Friday, March 30, 2007

The Woods

The Woods (2006)

Directed by: Lucky McKee
Written by: David Ross
Starring: Agnes Bruckner, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel Nichols, Lauren Birkell, Marcia Bennett, Bruce Campbell, Catherine Colvey, Kathleen Mackey, Gordon Currie, Emma Campbell

Okay, this movie is freaking weird. It's the weirdest freaking movie I've seen in a while.

A young woman who hears voices and likes to burn things gets sent to a private school out in the middle of the woods where the teachers are creepy witches, and then the trees start taking people. It's all very weird.

But I'm digging it. It looked good, and it was gory enough. The finale involving some nasty axe murders was pretty impressive. The acting is quite good, and it's pretty spooky. I mean, it obviously echoes a lot of movies, from Blair Witch to Alien, and it owes quite a bit to the Asian Horror factory, but what doesn't these days?

The forest was a pretty good monster - you never quite know exactly what it is or what's going on. That was okay. The branches and vines don't look quite real, and you'd think Bruce Campbell would be able to defend himself against a bunch of trees...

Anyway, I kind of liked the colours. Everything was very drab and monochromatic, except for Agnes Bruckner's bright red hair. The other girls call her "fire-crotch"... I've never heard that one before.

Yep. That was weird. So, Agnes Bruckner. I didn't like her too much in Blood and Chocolate, but she was okay in this. She had more spunk. She wasn't as... dull. Still, I think she looks uncannily like a man. She looks like she could play football.

That's okay, though. I'm digging it. I kinda liked the witches, too. They were cool. I like witches (after all, I am one). I mean, they were slightly evil (I guess...), but that's okay. I'm digging it...

I'm digging a lot of shit lately, though, so there you go. I'm a digging machine. That would be a backhoe, I guess. I dunno. I'm sexier than a backhoe... I know some people who aren't, though. They make me sad.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Eyes Without a Face

Les Yeux Sans Visage (1959)

Directed by: Georges Franju
Writing: Adapted by Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Claude Sautet & Jean Redon, based on the novel by Jean Redon, with dialogue by Pierre Gascar
Starring: Pierre Brassuer, Alida Valli, Edith Scob, Alexandre Rignault, Béatrice Altariba, François Guérin, Juliette Mayniel, Claude Brasseur

As with M, I think that enough has probably been said about this movie over the years, but, like I said before, I'm sexy and I can eat as much cream cheese as I like (that isn't what I said, is it...).

This is about a brilliant surgeon who accidentally disfigures his daughter because he can't drive. So, in an attempt to fix her face, he tries to graft other woman's faces onto her head.

The movie features a rather graphic scene of the grafting procedure (which is why it got released as The Horror Chamber of Doctor Faustus in the States), surprising considering that it was made in the '50s. It isn't cheap, mind you, unlike the crap they put in movies today.

That makes me wonder why they haven't remade it. I mean, it's got people tied up having their faces removed, various surgical tools, people wearing masks. That's the shit right now. They could have made it a companion piece to House of Wax.

But why bother, right? Edith Scob (heh heh. Scob) is frigging creepy as Christiane, spending almost the entire movie behind a blank wax mask. Interesting point - traditionally the mask is used in horror movies in the 'masked killer' sort of context. She's really more of a victim, almost along the lines of Erik from Phantom, but even he kills a few people.

Apart from the occasional bloody scene (girl getting her face cut off, Chrissy taking off the spooky mask, Dr. Genessier getting his face eaten by dogs (cute dogs, too)) it's all atmosphere. Chick-chick there stalking young women and luring them back to said Horror Chamber... the faceless girl wandering around the house in her mask and a weird sort of nightgown that makes her look like an alien.

And weird carnival music giving it a freak show feel. That sort of makes her character all the more sympathetic in a way. I try to avoid digging meaning out of this stuff and looking at the metaphorical bullshit behind everything. This does seem to have a lot of that in there, but I sort of took it at face value.

I didn't mean to make that a pun, I swear.



