Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Descent

2005
 
Directed by:  Neil Marshall
Written by:  Neil Marshall
Starring:  Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza and Alex Reid.
 
From IMDB:
"A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators."
 
 
 
It's nice to watch something shot with a budget that's higher than the cost of my first car.
Good talent and beautifully shot.  Hopefully they'll come up with some original twists and turns.  Be nice to avoid the "everyone dies but one" cliche.  I won't hold out hope.
Strong opening.  Nice set up with the tragedy and the foreshadowing of an affair between the husband and the friend.  That's no spoiler - only a moron would have missed it - not subtle and I see no reason for it to be.
 
This movie moves along nicely. 
 
And the penalty for stupidity is pain.  I love it!!
 
Lots of panic going on.  I imagine I'd be filling my drawers as well if I was being attacked by CHUDs!
 
So Beth is dying and her last act is to tell Sarah "Juno did this - and she was fucking your husband."
She left the part out about how it was an accident - and the husband is already dead.  So what's to be gained?  Bad karma I tell you - that's what!!
 
The final escape scene is so over the top music video it's virtually impossible to really see what the hell is going on but one does manage to follow it.
And Juno certainly didn't deserve her end but some might disagree.
So in the end no one survives - there's a bold new twist :( And it turns out our protagonist is a woman willing to send another woman to a horrible fate for essentially having an affair with her husband - of course there was Beth's little white sin of omission - so that is factor - but still, some chicken shit writing in an otherwise EXCELLENT film.
 
I'm giving it 4 Bloody Eyes out of 5.
 
 

Killers from Space

1954

Directed by: W. Lee Wilder
Written by: William Raynor, story by Myles Wilder
Starring: Peter Graves
From IMDB:
"A scientist monitoring atomic tests, killed in a plane crash, is revived by aliens so he can spy on the tests and help them conquer the world."
This clip is 4 minutes long.
The pilot's call sign is Tar Baby II - I'm pretty certain that wouldn't be acceptable in today's clinical world.
Peter Graves had a good career despite this mess.
This is great.  The aliens are guys in one piece suits and eyes created from ping pong balls cut in half.
They take 15 minutes to explain to our hero their plan for invading the earth.
Why they're explaining to him, hasn't been revealed yet.
Then he spends 5 minutes running from insects and lizards that have been enlarged - but he doesn't really run from them - it's more like he moves from creature to creature - stand and looks at the thing for a moment - runs his hands through his hair then carries on.  The creatures never attack - but I gather when the time is right the aliens plan to unleash the giant bugs on the population - thus paving the way for colonization.
Aaaauh - true freedom, a man wants to enjoy a nice smoke, he just lights one up, even if he's walking down a hospital corridor!
There's a chase scene inside a power plant - but they've only got a few sets so they just run by the same ones over and over again.
When I was 8 I wrote a story about an mad doctor who invents a machine that turns everything in the world ugly - yeah, I know, what's the motive?  I was 8, what do you want from me?  At any rate the doctor's plans were thwarted when Stephanie and Kevin unplug his machine.  It was a daring and brilliant move.  Perhaps I'd seen this movie and unintentionally borrowed from it - at any rate, that's about how it goes down.
This is a bad one but there's just not enough bad to make it good.
It get's 1 Bleeding Eye out of 5.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Earth Vs. the Spider

1958
 
Directed by:  Bert I. Gordon
Written by: Laszlo Gorog, George Worthing Yates. story by Gordon
Starring:  Ed Kemmer, June Kenney and Eugene Persson
 
From IMDB:
"Teenagers from a rural community and their high school science teacher join forces to battle a giant mutant spider."
 
 
 
 
Even in the 50s cops in horror movies are dim witted bullies.
Despite the fact there are bodies laying about the place, the portly sheriff laughs at the thought that there's any real trouble to be found.
 
Wow - best friend Joe - a high school student is 35 years old - and he looks it!
The "professor" is 37 years old.
 
CLASSIC LINES:
"You know teenagers.  They'll say anything!"
 
Lamenting his inability to get into the gym Joe postulates:
"Why the cats will have a blast if we don't swing solid."  You can't buy lines like that!  Did "blast" have a different meaning in 58 - or was the 72 year old screenwriter just throwing together some cool as hell lingo?
 
"Where you heading to, Jake?"
"I'm evacuating.  That darn monster run me out of house and home!"
 
The young ladies father has been eaten by a giant spider but her mother admonishes her "Get your homework done, young lady."
 
In a nice little homage - Mike is telling Carol he can't get away because he wants to watch the new movie his dad has at the theater - about puppet people.  Attack of the Puppet People was made earlier the same year by Bert I. Gordon (Mr. Big to his friends).  The movie currently playing at the theater is The Amazing Colossus Man - another Gordon flick.  Gordon made over 25 low budget horror sci fi movies and is, to the best of my knowledge, still alive.
 
The spider changes sizes frequently throughout the movie.
 
Some gal gets her little cotton skirt caught in the door of her car.  Rather than just rip the dress off she chooses to die a horrible death in the clutches of a giant spider.  Going a bit far for modesty, I'd say.
The noise the spider makes is hilarious.  It's like some guy groaning into a tin can. 
This movie is magic!!
 
