Monday, January 26, 2009

Ghost Town

Ghost Town (2008)

Ranking: I guess

About an unpleasant dentist (Ricky Gervais, playing essentially the same character he played on The Office, only less so) who has a near death experience and starts seeing ghosts. Holy shit. He eventually meets up with this dead guy (Greg Kinnear) who needs help preventing his widow (Téa Leoni) from marrying a human rights lawyer (Billy Campbell). Of course, Ricky Gervais falls in love with her and along the way learns how to care about other people rather than just himself. It's sort of like what would happen if The Eye was a romantic comedy.

The movie borders on tacky throughout, from the guy who can see ghosts and must therefore solve their problems and help them move on into the afterlife bit, to the trying to trick us into thinking that the couple won't get together when we all know they will (I would have been happy if Ricky Gervais had died at the end, but that's just me). I didn't really believe that Téa Leoni would end up with Ricky Gervais. He must have some redeeming features. Actually, he did have a certain charm...

Anyway, despite the borderline tackiness, this movie was okay. It had a fairly dark sense of humour (though not as dark as it could have been), decent dialogue and some good stuff. Ex: people sneeze whenever they walk through a ghost. I like that idea.

I laughed. It did make me want to watch Dead Like Me again (which I did, actually...), although pretty much anything makes me want to watch Dead Like Me. Waffles, post-its, toilet seats, extra exra extra crispy bacon, people named George... I fucking love that show.

Yeah, so this movie was okay, and way more amusing to me than a lot of romantic comedies (I don't really do rom-coms ordinarily. I have been so disappointed by many of them. I still haven't gotten over You Me and Dupree. That movie was such a let down). Actually, pretty much the only time I enjoy a romantic comedy is when it has ghosts or zombies in it... says a lot about my upbringing...


Directed by:
David Koepp. Written by: David Koepp and John Kamps. Starring: Ricky Gervais, Téa Leoni, Greg Kinnear, Billy Campbell, Aasif Mandvi, Kristen Wiig, Alan Ruck.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Death Race

Death Race (2008)

Ranking: Meh
Extremely Trashy

Remake of Death Race 2000 (which I haven`t seen as yet) and, apparently, shot in Montréal. Yeah! Another interesting factoid: Paul W.S. Anderson (not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson or Wes Anderson) has directed (in addition to this film) Resident Evil, Event Horizon and Alien vs. Predator, among other things. So... uh... yeah...

This movie is set in 2012 (holy shit, that's only three years from now. Fuck, Obama wouldn't even be finished his first term). The economy has collapsed (given the current state of the universe, I'm not surprised), police go around beating the shit out of people for no apparent reason (not surprised), people work in spark factories (not surprised) but despite the fact that everyone is poor, they are willing to shell out 250$ to watch 'Death Race' on the internet, which is essentially NASCAR only the racers are convicts and expected to kill one another (maybe a little surprised...).

Anyway, Jason Statham plays this guy who is framed for the murder of his wife (Janaya Stephens) and goes to prison. There, he is recruited by the evil prison warden (Joan Collins) to perform in the 'Death Race'. Of course, she promises to let him go if blah blah blah, she's fucking evil, why the fuck would he listen to her?

Needless to say, the movie is one long string of clichés which I don't care to list here coz there are too many. Trust me, they use every one in the book. It's stupid, pointless, it's like The Condemned only with NASCAR instead of WWE and even more like a video game if such a thing is possible. I mean, there were even power ups. Dude.

But I kinda liked it. I can`t fucking help myself. It was 100 minutes of unadulterated violence with occasional shots of hot chicks! (I did wonder why the inmates at the mens prison were all disgusting scuz monkeys but the inmates from the womens prison were all totally foxy. They didn't have uniforms, either.) Actually, that's a lie. There were huge gaps with, like, dialogue and shit (the dialogue was awful, as was the acting), but the action scenes were fuckin A.

All in all, I felt stupider after watching this movie, but I still enjoyed it in a weird sort of way. That's pretty much the way I feel about all of Mr. Anderson's films...


Directed by: Paul W.S. Anderson. Written by: Paul W.S. Anderson based on the film Death Race 2000 by Robert Thom and Charles Griffith. Starring: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez, Jason Clark.

