Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shark Attack (2003)

Casper van Dien is Steven, a marine biologist who heads to Africa due to a request from a scientist friend for help. When he arrives he discovers that his friend has been eaten by sharks. Along with the man's sister Corine, Steven decides to look into the death as well as figuring out why he was called to Africa.

His friend's partner, Dr. Craven, is testing an unapproved drug for cancer treatment on local residents. Steven is outraged and heads into the hospital to look at everyone's charts, which is confusing since he's a marine biologist and not a doctor.

The local fishermen and business owners are being negatively affected by the shark attacks, and there are many foreclosures in town. Add the tribesmen who do not want anyone bothering the sharks, and everyone is on edge and ready to snap.

The villains are easy to spot and the outcome is predictable. The sharks are in separate footage from the actors. There is no carnage other than the gross looking photos of shark attack victims.

Headless Horseman (2007)

Seven friends heading to a Halloween party take a short cut down a dirt road overgrown with bushes and end up running over a bear trap in the middle of the road. A tow truck that just happens to be in the woods brings them to the town of Wormwood, which we are told is where the legend of the headless horseman really originated.

Years ago the townfolk beheaded a man who was murdering children and every seven years he comes back to town to collect seven heads. If he doesn't, the town and all it's people will disappear from the face of the Earth.

The college kids aren't all that bright and aren't very likable, so it doesn't really matter when they die. With each head the horseman gets, sinewy strands come out of his neck and begin to form a new head.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Love You Man (2009)

After Peter decides to get married, he realizes he doesn't have any male friends. His friends have always been females. When he over hears his fiances friends tell her a man without male friends becomes clingy and possessive after marriage, Peter sets out to find a friend who can be his best man.

Peter gets set up on man dates by his gay brother, who sets him up with an obnoxious guy from the health club, and his mother, who unintentionally sets him up on an actual date.

When Peter meets Sidney at the open house he's having at Lou Ferrignos, they hit it off and Peter discovers they have a mutual love of Rush. The friendship starts to get in the way of Peter's relationship with his fiance Zooey, which makes Peter start questioning his life.

Paul Rudd and Jason Segal are both very likable as actors and I enjoyed them in this film. While there are some uncomfortable scenes, as well as various plot points and outcomes that are predictable, overall I liked the film and parts of it made me laugh out loud.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Against the Dark (2008)

A virus has infected most of Earth's population turning them into vampires zombie creatures that kill humans. Six survivors roam through a vacant hospital trying to avoid the creatures and find their way to the security exit.

All the characters do stupid things which put them in harms way. They keep unintentionally splitting up, even after the hunters arrive to save them. There is no explanation as to why they believe they will be stuck in the hospital if they can't get to the security exit before the generator shuts off. Why can't they just leave the way they came in?

I have no idea if the creatures in this film are supposed to be zombies or vampires. They are referred to in the description as vampires. In the movie they are called vampires and mutants, but they act like zombies. They eat internal organs, but they also drink blood. What the hell are they?

I suppose it really doesn't matter because Steven Seagal is a hunter and he's going to kill them. Seagal isn't in the movie very much, but when he is, he and his team of hunters swing swords and kill creatures. Once again, what they are is questionable since they can be killed with a gun or a sword, and you don't have to put a stake in their heart or destroy their brain. Lazy writing or pushing the envelope? You decide.

To sum it up, when we were about twenty minutes into it, my friend said, "wow this is a lot worse than I thought it would be." She was right, but I still liked it better than the big budget GI Joe which we watched right after this.

G.I. Joe (2009)

Cobra has stolen the government's secret weapon, nanobots that destroy everything they touch and form a widening path of destruction until the killswitch deactivates them. The Joes are out to retrieve the stolen nanobots before anyone gets hurt. That's the whole movie in a nutshell.

The problem with this type of film is that it's all loud noises and cgi. The characters spout one liners, and the movies is full of cliches. I especially liked when the entire control room stood up and cheered after a tense "will they or won't they make it" scenario.

The new recruits intuitively know how to work all the top secret military equipment without any training. Their subsequent destruction of property in Paris while chasing the bad guys and using this equipment may rival the destruction caused by the bad guys.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dance of the Dead (2008)

The town's nuclear power plant is spouting green smoke and the local gravedigger is corralling the dead that try to get out of the graves. On prom night when the dateless scifi club head to the cemetery to hunt ghosts, they find themselves attacked by zombies.

As the zombies overrun the town, the group bands together with other students to try to warn their classmates at the prom.

It's an enjoyable film, but the glowing reviews I read made me expect more from it. I do have to give credit to the zombies who launch out of their graves and begin running next to the scifi club. It looks really cool and it isn't cgi.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Beast (1996)

Peter Benchley remakes Jaws with a giant squid. Whip Dalton is a fisherman who knows there is something in the ocean killing people. Schuyler Graves who runs the town, decides to send some less honest fishermen out to kill whatever is causing the deaths. The town is going to celebrate Founders Day so god forbid he should keep vacationers and celebrants away from the water. Of course things don't go as planned and Graves is constantly thwarting Dalton's efforts for keeping people safe.

