Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera (1962)

Directed by: Terence Fisher
Written by: Anthony Hinds based on the novel by Gaston Leroux
Starring: Herbert Lom, Heather Sears, Thorley Walters, Michael Gough, Edward de Souza

One of the many adaptations of that story, this one being the Hammer version. Groovy.

The Phantom is a disfigured musician living underneath the Opera House (hence the title) - in this version, his music was stolen by Michael Gough and he was horribly disfigured by the record press or whatever.

I kind of have to wonder if de Palma drew more from this movie than other versions of the story when making Phantom of the Paradise? It certainly seems that way.

Anyway, it wasn't exactly great, but it has that Hammer charm and it was way way way better than the Andrew Lloyd Webber thing that came out whenever. Man... don't watch that movie.

Yeah, the Phantom himself was pretty gross looking (as opposed to Gerard Butler in the Webber thing, who looked like maybe a bee stung him. Oh my God, ew. He's Gerard frigging Butler. So what if he's got a lump on his face? He's Gerard Butler. I can't stress that point enough). I mean, being Herbert Lom doesn't really help, but he had shit on his face and everything. So you've got that. The story doesn't really work if he doesn't look totally awful.

Although I did wonder why he was so upset about his opera getting stolen. It kind of... sucked. It was about Joan of Arc. Eg. I don't really like opera myself, call me barbaric. I may have mentioned I was tempted to shoot myself whilst watching La Boheme and that was Baz Luhrmann.

But oh well. Stealing from other people is just wrong. Unless it's burning a CD. That's okay. Heh.

Well, anyway, um, yeah, it looked really good, as Hammer films are wont to do, and it had lots of vaguely familiar British people in it. I kept thinking, hey, yeah, I remember that guy, sort of. He was in that other thing, where he played that guy, right?

Yesss. Not great, but entertaining and sort of enjoyable. I kept thinking dude looked like a early version of Michael Myers. Not that they're probably that closely related. I mean, everybody wearing a white mask sort of looks the same, that's the point.



Ghost of Mae Nak

The Ghost of Mae Nak (2005)

Written and Directed by: Mark Duffield
Starring: Pataratida Pacharawirapong, Siwat Chotchaicharin, Porntip Papanai, Jaran Ngamdee

Thai haunted house movie, created by someone... not Thai (I dunno where that guy's from. I assume he's British). But, apparently, based on an old Thai legend. Which would explain a lot actually.

A newlywed couple (named Mak & Nak, which would tend to get irritating) moves into an old house only to discover that the place is haunted by the ghost of Mae Nak who died many, many years ago and is still upset about it. Oh yeah, and her husband was named Mak, which is even more annoying. Nak's Mak is possessed by Nak and Mak. Arg. There are some criminals named Tick and Tock, too, which is almost too much. It's so adorable.

That was funny though. The rest of the movie was a little on the boring side, though. It sort of crawled along, and not that much happened. It wasn't particularly original artistically speaking, and wasn't really very interesting.

Also, it was translated from English, to Thai, and back to English so the subtitles are a little... weird. They make sense but they're kinda funny. (Pointless story: One time I was watching some movie... I think it was The Living Daylights... no, wait, it was the one with Christopher Walken, but anyway, I was futzing with my remote and turned on the Thai subtitles just to see what would happen and they're weird man. There are subtitles when there's no talking and numbers and stuff in there that just don't match up with the dialogue... stuff like '30 grams' and that. Drug deal?)

Yeah, so a little more traditional than some other things. The ghost obeys the laws of being a ghost. Sort of. That's probably cos it's a folk tale or whatever.

Supposedly there are a couple other versions of the story on film too. I ran into Nang Nak by Nonzee Nimibutr (I've heard of that person!), which is supposed to be good. I guess. I don't know, I can't tell by the poster. Ah well.

So, sort of interesting, but kinda dull.



Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Directed by: Tom Tykwer
Written by: Tom Tykwer, Andrew Birkin & Bernd Eichinger based on the novel Das Parfum by Patrick Süskind
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Dustin Hoffman, Karoline Herfurth, narrated by John Hurt

Okay, that was weird. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but it was really, really weird.

The life of this guy who has an extraordinary sense of smell and, in order to make the most powerful perfume in the world, he has to learn how to preserve the scent of people. Sound fuckin creepy? He extracts the scent of the beautiful girls he murders and eventually puts this perfume together. It really is the strongest perfume in the world.

I thought the concentrated smell of a person (a bunch of people, actually) would be totally disgusting, but apparently not.

So that was pretty majorly fucked up, but very good. It's hard to do smell in a movie because, obviously, films are visual, but they do it extremely well. The smells in the movie are revoltingly vivid and weirdly poetic or something.

And I liked that it was fucked up. It went above and beyond the limits of twisted, for me, and certainly did stand out.

It was a weird jumble of stuff, too. It wasn't always creepy and horrible. Sometimes it was kinda funny. Or maybe that was just Dustin Hoffman. Holy Jesus he was bad. He reminded me of Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice, only much much worse. And he and Alan Rickman are starting to look eerily similar, but we'll not go there right now.

The main guy, Ben Whishaw, never seen him before but he was really good. He barely said two words in the whole movie, the character has no social skills, but he was really good. Creepy as hell. Most people without social skills are a little bit creepy to me anyway, but... well...

Um, yeah, a little on the startling side, but what do expect from a movie rated for 'aberrant behaviour involving nudity'. Weird, weird weird.

Yeah, it looked great, it was wacky enough to keep me interested, the acting outside of Dustin Hoffman was good (inside of Dustin Hoffman it's too dark to tell?). So... good movie. But weird.


Friday the 13th 7

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

Directed by: John Carl Buechler
Written by: Manuel Fidello & Daryl Haney
Starring: Kane Hodder, Lar Park-Lincoln, Kevin Blair, Susan Jennifer Sullivan, Terry Kiser, Susan Blu, Heidi Kozak, William Butler and others

Part seven, right, so I think Corey Feldman's character tied him to a big rock beneath the lake in the last one. Right? I don't remember. Yeah, that's right.

Anyway, in this one he gets out. Big surprise. Um, there's this psychic chick who unleashes him accidentally. And then he goes around killing people for a while.

Not really a lot of point in ranting about this one cos it's the same as all the other ones, but I'll try.

Point number one: This one wasn't as gory as some of the other ones, and the methods of dispatching teenagers weren't quite as interesting. I was disappointed.

Point number two: Um... well, the last one was vaguely amusing and this one wasn't. There was nothing funny about it.

Point number three: Despite the lack of gore and funny stuff, the filmmakers remain equally incompetent.

Point number four: And the acting still sucks.

Oh yeah, and there was this lady with really, really scary hair. Her face was really weird lookin too, but her hair was even more disturbing. My friend said she looked like the Predator, only she didn't have the groovy Predator dreads or whatever.

Yeah, the Predator is pretty cool. I was going to draw the Predator in my notebook, but I couldn't really remember what it looked like. It turned out looking remarkably like a Wookiee. So I drew the Alien instead.

Oh God.

Yep, Friday the 13th Part 7 really did suck. But then what did I expect?



Body Count: 16/98
Favourite Death: Girl in sleeping bag hit against tree
How they kill him: I don't remember
To Go: Three more, next one being Jason Takes Manhattan. This one should be interesting

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Creepshow 2

Creepshow 2 (1987)

Directed by: Michael Gornick
Written by: George Romero, based on short stories by Stephen King
Starring: George Kennedy, Daniel Beer, Lois Chiles, Dorothy Lamour, Jeremy Green, Tom Wright, Holt McCallany, Paul Satterfield, Frank Salsedo, Page Hannah, Tom Savini, Stephen King

Okay, been busy with holiday stuff, but I'm near finished (hopefully) now, and I can get back to writing about crap. Ahhh. Thank God. Anyway, haven't been online in a long time, so I probably missed some stuff, but I'll try to catch up.

Anyway, this would be the sequel to the anthology Creepshow, featuring only three stories this time (rip off). Whereas the first one was pretty lame but somewhat amusing, this one was just kinda sad.

Not only were the stories dorky and moralistic, the acting wasn't great (this may have been due to the script as well) and the music was ear-bustingly awful.

Okay, the first story "Old Chief Woodenhead" concerns an old couple running a convenience store in a dead town. Nobody is coming to the store anymore. Aw man. But the American spirit perseveres and they try to power through no matter what happens. Anyway, they get murdered by the badass of the Reservation. And then the wooden statue outside the store comes to life and gets revenge. Cool.

Okay, second one is called "The Raft" and is about a bunch of teens who go out to have sex and smoke pot on a raft in the middle of the lake, but get attacked by some kind of sea blob. Actually, I think it was a tarp. Creeped me out a little bit only because I've been in that situation (not the smoking pot/having sex part, but the being trapped on an island by a flesh eating sea monster).

"The Hitchhiker" is about a woman who runs over a hitcher in her haste to get home (she's having an affair and doesn't want her husband to find out). Anyway, the dead hitchhiker, naturally, comes after her for revenge.

Yeah, that one was okay too. They just put the crappy one at the beginning. And the music... man it sucked. And the animated segments were lame. And Tom Savini looked like an asshole in that big rubber mask. The mock-cryptkeeper banter was also annoying. And half of it made no sense at all.

So yeah, pretty much sucked


Friday, December 14, 2007

The Invisible Man Returns

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Directed by: Joe May
Written by: Lester Cole & Kurt Siodmak, based (sort of) on The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
Starring: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, John Sutton, Cecil Kellaway, Alan Napier, Forrester Harvey

Watched this when I got home from the other movie on wednesday (hardcore watching, oh yes), whilst feasting upon popcorn flavoured mini rice cakes. Those mini cripsies, you know? Cripsies? Eh, I'm not going to correct that.

