Nazis at the Center of the Earth (2012)

Nazis at the Center of the EarthNazis at the Center of the Earth. How can you go wrong with a title like that which sounds more like a drive-in flick from the 1970s, or something that Robert Rodriguez, once upon a time, could have made under his Grindhouse banner? Well, first off – this is from the cheap film company The Asylum which is, in the most recent decade, most known for its own original Sharknado franchise. Besides that, we can mention a neverending list of shitty low-to-non budget mockbusters such as Titanic II, Transmorphers, Atlantic Rim, AVH: Alien vs. Hunter, Invasion of the Pod People, Independents’ Day (yes, really), Battle Star Wars … And the list goes on like a non-stop diarrhea of the most shameless clickbait titles to fool people with one brain cell to trick them into watching something familiar to a mainstream Hollywood film. Their Paranormal Activity Entity wasn’t the worst as far as I remember, although it’s ages since I saw it.

 

The one we’re talking about here is their own warped version of Iron Sky, only here the Nazis aren’t coming from the moon but from the depths. And mockbuster or not, the title is enough to get my attention as I eat fat turkeys like this for breakfast, and it turned out to be as fun and crazy as the title would suggest, with even more surprises. In other words; the best way to experience this loony ride is to go in blind as this review will contain some spoilers.

 

We are at the research center Niflheim in Antarctica where two scientists are out on the snowy fields, ready to sample the surface for their research. When they unfold something metallic under the snow with a swastika painted on it, they get captured by a group of Nazis wearing gas masks, and they take them to a bunker somewhere deep underground. The leader of the research team, Dr. Adrian Reinstad (Jake Busey, the son of madman Gary Busey) heads out with his crew to find them.

 

One of the crew members, named Silje, is supposed to be Norwegian, by the way. And she speaks the language just as clearly and fluently as Brad Pitt speaking Italian – or like these two guys from an episode of The X-Files.

 

Anyway – they descend into a huge, dark pit that takes them to something that at first looks like an alternative Narnia dimension. But with a further look, it’s a huge underground world with trees, plants, and a forest where a fortress can be seen in the distance. Here they meet the evil Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele (Christopher Karl Johnson), with the infamous badass nickname The Angel of Death, who performed torturous experiments on victims at the Auschwitz II concentration camp during WW2.

 

Nazis at the Center of the Earth

 

So, the big question is: why is he still alive, and what’s his agenda?

 

Wikipedia can tell us that Mengele died by drowning after he suffered a stroke while swimming in 1979. That’s of course BS and pure falsification of history as we here learn that he actually kept himself alive all these years by taking organs from victims and replacing his bones with mechanical skeletons. And with his army of Nazi zombies, he’s still experimenting, so he finally can reanimate none other than der Führer himself. The plan here is to rise up to the surface with a war spaceship, so they can finally take over the world and create the perfect Arian race. Of course.

 

The film has apparently one of the highest visual effects shot counts in an Asylum production with a budget of $200,000. And still, it looks like a Lada trying to be a Plymouth Fury flooded with empty bottles of Vodka, Smirnoff and Jägermeister. Not a single outdoor scene looks realistic with its cheap digital backgrounds. The snow vehicle we see at the beginning looks like something from PlayStation 2. We see people who are supposed to be in the distance in the fake-looking Antarctica when they’re clearly copied and pasted with lousy use of green screen. It’s also made in a serious way with actors who really try to act professionally, which just makes it more amusing. A great recipe for a funny-bad movie, for sure, and in my judgment, not made bad on purpose like the Sharknado films. There’s some decent gore here, which is the only legit quality to point out.

 

But what’s takes the cake here, or the big Golden Raspberry, if you will, is the true star of the film: Please kneel and give your salute to –  Robo-Hitler (James Maxwell Young), where Hitler’s head is attached to a cyborg machine. Yes, you heard that right. This actually took me off guard, I did nazi that coming, and my eyes teared up from laughing. Everything here is just perfect; the way he stomps with his cyborg body like a mecha boss from a Sonic the Hedgehog game, the amateur acting, the goofy faces, the whole naive, enthusiastic energy. What more is there really to say? Nazis at the Center of the Earth is an epic schlockfest and a true gem in its category which is available on Blu-ray at Amazon.com, and last time I checked, on Tubi.

 

Nazis at the Center of the Earth Nazis at the Center of the Earth Nazis at the Center of the Earth

 

Director: Joseph J. Lawson
Writer: Paul Bales
Country & year: USA, 2012
Actors: Dominique Swain, Jake Busey, Joshua Michael Allen, Christopher Karl Johnson, James Maxwell Young, Lilan Bowden, Marlene Okner, Adam Burch, Maria Pallas, Abderrahim Halaimia, Trevor Kuhn
IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2130142/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

The Amazing Bulk (2012)

The Amazing BulkBy looking at the poster, you’d expect this to be one of the numerous mockbusters from The Asylum. But The Amazing Bulk is so much, much worse and not something you can fully be prepared for witnessing, even with your own eyes. Imagine if Sin City was written by Tommy Wiseau and directed by Neil Breen with the cheapest-looking green screen background effects from some Nintendo 64 games. There you have it. So yeah, this is a doozy one.