Mad Max

Mad Max (1979)

Ranking: Not really
Extremely Trashy

I was sort of surprised at how mediocre this movie was. I mean, Road Warrior was fucking awesome. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome wasn't a total waste of time. Going by the laws of sequels, this movie should be fucking unbelievably awesome (ex: Alien: Resurrection = Sort of interesting (I really like that movie for some reason). Aliens = Fucking awesome. Alien = Holy sweet shit). That is not the case here.

About a traffic cop (Mel Gibson) doing battle with a bunch of bikers who killed his wife, or his dog, or his partner (actually, I think they killed all three...), in the near, pre-apocalyptic future. A whole shitload of stuff happens but it was all sort of weird and irrelevant.

Now don't get me wrong, I like cars, and Mel Gibson (I don't care that he`s a frigging weirdo) and guys in leather pants and I admire the fact that the movie was made for a low budget, but I still found it kind of dull. And I was expecting something on par with Road Warrior and this really wasn`t.

The acting wasn't great, the dialogue was nearly incomprehensible (although if given a choice between that or an American dub job I would pick the ridiculously thick Aussie accents anytime), although the music was really the worst offender. It was really nasty.

Also, 'Toecutter' or whatever the hell that guy was called, was probably the least intimidating villain in movie history. Yes, 'Humungus' was lame, but Toecutter was beyond lame (I don't even know what that would be, exactly), and sort of gay (no offense to the gay community, but generally speaking I don't find gay men that threatening). The name 'Toecutter', too, seems to be a bit of a misnomer. Where was the toe collection?

The end of the movie is sort of anticlimactic, too. Yes, Max does avenge the death of his friend Goose, but he doesn't really accomplish much in the grand sceheme of things. Oh well. I guess that's what Road Warrior is for...


Directed by: George Miller. Written by: George Miller & James McCausland. Starring: Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Steve Bisley, Tim Burns.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Wall-E (2008)

Ranking: Meh
Not so Trashy

During the moving process, as my interweb habits were disturbed somewhat, I began writing my reviews down in a big book and typing them up later. I've become slightly spoiled by this process and am now returning to my old style of using the notes I made on the film (I make notes on every flm I watch) but basically just winging it. Also, I just got a new computer and have yet to become adjusted to the keyboard. I apologize for the numerous spellnig mistakes which will no doubt ensue...

The story of a cute little trash compacting robot, who was left behind to clean up the Earth while the entire human race floats about the Universe on a cruise ship. He spends most of his time just bumming around, collecting weird nic nacs, talking to his cockroach friend (note: not a cute kitten or a bluebird or whatever. A cockroach) and watching Hello Dolly (WHY?!). He then meets EVE, a lady robot sent to Earth to look for plants or whatever. And he ends up having all kinds of adventures and stuff.

The film was very interesting. The first fifteen minutes in particular where we see the Earth, completely covered with massive piles of garbage. It's actually a little scary. It freaked me out, anyway. As soon as EVE shows up the movie becomes slightly less interesting, although it does contain lots of nasty comments on modern society.

For example, people have been living on this cruise ship in space for upwards of seven hundred years and have devolved from people (live action humans in CGI surroundings) to big fat marshmallow people, who use hoverchairs to get around and eat everything from a cup. Ew.

Normally I'm not too crazy about CGI animation - call me old fashioned but I prefer stop motion - but this was some of the best I've seen, as far as the robots went. The people weren't terribly realistic looking, but the robots looked excellent.

Anyway, the movie plays like a great big long iPod commercial, mixed with environmental propaganda (I was surprised that the lightbulb Wall-E had back at his pad wasn't a CFL), but as far as post-apocalyptic sci-fi for kids went, it was pretty good and contained plenty of references to other flicks such as Bladerunner, 2001, and Alien (Sigourney Weaver is the voice of the ship's computer) which little kids probably wouldn't get but make me feel very smug.


Directed by: Andrew Stanton. Written by: Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon. Voices: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Kathy Najimy, John Ratzenberger, MacIn Talk, Fred Willard, Sigourney Weaver (!).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dead Calm

Dead Calm (1989)

Ranking: Yeah
Moderately Trashy

This movie highlights basically what I was talking about in my last review - when you're trapped on a train with a psychopathic killer, you can just get off the fucking train. When you're trapped on a boat with a psychopathic killer, there's not much you can do...

