MILL CREEK DVD RELEASE: Through the Decades: 2000s Collection: Cry Wolf (2005)

There weren’t all that many slashers of note in 2005 — The Devil’s RejectsHouse of Wax and Urban Legends: Bloody Mary are about all I can think of — but this movie sure made an effort.

Directed and co-written (with producer Beau Bauman) by Jeff Wadlow (Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare and Fantasy Island), Cry Wolf is all about Graham (Ethan Cohn), Mercedes (Sandra McCoy), Lewis (Paul James), Randall (Jesse Janzen), Regina (Kristy Wu), Tom (Jared Padalecki), Dodger (Lindy Booth) and Owen (Julian Morris) who are playing a game called Cry Wolf.

In this game, one of the players is the wolf and everyone else must guess who it is. It’s also known as Mafia and Werewolf. The players decide to include the entire school in the game and make up a story that a serial killer is attacking campuses, dressed in green camo, an orange ski mask, combat boots and black gloves.

As you can imagine, the killer becomes real and the game is that anyone could be the killer, including journalism professor Mr. Walker, who is having an affair with at least one of the potential wolves.

How 2000s is this movie? Well, American Online made an AIM virtual game to promote it.

And oh yeah — Jon Bon Jovi plays Mr. Walker.

The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 2000s Collection has some great movies for a great price like Nurse BettyOne Night at McCool’sSpy GameThe Emperor’s ClubThe Shape of Things21 GramsBaby MamaState of Play and The Hitcher. You can order it from Deep Discount.

MILL CREEK BLU RAY RELEASE: Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

Director Jean-François Richet and writer James DeMonaco — who went on to create The Purge series — had quite a challenge: how do you remake a John Carpenter classic?

After a failed sting operation, Detroit Police Sergeant Jake Roenick (Ethan Hawke) has hit rock bottom as he’s placed on desk duty at the soon-to-be-closed Precinct 13. On New Year’s Eve, a skeleton crew of  Roenick, officer Jasper O’Shea (Brian Dennehy) and secretary Iris Ferry (Drea de Matteo) are all that’s in the station when psychiatrist Alexandra Sabian (Maria Bello) comes to evaluate Roenick and Marion Bishop  (Laurence Fishburne), Beck (John Leguizamo), Anna (Aisha Hinds) and Smiley (Ja Rule) all end up being transferred due to a snowstorm.

Masked gunmen soon arrive and demand that Bishop be sent to them. They’re not his henchmen. Instead, they’re corrupt cops under the leadership of Captain Marcus Duvall (Gabriel Byrne), Bishop’s former partner. Soon, the precinct is under attack by a series of bad cops and SWAT teams, all wanting to kill the prisoners and cops who are aiding them.

The film makes several inversions — Bishop was a cop’s name in the original, Roenick’s codename Napoleon was the name of the criminal — and also remembers that the first movie was a remake of Rio Bravo by having the star of that movie, Dean Martin, on the soundtrack.

Did they succeed in updating the movie? Well, I’m partial to the original. It’s shocking in its intense violence and very of its time. This feels like just about any other action movie.

When asked how he feels about remakes of his films, Carpenter said to The Guardian, “If they pay me, it’s wonderful. If they don’t pay me, I don’t care. I think it’s unfair if they don’t pay me. I think everyone should pay me. Why not? I’m an old guy now and I need money. Send me money.”

You cen get the Mill Creek blu ray of Assault On Precinct 13 from Deep Discount.

Tartarus (2005)

Dave Wascavage may be known for Suburban Sasquatch, a movie that has horror on the surface and all heart inside. And while there are moments of mirth in that film, Tartarus presents a different and darker side of the filmmaker.

Its protagonist John (Juan Fernandez, who has been in all of Wascavage’s films, even appearing as the bigfoot in the aforementioned cryptic shot on video wonder that introduced me to the director’s films) is a horrible person. He’s cheated on his wife with her sister and ruined their entire family. He steals money from his clients. He smokes crack. He hits people with his car and just drives away. In no way should he be the hero of any movie.

