Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Serial Killing 101 (2004) is about Casey Noland (Justin Urich). He is a high school student that has no real direction in his life and tries to do everything the way people don't want him to do things. He seems to like getting under the skin of people, this holds true for his gym teacher most of all. Casey is really into serial killers however. In one of his classes, they start talking about where they will be in life 10 years from now. Casey decides that he will be in jail because of being one of the most famous serial killers around. Everyone except one girl, that Casey has had his eyes on, hates the idea.
Sasha (Lisa Loeb) is the goth girl in school. She seems to like the idea of serial killers as much as Casey does and helps him research them. She wants to be his first victim so she can become famous in that reguard. Sasha and Casey start to find any and all information they can and come up with a plan for Casey to start his path of murder. Casey doesn't seem to have the stomach for it though and figures out that there is a true serial killer lurking around in their town. Who could it be? Casey has been braging that he wants to be a killer so the police start to think he isn't just braging about it any longer. Can he clear his name and find the real killer?
There isn't much to be found as far as effects go. There is some blood and there is a head that gets cut off but you can tell that was done with cgi effects. It didn't look real bad but it was easy to tell that it was cgi. The only other effect that comes to mind is a saw blade to the head. We see Casey throw the blade and the person react to being hit by it and fall down. Only then do we see the blade is firmly in the head. It looked pretty good. I could br wrong but I thought the blade was wider in Casey's hand than it looked once in the head.
The acting was ok. Justin Urich does a fairly good job here as does Lisa Loeb. Funny thing about Lisa Loeb is her age at the time of this movie. I figured she was probably in her 30's and in fact she was 34 at the time. So she was playing a character who is half her own age. With the clothes and hair and make up, she does look younger. 17 years younger? I don't know about that but she did look younger. Thomas Haden Church plays an ex-army man that is trying to bring dicipline to his young wards in gym class. Rick Overton, George Murdock and Ester Scott help round out some of the main character. Corey Feldman plays a small part as a store clerk that is rather amusing.
As a horror movie, Serial Killing 101 falls pretty flat. The movie has a slow pace to it. I'm all for that but they didn't do the best of jobs keeping it interesting while the pace was slow. I kept looking to see how far into the movie I was, that is a good sign to me that the movie hasn't drawn me in. The research they did was interesting. I had heard a lot of it before so they did actually get into the actual true life facts of serial killers. It just wasn't enough though. I kept feeling like I should have been laughing more than feeling scared or anything like that. I don't think my mood at the time effected how I looked at this movie to much but I sure wasn't in a laughing mood so maybe that plays into this a little bit. One thing I am still wondering about, I like Lisa Loeb and all but couldn't they have found an actress closer to 17 years old?
2 out of 5 Serial killer wanna be's
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Boo (2005) is about a group of college students. Kevin (Jilon Ghai) and Feddy (Josh Holt) take their girlfriends, Jessie (Trish Coren) and Cindy (Rachel Harland), to a supposed haunted hospital. The hospital is no longer being used so they all have to break in. Their friend Emmett (Happy Mahaney) is already there setting things up. Like tieing a wheel chair to a door so when the door opens, the wheel chair is pulled towards the door. Meanwhile, there is a worried brother, Allan (Michael Samluk), who is searching for his missing sister Meg (Rachel Melvin). He goes to his fathers old police partner, Arlo (Dig Wayne), for help. Arlo asks if he has been to the police over this matter and Allen says that the police are refusing to help. Arlo does the same since he could get into trouble over it but does keep an eye on Allan as he breaks into the old hospital as well, the place where he knows his sister was going to the night she disappeared.
The two groups eventually meet up and Arlo eventually joins them all as well. They figure out that Jacob (M. Steven Felty), a man that was in the mental ward there in the hospital, is trying to get out and become part of the living again. I don't know who rewrote the rules for this but Jacob can't possess the living, only the freshly dead. Jacob does his best to kill off the people that enter the hospital so he can have a body to walk out of there with. Only problem is, the bodies start to fall apart on him after a while. Who will make it out? Or will anyone be able to make it out?
