GG Allin: All in The Family (2017)

After the death of GG Allin — covered in Hated — what happened to his brother Merle? And did he leave behind any family? How would you feel if you were the mother of the rocker who left behind a trail of feces, blood, vomit and noise? Originally airing on Showtime, this documentary by Sami Saif attempts to answer that question.

This is probably. the most heartwarming story I’ve ever seen that has a scene here someone takes a dump and uses it as paint.

The strangest thing for me was seeing the life of GG, as he grew up and was in young bands. The image burned into my mind of him is his almost inhuman visage by the time of Hated, distorted by multiple VHS bootlegs, to the point where he almost seems like a demon. To see what he looked like before all the self-destruction and to hear his mother’s pain is pretty intense.

By the way, GG’s mom’s best male friend just hanging out and being supportive is my favorite part. I can only imagine the stories that that poor man has had to listen to.

You can watch this on Tubi. You can also buy it from MVD.

Blackhearts (2017)

Hector draws pentagrams and is from Colombia. Sina is from Iran, where even liking black metal, not to mention being in a band, could get him jailed or worse. Kaiadas is a member of the Greek parliament as part of the Golden Dawn party, which has praised Nazis and takes a hard right stance (this is glossed over in the film). What draws them together is a metal festival in Norway and their love of where black metal was twenty years ago.

While the movie begins with a really interesting scene of a guy explaining to kids what blackpackers are — black metal fans who come to see places they’ve only listened to or read about — the rest of the film is pretty basic, sad to say.

The only scene that I really enjoyed was when the mayor of the town introduced the festival in the most friendly and least metal way possible. Decades ago, churches burned and people lived in fear, but today, black metal is commodified tourism, loved by the manchildren in this film. Only Sina comes off as someone who uses metal as an escape from a truly horrifying life.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

Known as Vuelven in Mexico, a title that translates as Return, this movie may have introduced many in the rest of the world to Issa Lopez, whose schedule is now packed with future films, including a werewolf Western produced by Guillermo del Toro and a supernatural revenge movie for Legendary Pictures.

This movie depicts the harrowing lives of children in the midst of the war on drugs in Mexico. It is not for the faint of heart, as any rules of how children are treated in film are thrown out the window.

While her teacher is discussing fairy tales, gunfire explodes outside the classroom. Estrella’s teacher hands her three pieces of chalk, telling her that they will give her three wishes.

With her mother missing, Estrella falls in with a group of orphans led by Shine, who has already stolen a gun and phone from one of the most powerful gang leaders. This sets into motion a series of confrontations where the contents on the phone will prove where Estrella’s mother is and doom nearly every member of the young gang of children.

Are wishes real? Is magic real? Can Estrella escape the very real and possibly imagined horrors that she must deal with? These questions are all answered and you may not like where they lead.

As for the wishes, the first is that Estrella gets her mother back. She does, but only as a ghost that never stops following her. The second is for the gang leader to already be dead so that she doesn’t have to shoot him. He is, but the wish may not have been the cause. Finally, she gives her last wish to Shine, who wants his burned face to go away. That wish is the most tragic of all.

None of the children in this film had any acting experience. They did, however, practice in some improvisational workshops with an acting coach before the movie started filming. Interestingly, it was shot in chronological order and the actors were never shown the script, so that the emotional responses felt more genuine.

You can watch this on Shudder.

Mexican Barbaros 2 (2017)

The sequel to 2014’s Mexican Barbaros brings together more south of the border filmmakers to create a portmanteau movie that only had one rule: each story had to be about something related to Mexican culture without repeating anything from the first movie.

Tijuana’s Abraham Sanchez starts the movie with Juan the Soldier, a story about a soldier who makes a deal with the devil to come back after his death. Sanchez’s first movie was a short called Antropofagus that cost $20, so he’s my kind of filmmaker.

Diego Cohen made Paidos Phobos, a tale of a mother who is behind a door, hiding, that the main character is afraid to see. Cohen also directed the films La Marca del Demonio and Perididos.

Potzonalli is a fourth-wall-breaking comedy by Fernando Urdapilleta, who also directed Estrellas Solitarias. It’s the story of a father getting his just reward for how he treats his family.

Christian Cueva and Ricardo Farias made Fireballs, the story of demons who transform amateur pornography into a murderous evening. This team is called Giant Stories and they’ve mostly worked on short films.

Michelle Garza’s Vitriol is the story that most point out in this collection. Like most of the directors in this movie, she’s mainly worked on shorts. I’d love to check out her movie La Rabia de Clara, which is about a woman quarantined with rabies yearning to become part of a pack of wild dogs.

Do Not Sleep is a story of old grandmother’s tales by Sergio Tello. It Is Time, by Carlos Melendez, is about bullying, something that the director has explored in other films like Hysteria. And Exodontia, by series boss Lex Ortega, is a frightening tale of the tooth fairy.

