Written by: John Edward Betancourt
This is a film that has been a long time coming on Girls of Geek when it comes to the many reviews that we have done. In fact I think I have held off on this one because well, it's too easy to bash and too easy to point out how ridiculous basically every scene in the film truly is.
Some have called it the worst film ever made, and to that I say, you haven't seen Manos: The Hands of Fate because that is actually worse. But we are going to talk about one of the worst films ever made in the history of film and at the same time, one of the biggest cult classics in the history of film. That's right my friends, it's time to talk about Troll 2.
In fact, this film is so infamous we are going to spend little time on the plot, because well, it's not as important as the film and its impact on our culture. But for those of you out there who some how have not seen this film, it is about a family that moves to the tiny little berg of Nilbog only to find out that it is full of goblins and well, they eat people.
That's the long and short of it and oddly enough, that's a basic plot line which does set Troll 2 apart from some of the other awful films that we've covered on this site, because it actually makes an attempt at a plot. But the rest of it? Well it is pure garbage. The acting is about as rough as it gets. The goblins are nothing more than people in bad rubber masks and burlap sacks and the special effects are not that special. Oh, and a movie with the word Troll in the title features goblins as the lead monster. So why on earth is this film popular enough that it got its own documentary? The answer is simple. It's so awful that it is good.
In watching this film, it is clear they tried to put together a legitimate horror film. Plus, the actors do give it their all, and despite their best efforts to scare us, they unintentionally made an incredible comedy film. That's right, this is a horror/comedy through and through and well, that's why we love it. There are laughs abound here. From the weird over sexed witch who knows how to cook...popcorn included, to the moment when Joshua decides to whiz all over the table, this flick is just off the wall nuts.
You simply cannot turn away when you pop this movie in. You have to know how it ends. In fact I guarantee if this bad boy premiered on SyFy today, it would have been bigger than Sharknado because I strongly feel this is the one that set the bar for beloved bad movies. Watch it, enjoy it and let it be your guilty pleasure because Troll 2 truly is the best/worst movie ever made.
Written by: John Edward Betancourt
The 1980's were a confusing time when it came to horror films. You had absolute gems that left your heart racing, and your stomach clenched as either an iconic monster or new twist to the genre terrorized you. Often times they were so good you had to check under the bed or in the closet just to make sure something evil wasn't waiting there for you.
Then there were the other films in the genre.
They were campy, cheesy and sometimes beyond awful. They were train wrecks caught on videocassette and often times you simply could not look away. I understand not every film can be perfect, and I own plenty of movies that get me judgmental looks when people see them on my shelf. But some horror films from the 80's I just plain didn't get. Case in point...Troll.
The Potter family has just moved to a lovely new apartment and are doing their best to settle in. But within these walls is a doorway to other realities, and an ancient creature needs the Potter's daughter to end the current rule of man by bringing back the good old days, when magic ruled and the creatures of legend walked the earth. It's a race against time as young Harry must find a way to save his sister and the world before the Troll and his kind rule the world once again.
Let me just get this off of my chest right now. This is a weird little film. I mean look at that poster, and tell me how that doesn't scream horror film. Granted the trailer let's you in on the fact that you can expect a little mysticism, but even that provides clips that well...look a little scary. So imagine my surprise when I watched this film to basically find a fairy tale come to life.
Fusion of genres is always an interesting gambit and well Troll missed the mark completely. This is a film that could have been incredibly creepy and inspire the imagination all at the same time by bringing us an evil little troll while opening up new worlds to our eyes. Instead we get neither. Just cheap scares, a dude running around in a troll suit and well, some magic thrown in for good mix.
The odd irony of this film is the fact that the main character is named Harry Potter, Jr. and that's just nuts. Regardless, I do understand the people behind the camera wanted to do everything they could to give us something fresh and new and take us on one hell of a journey. For that I give them credit. But it's the execution of confusion that brings it down. Of course the ultimate question is whether or not you should see this film and well...oddly enough the answer is yes.
