Saturday, August 31, 2013

Edgeplay: A Film about the Runaways (2004)

Is there ever a happy rocknroll story? This is the story of the Runaways,  an all girl band who were young, naive and easily manipulated by an abusive Svengali.  The film was made by former bassist Vicki Blue (now going by Victory Tischler-Blue), and has interviews with all the band members except Joan Jett. It would have been nice to have her input, but then again, the movie works fine without it.

The interviews are interesting as each person has different views on what happened in the band.  The only thing everyone agrees on is that Kim Fowley was verbally abusive, more so to some than others.

While I enjoyed hearing everyone's viewpoint, what's really disappointing is that the only songs included in the film are two live cover songs, Rock and Roll (The Velvet Underground) and Wild Thing (The Troggs). Seriously?  So they couldn't get permission to use their own music?  Did Joan have a writing credit on every song? And if she doesn't want to be a part of it, could she at least have granted permission to use the songs? Come on!

The other issue is that there is hardly any old footage or photos of the band.  You would think the band members would have photos or memorabilia. Did none of the girls bring a camera with them? There are some short clips of the girls walking, driving, or a sentence of two from interviews.

One of the things that works well and gives extra depth to the movie is the interview with drummer Sandy West's mother.  She seems like a sweet lady and is still haunted by her decisions and Sandy's destructive path for much of her life.  Ms. West says the parents were told the girls would be chaperoned and cared for on the tour.  But the girls talk about how all they ate was McDonalds and had no supervision.

It's sad seeing Sandy West try to grapple with why the band broke up, and why they can't do a reunion.  All she ever wanted was to be the drummer in a band.  I can't imagine being a teen rock star and then having to go back to being some regular kid and get a crappy job.

What do you do when the high point of your life was when you were sixteen years old? In Sandy's case, it's work construction, develop a drug problem and live a pretty rough life, including working as an inforcer where she kicked in doors, broke arms and pulled guns on people.  It's sad. It's even sadder watching Sandy's mother cry as she describes how worried the family was about Sandy, or how she wishes she'd never let her be involved with Kim Fowley. But she tried to do what was best and be supportive because you can't kill your childs dreams.

Another question that isn't addressed is how do fourteen year olds hand out in a nightclub in Hollywood? I guess it was a teen night club, but Kim Fowley was in there so it wasn't just teens, which is creepy.

I prefer this to the Runaways movie, but was disappointed about the lack of actual Runaways photos and video, and songs.  So if you're interested in hearing the band talk about how they remember things, then it's pretty interesting. I enjoyed it.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009)

Three horrible, unappealing characters and a questionable Christian guy go out to run an errand, notice a foul  smell in the car, and discover a dead hooker in the trunk.  While it's confusing how she got there, Badass and Junkie were so wasted the previous night that they can't remember if they were involved in the death.  Geek makes a call to get the cops which doesn't work out well, and everyone spends the rest of the movie in various violent situations while trying to figure out how to dispose of the body.

I'd heard some good things about this movie, but I barely made it through this. I even did some fast forwarding at times because I couldn't take it, but wanted to see how it ended.  This is mostly dialogue, which would be fine if the dialogue were interesting.

There's no explanation for why our Christian boy from the Youth group goes along with disposing of a corpse, or why Geek doesn't make any real effort to get the police involved.

A good writers can often give a jerk character some sort of appealing trait or emotional context so the audience will grow to like them. But everyone got more annoying and less appealing as the movie went on. There's no one to root for and you just don't care if they live or die.

I'm all for messed up movies that are so weird and entertaining that you overlook its flaws. But there has to be something about the movie that reels you in so you can suspend disbelief, and this doesn't have it. You just end up hoping everyone dies because there's no reason to like them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Deadly Blessing (1981)

Ernest Borgnine is a scary bearded Hittite with crazy eyes who don't cotton to no city folk marrying his kin and laying claim to his sect's land.  When his son Jim, who returned to a farm in the community after graduating college, is killed, the family land is left to his big-city-girl wife Martha. Oh that just won't do.

A couple of Martha's girl friends decide to stay at the farm to help her through her time of grief.  They are all witness to the sect's harassment, and quest to get the family land back. Yikes!

The Sheriff tells her she should leave, but she won't be scared off her land.  She may want to rethink that since now the little band of religious zealots are planning retribution against the hideous Incubus, and according to them, she's the Incubus.