And yet here we are. Juan is trapped in a nightmare that looks Fire In the Sky in its big black gray eyes and says, “I can make a more frightening movie with effects that look straight out of the Spirit store and a PS1 cut scene.”

This is a movie where a CGI UFO kidnaps Juan so that an alien can puke CGI vomit all over him and then go beyond threatening him with the worst thing that can happen to a heterosexual brute and then go further, abusing him with a strobing phallus and backdoor venturing vacuum cleaner while the lead screams, swears, threatens, begs, cries and flop sweats against the trash bag and discount store created interior of an interstellar vessel.

There are moments of CGI fields of mushrooms in Wascavage’s Fungicide that look like the kind of blacklight posters that I couldn’t figure out in Spencer’s back before it all started to feel safe, strange artwork that I’d see on the backdoor of my insane cousins’ bedrooms that smelled like stolen Pabst and the worst weed that Southwestern PA could belch out. And then those moments are compounded here, extended, injected in the eye, dosed, slapped hard in the face and then screamed at for hours until they achieve a Stockholm syndrome need to convert you to a side they fought against for so long.

West Chester, PA is a wild place, a town where the kids had to pull progressively worse pranks on one another to keep from abject boredom until culture had to notice them. And there, under the rock, waiting to blow your mind way more than skateboard and pills hijinks lies this film, a seventy-plus minute journey into a neon and cathode lit hellscape that I keep thinking and obsessing and dreaming about.

If I start sneezing metal, I’ll know that I’ve been abducted.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Glass Trap (2005)

It’s not enough to be a skyscraper in danger movie or an ants go berserk movie.

This is radioactive ants gone mad inside a skyscraper movie.

Fred Olen Ray has somehow talked C. Thomas Howell, Andrew Prine, Stella Stevens and Martin Kove, as well as several of his regulars and some newcomers to be in a movie where they crawl through air ducts and avoid ants the size of my chihuahua.

So yes, it’s also Die Hard with some Empire of the Ants.

Is it a coincidence that Huff’s character is a tech thief with a teenage daughter, which is pretty much Ant-Man, in a movie about ants?

The ants were made this way thanks to smuggled Iraqui plutonium and I wonder if some of that same radioactive material once sent a boy thirty years back in time. Are all movies in the same universe?

I wonder how badly Ray wanted to make the rooftop lingerie photoshoot somewhat sleazier.

I just wonder, are people looking for giant ant or disaster movies? Or was this shot in the office building that Ray once had that also may or may not have had entire families living apartment style in some of the offices? If you have the location, you’re already saving money.

I wonder if Stella Stevens said anything like, “You know, when I did The Poseidon Adventure…”

You can watch this on Tubi.

Ti piace Hitchcock? (2005)

Giulio (Elio Germano) is a film student that frequents a video store and has an apartment filled with movie posters and yearns to discuss film with anyone he meets and no, I’m not triggered, why do you ask?

One day at the store, he notices Federica Lalli (Chiara Conti) and Sasha Zerboni (Elisabetta Rocchetti) both trying to rent Strangers On a Train. The next day, he reads that Sasha’s rich mother has been killed, which he remarks to his girlfriend Arianna (Cristina Brondo) seems way too close to the plot of that Hitchcock film. He now feels like it’s only a matter of time before Federica has to kill someone for Sasha, so he starts watching her. The only problem? She’s watching him too.

While watching Federica and her boss argue over him blackmailing her — just like Marnie –Guilio falls and breaks his ankle, which is an inversion of Rear Window. That night, Arianna comes over only to have to hear about a new theory: Federica is going to have Sasha to kill her boss. She leaves in anger.

The plan is revealed when the video store owner visits our injured hero and tries to drown him. He’s saved by his mother’s new fiancee and the would-be killer runs into traffic before he’s struck by a car. It turns out that Sasha had hired him to kill her mother.