You'll find television star Julia Louis-Dreyfus in her first film role for starters and well...this movie is that accident that you slow down to see on the side of the road. You simply cannot look away because of how odd it truly is. Either way, if you love B movies, check it out. If you want to see something wildly different, check it out. Just go in without expectations and know that there is some magic in the world when you find the resolve to sit through every minute of Troll.
Written by: Scotty
Sex, drugs and rock and roll are signs of the devil. Sound familiar? Pretty sure every parent over the age of sixty has said that to you at one point of your life. Although we rebel and continue living our lives as we see fit, could the older generation really be right? That would be a shame, but hey, I guess that instills a bit more trust in someone that should hopefully deserve it.
Reverend Jonathan Hawthorne believed this back in 1696, even though there was not rock and roll, there was strange music coming from the woods around Salem that was meant to have an effect on the women in the town. Margret Morgan and her coven of witches wandered on the outskirts of Salem, looking for a way to bring back their savior, Satan. The Reverend took holy offense against this and brandished his own form of justice against this group, sparking the Salem Witch Trials.
In present day, Heidi, part of the Big H radio show is struggling to get by. Although she puts on the persona of being a Satan enthusiast on her show, she is just trying to live each day, day by day battling her own demons. In her building there is a room, room 5 that cannot seem to be rented at any cost. Seeing someone in the doorway of room 5 one day, she inquires about the room to her land lady Lacy, but is told that there is no one currently occupying the room. From this moment on, Heidi’s life starts to take a strange spin.
Finishing up her show on Monday night, Heidi receives a record from a group called the ‘Lords’ addressed to her given name. Not thinking too much into to this, Heidi listens to the record. Getting a headache, Heidi is given a glimpse back into 1696 and becomes witness to the moments of the classic Witch Trials. Not knowing what to think about the music or the emotions that the music has invoked inside of her, she removes the record and goes to bed.
On Tuesday, the Big H interviews author Francis Matthias who is hawking his book on the Witch Trials. Turning on the record at the end of the authors segment, Heidi has the music muted inside of the studio, but Francis is more than intrigued with the music and melodies of the ‘Lords of Salem.’ Throughout the week, Heidi becomes worse emotionally and has to turn back to her old habits for some sort of comfort. Not being in her right mind, Heidi is seeing and hearing things that may not be true, he mind being manipulated by an outside force. Not knowing what she can do, her life begins to spiral out of control and is being pulled in one direction, down.
The Lords of Salem is the by far the finest work of Rob Zombie and wife Sheri Moon. Looking at how these two have grown directing and acting wise over the years, I am sure you would say the same. One of the greatest things about how Zombie directs, is that he never lets technology get in the way of the story. The Lords of Salem could have been placed in the 70’s or in the 2000’s, unless you are really paying attention you will never notice the difference. Sharon Moon Zombie is more than just a scream queen, she is the lead taking you on an emotional journey of the young DJ. Showing what it is like being on top, and what happens when you have hit rock bottom (of sorts), she has shown that besides being a psycho killer, she is also able to find the center of someone that is torn between the greatest battle of all. Give The Lords of Salem a look, even though it may not be one of the top rated movies out there, it provides a fantastic story line and superb acting. I will admit, it is one of my new treasured DVDs to my collection.
Written by: Scotty
Have you ever wanted a second job, driving trucks for a couple months of the year? I must admit that after watching a season of Ice Road Truckers, this might just be a great opportunity for my winter months. Now seeing what these drivers have to endure on a daily basis, along with the competitiveness that each driver shows for each other makes me feel as if this would be the right fit. But not knowing what the Alaska tundra could really have in store for me has left me sitting on the sideline for many years now.
