Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nightwish (1990)

Four undergrad students studying dreams head out to meet their graduate professor at an isolated house rumored to have paranormal activity.  The professor does some tests and messes with their heads. Soon there's a bunch of ectoplasm on the scene. In a unique approach to paranormal ectoplasmic activity, one of the girls decides the proper way to handle this is to beat it with her purse.

It's always a bad idea to be driven to an isolated location.  If anything goes wrong, oh like your professor is out of his freakin' gourd, then there's no way to get back to town. But these kids realize that too late as they're wondering if their professor is playing tricks on them, they're hallucinating, or there is actually supernatural activity before them.

Watch for the bandage on Jack's hand which moves to the opposite hand, and back again.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hayride (2102)

A prisoner being transported by the police escapes into the woods on the day before Halloween near a farm that is preparing for it's annual Halloween hayride.  Well. this doesn't bode well for anyone, does it. Also, this is the only hayride I've ever heard of that only has rides the day of Halloween.

Steven, who grew up on the farm, is visiting from college with his girlfriend Amanda.  He meets up with the group setting up the hayride and they relax for the night. Around the campfire, his Uncle Morgan tells the legend of Pitchfork, a farmer who wanders the woods looking for his runaway daughter, and uses a pitchfork to kill anyone he meets.  Oddly enough, Pitchforks first murder is done with a cleaver. (Also note on the cover, he's carrying a chainsaw).

On Halloween night, the hayride is packed. But someone is killing the workers as they hide in the woods waiting for their cues.  I'm sorry, but a fat man wearing a burlap sack over his head while walking through the woods at night is not going to be stealthy.  I suspect it would sound like a rhino tromping through the forest, with sticks breaking under every step.  It's not very likely that he could sneak up on numerous people and easily murder them.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blade in the Dark (1983)

Composer Bruno is hired to score a horror movie. He rents a quiet villa so he can concentrate on his craft, but women keep popping up on the property.  First Katia tumbles out of a closet in the hallway, which is not what someone expects when they've rented a house.  The next day Katia's roommate comes  looking for her since Katia never returned home. But her concern for Katia is quickly set aside when Bruno tells her she can continue to use the pool as she did with the previous tenant.

Bruno gets back to writing music, but there are strange noises in the house, the semi-creepy caretaker dragging around giant bags of trash, whispered voices captured on his tape recorder, some blood in the bathroom, and blood on his pants leg. As if this isn't enough, his girlfriend shows up unexpectedly and there is something not right about her.

When Bruno mentions that he believes someone has killed the girls, the caretaker and his girlfriend think he's crazy.  There's no sign of anything being amiss.  But there is definitely something wrong at the villa, as evidenced by the scenes of a mystery killer who uses a blade and drags his victims off into the night.  So is the killer the caretaker?  Bruno's girlfriend? The woman writer of the film who won't show Bruno the last reel, (which begs the question ,how is he going to score it?) Or could it be Laura, the woman who rented the villa before Bruno, and moved out in a hurray?  And why is everyone being killed?

The dubbing in the movie is sometimes strange, especially the opening scene where three boys go into a building in a cemetery, and dare one boy to go into the basement with the awkward taunt, "You're a female, you're a female, you're a female."  I certainly hope this was due to the dubbing rather than this strange chant being the original dialogue.

I find Italian horror disturbing, and the movies leave me with a bad feeling.  I did enjoy the music though.  The movie gets slow at times, and although the killer isn't revealed until the end, you should be able to figure it out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

City of the Living Dead (1980)

In the town of Dunwich, a priest hangs himself in a churchyard, which somehow opens the gates of hell. Somewhere else a psychic sees visions of the dead priest and keels over.  Then a newspaper reporter springs the psychic from her coffin and a premature burial after she was  assumed dead.

Reporter Peter and psychic Mary band together to travel to Dunwich and attempt to close the gates of hell before the dead take over the Earth.  Meanwhile zombies rip out the back of people's heads and eat their brains.

Thie movie has such a generic title that I thought I'd seen it before.  It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's Fulci and Christopher George stars, so what the heck - I'm in.