The movie is more like Children of the Corn than what is portrayed on the cover.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)

A group of college kids head to a friends cabin on a  snowmobile trip.  They end up getting lost, don't ever think to use their cell phones for GPS capabilities or a map, and with night falling and a snowstorm about to hit, spy a massive  building in the middle of nowhere.

The structure turns out to be an abandoned insane asylum which still has a generator that works, and is fairly clean.  Unfortunately for them it is also has three mutant hillbilly cannibals running amuck.  The same freaks that were there 30 years ago as children who were out of control at the beginning of the film. So.... they had to close down the asylum because the kids got loose in the halls? How did this place become abandoned?  Did the kids kill everyone and eat them?  And no one ever noticed?  And the mutants still live there 30 years later?  It's never explained and utterly implausible, but there you go.

Of course at some point their paths have to cross and it's trouble for the non-cannibals when they do since they end up being butchered, until they decide to fight back. This leads to the stupidest part of the film where the non-cannibals lock up the mutants. One guy wants to kill the mutants but one of the girls convinces him not to do it.  Then they decide to take turns standing watch over the cell the mutants are locked up in, but we all know how that's going to turn out.

Now I don't know about you, but if three mutant cannibal maniacs tortured, ate, and killed my friends (and I saw and heard some of it), and they were planning on killing me and the rest of my friends, I think I could kill them.  The fear of being killed would put me into survival mode.  Plus I'd worry that if I didn't, the mutants might escape and kill me.  Or they might find a way to kill other innocent people later on. Also I've watched too many horror movies so I know you never let the killer live because he'll freakin' kill you.

Even though I've seen the first two movies in this series, I wouldn't have known this was a prequel other than the description. I guess that's because I couldn't remember the characters names since I'm not a fan of inbred hillbilly cannibal movies but I do like movies with partying kids going some place they shouldn't and perishing. So at least it had that going for it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Turbulent Skies (2010)

The description for the film stated that a plane with a load of celebrity guests on board ran into a problem in the air. Fantastic!  It reminds me of the big disaster movies of the 1970s. I was pretty excited to see who the celebrity guests were, even I figured it would be the typical formerly famous Asylum star power.  After watching the film, I have no idea what they were talking about.  Who were these supposed celebrities?  The only people on the flight were reporters.

At a press conference for their new technology that eliminates the need for pilots, Charles ( the too-big-for-his-own-britches son of the owner) decides to invite everyone on a cross country flight to show how great the CD70 system works. The chief programmer is alarmed as they haven't agreed to this and haven't done a test flight yet. He's even more worried when he finds out his wife, the head of Research, is on the flight.

The movie is just ramping up the cliche level when the safety inspectors come on board to do a fail safe check and one of the options takes three tries for it to work. Now I would hope that would be a serious concern, even if it wasn't a test flight, but these guys don't mention it to anyone, including the head of Research who is on board.  So I guess the safety guys are fine with everyone going to their fiery deaths.

There are two pilots on the test flight just in case something goes wrong. But reminiscent of 70s disaster films in the Airport series or the parody Airplane, both pilots end up unconscious and an untrained woman has to land the plane.  Plus the computer turns out to be infected with a virus - caused by Charles when he uploaded an unauthorized change to the mainframe - and sabotages her every move. Argh!

The CD70 system looks like a round glass ashtray with a blue light under it. The controls for the system are a keyboard inconveniently located on the wall. And when I say it's on the wall, I don't mean sitting on a keyboard tray horizontal to the wall. The keyboard is pasted flat against the wall so that whoever uses it needs to type on a 90 degree angle to ensure they get carpal tunnel syndrome.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Skyline (2010)

Jarrod and his girlfriend Elaine visit Terry, an old friend who is rich and famous and living in Los Angeles.  After a night of partying, they wake to find bright lights and an alien invasion taking place.

The group, including Terry's wife and personal assistant, try to figure out how to survive and escape from the city.  The bright lights pull people in and change their molecular structure.  There are giant space ships and alien robots that search for survivors.

At one point they are able to avoid detection by hiding behind a kitchen counter, so apparently the aliens can't detect body heat or motion. This leads me to believe the best bet to remain safe is to hide in a kitchen counter display center.

There's not a whole lot of plot and it's nothing special, but the effects are pretty good and it was better than I expected. If you're up for some mindless entertainment, this is okay.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The American Scream (2012)

I hadn't heard of this until a friend loaned it to me.  This documentary - directed by Michael Stephenson (who made Best Worst Movie about Troll 2 which Stephenson also starred in when he was a  child) - focuses on three families in Fairhaven, MA who take Halloween and their home haunts very seriously.