M (1931)

Directed by: Fritz Lang
Written by: Thea von Harbou and Fritz Lang inspired by actual events
Peter Lorre, Gustaf Gründgens, Otto Wernicke, Theodor Loos, Friedrich Gnaß, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Rudolf Blümner, Georg John, Rosa Valetti

I don't think that I have anything new to say about this movie - it's been around for a long time, and it's pretty highly regarded. But hey, I can do whatever I want.

The first sound film ever made in Germany and also Peter Lorre's first movie, about a psychotic man who is compelled to kill and presumably rape young girls, loosely based on Peter Kurten who killed at least 14 people in Dusseldorf between 1892 and 1930.

The police seem to be incapable of catching him (damn police) so the criminals and beggars band together to get him and kill him.

It's an interesting moral issue - he is not in control of himself and can't really be held responsible for his actions. So should they let him go and allow him to kill again? Fuck yeah.

Sorry, I had to stop myself from descending into the pit of pseudo-intellectual critiquing.

So, this is the first German talkie, but a lot of the scenes have no sound in them, which creates a sort of uneven feeling. Still, the film is very well made. Many of the techniques and camera work Fritz uses are way ahead of the time.

And then there's Peter Lorre. This was his first movie, and probably one of the best performances I've seen out of him. He was totally insane and repulsive but kind of... pitiful.

So there are, like, 9 minutes missing from this movie still. The government cut a shit load from it. Surprise surprise. Damn government. Um...

I like black and white movies. They look nice. The print I watched was actually very good - very crisp, very clean... it looked good...


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ghost Story

Ghost Story (1981)

Directed by: John Irvin
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen, based on the novel by Peter Straub
Starring: Craig Wasson, Alice Krige, Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jacqueline Brookes, Patricia Neal, Miguel Fernandes, Lance Holcomb

So obviously this movie is about ghosts (and it's a story...), but more specifically, it's about these four old guys who killed this lady sort of by accident about 50 years ago Naturally, she doesn' quite stay dead and comes back to haunt the shit out of them and their kids.

They take a long time just to tell that, and throw in a lot of unnecessary extra crap. Like there's this whole thing about these escaped mental patients (I guess) who are part of a satanic cult or something. That was totally pointess and didn't really go anywhere.

So I haven't read Ghost Story (surprise surprise), but I have read a lot of ghosts stories (and written a few as well) and I know that often the shorter the story, the more effective.

The movie is actually just a little under two hours, but it feels a lot longer. It's a very generic story with a lot of bullshit frills, and could have been made in 45 minutes or less (make it half an hour and put it in a three-part anthology).

The other major problem with the movie is that it realy isn't very scary. It's got one or two spooky bits, and Alice Krige is pretty fucking freaky, but overall it's kind of lame.

It's actually quite a bit like The Ring - the drowned girl with long hair over her face, the water running down the walls - only The Ring is a lot better.

On the good side, the acting was pretty good (which stands to reason) particularly on the part of Freaky Alice.

And... um... well, the special effects weren't too bad. They had some pretty good rottage going on there. I thought that was a little tacky, but it looked okay. It was all kind of tacky. It's a tacky kind of story. Ghost stories generally are tacky.


Sunday, March 25, 2007


Fido (2007)

Directed by: Andrew Currie
Written by: Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie & Dennis Heaton
Starring: K'Sun Ray, Billy Connolly, Carrie-Anne Moss, Henry Czerny, Dylan Baker, Tim Blake Nelson, Sonja Bennett, Alexia Fast, Jennifer Clement, Mary Black

Okay, I had to pay to see this one. I tried to see it yesterday, but it had been bumped by some retard opera thing (oh, the outrage!). Me thinks it isn't doing too well if that can happen.

I'd like to begin by saying that it was much better than I expected. It was, afterall, made in Canada and the film industry has been hammering out zombie movies like a deranged goldfish. Neither of these would suggest a good movie. But it was (actually, most of the recent zombie movies I've seen were made outside of the States and were pretty damn good (Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later..., both from the U.K. and Undead from Australia)).

This has a lot in common with Undead and Shaun of the Dead. In fact, it could almost be a sequel to Shaun. Remember at the end, when he's got his buddy chained up in the hut? Well, this kind of goes from there.