If you've got zombies and Fulci, you know you're going to see something disgusting.  There are scenes with bloody tears. I felt sorry for the actress because you know in Italy in 1980, it wasn't like they were being careful with whatever junk they were putting in her eyes. Lots of gross brains being dug out of heads, and innards coming out of mouths - again felt really sorry for that actress. Thankfully there was finally a fake mouth with the worst of the bloody innards, but blurgh! Gross.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007)

High falutin magazine editor Ariel is too busy to answer her sister Sara's phone calls. So she feels really guilty when the next day she's notified that Sara is dead. Curious to know why Sara was calling, Ariel takes down the crime scene tape across Sara's apartment door and goes inside.

While looking around, Dr. Hammer shows up.  Based on the name, you'd think he'd be a rapper with large pants. Sadly enough he turns out to be a stuffy middle aged college professor. He's looking for a diary that will lead him to the location of the Baphamet idol, which is some sort of priceless relic.

Hammer's former student Desmond is also searching for the idol. But unlike Hammer who believes it should be in a museum, Desmond wants the idol for personal gain.  All he cares about is the  money he'll get from the buyer he's lined up.  Desmond kidnaps Ariel and her date, and brings them to the house on Haunted Hill, where he and his goons run into Hammer and his graduate assistants.

Surprisingly, none of them have done any research on the house and have no idea that it is supposedly haunted, people were murdered there, and that the house can go into lock down to keep people from escaping the hell a-waiting inside.  And when Ariel tells them of the history of the house, they blow her off since the Baphamet idol is such a great find and so incredibly valuable, and she's just a stupid woman with a dead sister who saw ghosts in the house.  Life? Who needs it when they've got the legendary idol.

As expected, things go horribly wrong when the house goes into lock down and everyone is stuck inside.  Since most of the characters aren't likable, it's no big deal when they die. In fact, you'll be wanting them to die sooner than later.

While watching this movie, it's much more fun if you mishear Baphamat as bathmat, and spend the rest of the movie watching them risk their lives for a fuzzy bathmat.  Jeffrey Combs barely utters a word as the evil Dr Vannacutt, so you need something to look forward to.....the bathmat.

One of the stranger scenes in the film is when Ariel finds a large envelope in the mail which was sent from her sister. Inside is a diary and instead of being overcome with emotion at the package from her dead sister, she mumbles something like, hmmm what were you up to?  It's an appropriate response to a mystery involving a stranger, but not a recently deceased loved one.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Crazy Eights (2006)

When a childhood friend dies, a group of former friends gather at the funeral and are given a map to a trunk which contains a time capsule.  Inside they find photos, old toys, and the skeleton of a child.

Understandably freaked out, they disagree on whether to call the police or just pretend they never saw it.  They get lost on the drive back, and stop to ask directions from a girl they saw run across the road up ahead.  Every time I've ever been lost, the driver gets out and asks for directions while everyone else waits in the car. But this group takes a different tact when all six get out of the van. This doesn't seem like a good idea.

After walking down a path and finding no sign of the girl, they notice a large house through the trees.  When they walk up to it, the building appears locked and abandoned. They try to find a way in, which ends with one guy breaking his leg by tripping on the cellar stairs. Strangely enough, his leg appears to have been chewed by wolverines.  When everyone comes to see if he's okay, they get locked in the basement....of course, they do. That'll teach you not to all get out of the van to ask for directions.

From the outside, the building appears to be a two story home, but inside it's a massive abandoned asylum.  They struggle to find a way out of the building. This was about a half hour into the film and almost nothing had happened.  We were totally bored and didn't care if they lived or died.  So we didn't even finish this one.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Office of the Dead (2009)

Software engineers Ben and Roy are working on a project for Life Corp. They want to make a program where negative thoughts can be replaced with positive thoughts, leaving the person happier and more productive. But the experiment doesn't go as planned and their co-worker, who is their guinea pig, ends up feeling strange.

Their boss decides to bring in some consultants to take over the project, which alarms Ben since they aren't aware of the problem with the program.  The consultants also don't see that good with code, since they remove and change parts of it, which results in the next subject becoming a zombie.  With the building in lock down, Ben, Roy and some co-workers try to avoid the zombies until help can arrive.

