Sunday, December 31, 2006


Ultraviolet (2006)

Written and Directed by: Kurt Wimmer
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Cameron Bright, Nick Chinlund, Sebastien Andrieu, William Fichtner

Um... I can't begin to summarize the plot of this movie. There's a vampire... I guess... and this kid... and then... she fights some guys...? It was totally incomprehensible.

The only thing it really had going for it was the art direction. It looked really good, and I guess the choreography must've been really good, but I'm not especially interested in that. It had no plot. No character development. No drama. No emotional anything. No good dialogue. And practically no good acting. William Fichtner was okay.

I usually like Milla Jovovich, I guess, but she really sucked in this. There isn't even a pun to be percieved there. She wasn't really a vampire in any traditional sense. She was the chick from Resident Evil with fangs.

That was the number one problem with this movie. It felt like Resident Evil, and Resident Evil wasn't even that good. Not good enough to be emmulated, at least. There was also the influence of just about every other sci-fi action movie made in the last couple of years, too, all of which were a hell of a lot more interesting than this.

It wasn't even stupid enough to be amusing. OKay, I laughed at it occasionally, but not often enough to call it funny. I felt kind of depressed all through it actually. This is the only role that a woman like Milla can get? Dear Lord. Also, I noticed, she was the only woman in the whole movie. Even Resident Evil, Aeon Flux, Underworld and Tomb Raider had other women in them. (Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not too sure about Tomb Raider... well, Angelina Jolie's so tough she counts as two).

The most amusing thing in the whole movie was that little thing in Howard Hughes' nose, and that wore out pretty quick.

AND ANOTHER THING! For a movie that is primarily composed of computer animation, the animation wasn't really very good. It looked really obviously fake, and the greenscreen work was pretty poor. I wondered why the hell they didn't just make it animated entirely. They would've saved a lot of time.

So I liked just about everything more than this. All of these weird, comic-book sci-fi-esque things. Blade, X-Men, and of course all the ones I've already mentioned, were all so much better than this. I almost feel bad for the damn thing.

Ah well, it's it's own fault. It could've been good.


Die Hard 2

Die Harder (1990)

Directed by: Renny Harlin
Written by: Steven E. de Souza & Doug Richardson, based on the novel 58 Minutes by Walter Wager
Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson, Franco Nero, Fred Dalton Thompson, Tom Bower

This is obviously the sequel to Die Hard and, being a sequel, it is obviously inferior.

For one thing, it didn't have Alan Rickman in it. That was really the only thing the first one had going for it. Otherwise, it was just some lame ass action movie with Bruce Willis. I like Bruce Willis okay, but I like Alan Rickman better. He was funny.

Anyway, the other extremely important thing that was missing from this movie (which made the first one just that much more enjoyable) was Bruce running around in a sexy wife beater. He was weraing a sweater in most of this movie for God's sake. I don't get to see his sweaty, muscley, veiny arms.

There seemed to be something extremely wrong with the writing as well. Appart from being based on an unrelated (as far as I know) novel, none of Guy's witty remarks made any sense. I guess that was the case with the first one too, but I was too preoccupied with other things to notice that. I really hate those witty little lines anyway (they only really work coming out of Arnold Schwarzenegger for some reason), but I mean, really, if you have to put them in, at least use ones that are slightly logical.

Example: "You aren't pissing in somebody's pool are you?"
"Yeah, and I'm fresh out of chlorine"

What!? Here's another one...

"What would set off the metal detectors first? The lead in your ass, or the shit in your brain?"

I mean, come on. They couldn't think of anything better than that? I could probably come up with wittier dialogue than that, and I'm totally psychotic.

I guess it had enough action to keep me amused, if temporarily. I don't know, though, there didn't seem to be that many explosions. Yeah, there were five or six or so, but they weren't especially exciting.

Anyway, the first one wasn't that great either, but at least it was more interesting than this (again, Alan Rickman factor. He's just more appealing than William Sadler, I'm sorry).

And Die Harder is about the silliest title for anything I've ever heard. I mean really. They should do that with all sequels. The Terminatorer (and even The Terminatorered), Star Warser, Legally Blonder. It worked with Dumb and Dumberer... I guess....


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dracula's Daughter

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Directed by: Lambert Hillyer
Written by: Garrett Fort, based on Dracula's Guest (I think) by Bram Stoker
Starring: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill, Edward Van Sloan, Gilbert Emery, Irving Pichel

Not that this is all that much better than Barbarella, but it does have that old timey charm to it.

After Dracula's death, his daughter comes to London to try and de-vampire herself. There, she falls in love with a handsome psychiatrist. Unfortunately for her, he's already sort of spoken for. Poor Marya.

