Monday, September 30, 2013

Twixt (2011)

Alcoholic writer Hall Baltimore heads out on a book signing tour in hopes of helping his waning popularity.  It's a bare bones operation as Hall has to drive himself and lug his own boxes of product into the stores to set up.  His hopes fall even further when his stop in a small town revels there is no bookstore and he's doing his book signing in the corner of the hardware store.

While in town the Sheriff tries to get him involved in writing a book together based on his case files.  The Sheriff tries to entice him by offering a view of a teenager girl who was murdered and found with a stake in her heart. The Sheriff states that the kids that hang out across the river are all vampires, but Hall is skeptical.

Hall decides to stay in town to investigate a murder mystery from years ago, but the town isn't all that eager to have anyone dig that up again.  During his research, Hall fights on Skype with his wife, fights with the Sheriff, finds the long abandoned hotel reopened during a late night walk, meets a mysterious young girl in the woods, and has long walks and talks with Edgar Allen Poe. Oh and why does the town clock tower have seven faces, all with a different time?

The trailer for this one made me decide to watch it.  While overall it was interesting, there were times that I wondered how long I'd been watching it, and when it would end.  The biker gang is lead by  Flamingo, who sounds like he should be wearing a feather boa in a musical.  And Hall's talks with Poe tended to make me drift off.

Val Kilmer and the rest of the cast did a decent job and the cinematography was good.  The weird thing about seeing Kilmer is that physically he's middle aged and very out of shape, but every once in awhile  it occurs to me that this is the guy when he was young who was good looking enough to play rock god Jim Morrison.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Humans vs. Zombies (2011)

Somewhere in a lab, a biohazard is released.  Two colleagues shoot themselves in the head as a zombie lab tech bangs against the glass.  Maybe they should have shot the zombie first because next thing you know the zombie ends up on a beach with a frolicking couple.  It's not their day as first they run into the  water and get covered in some sort of slime (later said to be oil).  Then the oil coated girl gets bitten when she asks if the bloody zombie in the lab coat is okay.

Back on campus, a student is being chased by a zombie, but it's all in fun because they're just playing the hip new game Humans vs. Zombies.  Did you think it was a real zombie? No, it can't be because everyone knows there's no such thing as zombies - unless you ask campus security guard Frank, a conspiracy theorist that everyone thinks is a little light in the belfry. Soon Frank is proven to be not so far off when the zombie scourge spreads throughout campus.

Our main characters have a hard time grasping what's going on, which makes no sense considering one of them is into pop culture and currently reading the Zombie Survival Guide, another is a hard core gamer, and the beginning of the movie had multiple clips on the TV showing interviews and stories about a zombie virus. So how can no one be aware of this? I'm not sure if it was an oversight, the footage was added later as a way to pad the film, or it's just bad writing.

The characters decide to hole up in a hardware store with a glass front, which is a strange decision seeing as they didn't want to stay in the brick school building with steel doors, which turned out to be good because the zombies managed to get in. But what the heck? Why can't they get through the glass?

There's infighting, stupid decisions, an annoying Jack Black clone with flat ironed hair, and a gamer girl named Tommi who's personality is so unpleasant that you'll hope she dies as soon as possible.
Low rent Jack Black is not impressed

Friday, September 27, 2013

Paranormal Asylum: The Revenge of Typhoid Mary (2013)

Mark travels to New York to reunite with old college roommate Andy. The two are going to make a documentary about Typhoid Mary, the woman who was blamed for the outbreak of typhoid in New York.

While Mark waits for Andy to pick him up, he does some filming and a teenage girl asks to be in his film.  After turning to greet Andy, Mark turns back and she's  disappeared. Spooky foreshadowing?  Nope, she is never mentioned again.

Andy's fiance Michelle joins them as they head out to the asylum. (She became part of the team when she discovered he'd used their money to finance this project.) Although the outside of the building is boarded up and some windows are missing, the inside looks like a new facility with motorized beds, computer monitors,  medical equipment, new wheelchairs, no dust or dirt anywhere, and a super clean snazzy locker room.  Inexplicably the power is still active, which is lucky since if it wasn't their project would be done.

Mark and Andy decide where to put the cameras and Michelle wanders off and gets trapped in the locker room, her hair moving as if there is a wind.  Isn't it scary? Well it might be until they show it from another angle and there's a huge floor model fan at the end of the locker room. Not so spooky now, is it.