The plot is fairly generic. A couple (Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman), who just lost their young son in a car accident, decide to go on a relaxing sea voyage to take their minds off of it or whatever. They pick up this guy (Billy Zane) in the middle of the ocean who – surprise! – turns out to be a crazy ass mofo.

The movie is a fairly standard thriller, predictable and occasionally bordering on sleazy. However, the performances from the three leads, particularly Billy Zane (who I’ve only ever seen before in BloodRayne (best movie ever) and Titanic, and in both movies he sucked) are really good and the film is fairly well plotted.

It also gets away with having very little dialogue throughout. There is no unnecessary banter between Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman. There are I think about twelve lines of dialogue in the whole movie.

And there really is something to be said for having ‘name’ stars in the movie. They weren’t exactly big name stars at the time, and they’re not exactly big name stars now (except, I guess, Nicole Kidman). Well, I guess Sam Neill was in, like, Event Horizon and In the Mouth of Madness and, um, Jurassic Park and he played Damien in Omen 3. Jeez, no wonder he creeps me out...

Actually, the really weird thing is that even though she’s there between Billy Zane and Sam Neill who are both runners up for creepiest human being on the planet, Nicole Kidman manages to be WAY fucking creepier than either one of them. She looks about six years old for one thing and she’s so frigging pale... ew...

Although at least both she and Sam have their Aussie accents intact in this movie. Yes, Australian accents are the third ugliest sounding accent in the world (right after Kiwi and Canadian accents), but it’s nice to hear these people not playing fucking Americans for once.

Yeah, so this movie isn’t exactly the greatest thing ever committed to film, but it’s a very well done thriller and has one or two creepy moments.


Directed by: Phillip Noyce. Written by: Terry Hayes based on the novel by Charles Williams. Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane.

Terror Train

Terror Train (1980)

Ranking: No, no, no
So Trashy it's almost funny

When I saw this on the guide I thought, ‘Hey, Halloween on a train. Why the hell not?’ and set into wasting two hours of my life watching it (two hours includes commercials, of course, which are an equal waste of my life).

About ten minutes in, Mr. Green, frowning, said “I thought this was a British flick with Peter Cushing.” “No, no” I corrected him. “You’re thinking of Horror Express” “I thought that was the one with Sean Connery where they all stab that guy.” “That was Murder on the Orient Express... it's an Agatha Christie thing.” At this point he just told me I was a nerd and went away.

Moving on, the film is indeed Halloween on a train with a bunch of so-called medical students who don’t even know enough to check a guy’s pulse when they think he might be dead, getting rubbed out by a dude they played a practical joke on in the first reel (I can't believe I just wrote that. I don't even know what the fuck a reel is).

The entire time, the filmmakers try to hide the killer’s identity despite having shown us who it was in the first ten minutes. This annoyed me.

What also annoyed me is that it’s not that hard to avoid getting killed on a train. It’s a fucking train. You just get off. If it was Terror Boat that would be one thing (although it doesn’t have that nice alliteration – it would have to be, like, Scary Schooner or something) – it’s hard to get off a boat without, like, drowning and shit (see Friday the 13th Part Eight: Jason Goes to Manhattan. Actually, fuck that. Watch Alien. Alien is a much better example of what I’m talking about coz, you know, instead of just being on a boat, they’re in space and that). And why the fuck doesn’t the train have a radio? They set it up in the beginning with the train dispatcher dude going “I wish they would fit that old train with a radio”. As if that’s optional.

And then there’s the acting. As is to be expected, everyone in the movie is terrible with the possible exception of Ben Johnson as the responsible adult/train conductor. Not that the poor buggers had very good dialogue to work with, but still.

I mean, this film is so bland they had to stick a magic act in the middle to keep us interested, but only served to remind me that this is not a rad flick like Wizard of Gore but a lame ass, third rate slasher movie. And I still watched it. Fuck.


Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode. Written by: T.Y. Drake. Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek MacKinnon.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Ruins

The Ruins (2008)

Ranking: Yes
Moderately Trashy

I was kind of leery about this one as I assumed it was going to be sort of like The Cave or whatever, only set in The Ruins rather than the cave. It was way better.

About a bunch of assholes vacationing in South America who hook up with this hot German guy (Joe Anderson, who played Max in Across the Universe) and decide to foray into the jungle to meet his brother who was hanging out with an archaeologist at the ruins of an old pyramid. They are greeted by a gang of hostile locals who quarantine them on said pyramid. Then they get picked off one by one by the evil living within the ruins.

The film is slow getting going, but after that is very well paced, maintaining a feeling of impending doom throughout. It's a little predictable, but only because the film only has one direction in which it can rationally go. They also rely (mostly) more on the characters' fear and anxiety rather than disturbing images. Although, when they do use disturbing images, they are pretty fucking disturbing. Holy shit.

The film does fall into the category of don't-go-abroad-movies, and rest assured, after seeing this, if I ever venture south of Texas I'm staying the fuck put in my hotel room.

In fact, why go south of Texas when I can stay north of Maine in a nice safe province like New Brunswick (actually, I'm going to hold the assumption that NB is nice and safe until I see Jason Shipley's Blood Shed. EDIT: I have seen Blood Shed and NB is not nice or safe).

It's also a bet-on-who's-going-to-survive movie (I was rooting for Hot German Guy, but knew he wasn't going to make it and alas, he was among the first to die). Mr. Green bet on Jena Malone. I bet on the ancient evil. I won ten bucks. Spoilers.

Anyway, this movie was surprisingly well done, with a 'monster' that haunts even my waking hours... okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but it freaked me out while I was watching it...


Directed by: Carter Smith. Written by: Scott B. Smith based on his novel. Starring: Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson, Sergio Calderón.


Cujo (1983)
Ranking: No
Extremely Trashy

This Halloween, I spent all day alternately sitting on my ass eating candy and watching movies and cleaning my kitchen. Cujo was the penultimate film in my watching spree, followed by The Exorcist.

This is, of course, that one where the beloved family pet (a sweet old Saint Bernard - what could be more innocent than a Saint Bernard? All they do is sleep, much like myself) gets bitten by a rabid bat or something and then goes totally ape shit and kills a bunch of people. Actually, I think he only kills, like, two or three guys, although he does bite Dee Wallace.

Whatever. Bring it on, canine scum. I think I could waste a dog if I had to. I read about this technique you can use to, like, rip them in half (I'm not entirely sure how it works, and I think you have to be kind of strong to do it, but what the hell).

Anyway, this movie sucked. Most of it was just Dee Wallace trapped in her stalled car with her slightly obnoxious, but surprisingly adorable kid (Danny Pintauro - I looked him up on IMDb and he's kind of scary looking now).

I actually spent a goodly portion of the movie reading about rabies on Wikipedia and what it does to dogs and people and it looks to me like Dee Wallace is fucked. Rabies is hard fucking core. Even if it doesn't kill you, it'll give you permanent brain damage. There's only, like, one recorded case of a person surviving without the brain damage. That is seriously fucked up. It also does some nasty shit to dogs, so if your dog ever gets the rabies, it's way more humane to shoot it.

Moving on, the best part of the movie was when Cujo wasted this cop and my friend started talking about whether or not she could train her dog to do the same.

((Disclaimer: I am totally down with the cops and do not support training your dog to kill them.))

Yeah, this movie was pretty boring. Although, it's actually not the worst movie based on a Stephen King book I've ever seen. That's an honour which would probably have to go to, like, Firestarter or The Tommyknockers or some other shitty movie. Children of the Corn and Secret Window are other contenders. I actually kind of secretly liked Children of the Corn - I mean, it had Sarah Connor in it and all - but I'm willing to admit it was a terrible movie.

This movie was also terrible.


Directed by: Lewis Teague. Written by: Don Carlos Dunaway and Lauren Currier, based on the book by Stephen King. Starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh-Kelly and a dog. I was trying to figure out what the dog's name was all I could come up with was that it was voiced by Frank Welker, AKA Megatron

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Devil Doll

The Devil Doll (1936)

Ranking: Yeah
Somewhat Trashy

Watched this movie on Turner Classic on Halloween (it took me a long time to get around to writing this).

