Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

A remake of the 1978 Romero movie of the same name where the dead come back to life and the survivors take refuge in a shopping mall. This one features the fast running living dead who are much scarier than the lumbering dead.

A group of survivors make it to a shopping mall and meet several antagonistic security guards who have already taken refuge there. Across the street from the mall is a gun store where the owner has managed to barricade himself in.

The groups communicate from their rooftops by writing on dry erase boards or large sheets of paper. At a certain point, the multitude of dead outside and the dwindling food supply at the gun store, make the group decide to try to escape to find a place where they will be safe.

There is a zombie baby, a biker gang with Tom Savini, and lots of carnage. And to be honest, the fast running living dead scare me. They can not only run after you, but they try to beat down your doors.

Land of the Dead (2005)

With the zombie populace spread throughout the land, humans have walled off a city in order to keep themselves safe. The military goes outside the gates in search of food and supplies, often taking sport in hitting and shooting the zombies as they ride by. One zombie in a small town takes offense to this treatment and he leads the zombies to the walled city in order to get revenge.

The film includes social commentary as the rich live inside a luxury high rise, while the rest of the citizens live in the streets. One of the military has saved enough money to retire and buy one of the apartments, but he is not considered of the caliber to reside there. This leads him to try to blackmail the corporate villain who controls the city and it's housing.

I liked this more than some of the other major zombies movies I've seen and thought it was much better than Survival of the Dead even though it was fairly predictable. One of the more interesting parts of the dvd was a short special feature showing the special effects. It is amazing to compare the before and after shots and see what they can do.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feast III: The Happy Finish

Picking up where Feast II left off, there is a very brief recap as the group of survivors is still trying to figure out how to escape from the town without being killed by the monsters.

There are some funny scenes in this one, including an accidental shooting right after a rescuer drives into town and some scenes with a martial artist named Jean Claude Seagal.

A man called the Prophet shows up out of nowhere and appears to have some sort of power over the monsters. The group follows him into the sewers and the creatures come after them. By the time they realize how the Prophet is controlling the creatures, they're in trouble.

Again, creatures in the daylight? Not scary. Creatures in the dark stairway? Scary. At one point, there is a huge fight scene lit with strobe lights and you can't tell who is fighting who or what is going on. At the end there is a very long song, which got on my nerves.

I'm not sure if I liked this one better than the second one, or if I had just gotten used to the characters, wanted to find out how it would end, and knew it wasn't going to be as good as Feast.

Feast II: Sloppy Seconds (2008)

Picking up the next morning after Feast left off, a biker chick shows up at the bar and swears revenge after finding part of her dead sister. She and her gang take the surviving bartender hostage and ride into the neighboring town to get revenge.

The town appears deserted, but that is because the monsters have gotten there before them and are still wandering around. The group teams up with two midget wrestlers and a few other survivors and spend their time trying to figure out how to escape from the creatures.

I really liked Feast, but this sequel didn't thrill me. First, it takes place in the day light so the monsters look like what they are - guys in monster suits. Second, I didn't care about the characters. Third, the script wasn't as good and the comedy often fell flat. Fourth and lastly, the movie doesn't end. It stops abruptly and you need to see part three to find out how it ends. Again people, give me a warning that I will not get a resolution to the story.

The scene with the baby seems to polarize people. They either think it's funny or sickening. I was so shocked that I laughed. I couldn't believe it, but also I know the difference between reality and a movie. It was a great take on the average guy who tries to be the hero. But if it happened in real life, it would be awful and horrifying.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Horror Show (1989)

Detective McCarthy is on leave from his job after capturing prolific serial killer Max Jenke. McCarthy has nightmares about Jenke and when Jenke is going to the electric chaire, McCarthy decides to attend in the hope that his nightmares will cease.

It takes a while to kill Jenke, and as he's frying he tells McCarthy that he'll be back to get him. Jenke's spirit goes into the electric current flowing through the chair and ends up in McCarthy's basement in the boiler. People are killed, McCarthy hallucinates, and chaos ensues.

The best thing about the movie is that it stars Brion James as Jenke and Lance Henriksen as McCarthy. It's also worth noting that one of the writers is listed as Alan Smithee, but it's really not that bad so I'm not sure why they didn't use their own name.

Halloween II (2009)

One of the reasons the original Halloween 2 worked is Jaime Lee Curtis and her portrayal of the vulnerable yet tough heroine. You liked her, empathized with her, rooted for her, and sat on the edge of your seat praying she'd survive Michael Myers attempts to kill her again.