The effects and some plot points were borrowed from other movies. Not all effects were but you will see some things that will cause other movies to spring to mind when you see it. Even so, I thought they did an excelent job with the effects. There is plenty of blood to be found. A skined dog coming back to life was pretty gross to look at and a floating clown was also pretty creepy. The ghost effects are very good the biggest part of the time. One thing I really didn't understand was when a possessed person was killed, the person exploded in plasma and other such goo. I'm guessing the writer (also the director) was trying to show that the possessed body was breaking down with this new spirit inside of it.
The acting is a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed all the characters but at times they would all go a little over the top. This was a movie with actor's who were making their first screen apperiance or had little screen time thus far. That being said, it is a little easier to forgive the over the top performances. It is not so bad that it takes away from the over all movie though. At least that is how I felt. Jessie is fleshed out some by showing some of her past and showing that she has a sixth sense. The character devolpement isn't real high with Boo but there is some there to keep one slightly interested. There is a little ghost girl (Taylor Hurley) that creeped me out some. And Dee Wallace makes an appeance as a nurse that worked at the hospital. It was good to see her in a horror movie again.
I enjoyed Boo. I felt there was enough creepyness to keep me interested in the movie. The location was enough to give a person the creeps on its own. It was shot in a real abanded hospital so this wasn't a set that was built. The dvd has an extra on it about some of the weird things the cast and crew seen and heard while filming there. However, there are some things about this movie that seem to be a big turn off for some fans. Some of the same problems I have with Boo, others had as well. These problems didn't knock the film so far down on my rating scale that it won't see the light of day like it did for some people.
To start things off, at first my biggest problem was with the sound. There are times the sound will get very loud. This is mostly used when there is supposed to be a scare. Something will suddenly move and there will be a loud music cue to go with it. I'm fine with music helping set a mood but note to film makers, the movement alone is what will scare people. You don't need a loud noise/music cue to help make people jump. Music should be there to set a mood, to build our suspense, not provide the scare. I was starting to get annoyed after a while from the loud music and noises. Not the effect the film makers should have been looking for.
The second problem I had quickly over took the first problem. That was the plot. There are some plot holes in Boo that make little sense. It can also get a little confusing at times. Like the ghost girl, this is a little girl probably only 5 or 6 years old. What is she doing in a mental hospital full of adults? Some of the visions that Jessie has can be a little confusing as well. Towards the end of the movie, Jessie confronts Jacob. Some of this was pretty cool but by the end of it I was left rather confused over the whole thing and just had to let it go so I could not worry about it and just finish watching the rest of the movie.
I won't kid you. This isn't one of the greats. If you go into this movie knowing that, you will end up enjoying it I think. Boo, like many other movies, has its problems. Some of the problems are a little hard to over look but the over all feel of the movie and its location, make up for those problems somewhat. It won't make my favorite list but it a movie I would be willing to watch again. To quote form the movie:
Allan: "I don't believe in ghosts."
Meg: "Don't worry, you will."
3 out of 5 Goo splarted people
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Monster Man (2003) was a direct to video type movie. Often times, these types of movies offer a mixed bag, you never know what you will get until it's to late. This one is a story about two friends. Adam (Eric Jungmann) is on his way to a wedding. Not his own but his high school sweetheart, Betty Anne's wedding. He did a lot for her back in high school and was hoping to become her boyfriend. This never happened though, so before she gets married he is going to tell her how he feels about her. As he is driving down the road, a figure pops up from the back seat. This turns out to be Harley (Justin Urich). Harley used to be Adam's best friend until he bad mouthed Betty Anne once to often. Now he is trying to talk Adam out of going to the wedding and hoping to rebuild the friendship they once had.
