Panic Fest Film Review: “Birth/Rebirth”

Starring: Marin Ireland, Judy Reyes and Breeda Wool
Directed by: Laura Moss
Rated: NR
Running Time: 98 minutes
IFC Films

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

You know you’re in for a good movie when a director is able to summarize their film without giving away too much. Before “Birth/Rebirth” began, Director Laura Moss discussed how the film was her own unique take on “Frankenstein” and how the idea has been simmering in her mind since she was a teenager. Even with that kind of spoiler in mind, one where I could expect the reanimation of a dead person, I couldn’t foresee what kind of horrors could be and would be mined in “Birth/Rebirth.”

Celie (Judy Reyes) is a natural as a prenatal nurse at the hospital she works at. She brings her motherly warmth to work to help patients and others, but that warmth will disappear in a flash. Celie’s daughter, Lila (A.J. Lister) abruptly dies, leaving Celie with so much to ponder. On the flip side, we meet a morgue tech by the name of Rose (Marin Ireland) who goes about her work with about as much warmth as the corpses she digs around in. Celie and Rose are strangers, but Lila’s death is going to bring them together in horrific ways.

The mantle of Dr. Frankenstein could be divided up between Celie and Rose, who work together after Rose reanimates Lila. Celie, despite being unable to communicate with the daughter she used to know, tries in earnest to recover what she had by focusing on nearly every aspect of Lila’s life. Rose on the other hand takes a more rudimentary, yet scientific approach to Lia as she makes notes, runs experiments and monitors the overall situation. Sometimes the roles flip as time goes on where one character assumes the role of scientist and the other as parental figure. Because the reanimated Lila remains mostly quiet throughout the duration of the film, it’s difficult to tell what’s actually going on in her head as opposed to the emotional projections by Rose and Celie.

I can’t think of a “Frankenstein” reimaging or story that heavily shifts the narrative to a female centric one. The original story could be viewed as man’s attempt to control what humanity cannot control, life and death. In some ways you could argue the original doctor was also driven by a need to create. The ability to create a human life is not possible for someone born as a man, so Dr. Frankenstein had to create human life in another form. “Birth/Rebirth” seems to explain the passion and need to control life and death as that of a woman/parent. We see how Celie and Rose work with Lila to ensure she survives, the sacrifices both of them make, but is it more about science or more about basic maternal instincts? Rose is the calculating, numbers driven and scientific to all her approaches, but the longer she spends with Celie and Lila, the more something else is taking shape beneath her expressionless face. On the flip side, Celie also realizes the lengths she’ll go to obtain what she used to have, but must also reckon with what it takes to reach that goal.

The film’s ending, which will certainly be annoying to some, leaves more questions than answers. The audience is supposed to reflect on the idea of motherhood and what parenthood in general does to us. The morals of the film are constantly being debated by the characters and by their inevitable actions. Just like the Mary Shelley classic, “Birth/Rebirth” asks us to examine creation, life and death, through our own selfishness, our own sacrifices and ultimately what we are willing to do to secure and fulfill what we see as our obligations to our creations. “Birth/Rebirth” is a monster that you’ll be thinking about long after the credits and lights go up.


Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection First Time Ever on Blu-ray!



Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula(1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942),Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).



  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
  • 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
  • 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
  • Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
  • 13 Expert Feature Commentaries
  • Archival Footage
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailers


Legendary Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein announces US Tour


Currently wrapping up the European leg of the ABOMINATE THE WORLD Tour, DOYLE, the eponymous band of Legendary MISFITS guitarist DOYLE WOLFGANG VON FRANKENSTEIN has announced their first US dates of 2017, the first supporting their upcoming LP DOYLE II: AS WE DIE, in stores May 5th from EMP LABEL GROUP, and Doyle’s own MONSTERMAN RECORDS.

Doyle recently released a clip of “Run For Your Life”, the first track from AS WE DIE at the following location:

AS WE DIE will be available Worldwide on CD and LP May 5, and is currently available for pre-order from, including several international versions with alternate artwork configurations, including art by legendary horror/comic/album cover artist Mister Sam Shearon, known for his iconic works with Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, Clive Barker, KISS, Ministry, Rammstein, X-Files, and more.