In contrast, here we have Rob Zombie's version of Laurie, a whiny sarcastic girl with a bad attitude who has no redeeming qualities. In fact, she was so annoying, ungrateful, and self centered that all of us hated her.

Then there is Dr. Loomis, a sympathetic character in the original Halloween, but here he is a nasty, condescending, narcissistic asshole. What the hell? What is the point of making us hate two of the main characters?

Michael Myers keeps dreaming of himself as a small golden haired child talking to his mother who is often near a white horse. At one point, Myers meets up with the farmers in their field, and they state that they told him if he came back, he'd be in trouble. Huh? When was he there before?

Laurie was so whiny and irritating that we gave up and didn't even finish watching the movie.

The Descent: Part 2 (2009)

Sarah emerges from the caves, bloody and in shock, and is taken to the hospital. The local Sheriff interrogates her but she can not provide any info on what happened to her friends as the trauma she's suffered has made her lose her memory.

Against doctors orders, the Sheriff decides to bring Sarah back to the caves in order to find out what really happened. Sarah, the Sheriff, and a rescue squad head underground in an attempt to rescue Sarah's friends and restore her memory.

The Sheriff has no sympathy for Sarah and suspects her in the disappearance of her friends. The Sheriff is an idiot and you will loathe him. What a great idea to bring a trauma victim back to the scene of their trauma. Nothing unprofessional about that.

Shortly after they enter the caves, they find the first body and the creatures start coming after the rescue team. The Sheriff repeatedly screws things up. He tries to give orders to the rescuers even though he knows nothing about caving. He shoots his gun and causes a cave in. He handcuffs himself to Sarah, which is an incredibly stupid thing to do in a cave where you may have to squeeze through a narrow opening and creatures are chasing you in order to kill you. Boy, is he annoying!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

The sequel starts right where the first film left off. Due to the virus outbreak in the lab under Raccoon City, the military starts evacuating the town. But when the infection is detected in the crowd, the city gates are locked leaving citizens, police, and the military inside to fend for themselves.

Alice teams up with a small group of survivors to try to find a way out of Raccoon City before the Umbrella Corporation annihilates the entire town.

After watching the first movie, I was really excited to see the sequel but I didn't enjoy this as much. It was a little slower paced and didn't have much of a plot. There was a subplot about a scientist who promised to guide them to freedom if they rescued his daughter who was hiding somewhere in the city.

Also during some of the fights, the cuts are so fast you can't even tell what is going on.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Darkwalker (2003)

A bunch of teenagers are hired at Halloween attraction Hobb's Grove to work at the parks haunted houses and hayrides. Sounds like fun, except that the attraction was built on the Hobbs Massacre site where during the 1800s a group of farmers had a cult that worshiped the land and used blood to raise crops, uh yeah right.

In a flashback to the 1800s, a man steals a pumpkin, carves it and blood flows out. Is that considered a good idea to fill your crops with blood? What can you do with the produce? You can't sell it or eat it. Stupid blood cult farmers...

Back in the present, the Dark Walker has come to life and is stalking workers at the park. Luckily he only kills the workers, not the patrons. So the owners keep it under wraps since they have invested all their money into the park and can't afford to close. Honestly, even if patrons were being killed, they'd still want to keep it quiet. They are able to convince the inept Sheriff that staying open a few more nights won't hurt and even get him to provide extra deputys for crowd safety.

Oddly enough even though the Dark Walker is from the 1800s, he knows how to use a chainsaw. While that did bring me amusement, this was a tough one to sit through.

Boo (2005)

A group of college kids go to an abandoned asylum on Halloween to spend the night and scare their girlfriends. One girl is afraid something bad will happen, but the others convince her to go inside.

Earlier in the day, a friend of the boys went inside to set up some pranks to scare the girls. Unfortunately for them, the old asylum is actually haunted by some messed up evil spirits who don't want to let anyone leave.

There's a subplot about a guy looking for his sister who disappeared at the asylum a few days ago, and a cop who warns the guy not to go on the third floor. Everyone eventually ends up together.

The silliest thing about the movie is that everyone keeps taking the elevator in the old abandoned asylum. Seriously, how safe is that? You never know what might be waiting for you when the door opens, whether the electricity will go out, or if the cable might break. Never mind that an evil entity might take over the operation of the elevator so that it only goes to the haunted third floor.

