Monday, December 30, 2013

The Colony (2013)

After an apocalypse that left the world covered with snow and ice, small pockets of survivors exist in under ground buildings.  When Colony 7 gets a distress call from Colony 5 and can't get in touch with anyone, they decide to send a search party.

When the three man team arrives, they find lots of blood and a seemingly deserted station. After hearing banging and locating a locked room, they pick the lock and find a lone man inside.

The survivor states that their colony had picked up a broadcast from people who were in an area without snow. They had sun and soil, but no seeds to plant for food.  When his colony sent a party looking for it, they found no one, but something followed them when they came back home. Oh yes, and he was not the one doing the banging.  In fact he's hiding and won't leave the room.

The rest of the movie involves meeting the menace that attacked the colony and trying to get home without leading it back to their own colony. It's kind of slow to build up to where the team is in trouble. Before that it is a fairly standard plot. There's trouble in their own colony with one guy getting more militant and less compassionate about anyone who gets sick since it puts the rest at risk for survival.

There's not a lot of action until the last third of the movie. The first part is introducing the main characters and showing the splintering of the colony's vision with characters starting to go rogue. No one can ever get along after the apocalypse, can they? Overall it's not great, but okay. The menace they face is kind of stupid and so is their plan of resistance. There's some nicely done green screen work, which is evident if you watch any of the Making of... video.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Buried Alive (2007)

A group of friends finds themselves buried alive in elaborately rigged coffins and tries to figure out why they've been chosen for this fate.

Meanwhile above ground, Melanie is worried about her girlfriend Sage. It's been 24 hours since she was talking to Sage on a web cam and saw her attacked by a masked man with a crowbar.  Oddly enough she doesn't notify anyone or do anything until 24 hours has passed. Could it be a prank? Well, yeah if your friends are total dicks, it could be. 

Then instead of calling the police, she calls her brother Travis to help her figure out what's going on. She vlogs about the missing Sage hoping someone can help her figure out what has happened.  She also breaks into Sage's place to see if she can find any clues. Oh and did I mention she's been given a link to a website where she can see Sage and other people in the coffins? Again, the police aren't contacted.

Travis tapes everything they do. The movie also includes flashbacks to tapes of his high school friends, which is relevant since they are in the coffins. Hmmmm... but the coffin kids suspect it is weirdo Tommy, the nice but unpopular outcast they always picked on and beat up. Tommy's relationship with Travis is unclear since Travis often tortures Tommy along with his friends, but also sometimes hangs out with him.

I picked this up because I liked the cover and it was only $3.00. But I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be any good.  Yup, called that one right. Since it's supposed to be video footage from Travis's tapes, it's  like watching video your untalented friend shot, mixed with surveillance footage of the kids in the coffins.  And most of them aren't particularly likable so you don't care if they die.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Troll (1986)

The Potter family moves into a new apartment and while everyone is bringing in boxes, little Wendy manages to get abducted by a troll in the basement.  Don't you hate when that happens?

No one notices Wendy is gone since the troll has a magic ring and turns himself into Wendy's doppelganger.  But everyone thinks Wendy is acting up since she's growling, running around like a crazy person, and eating like a beast. She's a royal pain in the ass and an embarrassment when she does strange things to or around the new neighbors. But mom and dad are overwhelmed and just sort of shrug as if to say, what's up with her?

Soon older brother Harry figures out that something is seriously wrong with Wendy. After watching some sci fi on TV he begins to think she's not really Wendy at all, but an alien. Close enough, but who is going to believe him?

Luckily he's moved into the only apartment in the city which has a witch waiting to stop the troll when he makes his attempt at taking over the world.  The weird thing is that the troll takes over all the apartments except hers and the Potters before she decides to do anything about it. Not sure if that's the best idea for someone who's spent centuries being the guardian against this sort of thing, but oh well. She's got Harry to help her fight the troll and his little minions who are sprouting up in all the apartments.

