Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Year Dies....RIP 2013

As I sit here typing, only four hours remain of the year 2013.  Feeling a bit nostalgic, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the year and review some of my favorite posts from the past 12 month!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Midnight Cinephile's past year.....so feel free to post a comment below, post a comment of Facebook, Twitter or even send me an email.  I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.  What do you like?  What do you want more of?  What do you want less of?  Have suggestions for new additions?  Let me know!

Let's get this retro party started!

Review - John Dies At The End
The first review of the year started things out with a bang.  John Dies At The End is pure Coscarellian horror and I absolutely loved it.  Strange reality bending drugs, meat monsters, bratwurst cell phones....this flick has it all!

Review - Black Books: The Grapes of Wrath
My favorite episode of one of my favorite short lived British shows.  The Grapes of Wrath has Bernard and Manny housesitting for a friend.  They accidentally drink some insanely expensive wine that was supposed to be given to The Pope and conspire to replace it with a homemade brew.....absolutely hilarious.

Interview With Chris Alexander
Without a doubt the highlight of my year, I was fortunate enough to have an epic chat with Chris Alexander, editor in chief of Fangoria as well as the man responsible for resurrecting my beloved GoreZone magazine. This interview focused on Chris' first film, Blood For Irina (which is an absolute must see) and he is close to completing his second film, Queen of Blood (hopefully we'll get him back for another interview!).  Chris is one of the hardest working guys I know and I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.  Do yourself a favor and read this interview!

Review - Blood for Irina
After you read the interview, check out the review for Blood For Irina!  A quiet, stoic and at time achingly beautiful portrait of a dying vampire.

Review - Rocktober Blood
At long last, I review a film whose cover art haunted me through the 80's, 90's and well into the 00's!

Midnight Cinephile Podcast Episode 1
Quite possibly my proudest moment was the unleashing of The Midnight Cinephile Podcast.  I know it's been a couple of months since Episode 1, but fear not....there will be MUCH more to follow!

Hallowmas Has Come and Gone
An academic look at Halloween and the Triduum that is Hallowmas.  This is a response to all those short sighted people out there who claim that Halloween is evil and call for it's boycott.  Meant to educate.

Review - Blood Beat
Another film that I've been chasing after for more than two decades.  At long last I am able to review it!

The Sunshine Award
Finally another very proud moment for me.   A big thanks to Warden Stokely who nominated me for this prestigious award!

There you have it:  Nine moments from 2013 that I think sum up the year best.  I can't wait to see what 2014 is going to bring and I hope that you all will continue to be here for this wild and wonky ride.  I want to thank each and every one of you for visiting and for reading Midnight Cinephile.  So Happy New Year my friends!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Creepy Alien & UFO Videos

I'm completely obsessed with tv shows about UFOs and aliens.  I can't get enough of them.  It started way back when I used to watch Unsolved Mysteries with my mother when I was a kid.  The UFO stories always freaked me the hell out.  It wasn't enough just to watch them on TV, but I also had to read everything I could possibly find about UFO's from our public library.  I can still remember hot summer nights, reading about police officer Lonnie Zamora, who had an encounter with an other worldly craft in Socorro, NM in 1964.  I was absolutely terrified after reading about the disappearance of Travis Walton in 1975 (and then when the film based on his story, called Fire in the Sky, came out in 1993 I don't think I slept for a week.).

So, I thought it would be fun to count down some of my absolute favorite (read personally psychologically disturbing) Alien/UFO moments on TV!

Here we go!

#10) The Alien Interview

I saw this for the first time on a show called Mysteries, Magic and Miracles.  I'm not sure exactly how aliens fit in to any of those categories, but....whatever.  I remember watching this late at night and it absolutely freaked me the hell out.  As usual, a mystery former employee of Area 51 smuggled out some "evidence" of aliens that our government is keeping secret.  Their face is blacked out and digitized and their voice is altered to that goddamned creepy deep serial killer voice.  So already, you're kinda feeling a little on edge.  Then.....BAM!  They lay this video on you:

Is it fake?  Yeah, probably.....but that doesn't make it any less creepy!

#9)  Alien Autopsy

I remember when Fox used to show alien and UFO specials every other night.  The one that really stuck (I think for most people, including myself) was Alien Autopsy:  Fact of Fiction.  Hosted by Jonathan Frakes, this hour long special showed clips from what appeared to be an authentic autopsy of an alien creature recovered (allegedly) from the Roswell, NM crash in 1947.  I was completely riveted to my TV for 60 minutes and though, like most footage that's found its way into mainstream media, I'm sure it's probably an incredibly well executed fake, it doesn't make it any less disturbing.  Especially when they start to tinker with the poor dead alien's eyes.  BLECH!

