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LAID TO REST – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2009 by goregirl

laid to rest dvdI caught a screening of ‘Laid To Rest’ at the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear. The meet and greet was before the screening which was a little weird for me, since I hadn’t actually seen the film. I didn’t really have anything to ask them so I just took their pictures. The film was on my list to see and had been out on DVD for a while. I jumped at the chance to see it on a bigger screen then my T.V. The director, Robert Hall and the two cast members, Thomas Dekker and Nick Principe seemed really psyched to be at the show and have a chance to promote their film. ‘Laid To Rest’ is a nod to 80’s slasher cinema and is for horror fans who don’t need a motive and a deep story. Sometimes its fun to just get stabby for stabby sake.

A woman wakes up inside a coffin and finds herself in a morgue. She doesn’t know who she is or how she got there but manages to escape her captor. The ruthless killer, equipped with some nasty ass knives and a chrome skull mask violently massacres everyone who crosses his path as he pursues the female victim who eluded him.
laid to rest still
There’s some hardcore graphic scenes of violence mainly delivered by Chromeskull’s knives. He stabs and slashes, shoves it through cheeks and saws open throats with the handy tools. Knives are so multi-functional! We don’t learn much about chromeskull and his motives, but Who the hell cares? He’s a menacing figure that glues a chrome skull mask to his face. What more do you need to know? Bobby Sue Luther, who plays “the girl” is unitentionally campy. She is definitely the weakest cast member. Fortunately they gave her a bump on the head that could explain away much of her interactions. That may sound like a bad thing but it actually adds to it’s retro feel. A bit of bad acting never really hurt an 80’s slasher and it doesn’t here either. The supporting cast are actually quite good. Kevin Gage who plays Tucker, walks with a cane and despite his grief and trauma, manages to pull it together enough to act reasonably. He seems like a pretty decent bloke. I found myself actually caring whether he lived or died. Sean Whalen, provides some comic relief playing Steven; a nervous sort who doesn’t appear to get out much. Even the daft white boys, listening to rap on their way to a rave, were pretty entertaining.
Nick Principe (chromeskull) and director Robert Hall pose for a picture
I could have lived without the films opening credits. Flashing shaky clips of carnage to loud music was a bit over dramatic. It didn’t merge well with the films opening scene. I had some issue with the reveal of “the girl” but it would be a spoiler if I got specific about it. There are some decent moments of intensity scattered throughout. ‘Laid To Rest’ doesn’t rely on false scares. There are no cats jumping out of cupboards or loud sudden sounds. The best part is the gore. The effects are quite impressive, especially considering the moderate budget. The kills are nasty and messy and there is a significant body count to keep a slasher fan interested. The film keeps a pretty steady pace without much downtime. There are minor flaws but I really enjoyed ‘Laid To Rest’. This one is for horror fans only. Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Robert Hall

Starring: Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Lena Headey, Sean Whalen, Richard Lynch, Johnathon Schaech, Thomas Dekker and Nick Principe

RUE MORGUE FESTIVAL OF FEAR 2009 – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2009 by goregirl

Hey! Hey! I’m back! It is so good to be home! Before I get into my Festival of Fear experience I had to share this hilarious freaky wicker man I caught a glimpse of on the way to the cottage. From my family’s home to the cottage it is a three hour drive. It was the perfect way to start my vacation. My frighteningly white body got nicely BBQ’d, and my skin is still peeling as I type this. Revenge of the lizard woman! Ontario has its share of tourist attractions and one such attraction is
the ‘DWIGHT TRADING POST’. In front of this is a monstrous man made of twigs. Much like the ‘Wicker Man’ anyone who is caught shoplifting is put inside of the structure which is then set on fire as the population of Dwight dance around it feverishly. Below is a picture of the beast. Unfortunately, I could not catch a picture of the actual ritual itself.
wicker man dwight

This was the first time I have ever attended an event like this. My friend has been to this Rue Morgue Festival of Fear every year since it started and got us “Deluxe passes”. The best thing about this pass was that it got us in two hours early on the Friday. Lot’s of roaming room, and having experienced the nightmare hordes on the Saturday, it was definitely worth the price. I was expecting to see a million and one things I would need to buy, but in fact there was very little. The Festival of Fear was combined with comics, anime, gaming and sci-fi and the horror was only a small part of it all. Anchor Bay, one of the better horror labels had a booth but didn’t have any DVD’s for sale. Instead they had a lovely glossy booklet that showed there upcoming features and the DVD’s you could purchase to have autographed by this years guests, but rerouted you to the Cinema One booth. I understand as a distributor that they wouldn’t want to step on the toes of the rue morgue boothcompanies buying their product. I guess I was just not expecting chain stores to be at this thing. I wanted to see coffin bath mats and skull ice cube trays and the like, but there was next to nothing like that. There were a shitload of booths selling movie maniacs, which you can get at just about any comic book store. Snore! There were, however, some freebies from the few horror labels that were present. I did score some groovy stickers, a couple posters and a set of magnets. Long and short, I was disappointed in the marketplace aspect of the festival. The price the guests were asking for autographs were steep. $35.00 for Udo Kier’s autograph!? Honestly! I think Udo is great but I am not paying that kind of coin for his signature! One of the better deals was Barbara Steele who at least sold you a copy of The ‘Nightmare Castle’ DVD autographed for the same $35.00. Like I said, this is my first time going to something like this, so I was a little shocked. It was cool catching a glimpse of some of the great icons of horror like the aforementioned and Roger Corman and Tobin Bell but I just couldn’t justify spending the cash.

laid to rest picI was hoping to have all sorts of pictures to post here, but the pictures I took sucked ass. The zoom on my camera made everyone blurry. Unfortunately I have very few pics of the fest. This is starting to sound like a big old whine fest, but it did have its highlights. One of my favorite moments came in the form of a sneak peak for the film ‘Stan Helsing’. They showed a trailer, a making of featurette and scenes from the film. The panel, made up of director/writer Bo Zenga, three of the cast members, Diora Baird, Desi Lydic and Leslie Nielsen. The guy who did the music was also present (sorry buddy! I can’t find your name!). It was extremely entertaining! Most of the audience had questions for Nielsen that were unrelated to the film, but his answers were amusing none the less. Highlight two, was a Q and A with Bruce Campbell. We were way back and I couldn’t see him that well, but I could hear him just fine. Campbell was hysterical. He definitely seems to have a love/hate relationship with his role in horror cult cinema. Highlight number three was a free showing of ‘Laid To Rest’. The film had been on my “to see” list for a while. The film has actually been available to rent for some time. Anchor Bay had the director Robert Hall and two cast members, Thomas Dekker who plays Tommy and Nick Principe who plays Chrome Skull at the booth before the showing. Even though I had not seen the film I got in the line up so I could take some close up pictures for the blog. These guys were so freaking nice! They were just psyched to be there and have a chance to promote there great little film. They also did a Q & A after the film. Hall is a horror fan himself and in his own words, made a film for people who love the genre. Tomorrow I will have a full review of the film. I definitely had fun at the ‘Festival of Fear’, and I really dug hanging out with someone who loves horror as much as I do. I would, however, be unlikely to attend this function again. I think I’ll be sticking strictly to film festivals. It is all about the films for me, and I love hearing about the process from the people who make the art. The Vancouver International Film Festival is coming up soon, and I hope to catch all the horror films on the schedule this year.
chrome skull laid to rest