Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clean (2005)

Clean is about a disenfranchised asshat who spends his days wearing bikini underwear in his mostly empty apartment while his voiceover rants about life, society, people, whatever - he hates it all. And to make him even more repulsive, he enjoys killing people.

He somehow connects online with a bunch of other murders who meet up once a year to talk about their murderous exploits and enjoy killing someone. I know people manage to find others online for every weird sick twisted thing they could be into, but how the heck would you be able to ascertain that the group wasn't a set up by law enforcement?  Also if you're inviting a killer into your midst, there is no guarantee he won't kill you, which the group is soon to find out.

The characters in the film are annoying and unlikable.  They also aren't very bright since they are making tapes of their murders and selling them to other people.  When the instruct everyone in attendance to put on their masks, I expected something that would cover their heads. Instead they put on bandanas, like bank robbers out of the 1800s.  Also not a good idea? Calling themselves by their real names and mentioning the introduction on their video that they have a murder club.

The sound is a bit off some of the time. So I guess they should have paid more attention to their ADR.  The movie was filmed in Quebec and everyone has a French Canadian accent, which makes things even more distracting when the lips are slightly off from the sound.

Ridiculous dialogue:
"Our stupid leaders are a bunch of faggots and fruitcakes."

This move includes many strange shots from unnecessary angles
We don't need so much footage of this guy in bikini underwear.
No one will ever recognize me due to this brilliant disguise.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Zombeavers (2014)

Three friends go away for a girls only weekend, which was originally a couples weekend until ones boyfriend cheated on her. The first night, surprise!  The boys have driven up to join them, and awkward exchanges ensue before they are allowed to stay.

The next day they head to the pond to get some sun, swim, and hang out on the raft.  Everything is going great until the beavers show up.  No one takes the critters seriously, because well they're beavers.  But these beavers have been infected by toxic waste caused by a barrel which bounced off a truck and made its way down river until coming to rest on their lodge.

Racing back to their cabin, the kids lock themselves in and try to figure out what to do.  It's never a good thing when a zombie bites you, and a zombie beaver is no different.  Havoc and carnage ensues.

This horror/comedy has a great title, premise, and trailer, but the film didn't live up to it's potential.  Perhaps I expected too much from it, but it just seemed like it could have either been funnier or scarier, or both.  I did like the animation in the credits though.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mother's Day Massacre (2007)

Teenager Jim lives with his creepy, degenerate, abusive father.  His mother disappeared so long ago he doesn't even remember her. After some particularly upsetting interactions with Jim's dad, his  girlfriend Doreen does a google search and finds information on Jim's missing mom.  Well that was easy.

Doreen insists on a road trip to try to locate his mother.  So Jim, Doreen, and two other couples head off an a weekend adventure to see what they can find.  The other couples are happy to be on the trip because a month ago they saw a field of pot which they think will be ready to harvest. Yeah, that's a fantastic idea. I'm sure nothing bad would ever come from that. And what an incredible coincidence that they just happened to be in the same area where Jim's missing mom may be.

While stopped at a rundown gas station, the kid pumping their gas warns them not to go to the end of the road where the pineys live because they'll mess you up.  One warning from a creepy stranger later, the group is pulling up to a group of abandoned homes and exiting their SUV.  Are they stopping to stretch their legs? Is this address Jim's mothers last known address?  Are they at the end of the road?  They don't really talk about it.  One guy suggests they play hide and seek, and the others want to explore the abandoned buildings.

They split up to explore, which is never a good idea when you have no idea what might be waiting for you in the abandoned buildings.  In one, they find a big dead dog which is essentially a pile of bones, blood, and guts. Surprisingly, it doesn't stop them from heading to the third floor, or making a hasty exit. Stupid kids. And we're off - time for killer hillbillies and people who repeatedly make bad decisions.

While the production is decent, there is an issue with the sound. Sometimes you can't understand what the actors are saying, and in the scene at the gas station, the noise of passing traffic is louder than the dialogue.  Also is there ever going to be a movie that doesn't use the cliche of teens in an abandoned building thinking it's a good idea to have sex on a filthy old couch?

When all but two of your characters aren't likable, you'd better have an engaging script or something to sell the story.  But there's nothing here other than disturbing people and questionable decisions.  The mother of the crazy hillbillies is over the top, chewing on the scenery every time she's on the screen.  Characters think it's funny to piss on someones bed, the floor, or another person.  And most importantly, this film has nothing to do with Mothers Day.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Eyes of a Stranger (1981)

Plucky reporter Jane Harris is fixated on the recent murders of multiple young women.  She's so wrapped up in it that each newscast Jane interrupts others and goes off script, accompanied by the eye rolling of her co-anchors.  She urges their viewers to report any strange encounters to the police.

