Friday, May 25, 2012

Sigma Die! (2007)

A group of sorority girls rent a house for the summer and plan to meet up with some frat boys who concoct a ruse to get the house mother to go away for a week.  The house comes with a couple of creepy caretakers and an overly involved property owner.

Flashback to 1985 where a few guys in a fraternity go on a panty raid.  Their newest pledge is hoisted into the bedroom and instructed to grab some underwear. But instead of stealing it, he tries it on and preens in front of the mirror.  When he is caught by the girls, he panicks and runs down stairs through a huge party and out into the street never to be seen again.  Later a body is discovered in the woods but is too mutilated to determine the sex of the victim.

Back to the present, a killer is on the loose, and at 34 minutes into the film, it starts over.  I mean literally the film begins again -  the exact same footage is used. Why?  All the scenes are repeated, with a little additional footage here and there.  If the first 34 minutes were removed from the film, you wouldn't miss a thing.

The kids are obnoxious.  Joe Estevez looks perpetually confused and Reggie Banister needs to lay off the hair dye.  The sound is inconsistent, but then again the dialogue isn't that great so it's not a big loss.

The ending leaves us with too many questions, including why did the pledge blame the frat guys for leaving him?  They asked him to do a panty raid, not make like a transvestite.  He was the one who decided to try the underwear on and prance around in front of the mirror.  I still can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to do that during a party at a sorority house.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fear House (2008)

Famous author Samantha rents an isolated home whose basement door is boarded up.  Don't know about you, but there's no way I'd want to stay even one night in a pristine home with the basement door boarded up. It's not normal, I tell you!

Nine months later, her brother, agent, agents assistant, and the daughter of the real estate agent who showed her the place take a ride out to the home since no one has heard from her.  Why are they all in the same car?  Who the hell knows?!

Samantha's husband, who she has a restraining order against, and his new girlfriend show up at the same time as everyone else.  He needs her to sign the divorce papers because apparently he gets half her money once they're divorced.  Why did they arrive at the exact same time as everyone else?  Who the hell knows?!

After searching the house, they find Samantha hiding under a table in the dark.  She tells them they can never leave as the house can read minds and will prey on their fears.  She also spews the legend of Analise who will kill them if they try to leave.  Sounds incredibly stupid so someone leaves, and yup, they're killed by the house.

The rest of the movie is Samantha making you want to punch her stupid face, her hemophiliac brother Anthony accidentally cutting himself repeatedly, general stupidity, and everyones fears trying to kill them.

A major error in continuity occurs when Samantha states the abusive Reverend of legend is their great grandfather, but when they show the family tree, she and her brother aren't on the same branch.  Oops!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Harvest of Fear (2004)

Billy McKinley arrives in Devils Lake to work as an intern at the medical clinic.  Billy wants to go into forensics just like his dad, who worked at the same clinic twenty years ago during the Devils Lake Harvest Festival murders where twelve kids were killed.  A local man was convicted of the murders, but to this day his family still insists he was innocent.

The Harvest Festival involves a bunch of drunk kids rolling into town, running around with masks and causing trouble.  The town puts up with this as it's good for business and the festival provides tons of money for the towns economy.

A group of friends rents a cabin and before long two of them are murdered behind the barn near the cabin.  Normally if a friend were murdered that would put a damper on the trip.  But not for these kids.  Only one kid is upset their friends are dead and wants to leave. The others want to stay because they came there to party.

The police want everyone to keep quiet about the dead bodies as it's the first day of Harvest Fest and they don't want to scare off the tourists.  Eventually there are more murders which prompts the ridiculous comment by the police spokesman, "Although there have been nine murders, we're not prepare to say they're connected..."  Really?

It's pretty obvious who the murderer is. In fact it's so obvious that I thought it was a red herring to throw us off the trail of the real murderer.  Oh stupid movie, I gave you far too much credit.

Also strange is the scene where Billy is picked up for interrogation.  He's in the office being grilled when his girlfriend just walks into the room.  What kind of police station is this?

Girl - I'm freaked that a killer is running around.
Guy - I left my lighter at the bbq. Stay here and I'll go get the lighter.
Girl - Okay (as he leaves her alone in the middle of the woods).
Carnage ensues.

Ripper 2: Letter from Within (2004)

Son of a bitch!  That's what you'll say when you get to the end of this one.  On second thought, don't make that mistake and bypass this altogether.