It should all be over but as Guilio and Arianna start to kiss, she’s the one that notices something strange. This story is far from over because there’s still a reference to Vertigo that needs to be made.

Directed by Dario Argento, who co-wrote the script with Franco Ferrini (PhenomenaOperaEyes of CrystalDark Glasses), Do You Like Hitchcock? is a TV movie that takes a long time to get anywhere yet does have some moments worth watching. I loved the ending and the final but of voyeurism as a woman realizes she’s being watched and just turns her head and attention to the giallo novel she’s reading.

Watch the series: Wild Things (2004, 2005, 2010)

Editor’s note: To check out Wild Things, click here.

Wild Things 2 (2004): Directed by Jack Perez (Unauthorized: The Mary Kay Letourneau StoryUnauthorized: Brady Bunch – The Final Days) and written by Ross Helford (who also wrote the Sniper sequels) and Andy Hurst (who wrote the sequel to Single White Female), this movie does credit Stephen Peters for characters, but there’s not a single continuing character. In fact, it’s pretty much the same story and a very similar threesome scene, which you’ll soon discover just might be the defining moment of any movie called Wild Things.

Brittney Havers (Susan Ward) is a wealthy Florida high school senior who has list her mother to a car crash on Gator Alley — where she was presumably devoured by alligators — and her stepfather Niles Dunlap (Anthony Denison, who was Joey Buttafucco in The Amy Fisher Story, the Drew Barrymore one) has just died when his private plane went down. She’s about to earn a small amount of money each year until she’s done with college and then $25,000 a year, with the rest of the will — $70 million dollars worth — going to an heir if they can be found. That heir ends up being one of her classmates, Maya King (Leila Arcieri).

We soon see Brittney, Maya and the DNA test doctor all having some MFF action, which clues us in that this is all a ruse. Insurance investigator Terence Bridge (Isaiah Washington) thinks that it’s a scam too, as Dunlap once had scarlet fever and was possibly sterile. That means the DNA doctor is a crocodile meal and then, well, the twists and turns start to add up. Dead people are alive, partners get double-crossed, people on the side of the law aren’t and there’s even an open ending that makes you think that the backstabbing hasn’t stopped.

Imagine if they just redid the first one, had no major stars, still had the threesome scene and shot it like a prime time soap opera. That’s kind of a success in my book.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough (2005): I love when a movie can be sold just on the title and doesn’t need to be tied into anything in any of the other movies in the series. So here we go. Another Wild Things, this one directed by Jay Lowi (Tangled) from a script by Andy Hurst and Ross Helfer, the same guys who wrote the last one.

Marie Clifton was given two diamonds — the “mother and daughter” — in her mother’s will, but her step-father Jay Clifton (Brad Johnson, who was in Nam Angels and was also a former Marlboro Man) has changed the will because he wants them for himself.

Meanwhile, there’s a sex ed seminar at school with Dr. Chad Johnson and probation officer Kristen Richards (Dina Meyer, once Batgirl on Birds of Prey as well as roles in D-ToxStarship Troopers and Saw), who reveals that she was the victim of a sex crime when she was in high school, which totally shuts down the raucous senior audience.

Now here’s where the Wild Things drama comes in: Marie has a swim meet and her stepfather meets towel girl Elena Sandoval (Sanda McCoy, who was in the secret Porky’s movie Porky’s: Pimpin’ Pee Wee), who he invites to Marie’s eighteenth birthday party. The girls do not get along — that’s putting it mildly — so Jay takes her to one of his construction sites and you know what happens next allegedly. Now, Detective Michael Morrison (Linden Ashby) and Richards are on the case, along with Dr. Johnson, who is to examine Elena.

If you’re wondering how long it takes until Marie, Elena and the doctor are all reenacting scenes from You, Me and Dupree, it’s about as long as it takes to read this sentence.

But man, the twists and turns of this one are so plentiful that they take one of the things that worked so well in the original movie and show how it all came together over the credits. And for some reason, the good guys actually come out on top in this one.

