02 November 2015


There are a lot of favorable reviews of this film online really. Most of the praise is that first time director Dav Kaufman took "risks" with his film an did not rely on splatter and gore to achieve his storytelling goals. That was his first mistake. Some people even liked his attempts at Tarantinoesque scenes involving rambling dialogs. That was certainly number two and the list just gets longer. I did not like the film too much though I cannot say avoid if you are a fan of the genre, and that genre being specifically bad horror films. If you enjoy hating a film I can recommend it. The film starts off just too much like Reservoir Dogs to be ignored. A wrong chord was struck in me during the opening scene when the camera "artistically" goes ‘round and ‘round and ‘round in circles around a gang of small time crooks about to pull off the heist of a lifetime. This is an effect that seldom works but seems to happen all the time in newer films. The last time I remember thinking it was pulled of successfully was in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters during the tense lunch scene and that lasted a quarter of the time this one did. It is okay to know your limitations as a creator and work from inside those boundaries. Like Reservoir Dogs the actual heist sequence is omitted and we skip from the spinning vortex crime plan scene to the gang arriving at the warehouse where they will hang out and wait for the buyer to show up the next morning.

They have taken a hostage though it is never explained why or what went wrong at the heist. They tie her up with some sort of gag device and lock her in what looks like a boiler room where she is soon visited by a flickering ghost that skips and jumps around the scene like the ghost in The Ring, only more so. While all this is going on the hold up guys sit around and try to do some Tarantino small talk as the camera again circles them. In one horrid sequence they go on and on and on about why Robin Williams is or is not a great actor. It is utter crap, I am sorry. Even Tarantino has a hard time doing Tarantino these days and Dav Kaufman’s dialogs are hardly even homages. It just does not work. The actors for a low budget film like this are not bad but they cannot pull off scenes like this and even if they could the script writing is simply weak.

When the killings at the hands the revenge seeking ghosts begin they are lacking for the most part. The three ghosts are the angry spirits of women who were killed in snuff films by the father of two of the gang members. Mysterious numbers begin appearing on the walls and sides of cars and it is discovered later this is a clue being left by the pissed off ghosts. A room is found as well with five toy sized chairs and five little hangman’s nooses that a rat occupies each time a crook is killed off. This makes little sense really but it freaks the guys out and causes them to distrust each other more than they already should since there are double cross plans afoot. The actors, like I said, are not bad low budget b-movie actors, but there is simply too many scenes requiring them to talk and emote. And in a film like this you need good death scenes. Not necessarily gross out death scenes, but shocking and surprising ones for certain.

The only memorable death scene is when some guy has his nuts ripped off while he is on the toilet from a ghost that winds crawling out of it. What is it with emasculations in horror films lately? The scene is simply corny as far as I am concerned. Really, the ghosts are not bad, but i just got annoyed a little after a while. They flicker like a broken television just too much and one keeps chumping furiously on a horse’s bit and it reminded me of the Cynobite in Hellraiser who was always gnashing his teeth. There is a fat with a plastic bag on her head and for some reason she is not scary at all. Fat ghosts seldom are. All the action takes place in the warehouse and all the tricks are soon exhausted. There was not enough violence really to make the watching worthwhile for me. A couple deaths even occur outside the camera view and we are simply treated to blood splattering on the walls. I got real tired of the stupid attempts at funny dialogs about life's little things like masturbation and Robin Williams. No genuine suspense was ever developed and scenes were blatantly lifted from Reservoir Dogs, The Ring, 8mm, Silence of the Lambs and who knows what else. Sure, there is nothing new under the sun but I hardly see the film taking any risks as was perceived by a couple reviewers.

I just want you to know that if you read some raving reviews online that seem to being saying this is an abrove average low budget horror film then I am telling you go in at your own risk. Maybe you will be one the ones who in fact liked it and that is great. I will be happy for you. I just felt there could have been more ghosts and blood and less attempts at “cool” crosstalk and flashy camera work that does not work. However, on a positive note, I did like the DVD cover art. That seems to be the thing these days, great Photoshopped covers and posters but weak films. I have to admit I bought the DVD solely based on the impact of the cover art. It really got my hopes way up. When will I ever learn.


