The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 2.10.14 Issue #293: As Night Falls (2010)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 02.10.2014
A look at the low budget horror flick As Night Falls, random Debbie Rochon Facts, a new B-Movie Babe is named, a new Douchebag of the Week is crowned and more!
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #293: As Night Falls (2010)
Debuary: A Month of Debbie Rochon: Week 1
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been shot out of a cannon, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and ninety-three, Debuary: A Month of Debbie Rochon begins with a review of the 2010 low budget horror flick As Night Falls, written and directed by Joe Davison.
As Night Falls (2010)
As Night Falls, which was apparently produced in 2010 and then finally released in November 2013, is one of those low budget horror flicks that features a plot we've seen a million times before but still seems kind of new and, dare I say it, "fresh." While it does have a few issues, for the most part As Night Falls is a fun horror romp, the kind of movie we don't see enough of in the low budget horror movie world.
The flick stars Deneen Melody as Elizabeth, a college aged young woman hanging out at her family's house out in the middle of the woods. While screwing around with her boyfriend Otto (Dwight Cenac) and watching her little sister Holly (Lily Cardone), a sort of party breaks out at the old homestead. It isn't a massive party or anything; just a bunch of friends and acquaintances having a good time playing card games, drinking, talking, and acting goofy. While Holly is upstairs asleep a little girl ghost named Amelia (Grace Chapman) appears in her bedroom and warns her that she and her sister (and everyone else) will have to leave before they all die. Before Holly can tell Elizabeth or anyone else about what she saw, Elizabeth's friends start dying when Amelia's zombie ghost mother and father (Debbie Rochon and Michael Ellison) appear and start killing people left and right. Freaked out by the attack, Elizabeth calls her brother, the local sheriff, Charlie (Davison. The man is a triple threat here), to come help. At first, Charlie is confused by the call. What the hell is killing people out at the old house? Ghosts? Really?
The first part of the movie is a bit of a slow burn as we know something bad is eventually going to happen to Elizabeth's friends but we're not sure of the details. After the quick opening sequence where we see Amelia chased by a man wielding an axe, the movie allows us to get to know Elizabeth, Holly, Otto, Charlie, and everyone else. Elizabeth's friends are fun to be around and are actually engaging characters (even the show offs Dude and Pennywise, brilliantly played by Tyler Cross and Andre Reissig, are interesting characters and not annoying douchebags you want to see die). After about twenty minutes you sort of forget that you're watching a horror movie and you want to see what these young people are going to get into the rest of the evening. Will there be hook ups in the barn (Olivia, played by the gorgeous Julie Anne, isn't really into sex in the smelly barn, but you get the feeling that she would have been all about later in the night)? Will the girls figure out what they want for the future? Will the group playing the fantasy card game in the dining room start playing some other "famous actor's classic lines" game (how many low budget movies feature characters quoting Harrison Ford lines?)?
The middle part of the movie is where the poo hits the fan and where the action picks up. This section of the movie starts out slowly and then picks up once Rochon's zombie ghost appears and starts killing people with a pitchfork. If the Amelia ghost doesn't freak you out (it freaked me out and I usually don't get freaked out by ghosts in movies as ghosts are bullshit) Rochon's zombie ghost will. She's a full on killing machine, destroying just about everything in her path. Michael Ellison's zombie ghost behemoth should be more intimidating (imagine wrestler The Big Show in white/grey zombie ghost makeup and carrying an axe) but he's more of a top henchman than a lead killer. Rochon's mother character is the lead monster.
Elizabeth, once she figures out what's going on, becomes incredibly proactive and starts fighting back. She shoots the father zombie with a double barrel shotgun, she starts swinging a samurai sword (why would that be in the house? The gun I understand but the sword?), and she starts coming up with a plan to get the hell out of Dodge. She outshines her brother Charlie, who has one of the weakest looking guns in the history of movie law enforcement (why doesn't he have a big .44 magnum or .357?), and she's the only one who seems to get that they have to fight their way out of this attack.
Now, the movie starts to peter out towards the end, but because Davison and crew have earned so much love in the first two parts of the movie the ending's shortcomings can be overlooked. The ending is a little too abrupt, and while it's cool that the movie sets itself up for a potentially badass sequel (I am so there if and when it ever happens), I think I would have preferred to see an ending that's just an ending and not a set up for a sequel (the "one year later" bit just isn't as strong as it should be). Sometimes it's just better to leave the future alone and just focus on the present.
