Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The Limited Edition Series

Label: Twilight Time
Region: NTSC Region FREE
Duration: 102 mins
Rating: Unrated
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (2.55:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0
Director: Delmer Daves
Cast: Victor Mature, Michael Rennie, Richard Egan, Ernest Borgnine, Susan Hayward, Debra Paget, Jay Robinson

Niche film label Twilight Time showed up on my radar a few months back when they licensed the iconic 80's vamp feature Fright Night (1985) from Columbia Pictures for what can only be described as a criminally limited edition Blu-ray run of 3,000 units. It would seem a no-brainer, right? Fright Night on Blu-ray seems like it would be a license to print money, at least in my mind. Twilight Time's limited edition run is now out of print and if you weren't quick on your point n' click to snag one it's now fetching upwards of $140 on amazon.com . Obviously there's a much larger demand for this beloved title and still there's not a more widely available 1080p release anytime in the near future is beyond me, it just strikes me as odd at a time when both Fred Dekker's cult classics Night of the Creeps (1986) and Monster Squad (1987) enjoy well-stuffed special edition Blu-rays not to mention the theatrical and DVD release of the remak but I digress, I'm really here  today to spiel about any of these films. Let it suffice it to say that I give high praise be to Twilight Time for having brought at least 3,000 of us Fright Night fans what we've been craving for some time now. 

Now Twilight Time have licensed the 20th Century Fox gladiator epic Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954) a sword and sandal sequel to The Robe (1953) a film I cannot claim to have ever seen but that didn't dampen my enjoyment one bit. In the film Demetrius (Victor Mature, Kiss of Death) is a former slave turned Christian during the reign of the mad Emperor Caligula (Jay Robinson, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula) who is imprisoned after assaulting a Roman guard and forced to train and battle in the Roman gladiator arena for sport and spectacle where despite his initial refusal to take a life based on his Christian beliefs he rises through the ranks. His faith is tested though when his adoring and virtuous wife Lucia (Debra Paget, The Haunted Palace) covertly makes her way into the gladiator school to meet with her husband but the two become separated and she is killed during an attempted rape by Dardanius (Richard Egan), During the attack Demetrius is prevented from interfering and he prays to the Lord to protect his wife but when his words seem to go unanswered it fuels his eventual corruption and rejection of Christianity.

Meanwhile the demented Emporer Caligula becomes increasingly obsessed with evading the cold tendrils of death by obtaining the robe that Jesus wore during The Crucifixtion which he believes will grant him life everlasting, the pursuit of immortality further unravels his already frayed grasp on reality. Actor Jay Robinson as the erratic emperor is a sight to behold, chewing up the magnificent scenery with demented zeal. Let's just say that in a film also featuring the legendarily overwrought Ernest Borgnine (Escape from New York)  somehow Borgnine pales in the shadow of Robinson's deliciously over-the-top performance, it's wonderful. Anyone looking for Ernest Borgnine at his Razzie nominated best look no further than Wes Craven's supernatural thriller Deadly Blessing (1981) it's truly something unforgettable, oh sweet  Lord. 

Anyway, following Demetrius' fall from faith he carries on an affair with Senator Claudius's (Barry Jones, A Study in Terror) famously unfaithful ginger-haired wife, the stunning Isis priestess Messalina (Susan Hayward, Valley of the Dolls), who unbeknownst to Demetrius was the driving force that lead to his wife's demise albeit unintentionally. Demetrius's success in the arena soon garners him entry into the Praetorian Guard where once he renounces Christ to Caligula he is bestowed with the title of Tribune setting the stage for his return to Christianity.

The Christian themes from The Robe are present but not overwrought, in my mind they're sort of overcome by a wonderful sense of perversity and betrayal. The film at it's heart is definitely about Demetrius's test of faith but it's also wonderfully corrupt and wrought with sexual thirsts and insanity, it's enthralling stuff that makes for a keen watch with the added attraction of some magnificent old school Hollywood sets and costuming plus spectacular gladiator battles one featuring the muscle bound Demetrius battling three fierce tigers, it makes for a highly entertaining watch.
The film was shot in CinemaScope and is an opulent affair with grand set pieces and action sequences that make full use of the CinemaScope format, it's stunning stuff. Twilight Time's 1080p HD presentation is very attractive if not exactly stunning with a transfer sourced from superior elements showing only minor scratches and blemishes. The transfer is not particularly crisp or vibrant and appears a  bit soft at times, the color palette is very brown-centric. It's an attractive image but it's just not the eye-popping 1080p experience it could have been with some tender love and restoration.