The look of the film was very good, as it was sort of the same look of Dracula. It even had that really cool set with the big spider web.

I kind of liked Gloria Holden, too. She had nice eyes or something. Of course, she was kind of bisexual. All female vampires are a bit bisexual, it's the Carmilla thing. Most male vampires are, too, ever since Anne Rice anyway. And if they aren't bisexual, then they're into children or goats or lamps or whatever.

Yes, this was made in a time before blatant sexuality was acceptable. So her preferances are a more suggested than anything. She was definitely interested in Nan Gray, though.

There should have been more of this, actually. Irving Pichels should have flirted with Otto Kruger.

Interestingly enough, there was a lot more developement on Otto's relationship with Marguerite Chruchill than there usually is in these kinds of movies. Usually they're just in love because they are. In this, they don't really realize it until the end. Ah, how sweet. That's probably because the monster is a very good looking woman instead of a tentacle beast from outer space. Having it be a woman just changes everything. He's tempted by her (even more so than Mina's tempted by Dracula, I would say, when we're talking about the original Dracula anyway. It's more of a Lucy-Dracula relationship, except that in this version, Lucy's Dr. Seward and she doesn't get killed).

We don't need any such development between the Countess and her weird manservant. She's not interested him at all, nor should she be. He looks like Lon Chaney, for starters (well, Lon Chaney wasn't that bad looking. Let's say Lon Chaney Junior), plus he's majorly creepy and he wears too much eye make up. What's more, he's the Renfield character. (Hey, they should make a version of Dracula with all of the genders reversed. I'm sure they've done this unofficially, but to do it as Dracula, and maybe even have it word for word the same as the book (or as close as is socially acceptable), but Dracula's a woman, Lucy and Mina are men, et cetera. That's be interesting).

The movie doesn't work on every level, but I liked it alright, and they could do a pretty good remake, with Anthony Hopkins back as Van Helsing, and... I dunno, someone with fantastic cheekbones as the Countess. Oh, and of course, Benecio Del Toro playing Sandor. Yeah...



Barbarella, Queen of the Galaxy (1968)

Directed by: Roger Vadim
Written by: Terry Southern, Roger Vadim, Vittorio Bonicelli, Clement Biddle Wood, Brian Degas, Tudor Gates, Jean Claude Forest, Claude Brule, based of the comic strip by Jean Claude Forest
Starring: Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea, Marcel Marceau

Well, you just know a movies going to be good when it has eight writers. I can't believe I actually sat through it, to be honest. It's the most despicable, piece of sexist pornography I've seen in a while.

The plot follows the adventures of Barbarella (played by Jane Fonda for God's sake) on some weird planet as she searches for Duran Duran. No, really. So she crashes her space ship on said planet, fucks a guy in a bear suit, fixes her space ship, crashes it again, fucks a blind angel, goes to an SM convention, gets hit on by the Evil Tyrant or whatever, wanders around in a Marilyn Manson video for a while, psychically hand fucks the leader of an underground revolution in the basement (don't ask), gets put in a fuck machine, out fucks the fuck machine, survives the Natmos.

As you can imagine, I had no idea what the hell was going on most of the time. I've read several good reviews of this movie that call it "fun and campy". They were probably written by a bunch of dirty little men with dirty little minds (just like the movie!), and it certainly isn't any camp that I'd ever want to go to (ha ha ha. I'm so very witty. I'm killing myself here).

I also can't imagine why any self respecting woman would want to be in a movie like this, or why any woman respecting man would cast his wife in a role like that. Of course, the only other Roger Vadim movie I know about was a pornographic version of Carmilla, starring his other wife, Annette. One of his other wives, anyway. He had about six, and an affair with Catherine Deneuve.

It wasn't even that nice to look at. Okay, the Marilyn Manson video parts were alright, but without the Marilyn Manson music, they don't really work. That's another thing about this movie. The music really, really sucked. It all just smacks of the lame part of the sixties.

Because this really is a sixties movie. I don't have anything against the sixties, really, but they made a lot of weird, weird movies.

Anyway, the whole thing made me want to throw up. It's made for nerds with erotic minds (who I know quite a few of, actually). I happen to be a psychotic feminist biotch, so I find no entertainment from such things.

The upshot of everything is, I have a new movie to abuse for the rest of the year (if that really is an upshot). I was getting kind of tired of beating up on whatever the hell my last punch-monkey was. Dear Lord, I've forgotten it... good thing I've got a new one.