 

The plot goes like this: The young scientist, Henry Howard, is developing some kind of amazing purple serum for the government. The plan is that this serum will cure the world of famine and turn anyone who injects it into superhumans. Henry is also a grumpy-pants who mostly wears a frown which I honestly thought James Rolfe had trade marked. Anyway, Henry is in love with Hannah and wants to marry her. The problem is that Hannah also happens to be the daughter of General Darwin, who refuses Henry to marry her until after he has the serum ready.

 

All odds seem to be against poor Henry, and after being robbed on his way home after a date with Hannah, he’s had enough and decides to try the serum. Since there’s no budget here, don’t expect much of a transformation scene. Some dark CGI clouds covers the screen until it fades away and in front of us we have The Not So Amazing Bulk: a purple, retarded, babyface-looking, dickless stock cartoon monster with only one or two animations. He stomps at thugs and bad guys, but when he’s confronted by the only two lousy police officers in the city, he runs like a soy-filled bitch as if he’s crapped his pants.

 

And in a castle somewhere where it’s dark and gloomy and bats are flying everywhere, we meet Dr. Werner von Kantlove and his braindead cute-as-a-poodle wife Lolita. Dr. Kantlove is a wobbling super villain who looks like a cross of Javier Milei’s wig and a shady Nickelodeon producer who likes to sniff the bare feet of little girls. So, what’s his agenda? Just to blow up the moon. The Bulk now has a nemesis to take care of, but there’s more. Much more. The Amazing Bulk is a treasure chamber of ineptitude awesomeness, and when you think you’ve seen the worst, you’ll be surprised.

 

The Amazing Bulk

 

The film is directed by Lewis Schoenbrun and the only post on his trivia section says that he’s a fan of Stanley Kubrick. Who isn’t. His short Wikipedia page can tell us that he was born in 1958, has worked in the film industry since the 1970s and made his magnum opus The Amazing Bulk at the age of 52. Having that in mind, it’s almost impossible to even suggest that this was made with even the smallest nugget of seriousness. Well…

 

There’s a rare interview of the man where one can already tell by his picture that he’s certainly that kind of guy who’d make a film like this bad on purpose. The intention was to make a film in the same spirit as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Speed Racer, and clearly Sin City with some elements of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He bought a whole package of digital stock effects of figures, backgrounds, foregrounds, everything for 2,000 dollars, while a group of amateur actors used a treadmill to give us the illusion that they are walking in the environment as the background scrolls behind them. The whole thing took only five days to shoot in a garage in California with a complete budget of 14.000 dollars. 14.000 spent on what? God knows. Every single scene here is green screen filled with the shittiest cartoon backgrounds you can imagine. It looks worse than a YouTube skit from 2006.

 

After the film got the reaction it clearly deserved, with people almost dying from laughing, director Shoenburn decided to pull a Tommy Wiseau to say that the film was actually meant to be a comedy, you dummy. I would believe him, if it wasn’t for his Jupiter-sized ego getting in the way of commenting about the negative reviews. Because, in his mind, people are just jealous of not being a film director like him. Uhm, okay. Someone please pull his head out of his ass before he suffocates. During the past twelve years, he’s been retired from directing and has since worked at the International Academy of Film and Television as a teacher in the Philippines. Good for him.

 

The film gets better worse and more batshit as it goes on with scenes and logic that could only come from the brain of a six-year-old. So we thought. Two grown-ups actually wrote the script. One of my favorite moments is the chase scene between the Bulk and the two police officers as they run through a completely empty and lifeless city. I can’t describe how mindbogglingly horrendous the effects are, but we have a classic moment where the Bulk makes a car swirl in the air and lands on one of the officers. And the size of the car is the same, if not smaller, than the person. Top tier filmmaking, where everyone should take notes. Some of the effects looks like they were made in MS Paint while others are in such low resolution that the only thing we see is a blurry mess. The Amazing Bulk is a demented trainwreck of a shitshow that I can’t recommend enough if you like funny-bad movies. Truly a masterpiece in its category.

 

The film is available on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing and can be streamed on Tubi.

 

The Amazing Bulk The Amazing Bulk The Amazing Bulk

 

 

Director: Lewis Schoenbrun
Writers: Keith Schaffner, Jeremiah Campbell
Country & year: US, 2012
Actors: Terence Lording, Shevaun Kastl, Randal Malone, Juliette Angeli, Jed Rowen, Deirdre V. Lyons, Mark E. Fletcher, Mike Toto, Meghan Falcone
IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1788453/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

Sinister (2012)

