Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Malibu Express (1985)

Private Investigator Cody Abilene is recommended to the Contessa. Her way of determining if he's a good man for the mission is to go out to dinner and then sleep with him.  Guess he passed the test since he's off to work for Lady Lillian Chamberlain, who feels like something is going on in her house behind her back.  She is currently in a wheelchair due to a skiing accident so she's not that quick at turning around.

Cody stays at the house for a few days and meets the family, the butler/chauffeur Shane, and maid Marion.  What Cody discovers is affairs, cross dressing, an investment scheme, people selling computer secrets to the Russians, and murder. Hey-o!

This is an Andy Sidaris film, and in case you're not familiar with these movies, it means there's going to be hot tubs, Playboy playmates, blow dried hair on both the men and women, remote controlled cars or planes, questionable acting, unbelievable dialogue, a silly plot, and lots of bazooms.

There's also a reoccurring joke invoking the Buffingtons, a hillbilly family who keep showing up to race Cody.  He's driving down the road and all of a sudden there they are, blocking his way, jumping out of the car, and harassing him.  The back story is that Cody's dad beat Buffington in a stock car race thirty years ago and they want revenge. Yeehaw, it's right out of Smokey and the Bandit.

The background music is like something you'd hear on the Dukes of Hazzard, and there's plenty of exposition provided by Cody's voice over, which is supposed to be him talking into his new tape recorder - because he's heard all private eyes use them.  Cody's got a bit of a low rent Tom Selleck thing going for him, and as in all of Sidaris movies there is pointless nudity.

Ridiculous dialogue:

Cody (voice over, while fiddle music is playing) - I'm just testing out my new little tape recorder I got.  They say all private investigators need one so they can keep a record of their daily routines. I hope my days are never routine.

Anita - Shane, what did a guy like you do in jail?
Shane - Ate a whole lot of furniture, baby.

Cody - I said hello earlier to Anita's husband, Stewart Chamberlain.  He's okay, I guess.  He seems a little light in his loafers.

Cody (describing exactly what is happening on screen) - They're making a u-turn and stopping across the street.

Murderer - As you know, I'm an artist. I was able to make a mask similar to this one and wear it the night I killed Shane. It will melt in a matter of seconds.  There will be no evidence, except for your eyes only.

Cody - Shane's pulling the limo in front of the Screaming Cockatoo. This should be good.  I don't believe this one. Stewart has just turned into the most gorgeous woman.

Liza - Cody do you cook?
Cody - Not much.
Liza - Well what do you usually make for dinner?
Cody - Reservations.
Lady Lillian - Ahahaha, very good.

Those nails make any task difficult.
What the hell? That hat appears to lace up
and doesn't cover the back of his head.
Meet June Khnockers
Although her bazooms are hanging out the bottom
of her dress, surprisingly this is not Ms. Khnockers
Low rent pseudo Magnum P.I. pose and car
I'll bet there's long hair all through out that dinner.
Oh yeah, that's right. His sweatsuit has zip off sleeves.
The first thing people usually do when they're shot?
Pick up the television and stagger towards the door.
It's good luck to kiss over the corpse. 
Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the title.
The miraculous mask that will melt once he sees it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bay Coven (1987)

To celebrate her promotion, Linda and her husband Jerry go out to a happening club with their friend Slater. The club is packed and they end up smooshed into a table with a gregarious young couple who live on an island and highly recommend moving there. I'm not into overly friendly people who want me to move somewhere near them after we've just met, but Jerry thinks it's a great idea.

Linda isn't too keen on it since they have a cool multi-level loft in a prime location.  But Jerry's tired of his white collar job and wants to get back to working with his hands, and he doesn't care if it takes Linda an extra 45 minutes to get to work. So he pushes his longing for a life change and Linda agrees to see an available property for sale.

It's rare that homes are available since they're usually passed down through families.  The house is being sold by a widow who says the upkeep is too much since her husband died.  There's a guest house in the back where she plans on living. Wait, what? The purchase of the home includes an old lady?  Yeah, I think I'll pass.  Surprisingly this doesn't deter Jerry and Linda, and they make an offer. Soon they're moved in and the old lady is constantly wandering in and out of their home, and turning away their guests. Nothing awkward about that.