Friday, December 22, 2006


Drácula (1931)

Directed by: George Melford
Written by: B. Fenandez Cue, based on the screenplay by Garrett Fort, based on the play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Baldeston, based on the novel by Bram Stoker
Starring: Carlos Villar, Lupita Tovar, Eduardo Arozamena, Pablo Álvarez Rubio, Barry Norton, José Soriano Viosca, Manuel Arbó, Carmen Guerrero, Amelia Senisterra

The Spanish version of Dracula, shot simultaneously with the English version, on the same sets, but at night. That must have been a bit frustrating...

It's longer than the English version, as it has more stuff in it. That doesn't necessarily make it better, though it would help. The English version is painfully ambiguous. This one has more... meat (and a hell of a lot more religion, too). For example, they actually explain what happens to Lucy. In the other one they just sort of forget about her. Don't get me wrong, it would still be kind of difficult to follow if you didn't know the story, but these days, who the hell doesn't?

Overall, the movie is actually pretty good. It's got some damn good scenes, the only real problem being Carlos Villarías. He doesn't have the charm, talent or Hungarian good looks that Lugosi had, and comes off as more creepy than anything (the "I molest your kids" kind of creepy). Now, if there were some way to edit Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye into this version... well, then you'd really have something.

Pablo Álvarez Rubio was a pretty good Renfield. He was the best part of the movie, actually (of course, Renfield usually is). He was more intense than Dwight Frye. Screechier, anyway. He was cute, though. Still, Frye was a lot scarier.

Moving on to some highlights... I thought Lupita Tovar was a lot better as Eva than Helen Chandler was as Mina. She was more alive or something, I don't know. She was sexier, too. She had that whole Mexican thing working for her.

Speaking of that, where the hell was this movie supposed to be set? I guess it was in London... I think they said it was in London. It must have been the Spanish ghetto, though. I mean, really. The least they could have done would have been to set it in Spain. (Not that any of the people in the other version actually sounded British, either). But still, Nosferatu was set in Bremen. Why couldn't they have just altered the plot a little to make this set in Madrid or wherever?

Whatever. A minor complication. So yeah, I liked it, all except for Carlos there and his creepy smile. Actually, he was kind of rat-like. Not in a sad, pathetic, Klaus Kinski way, but in a truly repulsive kind of way. Eduardo Arozamena kind of looked like a rat, too. A fat, Eugene Levy looking rat, but a rat none the less. God, the rat people are everywhere.

I didn't like Arozamena that much. I didn't really like Edward Van Sloan, either. I don't really like the Van Helsing character at all, actually. He's weird and irritating, and kind of creepy (unless he's being played by Anthony Hopkins, who knows that he's really creepy and behaves accordingly, or Hugh Jackman, but that's sort of differant).

If we're getting back on to compairing actors, I'll say that Barry Norton (who was about as repulsive as Eduardo Arozamena or Carlos Villarías, if not more so) was pretty much David Manners. I know he was Argentinian, but he sure as hell looked American. David Manners was a bit better looking, but not really.

Sooooo.... I'm kind of torn between the Spanish and English versions. The Spanish one is really quite good. It's just got more stuff. However, the English version's got Lugosi, so I'm going to go with that one. And being a fat, white, American slob, I'm kind of biased towards things that are in English. I don't like to read the subtitles. It hurts my eyes. Whine whine wine.... that's not such a bad idea...


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Black Christmas

Black Christmas (1974)

Directed by: Bob Clarke
Written by: Roy Moore
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, John Saxon, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Marian Waldman, James Edmond, Douglas McGrath, Lynne Griffin

Just in time for the remake. Ha ha, I shall mootch off of it's impending success. I'm really expecting a lot of this remake. It's not really fair. I'm probably not going to go see it, even though it's got Michelle Trachtenberg in it (I only really liked her on Buffy).

The plot is fairly simple. A bunch of sorority girls are picked off by a deranged psychopath living in their attic. There are other things going on, of course. The girls lives are happening around them, but whatever. I'm sticking to the horror. Woo hoo.

It's hard to believe that this was made before Halloween. I'd always thought that it was made later, as a sort of rip-off, but I was wrong. Damn. I guess that makes it the real first slasher flick? I have no idea anymore. All I know is it was made in my beloved homeland.

Halloween uses a lot of the same stuff that's in this. The killer's P.O.V. shots being the most obvious, but also some of the sorority girls feel like some of the girls in 'Ween. They're better actors, of course.

That's the other weird thing. For a Canadian movie, (particularly a Canadian horror movie), it was rather well put together, and the acting was surprisingly good. It was a little slow, granted, but there were some pretty scary bits.

The phone calls were especially disturbing. The subject matter reminded me of some of the stuff coming out of Regan's mouth in The Exorcist for some reason.