Ellison Oswalt is a true crime writer who moves into a new home with his wife and two children. What he has not told his family prior to moving into the house, however, is that an entire family was murdered there by hanging, and his intention is to write a book about this case. This is something he does in the hopes of regaining his lost fame, as his latest works weren’t very popular and he’s desperate for a new success. There was also a little girl who disappeared following the murders, and he hopes to learn more about her fate so he can include this mystery in his novel. Upon exploring the attic of the house, he finds a box with several reels of Super 8 footage, which are simply labeled as “home movies”. Using the projector which was also located in the attic, he discovers that the films are footage of several families being murdered, all of them filmed by an unseen camera operator. Upon investigation these cases he finds similarities that makes him suspect that both the murders in the house he now inhabits, and the ones from the Super 8 footage, are connected in a sinister way, and dates all the way back to the 1960’s…

 

Sinister is a 2012 horror movie directed by Scott Derrickson (who will have a new movie hitting the theaters soon, The Black Phone). Scott Derrickson had previously shown his competence in the horror field with Hellraiser: Inferno (his debut film) and later The Exorcism of Emily Rose (which was based on the story of Anneliese Michel).

 

Sinister is for the most part a highly effective and creepy film, with a steadily growing sense of unease without tossing a bunch of jumpscares at you. There are some genuinely hair-raising moments here, led by solid performances, and the opening scene alone sets the tone right away where we witness the Super 8 footage of the family being hanged. This scene was actually all played by stuntmen, and almost went terribly wrong: when the scene was first done, the stunt coordinator botched the preparations for the scene resulting in the actors being legitimately hanged and choked. Yikes! Fortunately they all survived, and naturally the coordinator got sacked. This wasn’t the only potentially harmful scene either: one of the other “footage” films included a family tied to chairs and pulled underwater, and the filmmakers had to be extremely careful so nobody was harmed while the filming of the scene took place. All of these scenes were also filmed on real Super 8 films camera.

 

Overall, Sinister is a solidly crafted horror film with loads of atmosphere and a really creepy feel, where some parts are actually outright scary. While it does not have any nudity, very little blood and no cursing because they were aiming for a PG-13 release, it still got an R rating just for the content alone. It is now 10 years since its release, and it’s still one of the most decently crafted horror films from this period.

 

Sinister

 

Director: Scott Derrickson
Writers: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Country & year: USA, UK, Canada 2012
Actors: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D’Addario, Clare Foley, Rob Riley, Tavis Smiley, Janet Zappala, Victoria Leigh, Cameron Ocasio, Ethan Haberfield
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt1922777/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wither (2012)

Wither (2012)

When one would think that Evil Ed was the only splatter film Sweden had to offer, we came, by a coincidence, across this title called Wither – a  homage to The Evil Dead, spiced with its own Swedish folklore called Vittre (Wither) to add some of its own personality to it. It was promoted as the first Swedish zombie movie when it came out in 2012, and the film received a very polarized reception in its home country, everything from praise to pure panning. One of the biggest newspapers in Sweden was obviously so offended by the film that the reviewer spent a full five sentences commenting on the film while the rest was spent on personal attacks against directors Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund. Classy. But someone who clearly liked the movie must be producer Dallas Sonnier, who hired the duo to direct the twelfth Puppet Master movie a few years later. Cheers for that! Now, back to Wither:

 

A group of young party-ready people go to an abandoned house for a weekend far in the woods to get loose. They have no idea who owned it, except that the previous occupants left the house rotting like a sinking ship with all the belongings inside. At the same time, an elderly man with a rifle is lurking in the area, looking for his missing daughter. Maybe not the best place to spend the weekend. After a quick exploration in the immediate area, two of the kids find another abandoned house where one of them sneaks inside through the window where she comes across a cellar trapdoor. And what do we say then? Don’t go in the basement! Yeah, right. She returns to the gang that is well underway with the party. Traumatized by what she saw downstairs in the basement, she locks herself in the bathroom and suffers panic attacks. It goes from bad to worse when she starts pissing blood, her eyes have become bloodshot, and she collapses. Then she resurrects like a demonic zombie, hungry for human flesh. And there’s full blood-splattering carnage from here on.

 

One can also draw more comparisons to the 2012 remake of The Evil Dead (which is awesome, by the way) with its gritty, serious tone. There is no over-the-top gallows humor here, and while one may not care much about the characters and who’s what, the acting is pretty decent. Technically, the film looks good with some great effects, good make-up, and probably a usage of several gallons of fake blood that the actors had to slip through. A strong and crisp soundtrack also helps, but the film has its obvious weaknesses. The script halts in which several scenes become too tedious, and the last 30 minutes could honestly have been trimmed down a bit or two. A main protagonist to root for, an Ash if you will, is also missed here. However, I still enjoyed the film as a whole, and it probably helped with some low expectations. But one thing is certain: if you want blood, you got it!

 

Wither

 

Directors: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund
Original title: Vittra
Country & year: Sweden, 2012
Actors: Patrik Berg-Almkvisth, Lisa Henni, Patrick Saxe, Johannes Brost, Amanda Renberg, Jessica Blomkvist, Max Wallmo, Anna Henriksson, Ingar Sigvardsdotter, Ralf Beck, Sanna Ekman, Julia Knutson, Jessica Darberg
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt2140671/

 

 

Tom Ghoul