Saturday, May 9, 2009

Double Whammy: The Bunker & Torn to Pieces

Review by The Bone Breaker

Joseph M. Monks - remember this name, and when he becomes a household name, you can say that you remember reading about his first movie and his first book, here! :-)

Not only will you remember his name, after you have watched The Bunker or read Torn to Pieces, but those who have yet to find out about Joe Monks will most likely be surprised by the fact that he is blind - yes, a blind man who has overcome his loss of sight and gone on to direct a film!

The Bunker tells the story of Julia Jennings, a 16-year-old teenager who runs away from home on the night her father, Congressman Robert Jennings, announces his bid for re-election.

Julia soon discovers that she is merely trading one nightmare for another when, a sadistic kidnapper with a taste for young victims, snatches her off the streets and locks her away in a hidden, underground cell.

With her father doing everything in his power to keep the scandal from hitting the media - including hiring some questionable private investigators to assist in the search for his daughter - Julia discovers that time is already running out. Knowing that the date of her death is rapidly approaching, the teen forms a desperate, all-or-nothing plan to escape - or die trying.

The copy of The Bunker that I received included a "wrap-around" sequence that was shot specifically for a television show in Europe - it dealt with an S&M dominatrix torturing a client, however the director decided to drop out of that project, and has since been dropped the wrap-around in favor of a different framing sequence that is more integrated with the main story. 
[since this wrap-around has been removed, since I've received my copy of the film, I will not go into it any further]

The Bunker starts off with a group of hookers standing outside of a restaurant - the film then cuts to a creepy looking guy lurking in a corner, watching a lone hooker, who we soon realize is Julia - the main female character of the film. As Julia walks off, a blind guy comes walking down the sidewalk [I can only assume this to be the director's cameo appearance] :-)

As Julia walks along the sidewalk [keep in mind that it is night-time] we see that she is not very bright, as she walks right alongside a suspicious looking van, with it's side-door wide open. Not only does she walk alongside it, but she stops to look in. . . this is where Julia gets abducted by none other than another independent film director - Terry M. West [I reviewed his film, Blood of the Muse here:] We soon find out that Terry is not a fan of "junkie whores" [remember, Julia is a Congressman's daughter] so this little mix up does not sit very well, especially once Terry starts the mental & physical torture.

My favorite line in the film - Terry calls Julia his 'little piggy' and after a brief talk with Julia, he states, "Back to work - little piggy isn't going to torture herself"

Terry West was excellent in this film! [it's not too often that you get good directors who can actually act as well] He was extremely menacing in this film, and you cringed every time he interacted with his captive, Julia [played by Saskia Gonzalez] She was great as well - she played her part very realistically!

Still, as good as Terry & Saskia were, the best part of the film was the writing, which was fantastic - I do not want to give anything away, but just wait until you see how this film ends - your jaw will hit the floor!

Also, for further information, you can visit the film's website at

Now, onto Joseph M. Monk's upcoming debut novel:

Whenever I read a book, that I know I am going to write a review for, I generally use an index card as a bookmark, so that I can jot down notes, etc. Well, I just so happened to have the index card that I used for Torn to Pieces [I love this title, and it is very appropriate, I must say!] in my pant's pocket - the pants that I just threw in the wash. . . Grrrrrrrrrr

Monks' used tons of little 'one-liners' in this book - quite a few that I  wrote down on that index card - the one that I remember most though was in regards to a low-life scumbag - "He couldn't plan a successful nose picking if his nostrils weren't attached to his face" HA! [this was said between two homicide detectives, over a possible suspect]

Torn to Pieces is about a serial killer who literally tears his victims limb from limb [well, perhaps not literally tears, more like saws] The catch is that the killer dismembers his victims, while they are still alive - he has a special technique that he uses, so that his victims are aware, until the very end - they are still alive, even as the killer is decapitating them!

