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Severed Arm, The

Posted by Josh Samford On July - 28 - 2011
Review contributed by Prof. Aglaophotis


The Severed Arm (1973)
Director: Thomas S. Alderman
Writers: Thomas S. Alderman, Larry Alexander, Kelly Estill, Darrel Presnell and Marc B. Ray
Starring: Deborah Walley, Paul Carr, David G. Cannon and Marvin Kaplan



The Plot: Jeff Ashton just received a rather bizarre gift in the mail: a severed arm! The message immediately reminds him of what happened five years ago, when he and his five middle aged buddies went on a mining vacation in order to dig for some rock samples. Thanks to one of the bumbling fellows though, the trip resulted in disaster as the shaft caved in with the six men inside with little water and hardly any food. After two weeks pass, the men can no longer continue without sustenance and they slowly resort to cannibalism. They sever the right arm of their friend Ted, only for a rescue team to come to their aide seconds after the deed was done. So all five men swore to secrecy, never to let anyone know what they did and claim the amputation was a result of the cave-in… but Ted said he’d never forget it, even after being hospitalized and institutionalized later. Jeff gathers his old pals together to remind them of the secret and how the truth would affect their long progressing careers. As the reunion finishes however, one of Jeff’s pals, Dr. Sanders, gets attacked, resulting in his right arm getting amputated. Jeff and his detective friend Mark now have little time to protect the others while trying to find Ted’s location and stop the traumatized mad man.

The Review
There are many sad things that can happen in a good Horror movie. The Severed Arm might not be original to begin with, as the premise sounds mysteriously familiar, but it has a good twist to it amidst various mediocre aspects. On the technical side, the production was clearly a few thousand dollars short of being passable.

Night shots are barely visible and the direction of the camera isn’t always set straight. The darkness obscures a lot of the action that is key to the scene’s atmosphere, thus the film’s lucidity is based on natural and in-room light, but even then it doesn’t work. There’s an attack scene where a man falls down a stair case, but the scene is so dark and the camera focuses so little on the event, and the victim’s screaming, that it almost looks like the guy tripped over the cameraman.


As a matter of fact, every death scene in the movie is awkwardly shot. Every time someone gets attacked, the camera always focuses on the actor’s face and the murder weapon at awkward angles; maybe this is to induce panic, but it just made the scenes look silly. Perhaps the best death scene in the whole movie is ruined because the scene is too dark. Another surprising death scene in an elevator is also botched by wretched camera angles and quick cuts. Although the lighting and direction is not entirely the attack scene’s fault: the worst of the death scenes has to be the one where a character is attacked, faints and the scene cuts away practically to the next day.

Yet, the movie makes-up for its technical flaws in its writing and some of its acting. The dialogue between Jeff and Mark is competent and direct enough to really hook me into their situation, and both characters are acted pretty well. For awhile I was actually buying the trouble these men had gotten themselves into, how they were going to handle it and the problems they faced along the way. Then of course there was the comic relief character, late night radio DJ, ‘Mad Man’ Herman. Played by comedic Brooklyn actor Marvin Kaplan, every one of Herman’s lines made my eyes roll so often I thought they’d fall out. He’s not painfully unfunny, (I mean I’ve heard worse in Horror movies) and the character is played pretty well, he’s just not funny at all despite the movie playing him up to be funny.

I was surprised to hear the familiar strains of the late Phillan Bishop here, the same musician who gave us the creepy scores to Messiah of Evil and Kiss of the Tarantula. His work here isn’t too bad, but it’s not the best the man has done (that would be either one of the two aforementioned movies). There are some creepy tracks in the beginning of the movie like when the arm gets shipped out, the cave flashback or any scene with Ted stalking our main characters. Unfortunately, the rest of the music sounds like someone playing through the BGM mode of a cruddy Sega Genesis game! It doesn’t get too embarrassing until thirty minutes in: there’s a driving scene that is followed by such an indescribably goofy electronic score that I can’t even begin to say how inappropriate the song is in this movie. It felt like the director didn’t care what kind of music accompanied the filler scenes.


And yet, despite these mixed factors, the twist and finale weren’t half bad at all. Now it might be easy to guess if you’re into Murder Mysteries, but of the films of that genre I’ve seen this twist actually took me by surprise a little. If anything I feel there should’ve been a buzzsaw; no, I won’t elucidate on that, you’ll just have to see the movie yourself to see what I mean.