Ooops - someone left a baby in the middle of the road!!  I guess the mother got distracted.
 
I'm giving this little gem 3 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  Tons of fun on a Saturday afternoon.
 
 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prince of Darkness

1987
 
Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: John Carpenter (as Martin Quatermass)
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount
 
 
 
 
From IMDB:
"A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world."
 
I've seen this a few times but I just can't remember the movie.  So many elements I like - religion, the devil, John Carpenter, Donald Pleasence, 1987
 
Ahhhh - a Carpenter score.  It doesn't get better (except maybe Chris Young).
 
One of the first guys we meet is a blonde cat with a red golf shirt tucked into his pleated pants - and the finishing touch on this suave mofo - a big bushy blonde mustache.  For the love of all things holy, please let this guy be the bad guy. 
 
Hey - there's the amusing Asian guy from Tremors (Victor Wong).  That guy is funny.
 
We've got a handful of scientists entering the old church to investigate the phenom in the basement.  And the church is now surrounded by a bunch of homeless men and women - presumably under the control of Old Nick!  Fun stuff!
 
And there's Alice Cooper - leading the hobo revolution!  Perfect!
 
I wonder who's keeping all those candles lit in the basement - gotta be a thousand of the suckers and they were lit when everyone first arrived??
 
No one ever runs when faced with super creepy unexplained shit.  Why is that?
 
The guy with the mustache it turns out, is looking like the protagonist in our story.  Too bad.
 
Great set-up.  Satan locked up in the basement of a long closed church.  Sweet stuff.
 
3 million dollar budget and 30 days to shoot.  Brilliant!
 
I loved this movie.  It's everything right about the genre.  It's not as good as the Fog or Halloween obviously - lacking the scare punch of those films, but it's certainly watchable even after all these years.
 
I'm going to give it 3.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5 - I'm very close to going 4 and might come back later and adjust.

 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Basilisk: The Serpent King

2006
 
Directed by:  Stephen Furst
Written by:  Wil McCarthy, Chase Parker
Starring:  Jeremy London, Wendy Carter and Cleavant Derricks
 
From IMDB:
"Two millennia ago, a Lybian king has a basilisk (snake-shaped dragon), which petrifies people, subjected to the same fate with a golden scepter during a solar eclipse."
 
 
Watch Yancy die here.
 
 
Wow.  This is really bad.
 
So the science nerd gal is trying to explain the legend of the big snake to a security guide (read - the audience) Fuck - writing doesn't get worse than that.
I had to look at the directors credits to see if he started his career directing Jerry Lewis movies.  This thing is zany - in a bad way.
Turns out he was the fat guy in Animal House - that was zany in a good way.
I understand he's not a fat guy any more.
I'm having a tough time watching this.
Griff Furst - I assume the director's son - is particularly hard to watch.  He's so far over the top he's a flight risk.  The thing is, I've seen this kid before.  He's not bad.  Something went wrong with the choices made here.
I like Yancy Butler but she's wasted here.
 
I'm giving this 1 Bloody Eye out of 5.  Just not much to recommend.
 
 
 

Reign of the Gargoyles

2007
 
Directed by:  Ayton Davis
Written by:  Chase Parker
Starring:  Wes Ramsey and Joe Penny
 
From IMDB:
"During World War 2 a group of brave US Airmen are downed in Nazi controlled Europe, after their aircraft is attacked by Nazi-controlled mythological Gargoyles."
 
 
 
What's to even say about this.  Sorry.  Really - it's another Sci Fi Original - and it looks and feels like one - though certainly better than say - SS Doomtrooper or UKM: Ultimate Killing Machine.  The acting is better.  The script is better and the directing is stronger.  The spfx aren't any better though.
 
If you're sitting home and a six pack is your only friend then you could do worse.
 
So, my profound apologies for such a weak blog but there just wasn't much to say about this other than Nazis and monsters should be a lot more fun.
 
I was going to give this 2 Bloody Eyes out of 5 because I'd given the aforementioned movies 1.5 but they got more than they deserved so I'm giving it what it deservers 1.5 out of 5 Bloody Eyes, still, it's watchable.
 
 

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Blob (1988)