This is a low budget zombie movie, and the only one worth watching on this DVD pack.  Surprisingly there is no blood in the movie. But since it's focus is comedy rather than horror, it's not that big a deal.  It's an average flick and decent for such a low budget.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stitches (2012)

A jerk clown named Stitches is hired for a childs birthday party. and half heartedly tries to entertain some jerk kids.  Stitches isn't a likable fellow. He arrives late, calls the child's mother ugly,  and even the politest childen in the world would have a problem watching this guy.  Unfortunately he's working with a bunch of jerk kids treat him like crap, mock him, and unintentionally cause his death. So... who are we supposed to route for?

Six year later, Tom's got the house to himself on his birthday and his friend posts an online invite for everyone to come to Tom's for a party.  While not happy about this unexpected turn of events, it does give him an opportunity to invite Kate, a girl he's been sweet on since she kissed him at his tenth birthday...and then the clown died, which is going to put a kink in any friendship.

On the night of the party,  as it goes into full swing, Stitches rises from the ground and checks out an invitation which just happens to have blown onto his grave.  Since no clown can rest if they don't finish their performance at a party, Stitches is back - except this time he's looking for revenge.

It's hard to root for anyone in this film.  While a couple of the teens seem okay now, they were horrible little kids. And there's no liking Stitches because he's a disgusting human being and a lame ass clown.  His one liners aren't funny and you wish he'd kill some of the more annoying characters in the film.  Also even though the kids are terrible to Stitches, his death was an accident.   How about going after Mom, since she's the one who left the dishwasher open with the huge knife pointing up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles (2012)

Craig, girlfriend Tracy, and buddy Derek canoe out to an island to go camping.  Tracy is surprised to discover there are no restrooms on the island - she's not too bright - and decides to stop at the lone house to ask if she can use their bathroom.
Yes, because if there's one thing people love when they live alone on an island, it's when strangers show up at the door wanting to use the toilet.

No one is home, but she finds a key and goes inside. Craig is upset that she broke in, but Tracy scoffs and tells him to lighten up.  Later that night, the group decides to stay in the house after a lightening storm rolls in over the lake. Derek and Tracy waste no time in making themselves at home.

When the homeowners show up the next day, the kids hide in the basement and find dead bodies that look just the like the couple who've arrived at the house.  Things get even more confusing when the three kids see clones of themselves on the island. What the heck is going on?

Well, it's pretty easy to figure out what's going on right from the opening scene when a crud encrusted hand reaches out of the cesspool near the island house.   But if you can't figure it out, then wait for the  explanation later in the film which involves a scientist from the Manhattan Project who used to own the island home.

Tracy is a terrible girlfriend, and treats Craig badly.  All of them are kind of annoying and they turn out to be fairly dense. When they decide they need a way to tell the real kids from their clones, they come up with the brilliant phrase Marco Polo.  So if I'm in a crowd and someone says Marco, you know what I'm going to say or think? That's right, Polo.  Honestly, try sharing a brain sometime, or at least coming up with something a bit more obscure.

So not the best or most interesting film, and overall it's disappointing.  The one bright point is the little twist right at the end, which is well deserved.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SOS: Save Our Skins (2014)

Ben and Stephen travel to New York City for a Sci-Fi convention, and wake up to discover everyone has disappeared.  The television only plays static, none of their friends or family are answering their phones, and Internet news sites haven't been updated in hours. The convention center is empty, there are no guests in the hotel, and even the streets are deserted.

Wondering if the city was evacuated or if some horrible event made everyone disappear, the two friends post an online video hoping to connect with other survivors who might know what's going on.  When they get a response, they set out on a road trip, but it's hard to know if they can really trust anyone since there are monsters and weirdos out there.

The comedy is uneven at times, but overall it was amusing and there were times it made me laugh out loud.  As with any comedy-horror hybrid from Britain, people tend to compare it to Shaun of the Dead, but they shouldn't.  It's a decent film and the two get into ridiculous situations.  Some are cringe worthy, and at the end I found myself drifting a bit with the resolution, but it was a decent film.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tales of the Dead: Grim Stories of Curses, Horror and Gore (2011)

A group of friends gather for a small Halloween party, smoke pot, drink and tell scary stories.  It appears the filmmakers used the on camera mic because the audio is often hard to hear and the ambient noise is sometimes distracting. Note to anyone making a film - if one of your characters is wearing a chain, the sound will drive the viewer crazy listening to it clink.