The dead girl in the attic was kind of creepy, too. Actually, the killer himself was creepy as hell, and wonderfully ambiguous. It might have ruined the whole movie if they'd revealed the identity of the killer. Say that, I don't know, he was some crazy guy who had a rough childhood and lost his shit for whatever reason. It's the downfall of Psycho. It's a hell of a lot scarier when you don't know what the hell is wrong with this person. It makes them that much less human.

Why did Michael Myers kill his sister in the first place? Who cares. I don't buy that bad childhood crap anyways. Lots of people had bad childhoods. Some people are just psychotic, and they would be psychotic no matter what happened to them when they were ten.

Then again, maybe they were just hoping to make a sequel.

The whole guy making the phonecalls from inside the house thing was kind of cool, too, except that I know way too much about When a Stranger Calls to revel in it's originality (I haven't technically seen When a Stranger Calls, but I know what it's about). Still, that thing works a lot better with cellphones, I'm sorry. Like in Scream, for example. Cellphones seem to have complimented the horror genre quite nicely.

It was kind of well written, for the most part. Some of the melodramatic parts between Olivia Hussey and Keir Dullea were on the boring side, but at least they were better than some of the stuff in From Here to Eternity (I just watched that the other day, and Jesus Christ it was dull. It made me want to kill myself. Okay, the parts with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr were pretty good. That's the famous part, anyway. All of the other stuff was painful though. I'd watch a movie that was just about Burt and Debbie, there. Hmm, who could they put in that? Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. They'd have to make it British...). Most of it had a pretty good sense of humour. The parts with Marian Waldman were quite amusing.

It's got Andrea Martin in it, too. She's not even playing the comic relief or whatever. She's dead serous. That's just funny. (By the way, she comes back to play Marian Waldman's character in the remake. Heh heh heh).

And it's Christmas. That's funny. Christmas is one of the funnier holidays. Right after those chicken ones.

So finally I've found a Canadian horror movie to really be proud of. Something to aspire to. So that when people go "Canadian horror movies, huh? Like the Ginger Snaps trilogy?" I can hold my head high and say "Black Christmas!!!!!??***&!1111@@@@@#"


Friday, December 15, 2006

She-Wolf of London

She-Wolf of London (1946)

Directed by: Jean Yarbrough
Written by: George Bricker
Starring: June Lockhart, Sara Haden, Jan Wiley, Don Porter, Eily Malyon, Lloyd Corrigan, Dennis Hoey, Martin Kosleck, Frederick Worlock

I have no idea why I bothered rewatching this. Maybe with the hopes that it would have improved with age. Alas, it's still as dull and unsatisfying as ever.

A young woman believes that she's the werewolf resposnsible for all the murders in the park near where she lives. Is it the dreaded Allenby curse come back to haunt her? Or is her step-aunt trying to drive her insane so that she can get her money? Who knows? Who cares.

It's all build up with a very disappointing climax, all very reminiscent of those weird House Movies that were so popular back then.

The plot is painstakingly boring, the writing is painstakingly dull, the characters are painstakingly two-dimensional.

The production values aren't even that great, and the crew was apparently kind of unproffesional (the shadow of the boom can be seen clearly in one of the scenes). The atmosphere wasn't even that great. Sure, there were some nice scenes in the dark and foggy park, but none too many.

There wasn't even any drama, apart from the two girls who are both sort of hanging around with the same man. One of them isn't even interested in him at all, though, so that quickly goes out the window.

My verdict is that it's just a complete and total waste of time, and I've already spent two hourse of my life watching it. Thank God it's short. Could be worthy of a remake, provided that the characters were made more interesting, the ending was modified, and considerable amounts of violence, gore and sex were added (though that would probably cancel out the interesting character thing), which they inevitably would be. The audience would be puking with boredom otherwise. At least give them something decent to puke about. In other words, I want to see the insides of people, dammit! None of the actors in the movie had very appealing outsides, so it stands to reason that their outsides should be removed.

I am immortaizing this on the internet (immortal my ass, but it should be close enough) so that I can avoid this movie like the plague in future. When I think to myself "Hey, I should watch She-Wolf of London again. Maybe it's gotten better!", I will then remember that it sucked and I will instead watch The Matrix again, for lack of anything else. It's always there for me. I love you, Matrix. You are my eternal back-up plan.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Wolf Man

The Wolf Man (1941)

Directed by: George Waggner
Written by: Curt Siodmak
Starring: Lon Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers, Claude Rains, Patric Knowles, Maria Ouspenskaya, Warren William, J.M. Kerrigan, Ralph Bellamy, Forrester Harvey, Bela Lugosi, Fay Helm

Interesting from a historical point of view. I'd seen it before, but a very long time ago, and in a totally differant light.