Along the way, some weird things happen to them like a monster truck that ends up running them off the road. The run into this truck a couple of different times and eventually pick up a hitchhiker. Sarah (Aimee Brooks) is a bit mysterious and seems to be taken by Adam. After running into a bunch of people who are missing some limbs, they encounter the monster truck yet again. This time it seems the driver wants more than just running them off the road though. Will they fall victim to the monster truck?
I think I will talk about the acting first. I was surprised at how well I enjoyed the two main characters. They really made me feel like I was watching to friends trying to work things out so they could be good friends yet again. Eric Jungmann plays his character as a bit of a nerdy, wimpy guy. He is shy and quiet, especially around women. Justin Urich is just the opposite. He plays his character as very loud mouthed, obnoxious guy. I could easily relate to them both and could easily see these two being best friends. Michael Bailey Smith plays the part of the Monster Man. Can't tell it is him though from all the makeup. Joe Goodrich rounds out the cast of characters for us.
The effects were actually pretty good. There are times when it looked a little cheesy, more so with the final effect of the movie. There are some pretty nice effects to be found in Monster Man. The monster man himself actually looks pretty cool. A few people are ran over by the monster truck. It was pretty cool to see the after effect but I felt the damage they showed wasn't very consistent. A road killed cat was gross, but funny as well, in the way that it was used. There was a scene where CGI came into play. You can kind of tell that it was used for the scene but not to badly.
Monster Man takes its time in setting up the characters and story. It does start slightly slow but the interaction with the characters help keep you into the movie. There is also a few things that happen here and there, that set things up for later on. This isn't what I would call a serious horror movie but it does have moments that can make a person a little tense at times and wondering what might happen next. If it wasn't for the devolpement of the characters, this movie would have bombed. As it stands, it isn't a great horror movie but it is a fun one. I don't think it was trying to be a comedy but that is mixed in some and it isn't forced. Some of the jokes would be more liked by teen boys but I did find myself laughing at times. Worth a watch on that stormy night.
3 out of 5 Road kill specials
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Waxwork (1988) is about a small group of rich kids. I never figured out if they are college stundents or highschoolers though. The one class they show looks like a college class and the homework sounds more like a college class but the hallway looks like a highschool. Ok, I am picking a little since it really has nothing to do with the movie itself. Sarah (Deborah Foreman) and China (Michelle Johnson) are walking along and find a waxwork house. They are invited to a private midnight showing by Mr. Lincoln (David Warner). They bring along a couple of guy friends, Mark (Zach Galligan) and Tony (Dana Ashbrook). Inside they find 18 displays. If you look closely, you will see the actor in the display trying to remain still and failing ever so slightly. Each display represents a scene, all from horror movies it looks like. Mr. Lincoln basicly works for evil and is trying to bring more evil into the world. How you ask? By trapping people inside each of the displays. By doing so, it gives evil a soul that was not intended to be given to either side yet. Each display represents a short story basicly. There is a werewolf, vampire, mummy, zombies and The Marquis de Sade. Will the war between good and evil end here and who will live on?
Workwork 2: Lost In Time (1992) picks up where the first movie leaves off, the exact moment actually. I don't want to spoil the first movie to much so I will just say that Sarah (now being played by Monika Schnarre) moves on into this movie. This one takes a little bit of a left turn by becoming something of a time travel movie. They jump around into different times and alternate time lines (most, once again, look like horror movies) in order to try and find something that will prove their story to the police and courts. This time around, the short stories are not as general as they were in the first movie. We are thrown into tributes of the following movies: Frankenstein, Alien, and The Haunting. There are some other movies as well but we get short glimpses of those.
