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So, this claymation short is going to be included in an anthology film along with 25 other directors efforts called “The ABC’s of Death.” As you might have gleaned from the title, it’s a spoof children’s anthology based on a horror premise for each letter of the alphabet. Can’t Wait.
Oddly enough, it’s not The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (The original, good one you heathens, not the Jessica Biel remake.) This series certainly owes a debt of gratitude to Tobe Hooper, as they are relying heavily on his groundwork for their plot. (At least in the first movie, which is the one which attempts to keep the tone serious and tries it’s damnedest to inspire dread and suspense.) As I have mentioned on the show, I think you could prolly section off a portion of horror films and label them “Inbred Mutant Killer Horror” as a sub-genre. This is not a particularly prolific sub-genre, but has the notable entries of the aforementioned Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the Wes Craven helmed The Hills Have Eyes. (It should be noted that the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, in contrast to the TCM remake, is phenomenal and I consider it an improvement on the original.) I’ll run down the three movies I watched in quick succession.
Wrong Turn – The Plot: Through a series of unlikely events a bunch of poorly-equipped, overly-attractive twenty-somethings (Of which Eliza Dushku is the only recognizable name or face.) are stranded in the middle of nowhere and must strike out into the wilderness to try to find help. The couple who remain with the broken down vehicles are the first to go, while the expedition soon stumbles on the cabin of the inbred mutant cannibal freaks, take cover upon their return, and are discovered in their attempt to sneak away. The remainder of the movie features the kids attempting to not get eaten by hillbillies. Hilarity ensues.
Wrong Turn 2: Dead End – The Plot: A small crew is filming a reality show, Apocalypse: Ultimate Survivalist, in a remote backwoods location. On hand are the appropriate number of poorly-equipped, overly-attractive twenty-somethings and Henry Rollins. Rollins plays the on-camera host of the show, as his status as a retired military commander is meant to lend weight to the series. As the kids tramp around the forest, they begin to realize that the reality show is anything but realistic, and they seem to be disappearing. The remainder of the movie features the kids attempting to not get eaten by hillbillies. Hilarity and Henry Rollins kicking ass ensue.
Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead – The Plot: The obligatory poorly-equipped, overly-attractive twenty-somethings are on a rafting trip. All but one of them die. Then, a prison is shown, prepping inmates for transfer from one facility to another. The bus is attacked by a familiar hillbilly-driven truck and runs off the road. Through a series of unlikely events, the surviving guards, inmates, and twenty-something find each other, stumble upon an armored car full of money and proceed to try to not get eaten by hillbillies. Hilarity most definitely does not ensue.
So, to give you the gist of each movie, as they all summarize similarly, the first one is the straight up, survive the horror, slasher movie. It takes itself seriously, and attempts to be genuinely scary. To it’s credit, there are a few taut moments, though the characters never really became likeable enough for me to give a shit about them.
The second movie is for all you Sam Raimi fans out there. It seems to be self aware without being self referential. It was definitely the most fun movie for me to watch. It seemed to take as a given that the movie couldn’t successfully pull off the same basic plot of the first with new victims, and the reality shoe angle, shile hardly novel, was entertaining. There are some fun kills in this one as well. Lastly, as a big Henry Rollins fan, I cheered when he showed up, as I hadn’t known he was in the movie beforehand.
The third movie was obviously an attempt to wring a little more money out of a franchise based on the name alone. The story is convoluted and ridiculous, even for a horror movie. No one can act worth a shit, and the kills are not even interesting. Pass.
All this to say, I’d still recommend the first two as a good time. Though you could just watch the second if you wanna just watch the best one, they don’t require knowledge of the others to watch them.
As a head’s up, allegedly, the guy who did the dreadful third installment has been tapped to do a fourth movie. There is no god.
Check out the trailers here:
And, unfortunately, here:
So, I R a huge Guillermo Del Toro fan. I loves me some Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and even Blade 2. The man has style, and a love for the weird, the gross, and (perhaps most importantly to me) a love of practical special effects. I hadn’t seen Mimic before, though it dates from 1997, when I was 17 and prolly seeing the most movies per week of my life. (I worked at a movie theatre and a video store for a couple years.) Enough of this nonsense, on to the movie:
The Plot: A new disease is killing children in New York. Attempts to treat or vaccinate are unsuccessful. Finally, the CDC, in conjunction with an entomologist, decides to eradicate the disease by eliminating the carrier: cockroaches. So, a genetically engineered Judas bug is created to kill all the roaches, and in a few months, the disease is eradicated. There is much rejoicing. Three years later, shit goes down. People are getting killed and some mighty large bugs seem to be the culprit. It’s up to the folks who created the Judas bug in the first place to stop them. Hilarity ensues, to a point.