If there’s anything else I can question about the movie, it’s the scene with the dog. There’s a moment near the end of the movie where Jeff is chasing after Ted up a sandy hillside and a dog runs in front of him completely out of nowhere! It would’ve made more sense if you could see the extra calling their dog off the set as a crew man pulled them off camera. Also, I think someone should’ve told the extras to snap it up a bit; during the flashback, Ted’s family sees their one-armed father/husband getting wheeled into an ambulance and their collective reaction is more dead than the starving spelunkers who amputated him!

The Conclusion
Overall, The Severed Arm isn’t too bad of a Horror movie. It’s impossible to call it a Murder Mystery, because we’re familiar with who the killer is, we just don’t know when he’ll strike. Yet, The Severed Arm feels like a Murder Mystery: intelligent and squeaky clean, perhaps too much so. Regardless, it won’t hurt to watch it.




Last House on Dead End Street

Posted by Josh Samford On October - 25 - 2010




Written for Varied Celluloid by Prof. Aglaophotis!


The Plot: Terrance ‘Terry’ Hawkins is an ex-porn film director who has been screwed-over by distributors Steve Randall and Jim Palmer; as a result, Terry tried to make ends meet through drug trafficking, but was jailed for it. Once he’s let out, Terry decides to follow what his conscious says while simultaneously get back at Steve and Jim… by making Snuff Films. Once Terry finds a building to shoot in, he assembles a team of psychos including runaways Pat and Kathy, his hobbyist cameraman Bill and his good slaughter house foreman friend and film distributor Ken. He then plans on luring Steve, Jim and whoever else they can get into the building so they can be the next unwilling actors in his movies. What kind of horrors will Terry unleash and film as he directs scene after scene of murder?




The Review
It’s amazing how many directors were (and to this day still are) inspired by the Manson Family Murders. Even more amazing are the kinds of films these directors make, most of which are raw, gritty and delightfully disturbing. Back in the seventies though, these films often got chopped up or re-released in some way, mixing up the originally intended presentation or effect. There are two examples of these types of movies: one of which was The Slaughter which was later released and renamed as Snuff and the other being none other than The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell… which was renamed as Last House on Dead End Street. Both were movies that were inspired by the Manson Family Murders and feature a gang of psychos running around killing people led by one crazy dark-haired dude with a funny dub actor. The major difference here though is that the latter movie is actually damn good.

Last House on Dead End Street is the kind of horror movie that is surprising in several ways. It’s surprising both in how terrible/funny it is and surprising in how effective/horrifying it is. Despite its flaws, despite what it went through in order to be released, Last House on Dead End Street manages to be a richly terrifying experience. This movie sort of reminds me of that 1981 sleazy dark comedy The Pit… that it has to be seen to be believed.

During the first half of the movie, I thought I was in for something hilariously bad. The editing in the first part of the movie is terrible. Even if you didn’t listen to the audio commentary that explains the spliced and removed scenes, the editing is so bad it makes Coleman Francis blush. Some of the scene’s we are supposed to see later in the film are put into the first five minutes of the movie as if they’re supposed to be premonitions but they don’t work at all. They even splice in clips of characters we’re not supposed to meet just yet in the first ten minutes talking to Terry. Apparently the distributors of the movie cut out several scenes that not only sounded cool, but would’ve explained later scenes. During the second half of the movie, a character named Suzy is introduced and Terry acts like he’s known her through the whole movie. In actuality, her earlier scenes explaining her character and relationship with Terry were cut out!

Even without the distributor’s editing choices though, there are still a lot of things about the movie that seem out of place. I personally found it funny how Terry stumbles across the partly abandoned building that about a minute into the movie we see that it’s a New York State College. Not only that, but during the silent introduction of the building’s caretaker, I swear you can hear a muffled class lecture in the background. Also, the character of Ken, Terry’s crazy accomplice, was almost inappropriately hilarious. When we first meet him, he seems pretty funny, but then his character starts getting dangerous… but he’s still funny. Not only does he look like he’s chewing cud throughout the whole murder and maiming, but he dresses like a short-order cook! Then there’s that ridiculous whipping scene introducing Palmer and his wife that seems to take forever even though it only lasts about three minutes. Of all the things the distributor’s cut out, the one thing they didn’t cut was that long-as-Hell whipping scene… ugh. I know it was trying to be tasteless, sleazy and give us an example of the kind of people we’re dealing with in the scene, but if they had cut most of the duration out I still would’ve gotten the point.

