Movie News

AICN HORROR looks at SIMON KILLER! A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2! LUCKY BASTARD! EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL! 13 EERIE! TORMENTED! SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC! SEXQUATCH! & FROM BEYOND!

Published at: April 5, 2013, 7:44 a.m. CST by ambush bug

Logo by Kristian Horn
What the &#$% is ZOMBIES & SHARKS?

Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. We’ve got a whole casket load of reviews this week, but before that, as always…there’s this!


Those of you who loved KILL LIST are most likely curious about what director Ben Wheatley has up next. Well, it looks to be the film SIGHTSEERS and this week we have the poster for said film. Here’s the synopsis: Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way - on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina's led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see - the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that accompanies these wonders in his life. I’m told this is a pretty hyper-violent film, so though Wheatley might be taking a step away from horror with this one, the film seems to have a black soul and I’ll be covering it here on AICN HORROR very soon!


Here’s some remake fun. Lonnie Martin, the madman behind COUGARS (reviewed here), has recreated a scene from AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and shared it with me this week, so I thought I’d pass it on to you all. Enjoy this female rendition of a classic scene!



An American Werewolf in London - Remake of "Jack's Warning" from Lonnie Martin on Vimeo.




This year’s Hudson Horror Show looks to be a good one. So if you’re in the Poughkeepsie, New York area around June 8th, be sure to nab some tickets for the event. They’ll be playing the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 (Kiss my plate, you dog dick!), ARMY OF DARKNESS, INFRA-MAN, the lost grindhouse classic GONE WITH THE POPE!, and a mystery movie! Be sure to get your tickets now!

Now let’s get to the horror reviews!

On with the horror reviews!

Today on AICN HORROR
(Click title to go directly to the feature)

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET COLLECTION Retro-review: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE
FROM BEYOND (1989)
SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC (2012)
SEXQUATCH: THE LEGEND OF BLOOD STOOL CREEK (2012)
TORMENTED (2012)
13 EERIE (2012)
EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (2012)
Advance Review: LUCKY BASTARD (2013)
Advance Review: SIMON KILLER (2012)
And finally…Patrick Rea’s PAINT SHAKER!


Retro-review: New on BluRay (Covering all seven films of the collection: Part 2 of 7, Find this film on Netflix here!)

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE (1985)

Directed by Jack Sholder
Written by David Chaskin
Starring Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Rusler, Clu Gulager, Hope Lange, Marshall Bell
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug


Opening with an expansive dream sequence involving Freddy as a bus driver driving into a bottomless canyon, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE starts with a bang, though the subtitle FREDDY’S REVENGE is a bit redundant because aren’t all the Elm Street movies about Freddy taking revenge on the kids of the parents who killed him?

That aside, I don’t dislike ELM STREET 2 as others do. In many ways, it continues to portray Freddy in a pretty diabolical light, much darker than the pizza-faced clown he becomes in later installments. In this film, themes of repressed sexuality, sexual abuse, and other perversions are explored as Mark Patton plays Jesse Walsh, a teen who has the unfortunate luck of moving into the same house Nancy lived in during the first film. If moving into the crazy kid’s house wasn’t enough, Jesse has to put up with the usual high school anxieties as well as a sadistic gym teacher and the school bully who turns out to be a pretty decent friend in the end. To top it all off, Freddy starts thinking he can be resurrected by possessing Jesse.

Switching gears from the dream states examined in the first film, NIGHTMARE 2 becomes somewhat of a possession flick with Jesse and those in his immediate vicinity believing the dead bodies that are stacking up might be Jesse’s fault. Though this is a slight tweak to the nightmare haunting of the first film, it does move into newer territory with some pretty impressive effects of Freddy literally bursting from Jesse’s chest in one practical effect and having the finger knives cleave right out of Jesse’s hand.

No stranger to horror, Jack Sholder directed the Jack Palance/Donald Pleasance maniacs on the loose pic ALONE IN THE DARK and the Kyle MacLachlan body-hopping alien flick THE HIDDEN. Here he doesn’t necessarily do a bad job; it’s just that compared to the heady examination of dreams we got in the original, the film really seems to have dumbed down the material. There are quite a few groaners in this film as Jesse pumps up some 80’s jams and dances in his room for a scene that goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time. The humor is pretty dated, what with comedy not really Sholder’s strong suit.

