Category Archives: VOD

Fukushima 50 – the heroic real-life story of the ultimate scarifice

When it comes to disaster movies, no one can quite do it like Asia. We have had some fantastic releases including, Pandora, The Tunnel, The Tower and Earthquake. The thing is, unlike Hollywood productions with L.A crumbling, and The Rock hanging from helicopters trying to save his family, Asian disaster movies are based on real events. Fukushima 50 is based on the most terrifying event of them all: biblical-scale earthquakes leading to a meltdown putting the whole of Japan and the rest of the world at risk of a nuclear catastrophe worse than Chernobyl. This film follows the heroic actions of the ones that sacrificed their lives to prevent Fukushima from further devastation and reaching a global scale.

OFFICIAL FILM SYNOPSIS:

Japan’s Tohoku Region: at a magnitude of 9.0, the strongest earthquake in the country’s history strikes, triggering a huge tsunami and carnage that would end up killing thousands of people and displacing many more. It mercilessly engulfs the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, causing a crippling station blackout. Unable to be cooled, the nuclear reactors quickly turn into hydrogen bombs at the brink of explosion. If the power plant is abandoned, Japan’s destruction is assured. Facing a life or death situation, the power plant workers known as the “Fukushima 50”, including shift supervisor Izaki and plant manager Yoshida, remain on the site until the bitter end. As the world holds its breath, the Fukushima 50 fight for their hometown, their families, and the future of Japan.

Capelight Pictures

FUKUSHIMA 50 Arrived On VOD/Digital Platforms On March 5th

You can check out the trailer below

Trailer

FUKUSHIMA 50

poster for Fukushima 50

Directed by: Setsuro Wakamatsu
Written by: Ryusho Kadota (Book: “On The Brink: The Inside Story of Fukushima Daiichi)and Yoichi Maekawa (Screenplay)
Country of Origin: Japan
Language: Japanese (OV) / English (dub)
Genre: Action & Drama
Distributor: Capelight Pictures
Produced by Tsuguhiko Kadokawa
RunTime: 121minutes

As always, thanks for reading.

Article by GG
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker

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Sleepless Beauty Film Review: Not so much torture but it has an amazing animation

It begins with an ambassador’s assassination plot and a chat window that informs us of a new method of getting people to do certain things.

Then we see Mila through different cameras, letting us know she has been chosen for the same group of people from the dark web.

She is just like your average girl next door, so we can empathize with her and feel horrified with what is going to happen.

After she gets kidnapped, story develops in a small room, some sort of dirty bathroom, pretty similar to the one in the fist movie of Saw.

Things get narrated by the incessant chat window and their participants.

We find out that all this is the work of an organization called “Recreation”.

A woman’s voice through a very loud speaker tells us the rules, they are quite simple.

The main one is that sleeping is forbidden, all attempts to sleep will be immediately interrupted.

Her daily schedule is:

8 am Morning Routine

9 am Exercise

11 am Morning Activities

12 pm – 20 hrs Free Time

20 hrs Entertainment Program

21 hrs – 8 am Virtual Reality Immersion

The voice finalizes with “Have a wonderful stay.”

This sets the mood for the whole movie and prepares you for what’s next, sadly falls short.

It’s in the category of torture but it shy away, the torture happens behind scenes and we keep getting close ups of the chat, they still narrate what’s happening or will happen but at the same time it’s just repetitive, so much that at some point I agreed with them, it was boring.

The story itself is intriguing, but it feels that it wasn’t the sleep deprivation or the torture the ones that really messed with the minds of their test subjects, in her case was the procedure and the amazing animation she was watching on a loop.

The animation is incredible, open to interpretation, showing us different ways she was being tortured and constantly forced to “give birth” to monsters, taunting her until she reaches the level of self-harm.

There’s another scene where Mila is running and the location looks quite similar to the one in the beginning of Martyrs, I love the atmosphere, it’s something that the duo Khvaleev/Khaleeva gave us on their past films (III and Involution) and we are used to, this film is no exception.

