Review: ‘Bubba the Redneck Werewolf’ (a horror comedy with teeth, hair, and claws)

A big shout out to a special first screening at Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Halloween Weekend for letting this dog off the chain and into our little black hearts.

Bubba Blanche (Fred Lass) is a small town, backwoods Floridian who works at the local dog pound when he isn’t drinking his sorrows away or worrying about his hair falling out. With a big heart and a small brain, he’s lost the love of his life; all Bobby Jo (Malone Thomas) wants is for Bubba to defend her honor and stand up for himself. Careless words summon Old Scratch (Mitch Hyman) to offer Bubba everything his heart desires, but Bubba will have to use his newfound power to save the simple folks of Cracker County and send the Devil packing…assuming Bubba doesn’t get distracted by anything or everything else first.

In the twenty years since “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf” first appeared in comics, opportunities to make theatrical and televised versions have come and gone. Where the studios have failed, the creator and a handful of industry folks found the time to realize the character concept and make something special. Maybe it was fate that independent filmmaking tools have caught up to studio-level technology in the time Bubba has languished, and the results are dead solid perfect. Horror, humor, and hubris make this wing-eating, cigar-chomping, whiskey-swigging werewolf the hero we all deserve; even Bubba’s theme song is unashamedly addictive. Seeing this production come together in small teases online was fun, but watching the finished film shown for the first time anywhere felt very special indeed.

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More “Creeps and Treats” – Just in Time for Halloween!

No one cooks like Kimmie Chameleon. Watch as she does her stuff!

Review: ‘Dracula Untold’ (vampires that choose)

If Dracula became a monster for a noble cause, could his dark power be used in the name of the light?

Raised by the Turks as a royal hostage, Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) returns to his homeland years afterward to rule. With a wife and child of his own, the peace of his kingdom is threatened when the Turks demand not only their regular tribute of coin but also a thousand children to fight in the Sultan’s army…including Vlad’s own son. With no standing army, Vlad makes a Devil’s deal with a cursed monster (Charles Dance), but can the prince defeat his enemies with borrowed power without falling victim to the curse himself?

Attempts to make Dracula merely a monster at the box office the last two decades have gloriously failed, so why not restore his nobility as a man of hope rather than yet another villain obsessed with a Scooby-Doo plot to do evil? Enter Dracula Untold, a low to middle-budget monster movie with high aspirations. True, the idea isn’t without precedent: the killer with a conscious, the gun with a soul, and the monster more noble than a man. In the name of Hollywood, of course, power must be demonstrated, and what better way than with special effects? Fortunately, a tight plot that plays to its running time weaves a tale of people who choose to become monsters, even if it does lean heavily on computer-generated imagery to tell it.

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Review: ‘Annabelle’ (stock plot but still damnably creepy)

Annabelle rides on the coattails of The Conjuring but distinguishes itself only as well-executed jump-scare flick.

In the late 1960s, young couple Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and her husband John (Ward Horton) are expecting their first child. Annabelle is a rare doll presented to Mia as a gift to complete her collection, but the sanctity of the object is desecrated when a pair of Satanists enter the couple’s home and makes an attempt on Mia’s life. A series of incidents begin to occur in the presence of the doll, the only connection being that one of Satanists took her life while holding the object. Before long, it becomes clear that something is very wrong and that Annabelle is inexplicably at the center of it.

From the paranormal case files of the Warrens (kind of) comes the (possible) story of a doll manipulated by an evil force. Was this film as good as The Conjuring? No, and the worst thing about that movie was the unfortunate title. For folks seeking an above-average Halloween flick, however, it’s fun and effective, even for a period piece. For those interested in the true account of the actual doll, you can read it online at Warrens.net, but this also reveals that the film is pure speculation since Ed and Lorraine Warren only came into contact with the doll after another couple acquired it. That said, the filmmakers manage to take a stock plot and infuse it with enough atmosphere and original scares to satisfy your Halloween craving.

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See the Showdown LIVE at Spooky Empire on October 25th!

UltOccShoLogoSee the Ultimate Occult Showdown LIVE at Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend 4:30 PM in the LAKE BALLROOM on Saturday, October 25, 2014!

A game show with no prizes and audience participation is mandatory! Vote up your favorites in a contest of characters, movies, and TV programs but be ready to tell us why. Rules are made up as we go along by your opinionated a**hole hosts Kevin A. Ranson and Brett J. Link. Presented by MovieCrypt.com and Grim D. Reaper!

SpookyEmpiresUHW2014

Trailer: ‘Bubba, the Redneck Werewolf’ (Werewolf Wednesday!)

The Devil is in town…and only Bubba the Redneck Werewolf can save it! This looks both fun and horrific, folks, based on the comic creation of Mitch Hyman.

Cracker County is under attack and lovesick dog catcher Bubba Blanche has been transformed into a ferocious, cigar smoking Werewolf in order to save the day. But first he’s got to conquer a beer or two. And maybe a plate of chicken wings.

Review: ‘Ghostbusters’ (an ever-quotable paranormal comedy that refuses to die)

“Shorten your stream, Venkman…I don’t want my face burned off.”

After being tossed out of university for bilking funds with unproductive paranormal investigations, two nerds and a slacker (Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Bill Murray) leverage a third mortgage to set up an actual ghost-busting business in New York City. Meanwhile, a decades-old plan to open a door into a dark dimension and invite a demigod into the Big Apple is just coming to fruition, and the Ghostbusters’ first client (Sigourney Weaver) is living in the corner penthouse of spook central. Can the boys-in-gray save the girl and stop the end of the world with their unlicensed nuclear accelerators, or are we all doomed to die beneath the feet of a demon-dog-loving hundred-foot marshmallow man?

What can you say about a paranormal action comedy that endures as one of the funniest and most entertaining films ever…even thirty years later? New fans are still discovering it every day, conventions are swarming with local Ghostbuster chapters of home-built costumes complete with lights and effects, and even Mattel toys has full-size exact-replica props straight from the film. The movie endures – the surest sign of a classic – and it’s impossible to utter even a single line of dialogue in a crowd without random strangers piling on the quotes. Thirty years later, there are still rumblings of making another sequel, but no one would dare suggest a reboot or re-imagining; Ghostbusters is perfect exactly as it is.

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