Audio options include English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 which sounds quite pleasant with some nice use of the directionals. Pretty standard for the Twilight Time Blu-rays there's an isolated music track presenting Franz Waxman's sweeping score in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, it's a grand score and sounds great. I listened to it while cleaning the house and let me tell you mopping the floors never felt so epic. 

Special features on the disc include the aforementioned isolated music track, an original theatrical trailer and some very fine liner notes from Twilight Time's Julie Kirgo whose writing really adds to the viewing experience particularly if like me you know very little about the film in question, it's a wonderful appreciation. 

Watching Demetrius and the Gladiators I was totally transported back to the early 80's when I would camp out in front of the TV watching monster move matinees and sword and sandal epics all day Saturday, it's a golden feeling. As with all of Twilight Time's Limited Edition Series the Blu-ray is kept to a painfully small run of 3,000 units and available exclusively from http://www.screenarchives.org/ If you love sword and sandal epics this is a no-brainer must-buy and I say get it before it's out of print and fetching exorbitant prices online. 4 outta 5

Monday, March 26, 2012

DVD Review: CLOWN HUNT (2012)


Label: MVD Visual
Region: 1 NTSC
Duration: 90 mins
Rating: Unrated
Video: 16:9 Widescreen
Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital
Director: Barry Tubb
Cast: David Keith, Barry Tubb, Brandon Wayne, Eliose DeJoria, Robert Earl Keen, Tuff Hedeman, Tanner Beard
Tagline: Clowns: they're not just for laughing anymore

Synopsis: In the wilds of Texas, grown men gather to hunt the rarest game of all: Clowns. Once plentiful and common now one must pay a hefty some to hunt clowns, and for some it’s become an annual tradition. However this season the appearance of Albino Willie, a rare albino clown, poses a special prize and danger.

In recent years we've seen a few interesting entries in the clown sub-genre of horror from the artfully demented and depressing Spanish film The Last Circus to blood-soaked Troma schlockfest Klown Kamp Massacre, entertaining fare that offer tons of clown-centric shenanigans though fair warning friends The Last Circus might have you reaching for the razor blade, that's a seriously depressing film right there but I highly recommend checking out for both you sillies and sads out there.

Here we have yet another clown entry of note, Clown Hunt, a low-budget silly from Texas-filmmaker Barry Tubb (Javelina) which presents us with the notion that clowns are now hunted for sport ala whitetail deer, elk and moose. We join a hunting party in Texas (where else) right at the start of the "Silly Season", the sad clowns aren't yet in season you see. The sport is government regulated and you need a license to hunt the clowns and large hunts are organized all over the country, interestingly the clowns are also eaten, it's bizarre conceit and the execution ain't too bad either.

I wouldn't call the men and women of the hunting party rednecks but they're definitely rural-minded folks out to bag their limit of clowns. Growing up in Upstate New York I can see they're not that much different than the folks in my neck o' the woods come opening day of deer season, avid sportsmen. I don't think the film exactly villafies hunting or sportsmen but it has some fun with the stereotypes for sure, even throwing some homo-eroticism our way with some mud wrasslin', it's an interesting array of characters including one who's a closeted clown, fun stuff.

The clowns gather in a village called Gigglestown, USA where they ply their trade; juggling, performing tricks and a few more off kilter practices like crushing baby chickens to death underneath their over sized clown shoes, torturing kittens by trampolining them to the death. The clowns are pretty easy prey for the sportsmen 'cept for one named Albino Willy, a legendary clown who's evaded the hunt for two decades whom has his own agenda, to exterminate the hunters and he comes equipped with a prop-engine plane which he dive bombs the hunter encampment with, dropping water balloons and rubber chickens, when this fails to deter the hunt he resorts to corn-holing one of the unlucky bastards and picking 'em off the others with a 30 .06 rifle.

