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  1. Review: Pioneer Horror Film "Bender"

    The unsettling true story of America's first serial killing family. A troubled doctor (Jon Monastero) searches for patients swallowed by the prairie and encounters the Benders, homesteaders trapped by a life of unspeakable sin.

    If nothing else, this film deserves praise for bringing the story of the “Bloody Benders” to life. Somehow, despite a lifetime of reading true crime and history, as well as devouring thousands of horror films, this reviewer has no recollection of ever hearing ...
  2. Blu-ray Review: "Effects" (1978)

    Some crew members of a company shooting a horror film begin to suspect that the "killings" in the movie are real, and that they are actually making a "snuff" film.

    There are two things about this film that keep it interesting all these decades later. One is the abundance of George Romero-connected people involved: Tom Savini, John Harrison, Joseph Pilato, Pasquale Buba, Nancy Allen (but not THAT Nancy Allen) and others. Filming took place in 1978, around the time ...
  3. Fantasia Film Review: "November" (2017)

    Based on a best-selling Estonian novel, “November” is a mixture of magic, black humor and romantic love. The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam. The villagers' main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo. People steal from each other, from their German manor lords, and from spirits, the devil and even Christ.

    The jaded genre fan, this reviewer included, rarely says “what the heck??” ...
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  4. Fantasia Film Review: "Dan Dream" (2017)

    A group of eccentric Danish men in the 1980s are going to make an electric car, the Danish Dream.

    The idea of an “electric car” goes back a long time. Certainly, even before modern gasoline-fueled automobiles, it was not uncommon to have a trolley in any given city. The trolley ran on electricity, but was confined to a track. A battery would be required to give it some freedom. And so, the story of the electric car is really the story of the battery that is powerful enough (and still ...
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  5. Fantasia Film Review: "Junk Head" (2017)

    In the distant future, mankind begins research on clones that live underground in search of lost genetic information.

    “Junk Head” began its life as a short film in 2014, with Takahide Hori essentially making the entire movie himself – from writing to directing to sculpting and so on. Not surprisingly, it was a great success just begging for a longer representation of this world and its style. Three years later, Hori is back and again more or less running the show solo, even creating ...
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