The dubbing in the movie is almost as silly. It’s a little hard to describe, but imagine the dub-actors in a Godzilla movie reading a hyper-sleazy horror movie script. I’ll admit, some of the voices match the characters like Terry, Pat, Bill and Steve, but the rest of the audio performances are just goofy. I particularly like how some of the actor’s full names like Ken Fisher and Steve Sweet are dubbed in as the character’s names up until the end… oops.

I know I’m being hard on the movie at this point, but that’s how it starts out: kind of rocky. Thankfully, it’s not entirely like that the whole way. The movie is surprisingly well-shot throughout, there are some very well framed shots, intensely good close-ups and some nice locations, too. The scene where the blind man is introduced in shadow throughout the dilapidated building, the scenes where Terry and crew prepare for shooting, the filming of the murders… I’d hate to admit it, but even the whipping scene was pretty well shot. While most of the film stock to the movie is very grainy, it’s always easy to tell what’s going on and the grain only contributes to the gritty, sleazy feel of the movie especially during the murder scenes being filmed.

While the dubbing is pretty bad, the actual performances of the actors are pretty good. Roger Watkins plays a great sleazy psychotic gang leader with awesome range and physical talent. We also get treated to different inner monologues in the movie, though there aren’t that many; all we get include one for Terry and one for Pat. They both give us some insight into the kind of people they are and the inner monologue for Pat was actually kind of interesting. If anything, I felt Terry could’ve used a bit more to him. He was a fairly interesting character and he had a nice sense of boldness and danger to him, but it seemed like there was something missing, like an extra conviction for something else or something more about society to drive him over the edge.

Also, the soundtrack to this movie is genuinely effective throughout. The effectiveness of the soundtrack is mostly due to it all being stock music from other movies, but it’s selected and remixed so well that it adds to the intensity of the film’s scariest scenes. The main theme of the movie is the most effective even though it’s probably the most simplistic: the main theme consists of a heart beat with the occasional growing hum of a synth note every ten seconds. It’s a theme that, from beginning to end, never gets old and is the kind of sound that only tightens the muscles to movie that reaches out and grabs you.

Taking into account how well shot the movie is, how its characters are presented and how great the stock music soundtrack is, I can now go into just what makes this movie great: the snuff murder spree. Yes, while the movie takes a lot of time to build up its atmosphere, but once its unleashed, there’s no stopping it. It starts off easy enough with a rather tame, but quietly creepy death scene where the first murder is filmed. The atmosphere finally intensifies in the scene where Steve first enters the building looking for Terry. It’s an alarmingly tense moment because the way its shot, the use of the music and lighting was just enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Most of the death scenes in this movie are simply amazing. I’ve never imagined a better, more atmospheric throat slashing death scene than the one in the beginning of Friday the 13th, especially one that’s not nearly as graphic, but this movie has it. There is a lot of pacing to the death scenes and in how much variety they offer. Many of the kill scenes are very well lit, so you can always see the subject even on the darkest set. If not bloody, then the killings are quite gory despite the simplicity of the effect. If it’s as simple as a severed limb, this movie knows how to do it and make it look realistic. Although, there is one scene where a pair of hedge clippers are used to do more damage than mere hedge clippers can do.

Some of the imagery and props thrown into the movie make the death scenes all the more effective such as the variety of masks the cast use. The huge white mask Terry wears is scary enough even without someone underneath it and its put to great use in the kill scenes.* The transparent masks that Bill and the girls wear are pretty creepy too, but there are a lot more props used in different scenes to give the movie an almost ghostly feel to it, especially the psychological torture scene near the end.

Sadly the final murder scene has a really weak climax; the build-up was fantastic and crazy as all Hell, but the payoff was cheap. I say that because I’ve dissected a cow’s eye before: with that in mind I kind of know one when I see one, especially when it’s not in someone’s head… even though it’s supposed to be.

Also, take my advice when you watch this movie: just before the final scene ends and the credits start rolling, just as the last person in the scene is out of sight, Mute the movie. Otherwise the last dubbed-in lines put in by the distributor will just kill the final scene. I won’t say what they are, but imagine the ending to A Nightmare on Elm Street where someone’s voice magically tells you that the final scene in it really was just a dream. That’s how terrible the distributor edits are in this movie: they’ll get you in the end.