It's shot on the cheap but the film benefits from decent production value, on the down side the acting is pretty shit across the board but it's not without it's lo-fi charm either, sadly the clown make-ups are pretty uninspired and there's little to no gore (or nudity) to be found but the films is pretty damned funny at times with loads of low-brow lunacy. At 90 minutes the film is a bit of a slog and I could see it being slightly more successful as a short film but for those demented enough to seek out a lo-fi indie feature about a clown hunt that's chock full o' quips like "Why don't you eat clown meat?", "It tastes funny" there's some definite silliness to be had, like clown meat it's probably an acquired taste. 2 outta 5

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blu-ray Review: STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER (1975)


Release Date: March 27, 2012
Label: Blue Underground
Region Code: ALL
Duration: 98 Mins
Rating: Not Rated
Audio: DTS-HD Mono English, Italian
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (2.35:1)
Director: Andrea Bianchi
Cast: Edwige Fenech, Nino Castelnuovo, Femi Benussi, Solvi Stubing

Now here's a slab of 70's Euro-sleaze I've been wanting to get my fiendish little fingers on for some time and lucky for us cult cinema fans Blue Underground have laid out a quite attractive Blu-ray edition presenting the stunning Edwige Fenech (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh) in lovely 1080p, surely the reason the high-definition format was created, no? The title alone tells you that we're in for here, some super-trashy fun that comes to us from none other than the director of the deranged, tit-chomping Italian zombie film Burial Ground (1980) featuring one of the most schlocky and shocking mother-son relationships in cinema history, not to be outdone Strip Nude features one of the oddest film finales you'll ever see.

The film begins with a nifty blue-tinted scenario wherein a model named Evelyn dies of heart-failure during a backroom abortion. The doctor with the help of an unseen accomplice attempts to cover-up the accidental death by returning the corpse to her home where it will appear she died of natural causes in the bathtub but later that night the doc is stabbed repeatedly by an attacker on the doorstep of his home, the killer wearing a skin-tight leather outfit and a motorcycle helmet, it makes for quite a memorable image, very sleek. Turns out the model worked for the Albatross Modelling Agency run by a shrew-lesbian named Giselle (Amanda) and her obese philandering husband Maurizio (Franco Diogene, Midnight Express). We also meet the speedo-loving fashion photographer and his spritely assistant Madga (Edwige Fenech), Carlo (Nino Castelnuovo) is introduced during a really wacky seduction scene wherein he asks the gorgeous ginger Lucia (Femi Benusi, Hatchet for the Honeymoon) to pose for him in a steam-room when she realizes there's no film in the camera, and like you did back in those free-loving 70's they make the best of an awkward situation and get it on, gotta love it.

It's not long before a photographer at the agency is murdered by the same killer dressed in leather and a motorcycle helmet followed by a model and others, it becomes apparent that someone really has it out for the employees of the Albatross agency, in that way it's not not too dissimilar to Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace (1963) another shocker also featuring a memorably masked marauder terrorizing a fashion house. The film pretty much boils down to Carlo and Madga sleuthing the mystery but can they uncover the killer's identity before it's too late? 

As the title implies the film is quite literally bursting at the seems with depraved sex and violence, perhaps more nudity that any Giallo I can think of, the women of the 70's Italian cinema were world class beauties and it's easy to lose track of the story (what little there was, anyway) while I sat down for a watch, Fenech is a goddess and the camera loves her here just like in every other film.

As a giallo the film falls a bit short but as a prime slice of euro-cheese with copious amounts of nudity it's pretty great stuff, so many corny but awesome moments from Maurizio threatening to knock a bitch upside the head with a vase if she doesn't put out for him followed by a moment of impotence and him crying into the arms of an inflatable lover right before he's butchered. In a wonderful red-herring moment our sauve fashion-photographer Carlo nearly strangles a lover for next to nothing, an abusive lesbian tryst, crazy 70's fashions and some awesomely awful English dubbed dialogue, it's not lacking for entertainment that's for sure.

Blu-ray: Strip Nude for Your Killer is presented in 16:9 widescreen (2.35:1) 1080p sourced from the original uncut and uncensored camera negative. Black levels are strong, colors are pleasing, film grain is intact and fine detail is adequate if not great, overall the image lacks sharpness and is a bit softer than what one would like to see on Blu-ray but I have not seen the DVD of the film and can't comment on improvement of the standard definition versions but it's an attractive transfer sourced from a near flawless print. 