The driving force are the men in the family who range from perfectionists to enthusiastic amateurs. While the haunts are all at different levels of competency, each is enjoyed by lines of people every year.  Each family dedicates a huge amount of time getting their haunt ready each year for Halloween and considers it a labor of love.

The main focus of the film is Victor. He works in IT, has a wife and two daughters.  He talks about how his family didn't celebrate Halloween when he was a kid due to his mothers religion, which sounds too much like a cult.

Victor has been doing walk through haunt for the past 8 years. He  spends the entire year planning and working on his haunt, and often puts in 14 hours a day. He's skilled at carpentry and does some basic sculpting.  He's a perfectionist so if something doesn't meet his expectations, he'll tear it down and start over.  As Halloween gets closer, his need for perfection makes him insufferable to his wife and the friends who help him put the haunt together.

Father son duo Richard and Matt are at the opposite end of the spectrum.  They use basic supplies and junk to make their their own props, which are primitive at best and often fall apart.  The father and son team seem nice, but are rather odd. They are best friends, do volunteer clown work, and live together.  When one of their pieces falls apart at the last minute, we watch them bicker over how to fix it (they can't). They also bicker over the set up, with son Matt being a bit more high strung.

Our third home haunter, Manny, is somewhere in the middle. He likes putting together different items made out of finds in the junkyard, which are a few steps up from the Richard and Matt's homemade items.  Perhaps Manny is the most laid back because he had a heart attack a few years ago and thought of giving up the haunt. But after the neighborhood told him it wouldn't be Halloween without his decorations, he decided to continue.

It's an interesting documentary as we not only see the families delve into making the haunts, but it also gives us a little insight into their lives.  By the end of the film, Victor's IT job is being outsourced. So he takes his severance pay and invests in his dream to open his own haunt, named Ghoulie Manor. He's a likable guy so here's hoping it's successful.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

Is there anyone who doesn't like Vincent Price, even when he's evil? Price is Dr. Phibes, a disfigured doctor who plays a huge pipe organ, mourns for his dear departed wife, eats through a hole in his neck, and plans revenge on the doctors he blames for her death.

Not only is Phibes a doctor, he's also a biblical scholar.  So with the help of his silent assistant Vulnavia, he decides to unleash the plagues of Egypt mentioned in the Old Testament.

With each odd death, Inspector Trout begins to piece together that there must be a connection between the victims. Even though you know each victim is going to die, but you wonder how Phibes is going to accomplish it and not get caught.

Though Phibes is wrong in what he's doing, for some reason you want him to succeed. Perhaps it is due to Price's portrayal, as he does a great job.  Or it may be because we don't get to know any of the victims until the last man, who seems an okay fellow and not someone who needs to die.

The set design for Phibes sanctuary is fantastic and the clockwork band are creepy but kind of cool.  The frog mask is outstanding (although the method of death makes me cringe).

An incredible frog mask which leads to a horrible death
Phibes and his clockwork band

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

Oh freakin' hell... I'm pretty sure I saw this at a movie theater when it came out. I wonder if I was as disappointed as I am now?
Our story starts immediately after the first movie ends, with the kids from Gatlin being bused out of town to find loving homes with kindly families in neighboring counties. As usual, there's one older lady who issues a warning that the kids are not okay and should not be taken into anyones homes. But she's old and on a bicycle so no one cares what she says.

As usual in horror movies, you should take heed of warnings from strangers and old people, especially when the town labels them as silly and superstitious.  Because if you don't, you're going to end up with some damn kid trying to cut your face off in the middle of the night.

And why do killers always do the James Bond villain thing and leave the victim to his own demise, as if they are too busy to see the fruition of their plans come to be? "Oh yes. I'm just going to leave you sitting here in this field so the thresher will kill you.  No need to stay and watch you suffer.  I'm sure there's no way you can escape. I'll leave you to your certain death."

Children of the Corn 2: Electric Boogaloo
Thank god t-shirts with shoulder pads never caught on

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Legion: The Final Exorcism (2006)

This opens with a screen that states the movie is based on a true story. Well, I guess if you took the generic story that a family thought their child was possessed and a priest came to see them?  Okay, I can buy that. Maybe we should ask David Heavener whose name is all over this thing and plays our lead Michael.

Michael is an investigator and also a priest who stopped doing exorcisms after one went horribly wrong. In a Joe Friday styled voice over, Michael informs us that on "... October 31st. 9:30pm. I received a call that I very much feared."  That's right - someone is possessed.