With the cameras set up, they head to their home base, which is literally at their home.  This begs the question, how could they leave all this equipment alone since the homeless, criminals, and urban explorers are bound to venture into abandoned buildings? Also it means they guessed what they were getting on camera since the monitors are at home.

What's super annoying in these movies is that there's always a scene where someone sees something, has a camera and never looks at what they shot.  Early in the film, Mark sees a woman in the ruins while shooting photos or video (can't remember which).  He asks Andy if he saw the old woman. Andy just laughs and dismisses it, which seems weird considering they're researching a haunted asylum.  But Mark never looks at what's on his camera. Geez, if you think you saw her, look at what you shot.

So get ready to be annoyed by a seance, possession, Mark getting attacked during an interview, suicide, more interviews, and a payoff that isn't worth it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eyes Behind the Stars (1978)

Photographer Peter and model Karen go to the country to shoot some photos. During the shoot, they feel like they're being watched and the radio stops picking up stations.  When Karen complains that she can only get static, Peter shows he doesn't understand how batteries work by saying, "You're wasting your time.  The batteries dead.  That's why it's making all that noise." Bravo, Peter, bravo indeed.

When Peter develops the photos later, he discovers there are aliens in the background. I couldn't see them, but that's what he said, so okay.  Peter becomes obsessed with seeing the aliens again and soon he gets his wish by being abducted. Hurrah!  It doesn't turn out so good and he ends up on a table where it's assumed the probing will commence.

Before being abducted, Peter gave his negatives to a friend, Tony, for safe keeping.  Tony is a reporter and starts investigating after Peter disappears.  The police don't cotton to this attention as they're trying to keep what's happening under wraps to avoid people freaking the hell out.  Soon the police, aliens, bad guys, and everyone else in the film are trying to get those negatives.

It's slow paced, mostly talking, almost void of aliens,  and not at all exciting in any way. The most enjoyable part is that they actually use the word Ufologist at one point in the film.

The exciting world of photography
Aliens ships are always stark and spotless
Well that certainly is an alien
The police wonder what happened here
So do all doctors in this country wear sunglasses?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Night Wolf (2010)

When I popped this movie in, I expected some action and expected to see a wolf.  Then I started watching and discovered it was British. So I realized I was in for lots of talking, little or no wolf action, and more than likely a big disappointment.  And so it goes.

Sarah arrives home at her family estate after spending six months in the US at a new job.  Her three brothers and a couple friends are partying in the barn so she joins them after her father decides to go to bed.

In the midst of the partying, the power goes out and the group heads back to the house.  As one goes to find some fuses, the others go upstairs and find there's been a murder and the massive killer animal is still in the house.  But do we see the animal? No, we just see it's red wolf vision, which is almost all we see of said wolf.

Thus starts a night of trying to figure out how to stay alive and get out of the house.  Also it's a night of annoying characters making incredibly stupid decisions, getting mad at each other, making too much noise when trying to hide, and death.

Also it forces me to ask the question, why are the werewolves bald when they turn from a wolf back into a human?  Since when do werewolves lose their hair?  And wouldn't that make it easy to figure out who was the wolf?  Before wolf a luxurious head of hair, after wolf totally bald.

Watch for the very obvious bald cap that has blood smeared all around in the edge to try to make it look less conspicuous, except there's a big wrinkle behind the ear, so just forget it. It was obvious even without the wrinkle.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lizzie (2013)

Lizzie Allen moves into her childhood home and starts hallucinating and having nightmares.  Her boyfriend Jason tells her she's crazy, which doesn't help when she can't remember her childhood and is seeing a psychiatrist regarding her problems.

Lizzie keeps hearing noises in the house. At one point she hears a knocking and freaks out, repeatedly screaming, "Who is it?"  It turns out to be the cable guy at the front door. Lizzie lets him in while in her underwear and never puts on any pants. Okay that's not normal.

The creepy cable guy leers at her as he works but she doesn't notice.  Eventually he tells her she's sexy because she's stupid and appears to be on the verge of either sexually assaulting or murdering her.  Lizzie proves his assertion to be correct when she isn't alarmed in the slightest at the potential threat in front of her. Oddly enough, nothing more ever comes of this.

Lizze spends a lot of her time screaming, "Who is it?" and the rest of her time drinking wine. Actually the two of those overlap as she's always got a bottle or glass  with her, even going so far as to take a glass of wine into the shower with her.