The DVD
Released by Barrel Entertainment, the movie is presented in a 2 Disc box set, whereupon each disc is loaded with extra goodies. The overall presentation and restoration of the film is amazingly done, especially considering how reportedly bad the original print was. Disc 2 contains telephone calls and canceled interviews with the director. Disc 1 not only has the movie, but humorous audio commentary by the director hosted by Chas. Balun the editor of Horror film magazine Deep Red. The commentary is a genuine treat, because Roger Watkins spares no expense in letting the audience know what went on behind the scenes, and what caused the performances… particularly his own as he admits using crystal meth during several scenes. He also tells of his inspirations for the movie, what drove him to make it and how he would set-up each kill scene. Even further, his continual (and understandable) displeasure in the cut and edit of the movie by the distributors. The good stuff doesn’t end there, either. The disc includes a ten minute radio interview with Watkins and Fisher, newspaper clips documenting the movie in the making as well as a photo gallery of Roger Watkins and his film exploits starting with a photo of him at age 10! Damn, if only he was in Nine Months, then we could see a baby photo of him in the end credits. There’s even a photo of him standing next to Christopher Lee on the set of the Hammer Film Scars of Dracula, Peter Cushing on the set of Creeping Flesh… even a photo of him next to David Hess!! The information given on Roger Watkins and his work are so good that it’s really inspiring to read and hear.


The Conclusion
You have to trust me when I say I want to give this movie the highest rating possible. The atmosphere and build-up to the movie is goddamn excellent, but the overall presentation and editing of the movie as well as knowing how much better it could have been keep me from giving the movie any more credit than it all ready deserves. I’ve seen this too many times in movies and even arcade game ports where the end result of a the rather good original is chopped up and mixed around by the distributor. Now I know for a fact it’s not the released media’s fault nor is it the creator’s, but it makes the end result harder to enjoy, especially knowing how things could’ve been so much better. Despite this fact though, I have to say with even more honesty that Last House on Dead End Street is still a great Horror movie. The movie is certainly a cult masterpiece on its own, even inspiring Brad Jones to practically remake the movie in the Shot-on Video original Cheap in a Realist fashion. If you’re looking for a genuinely frightening and bloody exploitation film, by all means go for Last House on Dead End Street.



Late Bloomer

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 20 - 2009
Review Contributed by Jon Jung


The Plot: Late Bloomer documents a severely disabled man, Sumida-san, who has made a life for himself hanging out with friends, drinking beer (a lot, at that), and checking out shows. In addition, Sumida-san is the director of a disabled home (as is the real-life actor, Masakiyo Sumida in a bit of verisimilitude) and well-cared for. Though this may seem like a rather content life, Sumida-san’s anger and frustration toward his disabilities provoke him to embark on a murderous rampage.



The Review: Japanese genre films have become all but pigeon-holed by scraggly-haired ghost children (Ringu, Ju-On, Dark Water) and cheesy Troma-like gore comedies (Meatball Machine, Tokyo Gore Police). In fact, with classic Kurosawa and Ozu films being of the few exceptions, Japanese movies as a whole can hardly get released without the “extreme”, “quirky”, and /or “kawaii” tags put on them. Thus, it’s not particularly surprising that Late Bloomer slightly mismarketed and packaged to look like the latest gorefest when it is actually a interesting, dark character study not unlike Taxi Driver or, even more closely related in theme, Tod Browning’s seminal 1932 shocker, Freaks.

Unfortunately, while Late Bloomer shares similar stark themes as those two classics of transgressive cinema but it does not share the same production values. I would not generally fault a director for having to work under a low budget. For example, the fact that the movie was shot in black and white seems like less of a budgetary constraint than an artistic decision. For the most part, the black and white photography is pulled off quite well in Late Bloomer; the film’s schizophrenic visual effects (a la Tetsuo) could probably not be as effective in color, for example. However, the impact of any scene involving blood was noticeably lessened. Blood on film should be visually alarming either in its color or viscosity. This should even be the case in black and white such as in Night of the Living Dead, a film whose shimmering dark blood was probably too much for the faint of heart in 1968. Late Bloomer’s sometimes languid pacing sometimes also affects the impact that the film could have had. The director sometimes shoots scenes for a little longer than they should be, but not long enough to feel intentional. One death scene, in particular, which occurs in a bathtub feels much too “matter of fact” than it should. The film could have done well with a little choice editing as well. For example, several scenes involving two sets of characters watching videos of each other to symbolize the social distance between them tended to drag, again taking away the punch of the central storyline