I wish we could have a subtitled version, because the dubbed one has more than a few issues, the sound mixing was affected by the postproduction dubbing and sometimes between the echo, screams and pronunciation is really hard to understand what they are saying, besides we can’t fully appreciate the performances, which is a shame because it’s well made.

It is a very interesting idea, can’t wait to see their next project.

Stars Polina Davydova.

Sleepless Beauty is already available on VOD and digital platforms, followed by a blu-ray release on November 17.

Trailer:

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Secret Zoo Film Review: A lighthearted comedy that definitely hit the mark

Son Jae-Gon keeps making contributions to the comedy genre (The Man Who Saw Too Much, My Scary Girl, Villain and Widow), now with a trendy but beautiful message in it; in this Globalized World, there is still people with principles who believe we can coexist with Mother Nature.

Even when it has some cliches, you can find some originality in it.

It’s based on the webtoon “I Don’t Bully You” by Hun.

The film begins with Tae-soo, who works in a temp position in a very well-known law firm; he is a bottom feeder there, of course he wants to impress his boss and the opportunity comes as the new Dongsan Park Zoo Director; he has to revitalize the failed zoo in 3 months so that the firm can make more money by selling it to another client, the problem is… there are no animals and he has no budget.

He comes up with the idea of making animal costumes for the staff to wear and fool people, until they make enough money to get their animals back.

They are not doing well until a happy accident happens, a marketing strategy in real life that helps them go viral and start having hundreds of visitors; at times it feels like they are sponsored by certain brand of carbonated drinks, still is funny how people enjoy the show, even when sometimes they are rude.

It seems it would be easy but we need a villain, in this case the Law Firm, which will become greedy and reveal their true plans.

I think by now, we all know what will happen, but is still a really fun ride to see and laugh with the characters; I would see it’s 98% family friendly because it has a few “adult jokes” but nothing outrageous.

I enjoyed the performances, cast is fantastic in their characters, very charming; the animal costumes are incredible well made, they look realistic… I think the polar bear looks more realistic than “Black Nose”, the “real” polar bear (CGI) in the movie.

If you are looking for a fun movie to enjoy, I highly recommend Secret Zoo.

Cast includes: Ahn Jae-Hong, Kang So-ra, Park Yeong-gyu, Kim Sung-oh and Jeon Yeo-been

You can watch it in Korean with subtitles in English and English SDH or dubbed in English.

Secret Zoo it’s already available on VOD and DVD.

Watch the trailer here:

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Alone Trailer

When an outbreak hits, Aidan barricades himself inside his apartment and starts rationing food. His complex is overrun by infected Screamers, and with the world falling apart into chaos, he is left completely alone fighting for his life.

Starring:
The amazing Donald Sutherland,

Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf, Truth or Dare, Scary Movie V),

Robert Ri’chard (House of Wax),

Summer Spiro (Westworld).

Directed by:
Johnny Martin (Vengeance: A Love Story, Hangman, Delirium)

Release Date:
October 16, 2020 (VOD)
October 20, 2020 (DVD)

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Perempuan Tanah Jahanam aka Impetigore Review: A little village full of creepy people who have a thing for puppets and satanic rituals

Joko Anwar has delivered some amazing films, like “Modus Anomali”, “The Forbidden Door” and “Satan’s Slaves”; obviously I was thrilled since I learned he was filming a new horror movie (after “Gundala”) and finally we got the release in this side of the world.

We have the amazing Tara Basro (Maya), as our lead actress and Marissa Anita (Dini) as the support one, both of them have previously worked with Anwar, in different films, “Gundala” being the last one.

Perempuan Tanah Jahanam aka Impetigore, tell us the story of two friends who are struggling with money, Maya finds out that probably her family was rich and there’s a huge house that both of them could use to live; she wants to claim the inheritance without knowing that probably this is the worst idea she could have had.

