This Review Roundup is a slew of releases from Indican Pictures. I was supposed to get 1 or 2 films and got a couple of extras so I’m doing one big review article of the movies I received. Up first is the horror flick Fear Pharm. Four teens decide to hit up a maze despite the one friend saying it has a cult history. When they get there one of the females is told she’s the 10,000 customer that season so her, her brother and the others (a boyfriend and girlfriend) get a VIP maze! If they can accomplish the maze in a certain time they’ll win a chunk of cash. Of course it being a horror movie there’s a twist, the family that owns the maze are deranged dermatologists harvesting DNA to make a cream. The mother of the family had started the project and her daughter has taken it over. It’s not groundbreaking horror, but I had fun with it. The one girl is in a cheerleader outfit so there are all kinds of jokes about that. The family/workers at the maze are all your horror tropes, chainsaw wielders, scary clowns, sadistic scarecrows, etc. The acting isn’t great, but you don’t expect it to be in this type of horror flick. It’s smart in not trying to be anything it’s not. Would be a fun watch around Halloween when you’ve seen all the mainstream stuff.
Sticking with horror, The Lurker reminded me of late 1990s/early 2000s Miramax/Dimension teen horror. A high school guidance counselor is killed, but the show must go on. The high school is putting on a performance of Romeo & Juliet and after its final performance, the cast and crew go back to the lead actor’s house for a wrap party. Others start getting killed and is the killer the high school janitor? The drama teacher? The heartthrob? It doesn’t quite have the production value of Scream or Urban Legend, but I’d say it’s pretty similar to Urban Legend in terms of style. I thought it was pretty solid as well and is another film to check out if you’ve seen all the mainstream stuff.
Now for some fun horror. With a name like Killer Raccoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark! you probably know if this movie is for you. I tend to like stuff like this and pretty much had a ball with it. Is it actually good? Oh god no, but it’s stuffed raccoons with little machine guns killing people. Nothing wrong with that. I haven’t seen the first one and I’m sure there are some inside jokes I might have missed while watching this, but I don’t feel like my enjoyment level would have changed if I had seen it. It’s bad acting. It’s bad CGI. Intentionally bad everything. It’s killer raccoons with bad guys wearing eye patches and Ron Jeremy. There’s a satellite controlled by racoons shaped like a penis and balls. You know whether or not this is for you.
Last for the horror films is 7 Witches. Alas there are no deadly furballs in this one. This is about a young lesbian couple getting married on a beach with their families there to share in the event. Well not exactly. The one bride has a weird family that wears black and may be involved with a 100 year old curse. The “normal” family isn’t quite aware that their lives are at risk besides the sister Kate. Her family thinks she got engaged, but in reality turned her boyfriend down. He gets stuck at the event which makes it even more awkward. Then it all goes dark with spooky people, odd events, branding, a kind of hot sex scene and more. I didn’t quite love it, but it’s good for one watch. The actress who plays Kate is good in the role. I’m not super big into supernatural horror, but I’ve seen far worse.
Now for some drama. The Shade Shepherd is about two brothers, one expecting his first child with his wife, the other a heroin addict in 1987 Indiana. The straight brother tries to hide his junkie brother when the junkie brother is told he killed someone and that the cops are out looking for him. They go on a road trip to get him towards Canada. With a bow & arrows and some camping gear, they hit the road. Along the way they run into some hillbillies, the cops and everything in between. Then there’s a big twist! Unfortunately I actually got the twist about 20 minutes into the movie. They lay out much too much early on before the trip and you should be able to figure it out. But it has some cool music, some funky graphics and the leads hold your attention throughout. It’s good for a watch, but probably isn’t quite as smart as they think it is.
Last we have Ridge Runners. A 12 year old girl goes missing and two detectives try to find her. In turns into something out of Law & Order: SVU. The girl is first considered a runaway until investigating her family life paints a horrible picture. The mother works at a racetrack which is doing more than racing. Even people you might think are good are absolute monsters. I’m not sure if it’s based on a certain case, but I can see it being based on real events. The lead female detective is pretty solid. It might not wow too many people, but I thought it was good for a watch.