This dark and gory horror thriller from director Ryûhei Kitamura (2000’s Versus), based on a short story by Clive Barker and adapted by Jeff Buhler, certainly was a refreshingly grisly movie experience for me. I was really getting more and more burned out on the PG-13 styled horror films I had been downloading and wondered if this was what modern horror was all about. There seemed to be nothing with any meat on the bones anymore. Then I saw The Midnight Meat Train (aka Clive Barker’s Midnight Meat train) and was delighted to see meat actually getting shred from bones.The film had little time in the theaters and went to DVD sooner then it should have. Barker pointed the finger at Lionsgate president Joe Drake for essentially selling out a real horror film like Midnight Meat Train and focusing advertising and distribution on films like The Strangers. There is no doubt that Midnight Meat Train is a more satisfying horror film for true fans but probably not the type for mass appeal. Most films now are really aimed at the under 18 crowd or dating couples. Meat Train is a brooding and grim film that does not flinch in the gore and blood department. It is also well made and the criticisms about the computer generated gore are unfounded as the effects are superb and in particular one scene where Ted Rami gets his eye balls knocked out of their sockets by a metal butcher’s mallet. This is just not for mass consumption but it is certainly for mine. In fact this film gets my first four skull rating despite an unsatisfying ending that added an unnecessary supernatural element to the film.

The story follows Leon (Bradley Cooper), a free lance photographer, on his nightly excursions into the underbelly of a large dark American city. While it looks a bit like New York the film was shot in LA. He is determined to capture the “real city” on film since no one has yet to do it. He has a meeting with a tough (as in bitchy) art critic, played by Brooke Shields, who sees talent in his work but feels he is falling a little short of his goals and tells him to go back out and come back with better material. This he does when he interrupts some gang members who about to assault a woman in the subway terminal. He manages to get close up pictures of the hoods who do not kill him because they are on a security camera. The girl, a model, is later killed while sitting alone in the subway by a looming brute named Mahogany played by Vinnie Jones. Leone gets pulled into the case of the missing model and his obsession with her and then with the identity of the butcher causes serious friction between him and his girlfriend Maya (Leslie Bibb).

Leon is soon stalking the butcher during his nightly adventures but soon the tables are turned as Mahogany confronts Leon one night on the sidewalk. At the center of Leon’s suspicions is a ring worn by Mahogany that appeared in one of the shots he had earlier taken in the subway station. It is your basic dime store variety Satanic looking ring and he just happened to get a shot of it as Mahogany was holding the door for the model as she entered the car on her last ride. Lucky break. Maya and her friend Jurgin (Roger Bart) are more than a little dubious at first about Leon’s growing claims that the disappearance of the model and the Butcher are linked to a series of murders going back over a hundred years. Leon becomes a witness to a couple of these one night as he hides in an adjoining subway car and gets to see Mahogony in action. And bloody brutal action it is.

Leon is captured by Mahogany but not killed by him for some reason. Instead he wakes up the next day with a Satanic looking symbol carved in his chest. He is now pulled more and more in the life of the butcher and even more so after Maya and Jurgin sneak ino Mahogany’s apartment to either prove or disprove Leon’s suspicions. Jurgin is captured and in the end there is a stand off on the subway between Leon and Mahogany while Maya tries to free Jurgin from the meat hooks impaling his ankles. The fight sequence is well done though we wonder how Leon can actually ward of the attack of super killer Mahogany unless the butcher is allowing it for some reason. This is open to speculation.

The film winds down with the reason for the butcher’s nightly murders being that he needs to gather fresh meat for demonic creatures that lurk under the city. The train conductor (Tony Curran), as we already know, is in charge of the operation and it reaches into all branches of city life, including the police inspector who earlier seemed more suspicious earlier of Leon than some mysterious butcher and now we discover was part of the demonic cover up. I could have done without the creature feedings as the motive for the killings or the train conductor having superhuman strength. I think the film would have been more terrifying had it remained on the human plane and there not been deep reaching conspiratorial connections. But it is a small matter really and the bulk of the film is excellent as far as the direction and acting does. Horror movies ending are typically their weakest points. The deaths scenes are great and you actually get to see people die for a change. So many horror movie deaths occur off screen now. It is annoying.