This isn't a scary film and it's pretty silly at times. There are little troll and goblin puppets, and some are quite cute. Sony Bono melts after being touched by the troll, and that's kind of yucky.  The movie is entertaining enough, especially if you like 1980s movies. You don't need to watch it to understand Troll 2 since they don't seem to have anything to do with each other.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cannibal Campout (1988)

Four college students go to the woods for the weekend and run into trouble when they beep their horn at some slow driving hicks on a one lane dirt road.  The hillbillies get out of their car,  approach the van, and get in a confrontation in which they  express their interest in a sexual encounter with the women and pull a knife. At this point, the kids drive around them and continue to look for a place to pull over and camp.

Now keep in mind before they started on their trip, Jon was warned by a friend that there have been some disappearances and deaths in the woods they're planning on camping in. But Jon dismisses this by saying he's sure they'll be fine as there are four of them going.

As you can tell, these aren't the brightest kids. They don't seem to be able to grasp the simple concept that they should pack enough drinks for the weekend, and run out of soda while driving to the campsite. They aren't worried in the slightest about the crazy hillbillies, even though they are traveling the same way down a one lane dirt road which has no turn offs. Plus their ideal camping spot is near a bunch of abandoned cabins and they are thrilled by the sight of a large rock.

Needless to say the two hillbillies - and their mentally deficient brother who wears a flight helmet with face mask - stumble upon the campsite and decide to get even and get something to eat. As you can tell from the title, the hillbillies are cannibals. They're in need of a good meal, and there's four hunks of beef camping right in front of them.

Again our kids prove they lack cranial functioning when Jon finds a ripped piece of cloth with what appears to be blood, but quickly gives up on that premise when Chris suggests it's probably berry juice. Because you know how everyone in the woods gets their clothing and hands covered in berry juice. Damned juice is everywhere.

This is a shot on video movie and about as low budget as you get.  Seriously it's probably around a $500 budget.  The thing about '80s shot on video films is that unlike today - when anyone can make a movie since we all have computers for editing, and something that will shoot video - most people didn't have camcorders.  You had to be really committed and passionate about making a film in order to scrape together the means to do it.  Today any idiot can randomly think, "it would be cool to make a movie", walk out his door and start shooting immediately. Well I guess you could say that about the shot on video films of the '80s, but it's amateurish feel was often it's selling point.

Consequently, like many '80s shot on video films, this has some charm in it's ineptness.  What is amazing is that McBride was able to get a distribution deal for both his amateur videos.  So props to him for that.

While I was entertained by the over the top acting and other flaws of Woodchipper Massacre (Jon McBride's other SOV movie), Cannibal Campout is hard to sit through.  It's a plus that the dialogue is ridiculous, the acting non-existent, the musical score repetitive and sounds like a Casio, but there's a whole lot of nothing happening.  I don't particularly care about gore, but if that's something you like, then you're set. But you'll have to wade through tons of padding to get to it.  There's lots of walking, mullets, annoying hillbillies, stupid kids, and chatter that has no bearing on the plot, which is barely a plot anyway.

Also it boggles the mind that women are actually willing to get naked for films like this. What could possibly be the upside, unless you're an exhibitionist?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)

After the nightmare of tracking down Jack Frost - a serial killer who became a killer snowman when he was accidentally sprayed with liquid used for experimental genetic research - small town Sheriff Sam and his wife head to the Bahamas for a little vacation and to attend the wedding of Marla, his co-worker.

Sam's wife is tired of hearing his continued worries about Jack and whether he is really dead or not. She just wants him to relax in the tropical paradise and forget everything that's happened. Sam finds that hard to do, and it becomes even harder when he runs into Agent Manners, who worked the killer snowman case,  has retired to the Bahamas, and is the hotel detective.

And of course where there's science, there's an accident waiting to happen. Dead snowman Jack is brought back to life again, and since Jack's whole purpose is revenge, he travels down to the Bahamas, where no one would ever expect a snowman to go. And just as no one believed Jack existed previously, no one believes he exists again. And let's face it, who would believe there is a killer snowman in the tropics?