The movie was made for tv and is three hours long, which it doesn't need to be. There isn't anything new here and if it were a tighter script, perhaps it would have been more exciting. As it was, you could predict who would live, who would die, and when there was going to be a big problem with that darn giant squid.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

She Beast (1966)

Newlyweds Veronica and Philip go to Romania where they met Count Van Helsing who tells them about the local lake which was cursed by an ancient witch after the townsfolk killer her. After the couple get in a fight with the peeping tom innkeeper, they drive off and accidentally crash into the cursed lake where Veronica's body is taken over by the witch. Philip teams up with Van Helsing to try to save Veronica before the witch can possess her forever.

It's got the typical pacing of most 1960s horror movies. The witch looks exactly like the cover photo, which is pretty gross. But to those who like modern gore, it probably won't bother them at all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Final Days of Planet Earth (2006)

The basic plot revolves around Lloyd, a pompous archaeologist who discovers that aliens have come to Earth and are disguising themselves as humans while they take over the planet. Lloyd teams up with a few others in an attempt to stop the invasion. Lloyd is not a likable character and I found myself repeatedly getting annoyed with him and his compatriots.

The movie focuses more on story than action, which would work better if it weren't so convoluted. When it's Lloyd's turn at city hall, he goes through the door for his meeting and has to descend numerous flights of stairs and walk down a maintenance corridor to get to a door. Would anyone really do that? I'd think they sent me through the wrong door, but Lloyd and everyone else just keeps walking.

The movie was made for tv and lasts for three hours. Perhaps it would have been better if it had only been half as long. The sound was off by five seconds on the second dvd. Someone would speak, but you'd hear nothing. Then it would cut to the next person, and you'd hear the first persons voice. I guess quality control wasn't that important as this was on a cheap dvd set. But it did make for some funny moments when Darryl Hannah's lips moved but a man's voice came out. Or a person tripped and fell down to the sound of nothing, while five seconds later there was a scream and a huge crash.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Invaders From Mars (1986)

David Gardner sees a UFO land over the hill in his backyard. He urges his father to check it out but the next day Dad is acting strange. Soon other in town are acting weird and David figures out it has something to do with the UFO.

He manages to convince the kindly school nurse that there is something going on, although she's not quite sure how much to believe. He also figures out that all the people who are not themselves anymore have a bandage on the back of their necks. Both David and the nurse end up at the military base where they try to get the General that there are aliens taking over the town.

The space ship under the ground is really cool looking. The monsters aren't scary but they are interesting looking. The film is entertaining but might have been better if the David were a more experienced actor. Sometimes he manages to nail it, but more often than not he isn't believable and has a Little Rascals feel to his reading of the lines.

Black Hole (2006)

A scientific experiment goes wrong, creating a black hole in the basement utility corridor of a military building. While you'd think that would be the worst of their problems, an alien has come through the hole and is sucking up energy which it uses to kill.

The energy creature follows the electrical lines to a power station where it starts eating up energy. As St. Louis is being destroyed, scientists come up with the theory that the black hole can only be closed by sending the energy creature back through it.

David Selby of Dark Shadows fame is in this one, but he falls victim to the lackluster writing as do the others. The focus was on the energy monster with the black hole being more of an after thought.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dead Above Ground (2002)

Jeff Lucas, an unpopular Goth kid, is laughed out of his film class when he premiers his badly made horror movie rather than the documentary he was supposed to make. He's such a rebel that he is dragged out of class by the football coach and sent to the school psychologist.

The psychiatrist is concerned because she can't contact his parents. But not too concerned since psycho Jeff shows up later at his teachers pool party wearing a druid's robe and she doesn't blink an eye. A confrontation at the party leads to a car chase where the Goth kid's brakes fail, his car flies off a cliff and bursts into flames. Everyone blames the high school quarterback for driving him off the road.

A year later a new kid moves into Jeff's old house and starts having nightmares about him. He and Jeff's goth chick friend ask the popular kids to come to a seance at the house to try to communicate and bring Jeff back. They do it, which makes no sense since they all hated Jeff. Why would they want to bring him back? They don't like him and don't know the new kid.

When the killings start, the kids are afraid it's Jeff's ghost, but the local detective and some of the people in town blame the ex-quarterback. The goth chick tells one girl that if she can get Jeff's horror movie into the Sundance film festival, Jeff's spirit will spare her life. Seriously? Are you kidding me? How can that be part of the plot? It's so stupid.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tequila Body Shots (1999)

Johnny and his friends get an invitation to a party in Mexico from a man they don't know. Apparently it's going to be the party of the year, so they jump in the car and head to Mexico. Johnny's love interest and her friends have also received an invitation to this mysterious party, to which they respond by clapping their hands with glee and heading into a foreign country to party with a stranger. In other words, these people are idiots.