Here is the uncut autopsy film.  Pleasant dreams!

#8)  Ancient Aliens - The Dyatlov Pass Incident

I enjoy Ancient Aliens quite a bit.  Sometimes they get a bit far fetched with their hypothesis (No....I seriously doubt that Albert Einstein was talking to aliens and I'm pretty sure that the Vikings didn't design Thor around an alien....but then again, I wasn't there, so who am I to say?) but sometimes they come up with some damn compelling evidence.  And sometimes they come up with some damn disturbing shit too....such as the episode that dealt with the connection between aliens and perceived "evil places" here on Earth.  One of the segments talked about the Dyatlov Pass Incident, in which 9 ski hikers died under extremely disturbing circumstances and their corpses were radioactive.  This really creeped me the hell out!

#7)   Alien Abduction Security Cam Video

An episode of The Paranormal Borderline (and I think it may have made rounds on other shows as well) that  allegedly shows a person being abducted by aliens and then returned two hours later.  Apparently Jonathan Frakes had the market on alien documentary shows in the late 90's early 2000's....because he once again takes us through the video, the usual panel of experts review the tape and confirm that it is, indeed, a compelling piece of evidence.  Compelling?  Yep.  Real?  I dunno.  Disturbing?  Oh yeah.

#6)  In Search Of........UFO Abductees

The thought of being taken against your will....or worse yet, having your will completely sapped away from you is a horrifying thought.  This episode hit all the hallmarks of what horrifies me about alien abductions....lost time, confusion, anal probes....okay....well maybe they don't mention that last one here...but still....I don't want no aliens giving me a colonoscopy, aight?  I don't know why, but these old shows like In Search Of really managed to hit an extremely creepy vibe that always stayed with me long after the show was over.

#5)  Sightings - Any UFO segment

This show used to wig me out, big time.  My older sister is two years older than me.  When she got to high school and joined the marching band, she went to all the football games on Friday nights (as marching bands are wont to do).  Any way, instead of dragging everyone out at nine or nine thirty at night to pick her up, my mother would leave me home to watch my baby sister (who was already in bed at that time).  Sightings would come on just as my mother was leaving, which left me to watch it alone.  Usually by the time that she and my sister were back, I was thoroughly freaked out but trying to play it cool.

#4)  The Betty & Barney Hill Abduction Case

I don't have a memory of a particular documentary or TV special for this one, but the case is extremely well known, especially to those of us here in New England, as the alleged abduction took place in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire (a place in which I have been camping MANY times.....and each time I can't help but thing about the Hill's abduction case).  In this case, the aliens seemed benevolent....but it still does not ease any of the dread I feel when I'm in the area....always looking tentatively to the skies.

#3)  Unsealed: Alien Files  - The Solway Firth Spaceman

Unsealed:  Alien Files is a show that (I think) heralds back to the good ol' days of Sightings and Unsolved Mysteries.  The combination of the deep voiced narrator with the creepy music creates a great kinda retro vibe to the show.  One of the creepiest episodes actually involved one of the more ridiculous cases.  The Solway Firth Spaceman.  Allegedly a spaceman appeared in a middle photo of a series of three of a five year old girl.  What was creepy was not so much the photos or the "spaceman", but the stories of the aborted missile launch and the MIB involvement.

#2)  Overlords of the UFO

I can't even begin to explain to you what it is about this documentary that gives me the chills.  If you are looking for a classic 70's creeptastic UFO documentary, you've come to the right place.  I'm just gonna let the documentary do the talking:

#1)  Travis Walton

If you watched the Overlords of the UFO documentary, then you probably know where I"m going for number one.  Also, I mentioned it all the way back at the beginning.  Travis Walton's case has been featured on just about every UFO/Alien show around.  So really you can take your pick on which one wigs you out the most.  I remember seeing this interview on 20/20.....I remember thinking that he must be legit if he's on 20/20!

Forbidden Forest on the Commodore 64 - A Christmas Wish Come True

I've been wanting to write about this game for quite some time now.  I'm not sure why I dragged my feet for so long, but by the time I really got the itch to start writing about it, Halloween was rolling around.  Sure, it's a horror game, but it just didn't feel like it fit in with the Halloween season.  It certainly didn't seem like the type of thing to talk about during Thanksgiving.  (November thru early December was a pretty busy time anyway....we didn't even manage to squeak out a podcast!)  But now that Christmas is just around the corner, the timing is perfect!  True evil monsters in a Forbidden Forest isn't standard Christmas fare, but hear me out.