But A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE did have some decent scenes highlighting some pretty amazing effects for its time. The dream sequences are bigger than the first, and Freddy’s got some pretty classic lines in this one including “You’ve got the body…and I’ve got the brains!” while tearing his own skull open and my favorite, when Freddy is reborn and addresses a party full of teens: “You are all my children now!” The fact that Freddy is still an evil guy is not lost in this sequel, and while later installments tend to overlook the fact that he abused children both physically and sexually, this one at least delves into those themes and makes you not want to root for the guy.

For that, I’ve got to give this film its props. Nowhere near the level of scares and thrills of the first, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE isn’t as bad as later installments of the series.






Retro-Review: New this week on BluRay from the Shout Factory (Find this film on Netflix here)!

H.P. LOVECRAFT’S FROM BEYOND (1986)

Directed by Stuart Gordon
Written by H.P. Lovecraft (short story), Brian Yuna, Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon (screenplay)
Starring Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree, Jeffrey Combs, Ted Sorel, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug


Before I knew any better, I used to think this was a direct sequel to RE-ANIMATOR. To my twelve year old mind, seeing the same characters pittering around with twisted science, it only made sense that these two films were connected. Not knowing who or what an H.P. Lovecraft was, I simply didn’t know better.

All growed up and sophisticated-like, I understand that while this isn’t a sequel it does seem to occur in the same world as Lovecraft’s other works, and though the cast are playing different characters, I can appreciate that some of the crew from RE-ANIMATOR returned for another Stuart Gordon gross-out science gone wild yarn.

In FROM BEYOND, a Dr. Pretorius constructs a machine that allows us to bridge the gap between dimensions. It is a dimension that exists just a skocsh off into our periphery, but once opened, as always, this portal is tough to close and much worse, those who look through this window to another dimension find themselves altered mentally and physically. Some decently heady stuff, and Stuart Gordon, who made RE-ANIMATOR such a classic with its tightrope walk between humor and horror, doesn’t really want to make folks laugh as much with FROM BEYOND. Still, it’s a film that will make you squirm quite a bit.

The squirming, for the most part, comes in the way the look into the other dimension effects people. First, inhibitions are loosened as the pineal gland in the brain becomes enlarged. This makes for some pretty amazing body horror scenes with Jeffrey Combs’ Dr. Tillinghast turning into a brain-eating monster with a pineal gland bursting through his forehead like a third eye. On a much more appealing note, we get to see more Barbara Crampton boobage, which I am always up for, as she dresses in S&M gear and tries to seduce both Combs and Ken (DAWN OF THE DEAD) Foree. The cast, two of which worked with Gordon before on RE-ANIMATOR, seem to be having a blast doing these off the wall things, and though the black slapstick humor such as the reanimated cat sequence and the “giving head” sequence is never quite achieved, the film does has a crazy sense of anything goes that is worth admiring.

The effects of FROM BEYOND are extremely ambitious and successful about 85% of the time. Though some of the monster effects are obviously latex sculpts and KY jelly, some of the effects such as the exposed pineal gland and the floating otherworldly monsters are actually quite amazing.

Revisiting FROM BEYOND in this new BluRay form is a pretty amazing experience. The disk is loaded with interviews with the filmmakers and cast, behind the scenes fx stuff, and the film is presented in its unrated, uncut form. The even cooler thing is that FROM BEYOND is being rereleased by both SHOUT FACTORY and SECOND SIGHT, but no matter where you get it, it’s still an amazing albeit different take on mad science from Lovecraft, Gordon, Combs, and Crampton.






New this week on DVD!

SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC (2012)

Directed by Mike O'Mahony
Written by Erich Ficke & Mike O’Mahony
Starring Mike O’Mahony, James Costa, Fred Ficke, David Folger, Lauren Ojeda, Julie Ann Hamolko, Lou Beaver
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


I don’t want to spend too much time on this no budget film. Clowns are always fun to put through hell, and when cast through the lens of horror, one can’t help but love seeing a something that’s supposed to be a childhood instrument of joy be turned into a morally corrupt killing machine. Still, SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC seems to take the easy route when it comes to writing, and it makes for a fun yet uninspired little film.

Shat on by his friends, fired from his job, and broken-hearted by his girlfriend, Sloppy has seen better days, but I guess one has to be a bit bent to put on makeup and try to make children laugh, so that’s pretty much all it takes to push this clown over the edge into psychoville.