1988
Directed by: Chuck Russell
Written by: Chuck Russell & Frank Darabont based on earlier work by: Theodore Simonson, Kay Linaker and Irvine Millgate
Starring:  Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith and Donovan Leitch
From IMDB
"Remake of the 1958 horror sci-fi about a deadly blob from another planet which consumes everyone in its path. Teenagers try in vein to warn the townsfolk, who refuse to take them seriously."
Though it was made at the tail end of the 80s, it's still rich with the charm of that generation.  There's the dumb cop, the pesky little brother, the jock and the rebel. 
I see Frank Darabont had a hand in the writing of this.  That bodes well.  One of Frank's first jobs in Hollywood - if not his first, was writing Nightmare on Elm Street 3.
I always love how stupid they make cops - this goes back as far as I've watched movies.  Of course yesterday I read about a woman being punched so hard in the face by a cop he broke several bones in her face.  He then arrested her for assaulting him.  Of course she was unconscious so she learned she was under arrest when she came to in the hospital.  She was 56. 
I remember watching the original with Steve McQueen.  I was probably 12 or 13 years old and it scared me good and proper!
I've read Rob Zombie was going to remake the remake but changed his mind.
It's been too long since I've seen the original so I'm going to be short on spotting a homage here and there.  There's got to be a few.
There's Shawnee Smith with an automatic weapon screaming obscenities at the mindless killer.  You've always got to have one of those scenes.  I wonder if they worked then.  They don't now.  Now we laugh at them.
The story is very linear - the blob rolls along, gets bigger, is frozen.  One minor twist.  I won't pull a spoiler.  It's a shift from the original.
I liked the ending MUCH better than the original.   Nothing like a creepy preacher.  I should write a movie about a creepy preacher.  That'd be a good starting point for a good old fashion piece of horror.
I'm going to give this 3 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  It's a good fun horror movie from a wonderful time in the genre's history.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bloody Mary

2006
Directed by:  Richard Valentine
Written by: Richard Valentine
Starring: Jaason Simmons, Kim Tyler, Danni Ravden and Matthew Borlenghi.
From IMDB:
"When a group of psychiatric hospital nurses invoke the spirit of Bloody Mary-a supposed urban myth-the slaughter begins..."



I've seen this before.  Can't remember jack shit about it.
Few breast shots, right out of the gate.  Always good for the genre fan.
This is certainly low budget but they're trying hard.
The woman playing Jenna (Danni Ravden) is very good.  She looks VERY familiar to me but looking at IMDB I can't say how I would know her.  I'm going to keep her in mind.
Unfortunately the rest of the cast is not as strong.
The dialogue isn't too bad - it's just not being delivered.
The story is convoluted.  Not really sure what the evil nurse is meant to get out of this unholy alliance with Bloody Mary.
Okay - this guy playing the male nurse - Luther, is as annoying as a pepper in your shorts.
So Jenna has to give a blowjob to get access to the crazy guy's cell - but then it turns she's in cahoots with the doctor - so the BJ was unnecessary. 
And who was that crazy guy?
There's a few really bloody scenes.  I guess it is "Bloody" Mary.
This is badly lit but I'm gonna let that pass because I understand the budget was only 70K.  That's ridiculously low.
Well the best I can give this is 2 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  I would have been justified going 1.5 but I'm feeling generous tonight.

The Atomic Brain

Also known as Monstrosity
 
1964
 
Directed by:  Joseph V. Mascelli
Written by:  Sue Dwiggins, Dean Dillman Jr, Jack Pollexfen, Vy Russell
Starring:  Marjorie Eaton, Frank Gerstle and Frank Fowler.
 
From IMDB:
"A rich but unscrupulous old woman plots with a scientist to have her brain implanted in the skull of a sexy young woman."
 
 
 
Yay - I found a trailer for it!
 
 
Four writers?  What the hell.  One kid huffing glue could have written this without any difficulty.
 
So the old woman gets three women to apply for a domestic job.  The old gal is pleased with the beauty of two of them but quite put off by the "homeliness" of the Mexican girl - who is, in fact, quite lovely.  At any rate, she has her mad scientist put the brain of a cat in her to see if the procedure works.  The Mexican girl ends up eating mice and climbing trees, so I guess it did.
 
CLASSIC LINES:
Mrs March to hottie: "I don't want you running up and down those stairs.  You'll develop ugly muscles."
Mad Doctor:  "The cellular structure of this eye is being kept alive by these electrical vibrations."
 
Not sure why the Mad Doctor bothered to put Mrs. March's brain into a cat.  Why not just kill her?
This one certainly falls into the "so bad it's good" category - not great, but fun enough to watch.
 
I'm going to give it 2 Bloody Eyes out of 5.
 

Wes Craven's New Nightmare

1994
 
Directed by:  Wes Craven
Written by:  Wes Craven
Starring:  Heather Lagenkamp, Robert Englund and Miko Hughes.
 
From IMDB:
"A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?"
 
 
 
I saw this one in the theatre.
 
Hey there's my buddy Bodhi Elfman!  Yay.  That guy is CRAZY talented!!  I would love to put that cat in a film!  We attended acting school together many years ago.
 
Fun premise - all the actors playing themselves.  The real Freddy is trying to get back in the real world though Heather Lagenkamp's son.
 
This is a strong movie considering it's the sixth in a series that showed some pretty harsh decline after the first piece of brilliance was forged.
While New Nightmare isn't overly scary in any real way, it's fun and possesses hardly any cheese.
As a real horror fan I love all self indulgent pop references.
In the end credits it says Freddy Kruger played himself.
 
I'm giving it 3.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  Had it contained any real scares it would have gotten a clean 4.
 
 

The Wages of Sin

2006
Directed by:  Aaron Robson
Written by:  Aaron Robson, Adam S. Leslie, Christine Locker, Lee Ann Riddle
Starring:   Ashlie Victoria Clark, Emily Lucas, Brandon Michael.
From IMDB:
"A Supernatural Thriller that weaves a tale of darkness and suspense. The past will never stay hidden. Sue Walker receives a letter from a lawyer informing her that she has inherited a mysterious house in the countryside. She decides to take a weekend trip to the house with her boyfriend, Ron and friends from college. By entering the house, Sue unlocks the dark secrets of her forgotten past. Hold on for this terrifying ride into darkness and despair."
Can't believe I even found a trailer for this one.