It's Christmas Eve, 1985.  The atmosphere is electric for my sister and I.  Santa Claus is going to be coming in a matter of hours.  There's a toasty fire roaring in the fireplace and there is lively conversation between my parents and my two great aunts who are visiting for the holidays.  Me?  I'm sitting in front of the family Commodore 64 playing video games.  More than likely I was playing my favorite game....Beyond The Forbidden Forest.  I was completely obsessed with the game.  I was also convinced that it was based on a movie for some reason.  I will talk more about BtFF at another time though, because tonight is all about it's predecessor.

When I was little, my parents always let my sister and I open one present on Christmas Eve if we had been well behaved.  It was usually a gift they were going to use as a stocking stuffer or one of the smaller presents that would have gone under the tree.  This particular Christmas Eve, the gift I was allowed to open early was nothing other than Forbidden Forest....the prequel to Beyond the Forbidden Forest.  I was beyond excited.  I wasn't even aware that BtFF was a sequel, yet there I was holding the first adventure of the nameless archer in my hands.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the evening battling my way through hordes or enemies trying desperately to fight my way to the evil Demogorgon before bedtime.  No such luck that magical night, but I can remember every second like it was only yesterday.  So let's hit the "Wayback" button on the old Midnight Cinephile Time Machine™.

Forbidden Forest was a side scrolling game in which you play a nameless archer who must battle wave after wave of vicious monsters in a quest to destroy the evil Demogorgon.  The game was released by a company called Cosmi and programmed by Paul Norman.  Mr. Norman was already legendary in my eyes (he programmed Beyond the Forbidden Forest).  Being a former musician, he was especially adept at creating amazingly atmospheric music for his games.  That music is still seared into my brain to this day.  He instilled a true cinematic ambiance into his games.  Perhaps that's why I thought it was a movie as well!

No words can even describe how excited this makes me

Okay so let's get this party started!  There's not much 'Get Ready' time after hitting the fire button.  You are immediately under attack from Giant Spiders.  They will come at you from either side of the screen.  They will chase you under you draw your arrow on them.  Then they'll turn tail and try to get the hell out of dodge.  One shot put's 'em down, but if you miss you best beat feet yourself because they will immediately come back at ya.  If they catch you, you're treated to a gruesome little scene of the archer getting eaten alive.  If you hit a Spider, there's a nifty little blood splash as they flicker and vanish.

Whoa!  That's a big spider!

If it bleeds......I can kill it!

After killing off the prerequisite number of killer giant arachnids (the number depends on the difficulty level you set it on), you will do a little victory dance.  It's cute, but it's the one part of the game that becomes a bit tedious.  Anyway, after you're done bustin' a move, you're back in the action with Giant Bee's swooping down at you.  Once again, one hit will do you...this time when you hit them, they kinda explode.  Not like shower of gore explode.....more like firecracker explode.  Kinda strange but pretty cool.  These guys are a little more difficult to hit because they will jump from the background to the foreground and aiming and firing the arrow takes crackerjack timing.

It's the Attack of the Killer Exploding Bee's!

This fella's trying to get his sneak attack on.

After blowing some bee's out of the sky, you do another dance (get used to it!  The dance tune will become deeply ingrained in your head). and then it's on to one of the stranger encounters.  Giant Frogs falling from the sky.  Okay, well it seems more like they're jumping from behind the hill over there, but the point is they're trying to jump on you and crush you like a nut.  You've got to maneuver yourself between the frogs and fire away.  Again, one hit will do in a frog.  They turn a sickly yellow color when you hit them.  I dunno why.

It's raining frogs!!!!  Hallelujah.....it's raining frogs......

Well that blue and red pile of goop WAS you.....

After you kill enough frogs, do your little groove and such, it's on to more fantastic and exotic evils.  Up next:  The Dragon!  I think these were one of the most difficult creatures to kill in the game.  They would either come flying up from the background and spit fire directly down at you (giving you only a split second to fire one of your arrows) or it would fly in from either side of the screen...again spitting fiery death at you.  To make things extra hard, your arrows would harmlessly deflect off of the Dragon's tough hide.  You had to shoot him in the mouth to put him down.  It was absolutely glorious when you did though.  The Dragon would become engulfed in flames and fall to the ground, burning to ash.  In the more difficult modes you had to kill multiple Dragons!

