Archive for » April, 2010 «

Monday, April 26th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Are you a reader? Have I got a deal for you. Above you will see the promo for a new short story anthology simply called; Dark: A Horror Anthology.

From the books synopsis:
“Fourteen authors come together to bring you their vision of horror in Dark: A Horror Anthology. Many of the iconic creatures of horror’s history resurface in fresh and innovative ways-zombies, werewolves, and chupacabras abound. There are plenty of new things to fear as well, a broken world, a myth of the murky depths, and a knife that cuts twice. Whatever your favorite flavor may be there is an author in these pages that serves it up. Authors include: Matt R. Jones, Bryan Wolford, Casey Criswell, J.P. Moore, Keith Latch, Sal Cipriano, Desmond Reddick, Sean Keller, Dezi Sienty, Cassandra Thomas, Blake M. Petit, Corey Graham, Derek M. Koch, and Steve Wands.”

If you’ll notice, the authors of this collection may have some familiar names. Many members of the horror blogging and podcasting world have teamed together to give you a few chills of their own! Some familiar faces are Bryan Wolford from Drunken Zombie, Derek M. Koch from Mail Order Zombie, and a whole lot more!

Most importantly, for me anyways, is a story from an esteemed author and podcaster Casey Criswell who has been a contributor to the news desk and a podcast co-host here at Bloody Good Horror for quite a few years now. In case I lost you, that’s me! Included in the collection is my story “Deep Lies the Murky Floor”, a tale of youthful fears and what happens when you face them.

“Dark: A Horror Anthology” is now available via Createspace and Amazon for a mere $12.95. Check it out, and be sure to let everybody involved know what you think by way of the books official website.

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Horror films are no stranger to borrowing from the social climate of the times. They’ve done so throughout history, they will always continue to do so. Most of the time these films will mix in current events and social issues going on in the country in subtle ways. “Halloween” had its fare share and George Romero has always used this technique as a staple. When done right, this is an excellent way to flesh out a horror movie. It makes the film relevant and easier for we the viewers to sink our teeth into. It’s a fine line though on when too much is too much. Sometimes this backfires, such as in the case of Romero’s “Diary of the Dead” were it feels like the film makers are simply beating us over the head with a morale that we don’t really care to hear. In the case of “Blood Car”, the film makers decided to not only cross this fine line; they decided to jump over it, rub it out and forget about it all together. This doesn’t mean that they are simply beating us about the head about high gas prices simply because they can; this means that they’ve managed to take some current events and turn it into a pretty stellar bit of satire mixed in with a great little monster flick.

Archie is a died in the wool tree hugger. He loves the earth and goes out of his way to make sure he’s not harming any of it. This could be backlash from the films setting; our own near future where gas prices have skyrocketed to forty dollars a gallon. In this near future, people simply stop driving. They can’t afford it anymore. This is a great turn of events for the earth, but it is a pretty drastic change of life for the citizens of the United States. It could be that Archie just has a thing for wheat grass and wants to save the world by inventing a car engine that will run on said hippie cocktail. Time passes by and Archie continues to work on his engine, met with failure after failure. Until that fateful night when he cuts open his hand and spills some blood in the fuel tank of his wheat grass mobile. The engine likes blood and it runs on it pretty damn well. With his newfound popularity that comes with driving a car in a world where gas is simply un-affordable, Archie begins to reap the benefits of his invention; he’s getting laid. And he likes it. Just how far will Archie go to keep his blood car running?

I’ve heard much about “Blood Car” over the past year or two. There was a lot of praise and even a lot of negativity. It seems that people were divided pretty widely on the film. I can’t say for sure why I put off my own viewing for over three years, but it could be a case of having heard so much about the film across the podcast landscape, I felt there really wasn’t much for me to see. I’d heard most of it from the countless reviews and podcasts out there that covered it. Having finally sat through it though, I can honestly say that I’m sorry that I waited so long. I was met with a great horror comedy with plenty of laughs and a solid story. And maybe even just a little because it has a grown up Anna Chlumsky in it and she’s still adorable.

The true beauty in “Blood Car” lies in a great script that’s filled with great jokes and a straight forward plot. The movie pushes you gently into thinking that they are going to serve you some granola flavored agenda with a heavy hand and then switches things up with a slap to the face making fun of the scene you just watched. They lampoon the culture, they lampoon the social agenda. Yet despite all this, it still points out our love of gas guzzling pollution machines as well as showing us what too much power can do to an otherwise normal person. The jokes are plentiful throughout the movie and still the message underlying it all manages to carry through. It’s not all rainbows and hippies either; while the gore is fairly light throughout the movie, there are still gore jokes aplenty and they all manage to fit in logically with the scene built around it.