Anyway, I saw this once a long time ago, on a double bill with The Invisible Man. This one is about the original invisible man's brother, who uses the magic potion to spring his buddy out of prison (the guy was falsely accused of murdering his brother, so you know he's okay). Unfortunately, he hadn't worked all the kinks out, and his friend goes nuts trying to find the guy what framed him and killed his brother.

And it's got a very young Vincent Price in it. You don't see him until the very end of the movie, and it doesn't sound like him. Weird, weird, weird. At the end, he doesn't really look right either. Very bizarre.

I remember that freaking me out the last time I saw it. That time, I recall I liked this one better than the first one (it's sort of the same movie, just with a happy ending (kinda like The Fly and Return of the Fly - same movie 'cept in the second one the guy doesn't die. Also the 'mishap' isn't really his fault in the sequel, in both cases. Sure, he shouldn't have been dabbling in that stuff, but he took safety precautions).

Anyway, I think the first one holds up better the second time around, but this movie is still sort of amusing. It's kinda silly. Very silly, actually.

As opposed to the other Universal horror franchises of the '30s through '50s, the Invisible Man series goes a lot more for humour. The other ones sort of wound up meeting Abbott and Costello in the end, but it took them long enough. And that wasn't funny, it was just sad.

So, yeah, kind of cute. I like Vincent Price, even though he sounded like somebody else.


I Am Legend

I Am Legend (2007)

Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Mark Protosevich & Akiva Goldsmith, based on the film Omega Man written by John William Corrington & Joyce Corrington, based on the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson, Willow Smith

Went to the screening of this wednesday night, tickets courtesy of the Coast, as per usual (interesting experience, but I'll talk about that later). So this is the third adaptation of the novel to date, having more in common with Omega Man than The Last Man on Earth, with Vincent Price.

Anyway, it's about this guy who invents a sort of cure for cancer. The cure quickly turns into a highly contagious, airborne virus which kills 90% of the population in no time flat. 9% of the survivors turn into ravenous, blood-sucking zombie monsters and eat the remaining 1%.

I went into the movie expecting a real piece of crap, think I, Robot, and it was better than that (score!). A lot is better than that I, Robot movie, though...

But yeah, this one was actually pretty cool - Will Smith was really good (totally nuts but somehow likable) and it just sort of gets in to the ordinary day to day life of this guy.

Oh yeah, and the dog was really fucking adorable. It gets killed though, in a sort of nasty way, which is sad. It was a cool dog.

Anyway, on the downside, they go a little heavy on the sentimentality in the flashbacks, and I didn't really like the sort of almost happy ending (it ends bad for Will, but humanity wins out), much like the end of Omega Man. Last Man on Earth was a little more depressing, having much more in common with the book.

Still, they did think of a lot of stuff that didn't really ever come up in the other adaptations - the animals sort of move into the city, the animals from the Brooklyn Zoo are sort of running around (all CG, of course), the streets are grown over. Cool, cool, cool.

And there's even one relatively creepy scene, when he's wandering around in this dark tunnel, before we see the vampires.

That's other really major problem I had with it was the vampires. They didn't show them at all in the trailer (I was all like, where's the vampires at?), because they look like shit. They appear to be entirely CG, and they all look distressingly the same. Apparently all the people infected by the virus had the same body type and bone structure. I guess there was supposed to be a 'leader', but I couldn't tell him apart from the other ones.

When they start to get smart, start fucking around with him, though, they get a little interesting. They're not really as obnoxious as the ones in the novel, and they don't... upgrade.

But anyway, yeah. There's not a whole lot to the movie (which is kinda good in a way - it's nice and short, only like 1 40 or something), and if you go in without terribly high expectations, it's pretty engaging. It also helps if you dig that kind of story, and I do, very much.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shrek 3

Shrek the Third (2007)

Directed by: Chris Miller & Raman Hui
Written by: Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, Chris Miller & Aron Warner, from the book Shrek! by William Steig
Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Justin Timberlake, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews, Eric Idle, Larry King, John Cleese

Okay den, latest (but apparently not final) installation in the Shrek series.

In this one, the King of Far, Far Away dies and our hero, not really king material, has to go get Arthur, the only other heir to the throne. In his absence, the evil Prince whatever, Charming, takes over the kingdom with all his evil friends and cohorts.

Keeps up the high standards of animation and has enough funny stuff in it to keep me moderately amused throughout.

They seem to be trying a little too hard though, I dunno. I don't really remember that much about the last two Shreks, but I don't remember there being that much uplifting moral stuff either.

I think three movies is almost too long to keep up a good vibe (as Alien 3, Halloween: Season of the Witch and At World's End demonstrate). It starts to wear a little thin, get a little distorted. Especially when it comes to something as popular as this (or any of the movies mentioned above).

It gets a little self conscious or something. A little preoccupied with keeping up the feeling, and being better than the last two.

But anyway, it's not bad (unlike Alien 3 and Halloween: Season of the Witch, both of which were pieces of crap). It's entertaining enough, and would probably keep kiddiliwinks amused. If it amuses me, it'll amuse them. My sense of humour hasn't really advanced much since the age of eight.

And of course it's full of pop-culture references and hip, happening music (was it just me, or did I hear the Eels in there a couple of times?), which makes triviaheads like myself feel really good.

Still, not particularly looking forward to another one. Sure, I'd watch it, but four movies is really too much. I'm sorry. It just is. There should be a limit.

Woo Shrek.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Die Hard 4

Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by:
Mark Bomback, based on A Farewell to Arms by John Carlin
Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant, Maggie Q, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Cliff Curtis, Jonathan Sadowski, Andrew Friedman, Kevin Smith, Yorgo Constantine

Fourth Die Hard movie to date (oh God, please, no more), some people like to call Die Hard 4.0. Is there a Die Hard 4.2? 4.7? 4.8901? That I'd like to see.

Anyway, this time terrorists disable the internet or something and generally fuck things up for everybody. I dunno, they take down the cell phone lines or something (do cell phones have lines?). Those monsters. Oh yeah, and they take John McLane's daughter hostage. Cos they've already kidnapped his wife twice, so that's getting kinda old.

Why do they do this? For the good of America, apparently. So yeah, Bruce Willis turns superhero (?) and stops them, blowing up as many cars, helicopters, bridges, trucks and Foreign people (like, a couple of French mercenaries and Maggie Q) as they can fit into a mere 130 minutes. 130 minutes? Holy shit, that's like, two hours. No wonder.

So that was pretty boring. I used to like action movies but... they're starting to tire me. Darn.

But let us reminisce about the first Die Hard for a moment. In the first one, it was just a bunch of German (were they German? Or Russian? Gruber. German) thieves holding a skyscraper hostage while they robbed the safe.

It was quiet, it was thrilling. Bruce Willis crawling around in the ventilation system with that wife beater and no shoes. Sexy. Alan Rickman. Sexier.

This one is just nonstop action from beginning to end. There's nothing thrilling about it. There's no sense of danger, you know Bruce is going to save the day, trash the bad guys, save his daughter and say 'Yippy-kay-yay motherfucker' at least once.

And that's exactly what does happen. Anyway, two more problems which must be addressed:

Bruce Willis is no longer remotely attractive. Okay, he is, a little bit, deep down somewhere, but his head is slowly merging with his body. Ew. And he's really old. I'm sorry. Okay, Bruce Willis is only fifty-two, but the kind of shit he's doing in this movie should kill him. Really. Jumping off a plane onto solid concrete and running away without any broken legs or anything is just annoying.

Also, the series hasn't had a cool villain since Hans Gruber. No argument. He's pretty much the epitome of cool villains and they haven't been able to match him yet (let's hope they stop here).

Anyway, on the up side, I did like Justin Long, who plays the Mac in all those Apple commercials (you know, "Hi, I'm a Mac" "And I'm a PC!" "Shut up dumbass"). I vaguely remember seeing him in Dodgeball and Jeepers Creepers. He's good, and kinda cute in a Keanu Reeves kind of way. He has a nerdy charm.

Yeah, so, Die Hardererer... possibly better than Die Harderer, actually, yeah, it is better, but still kinda... stupid. And so fucking patriotic. Some funny stuff, occasional amusing dialog, but not that worth it.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Spiderman 3

Spiderman 3 (2007)

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by:
Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent based on the comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Theresa Russell, Dylan Baker, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Willem Dafoe

Okay, so the third Spiderman movie, cleverly titled Spiderman 3, tries to outdo the first two movies by having, like, three badguys to deal with.

That friendly neighbourhood spider-man has to confront his inner demons when this goop from space paints his suit black and turns him into a jerk. And M.J. breaks up with him cos he's a dink. And there's this other photographer who's out to get him. And this guy that turns into sand who (hey!) was responsible for spider man's uncle's death. And Bryce Dallas Howard, for some reason. Oh yeah, and the Silver Surfer is back, only this time he's James Franco instead of Willem Dafoe.

Yeah, there's a lot of shit going on. Enough shit to fuel about six movies, actually, and a lot of it doesn't really seem to have any relevance to anything else. It's almost like filler, it doesn't even matter at the end of the movie.

I like Spiderman as much as the next person. I dig Tobey Maguire and think The Octopus is cool. I wish I had eight arms.

But this movie actually succeeded in boring the hell out of me. It's hard to believe that a movie with so much big-budget, web-slinging action could possibly be that tedious, but that's exactly what makes it so dull.

The in-between bits were fairly good. The acting is good (with a cast like that, who can complain?), and a lot of the stuff is eye burstingly funny. That scene with Bruce Campbell. Hee hee.

I was just kind of getting into it and then it would turn into one of the action scenes. I don't really have anything against action scenes. I like action movies. But everything was CG and it wasn't even good. It was at times like that I wondered why they didn't just animate it.

I guess I never really noticed the poor quality of the CG in the last two, but it really bugged me this time around. I almost couldn't watch it. Especially the stuff that just looked like a video game.