The plot is your traditional werewolf plot. Guy becomes werewolf. Guy walks around moaning about being a werewolf. Guy gets upset about the threat of killing his girlfriend. Guy dies.

The film holds up a relatively well, and has it's good points. The atmosphere... the funky make-up by Jack Pierce... Claude Rains. Okay, the atmosphere is a little spotty, and the make-up is a little silly, but it's just too cute, and out of all of the cheesy horror movies I've seen from that era, this one stands out as one of the better ones.

It may be a notch or two below Frankenstein and it's variants, but it's a lot better than some of the lame-assed, low budget, all together weird Bela Lugosi movies made around the same time.

Take The Ape Man for example. It was made in the early '40s, and deals with similar subject matter as The Wolf Man. Ape Man is a weird, cliche-ridden, Ed Wood-grade, pseudo science fiction movie, chock full of nonsensical comic relief and a stupid looking gorilla-thing (which looked like it could have been the same gorilla that was in Murders in the Rue Morgue). Wolf Man, although sort of creepy (in the spying on young women with a telescope sense, not the serial killer coming up the stairs sense), and bordering on the psychedelic and psychological, is interesting enough to keep one watching (assuming one has the proper taste for that sort of thing).

What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't have too much of the boring stuff, and gets right too the action, without seeming too hasty.

The writing may be a little corny in places (or throughout...), but I blame the time in which it was made.

The biggest problem I have with the whole thing is that Junior there is really rather repulsive. He's big and ugly and he's not a very good actor. They could have at least found someone to play the Wolf Man who was a bit more... I don't know, attractive? Okay, from some angles he's kind of cute, and with that make-up on, he's not too bad, and I can even see how he could be considered kind of charismatic, but he's still repulsive. And creepy. Remember what I said about the telescope.

Other than that, I'm fine. Like the dark, spooky forest, like the photography (is it just me, or was cinematography a lot nicer to look at then than it is now?), like the monster. I like Bela Lugosi, and as I've said before, I like Claude Rains.

I can see that the remake would probably kick a lot of ass. According to my favourite website, Benecio Del Toro's going to play the wolf man (interesting...) and the screenplay will be written by the same guy who wrote Se7en and Sleepy Hollow. I'll probably go to see it, on my unending quest to find the ultimate werewolf movie.


Friday, December 8, 2006

Revenge of the Creature

Revenge of the Creature (1955)

Directed by: Jack Arnold
Written by: Martin Berkeley
Starring: John Agar, Lori Nelson, John Bromfield, Nestor Paiva, Ricou Browning

In the sequel to Creature form the Black Lagoon, gill-man is captured and removed from his lagoon, to be put in a research centre and experimented on by scientists. Poor gill-man. He retaliates by escaping and abducting a beautiful she-scientist. Naturally, her fiance doesn't appreciate this too much.

The movie's pretty damned funny. I laughed often. The Creature's just so... funny looking. His eyes are weird, especially out of the water. He's kind of pathetic, too. I mean, he suffers a lot in this one. Much more than in the first. They keep doing all kinds of nasty things to him, such as electrocuting him. You can't help but feel bad for the guy.

Still, in that situation, I probably wouldn't go after the girl. That always seems to be his weakness. It was his downfall in the last movie, too. "'twas beauty killed the beast..."

Inferior to The Creature from the Black Lagoon for many reasons, but mostly just because it's a sequel. And they used all kinds of footage from the first one too. It's always funny when they do that.

It has it's good points, though... I think... well, like I said, it's very funny. My favourite part being when The Creature throws a guy against a tree. The guy sort of glides along the ground, as if on strings...

The next best part is probably the screen debut of Clint Eastwood, as some sort of assistant guy, doing something with rats. I wasn't really paying that much attention to the dialogue at that point. I was laughing at Clint's hair. It really amuses me that this legendary, Oscar winning actor/director got his start in Revenge of the Creature. It's just so perfect. He had a talking role, too, which was pretty impressive. It was a much bigger part than the one he had in Tarantula, that's for sure. He was pretty cute, too.

Also amusing was the resemblance of Lori Nelson to Kate Winslett. (Maybe they'll get Kate to play her in the remake. How depressing would that be?). Mind you, Kate Winslett's quite a bit better looking than Lori Nelson (who I would assume is quite old, or dead, by now).

