Reel Advice from the Video Store Guy

Perkins' 14 | Cravings

By Steve Anderson
October 1st, 2009

Perkins' 14Perkins' 14
Directed by Craig Singer
Written by Lane Shadgett
Starring Patrick O'Kane, Richard Brake, Michale Graves, Mihaela Mihut
Produced by Christopher Milburn, Matthew Kuipers, Jeremy Donaldson
95 mins

Well, folks...this is it. This is the last chance for me to be really, REALLY wrong and say that what I projected to be the best of the lot in the After Dark Horrorfest actually turned out to be the dog. Frankly, I'm already sorely freaked out by the fact that, as of right now, there WAS no dog in the Horrorfest, an achievement that is as yet unparalled.

Thus, we sail into our last entry, Perkins' 14. No, this has nothing to do with a casino robbery. Trust me, I checked. Instead, we get Dwayne Hopper, sheriff's deputy and bereaved father, whose son was abducted in a string of disappearances. Ten years later, Deputy Hopper finds a fellow who bears a strong resemblance to the guy who did the kidnappings to begin with. Hopper embarks on a one man investigation into the man's past, and discovers sufficent evidence in the man's apartment to drive Hopper to near-madness...and an insane, blood-soaked revenge.

There's a significant downside to Perkins' 14, however--its first half-hour is a little slow. They will make up for this lag with a sequence that almost serves as a terminator, demarcating the difference between sludgy slowness and insane, overcharged action. I'm absolutely astonished by the direction in which they went with this.

Let's put it this way...that title doesn't mean what you probably think it means. Instead it means something much, MUCH, worse. When I first got an inkling of what that something worse was, it shot my respect for Perkins' 14 into the stratosphere. No one that I can think of has done anything even remotely similar to this, and the end resort is just patently, purely, beyond belief. I can't even tell you very much about it without spoilering like no tomorrow because it is just that amazing. Starting at about the half-hour mark, Perkins' 14 turns into the most incredible sort of survival horror flick that I've seen in recent memory.

The ending is appropriately fraught with peril and represents one of the tautest action sequences I've seen in quite some time.

The special features include fully TEN making-of featurettes, along with Miss Horrorfest webisodes, audio options and English and Spanish subtitles.

All in all, that's it for the After Dark Horrorfest this year, and man, what a way to go out. Perkins' 14 is easily the freakiest movie in the set, and I'm downright blown away by it. This was a pure joy and an utter triumph to watch.

Directed by DJ Evans
Written by DJ Evans
Starring Richard Harrington, Louise Delamere, Jaime Winstone, Mark Lewis Jones
Produced by Nerys Lloyd
90 mins

It's nice to see a vampire movie that doesn't involve sparkles, because as we are well aware that sort of thing has been going around a lot lately. And with Cravings, a new vampire movie from Lions Gate, we will manage to do better than sparkles, but not by much.

Seen anything in the movies lately about the practice of cutting? Yeah, I know, only every time you open your DVD player. Well cheer up, because this time will be absolutely no different as we join Nina, a disturbed young lady who has not only been cutting herself but also drinking the blood. And she's grown to really like blood. A lot. What she's willing to do to get blood is downright horrifying, and you'll see all of it in much more graphic detail than you ever wanted. But a hospital psychologist is hopeful that he can cure Nina, not to mention score serious brownie points (and of course hereby brownie points I mean time in the sack) with her mother.

Professionalism? What's that?

Anyway, like I said, this will be better than Twilight, but this is mostly because the bar is set so low that you could almost accidentally walk over the top of it. It's not hard to be better than Twilight, and Cravings will prove it. There are some pretty interesting ideas here, so I'm not willing to issue a blanket condemnation. This leaves me in a difficult spot for determining a rating, so I think my two star approach is going to have to do.

However, there are also plenty of reasons to not like this. It has a tendency to bore, and you're all well aware that I'm no fluffy bunny tree hugger, but even I didn't want to see what happened to that poor dog when he got too close to the electric mixer. You can pretty much fill in the blanks from there, but blender plus doggy equals bad time for all. It really doesn't matter how good the rest of the movie is, any time you feed a dog to a major home appliance, you can pretty much count on not having that good of a time.

The ending is probably the worst part of the whole movie because it's so spectacularly contrived.

The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, audio options, and trailers for Cravings, Frayed, The Last Resort, Necessary Evil, Dead Wood, and ads for and Fearnet, which I thought was deader than a zombie movie anyway.

All in all, yes this is better than Twilight, but it's really not going to raise anybody's expectations of the vampire subgenre because it still pretty much sucks. Though since it doesn't suck as hard as it possibly could, this does make it better than some.

Want to receive an expanded version of Reel Advice as an E-Newsletter?? Email to with "The Advisor" in the subject line.  Steve Andersen, much to his own chagrin, is a five-plus year veteran of the direct to video market. He has spent an alarming amount of time in video stores and seeks to provide the public with advance information on all the video releases that they may never have heard of...whether they want to hear of them or not. Steve appears in one way or another weekly, biweekly, or monthly on such fine entertainment-related ezines as Film Threat, Dream Forge, Reel Horror, Acid Logic, Chaotic Culture Magazine, Malicious Bitch webzine, and many others. Readers, agents, or editors can email Steve at

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