Once in Mexico, a local doctor gives Johnny a potion that lets him read women's minds and his love interest discovers that in a previous life she was married to a man named Hector who has thrown this party so he can take her to the land of the dead.

The characters are stupid and the movie puts forth the plot point that a Tequila body shot can bring someone back from the dead. Eeek!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Star Trek (2009)

When I was growing up I was a big fan of the original Star Trek, and have never been able to watch any of the later series as they don't hold the same charm. So I had no interest in seeing this. However it was the movie that showed up for the night, so I resigned myself to sit through it.

Surprisingly I enjoyed it. There were awkward moments when they deviated from events that I knew occurred in the original series. But the writers came up with an annoying little plot twist where the Romulans have traveled back in time and this event changes the future as we know it. Sort of clever, sort of lame, it all adds up to giving the writers free reign in where they want to take the characters.

The actors pay homage to the original characters by following the basic personalities. McCoy was my favorite but Checkov was super annoying. And I was not the only one watching who found the shape of Kirk's head disturbing. I can't pinpoint it, but there's something odd about it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hallow's End (2003)

Very low budget movie about college students who put on a haunted house in an old warehouse. An old guy shows up and gives them an ancient book of spells that turns out to be evil. When a spell is cast, the costumes of the performers dictate what they become, and zombies, vampires, and pirates start roaming the hallways and looking to kill.

This is not a good movie by any means., but it's not the worst thing I've ever seen either.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th, Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Tommy Jarvis is haunted by childhood memories of Jason and Camp Crystal Lake. Tommy's obsession leads him to dig up Jason to prove that he's dead. Upon seeing the corpse, Tommy repeatedly stabs Jason with an iron fence post, which proves to be a perfect lightning rod and a convenient way to bring Jason back to life.

With Jason back from the dead and ready to kill, Tommy runs to the Sheriff for help in stopping the inhuman killing machine. Of course, no one believes him and the body count increases.

Not the worst sequel and not the best, the movie features songs by Alice Cooper, including the giggle inducing Hard Rock Summer and the theme song which states Jason is out of control and will steal your soul. Uhhhh, no... No on both counts as the man is very methodical and controlled in his killings, and has no interest in your soul.

Child's Play 2 (1990)

Chucky, the doll with the soul of a serial killer residing inside, is back after his burned little carcass is scraped of soot and refurbished in an experiment gone wrong. After killing a few toy company employees, Chucky sets off in search of Andy, the poor kid he tormented in the first movie.
Alex is in foster care living with a rebellious teenage girl and two well meaning adults who aren't the best foster parents you could find. Even though they know Andy had a tragedy involving a doll, they still have one in the house which freaks the poor kid out. The doll provides an easy plot device for Chucky to assume the doll's place and go after Andy.

The doll factory is the cleanest factory you'll ever see. The eye inserting machine broadcasts it's intent even before the careless technician decides the only way to fix it is to lie directly under it. Ouch!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Paranormal Activity (2009)

The trailer for this movie is very effective. With the spooky soundtrack and the footage of something unseen moving the covers, it looked so scary that I did not want to see it. But reviews I've seen are so polarized - it's either unbelievably scary or not scary at all.

What I liked about the film was that they chose to use the viewers own imagination rather than special effects and cgi monsters. More filmmakers could use the lesson that what we don't see is often scarier than what we do see. Also they stuck to the concept that this was home movie footage shot by this couple and did not add spooky music to influence the mood.

Now what I didn't like was that it is exactly like watching a friends home movies. It's boring, pointless and only interesting to the person who shot it. Plus Micah is a dick. He's more interested in documenting what is going on than in making sure his girlfriend is okay. He comes off as insensitive, uncaring, and having no respect for his girlfriend's feelings, especially in regards as to how to deal with the supernatural force that is tormenting her.

I saw this on dvd, not in the theater, and the movie had an alternate ending. Afterwards there was video footage from a theater which showed the theatrical release ending. All I can say is that they were smart not to have the alternate ending. Even though it is almost the same, it is so unbelievably lame. It's a cliche which you can't believe is happening.

To sum up, none of us were scared, but I think if seen in a dark theater it would be creepy. But mostly it's like watching someone's boring home movies where you keep praying for something to happen.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yeti (2008)

A college football team's plane crashes in the Himalayas where they must struggle to survive the cold, and oh yeah, there's a hungry Yeti on the loose. Could it get any sillier? Well yes it could because the Yeti has floppy over sized rubber hands with three fingers, a rubber mask and silly looking fur.