There's a tiny door on the side of the house that Lizzie and a neighbor decide to break open.  Unfortunately they both prove to be stupid when their idea of getting it opening is to smack it with an axe a couple of times.  With tiny dents in the center of the door, they both work at prying it open. Hey, here's a tip for you. Next time you try to pry open a door, pull on the side that is opposite the hinges.

Lizzie and Jason start fighting a lot, and that isn't helped by Jasons prank - scaring her when she investigates a noise in the house. Idiot Jason steps out wearing a ski mask and carrying a hatchet with his hands covered in blood. No one shall ask how Jason managed to get a girl friend and be immature enough to think this is okay. Perhaps that's why he dates crazy girls.

When she asks her psychiatrist for stronger pills, he tells her she can't drink with this prescription (Pffft!). Soon the ghosts of Lizzie Borden and her murdered family members are acting out the tragedy in the house.  Oh hell, no.  Lizzie's ghost just looks like someone did their own Halloween makeup by rubbing black grease paint around her eyes. Gary Busey is her Mr. Borden and barely has any screen time.

As per most Lizzie Borden movies, Lizzie takes offense to the belief that she is a murderer and reacts by killing people. Geez Lizzie, think!  And think before you watch this because it's may be good for a laugh or two, but that's about it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Frostbitten (2006)

When her mother gets a job working for Dr. Becket, a leading genetic scientist, Saga moves to a new town and starts school during polar night, which means there is no daylight for a month.  How depressing.

While standing at her locker, Saga is invited to a party by a strange goth-like girl named Vega. Saga's not sure if she wants to go, but eventually decides it would be a good way to get to know the other kids.

Meanwhile Saga's mom gets a tour of the hospital and meets Dr. Beckert who has a private patient that no one is allowed to treat or examine. Curious intern Sebastian goes into the patients room and pockets some strange pills on the table by her bed.  When another intern jokingly tells Sebastian the pills will make him high, he swallows one -  much to the other interns amazement since any potential doctor should know enough not to swallow mystery pills.

Unfortunately for Sebastian the pills turn out to be an experimental treatment used for vampires.  Sebastian ends up in intense pain and with an overwhelming urge for blood.  Hoping to get some relief, he breaks into Beckert's secret lab, finds a box of the strange pills, and steals them.

Later at Sebastians apartment, Vega steals the box of pills to bring the party after Sebastian tells her he forgot to get her the drugs she wanted.  Well you just know this isn't going to go well since kids are willing to pop anything they think will get them high into their little stupid mouths. Yup, before you know it there are vampires and blood flying all over the place.

I enjoyed this one. It's a Swedish horror film so it has a different feel. The scenery is dark and snowy which makes it very atmospheric and reminds me of Let the Right One In. This movie isn't of that caliber but it's still fun to watch even though the biggest vampire is a bit silly looking sometimes.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome to Blood City (1977)

I bought one of those Millcreek 50 movie SciFi packs, basically because it was ten bucks. I figured even if only one movie was good, it would still be worth the money.  This one wasn't but it was kind of interesting.

Lewis wakes up in the middle of nowhere with people he doesn't know in a place that turns out to be a combination of West World and Planet of the Apes.   No one can remember how they got their or where they came from, but each one finds a card in their pockets with a tally of the number of people they've killed.  Since none of them think they've killers, they're confused.

The group start traveling hoping to find a town or some people. Unfortunately the first people they meet assault the lone female of the group and kill a man.

A sheriff, played by Jack Palance, finds them and brings them into a town which looks like the Old West. They're placed under his protection with the intention of selling them as slaves. If they do everything they're told in a year or so, they may be able to buy their freedom. What a great deal.

Lewis doesn't cotton to no slave stuff, breaks the rules of the town and gets in fights. There is a hierarchy, rules as to what people can do, and a control room watching the whole mess. The best thing about this movie is the title.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Search for the Beast (1997)

College professor Dr. Stone goes looking for Bigfoot, finds some odd remains and brings them back to his lab for further study. He plans to compare the creatures DNA to animals such as dogs, rabbits, cats, and cows. Honestly after seeing the remains, it's obviously not one of those so what the heck is he thinking?

Stone gets a call from Milton, an old dude who read a newspaper article on the recent killings of two teens by the hairy beast (Bigfoot not Stone). Milton and Stone meet to talk about an expedition. Milton offers to give Stone $100,000 and pay for the expedition if Stone can find proof of Bigfoot.  So..... Stone will have to foot the bill if he doesn't find anything?  After random dialogue about what is required as proof and that Stone doesn't want Bigfoot hurt, they shake hands without agreeing on the terms.