Possibly my favorite thing about this movie is the lead actor Mike Brune who plays Archie. He starts out bland as you would expect from your stereotypical granola munching earth friend. His life is mundane and he takes his kindergarten teaching job far too seriously. As the first act unfolds, you will find yourself rolling your eyes at Archie a bit as he misses the obvious and holds on to his bland outward appearance. As we keep going though, we watch as Archie slowly comes unhinged in dealing with his hemoglobin hotrod. It’s not a straight cut to psychosis; Archie is fully aware that to keep his invention and love life trucking along, he’ll have to go against the beliefs that he has raised himself to follow. It doesn’t stop him though. Watching as he slowly brings himself to terms with his newfound fate is down right hilarious at times and he blossoms into a pretty great nut job for such a low profile film.

“Blood Car” is a solid horror comedy through and through. They take just enough cracks at themselves, the peace-nick earth lovers, the auto industry, the government and more to make this a movie full of good laughs. And they do it all while still pointing out that we have a problem in our lives to contend with. It’s a shoestring movie; the central sets of the film are a beat up car and two ramshackle lemonade stands, one marked ‘Wheat Grass Stand’ and the other ‘Meat’. It doesn’t matter though. The writing and acting that takes place around it are good enough to keep things moving along nicely and giving you a hell of a chuckle all at the same time.

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

“Meadowoods” is a simple film from beginning to end. The plot is straight forward; a group of college students in a small town are essentially bored and want to stir things up a bit with a murder. They figure the best way to execute said murder is to find a random person and come up with a creative way to end them. That way its a drawn out process and they can get some great video of the dying process and create a bit of chaos in town to scare everybody while they’re at it. What better way to pass away the time with some good old fashioned killing?

Cribbing from other films that have used similar styles in the past, “Meadowoods” is told from the first person perspective of Ryan, a film school student who has access to the cameras our trio needs to film their morbid documentary. The first two acts are simply close up shots of our three teens discussing their idea; murdering an innocent person. We watch along as they start off gung-ho over the idea and slowly move towards trepidation, over zealous excitement and flat confusion. It’s an interesting take at telling a story where we get to see everything from the birth of the idea, research, building the props needed for the act and finally, execution. The closest film we have seen of late would be “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” which feels like an obvious influence for the likes of “Meadowoods”. The key difference being that this film is set from beginning to end to feel like a true to life story where “Vernon” has a definite satirical agenda.

Where the problems enter in for “Meadowoods” is in this same point of view that makes the movie interesting. When dealing with a green cast setting off on possibly their first acting job, it can be difficult to keep the story flowing. Tedium rides a fine line here when the actors get off their marks for the slightest bit. Where some scenes are tense as you watch the characters coldly discussing taking the life of another person, others just seem to roll on for a bit too long. This causes us to lose the point at times and wonder when they’ll be moving on. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the case of the entire film. A good chunk of the first two acts are great in the simple act of watching how cold these potential killers are. Just at times, they wander a bit the film slows down because of it.

While the work to get there is a bit over long, the payoff of the third act of “Meadowoods” is worth the effort. In this final act, we see numerous things happen surrounding the trios deadly adventures. Some characters evolve, some devolve and yet others seem to be mired in confusion uncertain of where to go. After our hour long buildup of the first two acts, the final events kick off unexpectedly and snowballs through to its conclusion. This is a great contrast to the first two acts as suddenly the film becomes frenetic and chaotic, much like you would expect any plan devised by a trio of bored college students to unfold. For the purists, you will happen across a few issues in the script itself, though they are minor. More than anything, I found myself wondering throughout the movie why they thought sitting in a coffee shop discussing committing murder loudly and openly was a good idea. Getting past the fact that they are filming the entire ordeal, you’d think they would go through a little more effort to keep things to themselves. But once again, just a minor annoyance.

Ultimately, “Meadowoods” is a highly watchable horror flick that is going to be a bit different from what you would normally expect. The pacing feels different from most films I’ve watched before which makes the movie feel like a fresh idea. You do have to be in the right frame of mind for this pacing. It may well strike you as meandering and slow. If you give it a chance however, it’s a worthwhile journey to see the final act unfold.