The whole thing was kind of lame, though, and not good lame, like the first Creature, but cheezy lame, like most old-timey horror sequels. The creature spends far too much time on land in this one, and the aquarium isn't nearly as attractive as the lagoon. Still, you get everything you expect from the title. The Creature does do a lot of revenge, and there's just barely enough violence in it to keep me awake. (Though I'm not entirely clear on how the Creature kills people. He sort of just... shakes them to death. I wish I could do that)


Thursday, December 7, 2006

Creature From the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Directed by: Jack Arnold
Written by: Harry Essex & Arthur A. Moss
Starring: Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva, Whit Bissell, Ricou Browning

Man, The Creature, despite all of it's many flaws, has a certain charm that allows me to forgive it. I'm not sure that it's necessary to summarize the plot - it's your standard Damzel in Distress monster movie, this time about an aquatic gill-man rather than a giant gorilla.

I remember watching this as a child. I thought it was really stupid, and I hated it. Now I have matured and can fully appreciate all that is Creature. All there is to appreciate, anyway.

It isn't very scary, and the effects are out of date, but it's sweet in a weird way. The Creature itself is kind of cute in it's own special way, and Julie Adams is very good looking for the time. Most of the girls in these types of movies are kind of lame, but she was cool. I guess.

Also, even when I was little, I really liked Richard Denning. I don't know why. I just like him. He was married to Evelyn Ankers (who appeared in such films as The Wolf Man, Ghost of Frankenstein, Son of Dracula and others.)

I also appreciate the incredible swimming skills of Ricou Browning, who also appeared in the other two Creature movies. He had to swim around in a monster suit. I mean, that must be kind of hard, right? He also directed underwater sequences in a couple of James Bond movies, apparently. Good for him. God, I hate that Bond. He's such a little womanizer. Well, I wouldn't sleep with him. (With a possible exception for Pierce Brosnan. And maybe Timothy Dalton. Oh, and Sean Connery, but other than that...).

The film is also quite well shot, and well directed, which make it look not nearly as cheap as it may well have been. I don't know, they could have spent a lot of money on it, but I somehow doubt it.

I'd forgotten all about the sort of weird science-fictiony feel to the whole thing, kind of typical of '50s monster movies. They kept going on about travelling into outer space and crap like that, and pressure, and evolution and fossils and other space-aged things of that ilk. On the flip side, there's that whole thing about God creating the world at the beginning there. Of course that quickly gives way to the world taking millions of years to cool, and things crawling out of the sea, so I can't get too distraught.

Come to think of it, that movie's pretty radical, considering everything.

I hear that their going to remake it in a couple of years. See, that disappoints me. The Creature really only works because it's a '50s sci-fi movie. It would really piss me off if it were anything else. In fact it did. In disguise, mind you, but the disguise was thin. It's basically the same plot as say Anaconda, or even more closely, The Cave. A research team goes down into some mysterious cave (or the amazon river) searching for the fossils of some prehistoric creature or something. I forget the specifics of that movie. It was really shitty. Anyway, instead of fosils they find actually living creatures which kill them and stuff. Same damn plot. It even had sort of the same characters. The guy, the girl, the other guy, the old guy, the guy that's an asshole. Only differance is that it's set in a cave in Romania instead of a river in South America. And the monsters are kind of differant, but that's beside the point.

And to further my argument (such as it is), according to IMDb (my favourite website), they're getting the guy that played one of the monsters in The Cave to play the Creature in the remake. I mean, come on. Can you be any more obvious? I think not.

And for that reason (if the reason is coherant at all), I probably won't go see the remake when it comes out. I don't really have the funds to go see a movie anyway, but I won't whine about not being able to see it. (Actually, knowing me, I'll probably chicken out, ditch the boycott, and want to go see it anyway. I'm a little flaky like that.)


Weird Science

Weird Science (1985)

Written and Directed by: John Hughes

Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey, Robert Rusler

Jesus Christ that was a stupid movie. Okay, so I'm a fan of stupid movies, but this movie is really stupid. Of course, it was made in the '80s, and we all know what that means.

Two excruciatingly geeky teenaged boys decide to create a woman using their computer while watching Frankenstein (a colourized version, too. How sick is that?). They mean her to just be a program to learn from or something, but a magical storm actually brings her to life. Yeah right, I buy that. Then (much like The Cat in the Hat) she goes crazy and gets them in trouble and stuff. She even goes so far as to summon a sort of weird, SM, biker gang version of Thing One and Thing Two (including Michael Berryman from The Hills Have Eyes and one of the guys from The Road Warrior).

Okay, I'll admit, I laughed maybe four, five times, but mostly at things other than the movie. It was just so... stupid.