Besides Jack, there are little killer snowballs with long teeth. There are also a lot of icicle deaths and bad comedy. I saw this years ago and thought it was funny. I didn't enjoy it so much this time. But then again, it's a killer snowman and killer snowballs. So it's go that going for it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jack Frost (1997)

A prison van carrying serial killer Jack Frost to his execution is involved in an accident with a tanker carrying genetic research material. During Jacks attempt to escape, the experimental liquid in the tank sprays all over  him, causes him to melt and some of his blood merges with the snow.  So instead of dying, Jack becomes a snowman who is bent on revenge against the small town Sheriff who arrested him.

That about sums it up.  The rest of the movie is Jack killing people and no one suspecting it is a snowman. Then when the Sheriff figures it out, no one believes him.  There are deaths by icicle, Christmas tree decorations, and a beheading with a sled. So if you like wise cracking killers, and want to see a killer snowman, here you go. The comedy falls flat, but what the heck, how many times do you see a killer snowman.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Shake, Rattle, and Roll 9 (2007)

Another DVD from the search for a new Christmas horror story - this is an anthology made up of three stories, but only the first is about the holiday.

Christmas Tree
After an accident claims the life of the father, a mother and her children travel to grandmothers house for Christmas.  Uncle has purchased a one of a kind Christmas tree, which everyone enjoys.  The problem is the tree is alive and it's hungry.  I liked the evil eyes looking out of the branches, but once it starts killing, it no longer looks like a Christmas tree. The change in appearance is never explained.

Marionne is in love with Jerome who works for her. Too bad since Jerome just announced he is getting married tomorrow.  So Marionne decides to use a spell to get Jerome's affections. The spell will make them dream about each other, but if they don't wake up before the candle burns out, they will never leave the  dream.  Now Marionne and Jerome are being stalked by a figure in a red cloak, which Marionne relates to her grandfather since she believes his nightmares killed him.

A tour bus gets lost on an isolated road while trying to get a band to their next show. When they stop to ask directions at a small store, a drunken man sitting nearby warns them to watch out for the enchantress in the woods. She stole his son, and will soon take them.  No one pays much attention to him, but soon their bus runs out of gas and set off walking to find help.  When they stumble upon an old resort, they are optimistic but no one is there. Soon strange things start happening and a strange lady appears. Sadly enough, they don't realize that when a strange lady suddenly shows up at an obviously long abandoned resort, it is most likely the enchantress and not a good idea to follow her around.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kazuo Umezz's Horror Theater: Volume 3 (2005)

I stumbled across this when I was searching for some sort of Christmas horror that I hadn't already seen.  This is an anthology and only the first segment has a holiday theme.

The Present
A little girl has nightmares on Christmas eve. Later some college students have a party and a few couples leave to go to a hotel and run into a killer Santa.

Death Make
Legend has it that five girls went somewhere and disappeared.  Now no one goes there anymore.  Five people who met on a paranormal web site and have various levels of psychic ability decide to go wherever the hell the girls went and spend the night to see if the legend is true.

I'm not sure if something was lost in the translation, but I didn't find either story scary.  The Christmas story had some gore in it, as well as a Santa with a huge throwing star on a chain. Damn that thing can do some damage.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Apollo 18 (2011)

History states the last mission to the moon was Apollo 17. But there was another mission which was kept a secret until someone posted video footage online revealing what really happened.

Made from video shot by the Astronauts and from the ships video feed, the film reveals three men were sent to the moon on the Apollo 18 mission in order to secretly set up some surveillance equipment.  

One guy stays in orbit while the other two land and work on completing the mission.  While working outside the ship, they find footsteps which lead to an empty Russian ship with a trashed interior, and eventually to a dead Russian cosmonaut.

Strange things start happening. Noises are heard outside. Their flag goes missing. There is radio interference and their antenna is damaged.  Something gets into one of their helmets, and a space rock gets under ones skin and his cut gets infected. Oh, this is not looking good. Can they complete the mission, get off the moon, and get home safely?