It's set in the classic, Pleasantville style, '50s town (in colour, mind you), after the "Zombie Wars", where practically everybody has at least one undead slave. So there's this little family and they get their own zombie who gets a little bit out of control and eats a few people. The family is kind of attached to the zombie, and they try to hide it's out-of-controlness from their neighbors.

It's an alternate universe where zombies are a part of society - kind of like Land of the Dead, but better. They mow the lawns, deliver the paper, cook, clean. Tim Blake Nelson has a zombie girlfriend (which is a little bit creepy...).

Billy Connolly is quite good as the title character and main zombie who sort of falls in love with Carrie-Anne Moss and reminded me a lot of Bub from Day of the Dead. Man, I have bad memories of that movie...

Anyhow, the zombies were fairly slow moving, which is always good. They didn't run, at least. Not like those anomalies in the Dawn remake.

So I liked it and I heartily recommend it. Funny and gory, a winning combination. With good '50s music. I think everybody should go see it - if half the people who went to see 300 went to see this instead, I would be happy. That, unfortunately, is not going to happen. It went to the Oxford, for God's sake. That spells death (yeah, I can spell real good. Or should I say godd?).


The Postman

The Postman (1997)

Directed by: Kevin Costner
Written by: Eric Roth and Brian Helgeland based on the novel by David Brin
Starring: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Olivia Williams, Larenz Tate, Daniel von Bargen, Scott Bairstow, Tom Petty, Giovanni Ribisi, Roberta Maxwell

So the rumours are true. This movie does suck ASS. I thought that, just maybe, it was hugely underrated like Waterworld, but it's not.

It's about a post-apocalyptic future world run by evil bad guys where the only hope is the Postal Service... yeah right. The letter carriers, fighting injustice...

In other words, this movie make the Postal Service look a lot cooler than it really is (the actual service and not the band). Okay, I know a number of people who work in the Postal Service, who may in fact be reading this (of course, they work for Canada Post and I'm talking about the U.S. Postal Service, and there's a difference. I guess...).

But yeah, it's a lot like The Road Warrior but about mail instead of oil. Not cool. Also, it has Kevin Costner instead of Mel Gibson. Again, not cool. And it's set in America rather than Australia.

And when I say it's set in America, I mean it's one of the most nationalistic pieces of horseshit I've seen recently. Not only are the evil bad guys tyrannical, racist, war-mongering psychos, but they also hate America (kind of funny because America is run by tyrannical, racist, war-mongering psychos) and like to burn flags.

The other problem I have with the movie is it's length. There are lots of long movies that I like, including Waterworld and Dances with Wolves, but this one just wastes time. It just goes on and on and on with no apparent purpose or consistent plot. I don't mind movies with no plot, as long as they have good characters, and this one didn't.

Yeah, I'm surprised that I actually managed to stay awake through all this. Not only was it very long, but it was also very boring. Unfortunately, I seem to be incapable of falling asleep during movies, and have not done so since Cleopatra with Liz Taylor.

Yep. The movie sucked. Just in case you didn't already know. In case it hasn't already been beaten into you. But go ahead. Watch it if you don't believe me. Soon you will know the truth...


Monday, March 19, 2007

Class of 1999

Class of 1999 (1990)

Directed by: Mark L. Lester
Written by: C. Courtney Joyner, Bradley Gregg
Starring: Bradley Gregg, Tracy Lin, Stacy Keach, Pam Grier, Patrick Kilpatrick (wait, what?), Malcolm McDowell, John P. Ryan, Joshua Miller, Jimmy Medina Taggert

More shit from the Scream network. What gets me about that is how they will advertise Near Dark (the kid what played Homer is in this movie, incidentally. He doesn't kick as much ass, though), Fargo and a Shaun of the Dead-Evil Dead 2 double feature like there's no tomorrow, but whenever I'm watching they're showing stuff like this.

Oh well. I missed the beginning of this because I was watching The Lady from Shanghai on... TVO or something... man, Orson Welles was funny looking. I would like to say that he had a great voice to compesate for it, but in that movie he sounded like Vincent Price with an Irish accent, and that's just wrong, I'm sorry.

