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Diary of a Cannibal (2007)



Diary of a Cannibal reviewStarring Jillian Swanson, Trevor Parsons, Michael Barbour, Danielle Petty

Directed by Ulli Lommel

So I finally popped my cherry last night. My Ulli Lommel cherry, that is. Been seeing this guy’s movies on the shelves for a couple years now but have dared not watch any. That’s really saying something in my case. I mean look at the unwatchable crap I’ve sat through over the years. I don’t know what it is that’s prevented me from seeing a Ulli Lommel flick until now, probably common sense. It could be because I just didn’t have any interest in bottom-of-the-barrel horror flicks loosely based around real-life serial killers like the BTK Killer and real-life murders like the Black Dahlia or if it was because I’d seen previews of some of his newer flicks on other DVDs I watched and, well, for a guy who has been making movies for over a quarter century this Lommel character sure does make some seriously amateurish-looking films.

Lommel’s no amateur though, which makes his current crop of cinema that much harder to excuse. He had some success back in the very early 1980’s with horror flicks The Boogeyman and The Devonshire Terror – I’ve never seen any of them. My only familiarity with Ulli Lommel is with his recent output, specifically the ultra negative word of mouth that has accompanied it. And I’m not just talking about that found on the internet either. For example, a co-worker of mine mistakenly thought she was renting the Brian DePalma Black Dahlia when she mistakenly checked out the DVD for Lommel’s no budget atrocity of the same name. She told me it was the worst movie she’d ever seen; so awful that afterwards she even lost interest in ever seeing the big screen version she’d meant to pick up. I laughed at the time she told me all this. Now that I’ve finally seen a Ulli Lommel movie myself, suddenly it’s no longer so funny.

I’d call Lommel a hack but doing so would be an insult to directorial hacks everywhere, as well as an insult to the letters “h”, “a”, “c”, “k”.

This leads me to Diary of a Cannibal. I’m not even sure I’d consider it a horror movie. Ah, hell, it’s barely even an actual movie. It plays like some experimental art flick about a guy and girl that meet on the internet, fall in love, drive around in a Gulf Stream, frolic on the beach and then go to a warehouse where he insists that they seal their love for all eternity by having her kill him and eat his internal organs. The events I just described do not happen necessarily in the order I just listed them, or any order for that matter. Instead the film jumps around almost at random (flashbacks and flash forwards) and even repeats scenes that already added nothing to the story to begin with (i.e. they really loved to frolic on the beach – a lot). It’s all done very abstract, using minimalist dialogue, buffering scenes with every Bible quote Lommel could find about eating or sacrifice, over directed with a masturbatory amount of fancy edits, fades, black & white footage, fake scratches to the digital image to make it look like an old 8mm reel, and montages out the wazoos. Oh, god, the montages…! The film should have been called Montage of a Cannibal since I’d reckon 85% of this movie is presented in montage form.

Diary of a Cannibal is the sort of experimental movie that some pretentious but clueless film student would make after flunking out of film school and taking refuge in the world of underground cinema where the pseudo-intellectual types that smoke mushrooms and bemoan the over-commercialization of society even as they slurp down their double latte from Starbucks would praise the artistic merits of his hackwork and talk about it as having some greater meaning, speaking in alliterations designed to make themselves sound smarter and deeper than they really are.

Ulli Lommel is the sort of hack who thinks putting a Biblical quote about the slaughtering of a lamb on the screen and following it up with scenes of a person having their organs carved out interspersed with what looks like PETA footage of actual lambs being slaughtered is somehow making a statement or an allegory or something. Whatever.

There’s barely anything resembling a storyline to begin with and there’s no depth to the imagery he keeps putting on the screen. No subtext. No allegory. No deeper meaning. No emotional resonance. No context whatsoever. Just bullshit! Oodles and oodles of mind-numbing, nerve-grating, who-the-hell-would-possibly-think-this-movie-is-any-damn-good bullshit!

The opening credits insist that there was a screenplay for this movie. I find it impossible to believe there was anything more to work with than just a few scribbled pages in a notebook. The most dialogue is saved for the wraparound segments involving the two cops questioning the girl on her death bed in the hospital. As we’ll come to learn in the last ten minutes, her injuries weren’t suffered during the whole cannibalizing her boyfriend aspect of what passes for a storyline, but from getting beaten senseless by another woman in prison. Yeah, you see once all the artsy fartsy girl-kills-boy, girl-cooks-his-organs-with-a-BBQ grill, girl-takes-long-meaningless-moped-rides-while-his-organs-cook, girl-puts-on-a-cheap-prom-dress-and-eats-his-organs montage crap finally reaches an endpoint a graphic appears on the screen telling us she was arrested and imprisoned – then things briefly turn into a women-in-prison movie for about five minutes.

Remind me again why the cops were questioning her regarding the eating of her lover if she was already arrested, charged, and jailed for the crime? They were cops, weren’t they? Am I completely confused? I don’t think I missed anything significant even when I began making liberal use of the fast forward button for the sake of my sanity. Boy meet girl. Girl eats boy. He wants her to eat him because that way they’ll be together forever. The parts of him that will be pooped out of her body later on in the form of fecal matter must not count, I suppose. Still not entirely sure why they did what they did other than both being crazy and in love. I know he looked like a total weenie and she had a nice rack and was screwed up because of her brother dying. Or was it her dad? Maybe it was both. I know her dad died during some sort of surgery. I think. I don’t know. All I know for sure right now is that this movie made me want to gnaw my own eyes out.

The following text appears at the very end of the movie:

“Ulli Lommel’s Diary of a Cannibal is based on a true story that took place in the 21st century.”

Sure. Whatever. You know what other true story has occurred in the 21st century – ethnic genocide in Darfur. Does that mean Ulli Lommel should make a shitty art flick about it composed almost entirely of dialogue-free montages of people standing around and staring into nothingness or doing the most mundane things or riding around aimlessly on a moped or standing outside smoking a cigarette or…? You get the idea.

I do have to give props to the score. The music often sounded like it was lifted right out of an old RKO melodrama. If it wasn’t public domain music then my hat is off to the composer for orchestrating the greatest faux public domain music-sounding film score I’ve ever heard. Given how cheap this movie appeared to be I find it hard to believe the budget allotted for the hiring of a composer.

I did something I’ve never done before after watching a DVD. I ejected the Diary of a Cannibal DVD from the player, held it up with one hand, and then punched it as hard as I could with the other. I can only hope that wherever Ulli Lommel was at that time he experienced a sudden pain even if only on a metaphysical level.

Fuck this movie!

And look at that DVD case that actually makes this look like some sort of scary horror flick. Shame on Lionsgate! Not just for deceiving potential viewers; shame on Lionsgate for aiding and abetting this talentless crackpot. There are too many more talented filmmakers out there competing for shelf space at Blockbuster while Ulli Lommel keeps getting his utterly worthless crap thrust upon the public. Shame on Lionsgate!

0 out of 5

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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 Popcornand 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!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5


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.

User Rating 3.59 (22 votes)
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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


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.

Spoiler free.

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.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)


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.

User Rating 4.13 (23 votes)
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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.
  • The Axiom


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.

User Rating 3.95 (20 votes)
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