Once nuts, Sloppy actually has some pretty inspired kills as he runs over some mentally handicapped people with his clown car, blows up a man’s head with an exploding cigar, and drowns a bum in his own piss. The sheer number of murders is quite impressive, as Sloppy spends all of his time doing so in the film. I also really liked the ending, as Sloppy performs his tricks in front of his parents in an especially shocking manner that leaves the film with a pretty powerful closing joke.

That acknowledged, SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC goes on for about twenty minutes too long with one kill after another and a painfully acted scene during a backyard birthday party that drones. Still, even that scene has Sloppy making a dick and balls balloon animal and handing it to a little girl, which made me giggle.

While there are a lot of obvious jokes and bad acting, for no budget, this has some pretty twisted moments. Plus there’s the added benefit of clown sex, which is always amusing. All in all, as far as sleaze goes, SLOPPY THE PSYCHOTIC is better than most no-budgeters.






New on this week on DVD!

SEXQUATCH: THE LEGEND OF BLOOD STOOL CREEK (2012)

Directed by Chris Seaver
Written by Chris Seaver
Starring Tobe Lerone, Steven Deniro, Chip Rockcastle, Savanna Ramone, Anne Marie Nouvo, Francine Mitchell, Dutch Hogan, Peter Lieberman, Chris Seaver, Varla Darling, Nick Peron, Nichole LaRoche, P.J. O Pootertoot, Spamuel L. Jackson, & Rod Bollo Skin as Stink Fist the Sexquatch!
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


Ok, folks, I will level with you.

If you’re looking for high class, high production, and high values, just…just keep scrolling down and ignore this review. SEXQUATCH has none of that going for it. It’s raunchy, lowbrow, and poorly put together, and those who usually frequent the site and snub their nose at this sort of thing, they will most likely do the same to this one. At 59 minutes, the film definitely sneaks in and out like a bandit, but some of the scenes were so unfunny and poorly executed that it seems like the running time is much longer.

That said, in a crude, crude, crude way, SEXQUATCH made me chortle every now and then. Not all the time, mind you. But a few beats, some of the one liners, some of the wordplay shows that the guys behind this film are funny people capable of pulling off some clever things. The fact that one of the cast members continually states he dreams of being the President of Showbusiness someday. The fact that the Sexquatch speaks in a faux-British accent. And the fact that the cast bursts out in a ska song after discovering their friend’s dead and raped body. All of that made this low budgeteer watchable and even, at some times, enjoyable.

The cast is made up of a cadre of non-actors and amateur actors who seem to feel as if screaming the lines makes for a convincing performance, and there are a couple of alterna-gorgeous girls to ogle at here, especially the punky delicious Varla Darling as she struts her indie chick goodness proud and loud and sparkles in every scene she’s in (she did all the gory make-up effects, too). Though amateur, the cast seems to be having a blast making this one and doesn’t seem to mind the level of schlock and sleaze it’s exuding.

Though low to no-brow entertainment occasionally gets a bad rap, from meager beginnings all of your favorite filmmakers have sprung. I hope the filmmakers expand on all that worked in this film and try to shed those amateur hinderings with the next film they make. With some funny lines, some smokin’ hot indie chicks, loads of gross-out humor and gore, and a really fantastic ska soundtrack, I’ve definitely seen worse films. As is, this story of a giant hairy beast that rapes and kills and then rapes again is going to be an acquired taste for most.






New this week on DVD!

TORMENTED (2011)

aka RABBIT HORROR
Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Written by Sôtarô Hayashi, Daisuke Hosaka, Takashi Shimizu
Starring Hikari Mitsushima, Takeru Shibuya, Tamaki Ogawa, Nao Ohmori, Teruyuki Kagawa, Momoko Tanabe
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


In Harry’s DVD column he mentions that this would have been a good Easter film to check out as it has a guy in a bunny suit tormenting a small child for the entire run time. I agree to the extent that it does have a giant bunny, but I felt as if I was the one who was tormented from TORMENTED aka RABBIT HORROR, the latest horror effort from the director of JU-ON and SHOCK LABYRINTH, Takashi Shimizu.