The anticipation of waiting for the Dragon to fly into range was killer!

An arrow up the nose will do it!

The next enemy was one that haunted me throughout my childhood.  Pun intended.  Up next was one of the most frightening enemies I had ever encountered in a video game up to that point:  The Phantom of the Forest and his Skeletons!  Now first of all, you've got skeletons rushing you (much like the Giant Spiders did in the first wave) with spears.  You can spend all day long killing skeletons, but it won't do you any good.  The only way to end this encounter is to shoot the Phantom in the face!  Okay, well he doesn't exactly have a face....but you need to fire an arrow right into his hood.  When you score a hit, if there are any skeletons on screen, they will freeze and the Phantom will scream while slowly disintegrating.  This was the stuff of nightmares.  The tones used for the Phantom scream must have been concocted in a Warlock's cave because it sounded absolutely evil.  I can remember lying in bed...that awful sound echoing in my head....being so thankful for the He-man nightlight that offered some illumination in my room.

The weird thing is that these skeletons BLEED when you shoot them!

Shooting the Phantom in the face!  Harsh!

After the phantasmagorical horrors of the Phantom and his Skeletons, we're back in the realm of jacked up and over-sized animals.  The Giant Snake will rise up from behind the trees and spit venom at you.  Much like The Dragon, you've gotta fire one right up his nose to put him down.  When you hit him, he'll fall to the ground and a metric shit ton of blood will ooze out of his head.  Apparently his venom is also highly acidic because should you get hit by it, you'll be dissolved into nothing.

Talk about a Cobra attack!  Go Joe!
Wow, that's a lot of blood!  It's a gusher!!!!!

 If you manage to survive the onslaught thus far, you will finally get your shot at the Demogorgon.  You may have noticed as you battled your way through wave after wave of monsters that the forest was getting darker and darker as the overcast day turned into a dark starry night.  The Demogorgon is hiding in the darkness.  Only his shadow faintly visible against the stars and the moon.  Only when the lightening strikes do you see him.  Expert archers are able to track and kill The Demogorgon before the lightening even strikes...but it always took me a while to get my bearings.  You cannot take to long however because The Demogorgon draws ever closer and eventually will come down on you and all will be lost.

Hhhhmmm.....what a peaceful night....no sign of evil!

0_o  Kill it!  Kill it!  Kill it!!!!!!!!!

These days if you want to play Forbidden Forest, it's as simple as downloading an emulator and the ROM.  If you are a fan of the Commodore 64, or retro gaming in general, I highly recommend this unusual and challenging game.  I hope you enjoyed this little trip back to a Christmas Eve 28 years ago.  I know it's not standard Midnight Cinephile fare....this almost felt more like something I would have written back in the Wizard of Vestron days....but I was feeling a bit nostalgic.  Keep your eyes peeled for the sequel (Beyond the Forbidden Forest) soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tape Mold Returns!

What a wonderful surprise I received the other day.  After a long overnight shift, I returned home for some breakfast and a good long hibernation.  On the way in, I decided to check the mail....I was still waiting for a few Christmas items to arrive.  To my surprise and delight there was a manila envelope with my name on it from Tape Mold!  I had almost forgotten about my subscription to Tape Mold but here now I was staring at issue #3 and it's a beauty!

Issue #3 starts off with a a bang, giving us a three page interview with Sharyl Noday, a photographer who did LOTS of VHS cover art back in the day.   Next we get an interview with Helen Halloran, member of the all girl band Doll Squad, featured in the SOV trashterpiece Rock 'n' Roll Mobster Girls.  We also get a review of RnRMG.

A Video Spotlight on AIR Video, an original comic and much more round out the third issue.  I've gotta say, I'm a huge fan of Dan Kinem's feisty little slice of underground VHS love and I would urge each and every one of you to check out his website:  VHShitfest.  Visit his Store to get your copy of Tape Mold, or buy your 21st Anniversary Edition of HellRoller!  

Don't forget to visit  Tape Mold's Facebook Page as well as The Tape Mold Website!  When ya get there, tell 'em The Midnight Cinephile sent ya!  He won't have a clue what you're talking about, but it will sound cool!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Childhood Trauma Flashback: Part V - Weekly World News

I've told you many times about my childhood Friday night tradition:  Shopping with Mom, then the video store to rent a flick, etc.  Well today I want to talk a little bit about a vital piece of the trip to the grocery store:  Weekly World News.  Being a Friday night, the store was quite busy usually which meant that it was a longer wait in the check out line.