Anyway, I thought this was pretty fucking shitty. It was about this high school in the not-to-distant future (or the past, depending on where you look at it...) where these two gangs are constantly blowing each other up and shooting each other with machine guns and shit, and then there's this guy, and these killer robots that blow them up and break them in half and all kinds of crazy stuff... um... and then... well, they turn into a bunch of little Terminators or something.

No, really. I was amused when their arms started turning into weapons and stuff, and I really started laughing when the guy got most of his skin ripped off. He looked just exactly like the Terminator, I swear to God. It's not all that surprising, it's just kind of sad. I guess movies ike this were keeping the stop motion people in business for at least a little while.

Yeah, so there were lots of explosions, and people getting pulled apart and shit, though actually it was a lot less violent and gory than The Terminator, now that I'm on that track. It also wasn't very scary and Terminator was.

Ultimately the 'splosions and stuff got kind of dull (if that's possible), and the punks kicking the shit out of each other got kind of silly. Of course, people who look like that are silly anyway, and I make a point of mocking them on the street. I actually just felt kind of bad for the people involved.

But hey, I'm sure they enjoyed their new Espresso bars, or their new decks. Or their smack. Some people like smack. I would probably go with the Espresso, but Stacy Keach can do whatever the hell he wants. Not my problem.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Student Bodies

Student Bodies (1981)

Written and Directed by: Mickey Rose
Starring: Kristen Riter, Matt Goldsby, Richard Brando, Joe Talarowski, Mimi Weddell, Joe Flood, Carl Jacobs, Peggy Cooper, Janice E. O'Malley, Kevin Mnnis, Sara Eckhardt, Brian Batytis, Cullen G. Chambers, Joan Browning Jacobs, Angela Bressler, The Stick

Again, I didn't watch this from the beginning, though this movie seemed pretty self-explanatory.

It's a comedy (more of a spoof, really, on the slasher flicks of the late '70s-early '80s) in the same style as, say Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (this was a hell of a lot better than Killer Tomatoes, but it's the same idea), only instead of being about giant man-eating tomatoes, this is about a psycho killer who murders teenagers who have sex, using silly murder weapons like paper clips and eggplants. It's actually kind of along the same lines as the first Scary Movie, but less obscene and with lower production values.

Also, it was funnier than Scary Movie. A lot of the jokes got pretty tiresome after a while, but it seemed amusing enough. Particularly the little hints everywhere, arrows pointing clues out for you, and a handy dandy body count. Heh heh heh. They do all the work for me.

It gets a little... weird at the end, and turns into The Wizard of Oz or something. The whole thing turns out to be just a crazy dream, but not really.

So. The Stick, huh? That guy was pretty... gross looking. I know it's kind of mean to say that about somebody, but he was... gross. I'm sorry.

Hardly any of the people in this movie were ever in anything else, and if they were, this was their first movie. Small, small budget. Surprisingly enough, they weren't all that bad. I mean, I've seen worse.

Yeah... um... I'm sort of running out of stuff to say about the movie... um... yep, spoofs the slasher movie pretty well... uh... yeah... and then...

Dear God. So the killer was pretty lame, hey? Couldn't climb those stairs. Sometimes I wonder where the guys in other movies get all that energy. Like in I Know What You Did Last Summer, say (which I haven't actually seen all the way through, but I've watched bits of it on television). The girl's running, the killer's walking, but he's gaining on her. WTF. Maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar's just really slow.


Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell (1992)

Directed by: Ate de Jong
Written by: Brian Helgeland
Starring: Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson, Patrick Bergin, Adam Storke, Pamela Gidley, Jarrett Lennon, C.J. Graham, Richard Farnsworth, Lita Ford, Gilbert Gottfried, Ben Stiller

Okay... what the hell was that? I admittedly missed the first part of this movie, but still... I didn't get it at all.

It seemed to be about this guy chasing his girlfriend through Hell or something, Hell being essentially one long stretch of road with little parties going on all over the place (actually, it sort of changed to a techno-Hades there at the end, complete with Ferryman), and being chased by this other guy with writing all over is face. And then there was Patrick Bergin, who I gathered was the Devil, or perhaps just some demon out of Buffy. I dunno.

It feels a lot like a bunch of scraps left over from a bunch of weird fucking movies, Road Warrior, Bladerunner, Barbarella, Bedazzled, stuff like that, but with Canadian production values. Unfortunately, it was made in Arizona.