Linda beings to think something weird is going on and the neighbors seem strange. When Slater visits, he agrees.  Jerry is so enthralled with the island and fixing up the house that he sides with the neighbors rather than Linda.  No one questions that graveyard is in beach sand, not the best place to bury bodies.  Even more alarming is that while Jerry arrived at the island clean shaven, he's now sporting a goatee. And we all know what a goatee means, don't we evil Captain Kirk?

This is a made for TV movie, so there's not any blood and it's not going to hit the creep factor that other movies would.  The leads are played by Tim Matheson and Pamela Sue Martin, who will always be Eric Stratton from Animal House and Nancy Drew to me. Yup, sounds like I'm stuck in the 70s.

TV Guide ad for Bay Coven

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fright Night 2: New Blood (2013)

This is the strangest thing I've seen in a sequel.  It's a remake of the original story, but in a different place.  You go into this expecting an actual sequel, but it's as if none of the other movies happened.  You'd expect people to believe Charlie and his tales of vampires, but everyone is just like, What? No way Charlie, you're a jerk.

Charlie, Evil Ed, and Amy are on a school trip to Romania to study... something.  Charlie keeps seeing this mystery woman making out with people where blood runs down their necks, but no one else sees it or believes him.  The next day in an epilepsy inducing slide show in their class, Charlie discovers that the mysterious woman is their professor.

After seeing her carrying what appears to be a body and floating down to the street from the second story, Charlie decides to investigate.  He doesn't plan well because he's inside her apartment when she comes home. Unfortunately he chooses to hide in the secret passage in the bookcase, and then climbs into the coffin in a room with the bathtub full of blood.  Silly emo-haired Charlie, that's the worst possible place to hide.

The story unfolds pretty much as you'd expect if you've seen Fright Night.  This time Peter Vincent is a paranormal investigator instead of a horror host, and with the location being Romania, Charlies assertion that he's seen a vampire is even less believable, if that's possible.  It's like the boy who cried wolf.

The original Fright Night had charm and a mixture of humor and horror that this one isn't able to find. Evil Ed is incredibly annoying for the first half of the film, but when he decides to help Charlie with his vampire hunting, he becomes manageable.  Peter Vincent is almost a throw away character because he's in it so little.  Overall it was okay but seemed kind of long.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Disaster L.A.: The Last Zombie Apocalypse Begins Here (2014)

aka Apocalypse L.A.

John and his friends have a party, which turns awkward when John's ex-girlfriend shows up with her pompous ass of a new boyfriend.  There are reports of meteors in the sky, and the party goers whoop it up since they can see them in the sky.

The next morning John wakes to the sounds of planes overhead, plaster falling from the ceiling, and the house shaking.  Alone in the house, he runs outside.

In the distance, plumes of black smoke rise and tall building are in ruins.  John rounds up his brother Turner and their friends - one of whom has a sick girlfriend - and the group holes up in the house while they try to figure out what is going on.

Outside the air is thick with white smoke and they can't see what's going on.  TV broadcasts warn that people should stay in their houses, especially since people are getting sick and many of them are turning violent.  The group wonders if it has something to do with the smoke.

While the sickness first appears as a nose bleed, the characters look like they've gotten into the Hershey's syrup, with chocolate goatees of brown blood.  After being attacked in their own home and more broadcasts which are now reporting the city has been quarantined and the sick are possibly contagious sickness, they decide they must find a way out of the city.

Most of the characters are likable, but they have an annoying habit of needlessly sacrificing themselves when other options are available. There isn't any new territory covered here and the zombies are few and far between. They also look kind of ridiculous.  To be fair, if I saw them coming down the street at me, I'd be freaked out, but in a movie, not so scary.

There's a ridiculous scene where the group is driving through a parking garage and a lone woman who's bleeding from the nose is standing in their way.  They stop the car and yell at her to move.  No one shall ask why they don't just drive around her since the parking garage is about thirty feet wide.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Psyclops (2002)

The trailer claims he is "half man, half video camera and totally deranged." Well, we'll see.

Shep Franco, also known as Shemp, carries his video camera with him everywhere. It's super annoying.  He plans to tape everything he sees for an entire year.  He's already got 600 hours of video and anyone who wants to see it has to watch everything he's taped. No editing for Shemp!  So yeah, that's going to be tedious to watch.

