Starring Matt Schulze, Andrew Bryniarski, Cerina Vincent, Billy Wirth, Billy Drago, Danny Trejo, Martin Kove
Directed by Nick Quested
By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies is a great looking film. By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies has quality make-up f/x work. By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies has a solid cast of actors. By low budget b-movie standards, 7 Mummies is still a complete failure. In the past week I’ve suffered through utterly worthless no budget dreck like The Damned and Mr. Jingles, indefensible bad films made for no money with little talent involved either in front of or behind the camera. 7 Mummies is every bit as bad as those two yet its badness is even more inexcusable because the film was boasted technical competency and a cast that composed of seemingly worthwhile b-movie actors. Worst of all, 7 Mummies is absolutely boring. So what the hell went wrong?
My personal guess is that the bulk of the blame falls on the shoulders of director Nick Quested. I’m of the impression that the guy is a music video director. That would make a lot of sense seeing as how the film looks good but far too much of it is composed of montages and scenes that are set to the tune of blasting heavy metal and/or hip hop music that feels completely incompatible with the tale that’s trying to be told. Of course, there’s really not much tale being told anyway. Quested might be technically proficient with a camera but as a director the man doesn’t seem to have a clue when it comes to generating suspense or thrills or even composing a coherent narrative. Uwe Boll could actually teach this guy a thing or two about putting together a storyline.
Much of the film’s first quarter is composed of characters walking about the desert, usually in montage form. They’ll stop for a few moments to bicker or to meet with Danny Trejo’s character and then its right back to the montage trek. The movie opens with a shot of a tarantula wandering about the desert, footage director Quested recycles repeatedly throughout the montages that compose the seemingly endless first act. By the time they reach the town at about the 25 minute mark, 7 Mummies is already dead. D-E-A-D. And keep in mind this film is barely an hour and fifteen minutes in length. I don’t know if the producers gutted the film in post-production or what, but it feels like it takes the film an eternity to even reach the town, and once they do, yet more time is killed before the obvious finally occurs, and even that proves to be as uninteresting as humanly possible.
Following their prison transport vehicle wrecking in the Arizona desert, six foul-mouthed convicts escape, take a female corrections officer hostage, and begin making their way by foot to the Mexican border and freedom from incarceration. Along the way they’ll come across a strange medallion and Danny Trejo as the wise native that lives out in the middle of nowhere so that he can tell people that find themselves way out there about the legend of the lost gold of Tumacacori. Despite being fugitives from justice, these cons decide to go in search of the gold. This leads them to a Wild West-looking town in the middle of the desert that looks like it’s been stuck in a time warp. Of course, that’s probably because it is, and they will soon come to learn that the cursed town is in a state of purgatory and that everyone residing there is a ghost, zombie, vampire, or all of the above. The film is never really clear about exactly what they are. Then again, the movie isn’t all that clear about a lot of things. Gibberish would probably the most fitting word to describe the screenplay.
But the escaped convicts and their female hostage won’t learn this for a little while longer since they don’t seem all that puzzled that they’ve suddenly found a town out in the middle of the desert, or that this town looks like something straight out of the old West, or that everyone residing in the town is dressed like they just walked off the set of Gunsmoke. No, they just want to head for the saloon and get a drink, and, later on, maybe have sex with undead hookers. Keep in mind that these cons have Cerina Vincent with them as a hostage walking around in a mammary-hugging, almost see-through white shirt drenched in sweat to make it cling that much more to her heaving bosoms, but at no point do any of these hardened felons do as much as eyeball her in an unsavory manner. But the moment they see those saloon hookers, it’s on. In actuality, she probably would have already have been raped and murdered shortly after they escaped and took her hostage.
Once the denizens of the town reveal their true nature, 7 Mummies goes from being a complete bore to being a completely boring recreation of From Dusk Til Dawn. But instead of just trying to get the hell out of wherever the hell they are, these idiots still insist on trying to find the gold. Never mind the fact that there are zombies, vampires, ghosts, or whatever the hell they are killing them one-by-one, they still want that damn gold. This nearly plotless dullfest even manages to turn all the monster attacks, running, hiding, and searching for the gold into an absolute chore to sit through.