There are both English and Italian DTS-HD Mono audio options with choice of optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. It's definitely mono, that's for sure offering some moderate depth, dialogue, effects and Berto Pisano's unremarkable score come through clear without distortion. 

Special features include the 12 minute on camera video interview Strip Nude For Your Giallo with actress Solvi Stubing and co-writer Massimo Felisatti, a decent listen as Felsatti discusses director Bianchi. We also get two trailers and a poster and stills gallery.

Special Features:
- Strip Nude For Your Giallo - On Camera Interviews with Actress Solvi Stubing and Co-Writer Massimo Felisatti (11:44) 
- International Trailer(3:41)
- Italian Trailer(3:41)
- Poster and Still Gallery

Verdict: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage this is not, it's decidedly lower-tier and less artful but definitely delivers on it's depraved pulpy title, an endlessly entertaining parade of gorgeous flesh and startling murder set-pieces with a few artful flourishes, some decent lensing and a shit-ton of 70's euro-cheese and sleaze, definitely a trashy delight for fans of Giallo and 70's Italian horror cinema, I say this is worth a purchase particularly for you Edwige Fenech fans out there. 3 outta 5

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blu-ray Review: ZAAT (1971)

ZAAT (1971)
Blu-ray +DVD Combo

Label: Film Chest
Region Code: [Blu-ray] A [DVD] 0 NTSC
Rating:  Not Rated
Duration: 100 Minutes
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 with Spanish Subtitles
Director: Don Barton
Cast: Marshall Grauer, Sanna Ringhaver, Dave Dickerson, Gerald Cruse, Archie Valliere, Nancy Lien.
Tagline: Taking Cult to a Whole New Level … You Can’t Keep a Bad Monster Down!

HD Cinema Classics in conjunction with Film Chest and Cultra continue to bring fans of cult and schlock cinema "the best (and worst) of cult cinema, a cinematic cesspool of films that are surreal, eccentric, controversial, comical and scary but ultimately engaging and entertaining". They've proven true to their words with digital remastered Blu-ray/DVD combos of cult films like the Roger Corman b-movie classic THE TERROR (1963), the bizarre talking-chimp oddity CARNIVAL MAGIC (1981) and the demented sleazefest POOR PRETTY EDDIE (1975). These guys obviously love their cult cinema and they continue their streak by unearthing yet another drive-in cult classic from the dustbins of obscurity. This time it's the apparently much sought-after ’70s schlock-fest ZAAT (1971) which is also known by the alternate title of THE BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z. Like POOR PRETTY EDDIE before it I cannot say I've ever heard whispers of this 70's drive-in relic before watching this Blu-ray but I can tell you now that I've seen it I will never forget it, some things just cannot be unwatched.

In this zany 70's b-movie creature feature an obsessed former Nazi scientist (naturally), Dr. Kurt Leopold (Marshall Grauer) is a man scorned by his scientific peers when he becomes obsessed with transforming humans into fish using a toxic compound he calls Zaat. Disavowed by the scientific community the Dr. isolates himself in a marine lab outside of Cypress Groves, Florida he proves the naysayers wrong by actually transforming himself into an amphibious creature (played by Wade Popwell) that is part man, part walking catfish. That's right, 1/2 man 1/2 catfish and 100% ridiculous right down to the green feather boa trim of the costume, the creature from the black lagoon this most certainly is not. Bent on revenge the creature concocts a corny scheme to turn the tables on humanity by polluting the rivers with the Zaat compound in an effort to mutate the aquatic wildlife into over sized human-flesh crazed fish - now that's a plan and a half right there and it makes for one Hell of a silly 70's drive-in schlockfest.

All that stands in the way between the diabolical doctor and the total destruction of Cypress Groves and possibly the world is a small town sheriff (Paul Galloway) and a young African-American biologist (Gerald Cruse) who the Sheriff refers to as "boy" more than one would like to hear but hey it's 70's exploitation cinema, whattya gonna do. They have a good rapport but the nickname definitely makes your skin crawl especially when coming from a Southern-fried good-old-boy like the rotund sheriff. The duo also receive assistance pursuing the catfish creature with help from a couple of pre-X-FILES styled agents of the paranormal (Sanna Ringhaver, Dave Dickerson) from the Inter-Nations Phenomenon Investigations Team (INPIT) who show up in a snazzy RV towing a trailer with a neat-o amphibious vehicle.