Shemp has a source for old video tapes to use for his project.  Sometimes they have interesting videos already on them.  Like the one with the footage from an 1867 film which has sound and is about a scientist who says he invented talking movies, and is convinced there are multiple dimensions.  He's built a machine to be able to access these other dimensions, and here it goes. Bzzzt!

Shemp and his friends decide to find out what happened to the machine, and visit the house where the man used to live. It's still in the family and his descendent lives there. She's a wicca and is not happy about Shemp's constant video taping, especially since she told him not to do it. Through Shemp's annoying snooping, they locate the damn thing which is surprisingly none the worse for wear.

Well if you find a dimensional time machine, there's nothing you can do but try it out.  His friends aren't too sure that's a good idea, but Shemp's an idiot so he has to try it and get the results on video for posterity.  As is to be expected, things go horribly wrong and Shemp's camera melts into his face. Hurrah!  Oh wait, that just makes him more annoying and somehow evil.  Plus strange little monsters come through the other dimension, and that's not good for anyone.

You'd think once he gets made into the man-camera creature featured on the cover that would be a big part of the story line. Nope. It's inconsequential.  Anything could have been melded to his face. It wouldn't make a difference. Guess he should be glad he wasn't carrying a telescope or a megaphone.

Plus Shemp is kind of a dickweed so you don't really care all that much when he's scared for life.  Yup,  evil camera faced Shemp is still taping everything. I'm surprised they didn't slap a goatee on him since he's evil now and there's another dimension involved.
The mad scientist and his fabulous machine
Shemp and his camera - get used to seeing this a lot
Love those experiments on video from 1867
See the heart pounding action of VHS viewing
Yup, all you need is goggles to protect you from
a mad scientists experiment from 1867
Strange lights projecting a whirlpool from the machine?
Nothing could possibly go wrong.
Arrgggh! Bug on my face!
First thing to do after getting a camera melded to your
face? Bring the dead back to life.
Nothing to see here.
Shemp is not part of the video. He's in your TV!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Haunt (2013)

The Asher family moves into a large home that is rumored to be haunted. The parents don't put no store in things like that, so they're the perfect people to buy the haunted house.  Based on the opening scene,  we  know a distraught father trying to contact his dead kids through a spirit box is set upon by a ghost. Plus there's a super creepy portrait in the attic bedroom painted by one of the kids who died.

The Asher's think this will be a good place for their son Evan.  He must have some problems since his parents are worried and he's shown with a bottle of medication.  What's wrong with Evan? No idea since none of this is ever referenced again.

One night Even goes walking in the woods and meets Sam, a crying teenage girl who lives with her abusive dad. Later that night Evan wakes up to find Sam in his bed. She tells him she's been in the house before and knows how to get in.  Like all teenage boys, Evan thanks the Lord and doesn't question the pretty girl in his bed.

Evan's mother proves to have questionable parenting skills when the next morning, Evan and Sam tromp down from upstairs.  She politely introduces herself and doesn't ask any questions.  In fact, Sam essentially moves in since she spends most nights with Evan and seems to be in the house during the day as well. Still no sign of concern from the parents, or questions as to what the hell Evan thinks he's doing.

Things start going bad when Sam brings Evan through the little door in his attic bedroom, which reveals a large empty room where the spirit box was hidden by the Morello's, the last family to live there. No one shall ask why Evan isn't suspicious about this, or why the teens continue to use the box after a creepy voice is heard, and Evan's family asks them not to use it anymore. Oh so it's okay for a girl you just met to move into your sons room, but those nonexistent ghosts are not to be messed with?

Soon every things going wrong and the kids think the best way to figure out what to do with the box is to track down Mrs. Morello... the only survivor from the family who previously lived there. Yes, she'd love to talk about her dead family and the spirit box hidden in the attic.

The ending is a bit convoluted, and as usual I'm left wondering why ghosts always take revenge on those who had nothing to do with their deaths, but just happened to buy the wrong house.  The film is more about atmosphere than blood and gore.  There are some creepy scenes but nothing new.  Overall it was okay.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Night of the Demon (1980)

Professor Nugent wakes up in a hospital bed with a bandage covering the bottom half of his head. For a man who's been horribly mutilated and severely burned, he's pretty cheery and has no problem speaking. It's amusing to watch since when he speaks nothing moves on screen except for an occasional slight flutter of the bandage.