The relationships between the characters are believable and Leon’s change from artistic vegetarian to meat eating killer, as it becomes his role now to replace the butcher, is convincing. I was originally pit off by the title of film, as well as Clive Barker’s association with it, and thought it would be an ultra low budget teenager romp. It is not that at all and I highly recommend this one. The death scenes are creatively gruesome and I hope to see more stuff like this from Kitamura and hope this is not his last Hollywood film venture.


This film is not a fantastic film, I'm sure by viewing most of the other "reviews" you can tell. But basically THE BOTTOM LINE IS this film is fantastic to watch if you're a teen (14-17?) sat [sic] at home with your mates, smoking some weed.

Connor K. on IMDB

When I began this new horror movie site the idea was to have a blog that focused on modern horror films and allow my sister Uranium Café site concentrate more on older films. I thought the film selections would be more adult and gory and I would have loads of sexy, disgusting vidcaps. That’s was really was I was hoping for when I downloaded Shrooms. I wanted some T&A and brutal mayhem. I just get in those moods once in awhile. I saw on Box Office Mojo that the film was not rated in the States and came with a warning. This sounded promising indeed. Well, I soon discovered the warning was about the use of drugs in the film and that sex and violence in the film would probably only get the film a PG-13 rating. I also saw these revealing stats while on Mojo:

The facts are there. The film on its opening weekend make a staggering $1,849. You could argue that it only played in four theaters but that only adds more one nail in its rotted coffin lid as far as I am concerned. The film was nominated for some awards held by the Irish Film and Television Awards. I am not sure what the significance of that is. What if a film won 1st place at the IFTA? Is that any sort of recommendation? Much less getting simply a nomination? Look this is the place that produced James Joyce and Ulysses okay. A "novel" that requires the use of hallucinogens to comprehend.

The story follows a group of Yankee college kids who go to all the way to Ireland to do magic mushrooms for the first time. Lat time I heard the US had psychedelic shrooms and even peyote. The group consists of three girls, the sweet virgin Tara (Lindsey huan), the sexy but angry bitch Lisa (Maya Hazen) and the hippy chick Holly (Alice Greczyn). The two guys are even more stereotyped. Troy (Max Kasch) is a stoner and looks like Jay from the Jay and Silent Bob team. His buddy, aptly named Bluto (Robert Hoffman) is a bonehead jock. They are all met by Tara’s potential beau Jake (Jack Huston) who talks to them about how to scramble their brains on mushrooms as if he were a university professor lecturing on Schopenhauer. They are all in awe of his drug abusing insights and wisdom.

Now where is a nice place to go drop some mind altering psychedelic shrooms so that everyone can feel nice and mellow and turn off the old mind, relax and float down stream? How about some place out in the middle of the boondocks that has a reputation for people being found butchered during shroom season. And to add to the soothing ambiance the area is populated by inbred Irish hillbillies that make the folk in Deliverance look like Harvard grads. And still more why not drop the damn event in the shadow of a deserted and infamous boy's reform school where the lads were tortured regularly by monks in black robes and hoods and where one night some guy was givien a pound or so of Death's Head mushrooms and chops up 78 of the kids. How could anything go wrong in this atmosphere while tripping away right?

The Death's Head mushroom concept is a problem for me. I did my share of dabbling with psychotropic substances back in my hippie days and so know a thing or two about the subject. Not as much as our hero Jake of course, but a little. In a scene sweet girl Tara, despite warnings from the always reassuring Jake that the mushroom can make your heart explode at worst and at least give you convulsions and make you see into the future at the least, decides to eat one on a whim. She has a reaction within seconds from one mushroom and the effects last for well into the next day. Well, until the end of the film anyway. The effects of the drug would take longer than that to become manifest nor would they last that long. Here is a site that states that the onset of poisoning by the Death's Head mushroom would take about 10 to 12 hours, not two seconds. And no mushroom can make you see the future. Of course this is a horror fantasy film so we go along with the ride.