This found footage movie is different from others I've seen.  It's set in the 1960s where they would have used film rather than video.  It's not overly scary, but is based more on atmosphere (no pun intended).  The majority of the film takes place in the capsule so it's a bit claustrophobic, and there's tension as to whether they will be able to get back to the ship orbiting the moon or back to Earth.  Will they suffer the same fate as the Russian? Will they run out of air?  What is causing the problems they are encountering? Is there something alive on the Moon? If so, is it after them?

I was interested to see if they would be able to make it back to the ship and go home.  But there were  some major holes in the story.  Why would a distress call made from the Russian ship end up connected to the Defense Department? (We certainly weren't friendly with Russia at that time.)  How did they get the film that was shot by the Astronauts? Why don't Russian boots have treads? How did that thing get into his helmet outside the ship?  And most importantly, if a guy with a hammer repeatedly smashing the window is a problem, then they may want to rethink the construction of their ships.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mask of Death (1996)

Lorenzo Lamas stars as Mason, a Russian killer with a heart of ice, and Lorenzo Lamas stars as McKenna, an easy going cop with a mullet, bushy mustache, and a nose and chin made of putty. So it should be easy to press him back together when he gets shot in the face.

During a deal gone wrong and an FBI sting, killer Mason and gangster DeLeo drive a power boat onto the shore near McKenna, his wife, his partner, and a friend. This meeting results in the death of his friend, wife, and Mason, and leaves McKenna with a bullet to the face.

When DeLeo's lawyer mistakes the facially injured McKenna for Mason, the FBI come up with the brilliant idea that since McKenna needs plastic surgery anyway, he should get his face done to look like Mason. Then he can go undercover to impersonate Mason since it's a matter of national security.

McKenna agrees because he wants to get DeLeo, who is responsible for his wifes death.  So McKenna goes under the knife, comes out looking like Mason, and proves to be the worst undercover agent ever. Instead of being the Russian killer with ice in his veins, he tries to help people. He knocks over a guy on crutches and asks if he's okay. He balks at killing someone who DeLeo says squealed to the cops because he wants proof that he squealed. More importantly, Mason's girlfriend says McKenna is a fraud after spending a night in the sack with him.

Yup, this is one stupid, but entertaining movie.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gallowwalkers (2012)

Gunfighter Aman has a problem.  When he kills people, they come back from the dead as supernatural beings who need the skin of the living to avoid looking like the muscle models you'd see in biology class.

Since Aman is cursed and his bullets won't put them down, he picks a guy with a bad blond wig to fight along side him to make sure the gang stays dead. (I really kept hoping the wig would come off with the hat, just for my own amusement.)

Kansa, head of the gang of undead thugs, ends up in a town where a Sheriff and albino populace exact justice by hanging everyone who is shipped to town.  Why Kansa goes there, I have no idea - unless he was there when Aman shot him, but honestly I don't know because there's a lack of clarity in this movie.

There are some visually stunning shots, especially at the beginning of the film when the three men in red dusters are in the bright desert sun.  Also on the plus side - scenes right out of Mortal Kombat where Aman rips off a head which comes off with bloody spine attached, and Kansa before he grabs someones skin and is just muscle. On the other side, there are tons of bad wigs throughout the film, and a story that is confusing and disappointing in execution.

Too many questions - why does Aman leave for five years after finding out his woman is pregnant from being assaulted by a gang? What kind of man does that?  Why does he pick blond Fabulos to be his partner? Who is Fabulos? How does Aman know Fabulos can even shoot straight?  Who the hell is the prostitute and why is she even in this film?  Why is there a town of albinos?  And who is transporting all these prisoners to the albino death town where the Sheriff hangs them without a trial? Why did one of the gang pick two iguana tails to put on the back of his head?  What the hell is going on here?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Invasion of the Pod People (2007)

Disjointed story about Melissa who works at a modeling agency. She has to deal with a bitchy boss, obnoxious models, and a boyfriend with whom she has the most awkward sex, which takes place in a window and on a chaise lounge. It's not supposed to be awkward, but her boyfriend looks so angry and uncomfortable. Perhaps that why he won't commit to their  relationship, well besides that he may be dating other women.

