Into the Grizzly Maze (2015) (DVD)


It’s a shame that “Into the Grizzly Maze” didn’t get a wider release, because while the cast is strong, director David Hackl delivers a very strong survival thriller. I’m not going to claim it a masterpiece, but for what it promises, it’s a damn solid action adventure that’s set against the backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness. Much like “The Edge,” it’s mainly a movie about men confronting their personal demons while battling a giant ferocious and cunning bear that has decided it’s had enough with humanity. After illegally poaching a bunch of bears, a rogue bear has decided to strike down any and all intruders, and begins slaughtering conniving hunters and officers alike.

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Lake Placid vs. Anaconda (2015) (DVD)


If you wanted Lake Placid vs. Anaconda, damn it all it’s what you get with this new crossover. Like most films of this ilk, you’re mainly tuning in to watch a lot of really obnoxious characters die brutal deaths, it’s just a shame a lot of it is off screen. Perhaps that’s because this is primarily a TV movie, but I was disappointed to see a lot of the deaths were cut aways and mostly kept sanitary; when you have a giant crocodile and giant snake chomping down on gorgeous sorority girls, that’s just downright criminal. With a movie like this you can’t expect a masterpiece, and oddly enough I went in to it with rock bottom expectations. Did that mean it pleased me proficiently? Not really.

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Arachnophobia (1990)

arachnophobiaIf you’re going to name your movie “Arachnophobia,” your movie should embrace its title wholesale, and surely enough Frank Marshall‘s film does a hundred times over. “Arachnophobia” garners a creepy story, interesting characters, a very scary dilemma, but mostly it’s an endurance test on how much you can stand to watch poisonous spiders creep in and out of every nook and cranny without keeling over in fright. “Arachnophobia,” in any other decade, would be a B monster movie focusing on the frights of the lurking arachnids that are dominating this small town, and director Frank Marshall plays them up well, closing in on the predators as they steam roll through innocent individuals.

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Skeeter (1993)

I almost want to sue the producers of “Skeeter” for false advertising, but then, what’s the use? And why bother? “Skeeter” really is better off being a very obscure and god awful horror film. Why even name a movie “Skeeter” if you’re only going to include four very short attacks by giant mosquitoes, most of whom seem anxious to take off before we really get in to the chaos?

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Lake Placid: Collector’s Edition (1999) [Blu-ray]


Director Steve Miner and writer David E. Kelly’s “Lake Placid” is a B monster movie that knows what it is, and almost works against its type to offer something of substance. The harder it tries for satire and meta-storytelling, the more absurd “Lake Placid” is, thus more surreal. I wouldn’t classify “Lake Placid” as a great monster movie, but it has a strange energy to it that elevates it above usual monster movie tropes, but also keeps it firmly planted in the corner of a horror comedy bordering on a spoof quite often.

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