It was interesting to watch an early (second, after Chronos) film by a director whose later works I have enjoyed. The stylistic marks I would expect now are there, but in rudimentary form. The film features monsters, gross slimy stuff, and strange otherworldly sets. I support these things fully. Plot and character-wise, the film is less engaging. It’s ok, but if you are a horror genre fan you can pretty much call all the spots. It’s just putting us through the usual paces. Also, it falls victim to one of the things I can’t stand in movies. Apparently, Hollywood thinks Autism = superpowers. Fucking lame. It’s the current Deus Ex Machina de jure and I’m fucking sick of it.
All that to say, this wasn’t a bad movie, hell in its time it was prolly one of the better options released that year. Check it out if you are a Del Toro fan or a cockroach fan.
Check out the trailer here:
I fucking love zombie movies. I love zombies in general. In fact, as I have mentioned on the show, my son’s middle name is changing to “Zombie Hunter” when his adoption is final. The zombies – I love them.
All that to say, it’s perhaps even more of a drag for me when a zombie movie is disappointing. Even more so when it’s made by George Romero, a man for whom I have a great deal of respect and a pioneer in the genre.
The Plot– A bunch of college kids are filming a shoddy horror movie in the woods when they hear various news reports alleging that the dead may be coming back to life and killing people. They find some raw footage that a TV news cameraman uploaded to the internet that suggests this is indeed the case. Two students, Ridley and Francine, dip immediately to retreat to Ridley’s parent’s estate. Jason, the director of the film, decides to film continuously in the hopes of producing a documentary about the situation. Jason and crew head back to their school to find the Jason’s girlfriend Debra, and eventually they end up in a Winnebago heading to Debra’s parent’s house. They stop at a hospital and a refuge of black National Guard deserters along the way, with a couple of kills at each stop. Eventually, the group reunites at Ridley’s parent’s mansion. Hilarity does not ensue.
I really don’t have much to say about this movie. There is an unfortunate, though unsurprising, lack of practical special effects. This is obviously a low budget movie, so apparently, it’s now cheaper to do so-so CGI over good practical effects. I love me some practical effects and generally loathe CGI, but that’s the way it is. So now I’m an old man tenaciously gripping my record player in a world of iPods.
As a Romero fan and completionist, I’m still glad I saw this one, but unless you suffer from the same obsession as me, you can feel safe skipping it.
Check out the trailer:
Like most nerds, I am a Bruce Campbell fan. I have watched the shit out of some Evil Dead trilogy. That said, I do find the over the top worship of Bruce Campbell by some fans tiresome. The dude has been in some really fun movies, I think he’s a better actor than he gets credit for, but he’s not some geek messiah. That opinion is what has kept this movie in my Netflix instant queue for a long time. I thought it might be a fun flick, but I didn’t know if I wanted to watch an hour and a half of Bruce Campbell hero worship. Anyway, I finally got to it.
The plot: A couple of douchey teenage punks drive to a graveyard to meet a couple of slutty goth chicks. One douchey punk belittles the other for his love of Bruce Campbell movies along the way. The teens pair off at the graveyard, and eventually unleash a demon. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Bruce Campbell is filming a crappy movie. He talks to his agent, and complains about his career. His agent, as played by Ted Raimi, assures him he has something special in store for him for his birthday. Through a series of contrived plot devices, the douchey punk fan’s request for help from Bruce is interpreted as a movie offer by the star, and he shows up in town to fight the demon. What the town finds out rather quickly is that Bruce is much more interested in womanizing and drinking than being a hero, much less an actor. Eventually, Bruce figures out that the demon is real, and has to decide if he wants to be the man he is, or the man he pretends to be. Hilarity ensues.
In a nutshell, this one was ok as a movie to watch for free on Netflix. (I know, I know, technically it’s not free I’m paying a monthly fee for it, but I watch enough movies each month that it’s as good as.) The film seems to have tried to make a small budget seem intentional by drawing attention to some of its shortcomings, most notably over the top foley work. Bruce Campbell plays himself as a slightly less likeable Ash, which kinda makes it hard to care about him as our protagonist. There are references aplenty, and some genuinely funny moments, but overall, this seems like a decent attempt at what might have been a good idea. Perhaps another rewrite, one which made Bruce seem as engaging as he has been in the movies that made him famous, would have made this a cult classic.