Janes younger sister Tracy lives with her. When Jane's boyfriend asks her to live with him,  Jane brushes him off because she believes he'll come to think of Tracy as a burden. When there were  children, Tracy was kidnapped. When located, she was deaf, mute, and blind.  With proper foreshadowing, Jane notes that doctors could find nothing physically wrong with Tracy, so it seems to stem from mental trauma.

At a downtown Miami strip club, the bartender tells a waitress that  he's nervous about her walking home alone due to all this hubbub about young women being murdered in town.  The waitress seals her fate by cracking, "Don't worry, Al. If I can handle this place, I can get myself home in one piece."

While she does manage to get home in one piece and watch Shock Waves on TV, she is the target of a series of threatening phone calls. Thinking back on our intrepid reporters advice, she reports the calls to the police and says she thinks she's in danger.

Even though a serial killer is actively dispatching ladies in the city, the police sigh at the inconvenience of the sixth call of the night from a hysterical woman who watched the news.  They promise to stop by the apartment the next morning and take a report.  Our poor waitress hangs up the phone and ponders which dress to wear to her own funeral.

Meanwhile Jane arrives home late that night and pulls into her parking spot in the apartment complexes garage. A few minutes later another car pulls in nearby and she notices a man looking around nervously.  He changes into a new shirt, and throws his stained shirt into the garbage. Hmmm... late night... shifty guy.... stained shirt... murders.  Jane wonders if perhaps the killer is living in her apartment complex.

She becomes convinced the man, named Herbert Stanley, is the killer.  Well, his name could very well be the source of his rage since both first and last names conjure up the image of a slight teen in high-water pants with slicked down hair and overly large glasses.  

Jane is going full on sleuth mode and annoying her boyfriend with the constant "I know he's the killer" talk.  Her boyfriends concern proves justified when Jane takes it upon herself to call Herbert and tell him she knows what he did.  Even though she's a freakin' reporter on the nightly news in Miami, it doesn't occur to her to disguise her voice.  It also doesn't occur to her that calling someone a "phone freak" is pretty specific, and heretofore, an unheard of phrase.  Oh Jane, what hell have you wrought.

While it's nothing spectacular, I was entertained.  This flick plays like a made for TV movie, but then out of nowhere there's some swearing, a little  nudity, and a decapitation.  Jane is played by Lauren Tewes, aka Julie from the Love Boat. That's another reason I assumed it must have been made for TV.  The movie introduces Jennifer Jason Leigh as Tracy.  Watch for the weird scene with the stripper swinging her leg around like her knee has no bones.  It's perplexing, slightly horrifying, and probably signals the onset of early joint disease.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hayride 2 (2015)

Starting where the first movie left off right after the killings at Captain Morgans Halloween hayride, ambulances transport survivors, and those who have expired, to the hospital. Although bag-headed, serial killer Pitchfork was deceased at the end of the first movie, he revives during the ride to continue his reign of terror.

The survivors wait in the quietest hospital emergency room ever.  There's only one nurse, no other patients, and the only people that appear are one or two from the hayride, and a lone  doctor who briefly stops by.  The nurse on duty even has time to talk to one of the characters about how she went to high school with him, and says if he wants to talk about the tragedy, she's there for him. Awkward.

Meanwhile Pitchfork has made his way into the hospital.  Because it's not odd to see a massive guy in farmer jeans with a burlap bag over his head carrying a pitchfork while walking down the hallway in a hospital.  While there are tons of police at the hayride and in the woods, none of them go to the hospital after they learn he's on the loose.  Also Pitchfork kills everyone he meets except for one characters girlfriend.  Why didn't he kill her? And why are the police more concerned about her kidnapping than the murders?

Hayride 2, why do you exist?  It's not like Hayride left any open questions, or was so amazing that the public demanded a second chapter.  And to have the supposedly dead killer come back and stalk survivors at a hospital? It was much better the first time I saw it in Halloween 2.

Even though I'd seen Hayride, the characters weren't memorable other than the farmer who owned the hayride and he's dead. The movie seems to assume we'll remember everyone and doesn't offer much help as to who these people are - other than some brief flashbacks that occur after characters show up. So it's not much help.  Also be prepared for lots of talking, which may lull you into a stupor where you'll being daydreaming.