What Stone doesn't know is that Milton wants Bigfoot dead . But Stone really should suspect something when Milton's men show up for the trip dressed in camouflage and armed with guns like an AK47 and machine gun. Yes, we're just trying to protect ourselves from the creature. Pffft!

This movie is ridiculous, but not in a good way. There is tons of padding, random heavy breathing, singing hillbillies, Dr. Stone as the love interest,  a brief horrible stupid Bigfoot sex scene, and one of the silliest gorilla suits you'll ever see trying to pass for Bigfoot. Sometimes the film is amusing and other times it's just downright painful.

Ridiculous dialogue  -
(which sounds super creepy, but is actually referencing young woman who Stone hires as a research assistant on the trip)

Dr. Stone: I never even had an assistant before, much less a beautiful young girl. I know the things I was going to show Wendy would either scare her off or make it impossible to get rid of her."

what a fabulous research lab - note how his shadow
looks like a claw is bursting from his stomach
Good thing he has his Field Guide to Sasquatch
the skull is about the size of his hand -
must be Bigfoot
Enjoy this shot of a painting as we pad the film
The college's a/v room has the latest equipment.
one of our hunters has a problem keeping his pants buttoned
We're not going to kill anything
Don't look at the camera
Somebody went to the Halloween store

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jack the Reaper (2011)

A wimpy high school teacher organizes a Saturday bus trip for students who didn't do a research paper for his class. They go to a Railroad Museum which consists of not much other than a creepy tour guide who never leaves the fairly barren room they're in.  After telling them a dark tale of the danger of the railroad tracks and how often people are killed, he also mentions Railroad Jack - if you see him that means he's already seen you and you don't want that.

On the bus ride, Shawn sits in the back and plays electric guitar. Not sure if no one remembered to bring an acoustic to the set that day, but it's strange.

Since one of the girls spied Railroad Jack on the way to the museum, it's just a matter of time until something horrible  happens on the tracks. Surprisingly they don't come into play in the accident which leave the bus stranded in the desert.

When the kids wake up from the crash, the bus driver and teacher have disappeared. While thinking about whether to wait in the bus or try to find help,  they spy a carnival in the distance.  Most of the group sets out for the brightly lit midway, and are surprised to find it's totally empty.

Forgetting their plight - plus the kid or two left back in the dark with the wrecked bus - the teens decide to live it up.  The rides are on and they've got the place all to themselves. Weeeee! But unknown to the them, there is evil at the carnival, tracking their every move and soon teens start dying.

There is an annoying voice over lady who doesn't fit in the context or tone of the film.  The bus has the dirtiest windows I've ever seen, and when the reality of what's going on is discovered, it's been done before and much better.

Also our little albino boy wears sunglasses at night and his make up sometimes wears off around his neck. Did they add an albino character because they had a deaf girl in the film, or did they just need to get rid of a lot of clown white?  Because there's no relevance to his being an albino.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Battledogs (2013)

Battledogs?  Well that doesn't sound very exciting.  What about Warwolves?  Now that's much more exciting and more accurate based on the premise.  

A wild life photographer is bitten by a wolf while on assignment. On the trip home, she turns into a wolf while in a New York City airport bathroom.  As she roams through the terminal biting and slashing people, they in turn become infected and morph into wolves.  Soon the airport is overrun with carnage. So the military is called in to round up the wolves and quarantine them.

The people who morphed into wolves (aka the subjects) are herded into a large room and guarded by the armed guards. Doctors take samples from each person to try to determine the source person for the infection.  Major Hoffman is concerned about the treatment of the subjects while other military officials are working on a project kept secret from the Major.  This clash of purpose and different views of  treatment lead to the military deciding the Major Hoffman is expendable, basically because he's too nice.

Eventually we discover that the military's goal is using wolves as fighting forces.  It's a terrible idea unless they're going to fight unarmed civilians since the wolves have been killed with one shot or a knife to the throat. So basically they can just run faster and rip flesh with their claws. But a man with a gun could take them down before they could do any damage. Bah! Stupid battledogs!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Croczilla (2012)

An annoying little boy is upset when his Grandfather sells off inventory at the Crocodile farm to a restaurant owner who never buttons his shirt (but he should).  The restaurant is full of hungry patrons and they've run out of croc meat. So it's an exciting day when the truck shows up with Amao, the gigantic crocodile of our title who is about the size of a small house.