This movie is so ridiculous that it's really enjoyable. I'm so tired of bad cgi that I was very excited by the guy in the silly Yeti suit. But to make things more interesting, they decided that the Yeti would sometimes be cgi, which made him look even more laughable. And in a twist unknown to Yeti's before, the cgi Yeti can jump so far he you could say he's flying. Oh silly flying Yeti.... there is no explanation for your power and you look ridiculous.

Highlights of the movie were:

  1. the desperate search for matches to build a fire while parts of the plane burn around them.
  2. the neatest, cleanest corpses from a plane crash ever - no blood, no ripped clothing, no dirt, no discernible trauma of any kind.
  3. although never mentioned in the first half of the movie, apparently the plane is on the edge of a cliff which is convenient for the Yeti to push it over.
  4. the guy who uses a severed arm as a splint for his broken leg.
  5. one of the girls says a monster stole one of the dead bodies but they don't believe her - the dead bodies are their team mates, they should recognize if someone is missing.
  6. when the girl says a second body has been stolen, they still can't figure it out.
  7. the group reluctantly decides to try cannibalism even though they don't want to eat their friends, but never thinks to look for the body parts that were around the crash site.
  8. the hunks of flesh are the color and shape of a piece of peanut butter fudge.
  9. the girl who is opposed to cannibalism puts the bodies into the fire so no one can eat them, thus effectively cooking them.
  10. this is the same girl who saw the Yeti take the dead bodies, yet never considers that the hungry Yeti now has nothing to eat except the survivors.
  11. the Yeti who does a stop, drop, and roll when set on fire.
  12. the only two characters whose names I remembered - Coach and Chubs - died in the crash.
  13. the girl who kills the rabbit with one shot says it is because she used to throw the javelin -this makes no sense since javelins are thrown for distance, not pinpoint accuracy.
  14. Lastly, when you try to emotionally affect your audience by having the group kill one of your own, it can't be a minor character that your audience has forgotten ever existed.

To the Devil... A Daughter (1976)

Catherine is a teenager who has been raised as a nun and wants to do good in the world. Unfortunately, she believes in following the teachings of the man who raised her, Father Michael Rayner, the leader of a Satanic Cult. Catherine's father made deal with the devil and she is to become the devil's bride when she turns eighteen.

Catherine's dad wants out of the deal and entrusts Catherine's safety to John Verney, a famous author who has just written a book about satanism. John isn't a very good caretaker as Catherine tends to wander off while under the spell of Rayner.

There is a weird gooey satan baby that is carried around in an incubator. The film also has the coolest bridge I have ever seen - a roll out bridge, (which I would use constantly if I lived near it), that goes right over the canal and can be retracted if a boat needs to go through.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Hollow (2004)

Ian Cranston's family recently moved to Sleeph Hollow. His dad is the football coach who hates that Nick wants to fence rather than play football. Ian is picked on by quarterback Brody, a bully who takes special interest in Nick due to Nick's burgeoning relationship with Brody's ex-girlfriend, Karen.

Ian is talked into being a tour guide for the local halloween hayride. But it turns out to be a bad idea since Ian is actually a descendent of Ichabod Crane and he headless horseman wants his head. The crazy old cemetery caretaker is the only one who understands what's going on, but no one believes him.

Nothing special about this one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Karver (2006)

A prank gone wrong on Halloween results in Johnathan killings his sister's boyfriend, who is wearing an pumpkin mask, with a knife. One year later they're in a new town and trying to start over. Their mother must be the most insensitive woman alive because she's moved the family to Carver, which is known for it's pumpkins.

Johnathan and sister are heading to a Halloween party at a pumpkin farm, ugh........ yes, that ought to go well. On their trip, they run into a creepy farmer with a truck load of pumpkins. Later they run into him again at the farm and he creepily talks to Johnathan about carving pumpkins and people.

Johnathan keeps seeing a pumpkin masked killer stalking around the farm and constantly breaks into tears. His sister sets him up with a friend, whose big dumb jock ex-boyfriend beats up Johnathan. Wooo, great party!

Not a lot of blood or killing, but lots of stupidity. It's never explained why Johnathan could not be left alone on Halloween. He's in high school and seems to be only slightly younger than his sister. But he seemed off even before he killed her boyfriend. At first I thought he was possibly retarded, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I've seen this twice. The first time I thought it was so bad it was funny. But watching it again, I can't imagine what I liked about it as it just wasn't very good and I didn't find anything amusing, especially not the lame comic relief characters.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trick R Treat (2008)

Look at that little guy on the cover. He's sooooo cute! How could you not adore him, even though he might kill you horribly? Even at his scariest, I couldn't help thinking he was cute, which undercuts the scare factor.

This is an anthology, which is usually a bad sign, but they mange to do a pretty good job. All the characters show up in the other segments, so it is all tied together but not in an obnoxious, forced way. It's interesting how it's all woven together.