It's about an escaped convict (Lionel Barrymore) who hooks up with this crazy chick (Rafaela Ottiano) who likes to shrink people using her late husband's shrinking device. He then sends the little people to off the jerks who framed him for murder.

The movie is funny (dialogue like "We should make him small still makes me laugh), sad (all the guy really wants is his estranged daughter's love) and terrifying (Lionel Barrymore spends half the movie dressed as an old lady. How fucked up is that?).

Plus the FX were very well done, way better than what anyone could have done with CG, which does make me wonder what the fuck is the point. Take The Invisible Man, for example, which was made a couple years before this movie even. Wicked fucking FX. Hollow Man? Suck ass FX. Of course, The Invisible Man is hands down, no argument, a superior film by an epic margin, but still.

Anyway, I was sort of surprised at how good this movie was. I guess it is Tod Browning (the second viewing of Freaks showed it in a slightly better light. I'm still not crazy about that movie, but it didn't offend me quite as much the second time around), and I kind of liked Lionel Barrymore. I don't think I've seen too much of him in anything else before.

Yeah, the movie looked like it was going to be really stupid, but it was well done and it had a sort of environmental message - the reason buddy and his wacky (but kind of cool) wife invent the shrinking machine in the first place is to combat overpopulation and world hunger. Interesting idea. Of course, all these things start out very nobly. Look at what happened to Boris Karloff in Corridors of Smack. He just wanted to help people, but he got addicted to morphine and turned into a crazed junkie. It's terrible the things people will do for science.

Yeah, this movie was pretty good.

Directed by: Tod Browning. Written by: Garrett Fort, Guy Endore & Eric von Stroheim, based on the novel Burn, Witch, Burn by Abraham Merritt. Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Rafaela Ottiano, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton, Grace Ford.

10'000 BC

10,000 B.C. (2008)

Ranking: FUCK

What can I say about this movie? Honestly. It may have been the worst movie I saw in 2008 (other candidates: In the Name of the King, Hills Have Eyes 2, Quintet, Virus, Alien Versus Predator: Requiem, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4, The Condemned... actually, I think this film is worse than all of those movies).

It’s about... fuck, I don’t even remember what it’s about. I think it might have been sort of like Apocalypto but even stupider. There’s like some fucking jackass (Steven Strait) trying to save his fucking jackass girlfriend (Camilla Belle) from some other fucking jackass (Ben Badra). And they all speak fucking English. Heavily accented, of course (what accent is that, exactly?), but still English. Except they call Mammoths ‘Mammocks’ or something weird like that. WTF?

Jesus. I cannot actually articulate how stupid this movie was. There are no words in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of man to describe how violently this movie sucked.

And don’t be fooled! Many times I have read bad reviews of a film and thought to myself ‘well, a movie that bad has got to be fun’. The allure of the Bad Movie is irresistible. Trust me, you will not be any better for having watched this. It’s sort of akin to having your soul sucked out of your body for three hours. And the movie isn’t even three hours long.

To be honest, I didn’t sit through the whole thing. I got up to check my e-mail, see if the guy who played Tic-Tic was in fact in Sunshine (turns out he was also in Die Hard 4, Whale Rider and Virus among other things), and play a couple games of Desktop Tower Defense in the hopes that, with any luck, the damn thing would be over when I got back. It wasn’t.

Now, simply saying a movie sucks (using as many expletives as possible) isn’t really fair to the movie, nor is it helpful. But the reasons why this movie sucked are many. First of all, the CG FX, which the film relied on more heavily than script and acting, definitely were not good enough to carry the film. They were alright for, like, 2002, but were really not up to par with the vastly superior stuff that’s out there.

As I have mentioned, the script and acting were, unfortunately, not nearly as important as the FX and were for the most part of lower calibre. The characters weren’t even two dimensional, and the plot was basically nonexistent (yes, I know, it’s a basic boy goes on quest to rescue girl movie, but there was all that other shit in there which just muddled everything up).