The McMurter clan asks Michael to come to their farm because their daughter is being haunted by demon pigs and evil chickens. Or maybe the pigs are possessed? It's hard to tell other than knowing that there damn sure is something wrong with those pigs... or the girl.

Now every time the name McMurter is mentioned, I heard it as McMurder. So I kept thinking, good god no! Don't go to the McMurder house!  Nothing good can come of that! They're telling you right up front that you're going to die.

Michael arrives at the possessed animal farm in his sweet holy SUV. He's wearing sunglasses and a little earring (which is sometimes there, sometimes not), but they can tell he's a priest by his little white collar. Now it's time for hallucinations, drunkards, and church services.

Roddy Piper plays an alcoholic relative of the teenage girl. He's not in it much, which is okay since his part is not that great. Plus they make him say "They live" which at first I found a bit amusing but then just made me kind of sad.  You're better than this, Roddy.

Once the movie ends, there's a screen with text that's a total downer and just makes me sad. The film is dedicated to Heavener's cousin who was viciously murdered when she was 12 years old by a group of 14 year old girls.  Holy moly! That is absolutely horrifying, and quite honestly, I wish I didn't know that. I looked the case up online and remembered hearing about it as it got national attention due to the young age of the killers and the viciousness of this senseless crime.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Man Bites Dog (1992)

I heard about this film after watching Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, which is about a film crew following a serial killer and making a documentary.  But instead of being tongue in cheek like Behind the Mask, Man Bites Dog is dark and disturbing.  It does have some black comedy, but overall it will make you feel dirty.

This Belgian film is shot in black and white. It has the look and feel of a 1960s movie, except the film crews hair and clothing are obviously not of that era.  The movie is very well shot and some of the locations have great character.

Serial killer Ben likes playing classical music, discussing architecture styles, going to art shows, and imparting his wisdom on the correct ways to murder and hide his victims bodies.  He is a cruel and calculating killer, but can also be quite charming as he talks at length about numerous topics while he wines and dines the film crew to celebrate the days successes, i.e. his crimes.

The film crew are passive observers, which is difficult to comprehend since the killings are so violent right out of the gate. The death scenes are graphic and disturbing, and the first death is particularly hard to watch as it comes near the beginning of the film and is unexpected.

As the film goes on, the crew go from being bystanders and accomplices to participating in a horrendous rape and murdering multiple people, including a child.  Ben's brutality has become normal to them. Then you realize that you, as the viewer, have become desensitized to the violence on the screen when you're jolted out of your complacency as the film crew joins in on the attacks. The graphic nature of the crimes becomes horrifying again.

The film was shot when the writers/actors were in film school and was conceived as a way to make a movie with no money.  This is the type of film that shows that having no money is no excuse for a film being poorly done.  This film looks fantastic.  The reoccurring death of sound men was amusing, and the last scene is a fitting end to the film.  This is disturbing movie that stays with you.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Lost Tribe (2009)

Some nondescript people go on a boat trip which will culminate in an important meeting somewhere that I can't remember.  On the way, they find an injured man in the middle of the ocean and pull him to safety.  He is hysterical and unable to make sense of his words. So they sedate him and lock him in a cabin as they are afraid of what he'll be like when he wakes up.

In the middle of the night, their injured passenger escapes through a hatch onto the deck and starts steering the ship insanely. This is very unfortunate (as insane steering usually is) since he doesn't recognize the warning alarm that notes danger is ahead and he runs the ship into some rocks.

After the ship sinks, they manage to get to the shore of a deserted island and salvage some items that wash up on the beach.  Later they find their passenger dead and wonder how he got up near the jungle rather than being down by the shore.

As the group explores the island, they find a deserted tent and supplies from a research expedition, but when they go back, everything is gone.  There's something on the island and it's starting to pick them off one by one,

Do you want to watch this movie? I don't know. Do you like Predator? Because that's what you're going to get.  A lost tribe who can travel high up in the trees, have super human jumping abilities, have heat vision and can't see you if you coat your body with mud.  So you probably should just watch Predator instead since it has more suspense and action.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shower of Blood (2004)

If you're looking for a movie where a middle aged vampire with a dye job dances around in the living room on a shag rug while Roll Out the Barrel plays in the background, then this is the film for you.

Lisa, her boyfriend, and few other friends go to her Uncle Marty's home for the weekend.  But when they arrive, the house is dark. Turns out her Uncle doesn't know they're coming.  Seriously? Who shows up to stay at someones house without asking?

