Saturday, December 23, 2017

Red Christmas (2016)

Diane, her children and their spouses are getting ready to open their Christmas presents, when there is a knock on the door. Diane opens it to find a creepy man with a speech impediment wearing a cloak who has slightly oozy bandages obscuring his entire face.  His gloved hands hold out an envelope which has the word Mother scrawled across the front in pencil and it is obvious there is something very wrong with him.

Diane does what anyone would do in this situation and invites him in to sit down with the family. Keep in mind that it is a beautiful day in sunny Australia and the home has a huge front porch on which this stranger could have cooled his heels.  Based on the mans odd behavior, there is no way even the most compassionate person would have invited him into their home, especially when among the inhabitants are a very pregnant woman and a teenager with Downs syndrome.  What about the safety of your family?

Things get even weirder when the stranger, who's name is Cletus, insists on reading his letter to Mother and it is revealed that this is the child whose birth Diane terminated twenty years earlier.  The clinic was bombed while she was there and someone pulled the baby from the trash... the living baby... the large living baby who would never have been terminated at that age of development. It even waves it's larger than a newborn hand at the man who picks it out of the garbage.

There are two huge problems with this film.  Diane's family is completely unlikeable and ungrateful, other than Jerry the teen with Downs Syndrome who is totally in the Christmas spirit.  And the film is a complete bummer.  You don't care about the family, you don't care about Cletus, and when the movie ends you just feel yucky.  It's completely depressing and worst of all, it's just no fun. The only reason we managed to make it through this thing was Dee Wallace.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mothman (2010)

Graduation is fast approaching and a group of teens is hanging at the lake, drinking and having fun.  Well it would be fun if they didn't have to babysit Jamie, Jared's little brother who is a couple years younger.

When they decide to scare Jamie and play a prank on him, he accidentally drowns.  The group decides they don't want to ruin their own lives.  So they come up with a story that he hit his head and drowned. Argh!  What is wrong with these people? And Jamie's brother goes along with it? What a tool.

To seal the deal, they each hit Jamie in the head with a rock, which is incredibly stupid as it's not going to look like an accident with six hits to the cranium. But apparently either there was no autopsy or the medical examiner is incompetent because they get away with it.

Ten years later Katharine, who is now a reporter, is sent back to town to cover the Mothman festival.  So I guess she isn't a good reporter since that isn't the type of assignment you'd give a serious journalist.

After running into her ex-boyfriend, Katharine reluctantly meets up with her old friends and discovers she was the only one who ever left town. Coincidentally it is ten years since Jamies death and the old gang gets together every year to toast Jamie.  A very odd tradition since you would think they'd never want to think of that horrible night they accidentally killed someone and then bashed his head with a rock to make sure everyone kept the secret.

Within a day of her arrival, members of the group start getting killed by the Mothman.  The police have no idea that it's a supernatural being. Because no one really believes in the Mothman. It's just a  harmless legend. Not so, says the creepy old blind guy who claims to have scratched his own eyes out to avoid being killed by the Mothman.

Intrepid reporter Katharine and her high school sweetheart Connor pursue leads as to why their friends are dying and how they may avoid the death sentence themselves.  The blind dude tells Katharine that Mothman can only come into their world through reflective surfaces, and Katharine notes there are no mirrors in his home.  Someone should tell him that he's wearing glasses and his house has windows because glass is reflective, dumbass.

Turns out Mothman only kills those who have killed others and hidden it to avoid paying the price.  So basically, he's a good guy getting justice for those have been wronged.  This leads us to the big problem with this movie, which is why would I care that he is killing these horrible people?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Seventh Son (2105)

Centuries ago, a witch named Mother Malkin was imprisoned underground  in a cage by Master Gregory, a spook (knights who hunt witches).  Now Malkin has escaped and plans to wage war on Gregory and the rest of humankind.  Gregory is looking for a new apprentice, seeing as they keep dying, and finds Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son.

They set out on a quest, with Master Gregory training Tom in the way of the knights.  Gregory is the last of his kind so he's looking for an apprentice to take over some day.  Since they all inconveniently die before this can happen, here's hoping Tom can survive long enough to learn the ways of the spooks.