The party is what ties together the pieces of this anthology. So get ready to see a stationary shot of a group of people sitting on the floor, having hard to hear conversations that you aren't all that interested in.  It's like watching your friends home movies of a fairly sedate party that you didn't attend.

The four segments of the anthology are:

  • Less is More - a miserable woman is obsessed with amputation which is causing problems with her husband
  • Wolf Cry - a lazy teen obsessed with horror movies is justifiably nagged by his mother and seems to be having trouble telling reality from fantasy.
  • Penance - a detective investigates a series of murders
  • Missing - a group of friends investigates a curse on Cromwell Street

At times it gets confusing because some of the people at the party are also in the individual stories.  It's a very low budget movie by amateurs.  I got this one on a 12 pack of movies from Millcreek.  So  I knew it wasn't going to be anything great. There isn't really anything here to recommend it, but it's not the worst thing I've ever seen.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Substitute (2007)

A sixth grade class gets a substitute teacher who is unlike any teacher they've ever had before.  She mocks and insults them, seems to read their minds, and intimidates them.  After numerous complaints from the children, their parents demand a meeting with her.  But Ms. Harms is quite charming and the parents end the meeting by asking their horrid children to apologize to their substitute for lying about her.

The kids know she's not what she portrayed to their parents.  So they band together to figure out what is really going on.  They discover her house is dark, creepy, and empty except for a room full of chickens.  Convinced she is an alien or monster, the kids realize she has some evil plans for them, and they are on their own since their parents won't believe them.

This is a decent effort, but the ending wasn't really satisfactory.  It was made in Denmark so there is a different feel to the story than if it'd been done in the US.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The FP (2011)

In what may be a post apocalypse world, (or just a really crappy place to live), rival gangs fight for control of Frazier Park by competing at Beat Beat Revolution, (essentially Dance Dance Revolution).

The movie hits the major film cliches:

  • someone close to Jtro, the protagonist, dies during the competition 
  • Jtro quits competing and swears he'll never do it again
  • a year later someone tracks him down in an out of the way place because things have gotten really bad in town
  • Jtro starts training and during a music montage it's shown that he doesn't have the skill he used to
  • Jtro's training starts to pay off, his moves are getting quicker
  • the villain's girlfriend is tired of being smacked around and wants to be with Jtro
  • Fighting, training, kidnapping and more fighting ensue
The movie is a parody and I'm all for a good parody. But it's a fine line between being a parody and being what you're attempting to parody.   I wanted to like this but while I like the details, I don't like the film. It's a plus that it nails down the cliches, the film looks good and the Making of feature reveals that the filmmakers seem to be nice people. Plus I like the idea of what they're doing as well as their attitudes, but this just didn't work for me.  I wasn't amused and ended up really disappointed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Godsend (1980)

Alan, wife Kate and their four children are out for a fun afternoon in the fields near their home when Kate stumbles across an extremely pregnant woman sitting under a tree.  She invites her back to their home, which Alan is not okay with since the lady is an odd duck.  She just stares at him and shows no signs of leaving.  When he offers to drive her home, she goes into labor and has the baby in their spare bedroom.

The next day the strange woman is gone, but her baby is still there.  Now most people would contact the police or turn the baby over to an agency who deals with abandoned children, but Kate and Alan decide they'll add her to their child menagerie.  This is unfortunate since this is one evil little killer baby.

Within a short period of time, their own baby dies while sharing a crib with the strangers child, who they've named Bonnie.  A year later, another of their children dies a tragic death.  As their children gets picked off, people in town start to talk. Let's face it, if your neighbors children kept dying, you might wonder if they were staging accidents in which to get rid of their children.  Either that or they're the unluckiest or most neglectful parents on Earth. No one is going to think, hmmm that little golden haired child may be an evil killer.