I watched this movie the same night I watched Dark Walker and boy what a difference! Although this wasn't a good movie, it was so much better as far as the production values, story, and acting - not that the acting was good but it was much better than Dark Walker.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daybreakers (2009)

In the future, the world is populated by vampires and a dwindling human population that is used for food. Scientists are searching for a way to make synthetic blood since the human blood supply will be depleted very shortly.

There is an underground group of free humans who supposedly have come across a cure for vampirism. When they accidentally meet up with scientist Edward Dalton who has sympathy for humans, the humans decide to see if he would be willing to help them.

I'm not an Ethan Hawke fan, and this did not change my mind. This is focused more on the story than action, and at times moves slowly.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Evilution (2008)

Something goes horribly wrong when the military uses an alien virus to reanimate dead soldiers. Right before the zombies attack and everything goes kaboom, a soldier named Darren flees with a vial of the virus.

With the military searching for him so they can retrieve the virus, Darren moves into a basement apartment in a crappy building in a gang filled neighborhood. He is repeatedly hassled by the gang because they used to hang out in the basement before he moved in.

The basement looks more like what you'd find in an industrial building rather than an apartment building, and the apartment is creepy and isolated. The landlord tells Darren to keep his door locked, but he keeps leaving it open. This is horrendously stupid, especially since the gang keeps barging in, and he has a vial of the zombie virus sitting out in the open on his make shift laboratory. Also at one point a junkie wanders in, thinks he's found a drug lab, and absconds with a needle full of virus.

When one of the gang is shot, Darren brings him inside and tries to save him by injecting him with the virus. Darren goes upstairs to a neighbors and when he comes back down the gang member is gone. Yup, the zombie virus has been unleashed in the apartment building and havoc ensues.

Day X (2005)

When a virus is released that turns people into zombies, a group of survivors take refuge in an abandoned industrial building. One is a government worker transporting a girl to a military laboratory as she is the key to the antidote for the virus. While a bite from the zombies will infect you, a bite from the girl will cure you. Consequently there are scenes of her running towards zombies to bite them.

The acting is not great, but compared to some of the other low budget zombie movies I've watched recently, this was okay. You just have to overlook the really stupid things that some of the characters do. Also a lot of the zombies appear to only have black greasepaint on their faces. They just look dirty, not scary. Plus it seems like there is some continuity issues going from day to night, and back again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Resident Evil (2002)

Under Raccoon City in a secret laboratory named The Hive, an outbreak of a virus turns everyone into zombies. A special unit of the military is sent into The Hive to dismantle the Red Queen, a super computer that is currently controlling the complex. The military stumble upon Alice, who has lost her memory and drag her along with them.

The group is able to infiltrate The Hive but runs into problems, mainly zombies and security measures that are still intact to prevent anyone from getting access to the Red Queen.

Having never played the video game, I had no preconceived misconceptions about what the movie should be like, and have no idea if it follows the story line of the game. The film was really entertaining and I enjoyed it a lot. Even though there wasn't really any character development, the pacing was good, the action worked and there was some tension. I'll definitely watch it again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spiders 2: Breeding Ground (2001)

When their sail boat starts to sink, Jason and Alexandra are rescued by a passing freighter. Since the vessel has no cargo and the crew act very strange, Jason is suspicious of what is actually going on. Alexandra thinks he is losing his mind after he tells her he saw dead bodies on hooks in the freezer.

The ships doctor keeps giving Jason shots of some kind which seem to make him worse, but Alexandra is convinced that the medication just needs time to take effect. Unfortunately the doctor is doing experiments on humans using them as hosts to hatch giant spiders and eventually giant spiders are bound to get loose.

Gamer (2009)

A man framed for a crime he didn't commit tries to win his freedom by being part of a real life video game. The players are injected with nanites which enables the gamers to control the players every move. To the gamers its just a game, even though they are competing using real people.

If a player lives through all 30 levels of the game, he wins his freedom. The game is broadcast as a live event with millions of viewers rooting for their favorite player and/or gamer. However the people in charge of the game know that it is rigged and no one will ever win.

This is basically Running Man using video games instead of game shows. If you're looking for action, guns, special effects, and video games, this is your movie. But if you're looking for character development or subtlety, you won't enjoy this.