Some of the stories have obvious endings, but overall it was worth watching. It was well done and while I wouldn't watch it again, my friends liked it so much they might add it to their movie collection.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Terror Firmer (1999)

A killer plagues a low budget movie set while they are trying to film. Lloyd Kaufman plays the blind director in this film that is littered with random ideas and gross gags. It's a Troma film, which means tasteless, corny and set ups that often broadcast the questionable punchlines. There are some funny moments, but mostly it will make you groan due to the lame jokes or juvenile humor. So yeah, it's a typical Troma movie. It is notable for two actors appearing in full frontal nudity. There are also naked women, but that's common in horror movies.

Dracula 2000 (2000)

Van Helsing is a rich old man whose mission in life is to guard the world from Dracula. He stays alive by injecting himself with Dracula's blood and keeping Drac locked up in a coffin in a hidden room in a vault in his mansion.

One of Van Helsing's assistants decides to rob him, breaks into the vault with a gang and finds the secret room. Stupidly deciding that there must be something incredibly valuable in the coffin (in a direct rip off of Dark Shadows), the group steals the coffin and plans how to spend their riches.

Unfortunately the coffin has had blood spilled on it and Dracula emerges from his cocoon with a vengeance and thirst for blood. Van Helsing must get back the coffin and protect his only daughter from Dracula's clutches. Dracula has long dreamy hair, but is really quite vapid.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)

Wow, what could be better than this? A prehistoric shark and octopus are released from a giant iceberg and get right back into that prehistoric fight to the death they were having when they were frozen. But first they're going to swim around and do some destruction.

The Octopus heads to Tokyo and the Shark heads to San Francisco where it bites into the Golden Gate Bridge - and this having already brought a plane down from the sky!

This movie is as bad as you think it would be and that's why it's so enjoyable. The sets resemble those on tv show from the 1970s and the dialogue is ridiculous. Also it stars Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas, hooray!

Ghost Rider (2007)

Dare devil Johnny Blaze sells his soul to cure his father's cancer, not realizing the devil does not make an honest deal. After his father's death by other methods, Blaze becomes a big star on the dare devil circuit. Years later the devil needs his help in fighting evil minions trying to take his power and Blaze becomes the Ghost Rider, a fire clad skeleton on a flaming bike.

The Ghost Rider fights Blackheart, who reminds me of a vampire from a bad movie. Not because he bites people, but because he's not threatening and he's got a face of pancake white.

The best thing about the movie is the flaming skeleton. Oh and I almost forgot, Sam Elliot is the former ghost rider and Sam is cool even in the worst movies. When Nicolas Cage did Valley Girl and other early movies with weird stories, I thought he was quirky and had his own style. Now that he's doing the same exact thing in big budget movies, I realize he's just not a very good actor.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tropic Thunder (2008)

In a last attempt to quell trouble on the set and get a realistic reaction out of his actors, a director drops his stars off in the middle of the jungle and immediately dies by stepping on a landmine. The actors think this is just a special effect and decide to continue filming since the director had mentioned cameras being hidden in the trees.

As the group trudges through the jungle, they run into real soldiers and drug lords who kidnap one of the group. Then they decide to pull together for a rescue mission. Robert Downey Jr is really good. I like Jack Black, but his movie roles usually disappoint me and this one did too.

The funniest parts were Ben Stiller wearing the panda head as well as the little kid hanging off his shoulders repeatedly stabbing him.

Prom Night (1980)

When Kim was a child, her sister Robin died in an accident at an abandoned building which was caused by four older children playing a hide and seek. In their version of the game, the person who is it is the killer. When Robin tries to join in, the older kids gang up on her, taunt her with the phrase "the killers are coming" and chase her around in a menacing way until she falls out a window to her death. Instead of getting help, the nastiest girl in the group demands an oath of silence so they don't get in trouble and they leave her there.

While it doesn't sound scary, it reminds me of times when I was a kid where my brother would follow me around at a steady gait like a zombie. At first I would laugh and tell him to knock it off. But after awhile it would scare me, which I know is as ridiculous as it sounds. It's not like he would have hurt me if he'd caught up to me, but there was something about it that would really creep me out.

Fast forward to Robin and her brother Alex looking forward to the high school prom. The four who were involved in her sister's death are her classmates and they are getting phone calls from a menacing stranger. But he's not menacing enough for them to be overly worried, although they might be if they knew he was so organized that he crosses their name off his list once he makes each call. Oooooo, isn't that scary kids?

This is one of Jamie Lee Curtis's run of horror movies in the late 1970s/early 1980s, so it has that going for it. What it has against it is an overly long disco dance prom where we get to see Kim and Nick strut their stuff on the dance floor.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Time Barbarians (1990)

If you've ever wanted to see a movie about sword swinging barbarians who travel through time to a modern day metropolis, then this is the film for you.  American Gladiator Malibu plays Doran, a large barbarian warrior king,  who is married to Lystra. They cavort in the woods until evil villain Mandrak kidnaps Lystra, steals her powerful jewel, and ends her life.  

