Justin Hamelin's The Darkest Corner

Disturbing Films is proud to announce that our long time author Justin Hamelin has published his first book, The Darkest Corner. This collection of nine short stories will evoke both terror and fear. Most importantly, you will enjoy a good read!

You can find the e-book on Amazon here for only $2.99! If you're an old fogey like me and would rather read a physical book, then the paperback version will be released soon. Details to come. 

Justin's reviews on Disturbing Films can be found here. Congrats to Justin!

The Ubiquitous Hiatus Post

It's been nearly six months since an article or review has been posted on Disturbing Films. In that time, the domain name expired (in a controversial account freeze on part of our former hosting company) rendering nearly all of the links around the site void and effectively making DF impossible to view. With that being said, efforts have commenced to revamp the website under a new URL: www.disturbingfilms.org. The existing links will be repaired and new content will arrive in the future. As a bit of a preview, we will have coverage, plugs, and interviews of Diani and Devine meet the Apocalypse.


Zombie Week 2013

Disturbing Films' third annual Zombie Week event! Thanks to Maggie from MK Horror for the amazing artwork above.

Reviews and Articles:
City of the Living Dead
The Return of the Living Dead
First Glimpse: A Resurrection

From our friends:

MK Horror
Living Dead...Seriously?

Candy-Coated Razor Blades
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

First Glimpse: A Resurrection

Directed by: Matt Orlando

Release date: 22 March 2013

Well just in time for Zombie Week here at Disturbing Films, there’s a zombie flick that’s set to be released at the end of the week. Sort of… A Resurrection only has one corpse that may or may not be rising from the dead for revenge on his killers. Don’t be surprised you haven’t heard of it. Its provenance is somewhat lacking: writer/director Orlando’s biggest credit seems to be a bit role in 2002’s Barbershop. I know, it doesn't instill confidence for a horror film, but we all have to start somewhere right? Yes, but not with this film!

I’m going to be honest and tell you that the trailer, while not a total mess, is completely uninteresting and mostly devoid of any compelling acting. A Resurrection centers on a high school student Eli (J. Michael Trautmann, possessing a good character face, but maybe not the chops to pull off a lead) whose brother, Devon, has been killed by some of his classmates. Eli can “see things others can’t” (of course) and is telling anyone who will listen that his brother is crawling back out of the grave for revenge. Mischa Barton, Devon Sawa and Michael Clarke Duncan (in one of his last roles) round out the cast of adults trying to figure if Eli is telling the truth about his zombie brother or plotting some sort of vengeance himself.

The trailer leads us to believe a large part of the films has to do with the ambiguity of whether Devon will actually rise from the dead, Eli is perpetrating some sort of revenge scheme, or (if I thought this was a smarter film) Eli’s hatred was propelling some sort of telekinetic murder spree a la Carrie. But even that would be highly clichéd at this point. Unfortunately, the A Resurrection seems to be spoilered by its own trailer, showing us Devon’s empty grave and most of what must be the films climax: a hulking zombie in a varsity jacket (I wish I was kidding) stalking his prey down empty school hallways. I don’t think I need to tell you not to see this film even if they gave you free passes.


By Kiki McGraw

This film was previewed as a part of Zombie Week 2013.

The Return of the Living Dead

By Brett Mullins

Released: 1985

Directed by Dan O’Bannon

The Return of the Living Dead is an effective zombie film for two reasons: it pokes fun at George Romero’s vision of the zombie; and it provides a bloody and consistent, albeit exaggerated, story. At a medical supply warehouse, two workers release a chemical inside of a military issued container that causes the dead to rise from their graves.

This film features a blend of dark humor and messy mayhem is matched only by a select few, such as Braindead. In addition to the gore and laughs, the audience is presented with a new type of zombie. This zombie can move fast, speak, and strategize. If it was not for the less than serious tone of the film, these zombies have the potential to be rather scary.

The characters are not stereotypes from a summer camp; these characters are misfits and quirky middle managers. This is to say that these characters are somewhat developed and memorable.

The Return of the Living Dead by no means features a simplistic story; yet, it is able to bring everything together in the end. It certainly does not close all doors judging by four sequels the film generated. At the film’s conclusion, however, all the bases have been covered, closure has been achieved, and the audience is not left to wonder how to interpret the fate of a character.

Rating: 7/10

This film was reviewed as a part of Zombie Week 2013.

City of the Living Dead

By Brett Mullins

Released: 1980

Directed by Lucio Fulci

A priest commits suicide and opens the Gates to Hell. A reporter and a ‘back from the dead’ psychic race to a small town to potentially save the world from these ghost-like Zombies.

I have several bad things to say, so I’ll begin with the good. City of the Living Dead contains a handful of daring and powerful shots. The tension of the drill scene and the cringe-inducing effect of the priest’s gaze are nearly worth the time of sitting through the remaining 80 minutes.

The plot is rather thin; there are still questions lingering on regarding why the gates opened, what made these people special, etc. This film gave the audience little reason to even think the characters are somehow special, judging by the lack of development. The nature of the ghost/zombie hybrids aren't explained in any coherent form. The conclusion is still up in the air.

Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead is often praised as being an exemplar of the great Italian Horror scene. If this is the case, I am left to wonder if all Italian greats contain a few interesting and well executed death scenes and nearly an hour or so of confused filler.

Rating: 3/10

This review is part of Zombie Week 2013.

First Glimpse: The Lords of Salem

Directed by Rob Zombie

Release Date: April 19 2013

Oh, Rob Zombie, you are such a divisive director! I know I shouldn’t like your films, but I always do! Those things (that hearken so well to the 70s era of The Hills Have Eyes and its ilk), the ones that may make you seem like you don’t what you’re doing, make me think you know exactly what you’re doing. Zombie’s films have that sort of detached, acid-based quality about them that make you feel like a voyeur – titillated and disturbed, and totally not in control of where things are headed. I remember that feeling my first time watching old films like Last House on the Left and Texas Chain Saw Massacre and there are few directors today that can correctly utilize the element. What Zombie gets right is the aesthetic and the atmosphere – a little familiar, yet alien and uncomfortable.

The Lords of Salem takes viewers to modern day Salem, Massachusetts where radio DJ Heidi (Sheri Moon, of course) receives a box containing a vinyl record… a gift from the Lords. The record, which plays both backwards (causing Heidi some disturbing flashbacks) and forwards (a strangely huge hit on the airwaves) is obviously more than it seems, but who are the Lords and why have they sent it? The trailer brings a lot of high strangeness with historical allusions, Zombie’s soundtrack, and inventive set design and makeups. The cast list is impressive (Bruce Davison, Dee Wallace, Ken Foree), but I’ve also seen the names of who got cut out or had to be dropped from the film (Billy Drago, Bruce Dern, Udo Kier). What does that bode?

No one’s going to be tricked into seeing this film. You’re either buying a ticket for The Lords of Salem because you already a huge Zombie fan, or you because you kiiinda liked House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects and you’re giving this film the benefit of the doubt. The stylization is a love-it-or-hate it prospect, so Zombie probably won’t garner many new fans. Even if the film does play like an uber long version of the trailer (which I think it may), I happen to find the aesthetic fun to watch. If Rob Zombie has managed to put together a cohesive and interesting plot, all the better.


By Kiki McGraw