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Snakes on a Plane (DVD)



Snakes on a Plane DVD (click for larger image)Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips, Rachel Blanchard, Flex Alexander

Directed by David R. Ellis

Distributed by New Line Home Entertainment

Ah, Snakes on a Plane … when I first heard the title, I cringed. I thought it had to be a joke or a “working title” at the very least. The onslaught of media coverage and theatrical posters that followed proved to me that they were actually going to use it! Then I saw the first trailers, and not unlike the scaly stars of the film, I damn near crawled out of my skin!

As Snakes on a Plane’s release date neared, it seemed as though you couldn’t turn around without hearing or seeing something to do with the film. Whether it was Samuel L. Jackson’s famous line being spouted in a rap song or the television spots or the countless trailers that inundated the airtime between sitcoms and news programs and every corner of the Internet, Snakes on a Plane slithered its way into every available media crevice. Honestly, unless you lived under a rock or suffered a coma during that time, you knew this film was opening soon in a theater near you!

In the excitement caused by the buzz surrounding this upcoming cinematic adventure, anxious fans and skeptical critics alike began to refer to the film as S.O.A.P. It was cute, catchy, a hell of a lot shorter to type out, and no less ridiculous than the original title itself. Snakes on a Plane was quickly becoming a legend…whether it was destined to wind up a raging steamer at the box-office or not!

Snakes on a Plane DVD (click for larger image)The trailers that had once only shown snippets of what appeared to be flailing stupidity and bad CGI snakes began to evolve into what actually showed the signs of a possible, dare I say, plot. My interest was now a bit more than its original morbid curiosity about how BAD it was going to be. I had never imagined that it would have a purpose! Still, upon its release I entered the theater with great trepidation.

I had prepared for the worst and was ready to console myself with the staple cinematic comfort foods, a vat of buttery popcorn goodness and a half gallon of soda. I set my brain to “coast” as the theater lights dimmed, noted the emergency exits, and waited for the in-flight instructions on how to bail from a vessel that is on a collision course with disaster. I expected that bird to go down in a spectacular hail of flaming shit.

Instead I was delighted to find the film refreshingly entertaining and almost smart. My fears of watching a film with no purpose other than to suck the cash from moviegoers’ pockets or one that panders to the ignorance of individuals who think snakes are evil. I’ve owned more reptiles than my local zoo would even know what to do with, and it insults me when I watch movies that all too often portray reptiles and other such creatures in a manner that feeds into people’s ignorance and fear. S.O.A.P. didn’t do that. It used real facts rather than fantastical dribble to support what was happening on the screen. Although some of its facts were stretched (sometimes to an extreme) to fit the plot, at least there was an actual plot! And an enjoyable one at that!

When it was finished and the end credits were rolling across the screen in front of me, I got to enjoy a fun music video while I sat there eating a large portion of crow. It’s nice to leave the theater loving a movie you expected to hate. You know it’s good when you immediately wonder when the DVD will come out so you can enjoy it whenever you please. Fortunately, the Snakes on a Plane DVD is well worth the wait.

It is packed with special features including:

Snakes on a Plane DVD (click for larger image)Commentary by director David Ellis, Samuel L. Jackson, producer Craig Berenson, associate producer Tawny Ellis, VFX supervisor Eric Henry, and 2nd unit director Freddie Hice that is funny, entertaining, informative, and only goes to prove that the people involved enjoyed making the movie as much as we enjoyed watching it.

Ten deleted scenes with optional commentary from director David Ellis. The footage that ended up on the cutting room floor was there for a reason. From what I saw, they did a great job trimming the unnecessary elements that would have done more to stall the storyline than add to the film. The commentary is humorous and informative with great behind-the-scenes gossip thrown in for added fun.

“Pure Venom: The Making of Snakes on a Plane” is a featurette that details the efforts that went into making the film. There is a fair amount of information dealing with everything from the actors and production crew to the technical aspects neatly packed into this 18-minute featurette.

“Snakes on a Blog” is an 8-minute fan reel documentary that delves into the Internet phenomenon that was Snakes on a Plane prior to its release into theaters. Definitely a fan worthy addition to the bonus features.

“Meet the Reptiles” featurette to me was all too brief, but that’s because I’m a snake lover at heart. I could listen about them for hours on end and never tire of it. This mini-documentary contains a very good interview with snake wrangler Jules Sylvester. It is 11 minutes of non-stop information about the slithering stars of the film.

Snakes on a Plane VFX” featurette is a quick 5-minute look at the technical work that went into creating the CGI effects. From the snakes to the plane they stuff a great deal of info into this interesting addition to the disc.

Snakes on a Plane DVD (click for larger image)Blooper reel: Not often does a bonus blooper reel seem like more than a moronic waste of time that is just slapped onto a disc to pad the special features, but I can say that the goofs here are highly entertaining, don’t overstay their welcome, and show the lighter side of cast and crew.