Later that night Bluto has had it with getting blue balled by Lisa and so he goes out to the campfire (where earlier Jake soothed the group with vivid tales of the torture and slaughter at the boy’s reform school up ‘round the bend) and decides he will drink the entire brew of shroom tea that the group was going to share the next day. Jocks are always so selfish. Soon he is running around the woods talking to a cow and getting anonymous blow jobs from “doggers” from inside their cars. Well the movie went from sort of absurd to simply bad when Bluto gets castrated in the woods. Castration is not scary or even disturbing. It is disturbing in that it occurs so often in horror films anymore I guess but not in any moral since that it is totally wrong to rip some jock's balls off. Nothing really wrong with that I guess. It is simply a lame gimmick that may appeal to a few psychotic females and not to too many others. Genitalia mutilation belongs to the low end Last House on the Left exploitation type films. After this scene I decided the film was a loser but finished it anyway. I had to do the review after all.

While the direction by Paddy Breathnach is okay he is not given much in the way of a script to work with. The hallucination scenes are well done as is most of the photography. At times it has that grainy, jerky heavy metal effect that works well for a few minutes but not for an hour and a half, but he has some talent behind the camera. The problem for me is that all the murders really happen off camera. There is simply no real violence or gore. We see people covered in blood but never see the blood being drawn from them by an ax, knife or blunt instrument. We are treated to an over load at times of visual and audio effects and this can be explained as part of the trip they are all on. I have seen horror films where this visual/audio explosion goes on and on and there seems no logical explanation for it. At least here we can write it off as the hallucinations of the freaked out kids. They are all wind up disoriented in the primeval woods running from the drooling Irish rednecks as well as from black robed monk apparitions. They need a plan. Leave that to leader-guru Jake. Best thing to do is have the surviving members all meet at the proverbial dark house of blood and murder and formulate a plan there while still tripping on mushrooms. Not a good idea Jake. Really.

In the final scene, that some people actually praised as a “great twist”, we find Tara being driven away in an ambulance as the attendant starts telling her about his family and how they all want to find a place in the country to live. Okay, in any film when some guys starts showing pictures of his wife or girlfriend and talking about plans for the future what do we know is going to happen next? Right. It winds up that sweet little Tara took one single Death's Head mushroom and it drove her into such a state that she killed all her friends one by one and now kills the sentimental ambulance attendant. Happens everyday as we know, One shroom. One kill.

I could have accepted some of this lame excuse for a horror film had there been more violent deaths and a little more skin or underwear. Okay Bluto did wander around in his boxers but not what I mean. What in the hell did I begin this new blog for? Is this what new horror is about? And I now refer back to the quote from Connor K. that opens my review. I am sorry, but 99% of the movie watching world want a film that appeals to someone with a little more cerebral capability than a stoned fourteen year old. Should fourteen year olds even be getting stoned? But sadly I have to agree with Connor K. here. That is about the scope of the market niche for this one. Stoned adolescents. I mercifully give it two skulls because of Paddy Breathnach’s noble attempts to do something with this mess of a script but that still did not help much.


Once in a while when you do a site like this you run across (or step into) a mess of as film that is so rancid there is so need to do any research on the cast and crew really, no need to search for production trivia, no need to do original vidcaps or make an original clip and upload it to Youtube or Metacafe. There is a need however to warn your fellow man to stir clear of the waste matter lest they too spend a week watching the film in snippets just trying to end the torture. Is Spiker (aka Blood Rails) the worst horror film I have ever seen? Not by a long shot but it is one of the worst I actually finished for no other reason than to pan it here and give it my first ever 1/2 skull rating. Normally I eject a total stinker within the first 15 minutes and may give it one more shot later. American Zombie is an example of this. I tried twice and it was popped out. I maye try it again to review it here. Spiker was an exercise in endurance and I made it!

