REPOST: Tokoloshe: An African Curse (2018)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally covered this film on December 27, 2019. It’s been re-released under a slightly different title and is now available on Tubi.

Busi is young destitute woman with dangerously repressed emotions that has just started a cleaning job at a rundown hospital in the heart of Johannesburg. In need of cash so she can bring her younger sister to the city, she must cope despite the predatory and corrupt hospital manager. When Busi discovers an abandoned young girl in the hospital that is being tormented by a supernatural force, she must face her own demons from the past in order to save them both.

A South African movie filmed in English and Zulu, this is the first full film from director Jerome Pikwane.

It looks gorgeous, as Busi’s past and present are both shown to be filled with dangers, despite feeling like two different worlds. South Africa has some of the worst violence against women in the world, crimes that critically go unreported, so hopefully this film can raise some attention.

Nightmare Cinema (2018)

How are more people not talking about this, a film that has Mickey Rourke as death itself inside a theater that shows the ways that people expire? It’s got direction from Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead), Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus), David Slade (30 Days of Night), Mick Garris (Sleepwalkers) and Joe Dante (and if I have to tell you his movies…I really hope I don’t have to) and people still aren’t getting obsessed about this?

“The Thing in the Woods” may be a simple retelling of slasher films, but Dante’s “Mirari” is really filled with dread as well as Richard Chamberlain and Belinda Balaski. Kitamura’s “Mashit” goes all School of the Holy Beast with a tale of demonic possession and perversion amongst Catholic schoolgirls. Slades “This Way to Egress” stumbles a bit in a story of a woman hallucinating as she waits for the doctor, while “Dead” and the connecting story by Garris have a young boy against impossible odds.

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me, “What makes Mick Garris a Master of Horror?” I’m still struggling to figure out the answer and this movie certainly didn’t help me, as his segments were the worst parts of this. He does seem like a nice guy though.

Angel (2018)

Fae is a sex worker. Thierry is a world-famous cyclist. During his vacation in Senegal, he quickly falls for her until he begins to act strangely as if he were on drugs. After going their separate ways, she learns the next morning that he has died and that she is arrested as a suspect.

This is a movie based in reality with a dash of movie license, as it tells a similar story of the last days of  Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke, who overdosed in a prostitute’s apartment in Senegal. It’s also taken from the book Monologue of Someone Who Got Used to Talking to Herself by Dimitri Verhuls.

There’s one astounding line in this that makes the entire movie, as one girl asks another: “Do you realize we fuck guys older than we’ll ever be?” Just think on that.

Can two people fall in love in one night particularly if they are both damaged souls coming together in a way that no one would expect to be anything but passion? Angel tells that story, even if the results may not end up as a Hollywood ending.

Angel is available on demand from Oration Films.

Double Blind (2018)

When a team of scientists on the verge of a medical breakthrough suddenly are killed, two agents come together to protect the last surviving scientist while trying to learn why these murders have happened. Seriously, these enemy agents mean business, because this starts with one of them meeting his girlfriend’s family, who he immediately slaughters.

Director Thomas D. Moser usually specializes in special effects, which comes in quite handy here, as this movie has some decent effects. This is kind of what I imagine the pharmaceutical industry is really like, to be honest.

For some reason, this movie is in black and white, despite being set in modern times. I don’t think that will take away from your enjoyment of this.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Lilith (2018)

This horror anthology follows Lilith as she the demon herself as she punishes men for their indiscretions against women. It’s directed by Alexander T. Hwang, who made Paranormal Attraction and Shelter In Place, it has plenty of horror favorites, including Felissa Rose as one of the many versions of Lilith, who is being pursued by a detective who wants to stop her. Through this story, we are introduced to other moments where Lilith has punished, as well as other tales that include another pretty well-known genre star, Vernon Wells, who plays a man at the end of his life trying to come to terms with what he has done to hurt women.

It’s a good idea that works at some points and doesn’t at other times. At least you have to give it to the filmmakers for putting together a story that attempts to bring together several stories. Over the last few years of streaming films, so many movies try to be anthologies and forget that the actual thread needs to be there.

You can learn more on the film’s official Facebook page.

SHARK WEAK: 6-Headed Shark Attack (2018)

Can you believe that there’s an entire Multi-Headed Shark franchise? There was a 2-Headed Shark Attack and 3-Headed Shark Attack and 5-Headed Shark Attack and now, a six-headed one that ends up on an island near Corazon where several couples have come to work out their various issues.

This thing is absolutely horrifying, because it’s not just a shark but a monstrous starfish-esque six-headed great white shark that can regrow heads immediately after they’re chopped off. I should by all rights hate this movie — The Asylum are notorious for their Troma-esque films —  but you know, when you see a six-headed apex predator wandering the beach like a demented sand crab you just have to lie back and enjoy it. After all, how many movies discuss government animal experiments in the 70s as the reason for all of this?

Mark Atkins already made Sand SharksPlanet of the Sharks and Empire of the Sharks, so why not this movie? Obviously I am in for 7-Headed Shark Attack at some point.