Negatives aside, Late Bloomer thematically is a breath of fresh air. Calling it the first movie to have a disabled protagonist might be a stretch; Born on the Fourth of July and My Left Foot come to mind as two others. However, it is one of possibly two (“Children of a Lesser God” is the other) in which the actor him or herself is disabled. With that said, the director Go Shibata does well for his subject matter by weaving the narrative around Sumida-san, never forcing us to feel one way or another about him. It would have been easy to have taken one of two overt routes and made a mean-spirited exploitation or sappy “deep down we’re all the same” message film. Overall, in fact, the film does a great job at presenting us with a character who, all said and done, is not necessarily a villain, hero, or anti-hero. Rather, the protagonist is just a guy who, through life’s misfortunes, has just taken the figurative straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s just too bad that Shibata didn’t have a better budget and slightly more experience with which to improve all the positives this film has. This is definitely a film worth watching but, as previously mentioned, this may not be for the gorehounds. But, if you have the patience and will to sit and watch a unique, somewhat artsy character study from a promising young Japanese director, then you could do worse by picking Late Bloomer up.

Humanoids From the Deep

Posted by Josh Samford On February - 22 - 2009
Review by Prof. Aglaophotis


Plot Outline: We start our little tale in the small Northern Californian fishing town of Noyo, where much trouble is a brewing. The salmon in the area have been becoming more minuscule by the day as the town’s festival draws nearer. However, a canning company known as Can co. (oh yes, THAT’S original) plans to change that, not only to help catch more fish, but to genetically improve the size and amount of salmon in the area. In the mean time, some odd problems arrive when fishermen start catching marine life that continues to break the wires, all of the dogs in the town get slaughtered and Hank Slatery (Vic Morrow) and his inebriated posse find more reasons to pick on the local Native American Johnny Eagle (Anthony Penya). All the while, beach hopping amorous couples get violently attacked by vicious sea creatures who hack up the men and rape their dates and everyday-man Jim Hill (Doug McClure), Johnny and marine biologist Dr. Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) start playing detective after Jim’s brother gets attacked by a pack of similar inhuman marine life. Oh, and didn’t I mention the local festival was coming?

  

The Review
Although a bit of a digression, I have encountered various unique plot twists and story ideas, one of the more popular being the further development and future of mankind, after such existence has gone so far in the line of advancing intelligence and simultaneous stupidity. Yet, I find this question to be irritatingly incessant, for it has been interpreted in one too many ways and the answers are almost always brought into a black or white category, with some good occasional imagination, but lack of originality. There is something wholly unique about Humanoids from the Deep, as it somehow brings a clever method of coming to the conclusion of that question without incessantly bringing it up through the movie. We are given scenes of social violence and local acts of racism that was made to recognize the socio-economic impacts of events in the town, as well as setting up protagonist/support roles and antagonistic categories, and keeping anyone from acting on the problem at hand, but the question regarding humankind’s future did not fully arise or show relevance until near the end of the movie as the origin of these creatures were being analyzed. It’s nothing to make too big of a deal out of, I’ll admit, but when you familiarize with different storylines, you’ll see a lot of repetition and failed good ideas. While this came close by means of diction (which I will emphasize on later), the message still delivered. Another level of importance is to show that even the antagonistic characters showed signs of heroism near the end as their eyes are opened to the relevance of the creatures, simply to remind the audience that despite their bad qualities, there’s hardly ever a black or white matter to every human being in this world (especially when they’re being attacked by murderous amphibious monsters).

