Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Curse of Lizzie Borden

Cassie is taking a summer class on American Folklore where one of the study topics is Lizzie Borden. Her professor decides to take the class on a completely pointless field trip to Josiah Moodys house so Moody can test out his tourist rap. His house is a tourist attraction with original artifacts from Lizzie and Moody wants to practice his patter to make sure people are willing to pay for a tour.

Moody is planning a Halloween tour with someone dressed as Lizzie with an ax. Cassie is offered the job and immediately moves into Moodys house. Soon she intermittently believes she actually is Lizzie. She talks strangely, alienates her boyfriend, and decides to use a real ax for a prop.

Moody thinks she really into her character until he awakes in the middle of the night to find her standing over him. Next the viewer thrills to the sight of an overweight man moving slowly down the stairs as Cassie treads slowly behind him with an ax.

When Lizzie possesses Cassie, she claims she will have her revenge on the town folk for accusing her of a crime she didn't commit and ruining her life. Then she starts killing her friends, even though I'm not sure how that figures into her pact with Satan. So.... Lizzie's revenge is to kill innocent college students who don't live anywhere near her hometown? It's not like she's taking her revenge out on anyone's descendants. These are just a bunch of stupid college kids.

Funniest lines -
Cassie stating that she hates her stepmom because, "She's like half my age and a total bitch." So... her stepmom is ten?

When Cassie tells her roommate shes moving out and staying with Moody, her roommate responds, "I can't live here all alone. It's a two bedroom."

This a is super low budget movie and it shows. It was so bad that I got some enjoyment out of it because it's so ridiculous. Here is just some of the silly things I observed:
  1. Moodys death involves him saying (not yelling), "Ahhhhh" after he is hit with the ax.
  2. Every time the ax hits him, there is a metallic sound like a trampoline or old springs. It made me laugh out loud.
  3. Lizzie sells her soul to the devil for revenge because shes innocent.
  4. The professor warns the class that Moody is eccentric, and in this case eccentric means can't act.
  5. Moody mispronounces Massachusetts.
  6. I'm still not sure if Moodys hair is a wig.
  7. the reenactment of the killings is historically inaccurate, yet there is no reason for changing the murder locations.
  8. Whenever some is killed, cups full of fake blood are thrown from off screen onto the people and walls.
  9. Why does Cassie move into Moodys when she takes the job? Couldn't she remain in her own apartment? And what sort of nut moves into the house of someone they just met?
  10. No tourist attraction would leave a tour guide without any training alone on the first day of the job.
  11. They're using a real ax in a haunted tourist attraction. What could possibly go wrong?
  12. Cassie claims she is Lizzie, but also says she invited everyone to the house because they're her closest friends - which is it?
  13. When Lizzie hits a girl, there is blood on her ax. When she raises the ax again, it is clean.
  14. The three stooges routine - two duck, third gets hit by ax - bad writing or a tribute?
  15. When Cassie is elbowed in the face and drops the ax, no one picks it up. Duhr!
  16. Her friends state they are worried about Cassie and agree to meet. They don't.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Killer Bash: Vengeance Never Dies (2005)

In 1975 five frat boys accidentally cause the death of geeky Robert Hyde in a prank gone wrong. Thirty years later, Becky Jekyll is studying Chemistry and Microbiology, and ends up with Roberts books. Not sure why these books are still being used since there have been many advances in science during the past thirty years, and Becky will surely fail her classes by studying them.

Becky finds a map in one of the books which leads to the basement where she stumbles across Roberts class ring. Somehow Roberts spirit takes possession of Becky and uses his supernatural powers to seek revenge on the frat boys who bullied him. Luckily for Robert, all the frat boys have sons who are all the same age, attend the very same college as their fathers did, and have pledged the same frat. What are the odds?

Roberts spirit makes Becky's eyes glow red when she is about to kill. All the deaths seem like accidents, except for the fact that all the guys belong to one frat.
There is plenty of padding with frat parties, music, and dancing.

The movie is full of ridiculous-ness:
  • Becky's last name is Jekyll and Roberts last name is Hyde
  • when Becky is possessed by nerdy Robert, she goes from a mousy, shy pariah to a popular hot chick - since when do dead nerds know how to give girls make overs?
  • the weight lifting equipment is located outside on the lawn
  • the soccer team practice near the weights in a common area next to a sidewalk, not on a soccer field
  • Craig is deathly allergic to peanuts, yet the granola bar he eats appears to be covered in nuts, which he doesn't notice
  • the odds of the five frat guys all having kids the same age is astronomical
  • we only know it's 1975 at the beginning because they tell us it is - you can't tell from the fashions or haircuts
  • Argh! What is up with that DVD cover? Her face is totally photoshopped onto that neck.