The movie wasn’t even nice to look at. The art direction wasn’t all that great, and didn’t do a great job of taking my mind off how crappy everything else was (which is, of course, the point of art direction...)

The ending was perhaps the worst ending I have ever seen in a movie - the girl that jackass has been chasing throughout the whole movie gets killed, but the old wise woman back at the village senses it and just fucking dies so that the girl can come back to life. What the fuck!? There was no other supernatural shit at all in the movie and then boom, this fucking crap can happen. God damn it.

Anyway, I had no idea a movie could suck so much. I gather this was made by the same asshole who did Independence Day, which looks like a fucking masterpiece in comparison. (Roland Emmerich is also responsible for The Day After Tomorrow, The Patriot, the remake of Godzilla with Matthew Broderick and Stargate. If only I had known that before trying to watch this piece of crap...)

Yep, this movie pretty much made me want to die.


Directed by: Roland Emmerich. Written by: Roland Emmerich and Harald Kloser. Starring: Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Joel Virgel, Ben Badra, Mona Hammond. Narrated by Omar Sharif.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Iron Man

Iron Man (2008)

Ranking: Not so much
Moderately Trashy

I'm going to begin this be reiterating the fact that I do not read comics. I mean, I've read Maus and Persepolis, Lenore, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and my favourite thing in the world is Rex Libris, but, being a chick, I have never read superhero comics. I think I read an issue of Swamp Thing once.

That being said, I thought this movie was kind of crappy. I tried to like it. I really did. I was as optimistic about the whole thing as possible. I mean, it even had Robert Downey Jr. in it.

But it was just... so... American. It's obsessed with technology and, more importantly, with the idea that one man can single handedly defend the United States from The Bad Guys. One man who gets to arbitrarily decide who are the Good Guys and who are the Bad Guys. One man with all the power.

It pissed me off, although it did make for a lot of discussion in the following days.

The other thing that pissed me off was that Gwyneth Paltrow was in it. I know, she needs work, she needs to put food on the table for Apple and Moses (although it's not as if the Coldplay guy isn't doing anything), but she did not deserve to be in this movie. Gwyneth Paltrow is like a fine truffle oil and should not be sprinkled on your Kraft Dinner.

Yeah, there are a lot of good actors in the movie, and I guess if it wasn't her it would be some slag like Jessica Alba (I kind of like Jessica Alba, but I think you get my reasoning here), but still. I just hope to Christ she got paid a lot for this movie.

Now, I will say that the CG FX in the flick were top of the fucking line. I somehow managed to not see Transformers (still not quite sure how that happened, actually...), but Mr. Blue tells me that the FX in that movie were of a similar calibre. And that is important.

Anyway, I didn't really like this movie that much, but I am willing to admit it was vastly more entertaining than The Dark Knight.


Directed by: Jon Favreau. Written by: Mark Fergus, Hawk Otsby, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow.


Candyman (1992)

Ranking: Yes
Extremely Trashy

It's been upwards of two months since I've seen this movie, but I'm going to attempt to review it regardless.

I wasn't terribly keen on watching this flick on the grounds that, so far, I'm not crazy about Clive Barker adaptations (both Nightbreed and Hellraiser sucked as far as I'm concerned. Although both of those movies were written and directed by Clive Barker. This movie was not) and it sounded kind of dumb. However, it's known for being fairly good so I gave it a spin.

The plot involves a woman (Virginia Madsen) writing a paper (possibly her thesis, I can't remember) on urban legends, particularly the legend of the 'Candy Man', this bloke who was horrifically murdered a hundred or so years ago and who will now come back and do all sorts of nasty shit to you with a hook if you say his name in the mirror five times.

Actually, the movie is kind of like Nightmare on Elm Street only way more mature. It keeps the gore under control (which is a difficult task considering the fact that it's about a guy who dismembers people with a hook), it has a more interesting social subtext and the Candy Man (Tony Todd) is way hotter than Freddy.

Yes, he does say some really dumb shit, like "The pain I will show you is exquisite" or whatever, which is sort of to be expected from something by Clive Barker, but at least he knows when not to say anything.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that most of the time when a slasher movie has a black person in it, it's just to prove that slasher movies aren't exclusively about white people. Once the point has been made, the character can be safely killed off.