I'm afraid this one isn't going to live up to its log line.  These guys had twice the budget and then some of the first movie I ever directed (and only one as of this writing).  Hard to say which film is coming off better.
I'm sure they both play like a group of friends with a camcorder.
Camera work is weak.  I'm finding this really hard to watch.
So the girl gets her boyfriend to check out the gas station washroom before she goes in.  He does and proclaims it to be clear.
She goes in and is assaulted by a cartoonish "wino".  She runs out of the john and gives her BF shit for missing the wino on his examination.
He rushes into the bathroom to find it empty.  He tells her she's just seeing things.
She apologizes for over reacting.
Okay - you get assaulted in a bathroom and then when the guy appears to just disappear you just dismiss the event??  That makes no sense at all.
They got a good little haunted house - for the budget.  Obviously they couldn't afford to build sweet fuck all so this place is a good score.
WTF - Romeo drags his gal out to the car in the dark to ask her to marry him.  Not a very romantic setting - but then I asked my wife to marry me in a parking lot - but it was Hawaii.
The girl doesn't say yes right away and he storms off to start drinking.  Could happen i guess.
Now she's hacking up her guts in the sink - literally - but she's not overly worried about it.  She has a drink - a little hallucination (with a little girl who talks like she's MUCH older).
Then she's asked if she's okay - "Yeah, I'm fine."  What?l  You just blew a wad of bloody phlegm that would fill a Mason jar and you're fine?
I do like the location (I know, I've already said that)
Everyone is freaking out over a cut on the drug head's arm.  He tells them to chill because it's just a scratch.  There's a close up of the cut - it really is just a scratch.  No one would ever even comment on a scratch that small.
A lot of static medium shots.  Not much to be done about that if you don't have the time or money.
CLASSIC LINES:
"That's the old preacher's place.  You don't want to be hanging around there.  Bad things happen there."

Gack - the dialogue just isn't working for me - none  of it!!  One of the problems is the edit.  They're holding an extra frame or two after each line is spoken causing a retched pause that is just killing any hope for some flow.
Symonds the lawyer might be the worst performance I've seen since the last school play I was subjected to.  He didn't get a credit in IMDB.  I'm not surprised.  I checked just to see if he was the producer or director or something.  Lesson for everyone - leave it to the pros!
(post note - in the end credits he's listed with the unlikely name of Ray Gunn)

Alright.  I think I've said enough.  This thing is not going to get any better.  If something remarkably fun or hideous happens I'll report - but I seriously have my doubts.
Okay - I'm back.  This movie is not good.  I've been ragging on it more than most but a weird thing is happened on the way to the ending - I'm finding that it's getting a little bit creepy.  The characters are not believable.  The dialogue is shite.  The camera work is utterly amateurish - but there is something mildly creepy about this film - mild being the operative word here, but it's undeniable.  It's not going to give me nightmares or anything - but there is a creep factor.  I'm going to raise my .5 Bloody Eye I was going to give it to 2.  Many people will call me on this, I know but I watch at least 5 horror movies a week and don't remember the last one that made me even mildly uncomfortable.  Not sure why this one did, even as slight as it did - there's no good reason, but it did so it gets 2. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Moon of the Wolf

1972
Directed by:  Daniel Petrie
Written by:  Alvin Sapinsley, Leslie H. Whitten (novel)
Starring by:  David Janssen, Barbara Rush and Bradford Dillman

From IMDB:
"After several locals are viciously murdered, a Louisiana sheriff starts to suspect he may be dealing with a werewolf."

Here's a clip from the movie.

This 1972 made for TV gem stars the Fugitive David Jansen. 
I heard a rumour that Dan Curtis wrote this but can find no proof to that effect.
David's got a few buttons down on his sheriff shirt - I wonder if the ladies of the early 70s found his hairy, 50 something, chest appealing?
Sure is easy to identify the score as coming from this era of film making.  A better man than me could tell you what it is that identifies it as such.

Trilogy of Terror came out of this period of TV movies.
This is no Trilogy of Terror.
Clint Eastwood's good friend, Geoffrey Lewis is in this.  He's always good.
Interesting history behind Daniel Petrie.  He directed Raisin in the Sun in 1962 - then got stuck doing a lot of forgettable movies and TV for a long time.  He would go on to direct the well remembered Sybil - Fort Apache the Bronx and Cocoon The Return.  He worked till he was 81 and died at the age of 83.
His death scene is actually kind of funny. 
Man there was some bad fashion around back then!
I confess I've got this one playing in the background in my office while working other things.  To be fair though, I've seen this one within the last year anyway.
Sadly there's just nothing to really make this thing remarkable.
I'm going to give it 1.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  There's just no real reason to watch this movie.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Incredible Petrified World

1957
 
Directed by:  Jerry Warren
Written by:  John W. Steiner
Starring:  John Carradine, Robert Clarke and Phyllis Coates
 
From IMDB:
"Four adventurers descend to the depths of the ocean when the cable on their underwater diving bell snaps. The rest of their expedition, believing them to be lost, abandons hope of finding them. Exiting the diving bell, the party finds themselves in a network of underwater caverns. They encounter a shipwreck survivor. He tells them he has been there for 14 years and that there is no way out. The two men in the exploring party believe him only after a hike to a volcanic vent that supplies the caverns with oxygen. On the surface, Prof. Millard Wyman, the elder scientist who designed the original diving bell, decides to try again to explore the depths of the ocean. He finds out that there is another diving bell in existence that is identical to the one that was lost."
 
