Saturday, April 28, 2007

Twice Dead (1988)

A family inherits a home and moves in sight unseen, which is unfortunate since it's the hangout for a local gang, filled with junk, and lacks utilities. It is also the former home of Tyler Walker, an olde tyme magician who committed suicide after his beloved assistant - who is the families great aunt - left him for another man.

Rumors are the house is haunted, and indeed Tyler's ghost still haunts the third floor, which is filled with his possessions including a life size mannequin of the great aunt. Strange things happen, such as a noose wrapping itself around Scott's neck in the middle of the night, but none of the other family members believe there is a ghost present. Robin is the spitting image of her great aunt, and Tyler's ghost starts to help the family protect themselves from the gang of toughs, who consist of Silk, Crip, Stoney, Candy, Melvin, and two others.

Mom and Dad head back to Boulder to deal with some business problems, leaving Scott and Robin alone in the huge mansion, which is a real smart thing to do considering the gang has been stalking them. It's even more ridiculous as there had just been an incident in the middle of the night where the gang showed up in halloween masks, killed Robin's cat and nailed it to the backdoor, tried to rape Robin, and beat the hell out of Scott. Of course, the police won't do anything because no one actually saw the gangs faces. Yes, but let's leave the kids alone in the house. They'll be fine.

Scott and Robin decide to scare the gang off, which seems insane considering that something as harmless as asking the gang to stop hanging out at their home had made them targets for stalking and harrassment. The kids concoct an elaborate plan to scare the hell out of everyone and succeed. But instead of making the gang leave them alone, it just makes Silk even angrier and more interested in making them pay for humiliating him.

Late one night, an uncalled for pizza delivery guy shows up on their doorstep. Since it's the last stop of the night, the delivery boy says he'll sell it to them for five bucks as he'll just have to trash it otherwise. Scott agrees and is soon eating pizza and drinking coke, which oddly enough came in a container that looks like a cross between a paper milk carton and a dixie cup. Was soda ever really sold in this type of odd container?

Later Scott wakes up in a daze to find the entire gang partying in his living room. Seems the whole pizza ploy was arranged by Silk who put "liquid lude" in the coke carton. Crip goes upstairs with Robin, while the gang wreaks havoc downstairs, complete with the extremely corpulent Melvin repeatedly running over Tyler's mannequin with his motorcyle. Tyler just won't stand for this, and the gangs downfall begins.

Something to note: in the beggining of the film when the family is driving in the car, the close up scenes of the two kids appear to be two entirely different actors that closely resemble them.

Blood Song (1995)

Marius, a cutrate drunken composer, is hired to finish a symphony by the beautiful Gabriella, whose uncle was killed by vigilantes before he could finish the piece. Gabriella believes this will be a marvelous song to play at her upcoming wedding, which is very odd since the music sounds a bit dissonant and is titled Symphony for the Devil.

Carlotta, the uncles maid, is still caring for the house. She turns out to be waiting for the uncle to come back to life, which starts to occur once Marius gets to work on completing the piece. However Marius is starting to see the late uncles reflection when he looks in the mirror. He is also getting super drunk and having dreams in which he goes to the local brothel and kills prostitutes with piano wire. Oiks!! Gabrielle insists that Marius was at home all night, but the constable does not believe her. Neither does her fiance Julien, who wants Marius out of the house.

As the symphony becomes more complete, Gabrielle's late uncle inhabits Marius more frequently, and there are more dead prostitutes. The late uncles inhabitation is annoying later in the film, as some scenes have a tendency to show a shot of Marius, then a shot of the uncle in the mirror, over and over. It's disconcerting as it almost appears as if some random conversation is going on or as if he's talking to himself.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Trog (1970)

Oh Trog, you just know things aren't going to go well for the poor fellow. Spelunkers discover a cave not on any maps, and excited by their find, strip down to their underwear to swim under a ledge as far as they can. The first explorer finds... another cave (heavens!), and a large hairy apeman which promptly kills him.

Scientist Joan Crawford leads an expedition, along with one of the surviving spelunkers, to verify the apeman story and gets a fantastic photo of Trog throwing a rock at them. With this undisputable proof, Trog is quickly captured and confined to a cage in Crawfords lab. He's actually quite well behaved considering he's been ripped from his dark underground home and planted in a small cell where strange people stare at him, call him Trog, and attempt to teach him how to play with dolls.

While Trog has a huge ape head with apey hair cascading from it, the rest of his body is that of a man. He is even wearing a fur loin cloth. If he truly is the missing link, he might look a bit less like a man with an ape mask. The sounds he makes are like a cross between a lamb and a squeeky toy.

Crawford insists that Trog's brain holds secrets. In order to learn about evolution and past history, they must find a way to communicate with him. I suppose that could be true, if Trog happens to be a million years, but what if he's only thirty? So they implant a transmitter inside him, which is ridiculous as it doesn't seem like a great idea to operate on the only creature of it's kind when you know nothing about it's anatomy.

Afterwards Trog does manage to say one word, and we see a short film of dinosaurs, which I guess is supposed to be from Trog's memories. But mostly Trog just makes unintelligible noises, which start sounding more and more like a cross between a bad Peter Lorre imitation and a dalek.

You just know things aren't going to end well for Trog, especially after he kills Murdoch - an outspoken Trog hater - and kidnaps a little girl from a playground, taking her back to his home. I must mention that I am quite impressed by Trog's homing technique as I can't imagine how he could find his way back to the cave.

Crawford, whose hair appears to grow bigger and bigger throughout the film, talks Trog into giving back the girl, which means the army can then open fire on poor little Trog. Apparently they are bad shots as they have to shoot about a thousand rounds to even hit Trog, who then falls onto a stalagmite and die.

Mind Ripper (1995)

Scientists find a dying man in the desert and bring him back to their top secret underground experimental genetics lab to see what will happen if they pump him full of a virus. Six months later Lance Henriksen (who resigned from the facility due to ethical reasons) is getting ready for a camping trip with his kids when he gets a call that there is a problem with the guy with the virus. Lance heads out to the secret lab, taking his children and daughters oversexed boyfriend with him.

Security is pretty lax as even though he hasn't worked there in months, he can still gain entrance to the lab by scanning his hand and punching in a code. Since he's bringing three teenagers into the top secret underground genetic testing facility, I guess no one is all that concerned about the danger of toxic chemicals, nuclear fallout (as it's an old nuclear testing site), or the virus ridden genetic experiment gone amuck that necessitated the request for his help.

The half dead virus infested man has turned into a rampaging Chippendales dancer with an alien-like tentacle in his mouth, which comes out from under his tongue and zips into peoples brains. It's pretty disgusting, as well as a bit stupid looking as our muscle bound mutant has to keep opening his mouth as wide as possible before this thing can pop out of him. Very much an alien ripoff with a male dancer instead of an alien.