The movie opens where the first one left off - same scene, same voice over narrative.  Molly, who is now in an asylum, is told that none of her treatments are working so they'd like to offer her the chance to sign up for an experimental program.  The treatment would be in Europe as the methods used would not be allowed in the US.  Molly gladly signs and is promptly shipped off to Prague.  Strange, I didn't know it was legal for insane people to sign themselves up for experimental treatment that is outlawed in the US due to questionable research methods, but oh well.

Doctor Weisser of the Weisser Institute introduces her to the others in the experiment and provides exposition on each individuals problems.  Weisser believes that introducing stimulated trauma in a virtual environment will help the brain heal itself.  Basically, reality is suspended and the person believes everything that is happening in their head.  Uhhhh, wouldn't they already be doing that since they're all insane?!?  And since when is it a good idea to subject a damaged person to more trauma, even if it's simulated?

Weisser believes genetic material contains life experience.  Since Molly is a descendant from Jack the Ripper, she would have Ripper DNA.  Fantastic!  So it shouldn't be a problem to let her roam around the nightmare in her head where she's stalked and killed by the Ripper.   When the nurse wants to taper Molly's dosage due to Molly's excessive response to the simulated trauma, Weisser says no since she's his best subject.

Here's where the plot starts to twist uncontrollably, as if it wasn't in jeopardy of imploding already.  Software problems cause Weisser to take his test subjects to Prague for a day of cavorting.  Here the film is padded out with raves, a dance club, and more death.  Ooops!  Nope, it's all virtual reality.  They never went to Prague.  Oh wait, somethings in the program with them.  Scratch that, it's a dream.  No wait, it's real.  Nope, that was actually a dream again.  Is this real?  Yes..... no, wait, it's really a dream.  Wait, what?  Seriously movie, why would you do this?!?!

Of laughable note: The Ripper sounds like a Tiger.

Nonsensical dialogue:
Molly - "Can the brain lose touch with reality and get lost in the dream world?
Weisser - If so, we wake you up.

Ripper: Letter From Hell (2001)

Formerly the leading profiler of serial killers before dropping off the map, Professor Kane is teaching a class on - what else -  serial killers.  He teaches his students they must think outside the box or become a victim.

During a party at an old warehouse, one of the class members is murdered.  One of the study groups in class decides they want to try to solve the murder.  But Molly,  the only survivor of a killer five years earlier, opts out as it's now real and not just theory.

After more students in the class are murdered, the policy believe the killer is targeting the class. Molly suggests that the killer is mirroring Jack the Ripper as the wounds on the students match the wounds on the Ripper's victims in order of their death.  The professor doesn't listen to Molly's Ripper theory so a classmate who works in the morgue decides to inspect the body of the latest victim.  Before she meets a similar fate, she is drugged and hallucinates Cockney prostitutes.

The study group, or what is left of it, heads up the the Professors cabin in the woods.  A cabin which has no phone and no way to contact anyone in case there is a problem, oh like say... a killer in the woods.  While discussing the case further, Molly notices that the Rippers victims and her dead classmates have the same initials and are dying in the same order.  Instead of sticking together to stay safe, they start fighting and split up.

The odds of the students in the same class having the initials of the Rippers victims is astronomical.  I'm guessing they thought they were clever by coming up with this angle, but instead it makes it seem so contrived.  Also the professors whole class revolves around thinking outside the box to avoid being a victim, and studying the methods at which serial killers gain the trust of their victims.  So I guess none of them did much studying because everyone ends up doing things that put them at risk.  I guess the one thing you can say about it is that it's way better than the absolutely horrible sequel.

Bloodlust Zombies (2011)

Scientists devise a chemical for use in war that causes enemy soldiers to kill each other, thus eliminating the need for our troops to risk their lives.  The problem is the scientists have been so focused on their task of creating a killing machine, that they never devised a way to stop them once the enemy is dead.

An accident in the building unleashes the toxin and the building goes into lock down.  Although the lab has  just celebrated the success of the serum - with champagne in blue plastic flute glasses -  once it is released in the building their reaction is, "God help us."  So maybe they should have done better work since accidents and sabotage are always possible.

For a lab that does secret government projects like this, they have a terrible security system.  In order for the doors to be released from lock down (security can't override it), they need to shut off the power to the building, then turn it back on and reboot the system which takes twenty five minutes.  Security has to check the doors to make sure they are locked and no one can get out until the system reboots.  Strangely everyone panics when the lights go out, even though there was just an announcement that the power was going to be shut off.