Vicious (2003)

An elite military squad comprised of two soldiers is called in to eliminate Kane, a rogue agent who is out of control. Uh oh, this isn't going to end well since he's in charge of Project Carnivore. The soldiers are supposed to keep a low profile, but they wear military outfits, berets, and a strange black and red patch. They are far from low profile.

Meanwhile three friends reluctantly go camping in the woods with one guys girlfriend in tow. The girlfriend has a bunch of stupid rules to keep the guys in line, and seems to hate her boyfriends buddies. His friends are not happy that she's managed to guilt trip her way into coming on their weekend getaway.

Now that conflict has been established, we know that soon the group will splinter making it easier for the monster to eat them. Yes that's right, because Project Carnivore involves Tom Savini feeding people to a wretched cgi monster. Hold onto your hats and sit back for a trip of horror that's about as exciting as the monster on the DVD cover - and good luck.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Midnight Movie (2008)

Years ago Ted Radford made a movie in which he played the killer. His obsession with the film drove him to be locked in an asylum. The doctors believe that if they let him watch the film, it will ease his obsession. However it has the opposite effect as the next thing you know there is a massacre at the hospital and Ted has disappeared.

A movie house decides to have a midnight showing of Radfords movie. The doctor and police detective who were around five years ago when the Radford escaped believe that this may get Radford out of hiding, if he's still alive.

Some kids in the audience see their friend being killed on the movie screen, and think it is an elaborate prank. Through some sort of unexplained weirdness, live footage of the murders in the theater appear in the movie. When the film looks like it's starting to melt, it becomes the killers point of view which shows what is occurring at that moment in time.

When they finally figure out that the murders are real and happening in the theater, they freak out. There is no escape from the theater, as the doors are locked and there is no cell reception. The detective and doctor show up at the theater hoping the killer will show and they can recapture him.

Since the killer comes out of the movie, why not just shut off the projector? They don't. They keep running around in a panic. Eventually someone figures out this would be a good idea. They shut off the film, but soon evil starts it up again and locks them out of the projection booth.

The next stupid idea is that since the killers view is on the screen, one of them will stay behind to watch the film, while the others try to escape. This way they can keep an eye on him and maybe use his POV against him as they'll know where he is. Of course this doesn't work either and there are more deaths.

The group keeps splitting up, even though they've figured out that the killer only individuals, not groups of people. Also odd - the movie theater has an amazing amount of long hallways.

Bigfoot (2006)

After his father dies, Jack and his daughter Charlie move back to Jack's home town and into his fathers house. Bob, the local Sheriff, is Jacks best friend. The town has recently been plagued by deer mutilations and the disappearance of some town folk. One of the old codgers in the local bar reckons its due to Bigfoot, and laughter ensues.

When Jack sees a huge hairy monster one night, he theorizes that Bigfoot may be the cause of the killings in town. No one believes him. So he suits up in military garb and heads off to fight Bigfoot. This is completey ridiculous as he has no plan as to how to succeed and only carries flares and guns. During their fight, Jack blows stuff up, but Bigfoot remains unscathed.

There is no explanation as to why Bigfoot has suddenly started killing people. Since we know the creature was in the area at least sixty years earlier, what happened to make him start eating the livers of human beings? Jack comes across as the guy who remains calm even in the face of crisis, but then you just realize it's just wooden acting.

Wedding Slashers (2006)

Jenna dreams of getting married, but she's afraid to commit as everyone she loves ends up dead. When Alex proposes, Jenna agrees although she questions whether it is a good idea. At the church, Jenna starts getting excited as the wedding is only one hour away and nothing bad has happened yet. Then out the window of the church she spies a large man in a mask carrying a knife.

Seems Jenna lied about her past as everyone thought her family was dead. In reality, they are an inbred hillbilly clan who have been looking for Jenna since she ran away. People marry within the family and she is promised to her cousin. So anyone who Jenna gets attached to is promptly eliminated.

Jenna gives her cellphone to her bridesmaid, tells her to get out, and asks her to tell everyone the wedding is canceled. The bridesmaid makes the calls from her car until a hillbilly kills a member of the wedding party on the hood of her car. So does she drive off to save herself and get help for those in the church? Nope. She gets out of the car and runs into the woods at the urging of the person she's speaking to on Jenna's cell phone. Good god, no sense of self preservation with that girl. Then we get to thrill to her in high heels slowly picking her way up the dirt path on a hill while an overweight hillbilly in a mask tries to catch up to her.

When I watched the trailer, I knew this would be bad, but there was some really bad acting so I thought it might be funny. No such luck. This is just ridiculous, although I was happy to see Richard Lynch even though I wish he'd had better material.