Anyway, it's all fairly high concept, the shots look pretty good and the action is, potentially, thrilling, it just looked like shit.

Also, it seemed to drag on a little too much. I mean, when you have seven plotlines, it takes a while to wrap them up. It bored me. I need more emotional stimulation god dammit!

Like I said, they could have spread this out over at least two more movies. So... why didn't they? I guess they were going for broke. Maybe they're not sure they can make any more. Maybe Tobey Maguire isn't signed on for any more movies, maybe they can't get the funding, I dunno.

But now what are they going to do? I mean, they'll be hard pressed to beat this one. They'll need, like, five villains to contend with (whatever shall they do? Are there even five more spiderman villains? I don't really know spiderman. Maybe they could bring back The Octopus. And some of the cooler Batman villains, like the Penguin).

I still kinda like spiderman though. I can't help it, it's still strangely exciting. And I guess I would get hyped up about a Spiderman 4. I'm pretty hyped up about Dark Knight. I want to watch it now, dammit. I could care less about Fantastic Four 3, but I do like the idea of Wolverine.

Not really a comic book nut, though...


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday the 13th 6

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986)

Written and Directed by: Tom McLoughlin
Starring: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Kerry Noonan, Renée Jones, Tom Fridley, C.J. Graham and others

Part six! Oh God. Okay, what happened in the last one... um... right, after his death at the hands of Corey Feldman in part four, and a bit of a scare at the hands of some impostor in part five, Jason is finally back. He gets reactivated by lightning or something, and goes to terrorize Camp whatever, which has real live kiddies in it for the first time ever.

Yes, he slashes his way through teenagers, punishing them for a variety of sins including but not limited to: fornication, '80s hair, listening to shitty music.

So it's exactly the same as the other five Fridays, only this one seems to have more of a sense of humour than the others.

I mean, after six movies, it's kind of like they're getting a little silly. More self-conscious. The series is starting to go more towards the slapstick, and this one feels almost like a Nightmare on Elm Street movie.

That doesn't make it all that much more interesting to watch, although it does up the entertainment value by about 1.7 points.

Still, there are issues, the biggest of which being small children. Small children are a difficult dilemma in a movie like this, and most of the time they don't show up at all and if they do, there's usually only one who, of course, has to be saved, but doesn't really cause that much trouble.

This movie has a shitload of kids, and after a while you start to wonder, "Why the hell isn't Big J. going for the little tykes?". I mean, sheeyit. He's in a room full of slumbering tots... they're easy to kill. Hell, what's his problem?

Of course, Jason is the Left Hand of God. He only kills people who really deserve it, or, you know, bug him somehow. So, horny teenagers, meddling police officers, greasers and drunken old men. No children. How very noble of him.

Freddy and Michael Myers don't kill little kiddies either, really (although, they aren't above waiting for the kid to grow up and then killing them, but they're immortal).

Speaking of which, Jason's got to be, what, about forty-two by now (he died in 1957, but apparently continued to grow after that point)? I guess he's probably in pretty good shape... although... he wasn't looking too good.

I can't help it, I worry about him.



Body Count: 17/82
Request Death: Nothing that exciting in this one, actually - I guess decapitating three people in one swing was pretty good
How they 'kill' him this time: Tie him to a rock at the bottom of the lake. Oh yeah, and a propeller to the face
To Go: Four more, plus Freddy Vs. Jason. Next one is The New Blood - I seem to remember seeing a bit of it on Spike one Halloween a few years ago

The Crow

The Crow (1994)

Directed by: Alex Proyas
Written by: David J. Schow & John Shirley based on the comic book series by James O'Barr
Starring: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, David Patrick Kelly, Angel David, Laurence Mason, Michael Massee, Jon Polito, Anna Thompson, Sofia Shinas

Okay, this is the one where the guy dies and then comes back to life to get revenge on the scummy bastards what killed him and his fiancé. So, he's like a goth superhero. Cool.

And he gets to walk around with a crow like a real badass.

Now. It's probably not very nice to make fun of Brandon Lee, him being dead and all, but he really fucking sucked. Nobody in the movie was particularly good (which may have had something to do with the script), but this guy was beyond bad. He was annoying. His voice bore into my brain like a brainworm. He didn't really talk a whole lot, though...

But he wasn't even hot really. My friend kept saying he looked like Johnny Depp. That's a bit of a stretch. It was mostly the make-up, actually. That shit he had on really wasn't very flattering.

Anyway, enough about Brandon Lee. The story was kind of lame, the writing was even lamer, but the art direction was very pleasing to me.

It was just so overwhelmingly... goth. It looked really cool, the camera work was good, the music was good.

It's just... well, everybody in it was really ridiculous. I mean, the bad guys are making fun of buddy the crow cos he's got funny make-up on, but they're all a bunch of assholes anyway. I mean, they work for a guy who really likes to take people's eyes and dresses... well, anyway.

They were all a bunch of dumbasses. I mock them.

Anyway, it was interesting to watch, in that it's a huge goth icon and (I guess) cult favourite. And it's the same guy who did Dark City, which I am partial to. On the other hand, he also did I, Robot which was a piece of crap.

Moving on, would have made an good music video. Not a music video necessarily, but had there been, say, no dialogue, it would have been much better. I think I could have put up with Brandon Lee that way.

One more question: if it's really about 'true love' and all that like the intro says, and not just about revenge and looking cool, how come the guy came back and not the girlfriend? I kind of have to wonder. I dunno.

So many questions... but never mind. It was okay, I guess. There was lots of action... or something. I don't know.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men (2007)

Written and Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy
Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly MacDonald, Woody Harrelson, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Beth Grant

Okay, so, new Coen Brothers movie. Yay! This one is about a man who comes across a heroin deal gone wrong and finds a suitcase full of money and does what anybody would do (what would you do?). Anyway, then he finds himself being tracked by this scary fucking guy who kills people with an air pressure gun. And then some other stuff happens. Tommy Lee Jones stands around in a cowboy hat and Kelly MacDonald does a southern accent (squee?).

So it's pretty gripping. I mean, edge of your seat thriller type thing. The woman sitting behind us in the movie theatre kept gasping and going 'oh no!' whenever anything happened, so I kept laughing which made things a little weird. It's not the kind of movie you should be laughing at.

Oh, yeah, there's funny stuff, the boff dialogue you would expect from a Coen Brothers movie. But generally the thing was gruesome and horrifying.

But hey, I like gruesome and horrifying. I like to be horrified every now and then (in this sense. There are other kinds of horrifying which are just horrifying).

I won't go so far as to say I liked the movie - you can't like something that horrifying. It made my toes curl in horror. But I enjoyed it, I guess. That isn't really a good term either.

Well, anyway. I liked Javier Bardem, even though he freaked the hell out of me. Scary, scary fuckin guy. I kept laughing at Josh Brolin, as I kept thinking of Planet Terror ("I'm going to eat your brain and gain your knowledge..."). I have trouble taking Tommy Lee Jones seriously. My friend has trouble taking Woody Harrelson seriously (but who doesn't, really?). Both of us had trouble accepting Kelly MacDonald's Southern accent. But I do like her. She's cute.

Moving on. My biggest problem with the movie is that it had no ending. This would have worked in a novel, I'm sure, but on screen it's brain-jarringly annoying. It's going along. I'm sitting there going "What's gonna happen?!?!?!". And then it ends. "What the fuck?" said I. "I demand satisfaction". Lot's of movies have open endings, but I feel satisfied at the end (lots of movies have open endings where I don't feel satisfied).

I realize that there is something else going on there, that it did, in fact, have an ending, and a very clever ending at that, but it's beyond my hick brain to comprehend.

Mind you, it's often necessary to see one of their movies twice in order to like it. I'm going to try this technique - I think it might clear things up a lot for me, so I should probably reserve official judgment until such time as I can view it a second time. I wonder if it's still playing? Why yes, it is. Incredible. Maybe I'll wait 'til it goes to Empire Dartmouth (they're prices are about three dollars lower than the other theatres. Tee hee!).


The Reaping

The Reaping (2007)

Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
Written by: Carey W. Hayes & Chad Hayes
Starring: Hilary Swank, AnnaSophia Robb, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, William Ragsdale, John McConnell, Andrea Frankle, Stephen Rea

Okay, so there's this chick, a former minister or priest or whatever (I don't know how the church works. I was a dirty little heathen child), who lost her faith when her child and husband were killed in Africa, and lives to debunk 'miracles'. Then she goes out to some little town in Louisiana where the ten plagues of Egypt seems to be doing their thing again, and it all has to do with an evil little heathen girl living out in the bushes. Or does it?

Whatever. I found The Ten Commandments much more interesting, but then, Jewish people are cooler. And Charlton Heston was hot. MOSES! Yeah!

Anyway, this feels sort of like a Baptist (ew) version of The Omen with elements of The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man thrown in there for extra points.

It just proves that nobody can make a religious horror movie like the Catholics (lapsed Catholics, even better). This movie just comes off as a lame-ass morality dealie. Don't kill your children and worship Satan and stuff or else God will do a thing. Or whatever.

Okay, so problem number one: the movie should have been more Catholic (I mean if you're going to have Stephen Rea... wait, is he Catholic? He was born in Belfast but he lives in Dublin... oh I'm so confused. Oh well, whatever, he's Irish. Even Protestants are more interesting when they're Irish). Or Jewish. Yeah, it could have been way more Jewish. You don't see that many Jewish horror flicks, but I bet they'd be good.

Problem number two: I fucking hate Hilary Swank. I mean, she's not even hot. She looks like a dude (to be fair, I look like a dude too, but... um... whatever). And she's really not that great. And I don't like the movies she's in. The only movie I've seen her in that I liked (well, I didn't like it, obviously) was Million Dollar Baby, and I didn't really like her in it.