Melissa starts to notice personality changes in her boss, models, and others at work. Oddly enough it all seems to start after they are given a strange plant.  Well, to them it's strange and other worldly, but to anyone who's shopped in the produce section of the supermarket, it's a ginger root in a plant pot.

The other thing that's odd is that everyone who is taken over by the plant becomes a space lesbian. Well, I guess that's a twist on the old body snatchers formula.  Even Melissa, who isn't interested in women, can't resist the advances of the space lesbians and has a dalliance for which she is rewarded with a mysterious creepy plant (aka a ginger root).

This movie had us laughing out loud, while other times we wondered when the hell it was going to be over.  The sound is often hard to hear due to ambient noise in the room. Maybe they should have shut off the air conditioner, or done some ADR on the audio?  It's ridiculous to have this problem in a movie put out by a real studio.

Also there is just too much nonsense going on.  Why do people keep going off on their own once they know there are pod people who look just like them?  Why doesn't the guy who breaks into Melissa's apartment to warn her, say anything useful so she'll know what the hell he's talking about?  Why do people in movies have no knowledge of any horror or sci-fi film ever made? Has no one ever seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers or the multiple remakes? And why did they hire a woman whose plastic-y face seemed to be a plot device that would clue the viewer in to who had turned into a pod person, but just ended up being her real face?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Clones of Bruce Lee (1977)

Gold smuggling, drug shipments, and Bruce Lee clones. What do these things have in common?  I have no freakin' idea.  I'm not sure if I was day dreaming at some point or if they just never bothered to explain things. So I'm really of no use here.

What I can tell you is that Colin of the SBI (Special Branch of Investigation) releases the recently deceased Bruce Lee's body to  Professor Lucas who needs Bruce's DNA to make clones.  Once the clones appears (which is pretty damn quick), the professor  slaps a collander on their heads to exert mind control and instructs them to obey only him. Then Bruce Lee 1 goes undercover as an actor - which doesn't seem like a great undercover operation since he's supposedly Bruce Lee -  and the other two Bruce's on a mission with Chuck, a third guy who looks just like them, but isn't a clone.

For some reason Bruce 2 and 3 are to go after Dr. Nye, who can turn men into bronze. Ah yes, the ultimate fighting machine, as every evil scientist deems their particular brand of indestructable man.

From here out we have lots of fighting, and even less sense than the beginning of the film.  This is a ridiculous movie with three Bruce clones and another guy named Chuck who has the same haircut, same sunglasses, same build as Bruce 2 and 3, and could also pass for a clone. In fact, sometimes you'll get them confused when the three of them are standing together.  See that poster above?  Only two of those guys are clones.  

And why doesn't Bruce 1 ever hang out with Bruce 2 and 3? Were they not able to get them on the set at the same time?  And why not cast someone who looks different as Chuck?  And why do the bronze men have to be in only their underwear? Couldn't they have gotten swimsuits or something less disturbing for them to wear?

There is footage of the crowds at Bruce Lee's funeral, close ups of still photos of Bruce, and brief footage of Bruce wearing his sunglasses.  The movie stars a plethora of Bruce's -  Bruce Le, Bruce Lai, Dragon Lee and Bruce Thai - and Bolo (who was in Enter the Dragon).

The sound effects are ridiculous.  If you look away when during the fights, you'll swear someone is punching Curley from the Three Stooges.  This is a movie that you'll either find mind boggling and amusing, or stupid and boring.

Ridiculous dialogue:

"The clones of Bruce Lee. What a scientific achievement this will be."

"Couldn't you be a bit more explicit?"   ( the appropriate word would be specific)

"You have a new life.  Your name is Bruce Lee 2 and you will do as I say.... Take him to the recuperating room and bring in Bruce Lee 3."  - Professor Lucas

"They run and they hide! They are frightened of my steel men. ahahahah. " - Dr. Nye

"The professors gone made! He's already ordered two of the Bruce Lee's to fight to the death."