Mandrak flees through a portal ending up in modern Los Angeles, where Doran follows to exact his revenge.  Doran becomes a media sensation after being filmed beating up gang members who were threatening tv reporter Penny who is a dead ringer for his dead wife.

Mandrak, who has adapted nicely to big city living, sees Doran on tv and vows to get Doran before Doran gets him.  Yup, that just about covers it.  

Well, except that after traveling from ancient times to seedy modern LA Doran shows no surprise or in fact any reaction at all to skyscrapers, alleyways, clothing, cars, tv cameras, or apartments filled with electric appliances.  Actually the only thing that seems to stump Doran is the chainlink fence that he can't figure out how to get around. Bad acting or bad writing.... you decide. 

Camp Fear (1991)

Vincent Van Patten is an archeology professor at what appears to be a community college for women. He takes a few of the girls to the lake to dig for ancient artifacts.  On the way they run into some bikers and a drunk local who is played by Buck Flowers.

After setting up camp, they hear noises and find a Native American in a sweat lodge. In keeping with the theme of archaeology students who will fail their classes, the girls are completely confused about the strange man with the primitive hut and clothing.

The bikers have nothing better to do than to track down the professor and the girls, which leaves them all vulnerable to the giant druid in the woods who needs a sacrifice for his stone table.  Oi!

This movie is ridiculous, but I must admit I have had a soft spot for Vincent Van Patten since he was in Apple's Way in the early 1970s.  

Wicked Lake (2008)

Four women head up to the lake for a vacation and are visited by four creepy guys and some hicks they met at a local gas station.  The women are forced to do humiliating acts with the men until the strike of midnight at which point the tables turn and the men are in fear of their lives.  It was also at this point that we stopped watching because it was terrible.

Deadgirl (2008)

Rickie and JT skip school and head to the abandoned asylum to drink and vandalize.  While running away from a feral dog, they end up finding a naked girl under plastic.  She looks dead, but the plastic is moving as if she's breathing.  Rickie wants to set her free and get the hell out of there, but JT wants to keep her and use her for his own fun.  After they come to blows, Rickie leaves JT on his own with the girl.

The next day JT convinces Rickie to come back because he says he has to show him something or he won't believe it.  JT shoots the girl and then reveals to Rickie that this is third time he's killed her but she doesn't die.  

There is a juxtaposition between extremes with Rickie's character being in love with a popular girl at school and forsaking JT and any interest in sex with the deadgirl.  JT is a complete psychopath who ends up sharing the girl with another friend of theirs and spending all his time in the asylum with the deadgirl.

The movie is disturbing on so many levels, especially the realization that there are males in this world who would do the same thing as JT.   But even though it's sick, it's also fascinating because you want some sort of positive resolution which never comes.  The ending is very unsatisfactory, offers no explanation for the girl or what happened, and leaves bigger questions about why no one would notice a naked deadgirl tearing around the neighborhood.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sands of Oblivion (2007)

Cecile B. DeMille is shooting a move in the desert and using real cursed antiquities from Egypt for the props in his film. Years later an old man, who was a boy when the movie was filmed, goes back to the desert to find the box he buried at the end of filming.

At the same time there is a group of archaeology students on a dig looking for the rumored set which was left intact and buried by DeMille. Grandpa, played by George Kennedy,and his hunky grandson find his treasure box, but also find an entry to the hidden set where grandpa's arm is ripped off by Anubis.

The curse has been unleashed and the archaeologists and grandson must try to stop the carnage. Some really stupid things happen, but the best part is when Anubis tears through the dig site and one of the students states that she doesn't know what that thing was, but it had a head like a dog. Oh dear sweet useless child, you should not be on this dig and you are definitely going to fail archaeology.

The Intruder (1989)

The night crew at a local grocery store is terrorized by a killer.  All signs point to him being the cashier's boyfriend who has been stalking her and was hanging around outside the store all night.

Everyone just learned that the store is going to be sold and that they will all lose their jobs.  Sam and Ted Raimi are two of the employees, and Bruce Campbell has a bit part as a cop. There is a really nicely done scene with a table saw to the head.

Trespassers (2006)

Five college students head to Mexico to surf and meet up with one's older brother, only to find the beach deserted. After gallivanting around, they find the brother's truck abandoned in a sand dune and become concerned.

The group splits up - always a bad idea - with a couple heading off to town to see if the brother went there for help, and the others looking for the brother's camp site which he said was at a compound near the beach.

In town they are told the legend of a cult that lived in a compound at the beach and how there have been attacks on Anglos in that area. One of the students theorizes this is just local talk to keep outsiders off the local beaches.