What makes this situation even more ridiculous is that later it is revealed that Lisa hasn't seen Uncle Marty in ten years?!?!  What is wrong with this girl?  And apparently her Uncle is expected to provide their food since no one brought anything with them and there are complaints about what's in the fridge. I hate these kids  already.

Lisa finds a key, lets them in and tells them to make themselves at home.  For Megan, this consists of rolling around naked and alone in a bed littered with rose petals. This proves a bit little awkward when Uncle Marty shows up and jumps in bed with her. Megan states she isn't that type of girl, which proves to be a complete lie since she accepts his offer of wine, remains in bed with him, and never puts on clothes.

Thus begins our vampire story which you know isn't going to end well. Then again it didn't start that great either with acting ranging from horribly stilted to unintentionally awkward and the dialogue isn't much better.  How old are these guys are supposed to be anyway? Teenagers? College? Adults in an established career? They act like they're in high school (and one girl is a virgin), but they all look like they're in their 30s.

And what is up with the sound effects?  We've got super loud burping and farting, as well as slurping/ chomping sounds when chewing on a gum ball - and that's just the women.  Also the gum ball machine right inside the front door is so out of place, I thought it had to be a plot point of some sort, but nope. It added absolutely nothing to the movie except gross sounds and a bad joke about blue balls.

Ridiculous dialogue:

Kurt - Here. Try some watermelon.
Terry - Wow. Fuckin' vodka.
Kurt - I know. Ain't it great?

Kurt - Was Terry showing off his dingaling again?
Lisa - Yeah and I don't think Heather was impressed.
Kurt - Why would she be? She's got an Eskimo Pie between her legs.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Barracuda (1978)

Mike, a marine biologist, decides to get water samples from the ocean where a local chemical plant releases waste water through a large hose. Yes, that sounds perfectly safe. No need to worry about the effect of chemicals on the local fish population or people. Needless to say, something is very wrong.

When a series of barracuda attacks results in multiple deaths, Mike and the Sheriff team up to investigate.  Mike sets up a lab at the doctors office to do his research.  You can tell it's a small town because when the receptionist answers the phone, she just say "Doctor's Office."

The local reporters feel like they've got a scoop on a big story, and people in town are getting really irritable for no reason.  Could the two be related? And who are the developers staying at the local hotel?  And why do we even have the hotel scenes, whose only purpose is to have an old man - who doesn't appear to be an actor - state that they are developers? This could have been established within the context of the story.

Watch as the Sheriff and Mike investigate a beach full of dead mutilated fish.... and walk through the carcasses or throw them back into the water.  Gaze in wonder as the Sheriff goes back the next day and walks through the fish again. So... no one's going to clean up the rotting fish? Look on in horror as the local diner serves an entire fish, complete with skin and eyes, as a meal.  Are there any diners who actually do that? 

Wow, this movie is a little light on the barracuda attacks, but is chock full of awkward transitions and scenes that are pointless and go nowhere. Also it's hard to tell if the chemical plant owners sons is supposed to be mentally challenged or just isn't a very good actor.

There is more love than barracudas.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fright Night (2011)

Why do people insist on remaking movies that don't need to be remade?  Inevitably all it means is that we get a hollow shell of the original stripped of it's charm. Ah, but maybe these kids today enjoy the new fangled movies and don't want to watch some old 1980s horror film.  Well you should, kids... you should.

Charlie is dating Amy, a pretty girl out of his league, and has started hanging out with the popular crowd after ditching his geeky friends.  So when his old friend Ed tells him that Jerry (the new neighbor) is a vampire, Charlie is understandably skeptical.

Jerry paints his windows black and never comes out in the daytime.  But that's no big deal since they live near Las Vegas and a lot of people work nights and sleep during the day.  Recently a bunch of people have come up missing, but since Las Vegas is a transient town, that's not of concern either.  Ed rather astutely tells Charlie that is why their neighborhood is a perfect place for a vampire.

The next day Ed is missing. Charlie decides to keep an eye on Jerry and quickly starts to believe he really is a vampire.  So Charlie decides to go see Peter Vincent, a Las Vegas magician who fashions himself as a vampire hunter and has a collection of artifacts related to the supernatural. Conning his way into an interview by posing as a reporter, Charlie asks for help which leads Vincent to have him escorted out for being nuts.  Meanwhile Jerry decides to take matters into his own hands to rid his life of Charlie.