Anyway, I assume it was supposed to be sort of funny. Tongue in cheek, to use a phrase I rather dislike (how can you talk if you tongue is in your cheek? I was trying it earlier today and it just doesn't work). That couldn't have been serious, surely. That didn't make it any better, mind you. It probably has a little cult following, I don't know.

It's kind of hard to hate it. It's really kind of pathetic, and it's not totally full of itself. It knows it's shit and behaves accordingly. It's just kind of... well, stupid. And cheap. And the sound was really bad. And what was up with Ben Stiller being in it? That was just bizarre (I was all like "Holy crap, that's Ben Stiller". Though I didn't seem to be capable of recognizing Kristy Swanson. And hey, Patrick Bergin. The only other thing I saw him in was some shitty made for TV Dracula thing and he was really fat, so I kind of liked him in this. He is Irish, afterall).

Yep. I can't believe they even made this movie, nor can I believe that I watched it. That's the Scream network for you. They keep advertising movies are pretty good (though I've already seen them) and showing crap like this. Ah well, somebody's got to show it, and I'm not about to punch the Scream network. It's okay.


((Oh yeah, and the dog was cute))

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Scary Movie 4

Scary Movie 4 (2006)

Directed by: David Zucker
Written by: Craig Mazin, Jim Abrahams and Pat Proft
Starring: Anna Faris, Craig Bierko, Regina Hall, Leslie Nielsen, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Hart, Bill Pullman, Carmen Electra, Chris Elliott, Michael Madsen, Shaq, Dr. Phil, Charlie Sheen

The third, but probably not final, sequel to Scary Movie. There appears to be a fifth one in the works, God forbid.

Anyway, this one is a spoof of The Grudge, War of the Worlds, The Village, Brokeback Mountain and Saw. How do they manage that? Well... it's an art, really.

This is probably the best one yet, like everybody says. It has quite a few funny funnies. I liked the triPods. I thought that was funny funny. It has a lot of really revolting stuff in it, that makes me shake my head with disapproval, but thus is the nature of the comedy movie. In America, at least.

Throughout the movie I found myself wondering if I'd find it funnier if I were a guy. I dunno, I just got that feeling. Anyway...

I just don't like the people in these movies very much. I'm not even going to mention it's lack of appealing characters (an art the Americans, again, have not yet perfected. In comedy movies, leastways). I don't like the actors very much either. They're... kind of crappy.

I just don't like spoofs very much. There's the occasional one I don't mind too much. Blazing Saddles for example (I can't really thing of any others right now), but generally I find them rather repulsive.

This one does happen to be pretty good. At least it's funny. Most of them aren't. I'll mention again what an improvement the shift of creative forces was (though the Wayanseseses seemed to handle the plot better for some reason. They didn't try to spoof so many movies at the same time. They weren't very funny, though) on the overall goodness of the thing there. Whatever.

Okay. I'm done. That's as much as I can possibly write about this. There's only so far you can go with a pseudo-intelligent criticism of a movie likes this. It was funny in a dumb, Neanderthal kind of way. No sense of wit, no subtle little jokes. Everything was very obvious. I could've done this whole damn thing in one paragraph. I feel cheated.


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Black Snake Moan

Black Snake Moan (2007)

Written and Directed by: Craig Brewer
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, John Cothran Jr., S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Raymond-James, David Banner, Neimus K. Williams, Kim Richards, Adriane Lenox

Well, in an unexpected turn of events, I went to see this movie. Don't worry, I didn't pay for it. I won tickets from The Coast (watch me plug The Coast) which is about the best newspaper in the maritimes.

It's about an old blues musician named Lazarus (what a cool name. I wish I was named Lazarus) who finds a young woman beaten up on the side of the road. Turns out she's the local slut, so he chains her to the radiator. Why? Who knows. Anyway, some stuff happens... she weeps and screams and has weird hallucinations, he reads the Bible and plays some blues, her boyfriend shows up and gets all pissy about everything...

So. Black man chaining up a white woman. That's... different. Traditionally it's a white man chaining up white women. And maybe some white men. And occasionally one black woman, but that's fairly unusual. He doesn't really have that much of a motive for chaining her up, though. He says it's to keep her from running off. That sure makes sense... I would have just broken her legs myself, but it isn't really that kind of movie.