 
This Trailer From Hell - is far more entertaining than the movie!
 
There were the classics I grew up watching.
They set the camera on the sticks, the actors hit their marks and said their lines but I don't think this is what Anthony Hopkins had in mind when he suggested it was all you needed to do.
This one is moving a little slower than your average bear.  I'm sixteen minutes in and still nothing much has happened.
 
Women losing control and needing a good slap to bring them around.  Haha! 
John Carradine is spending a lot of time leaning in this movie - leaning and explaining.
22 minutes in and they've found the Petrified World.  Looking pretty rocky so far - it also looks like a truck load of stock footage.
I wonder if I've watched this before?  I've sure seen a lot of them but this one's not ringing any bells.
I saw in the front end credits this was all filmed at Colossal Caverns in Tucson Arizona.  I
biked by there a few years ago.  Now I'm thinking a visit might have been in order.
 
CLASSIC LINES -
One woman to the other:  "There's nothing friendly between two females. There never has been and there never will be."
 
One woman to the other:  "I don't need any help and neither do you, as long as we have two men around us."
 
I guess the real question I have to ask myself is  whether this one is worth watching?  Should I recommend it to others?  For a film like this to work, it has to be so bad it's good.
There are glimmers of that - you can see in the few bit of dialogue I posted above, but these jewels are just too few and far between.  There's many better examples from this era far better than this one.  Just too damn boring.
 
1 Bloody Eyes out of 5
 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Galaxy Invader

1985
Directed by: Don Dohler
Written by: Don Dohler
Starrring: Richard Ruxton, Faye Tilles and George Stover

From IMDB:
 "An alien is hunted by a gang of drunken hillbillies who saw him crash-land his spaceship."

WATCH THIS!!  They even show the guy in the rubber suit!!!

Holy shit - how did I miss this gem?!?
You always hear about movies so bad their good but rare is the one that actually is.  Galaxy Invader is just such a movie.  It's a riot and I can't believe it's not better known the cult favorite scene.  This son of a bitch should be showing at midnight with costumed fans shouting out lines at the screen weekly!
So some hillbilly takes a shot at the crash landed alien - (guy in a rubber suit), and knocks a white ball off the alien's chest.  The hick figures the white ball must be worth a lot of cake - everyone who sees it seems to agree. "I've never seen anything like it!!!"
Obviously they've never played botchi before.  It's just a ball.
Now, out of no where this red neck bastard knows how to activate this "crazy" ball (by touching it with a stick).  Must have missed the lead up to that scene.
There are a lot of mustaches in this movie.
There's not an actor in the bunch, the sets are weak, the script is nonsensical and that  rubber suit is the best!   Beautiful man!!
Everyone is being all sincere too!  You have to see this to believe it!
Oh, I've not mentioned the wardrobe - love Joe's torn T-shirt.
Writer/director Don Dohler was only 60 when he died.  Very sad.  What a loss!
I just read there's a DVD commentary for this film!!  Damn! I would LOVE to hear that.  I have the film on a 50 film pack from Mill Creek.  Those bastards don't even include the end credits half the time - let alone any commentary!
Man this would have been fun to make!!
CLASSIC LINES:
"It don't matter what it looks like.  It don't look like us and that's all that counts."
"Let's hope this alien knows how to run!"
Awesome rag doll they tossed off the cliff.  It looked like it was made of rope.
I will most certainly be organizing a Galaxy Invader party in the near future!
I'm giving this 4 Bloody Eyes out of 5!!  The lover of the camp can not resist!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saw VI

2009
 
Directed by:  Kevin Greutert
Written by:  Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton
Starring:  Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor and Mark Rolston
 
From IMDB:
"Agent Strahm is dead and framed while Hoffman continues John's legacy while Jill carries out John's final request."
 
 
 
It's a contradiction I know but I've never been a big fan of the torture porn horror trend.  When I first read the premise for Hostel I was struck with the similarities it had with a project I'd pitched to a guy at HBO.  Obviously I never made the sale.
So when I went to see it, I thought "This is going to be good."  It was good but I did find myself a tad sickened - not an all together bad thing.  But with each subsequent film down that path I find I'm losing my stones for it.  I like being frightened by a film.  Being grossed out - not as much.  But being frightened is getting harder.  It's hard to frighten a seasoned horror fan.
So why do I like the Saw franchise?  They clever, good production value and good talent. 
Very high gross out factor and very low scare factor but not a bad movie factor.
 