Monster Island

A teenager wins a trip for his entire class to the hip new party at Monster Island where Carmen Electra is putting on a show. Can that really be called a prize? While Carmen is singing she is abducted by a giant insect and a few of the kids band together to save her.

This tv movie is a throw back to the older fifties and sixties monster movies, complete with giant bugs, cavemen, claymation, Adam West as mad scientist Dr. Harryhausen (a nod to Ray Harryhausen), and a volcano. The movie avoids CGI and even uses a guy in a monster suit!

Though it's not a great movie by any means and was completely predictable, there was some entertainment value and it was better than I thought it would be. Truth be told, I didn't even want to watch it, but my friends decided that since it had monster in the title we should check it out. If you go into it not expecting much and with the knowledge its aimed at teenagers, then you'll probably be okay with it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Undead (2003)

A meteor carrying a virus strikes a small town turning nearby residents into zombies. On her way to an appearance in town, a beauty queen and her driver stop to investigate the bodies and cars in the road. After her driver is killed, our protagonist escapes to a nearby farmhouse which is home to a survivalist. As the group of zombies increases outside, a few other survivors manage to make their way inside.

Shortly afterwards the zombies get in and the group flee to a subterranean bomb shelter prepared to hold only the survivalist. When the pregnant lady goes into labor, they decide to drive to the hospital in town. This is where the film takes a strange twist and veers off from your typical zombie plot.

The movie was made in Australia and the filmmakers are obviously fans of the zombie genre. Watch for the scene with the plane near the end, which is truly unexpected.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Battle Royal II: Requiem (2003)

With the failure of the last Battle Royale and the subsequent rise of Nanahara as a symbol of defiance, the government enacts a second Battle Royal. This time the class that is chosen will be dropped on the island where Nanahara and his supporters are living. They have three days to kill Nanahara and if they don't, they will be killed.

This doesn't make much sense since the teenagers do not have any military experience, knowledge of weapons, and lack the ability to mobilize a planned attack . Also the tension from the first film is lacking since they are tasked with killing someone they don't know and thus have no emotional involvement. Thus there is no real soul searching, or guilt to work through.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ghosts of Goldfield (2007)

On the way to the Goldfield Hotel to film paranormal activity, a group of college kids take a short cut and their car dies. The kids decide to walk to the ghost town and oddly enough there is an open bar there. Only tourists go to the ghost town, but for some reason the bar remains open at night, which makes no sense considering it's in the middle of nowhere and there's only one guy drinking.

Rowdy Roddy Piper is the bartender. Since there is no cell phone reception (the new cliche in horror movies), the kids convince him to let them spend the night in the hotel. The hotel is free from dust, the furniture and curtains are clean, and there is electricity.

The group is hoping to capture footage of a servant girl who was tortured and killed in the hotel. Rumor has it she haunts the place looking for her baby.

There are flashbacks to show the story of the servant girl and her murder. Her true love is Roddy Piper wearing big fake sideburns. Julie, the girl who set up the trip, looks just like the other olde tyme servant girl who betrayed the girl who was killed. Uh oh, this doesn't bode well for Julie or her friends. Nor does it bode well for anyone who watches it. You'll be able to guess what's going to happen at the end, but you won't care.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The 7 Adventures of Sinbad (2010)

Oh good god! It's another Asylum movie. In this modern day sorta-remake of the Sinbad movies, billionaire oil man Adrian Sinbad responds to a call of Somalian pirates demanding money after taking one of his oil rigs hostage. Before Sinbad can get there, a giant squid pulls the rig and pirates under the ocean.

After his helicopter is struck by lightening and crashes into the sea, Sinbad wakes up unharmed on an island and discovers a giant crab which he empties his gun into while screaming "Crab!.... Big crab!"

After rounding up other survivors from the squid attack and copter crash, they meet a cavewoman who shows him heiroglyphics depicting the end of the world unless a man who appears to be Sinbad completes seven tasks.

Then they find out the island is actually on the tail of a whale when the whale decides to dive underwater. Pterodactyls grab the group from the ocean and deposit them on another island where they run into cyclops, a village cult leader, a volcano, and some other lame stuff that makes up seven adventures.

While this is going on millions of gallons of oil are spilling into the ocean ,(oddly enough this was before the BP spill.) Eventually Sinbad heads down into the ocean in a little sub while his evil business partner hopes for Sinbad's death so he can take over the company. It's all very pedestrian and not all that entertaining.