And then there's the sound. For the most part the sound is fine throughout the movie, but towards the end the sound design gets a little spotty. The sound doesn't drop out or anything like that, but the dialogue and the sound effects get soft from time to time (the end sequence is a mess in terms of sound). It could have been the DVD I was watching was worn out or something, so just be aware of that when you watch it (and you should definitely watch this movie). The music is good, though. Awesome stuff there.
The performances are all top notch. As I said earlier, Rochon is scary as hell as the mother ghost zombie Nelly Trine. I don't think I've ever seen anyone wield a pitchfork with as much demonic fury. Deneen Melody is great as Elizabeth. She's funny, fun to look at, and she knows how to kick ass. She also has a sweet personality, which is always a plus in a movie like this. And Davison is funny as Charlie. The man can clearly do anything. And Grace Chapman is scary as hell as Amelia. You will be freaked out when you first see her.
Tyler Cross and Andre Reissig are hilarious as Dude and Pennywise. They're sort of stoner type characters but they're not stoners (I don't remember seeing either of them toke up). And Lily Cardone does a great job as Holly. She isn't annoying, and when you're dealing with pre-teen/young teen characters that's a monumental plus. Dwight Cenac, as Otto, sure knows how to play a concerned boyfriend. And kudos to Ken Anthony II as Steve. Watch the movie and you'll see what I'm talking about.
I love As Night Falls. It's got some issues, sure, but it's a fun, low budget horror flick that deserves to be seen. A great cast, a nifty story, and fun from start to finish. You need to see it as soon as possible. Rent it, buy it, whichever. Just see it. It's worth your time.
See As Night Falls. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: 6+
Nudity?: None. Deneen Melody looks great in her underwear, though.
Doobage: A chase through the woods, John Deere riding lawnmower hooey, Playdoh fun time, dripping blood, goofy hand gestures, mild homophobia, Vampira homage, thong smelling, hot babe taking a bath, more underwear smelling, a scary kid ghost, coloring, a party montage, low budget video game playing, little horses, foosball, fantasy card game playing, attempted off screen fellatio, salad bowl boobs, moonshine, a very weak scream, pitchfork attack, axe to the head, an off screen bathroom break, blood in the sink, invisible ghost head smashing, a serious blood bath, decapitation, double barrel shotgun attack, ghost fights, one more decapitation, axe thrown to the chest, a very weak handgun, samurai sword attack, a sliced open body, face smashing, a swinging pitchfork, ghost floating, a very cool low budget van fight, spike to the chest, guy thrown through a wall, zombie ground energy, double sword attack, another decapitation, and an ending that promises some sort of sequel.
Kim Richards?: Yes. And attempted big time.
Gratuitous:Florida, 1933, a kid making stuff with Playdoh, goofy hand gestures, Vampira homage, underwear smelling, a Japanese samurai movie parody with subtitles, low budget video game playing, little horses, a Mr. T impersonation, a Harrison Ford movie line off, Debbie Rochon, Debbie Rochon as a ghost zombie, Debbie Rochon as a ghost zombie wielding a pitchfork, an off screen bathroom break, a ghost on the side of the van action scene, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer discussion, and an ending that promises some sort of sequel.
Best lines: "This is my address! Shit!," "Roads? Where we're going we don't need any," "Let it go, Charlie," "I say this place creeps me out a little," "And we don't need to know about your gay days," "Otto, were you smelling my underwear again?," "Stop killing me! That's me. Sorry," "They're like real horses only smaller," "I really can't do this out here! It smells like horse shit!," "Has anyone seen my little sis? Yes, she's with King Douche," "There's a girl outside," "Have you seen a little girl in a dress?," "I hate zombies," "How do you even wipe your own ass?," "If there's shit check Dude's ass," "We need to go now! No shit!," "Who the hell was that?," "What? We're fighting ghosts," "This is getting old," "We're home. Yeah," "Poland?," and "Is that all you're got? I've seen more action from a two dollar whore!"
Next Issue: American Nightmare!
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!
Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There's not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey (this really is going to happen at some point). And it would be cool if you "liked" it, too.
