31 Days of Halloween — Day 5: Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) — by Dr. Shock

Alice, Sweet Alice 1976

Editor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast and the Land of the Creeps horror podcast. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.

My good friend and fellow podcaster, Jason Pyles (aka Jay of the Dead of Horror Movie Podcast), has been singing the praises of 1976’s “Alice, Sweet Alice” for years. Yet, despite his often-passionate recommendations, this is the first time I’ve ever seen the movie. There’s no good reason why, I suppose; I just hadn’t gotten around to watching it.

And now, I have. Continue reading

The Hounds (2013)

The Hounds DVD coverVerdict: 4 ( Avoid )

Premise: Four friends (three guys and one girl) retreat deep into the wilderness for some camping, but after finding a dead body buried near their campsite, they are preyed upon by a shape-shifting, organ-stealing killer.

Mini Review: “The Hounds” rewards those who are patient … very patient. It is a textbook example of a film that has a great concept that is completely undermined by its poor execution. I’ve rated this movie a 4 out of 10: Two points are for its concept (or ultimately, its twist) and two points are for an especially sickening scene where a character’s kidney is ripped out. “The Hounds” reminded me of a Canadian horror film called “Dark Reprieve” (2008), another good idea that was executed terribly. In both movies, the screenplay fails to carry the story to its horrifying conclusion. One brief example: You know your script is weak if you have a character who is alone and has to talk to himself for the benefit of the viewers. The cinema should show, not tell. Plus, this is what good actors are for: conveying emotion without needing to speak. I have to give “The Hounds” credit, though: It is about one of the worst things that could ever happen to a human being (in real life). But you’ve got three characters, a tent and nothing but forest. That could be incredible, but it’s very boring. There’s a secondary story that seems completely unrelated to the primary plot. Naturally, we later learn the correlation, but until we arrive at the end of the movie, it’s very frustrating to watch. And unfortunately, “The Hounds” follows a trend in horror that I really hate, which is, casting multiple actors and only one actress, especially in a one-against-many scenario, where one killer is individually picking off a group of young men and women.

Directed by Maurizio del Piccolo and Roberto del Piccolo. Starring Maddie Moate, Paul Tonkin, David Drew. Sub-genre: Supernatural / Slasher / Mystery. Runtime: 87 min. MPAA rating: Not rated (but would be R). U.S. theater release: January 20, 2013. DVD release: February 26, 2013. Country: UK. Language: English. Mini Review by Jay of the Dead. 0007.

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