The zombies are not typical zombies. In fact, I'm not really sure what sort of zombies they are, but do not expect real zombies.

The movie features one of the smartest moves when a character buries himself in a sand dune so the zombies can not find him. Brilliant! Only his face is sticking out of the slant of the dune and it is night so he's hard to see. However this must have used up all his brain cells because later he makes the dumbest move ever when he lights a fire at night and starts having sex with his girlfriend. Aaarrgghh!!!!!

You know the zombies are looking for you. They've killed your friends, they've tried to kill you, and now that you escaped you're going to make a fire!?! It's inside a ramshackle cabin which means the light can be seen through all the gaps in the door, the windows, and between slats of wood. It may as well be a neon sign announcing their presence.

San Franpsycho (2006)

A move starring Joe Estevez and Todd Bridges?  How could I not watch it?  Well, one reason would be to have your serial killing psycho walk in slow motion for a long, long time to pad the film.  

Joe Estevez is a detective who watches tv and tries to catch a killer.  The killer follows his victim in the train station, on the platform, in the train, gets off at the same stop, walks down the street about fifteen feet behind her, and she doesn't notice until she gets right up to her front door and he pushes his way inside.  Way to go, movie!  You actually pushed us to a point where we couldn't watch you anymore because you were too painful - and look at the crap we've watched!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Surface (2005)

I seem to recall seeing adds for this series when it was on, but it never interested me.  In fact I had no interest in watching it now either, but I ended up watching one episode due to it being about sea monsters.  While everyone in it seemed to do stupid things, it was still enjoyable and I wish I had the time to watch more than one episode.  I want to know what the creature is and if the kid who stole it's egg is going to befriend the hatchling or get killed by it.  I'm hoping for carnage rather than an ET moment, but it's a tv series, so I'm guessing it'll be the cute cuddly scene.

Simon Says (2006)

Crispin Glover and Crispin Glover star as psychotic twins who terrorize five college students on a camping trip.  The group stops by Simon and Stanley's store to get gas and alcohol.  The gas pump out front doesn't work, but inside there are dusty bottles of scotch that the kids snatch up while insulting the brothers.  Oh stupid kids, always insulting local town folks and making yourselves targets for their wrath.  

The group decides to camp on the site of an old homicide - yay that'll be fun!  Shortly afterwards the twins are wandering the forest in their camouflage suits made of grass and twigs, hunting down their prey.

Crispin Glover gets more and more over the top as the film goes on, but still it's Crispin Glover so you won't care.  The rest of the cast is interchangeable.  Features the only scene I can remember of someone bursting through the dead body of a friend, yeech!!!  Also the door is left open for a sequel.

The Woods (2006)

Heather  is sent off to boarding school due to her new found interest in setting things on fire.  The school is out in the middle of the woods and the teachers seems a bit off. Several of them look like men in drag and one even looks like SNL's Church Lady.  It has nothing to do with the story, but it's certainly distracting.

The girls in the school are strange and Heather has conflict with the school bullies when they pick on her new friend.  At night, the other girls fall into a deep sleep, but Heather has disturbing dreams and awakes to see the woods coming into the room to get the girl in the bed by the wall.  In the morning, it looks like the girl is sleeping but when the covers are peeled back, there is only a pile of leaves.

There are stories that many years ago there were girls who were witches at the school who disappeared after being chased through the woods by the rest of students.  Heather discovers that all the girls are given a test when they arrive, certain girls are singled out due to the results of their tests, and Heather is one of those girls.  

Bruce Campbell has a small role as Heather's henpecked father.

Private School (1983)

The story of the girls at Cherryvale Academy and their male counterparts at Freemount Academy and the hijinks that ensue.  Christine and Jim are planning a nice little weekend getaway to lose their virginity.  Meanwhile Bubba is back at the dorms betting his friends that he can get sleazy rich girl Jordan into various states of undress.  But Jordan wants to date Jim and tries to break up the young couple in love before they go on their weekend.

In between, the guys sneak into the girl's school dressed as women, there is a school dance where the guys get wood, Jordan goes topless horseback riding (ouch!), and there are various states of undress and sexual escapdes.

This is a typical 1980s teen sex comedy, which means the jokes aren't funny, but it is enjoyable in an oddly painful, nostalgic sort of way.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007)

As a child, Jack saw his family killed by monsters.  Now an adult, Jack is plagued by an anger problem and a girlfriend who treats him poorly.  He's a plumber, but spends his nights taking classes with his girlfriend.  

Robert Englund is the professor who asks Jack to help with a plumbing problem at his house.  This leads to an accident in which the professor finds a large box containing a black heart which was buried due to the curse on it.  The heart enters the professor and turns him into a monster.  When he starts killing the night school students, Jack decides to fight back and face his childhood monster fears.

Robert Englund does a good job and Trevor Matthews is likable as Jack.  The movie is fun and does an okay job of mixing comedy and horror.