It starts like how Asian horror movies usually do (at least, ghostly ones)… a young woman working in the night shift as a cashier in a tollbooth in the middle of nowhere, talking nonsense with a friend, when a very creepy man keeps stalking her, subsequently attacking her; the guy is really really creepy, gives you an unease feeling, so kudos for that.

Obviously this odd person introduces us to what is gonna be the main storyline; family secrets and a world we know it’s out there but at the same time we don’t know it’s there.

Maya decides to go to the village where she was born, this is when we can see a change in the lighting and in the colour palette, from the previous extremely dark and gloomy… to a very alive but mysterious one.

In the beginning, the colour palette tells us how she and her friend, Dini, feel like they are trapped in a hole and that’s why they see this situation as a strong possibility to move on to a better life, with the only obstacle of being surrounded by secrets, mainly about Maya’s birth.

We keep getting changes in the lighting, the house and other houses, Anwar presents it to us all dark with only warm light, but instead of pure yellow, we have more red in it, telling us something bad is about to happen or that evil is close.

With the game of lights (that it really helps to set the mood), we have gorgeous cinematography from the hand of the amazing Ical Tanjung; every time we feel a bit of hope, a yellow ray of light is smartly set in the middle of the frame, then the scenery quickly changes, giving us fog and with this, despair.

Not only we are visually rewarded, but the incidental music is enchanting, it helps to create a very atmospheric movie.

This slow-burn builds up nicely, but unfortunately, the climax doesn’t have the impact we are waiting for.

Feels more like a “family secret drama”, with a few curses and ghosts here and there, but nothing that can make you shudder.

What you are expecting to happen with Maya, it doesn’t, it goes to “Hollywood cliche land” and that broke my heart.

In a way, I feel a little disappointed, but overall it’s entertaining, it has some good visual impacts with a mix of practical effects and cgi.

I liked the ending and the whole little-village-full-of-beliefs-secrets-and-curses vibe; but, I was hoping, at least, for some more killings or something that screamed to me “this is a terrible curse”.

Hopefully, Anwar will surprise us more with his next project.

Impetigore will premiere July 23 on Shudder (U.S., Canada and the UK).

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TERROR 5: New South American Horror Anthology – Artsploitation Films

Indie Horror Film Terror 5 Coming to DVD & VOD April 2
Brothers Sebastian and Federico Rotstein Direct This Horror Anthology

 

Artsploitation Films have had some great, gut-wrenching horror in the last couple of years. Films like German Angst, Der Samurai, Horsehead, Trauma, Der Bunker, and The Treatment have proven that Artsploitation are true genre specialists. You can check out all of the above titles and many more HERE.

The film that stands out most was the Chilean shocker, Trauma which was released last year. As a fan of extreme horror, I can honestly say that there were scenes in Trauma that will be staying in my mind forever. Now, we have Terror 5, another Artsploitation Films release and another horror from South America. This time though, we’re going to be treated to a 5-story horror anthology. Also, Terror 5 is from first-time directors, brothers, Sebastian and Federico Rotstein. It’s always great to get introduced to fresh new talent and vision.

 ” A World Of Sex, Vengeance, Zombies & Snuff Films”

With a tagline like that, I can’t help but feel intrigued. Who knows what Terror 5 has to offer but if Artsploitation Films are behind it, it’s definitely one that horror fans should have on their radar.

Terror 5 Artsploitation Films

From Official Press-Release:

Playfully based on urban legends and featuring a group of young people all coming face-to-face with their inner demons, Terror 5 is far from your typical indie horror. First-time directors Sebastian and Federico Rotstein use a local political crisis in Argentina as the backdrop to the five stories that unfold to horrific conclusions.  Artsploitation Films will release the film this April 2nd on DVD and on several VOD platforms.