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ve never seen an episode of “The O.C.” and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen any other movie on Mischa Barton’s IMDb list. In fact, I believe the only exposure I’ve ever had to Mischa Barton is random clips of antics that pop up on “The Soup” from time to time. When the screener for her 2009 thriller Homecoming came across my desk; I really wasn’t expecting much. The back cover of the DVD, for a movie I hadn’t heard of mind you, claims that it is a “mix of Fatal Attraction and Misery for the Gossip Girl generation”. Once again; not a confidence builder. By the time I made it through the film, I was a bit surprised to find out they were correct in their claims and I in fact, didn’t hate the movie!

Mike (Matt Long) and his new girlfriend Elizabeth (Jessica Stroup) are heading home. To Mike’s hometown that is. It’s homecoming weekend at his alma mater. The only thing that Mike’s not looking forward to on this trip is running into his ex-girlfriend Shelby (Mischa Barton). She’s clingy, still hung up on Mike and a bit touched in the head. After the school’s big homecoming game, Elizabeth suggests they visit the local bar for a beer or two. Mike doesn’t want to because it turns out, Shelby owns the bar. He’s sure there will be an awkward confrontation when Shelby sees him with Elizabeth on his arm. He’s not completely wrong; upon first site, Shelby automatically assumes Mike is there to see her and throws herself at him. Once he explains the situation, she backs off and tries to put on a friendly face to Elizabeth. The night goes well until Shelby leaves for home in her upset drunken state. When she sees Elizabeth walking to her hotel along side the road, a simple mishap finds Elizabeth bloody in the ditch and Shelby coming up with a plan for Mike’s new girlfriend.

When the PR department states that “Homecoming” is a mix of “Fatal Attraction” and “Misery”, that’s exactly what it is. Elements of both movies are prevalent throughout as we see Shelby’s darker nature come to life. The movie leans heavily on the “Misery” side of the story telling with “Fatal Attraction” being a lighter touch, but both classics are there. This causes the entire film to rest upon Mischa Barton’s shoulders to carry it through to completion; you can’t have a crazy ex-lover thriller without a crazy ex-lover to pull it off. In this role, Barton keeps herself mostly subdued but there is definitely something wrong in her character of Shelby. The craziness is understated and would have been much better had she gone a little more over the top. We never see any extreme breakdowns other than a few crying jags here and there. On the other hand, she seems to be mostly unaffected in her outward appearance by her ex-boyfriend and his new lover and every thing else that develops in the hour and a half of Shelby’s life we see. This gives us a sense of a coldness to the character that belies the inferno of rage and hate that is going on beneath the surface and helps to make Barton a bit chilling in her own way.

Beyond the acting work of Barton, “Homecoming” is a bit vanilla as far as most thrillers go. It’s not unwatchable by any means; there are moments of violence in the film that surprised me for the luke-warm type of story that is presented. There is no gore to speak of and you do not see much of the violence directly, but the aftermath of such events are shown here and there and we get a sense that the film had its heart in the right place. For a low budget plot, there are few plot holes to speak of and the story is concise and make sense. The only real problem is there is just not very much thrill for a movie that relies on crazed ex-lovers and calls itself a thriller.

For a rated R film, “Homecoming” could have used some more scenes of insanity and examples of how far Shelby would be willing to go to save her past love life. The product that we’re given feels more like a PG-13 film. If you can look at the movie in this light, that of a PG-13 thriller, it’s a solid example of direct to video film making. For the rating it has, it’s just a bit too vanilla. Despite this fact, “Homecoming” is still quite watchable and Barton turns in a decent performance for an actress that I had no expectations from. As long as you go into your viewing with the right mind set, there are far worse ways to burn a movie night.

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Monday, April 12th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s been a few years since I’ve seen a truly disturbing flick. The last movie that wins the award of truly messing with my head is the 2007 French brain-drainer “Inside”. While I’ll always be a fan of any form of horror, be it comedy or mundane, it’s nice to have one every once in awhile that truly upsets your head. What can I say; I’ve watched a lot of this stuff, I’m pretty desensitized and jaded!