The most confusing part of this movie is the whale island. The cavewoman had been living on this island since a child. The island/tail has trees, sand, and a cave w/ancient hieroglyphics (that appear to be in crayon). So... if the whale has been lying there for so many years that cavemen drew in the caves, why did it suddenly decide to move?

Titanic II (2010)

On the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic tragedy, the maiden voyage of the Titanic II sets sail on the same course. The playboy who owns the ship used to date one of the nurses on board. The nurses father is in the coast guard and when he hears a tsunami is pushing an iceberg into the path of the Titanic II, he jumps in a helicopter to rescue his daughter.

There is ridiculous flailing done by the extras trying to make the ship look like it is rocking. There is pointless running about through the corridors and lobby. The ships crew uses the elevators to help passengers get to the top decks, which doesn't seem like a good idea since the ship is sinking and the power could go out. And the plot gets very much like the Poseidon Adventure after the ship flips upside down.

In an odd coincidence, the Titanic II does not have enough lifeboats to save everyone on board. It seems that to save money some of them are only for show, not to rescue people. Now really, if you were going to name your vessel after a boat that is famous for letting people die by not having enough lifeboats, wouldn't that be one of your first concerns? People would definitely ask about it and it would be in the fore front of any safety inspectors mind.

Anyone familiar with movies put out by Asylum should know what they're getting into with this, but it's still shockingly ridiculous. Here's a few things that struck me:
  1. would a surfer really wait for a good wave by sitting in the ocean hoping a large part of an iceberg falls into the sea?
  2. the cgi is atrotious - I wasn't sure whether I was looking at a cloud or an iceberg.
  3. as the ship starts sinking, the outside deck is tipped at a 45 degree angle and people are sliding by on their sides because they can't hold on. Yet inside the ship, the floors are still parallel to oceans surface and easy to walk on.
  4. is it possible for a hunk of ice the size of Manhattan to fall into the ocean, and if so, wouldn't a concern be what would happen when the tsunami hits land?
  5. the Coast Guard warns to stay out of the lifeboats as the tsunami will sink them, but the lifeboats look like little submarines and appear to have covers. Also earlier in the film it was stated that tsunami's weren't a threat for boats, instead it was the ice that was a threat.
  6. when they try to find the engine room, the corridors have concrete walls and floors.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Automation Transfusion (2006)

The only thing worse than a bad movie is a bad movie that doesn't end and expects you to watch a second bad movie - which is bound to be even worse - to find out what happens. Even more annoying it's four years after the movies release and the second movie hasn't even been made yet (or maybe it just hasn't been released). Either way it is inexcusable to get to the end of a movie and have the words "to be continued..." pop up on the screen.

If you don't have an end to your movie, then communicate that in the title, such as calling it part one. Warn me ahead of time so I can decide if I want to invest time in a film that doesn't resolve itself. Also saying in your trailer that this film will define it's generation is not a good idea, especially when you're movie isn't very good.

The plot revolves around three friends who drive into town to see a band and notice there are no other cars on the road. When they get to town, they are attacked by a horde of zombies. They decide to head to the big party back in their hometown to ensure the safety of ones girlfriend. The party has been overrun by zombies, but the girl managed to survive.

They spend the rest of the movie running around, fighting zombies, and trying to escape. Then they run into an Army guy who tells them the zombies are from a secret government project that was reanimating corpses. Shortly after this, the zombies are coming, our protagonists are trapped, how will they escape? They won't because the movie ends. Thanks movie, thanks for wasting my time.

The camera work has some weird jerky motion. Sometimes it is hard to hear the dialogue due to the background noise, crowd sounds, or music that is too high in the mix.

Also when the teacher is wheeled out after being bitten in the neck, he isn't secured to the stretcher, hasn't received medical attention, and is flailing wildly as blood spurts freely from his wound. Then the kid who bit him flees from the room - what? No one has been called to contain the kid? He's just been standing around?

Tormented (2009)

Darren, an unpopular student, takes his own life in an attempt to free himself from the bullying of the popular crowd. At the school memorial, head girl Justine gives a speech even though she has no idea who he is. Later she discovers that Darren had a crush on her, and her new boyfriend and his friends are the ones who tormented Darren.

Shortly after the memorial, Darren comes back from the grave looking for revenge, all while using his inhaler. As the popular kids start dying, they figure out it is Darren but no one will believe them.