The story line is one we have seen before and will see again so long as there is a horror genre. High school kids. Old house in the woods. Serial killer or some malevolent entity. Drinking. Drugs. Sex. Death. Goofy ending. A lot of fairly entertaining films have been made using that tried and tested formula. And a lot of crap has been produced using that formula as well. The last film reviewed here, Dead Mary, is as good as any to make a general comparison with I guess. I gave Dead Mary an average score of 2 1/2 skulls, which is what most films will get here. That’s means it is not a great film, in my opinion anyway, but also I can marginally recommend it to genre fans for one reason or another. Mary “could have been” a good film with some adjustments to the story line. Less psychobabble between the spoiled twenty something brats and more spirit possessed zombies and gore and a better ending would have made it an above average film. But it missed the mark.

Spiker never even took aim. The film, directed by and starring as Spiker himself Frank Zagarino, is poorly written, poorly acted, horribly shot and is nothing but one genre cliché after another with no wit, parody or homage giving in any of them. I will just cite at least one scene to base the reason for my disdain on. The title character, Spiker is a local serial killer to some hick town I could care less about. He killed 27 or more people 20 years ago when his bride married another man. She is a ghost now in a totally unnecessaary supernatual sub-plot. Bodies are still popping up here and there. The instrument of killing he chose was railroad spikes. I forget why. Who cares.

In an unbelievable stretch of credulity a judge has decided he can be rehabilitated and he needs to be transported to a hospital to begin the process of becomng a member of society again. Of course this is nothing but a set up for his escape on the river ferry. He pulls this off with too much ease since the cops are all idiots. He jumps into the river with cops ready for him to bob up his head so they can blast him. He never surfaces. Well, of course he does later. He walks out of the water into a work area where some guy is banging railroad spikes into something. Yes, railroad spikes. Spiker grabs a spike, kills the guy then walks over and grabs a coat that just happens to be one of those long duster type coats you see in cowboy movies, and loads up the pockets with plenty of railroad spikes. Right here in this one scene the absurdity of the entire film can be witnessed. The guy must be able to breathe under water to make it from the ferry all the way to the shore without coming up once for air. When he does surface he is just walking out of the river to make the scene look freakier. He is not gasping or tired. And of all the spots on the river to reemerge from where does he come out at? A spot where some guy is repairing something with railroad spikes, lots of them. The very same instrument he prefers to murder people with. And the guy even has a big long duster jacket available so Spiker can look scarier. Don't movies like require suspension of disbelief to enjoy them? Absolutley. But I am not a friggin' mongoloid either.

I was going to rip apart some other scenes but that’s it. I am not going to waste anymore time on this one. Bad acting all the way through. Corny scenes and illogic abound. I replayed one scene where a girl finds her uncle all spikes over his carcass because I had seldom seen such lousy acting. Sometimes I can recommend a bad movie just for the cheesy fun of it. There is some of that here but it was more imbecilic than campy. You see this one at your own risk brethren. You have been warned.


This film is really slammed on the net but I did not think it was a total waste of time. Mrs. Uranium Willy and I had a fairly good time with it. There are some issues and I will deal with those but this production from a Canadian film crew lead by director Robert Wilson is in no way poorly put together. The photography and score are above average for a low budget horror genre film and the acting, led by “Lolita” Dominique Swain, is pretty decent. What might be the problem is the characters that the actors have to bring to life. There is really not one likable person amongst the lot. There are some major let downs to this film and in particular the cop out ending. However it is not a total mess and I can recommend it.

A group of old high school buddies all gather for a weekend at a cabin near the lake. We all know what happens then in one form or another right? Be it psycho-slasher, evil spirits, rabid big foot or malevolent invaders from outer space they are all going start dying off no later than 45 minutes into the film. That is to be expected and that is why I bought the DVD (and by the way, there are no original vidcaps here as my PC would not read the disk. The images are what I was able to find online, sorry). The big question here is why in the hell did this gang decide to reunite for the weekend in the first place? There is not one joyous moment spent between them. The tension and distrust is palpable and after a while the soap opera atmosphere gets too thick and I was ready for anybody or anything to start killing off this group of stoned whiners. The main conflicts revolve around with who is sleeping with who and who has slept with who in the past and it seems like everyone has slept with everyone except the new girl who is an outsider to the gang anyway. Lucky her.

