Tagged: larry fessenden

Movie Review: ‘The Mind’s Eye’ Is Early 90’s Movie Mayhem!

I checked out the ‘The Mind’s Eye’ the latest feature film from up and coming horror director Joe Begos last night and it was well worth the seven bucks spent on Googleplay for the rental. As I mentioned in a recent post it’s been described as the perfect sequel to Cronenberg’s classic “Scanners”. I’d say that’s a great description of what you’re in store for with The Mind’s Eye. The movie set in 1990 certainly feels like it was indeed made back then and set in the same Scanners universe. It’s a mean, gritty little movie that’s packed with exploding heads and gore a plenty. There’s no comedy mixed in either which is nice when a director is taking some chances delivering a no B.S. action movie on a low budget.

It follows two people on the run from a sinister government organization who’re hellbent on weaponizing the their telekinetic powers. The movie’s over the top villain, a normal man who’s figured out how to harvest their powers for his own however is hot on their trail along with a gang of goons ready to be torn to pieces. It’s a simple plot and maybe not the most original concept as the movie clearly borrows from ‘Firestarter’ & Brian De Palma’s ‘The Fury’ but you know what? That’s totally ok-because ‘Stranger Things’ was amazing and really a just a full on rip off of similar movies as well. We’ve also got Graham Skipper back in the lead who previously starred in Bego’s first flick ‘Almost Human’ along with Larry Fessenden in the role of his father. I never tire of seeing Larry show up in my horror movies, he’s a great addition to this one as well though his role is quite brief.

The cool thing about this movie is that it really does feel like it’s been plucked from the late 80’s. Begos uses his effects wisely and nothing that he does feels like it would have appeared in a movie after 1990. You won’t get any CG here everything is done by way of practical effects making everything feel way more organic and real world. While not being a better movie than Scanners (But better than it’s many sequels) it certainly feels like a lost sci-fi/horror movie from the era, one that you might be hunting down today for a rare vhs copy of.

As cool as all this is there are points in the movie where you’re hoping for the psycho-kinetic battles to go a bit farther than they did. Begos doesn’t give you much new to chew on here and I was hoping a few times for things to get a bit more batshit crazy towards the end. Perhaps if Begos was given a bigger budget he’d have been able to expand on the genre rather than keep it evenly at bay. Either way if you come in it not expecting anything more than a cool ass movie that feel like it was made back in 1990 you won’t be disappointed. I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing Joe Begos rise to the top of the horror genre in the next few years, I’ll definitely be there again for his next movie.

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We Are Still Here: A Seriously Gory Ghost Flick Gone Wild!

We’ve got a ton of movies these days that are trying to be a throwback to the vintage horror classics of the 70’s & 80’s but only a select few of them succeed on the level they attempt. ‘We Are Still Here’ not only succeeds  it actually made me forget I was watching  a movie released in 2015. What we’ve got here is on helluva ghost story with it’s lead being Scream Queen Barbara Crampton of Re-Animator, From Beyond, Chopping Mall fame which further legitimizes this flick’s already convincing retro time period.

It’s the 1970’s, after the death of their son Bobby in a car accident, Anne (Crampton) and her husband Paul (Andrew Sensenig) have decided to relocate to a new home way out in the boonies of New England.  There they hope to find some peace in the midst of their mourning. Paul hopes this move will help his wife snap out the heavy depression she’s recently been dealing with and perhaps will help her begin to move on. No such luck, upon their arrival Anne is convinced her son’s ghost has now manifested in their new home.

As the ghostly events become more intense she decides to ask for help from her close friend May (Lisa Marie), a supposed psychic, and her pot smokin’ free spirit husband Jacob (Larry Fessenden) to try and make contact with Bobby. Shit gets even more freaky, as the weird townsfolk begin revealing the house they’ve moved into’s dark past that’s somehow legendary among them.

It’s a simple premise and just when you think you’re gonna get your average ghost about the house flick you’re knee deep in serious gore. That’s an interesting aspect of this movie, these ghosts will fuck you up big time if you’re nosing around where you’re not wanted. Director Ted Geohegan brings the splatter galore in this grisly tale and does it all old school style via some impressive practical effects.

The Ghosts too are pretty cool looking and the movies got a neat little mystery going on as well. It’s a short sweet little haunting movie that stands in a category all it’s own. You won’t want to miss the final conflict either as things get all ‘Evil Dead II’ pretty quick! Also this appears to be Ted’s first time directing and it’s a great debut. Cool to see he was born right here in Oregon a few miles from where I live! Check this flick out on Amazon, Itunes, Google play etc etc. It’s pretty awesome! 

Fessenden’s ‘Beneath’ Will Make You Fear…The Catfish?!

What’s there to be afraid of in a little lake out in the woods? Beavers? Muskies? Snapping Turtles maybe? Well “Beneath”, which was just released on dvd this last week brings some horror to the little fresh water lakes of the United States! I really enjoyed this little creature feature directed by Larry Fessenden, it’s got a lot more going on that just a vicious fish. The story revolves around a group of recent high school graduates as they head off for a night to camp and party down on some land one of their families have access to. It seems from the start there’s more than meets the eye a foot as it’s clear one of the teenagers has some sort of knowledge that the lake they are headed to has something beneath the surface that’s to be feared.

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So we end up with six teens in a rowboat headed across the a small lake in the middle of the woods. The trip across turns into a fight for survival, not only from a vicious man sized fresh water fish but also against each other. That’s where the film gets really interesting, after their boat is damaged and begins sinking it seems it’s everyone for themselves. I enjoyed this also because it’s setting reminded me a lot of places where I grew up in Wisconsin in the north woods and would spend summers. This ones got a few nice twists and turns too and makes you question just how you might deal with something similar.

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The monster was also well done, with no CG, which helped make this little film feel all that much more real. The fish actually looked like something that might even possibly exist in some small lake in the middle of nowhere. Like some kinda freak giant catfish or something. Using digital effects here may have really ruined the mood and realism of the situation. The fish actually moves and acts like a real fish, it’s not lightning fast it’s just a giant fresh water fish! So props to Fessenden for keeping it old school while also keeping the atmosphere nice and creepy. Something he’s a master of. So check this out, it may not be the next Jaws, but it feels all too real in the same way!