The scariest thing about this film is not the killing or the behemoth Darren, but the horrible abuse Darren gets in school. It is sickening how they treat him. Unlike years ago, even home isn't safe from the bullies. Today's technology enables kids to film their bullying on cell phones so that they can relive and share the humiliation heaped upon some unfortunate less popular kid.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Battle Royale (2000)

With overpopulation being a problem, the government enacts the Battle Royal Act. Each year a lottery is held to select a class that will be sent to a remote island, given weapons, and a time limit of three days to become the only survivor. If the teenagers do not try to kill their friends or more than one survives, they all die.

The kids are tracked via a necklace that will explode if they try to remove it or go too far away from their assigned partner. The actors playing the teenagers look like they are real teenagers rather than twenty somethings which makes the film very effective.

The kids reactions vary widely, with some banding together, others killing because they are afraid to die, and even a disturbed student who enjoys trying to kill the others. It's a very interesting and disturbing view of societal extremes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blue Demon

The military has developed a squad of sharks programmed to defend our coastline against assault. Unfortunately the sharks have escaped and can no longer be controlled by the scientists. Not only are killer sharks on the loose, but they can carry nuclear bombs in their mouths. Holy moly! While the good doctors try to stop the sharks, there is evil afoot that wants the sharks for their own nefarious purposes. The cgi sharks are really bad, the plot is ridiculous, and stupidity reigns.

Survival of the Dead (2009)

The families on Plum Island are in a feud over how to handle zombies. The O'Flynns kill them to keep everyone safe and make sure no one else gets infected. But the Muldoons say the zombies are kin and keep them captive in hope that someday there will be a cure. The disagreement comes to a head when the head of the Muldoon clan kicks the head of the O'Flynn clan off the island.

Meanwhile on the mainland, a few members of the Army are killing zombies and looking for a safe place to go. After rescuing a teenager from some creepy hunters, the boy mentions that he heard someone broadcasting that Plum Island was a safe place. Since they don't have another alternative, they decide to go.

After the Army exchanges gunfire with the excommunicated O'Flynns, a huge crowd of zombies attack both groups. The survivors (some army guys and the head of the O'Flynns) head to Plum Island, and we're right back in the middle of the feud. Oh and there is a zombie riding a horse.

Probably my least favorite of the Romero zombie movies. Seriously, if you're going to try to communicate with zombies and think they recognize you, at least keep a safe distance so they don't bite you.

The Beast Within (1982)

A newly wed couple has car problems and breaks down at night outside a small town. When the man walks back to town for help, the woman is raped by a creature that drags her into the woods.

Seventeen years later, the couples son Paul has a mysterious illness that stumps the doctors. The couple heads back to the small town to investigate who assaulted her because they believe whatever affliction Paul has may be genetic. If they can find out who raped her, then maybe they can cure Paul.

When Paul shows up in town after escaping from the hospital, the local doctor tries his hand at curing the illness. Paul meets a local girl who is cute but stupid, and the beast in Paul starts killing people and goes after the girl.

The film is slow moving and doesn't have a lot of killing in it. The most interesting thing, although not realistic, is Paul's transformation into the beast where his head blows up like a balloon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

Using the same plot as The Quiet Family, but adding songs, dance numbers, claymation, zombies, and a less somber tone, The Happiness of the Katakuris involves a family who buys a guest house near the mountains. The theory is that when a new road comes through it will bring lots of business as they are the only place to stay.

Like in The Quiet Family, the first guest commits suicide, everyone who subsequently stays there dies, and the family buries the bodies in order to avoid scaring potential guests away.

The big difference in the two movies is this one has a conman who woos their daughter, musical numbers, brighter and more colorful scenes, and an emphasis on humor than dark comedy.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Quiet Family (1998)

A family opens a hotel but business is slow due to the remote location. They hope to prosper as they are the only hotel near a popular mountain trail and there will soon be a road running through the area.

Their joy over the arrival of their first guest turns to distress the next day when they discover that he has committed suicide in his room. Fearing bad publicity for their new business, they decide to dispose of the body.

Each successive guest that checks in succumbs to some manner of death. The family repeats the pattern of burying the bodies and hoping that a guest will survive the night and their business will flourish.

When work on the new road is scheduled to begin, they realize that it is exactly where they buried the bodies. Panic sets in as they try to move the bodies and avoid the police who have started investigating the travelers who have gone missing.

I'm not sure if this would really fit into the horror category although it is a black comedy.