Okay, 'fuckin hate' is a little on the strong side. I dislike Hilary Swank. But anyway. I did like that little girl, AnnaSophia Robb. She was... likable. I guess she was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And Bridge to Terebithia, which I en't seen yet.

Anyway, this movie was pretty lame, and kinda boring. My homies and I broke it up by shouting "the REAPING!" at frequent intervals (that's a surprisingly fun thing to shout. Go ahead, try it. Right now. I dare you). Another question: why the shit was it called The Reaping? There wasn't a hell of a lot of reaping in the movie, even the not so scary kind (you know, reaping the corn or whatever). It's just a scary word. And hey, if you take the 'e' out, it's The Raping, which is really much more fun.


Planet Terror

Planet Terror (2007)

Written and Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews, Bruce Willis, Michael Parks, Rebel Rodriguez, Stacy 'Fergie' Ferguson, Tom Savini, Quentin Tarantino

Okay, so my novel's done, officially, I can get back into my daily routine, so to speak (I watched this movie, like, two weeks ago, so I might not remember all the details. Just bear with me).

Part two of Grindhouse, following Death Proof, involves a biological weapon getting released from the lab or whatever and turning the population of Texas into pus dripping, flesh eating, scab encrusted monsters (eek!) and it's up to a group of uninfected survivors, blah blah blah, girl with a gun for a leg.

She has a gun for a leg! That's the most retarded thing ever. I mean, how does she fire?

Okay, this probably isn't the most retarded movie I've ever seen (I'd really have to think hard about that one), but it's up there.

Unlike most of the other retarded movies I've seen, this one just didn't seem to care. It was supposed to be retarded. Which makes it the retarded action sci-fi zombie related horror movie of all time.

((Please excuse my enthusiasm. I seem to be in some sort of mood today.))

It's also a total gross-out bonanza. Think The Thing but more disgusting. It was enough to make me cringe, and I am relatively hardy (I guess - some people are probably laughing at my squeamishness right now, but compared to some of the people I know...). Has something sort of in common with Slither maybe, but way more over the top.

Anyway, I liked the grainy quality, except it annoyed the hell out of me whenever I saw a BlackBerry. The CGI stuff was very good (I watched the making of thing on the DVD, which was pretty cool). I dug that music...

Yeah, so it was just total mindless fun. A hell of a lot better than Death Proof which was probably the slowest damn thing I've ever sat through (again, this is an exaggeration - I did sit through Krakatoa: East of Java).

It's actually kind of like what From Dusk till Dawn should have been. It's the same kind of movie, but much, much better.


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Bandidas (2006)

Directed by: Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg
Written by: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Tyler Yoakam, Sam Shepard, Ismael 'East' Carlo, Carlos Cervantes, José María Negri

Two women, a busty peasant and a busty noblewoman, get together when their fathers are killed and a huge injustice is done to The People to rob banks and stuff. If only they would team up with Zorro, El Mariachi, Mrs. Zorro and Danny Trejo. Surely then all would be well in Mexico.

I really can't get over how disgustingly horrifying this movie was. And it wasn't even good (had it been good I might have made some excuses for it). It's really just an excuse to see lots of cleavage, Salma on Penélope wrestling, Salma and Penélope doing push-ups in a river (oh yeah) and some soft core porn.

Okay, okay, okay. Salma and Penélope are very hot. I get it. I'm not bitch enough to deny that. But surely they're smart enough to want to do something a little higher caliber than this?

Whatever pays the bills, though, right?

Anyway, it wasn't even that, it was the fact that it wasn't very original. It was another sexy western about Mexican freedom fighters, with some evil guy doing something with gold. Stealing it, I guess. Robin Hood kind of thing, only with really hot chicks instead of Kevin Costner and his butt double.

It was exactly the same as every other thing, with, like, CSI thrown in there for no apparent reason (I won't even go into that).

There were one or two good scenes (the one where the guy's tuning his banjo, remember?), but nothing that really improves the movie at all.

It was just sort of lame and sleazy and generally disgusting. I kept waiting for the Penélope on Salma sex scene but, alas, they didn't go there. Had it been some sort of lesbian porn movie... well, anyway.

So, yeah, it really sucked and made me feel bad for those girls. I do like them, I just think they should get better work (it isn't their fault they're in crap like this).

Ah well.


Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty (2007)

Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Written by: Steve Oedekerk, based on Noah's Ark, by God
Starring: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, Johnny Simmons, Graham Phillips, Jimmy Bennett, John Goodman, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins, Jonah Hill, Molly Shannon

Sequel to Bruce Almighty sort of goes in a more family friendly direction. Meaning no Jim Carey style antics (unfortunately. As much as those antics get on my nerves, they're a lot more entertaining than the nonexistant antics in this movie).

God comes down from his penthouse in the sky and tells Steve Carell to build an ark. Steve Carell says no. God makes him do it (he made me do it!) by holding his family hostage. Bruce Willis, reprising his role as John McLane (or McClane or however we're spelling that), must come in and, I don't know, stop somebody from doing something.

I'm joking, that would have been silly. He makes him do it by causing him to grow a beard. So Steve Carell builds an ark, which apparently is a great father-son bonding activity.

It's basically just an exact retelling of the Noah story, not even jazzed up that much. At least Bruce went for a sort of new story, and made fun of the whole God thing.

This movie was just so nice. Okay, there was some funny stuff in it. I won't deny that. And I sort of like Steve Carell, but... it wasn't very edgy.

And apparently the Noah thing has less to do with actually building the damn ark than wearing a robe and having a great big bushy beard.

Anyway, in the end, the flood doesn't really do a hell of a lot. It doesn't kill everybody (which it really should have) or anybody for that matter. Damn. There was a lot of property damage, but very few human casualties. Which makes me wonder. Why build the damn ark at all? All buddy had to do was stand on his roof and he would have been okay. Why fill the thing with animals?

It makes no sense to me. It's all about believing in God and crap like that, which bugs me a bit. If God told me to build an ark, I... probably wouldn't do it. If Morgan Freeman told me to, I probably would, though. I mean... he's Morgan Freeman. Come on.

And I love his comfy white God pajamas. I wish I had some of those (mind you, as I am not God despite my best efforts, I doubt I could pull it off. I'd just be really comfy).


30 Days of Night

30 Days of Night

Directed by: David Slade
Written by: Steve Niles, Stuart Beatty and Brian Nelson, based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Megan Franich, Mark Rendall, Manu Bennett, Amber Sainsbury, Mark Boone Junior, Joel Tobeck, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Peter Feeny, Min Windle

In this new age of latter day Van Helsings such as Buffy Summers and Eric Brooks (alias 'Blade'), where the hell is a vampire s'posed to go? New Jersey! Or Alaska. Whichever.

Set in the northernmost town in the United States (my friend insists that it should have been set in Alert, even farther north but not part of the United States), where the sun sometimes goes down for 30 days. The ultimate setting for a vampire movie. I mean, there's just that feeling of total hopelessness. What are you gonna do?

The movie has a sort of comic book feel to it, at least in the first half (it sort of lets itself get into the jerky, handheld, zombie/slasher movie technique later on), which, as opposed to many comic book adaptations, actually works. The art direction was gorgeous, and the whole thing was practically in black and white.

Everybody was disgustingly pale, which is nice. I like to see people looking pale and gross like that. I'm not crazy about Josh Hartnett, but I didn't mind him in this. It's a bit of a step down from some of the stuff he's been doing lately I guess, but let's remember his debut was Halloween 7.

And the vampires were pretty cool. Okay, I laughed at them a little bit (anybody who walks around with their mouth open hissing deserves to be made fun of at least a little), but they were weird. They sort of had their own thing going on. They weren't human at all, and they were a nice mix of the gothic type vampire and the dirty nasty street vampire.

Anyway, there's a fairly sizable cliché infestation in there, particularly towards the end (hey, let's save the kid!), but it's not distracting enough to really bother me. I mean, I could have thought up a better way to end the thing (everybody dies; everybody dies except Josh Hartnett, who joins up with the vampires; everybody dies except Josh Hartnett and one of the vampires, who both end up stranded in the middle of nowhere). The ending they have just seems like it's supposed to be cool - they had an ending in mind but didn't quite know how to get there.

Whatever. Not a problem. The whole thing is creepy and weird and vaguely disturbing. They had some pretty great shit in there, and a decent portion of gore. It actually sort of manages to go halfway between the subdued quiet more thriller side of things and the all out gory zombie movie.

Anyway, by far the most amusing thing in the movie was Ben Foster as 'The Stranger', the Renfield character, totally over the top, with some weird accent (cajun, apparently. I'll buy that). Boff, man (what the hell does boff mean? I don't know, I read it in a book).

Yeah, good vampire movie. Better than Underworld anyway. Not scary, but pretty weird. I'm kind of tempted to read the comic.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Dead Silence

Dead Silence (2007)

Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan, Judith Roberts

Spawned from the creators of Saw (I en't seen Saw...) comes a movie that doesn't make any fucking sense. Yay! Something to trash!

Okay, when a guy's wife is murdered (has her tongue ripped out. Apparently this will kill you) seemingly by a ventriloquist's dummy, the guy has to return to his home town to learn the legend of Mary Shaw. Mary Shaw was a ventriloquist who killed a kid and then got her tongue cut out by a lynch mob. I guess. And now she's back! Boogah!

When put that way, the movie almost sounds coherent, like Darkness Falls but with a ventriloquist who collects tongues instead of a pervert who collects teeth. To be fair, the movie makes enough sense in the big picture. I mean, it has a plot, I guess.

But the movie itself is basically just a bunch of creepy stuff for no reason. I can't even begin to express my frustration with this movie, actually. Most of the stuff in it seriously doesn't have a whole lot of connection to any of the other stuff.