3/23/2017 The Reel Café Wilmington, NC
3/24/2017 Drunk Horse Pub Fayetteville, NC
3/26/2017 Fish Head Cantina Halethorpe, MD
3/29/2017 The V Club Huntington, WV
3/30/2017 The Warehouse Clarksville, TN
4/1/2017 Top Fuel Saloon Braidwood, IL
4/2/2017 Emerson Theater Indianapolis, IN
4/4/2017 Big Shots Valparaiso, IN
4/5/2017 Lookout Lounge Omaha, NE
4/7/2017 The Back Bar Janesville, WI
4/8/2017 The Rave Milwaukee, WI
4/9/2017 Outland Ballroom Springfield, MO
4/10/2017 Firebird St. Louis, MO
4/11/2017 Trixie’s Louisville, KY
4/12/2017 The Token Lounge Detroit, MI
4/13/2017 The Agora Cleveland, OH
4/14/2017 Diesel Pittsburgh, PA
4/15/2017 Gramercy NYC, NY
4/18/2017 Canal Club Richmond, VA
4/19/2017 Brighton Bar Long Branch, NJ
4/20/2017 The Reverb Reading, PA
4/21/2017 Montage Rochester, NY
4/22/2017 Loft Poughkeepsie, NY



In addition to AS WE DIE, EMP/MONSTERMAN will release several limited edition vinyl configurations, as well as a CD reissue, of DOYLE’s Critically-acclaimed ABOMINATOR, and releases from DEAD GIRLS CORP., element a440, and more.

DOYLE, the current project of Von Frankenstein, with CANCERSLUG vocalist Alex “Wolfman” Story, and a current touring lineup rounded out by bassist Brandon Strate and drummer Brandon Pertzborn, continues the lineage of Doyle’s former projects, pairing crushing metal riffs with ferocious Punk Rock swagger.

Film Review “Victor Frankenstein”

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy and Jessica Brown Findlay
Directed By: Paul McGuigan
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 109 minutes
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

As I type this, we are 24 hours away from a marathon of Thanksgiving food, watching the Detroit Tigers lose, and tolerating relatives we rarely see. The last thing that feels remotely like the holidays is a movie about Frankenstein and his monster. But “Victor Frankenstein”, seemingly scared off by the month prior and all the competition, is out before the holidays to bore audiences instead of terrifying them.

It’s disheartening to see good actors in subpar movies and “Victor Frankenstein” has roped in Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. Radcliffe plays Igor, who in this retelling is a hunchback because of a enlarged cyst and works in the circus because of his deformity. He has a bizarre and natural knack for medicine and human anatomy. How the picked on “creature” at a circus learns to pop a broken collarbone back into place is beyond me.

This unnatural habit is viewed by Frankenstein, played by a scene chewing James McAvoy. This version of Frankenstein is more like a young kid who had way too much fun making disfigured monsters in his little sister’s Easy-Bake Oven than a mad scientist. While Frankenstein attends school and plots out bringing the dead back to life, Igor, who does not attend school or intends to raise the dead, consistently corrects biological and neurological mistakes that the alleged science student makes.

Stumbling into the picture and further complicating matters is an overzealous, literally and metaphorically, detective and an old crush that Igor has. The eye candy of “Victor Frankenstein” is supposed to spark some humanity in Igor’s character, but it bogs down the pace of the movie instead. As for the detective, he constantly twirls a necklace cross in between his fingers, delivering Sunday sermons when he condemns Frankenstein. It’s the movie’s attempt at stating morals on science, life, religion, and the lines in the sand drawn between them.

But what the writers and director of “Victor Frankenstein” don’t understand is that every theme and bit of morality is in Frankenstein and the inevitable monster he creates. The monster in this doesn’t appear until the end and the big twist on the monster is lame, no matter how much scenery McAvoy chews up and spits at the audience. The values and ethics of the movie are too jumbled for anyone to feel any sympathy.

Much like Mary Shelley’s monster that was created in 1818, this possible reboot is just as cold and lifeless. The reimagining, the retelling, and re-anything needs to stop in Hollywood. “Victor Frankenstein” feels like “Sherlock Holmes” met “Dracula Untold” and couldn’t decide on how to balance the stupid and action in the movie. If you’re looking for a way to punish your relatives for their company this holiday, look no further than “Victor Frankenstein”.

3D Blu-ray Review “I, Frankenstein 3D”

Actors: Aaron Eckhardt, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto, Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney
Directors: Stuart Beattie
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lions Gate
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
3D: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Man, I really wanted this film to kick ass. I thought the trailers actually looked pretty freaking awesome, despite bad reviews I saw. I am not ashamed to say that I have been a sucker for the “Underworld” series and this is from the same producers with a similar look and feel. The film suffers from a weak plot and terrible 3D, in fact some of the worse that I have seen since “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”. I also had to switch to the 2D version half way through. I loved the look and feel of the film though but I wish they put slightly less effort into the visual effects and more into the story.

Official Premise: The explosive thriller takes place 200 years after Dr. Frankenstein’s shocking creation came to life. Celestial forces name the creature Adam, and arm him with weapons to defeat the demons that are constantly seeking his destruction. However, soon Adam finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity and discovers that he also holds the key that could destroy humankind.