Sometimes I would go and check out the quarter prize machines (which are a staple at every grocery store to this day) to scope out the groovy goods.  Other times I would just stay put in the line with Mom.  What was the determining factor?  The front page of the Weekly World News.  The headlines that adorned that magical bit o questionable journalism were quite often the stuff of legend.  THREE HEADED BIGFOOT FOUND IN NORTH DAKOTA!  SPACE ALIENS TAKE OVER ENTIRE TOWN IN VIRGINIA!  FISH FOUND WITH HUMAN LEGS!  

For a kid obsessed with Dinosaurs, Monsters and UFO's, this was quite often the highlight of my week.  However just as often as the front page would keep me in awe, it would scare the crap out of me.  Doomsday messages, "real" photographs of Satan in the smoke of an oil fire and various other frightening phenomena would be emblazoned across the front page.  Sometimes Mom would let me buy the paper so I could read all about Bat Boy's latest adventures or how the Hubble Telescope managed to take a photograph of heaven.  

There was one issue that scared me more than any other, and I've written about it before:  The Last Words of the Challenger Crew.  I'm not going to go into detail of that particular issue because I already did so here.  I'll tell you what though....that stayed with me for a long time.  I felt an icy pit in my stomach that I just couldn't shake.  To this day, if Weekly World News or The Challenger come up in conversation my first thought is immediately that horrifying transcript that I read that night....and it still sends a chill down my spine. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Blood Beat - The Wisconsin Samurai Christmas Massacre

Directed by Fabrice A. Zaphiratos
Written by Fabrice A. Zaphiratos
Starring  Helen Benton, Terry Brown, Dana Day

Huskypup Film Productions
Rated R 
Approx. 85 Min.

 - Who can survive it's reign of terror?

 - A force of evil

Alternative Titles
Sortil├Ęges (Spells) France
Pulsschlag des Schreckens (Pulse of Secrets) West Germany

"No Mama.  Stop it.....STOP IT!  Don't try to come into my mind."

 This is a bit of a special review for me.  I've been wanting to watch this movie for well over a decade now....ever since I first read about it in John Stanley's Creature Features film guide back in the late 90's or so.  His three starred capsulized review hit all the right buttons for me:  First of all, it's a regional horror film, which I love.  There is just something so wonky and undeniably charming about regional horror films.  Secondly, it's a holiday themed horror flick.  Third, it's got a phantom Samurai as the bad guy.  What more could you possibly ask for?   So how does the film hold up to my lofty expectations?  Read on....

Okay....this is getting awkward.....

Nuthin' says "Merry Christmas" like murdering Bambi's mother!

First of all, I'm just gonna come right out and say it.....this film doesn't make a lick of sense.  Nothing is explained, the characters are one dimensional and even though this is considered a holiday horror film, you wouldn't know it if it weren't for the decorations.  Now having said that, it may sound like I didn't like the film.  Quite the contrary....BloodBeat is everything I'd been hoping for and so much more!

So let's dive in, shall we?  The film starts with Ted and his sister, Dolly coming home for Christmas.  Ted's brought his new girlfriend, Sarah, home to meet the family.  When Ted's mother and Sarah meet for the first time there is an awkward pause and they stare at each other for a moment before they all go inside.  What's with the odd stare?  Who knows.  Sarah can "feel" Ted's mother watching her even when she's not around and apparently dear old mum feels like she's seen her before.

Random disemboweled guy.

Oh yeah, there's also Gary.  Gary is Cathy's (The mother) boyfriend.  He's a hunter.  Being that this is shot in Wisconsin, they figured they best through in some hunting scenes to up the production value.  As a matter of fact after Ted, Dolly and Sarah get settled in, they all go out hunting.  I guess Sarah isn't much of a hunter because she freaks out as they're about to shoot Bambi's mother between the eyes and runs off.  Sarah ends up running smack into a dude stumbling through the woods who's apparently been eviscerated.  As per horror movie mandate, he dies immediately after bumping into her.

Back at home, Ted puts Sarah to bed....apparently the excitement was too much for her.  Then he and Dolly plop themselves down in front of the Christmas tree to play some Monopoly.  Why am I telling you this?  I dunno....it's a relevant to the plot as anything else that's going on!

Do not pass go....do not collect $200....Do not go upstairs!

Don't mind me kids....I'll just be weird over on the couch.....