Okay. I saw the trailers. I expected it to be lame. I would have been really disappointed had it not been lame. I expected something sort of along the lines of Magic or something. You know, crazy ventriloquist. Ghost of a crazy ventriloquist. Ghost of a crazy ventriloquist who sort of possesses her dolls but not really, but anyway she needs the dolls to live except she's either possessing that woman or she's some sort of reincarnation or a witch and she hollowed out the guy's dad so she could use him as a doll. And all because she wanted a child of her own. And I guess a tongue collection?

That's a much more accurate description of the movie. See what I'm saying?

Another thing which bugged me: Okay, in these kind of movies, there's a person who gets killed without a trial because the villagers thought she killed some kid. It always turns out she was falsely accused, and thus she comes back to take her revenge on the people who killed her.

In this, the woman actually did kill the little kid (okay, he was a little shithead, but still), died for it, and then came back to have her revenge on the descendants of the people who killed her. That's just retarded. They were even when they killed her. Now all the people she killed will have to come back and get revenge on her again. This is what happens when you start skewing morals in a moralistic genre.

Yeah, this movie sucked. No two ways about it.



1408 (2007)

Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Written by: Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, based on the short story by The King
Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Jasmine Jessica Anthony, Tony Shalhoub

You could say that some movies have a shine to them. "New" Stephen King adaptation about a haunted hotel.

This one's about a guy who goes around proving that houses aren't haunted. A real sarcastic bastard (my kind of guy), grieving over his dead daughter. And then he finds a hotel room that really is haunted. Ha ha.

There's a nigh unbearable sense of doom throughout the whole thing. Waiting for whatever's going to happen to happen. A gradual build-up of atmosphere. Climactic dread.

The room was freaky as hell, with mirrors in unexpected places, and it was all shot really well. Also, my God is John Cusack looking old. He looks like my grandma. That alone was totally horrifying. Poor guy, he used to be so adorable.

Anyway, the dread sort of fizzles out once they start fucking around, and by the end of the movie I couldn't trust them at all. I just accepted that the guy was dead, still trapped in the room, whatever. Freaky shit, but it really pissed me off. I don't like people messing with me like that (the main reason why I got mad at Shyamalan. Bastard).

So other than that (bastards), the script was pretty good, the room was spooky as anything, the whole thing shone like the sun, Sammy Jackson got his obligatory Sammy Jackson line ("It's an evil fucking room").

Something I was wondering about though: If you add the numbers of 1408, you get 13 (I didn't work that out, they said so in the movie. I'm not that smart, God), so does 1246 have the same problem? Okay, 1246 doesn't have the misfortune of being on the 13th floor. How about 1453? Or 1471? I know, I know, it actually doesn't matter. The room's haunted because it is, this is just what I think about in the wee hours of the morning.

So yeah, not a bad movie, one of the better Stephen King movies I've seen lately (horror movies, anyway). Pretty... tense, I suppose. Laden with Kingisms, but, hey, can't argue with that (I have my own set of clichés I use in everything I write, I should really leave him alone). But still. It bugs me. Not as much as some of his other ones. The Tommyknockers for example. Actually, I shouldn't really give him a hard time anyway seeing as he had wasn't exactly involved with the production team on that one. I don't think.

Yeah yeah. Leave Steve alone. Okay. Just shut up about it. Yeah yeah.


Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness, the Ultimate Experience in Medieval Horror (1992)

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam and Ivan Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove, Bridget Fonda, Ted Raimi, Angela Featherstone

Surprise! Third and final (to date - I heard a rumour about an Evil Dead 4. Or a remake or something... anyway) Evil Dead movie, taking place in the Middle Ages. Oooh, exciting.

So, in the recap (featuring a new Linda), our hero gets zapped back in time (and presumably moved to a different continent) and finds that they had a bit of an evil dead problem in the 1300s. In order to return to his own time, he must retrieve the Book of the Dead (what's a Sumerian Book of the Dead doing in 14th century England?) and defeat the army of darkness, among other things.

So, higher budget and even more retarded than the first two. It makes me wonder if Sam Raimi actually ever grew up, emotionally speaking. I mean, he did make Spiderman (I will admit I thought Spiderman was pretty cool. I mean... he's a spider... and a man!).

Anyway, that's sort of what makes it more cute and endearing (albeit a little disturbing).

It's got some snappy lines, decent (although maybe a little dated?) FX and that over the top weirdness going on. Plus geysers of blood and some chainsaw/hand related goodness (that thing must be heavy). And Bruce Campbell is weirdly charismatic.

Still, the transition from low budget zombie movie to higher budget medieval action movie (lets call it an epic zombie movie) is a little alarming, and the fact that this doesn't really have that much more plot than the first two doesn't help. It's just a bunch of stuff that happens, kind of like a video game (were they making video games at this point? Yeah, I guess they would have been)

Anyway, it was pretty enjoyable, particularly at two in the morning, revved up on tea, Big 8 cola and surplus Mars bars (I got extra candy this year. Bwahahaha). Man, I'm excited really easily.


Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead II, the Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror (1987)

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Richard Domeier, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, John Peakes, Lou Hancock

Part two of Halloween goodness. Noticing a theme? Anyway, half sequel/half remake I guess of/to the original Evil Dead. It sort of recaps the first movie in about ten minutes, changing details enough to confuse me (I was thinking, 'this guy takes his new girlfriend, also named Linda, to the same cabin where the last Linda got killed, gives her the same necklace, watches her get possessed by the same evil spirits and cuts her head off. Try explaining that to the cops'). Anyway, yeah. All recap.

In this one, he and a bunch of new people must fight off the evil demons or whatever, trying not to get eaten by the one living in the cellar. Oh yeah, and he cuts his hand off.

It certainly surpasses the original in terms of sheer grossness (dude obviously had a bigger budget for FX et cetera) and weird... shit. It sometimes borders on too silly, like some kind of really fucked up kids show. This worries me.

My associate observed that it looked sort of like a Tim Burton movie. Indeed! The creatures look like they belonged in the waiting room in Beetlejuice or something.

Anyway, it's as entertaining as the first one, and more advanced technically, though not so polished as to take away from the nasty low budget goodness of the original. It maintains a sense of mayhem (no plot, no character development! Yay, chaos! Actually, main guy seems to be developing into an asshole of some variety... still he reminds me of, like, the distant cousin of Joxer the Mighty. Not as weenie, maybe) or something.

And hey, there's some pretty nifty chainsaw action going on there. I wish I had a chainsaw for a hand. Actually, maybe not. It would make certain things kind of difficult. Making a cup of tea, for instance (I always worried about the little details of Edward Scissorhands' life, but that's a topic for another time). Still. It's pretty good for killing the undead among us.


Evil Dead

The Evil Dead, the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror (1981)

Written and Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York

Mmm, toast-o-licious. The tea is cold and disgusting, I en't drinking it. Anyway, this would be the first part of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy and, coincidentally, part one of this year's Halloween triple feature of the macabre.

One of the monuments to terror I hadn't experienced before, so excuse my pointing out the obvious here. I'm still a noob in the grand scheme of things.

This is the one about the group of fairly decent (well, one or two are fuckin assholes) kids who go out to a cabin in the woods, open the book and get killed/possessed/molested/et cetera by evil forest spirits. And what is the only surefire way to get the demon out of your friend once they've been possessed? Dismemberment. Yeah baby.

So the premise (I won't call it a plot per se) isn't exactly bursting with originality, the acting occasionally dips below good and the whole thing is fucking retarded, but this wins by intense, over the top, extreme grueling horror. It just goes on and on unabated, axes, chainsaws, dismemberment, decapitation, geysers of blood and oatmeal for 85 minutes.

I mean, even by zombie movie standards (and it is really a zombie movie at heart) this is moderately grisly. Dawn of the Dead was pretty fucking disgusting but it wasn't ridiculously gross. This goes just that much too far, pushing past the border of bad taste, and making it that much more entertaining.

Besides that, the good camera work and... interesting make-up job cover up the low budget (it's a very good example of a low budget movie - there are only five people in it, there's very little in the way of special FX short of some make-up and, y'know, the tree thing. There's really nothing in it, and yet it works).

Also a few nods to 'the classics' (do you ever notice that when you like the movie, it 'nods' to 'the classics', but when you don't like it, it 'rips them off') as well as, I gather, the Three Stooges. I tried my best to avoid the Stooges, but from what I read, they're in there.

Anyway, there's more...


Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum (2006)

Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant based on the novel by Milan Trenc
Starring: Ben Stiller, Carla Gugino, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Jake Cherry, Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Mizuo Peck, Rami Malek, Patrick Gallagher, Pierfrancesco Favino, Kim Raver, Paul Rudd, Crystal the Monkey

I guess this is sort of a kids movie... I dunno. Whatever. It reminded me of some of those things I went to see at the IMAX so many years ago. I think this played on IMAX, actually...

Anyway, it's about this guy who goes to work as a night guard at the Museum of Natural History so his kid doesn't think he's a loser. Little does he know, everything in the museum comes alive at night to duke it out, and he has to make peace between them or some damn thing.

Meanwhile, the former night guards who he's replacing are trying to get him fired, cos, you know, they're evil.

So it's borderline lame, but the cast is just so irresistible. They make the clichés seem less so (of course, the big disco dance party at the end sort of cancels it out). But it's cute while it lasts.

Anyway, I guess the Reno 911! guys wrote it, so it's got that going for it. I guess. They're toned down a bit, I must say. Still, it was quite a bit funnier than some other crap I've seen. This may have also been the aforementioned casting. I was never sure about Ben Stiller, but I guess he's pretty funny.

Also, the FX were not too bad (mainly because the digital creatures didn't really have any flesh - i.e. a walking dinosaur skeleton or a talking Easter Island head).