Can you tell which one isn't a clone?
Isn't it obvious? Chuck is on the left.
Bruce Lee 1, who doesn't work with the other clones
The incredible clone computer
Nothing says clone mind control like a collander
The pre-broken board (lined up with his fist)
Someone really likes Paris
The least threatening foe? White guy in a track suit.
No one needs to see this.
Why does Dr. Ray have a kiddie slide at his hideout?
Nothing says luxury like a portable cassette player
The achilles heel of bronzemen

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dead End (2003)

During a long drive to grandma's for Christmas, a bickering family exhausts their supply of snarky remarks and falls asleep, which is unfortunate since Dad is still driving.

After waking to the sound of screeching tires and a swerving car, they discover that Dad has decided to take a short cut (good god man, no!) that is an unfamiliar, isolated road because he wanted a change from the well lit, safety of the highway.

After making sure car and family are okay, they continue their trip until Dad spots a young lady in white holding a baby.  When he stops, the woman is gone. As the family argues over whether he imagined her or not, she pops up by the window. Being the gentleman that he is, Dad offers her a ride. But since there isn't enough room, the daughter gets out for some alone time and a walk back to the little shack they passed. Yup, and the horror begins here folks.

If you watch a lot of horror movies, you'll probably be able to figure out the end. I found the characters annoying, but along the way you'll have unexpected death, a black car who takes away the dead, a road that never ends, and Ray Wise as the Dad.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Death of a Ghost Hunter (2007)

Seth Masterson hires Carter Simms, a renowned ghost hunter, to do a three day investigation of his uncle's house to determine if it's haunted.  Seth's uncle, aunt, and two cousins were found murdered thirty years earlier, and no one has lived there since. A gardener and maid have been employed to keep the place neat, but now the maid won't go back due to a frightening experience she had while trying to clean at night.  Seth won't go in the place either due to the creepy vibe.

Carter is joined by cameraman Colin, journalist Yvette (whose acting is right out of community theater), and nut job Mary, a member of the youth group where the Masterson's used to go to church.  No one was expecting Mary so they are surprised to see her.

Carter proves to be not so good an investigator when she doesn't call Seth to ask why this unannounced house guest is there,  especially when Seth only left three keys.... and Mary makes four.  Well, that doesn't make me too confident in her paranormal skills if she can't even use any cranial processing to figure out Mary doesn't belong there.

Obviously things go horribly wrong - I mean, just look at the title. Mary causes problems every step of the way, but says she is just there to protect the Mastersons reputations. Yes, because when it comes to protecting the church, there's nothing like someone going psycho on a journalist to make sure you get good press.

The movie is passed off as a recreation of Carters journal entries. Many scenes remind me of listening to books on tape.  It's just someone reading journal entries to provide exposition, rather than scenes that actually go anywhere.  And the sound is pretty annoying. Sometimes it's super loud, but others it's so soft you can't hear the dialogue. If there's one thing that takes you out of a movie, it's when you have to have the remote in your hand to constantly adjust the volume. Good god! Stop doing that crap with the sound!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

984: Prisoner of the Future (1982)

Businessman Tom Weston is brought to a warehouse by a political organization known as The Movement. Led by Dr. Fontayne, who spouts rhetoric from TVs conveniently placed on the street, his followers wear matching outfits and hang out near the TVs. So they're pretty easy to spot.  

Weston and some other businessmen are brought to a warehouse and told they are being held for their crimes and their sentences has already been decided.  The Warden urges Weston to confess, but he insists he's innocent of all charges. 

The only solution to his lack of cooperation is to strip the prisoners of their identity by assigning each a number, which is how they shall be referred to from now on.  Plus they will be subject to psychological  torture until they confess. Weston is locked in a cell and his only human contact is the Warden and a  minion who keep asking him to sign a statement confessing his crimes.

This is only a little over an hour long, and not the most interesting film.  It appears this was a pilot for a Canadian TV show.  There are rollerskating robots, a bust right out of Lionel Ritchies "Hello" video, and Weston's hair looks a bit powdery in the prison scenes, which sometimes gets confusing because it takes awhile for them to reveal that it's been ten years since he was imprisoned.