While they decide how to chop Amao into edible pieces, the tranquilizers wear off and Amao goes crazy, resulting in at least one death and a daring escape. Well, actually he just muscles his way through a fence.  And is it really safe for restaurant patrons to eat meat from a croc that was loaded with tranquilizers?

In another storyline soon to collide, a woman ends up stranded on the side of the road when her fiance jilts her. Soon she's being chased through a field by Amao who ends up eating her purse which contains tons of cash.

When the woman goes to the police, they don't believe her. Really, who would?  The policeman, father of the annoying boy, ends up going to the scene to make a report and then puts her on the next bus out of town. This doesn't last as she crawls out the window and  continues her pursuit of the money thieving croc.  Eventually the story culminates in the woman, police and little boy all working together and trying not to get eaten by the croc.

Even though this may be billed as a horror movie, it has quite a bit of comedy - although it's not all that funny.  The movie tends to be silly to the point that we wondered if perhaps it was aimed towards children.  Sadly enough it does not live up to it's Croczilla name since the name implies much more carnage and an even larger croc.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Murder Rock (1984)

If you combine a slasher film with Flashdance, you get Murder Rock.  A class at the local dance academy is training hard for their shot in a music video. But after rehearsal the teacher is told that the producers have changed their minds and only need three members of the class. Shortly after that the top dancer is murdered.

When a second dancer is murdered, the head of the school urges the police to do more to track down the murderer who is using a hat pin and chloroform to accomplish his murderous deeds.

Since she doesn't feel the police are working fast enough, she decides to work on the case herself.  She starts having nightmares of a man trying to kill her and realizes it's a man from an advertisement. When she tracks him down and starts seeing him, she begins to fear he may be the killer.

This is an okay film, but it's fairly slow paced.  It's not as bloody as Lucio Fulci's other films, but I'm fine with that. There are scenes right out of Flashdance, such as a dancing scene in a club with water pouring onto the dancer. I'm mostly glad I saw it because it has an awesome title and how could I help wondering what it was.

I like the title font and subtitle
Breakin'  - it has nothing to do with our story
Ladies and Gentlemen, your Solid Gold dancers
Flashdance, what a feeling
What the hell kind of outfit is that?
I didn't expect butt cleavage

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beast Beneath (2011)

aka The Ghost of Griffith Park

Are you looking for a movie which ends with the homeless population dressed as pirates on a luxury pirate ship, dancing with scantily clad young women who are happy to be with them?  Yeah, me neither, but somehow I ended up watching this thing.

Angelina finds a map in an old family music box and decides to see if her professor can translate it since it's written in a dialect that is no longer known.  She and boyfriend Derek take it to their professor since they don't think anyone else would be able to translate it.  He asks for a copy of the map, which they begrudgingly provide.  Not the brightest idea since it's supposed to be a treasure map and the professor seems kind of shifty.

Later they find out one of their best friends also knows this little known dialect. Wow, what are the odds?  Good thing he does since the professor says there's no way to translate it, which is weird since their friend has already done it. Hmmmm.

When Angelina and Derek go to Griffith Park with the map they meet homeless Pirate George who tells them that a ghost speaks to him and he can help them find the treasure. Surprisingly, this doesn't cause them to back away slowly and they agree to go off with him. Luckily for them, they end up in the Batcave, and not dead in a shallow ditch.

Shortly after they enter the cave, a park ranger shows up and kicks them out since they aren't supposed to be in the park after dark. But the ranger knows George since he lives in the park and just sends them on their merry way.  Now the challenge for Angelina is to find the treasure before it's stolen by the evil professor. Oh and they all need to watch out for the beast that roams the caverns.

All this is wrapped together as a story a father is telling his son while on a camping trip in Griffith Park. As they sit around the campfire, the father provides the back story of the original land owner who is swindled out of his fortune on his death bed by his friend.  The friend, lawyer, and judge who are working together to get the money are cursed by the land owners blind daughter. Legend says the treasure is waiting for an ancestor to find it. Thus we now have some context for our little Angelina and her music box. Blah.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dinocroc (2004)

Experiment gone wrong Dinocroc escapes from a lab into the Gereco land preserve.  The Gereco scientist says there's nothing to worry about because the preserve is locked up tight so it can't get out.  Yet a twelve year old boy has no problem getting into the area to look for his dog.  Yeah, that isn't good.