Enter “The Human Centipede (First Sequence), a messed up looking medical thriller that does not shy away from the fact that its basic plot is pretty damn disgusting. If you’re a big horror fan who keeps up on the news and such, you’ve heard of it and seen the pictures. A mad German surgeon kidnaps two American girls and another patient. He cuts the ligaments in their knees to prevent them from being able to walk or stand, then surgically attaches the three victims to each other, ass to mouth! The goal? To create a new organism with a single digestive tract. Yes, that’s right. Feed one end and see what comes out the other!

Sounds pretty gnarly, right? Right.

As a horror fan, part of the fun is being scared or disturbed combined with a sense of escapism. Sure, your typical slasher flick or serial killer opus are scary because the reality of their situation. The truly memorable movies happen when things are so far beyond realistic it’s just plain fun to give in and go with it. Such is the case with “Human Centipede”. The trailer shown below gives a good taste of what’s to come (see what I did there?) and it looks pretty great! Not only that, in todays world of big budget remakes and rehashed story lines, it is exciting to see something fresh and pretty original coming out. Sure, we’ve seen deranged doctors on screen before, but I can’t say that I’ve seen one who delights in sewing people together for his own entertainment.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve watched so many horror films over the years, I rarely find them scary or disturbing anymore. I don’t really blame the film makers on this; I’ve just seen a lot of movies. “Human Centipede” looks downright disgusting overall and the fact that I feel a tiny bit of a thrill at the prospect of seeing this creation coming to life excites me! Sure it’s weird, but that’s okay! Helping to fuel this fire is reading the reactions of fellow horror critics who have seen the film in festival settings. Most of their post viewing reactions still say that it was downright disgusting. What can I say; I’m excited.

Be sure to check out the trailer below and feel free to leave your own comments on what you expect out of “The Human Centipede”!

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Thursday, April 08th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

This week, I sat down with Charlie, Brad and Jesse from Movie Fan House to talk movies, and a great time was had be all! In this episode, we talk about “Clash of the Titans” and our Fave 5 Most wanted Remakes!

Be sure to check out their podcast if you haven’t already and look for the Clash of the Titans episode later today! (4/8)

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Monday, April 05th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’m working on a new Bigfoot story for you all to read, right? What I didn’t tell you is that I’m teaming up with Damaged 2.0 editor Louis Fowler and Bookgasm editor Rod Lott to put together a new bigfoot anthology! So not only will you get one bigfoot story to entertain yourself, you’re going to get an entire book full!

So now, the official call for submissions are up! Read below for details so you can get started on churning out your stories! The rules are pretty clear: we want bigfoot and we want whatever version of bigfoot you can dream up!

Stay tuned for further details as we finalize the anthology title, the official blog, artwork, and a whole lot more!

NEW BIGFOOT PRINT ANTHOLOGY CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Skunkape. Whatever you call him, this cryptozoological American legend has entertained and befuddled us for generations. From grainy Zapruder-like film to family fare such as “Harry and the Hendersons”, the Bigfoot is an ingrained part of our culture. And, now, we’re gonna tell the other side of his story…the further adventures of Bigfoot!
Conceived in a fever pitch this past Horrorhound Weekend, Louis Fowler, editor of DAMAGED 2.0 and Casey Criswell, editor of “Cinema Fromage”, are teaming up with Rod Lott at BOOKGASM for an as-yet-to-be-titled Bigfoot Anthology, to be published under the new “BOOKGASM PRESENTS” banner. And, as with any anthology worth it’s salt, we need quality writers wanting to tell their own version of the Sasquatch myth!

Think that you’ve got an unique story to tell? We want it! Anyone can do a typical Bigfoot-scares-teen-campers tale…we want something different. Stories can put the creature in anytime or anyplace or any situation, as long as it is entertaining! Think your story is too “B-movie”? Chances are we’ll like it even better. Think your “take” is too insane? We want to read it!
Short story submissions need to be at least 1500 words, but feel free to go longer to tell the story that you need to. Additionally, flash fiction of at least 250 words will also be considered, but, please tell a story.
NO POETRY.
All submissions should be sent as a .doc file, in 12 point Times New Roman font. No crazy fonts, please. Number all pages and please include name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address in the top left corner of the first page.
For work accepted, authors will receive a complimentary copy of the anthology in which their work appears.

We will be accepting submissions from now until June 15th. Authors will be notified of acceptance shortly thereafter by email.

Send all submissions to damagedhearing@gmail.com with the subject “BIGFOOT SUBMISSION”.
Thanks, and we look forward to seeing your stuff!