The Professor was found wandering in the woods and the police want the story on what happened to the five students  that went camping with him.  Nugent is eager to talk and in a flashback which lasts almost the whole movie, we learn that he took some students into the woods to learn about Bigfoot. (If I believe the B-movies, there are a surprising number of professors who teach classes in Bigfoot Studies.)  Also on the trip is Carla, whose father was murdered by Bigfoot.  That's right, I said murdered.

The group heads to Carlson's landing, where they attempt to talk to Mr. Carlson.  Apparently he provided information about Bigfoot in a letter, which is never explained. It seems like this letter about Bigfoot must have been found during their research than actually sent to them since Carlson is aloof, doesn't seem to want them there, and disappears into the woods claiming he's going hunting. In an incredibly awkward decision, the group sets up their tents and decides to camp on his lawn.

Later that night one of the students has a conversation with Carlson who mentions a woman named Crazy Wanda who lives deep in the woods.  While in town for supplies, Professor Nugent and his students scour the town for info about Wanda. Surprisingly the small town folks are more than happy to tell talk about her.  The group is told that Wanda hasn't spoken since her Daddy died, which was right around the time she gave birth to a baby that was deformed.

As their Bigfoot adventures continue, Nugent and his students stumble across a strange ceremony in the woods which involves the Sheriff, their boat disappears, there are multiple flashbacks (keep in mind we are already in a flashback), stories are told of previous killings by Bigfoot, and things get even weirder when they finally locate the home of Crazy Wanda deep in the woods.

So if you go in the woods, watch out for freakin' Bigfoot. Because according to this movie Bigfoot is way more dangerous than anyone would think.  Apparently he might take an ax to you, twirl you in a sleeping bag over his head, or rip your penis off.  So that's different. And if you're a Girl Scout, he hates you too.  My advice to the Girl Scouts is that if you're each holding a knife, and Bigfoot starts smashing you into each other, drop the damn knives.  It may save your life.

This is a ridiculous, crazy, sort of boring, sometimes laughable film.

Nothing awkward about this
He's been mutilated and burned, but only on the bottom half
of his face and amazingly his bandage is still clean
Hi cranky loner, we've decided to camp in your yard.
Bigfoot doing what he does best - swing a sleeping bag
above his head and killing a camper 
From the back - woodland creature covered in hair,
from the front - shaved caveman.
Classic Bigfoot-vision
Oh no, I don't want to die like my father.

Monday, September 22, 2014

America's Most Haunted (2012)

The ghost hunting show, America's Most Haunted, gathers up their equipment and heads out to investigate another haunted location for their show.  When they arrive they meet the owner, his son, a psychic, and a few others who've had experiences at the hotel.

The team tells the owner they'll get rid of the ghost.  The reason they seem so sure of it is because in all the years they've been doing the show, they've never seen anything paranormal.  In fact, all their evidence is manufactured.  As their leader tells a new team member, the team is only there for one night and ghosts don't work on a schedule.

After they rig the house and set up different supernatural scenarios to capture in their investigation, team members  hear noises, witness doors slam, and see figures in their night vision cameras.  Things get weirder when they find a journal in the basement from a man who was possessed by a demon, killed multiple people in the home, and still walks the halls.  For the first time in their lives, they have to deal with actual ghosts and the supernatural, and the team disagrees on what they should do.

If you like watch ghost hunting shows, and don't take them too seriously, then you may enjoy this film.  While part of it is a typical ghost hunter horror flick, the beginning where they're discussing ghost hunting and working with a new team member is great.

There are multiple references to the shows being entertainment.  Since ghosts don't perform on queue they manufacture their own evidence.  In one clip of a previous investigation, the team talks about how it's getting cold in the basement and then something falls over.  The team excitedly states this was supernatural, but you can see a figure in the doorway which turns out to be Jimmy, their equipment manager.  The new film editor on the team is told to make sure these types of things don't end up in the final show that airs.

A lot of the humor is based on the style of the guys on Ghost Adventures.  When they get an EVP, they state you can clearly hear the voice say "Get Out." Yet when they play it back multiple times, it doesn't sound anything like that.  