Synopsis:

While most of the residents of a small Argentinian town attend a funeral procession following a tragic building collapse, the few who do not will face terrors of their own in this mashup of urban legends from brothers-filmmakers Sebastián and Federico Rotstein. Think bondage, torture, zombies…and governmental corruption. Hernán and Gabriela, are going to a motel without realizing that inside the room, behind the mirror, there is something waiting for them. Lucio and Paulo have a plan to swap girlfriends without realizing what will really happen.

A group of friends are watching a snuff movie ignoring that the real terror is sitting next to them. Juan attends a date with Sonia thinking he is going to get laid when he realizes that she has bigger plans for him. As their primal urges distract them all, local officials are judged innocent of the neglect that caused the building collapse—and then the horror really begins.

TRAILER for Terror 5

Terror 5 will be available April 2nd on DVD and Digital HD, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, Google Play, In Demand and more.

As always, thanks for reading.

Article by Gary Gamble

Words by Gary Gamble & Artsploitation Films

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Cold Hell (Die Hölle) 2017 Exclusive to Shudder 15th, March 2018

Mr MovieHooker reluctantly passed Cold Hell to me to watch last week. His internet is still not firing on all cylinders and quite frankly, it’s making me happy. If not for that I wouldn’t have been able to watch this upcoming Shudder film until its release with everyone else.  This thriller/action film is from Austria by Academy Award-winning director Stefan Ruzowitzky and stars the stunning Violetta Schurawlow as Özge. 

#ColdHell2017
Verena Altenberg and Violetta Schurawlow

What’s It About?

Set in Vienna, a woman sees the aftermath of a terrible crime. When she informs local authorities that the killer has seen her, they do nothing to offer protection. Fearing for her safety, she returns to work as a taxi-driver and discovers she is being hunted.

#DieHolle2017 #ColdHell2017
Violetta Schrawlow and Tobias Moretti

How Was It?

During the Fantasia Film Festival 201,the Best Actress Award went to Violetta Schrawlow for her portrayal as Özge in this female led film. 

Austria doesn’t make a lot of action movies but the creators of this film want to change that. Written by Martin AmbroschCold Hell starts very quietly. I love Muay Thai (spectator not practicing) and seeing Özge introduced as a taxi-driver with skills gave the film a cool edge immediately. Detective Samir (Robert Palfrader) comes across as the average cop with a stick up his butt about women and no time to understand them. 

The scenes are mostly set in dingy apartment buildings and out in suburban streets. Each shot gives the subtext of despair and anger without anyone actually being very angry. Despite knocking down a few men from time to time, Özge meanders through the story without saying an awful lot. She comes across as a woman hell-bent on being alone and by being surly to anyone who speaks with her.

About half way through I became somewhat despondent of the films narrative. What sort of movie did this set out as? It seemed to cover the spectrum of genres and I became so displeased I turned it off. I had decided Cold Hell was turning into a weird parable of John McClane in Die Hard only with no guns and a serial killer instead of terrorists. Thinking about the movie later, I wanted to know more about the protagonist. I realized I hadn’t found out exactly what her deal was yet. I didn’t know who the serial killer was and wanted to see if there would be any more brilliant fight scenes in cars full of traffic?

#ColdHell2017
Explosions? Yes please!

Final Thoughts

The first half isn’t bad in any respect, that’s not why I switched it off.  I thought I had it figured out. I just wasn’t in the mood for a feminist statement and I assumed it was going to do what all movies of this type do. In the end it did but it also did not. The second half of this movie is a delight if one can use a word like that in a review of an action film. Not only does it redeem itself, it manages to throw in some light comedy through Karl Steiner (Friedrich von Thun). I  absolutely adored Karl’s character and even though it threw in another genre, it worked.

My hatred of Detective Samir got flipped on its head somehow and the daytime trash-television lover in me ate up the rest of the tale. Cold Hell taught me to never judge a movie by its  female heroine cover and always watch until the end.