It did stop and start a bit. I dunno. It sort of bugged me when he kept leaving and coming back and getting fired and rehired all in the space of, what, three days? And when the hell did that guy sleep, anyway? He's trying to keep the museum from falling apart all night and trying to be a dad all day. Poor bastard.

So fairly entertaining and not too patronizing. It keeps the butt jokes to a minimum (hee hee! Butt jokes).

Anyway, I haven't eaten yet today, been writing, so I have to go make a piece of toast or something (and mmm, another cup of tea), but I'll come back afterwards. I just can't keep away!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Godspell: A Musical Based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew (1973)

Directed by: David Greene
Written by: David Greene and John Michael Tebelak, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Starring: Victor Garber, David Haskell, Katie Hanley, Merrell Jackson, Joanne Jonas, Robin Lamont, Gilmer McCormack, Jeffrey Mylett, Jerry Sroka, Lynne Thigpen

I thought this movie had something to do with that Robert de Niro one, you know the one where they clone the kid and he turns out to be evil (cos, let's face it, that's what happens when you do cloning). Hoo Lord was I wrong.

This appears to be a musical about... the second coming? Or something. Okay, Jesus appears in Central Park, summons a bunch of people to him, gets them high and then goes on some kind of magical mystery tour around the city, visiting such famous New York landmarks as the Bridge, the Trade Towers and Woody Allen. Anyway, eventually John the Baptist ties Jesus to a fence and watches him OD. That bastard.

It sort of plays like a little kids' show on the Treehouse channel, teaching kids about the message of the good Lord and the lessons in the Bible. Either that or a weird cross between The Wicker Man and Cuckoos Nest reenacted by clowns on meth.

I mean, these people do some pretty weird shit. They raid and vandalize a junk yard, break into a rich guy's house, go on an adventure on a tug boat (singing some song about 'feeling fine and drinking wine'. On a boat...).

Then I guess they start to come down off their high and this big monster shows up, made of what looks like some brooms and a garbage bag. I think it's supposed to represent the Jew but I'm not sure.

Anyway, they end up back at the junkyard, Jesus starting to feel a little paranoid... when the cops show up or whatever and everybody has some kind of seizure.

With uplifting songs! Okay, okay, okay, being an atheist (sort of) I can't really help but make fun of this movie (mind you, I didn't really make fun of The Passion. I took that very seriously... scary fucking movie). But really, there is something really very wrong with this flick.

Still, it was pretty damn funny, and I did learn a bit about Jesus and that (like, if you convert people and tell them about the way of the Lord and stuff like that, you get more points in Heaven - which explains why these frigging people is trying to convert me). Although a lot of this stuff makes no sense whatsoever. I was trying to figure out what the hell they were talking about (I put a pebble in my shoe, and named it Dave. I talk to that pebble...). It was a little disturbing.

And, I mean, if I saw those people coming towards me I would run to join them or nothing. I'd probably think that Heartwood was doing some kind of orientation and quickly walk the other way before they recognized me (I know most people here probably don't know what Heartwood is, but my friends will laugh).

Anyway, I would actually recommend it heartily - it's absolutely fantastic and full of great songs with lyrics like "Oh God, I'm Dead" and stuff like that. Great shit, man...

Heh heh heh


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Curse of Frankenstein

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Directed by: Terence Fisher
Written by: Jimmy Sangster, based on the novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus by Mary W. Shelley
Starring: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee, Valerie Gaunt, Paul Hardtmuth, Fred Johnson, Claude Kingston, Alex Gallier

The first in the Hammer Frankenstein series (part of their shiny box set), followed by Revenge of Frankenstein, Evil of Frankenstein (the only other one I've actually seen), Frankenstein Created Woman (yeah right), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, The Horror of Frankenstein, and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.

What's truly terrifying is that I know those off the top of my head... and the Nerds still wont let me play d20 Modern with them...

Okay, this movie has the infamous Baron Frankenstein (who may or may not be stark raving mad) in prison facing execution, trying to explain to a Priest that his sexy French housekeeper was murdered by a monster made out of body parts who, you know, disappeared after that. Naturally, everybody thinks he's totally fucking barmy.

And who knows, maybe he is. So this is basically an update of the 1931 Frankenstein, in vicious technicolour. Like most of the Hammer updates (Horror of Dracula, The Mummy et cetera) it's full of very pretty period sets, chicks with big knockers, and lots of blood (for the time - by todays standards it's kind of sad), which are, of course, the key elements of all good movies.

Well, maybe not. The movie probably counts as retarded, but I find it strangely endearing, along with many other people, I gather. It's just so... British. And I really do like Christopher Lee as the Monster. He kind of looks like a zombie more than anything, a sort of precursor of, like, Bub from Day of the Dead. Mind you, the Creature in this wasn't nearly as sympathetic and lovable as the one in the '31 version - he really seems to like killing people...

Still, it's kind of cute, you know? I get the same kick out of this stuff as other people do looking at pictures of baby crocodiles and shit (no, wait, that's me too... I'm sorry, I like reptiles. They're so cold and smooth).

Anyway, there were a few camera techniques which seemed fairly... modern to me - you don't see them too much in other horror pics of the period, big bug movies from the States and that (okay, this is a little later, but not much).

So... yeah. Yay movie. It wasn't as chilling as the Karloff version though... for me, anyway... oh well.


Saturday, October 20, 2007


Bug (2007)

Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: Tracy Letts, based on his play
Starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., Lynn Collins, Brian F. O'Byrne

Okay, just as a sort of starting point - I wouldn't say that this is really fair to the movie, but when something says "From the Director of The Exorcist" on the box, you really expect it to pack a similar punch. It's like reading "from the director of Halloween" and getting Escape from L.A.. Disappointing.

Now that's out of the way. Movie about a woman plagued by her abusive ex-husband and regrets about losing her son and this psychotic drifter who shows up and stays with her. She falls in love with him and puts up with it when he starts going on about the infestation of blood-sucking aphids in her apartment, believes him when he says the government's after him, that they planted egg sacks in his teeth because they want to transmit the bug signals to space stations or some fucking thing. And eventually she goes totally nuts with him.

And that's what happens when your friends are schizos (and also homeschoolers, evidently. Okay, okay, okay, there are a few homeschooled kids from my particular circle who have a lot of creepy rapist potential, but they're all the weird ass religious types and they all have a sort of Norman Bates mother-son thing going on). The crazy can rub off on you. No, really, it can. Come on. I have to go get dressed, be back in but a moment...


Never mind, I'll do it later. It's only 10:24. I don't have to do anything for at least another two hours. I'll just sit here in my house coat. Pretending to be The Dude.

Wow, I'm off track a little bit. Right. Bug. I though this movie was about, like, little bugs fucking killing people and stuff and I was all like "Aw yeah". Little did I know, the bugs were only in the mind of the schizo.

Anyway, the movie starts out with potential. There's a powerful feeling in the first part that something really really bad is going to happen. One of the guys is going to do something really bad and horrific and emotionally scarring. I sat there in dread of this moment for some time.

Then it turned into a bit of a gross out fest (a rather subdued one, mind you - no showers of green vomit... none of the other things I still can't bring myself to mention. You know what I mean). I mean, there's some narsty stuff for a person such as myself with a sort of... dentist thing (who doesn't have a dentist thing, though, really? Dentists must be sadistic people... well, of course they are, right? Is it safe?). And then, yeah, I started to think about it.

Crazy doesn't rub off. The woman seemed pretty sensible to me at the beginning and by the end she's absolutely nutso. I know a person (not too many details, okay, it's somebody elses life and they may very well be reading this) who was hanging out with a paranoid schizophrenic dude and she sure as hell didn't go whacky like that. Okay, he didn't stay with her long, and their relationship was sort of different and that's probably enough details right there, but she doesn't have bugs.

Right? Right. And ultimately the film's roots as a play are very limiting. It starts out being more like a movie and gradually turns into a play, all set inside the apartment. This wouldn't be a bad thing, but they didn't really seem to utilize the full claustrophobic potential of using one small location.

Anyway, that being said, Michael Shannon was very good and Ashley Judd was almost tolerable. I don't like Ashley Judd, she irritates the hell out of me.

And there are one or two pretty good scenes in there, but overall the movie isn't great, and the ending is very disappointing, seeing as the whole movie is pretty much laid out for it to work. It almost feels like it was written backwards. Like the dude had an ending and then tried to make everything fit into it. Oh well oh well.


The Fountain

The Fountain (2006)

Written and Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn, Mark Margolis, Sean Patrick Thomas, Donna Murphy, Stephen McHattie, Fernando Hernandez, Cliff Curtis

Everyone I know who saw this movie said it sucked big time - that it was possibly the most boring movie in the entire universe, so understandably I felt a little worried about watching it (God knows why - these were the same people who thought 300 was a fucking masterpiece, but oh well).

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure I can outline the plot accurately, as I'm still working on what was going on, but here goes.

It's about a conquistador who is sent to the jungles of South America to find the Tree of Life for his Queen, promising to drink of the life giving sap or whatever and bring it back to her so that they can live forever. Anyway, he does find it, and he does become immortal, but he doesn't come back for her. Hundreds of years later, he is a doctor trying to find some way to stop his wife (who is also the Spanish Queen) from dying of a brain tumour, using bark from the Tree of Life. Centuries later still he remembers it all as he travels with the Tree of Life (which sort of has the soul of Queen Isabelle/Izzie/Rachel Weisz) towards the big nebula in the sky known as Xibalba to be reborn and time goes in a big circle back to where everything started.

It's about what it means to be immortal, how you don't seem to have enough time when you need it and yet you're given an eternity to agonize about it later. The guy keeps playing over and over in his mind the one moment when he should have gone with her, spent more time with her...

It really is the most amazing thing I have ever seen - it touched my soul, the visuals were breathtaking (I hate that expression, but really, I couldn't breathe), the music was gorgeous, and the story was the very kind that means something to me. I was practically crying by the end of it...  it sort of makes you think about how you can't really appreciate a person until they're long gone.