There is a discussion between Jimmy and the new guy Kevin in which Kevin asks about their equipment.  Jimmy explains it's all been modified so that there are lots of lights that can blink, and they can make them go off remotely.  None of them really work as they're supposed to anymore due to all the modifications.  Later there's a scene where Kevin is wondering if they might find a real ghost that night which would make better television, and one of the team exclaims, "I think we have a really great fake ghost show."

In a scene that totally reminded me of the tone of Zak from Ghost Adventures, two investigators are standing next to a bookshelf, when a book randomly falls over. They look at it, and then one turns back to the camera and solemnly intones, "We were warned that the spirits in this house hate books."

James Karen, from Return of the Living Dead, plays the hotel owner.  Near the end of the movie, there is a nice piece of film which shows the psychic and people from the hotel talking about what to do about the ghost, which brings an interesting perspective on inviting ghost hunters to work in your building.

I bought this movie as one of those $5 DVD multipacks, so I had very low expectations for it.  But it turned out to be good, and overall I liked it.  The fake ghost hunting parts were my favorite. I love ghost hunting shows, although I don't believe their evidence.  Everything is too easy to fake and let's face it, the TV executives are only going to be concerned about the ratings, not if it's real.

(New team member looking at all the ghost hunting equipment):
Kevin - What's that one do?
Jimmy - Lights up. Looks good on camera.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

American Warships (2012)

aka American Battleships

Well, if you didn't get enough of the game Battleship by watching the movie inspired by it called Battleship, then how about this mock buster.  Originally titled American Battleship, The Asylum had to change the name due to the a lawsuit.  Surprisingly they didn't have to change the storyline, which also involves aliens in invisible ships on the ocean taking out electrical systems until a someone figures out how to be a hero.

The U.S.S. Iowa is on it's final voyage while the final touches are being done to make it into a museum. A group of college students are helping some lady Professor make sure it is historically accurate.  Captain Winston is charged with getting the ship to it's port, and along on the journey is a large group of Navy Seals. It's never explained why the Seals are on board since it's a decommissioned ship. The Seals don't seem to know why they're on the ship either and are a bit grumbly about being on such a lame mission.

But nearby something strange is happening.  Planes and ships are losing all power, and the US blames the Koreans and Chinese.  The U.S.S. Iowa is the only one that stands a chance of fighting these evil alien foes because they're still equipped with old equipment that has been restored as part of the museum. This also includes some reproduction shells which will apparently work if needed. Safety first, my friends. Love those military museums with live weapons.

Captain Winston is in a secret relationship with Lt. Bradley, who appears to have jaundice. Since this is never mentioned, then there's a serious issue with her make up.  When the ship comes under attack, the Winston and Bradley's relationship is a secret no more.  After lifting a huge piece of hot steel off her leg, they start kissing as they lay on the deck.

As in Battleship, aliens have come to Earth to do... something, and it involves destroying destroying the electrical systems of planes and ships. Luckily our Navy Seals are able to not only find they invisible ship from a small raft, but also locate the only entrance hatch and pry it open.  The footage of the seals trying to get into the boat looks unbelievably horrible.

Ridiculous things that this movie expects us to below:
  • Asian pilots speak stilted English when communicating with each other 
  • photos taken without a flash in near darkness will come out perfectly clear 
  • you can make an 8x10 glossy in a dark room using a video tape
  • if you're 50-100 pounds overweight, you can still be a Navy Seal
  • An electromagnetic pulse won't erase video tapes that have evidence of invisible alien ships
  • A history Professor will have extensive knowledge of how to work outdated equipment on a battleship due to stories her grandfather told her his tour of duty there
  • The modern navy will have no problem operating non-modern, outdated equipment.
  • Navy Seals standing on a raft next to an invisible alien ship may appear to be a boy band in a bad video

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oasis of the Zombies (1982)

aka La tumba de los muertos vivientes; aka The Treasure of the Living Dead

During World War II, the Nazis were riding around the desert hiding gold in random sandy spots. But this time the oasis they choose is already being utilized by the Allies, who are helped by the locals.  Why there are any locals anyone hanging out in the isolated oasis is a mystery.