The leads are Kim (Swain) and Matt (Jefferson Brown) who are breaking up none too pleasantly. They are both asinine and spoiled and can’t stand each other. Next is the married couple Amber and Dash (Reagan Pasternak and Michael Majeski). Amber is the proverbial door mat and Dash will bait his hook with anything that gives him the time of day. This is common knowledge among the gang but Dash is a new man now. He said so while puffing on a hooter so we know he can be trusted. But little miss goody two shoes Amber has dallied with Baker (Steve McCarthy), who now is the cradle robber of the old gang and is banging the pretty hot and individualistic Lilly (Maggie Castle). And left alone is Eve (Marie-Josée Colburn) who might be waiting for her boyfriend Ted who never shows up. Eve we find out later has been sleeping with Matt.

After an afternoon of bitching and moaning the group settle down to an evening of bitching and moaning and after a joint or two or two and a bottle or two of hard liquor they decide to play Dead Mary, the more serious version of the Bloody Mary urban legend. Actually Dead Mary was chosen because using Bloody Mary would have created copyright and distribution issues for the film company and the film was originally going to be called Bloody Mary. Well a few fairly buzzed, over sexed bitter post teenagers who still act like they’re sixteen hobble into the bathroom and look in the mirror and chant dead Mary three times. Not a good thing to do in an isolated cabin in the woods.

Now we are never really sure what happens next since Dead Mary is never shown in the film, though she is shown on the DVD cover glaring back out of the mirror in a pissed off mood. Did Dead Mary come back and curse the group? Maybe, since the three who went into the bathroom were the ones who become possessed later on as well as one who is bitten. Or is the woods itself cursed and possessed as in Sam Rami’s Evil Dead? The film certainly feels like Evil Dead and in some ways like John Carpenter’s The Thing. No one is certain who is possessed or not and while someone can claim they are not how can they prove it as they did in The Thing with the blood test scene? The first to go is poor Matt. When his mangled body is found later, with Lily claiming Eve did it, he comes back to life and starts spouting off about who is screwing who and ex-Kim shuts his big mouth up with a shovel. Later the gang douses him with gas and burns him to ashes.

Eve is the next to show the symptoms and attacks Dash who either becomes possessed or already was and is left tied up in the tool shed. Also tied up in the closet is new girl Lily who everyone suspects of killing Matt. Before getting tied up Dash whoops Bakers ass for having sex with his wife, even though his track record of fidelity is less than perfect. The mood is pretty tense and later Baker is bitten in the rainy woods by Eve while some of the group seeks help. Amber does the right thing and burns Dash to death with BBQ fluid. She does the stupid thing and stays in the tool shed and burns herself up as well. The pacing and action moves along well enough but in the end we are left with a totally disappointing ending. In fact I had over looked the problems with the film until the totally lame ending, where the last “witty” line of the film emphasizes the frictions in the group over infidelities. There is no fight to the death between the still normal Kim and Lily and the possessed Eve and Baker. It all ends with a can of gasoline and a flare gun and a submissive evil spirit who does not try to run away or avoid its own destruction. What?

The title character who never appears in the film.
Only on the DVD cover. Sweet dead Mary herself.

I think the film could have been fifteen minutes longer (well, okay, maybe not) or had the arguing and “character development” trimmed form the first part of the film. But even with those issues I do not think the film is a total waste of time. I think along with the let down ending the fact we never see Dead Mary is troublesome. We also have to wonder what ever happened to Ted? who never shows up but is discussed throughout the film. Nor do we know how widespread the situation is as the group notices how quiet the lake is for a weekend.


This 2008 remake of a Thai film with the same English title was directed by Masayuki Ochiai and stars Joshua Jackson, Rachel Taylor and Megumi Okina. It has that feel of the Grudge 2 which was also a Japanese, American collaboration. That feel, to be more precise, means that there Americans working in Japan and that the Japanese themselves all supply secondary acting roles except for the evil spirit of course. To be honest for all the Japanese actors we see this could have taken place in the States in any city with a large Asian population. The movie has a few problems but I would recommend it as a boyfriend/girlfriend type movie. I certainly have never been a devotee of ghost films but I know, from living in China, the ghost theme is really a creepy issue with people here and sometimes movies like this can really freak out an Asian audience. I was sort of left wanting more from this PG-13 bloodless, sexless thriller. But my dear Chinese wife Ivy was certainly scared more than a few times and this helped me enjoy the film a little more than if I had watched it alone. One thing is that I am so bored with is the Japanese ghost girl, a yūrei, with pale skin, long black hair and dark circled eyes who basically just sits and stares at you. However that effect sends teenage girls here in China, and I will assume Japan (the last time I was in Japan I was four years old) into a near crying fit. So while it may not effect me it certainly does others.