The effects were a little better in the second movie, I thought so anyways. Some of the moster effects looked pretty cheesy but I understand that neither movie was all that serious of a horror movie. Even so, neither movie impressed me all that much with the effects. The acting was a little better but again, nothing all that impressive. I would have liked to have seen Deborah Foreman come back for the sequel. There are several cameo's to be found. Miles O'Keeffe, J. Kenneth Campbell, John Rhys-Davies and Patrick Macnee can all be found in the first movie. Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell, Jim Metzler, John Ireland, David Carradine and Alexander Godunov can all be found in the second movie.
I can say that I enjoyed both movies. The first movie was slightly more serious than the second one was. I never felt scared or had an edge of my seat feeling but they are fun to watch. I wouldn't call either movie a true parody since they aren't trying to poke fun at other movies. It is more like they are paying tribute to these movies. There is some comedy in each but it isn't like they are going out of their way to make a joke about the movie itself. Not for those that like their horror scary, or at least trying to be scary. If you like a little mix of horror and comedy then you can't go wrong with either of these. Not the funniest or best out there for this type of film but still good. What I enjoyed more than anything would have to be the cameos by the different actors.
3 out of 5 Slipping through time
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The Mangler Reborn though, ties itself directly to the first movie because Hadley (Weston Blakesley) buys the machine. Ok, not the machine itself. Let me explain. We are told from a series of headlines, in the opening credits, that the factory the machine was in was closed down and the machine dismantled because of all the work related deaths. Hadley then buys the parts and is trying to make a working machine. Beatrice (Sarah Lilly), his wife, is getting rather frustrated because Hadley is letting his work slip behind and bills are needing to be paid. While working and talking the machine, Hadley is refusing to do something for whatever voice is in his head and cuts his hand. As the blood seeps into the maching, it springs to life and seems to mangle Hadley. When his wife goes to check on him, he appears to be fine but feeds his wife to the machine.
From there, we meet Jamie (Aimee Brooks) who is having a very bad day. She loses her job and her husband walks out on her. Hadley shows up to work on either the washer or dryer and attacks Jamie with a rubber mallet. He then takes her back to his place. While on the drive back we switch to his place and find two robbers staking out the house. Rick (Reggie Bannister) and Mike (Scott Speiser) are throwing the idea around of hitting Hadley's house. Rick makes his way in and discovers there are no door handles to be found on the door around back. There are two dead bolts but neither is locked. However, there is a heavy spring that makes the door impossible to open from the inside. So Rick finds himself traped in the house. Then Mike goes in and the same thing happens to him. Who will make it out of the house alive?
The description for The Mangler Reborn, calls it a gory sequel. I have to disagree with that. There is a lot of blood on the walls and floors of the house and some blood when a person gets hit with the rubber mallet. We see people getting stabed and cut some as they go through the machine some, most of the gore there is blood being sprayed back out. The worst of the gore is when Jamie finds her way into the room with what is left of the machine's victims.
The acting wasn't bad but it wasn't anything special either. Aimee Brooks does a fairly nice job. It was nice to see Reggie Bannister again. I really liked him in the Phantasm series. Juliana Dever and Renee Dorian finish out the cast as two other victims. I didn't have a problem with the acting so much as the lack of character development. We get a little of this with the Jamie character and Rick and Mike but, it isn't enough. I found it hard to relate to any of the characters and since I couldn't do that or know very much about them, I didn't much care if they lived or died.
Another problem with The Mangler Reborn, was the lack of a lead character. Not a lot of time is spent on any of the characters outside of Hadley. He doesn't count a whole lot though. While on his killing spree, he just stalks people down and hits them with his mallet. He says very little durring this time. I can't really fault the actor's performances because of those two things. Another problem I had was Hadley using a rubber mallet. It wasn't the choice of weapon really but they way the film uses it. By this I mean that he hits people once and they flop to the ground. Most of the time it doesn't look like Hadley is swinging it all that hard. I'm sure it does hurt to be hit by one of those things but it was almost comical in the way the actor's were reacting to being hit by it. I don't think this is what they were intending. The only performance I have felt was comical, and yet still scary, would have been in the Evil Dead movie.