How much sex, illegitimate children, gator eating and swamp chases can one small Florida town have? Well, they made four movies out of this. There’s your answer. This one has the sense to just go wild — no pun intended.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Wild Things: Foursome (2010): Each Wild Things movie seems like a remake of sorts. This installment has Andy Hurst, who wrote the second and third, directing and a script by Howard Zemski and Monty Featherstone, the team who wrote Sharkman.

The major difference is that this time, we’re talking about twenty-year-olds and not high schoolers. Carson Wheetly (Ashley Parker Angel, who was in O-Town) is the rich and spoiled son of NASCAR car racer Ted Wheetly (Cameron Daddo). He thinks his dad may have killed his mother, but first, let’s get to this movie’s other main difference.

Whereas every Wild Things is built around a threesome, this one goes one better and has, as the title spoils for you, a foursome between Carson, his girlfriend Rachel Thomas (Marnette Patterson), Brandi Cox (Jillian Murray, Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero) and Linda Dobson (Jessie Nickson).

Within a few days of that MFFF miracle — surely Carson is some level of science fiction character or at least a former boy band member — his father dies in a car crash that Bruno Mattei’s some Days of Thunder footage. That death is suspicious, so Detective Frank Walker (John Schneider, who may know a thing or two about car crashes) starts to investigate just as the will is announced, which states that Carson cannot inherit his father’s money and estate until he turns thirty or marries.

That means a quick marriage to Rachel, but they had a deal with everyone in the foursome, so Brandi and Linda seem to be dead meat, except that Rachel and Brandi are also working together to kill Carson. Once the girls end up — spoiler warning — using sex to kill Carson, they start conspiring to keep making love and attempting to murder one another.

This is the sort of movie that keeps the twists coming after the credits roll. All I have to say is keep your eye on lawyer George Stuben (Ethan Smith).

I miss the swamps of the other movies, but appreciate that this one is all about death and sex, which let’s face it, all giallo should be. It doesn’t get to that level, as it needs more fashion and better music, but it certainly has the sleaze — well, homogenized 2000s sleaze — going for it.

I kind of wish there was a fifth movie just to see if they’d get a fiveway into it.

Consider Tubi the Wild Things network, because they have every one of these movies.

 

JESS FRANCO MONTH: Snakewoman (2005)

As they seek to gain the rights to cult movie star Oriana Balasz’s (Carmen Montes, Paula-Paula) estate, a company sends Carla (Fata Morgana, Vampire JunctionKiller Barbys vs. Dracula) to get her heirs to make the deal.

Of course, Oriana is still alive, a deathless female vampire with a full body snake tattoo who could only exist within the world of a Jess Franco movie.

There’s also a woman named Alpha (Christie Levin, Red Silk) who has been put in a trance by a monk named Nostradamus (Antonio Mayans) and who is obsessed with Oriana as well.

Now, imagine all that and throw away any attempt at there being a plot and instead just long languid scenes of Montes undulating and seducing Morgana. And then Dr. Van Helsing (Lina Romay) attempts to cure Carla of her feelings for Oriana before we see the footage that was in such high demand, a vampiric vision of Oriana brutally draining a male member of more fluids than you’d expect.

So yes, when I say, this is a retelling of Vampyros Lesbos, I want you to realize that this is late Franco, a time when one lovemaking scene can last for a quarter of the movie and have almost one long static shot that seems to never end, achieving peak drone levels, as strange dialogue like “Men and women are united by the ass.” and “I like it. I like pretty asses in general.” which is dialogue that seems like it belongs in John Stagliano movie instead of a story of a 1920s sapphic unliving snake woman making her presence felt across the decades.

Only in a Jess Franco movie can house long uninterrupted stretches of female love scenes, encircling their thighs around one another as visuals of birds soaring into an unfeeling sky play across your mind. It’s not perfect, it struggles, but it takes flight — or crawls through the filth — and for that, we are better.

