Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)

Gun-toting Burt is back to take on the next wave of graboids and shriekers that threaten the small town of Perfection.  The town folk are using the graboid legend as a basis for tourism when new monsters show up.  As in Tremors 2, there is another mutation which results in flying monsters.  Luckily Burt is still there with his arsenal and the town bands together to fight the monsters.  

Other than Michael Gross as Burt, there are no main characters from the previous films, and is a step down from first two films.

Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)

Mexico is overrun with graboids and Earl heads south with a new sidekick hoping to make some money.  Things go well at first with tried methods for dispatching of the monsters, but there has been an evolution and now there are also monsters known as shriekers who can see body heat.  This isn't as good as the original film, but is an okay sequel.

The Island (2005)

This movie blatantly rips off the 1979 movie The Clonus Horror, which was skewered by MST3K.  You can find reviews that compare the similarities, and they are staggering.

The plot is the same - a colony of clones is groomed for rich bastards who can afford to pay for replacement body parts. When the clones bodies are needed, they are told they have won the lottery and will be shipped out to live a wonderful life on "the island."

One clone discovers something from outside their compound, which leads to more discoveries and the horror of the truth. The clones escape to try to tell their sponsor what is really going on, assuming that they will be horrified and stop the death of the clones.  Huge gap in the reasoning since the person has paid to have this clone grown in case they need the body parts.

Fade to Black (1980)

Eric Binford is obsessed with the movies. His room is plastered with movie posters, he works at a movie company, and he has a movie projector in his room where he spends his nights watching classic films projected on the bedroom walls.

Eric's obsession is the only thing he has going for him.  He has no friends, his co-workers pick on him, and his wheelchair bound aunt constantly belittles him, reminding him that he destroyed her life. The movies are the only things in his life that don't disapprove of him.

After repeated abuse, Eric snaps and begins killing those who have tormented him.  For each kill he takes on the persona and costume of a classic movie character.

Dennis Christopher does a fantastic job portraying a range of emotions from vulnerability to rage, making you feel sorry for Eric and scared of him.

Black Demons (1991)

aka Demoni 3

A brother, sister, and her boyfriend head into Brazil to study voodoo.  The brother attends a voodoo ceremony and secretly records it.  

While traveling, their jeep breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they meet a couple of hikers, who happen to be renting a plantation home a short distance away.  

The brother goes to the plantation's cemetery, plays the voodoo tape and awakes a group of slave zombies who are seeking revenge.

It takes awhile for them to figure out there is evil afoot. When they try to escape in the jeep, the lunkhead boyfriend somehow drives off the road.  Then the brother slashes all the tires, which oddly enough are fine the next day.

Terrible, terrible acting in this one and some accents that are hard to understand.  The zombies are decent for a voodoo movie, but the best thing about the movie is the cover art.

Miami Vice (2006)

I don't know why there are so many movies based on old tv shows.  If the show was good, there is no need to remake it. Similarly if it was bad, there is no need to remake it.  So stop. Just stop.  Is there nothing else they can think up?  Are there no original thoughts in their heads?  Can they not think of names for two other characters?  As per usual, once they've updated the characters, they may as well have started with new ones.

Crockett and Tubbs spout terrible dialogue, keep us in the dark about what is going on, and run around with guns in this horribly disjointed mess.


Weasels Rip My Flesh (1979)

This is the type of movie that I love.  Made on 8mm film by  high school students, it's low budget fun with a giant mutant weasel.  The acting isn't great and neither is the script, but it's got a certain charm to it. Plus it's from a time when it was rare for kids to have the equipment necessary to make a film.

After being bitten by an animal, two kids throw some radioactive liquid down a  weasel hole, which in turn causes a gigantic, mutated, rabid weasel to begin wreaking havoc on the town.  There is ample gore for a homemade movie as arms fly, people are attacked, and giant weasels are hit by cars.

Watch for the scene where they find a metal door opening up from a hill in the ground and then cut to the group climbing into a room via a cellar window.  It's creative, but doesn't fool anyone.

Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008)

A box of pastries delivered to a movie studio inexplicably contains the Gingerdead Man, who looks quite disgusting when thought of as something that could be eaten.  No one notices this massive icky cookie, even when he starts tromping around the studio on a killing spree.

There are many in-jokes and references as the plot involves a the filming of a low budget horror picture.  I'm not a Full Moon fan, but the idea of a killer gingerbread man is pretty funny.

The Majorettes (1986)

The movie starts out as a slasher when the high school majorettes keep getting murdered.  Then after revealing the killer about 2/3 of the way through the film, it changes over to an action movie with the high school quarterback becoming a one man army of vengeance against local drug dealers and thugs.  It veers so violently off course that you'll forget that there is even a killer who is still running loose.

To sum it up, it's another film directed by Bill Hinzman with subpar acting and dialogue.  This is only of interest for those who wish to see every 80s slasher flick.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Touch of Her Flesh (1967)

Richard's wife is a real winner.  While he's at work she cheats on him in a long, tame 1960s sex montage.  When Richard comes home unexpectedly and walks in on her, his horror and our boredom force him wordlessly out the door and into the street where he is hit by a car.