What I love most about Torn to Pieces is that Monks' writes as if he were an actual observer to the ongoing investigation. The characters are superbly written [I loved the character of Gramps - grandfather to one of the Homicide Detectives on the case] 

Monks' writes this book very realistically, with political redtape and all included. 
If you are a fan of Michael Slade or John Sanford or even if you enjoy watching CSI or Criminal Minds, then you have got to read this book when it gets published!
Even if you are not a big horror fan, I would recommend this book, as the gruesomeness of it all is primarily after the affect.

This book is definitely a contender for Best Book of the Year!

For further information on Joseph Monks, visit his websites at or 


Friday, May 8, 2009

The Last Horror Film, Combat Shock, and Mother's Day

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I figured that today would be a good day to inform those who may be unaware of Troma's film about a demented mother, but first I am going to talk about two of Troma's latest "Tromasterpiece" releases:

Vinny Durand is a lonesome New York cab driver, who lives at home with his mother and has dreams of becoming a famous film director. He is consumed by his depraved obsession with the beautiful horror actress Jenna Bates, and determined to have her star in his first film, Vinny trails her to the Cannes Film Festival
While Vinny's disturbing fascination grows, a mysterious killer begins slaughtering all of the people in Jenna's entourage.
Is the obsessed fanatic and the psychotic killer one in the same?
Will this be Jenna's Last Horror Film?

Also known as Fanatic, this film was released in 1982, however it has never been released Uncut in America, until now - on May 19th, Troma is releasing this classic 80's slasher gem as the 3rd entry in their Tromasterpiece Collection [the 1st two being Cannibal! The Musical and Redneck Zombies]

The film takes places during the actual 1981 Cannes Film Festival, which I thought was pretty cool. I have no idea why this film was Banned in America, but it is definitely worth checking out, especially for Spinnell's excellent performance [he plays delusional superbly!]

The film sports some great f/x work, a great score, and a great story - one of my favorite scenes in the film is where Munro is discussing violence in horror and the difference between real-life and illusion, while at the same time Spinnell is practically molesting an image of Munro on a film screen.

The Uncut Special Edition DVD will include a special featurette with Spinnell's closest friend, Luke Walter - Walter will also provide a commentary track, an interview with Maniac director William Lustwig, Buddy Giovinazzo's [director of Combat Shock] rarely seen short film Mr. Robbie aka Maniac 2, which features Spinnell in one of his last performances, before his untimely death, a [funny] introduction by Lloyd Kaufman, plus many more Tromatic extras!

The 4th entry into Troma's Tromasterpiece Collection is going to be:

Combat Shock is going to be released in a 2-Disc Never-Before-Seen Director's Cut on July 28th, so mark your calendar's for this one!
[I have been very anxious to see this one, however I have held off, as I have been aware of this upcoming release, and I am waiting to see this version]

Combat Shock was inspired by the true, ghastly headlines about tormented war veterans. The story is centered on Frankie Dunlan, a Vietnam veteran whose life is a festering sewer of poverty , hopelessness, and violence. His wife is pregnant and hungry. His one year old son is sick and horribly deformed from exposure to Agent Orange. Frankie's family is being evicted from their rundown apartment. His childhood friend is a strung-out junkie. While roaming the streets, looking for work, he sees under-age prostitutes  working the streets. . . 

Sounds like a "happy" film, doesn't it? Still, I have heard great things about it, and I am looking forward to this new release!

And for those unaware of Troma's classic Mother's Day slasher flick Mother's Day, I am happy to tell you that Netflix currently has it available to watch Instantly - so if you currently don't have Netflix, now would be a good time to get it! :-)

Directed by none other than Troma President Lloyd Kaufman's brother, Charles Kaufman [who also directed Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters] Mother's Day tells the story of three female friends who head out to the woods to remember their collegiate good times - all the while with no idea that they're being hunted by a dysfunctional hillbilly family. 
You see, Mother is teaching her backwoods boys how to rape, torture, and kill young women - and her adept pupils are more than willing to practice their lessons. . .