So overall, it's alright, but it doesn't have any charm. Also I question making the setting in a bright sunny desert as that takes away from the feel of it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Runaways (2010)

Young teens Cherrie Currie and Joan Jett start an all girl band under Kim Fowley's management.  Fowley is creepy, berates them, and rips them off, but without his promotion would they have been able to get the attention they received or tour as they did?   Or could the Runaways have gotten further than they did if Fowley wasn't involved?  We'll never know.

A lot of success has nothing to do with talent, but with being in the right place at the right time.  And even though Fowley is a creep, he did get the young teens a record deal, lots of attention, and a tour in Japan. He had connections and knew how to use them.  Unfortunately he also used the girls in the band.

Although the movie is called The Runaways, it's most about Cherie Currie.  I wasn't aware that the movie was based on Currie's autobiography. So I went into it thinking we'd see a story on the band, not a movie which focused on the relationship between Currie and Joan Jett.  Of course Fowley is a big part of it too since he's the one driving the crazy trip they were on.  I know that's hard to encapsulate successfully in a 1/12 to 2 hour movie, but it would have been more enjoyable if it were the story of the band.

Friday, August 9, 2013

River of Darkness (2011)

Wrestler Kurt Angle is small town Sheriff Will Logan whose town is the scene of a series of grisly murders. All the crime scenes have the word Hix scrawled somewhere and Logan figures that is the key to the crimes.  I was thinking that since it takes place in a small town that someone was trying to spell hicks, but not so.

Turns out three members of the Jacobs family were murdered by a mob of vigilantes headed by Henry Hix because his daughter became pregnant after a rape.  Legend has it that the Jacobs boys are back for vengeance.  Why do people back from the dead for vengeance always kill random people who had nothing to do with the original crime?

In an abrupt shift 35 minutes into the movie, three new characters are introduced via the line, "So how long have you been chasing ghosts?"  Yes, it's paranormal investigators who've come to town to get in a boat to find ghosts and hope not to die.

The movie is bookended by a college student and a voice over. You'll forget you've seen her before until she shows up at the end again.

Angle seems likeable enough, but he's no actor. Then again, neither is anyone else in the film.  Hix is played by Bill Hinzman, Romero's original zombie in the cemetery. Hinzman does some lame screams while having a nightmare that are so bad they're notable.  Two of the Jacobs boys are played by wrestlers.

The film is super low budget and looks like it's shot on digital.  It's kind of boring, but it reminded me of the older, no frills homemade films on VHS from the 1980s. I don't know why I kind of liked it, but I did. Make no mistake - it's not good. It's horrible and sometimes boring.
Looks like the ambulance boys have an ironing board.
Do police stations usually have counters near their desks?
The Sheriff is not keeping these crime scene photos private.
I got the Mud face.
As spooky as this movie gets.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Red: Werewolf Hunter (2010)

Red brings her fiance Nathan home to meet her family.  Her family is surprised since she's never brought anyone home before, but also alarmed because of the big family secret.  Red doesn't want to keep any secrets from her future husband, but needs to talk to the family before the reveal.

When Nathan goes outside to get his phone and make a call, he is approached by an injured man. He runs in to get help, but by the time everyone gets back, there is nothing but a pile of cinders, as if the man spontaneously combusted.

Nathan wants to call the police, which is convenient since Red's brother Markus is the Sheriff.  But when Markus and the family don't want to follow protocol, they decide they have to trust Nathan and explain that they come from a long line of werewolf hunters and are continuing the family tradition.  Needless to say, Nathan needs a long walk.

He's still walking after dark - which seems crazy since he's in the middle of nowhere. Even if he didn't believe in werewolves, a wounded old dude just had a case of spontaneous combustion in your fiances driveway.  Who injured him? Is that person in the woods?  But Nathan is so focused on his bad cell reception that he keeps walking until he meets Gabriel, who takes his warning of danger in the woods seriously by turning into a werewolf and biting him.  No one shall ask why Red didn't go looking for Nathan sooner when the family knew the pile of cinders was the head of the last wolf clan.

Gabriel can change into a wolf at will, and is planning to teach the clan how to do the same.  With Nathan bitten, the truce between wolf and hunters broken, and Gabriel's game of kidnapping people to use as prey for his clan, Red's family gets out the big guns.