Stupidest line-
"If you ever doubt my love for you, just remember I sank a meat cleaver into the neck of a guy I've known since 5th grade so he wouldn't take you from me." - Alex

The worst part about that line? It was uttered without any emotion. Plus he really didn't need to kill his friend, he could have hit him over the head to knock him out. And why the hell does a church have a meat cleaver just sitting on a counter?

The trailer has lots of people running from the church and people inside screaming. But neither of those scenes are in the movie. Only the wedding party had shown up at the church.

There is a long pointless scene of two hillbillys arguing about an inane topic. Later we get the same from two different hillbillys. This just serves to pad the film and provide a way for Alex to sneak up on them.

The hillbillys end up in a cabin at the end, which begs the question if you've run away from your hillbilly family, why would you get married at a church within walking distance of their cabin? Also why would you let your picture be taken and put in the paper for your engagement? You can say no. Not everyone does it.

Also why doesn't anyone have a cell phone? The only characters who have them are ones where it is convenient to the plot. And when they hide in the church, no one looks for a phone to call 911. Since they hole up in the church during the day, and don't leave the church until after dark, you'd think at some point, one of them would have decided to look for a phone.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Death Sport (1978)

In the future, there is war, mutants, and something called Death Sport. It's never made perfectly clear what the rules are, other than its a sport where you die. They ride Death Machines, which are motorcycles with cheap-o metal face plates and futuristic controls on the dash - that's right the cycles have a dashboard.

There isn't really a cohesive plot. Our cast of characters are either bad guys - the power mad leader Lord Zirpola; and Ankar (played by the 1970s/1980s quintessential villain Richard Lynch) - or good guys - nomad Kaz, female Deneer, Lord Zirpolas doctor (who dared to tell him he was ill) and the doctors son. The good guys are captured by the villains and forced to participate in Death Sport.

Of course, none of them want to be in Death Sport since there is death involved. So they formulate a plan to break out. Once free from the force field, they travel across the country to rescue a young girl who was kidnapped from Deneers tribe. This involves heading into the mutant caves to see if she is still alive.

The movie is full of motorcycle riding, chase scenes, futuristic bike sounds, more riding, more chase scenes, and explosions. In fact there are so many explosions that you'll start being surprised when things don't blow up. It's cheesy, it's funny, it's stupid, and it's sometimes entertaining.

Ninjas Vs. Vampires (2010)

When Aaron confesses his love to best friend Alex, things go horribly wrong. First she rejects him and then they are attacked by lame looking vampires. Out of nowhere some ninjas show up to save them, but then disappear with Alex. When Aaron finds her back at her house, she has no memory of anything after she rejected him. Her memory troubles continue as she can't remember their conversation while they're speaking.

Aaron manages to find the ninjas household where he learns they protect people from vampire attacks. The leader of the vampires, Seth (who looks like a frat boy), is planning to destroy the ninjas and that would leave the humans completely vulnerable. Aaron convinces the ninjas to train him to become a ninja so he can protect Alex.

The vampires costumes are bizarre. I'm not sure if they were sponsored by a costume shop, or just had access to all these outfits and decided to use them. But there are random outfits that make it look like costume party. Sometimes the vampire fangs appear to be too big for their mouths, which is awkward when they speak as it just looks ridiculous.

There is a training montage when they teach Aaron how to fight. At one point we are treated to Aaron using nunchuks which was great as he actually knows how to use them.

When the movie started, I was worried. As the credits roll, some stupid chick in her underwear and a twilight shirt is running through the woods after dark and is killed. The video is not well lit. Then the stupid looking vampires in the first attack almost made us shut the movie off. But we decided to stick it out a little longer which ended up being a good decision. Although it has some problems, it also has a lot of charm and we ended up enjoying it. It's much better than most really low budget movies.

Brain Dead (2007)

A tiny meteor plummets to Earth, slams into a fisherman's forehead, and comes to rest in his cranial cavity. By the time his friend runs over to him, he's changed into a zombie-like monster, rips his friends head open and eats his brain.

The creature spews a thick black oily substance from it's mouth which can be used to turn its victims into monsters. If you manage to kill one of these monsters, the little alien slug inside them needs to find a new host.

Into the woods stomps our cast of characters who all end up in the same isolated cabin. First are two escaped convicts (one a murderer, the other a petty criminal handcuffed to the murderer when he made his escape). They are looking for tools to remove their handcuffs. Next we have two lost female hikers who are hoping for directions or a place to spend the night. Lastly, a Reverend and his assistant who are stranded after their car crashes after the Reverend makes a pass at the young lady.

The special effects are well done and there's some gore. The comedy often falls flat, but the movie is so much better than I expected. Definitely some surprises as far as effects go although the story is rather predictable. One thing which was funny is that the killers tattoos appear to have been done with a Sharpie. It looks okay for what it is, but it's still funny.