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Monday, April 05th, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

What I originally thought was a great Ken Foree costume, turned out to be Ken Foree.

What I originally thought was a great Ken Foree Costume, turned out to actually be Ken Foree.

One of the most popular aspects of any kind of genre convention is creating your own costumes to wear to the show. It’s not my thing personally; I’m just not much of a dressing up kind of guy. I do feel that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the activity though because frankly, it’s fun to watch the crowds and see what shows up!

While Horrorhound Weekend may not bring the amount of costumes that say…your local anime convention might bring, it does bring a lot! Pinhead, Jason and Michael Meyers are always staples for the masked set. These guys struck a chord with fans. It makes sense you’ll see a large number of them paying homage! You’ll see plenty of home made creations as well, which often turn out to be the best!

Now, what makes a costume you may ask? For me it is bringing to life an existing character or going above and beyond to create a character for yourself. You’ll see getups that fit that description pretty closely in varying degrees of success. What you won’t see? The legions of top hats, mutton chop beards and fishnet stockings that were in worn in droves. I’m not too sure when these three items were declared staples of the horror genre, but I apparently missed the memo!

Below I’ve added a slide show for the bevvy of costumed folks that we encountered at the recent Indy convention. All are worth a look if costumes are your thing! Feel free to click through for a closer look and a brief description of what you’re seeing!

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Saturday, April 03rd, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

As a writer, it’s important to do your research. It’s pretty hard to write a believable story when you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about! With a Bigfoot short story or two in the works, I figured another good research step would be to dive into some of the existing stuff that’s out there to see what other writers have tried. You can see what’s a hit, what’s a miss, and maybe even spawn a couple of new ideas where you can expand where others left off before. Makes sense, right?

With the cover that’s listed above, “Sasquatch Mountain” looks like the perfect candidate. The cover itself is very reminiscent of old exploitation and grindhouse style flicks. Creepy and paints a good picture of what to expect. It’s times like these that I would have paid attention to my dear old grandmother when she’d give me those lectures about never judging a book by its cover. For whatever reason, “Sasquatch Mountain” is known by two names. The other is “Devil on the Mountain”, which more directly connects it to its Syfy Channel roots. Once you hear that it was a ‘SciFi Original’, it begins to paint a whole different picture for the great cover pasted above.

I won’t lie. I’m a sucker for packaging and that cover you’re not supposed to judge by? I judge by it a lot. (That should tell you something about why I’ve spent so many years writing about bad movies.) Had I come across the “Devil on the Mountain” flavor of this film when digging through the used DVD stacks, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post. I’d have skipped over it plain and simple. Okay, I probably would have still considered it because I’m a Lance Henriksen fanboy, but that’s besides the point.

Actually, it paints a picture that looks more this.

At any rate, “Sasquatch Mountain” delivers exactly what you would expect from a Syfy Channel original; crap. The movie actually starts out great! Lance is a tow truck driver, out to help his wife who’s car stalled out along side a country road. As they jump start her car and have a little slap & tickle in the process, the radio in Lance’s cab erupts with excited voices. Somebody is telling them that there is something in the woods and it’s HEADING RIGHT FOR THEM! Can you feel the excitement already? I sure can. Lance spins with flash light in hand to check a disturbance in the nearby tree line and catches the silhouette of a large creature disappearing back into the woods. It’s scary. It’s well shot! It’s exactly the type of shot you expect from a sasquatch movie! It’s the only time they show anything that you would expect from a sasquatch movie.

Throughout the rest of the film, we catch shots of the bigfoot costume at random intervals. The costume is good, it resembles the first cover that I posted pretty closely. This doesn’t help the shots much because most of them are just Mr. Foot posing in the woods. He does eventually decide to take a poke at a few unsuspecting souls later in the film, but each are lackluster and off screen. It’s a simple matter of not being exciting to watch. We can’t concentrate on bigfoot scenes in a movie called “Sasquatch Mountain”. No, we have to instead force in a sub plot surrounding bank robbers kidnapping Cerina Vincent. Cerina Vincent, who I’m still not sure why she was in town in the first place. She just kind of shows up and starts checking out lawn sales.