And dammit, if you're going to make a movie about a really sexy lady, make sure you hire a really sexy lady to play her. I mean, jeez. Kelly Whatever wasn't ugly, but she wasn't anything to get excited about. And she reminded me of Elizabeth Hurley. The other two girls weren't particularly good looking either. Actually, there was a very definite shortage of really good looking people in that movie in general. Robert Downey Jr. was about the only attractive person in it. Of course, he's so cute he should really count as more than one person, but that's not really up to me.Of course, he was playing a total asshole, so that kind of subtracts points from his total score. I guess.

Back to the topic of this movie's immense suckiness. I thought the music was really bad. I know, that's the '80s factor in action, but that doesn't make it any better. I mean, why the hell bother? Honestly. It makes no sense at all.I liked Ferris Bueller's Day Off. That was a fun movie (okay, it's kind of dumb and teenie, and the music was also questionable, but Matthew Broderick is so irresistable. Or he was back then. He's kind of turning into a skin-bag now.

Jesus Christ, The Producers made me so depressed. Not only was he looking all old and wrinkly, but he was doing Gene Wilder. Gene Wilder is a little weenie man. It's at times like that I have to go watch Ladyhawk or The Freshman again. I did like Uma Thurman in The Producers, but I always like her. She's so cool). I don't know where John Hughes went wrong with Weird Science. I don't understand how someone can make something as charming as Ferris Bueller and then something as totally repulsive as Weird Science. Yet it happens all the time. It's like how John Carpenter can make movies like Halloween, and then Ghosts of Mars (well, he had a bit of time to lose his mind in that stretch of time).

I can't complain, though. Even the amazing works of such a splendid being as I can be slightly less than extraordinary at times...


Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Hills Have Eyes

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

Written and Directed by: Wes Craven
Starring: Martin Speer, Susan Lanier, Robert Houston, Dee Wallace, James Whitworth, Russ Grieve, Virginia Vincent, Janus Blythe, Michael Berryman

Okay, well, it was better than the remake, on a few levels. It was almost word for word the same as the remake, but it was less gory. Which is, I think, a plus?

It's about a typical, all-American, whiny as hell family travelling through the desert to visit a silver mine the parents just inherited. When their car breaks down in the middle of an abandoned stretch of road, they are attacked by a family of psychotic cannibals living in the hills.

It's not especially scary. Alright, the idea of being attacked by a bunch of man-eating freaks is a little disturbing, but the movie is mostly just... gruesome. I don't know.

My biggest problem, which I also had with the remake, is that I cannot sympathize with the allegedly normal people. They're annoying, screechy, fat Americans (fat and juicy...). Of course, that's typically the case with horror movies. I just can't sympathize with the crazy hillbillies, either. They're repulsive and mean, and they beat each other up. They're just nasty.

So, I'm left without any team to root for. It's like a George Romero movie, but worse. I mean, zombies are at least civil to one another. I guess it sort of removes me from the conflict. Makes me a sort of neutral observer, who isn't really watching to see who wins, but just to see some more blood n' guts. Maybe that's the point? It's pretty deep. I guess.

Mind you, it's better than some of Craven's other movies I've seen. It's at least watchable. Not like, oh, say, Swamp Thing. Jesus Christ, that movie was stupid. Okay, Hills is kind of stupid too, but like I said, it at least has a shred of entertainment value.

And it could be considered as a study of what people will turn into when presented with extreme conditions. What depraved things people will do in order to survive. It's all very psychological, and it comes right down to the sensitive weiner's transformation into a psychotic killer. In this version, it's sort of presented as more shocking, whereas in the remake, it's depicted as more rational. Of course this guy would mercilessly butcher these evil, baby-snatchin', dog-eatin', America-hatin' mutants. It stands to reason.

That's the major differance between this and the remake, and the main reason I'd say it was better. This guy turns into an psycho. He sacrifices his humanity, and becomes no more than an animal, and no better than the creatures he is dispatching. And that's never a good thing.


Sunday, December 3, 2006

Lucky Number Slevin

Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Written by: Jason Smilovic
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley

A really compictaed revenge movie about a guy who calls himself Slevin that gets involved with two warring gangs. But not. It's kind of difficult to say anything about the plot without giving away the whole damn thing. It's that kind of a movie.

It's very complicated - more so than necessary, I would say, but a lot of people love that kind of thing. I find it a little frustrating. It's an obvious case of the writer thinking (or knowing, wihch may unfortunately be true in my case) that they are smarter than the audience. You can tell by the dialogue. It's all very witty.

It's okay for something to be witty. I rather like movies to have some wit to them (they're a hell of a lot better than those stupid movies), but this kind of sacrifices wit for character. All of the people talked the same way. I hate it when I notice that kind of thing. It's not subtle at all. I sit there wondering how someone came up with something that witty on the spot. It's because they didn't. It's because some writer had been thinking about that for a while.