The film starts out promisingly as a child in a schoolyard kills a wounded rabbit. It is a mercy killing, but the kid is forever named a rabbit killer by his peers. His only friend is a mute woman, and the two spend a lot of time together, playing games, playing in the park, and going to movies. TORMENTED gets meta a bit as the two stars go see Shimizu’s last film SHOCK LABYRINTH in the theaters. In that 3D film, a toy bunny floats out of the screen and the kid from this movie grabs it and takes it home. That night, the kid is haunted by a giant man in a bunny suit that is undeniably creepy.

The problem with TORMENTED…well, there are multiple problems. But the main problem is that while the man in the bunny suit is creepy, they rely on that same image to creep us out over and over and over again. Sure it is pretty pants-shittingly scary to open a closet and see a reject from King’s Island reach out and snatch you up, but done over and over it loses its luster.

The film also crawls quite a bit, amping up the melodrama to deafening levels as we revisit the tortured pasts of both the young kid and the older mute woman. A late in the game revelation spices things up a bit, but by that time I was already kind of checked out.

TORMENTED is good for some genuinely creepy scenes of a giant rabbit stalking a little boy. It taps into something primal all young children have experienced if your parents took you to an amusement park at an age too young to enjoy it. That said, it relies on that single trick a few too many times and seems to run out of ideas about halfway through. Snail’s pacing doesn’t help either. So while I admire and appreciate the idea, the film itself is good as long as you can fast forward through the slow and repetitious bits.






New this week on DVD (Find this film on Netflix here)!

13 EERIE (2013)

Directed by Lowell Dean
Written by Christian Piers Betley
Starring Brendan Fehr, Katharine Isabelle, Brendan Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jesse Moss, Kristie Patterson, Michael Eisner and Lyndon Bray
Find out more about this film on Facebook here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


Wow--I really loved this bug-nuts little horror film. I wasn’t expecting how cool this film would be upon popping the old disk into the machine, but gasted my flabber was at the quality of acting and thrills to be found in 13 EERIE.

First off, the premise alone is pretty unique. Some forensic Quincy-type students are sent out on a field test where they are to locate and examine a cadaver in a scenario monitored by their professor. The site they have chosen is a secluded forested area, which just so happened to be a former state penitentiary. Now overgrown and abandoned, the crew sets out to find the three corpses, find out who killed them, how they died, and how long they’ve been there. When a fourth corpse pops up, things start getting weird. When that corpse gets up and starts moaning, things get weirder.

One of the best things about this film is that it seems to have done its research. The students--GINGER SNAPS’ Catherine Isabelle, FINAL DESTINATION’s Brendan Fehr, and FREDDY VS JASON’s Brendan Fletcher lead a cast of young good-lookings trapped in the woods who at first think their teacher (STARGATE's Michael Shanks) is fucking with them, but soon find that the rumors that the experiments the former prison did on the death row inmates are true and that 13 Eerie is cursed. The techie and medical talk that goes on between the cast seems pretty good, or at least the cast is convincing enough to pass. This formidable cast actually makes you give a shit whether they live or die.

The other thing that makes you want them to survive is the fact that the zombie monsters are pretty damn gruesome and the horrors they inflict prove to be both terrifying and gory all at once. Zombies don’t just die in this film. They must have massive damage inflicted upon them in order to bite it. Isabelle does a fantastic job of conveying both the vulnerability and the guts to be a final girl as she decimates a trio of zombies who won’t stop coming for her. There’s a particularly amazing scene where she impales a zombie through the cheek with the leg of a chair and sticks her to a wall. Instead of ripping the chair leg from the wall, the zombie slides the length of the chair leg through her cheek. That’s some EVIL DEAD tongue-slicing shit right there.

This film has that level of gore going for it and a talented cast acting in it. Sure, basically it is a group of kids trapped in the woods running from monsters and the premise is not all too original, but what makes it stand out is the fantastic effects and formidable performances by its young cast. Though its one fault is that it ends way too abruptly, leaving all sorts of I’s undotted and T’s uncrossed, 13 EERIE delivers in terms of gore and action. Gorehounds are going to want to lap this little horror sleeper up.






Opens in select theaters and available on Video On Demand today ( Available on DVD here)!

EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL (2012)

Directed by Boris Rodriguez
Written by Boris Rodriguez, Jonathan Rannells, Alex Epstein
Starring Thure Lindhardt, Georgina Reilly, Dylan Smith, Alain Goulem, Paul Braunstein, Stephen McHattie, Peter Michael Dillon, Alexis Maitland
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


It’s been said that there is nothing more frightening to an artist than a blank canvas. That moment when every possibility one can imagine or, worse yet, no ideas are there for the artist to choose from. It is in this moment that the creative soul is challenged and sometimes threatened. It’s no doubt that inspiration or lack thereof has been the basis of many a horror film.