But in the Syfy creature feature Ice Road Terror, you find out what the real terror is on the ice roads in Alaska as you follow two buddy truck drivers trying to win the coveted trophy for running the most hauls in a season. Jack Simmons, who is the winner of this trophy for the past five years acts like he is not interested in retaining his title of the most trips each season, that is until his friend Neil Conroy offers to take the last shipment of the season. Jack gives in and joins the convoy to get the last run of explosives up to the mining site. Thinking that the warming temperatures are all they will have to battle on their trip, the men are met with an unexpected hitchhiker, Rachel Harris who just needs a lift to make sure that the mine is in compliance with the up to date standers placed by the government.
Even though the temperature is nearing 34 degrees, the men both take the job for triple their normal rate, money is money. Watching as the ice road starts to crumble around them on their drive up, the trucks could not be prepared for what they find once they arrive at the mining site. Body parts and blood are scattered around the mining site, as Jack and Neil investigate the scene, they are able to locate two survivors, along with an ancient beast. A dinosaur (Wynook) is scavenging around the mine site, looking for its next meal. The Wynook is a legendary beast that the Inuit parents have told to their children for many moons. A creature that moves below the ground, and is always looking for its next victim. (That is really all they tell you.)
Ice Road Terror takes you on a slippery ride up and back down the ice roads of Alaska as three people try to escape the clutches of the Wynook. Once this beast lays eyes on you, it will never give up its pursuit until it eats you, or until you figure out a way to defeat it. The buddy truckers know how to survive to a point in the still cold outskirts of the great North West, but do not have the weapons or energy to take down the legendary monster. Knowing little, and their surveyor Rachel knowing even less, the three take up shelter in the only coffee house along the three hundred mile route.
Now what are your takeaways from this movie? First, team work, you always need it in a crisis. Second, never pick up any survivors from an animal attack disaster, they are just not right. And finally, third, always make sure you hold up somewhere with a lot of wood and power tools, but that should be a given at any time. Well, with winter coming up upon us again, the hope is that we drive safely on the ice, keep off the frozen lakes and don’t awaken legendary beasts.
Written by: Scotty
Have you ever wanted something that you cannot have? Everyone has and demons are no different than the rest of us is what Demon Knight explains. This film is a great look at what happens when the minions of hell come to town and try to take back what they think is theirs. The Collector is running down a man named Brayker trying to locate a Key, an ancient relic that has been handed down to the next chosen one at a time when the stars align to tell them that the time to move on has come. Needing to find a successor appears to be the hardest thing for these protectors to locate, but somehow they are able to do it without too much effort.
Being held up in a church turned into a hotel, looking for sanctuary, Brayker is able to protect the those trapped with him by pouring a drop of blood at every entrance point to keep the demons at bay. Trying to keep everyone in the hotel safe, Brayker is challenged at every step, by the demon outside and by everyone inside of the old building. Not knowing who he is able to trust, Brayker has to take his protection detail to the extreme, as to not let the demon in.
Demon Knight is a great look at the ongoing battle between good and evil. One man knowing what will happen if the dark forces enter the hotel, along with knowing what will happen if one person has succumbed to the evil that is waiting outside of the fortress walls. Being part of the Tales from the Crypt series, you know what is in store for you at the end. Demon Knight challenges you at every turn as you try to decide who to side with.
Yet for being a little horror film the cast is loaded with some great actors. Thomas Haden Church (Roach), or Dick Miller (Uncle Willy) will catch your attention, but William Sadler (Brayker) will stand out above the rest with his incredible dedication to what is right and wrong. Followed by a great performance by Jada Pinkett Smith (Jeryline) who plays a convict on work release, but you will be mesmerized by Billy Zane (The Collector) who is just for a lesser term, fantastic.
What I enjoyed most about this flick, is just how much it challenges faith, our perception of it and more importantly, what we believe to be right and wrong. At every corner the characters are challenged by the Collector and tempted and it's incredible to see just how weak some of them are and how well the rest of them resist his "offers." It's surprising depth for a Tales from the Crypt story and makes it all the more enjoyable, and in a weird way, it left me wondering what would happened if someone was trapped in such a situation in real life where their moral compass would be challenged to the extreme. Would they do the right thing? Or give in to the easy way out? Either way, take a look at this one, sit back and relax as you contemplate your end of days…or just enjoy your popcorn.