I really don't see how anybody could find that boring. I was riveted. My arms and legs went numb because I forgot to move. Obviously it's not for everyone's taste, but I would still highly recommend seeing it just in case. Try to keep in mind that it's not really linear, it's not three unconnected stories, it's not really what anyone says it is. I mean, even my description of it is pretty biased - that's what I think is going on.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Friday the 13th 5

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

Directed by: Danny Steinmann

Written by: Danny Steinmann, Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen

Starring: Melanie Kinnaman, John Shepherd, Shavar Ross, Richard Young, Marco St. John, Juliette Cummins, Carol Locatell, Vernon Washington, Tiffany Helm, Caskey Swaim, Mark Venturini, Corey Feldman

Fifth part of the Friday the 13th saga, following The Final Chapter. I still can't get over that.

So in the last movie, he got killed by Mr. Feldman, and cremated, I guess, but now it seems that he is back to torment the grown-up Corey (played by some other guy, just to clarify) and the other sexy kids at the half-way home. I live near a sort of half-way home (we call it the Big Yellow House) and the people living there sure as shit don't look like that.

But things are not as they seem, blah blah blah, it's really another guy wearing the infamous hockey mask. Why the fuck the guy would pretend to be Jason? I don't know. Who the fuck cares?

Anyway, I didn't really watch this movie. I mean, it was on, but I was talking to my friend about Death Proof and the merits of Texas Chainsaw.

Still, I was picking up its crap rays with my crap detector. And yet again, I kept asking myself when are these fucking assholes going to die?

What is it about these movies and assholes? Why are the characters always assholes? Is it perhaps to make us feel better about ourselves? I'm not going to get killed, because I'm not that much of an asshole. I mean, they drink, do drugs, engage in premarital sex, act like dumbasses, spy on kids engaging in premarital sex, treat their girlfriends like shit, dress like greasers and, the worst sin of all, dance like fuckin honkies (because I am white, I probably shouldn't make fun of people who dance like that, but... well, they look like real dipshits).

Anyway, they die and I laugh. I'm not normally that insensitive... actually, I lied, I am. I guess it must have been shocking at some point, but it isn't very well filmed. It's cheap and displays a total lack of creative spark on the filmmakers part.

Interestingly, though, one of the actors in it was named something or other Voorhees. Debisue Voorhees.

But yeah, the end has the guy, the Corey Feldman guy, going nuts and donning the hockey mask, much like the end of Halloween 4. Oh God. Well anyway, I will press on, no matter how much it hurts... and to, you know, keep track of the body count. Har.

BODY COUNT: 20/65 (okay, two of those were in a dream, but God dammit, they count)
Best Death: One of the greasers gets a flare stuck in his mouth.
To Go: Six more. The next one is called Jason Lives, so... I guess he comes back to life


Saturday, October 13, 2007


Asylum (2005)

Directed by: David MacKenzie

Written by:
Patrick Marber and Chrysanthy Balis, based on the novel by Patrick McGrath

Starring: Natasha Richardson, Marton Csokas, Ian McKellen, Hugh Bonneville, Sean Harris, Gus Lewis, Joss Ackland

Not to be confused with the 1972 Amicus picture, the 1992 television documentary, the 1997 film with Robert Patrick and Malcolm McDowell, the British television series, or the thousands of other films with the same title. Just go to IMDb and type in 'Asylum'. It's crazy how many things come up.

Hey, I didn't even mean that as a joke. Aren't I cool. Anyway, this particular Asylum is about the wife of a psychiatrist who falls in love with one of her husband's lusty, well built patients. They have an affair, lots and lots of sex, he escapes, she follows him, more sex, he tries to kill her, blah blah blah, her life falls apart, her son drowns, she goes crazy, she jumps off the asylum roof. That's a pretty condensed version, but it has all the important plot points. Oh yeah, and the whole thing is orchestrated by the evil, sadistic Dr. Magneto... or whatever.

The whole thing (well, the first half, mainly) feels like one of those books you can buy at the grocery store. You know, the kind that have pictures of sweaty foreign men kissing the necks of sexy ladies and titles like The Brazilian Boss' Steaming Hot Mistress, Married to the Cockney Git and Pimp my Bride (yeah, I've never read one of those, but I read the back of one once. Very loudly. In the middle of the store. Yeah, I can be a real jerk sometimes). I mean, it was so... ribald. I kept expecting what's his face, you know, Jon Lovitz, to pop up.

It was pretty fucking bogus. I mean, it was one of those movies that pretends to be really good, but it's actually just a bunch of cheap thrills. With weird music. It sounded like it was made on my friend's computer... anyway, yeah. I was kind of expecting something more... interesting. A little more disturbing, maybe. I guess this was supposed to be disturbing. The jealous lover, who hacked his wife up with an axe or something. Whatever.

It wasn't really what I was interested in - I mean, of all the things that go on in an asylum, that's not the most fascinating thing to me personally. I guess it might've been, had it been done better. And if Marton Csokas had been a little more insane - he looked deranged, sure, a little whacky maybe. I like him, but in other stuff.

Well, anyway. Not my thing.


Death Proof

Death Proof (2007)

Written and Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Kurt Russell, Zoë Bell, Tracy Thoms, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Sydney Poitier (who is really a girl. Weird, eh?), Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rose McGowan, Jordan Ladd

One of the movies from Grindhouse, the other one being Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror. I dunno why they released them separately, maybe they thought they would make more money? I gather that Grindhouse really bombed, considering how much it cost to make.

It's sort of hard to outline the plot because it doesn't really have one in the traditional sense, but it's about a guy known as Stuntman Mike who has a death proof car and goes around killing people with it. Kinda like Christine but not half as interesting. Anyway, he meets his match, as it were, when he tries to kill a couple of female stunt drivers who, you know, kill him.

It's sort of like two different movies (the first part is about a bunch of girls going to stay at this lake house who get terrorized and killed by Stuntman Mike, the second part is about the stunt women) except they're both exactly the same. The female characters in the first half are basically the same as the female characters in the second half...

And nothing happens a great deal of the time. Most of the movie is about a bunch of people sitting around talking and not doing anything. Granted, the dialogue is fantastic, but they aren't doing anything. It's all jut setting up the characters who then die and get replaced by new ones. What's the point?

It's a 'what's the point?' kind of movie, really. I mean, after all the talking and sitting around, there are a whole bunch of shots of girls' asses, sexy ladies dancing around. Giving Kurt Russell lap dances. Ew. In a weird way, I like Kurt Russell, but... well, he's old and gross. I thought he was dead.

Also, you kind of have to wonder about the Grindhouse ideal. I heard that this movie (I'm not sure that it's this one specifically, or both of them, but either way) cost $53 million to make. That's not a Grindhouse movie. If they had given Tarantino and Rodriguez, say $100 thousand cos I'm generous, to share. That would have been a fuckin grindhouse movie. But anyway, that's how I feel. It did look pretty cool. I mean, it was all grainy, and the picture and sound kept cocking up - I'm sure they did that all digitally, but it looked good. And then it changes to black and white for about ten minutes, and then when it goes back to colour, the grainy, grindhouse quality is gone. Where did it go? Weird.

And another thing! I kept wondering when the hell this was supposed to be set? It looked like the seventies or maybe early eighties, but people kept whipping out their cellphones and texting each other. Fuck.

So anyway, the movie is pretty much a big fucking bore. Sitting around, waiting for something interesting to happen. I mean, if it had been a sort of chickie drama rather than a serial killer movie a la The Hitcher, I would have been less annoyed...

Anyway, the highlight of the movie is a chase scene near the end of the second half which really was the shit. So there's this stuntwoman, right (real life stuntwoman Zoe Bell, playing herself) who decides to do a trick, just for fun, which involves her sitting on the hood of a speeding car. Okay? Then the evil guy comes and starts slamming into them and shit... man. And it was all so frigging real.

But the ending of the movie wasn't really very satisfying - I mean, they just kill him. And then that's it. Woo hoo.

Oh well. I'm kind of looking forward to the other one. It looks a little more... zombilicious. I dunno, I wanna see the chick with the gun for a leg. Yeah...


Thursday, October 11, 2007


Weirdsville (2007)

Directed by: Alan Moyle
Written by: Willem Wennekers
Starring: Wes Bentley, Scott Speedman, Taryn Manning, Greg Bryk, Maggie Castle, Jordan Prentice, Raoul Bhaneja, Matt Frewer, Joe Dinicol

So, went to the premiere of this last night, tickets courtesy of The Coast, best newspaper for music, movies and news in Halifax. And even better, it's free (if I keep plugging them, do you think they'll give me a job? Probably not).

Movie's about the adventures of two lazy heroin addicts who have to rob a millionaire hippie in order to pay off their curling enthusiast dealer. Meanwhile, a Satanic cult needs their girlfriend's blood in order to revive said hippie, who had a giant icicle stuck in his head.

Right? Right. The movie has a sort of art school project feel to it - self-consciously weird, you know? I sort of assumed that this was Alan Moyle's first movie, but I guess he's been around since the seventies.

Anyway, I liked it pretty good. It was very funny in spots, and silly enough. Still, apart from the two main guys, most of the characters weren't particularly deep - this isn't helped by the poor casting choices on some counts. The guy who played the lead Satanist really bugged me. He just... didn't look right. I dunno. And the scary people weren't particularly scary. I blame the Canadian factor for this (oh yeah, did I mention that this movie was Canadian? Cool huh? It was pretty good for a Canadian movie. In English, anyway). I mean, who is the scariest Canadian you can think of? I rest my case.

It's also a little bit too much (I guess that's what I mean by 'self-consciously weird'. Like, hey lets put in some medieval reenactors, but let's make them dwarves. What the? I'm also wondering where this is supposed to be set. It looks like a pretty small little town in Ontario somewhere, but it has a Satanic cult, a medieval battle reenactment society and a smack dealer).