One last thing really bothered me about this movie. Rick is telling Mike his every move. Rick informs Mike there are no handles on the front and back doors so is unable to get out. Once Mike is in the house and is trying to get out, where do you think he goes? To the front and back doors. Mike even tries to pick the lock on the back door even though he should know it wasn't locked in the first place since he came in that way! He does manage to free Jamie, but not before he informs her he was unable to find a way out, and where do you think she goes? To the front and back doors. This is a two story house, three with the basement, and yet they never check the other rooms for ways out. Why not the windows you ask? They are bricked up, which apparently can't be noticed from the outside. We see Hadley use a different entrance into the house, a normal door. So, there is another way out.
The biggest part of The Mangler Reborn takes place inside of Hadley's house. Because of that, and lack of character development, I just didn't care for this movie all that much. It needed more, a lot more. It wasn't fun watching person after person failing to get out the house in the exact same way.
2 out of 5 Unhappy endings
Monday, August 14, 2006
A team of scientists, and other respected fields, are called in by Father Loomis (Donald Pleasence) in order to figure out what an ancient text and discover what a conister of green liquid is all about. While they are doing this, a group of homeless people, outside of the church that they are in, start to surround the church. They are making sure that no one is able to get out of the church. Those that do leave in up getting killed in one fashion or another. Alice Cooper happens to be one of these homeless people. As Lisa (Ann Yen) begins to translate the text, we find out that the green liquid is the essence of Satan himself. If released, it is said, the Son will release the Father. I don't want to say to much more than that because it might give to much away. It is up to the group of people traped inside the church to stop this from happening. Can they do so or will they fall to evil itself?
I enjoyed some of the effects and some of it I thought was a little silly. What I liked first. Most people like good news first so might as well start there. There are several different effects actually. The ones I enjoyed the most would be when Kelly (Susan Blanchard) begins to decay. This was done over a period of time and each time we see her, she looks worse and worse, I mean that in a gross way, not bad way. Another nice effect was after Frank (Robert Grasmere) was killed and gives the rest of the people still inside the church a message. After he gives the message he starts to fall apart. You will need to watch the movie to find out why. The only effect I didn't care for was the green liquid 'squirting' in order to get inside of people. This looked silly. More so when it was coming from someone it was already inside of. Sadly, this seems to happen a lot in the second half of the movie.
The acting could have been better as well. I enjoyed Victor Wong as the Prof. I have not watched him in to many movies. What I have watched I have always enjoyed his performance. Jameson Parker and Lisa Blount play the lead roles. I was not real impressed with either of their perfomances. Dennis Dun gives Prince Of Darkness a little bit of comedy to throw into the mix. It is not forced so it fits in for the most part. My biggest problem happens to be with Donald Pleasence. To me he was just there the biggest part of the time. Very few times did he really raise himself up to the level of acting that I had become used to in his other films.
Prince Of Darkness is not for those of you that likes a movie that will put you right into the story/action as soon as the movies starts. It is a slow story that builds itself up. It is also a very deep story that you will really have to listen to in order to understand it. Even then you might not be able to understand all of it. Even in the second half of the movie, when it starts to pick up and see more action, it still has its slow points. A good sized part of the second half is our remaining group traped inside different rooms and trying to figure out what to do. While the main group tries to break through a wall in order to get to Walter (Dennis Dun), Walter never helps until Lisa and Susan (Anne Marie Howard) are trying to get to him. I couldn't figure out why he wasn't helping the main group at all and why the main group was even trying to get to him. They would all still be traped in the rooms so seemed rather pointless to me. I will say this as well, after watching this movie, you will neven look at mirror's the same way again.
I will take story over effects any day. Without a good story, effects will only add to my enjoyment of a movie so far. In the case of Prince Of Darkness, I liked the story but I think it tried to do to much. There are some interesting ideas here but a lot of it was explored only a little bit or just barely touching the surface. It may sound like I didn't like this one but I did. I just think that it could have been better than what it turned into is all. So Mr. Jed, which movie do you have for me next?