When the accident occurs,  several people in the isolation lab become infected and begin killing.  Since no one can get out of the building, the virus starts spreading.  A temp worker who just arrived for her first day of work convinces security to let her into the control room and then proceeds to verbally rip the guard apart.  She is the most annoying character.  Everyone watching the film hated her and wished she'd die. It's the only film I can think of where you want people to stop helping the annoying asshole character.  So we all cheered when the guard pushed her out of the safe room. Yay!

Also of note is that Alexis Texas is a porn actress, so that tells you the quality of the film when she's listed as the selling point.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vampegeddon (2010)

The oldest goth teens on Earth go to the desert to perform a vampire ritual.  It's all fun and games except for one girl who hates her life and actually wants to be a vampire.

After being coerced into taking an old book at a yard sale, they find the book of rituals is real.  When actual vampires arrive, the ancient teens freak out.  The rest of the movie revolves around the spirit of a vampire hunter possessing the smart girl, and the group whining about their miserable lives.

This is one of those movies where you'll laugh hysterically through the first half, but then the laughs wind down and you'll get bored.  The vampires are the white grease paint type and they spend most of their time hissing.  And yes, they do look like the guy on the cover.

We spent some time debating whether the actors were supposed to be teenagers or college students.  They appear to be older than either, but eventually we settled on them being high school students due to the following:
  1. they live with their parents
  2. they need to steal alcohol from their parents rather than buy it
  3. a bell rings to signal the start of class (something that does not happen in college)
  4. they need an explanation as to why they are late to class (again, not in college)
  5. they keep bitching that they wish they didn't have to live in this town (if you're over 18 you can move)
Things that made us laugh:
  • the vampire make up makes them look like Pandas
  • the goth mobile is a large white Bronco (or similar looking vehicle)
  • excessive use of a fog machine
  • distracting dubbing
  • bad dialogue
  • there are three girls - two have large fake boobs and the third one is smart
  • make up sometimes wears off the vampires faces, necks and bald heads
  • the line, "Prepare my bride" apparently means remove her clothes since that's all the minions did
Very, very low budget and it shows.

Steven Seagal Lawman (2009)

It's Steven Seagal.  He's in New Orleans.  He's a lawman. He's a one many army and he enemy is crime.  Yup.

It's basically Cops starring Steven Seagal. As if Seagal being a police officer isn't surreal enough, he disrupts every crime scene visits.  Both victim and criminal does a double take, forgets their problems and asks for an autograph.

Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006)

Barb goes to the cemetery with her brother Johnny, an even bigger douchebag than he was in the original film.  When two zombies appear, Johnny drives off and leaves her at their mercy.  Barb runs away, through the woods and down a dirt road.  She's either been running a really long time or there's a lack of continuity as it's now nighttime and  she's still running.

When Barb calls Johnny for help, her phone message confirms that she has major issues.  She apologizes for getting mad at him as he had no choice but to leave her alone with killer zombies.  Oh Barb, grow some self esteem and a backbone.  Johnny is a jerk for abandoning you.

Somehow the zombies find her again, but luckily a young man on a motorcycle rescues her and brings her to his friends farm.  They find the family and their farm hand smoking weed and watching the original Night of the Living Dead.  Inexplicably after zombies bite the  farm hand, they are not alarmed.  They try to make him comfortable rather than taking heed of the movie they are currently watching.

In more stupidity, they shoot the zombies in the chest, not the head.  And what sort of idiot shoots a zombie through a window?  By breaking a window on ground level, you've just given them a way into the house.  Aargghh!

An explanation for the zombies is provided by the local mortician who hates cremation, but it's not a great explanation and the ending is really stupid.

Eye of the Beast (2007)

Dr. James Van Der Beek - referred to as Science Guy by the less intellectually developed locals -  arrives in town to conduct research as to why the fish population is disappearing.  The town's economy is based on fishing and there is mounting tension with blame being levied at the Native Americans who do not have the same restrictions on their catch.

Our Lady Sheriff is not a very bright bulb.  She invites Science Guy on a search for a missing tourist, but spends her time strolling down the beach chatting as if on a date.  Luckily after she walks by the dead body without noticing, the ever alert Science Guy brings it to her attention.

For years Lady Sheriff has insisted the tales of a giant squid in the water are true and when Science guy tries to back her up, things in town take an ugly turn.  In a twist, Lady Sheriff closes down the lake and doesn't risk everyones life.  Then again, there wasn't a big festival that weekend, it was just the towns livelihood.  Everyone gets mad at her, but seem to have amnesia regarding the fact that Science Guy was called in because the fish are disappearing from the lake.

It's a harmless little movie with cliches we've all seen before, but it's an okay way to waste a rainy afternoon.