Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The New York Ripper (1982)

When a serial killer starts targeting women in New York City, the police team up with a professor to discover the killers identity.
After a report that a woman was followed off a train and attacked by a man with two fingers, the police issue a APB for him.

The  report is heard on the radio by a prostitute spending the night a  two fingered man. She freaks out, runs into the hotel hallway to escape, and runs into the real killer at which point she will die die die.

And in an very odd twist (and you'll probably think I'm joking) the killer talks like a duck.  That's right, you heard me.  He makes a lot of phone calls and always sounds like Donald Duck, even when he's mad.  It's stupefying. The film is full of sleazy New York locations and disturbing kills, but then to completely throw you, there's this duck quacking on the phone.  It's bizarre.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Evil Aliens (2005)

The cast and crew of Weird World drive out to an island (only reachable at low tide).  The island is owned by a farming family of three brothers and a sister.  The sister has claimed she was impregnated by an alien.  There is a stone circle on the island which is rumored to be cursed and is the spot of the alien abduction.

Although Weird World reports on UFOs, the supernatural, and Cryptozoology, none of the cast or crew  have ever seen anything to make them believe in what they report on.  In fact, they don't believe anything they report on and believe only in how much money they can make from sensationalizing the stories.

They decide to bring uber fan Gavin, the head of a UFO club, to help sell the reality of the story.  Gavin regularly writes to them to report any errors they've made and is a true believer in aliens.

Also on board for the trip are several actors and an alien suit so they can reenact the abduction.  They interview the sister, who gets upset when they start cross examining her and obviously don't believe her.  Gavin discovers they are faking evidence for their show.  The host claims they are just there to entertain, and informs him that everything they've ever reported was fake.

What the cast and crew doesn't realize is that they have stumbled across real alien activity and the stone circle on the island is a charging station for alien ships.  Soon they will have a battle on their hands as they try to survive the alien onslaught.

Killer Instinct (2001)

A group of teenagers go to an abandoned insane asylum, which turns out to be incredibly clean and full of hundreds of lit candles.  The friends have a club, either called the Fear Club or the Dare Club, I'm not sure which as what they do is neither scary nor daring.  The task tonight is a scavenger hunt where they must each hide someones underwear and whoever finds the most undies is the winner.  Ridiculous for so many reasons, but most importantly this place is three stories high and huge. How would they ever find even one piece of underwear in it?

Meanwhile Sarah Fairchild, played by Dee Wallace, is in town to make an offer on the meat packing plant, which is the life blood of the town.  But when the board angrily refuses to sell,  this causes Fairchild to snap into hard boiled detective mode as she delves deeper into the small town's history.  She scours microfiche and libraries in a frenzy to find out what is so important about the land and the asylum, and finds a scandal that has been buried and untalked about for years.

Back at the asylum, the kids have gotten locked in and things are starting to go horribly wrong.  There's a killer locked in with them, but they don't realize it.  So they do the normal things that teens do when they go to an abandoned asylum - wander off on their own, have sex, and take a shower.  There is no explanation for why the shower is clean and working, why the bed sheets are not dusty or dirty, or for the lack of any filth anywhere in the abandoned building - which if you didn't set up the scenario that it had been empty for years, you'd think someone lived there.

Madness (2010)

Two cheerleaders, who seem to have taken acting lessons from Tommy Wiseau, are heading to a big cheerleading competition in Minneapolis.  They stop in the middle of nowhere for gas, meet two guys whose car isn't working, and give them a ride.

Unfortunately the teens have attracted the attention of a messed up hillbilly family whose hobby is killing young folks.  After the one eyed freaky hillbilly throws a dead animal on their windshield, they run off the road and are forced to head back to the gas station on foot.

On the way back, they manage to get a ride from a driver who turns out to be another freaky hillbilly. Personally, I'd be suspicious if there was a cage between the front and back seat, but these kids don't bat an eye until they realize they're being kidnapped.  One of the guys dives out of the moving car in a bid to escape, but the others just sit there and don't try to run even once they've stopped.

The characters are supposed to be American teenagers, but it's obvious by their accents and dialogue that they are anything but.  The gas is sold in liters and the station is called Pump.