Written by: Scotty
Everyone should have fond memories of their parents, be it the help they provided you with over the years, the fun times you had as your father coached your baseball team, or your mother just teaching you how to do the laundry so all of your socks don’t come out of the dryer with a pink color. It is your parents that make up these memories for you, even if you did not ask for them. Royce Bruyere is one of these parents that did not want to miss a second with his son Colt, using everything in his discretion to make sure his son turned out to be a great man when he got older. Now Royce was very well off in his financial situation, being able to capitalize on the internet bubble before it burst and he was going to make the most of it. Taking his son surfing was one of the highlights of his week living on the coast of California. If the waves were not big enough, Royce would watch the news and find out where he needed to go to make the day feel complete.
On their latest trip to find the best surf, Royce and Colt flew down to Mexico and enjoyed the day with great conversation and even greater waves. It was getting late, and although Royce had been told not to fly in the dark, he ignored this and took off and headed back up the coast to San Diego. A strong wind hit the plane as they were landing, causing the plane to tumble down the runway. Colt was badly injured, but his father Royce was dead on arrival. Being very well off, Royce had signed up for Cryogenics, just in case he was taken before his time. The response time by the company he paid for this service was astounding, and it ended up changing his life forever.
The year is 2047, thirty five years since the crash. Royce awakens in a small white room with people in lab coats looking over him, speaking what he thinks is Chinese. Thinking that there is a joke being played on him, a young American lab tech named Alex takes pity on the man and explains what is going on. The world has changed, American soil from New York to the Mississippi River has been taken over by the Chinese. The restrictions that the Chinese have put into place have made it impossible to figure out what has happened on the other side of the continent. Besides that, Royce is now a medical anomaly, being the first person in the history of cryogenics to be revived. With this success, the Chinese plan to work on reviving more people, to show the world their medical dominance, and lack of foresight.
Half of America being under China’s rule is only the first problem Royce gets to encounter in these future times. The second is much more troubling as three more people are revived from cryostasis and start biting their doctors. Cryonic gives you a look into the future as medical advances and world dominance are the primary worries for the hybrid country that is America/China. Royce gets thrown into a drastic situation as his new world is getting eaten up, person by person. Joining a group of Alex’s friends, Royce is able to see where technology has advanced in the future, but only in the medical side with lasers that can slice through human tissue like a hot knife through butter and faster healing techniques. As these biters get loose and the current government does not know how to cure them, the biters are shipped to different medical facilities across the globe. The infection gets out of hand, and only Royce and his group of survivors have an idea of how to stop it, but not being able to contact anyone due to the restrictions placed on their side of the river, they will need to fight to get across to America and pass their knowledge on.
This is another zombie novel that is a joy to read. Author Travis Bradberry is able to play upon your fears of the nation being run over by another, then adding the threat of zombies to that puts you into a state of shock. Your main character Royce is as strong as he should be, fighting off the oppression of the Chinese, the zombies and taking lead of his group on his way to get back home. With the strong morals this man possesses, you will be cheering him on and hoping that nothing gets in his way as he fights with all of his heart to see what had happened to his family. Great zombie kills are also added in this novel, with the classic bullet to the head, but those that fight also have a bayonet attached to their rifles, along with a flesh cutting laser that seems to work wonders on the hordes of zombies that come their way. Just be happy we are still many years away from seeing what will really happen when someone gets out of cryogenic slumber, but once you hear on the news that Walt Disney is being defrosted, be ready to run!
Written by: Scotty
The wild west may not have seemed too wild to some people, but when the truth comes out about why the migration took so long after the Civil War ended you would understand the resistance. Swillers, Hobgoblins and Werewolves roamed western territories after the war making it uncomfortable for the settlers to travel, much less find a place to live. That is where men like Uriah Zane come into play. A ghoul hunter of great notoriety in the west, even the ones he hunts know his name as he cleanses campsites, and clears out caves full of these cadavers.