Jeff Bridges plays old Master Gregory as if he's got a mouthful of oatmeal, a curious choice indeed as it's awkward and annoying.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Microwave Massacre (1983)

Construction worker Donald just wants a normal sandwich, but his wife May wants to expand her culinary expertise. She whips up complex inedible dishes for Donalds lunch and dinner.  Oddly enough, Donald doesn't just throw the lunch away and buy a sandwich at the lunch wagon.

One night he comes home drunk. When he gets in a fight with May about her cooking, he kills her and stuffs her in the biggest microwave known to man.  The next morning when he realizes what he's done, he hacks her up, wraps her in foil, and throws her in the fridge, which is already filled with foil wrapped food.

When Donald accidentally eats May's arm, he decides it's better than what he's been eating. He shares a sandwich with some friends at work, and they tell him it's tasty but seems a bit old. So Donald starts praying on young women in the area to get tender flesh.

The lead actor is comedian Jackie Vernon, who is probably best known as the voice of Frosty the Snowman, and is essentially a low rent Jackie Mason.  The movie is filled with bad jokes that you'd expect to hear in vaudeville of 1950s movies, and parts of the film seem as if you're watching Jackie do a monologue, complete with supposedly comedic inflections.  There are a couple of sex scenes with topless woman and a fully clothed Jackie writhing on top of them.  No one wants to see that.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Forest (2016)

Sara and Jess are twins.  Sara is the good reliable one, and Jess is the troublemaker.  When Jess disappears, Sara's twin-tuition tells her that Jess is still alive.  So she travels to Japan, and learns that Jess was last seen going to Aokigahara, known as the Suicide Forest.

Sara refuses to believe that Jess would kill herself, plus her spider sense tells her that Jess is still alive.   She decides to go to the forest, even though locals warn her it is a dangerous place and if she goes, then she must not leave the path.  It is said ghosts haunt the forest and target those who are sad. Also it's easy to get lost because there's such a tangle of brush.

Stopping in to a bar for a drink, she meets Aiden, a reporter.  He is planning to go into the forest with his friend Michi, a forest guide who does sweeps for bodies.  Aiden says he'll take her along, if he can write her story.

They traipse into the woods and Michi leads them off the path to look for bodies. When they find her sisters tent, it is late in the day.  A tent in the forest casts doubt on whether the person intended to kill themselves.  Michi tells them they must go back, but Sara refuses to leave.  Aiden is torn between safety and leaving Sara alone, but stupidly decides to stay with Sara. Hilarity ensues. No wait, not hilarity, horror. Yes, pure horror because they did not heed the warning of staying on the path. Always stay on the path and always heed the warning of a stranger who says don't go into the woods. Stupid girl.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dead By Dawn (2009)

A group of high school students, whose advanced age means they must have limited intellectual capacities, go to a cabin to celebrate their graduation.  Tanya is invited along by one of her friends. When the kid whose family owns the cabin finds out, he is not happy.  His older brother was accused of rape by Tanya's identical twin sister, which led to the brother committing suicide in this very cabin.  Well that's awkward.

Tanya's sister disappeared after the suicide, and the police suspect she ran away. But Tanya is convinced something happened to her sister. She has terrible nightmares and being around these jerks isn't helping since they want to make her pay for her sisters accusation.

Aaaaand lots of people die, there's a vengeful spirit and sadly enough you may fall asleep because it's not very interesting.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ticks (1993)

Tyler gets dropped off under a city overpass in a bad part of town to wait for the youth group bus to take him to camp.  A tough urban kid appears out of nowhere and starts to hassle him.  But he's played by Alfonso Ribiero, who is the least tough person ever to play a street kid, so no need to worry.  It turns out he's waiting for the bus too.

The counselors drive the kids up to the woods for some sort of bonding experience to try to get them on the right path.  It's not really clear why most of the teens are enrolled as they don't seem particularly troubled.

Panic is street smart but friendly to the adults.  Tyler has nightmares from being lost in the woods as a child.  Dee Dee is a spoiled rich girl.  Her boyfriend Rome just appears to be along for the ride, and to get a little more ethnic diversity in the film.  Kelly doesn't speak to people, and the last girl is the counselors daughter.  She seems more troubled than any of the others, but is only there because she's got nowhere else to stay.

When they stop for supplies, the group runs into a couple of creepy guys at the general store.  Later  the same two guys wander up to their campsite to ask questions. Oh that's not good. You don't want the creepy guys knowing where you sleep at night. And in horror movies there is no such thing as a coincidence so watch out!