Meatball Machine (2005)

Yūdai Yamaguchi keeps showing up on our site, but when you make movies like Battlefield Baseball and Versus, you get as many entries as you want.

Based on the 1999 film written, produced and directed by Jun’ichi Yamamoto (who co-directed this) and featuring effects by Yoshihiro Nishimura (Kataude Mashin GâruKyûketsu Shôjo tai Shôjo Furanken), this film has two geeky would-be lovers who never really get together, as Sachiko ends up penetrated not by Yōji, but by the NecroBorg in his room. Instead of the love that they wanted to experience, they must battle to the death, and by battle to the death, I mean a war that explodes viscera and blood and meat and organs all over the place.

As a kid, I always dreamed of getting to transform into something better, like Ultraman, but the reality would probably be that I’d be one of these gory creations, battling for the joy of some high pitched alien floating in space that can’t wait to eat me.

This isn’t the kind of movie I’d watch on a first date, unless you’ve found a partner that likes movies that have ten minute long grossout fights and try to make Tetsuo into something directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis. And if you find them, keep that unicorn and treat them like the magical and special royalty they assuredly are.

You can watch this on Tubi.

 

Noroi: The Curse (2005)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When Frederick Burdsall isn’t at work or watching movies while covered in cats, you can find Fred in the front seat of Knoebels’ Phoenix. 

Noroi: The Curse is a 2005 film from Director Koji Shiraishi (Occult and Carved: The Slit Mouthed Woman) and stars Jin Muraki and Rio Kanno.

The story itself focuses on a documentary filmmaker named Kobayashi, who has recently vanished after his home went up in flames and his wife’s body is found among the rubble. He was working on a film about a demon named Kagutaba and the curse attached.

In a found footage style we see his investigation start with Junko Ishii whose neighbor hears crying babies coming from her house. Ishii moves and the neighbor and her daughter die soon in a car crash. He moves on to Kana, a young girl with incredible psychic ability who appeared on a TV show and has now vanished.

The trail leads him to a crazed psychic named Hori, who points them in the direction of an apartment complex and Osawa, a strange man who drags pigeons into his home for some unknown reason. Osawa soon goes missing.

A trip to a shrine leads him to the discovery of Kagutaba, a demon imprisoned under the village of Shimokage, now underwater.  I don’t want to spoil the surprises that come after all this so I’ll stop myself here but the movie courses along to a finale after the early closing credits, where the last piece of footage is revealed and is, to me, the best part of the movie. Immensely creepy and visual.  I leave it up to you to see it all for yourself and don’t let the iffy beginning ruin you to it…it will really pull you in if you let it.

Rio Kanno, who plays young Kana, got her start a few years earlier in the film Dark Water and is better known as the voice of Madge in Howl’s Moving Castle. This is one of those movies that you either love it or you don’t so watch and enjoy Noroi and as always, I’ll see you at Knoebels.

Hentai kazoku niiduma inran zeme (2005)

Hentai Family New Wife Nasty Attack is a great movie title but Semen Demon? That’s the kind of title that gets me watching whatever this is.

Reiko Yamaguchi, who was the star of the Wife Next Door films, has just gotten married and it seems like everyone in her new family is so possessed that they’re acting like Sonny and Patricia in Amityville II: The Possession.

What does it say about me when I do a week of Japanese movies and I could have featured Kurosawa, Imamura or Mizoguchi and instead, I’m writing about Semen Demon?

This movie does have something to say about the futility of war and how Japan’s soldier spirit faltered in the face of nuclear fire, but cursed its children to labor under archaic notions of sexual morals and now, even a simple home is cursed by a demon who demands that every man in the home becomes obsessed to the point of horrifying debauchery. Or maybe it’s just a Japanese AV movie that has a ghost couple doing it — proving the Donald Trump-starring movie Ghosts Can’t Do It incorrect — and has a woman who misses just how pent-up her husband and father-in-law once the problem is solved.

What’s wrong with me?