And the overly complicated plot is another sign of the writer's astounding intellect. Only he could really know what's going on. The viewer is supposed to sit there, watching all of the meaningless parts, waiting for the crucial piece of information that makes it all make sense. Lucky for me, I already had an idea as to what was happening. I know someone who had seen it, who enlightened me as to the key twist, which made all of the other twists that much more predictable.

And it's a very twisty movie. I actually feel good that I knew the Key Twist. I think I would have been even more pissed off at the end of the movie if I hadn't. The truly enfuriating thing abut this kind of movie, is that if you get pissed of at it's wittiness, supposed intellectuals assume that you're really dumb. Which may be the case, but you're not supposed to tell me that.

Moving on to some better qualities, the film has a very good cast. The cast didin't make me as happy as it could have, but I was still pretty ecstatic. However, I think Bruce Willis looks terrible with hair, and I think it should have been Brad Pitt instead of Josh Hartnett. Okay, Josh did a good job, and it's a little hard to tell one pretty boy from another, but as far as those shrimpy, baby-faced pretty boys go, Brad Pitt is my favourite, and whenever I see a movie with one of the other ones, I always think it should be Brad Pitt. Or maybe it's the Bruce Willis factor. After all, they were both damn good in Twelve Monkies. Of course, Brad Pitt's too old to play that role.

I also have liked Ben Kingsley better in other roles. Just for the record. I think he should stick to British people. I don't know. He's just better with a British accent, for obvious reasons.

Lucy Liu I liked very much. She's really good looking, and she's a good actress. She's a fully rounded actor. Ha. No, she's cool, she should be in everything. I guess I'll be looking forwards to Charlie's Angels 3 then. Groan.

My favourite thing about the movie was the wallpaper. Man, that movie had some crazy wallpaper. No really, some of the patterns were completely insane. They were like optical illusions, and it kind of hurt to look at them. I've never seen those kinds of wallpaper in my life, and I don't believe that they'd put something as insanity inducing as that in a hotel. Still, it had artistic value.

I suppose that's not a really great recommendation for a movie, but if you're really into wallpaper, you should go for it. Otherwise, it's kind of a waste of time. And Lucky Number Slevin is a really stupid name.


Saturday, December 2, 2006

Mysterious Island

Mysterious Island (1961)

Directed by: Cy Enfield
Written by: John Prebble, Daniel Ullman & Crane Wilbur, based on L'Îlle Mystérious by Jules Verne.
Starring: Michael Craig, Michael Callan, Beth Rogan, Joan Greenwood, Gary Merrill, Percy Herbert, Dan Jackson, Herbert Lom

This movie is strangely entertaining. It's about a bunch of Civil War POWs who steal a balloon and sail to this crazy island, where they get attacked by giant animals and shit. All this has something to do with Captain Nemo. Sounds pretty fucking moronic, but it captured my attention for some reason.

Perhaps it's the stop motion effects by Ray Harryhausen. They were really quite good, considering that they were made 45 years ago. Sure, CGI can be a lot more impressive than stop motion (if used correctly), but dammit, stop motion looks really cool, and in this particular case, it was fairly well blended with the live action footage. Well enough to keep me happy at least.

Besides, the monsters were just plain cool, the giant crab being my favourite. It all has a King Kong feel to it, but that's okay. Kong's probably a hell of a lot better than this, but crabs are kind of scarier than monkies.

The two lovers (which seem to be mandatory in this kind of movie) are totally lame. Michael Callan (who was in lots of stuff I've never heard of) is a dork, and not a very good actor. He also looks kind of disturbingly like Elvis. And the girl was totally ridiculous. Her dress was repulsive to me, and I couldn't stand to look at it. A woman of the 1860s would never have worn something like that. I mean, really. It's obscene. And her underwear was showing. And it wasn't period underwear. I saw no pantaloons or corsets or things like that.

Joan Greenwood, on the other hand, I rather like. She has a very... interesting voice, which pleases me so.

I was a little confused by the Captain Nemo factor. I haven't read the book, of course, so I don't know if Nemo's supposed to be there or not. It just strikes me as a little strange that he sort of popped up, kind of getting his Moreau on, in a very general sense.

Still, the movie is entertaining. It's just a little silly, and frustrating if you think about it too much. It's not supposed to be really deep. It's just supposed to be a stupid teenie monster movie. (I'm not actually sure of that, what with all of the anti-war remarks in there. I would treat it as a silly monster movie, at any rate).