Justin Timberlake was okay, I guess. He was working really hard. I had a difficult time believing him, but maybe that's just because he's Justin Timberlake, and I kept expecting him to jump up on the table and dance around like Michael Jackson.

Actually, just about everyone in the movie was okay. No one was outstandingly good. Sam Jackson is weird enough to stand out, looking about twenty years older than usual (though in reality he's almost sixty. Apparently). I wonder if he specifically asked for the purple guitar. That man does love purple. Purple Lightsaber, purple hat, purple suit (which makes him look like a pimp, by the way).

While I'm on the subject of clothing, I loved Christina Ricci's wardrobe (or lack thereof). I thought it was great.

I also loved (and I mean loved) the music. It was... so... good. And I loved the setting. It made me want to become a blues singer and live in Tennessee. Mmm, Tennessee... But those were the highlights of the movie.

Once again, the ending didn't seem particularly conclusive. People just don't know how to end things, I guess. I would know, I suppose. I can't end shit either.

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't pay to go see it. I would be very depressed right now if I had.


Friday, March 2, 2007


It (1990)

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen (part one), Lawrence D. Cohen and Tommy Lee Wallace (part two), based on the novel by Stephen King
Starring: Richard Thomas, John Ritter, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Tim Curry, Olivia Hussey, Michael Cole

And the Stephen King style fun never ends. No really, it never does. The movie was gratuitously long. But what did I expect? It was a TV miniseries and designed to be watched in two parts. I don't have time to watch things in two parts God Dammit! They could have cut this movie in half and it would have been just fine. Indeed, the second half of the movie is kind of lacking.

It's about a bunch of kids who face the evil and believe that they have destroyed it, only to face it again thirty years later. Thus is the nature of the evil. (It's got one of those 'every thirty years' deals. Those are overrated, trust me)

The monster is creepy enough. In it's clown-Tim Curry format. As a giant stop-motion spider it isn't that intimidating (thus is the nature of suspense). Yeah, stop motion is cool, but it looked strangely out of place here. In a monster movie from the sixties, I would have been a bit more sympathetic. Anyway, Tim Curry is creepy as hell, so there you go.

I thought the best part of the movie was getting to see younger versions of Seth Green and Emily Perkins (B from Ginger Snaps), before she looked like a heroin addict. They were just so cute!

Moving on, one of the characters was a horror writer from Maine suffering from writers' block. Hooray for making up your own characters.

We also have the creepy phrase being written over and over and over again on a typewriter. Instead of All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy it's He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts. A line which Mr. King seems to like a lot. He talked about it in Danse Macabre, and it has something to do with Donovan's Brain. I can't remember the exact specifics.

And a number of other little trademarks I don't dare go into at this point. I would say that the best course of action would be to remake this movie as a regular length film. Maybe with Seth Green and Emily Perkins? I suppose they're a wee bit to young still, but that isn't important. They can pretend. Besides, he was way to old in this movie anyway. Thus is the nature of the film industry. Children are actually a lot younger than they look in movies! Mind you, Drew Barrymore was actually nine in Firestarter....

Speaking of which, this movie didn't have enough closure either. Or maybe it had too much? I guess I prefer the 'kill the monster end the movie' style of film making. And if you aren't going to do that, you have to instead take the John Carpenter route and get the final scare over and done with. If you're making a horror movie, anyway. That advice really doesn't apply to anything else.


Thursday, March 1, 2007

Firestarter 2

Firestarter: Rekindled (2002)

Directed by: Robert Iscove
Written by: Philip Eisner, based on Firestarter by Stephen King
Starring: Marguerite Moreau, Danny Nucci, Malcolm McDowell, John Dennis Johnston, Darnell Williams, Dennis Hopper, Travis Charitan, Dan Byrd, Ron Perkins, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Jeremy Elliot

Not really a sequel to Firestarter in the traditional sense. It sort of recaps the highlights of the first movie in it's own special way, with different actors, different sets, different dialogue, circumstances and artistic vision. It's almost a remake of the first one, combined with a sort of sequel, in a weird way.