Mom continues to act strange and locks herself away in her painting room where she's painting another piece that will more than likely get hung up around the house.  She's really weird about people coming into her room.  Gary and Cathy get into a fight (I guess to up the drama and tension?) and Gary storms off to watch TV in the living room.  Meanwhile, Sarah finds a Samurai costume and sword in a trunk in the bedroom.....only there is no trunk in the bedroom and no costume or sword.

You know 90% of all household accidents take place in the kitchen....

Now the POV killings start and apparently this glowing blue Samurai is somehow linked to Sarah who apparently has an orgasm every time he kills someone.  One of his victims escapes and leads the ghostly apparition to the family home and then stuff REALLY gets whacked out.  The kitchen comes alive around Gary.  Cathy starts to do her impression of a Parkinson's patient having a seizure and Ted and Dolly are chased around the house my the Samurai, locking themselves in a closet.

I've heard of static electricity, but this is ridiculous!

I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.......psych!

He eventually vanishes and the next day everyone is oddly acting like nothing that odd happened.  As usual, I'm not going to spoil the film, but I will tell you that it only gets weirder and makes less sense from here on out.  The Samurai does some stalking, there's some psychic shenanigans, some other stuff happens and the climax is accompanied by Carl Orff's O Fortuna.  Trust me when I tell that you've heard the song.  I'm 99.9% they did not have permission to use it....which may be one of the reasons that this film has never had an official DVD release.

Midnight Cinephile Tally

Death Toll  As best as I can tell, we've got a body count of Nine.  However, it could be more or less....

Nude-O-Meter  We get a couple of peeks at Sarah's boobs and a darkened sex scene shows her naked butt as well.

Things That Go Bump In The Night  Glowing Blue Samurai Ghost!!!!!!!!

Final Thoughts
This is not only one of the strangest holiday horror flicks I've ever seen....it's one of the weirdest flicks PERIOD!  Everything about this movie is slightly off.  The score is a weird electronic mishmash that feels out of place, combined with classical music (and of course the suspected unauthorized use of Carl Orff's O Fortuna) makes for an eclectic soundtrack.  The acting is absolutely terrible.  All of this coalesces into a magical, strange and surreal cinematic experience.  It's got a little gore, a little T&A and a lot of WTF!

Final Rating
Three out of Five Pizza Rolls

Treevenge - The Day The Pines Struck Back!

Directed by Jason Eisener
Written by Rob Cotterill & Jason Eisener
Starring  Jonathan Torrens, Sarah Dunsworth &
Maris Morgan 

Yer Dead Productions
Unrated - Approx. 16 Minutes


Alternate Titles:

I'm a complete sucker for Christmas.  I absolutely love the holiday and I can't get enough.  The day after Thanksgiving, the tree goes up while I listen to Christmas music and drink eggnog.  It's fantastic.  Being that I live in a condo, it's much easier to just put up an artificial tree....and after watching Treevenge, I'm glad that I do!

The trees plea for their lives!

Tree Farm of Terror

The premise of Treevenge will definitely have you scratching your head a bit, but this is purely meant to be a "check your brain at the door and have a good time" kinda film.  See, trees are sentient in this film.  When foul mouth lumberjacks come and cut them down and hall them off to a processing plant (plant....trees.....get it?  Get it?  I crack myself up sometimes) to be sold as Christmas Trees, the poor things have no idea what's happening to them.  Their pleas for mercy fall on deaf ears.


The trees are bought up and brought into people's homes where they are tortured by smiling families placing ornaments and decorations on them. The trees wait and bid their time until Christmas morning when they launch an all out retaliation assault on the unsuspecting humans.  What follows is an unabashed gore-fest that doesn't hold back.

A tree uses it's star as a shuriken, another hacks a man's leg of with an ax, and still another uses it's branches to fasten to lovers' faces together.  Then we get a glimpse of what's going on OUTSIDE in the neighborhood.  Trees are impaling people, raping people and squishing babies!  It's all out carnage as the trees lay waste to the population.

It's a full on Treepocalypse

Midnight Cinephile Tally

Death Toll:  You know what?  I lost count.  We're talking double digits here.

Nude-O-Meter  Well, the trees aren't wearing an clothes....so if you're a dendrophiliac, this is you're lucky day!

Things That Go Bump In The Night:  Sentient pine trees wielding weapons.  'Nuff said!

Final Thoughts
If you've got a spare 15 minutes or so and you're looking for something a little different....something a little outside the normal Christmas Slasher film, you've got to check this one out.  A completely ridiculous premise....it takes about two thirds of the film to get to the good stuff, but it's got such a fun campy vibe that you won't care.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Final Rating
Four out of Five Pizza Rolls