This is a TV movie, which becomes obvious when it fades to black in places where it would be convenient to place a commercial.  So there isn't a lot of blood and the wolves are CGI.  But it kept my interest and you have to accept it for what it is - made for TV.  Also it has Stephen McHattie as Gabriel, which is a plus.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Night of the Living Dead 3D: Reanimation (2012)

Mortuary owner Gerald Tovar is surprised when his half brother Harold shows up unannounced. Harold is bitter that Gerald inherited their fathers estate, and due to some financial problems is looking for money from Gerald.

Gerald recently hired a new mortician who is surprised to find the doors to the crematorium locked. When she asks about it, Gerald tells her there is a problem with the equipment so they aren't doing cremations so she will need to embalm the corpses.

But Gerald has a secret, which is that it's not the cremation equipment that is the problem.  He just can't bring himself to do it and the room is filled with corpses.  His dad had a contract with the government who would show up with with large mystery bags that they wanted burned.  Gerald has been accepting the bags, but not burning them. So now he's got a room full of corpses. He's got a video camera running at all times to see if the government waste is reanimating corpses he's keeping in crematorium.

As if that isn't trouble enough, he's got a nosy half brother and the new mortician snooping around which is going to get them all in trouble.  And Harold is not above some under handed shenanigans to get what he wants.

The most ridiculous point of this movie is that Gerald is giving what he calls the blood of life to the corpses. Then videotapes to see if they reanimate. If they do, he bashes their heads in to keep them from doing harm to anyone.  So why not stop reanimating them?  If you're just going to kill them, why go through all the hassle? It seems pretty pointless.

I like watching 3D movies in 2D because often the act of pointing odd things at inopportune times at the camera looks ridiculous - the more obvious, the more amusing it is to watch.

The lure of this movie is the living dead franchise, plus it stars Jeffrey Combs and Andrew Divoff as the two brothers.  Unfortunately even though they do the best with what they have to work with, the movie isn't that great and the ending is unsatisfactory.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Children of the Corn V: Fields Of Terror (1998)

A college aged couple drives into Children of the Corn country.  When the guy jumps out of the car to tie a blow up doll to a gas pump, the girl wanders off into the corn field to steal some corn.  Hey lady, there's corn on the edge of the road too. You don't need to go deep into the field.  Bad move for those guys as the creepy corn children give them whats coming to them.

Later four more college kids show up looking for their friends and crash their car.  Oh no, they decide to walk to town and here come the creepy children.

At the bar the group hears about He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Allison has heard this phrase before and freaks out. She doesn't both telling her friends anything just tells them they need to get out of there now.

When they miss the last bus out of town for the night, they walk back to the car which is now in flames. Those darn children.  So the group finds a house for sale and go inside to spend the night. Yeah, I know - not the best idea.  The beds are made, there's food in the cupboard and beer in the cellar, yet they don't even consider that maybe the homeowners are out for the night and they make themselves at home.

As you would suspect, things go horribly wrong, people disappear, the children are creepy, there are murders, and the movie is nothing special.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Devil's Playground (2010)

N-Gen uses human test subjects for their new drug, RAK.  A few months after the initial tests, all but one of their 30,000 subjects have had increasingly worse side effects.  Eventually the affected test subjects become violent, fast moving zombies whose bite is infectious.

Cole, a hired killer for N-Gen, is bitten by the first case subject, but acquires a few doses of the drug being used by doctors to treat the side effects. He is in search of Angela, the one test subject who was unscathed so he can bring her in for testing.

Angela is hiding out at her step brothers trying to start her life over. Her ex-boyfriend Joe is a cop who has been in jail for shooting a teenager and just got released on bail.  Joe wants to find Angela and get back together with her. And there you have your sub plot.

Along the way, Joe and Angela end up at the same garage with some friends, a couple of weasel-y strangers (there's always got to be weasels), and Cole who ends up being a huge help in fighting off zombies.

The whole group is trying to get to a helicopter pad where Angela's brother has asked Angela to meet him. Good god, how will they get past the zombies?  Will the weasels cause the death of the others? Will Cole turn into a zombie? Will Joe and Angela get back together? Will they ever get to the helicopter? Will Angela try to get to a lab for testing to figure out why she's immune? And why are the zombies doing free running?

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I saw it last year and was disappointed. But when I watched it again, I thought it was okay but kind of depressing. Also the guy on the cover reminds me of zombie Jerry Seinfeld, and that just bugs me.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Seedpeople (1992)

Geologist Tom Barnes heads to the small town of Comet Valley and arrives right before they close the only bridge into town, making him conveniently trapped there.  He's come back to his hometown to investigate comet sightings and stays at a bed and breakfast owned by his ex-girlfriend, much to the chagrin of her current boyfriend, the sheriff.