The croc knocks down a gate and is free to roam the public waterways.  Animal control screams that they must close the beaches, but no one listens.  Then the Dinocroc dines on the local population and people in power start to believe in the power of the croc.  Croc hunter Dick Sydney is called in to take out the beast, but the prehistoric growing menace is not impressed.

No one shall ask why twelve year old Michael thinks the thing moving through the water is his dog. Wouldn't it make more sense to look for your dog on land? Or why his older brother appears to get over his grief the same day tragedy strikes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shackled (2010)

30 minutes into this, I'm asking myself if this is actually a horror film.  The movie opens with some creepy people walking around in masks and a dead guy. I assume the dead guy is Brian since  everyone spends the next 25 minutes being sad about his death.  So we get to see the gathering after the funeral where everyone is very somber and quiet - except for the guy who goes into Brian's room to look for something. Hmmm, well that's odd.

Brian's sister wakes up later that night, and realizes there is someone in Brian's room. It's same guy from the funeral, but for some reason her father (who saw him that afternoon) doesn't realize it or mention it to the police.

Brian's sister has dreams about a mansion. She's kind of freaked out because Brian's journal says he dreamed about mansion. Then a police grief counselor shows up to see if they're okay (do they really do that?) and asks about the mansion, which is a real problem since it's never mentioned to her. Oh yes, something is wrong.

This is one of those movies where you expect horror (since it's on a pack of films labeled as such) rather than a slow paced psychological movie. So it's disappointing as you've been mislead.

For some unknown reason all I could think of when watching this was a terrible line from some bad movie I saw which went something like, "He's dead.... murdered..... and someone's responsible."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (2013)

A bunch of kids in an alternative program for juvenile offenders  grouse about having to do community service showing that none of them have the intelligence to realize it's a much better option than going to jail.

The deputy in charge is a hard ass, the social worker with them is naive, and the idiot kids are really annoying. (If this is a punishment, then why do they have their cell phones?)

Crazy Joe Estevez chews the scenery while living in the woods nearby and spooks everyone by showing up out of nowhere.  The deputy doesn't like him and shoos him away.  But as usual you should always take the crazy guy into consideration when there are strange stories about the woods.

As the kids sit down to eat lunch and gripe about their plight, one guy decides he's leaving. While trying to find his way out of the woods, he finds a huge animal skull sitting in what turns out to be a burial site.  He steals a horn from the skull, which is a mistake as big old weirdo Paul Bunyan decides to come back for revenge. Maybe if Bunyan had buried his ox under the ground he wouldn't have this problem.

Now what I was expecting was the typical manly bearded lumberjack of legend, but instead we get this shirtless mutant freak who is an ageless killer.  Based on Dan Haggerty's role as Grizzly Adams in the 1970s TV show, I expected him to be Paul Bunyan. But that's pretty silly since he's around 70 years old now, and seems a bit fragile and appears to have a limp.

In the opening 1800s flashback storyline, watch for the seriously bad looking ox carcass they are roasting on a spit. It's either plaster or papermache and incredibly fake looking. There is also a very fake spray painted axe.  Plus watch the entire camp eat from colored plastic plates!  Yes, it certainly is the 1800s.

I was hoping for the best, but this is pretty painful to get through.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Solomon Kane (2009)

Battle loving, sword wielding, warrior / Sea Captain Solomon Kane fights his way into a chamber of riches and finds the Grim Reaper demanding his soul.  Kane isn't happy with this turn of events and puts up a fight. When his efforts don't succeed, he eventually dives through a stained glass window and plummets into the sea.

After finding refuge in a monastery and donating all his money to them, Kane changes his evil ways. But after a year, he is asked to leave.  His journey takes him to the forest where he is approached by three thugs. Since he is now a man of peace, he refuses to fight. This proves to be unfortunate when they thump him on the back of the head.

When Kane awakens, he finds himself in the back of a wagon and being nursed to health by a Puritan family.  He continues traveling with them as they discuss forgiveness and provide him with new clothes and a Pilgrim hat.  Everything is going great which means that the only way Kane could possibly be spurred into action and go against his vow of non-violence (which is the only thing keeping him out of hell) is that this sweet, loving Puritan family must be nearing a horrible death.