Tamara (2005)

Another movie about a high school prank going terribly wrong resulting in an accidental death and revenge.  Tamara is a mousy high school student with a crush on her teacher.  She also has a book of witchcraft in her house with which she tries to cast a love spell.  After she is accidentally killed during a horrible prank, she is buried in the woods.  What the kids don't know is that she has the page with the spell in her shirt and blood has been spilled which puts the magic spell to work.

When Tamara shows up the next day at school, she has transformed into the hot chick that every guy wants.   Immediately she targets the kids who buried her.  She immediately targets the kids who buried her and leave them afraid of who will be next.

The most ridiculous part of this is that the prank was taped so it is obvious the death was an accident.  The other stupid thing is they don't even call an ambulance for her.  They just bury her so that their future careers and college scholarships are not messed up.  Also the ending is unsatisfying and leaves the door open for a sequel.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (1970)

Kazuma wanders into town to look for his long lost sister.  He befriends a female gang who decide to help him on his quest.  The Eagles, the male gang they hang out with, are very angry about Kazuma taking attention away from them and set out to make his life miserable.  The Eagles are also on a quest to rid the town of halfbreeds and teach the girls a lesson for helping Kazuma.

Sometimes the movie reminds me of The Girl in the Gold Boots.  It's got gangs, music, fashionable clothing, and a traveler who falls for a girl that someone else considers their woman.

The Capture of Bigfoot (1979)

Michelle convinced me to watch this movie again.  Damn you, Michelle!!  Oh Sweet Capture of Bigfoot, I saw you in April 2008 and here you are again darkening my tv screen.  The only new thing I can think to add is that there is a very funny scene with a flying dummy.

The Cruise (1998)

Timothy "Speed" Levitch is an eccentric tour bus guide in New York City.  He's the type of guy you'd probably shrink away from while you were trying to figure out how crazy he was, but gradually forget this judgement due to the plethora of odd information and anecdotes that he possesses.  In fact, he's the best type of tour guide - one who's really interested in what he's talking about and provides off beat information.

Sometimes I felt envious of how he's chosen to live life, and at other times I felt sorry for him.  He's an interesting person and the only time the film becomes a bit uncomfortable is near the end when he starts ranting about people he used to know.  Definitely worth seeing.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008)

This is the meanest camp ever.  The kids are mean, the counselors are mean, and the first scene in the dining hall will have you thinking this is a camp for children with behavioral issues.  But nope, it's just a bunch of jerky kids acting like jerks.

Alan, who is the target of disdain from everyone in camp except for one kind counselor, would be a sympathetic character if not for the fact that he is also mean to other kids.  There isn't one likable character in the entire movie.  There also isn't any character development. People just yell, humiliate each other, and act like jerks.  Oh wait, I didn't hate the kind hearted counselor, but she only showed up to spirit Alan away from his tormentors.

Also the first glimpse of the town sheriff prompts the question, why is the sheriff wearing a fake nose and have a non-masculine physique?  

Some of the actors from the original film appear, including Angela, Ricky, and counselor Ronnie.

Walking Tall: Lone Justice (2007)

In a movie that has nothing to do with Buford Pusser, small town former sheriff Nick moves to the big city to live with his DEA girlfriend and her young daughter.  When all the witnesses who are in protective custody are killed, the DEA agents who will testify are put in a safe house, which turns out not to be so safe when all but one of them are gunned down.

Nick hides out in the country town where he used to be the law and does his Hercules stuff while protecting his woman, her child, and his friends.  Sorbo is an okay action hero, but anyone looking for the real Walking Tall characters should rent the original.

Blood Song (1982)

Frankie Avalon is a psychotic killer who plays a wooden flute and escapes from a sanitarium.  Frankie was only a child when he saw his father kill his mother and then commit suicide.  The worst part is his father only taught him one song before he died, so Frankie plays the same thing over and over.  But good god, don't say anything about it unless you want to end up dead.

Crippled high school student Marion is having dreams in which she sees Frankie killing people.  After she runs across him in the woods burying a body, Frankie starts chasing her, but no one believes what she says due to her crazy dreams and the lack of a body.

Frankie's hair is always prefect and he looks the same as when he was in the beach movies twenty years earlier.

Mausoleum (1983)

12 year old Susan enters the family mausoleum after her mother's death and is possessed by a green eyed demon.  Twenty years later, married Susan starts killing people by doing bad things with her demon eyes.  And when she shows up naked, her little bitey demon boobs could gnaw a hole right through a man.

Susan offs her handyman, her maid, and another family member before her husband figures out there is something wrong with her.  

Susan's psychiatrist gets the award for the calmest man every.  When Susan changes into the demon during one of her sessions, he has no reaction.  When he finds Susan's husband with his rib cages ripped open, he has no reaction.  Strangely enough, a cat scare does make him jump.