The ex-girlfriends niece is convinced something has happened to the housekeeper who is acting strange. In fact, a lot of people in town are starting to act a bit strange.  So it's too bad no one listened to the teenage niece since soon more and more people are infected by seeds which takeover their bodies.

So we've got a plot right out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Also the aliens seem to be based on the movie Critters. They've got big pointy teeth and their bodies roll up into a ball of fur that goes chasing after people.  This is a Charles Band / Full Moon movie so you know what you're getting.  I'm not a Full Moon fan, but this is okay. It's not great, but it's better than some of his other stuff.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My Soul to Take (2010)

The town of Riverton has a serial killer known as The Ripper.  When he is shot by police, his body disappears en route to the hospital when the ambulance crashes.  The same night seven children are born in the hospital where he was being taken.

Sixteen years later, the Riverton 7 gather at the river for their birthday and a Ripper Day Celebration.  They say that on this night each year, the Ripper may come out of the river. If that happens, one of the kids must drag him back into the river or he'll kill them all.  But this year they don't get to complete the ceremony because the policy bust up the party.

As the kids head home, one of them crosses the bridge where it is rumored the Ripper lives.  As he completes a ritual that he believes will keep him safe, he is chased and killed by a man who appears to be supernatural.  And so starts the stalking of the Riverton 7.

The movie centers around Bug and his best friend Alex, who are harassed by popular kids Brandon and Brittney.  When Bug starts having blackouts and seeing things, and a rumor starts that Bug previously killed someone, people start wondering if he's involved in the killings.

No one shall mention the killers huge forehead and long hair which make him look like a Klingon or something out of Battlefield Earth.

This movie has the feel of an older slasher, which is probably because it's a Wes Craven film.  The characters are thankfully not the typical modern ones who are jerks who think they are cool. Instead we have the old fashioned geeky kids who seem nice enough, and in juxtaposition, the popular athlete and cheerleader who are unlikeable. You will want them dead.

The film didn't seem to get good reviews, but I didn't think it was that bad. Perhaps because this was a breeze to get through compared to some of the amateur crap I watch.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Elfie Hopkins: Cannibal Hunter (2012)

Dour faced teen Elfie Hopkins (who looks like a cross between Courtney Love and Phyllis Diller) suspects there is something not quite right about her neighbors, the Gammons.   So she enlists the help of her best friend Parker, who is secretly in love with her, to help her do some detective work.

The Gammons have a house warming party and charm everyone in the neighborhood. So Elfie's claims that something is amiss with the new neighbors is ridiculed by her parents.

While the Gammon parents are charming, the children are very odd. So you'd think that might throw up some red flags, but nope.  

Elfie is not the most likeable character. In fact, she's down right annoying.  She's sarcastic, always looks irritated, dresses like Dexys Midnight Runners during their dirty hobo phase, and wears a big stupid knit hat which probably smells terrible. You just know she's never washed it.

As for the movie itself, if you've ever wondered what would happen if the British decided to do a version of Fright Night, well here it is.  Teen thinks something is strange about neighbor. Teen sees something suspect happen late at night at neighbors house. People disappear. Neighbor is charming.  No one will believe teens claims that neighbor is a killer.  Yup, same thing, except without the excitement, charm, or likeable characters.

Also it's not really a horror film until the last ten minutes or so when it ramps up the killing and the blood. Other than that it's mostly talking and annoying old Elfie. And what the hell kind of name is Elfie anyway?

Alfie is years too late for the Dexys Midnight Runners hobo craze
Elfie at her happiest
Courtney Love? Phyllis Diller?  Fang? 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boogeyman 3 (2009)

Sara hosts a radio show and, along with a psychologist, provides advice to callers.  When a call comes in from her friend Aubrey whose father recently died, Sara is concerned that she's suicidal.  Aubrey is convinced that her father was killed by the Boogeyman, and that she will be his next victim.

Sara runs over to the dorms, opens Aubrey's door, and sees her being strangled by the Boogeyman.  But when others arrive to help, they find Aubrey hanging from a noose. Sara insists her friend was murdered, but no one will believe her.

When more students disappear and Sara starts having experiences which she believes are related, she becomes convinced that everyone in the dorm is going to be killed. No one will listen, of course. I mean, seriously, would you?

It's not total crap, but there's nothing that good about it either. This is by the book horror. Nothing to see here.