Sure enough, evil Malachi's minions attack travelers in the woods, including Kane's companions. In his search for the surviving daughter, Kane is told she is dead which leads him into a drunken stupor that results in crucifixion. Yeah, I didn't expect it either. But just when you think he's done for, you realize only half the movie is over. Then Kane's inner berserker comes to the fore and he's off to commence with the slaughter, all while looking distractingly like Hugh Jackman. Hurrah!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sweet Sixteen (1983)

Big city girl Melissa's family moves to the small town where her Mom grew up and everyone she dates end up dead.  Her archaeologist father can vouch for her whereabouts after the first death. But at the second, Melissa says an old Indian was in the alley behind the bar where the killing took place. This gives the racists in town a perfect chance to exact some vigilante justice.

The family has a big party for Melissa's sixteenth birthday, and the Sheriff's son decides he's interested in her. You'd think he'd be too afraid to get near her due to the other boys deaths. Also she's not the friendliest person until a personality change comes out of nowhere. I'd guess things aren't going to go as planned at the party.

Using powers of deduction, you won't be all that surprised at who the killer is, but you will be disappointed that entering an Indian burial ground to go parking results in nothing other than a scare.  The film has Larry Storch as the bartender and Patrick MacNee as Melissa's father.

Ridiculous dialogue:

Johnny: Maybe you'd like to go for a ride.
Melissa: Maybe I would.
Johnny: I'm Johnny and this is my truck.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Infected (2013)

The film starts with a group of people in a cabin fighting off what appear to be the infected. Next thing you know there's a caption on the screen that says 12 hours earlier.  Well, then why am I watching this when I already know how they'll end up?

Some friends bring their kids to a cabin for a weekend hunting trip.  Their kids are all college age, including the questionable casting of one female who appears to be in her early forties.  If she was one of the fathers wives, you wouldn't blink twice, but college age? No.

When it's reported that a neighbors grandma isn't feeling well, the doctor says he'll take a look at her.  It turns out saying she isn't feeling well is a bit of an understatement as she can't speak, is making weird noises, and looks deathly ill.  I'd recommend getting her to the hospital, but either Doc's not very good at his job or he's too concerned about his hunting time because he prescribes bed rest, at which point Grandma bites him.  Doc still isn't all that concerned and goes back to his fun weekend with the boys, not knowing that within twelve hours the woods will be full of the infected.

Watch as Michael Madsen mumbles his way through the film while William Forsythe's shock of white hair threatens to increase in size. None of the characters are that interesting or appealing, and it confusing as to why everyone brought their college age children. The film's logic is not consistent and tends to be frustrating.

Madsen has no problem waiting till morning to try to escape even though one of the woman is missing half her face and needs medical attention, but when he thinks his pregnant wife might be in danger, he decides it's safe enough to leave. Also they can't figure out why the guy with the gaping bite wound is attacking them.

Watch for the kids who stop mid coitus to suddenly run outside for no discernible reason.  Later they tell their fathers they heard a scream. So... was that supposed to be dubbed in during post? Because there's no scream on the soundtrack. Also Madsen's mumbling is so low you need to keep turning up the sound. Every time you can hear him, he starts mumbling softer.

Also watch for the father who eats his own teenage daughter leaving nothing but a spine and pelvis (so he ate the other bones?)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Antiviral (2011)

This is one weird freaking movie. In the future, there are clinics that have exclusive contracts and rights to celebrity illnesses.  So if your favorite movie star has herpes, you can go to the clinic and get an injection of herpes that came directly from your favorite star.   It's the ultimate collectible and it's guaranteed authentic. Plus it's big bucks for the clinics who target the fanatics who need to feel close to their faves. What could be closer than sharing an illness?

Syd is a salesman at the clinic. He is also one of the technicians who copy protect the illnesses. This is to ensure the injections won't be infectious. By copyrighting whatever illness is injected into their clients, they guarantee that anyone who wants the illness has to go directly to them.

But there is also a black market for these celebrity viruses. Syd is involved in this sideline, managing to smuggle the viruses out of the clinic by injecting them himself. Not the best move, but Syd is kind of obsessed with one of their top celebrities, Hannah Geist.

After another salesman is arrested for selling viruses on the black market, Syd is assigned to extract blood from Hannah who is stricken with the flu. Since the clinic has an exclusive contract with Hannah, Syd injects it into himself as he can make big money on the black market.  Unfortunately for  Syd, he gets extremely ill(duh), blacks out, and then discovers that Hannah has died from the flu. Uh oh.

