapped production. The film has the look of an episode of a Canadian television show. More emphasis on talk than action. Visual effects are skimped on as much as possible, and most of what we do get to see would have looked primitive a decade ago. One scene has Draven driving a hijacked gasoline tanker truck looking to ram the judge that sentenced him as the man goes to get into his car; we’re shown the judge screaming, Draven in the cab cackling as a bit of fire materializes just outside the windshield even before it hits, followed by a cutaway to an over-the-horizon shot of explosive flames shooting up behind a building obscuring any view of the vehicular carnage, and then back to Draven now just standing in the road completely unscathed with a little bit of fire around him and no sign of the vehicular wreckage anywhere. If that doesn’t tell you how cheap this movie is, then just wait until you see the nuclear power plant shown in the background of one scene: an unpolished matte painting right down to the motionless painted-on white smoke emanating from the stack.

The entire third act is set at that nuclear power plant. By that time I suspect most viewers will have either long since given up or fallen asleep. The director chooses this time to suddenly develop a thing for using slow motion, and let me assure you the lethargic proceedings did not need to be any slower than they already were.


1/2 out of 5

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)



We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View



Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento

Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

  • Film


Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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IAMX’s Alive in New Light Review – A Dark, Hypnotic, and Stunning Musical Endeavor



Recording eight albums is an achievement no matter the artist, group, or band. This is especially true for Chris Corner’s IAMX, his solo project after the trip hop group Sneaker Pimps, which has enchanted listeners since 2004’s Kiss + Swallow with its dark electronic aesthetic. There’s something fascinating about the music Corner puts out as IAMX. Perhaps it’s the underlying melancholy that seems to pervade the music, almost certainly a result of the musician’s battle with depression and chronic insomnia [Source]. Perhaps it’s the unexpected melodies that reveal themselves with each new measure. Whatever it is, IAMX’s music is a constant delight.

On Alive in New Light, Corner reveals that his eighth album was a product he created as a way of “…breaking free from demons that have long plagued him,” per an official press release. Strangely enough, this uplifting attitude may easily be overlooked but repeat listens unveil a sense of hope and wonder that are simply breathtaking. The title track echoes with almost angelic choir pads that positively shine as Corner exultingly cries in a shimmering falsetto, “I’m alive in new light!” This comes after the Depeche Mode-esque “Stardust”, which offers the first collaboration with Kat Von D, whose pure voice is a beautiful addition to the pulsating track.

The third track, “Break The Chains”, has an opening that immediately called to mind Birds of Tokyo’s “Discoloured”, which is meant as a compliment. It’s followed by the Nine Inch Nails influenced “Body Politics”, which meshes Corner’s crooning vocals with a 90’s industrial backdrop. “Exit” has an almost sinister progression lurking in the background that builds to an aggressive, in-your-face third act. The cinematic Middle Eastern flairs of “Stalker” mutate effortlessly into a heartbeat pulse that features back-and-forth vocals between Corner and Von D. The haunted circus vibe that permeates through “Big Man” is mirrored by its playful gothic aura, ghostly “oohs” and “aahs” sprinkled carefully here and there.

While the album has been a delight up to this point, it’s the final two tracks that took my breath away and left me stunned. “Mile Deep Hollow” builds layer after layer while Corner passionately cries out, “So thank you/you need to know/that you dragged me out/of a mile deep hollow/and I love you/you brought me home/because you dragged me out/of a mile deep hollow.” The way the song’s melodies back these wonderfully uplifting lyrics feels grand and epic, as though a journey is coming to an end, which is where “The Power and the Glory” comes in. Far more subdued, it’s a beautiful song that feels almost like a religious experience, a hymn of a soul that is desperate to claw its way to salvation and escape a life of pain and darkness.

What makes Alive in New Light so wonderful is how much there is to experience. I got the album and listened to it no less than five times in a row without pause. I simply couldn’t turn it off because each return revealed something new in the music. Corner also makes fantastic use of Von D’s vocals, carefully placing them so as to make them a treat and not a commonplace certainty.

While some may be disappointed that there are only nine tracks, each of the songs is carefully and meticulously crafted to be as powerful and meaningful as possible. It really is a stunning accomplishment and I’m nothing short of blown away by how masterfully Alive in New Light plays out.

  • Alive in New Light


IAMX’s Alive in New Light is a triumph of music. Full of beauty and confidence, it doesn’t forget the foundation that fans have come to know and love for over a decade but instead embraces that comfortable darkness with open arms. Corner states that this album was a way to break free from his demons. It certainly feels like he’s made peace with them.

User Rating 5 (2 votes)
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