Saw VI carries on in the same tradition.  There's nothing really new to report on - same old thing - imaginative kills and a fast pace.  I enjoyed every minute.
The final kill (acid cutting the body in half) was really something.
It'd be easy to rag on these films but you're not going to hear from me.
 
I'm giving it 3.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5.
 

Fire Serpent

2007
Directed by:  John Terlesky
Written by:  William Shatner (creator), Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Judith Reeves-Stevens
Starring:  Nicholas Brendon, Sandrine Holt, Randolph Mantooth, Robert Beltran

From IMDB:
Alien creatures emerge from the sun and attack Earth.

Interesting thing about this trailer - it shows it as being Restricted and coming out of the Lionsgate system - deceptive.  There's nothing in this thing to take it out of prime time.

William Shatner is behind this.  I'm good with that.  He's a smart guy.  Once had the pleasure of drinks with him in LA at a hotel in Century City.  He was a big Bush supporter.  I was a surprised to learn that.
Nicholas Brandan - I understand he's had some substance abuse issue.  Sad to hear so I'm glad to see him working.  Looks like he needs to get the Keds on a few more times a week.  I was a huge Buffy fan.  The movie gets an extra Bloody Eye for that alone.
And Randolph Mantooth - I grew up loving "Emergency".  I'm liking the casting in this bad boy! 
Wow - so this investigator has made the assumption that Brandan is guilty with absolutely no evidence at all.  That makes me think she's an idiot and thus a poor protagonist or antagonist.
One too many scenes with the wise old mentor explaining how it all went so wrong back in the day when the fools were at the reigns. 
So I'm an hour and twenty into this thing and still this dozy investigator is just starting to figure out that Brandan maybe isn't such a bad guy - even though there was never any evidence otherwise.
I believe firmly that with a strong director Brandan could easily be a formidable acting talent.  He's stuck in the Zander role.  He can do more.  I know it.
I've mentioned this before but I HATE it when no one ever hits what they're shooting at.
Not surprisingly - this thing looks like a made for TV movie - I guess cause it was.  Despite that it's kind of a fun little spin.  It's playing like a pretty good episode of STNG.
Although the premise is pretty ridiculous, I love how serious everyone is in their delivery!
Some laughable special effects. 
Our leading lady has obviously never held a gun before.  It's like a watching someone suck on a cigarette who clearly doesn't smoke - it's crazy obvious.
Zander is doing his final scenes in a big silver fire costume.  Not a great choice by the director.
What - that's the end? Wow.  Sudden but okay.
I see it was shot in British Columbia.  Nice.
Well I'll give it 2 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  It really wasn't that good but I wanted to like it.  It probably should have gotten 1.5

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Attic

2008
Directed by:  Mary Lambert
Written by:  Mary Lambert
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Jason Lewis and Tom Mallory
From IMDB:
"Emma and her family are unhappy after moving to her house; one day she went to the attic and found someone who looked like her and began haunting her. "
Was that written by a six year old?  Never a good start.
Looks like it was shot on my dad's camcorder.  Actually it looks like it was shot by my dad.
A good director can make a bad actor look otherwise but sadly a bad director can also make a good actor look foul.
I just really have little to say about this. 
I had a hard time watching it. 
Weak in all departments.
And trust me when I say - it's not one of those movies that so bad it's good.  No, it's just bad.
I almost don't want to put this blog up.  I have such huge respect for anyone who can get a movie made these days but I just couldn't find anything here.  I suppose I could say that it's possible Elisabeth Moss is likely a good actress - impossible to say from this though.
My first .5 Bloody Eyes out of 5.

Carver

2008
 
Director:  Franklin Guerrero Jr.
Writer:  Franklin Guerrero Jr.
Starring:  Natasha Malinsky, Erik Fones and Matt Carmody
 
From IMDB:
"Based on a true story, Carver depicts the real life events of five 20-something's that went camping in the mountain town of Halcyon Ridge and never returned."
 
 
 
Ugh - two minutes in and it's clear this another movie shot by my dad on his camcorder.
Based on a true story?  Mmm?  I suspect they will be stretching things a bit to keep any truth to that.
 
So the guy meets some hot chick out in the middle of no where and his friends essentially do everything they can to torpedo his shot at her.  "He's got herpes!!!  Hahahaha!"  In my experience a wing men with moves like that would very quickly be marginalized and ridiculed - if not beaten sensless. 
 
Then they decide to steal the guys stuff (films) - and I'm suppose to feel badly for these douche bags when they start dying.
The sound in this bitch is awful.
 
So no one believes him when he says he found the kill spot - even when he backed it up with a bloody tooth?  Nothing
And that asshole in the cowboy hat - I sure hope he finds the business end of a saw soon.  No one would hang with such a dink - except the bitch who likes to flirt with red necks.  They're a good couple.
 
An outhouse with running water is not an outhouse - it's an outdoor toilet.
And he sat on the toilet - with no toilet paper?  Not likely. 
Well - I got my wish, he's the first to go - and, I must confess - that was a bad way to die.
 
They're going back in the middle of the night to return the snuff film?  Gee, what could go wrong with that idea?
 
So the flirt has a lethal pitch fork for a weapon.  Will she even get a chance to use it?  I'm going to bet - no.
I win. 
 