Lionsgate is releasing this film only in option with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy combo pack. If you don’t have 3D, the same disc can also be used in 2D and in fact, I would recommend it that way. Not that the film is any better but it is at least more watchable. The 1080p transfer is solid throughout and the visual effects are very impressive as well. I just wish that they would have polished this obviously post-production 3D dub more thoroughly.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is definitely a hit though and really works with the action scenes.

In terms of special features, I am afraid to say we are again slightly let down. There is a decent audio commentary track with Co-Writer/Director Stuart Beattie and also another with filmmakers Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, James McQuaid, and Kevin Grevioux. Really only recommend these if you dug the film, obviously. There is two featurettes on the special effects. The first is “Creating a Monster” and “Frankenstein’s Creatures”. Lastly, there is a theatrical trailer included.


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Blu-ray Review “Frankenstein Created Woman”

Starring: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Duncan Lamont, Barry Warren
Director: Terence Fisher
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Millennium/Hammer
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014
Run Time: 92 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Personally, when I think about Peter Cushing, I think about him as Baron Frankenstein. He became well-known for playing that role through six films spanning from late 1950’s through the 1970’s under Hammer Studios. “Frankenstein Created Woman” is the fourth film in Hammer’s Frankenstein series. The film is such a classic and thanks to Millennium Films, the film is getting Blu-ray treatment for the first time ever. They have big proprietor of Hammer Films and I hope that this trend continues because it great to see classics like this get the spotlight again. A must have for any true horror fan!

Official Premise: A tormented girl (Susan Denberg) drowns herself after her lover is framed for her father s murder and guillotined. Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), experimenting with the transfer of souls, places her lover s soul into her body, bringing Christina back to life. With no memories of her past life, she becomes driven by a ghostly revenge and carries out a violent retribution on those responsible for both deaths.

It is crazy to this that this film is nearly 50 years old…but it is true. Millennium delivered a solid 1080p transfer. It is clean and really sharp looking. I thought it really packed a visual punch. The same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which really captures the essence of what a Hammer film should sound like.  This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray also includes limited edition exclusive collectible cards. They are basically smaller reproduced lobby cards for the film and a must have for any collector.

In terms of special features, this release scores again. There is a fantastic audio commentary track with Derek Fowlds (“Johann”), Robert Morris (“Hans”) and Jonathan Rigby (Hammer Historian). There is also a brand new documentary called “Hammer Glamour”. This is a must watch for any Hammer fan. There are also two “World of Hammer” episodes included. The first is “The Curse of Frankenstein” and “Hammer Stars: Peter Cushing”. Great extras. Lastly, there is an Animated Stills Gallery and trailer included.

DVD Review “Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell (1974)”

Starring: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant
Director: Terence Fisher
Rated: R (Restricted)
Distributed by: Warner Archive
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2013
Running Time: 93 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Peter Cushing is an actor that has and always will be one of the legendary faces of horror. “Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell” is a 1974 Hammer Film Productions. So when you hear the words Hammer and Cushing you know that you instantly have a winner here. Besides Cushing, the film co-stars Shane Briant and David Prowse (aka Darth Vadar in “Star Wars”). This film was well-known since it was also the final chapter in the Hammer Frankenstein saga of films, as well as director, Terence Fisher’s, last film. This was also the the sixth that Peter Cushing portrayed the role of Baron Frankenstein, which he originated back in 1957’s “The Curse of Frankenstein”. David Prowse, the man behind the suit, played Frankenstein’s monster again with his first been in “The Horror of Frankenstein”. Fun little fact, that he actually is the only actor to have played a Frankenstein’s monster in a Hammer production more than once. Not my favorite Hammer film but fans might want to check it out and add to their collection.

Official Premise: Terence Fisher makes his directorial denouement in the final Peter Cushing Hammer Frankenstein flick. This installment finds the mad doctor pretending to be a mad doctor in a madhouse thanks to some skeletons in the asylum director’s closet. Thanks to some ill-advised bodysnatching, a young protégé for the Baron (Shane Briant) arrives as an inmate and becomes the perfect apprentice from hell. The two set about restoring a monsterwork (David Prowse) of the doctor’s, but the creature proves beyond the pair’s control.

Warner Archive is behind this release and they consistently have been standing behind films like this and giving them first-time ever or long out-of-print reissues DVD releases. The DVD presentation is solid for a film of the 70’s on a low production. There hasn’t been any restoration or remastering on this title but like most Warner Archives it has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available. It is presented in 16×9 Widescreen and like I said, definitely looks solid. There is a Dolby Digital audio track included which works with the score and the Hammer atmosphere. The only special feature included is a commentary track by actors Madeline Smith, David Prowse, and Genre Historian Jonathan Sothcott.