I give Cold Hellprostitute skinning serial killers out of 5.

5 Star Rating System 4 stars

For the full movie go to www.shudder.com 15th March 2017

Quote From Director Stefan Ruzowitzky on making Cold Hell

I read an interview with the director on an Austrian website Vienna Online by Allegro Film, Petro Domenigg. Allegro Film are trying to get Austrian movies known for their action flicks. What I found though, was that a quote from Stefan Ruzowitzky summed up the film perfectly.

The trick is to lull the audience into safety: you know that, you know that and you know that – and then suddenly something else comes along. That’s the only way to frighten oneself. Of course, some critics sometimes feel misunderstood as a genre filmmaker when they say, “I’ve seen that many times before.” Yes, but that’s part of the game! If it’s just things that you’ve often seen, then it really becomes a problem. You have this set of rules and the audience wants this set of rules intelligently broken and expanded – but not reinvented with stump and stems.

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Diverge (2016) Review — Two Paths, One Life

 

Image via Young Gunner Films

Diverge begins in reverse chronological order.  The backdrop for the first few scenes makes the desolation seem as beautiful as a trip to the mountains. Lots of long stark shots combined with various large plains filled with wind-swept patterns are seen. The open spaces seem never-ending. Two figures, Chris (Ivan Sandmire) and Anna (Erin Cunningham), walk into an endless life of misery battling the elements.

In the middle of the night comes a stranger (Jamie Jackson, The Blacklist) and his appearance immediately creates a nervous tension within the crust of the story. He appears to be kind, offering food and advice but who is he? His presence ignites a thought about the couple. Are they on the run?

In drips and drops of perfectly orchestrated dialogue I could feel a twist coming on the tip of my tongue. I couldn’t decide whether this movie would be more of the same or take me somewhere different. I really enjoy apocalyptic films and just as this began to remind me of snippets of ‘Here Alone’ 2017, it quickly changed into something else. This movie shines a futuristic light onto a Sci-Fi fused ‘Sliding Doors1998 episode of the ‘Twilight Zone’. Can we ever fix our mistakes for more than a moment?

Sure, the pace drops off a few times here and there and downtown New York City seemed just as desolate as the earlier desert. But like all good stories, Diverge is engaging and thought-provoking right to the very end and afterwards even if the city is slightly devoid of crowds.

Writer and director James Morrison placed every character within the story at the perfect time to keep the story flowing in a thousand different directions. Some movies that over-complicate this type of threading, but it works here and explains itself nearly all the way. The film offers unique insights into changing the future by fixing the past and leaves a few details up to your own interpretation.

What I thought was a phenomenal and in-tune to the mood was the score. It was composed by the same people who did the music for Green Room, Hold the Dark and Blue Ruin; The Blair Brothers.

Diverge is a feature by Young Gunner Films and it’s their first production done with Gentile Entertainment Group and Easy Open Productions. Although it comes with a low-budget, it is not often obvious due to the minimalist techniques with filming. Production was completed over the course of 18 months taking advantage of seasonal changes and cutting costs while adding extra depth to the story.

If you like a slow-burn end-of-world style film that will remind you of a few movies in this genre but also be too different to be comparable, then this one to put on your watch list.

I give Diverge 3.5/5

5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars

Release Date?

This film has been playing at festivals in 6 countries since 2016. Releases February 18, 2018 to the public via VOD from Gravitas Ventures.

.

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CUT SHOOT KILL: A Disappointing, Wasted Opportunity

 CUT SHOOT KILL Hit VOD On August 8th

Struggling actress, Serena (Alexandra Socha) is having a hard time finding an acting job. Wondering if she will ever catch a break, she begrudgingly accepts a role in an upcoming slasher flick.

Slasher movies ain’t her thing, but these are desperate times. She agrees to watch the short the movie is based on to get a feel for her role. When trying to find out who played the lead in the film she learns that she was murdered….you guessed the plot yet?

