Ghost Hunters – Waverly Hills Sanatorium

It’s about time this damnable DVD came out. It was supposed to be released on Sept. 2nd, but I haven’t actually seen it available until this weekend. Which is of course why I bought a copy.

For Halloween last year, Jay, Grant and the team went out to the Waverly Hill Sanatorium for a 6-hour Live broadcast of the show. The DVD is only 3 hours from the program with Josh Gates and the host and presenter.

For mood and ambiance the show is great. They crawl around in the dark in a location that couldn’t have a more turbulent past. As a tuberculosis hospital the death count is as high as 63,000 with dozens of stories about sick patients, employees would couldn’t take the strain and of course the infamous “body chute”; a tunnel which was the main route of taking the deceased patients out of the hospital and to the crematorium. With 50 or more people passing away each day, the chute was used hourly and the turmoil is easily understood.

As far as activity goes, it’s a little more hit and miss than the Stanley Hotel. They have plenty of personal experiences, but there isn’t that much tangible evidence. Everyone sees shadows and figures moving, as well as hearing noises, but they aren’t caught on tape for the rest of us to see. In fact, The Reveal is only a few seconds long as they have almost no evidence to show after all the time they spent. So it is haunted? The raw data says no, since nothing was captured, but the personal experiences make the place seem active with unrest. Hard to say on this one.

On the whole this extended episode is fun and entertaining. There is plenty to see and look for and just the general atmosphere makes the place creepy and unnerving. There are only two segments which threw me off.

This Hunt for the Hunter contest is something I was completely lost on. Where did these people come from? I didn’t see a single episode that related to this contest in anyway. Confusing, but not that big a deal. A few new faces on an investigation on that size is fine. But the little segment of Kristyn and Heather interrogating this guy Patrick was just plain awful. They are rude, and condescending and turn the investigation in a childish bout of Sorority hazing. They don’t even know who this guy is and they start talking crap to him about how he only wants to be on TV and he doesn’t even understand the paranormal. When he does make a slight mistake with the video camera, they mock him and treat him like a complete idiot. Even though it only goes on for about 5 minutes it’s so distracting I wish they would have left it out.

Overall the show is pretty entertaining even if there isn’t that much paranormal activity. I’m sure I’ll be watching it again as we get closer to Halloween.

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Deer Woman – Masters of Horror – Rating 4 out of 5

Deer Woman – Masters of Horror – Rating 4 out of 5

"Why does everything have to have a why with you people? You know, it’s a woman with deer legs, motive really isn’t an issue here."

An offbeat horror comedy about a series of murders where the victims are beaten into mince meat by their attacker. Without leaving any evidence the police struggle to understand what is happening with these bizarre trucker murders.

One of the better episodes in this series. Brian Benben makes this movie work as Dwight Faraday who is sent to investigate a bizarre trucker murder. What he discovers is a large bloody mess – apparently the victim and not much else. Dwight and his new partner "Jacob Reed" (Anthony Griffith) continue to investigate the murder even after homicide has picked up the case.

The two continue to check the evidence, come up with theories and stumble on the "Deer Woman", a Native American legend of a woman with deer legs who seduces men and leads them to their doom.

There is no mystery about "Whodunnit" since we know who the culprit is right from the opening scene, but it’s an amusing and simple movie with a quirky and dark sense of humor. The blood and gore is at a minimum which is good since the Masters of Horror don’t know special effects for shit and sloppy effects don’t ruin a humor romp.

Cinthia Moura is amusing in a completely non-speaking role. You have to note she simply smiles and nods her heads through the movie. That and show of her chest. But I have to say, it’s an amazing chest and the movie is worth watching just to have a look. Ay Dios Mio!

It’s a fun movie done in the same style as "American Werewolf in London". A little blood and guts to keep things interesting, a wacky story line and some offbeat characters. I have been disappointed in several offerings from MOH, but I like this one. Not the for the same reason I like "The Black Cat", but it has a certain charm that makes it worthwhile.

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Criminal Minds – Season 2

Criminal Minds – Season 2

Amidst the horror movies I was also watching the second season of Criminal Minds. It’s been many months since Season One hit the shelves so I’m glad this one is finally out. I had only caught the show in hit or miss fashion during Season One and enjoyed getting a lot more of the character development by watching the whole series. Season Two continues the fine trend of acting and great stories. There is a lot more revealed about the characters through the episodes from Reed’s family life with his ill mother and Morgan with his childhood abuses. We also begin to see the strain of Hotch and his family. His constant absence and how his wife and son are becoming distant to him play key roles to his character.

The stories are still excellent and compelling with plenty of modern threats woven in. Many times we hear of Bundy, Dahmer, Manson and others who let us know the elements in the show are based on the strange happenings of reality.

A couple episodes are a little hit and miss, but overall it’s an excellent season with a variety of stories and challenges for the team. Bombers, arsonists, kidnappers, religious fanatics and “Frank”, Gideon’s new arch nemesis keep the team busy trying to save humanity from itself.

We also see the departure of Elle as her shooting from Season One gets the better of her and she is too hate driven and vengeful to do her job effectively. Elle is replaced with Emily who doesn’t actually have the job when she first shows up. When she shows up with folders in hand ready to get to work she is greeted coldly by Hotch who doesn’t understand why she’s here. But luckily she has something to add to the current investigation and she begins to make inroads into the team.

There is a lot to like about this show and for anyone who remembers “Millennium” the episodes can be just as dark and foreboding as they investigate the truly dark side of man and woman. Excellent chemistry and no end of dangerous and terrifying suspects keep this show moving. It’s well done on so many levels and has become one of my favorite shows.

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Dreams in the Witch House – Masters of Horror – Rating 3 out of 5

Dreams in the Witch House – Masters of Horror – Rating 3 out of 5

Based on an H.P. Lovecraft tale of a stressed out student in less than charming living accommodations who begins to hear sounds behind the walls and see strange figures. A rat with a human face gives him a warning about the strange events but he’s more concerned with getting in the pants of the single mom who lives in the same building. The movie is pretty predictable and the ending isn’t very satisfying, but there are some good jumps along the way and the old house certainly has its place for setting the mood.

Walter is a grad student who needs a quiet place to study. He takes a room at a run down house. He begins to hear strange noises and see visions. In a rather absurd assumption he thinks there is a gateway to another dimension in his room. Or maybe it was the rat with the human face there was a hidden dimension there. As a side note whoever is in charge of special effects for MOH needs to be stopped. They are the worse props and CGI work I have ever seen. They look tragically fake and childish. To put it simply, if it’s not blood flying around the room these guys have no idea how to make an effect and it’s really destroying their stories.

Anyway, Walter things there is an evil presence in the house and that it’s going after his neighbor’s baby. He sees visions of figures trying to sacrifice the baby. He is even seduced by a figure that looks like the baby’s mother (Chelah Horsdal).

The nightmares become worse and Walter finds out the crazy old man downstairs has some insight into the whole affair and why he has that pentagram scratched into his back.

Walter finally has had enough and breaks into the wall in the corner of the room and discovers a mass grave and apparently unleashes all hell.

Slow, simple and not much of a plot this movie really doesn’t go anywhere. Walter sees and hears things he can’t explain. The ending doesn’t sum things up and we are left hanging. Stuart Gordon directed the Black Cat which I really like, but this is nowhere near as good or tight. Too many loose ends and plot holes keep this from being too much of a keeper.

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