Much like Roger Corman’s A BUCKET OF BLOOD (reviewed here), starring Dick Miller as a would-be sculptor who gains fame from murdering people and making them into modern art sculptures, EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL does the same for modern painters. Lars (Thure Lindhardt) is a famous modern painter who has seen better days. Lacking inspiration, he takes a job at a Canadian university as an art teacher and in turn volunteers to look after the local mute Eddie, who has a tendency to go sleepwalking and may stop for a midnight snack along the way. After finding a few bunnies and the neighbor’s dog partially devoured, Lars runs afoul of a neighbor. Sensing his new friend’s frustration, Eddie starts eating those who get on Lars’ nerves. In turn, after finding the bodies, Lars finds himself overcome by inspiration causing him to paint the best paintings in his career. But this feeling is fleeting, and Lars finds himself finding new folks for Eddie to eat as inspiration. Thus plays out the playful and poetic tale of murder, art, and ever-elusive inspiration.

Director Boris Rodriguez keeps things simple and pretty straightforward, focusing mainly on Lars and Eddie’s complex relationship and how far Lars will go to make his art. Exemplifying the tortured artist well is Thure Lindhardt, who compliments the silent Eddie (Dylan Smith) well. The pairing is fun to watch, with the circumstances playing out with tongue in cheek, but still there is a dire feeling to the whole thing. Rodriguez juggles the tone well, amping up the horror while playing his characters as straight as can be.

Scanning across the gorgeous Canadian wilderness and topped with a melodically pleasing classical score, EDDIE THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL may have a goofy name, but the story takes its gore and art seriously while commenting on how dog eat dog, or maybe that’s Eddie eat dog, the world of art truly is.






In limited release in theaters today!

LUCKY BASTARD (2013)

Directed by Robert Nathan
Written by Lukas Kendall & Robert Nathan
Starring Don McManus, Jay Paulson, Betsy Rue, Chris Wylde, Catherine Annette, Lanny Joon, Lee Kholafai, Deborah Zoe
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


Recently making some waves for being rated NC-17 by the ratings board, LUCKY BASTARD deals with a whole lot of uncomfortable and controversial topics. People deal with humiliation in vastly different ways. Some retreat, curl in a ball and cry. Others branch out and drown themselves in drugs and alcohol. Then there are the twisted few who try to inflict that humiliation on others in retaliation. That’s what LUCKY BASTARD is all about.

This is another found footage film and before you groan, at least this one has an original concept. Rather than trying to find ghosts or Bigfoot, this film centers on a porn website which chooses one lucky bastard to sleep with a real live porn star. With millions and billions of creepy people logging onto porn sites at all hours of day and night, what are the chances that the lucky bastard chosen would be a psychopath?

Well, under the watch of a volatile director Mike (Don McManus, best known as that guy you’ve seen from that movie like SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION or PUNCH DRUNK LOVE) and quirky cameraman Kris (THE REVENANT’s Chris Wylde), the stunning Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue from the HALLOWEEN II and MY BLOODY VALENTINE remakes) is convinced this is going to be a safe and profitable venture, though she has many doubts. Ashley chooses Dave G (Jay Paulson from CAN’T HARDLY WAIT and GO) who looks harmless on paper, but gives off a creep vibe as soon as she meets him. Though they convince her to go through with it, as soon as Ashley touches Dave he…well, he performs prematurely and is ridiculed by the cast and crew. Disgruntled, Dave leaves only to return shedding his nice guy persona and goes on a murder spree, all caught on tape by the reality show cameras where the porno is being shot.

Let’s be honest here. I, like many of you, have seen my fair share of porn. And I found this film to be pretty interesting to see the seedy underbelly of the industry. The film takes its time to get to the murder spree, but never in that time was I bored or urging the film to “Come on already with the action!” This is mainly due to the charismatic performance by Betsy Rue who has a great presence here as a jaded porn star that can turn on and off the sexy in a second. The rest of the cast does a great job as well making this all feel like reality, though casting recognizable actors hinders that a bit. If anything, when Dave returns gunza-blazin’ I was disappointed that the behind the scenes stuff was ending.