Richard ends up with an eyepatch and a wheelchair, ranting endlessly about his hatred of women and his need to kill hookers, who he insists die naked in public.  Oh sweet Richard... sweet, crazy, murderous Richard.

His killing spree starts when he puts slow acting poison on some roses and sends them to a topless dancer.  After being priced by a poisoned thorn, she goes back on stage and slowly collapses.  Yup, it's a long way to go for the first death.

The film features nudity, tons of hairspray, a lack of dialogue, death by blowgun, and a woman who puts straightening her hair above making sure she is safely away from the killer.

The Wicker Man (2006)

Detective Edward Malus gets a letter from his ex fiance Willow asking for his help in finding her daughter Rowan, who been missing for two weeks. She wants Malus to fly to Summersisle off the coast of Washington.

Malus hasn't heard from Willow since she walked out on him without explanation eight years ago. Unlike the majority of the population who would totally blow off such a letter, Malus confirms his loser status by flying up there at his own expense.

Malus bribes a pilot to take him to Summersisle, which turns out to be a an island inhabited by a strange beekeeping cult of women. Disturbing enough on it's own that he is stuck on this island full of women who don't like outsiders (especially men) until the supply copter comes back, but he also has a deadly bee allergy. How convenient to end up on Bee Island.

The island colony is run by Sister Summersisle. The school teaches that women are superior to men, and men are idiots whose only usefulness is breeding. Yes, Detective Malus ought to be really effective at investigating Rowan's disappearance.

When he starts his inquiries, he is told conflicting stories. One is that Willow never had a child. The other is that her child died. Willow insists that both are lies. In the course of tracking down the real story, Malus manages to get locked in an underground water tunnel, bumps into a beehive, and runs into a field of hives while being chased by a swarm. Malus turns out to confirm the teachings of the island as he is quite the idiot.

Malus only brings one suit, yet it is always clean, and his version of emotion is yelling. Then the ending is one of those "six months later" type of endings that will make you say aaarggh!! This is one terrible film.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Reaping (2007)

Katherine, a former missionary who currently teaches at a University, is called in to investigate a small southern town whose river is said to have turned to blood.  Katherine is a skeptic but upon having water from the river analyzed, she finds it is blood.

The locals feel it's the work of a young girl who is said to have murdered her brother in the river.  The question becomes is the girl evil or is something else going on in the town.  

Lots of religion, a few good scares, well shot, but not anything special.

Zombie Aftermath (1982)

aka The Aftermath

Astronauts who have been unable to establish any contact with Earth for some time, crash their spaceship into the ocean.  The two who survive the landing come to shore in a scene right out of Planet of the Apes, and wander off into Los Angeles to find human contact.

The two decide to live in an abandoned mansion and eventually meet women and children with which to form surrogate families.  I guess the apocalypse messes with your emotions because the lead character claims he is in love after having known this woman for less than a day.

The villains in this film are not zombies, as would be expected from the title, but a motorcycle gang who do the disturbing things that bikers do.  

As for zombies, there aren't any - unless you include the three or four mutants who ineptly try to corner a young boy.  But since they don't look or act like zombies and are only briefly in the film, I can safely say this movie is severely lacking in zombies.

The score is totally inappropriate as it sound like something out of an old cartoon. The acting is on par with someone performing in their own backyard, and the writing is just plain bad.

My favorite scene in the whole movie is near the beginning as the astronauts come up the skeletons at a beach party.  They decide to raid their belongings and take anything useful, coming away with a machete and kerosene.  Surely that was the most dangerous beach party ever.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)

Years ago at a school dance, a girl named Mary was accidentally killed by a brutish jock who was mad when she refused to make out with him.  No one ever knew what happened to her, but legend has it if you say her name three times she'll come to get you.  So three high school girls decide to test the odd's and carnage ensues.

Anyone who is afraid of what might be hiding under their bed -and I am - will get totally creeped out by the scenes of Mary crawling out from under the bed.  Otherwise I'm not sure if there's anything that would be all that scary.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Smiley Face (2007)

Jane is an aspiring actress and a total stoner. While stoned, she eats all her roommates cupcakes, not realizing they are laced with pot.  The rest of the film is spent following Jane's adventures as she tries to get to her audition, bake another batch of pot cupcakes for her roommate, and pay the drug dealer who she is supposed to meet at a pro-hemp festival in Venice.  Needless to say everything goes horribly wrong.

I got sucked into this one by a scene posted on Youtube in which Jane ponders why a former professor has a large framed  picture of corn.  She concludes that people frame pictures of things they love and decides she'll hang a picture of lasagne on her wall, which then leads to a President Garfield reference.  For some reason, I am a sucker for humor regarding lesser known Presidents of the 1800s. Oh actually it's probably because I have a history degree. But I digress...

As the film progressed, I found myself less and less enchanted with it, and ended up feeling disappointed.  There were some funny scenes and the opening was good, but overall it left me feeling like I wished I hadn't spent the time to watch it.  Anna Faris did a great job as Jane and there were some funny scenes, but it just didn't hold up over all.