At one point, there is an analogy equating Bonnie to the baby cuckoo bird. Cuckoos lay their eggs in other birds nests, and then the baby cuckoo imitates the other birds so the parents don't realize it's different.  But when the parents aren't looking, the baby pushes the real babies out of the nest.

The disturbing thing about this film is the overall tone due to Bonnie killing her own siblings.  It's one thing when the killer child takes out a stranger, but when she's murdering the kids she's living with, it's so much worse.  Bonnie does a great job of looking suitably evil with her narrow eyed stare.

Some viewers might find the pacing slow and there's a lack of blood because the deaths are all off screen.  Let's face it, you can't show a child killing another child back in 1980. But overall it's a decent flick and you keep hoping someone will figure out that the little freak is evil.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Creepshow 2 (1987)

Horror anthology with three segments and a wrap around featuring a kid reading a horror comic thrown off a delivery truck by a creepy old guy.  The wrap around starts as live action, but then becomes a cartoon for the rest of the film.  I'm not a big fan of anthologies because they tend to be hit or miss.  But this one was pretty good.

The three segments are:

Old Chief Woodenhead
The Spruces own a general store in a dying town.  Martha wants to close up shop since most of the people in town buy on credit and aren't making payments.  A representative of the local Native American tribe drops off a package of each families most sacred jewelry as collateral.

Right after that, some local toughs rob the store and threaten the Spruces with a shotgun.  The outcome is not good and the wooden Indian out front enacts his revenge against those who have wronged the Spruces.

The Raft
Four college students go to an isolated lake where the raft hasn't been pulled in for the winter.  As they swim out to it, one of the guys notices a bird on the water getting pulled under.  Once on the raft, he sees a strange looking area in water that seems to be moving towards them.

One guy urges the girls to swim faster because something seems wrong. But the others decide it's just an oil slick, even though it looks strange and seems to move on it's own volition. Their decision proves to be unwise since it turns out to be something sinister, sticky, and with a hunger the living.

The Hitchhiker
A woman who is cheating on her husband leaves for home later than she planned and is worried about what to tell her husband.  As she's thinking about what sort of lie she could get away with, she drops her cigarette and loses control of her car, hitting a hitchhiker.  Not sure what to do, she eventually speeds off when she hears other cars approaching.  But since this is a horror movie, she's not going to get away with it that easy.

Watch for a Stephen King cameo as the truck driver.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Killer Mermaid (2014)

Kelly and Lucy go on vacation to the Mediterranean to visit their friend Alex, who used to date Lucy back in college. Lucy, who wants to rekindle things with Alex, is surprised to discover he's engaged. Awkward, especially since everyone will be staying at Alex's home.   The good news is they've got plenty of dance music and alcohol. So everyone gets trashed and dances. Meanwhile a young couple is killed near the water by a man with a fishing implement of death.

The next day while having a drink at a local cafe, they run into Bob, an old friend of Yasmin. He says they should go explore the abandoned prison on a nearby island.  An old  salty sea dog at a nearby table issues a wordy warning to stay away from the prison.  But since he's creepy and old, they ignore his words.

They head out to the island and roam through the old buildings. But soon they discover they are not alone.  There is a man on the island doing something sketchy. This alerts our intrepid explorers that they should get the hell out of there.

Unfortunately they aren't the brightest people and betray their presence. Their deflated boat hinders their escape. So they hide while they figure out how they're going to get off the island.  This leads to the familiar cliche where people split up and then won't consider leaving without the others.

For a movie called Killer Mermaid, there's not a heck of a lot of mermaid in it.  She shows up about half way into the film.  Even then, they think she's a girl being held captive because they can only see her face.  She sings her siren song and bewitches the men. Although apparently it isn't all that bewitching because all it takes to break her spell is a solid slap to the face.

And if you think it takes a long time to get her involved in the story, it takes even longer for her to start killing.  It's too bad because it would have been much better if she kept picking people off throughout the movie, until the end she flops onto the pavement and isn't very threatening at all.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Ganzfeld Haunting (2013)

Four students are assigned to work together on a psychology project.  They choose to replicate the Ganzfeld Experiment, which involves extra sensory perception and projecting ones thoughts to another person.