In the opening scenes, we get some footage of some cops walking through the crime scene, so we kind of know what’s about to happen, making the final scenes less shocking. But still LUCKY BASTARD is a brave film that isn’t afraid to show it all, the ugly and the pretty of porn. In the opening minutes, the filmmakers tell us that porn sites have been pushing the envelope for years and that sooner or later that envelope will leave one hell of a paper cut. Well, this paper cut was pretty deep with LUCKY BASTARD and the film deserves props to trying something different with the found footage genre.

Do I really have to warn you that this trailer is not safe for work? Well it isn’t.






In select theaters today from IFC Films! Available on Video on Demand April 12th!

SIMON KILLER (2012)

Directed by Antonio Campos
Written by Antonio Campos, Brady Corbet, Mati Diop
Starring Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Lila Salet, Constance Rousseau, Solo
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug


Quickly becoming a master of subtle horror, Antonio Campos brings us SIMON KILLER, which at first might feel out of place in a column dedicated to masked serial killers, aliens, and zombies, but as the film goes on, Simon (played by Brady Corbet) turns out to be just as terrifying as any of them, if not more so because this guy feels so damn real.

We open on Simon talking about why he has journeyed from New York to France. Apparently he has just lost his girlfriend and he’s going abroad to “find himself”, something many do in their twenties when they are faced with reality for the first time having graduated school and wanting to eek just the last ounce of childhood out of them by refusing to settle in one place. It’s a romantic notion, and Simon won’t hesitate to tell any and all that fact since he describes himself as “having so much love to give”, yet as he bumbles and mumbles his way through life, freeloading off of one person after another, it definitely doesn’t seem accurate. After staying a week in France, he is out of money and now out of a place to go. Simon connects with a stripper/prostitute (the sultry Mati Diop); he cons her into letting him stay with her, and soon they develop a relationship. But Simon, though he says he wants to love, sabotages that at every turn and soon things get very dark, indicating that he most likely did the same thing in the relationship he was fleeing from in America.

What makes this film stand out is the lead actors. Brady Corbet, who offered up decent performances in MELANCHOLIA and MARTHA, MARCY, MAY, MARLENE, really has a chance to shine here as the maladjusted title character. The depths he goes to psychologically in his private moments with himself and then his intimate moments with the various women he encounters is pretty dark. Corbet does this low grunt/whine thing in times of great stress that is extremely unsettling, indicating that he is about to do something very, very bad. Mati Diop is amazing as Victoria, the jaded French stripper who slowly melts for Simon. It’s heartbreaking to watch her be fooled by Simon at the beginning and then to see her realization unfold that he is not the man she thought he was. Both performances elevate this pretty simplistic story to monumental levels of excellence.

Though this film is really a psychological drama, the dark places it goes as Simon convinces Victoria to blackmail her clients out of large sums of money makes it right at home among the evils that lurk in this AICN HORROR column on a weekly basis. It doesn’t have a high body count or copious amounts of blood, but it did inject a feeling of utter unease into me as I watched it, doing a fantastic job of exploring the actions and psyche of a truly twisted individual.

If we didn’t know this already with the creeping terror that permeated his last film MARTHA, MARCY, MAY, MARLENE, Anotnio Campos seals it with SIMON KILLER. The director/writer has a way of quietly sneaking his characters under your skin, allowing you to bond with the characters, and then make you pay for letting that person in. SIMON KILLER is a film that will definitely leave you feeling both horror and pity for the cast. It’s a tale of a twisted man with good intentions but no clue how to make those intentions come to life. I found SIMON KILLER to be a fascinating film and one you should not miss.






And finally…filmmaker Patrick Rea is going to be known by a lot of you soon since he is the maniac behind NAILBITER which is set to be released soon from Lionsgate. I’ve featured quite a few of his short films and here’s another one about a disgruntled worker’s return to the job. Enjoy PAINT SHAKER!



Paint Shaker from Patrick Rea on Vimeo.



See ya next week, folks!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 12 years & AICN HORROR for 3. He has written comics such as VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS THE TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He has co-written FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND’s LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in 2013 as a 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark wrote the critically acclaimed GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment & GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-81. Look for GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK: LAST OF THE SPECIES available in February-July 2013 and the new UNLEASHED crossover miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS WEREWOLVES: THE HUNGER #1-3 available in May-July 2013! Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitter @Mark_L_Miller.


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