This is about a grown-up Charlie (Drew Barrymore being replaced by Marguerite Moreau) who's just starting to come to terms with her pyrokinetic abilities. She's living under an alias, she keeps a fire extinguisher next to her bed for when she has nightmares, and just as long as she doesn't have sex, everything's okay. Then along comes this guy with whom she falls hopelessly in love. Unfortunately, he works for a company which has been killing all of the other people from the Lot 6 experiment back in the '80s. He doesn't know that, though. He thinks he's helping them out. Anyway, he unintentionally brings her to John the Friendly (Pedophile) Orderly (George Scott being replaced by Malcolm McDowell. And holy shit is he creepy). As it turns out, she didn't actually kill him, she just disfigured him horribly. But that's okay, because he's still in love with her. Then Dennis Hopper comes. He can see the future. And then there's this other lady who they try to kill, but they don't...

The problem with this movie: it's very very long. It was made as a TV miniseries, after all. Oddly enough, though, it wasn't as unbelievably boring as the first one. I guess the cast/writing/music was better or something, I don't know.

Actually, the music wasn't that much better. It was just made with real musical instruments instead of Tangerines. It was way too intense, though. The movie also had that made for TV feel, but that wasn't too bad. It had pretty good production values.

It wasn't terribly original. It sort of felt just like X-Men, but kind of more interesting. X-Men is too... smooth or something. It wasn't made for television.

In fewer words, I liked this one a hell of a lot better than the first one. The first one was crappy. This one was just long. I got really hungry while I was watching it.

Although, there's the problem I have with all movies that involve people with psychic powers. There's no reason at all why dear old Dennis there can't stop the bad shit from happening. I'm sorry. I lean more on the side of free will (although, to be honest, both free-will and destiny seem equally unlikely). It frustrates me so.

But apart from that, and the shoddiness of the digital FX, and the unbelievable creepiness of John the friendly pedophile (which I found got rather amusing after a while. He was just SO creepy), I didn't really have any problems with it.

And hey, in the end, she goes to Canada! The land of the ice and the snow! See the lovely lakes. The larch... here we go again. The ending seemed strangely lacking in closure for some reason. To me at least. I don't know. It didn't really feel like an ending at all. It just...



Firestarter (1984)

Directed by: Mark L. Lester
Written by: Stanley Mann based on the novel by Stephen King
Starring: Drew Barrymore, David Keith, George C. Scott, Martin Sheen, Heather Locklear, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher, Freddie Jones

A sort of generic Stephen King movie about a little girl with magic powers enabling her to set stuff on fire. Yeah, okay, so there's the whole scientific explanation for why she has these magic powers, which had something to do with Scanners, but their basically magic powers.

Anyway, she and her father (who also has magic Scanner-like powers) are running away from these government guys who want to either use her power or kill her. Or both. I have no idea. And then there's this pedophile who's also an assassin and a friendly orderly...

So the SFX weren't bad. Some of them were pretty... well, '80s, but they sure as hell blew a lot of shit up. 'splosions are fun.

The whole movie was painfully '80s, right down to the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream (the same people responsible for the atrocious music in Near Dark). And it was all so fucking corny. I couldn't believe that anyone could actually stand to write that shitty dialogue. Shoot me fucking now.

Drew Barrymore was about the cutest button in the drawer, but I was slightly distracted by her looking exactly the same as she does now. It's disturbing. Anyway, she wasn't great, but I think that was mostly the fault of the writing. I mean, come on. She was always whining about how sorry she was. I could just puke. Preferably in somebody else's toilet. Or in their car. That's be funny.

Moving on, through most of the movie, I found myself wondering when Martin Sheen was going to come back, which isn't really a good thing. I don't like Martin Sheen very much, but he and George C. Scott were probably the most interesting things in the whole movie (what the hell they were doing in it, I have no idea). And holy shit was George creepy. I mean... what was up with that?

Yep. The movie was extremely boring. There was no drama. I didn't give two fucks about what happened. I just kind of wanted the movie to be over. I spent most of it thinking about everything it had in common with other Stephen King movies (Carrie in particular). At least the dad wasn't a writer. I think that might actually have killed me.