A re-make of this one has recently been announced, so watch this one 1st!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eden Lake

Review by The Bone Breaker

This movie was released on DVD, in January, and I just now - finally - saw it. . .
I must say that this film was totally worth the wait, and even though it was released [in the UK] in 2008, it definitely has the potential to make it on my 'best horror list' of 2009! 

First of all, I was totally enamored with Kelly Reilly [an actress that I am unfamiliar with] She was great in this movie - she made her character totally believable, and made the film well worthwhile. Not only was she great, the film was fantastically written - this is definitely an intense film! [I kept saying to myself - "Just let it go!" or "Hurry!" or 'Get out of there!", etc - always a good sign] ;-)

If you haven't seen this one yet, it is definitely recommended - just keep in mind that it is a brutal film, that involves teenagers as the antagonists.


Monday, May 4, 2009

The Landlord

Review by The Bone Breaker

If you remember, back in March, I informed you of an upcoming horror/comedy titled The Landlord.
[if you don't remember, see  as there is also a link to an interview with the writer/director/co-producer of the film]

I just received my advance copy of the film, which is about 97% complete, and the final print will be available on June 1st.

The film starts off with Tyler, the landlord of an apartment building, showing an apartment to potential tenants. They decide to rent the apartment, only to be killed off by its demon inhabitants. 

Right away, the film's humor is set, as Tyler walks into the apartment, carrying a new toilet seat. When he discovers the dismembered corpses of the tenants, he promptly throws up through the toilet seat! :-)

Another funny moment is when the character, Donna, walks into a motel, with a sign displayed out front - "Manager has a gun. No Money Kept In Safe. Try the liquor store across the street" 
When the manager [who I believe is the writer/director] pulls his gun during an argument, it perfectly coincides with an attempted robbery - when the robber realizes a gun is being pointed at him, he states, "chill, it's just my hand in a brown bag - I'll try the liquor store across the street"

Donna, smartly, decides to leave the motel, only to go look at Tyler's vacant apartment. Donna is going through a messy divorce, and Tyler immediately falls for her.

Meanwhile, a couple of police detectives are nosing around the apartment building, due to the fact that there has been 16 missing persons' cases all linked to Tyler's building.

There is also an interesting side-storyline involving Tyler's sister, Amy, who is a cop, and is totally aware of Tyler's 'predicament' - It turns out that she is aware of a lot more than a couple of demons running amok in Tyler's apartment building, being that she is dealing with a local gang of vampires. . .

Definitely keep an eye out for this one, as it's more than just a low-budget independent film - there is actually a good story behind this one, with great character development!

Also, a special thank you to Emil Hyde who found me on the world-wide web and sent me an advance copy of his film! Thanks Emil! :-)


Monday, April 27, 2009

Cheerbleeders ~ Free On-line!

If you remember, I reviewed this 10-minute short film, back in January.
[if you don't remember, check out the review here: or you can check out the film's website here:]

The director, Peter Podgurski, just e-mailed me to let me know that it is currently being shown, on-line, for free! [but only for two weeks!]

So, definitely head over to or to check this short film out, while you can! [it's definitely worth the ten minutes of your time!]

Come back and let me know your thoughts on the film!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Laid to Rest

Review by The Bone Breaker

When I first heard about this one, I thought it sounded cliche and looked pretty dumb [I'm still not keen on the whole shoulder camera, though it is somewhat integral to the story] Then, I realized that it was written & directed by Robert Hall [owner and founder of the special effects studio, Almost Human and the writer and director of Lightning Bug - a film that I love!
If you have never seen Lightning Bug, do so! 

This guy needs to be more popular than he is, especially now, since he has literally just made an outstanding slasher flick! This is a great movie, with an interesting premise, and superb gore effects! [I have not seen kills, like in this film, for a long, long time!] 
The movie may have some issues, however they pale in comparison to the death scenes in this flick! Well worth it!