3 out of 5 Magic mirrors
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I'm not going to get into the plot to much here. I will skim over it a bit and talk about the movie itself some. A group of friends, who get together every year, go cave exploring and find more than they had expected to find. It doesn't sound like much does it? That is what I thought to when I went to go see it. How can a group of ladies, getting into trouble while cave exploring, be any good? Trust me, it turned out so much better than I could have ever had hoped for.
The effects was very impressive. The crawlers (as they are called in the movie) look very creepy and scary at the same time. We are only given glimpses of them at first but once you see them in action, they are hard to forget. I wouldn't call this a bloody film but what is there is very gory. The worst is probably watching one of the ladies being ripped up and eaten. There is also the pick axe they carry being driven into different parts of the body and some pipes being driven through bodies.
The acting was great. The group of ladies are as follows: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring and Nora-Jane Noone. All did a wonderful job with each of their roles. What impressed me the most about Shauna Macdonald was how she changed over the course of the movie. At one point she falls into a pool of blood. I was expecting her to come out of it right away in a panic but that never happened. Once she climbs out of the pool of blood, she seems different. Hard to explain in words so will just have to go see for yourself.
The crawlers are the only hole in the movie. By that I mean that some of the things they do don't really make much sense at times. Some are blind, right next to some of the ladies but since they are being quiet, go right on by them. It is obvious the hunt by sound. At times though, they made me wonder if some of them could see. Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) shines a flash light on one of them and it reacts to it. A female crawler seems to be able to see Sarah as well later on. You would think they would be able to notice heat but there is little reaction when one is near a flame most of the time. One crawler puts its hand on Sarah's head and doesn't seem to notice that it warmer and softer than the bones and rocks around it. The ladies suggest that the crawlers hunt for animals outside and bring them back to the cave to eat and this would make sense because of all the bones that are shown. For some, that didn't make a lot of sense to them. For me, this was mostly stuff I had thought about or maybe wondered about for just a few seconds durring the film. The pace and the feeling of being nervous for these ladies, kept me from dwelling on these facts for to long durring the movie. Even now, thinking about this stuff more, it doesn't take away from the movie for me.
The ending is slightly different here in the States. The ending was cut a little short compared to the ending of the UK version. If you would like to see the difference you can go here to check it out yourself. The Descent made me jump a couple of times and when a movie is able to do that then I know it is doing something right. I would suggest going to the theater to see it as it will add to the movie sitting in the dark.
4 out of 5 Creepy crawlers
Friday, August 04, 2006
A family of 7 are making a cross country trip for the parents anniversary. We have Bob (Ted Levine) and his wife Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan), their son Bobby (Dan Byrd), their 2 daughters Brenda (Emilie de Ravin) and Lynn (Vinessa Shaw). Also traveling with them is Lynn's husband Doug (Aaron Stanford) and their daughter Catherine (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi). While traveling through the New Mexico desert, they stop at a gas station and the attendant (Tom Bower) gives them some false directions that set them up to be hunted by mutants that have lived in the mines since the testing of the atomic bombs. The mutated people attack people that come through their area in order to survive. The family is forced to fight back or die.
I have the orignal on dvd and now, after renting this remake, I will have to own it on dvd as well. I had hoped that the remake would be as good as the orignal. Very rare for that to happen but they pulled it off. This is one of the few remakes I would say that is as good, if not better, than the orignal. Some things have changed but not enough that it changed the story from the orignal.