Man these guys are so completely ineffective and dense I want them to all die.
Clearly the writer/director didn't feel self preservation was really all that motivating a factor.
 
Who was the stunt killer?
 
She's got the gun - and she actually shot him!  Wow - I'm going to increase my Bloody Eye count just for that.
WTF - she kills herself?  No body does that in a horror movie!!  Now I may have to take away the aforementioned increase.
 
A drywall saw through the skull - could happen but it'd be tough.
And wasn't the chick who killed herself seen in an earlier movie - wasn't that suppose to be the twist?  What did I miss there?
The log line stated that the kids were never seen again - so I guess we all knew how it was going to end.  Why do they give up the ending like that?  It worked for Blair Witch - but that was a unique case.
Oh I see - he's been so damaged by all this he's going to sit down with a smoke and watch footage of the old kills.
There's the girl killing someone?!?
 
What a shocking twist for an ending!
 
People out there seemed like this movie WAY more than I did.
I'm going to give this a 1 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  It was close to being my first 1/2 Bloody Eye.  It got the full because of a few imaginative kills and a somewhat sincere effort that came through - but these characters were just too stupid to care about. 
 
 

Decoys 2

2007
 
Directed by:  Jeffery Scott Lando
Written by:  Tom Berry (story), Miguel Tejada-Flores
Starring: Corey Sevier, Tyler Johnston and Kailin See
 
From IMDB:
"Sam, a college student in a small Northwestern town, reluctantly joins his roommates in a contest to see who can hook up with the most gorgeous co-eds by the end of the semester. But when men slowly start disappearing around town, he and his friends learn that when it comes to beautiful women, it's what's inside that really matters."
 
 
 
Watching this back to back with the 1st Decoys which I liked it but thought it missed the mark in some obvious ways. 
Wonder how the sequel will be?
 
So far the women are crazy hot and the men all act like they're in the sixth grade.
This one is actually tighter than the first one.  That's rare.
Holy crap that is one fine therapist.
 
If you want a character to look like a fool - take away his ability to hear how he must sound to others (It's a Wonderful Life) and make adjustments.
As in the first one, no one is smart enough to make the connections.
Both the Asian kid and the jock get it on with freakishly foxy women - in the cold and who seems to have the ability to manifest fantasy clothing at will.  These geniuses they don't see the connection.
 
"Let's split up."  Any time a writer put this line in one of their scripts they should be thoroughly ashamed.
The 6.5 gets the 10 in the end.  Doesn't ring true for me.
 
Okay - the movie was fun. The girls were hot. No real scares but it moved along just fine.  Not a bad movie to watch over a beer or two.
 
2.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5
 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Decoys

Directed by: Matthew Hastings
Written by: Tom Berry, Matthew Hastings
Starring: Corey Sevier, Stefanie von Pfetten and Kim Poirier
 
From IMDB:
"Luke and Roger are just another couple of college guys trying to lose their virginity. But when Luke sees something unusual, he begins to suspect that the girls on campus aren't exactly...human."
 
 
 
So this guy is going to be our protagonist?
So far - sneaking into the girl's room - sniffing lingerie - Creepy McSneakerspn.
 
One day a writer is going to have the courage to have the friends believe ++++ when he reports having seen something beyond belief.  It's just too easy a device.
 
College kid in the bathroom - is so nervous he's acting like he's six.
Obviously the writer/director here never went to college (or high school for that matter).
 
And so this kid witnesses tentacles coming out of a woman's chest and in the next moment he's got a crush on her and completely dismisses his own senses.  Stupid.
Now he's going to lie to the cop - when obviously everyone at the party is going to report he had a fight with the dead guy.  Bad writing.
Oh now he believes his senses?
 
And if the kid killed Bobby - why would Bobby have a hard on?  The cop doesn't even wonder?  Bad writing.
Now he's going to be a detective - and obviously further implicate himself in the process.  Sweet Jesus!! Can't they come up with a new angle - ever!!
So he puts a video in the girls shower - gets some footage of a naked girl with a tiny black spot on her chest and goes to the police with it!?!? Bad writing.
Roger is a fine young actor.  You can see that but the character doesn't always work.
Anyone know any college guys who collect porn, drink hard and talks as much as that guy - and sabotages his every chance to get laid?  I don't.  More device writing as opposed to creating a zany situation with real world results.
Now Luke seems to be taking a lot of pleasure out of torturing the creature/Lilli.  He's gone from creepy to stupid to sociopathic.
There seems to be some confusion with who suppose to be Luke's love interest here - obviously he's suppose to like Alex - but then he falls for Lilli - even when he knows she's a alien, but then Amanda walks in, half way through the film.  She's the girl from the past who clearly still has his heart.  Random much?
 
But it must be said - they certainly aren't beyond having some fun here.  As negative as I've been - it really has been a fun film.  Sad they just didn't go that extra step to lift it above the level of a situation comedy.  The pace is good and there was enough budget to give it a decent enough look.  The actors are good - no weak spots really in that department.  The characters aren't that interesting but I'm not sure there was much to be done about that.
 
