Blood Money, Vol. 20
Published on May 22, 2012
Greetings horror fans! Welcome to another installment of Blood Money, this time from paradise – by which we mean a post-apocalyptic wasteland where we rule over armies of zombies and other monsters with our boom stick. As always, we’re here to compile a shortlist (this week especially short) of new releases in theaters and on home video for you to pass the time and feed your hunger for horror.
Theatrically, there’s nothing new, unfortunately, so that means you’d better get your ass back out there and see Cabin in the Woods or something else, if you can, and while you can. On DVD and Blu-ray, meanwhile, there’s Mutant Girls Squad, a Japanese genre mash-up about a group of girls with superhuman powers whose persecution by normal folks prompts them either to become humanity’s enemy or protector. Sounding not unlike some unholy combination of X-Men and Akira (which aren’t altogether that far apart themselves), this is precisely the sort of import that we love to see, because it promises tons of batshit thrills, abundant gore, and weird, weird stuff that we’d never, ever see in an American movie.
Next up is the decidedly more recognizable The Woman in Black, Daniel Radcliffe’s first big film since the end of the Harry Potter series last year. We covered this during its theatrical run, and it’s an effective little film, even if it doesn’t especially linger with you for long afterward. Nevertheless it’s the story of a lawyer who visits a small town to get a family’s affairs in order only to discover that a mysterious spirit is terrorizing the townspeople. The Blu-ray looks terrific and it features a few little extras to expand the viewing experience beyond the movie.
Unfortunately, the quality of the week’s offerings declines steeply from there, if only because their names are mostly idiotic and their premises seem eager to sustain that same level of quality. The Dead Undead, for example, is a film featuring Luke Goss, one of the nicest actors on the planet and an undeniably welcome screen presence, but it’s also the story of a futuristic world where vampires rule until a deadly virus starts turning the population into vampire zombies. Notwithstanding the mad libs-like storyline, the film feels like a depressing knockoff of about a dozen vampire “updates,” not the least of which including the hopelessly derivative Underworld series – and that’s one of the better films it follows.
Then there’s Humans vs. Zombies. The plot synopsis we found online describes a “neuroinvasive organism,” which, you guessed it, turns living people into undead brain-munchers.
Finally, there’s An Unholy Exorcism: The Devil Inside, which as you may have guessed was either engineered or re-named to capitalize on the success of The Devil Inside. It too features a group of amateur filmmakers who are inexplicably hired to document an exorcism, this time over a three-day period, which means it contains all of the same elements (at least superficially) as its big-screen counterpart: found footage, evil forces, and idiots. We’re genuinely curious whether anyone out there has ever found a single one of these “real movie” ripoffs interesting, much less superior to the source of their inspiration. If you have seen even one film that shares its name or plot with a theatrical release – something that’s obviously inspired by another film’s success – and is actually interesting or creative, let us know; maybe we can do a roundup of the titles that are actually worth seeing, and save some of your from a fate worse than death: two hours of bad moviemaking, that you willingly paid for.