The movie had a nice sized budget as it boasts with explosions here and there, shows skin being scraped off the bone and the minimal use of sets, but its limit shows in various little parts of the movie, as we see the same close up shots of humanoids getting shot with a 30.6 here and a 3.06 there, repeated continuity shots of Doug McClure firing a gun in a previous scene, as well as two ‘clever’ reverse slow motion shots and a crowd’s screams are obviously looped for more than five minutes of film (a flare gun to some gas on the deck blowing up an ENTIRE ship, or an ol’ Molotv Cocktail blowing up a one story house on direct impact being the latter). The spectacle of slimy half skeletal monsters slashing and raping shoves the movie into a different light which is beneficial for the sci-fi/horror movie genre, for it adds a new level of discouragement for audiences aside from just having bloodthirsty monsters and gory murders being the primary focus (which is why most people have found it distasteful and I was just surprised in that ‘Whoa!’ sense) and the monsters themselves were designed pretty well to look like what they evolved from. Though not particularly well acted or dictated for that matter (it’s sardonic that a marine biologist cannot even manage to pronounce the word coelacanth correctly), the characters were believable and the partial exposition amidst conversations worked in order to understand the characters a little better. Another semi-positive aspect of the film was its almost apparent lack of clichés, as mentioned earlier with the lack of 100% human antagonists, regardless of their negative aspects. There was an apparent minimum of over-used/noticeable sci-fi clichés until, surprisingly enough, the final scene in the movie where the threats of human existence increases, but in a far too predictable manner.

The Conclusion
From the banter I have produced it’s obvious that amidst its pros and cons, I still enjoyed it, but if the latter you find distasteful (brief monster rape scenes being the bulk), then I doubt this movie would be your forte. Otherwise, Humanoids from the Deep is definitely a sit-down with-a-sophomorically-fun-social-crowd-with-pop-and-popcorn-bowl-in-hand sort of movie. The movie manages to keep your eyes on the screen and keep you involved in the unfolding events regardless of the occasional flaws.



Howling, The

Posted by Josh Samford On February - 22 - 2009
Review by Scarface


Plot Outline: Following a traumatic encounter with serial killer Eddie Quist, T.V journalist Karen White is advised by her psychologist to take a break from her work and attend a private therapy center called “The Colony”. Karen is left with no choice but to follow the advice and together with her husband heads for the woods where the Colony therapy center is located. Things soon turn for the worse as her husband is brutally attacked by a mysterious creature one night. Karen begins to suspect that something is terribly wrong at the Colony, until she finally realizes the therapy center is actually owned by werewolves. With her husband turning into a werewolf himself, she is left with no choice but to confront the creatures in order to get out of there alive.


  

The Review
Together with vampires and zombies, werewolf movies have always been embraced with open arms by avid horror fans. The undisputed classic of this genre, praised by horror buffs all around the world is undoubtedly “An American Werewolf in London”. However, few can deny the fact that there was an equally brilliant, perhaps lesser known werewolf movie released the same year by the name of “The Howling”.

There are essentially two main reasons why you should watch this film. One of these are the werewolf transformations themselves. The ones in “American Werewolf” were great; but these, believe it or not, are even better. Thanks to perfect use of editing and extraordinary make-up effects (duly provided by Rob Bottin, whose other credits include “John Carpenter’s The Thing”); the transformations seem way ahead of their time. In an era continuously characterized by the extensive use of CGI in movies, “The Howling” is living proof that brilliant effects can still be obtained by old-school methods.

The film drags a little too much at the beginning; hence the 1 star reduction in the final rating. This could make you lose some interest on what’s going on, but the second part more than compensates for this. As soon as the scene in which Karen’s husband is bit by a werewolf comes along, the film doesn’t look back and takes the viewer on an unforgettable roller-coaster ride! Expect to see some surprisingly hot werewolf sex, a substantial amount of action, and even a little dose of black humor.

The Conclusion
The movie as a matter of fact pretty much plays like a mystery novel. The viewer isn’t completely sure what’s going on in the first part, as he is introduced to various eccentric characters and strange situations. The most memorable of these characters is a young woman named Marsha; who most probably is the hottest female werewolf ever to grace the big screen. As the story unfolds bit by bit; the viewer begins to realize the real danger main character Karen is forced to face; as she has to transform herself from an unlucky victim of fate to a fighting survivor (pretty much like Sarah Connor in “The Terminator”). I mentioned in the beginning of the review that there are essentially two main reasons why this movie is great. One reason which I already mentioned is the werewolf transformations. The second reason is the jaw-dropping ending. There is not one, but TWO unexpected major surprises in the last five minutes of the movie; which also paved the way to endless sequels which I have yet to see. Of course, I’m not going to spoil it for you; you have to check it out for yourself. All I’m going to tell you is if you’re ever on a date and your sweetheart orders a rare cooked burger, you should become very suspicious of her true origins. Don’t you just love it when movies give you such life-saving tips?

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