I'm giving it 2 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  Too many cliches.  Writing was weak - but damn it was close to working so much better.
 
 

Feardotcom

2002
Directed by:  William Malone
Written by:  Moshe Diamant (story), Josephine Coyle
Starring:  Stephen Dorff, Natascha McElhone and Stephen Rea
From IMDB:
"Four bodies are found in NYC. The coincidence? They all died 48 hours after logging on to a site named feardotcom.com. Tough detective Mike Reilly collaborates with Department of Health associate Terry Huston to research these mysterious deaths. The only way to find out though what really happened is to enter the site itself..."
I thought I'd seen this film before but it's clear I haven't.
Sorry to see Udo Keir only got about 37 seconds of screen time.  He's no Anthony Hopkins or anything but he's always fun to watch.
The DP is obviously a fan of Seven.  The wet streets - the decay and darkness everywhere. The  Shaw guide gave this one star but I've got a feeling I'm going to be giving it higher than that just for the look.  It's a safe bet they didn't have Seven's budget or the days to get that look.  I think they've done a pretty job of it.
Wow - just read they had a 42 million dollar budget for this.  I'm now less impressed.  For 42 mill, you should be able to get any kind of look you want.
Yay - Jeffrey Combs!
So there is some supernatural element to this that so far is pretty obscure.
The images on the fear.com website are so fleeting and obfuscated it's impossible to imagine being all that horrified by them or even drawn in.  I guess I have to caulk it up to the aforementioned supernatural element that is so far unexplained.
Mmm?  So the soul of some dead girl is on the internet - specifically this Fear website and she's killing everyone who gets off on the doctors work?  I guess I'll keep watching and see how it all plays out.
Okay - so detective Reilly is writhing like someone possessed in the hospital - and the next scene he's in the apartment doing fine.  Did I miss something?  Patience young Skywalker.
So this dead girl wants revenge - yet she seems to be going after the only guy who really wants to get it for her.
How many times can you turn your back on the psychopath before you get what you deserve for being stupid? Apparently 2-3 times.
I think William Malone is a good director but this just missed a little too wide.  Still I think I liked it a little more than most.
I'm going to give this one 2.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5.  With the kind of cash they had they should have done much better.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Slither

2006
Directed by: James Gunn
Written by: James Gunn  
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks and Michael Rooker
  
From IMDB:
A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters.
 
 
 
An eloquently simple story told by a damn fine story teller.
 
The aliens come via meteorite in the first scene.  What else you see in the first scene is they've got a bit of budget for this one.
Nathan Fillion is always good.  That guy should get more work.  I'd hire him.
I also like Michael Rooker and if given the opportunity I plan to type him against his cast.  I think he'd make an outstanding protagonist.
 
"His arm was all bendy."  Haha!!
Good comedy throughout and some genuine creeps.
I'm enjoying this film.
But when it comes to gun play I sure hate it when everyone misses what they're shooting at - especially when it's something as big as a Volkswagen and only 12 feet away.
 
The picture is linear and predictable but in a strange way it's comforting.  I'd rather see that than watch some tin pot struggle with ridiculous twists that make little sense and contribute nothing.
 
Slither is worth watching and if you liked Tremors you should like this one as well.
I'm giving this 3.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5 - almost a four!
 
 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child

1989
Directed by:   Stephen Hopkins
Written by:  Story by John Skipp, Craig Spector and Leslie Bohem, Screenplay by Leslie Bohem
Starring:  Robert Englund and Lisa Wilcox
From IMDB:
"Alice, having survived the previous installment of the Nightmare series, finds the deadly dreams of Freddy Krueger starting once again. This time, the taunting murderer is striking through the sleeping mind of Alice's unborn child. His intention is to be "born again" into the real world. The only one who can stop Freddy is his dead mother, but can Alice free her spirit in time to save her own son?"
I'm not doing so great here.  I'm 45 minutes into this thing and so far I have nothing to say.  My wife made a comment after watching the first few minutes of the film - where all the teenagers are at their graduation.  The parents are acting like cliché bad parents. 
My wife:  "People would never act that way."  Nail on the head.  We'll suspend our disbelief when it comes to monsters and angels.  A 100 foot gorilla is fine but when people behave in ways we don't believe they would act - then we're thrown out of the picture.
The fashion is sure better than NmOE st. 4.  Not so much hair in this one.
Freddy seems to grow more and more omnipotent with each film.  It gets to the point where you're just watching for zaniness - the new ways to kill.  Every blow dealt to Freddy is utterly ineffective so you just don't care any more.
Then in the last few minutes they come up with some far fetched device and Freddy is vancoushed again - till the next time.
This installment certainly had some fun set pieces - though many of them were just matte drawings, they were inspired.
The little kid was pretty good.  You won't hear me say that too often.  Kids usually fail on fairly large levels. 
One of the least frightening installments of the series.  Not even a single jump.
I would have liked to see Daniel's grasping parents get theirs.  That would have been satisfying.
Huh?  What the hell - nice rap tune to close out the credits.  Another product of the times.
But in the end there's little I can do but love the franchise horror series.  I can watch them over and over.  What's wrong with me?
I give this one 2.5 Bloody Eyes out of 5