Music videos by Cobra Starship and others: This section includes a couple of different ways to watch the music video for the song “Bring It” from Cobra Starship from the film and a making-of segment for the video.

There is also a feature that works on your PC that I thought was awesome. With a quick download from the DVD itself, you can treat yourself to an Interactive Viewing Experience that allows you to choose any character and any line from that character so that you can immediately jump to that exact moment in the film. You can also access the official website for the film, the New Line website, and the New Line Cinema Hot Spot.

All in all I think that the DVD does right by its supporters, which only seems fitting for such a fan-driven film.

Special Features
Commentary by director David Ellis, Samuel L. Jackson, producer Craig Berenson, associate producer Tawny Ellis, VFX supervisor Eric Henry, and 2nd unit director Freddie Hice
Ten deleted scenes with optional commentary from director David Ellis
“Pure Venom: The Making of Snakes on a Plane” featurette
“Snakes on a Blog” fan reel
“Meet the Reptiles” featurette
Snakes on a Plane VFX” featurette
Blooper reel
Music videos by Cobra Starship and others
Five TV spots


4 1/2 out of 5

Special Features

4 1/2 out of 5

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Inside (Remake) Review – Is It as Brutal as the Original?



Starring Rachel Nichols Laura Harring

Directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas

While the directing duo of the cringe-inducing and original 2007 French grand guignol thriller Inside have gone on to refurbishments of their own—Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo recently helmed a retread of Leatherface’s origin story—their flick now has an American stamp on it with the release of the remake, also titled Inside.

A cheerless Christmas eve sets the stage for heavily-pregnant widow Sarah’s (Rachel Nichols) oncoming ordeal. It’s a frigid and snowy night. She’s got a huge house to herself, following the accidental and violent death of her husband. She wants to sell the home that was meant to hold a family, to forget the nascent memories it once held. But she’s got to ride it out until the baby is born. While Sarah is lonesome, she won’t be alone. She’s got her genial gay neighbor nearby, and her mum is going to come and stay with her for a few days. Oh, and there will be an unexpected visitor too.

When a shadowy, seemingly stranded stranger (Laura Harring) knocks on the door pleading to be let inside, Sarah instinctively balks. She even calls the cops. But the woman leaves and all seems well. Crisis averted. Sarah puts the housekeys in the mailbox outside for Mom, and goes to bed. Big mistake.

Mystery Lady shows up at Sarah’s bedside armed with chloroform, an IV bag, and a case full of sharp-and-pointies (sorry, ’07 fans… those implements do not include a pair of scissors). The horror unfolds and the expected yet lively game of gory cat-and-mouse ensues. Then the tete-a-tete becomes a body-count chiller featuring one shocking moment after another.

Nichols is fantastic in the role, giving it her all. When the original Inside came out eleven years ago, she was starring in another French-helmed horror, P2—also set on Christmas eve—and she stole the show. She does the same here but with a less-intense adversary. Harring’s killer character, unlike her European counterpart, has a lot to say—which takes away from her initially mysterious manner as the minutes tick off. Still, the girl-on-girl action is a welcome change from the usual gender dynamic one sees in these things. Both deserve kudos for their performances.

While Inside isn’t a died-in-the-wool “Hollywood” remake (Miguel Ángel Vivas directs, while [REC] co-creator Jaume Balagueró wrote it) it feels like one. For those who’ve seen the original, there will be mild disappointment (which turns to major letdown at the very end). However, Inside is still a serviceable thriller that’s well-acted, beautifully shot, and effectively scored. Folks coming in fresh, and casual horror fans, will more than likely enjoy it.

  • Inside (Remake)


Inside is a serviceable thriller that’s well-acted, beautifully shot, and effectively scored. Folks coming in fresh, and casual horror fans, will more than likely enjoy it. For those who’ve seen the original, there will be mild disappointment (which turns to major letdown at the very end).

User Rating 1.67 (3 votes)
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What If Tina Fey Wrote Jennifer’s Body? My Friend’s Exorcism Book Review



“Rummaging in one of his duffel bags, [the exorcist] pulled out and athletic cup and slid it down the front of his pants. ‘First place they go for,’ he explained. He then adjusted himself and picked up a well-worn Bible. ‘Let’s do the Lord’s work.'”

It was about a year ago now (it seems) that I first saw the cover of “My Best Friend’s Exorcism.” If you haven’t seen it for yourself in all of its glory, make sure to click the image over to the right for a more in-depth look. Awesome, right? Got to love all the VHS details such as the “Horror” and “Be Kind Rewind” stickers. Classic. Utter classic.

Now I’m fully aware that one should not judge a book by its cover. Literally. But still the moment I saw this work of delicious art crop up in the inbox I had to read the book asap. Well, it turns out asap was about a year later, but all the same, I’ve now had a peek at the inside of the book as well as the outside. Does the content inside match the content outside?