ZAAT is a schlocky sight to behold, inept as it is it's quite watchable and I have to give it a recommend to others who crave a few reels of bad 70's cinema, this is fun stuff. Corny revenge, some cool underwater shots, the largest hypedermic needle I've ever seen, the creature's attempt to transform a few beauties into mate, it's weird and wacky stuff, the type of shenanigans that goes great with a couch full of drunk friends and some frosty beers, watching it alone just seems like a bad idea you're gonna need back-up on this one.

Blu-ray: ZAAT is digitally remastered in 1080p HD and transferred from original 35mm elements. The 16:9 Widescreen presentation is actually quite attractive with some decent depth and clarity for a obscure 70's drive-in film previously thought lost. There's some nice detail throughout and some film grain left intact despite some Digital Noise Reduction. Colors look great, the restoration included a nice color correction and the green and reds particularly pop onscreen. Overall the film really exceeds my expectations visually, a nice restoration for this schlocky creature feature rarity.

On the audio front HD Cinema Classics again have chose not to go the losses audio route and have included only an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack which is quite the stellar example of fidelity but it relatively clean if unimpressive.

Special features include a fun commentary from director Don Barton, co-writer Ron Kivett, actor Paul Galloway which is moderated by film historian ED Tucker, it's a great chatty interview that's not so much scene specific as just a lively discussion about the film and it's participants, a thoroughly enjoyable commentary. We also get a theatrical trailer and TV spots, outtakes, a gallery, movie art postcard, restoration demo and a 2001 audio-only radio interview with Wade Popwell and Ed Tucker recorded during the film’s 30th anniversary.

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Don Barton, co-writer Ron Kivett, actor Paul Galloway and film historian Ed Tucker
- 35mm Theatrical Trailer (2:34) 16:9
- Television Spots (1:15) 4:3
- Outtakes (3:53) 4:3
- Radio Interview with Wade Popwell and Ed Tucker
- Before-and-After Restoration Demo (1:06) 16:9
- Original movie art postcard
- Photo Gallery (8:10)
- DVD of the film with Special Features

Verdict: Lovers of 70's drive-in schlock rejoice, as cheese-tastic man-in-suits creature features go this is pretty great, a real treat for the bad cinema enthusiasts and it would make a fantastic double feature with THE CRATER LAKE MONSTER (1977). Definitely a film that's just so bad it's good and in the best possible way, fun stuff. 2.5 outta 5

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blu-ray Review: THE SHRINE (2010)

THE SHRINE (2010) Blu-ray

Label: Arrow Films
Region Code: B
Rating: 18
Duration: 82 mins
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master, 2.0 Stereo PCM
Director: Jon Knautz
Cast: Aaron Ashmore, Cindy Sampson, Meghan Heffern

Synopsis: After a young backpacker goes missing, a group of journalists link his disappearance to a remote village called Alvaina. Upon further investigation, the journalists discover that Alvaina has a history of bizarre cult activity revolving around human sacrifice.

THE SHRINE is a recent film from Jon Knautz, the writer-director of the cult horror-comedy JACK BROOKS MONSTER SLAYER, a totally fun 80's throwback with some great practical effects and creature make-up about a plumber with some serious anger management issues versus an awakened ancient evil, it's fun stuff and if you haven't seen it yet you're missing out so rectify that as soon as you can.

In the decidedly more straight up horror film THE SHRINE (2010) a young American tourist named Eric Taylor (Ben Lewis) goes missing while backpacking in Poland. When an career driven American journalist named Carmen (Cindy Sampson, THE LAST KISS) picks-up the story she discovers that a series of similar disappearances have occurred for over fifty years in and around the remote rural village of Alvaina, where it's whispered that human sacrifices are performed. The Polish and American authorities have done little to find Eric and Carmen sees this as just the story to advance her young journalistic career, it might also be her undoing. 

The stubborn and just slightly bitchy Carmen convinces her photographer boyfriend Marcus (Aaron Ashmore, THE THAW) and sweet assistant Sara (Meghan Heffern) to accompany her on a trip to Poland to investigate the disappearances despite her editors belief that she's actually investigating a science piece about missing honey bees in the Midwest. The whole beginning of the film and her conflict with her editor is a bit of a slag to be honest but the film quickly picks up after 20 minutes or so once they arrive in the village of Alvania.