Check out the trailer:
So now that I have Mark (my new laptop – Lappy Mark II or “Mark for short) I can get back to more regular updates of nonsense. Here’s another movie review:
The wife and I watched Book of Blood tonight from our Netflix DVD queue. I read the short story collection Books of Blood by Clive Barker, upon which the movie is based. I really enjoyed the book and many of the stories have already been adapted into movies, such as Candyman, Lord of Illusions, and The Midnight Meat Train. (Side note – The Midnight Meat Train is fucking brilliant – run, don’t walk to see it.)
The Plot: A rather gnarly looking dude eats breakfast in a diner while being watched by an older guy with a ponytail and bluetooth earpiece. As the rather shaky gnarly dude leaves, Old Boy grabs him and leads him to his car. Gnarly dude then wakes up strapped to a table, where Old Boy informs him he has been hired to find Gnarly, kill him and skin him. Gnarly looks understandably distressed upon hearing this news, and begs for his life. Old Boy tells him that ain’t gonna happen, but he can make his death rather quick if Gnarly will tell him what his deal is and whats up with the scars and cuts that cover his body. Gnarly launches into his tale wherein we are introduced to paranormal author/slightly clairvoyant chickie Mary Florescu, who is teaching a college course of some sort on paranormal issues. Her class is interrupted by the arrival of a new student, Simon McNeal, who has recently transferred to the school. Mary gets a little tingle checking out Simon’s hawtness and heads out after class to a house where a couple of people have allegedly been killed after mixing sex and seances with her paranormal investigator buddy, Reg Fuller. Mary eventually finds out that Simon is also clairvoyant and recruits him to help her and Reg in their investigation. Weird shit happens over the course of a couple nights, and Mary and Reg must determine if shit just got real, or if Simon is a fraud, and how to deal with the repercussions of either case being true.
The plot summary I gave is rather bare bones as I feel this movie would suffer greatly from spoilers. Sorry. I really like this movie, and so did Gretta, which is rare. Some genuinely creepy moments, top-notch practical effects, and a minimum of CGI, which I am generally against. There are a couple instances of wince-inducing obvious CGI, but also many scenes that are clearly done on a computer, yet still look excellent. The acting is all solid, with no obvious half-assed horror movie actors, and some real tension is created. There is a fair amount of gratuitous nudity, which is par for the course for Clive Barker, who has always had elements of sex in his horror. Being a fan of gratuitous nudity, I wholeheartedly endorse this endeavor.
Check out the trailer:
Yeah, so . . . those of you who have heard of this one already are prolly a little worried about where this is going to go. This is prolly fair. I will say that my experience watching this movie and the uncomfortable parts for me were prolly not the same parts most other viewers found uncomfortable. Look, lemme just get the plot summary out of the way and I’ll explain.
The plot: A couple of hapless female tourists on a trip through Germany, break down in their rental car on the way to some club. They decide to hoof it toward help, unfortunately, the house they find belongs to the evil Dr. Heiter (subtle isn’t it?) who is a world renowned surgeon that specialized in separating conjoined twins. Apparently, Doc is getting a little weird after all these years and now wants to try to create a conjoined human. There are several times in the movie that reference “his beloved 3 hound”, which was 3 artificially conjoined dogs that the doctor created presumably as a prototype. Dr. Heiter soon has the girls tied to hospital beds in his basement along with Japanese tourist Katsuro. In a bizarre sequence, the doctor explains how he plans to join the three captives ass to mouth with a series of diagrams via overhead projector. The operation is successful and the three become his “Human Centipede”. The doctor then spends time trying to train them to walk in uniform movements and obey him. Eventually two detectives show up and suspect the doctor of involvement with the suspicious disappearance of two American girls, which is mostly due to the doctor acting like a complete idiot in front of the detectives. Things get desperate, and hilarity kind of ensues.
Ok, so this is a pretty gross movie for mainstream audiences. Many people are turned off just by the premise. I think this movie might qualify for what I call “street cred” movies. Street cred movies are films you can say you have seen when someone else is talking about a movie they think is really fucked up when you want to slap them down. I usually use movies like Cannibal Holocaust, Aftermath or Salo: 120 Days of Sodom for this purpose. I think this one may end up being in that group, or if not, perhaps it’s planned sequel.