Still, the two main characters were very appealing. They were cute, and believable. And Scott Speedman didn't bug me at all. I kind of liked him. I found him a little bit irritating in the Underworld movies, but he's not so bad...

And it's always kind of nice to see a movie set in Canada with Canadian references. "Double doubles on me" is a line that really tickled me. Go figure.

And hey, I won a couple of beer mugs, so I got that going for me.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Written by: Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Paul A. Partain, Jim Siedow, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, John Dugan, Teri McMinn, William Vail

I've seen a lot of the knock off films - Hills Have Eyes, the collective works of Rob Zombie (okay, I haven't watched his music videos. I'm not going to go that far...), the House of Wax remake and that Jonathan Liebesman thing. The Beginning or whatever that was called. But I hadn't seen the original until now...

This is the one about the family of whackos living out in the middle of nowhere, pulling dipshit teenagers off the road and making weird art out of their body parts. It's also the one about the guy with the chainsaw.

There's been a lot written about this movie, a lot of discussion about whether it's 'good' or not (this is a silly question - anybody who watches a slasher movie expecting it to be a real work of art has got to be a little bit confused about the whole concept), but these are the thoughts and opinions of me at the moment...

First of all, the movie is really, really cheap. I've bought shoes which cost more than this movie did (that was so unfunny, it wasn't even a joke, really. I found my shoes in a dumpster). Anyway, buddy does a pretty good job with what he's got.

The acting is terrible, but the people die convincingly enough. And man can Marilyn Burns scream. That got on my nerves after a while...

Anyway, I guess the real point of this movie is that it was pretty much the father of the slasher film (I'm going to call Psycho the Mother. This movie actually has some echoes of Psycho - there's a scene with a mummified woman sitting in a rocking chair or something, and Leatherface is dressed as a woman for part of the movie). It's referenced, emulated and/or ripped off in so many movies (like Psycho). It's kind of amazing...

I wouldn't say that it's terribly scary. There are one or two surprising moments, but mostly it's just grating and weirdly realistic. I guess a lot of the actors were in pain a lot of the time, and apparently much of the blood was real, so there's that. It's also a lot straighter than some more modern movies, which use quick edits and lots of them to scare people. The Beginning for example - I mentioned that movie already. It's the prequel to the 2003 remake of this movie, and what with the editing and the intentionally bad lighting, it's nearly impossible to see what's going on. It's hard to see anything here, either, but there isn't as much hand held stuff. I'm getting really pissed of with hand held stuff, POV shots and badly lit night shoots in these movies, I'm sorry, I really am.

I didn't notice too much POV stuff in this movie, actually. They kind of avoided a lot of the stuff that's become clichéd nowadays. It was really straight, I'm telling ya. Pure, unadulterated... whatever.

Yeah. I wouldn't say that I liked it. I mean, it's about torture, but I guess I enjoyed it.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Friday the 13th 4

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Directed by: Joseph Zito
Written by: Barry Cohen
Starring: Kimberly Beck, E. Erich Anderson, Corey Feldman, Ted White, Barbara Howard, Peter Barton, Lawrence Monoson, Joan Freeman, Crispin Glover, Alan Hayes, Judi Aronson, Camilla More, Carey More, Bruce Mahler, Lisa Freeman

Fourth movie in the ridiculously long Friday the 13th series (IOW: Final Chapter my ass) involves a bunch of horny teenagers who rent a cottage on Crystal Lake and get killed by Jason after his bloody escape from the morgue (the term 'escape from the morgue' tickles me somehow). Meanwhile, the neighbours team up with this Jason hunter to stop him or whatever.

It didn't take long for me to start muttering "I wish these assholes would just die already". And that's the kind of person I am. I just have to wonder why the same thing happens in all these movies. Why is it always fornicating teenagers who get killed? I know it's to hook in a certain audience, but... well, do people actually buy this shit? I'm just curious.

Anyway, Tom Savini came back to do the FX on this movie, and it shows. Unfortunately, the dialogue sucks, the acting sucks, the budget sucks and the whole fucking premise is based on bullshit, so it doesn't really matter very much.

Okay, so parts of it are pretty fucking funny, but I think that might have to do with the person I was watching it with. I don't think it would have been funny all by myself on Halloween night. It would have been unbearably sad, actually (speaking of which, 24 days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Silver Shamrock).

Anyway, what was I thinking about? Oh yeah, who the hell does this shit? I mean, I've been to summer camp a couple of times in my life (I don't really like the outdoors very much so I'm not really the camping type) but we sure as fuck weren't going and sitting naked in a dingy in the middle of the lake. I was walking around the outhouse trying to convince my friend that escaped rapists from the loony bin were coming to kill her. Of course, I was about twelve, so... I don't think the counselors were doing the naked thing either.

But in these movies it seems to be the thing to do. I don't get it. I'm assuming this comes from the pervey little minds of the pervey little men who write these things.

Anyway, it's all retarded. But in a weird way, I enjoy it. Go figure.

Favourite Mode of Death: The sleazy coroner gets his head cut off with a bone saw, essentially.
To Go: Seven more Fridays. You can always have more Fridays...


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Host

Gwoemul (2006)

Directed by: Joon-ho Bong

Written by: Joon-ho Bong, Jun-won Ha, Chul-hyun Baek

Starring: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park, Ah-sung Ko, Du-na Bae

Righto. Big Korean monster movie. The best good old fashioned monster movie I've seen in a while, actually. That I can think of, anyway.

It's about this giant fish monster which comes up out of the Han River (in Seoul) and starts attacking people left right and centre. It grabs a little girl and takes her to it's underground lair, which means her loser family has to come and rescue her. Meanwhile, all this other stuff is going on, about this virus or whatever. I dunno. I didn't completely get it, but that wasn't too irritating (I'm blaming the cultural differences, yet again. And the dub job. Man, that was funny. It sounded like a Knox cartoon or something. Visit and watch the videos to understand what I mean. I adore his stuff. It doesn't make any sense, but it's retarded funny).

Moving on. I wouldn't say that the movie is on par with Jaws, as the box would have me believe (stupid box). I mean, Jaws is Jaws. Nothing else can be Jaws. Even if something were on par with Jaws, it wouldn't count because it wasn't Jaws. You follow? However, it's sort of along the same lines as Slither or Shaun of the Dead 'cept without any zombies, and a hell of a lot better than the last Godzilla movie. You know, the one with Matthew Broderick.

So yeah, it's pretty funny, and the monster is the coolest thing I've ever seen. It was like this giant fish thing with all these legs and a prehensile tail and, like, a beak. Not only was it eye-bustingly awesome, whoever came up with that thing deserves a medal or something (the way it moved alone was amazing), but it looked surprisingly realistic. It was some of the best CGI work I've ever seen. I guess what with Korea being pretty much the video game capital of the Universe, it kind of stands to reason. I guess Weta Workshop had something to do with it, too. Cool, huh?

Anyway, yeah. I liked it. It was just generally well done, and should join the ranks of the great monster movies of all time (though not Jaws, I guess. Well, why not. I don't care).

It was fab.


Friday, October 5, 2007

Event Horizon

Event Horizon (1997)

Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson
Written by: Philip Eisner
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Jack Noseworthy (whatever the hell that means), Holley Chant, Barclay Wright, Peter Marinker, Noah Huntley

Alright, so, from the director of Resident Evil and Alien Vs. Predator and the writer of Firestarter 2 and the upcoming film Mutant Chronicles... that's a great recommendation right there, neh?

Okay, seven years after its mysterious disappearance, folks receive a distress signal from the ship Event Horizon (hey! That's the name of the movie! I just got that!), the ship which was supposed to achieve faster than light travel by bending the fabric of the Universe or something, but instead vanished into thin air. Woooo. So then these people go out to rescue the crew or whatever and find that (!) the ship is, I dunno, possessed by the Devil or something weird. It sort of fits into the "hell/Satan/666 is a math problem" category along with, like, Prince of Darkness.

There are some major logic problems here (the first of which being the age old question "What the fuck was that?!"), but there are some even simpler ones. Like, when the distress call from a ship is the sound of people screaming "Save Yourself from Hell" in Latin, why the crap would you want to go see if they're okay?

The movie is actually a big pie made out of Alien, Solaris, The Shining, 2001, any John Carpenter movie (except of course, in that the ship would have been built by the Catholic church or something) and your choice of slasher flick, with little bits of, like The Haunting and that retarded movie The Black Hole which I watched by accident one time cos I thought it was a PBS documentary.

Oh yeah, and Omen 3. Can't forget Omen 3. Sam Neill is a creepy, creepy guy.

Anyway, the movie looked pretty good - it had reasonably high production values a good cast and some decent art direction. The CG sucked, but I got used to it, and it was mildly creepy once I stopped laughing (I'll laugh at anything, I really will).

It's interesting that it was made pre Matrix because a lot of the set design, music and, well, Larry Fishburne, seems like it came from this movie, among other things. Ah, the cycle of ripping stuff off. Beautiful.

But we eventually must deal with the Big Problem. What the fuck was that? I didn't get it. For example, why does the universe of pure chaos and pure evil even exist? How do they get anything done? Why do they have a fixation with eviscerating people? If you want to lure somebody to the dimension of blood and torture and horror and screaming, doesn't it seem like a bad idea to tell them about it?

In short, the movie was fucking retarded, and I kind of have to feel bad for Sam Neill. I mean, having crosses drawn all over you once should be enough, but no, he comes back for having crap on his face again... poor bastard.

The other big problem I had with it was after about forty five minutes, I started thinking "If the Doctor was here, the problem would be solved by now". Same problem I had with Sunshine. That's the problem I have with most sci-fi movies nowadays, unfortunately... ah well.