Much like the threadbare plot, the characters in this movie have no development, no depth, and often are completely indistinguishable from one another outside of their physical appearance. Dialog on the part of the cons consists primarily of varying uses of the word “fuck”. Most of the characters turn out to be damned in one form or another. The actors playing them don’t fare much better. Let’s run them down.
Matt Schulze – Basically plays the same villainous part he did in Torque but minus the camp value.
Cerina Vincent – If she had been replaced with a blow-up doll you probably wouldn’t even notice.
Andrew Bryniarski – He should stick to roles that have him carrying a chainsaw and saying nothing.
Danny Trejo – Danny Trejo doesn’t act. Danny Trejo plays Danny Trejo.
Martin Kove – Blink and you’ll miss his 30-second cameo.
Billy Wirth – He plays one of the main characters and yet you often forget he’s even in the movie.
Billy Drago – He’s trying to make something out of nothing but 7 Mummies is absolutely nothing and nothing anyone does can make it into something.
As for the film’s obtuse title, it’s derived from the mummies of seven Jesuit priests assigned to protect the gold that during the climax spring back to life and engage in kung fu fisticuffs with the remaining characters. Yes, Jesuit priest mummies in the American Southwest somehow know kung fu. This all too brief altercation near the end is the only thing even remotely entertaining to be found within the 76-agony filled minutes of 7 Mummies. It’s also the only thing that prevents me from giving this film the lowest score possible. There are few genuine moments of goofy entertainment; it’s just takes over an hour to get around to and only lasts about two minutes. Everything before and after is utterly worthless.
Forget 7 Mummies – this film is all about the 7 P’s: poor, pointless, plodding, putrid, pungent, punishing, and pathetic.
1/2 out of 5
Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review
Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne
Directed by Charles Martin Smith
I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.
Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.
Now let’s get to it.
First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.
Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.
I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.
Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.
It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!
And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.
Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.
This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.
And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.
Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!
In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?
That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.
Rockstar lighting for days.
Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.
Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.
More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.
Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcorn, and if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.
Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.
All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!
Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!
Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.
AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters
Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill
Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk
** NO SPOILERS **
It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.
To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.
That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.
Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.
Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.
Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.
Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.
But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.
But let’s backtrack a bit here.
Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).
And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.
Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.
With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.
Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.
I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.
Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!
Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.
Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?
On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.
That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.
In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.
While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.
Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.
Bring on season 12.
The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.
The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror
Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro
Directed by Nicholas Woods
The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).
The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.
The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.
The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.
The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.
The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.
- Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
- Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
- If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
- “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
- The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
- As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
- “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
- The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
- Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.
SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1
Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene
Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival
Tony Timpone’s Elegy – AFM: A November to Dismember
Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Gruesome Demonic Possession Video
Mindhunter Review: The Best Netflix Original Series to Date
Director Says New Suspiria Film Isn’t a Remake
What if the Best Synth Scores Are For Horror Films That Don’t Really Exist?
7 Freddy’s Nightmares Episodes That Should’ve Been Movies
Exclusive: Dark Horse Announces Three New Hellboy Collections and We Have the Covers
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – First Trailer and Artwork!
The Walking Dead Season 7 Limited Edition Box Set – Unboxing Video
Desolation Trailer Goes Off Trail
More Exclusive Stills from Devil’s Whisper
Talent to Attend Dread Central’s Bicoastal Screenings for The Night Watchmen Next Week in NY and LA
Join the Box of Dread Mailing List
From Around the Web
News5 days ago
Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie
News5 days ago
Whatever Happened to Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?
News4 days ago
Horror Movies to Be Thankful for on Thanksgiving
News4 days ago
Paul Feig On Why His Ghostbusters Reboot Failed
Reviews6 days ago
Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review
News4 days ago
First Plot Details on Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate Movie
News5 days ago
James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter
News4 days ago
Three 1970’s Horrors That Remind Us Why We Enjoy Getting Mental at the Movies