Font... of the future
Why Tom's wife is making a bust of Lionel Ritchie?
Matching outfits and a tv on the street? It must be the future.
Rollerskating robots.... of the future!
Computers... of the future

Monday, December 9, 2013

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

Brothers Eli and Josh are placed with a loving couple in Chicago.  Apart from culture shock and massive trauma from the Gatlin corn killings, it seems like a different environment would be a good idea. There they no longer have to worry about He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Instead they just need to watch out for the 1990s urban youths who only care about their hip hop and their drugs.  What a trade off.

While Josh tries to fit in and make friends, young Eli doesn't cotton to the city and it's non-corn ways. So he plants some kernels in an abandoned building next door, the magic corn begins to grow, Eli kills a drifter and starts building a child army of urban kids.

So, does anyone screen the children from Gatlin before they put them in a new home?  The kids killed their parents and worshipped a demon in a corn field. Surely that is not a prime candidate for a happy household, especially when placed with white bread urban people who seem incapable of handling difficult children. Perhaps the children should get some major therapy before ever being unleashed on the world outside their corn death town.

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)

After her agoraphobic mother starts having nightmares, Grace returns home to take care of her little brother and sister.  She's been studying for a career in medicine, and gets a job with the local small town doctor.

Shortly after arriving in town, the clinic is full of children who have a fever, and Grace's Mom has dreams of a melty faced boy. All the children claim to have different names, which turn out to be the names of long dead kids.  Hmm, I don't think things are going to go well, especially since this is children of the corn country.

This might have been better off by not calling itself a sequel to Children of the Corn. I'm sure it continues to profit financially from the title, but it seems like brainwashed children killing adults in town would be pretty spooky even without a cornfield to gather in. That being said, I wasn't particularly spooked by anything in the movie.  Little brother James is played by the guy who grew up to play Puck on the TV show, Glee.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sharknado (2013)

Oh boy, here we go!  Fin, a former pro surfer, owns a bar on the pier and still likes to hang ten on the waves.  He's having a fine day at the bar after a great surf run, when the weather turns bad and waves start breaking over the pier. Everybody out!  Too bad the movie didn't have someone checking the continuity since the scenes with waves enveloping the bar don't match the calm quiet beach scenes shots from over head where it looks like a fine day to visit the non-flooded beach.

Fin decides he needs to rescue his daughter who is at his ex-wifes house. He gets there just in time, and they loose the extra characters so everyone can fit in the jeep. So now we've got the people from the bar, plus the ex-wife and daughter all stuffed in a car and going to rescue the son, who is an adult and at work.

What more do you need? Well how about a discussion about how Fin was never there for his son at a most inopportune time  while sharks are flying through the air? Or Fin refusing to pass by a school bus just in case there are children trapped inside? Or characters getting out of the jeep for no good reason and conveniently disappearing in a rush of water, thus opening up more space in the jeep? Or Fin cutting his way out of a shark with a chainsaw?

There are loads of continuity errors, bad cgi, Robbie Rist (Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch) as a school bus driver, and music from the band Quint (whose songs were produced and/or written by Rist).  The movie is fun, ridiculous and full of laughs. Let's hope the next one is just as silly.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Zombie Nation (2004)

A cop with a strange accent has a habit of pulling over women who haven't done anything, handcuffing them, driving them to a furniture warehouse, taking them inside, and forcing them to buy crap cut rate furniture. Well I lied about the last part - instead the women are never seen again.  Surprisingly his partner sits in the car the whole time and barely questions the human sized duffel bag our bad cop throws into the trunk.

When the partner mentions this odd happening to his wife and another new recruit, they are concerned.  When the new recruit reports it to his supervisor, the storyline with the new partner and his pregnant wife ends and we never see them again.

The new recruit is given the bad cop as his new partner and the weirdness continues.  The bad cop picks up a woman for jaywalking. But what he didn't realize is that she had just left a voodoo ceremony and for some unknown reason the voodoo ladies bring this lady back to life, along with all of his other victims. Yes, all five of his victims. It's a true zombie nation.