The movie is stark and disturbing.  As if wanting to be injected with a celebrity illness isn't crazy enough, there are butcher shops where people can purchase cell steaks.  These are disgusting looking pieces of meat(?) that are grown from celebrity cells, which essentially makes anyone who buys them a cannibal.

The clinic and Syd's apartment are a sterile, bright white with a little black here and there, and very harsh lighting.  Syd himself has red hair and is very pale. As his illness progresses, he seems to get smaller and paler.  The actor who plays Syd does a nice job with the character.

It's an interesting movie, but not something you want to watch if you're looking for action or a fast pace. Brandon Cronenberg (son of David) is behind this one.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Super Hybrid (2010)

A smashed up car is brought to a city garage being closed for renovations.  But what the crew who moves the cars doesn't realize is that this is no ordinary car. This is a killer car that can morph into whatever brand and shape of car it wants.  And it will kill you, either by suckering you inside the vehicle, reaching tendrils out the window to grab you, or having the monsters under it's hood chomping on your ever loving soul. Oh yeah, it's a car with a heartbeat and it wants your blood.

Since the garage is closing for a few weeks, all the action takes place inside the garage which means a limited number of victims. The workers can't get out because all the doors are locked. So they need to figure out how to survive the morphing car, which can make it a bit confusing to locate.

I am all for killer car movies, but this didn't have much going on. It could have worked if they were able to build the tension as the film went on, but there is no tension and you don't really care about any of the characters.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Devon's Ghost: Legend of the Bloody Boy (2005)

Idealistic new principal Ms. Walker celebrates the schools reopening with a press conference.  Unfortunately she's unable to gloss over the Canyon Murder Mystery which occurred across the street because a tabloid journalist brings it up.

The students overhear and bring up the legend of the Bloody Boy. Devon, aka the bloody boy, lived in the house across the street from the school. Devon's parents treated him badly and one night he disappeared.  Later sightings of a bloody boy were reported, but no trace of Devon was ever found. His parents were charged with his murder, but a defense lawyer got them off. A year later both the parents were found murdered.

High schooler Symphony and her crappy friend Genesis decide to go to a party. When Symphony gets freaked out about Devon, Genesis tells Symphony she doesn't believe her story and to get over the death. Plus she can't imagine why Symphony is so upset about her father's disappearance since it's already been ten years.  father was the parents defense lawyer.

Soon someone starts killing people and it appears to be an oversized teen wearing a baseball outfit and carrying a bat. Is it the legend come to life, or some other loser killing folks in town? Symphony's father was the defense lawyer for Devon's parents so that's another piece of the puzzle. And if Devon died as a little kid, then how could he come back as a hulking 18 year old?

The sound levels on this movie are all over the place. So you're constantly turning the volume up and down in order to hear what is going on.  Also there is some Pseudo Blink 182 music on the soundtrack, including a song about suicide at the beginning of the movie.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sand Serpents (2009)

Soldiers in Afghanistan are captured and interrogated by the Taliban.  After what seems like an earthquake, the captors run outside. Shortly afterwards shots and screams are heard and then it falls silent.  When the soldiers manage to free themselves, they find the area deserted.

The group consists of a few good soldiers and some super whiny guys who would never make it in the military.  Guess who dies first?  There is constant arguing as to the best way to escape.  Once they determine the bad guys were eaten by giant worms, you'd think the team would defer to the highest rank or best qualified to save them all, but it's not a very good unit.

At one point a little girl stops their jeep from heading down the road because it is filled with mines.  But when the worms arrives, the survivors run straight down the same road to a camp. Duhr.

It's your basic Syfy movie and you're better off watching Tremors since the basic premise of worms using vibrations to track people is the same.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Wickeds (2005)

A group of teenagers head out to an isolated, abandoned home reputed to be haunted where a horror movie is being filmed.  The house is locked up since it's Saturday (yeah, no one films on Saturday) so they break in to explore and utter stupid things like, "Look! It's a real movie light!"

Meanwhile in the nearby cemetery, two grave robbers take an amulet off a white faced corpse who turns out to be a vampire and bites one of them.  This causes zombie minions to pop out of the ground and give chase, as much as a shambling corpse can.

The robbers, one of which is Ron Jeremy, end up at the abandoned house with the kids.  The menace outside causes panic and they all argue about what to do and how to escape.  Unfortunately they're all idiots.

There is also a ghost in the house which doesn't do much, and no one is smart enough to figure out they can just get in their SUV and drive away - until after the guy with the keys disappears.