While a large prison had been constructed by the country's higher ups to house the really bad hobgoblins, the werewolves were truly the scourge of the west, they could be defeated, but if you killed one in human form, he would haunt you for the rest of your days. Hellsgarde was built for the worst of the worst and they always had room for more. Charlie Hondo was the legendary prisoner in this dungeon, a werewolf shipped over from Russia who was the leader of the Hell’s Angels. His reach was greater than anyone could have known, by having a Mexican witch on his side that was helping to plan his escape from the awful prison. Werewolves changing in daylight and a fire breathing dragon hit Hellsgarde by surprise. Hondo was out and ready for his next task, to become the most powerful of his breed.
Zane has been on the heels of many of these types, always delivering on what he promised for the right amount of cash. Being a ghoul bounty hunter was far from glorious work, but it paid well. Zane had always wanted to work alone, but when he heard about the breakout of Hellsgarde, he knew he would have to take on a partner or two to help with the hunt. He ran into Angel out in the Colorado Territory, with a lot of history between them, they tried to keep each other at arm’s length, but neither were able to control their bloodlust of a common foe. Angel was a loner as well, but a very strong, very attractive hunter and one of the few women who Zane could trust would make it back every time with her bounty. The two moved west in search for Hondo and ran into another old friend, Al Hathaway who may be a little slow, but is just as deadly as the other two.
Dust of the Damned takes you back into the old west, were you have more to fear than just the Native Americans, you have a different and more deadly breed running over the plains. Zane and friends take to the trail and try to locate these Hell’s Angels before they are able to find a way to become more powerful. Although the Hell’s Angels are run by Hondo, the witch Ravenna is truly in control of the group, increasing their powers, heightening their senses and providing protection from the sky in the way of a dragon. Meeting opposition at every pass Ravenna tells the group to keep it cool while in the towns so they do not get noticed, but once they run in to the James-Younger gang, she is unable to follow her own direction. Jessie James joins the fight and heads off with Zane’s crew to put an end to the terror the Hell’s Angels are trying to put together.
Books like Dust of the Damned just make me smile. A retelling of history is always fun to get into and leaves you saying ‘what if?’ This book does not fail in this aspect, having the Union Army calling in the help of ancient evil to help win the Civil War and what would happen once the war was over. Where would all of the ghouls go? Out west of course where there is nothing to keep them from doing what they wanted to do all along, live and eat people. Author Peter Brandvold also gets you wrapped up with what outlaws would do if they did not want to get captured by the army, becoming ghoul hunters to keep money in their pockets and whiskey in their stomachs. The Wild West has never been so wild and I hope it does not come back to bite us in the neck.
Written by: Scotty
Have you ever wanted to be able to read someone’s thoughts, look into the future, or even look into an alternate dimension? What if you were able to do all this and much more with just a little help from a Jamaican drug dealer…would you do it?
This decision was not made by David Wong, as these special abilities were incorporated into his world with a little needle prick of ‘Soy Sauce’. The Sauce as they call it opens up your mind, you are able to communicate with dead people, along with seeing them, count the grains of rice on a plate without even having to touch it, and locate gateways that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
John Dies at the End will take you on a trip into your inner psychic, at least that is what it is trying to do. David and good friend John have both taken the Sauce and are now able to view these strange occurrences that are unknown to the rest of the world, at least the rest of the world that is not taking the Sauce. It is up to them to save the world from whatever is going to happen, may it be a day, month, or fifty years from now. Joining forces with powerful psychic Marconi, the three are able to battle the forces that are trying to take over our way of life.
Now what will this movie deliver you might ask? Well, let’s look back to the classic, deranged movie called Fargo. Did you laugh during the wood chipper scene? Take a moment and really think about it. If you did, the opening scene of this movie will whet your appetite with a Nazi having his head removed. The humor in this movie may be called juvenile, but if you are open to some very off color jokes about anything and everything, you will end up laughing through most of the film. Great action sequences, and a lot of blood splatter accompany the story line, and it even seems to be warranted.