And please check out my interview with director Brett A. Hart about the Ain't It Cool internet show and more!
A Random Rochon Fact
Debbie Rochon was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1968.
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 1
- Ender's Game: I missed this big budget sci-fi flick when it was in theatres, and based on the flick's box office take I wasn't the only one. It'll probably find its audience on home video (I bet that's what Lionsgate is hoping so it can then make a low budget, direct-to-video sequel, because I doubt there will be a big budget second one). The special effects look amazing.
- Sorority Party Massacre: This is apparently some sort of low budget horror comedy. Kevin Sorbo, Richard Moll, Ed O'Ross, Leslie Easterbrook, and Ron Jeremy are in it, so it has that going for it, too. Horror comedies are so hard to pull off, so it'll be interesting to see if the people involved here pull it off. I have my fingers crossed for them.
- 22 Bullets: The great Jean Reno stars in this action revenge flick from Luc Besson. However, for whatever reason this movie was released all around the world in 2010 but is just now hitting the U.S. Why? Is there something wrong with it? Has anyone out there seen this?
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
TV Quick Hits
- Baggage thoughts: I've been watching reruns of the game show Baggage on GSN the last few weeks, and I have to say that I'm shocked that this show hasn't had a new episode in three years. Hosted by Jerry Springer, Baggage is a goofy game show that sort of riffs on the old Dating Game as the whole point of the show is for the main player to go out on a date with someone. Some of the quirks and issues revealed by the contestants seem contrived at times, but then that's the point of the show in the first place.
The show is never boring, it moves along quickly (there's nothing worse than a game show that drags on forever), and it's always fun (funny, too). Springer is a hoot as a host, too. He's energetic, he's quick (some of his off the cuff quips are hilarious), and he seems to be having just as much fun as the contestants. So why isn't this show still in production? Why isn't this a late night syndication powerhouse?
GSN needs to get this show back in production as soon as it can. Give Jerry Springer whatever he wants to come back and host. Baggage is a much better show than Mind of a Man. Good God that show is awful.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Deneen Melody
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2
- Seal Patrol: This low budget action flick looks pretty cool, and it has the great Eric Roberts in it, so that makes it an automatic rental candidate. I'm a little confused, though, by the title. Is it SEAL Patrol or is it Seal Patrol? The second title makes it sound like a movie about cop seals.
- Unidentified: Yet another low budget genre comedy, this one starring Parry Shen. It looks kind of goofy, but then that's what it's supposed to look like. Although I do think that the DVD cover makes the movie look like a scary, low budget alien invasion movie as opposed to a comedy. Am I the only one seeing this?
- Murder Eleven: A low budget "cops-tracking-a-serial killer" movie, something that we used to see all of the time but not so much anymore. These kinds of movies are, just like low budget horror comedies, are very hard to pull off, so it'll be interesting to see if they pull it off. Some of it looks messed up. That's always cool, too.
A Random Rochon Fact
Debbie Rochon writes for both Fangoria and Phantom of the Movies Videoscope.
*** The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to the ultra right wing media machine, for lying about what the recent Congressional Budget Office report said in regards to Obamacare's effect on employment. According to the URWWM, the CBO said that because of Obamacare 2 million people would be thrown out of work, hours would be reduced across the board, and that the economy would tank. Of course, what the CBO report actually said was people would be leaving the workforce and working reduced hours because they wouldn't need to be as attached to their jobs anymore for the healthcare benefits. Did the URWWM issue a retraction in light of this fact?
Come on now. Retractions are for communists and queers.
And then there's Douchebag Hall of Famer Bill O'Reilly, for demanding a new Congressional investigation into the Benghazi "scandal." After his disgraceful interview with President Obama during last week's Super Bowl, O'Reilly is demanding that Congress once again dig into this event because Bill seems to think (and you can read all about this at Media Matters) that the President is lying and that the exact moment the Secretary of Defense told him that Benghazi was a terrorist attack is somehow going to blow the whole case open.
When is this going to end? When will Bill and the machine just give up and move on to something else?