Let’s find out…

For those who might not know, “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” (henceforth referred to as MBFE) tells the tale of two best friends named Abby and Grethen. One night the two, and a few of there other friends, drop a bit of acid for the first time. While the drug never kicks in (no worries, there’s no lame twist-ending to be had here) poor Gretchen still wanders off into the woods and gets possessed like a motherf*cker in some creepy abandoned building. From there, things go from bad to worse until an unlikely exorcist is called in and things go off the wicked walls in all the best ways possible.

Now, to review. First of all, let it be know that MBFE is more of a teen romance (between two friends) than a straight tale of terror. Think of it as “What if Tina Fey wrote Jennifer’s Body?” and that will give you a good hint at what the book holds in store for you. Not that that’s a bad thing. Still, you should be aware that the first 2/3 of the book is almost exclusively teenagers not getting along, bitch about losing touch, who is sleeping with who, and yada, yada, yada for pages on end. Dramarama for days. Mostly.

That said, not only is the teen drama bearable (and truthfully quite sweet in spots), Hendrix keeps the horror in the spotlight just enough that I never lost faith the book was heading somewhere truly balls to the wall. And it does. Oh, boy does it. From the time the unholy shite hits the fan in the last third, to the time the last word is read, the book is filled with horror moments that will make even the most jaded fright-fiction fan gag, grimace, or stand up and cheer!

You just have to get through all the angst first…

But speaking of angst, let me get a bit of extremely personal business out of the way real quick. Can I trust you with this info? Sure I can. MBFE made is cry like a baby. Not kidding. There have been very few times in my life that I have literally burst out crying. I’ve had some sad shite happen in my days, and I have seen some sad-ass movies, but nothing has made me cry out of the f*cking blue like MBFE. I’m not going to go into details about the final 10 pages of the book, but it tore my poor horror-heart a new one. It was bad. Like snot and hyperventilating type shite. Again, not kidding. Thank the lord I wasn’t in public is all I can say. I would have arrested and thrown in the booby-hatch.

MBFE goes along like a slightly horror-centric version of Mean Girls and Heathers for most of its page count. If you’re a straight horror fan, you’ll be at odds with whether you should bother finishing it or not. You will. Trust me. But listen to me now and know that once our heroine goes into the dark, dank bedroom of the school’s resident bitch to find out why she hasn’t been in school the past few days/weeks, the horror hits like holy hell. And it only gets worse (RE: better) from there.

In the end, MBFE is a book ever horror fan should own – if only for the cover. I dug the hell out of the book (eventually) and I’m sure the majority of you guys will too. But even for those hard-hearts out there that just can’t stand to read about things like uncompromising love, and hellfire-forged friendship, you still need to own the book. You still owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you don’t care for it, that’s cool, just display in on your bookshelf in all it’s VHS glory. It will make you look cool.

  • My Best Friend's Exorcism - Book Review


Grady Hendrix’s “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is a killer mixture of Mean Girls, Heathers, and The Exorcist. Just think of it as “What if Tina Fey wrote Jennifer’s Body” and you’ll have a good indication of what lies in store for you within the amazing VHS-inspired cover art.

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Knock Knock Review – This Throwback To The VHS Era Packs A Fun Punch



Starring Kerry Tartack, Sisi Berry, Chuk Hell

Directed by Toby Canto

I remember the glory days of my youth back in the early to mid-80’s, renting every friggin horror flick on VHS and keeping the cassettes well past the return dates, eventually blacklisting my name from damn near all of the movie shops in my hometown. For the sole reason of wanting to hop back in the time-machine, I’ll never turn down the opportunity to check out a film that promises to ship you back to the days of all of that cheesy-neon attire and overblown hairdos.

Director Toby Canto was generous enough to offer his latest film up onto the sacrificial stone, and it’s called Knock Knock – about a WAY past his prime pugilist named Sam (Tartack) who is unwillingly thrust into a throwdown with a bloodsucker who happens to reside in the same apartment – damn noisy neighbors! His only birthday wish is to spend his 60th go-round safely hold up in his domicile, away from pesky residents alike. Well, that plan goes to shit when his kooky neighbor (Berry) comes by and pitches the idea of throwing hands with the newest tenant: a real creature of the night (Lucas Ayoub).

Sam initially nixes the idea wholeheartedly, but when more of his quirky neighbors show up to his place to substantiate the vampiric-claims, Sam finds himself lacing up the leather for one more round…or two, depending on if he can still take a beating. Filled with more than a handful of goofy instances, this near-hour presentation won’t blow the doors off of the horror/com vehicle, but should more than suffice in the short-term until the next spooky-laugher comes slithering out of its hole.

  • Film


Historians alike, this movie’s for those who want a reminder of how loopy those VHS days were, and the best part is you don’t have to rewind a freakin’ thing.

User Rating 0 (0 votes)
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