A fire fight ensues in which it is impossible to tell the Nazis from the Allies due to everyone being clad in tan fatigues.  Luckily for the viewer, everyone dies except for the only member of the Allies who is recognizable. He is rescued from the desert and nursed back to health by his hosts daughter.  Soon the pretty young thing has been impregnated, which surprisingly doesn't result in his death.

Many years later, some scantily clad women who've been driving in the desert for hours  - where the heck are they going? - stop to explore. Because an oasis is often a place full of endless fun and happiness. Instead they hear crunching noises and soon find Nazi-point-of-view death. Now I feel I must point out that in my mind I picture an oasis as a palm tree laden spot with a nice little pool of water to wet the whistle.  But this oasis refers to some random scrub trees, lots of brush, and a creepy feeling which turns out to not only be due to it's isolation, but it's bounty of sand Nazis.

Meanwhile in a  nearby city, the only surviving Allied fighter is tricked into revealing the location of the oasis to a treasure hunter who has promised to be his partner in a hunt for the gold, but instead promptly kills him.  No one shall ask why the man who knew the location of the gold treasure would need a partner, especially one who shows up out of nowhere.  As usual when ne'er-do-well treasure hunters dig for Nazi gold, it doesn't go well.

Upon learning of the death of his father (the lone survivor), his college aged son reads his dads journal and decides it would be a great adventure to go search for the oasis. He brings a few friends and they all trudge toward their doom. Because we all know that college students are no match for sand zombies.

This should be an entertaining movie, but it's not.  It's slow and often tedious. The Nazis have unnaturally long hair for WWII, and while the zombie makeup is kind of gross, they don't do much except slowly wander around. I'm actually surprised they are able to catch anyone.  The characters prove to be incredibly stupid when they first arrive at the oasis and discover two people - one dead and one who appears to be dead.  The survivor tells them about the attack, but they don't believe her story and camp at the oasis. AARRGGHHH!!!!  Geez, even if you thought her story was crap, there's still a dead guy on the sand and someone or something killed him!  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hellrasier: Revelations (2011)

Total jerk Nico decides to take his best friend Steven on a secret trip to Mexico so they can get laid, party hard, and see a donkey show.  This is pretty lame considering Nico is dating Stevens sister.

The two carouse in the bars, get drunk, and meet a dirty man with crazy hobo speak who offers them a strange box.  Inexplicably they've overlooked the most important rule of going to Mexico which is don't accept gifts from creepy hobos.  Soon the girl they picked up in the bar is dead, and Pinhead is scraping the life from their souls.

A year later, Stevens family is still depressed over his disappearance. His gym bag was returned from Mexico, not sure how and surprisingly nothing was stolen.  The bag holds a pile of porn, the video tape of their adventures, and the mystery box.  His mom is so distraught that she doesn't throw out the porn, and oddly enough she keeps watching the tape of the boys  debauchery.  Lucky for us his sister decides to mess with the damn box, which results in Steven appearing, and the whole family dinner party with Nico's parents going all wiggedy whack.

The movie jumps around with multiple flashbacks. It probably would've been more effective to just tell the story rather than plop it piecemeal into the movie.  And the beginning is so quick that they're driving to Mexico and boom Pinhead is sticking hooks in someones face.  There's no timeline or even an explanation until later in the movie.  Doug Bradley is not Pinhead, so the character just looks weird which is distracting. An imitation of Pinhead is not the same as Pinhead.  And did we really need a ninth chapter of Hellraiser? Hell no, not if it's this.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Antisocial (2013)

Sam is going to class over break because she did poorly on a test.  To make matters worse, it's New Years Eve, her boyfriend just broke up with her, and everyone already knows about it thanks to Social Redroom, the social media app everyone is addicted to using.  Sam is so upset she deletes her profile.

Sam stops by her friend Steves house, who is having a party later that night.  A few of Steve's friends are already there.  As they're waiting for the party to start, they see TV reports which warn everyone to lock their doors and stay inside.  Since this is the night of the big New Years Eve party, the group isn't in agreement as to whether they should let anyone in for the party.

But when a violent crowd tries to break in the house, the group of friends board up the windows and doors as they try to figure out how to survive.  Through their laptops, they're in contact with another student in the dorms who seems more in touch with whats going on.  They also connect with a young teen who was attacked by a friend while on live streaming video.