The group consists of: Becket whose parents own the abandoned house they are using for the experiment; Eliot who is responsible for the equipment; Lucky who is an unlikeable pain in the ass with an endless supply of cocaine; and Graves who is excited about the free drugs.

Graves is the first subject for the experiment.  The others sit in another room, while one of them tries to get Graves to realize that the flickering monitor in the room displays a certain playing card.  But instead of seeing the card, he starts seeing visions of his father who is deceased.  Becket decides to go next and she sees two little girls and lots of blood.

The group is freaked out and thinks they may be having visions of something that happened in the house.  Then again, it could just be the effect of all the hard liquor, cocaine, and marijuana, as well as the sleep deprivation, since none have slept in over 24 hours.  So basically they're in no shape to do their experiment, any data they get is unscientific and invalid.  So  they're all going to fail Psych.

The movie consists mostly of the four characters doing drugs, drinking, smoking pot, having sexual encounters and yelling at each other.  Oh, and every once in awhile they wander upstairs and someone catches a glimpse of a ghost.  But it doesn't really do anything so there isn't any reason to really be concerned.

Bill Zane has a brief role as Graves father, but he's only in flashbacks trying to be philosophical, and  only succeeding in being boring.  Why, Billy Zane, why?  And how many little baggies of coke does Lucky have in her bag?  And why do Eliot and Becket start doing coke when they showed disgust for it earlier in the film?  And how come no one is smart enough to realize that the use of drugs makes their experiment invalid?  Why, movie, why?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Avalanche (1978)

A 1970s disaster movie starring Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow? Well, sign me up!

Rock Hudson is David, a ski lodge owner building a new home up in the mountains.  Mia Farrow is Caroline, David's ex-wife who is visiting him, for some reason I can't remember.  David is interesting in reconciling, but that doesn't stop him from sleeping with his secretary.

Nature photographer Nick has a cabin nearby and warns David of the possibility of an avalanche. Nick bases his concerns on concrete factors, like the weather, snow levels, and the clearing of trees which leaves the slopes prone to slides.  David and his security chief laugh off the warnings because Nick is just a wildlife loving photographer.

Later that evening in the fabulous disco bar, Nick approaches David with a second warning.  David scoffs in his general direction, and then turns green with envy when Caroline asks Nick to dance.  What David doesn't know is that a small slide has already occurred, but a pro skier escaped it by jumping into a tree.

The next day, a small plane crashes into the mountain and an avalanche ensues.  Watch for tons of stock footage, Styrofoam snow, and everyone - and I do mean everyone -  getting buried in the avalanche. I had forgotten that 70s disaster movies maim, injure, or kill everyone.  The avalanche hits the skiers, the crowd lining the slopes to watch them, the skating competition, Nick's cabin and the entire ski lodge. We are reminded that no one escapes unscathed when a small child is slammed into a fence by a Styrofoam blast of snow.

This has 70s pacing, which seems slow by today's standards, but I enjoyed it.  It's an unintentionally   silly movie.  One of the most ridiculous scenes is of David's mother, who is trapped in the lodge. The piano remains playable, and she plays a song before collapsing in a heap.  She also tries to dig out by using a chair, not the most useful digging implement.  There is also a woman who undresses outside in a snow storm before entering her playboy skier boyfriends condo.

If the print weren't washed out, the scenery would be amazing 
Wildlife photographer and manly man Nick 
This mean seems to be wearing a bad toupee.
The ski lodge bar is one happening place.
David is overcompensating for his jealousy
The fabulous ski competition
Watch out for primitive avalanche special effects
The biggest threat to those at the lodge?  Hunks of Styrofoam.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I Am Zozo (2012)

Five friends travel to an island on Halloween to spend the weekend partying at a nice home.  When they arrive, they find the electricity is out. So they gather flashlights and firewood to prepare for when it gets dark.

One of the girls is a Wiccan and surprise! she brought a Ouija board for them to use.  Wait, something sounds familiar.  Isolated home? No way off the island? The electricity is out?  Using a Ouija board in the dark? Nope, no cliches here!

Two of the kids put on blindfolds, which I've never seen when using the board, and someone else transcribes the letters that the planchette lands on.