Before leaving, Serena tells her boyfriend that she needs to do this alone and under no circumstances, must he go to the set to visit her. Sent to collect her and bring Serena to the set is a young hillbilly with a learning disability and speech impediment….alarm bells should seriously already be ringing!. I don’t know about you but I think I’d rather find my own means of travel than have some Deliverance motherfucker escort me ANYWHERE!

The director she is working for has created a lot of hype with his new horror movies. He goes by the name of Alabama and is really butchering his actors to create the ultimate realistic horror movie.

Unfortunately, Cut Shoot Kill didn’t do it for me.

I can see what these guys wanted to do but sadly, it wasn’t achieved with this film. The slasher film that she is part of falls victim to every stereotype in the book, which makes the film a tiring and predictable watch.

We have a story of a filmmaker trying to create the most realistic gore FX by murdering the actors. While for the most part, the films special FX didn’t look too bad, there was questionable blood FX that went against the realism that the film was going for.

That doesn’t mean to say that the team can’t  come back stronger with their next feature. Just because I didn’t find much to enjoy in the film, doesn’t mean to say that there was no talent involved. If you want to turn your brain off and enjoy some mindless hacking and slashing, not expecting any sort plot then you might want to give CUT SHOOT KILL a go.

3/10

Gary Gamble

CUT SHOOT KILL  hit VOD on August 8th via Freestyle Digital Media.

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An Oddly Original Tale Of Vampirism: Review for THE TRANSFIGURATION

 

The directorial debut from Michael O’Shea hits VOD on August 8th

The Transfiguration is the tale of Milo, a young boy who has a strong desire to be a vampire and acts out his fantasy unbeknownst to all around him.

Having lost both parents (one of whose deaths may have been the catalyst for his obsessive behaviour). He now lives alone with his older brother, Lewis and spends his days wandering the streets often bullied and without friends.

Milo has a fascination with movies, exclusively about vampires. Some great old horror films get name checked including; Near Dark, Let The Right One In, and Nosferatu which adds a sense of relevancy to proceedings.

He also seems to have a morbid fascination with online clips of animal slaughter too. However, we learn that at some point in the past he was involved in some bestial cruelty himself which appears to have been practice runs for what was yet to come (something the bullies have labelled him a freak for).

After meeting a girl called Sophie, who appears to have some psychological issues herself involving self-harm etc. Maybe it’s possible that Milo can put away childish things and get on with his young life, or is his fixation just too hard to shake off?

The Transfiguration review

The Transfiguration is a slow burn indie chiller that takes the vampire sub-genre and turns it on its head. In The Transfiguration, we’ve  a young boy wanting to be a vampire and attempting to do what vampires do, yet accomplishing it with messy and gruesome levels of success.

You could be forgiven however for wondering just how a small boy would be able to overpower a grown man. Even with the system that he uses, that issue does ring a bell a few times when it’s on screen.

The film also positions itself so far down the downbeat scale that at times it feels like it’s suffocating. I can see the director was going for as bleak a feeling as possible, so that’s probably forgivable. There are shocks in The Transfiguration for sure, along with an attempt to add some gritty gang culture scenario of the New York streets.

Towards the end, one shock is unexpected which punctuates the final act adding a form of poetic full-stop to all that went before. One can’t deny it’s always good to see some kind of life being pumped into an old sub-genre of horror. It really would be hard to make a film of that sub-genre in its pure classical form today. I can’t imagine many would want to see the frilly Hammer vampires return after we’ve had Let The Right One In and Only Lovers Left Alive.

The Transfiguration was a welcome, if loose example, of neck-biting shenanigans. For a first direct, on a limited budget it’s worth seeing if your range for horror extends beyond the bells and whistles of the multiplex.

Strand Releasing is very proud to release the critically acclaimed horror-drama THE TRANSFIGURATION on VOD August 8th.

Colin Darwin

7/10

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