The problem is you'd never know they were zombies since they look like raccoons or someone going to a Souixsie Sioux concert in the early 1980s. The only way we know they're zombies is that they tell us so. Yes, that's right, they tell us.  Not only do they have no zombie attributes, they have perfect speech patterns.

So if you're expected a zombie nation, which implies an entire nation of zombies, well, you're going to be disappointed because the nation consists of five women with raccoon eyes.  And they are not typical zombies. They drive cars, talk, want to dance, have clean clothes, and are able to find employment.  Also they're not so bright, which is revealed when they see the killer and duck to hide, but hide on the side of the car he can see.

This is horrible, sometimes funny, disgusting, repulsive, ridiculous, but always terrible. The acting, dialogue and sets are all unacceptable.  The police station is a huge room with partitions and pipes on the walls, and the paint only goes so high. Is this a basement or boiler room? And voodoo priestesses who advise the zombies that instead of eating people they should be eating cheeseburgers? Yeah, that's a great idea.

Bad set - note the door was cut crooked
Bad makeup - two of the zombies
Bad set - The police station - note the white paint
on the left that just stops, the cheap partition, the
massive pipes, and the plush couch on the right. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

It's a really bad sign when a totally reasonable reaction to the  scene before the credits is, "Whaaaat?" Things get barely  coherent after the credits, but that's kind of what makes this movie interesting.

Dr. Prell and his students - all four of them - are going on an expedition to try to prove the existence of Bigfoot.  Oddly enough none of them seem too concerned that the last group of  students who went on this trip with Prell were slaughtered, except for the lone survivor who is now insane.

Prell takes his favorite student Keith out to a dinner, creepily orders a special item not on the menu, and has an uncomfortable rape-y vibe to everything he says.

The other students head to a hip party across town, which takes an awkward turn when Spence, the crazy survivor from Prells last trip hears that he is taking more students to the woods. "No more field trips!" he crazily yells as everyone stares at him and wonders why his girlfriend is wearing a crocheted hat, as well as why she brought him to such a fab party since he's a total downer.

Not scared away by Mr. Crazy, the next day the group gets a warning from an old man while driving in a decalled van (it's right out of Scooby Doo). Then meet up with Carl, another creepy professor, who lives in the house, and is an old friend of Dr. Prell. Carl has a mute Native American butler/servant/wierdo who is often lacking a shirt, and that's not a good thing.  Soon the expedition is in full swing and as you might expect, things go horribly wrong.

This is one crazy flick.  You've got a Yeti running out of a building to jump on someone, a girl who sleeps in her oversized glasses, two creepy professors, a song in the credits titled Love Shriek, and a Yeti in the woods who can only be described as frolicking, which is not frightening at all. There's a twist ending, lots of bad decor, bad haircuts, and a dying woman drags herself to the tub to laboriously  push a toaster into it, thus killing her crazy attacker who is taking a semi-clothed bath while drinking a beer.

Ridiculous dialogue:

"He does carry on about that episode. I suppose it was dreadful." (a partygoer referring to Spence, the only survivor of an animal attack which killed all the other students on the college field trip)

"It's too high pitched for a grizzly bear. It's too raccous for a moose." ( it must be Bigfoot?)

"I need solid proof that the Yeti exists. My entire reputation is at stake in this...." - Prell, (who would much rather chance being arrested for the disappearance of yet another class of students than not get his Yeti proof. And what kind of a reputation is he worried about since he's known as the Yeti guy?)

At least they used a cool font
Okay, good to know that we're looking for
something that could easily rip our limbs off.
Our crack team of Bigfoot/Yeti researchers
Bonk! Low hanging light and long corridor alert.
His craziness is overshadowing my macrame hat.
And he died with a mouthful of bubbles, blech! 
Is that Fred in the Mystery Machine chatting up
Old man Carruthers?
They can't bear to look at his awkwardly tight pants.
There is no explanation
Mute friendly Indian hippie servant?
Nope, this guy is definitely a problem.
Nice purple hair, professor
According to this map drawn by my five years old,
we're right about here. 
Yeti attack!
Pretty in Pink... channeling Molly Ringwald
before there was such a thing.
Cover his hand with make up... fur... anything.