When the teens manage to get the upper hand at various times throughout the film, they do not capitalize on their situation by grabbing guns or weapons to make sure the hillbillys can't hurt them.  Instead, they just run off into the woods.  Also I can't believe that multiple hits in the face with brass knuckles wouldn't cave in part of your skull, or that when someone's neck essentially has a spigot pouring blood, that he could continue to run through the woods.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Deadlands: The Rising (2006)

Dave and Gary head out early in the morning for a day of shooting cans and drinking beer in the country. When they try to get home that night, they find the city in gridlock as a zombie outbreak has overrun the town.

While Gary's wife and son are waiting for his return, there is a knock at the door.  The police  are advising everyone to lock all their doors and windows, and stay inside.  As soon as the policeman steps off the porch, he is set upon by zombies. Oddly enough this prompts Gary's wife to decide to go outside, get in the car and leave.  Geez lady, at least wait until the zombies have wandered off.

Eventually she meets up with Dave and Gary at a friends house which is isolated and in the middle of nowhere.  As time passes, they wonder if the zombies are still out there as they haven't seen or heard anyone in a long time.  Hmmm, did the zombies learn how to drive?  Because you can hear traffic in the background.

The main problem with this film is that it's an amateur production.  There is lots of padding, bad sound, bad pacing, uninspiring camera work, and not much happens during the movie.  The zombies are mostly absent from the film, and when they do appear they seem to have white face paint on.  Also if it was the zombie apocalypse, wouldn't you at least keep your porch door shut and locked, just in case?

I give anyone credit who can actually get a movie filmed, edited, and completed.  But at the same time, just because I admire the dedication and effort that went into it, that doesn't mean it's good.

As a side note, while I was watching it I wrote down the words horrible and slow.  But I honestly can't remember whether I was referring to the zombies or the movie.

Sasquatch Mountain (2006)

aka Devil on the Mountain

The first thing you'll notice is that the title card in the film says Devil on the Mountain, but the dvd says Sasquatch Mountain.  Hmmm, that doesn't bode well.

When their hold up goes wrong, a group of bank robbers shoot a deputy.  But on the way out of town on an isolated dirt road, they end up in a car accident.  With the police hot on their heels, the two groups engage in a gun battle before the bad guys disappear  into the woods with their hostage Erin.

Erin has in her possession a VHS that was given to her by the gas station attendant who was having a yard sale at work.  The video just happens to contain home video of Bigfoot taken by the attendant's mother who shot the footage the night she died.

Since Erin wants a picturesque route out of town, she's advised to take the dirt road which will eventually turn scenic.  Yeah.... but when I'm driving through an area I'm not familiar with I never take dirt roads in the middle of nowhere.

Chase Jackson, played by Lance Henriksen, is a tow truck drive whose wife died twenty years ago when she was hit by a car.  But right before she died, she captured footage of Bigfoot.  The hit and run is not a plot point, although I figured it would be.  The biggest hole in the story would be that for twenty years Lance has maintained that they saw Bigfoot that night, and no one will believe him.  So... he never showed anyone the freaking tape?  I can see why he wouldn't want to watch it since his wife was hit while filming, but holy cow give it so someone else.

It's robbers vs. lawmen. vs. the tracker vs. Chase Jackson vs. Bigfoot in a mediocre, mostly non-Bigfoot robbers-on-the-lam movie.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

House (1977)

aka Hausu

Total craziness from Japan with a freaky cat painting that spews blood, a piano that consumes people, and a spirit waiting for her fiance who never came back from the war.

Oshare and her father always take a summer vacation together.  But this year her father announces he is getting married and his fiance is coming along on their vacation.

Oshare is upset and decides to visit her Aunt, who she met once when six years old.  Along for the ride are six friends whose names describe their personalities - Sweet, Fantasy, Professor, Melody, Kung Fu, and Mac.  Mac likes to eat and is the butt of many fat jokes, but she's really not fat.

Strange things happen as the objects in the house attack and kill the girls.  The Aunt needs to eat young girls to remain young.  She also has a cat with supernatural powers.  Also inexplicably, Mr. Togo turns into a huge pile of bananas. Huh?

R-Point (2004)

The military is shocked when they start receiving distress calls from a unit in the field that disappeared over six months ago. The only man to return from the unit was badly burned, traumatized, and  claimed that they were attacked, but insisted it was not by the Vietcong.

A rescue team is sent to R-Point, where the unit was last seen.  As they make their way through the landscape, they must deal with enemy firepower, a lake which is now a burial ground, strange visitors, and the possibility that the land is haunted and they may never return home.

While there is some suspense, it is easy to get the characters confused as they are mainly seen in a group and most of the guys do not have any background or character development.