But the creepy guys not the worst of their problems since the woods are full of mutated killer ticks and they aren't discriminating in who they attack. The most interesting part of the movie is that one of the kids is played by Seth Green.

Worst line of dialogue:
"They call me Panic - because I never do."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Most Likely to Die (2016)

Prior to their tenth year reunion, a group of friends gathers at one of their homes to catch up with each other.  Their host is nowhere to be found, so they start without him.

On the wall are large copies of their yearbook photos stating what they were voted most likely to do.  Oddly enough, everyone in the graduating class was named Most Likely something.  Not sure if that's something schools actually do now. When I was in school, there were specific categories for senior superlatives and a different section of the yearbook for those who won.

The group sits around talking about their successes or analyzing  their own faults.  None are that interesting.  One guy is a famous actor who brings his model girlfriend, which makes things very awkward since one of the others is his high school ex still nursing a broken heart. Yikes! She still isn't over it, and doesn't trust anyone. You see, that's why she's bad at poker. Yes, really. She's a poker player but manages to blows every good hand due to the trauma of being dumped in high school.

Talk turns to their time on the yearbook staff which leads to how they took the senior photo of one of the school losers, scratched out his eyes and mouth, wrote die on his forehead, and gave him the title Most Likely to Die.  Oh it was so hilarious - until one of them managed to slip it into the final proof and it got printed in the yearbook.  They never intended for it to be printed, but hey those were good times, right? Right?

The group parties it up while the creepy caretaker watches. Old creepy graduated with them and the rich hockey player who they're visiting gave him a this job.  Um kind of weird, but okay.   Is it any weirder than inviting your high school friends to a party at your house, and not inviting the guy from high school that lives in your house as a caretaker?

When the killings start, their first thought is it's old creepy. caretaker guy.  Each time someone dies, a read X marks the yearbook photo on the wall, and their death is in a manner corresponding to their Most Likely To quote in the yearbook.  And there you have it.  It's a fairly typical slasher with unsympathetic characters.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Starry Eyes (2014)

Sarah is a struggling young actress who works as a waitress at Big Taters while trying to make it in Hollywood.   Her roommate and friends are actresses, actors and filmmakers all looking for their big break.  They're more friends of convenience than real friends since they can't keep her secrets, and one girl constantly makes passive aggressive comments meant to undermine her self esteem.

When Sarah gets an audition for a movie at a well known studio, her friends are jealous. But the audition doesn't go well and Sarah ends up in the bathroom screaming and tearing her hair out.  One of the casting directors catches Sarah in mid fit, and asks her to  repeat this in the auction room.  Sarah does but leaves feeling confused since they seem just as unimpressed as when she did her reading.

When Sarah gets a call back and is then invited to meet the producer, she is thrilled. They tell her this is a gateway role. She'll be the star and her face will appear on all the posters.  But there's a catch and it involves the casting couch.  Sarah is horrified and bolts.

But later that night as she hangs out with her crappy friends, she begins to rethink her decision  She's selling her soul working at dead end jobs, so what's the difference between that and selling herself for the stardom she wants?   Oh poor misguided, delusional, mentally fragile Sarah. This isn't going to end well.

Sarah's transformation, or disintegration, is pretty gross.  While she's a fragile character, she's too messed up to be sympathetic.  At times you feel bad for her, but she's willing to do anything to get what she wants.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Drive Angry 3D (2011)

Drive Angry is a crazy movie in 3D.  Is it good? No, not really, but it's got tons of action and William Fichtner gives a fantastic  performance as The Accountant.

Nicholas Cage - looking like the lead singer of Nickelback - is Milton, a man who's escaped from hell in a souped up muscle car.  He's come back to Earth to avenge the death of his daughter at the hands of a satan worshipping cult, and rescue his granddaughter before the cult can sacrifice her.

Milton teams up with Piper after he saves her from her abusive boyfriend.  Piper isn't your normal helpless female, although she appears young and helpless.  She drives muscle cars and isn't afraid to throw punches or shoot cops, if needed.

The two are tracking Jonah King, leader of the cult. On their tail are the police and the Accountant, who plans on bringing Milton back to hell.

This is one weird messed up movie. In one scene Cage has a gun battle and dives about the room while having sex with a waitress.  The Accountant has the most amusing scenes and Fitchner gives the best performance in the film.  Also watch for Tom Atkins as the Sheriff as it's always good to see him show up.