And there folks, is your problem. “Sasquatch Mountain” is actually a movie about old people in a small town, faced with a gang of bank robbers. With Lance Henriksen there to save the day. Now, it fits in that the robbers flee through the woods and run into the monster. You can see how they got there. If you took bigfoot out of it though, it would be just a lousy bank heist movie with a grizzled old fart there to fight them off. I’ll give the film makers a bit of credit though. They had to be fully aware that if they didn’t shoehorn the sasquatch, they’d have never sold the film. So naturally, they make it a sure fire pitch for the Syfy Channel.

If you’re like me, researching bigfeet for whatever reason, let this serve as your research. It’s not worth your time!

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Thursday, April 01st, 2010 | Author: Casey Criswell

Okay, I’m going to get this off my chest. I’m a Lou Diamond Phillips fan. There, I said it. I thought he was great in “La Bamba”, loved him in “Young Guns”. I was a bit excited to hear he was coming back for “Stargate Universe” until I found out his character was a tool and I even watched an episode of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” to see how he fared with the other D-List celebs. The idea of Lou fighting off circus freaks in the recent “Maneater Series” was a pretty exciting one until I found out that’s not exactly what he was going to be doing. I still managed to sit down and watch it and suprisingly enough, I didn’t hate myself by the time it was over!

The setup is simple. Lou Diamond Phillips is the sherriff of a small town. It’s a quiet place where everyone knows each other and what each other are doing. When the circus comes to town with its promises of the most amazing freak show ever, it sends this tiny country community into a tizzy. Like most carnivals are sterotyped, this one is lead by an underhanded crook who cares about nothing but the quick buck. When he finds his chance to lay his hands on the legendary Jersey Devil, he of course jumps at the chance to reap the benefits of its ownership and to find a buyer for the end of the summer. Unfortunatley for everybody, the Jersey Devil isn’t too keen on being caged up and soon breaks free. It’s up to Lou and the evil carny folk to try and take down the beast of lore.

If you’re thinking that this sounds like a pretty bad plot; I won’t argue with you. It’s straight up basic with little to no frills. The presentation matches this in that we see the setups for many different sub plots and character archs that never come to fruition. Things are teased like a budding romance between Lou and the carnivals loverly fortune teller or the mysterious man that the Head Carny wants to sell the Jersey Devil to. We just never see how these things play out.

Even in the movies main feature, the Jersey Devil, we saw far too little. As the old rules state, it’s best to build fear in a monster movie by showing the creature as little as possible. These Syfy Channel stinkers aren’t your typical monster movie fare though. These are all about the spectacle with a very thin plot. In these cases you need to see your monster, to see the antics it gets into and the mayhem it causes. Throughout “Carny”, we see a number of people get knocked off by the brute, but we do not see the brute knocking them off. You see many cases of a person being shaken around by something that is just off screen. This serves to only be frustrating because since it is about the spectacle, you’re not watching to see a deep story unfold. You’re watching to see carnage. When it’s not there? It’s not so fun.

Despite these facts, “Carny” somehow manages to be a watchable film. While thin, the plot is straight forward and to the point. Carnival moves in, they steal a monster, they sell tickets to see said monster, monster breaks free, people die, the town fights back. Nothing to it. Yes, the hinted at sub plots can be annoying, but if you can look past them, the story doesn’t get bogged down in useless depth. Sometimes you want a basic and simple monster movie, shut off your brain and enjoy a rollicking good time. “Carny” doesn’t fit this description fully, there are problems. It comes closer than any other Syfy Original or Maneater Series movie that I’ve watched in a long time though.

Even the acting in “Carny” is above par for this sort of movie. Now, we’ve already stated the facts; me, Lou Diamond, we’re tight. Still, he comes across as believable and likeable all at once. Sure he’s stereotypical in his small town law enforcement role, but again, it’s a simple movie. The other actors placed around him do all right as well. Alan Peterson as the carnivals eveil ring leader is believable, even though he leaves you feeling a bit winded in the end. He’s a bit big and carnies don’t live the healthiest of lifestyles but holy cow man, take a break for a second and take a good deep breath or two. Your huffing and puffing wears me out. Even Simone-Elise Girard, as forgettable as her character is as the circus seer does all right. None of them come across as too hammy or forced which seems to be the running standard in these types of films.

“Carny” isn’t a revolutionary film. In fact, it’s a pretty bad film over all. It’s watchable though and can give you some basic entertainment for an hour and a half. If you’re a fan of Lou, (surely I’m not the only one) he does all right here. There’s worst ways to spend a lazy Sunday, that’s for sure and it really is a step above the rest as far as SyFy Orignals go.

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