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 www.knoxskorner.com 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.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Directed by:
Peter Jackson
Written by: Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison, Simon O'Connor, Jed Brophy, Peter Elliott

The true story of two girls (one of whom grew up to be the mystery writer, Anne Perry) living in New Zealand in the '50s who invent a sort of fantasy world and become pretty much detached from reality. Their parents decide that their slightly homosexual relationship is unhealthy, and that it would be best to separate them. This prompts the girls to murder the mother of one of them.

The movie is actually surprisingly restrained considering a) that it's about murder (it isn't really, it just sort of seems that way when you read the box) and b) it's made by Peter Jackson. Don't get me wrong, I dig Mr. Jackson as much as the next person, but he does have a real appreciation for the more disgusting aspects of life (of course, Fran Walsh co-writes all of his movies, so maybe it's her...)

Anywho, this was the first film role for both Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey, both of whom were ridiculously good. It's interesting to me that Winslet became a big star, and though Lynskey's been in a crapload of stuff, she still remains relatively unknown (that is to say, I hadn't heard too much about her outside of this movie). Oh well.

Also featured in the movie is the beautiful New Zealand landscape. I'd love to go to New Zealand - it seems like a weird place. One of those weirdo islands, you know? Genetic isolation and that. I'll put it on the list of places I want to go when I grow up (emotionally speaking).

But yeah, it was a beautiful flick, despite the slightly disturbing elements - the murder itself, however horrific, was presented in a very tasteful way.

And it's just so realistic - I mean, the characters live in their heads, and there's a sort of (loathe as I am to use this word) surreal quality, but it really captures the emotional states of the characters very well (I'm sort of slipping into some kind of film speak and I'm not sure what I'm talking about anymore...). I'm saying, I was that age fairly recently and that's what it feels like. I can identify with the characters because I understand what it's like to be a fourteen year old girl with an infatuation. I never took it that far, of course (or did I...?), but I can sympathize.


Monday, October 1, 2007


Primeval (2007)

Directed by: Michael Katleman
Written by: John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones, Gabriel Malema, Gideon Emery, Jürgen Prochnow, Linda Mpondo, Lehlohonolo Makoko, Dumisani Mbebe, Eddy Bekombo, Ernest Ndhlovu

Not to be confused with the 2005 direct to video release, Sasquatch Hunters, which came up on my IMDb search for this movie (all these reviews are actually copied and pasted from IMDb - this one is by somebody called goatorgy127).

Yeah, I'm funny. Anyway, this is the movie about the serial killer who claimed the lives of four hundred people or something. That's right, it's a giant crocodile (crocodile or alligator? I can never tell the difference. I was under the impression that alligators lived in Florida and crocodiles lived on the Nile (and caimans come from the Cayman islands) but apparently this is not the case...). Right, so it's the supposedly true story (I'm not denying that there is a giant crocodile, I'm just suggesting that perhaps reality was twisted a little bit...) of a couple of reporters who are sent to Burundi to take some clips of a killer crocodile and I guess catch it or something.

Think Lake Placid set against the backdrop of the Rwandan massacre. I'm actually making this sound good... okay, so civil war is breaking out, and reporters are sent to the middle of the war zone... to do a story on a fuckin crocodile. Riiiight...

While they're there, they get a taste of the terrible injustice being done to these people, which makes for one of the many things that drives me up the wall: a splatter movie with a political statement to make.

I'm not sure what this statement is supposed to be (I thought it was 'murder is bad and Africa is a sucky place', which is a little harsh), but they were really pushing it. I mean, okay, they're trying to escape the killer crocodile, it's coming to get them and then... well, this dude is trying to get their laptop. What happened to the fucking crocodile? You kind of have to wonder how the hell this happens - I mean, this must have been a coherent story at some point.

But anyway, it was all over the frigging place. Obviously they didn't have enough crocodile stuff to make a whole movie (or they figured that Jaws, Lake Placid, Alien, Jurassic Park and Predator had already been done) so they stuck in all this other shit to try and make it more meaningful. I mean, who can trash it if it's about social injustice? I can, motherfuckers.

Okay, on the upside... um... the SFX were actually surprisingly good. There were a couple of shots of the crocodile in the rain, in the dark, which looked almost real. So kudos to whoever did that.

Back to the bad stuff. I forgot to mention that the acting sucked some major ass. The people were there just to look sexy. Dominic whatever and the chick were, at least. Jürgen Prochnow looked, as usual, like a cabbage got run over by a rototiller and Orlando Jones looks disturbingly like Jeff Goldblum... but yeah. I know what I'm talking about.

There's another crocodile movie coming out later this year (or maybe it's already out, I'm not exactly up to date with these things) called Rogue, which I guess is set in Australia, but I guess it's sort of the same premise. I can only hope that it will be marginally more interesting.