Junesploitation 2021: Accident Man (2018)

June 10: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie — is a Scott Adkins movie.

Scott Adkins film career started when he was offered a role in the Hong Kong martial arts film called Dei Seung Chui Keung. After that he worked for some of teh best action experts in the world, like Yuen Woo-ping, Corey Yuen, Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. But it was his role as Russian MMA villain Yuri Boyka in Undisputed II: Last Man Standing that made him known to action film fans. He fought Van Damme in The Shepherd: Border Patrol, battled Donnie Yen in Ip Man 4: The Finale, took on Jason Statham in The Expendables 2 and was Ryan Reynolds’ double in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

For this movie, Adkins did more than star as Mike Fallon, an assassin who specializes in creating deadly accidents. He also produced and wrote this adaption of Pat Mills and Tony Skinner’s comic book.

After losing his girlfriend to another woman, Mike takes jobs and hangs out at The Oasis, a bar that’s owned by his mentor Big Ray (Ray Stevenson, the Punisher in Punisher: War Zone and Volstagg in the Thor movies). It’s a drinking establishment frequented exclusively by killers like Poison Pete, commandos Mic (Michael Jai White) and Mac (Ray Park), weapons creator Finnicky Fred, axeman Carnage Cliff and Jane the Ripper. Honestly, the quick worldbuilding scene in the beginning of the film is the best part, as all of these characters could be in several films.

Unfortunately for Mike, he’s been set up by Milton (David Paymer), the person who sets up their kills, by an amateur killer who he easily dispatches. That was just to distract him as Mic and Mac were hired to kill his ex-girl, who got too close to exposing the seamy side of the oil industry.

Now, Mike wants revenge. And he has plenty of targets, because everyone at the Oasis has been hired to kill him.

I’ve never seen any of director Jesse V. Johnson’s films before, but now I’m going to track them down. This was an absolute thrill of a movie and I enjoyed every second. That means that I have to start checking out Adkins work as well. Thanks Junesploitation for introducing me to a whole new bunch of movies!

You can watch this on Tubi.

Ancient Aliens season 13 (2018)

I’ve spoken a few times here about my father, who suffered a stroke in 2019 and has been dealing with memory issues since. I really owe it to the folks at the History Channel for creating programs that keep him positive and excited, as he really loves The Curse of Oak Island and Ancient Aliens. We’ve discussed both of these shows at length and even though he’s watched both of their runs many times, I’m always overjoyed that he can still recall past episodes and can discuss how he feels about them.

What surprised me was that Ancient Aliens has lasted for sixteen seasons so far, with this DVD release being of every episode of the thirteenth outing. For this season, living meme Giorgio Tsoukalos has assembled a crew of UFO experts to travel our mudball and the entire galaxy, heading everywhere from Tibet, Chile, Roswell and the Mediterranean to the Pleiades star cluster.

Along the way, you’ll learn about government coverups, DaVinci’s hidden alien messages, Area 52, the giants of the Bible, robots and two special longer episodes all about Mars and — you knew he’d show up sooner or later — the theories of Erich von Däniken.

If you love this show, this is the perfect package of an entire season worth of content at an affordable price. Plus, it’s allowed me to study even more things to talk to my family about, which is something worth treasuring. So thanks, occupants of interplanetary craft and lords of the UFO!

Featuring 16 full-length episodes, the Ancient Aliens: Season 13 DVD is available at retailers like Walmart for the suggested retail price of $19.98.

Last American Horror Show (2018)

Beyond the three terror-filled tales that Last American Horror Show has to offer — Night of the Sea Monkey, Lamb Feed and Homewrecked — it also has horror royalty in the cast like Felissa Rose, Lynn Lowry and Arch Hall, Jr.

Yes, that’s right, the star of Eegah and The Sadist is in this as the grandfather of an entire town of cannibals ready to sacrifice any folks that wander in. Between that and Felissa going on a date with a man who claims to be Christian and ends up being anything but — and oh yeah, Lynn Lowry dissecting a sea monkey with an electric carving knife — there’s some fun stuff in here.

All of these stories started off as shorts which were assembled into an overall longer film with the Felissa-starring framing sequence.

Of course, it’s in no way as great as Amicus films or Trilogy of Terror, but you know that going in. In the old video rental days, this would have been a fine fifth film for your five for five bucks for five nights stack. And really, that’s high praise around these parts.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Happy Face (2018)

Stan has a complex life. He’s dealing with a manipulative cancer-stricken mother and in order to find a place to fit in, he’s taped up his face to distort it, which allows him to join a therapy group for those with disfigured faces.

The other encounter group patients soon discover his trickery, but they allow him to stay in the hopes that he learns to cope with the death of his mother while he shows them how they can use their ugliness to feel better about themselves.

Director and co-writer Alexandre Franchi has hired first-time actors with real facial deformities to give this movie a dramatic edge that it may not have otherwise. It never feels like a sideshow. Instead, this feels real and lived in.

As someone that used role playing games to get through my high school years, the fact that the members of the group play also comes off as authentic. It allows them to become someone they aren’t. Someone different. And perhaps have power in a world where the ugly are often the strongest.