And finally there's CBS, for having NFL games on Thursday nights starting this fall. It'll only be for two months, but because of this deal with the NFL the current Thursday night lineup will either have to be dispersed to other nights or delayed until November. That's bullshit. And what makes the deal even worse is how the Thursday night CBS games are going to be simulcast on the NFL Network. Why put the games on CBS if they're just going to be on the NFL Network? Why do we even have an NFL Network if the shit that's supposed to be on it is also on a broadcast channel?
Greed is disgusting. Doesn't CBS make enough money already?
NASCAR and Indycar thoughts
We are now a little less than a week away from the start of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with the Sprint Unlimited all-star race thing this Saturday night on Fox Sports 1. I believe that the race will once again feature 2013 pole winners and former Unlimited winners who didn't win a pole, but for all I know NASCAR changed that. The event is expected to be 75 laps again, split into two or three segments. It should only be one segment, 25 laps or so, winner take all, like it used to be, instead of the drawn out thing it has become. If the 75 lap length is for filling up TV time, just have one or two short (ten laps or less) heat races for the drivers who didn't win a pole in 2013? That would eat up some time and give the fans in the stands and the people at home more to watch.
It'll be interesting to see if the modifications NASCAR made to the Gen 6 car over the winter will produce "better" results on the track. I have my doubts, mostly because I didn't think there was anything wrong with the way the "new" car ran on track during the 2013 season. The 2014 car is expected to have even less spoiler than in 2013, which is meant to make the cars harder to drive, which is then supposed to make the on-track racing better (Carl Edwards was excited about it). I have my doubts on that, too. If the cars are impossible to drive why is anyone going to try to make a pass? It will suddenly become too dangerous to even think about it. Who wants to wreck trying to get to 10th place?
So who do I think will win the Unlimited? I have no idea. It's a new year and with only big money on the line everyone involved in the race should have a shot at winning it. Kevin Harvick won it last year. Will he be able to repeat in 2014?
Before the Unlimited the 2014 ARCA season gets started at Daytona on Saturday afternoon starting at 4:15 PM. I believe the race will also be on Fox Sports 1. ARCA is always a blast at Daytona. And then Sunday Daytona 500 qualifying begins. I have no idea which Fox channel that will be on. I'm going to assume that it will be on Fox proper but I could be wrong on that.
Over in Indycar, Rahal Letterman Lanigan was finally able to announce that it will have the National Guard sponsorship for Graham Rahal's car for 2014. The National Guard sponsorship had been on the side of Panther Racing's #4 car for several years, but I guess the Guard people decided it was time for a change. I'm not sure that moving to RLL is going to be the kind of change the Guard is looking for, though. While it's true that Panther Racing hasn't won a race in years, RLL hasn't exactly been a powerhouse team, either. And I'm sort of surprised that the Guard people didn't try to hook up with a Chevrolet team (RLL is a Honda team). Plenty of people will no doubt be offended by a National Guard-Honda pairing, eventhough they were okay with it when the Indycar Series was an all Honda affair.
The Indycar Series 2014 season opener is still well over a month away. Hopefully we'll have more concrete news about car counts and whatnot as we get closer to March 30th. It's ridiculous that we don't know more now.
And if you're looking for something to watch Thursday night, in the event you're bored with reruns and the Olympics and you don't have anything "new" to watch on your DVR, MAV TV is going to have a live broadcast of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series from East Bay Raceway in Florida starting at 9:30 EST. I'm not a fan of dirt late models in general, but they can be fun to watch on TV (the Lucas Oil Late Model Series has a nifty sort of syndicated show during the summer). And since the World of Outlaws Late Model Series isn't racing Thursday night you may see some of those guys racing at East Bay, too. The great Dave Despain will host the show, just like he did during the Chili Bowl last month.
Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.
If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
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*** All "Random Rochon Facts" courtesy of imdb.com and wikipedia.
As Night Falls
Debbie Rochon- Nelly Trine- The Mother Deneen Melody- Elizabeth Lily Cardone- Holly Joe Davison- Charlie Dwight Cenac- Otto Grace Chapman- Amelia Tyler Cross- Dude Andre Reissig- Pennywise Julie Anne- Olivia Raine Brown- Stephanie Catherine Jauch- Alyson Ken Anthony II- Steve Michael Ellison- Seymour Trine- The Father Jeremy King- Tim John Loper- Collin Halie Clark- Jennifer Stacci Sastre Reed- Erica