Speaking of movies being fucked up, lemme take a moment to offer a brief aside. I love horror movies, I watch a lot of them, however, I rarely see them in theaters. This is because I have a tendency feel faint and even pass out at the sight of blood on screen. I know, this makes it seem like I should prolly not watch horror movies at all, but I can’t help it, I love them. My solution for the last few years has been to watch them at home, where I can pause the movie if I start to feel woozy, and pick it back up once the feeling passes. It is also worth noting that the average gorefest slasher or zombie movie is not gonna trigger this response from me. It is usually much smaller, more realistic injuries that set me off. Past examples include the scene in The Exorcist where Regan is at the hospital and while drawing blood from her there are a couple spurts onto her sheets, the end of the first Saw movie (I know that one wasn’t so small) and a scene from the movie event Horizon, I can’t remember which exactly. That last example had me leaving the movie to go splash water on my face to try to feel better, and waking up laying on the floor of the bathroom. When I returned to my seat I found I had missed about 20 minutes of the movie. This is why I watch movies at home now.
All that is a long way to say this movie got me sick too, but it wasn’t for the human centipede, ass to mouth nonsense. In a scene shortly after the girls are captured, one of them manages to release her restraints on the hospital bed and starts to run away, it is only then she realizes she has an IV in her arm as it is ripped out, tearing the flesh of her arm. This got to me and I felt sick for most of the rest of the movie. This freaked my wife out a little, for while I am sure I have mentioned this particular idiosyncracy to my lovely and tolerant wife, this is the first time she has seen it in front of her.
But I digress. The movie as a whole was not great. I tend to agree with most of the reviews I have found in thinking that the movie was one interesting idea that someone had, but there was no real story to go along with it. Really, once the surgery is complete, the movie is pretty much just the centipede shambling around moaning and crying. Eh. Despite his unfortunately cliched name, Dr. Heiter is the most interesting person on screen throughout the movie, though his inability to act reasonable even in front of cops makes you wonder how the hell he got as far as he did in life.
My lovely wife and I have just conferred and we agree that it isn’t a good movie, or even one you should really bother to see just for the hell of it because it is streaming on Netflix. It seems best suited to being a street cred movie for horror buffs to freak out their more mainstream friends.
Check out the trailer here.
So, I mentioned on one episode that I am a big horror movie fan. Obviously, I like good horror movies, but I also like horror movies that are not great, but have an interesting concept, or strike me as interesting or amusing. Zombie Strippers falls into the latter category.
That is not to say that this is a terrible movie, I actually found it quite enjoyable. Hell, even my wife found herself watching it with me despite her initial plan of geeking out on Lappette (her laptop) instead. This is certainly not a film without its flaws, but I think the fun outweighed the missteps. The actors aren’t usually great, the film tries and fails to add some political commentary/comedy, but there are some really cool looking zombies and boobs. I call it a win.
First – the plot: It’s George W.’s 4th term, everything is going to shit, and we are at war with everyone. So many people in fact, that we don’t have enough soldiers to fight the various wars around the globe. The government finds a way to make zombies to be used as super soldiers, some get out, and an infected soldier wanders into a strip club where he infects a stripper (Jenna Jameson). Gradually, the strippers become zombies, and they begin devouring the patrons. The greedy club owner (Robert Englund) hides this fact for as long as possible, until the zombies escape and threaten to kill everybody. Hilarity ensues.
So, we have a movie where the average actor isn’t all that great. In fact, the director almost seems to acknowledge this fact by spending very little time on scenes with the actors talking before moving on to the next, much longer scene of someone stripping. Oddly enough, this actually works pretty well in the movie’s favor. The only non-porn actor I recognized was Robert Englund (everyone’s favorite Nightmare on Elm Street star) and he does his damnedest to chew every bit of scenery he can get his hands on. Again, this sounds like it could be a disaster, but he is so charming I actually found it enjoyable. Jenna Jameson is our primary zombie stripper in the film, and carries the role quite nicely. Actually, all the strippers who turn into zombies are much more interesting as rabid lap-dancing zombies that regular strippers. (It should be noted that in this movie zombies retain their intelligence and can still speak.
Another aspect of this movie that surprised me was the zombie design and gore effects. While there is some regrettably cheap looking CGI, for the most part the zombie effects are practical, something I very much prefer. I had expected some sunken eyes and a blue pallor to the zombie stripper’s skin, assuming they would want to retain as much sex appeal as possible. Fortunately, they were willing to go all out on blood soaked strippers with chunks of flesh missing. There is a great zombie who has his jaw ripped away from his skull leaving his tongue lolling out from his skull. A similar effect was gone to Ted Raimi in the American version of The Grudge, but that movie used CGI instead of makeup. The zombie strippers get more and more disgusting as the movie progresses, which I also thought was a nice touch.
So, this is certainly no Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later, but I think it’s definitely worth a watch from Netflix or on cable.
Check out the trailer here.