The story is similar to the Ring series. In that movie the intentions of the malevolent spirit are conveyed through a telephone while in Shutter they are revealed through cameras and photographs, called spirit photography. Benjamin and Jane Shaw (Jackson and Taylor) travel to Tokyo after their wedding so that Benjamin, a professional photographer, can do a high paying assignment there. He has worked in Japan before and has connections and a history there that Jane knows little to nothing about. While traveling down a dark country road one night Jane hits a woman in a thin white dress who appears in the middle of the road causing an accident. Later there is no body or blood on the road and Jane remains shaken up.

Soon blurred white streaks begin to appear on the photographs she and Benjamin take. This is interpreted as spirit photography by Benjamin’s sexy and flirty Japanese assistant Seiko, who it so happens, has an ex-boyfriend who runs a magazine that focuses only on spirit photography. How lucky can you get? While many of the photographs are Photoshopped the ex, Ritsuo, shows Jane his private collection of Polaroids and explains that these cannot be faked. He suggests she see a medium and when she and Benjamin do later the situation does not go well and we get the sense that Bejamin is holding something back as he refuses to translate what the irritated medium has to say.

Jane begins to have vivid dreams and visions and senses an evil force is stalking her and Benjamin, and while Benjamin too is having similar visions he does not talk about it to Jane. Jane is able to deduce the whereabouts of the spirit from studying some of the photographs. She is actually able to determine the building and exact floor number. There she encounters the yūrei and even learns its identity. She really missed out on a career with the FBI here. Turns out the ghost is the spirit of a translator Benjamin had worked with before in Japan named Megumi. He and Megumi had an affair where she became obsessive and dependent on him after her father’s death. This is a small dilemma for Benjamin and he does what most foreign men working in Asia do when confronted with a neurotic and despondent girlfriend: he gets his two friends to help dope her up and gang bang her and take compromising pictures which he can use to blackmail her with later if she does not chill out. Of course I am jumping the gun a bit here as this is not revealed until the end of the movie but it really doesn’t matter. You can see it coming with its headlights on bright.

Later his friends get what is coming to them by sexy, brooding ghost girl Megumi. Adam (John Hensley) gets his eyeball gouged out through his camera while shooting a cowgirl in her underwear and Bruno (David Denmen) comes running out of bedroom in his underwear and jumps off the balcony. Benjamin reveals the affair part of his history but leaves off the date rape drug gang bang blackmail session. Maybe if he had just been honest with Jane form the start? After they go to Megumi’s apartment and find her in a mummified state following her suicide by poisoning they figure the matter is settled and her spirit is at rest. Of course this is not the case and just like The Grudge 2 the spirit follows them back to the sates for a final confrontation. As it turns out the spirit all along has been trying to help Jane, to warn her (which is why the ghost jumped out in front her speeding car and caused it to veer into a tree the movie’s start we realize now). Jane becomes aware of the truth and leaves Benjamin whining and begging for a second chance. He is left alone with the spirit which he tries to burn off his back, where she has been all along, causing him back and neck trouble, with some photography lights. He winds up in an institution with Megumi’s ghost slouched over his back.

I did not hate this movie at all but there is nothing original here in my book. The acting and direction is good. The story is weak in the sense is the same old Asian ghost plot we have seen a million times before and will continue to see again and again. And giving the fact this low budget film ($8 million) pulled in almost $44 million in the three months following its release I would expect a sequel if not a franchise soon. I doubt I will check out the Thai since I basically hate most all modern (mind you I said modern) Asian cinema. I may give it a try if I see the DVD but will not seek it out.