If you like slasher movies, definitely get this one!
Needless to say, I will be going out to buy this one, tomorrow!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Double Header: The Garbage Man & The Kill Crew

Review by The Bone Breaker

If you read my 'Bone Breaker Awards', from last year, [] then you may remember that I gave D'Lacey's Meat the award for the Most Memorable Novel of last year. That is the thing about D'Lacey - he is a very intellectual writer who does more than just entertain - he makes you think as well, and that is always a bonus, in any novel!

The Garbage Man wasn't supposed to be released until May 7th, however Mr. D'Lacey e-mailed me, last week, informing me that The Garbage Man is available now! [in the same e-mail, he attached his upcoming novella, which I read over the weekend - hence this "double header"]

Now, I hate to compare two novels, but for an author's 1st novel and his 2nd, there is always going to be comparisons. I loved Meat, and I was curious as to how D'Lacey's next novel would compare to it. To be completely honest, I did not enjoy The Garbage Man as much as I did Meat - I am not saying that The Garbage Man isn't an enjoyable read, it is, it just isn't as powerful [to me] as Meat.

I think that the problem lies in the fact that the book centers around creatures that are ultimately created out of our garbage and I just had difficulty placing myself into this reality. Still, D'Lacey has actually created some pretty terrifying creatures [my favorite being the centipede] You see, the creatures create themselves from whatever waste we dispose of and whatever they feed on becomes a part of them, helping them to grow stronger and faster [for instance, the centipede had legs that were made up of severed fingers and it's teeth were rows of knives] While not as good as Meat, The Garbage Man is still an enjoyable read and for what it is, it does not disappoint.

Let me leave you with my favorite line in the book: "Her closed eyes are two pregnant bellies in which twin eye-fetuses kick" How awesome is that line?!? Another cool thing, I thought, was one of the character's dogs were named Ozzy & Lemmy :-) Also, for any zombie fans out there, one of the characters is an avid video game player and there is a zombie game [Revenant Apocalypse] that he plays where he wields a katana - very cool - especially since he utilizes the game play when the garbage creatures start attacking. . .

On to The Kill Crew:

Set in a post apocalyptic society, The Kill Crew is the story of a group of survivors - primarily, the main character, Sheri, her 'not-really' boyfriend Ike, and a young girl by the name of Trixie.
The story is told in a 1st person narrative, from the viewpoint of Sheri.

After what is called The Long Silence - after which every car, watch, phone, etc has stopped working [Was the cause some sort of electro-magnetic bomb? No one knows for sure] - people have begun to change. While not exactly zombies, the story runs parallel with the zombie theme.

In The Kill Crew, the "zombies" are called Commuters, and similar to Matheson's I Am Legend, the commuters come out only at night. [Was it something in the water, a chemical, or some aspect of nature that has caused normal people to change into commuters? Again, no one knows for sure] Not everyone was affected though. About 200 survivors have walled themselves into what they call The Station, which consists of a city block of shops, apartments, 2 gun shops, 3 mini markets, 2 restaurants, and a wholesale warehouse... Every night a lottery is held and a group of survivors, known as "Crewers" head out beyond their walls to kill the commuters. [they say that if they kill 20 - 50 commuters a night, they will be 'crewing' for the next 20 - 30 years!]

Sheri is one of the best there is at 'crewing' - she carries two pump-action shotguns [named Kane & Abel] and a snub nose .38 named the paramedic] While her and Trixie [a young girl she has taken under her wing] are out "shopping" for supplies, during the day - when it's safe, Ike asks if he can tag along. While Sheri & Trixie are inside a store, Ike finds a vehicle that is still working - the three also discover that the commuters are evolving - these two things change the story drastically.

In The Kill Crew, D'Lacey has created some great characters, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if The Long Silence came about due to some sort of ecological unbalancing.

As you can tell by the length of the story, this one is really just a novella, though I sincerely hope that D'Lacey plans to one day go back to it and expand upon it, as it is an awesome read! The 77 pages fly by and only leave you wanting way more!

The Kill Crew is D'Lacey's 1st book that is actually going to be published in America, and it is due out in paperback, on August 10th, so mark your calendars now!