While there is no uniting story, the idea of seeing Mexican creatives handling uniquely Mexican themes is the whole reason to see this film. I enjoyed it as much as the original.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

What the Waters Left Behind (2017)

We’ve been covering the films of Luciano and Nicolas Onetti, two brothers who are seemingly obsessed with Italian giallo circa 1973, despite coming from Argentina. Otherwise known as Los Olvidados (The Forgotten), which is also a title of a Bunuel film, this movie finds them moving away from Argento worship and creating their own version of The Hills Have Eyes and, more to the point, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The real star of this movie is Epecuen, which was once a thermal water spa that drew thousands of tourists. In 1985. the city was submerged underwater. Those that didn’t want to leave were taken by force and it took nearly thirty years for the flooding to subside, which left a desert behind.

The plot itself is rather threadbare, with a documentary crew getting stranded and killed one after the other by the residents of the town that have gone nowhere. There’s also a father looking for his daughter and some of the worst leading characters ever, but then again, if you are going to emulate Chainsaw, you should go all the way. After all, they rode into town in that van.

I like the Onetti brothers and look forward to the day where they push past the movies they love and make something brand new that can inspire someone else.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

The Pulse (2017)

A gay disabled teenage boy changes into the body of a beautiful woman all so that he — she? — can be loved. The film starts like a dramatic story, but at some point, you realize that it has taken a turn into the world of the fantastic, which surpised me greatly.

This is the first movie for director, cinematographer and producer Stevie Cruz-Martin. Made in Australia, it uses science fiction to try to break through some of the ways that we see gender, identity and love in our modern world.

It’s not like any movie I’ve seen this year.

The Pulse is available June 2 On Demand from Dark Star Pictures.

DISCLAIMER: This movie was sent to us by its PR company.

Funny Pains (2017)

This documentary features comedians Nikki Glaser, Jim Norton, Bonnie McFarlane, Andrew Shultz, Yamaneika Saunders, Krystyna Hutchinson, Rich Vos and Mehran Khaghani, as they discuss what it takes to become — and stay — funny.

That said, the movie mainly follows the journey of Wendi Starling as she becomes part of the toughest jobs within entertainment, balancing her need to be accepted with feminism, the #MeToo movement and the struggle between being funny and politically correct.

Funny Pains is now available on demand and streaming. You can learn more at the official site.

DISCLAIMER: This movie was sent to us and that has no impact on our review.

BraveStorm (2017)

This remake of the 1970s Japanese TV series Shiruba Kamen (Silver Mask) and Supa Robotto Reddo Baron (Super Robot Red Baron) takes the heroes from both — an armored bionic superhero and a red giant robot — and has them fight aliens to save Earth and prevent the extinction of mankind.

In the year 2050, life as we know it is gone on Earth. No, not just the COVID-19 we’re dealing with now, but the Killgis have used their giant robot Black Baron to terraform our planet and make it just like their planet. The Kasuga family travel back in time with the plans to make their own robot, a device that shows them who is an alien, psychic powers and the Silver Mask suit, which is soon given to a scientist’s pit fighting brother.

If you’re a fan of the Senkosha heroes like The Samurai, Moonlight Mask, Kousoku Esper and Yusei Oji, you’ll be happy when Goro Kirishima, the hero of Iron King, shows up at the end to warn that the Shiranui are coming to Earth. Here’s to more crossover films like this, as I had a blast watching it.

I like that the aliens chose Earth because we were going to destroy ourselves anyway. This is the kind of mindless — I say that in a good way — giant robot punching magic that Japan does so well.

Want to learn more about BraveStorm? Check out the official site. Its available on DirecTV, Dish, Charter, Cox, iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and FandangoNow, and on DVD at Amazon and Walmart stores nationwide.

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Distribution Solutions for sending this blu ray our way for review.

Jurassic Dead (2017)

Back in March, we covered Jurassic Thunder, another film that was directed by Milko Davis and Thomas Martwick. They also made Tsunambee, which we covered earlier this week. Obviously, we’re going to watch every movie that these guys put out.

Dr. Wojick Borge has had enough of being made fun of. So he signs up with the Axis of Evil to destroy America with a series of mad scientist weapons like a gas that turns people into zombies and EMP blasts. But that’s not enough. No, he has to live up to the title of this movie by unleashing an undead T-Rex called…the Z-Rex.

There are plenty of bullets fired, bodies devoured and zombies walking about. Imagine a sub-Shocking Dark and you have a good idea of this movie.

DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by Wild Eye Releasing.

 

REPOST: Lost Gully Road (2017)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This review, originally posted on January 14, 2020. is being reposted as Wild Eye Releasing has sent us the DVD copy of the film. This is a really intriguing film and way better than so many of the movies you stumble across on streaming or direct to DVD.

Lost Gully Road tells the story of Lucy, a directionless young woman who travels to a secluded cottage in the forest to wait for her sister. However, time seems to drag on. Cut off from the outside world other than phone calls with her sibling, Lucy turns to drinking to pass the solitary days of waiting…until a potentially sinister presence joins her.

Director Donna McRae, on hero IMDB bio, cites the films of Val Lewton as an influence. I will say that this Australian horror film looks gorgeous and has a definite look and feel, which is a major plus in the streaming horror world, where nearly every movie and concept feels recycled.

This is pretty much a one woman acting show and Adele Perovic does quite well in it. While the story may be slow at times, the talent on display more than makes up for it.

Lost Gully Road is available on demand and on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing. You can learn more at the official site.

DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by its PR company.