These are some lucky Ouija players because every time they ask if a spirit is in the room, the answer is yes.  The first few times, the spirits are friendly. But then they get a spirit named Zozo. Although his name sounds like he'd be a high talking clown on a unicycle, things quickly get creepy when he says he's going to kill Tess. Another night of Ouija gone wrong. Will these kids ever learn?

For the first part of the film, I often felt like I was watching a home movie.  The camera is handheld and the dialogue is mundane.  It was way too much like being in the room with them, and that 's not a good thing. Overall, not much happens in this film until the end, and then it's just a girl having an asthma attack. So other than spooky hijinks with the board, and some doors slamming, there's not much to see.

This movie starts and ends noting that it is based on true events, and includes a quote from Darren Evans. No idea who he is, but one of the extras is an interview with him about his experiences with Zozo.  Due to the marketing plans of recent films, you'll wonder whether this is real or just promotion for the film.  A google search brings up a web page for Darren, as well as a twitter account that is currently promoting Ouijacon 2015.  How much you want to bet someone attending Ouijacon will attempt to call Zozo?  How could you resist?

I have mixed opinions on Ouija boards. On the one hand, my brother, cousins and I played with one a few times when we were kids.  Everyone swore they weren't moving the planchette when it moved.  Later I heard Ouija boards are not to be messed with because when you open the door, you never know what may come through.  I never thought of that, so I don't touch them anymore.  Because I'd be pretty pissed off if a demon attached itself to my back, and I had to spend the rest of my life carrying that thing around just because I used the stupid board for fun.

On the other hand, Ouija boards are sold as a game by Hasbro or Parker Brothers, so how dangerous could they actually be? No company is going to take the chance of selling potentially dangerous boards that could conjure an evil spirit who could hurt a small child.  Although I'm surprised some lame crazy parent hasn't sued the manufacturer claiming that a ghost has attacked their child or the board caused the kid psychological problems.

The sailor hat with the red pompom is really distracting.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Nightbreed: Directors Cut (1990)

Aaron Boone is contacted by his former psychiatrist Dr. Decker who accuses him of committing a string of recent murders which are exactly like the dreams Boone used to talk about in his sessions.  Decker give Boone some pills and 24 hours to turn himself in.

Boone was planning on going away with his girlfriend Lori, a singer who seems to take her fashion sense straight out of Grease and has that horrible 80s triangle hair.  But the conversation with Decker is so disturbing that Boone isn't sure what to do.

After being hit by a truck while tripping on the pills that were provided by Decker, Boone meets a man in the hospital who knows of Midian, the name of the place in his dreams.

Boone decides to find Midian, which turns out to be a cemetery where he's accosted by monsters, one of which bites him. It turns out that Midian has a series of underground tunnels which house a community of monsters. They are the night breed.

When Boone leaves to avoid being eaten by the monsters, the police are waiting.  Decker warns them Boone has a gun and he's shot. His body is taken to the morgue, but when the pathologist leaves to take a break, Boone's body disappears. The police and Decker try to track him down, while Lori tries to locate him because she's wants to know why he left and she's convinced he's innocent.

I've only seen the original version of Night Breed once, so I wouldn't know the difference between directors cut and original.  A friend of mine who was watching with me has seen Night Breed more than ten times.  He very much prefers the directors cut. I don't remembering having a good opinion of the original, but I was entertained by this version.

Two scenes which seemed fairly out of place were Lori's performance of the song, Johnny Get Mad, which didn't add anything to the film, and was a bad 80s pop song.  The oddest scene was the one with the motel clerk who drops a pastry on the floor.  When you first see her, you can't even tell what she's holding. Then once you realize what it is, she drops it and does a terribly inept job of picking up the gross looking pastry. What the heck is it?  What's in it? Is that whipped cream?  Why doesn't she pick the whole thing up rather than grabbing at little pieces of it that rip off when she tries to grab it. It's just plan odd.

Danny Elfman does the soundtrack, which is a plus for this film.  This is an odd film and his music fits it perfectly.  The effects and monster make up are cool because all the monsters are different. Some look stupid, some gross, others creepy.  Boone's girlfriend Lori is fairly annoying and the make up sometimes makes her look a little bit like she's in drag, which is nothing any woman wants to hear ever.