Doyle talks about new album “Abominator”

Legendary punk guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is back with a brand album titled “Abominator”. The album is the first solo titled release from the Misfits guitarist who splits his time between “Doyle” and performing with original Misfits singer Glenn Danzig. Media Mikes had a chance to speak with Doyle recently about the album, his thoughts on performing with Danzig and if he thinks a Misfits reunion will ever come to fruition.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how this album came together?
Doyle: I was driving one day and I got a message from our singer Alex Story telling me he had some ideas that he wanted to discuss. The first thing he said when I called him back was that we needed to change the name of the band. He said he wanted to drop the name “Gorgeous Frankenstein” in order to start a whole new band named “Doyle”. I asked if he was sure he wanted to do that and he said that is what he definitely wanted to do. So I said “Let’s do it”. The problem we were having with “Gorgeous Frankenstein” was that no one recognized that as me. We would go play shows and there would be 50 people there who only showed up because they were going out. They didn’t even know I had a band. When I was doing shows with Danzig people would come up to me after and say they didn’t even know my band was playing. Just before the Danzig tour started I had the new CD over nighted to me from the studio and we have been using it as a promotional tool to tell everyone we changed the name and it has been working really well.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands line up?
Doyle: It’s pretty much everyone from Gorgeous Frankenstein minus the wife. Alex Story sings, I play guitar, Left Hand Graham is on bass and Dr. Chud is playing drums.

AL: What did the other guys in the band think when you brought the idea of a name change up?
Doyle: They were all for it and thought it was a great idea. I am not a guy who is full of himself so that’s why we never called the band “Doyle” from the beginning. Now things just make so much sense because when I play with Glenn he puts my name up and everyone knows who that is.

AL: What were the writing/recording sessions like for “Abominator”?
Doyle: The music exactly as you hear it on the record is what was made first. I sent everything to Alex and he worked his magic. He writes all the melodies and vocals and then sends it back to me. I don’t ever have to change a thing. He is really great and a genius song writer.

AL: Now not only did you write the songs for this album but you also wrote enough for 2 more correct?
Doyle: The third one we have about 10 songs we are working on writing. We have about three and a half songs to go on the second one and then it will be done. I just keep writing and arranging songs and sending them to Alex. Sometimes within two days he has them sent back to me. I would listen to this stuff and just think “Oh my God!” I just wonder how he is doing it.

AL: Do you have release plans for the other 2 albums yet?
Doyle: We haven’t released the first one yet! There are some advanced copies out but we plan to officially release “Abominator” with an extra track on it called “Drawing Down the Moon” there also will be all the lyrics, extra photos and some more art work. The following albums will be released later on as once we start touring we aren’t going to stop. We may end up just doing singles with those songs and once those all come out then release the album.

AL: Have you set up any tour plans to support the album?
Doyle: We picked up management recently and we are working on bookings as we speak. We are looking to be out on the road by August or a little bit later in the year with some bigger bands.

AL: What has it been like working with Glenn now as compared to working with him in the early eighties with the Misfits?
Doyle: The crowds are a lot bigger these days which means more money and more fun! We have a great time being on stage together and performing for the fans.

AL: What do you foresee happening with the Misfits reunion?
Doyle: I don’t see it happening right now but if and when it happens I am in. I still see Jerry all the time but that is about it.

DVD Review "The Frankenstein Theory"

Actors: Kris Lemche, Joe Egender, Timothy V. Murphy, Eric Zuckerman
Directors: Andrew Weiner
Rated: Unrated
DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
Run Time: 87 minutes

Film: 1 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

When I read “From the makers of The Last Exorcism”, I was interested and yet also hesitant. I liked “The Last Exorcism” but didn’t really love it.  I love the topic of Frankenstein though and I  was loving the idea of a “Blair Witch”/found footage twist on the classic Mary Shelley’s story.  This film though took away 90 minutes of my life that I will never get back.. I couldn’t help relate this back to “The Troll Hunter” with a group of people heading to a strange place to try and find the mystery character. Except “The Troll Hunter” was ace and had some amazing visual effects and delivers some great scares.  The only payoff in “The Frankenstein Theory” is on the box cover.  The rest is waiting 90 minutes and being let down.  I would steer clear of this film by all means and don’t get tricked by its flashy/lenticular box.

The premise for this film is pretty interesting. What if the most chilling novel of all time was actually based on a true account of a horrific experiment gone awry? Professor John Venkenheim takes a documentary film crew to the Arctic Circle in order to prove the theory.  Of course things go array and pretty much nothing happens until the last 5 minutes. The film tries it best to be another “Blair Witch” meets “Jaws” with them hunting down the beast (who almost is not even seen, except on the box cover). They have many moments of “What was that sound?” and they even have a Quint-like U.S.S Indianapolis speech from “Jaws”, which I was laughing at loud at.  There are virtual no scares at all and the ending is actually makes the film even worse since it delivers zero payoff. On top of the terrible film, there is also zero special features included…not even a trailer. Do yourself a favor skip this and rent “The Troll Hunter”, which is basically the same movie for 100% better.