This movie doesn't do that.

Overall, the flick is gross and entertaining and, though it's not the scariest thing I've ever seen, you could not fucking pay me to say 'Candyman' five times in the mirror.


Written and Directed by: Bernard Rose, based on the story The Forbidden by Clive Barker. Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Kasi Lemmons, Xander Berkeley, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Don't Look Now

Don't Look Now (1973)

Ranking: No
Moderately Trashy

Psychic thriller which I had always heard great things about and which turned out to be kind of a let down.

The plot basically involves Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie running around Venice for two hours worrying about all the weird psychic phenomena in their lives. They play a couple who, after the drowning of their young daughter, decide to go to Venice to do something. I think Donald plays an architect and he's building a church or something.

There, they begin to have weird premonitions, meet up with some weird sisters (one of whom is, of course, blind and psychic) and then there's something about an axe murderer which doesn't really come up until, like, an hour and a half into the movie unless I missed something.

I dunno. I usually sort of like this kind of thing, but this movie was a pile of crap. Everything about it was bogus and clichéd within an inch of its life. And they take forever to friggin get on with it.

The whole thing was just so... unbelievable. From the married couple always using each other's names when there's no one else there (a lot of movies have this problem but it really bothered me this time. Probably coz there wasn't really anything else going on to take my mind off of it) to Donald Sutherland spending, like, half the movie naked. I dunno, that just seemed weird to me. There are some things you just shouldn't do naked. Answering the phone, listening to music, taking a shower and blogging are all acceptable. Brushing your teeth, answering the door, cooking and eating would be weird. I don't know why.

And I'm sort, but that was I think the lamest sex scene in movie history. It was shot 'artistically' (or badly depending on how you look at it) and it was kind of hard to tell who was who. That was a little disturbing. Sex scenes in movies always strike me as somewhat extraneous anyway unless they're funny or further the plot in some way.

Moving on. There were a lot of scenes in the movie which could have been cool. At one point, Mr. S finds a dead doll on the river bank. Creepy! Throw in super happy music and it doesn't really seem that creepy...

The coolest part of the movie was when Donald got killed by a scary old person with an axe (spoilers), but I happened to be in the crapper picking my nose during that part. It sounded scary.

Suck ass movie.


Directed by: Nicolas Roeg. Written by: Alan Scott & Chris Bryant based on a short story by Daphne Du Marier. Starring: Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania.


Cronos (1993)

Ranking: Yes
Surprisingly Tasteful

Gothic vampire movie about a friendly old antiques dealer (Federico Luppi) who accidentally activates an ancient device which turns him into a vampire. That's so sad. I mean, he's such a nice guy and then he gets turned into a friggin vampire. Shit, man.

This was apparently the first flick from Guillermo del Toro (or "the guy who did Pan's Labyrinth" as he is often referred to in my circle). It's totally creepy and fucked up, but also kind of sweet in a weird way. Not only is it a vampire movie, it's also about the relationship between the guy and his cute granddaughter.

And there's a lot of really cool shit in it too. For example, rather than sleep in the conventional coffin, the guy sleeps in his granddaughter's toy chest. Neat-o.

I dunno, I really liked this movie. It made me feel bad, but in a sort of good way? Ron Perlman was kind of annoying. I usually like him, but as the guy with the American accent next to all the people with nice Mexican accents... he was sort of supposed to be a sleaze, though, so there we go.

Anyway, the flick was all dark and atmospheric and full of bugs and stuff. It had some gross out moments, too though. Watching the dude lick somebody else's nose blood off the floor of a bathroom is particularly nauseating.

First of all, it's nose blood. Blood from somebody else's nose. Ew. Noses are weird. Second of all, it's a bathroom. Ew. I never use public bathrooms anyway because I'm totally neurotic and the thought of licking the floor (a tile floor, I might add) where so many feet have trodden just grosses me out. Also, I'm revolted by tongues and don't really like to see them ever (much like noses, feet and lungs - I have cigarette cartons with pictures of lungs on them).

Okay, so now we have established that I'm totally weird. This movie was really good. Yay.


Written and Directed by: Guillermo del Toro. Starring: Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook, Tamara Shanath, Margarita Isabel.