The acting in this movie is great, headed up by Chase Williamson who plays David, a very disturbed individual who is just trying to get the truth out to the world of what is happening. Rob Mayes who plays John delivers as well, playing a light hearted individual that is taking on his new abilities in stride. The movie is anchored by the great Paul Giamatti who plays Arnie, and old reporter that is called into this new realm, just looking for a story.
John Dies at the End will take you on a wonderful ride of trying to figure out what is and what is not real. Depending on your point of view, it could have happened, or it could just be someone losing their mind and trying to make sense of it. Just sit back and enjoy the ride as David and John try to save themselves, along with the world. Will John really die at the end? You will have to watch to find out.
Written by: Scotty
July 4th, five years after the Exes had stared bringing terror to the nation, the group at the Mount had set up a celebration for the survivors that were housed within their walls. St. George and Stealth sat upon the wall watching as their wrath partner Zzzap put on a fireworks display just outside of the atmosphere. The celebration is not only about their independence, but the group’s survival from the last battle with the Seventeens along with their ex-counterparts that were controlled by their fallen leader Peasy.
A majority of the Seventeens moved into the Mount after their defeat and had agreed to work within the system put in place by the Heroes, but some of them do not feel as if they are being utilized to their fullest capacity yet. Like young Ceaser, the Driver who is able to meld into any vehicle that has an engine and take control. This sparks a heated discussion about the usage of their new arrivals between St. George and Stealth, why not utilize these young fighters on their scavenge runs and on the walls to protect the city? Stealth is still not sure, and as being the leader of the Mount, she has little trust for anyone that has not proved themselves yet, at least to her.
The group heads out onto their next scavenger run and everything seems to be going fine, until they notice a Predator Drone overhead that seems to be tracking the movements of their group. Zzzap follows the drone back to its base and reports back to the Mount with the news. It returned to an active military base. Excited about the news that there are more survivors and a possibility to receive some help, the Hero group wants to relay the news to the rest of the community in the Mount, but Stealth still remains hesitant. What if this is a trap? What if they come in and take our power away? What if they want to remove us altogether? Stealth’s worries for everyone’s wellbeing in the Mount may be noble, but she is losing her fanfare with survivors.
Helicopters move over the Mount, filled with soldiers from Section 456, lovingly called the Unbreakables, led by Captain Freedom. These are the biggest, fastest, strongest men any of the Heroes had encountered outside of super humans. The Unbreakables came out of the latest super solider program called Project Krypton, improving normal men into unbeatable, super strong soldiers that would only do right for the country and its values. Although the project was shut down when the country collapsed, this group had stayed together with the help of a liaison named John Smith. Smith looks around the battered living areas of the Mount, and is taken back by one of his past contacts, Cerberus, that has been living in the Mount since the outbreak. Earning a bit of trust, Smith convinces the team to come visit the base and see what help he and his band of super soldiers can provide for their future. But his real intentions for offering "help" will not be revealed until it is far too late.
In Peter Clines second installment, Ex-Patriots takes you on more of a ride than Ex-Heroes. You are already bought into the heroes, so now you are thrown into their upcoming challenges to keep their survivors alive and prospering. Any help should be good, but with a government entity coming into their home, they have no reason to trust or respect the call of martial law that is laid down before them. The super soldiers, followed by their creator Dr. Sorensen are looking to rebuild the country with the help of the heroes, or at least one. The base is being also manned by Exes with little control units called Nests created by the good doctor, but what is unknown by everyone is the deal the doctor made to make this invention work.
Another fun zombie novel by Clines. You are able to get your action, adventure and comedic feel from this book and you would not want it any other way. Following the hero’s along with the wise cracking Zzzap, you are willing to keep the pages turning to find out what will happen with their resistance to the man, the exes and a fallen leader. Sit back and enjoy as zombies get taken out, but don’t you worry, there are always enough left for another sequel.