When a friend comes to the house, and seems to be infected, this brings about the moral question of what to do. Let him in even though that's risking their lives, or leave him outside where the crowd may find him.  This question is also tested when it seems someone inside the home may be infected.

I had high hopes for this, but it wasn't anything special and people do some stupid things, which isn't unusual for horror films.  When they think one girl has the virus, they tie her up and a bunch of them try to carry her upstairs.  No one shall ask why don't just tie her arms, and make her walk upstairs before tying her feet or strapping her to a chair? It would have been much quicker and easier for everyone.  She was even okay with being tied up since she insisted she wasn't infected.

The film is a commentary on the use of social media in our society, but unlike the blurb on the cover, I wouldn't refer to it as satire or genius.  My friends were reminded of the plot to Stephen King's, The Cell.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Last Stand (2013)

Sheriff Roy, who appears to have an orange spray tan, lives in the small desert town of Summerton Junction.  When a drug lord escapes from custody and his gang provides him with a car that can go up to two hundred miles per hour, the Feds plot out where it is likely he'll try to cross the border.  There is small chance he'll end up in Roy's rinkydink town, but the Feds just tell him to watch out for anything suspicious. They aren't going to give local law enforcement any real information since he's just a silly small town Sheriff.

When Roy notices that things in town that aren't right, sic as the local diary farmer not making his daily delivery to the town's restaurant, he starts investigating. This leads to the discovery of a dead farmer. And you can just bet that this is tied in to our escaped drug lord and some advanced reconnaissance.

This is one crappy, predictable, cookie cutter movie, yet it's also kind of entertaining if watched with friends.  There are multiple plots holes - for example, if a magnetic field can pick up a car and make a gun stick to the roof, then why aren't handcuffs affected?  Surprisingly, there are many spots where we expected one liners from Arnold, but it was not to be. So we just made up our own.

One of the biggest problems is that everyone in the movie is an idiot.  The villains, the FBI, and the entire town is full of idiots.  At one point there's a road block in town. The Deputy is hiding behind the car, and the villains are at the other end of the main street in town.  A girl going to the laundry mat walks around the corner, sees the Deputy and asks why he's hiding.  The Deputy repeatedly tells her to get indoors, but she keeps asking what's wrong. She finally figures it out when gunfire erupts, but instead of going inside, she runs into the street and hides behind the car with the Deputy. Stupid town.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Seance: The Summoning (2011)

Joey, Marcus, Sara and Eva take a video camera into the morgue where Marcus works security.  They are there to make the best documentary ever, although it's purpose is never established.

Eva claims she is a medium, but Joey doesn't believe it and dares her to prove it.  Eva agrees to contact her grandmother and admonishes everyone to make sure they don't break the circle once the spirit arrives.

Shortly after they make contact, Eva realizes it's not her grandmother and when things escalate, Joey breaks the circle.  This allows a demon to take possession of one of the group, and things go down hill from there as they discover they are locked in for the night.

By the time this movie was over, I was wondering if perhaps this was a Christian horror movie.  There is an awful lot of bible reading in this movie.  I realize there tends to be bible reading or references in possession movies, but this is a whole lot of bible passages that go on for way too long.  My friend said it reminded him of the cautionary hell houses some extreme churches have at Halloween, except in a film version.  Blah, not recommended.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kill Zombie! (2012)

Office worker Aziz is excited about a date with his dream girl from the office, but is fired due to his brothers constant phone calls about a big party happening right that minute, and the boss's jealousy about his date. So Aziz goes to the party, where his brother gets in a fight after an unfortunate accident with a ball that hits the homeowners girlfriend in the head.

Azia, his brother Mo, and the two guys they were fighting are arrested and locked up overnight. The next day they find the cell doors open and the police station appears to have been abandoned.  Outside they find the city in shambles. Cars are overturned, there's smoke pouring out of buildings on the other side of town, and there an old lay in a wheelchair who's trying to bite them.

Turns out that a Russian space station has fallen to Earth on top of the high rise where Aziz worked, and a virus has been unleashed on the town.  Kim, the lone surviving cop, gets them back in the station to watch the news.  They discover the town is being quarantined and all survivors are urged to get to the safe zone where the Army is located.