Upon their arrival in the small rural village it's pretty clear that the locals, a particularly religious bunch with strange archaic customs, are none to pleased to see the outsiders, it's definitely one of those small out of the way places best left alone. Note to self, never drive down miles of dirt road to visit a village where people are known to go missing, that's just common sense. After a threatening encounter with the local butcher Henryk (Trevor Mathews, JACK BROOKS MONSTER SLAYER) Marcus suggests they give up the search and return to the States but the group become intrigued by a mysterious fog that lingers over the nearby woods, which was mentioned in the journal of the missing backpacker. On entering the wooded area to glean a closer look they are confronted with a thick wall of unnatural mist. Both Carmen and Sara enter the thicket of fog separately and become hopelessly lost, eventually they both come across an creepy statue that appears demonic and cat-like in nature. When Carmen looks upon the statue it's eyes begin to bleed and a stone heart clenched in it's fist begins to beat, it's head turns towards Carmen, too. Fleeing the eerie figure both Carmen and Sara emerge from the mist and begin to hear voices whispering to them and feeling strange, nauseous and disoriented.

Shortly after the group encounter a young girl named Lidia from the village a who tells them she knows what happened to Eric and where he is, leading them to an underground tomb in the forest where they find his body in a coffin with an iron mask staked into his head, it seems the rumors of human sacrifice are true and there are dark dealings at hand. Attempting to flee through the woods after their grim disocovery the trio find that they are surrounded by villagers and are captured after a brief struggle and pursuit, including Sara being struck with a crossbow bolt in the meat of her calf, very painful. The pursuit doesn't take long either, the men of the village are agile and strong, they tackle Marcus like a pro-footballer, apparently they grow 'em strong in this part of Poland.

Once captured the high priest of the local order discovers that the women have seen the mysterious statue shrouded in fog and separates them from Marcus, whom is forced to dig graves at gunpoint in the forest. Inside the tomb the women are stripped of their clothes are forced to wear ceremonial dresses. Sara is the first to be layed upon the alter to endure a ritual involving robed priests, a painful bloodletting and the cruel application of a iron mask marked with Christian runes, on the inside of the mask instead of eyelets there are long stakes that are hammered into her skull releasing a thick torrent of blood.

Before Carmen can be sacrificed Marcus is able to get the upper hand on his captor and rescues her, both fleeing to a nearby farmhouse in an attempt to steal a truck. While there Carmen's illness intensifies, she begins to suffer more voices and experiences horrifying visions of demons, it's here we begin to understand that all is not quite what it seems and that the trio of Americans have stumbled upon a centuries old secret beyond their understanding. The final ten minutes of the film explode in a bloody frenzy of demonic possession and exorcism as Carmen transforms into a grotesque form, tearing the family apart with her bare hands, gutting them.  All this leading to a thrilling exorcism showdown with the local clergy that really had me on the edge of my seat, it gets pretty nasty towards.

The film is a pretty great watch with only a few non-fatal shortcomings worth mentioning. The first twenty minutes of the film seem a bit clunky but like I say, once they arrive in Alvania things really pick-up. The other qualm I have was with the look of the film, it's low-budget and some of the cinematography looks a bit off or not well staged, there's a desaturation of the color that didn't sit well with me and the mist looked a bit too digital for my tastes in contrast to some really excellent practical make-up effects applications used in the film.

On the plus side the acting is pretty great straight through and this is coming from someone who doesn't really care for Aaron Ahsmore at all, very decent performances that really sold the story and situation. The film is light on blood and gore but the final 10 minutes really pay off with some brutal carnage, sweet practical effects. The film is also benefited by a subtle and haunting score from Ryan Shore

Blu-ray Special Features: None

Verdict: After the horror-comedy of JACK BROOKS MONSTER SLAYER I wasn't quite anticipating the straight-up supernatural chiller that was THE SHRINE, a real Lovecraftian thriller with elements of folk-horror and one of the best exorcism films I've seen in awhile, really creepy stuff and a high recommend. We've seen what Knautz can do with the horror-comedy and now with a supernatural thriller so I can't wait to see what's up next. 4 outta 5