But Aziz has numerous messages on his cell phone from his dream girl, who is hiding in the office with zombies roaming the hallways.  Aziz tries to convince everyone to rescue her, but most of the others decide to rob a bank since everyone in town seems to be a zombie.  Kim isn't enamored with either idea and wants to head to the safe zone.  Can they survive the zombies and will they stick together?

I hadn't heard anything about this, but saw it on the shelf of my local independent store. So I figured I'd give it a try since it was made in the Netherlands and about zombies.  In a slightly different take, the virus apparently comes from the green slime and there is green slime in those who have turned into zombies. Now I thought they'd said that people turned into zombies after coming in contact with the slime, but either I was mistaken or there's a continuity issue because every time they kill zombies, they get covered in green.

Although it's a comedy, I didn't think it was funny. It looks good and was done well, but not something I would watch again.  It was average.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Stage Fright (2014)

Ten years after their mother was murdered in the theater after an opening night triumph,  Camilla and her brother Buddy are working in the kitchen of a musical theater Summer camp.  The camp is run by Roger, who was their mothers boyfriend as well as the producer of her play, The Haunting of the Opera, which played on Broadway.

Roger is behind on his mortgage. So he's hoping a revival of the play will draw positive reviews and catapult his career back onto the Broadway stage.  Buddy is sick of working in the camp kitchen, while Camilla wants the lead in the play since it makes her feel closer to her mother.

Since it's a Summer camp where parents pay for their kids to go, the roles go to the campers. But Camilla manages to get a try out and captivate the director.  When Roger walks in and sees her on stage, he demands she stop.  But somehow she manages to convince him to let the director decide who will play the lead.  The director uses his casting power as a lure to get what he wants from Camilla and her competition, a camper who wants to win the lead at all costs.

This revival of the play will have a twist.  The director wants to it done in Kabuki style.  The villain in the play is called Opera Ghost which is such a Scooby Doo villain name.   The revival also has an unexpected effect when a kabuki faced heavy metal killer starts taking out the cast and crew on the play. Oh my!

While there are some musicals I like, for the most part, I'm not a musical fan.  I'm not going to seek them out and I may not have chosen this if I'd known people would spontaneously burst into song at inappropriate moments.  But it is a slasher at a summer camp, so it's got that going for it.  Meat Loaf plays Roger and actually sings in the movie. He also drools this weird colored stuff that is just disgusting. Why, movie, why?  Overall, I was kind of meh about it, but at least they tried something different.

Opera Ghost

Friday, September 5, 2014

I Didn't Come Here to Die (2010)

A group of college age kids doing volunteer work head into the woods for a two month assignment.  They'll be making trails, building fire pits, and getting the land ready to be made into a summer camp for under privileged children.  There's no cell reception in the woods and they'll have no contact with the outside world other than when someone runs into town to get supplies.

The group is made up of six people, half of which volunteered for selfish reasons.  On the plus side, we have group leader Sophia,  Stephen who is a recent high school graduate and in love with his girlfriend, and Danny who recently lost a friend.  They're all willing to work hard and hopefully make a difference in the world.

Then there are the other three. Troublemaker Chris whose friend told him joining was a good way to get laid, hipster Julie who has a bad attitude, and Miranda, a self serving tattletale who tries to boss everyone around and is there because it will look good on her resume when she goes into politics.

Although drinking is against the rules, any time college kids go into the woods, you just know they're going to party.  Later that night there is an accident, and Sophia needs to bring someone to the hospital. She says she'll be back in a few days, but the other four should keep working on the camp project.  This proves to be a huge mistake since within a day there is a death, no way to get help, and a growing fear that due to the circumstances, those left alive will be charged with murder.

This started off slow and I wasn't impressed.  There was nothing that interesting about the situation or characters, plus the the film was post processed to look like this:

Often this is a sign that the filmmakers are relying more on the look of the film than the substance, or that they just got some new software and isn't it neat to make the movie look retro.  Thankfully the movie picks up once there is an accident.  It takes awhile for that to happen, but then the movie starts getting on it's way.

While this has dark comedy overtones, it's not a funny movie, except for the last scene which made me laugh out loud.  By the end it had won me over and I enjoyed it.  Also the DVD cover above is misleading. I much prefer the original poster below, which is what I first saw.  If I'd seen the newer cover above, I might not have been that interested in it.  I'm sure others would have a different reaction, but I find the one below far more interesting.