The effects was outstanding! There is a lot of gore so you have been warned. Reading some of the bad reviews, this turned off a lot of people. When you are fighting for your life, in the middle of no where, it's not going to be pretty. Of course, there are all kinds of bullet wounds, stabings and even a rape. The rape was well done, as it was in the original. You knew what was happening without being shown very much of it. What made some of the shootings more interesting is that even though they were bad wounds, the people didn't die from them right away. Fingers get cut off in one scene. That looked a little fake (yes I know that it is fake) but lucky for us it isn't shown for very long. The only other effect I had problems with is when one guy fires a shotgun into his head in order to kill himself. His whole head explodes which I thought was a bit of over kill (no pun intended). If you happen to watch this on dvd, check out the 'making of' feature. It really surprised me what was CGI and what was makeup. A good sign for a movie.
The acting was very well done as well. Not only from the family trying to survive but also the mutants. The cast of mutants is as follows: Michael Bailey Smith, Robert Joy, Ezra Buzzington, Laura Ortiz, Billy Drago, Ivana Turchetto, Desmond Askew and Gregory Nicotero. Everyone did such a nice job with their roles. Aaron Stanford is someone who looks his part. I mean, he is a skinny guy, not someone you would see as a fighter. In his role he isn't one, doesn't believe in violence and guns. So it is interesting to see the transformation he undergoes as he has to fight back.
I have been reading a lot of bad reviews. As with most bad reviews for movies I enjoyed, I don't think people 'got' the movie. Some complain (even in good reviews) that there is no plot to The Hills Have Eyes. I have to disagree with that. While it isn't a plot that has a lot of twist and turns, there is one there. The mutated people don't trust 'outsiders' and the only way they know how to survive is to take from others. They want to be forgotten so kill anyone that happens into their area. This has been happening for years and years, as shown by the crater filled with cars that Doug finds. The fact that they have been doing this for a long time, and are still alive, shows how smart they are and know how to get people to react in ways they want them to. On the other side of this, the family that is now traped in the desert. They have to learn to fight very quickly and use their wits if they want to live. Doug not only has to transform himself in order to survive but also to get his baby back from the mutants. It is not a complicated plot but it is there.
I will be giving The Hills Have Eyes the rating you will see in a moment, not because of the gore. It should be noted that I watched the unrated version. I love gore, as long as it is well done. But, and this is a big but, I found myself excited, sitting on the edge of my seat, heart racing and yes, even a little scared at times. This really surprised me since I already knew how it was going to play out. As I said, some things are different but it still plays out like the orignal did. Very few remakes are able to hold my interest as much as this one did. Because of that, I have to allow it into the rare club that only 3 other movies have made it into.
5 out of 5 Bloody good remakes
Black Christmas (1974) starts in a sorority house. Everyone is leaving for the Christmas holiday. Well not everyone, there are a few women who stay. Unlucky for them, there is someone who has taken up residence in their attic. This person has only been calling the women on a seprate line and having some very weird conversations. Often using more than one voice and sometimes showing that he is in the house by repeating things he has heard. Clare (Lynne Griffin) is the last to leave but she never gets to finish packing. The killer makes his move and kills off Clare. The story from there is about getting the phone calls and trying to figure out what happened to Clare. She was supposed to meet her dad the next day but of course never shows. Will the man in the attic kill again?
I can't talk about effects because there are none really. We don't see the killings for the most part. While not always bloodless, we just catch a hint of what is happening when the blood is there. I had no major complaints about the acting. I didn't care for Margot Kidder's character all that much. She was basicly the house drunk. Olivia Hussey has the lead role. Keir Dullea plays Olivia's boyfriend. John Saxon plays the Lieutenant that gets the police involved. I remember Art Hindle from somewhere but can't place him (possibly Porky's but not sure), anyways, he plays the part of Clare's boyfriend.
Black Christmas is a different kind of horror movie. There is never a clue droped about who the killer is or why he is even there. We never really get to see him. Mostly see his hands and can barely make out some of his face in one scene but not enough to see him clearly. We do get a good look at his eye at one point. There is a lot left open to our own minds in this movie and I think that has turned some people away. It is also a little slow at times. So a slow movie, no gore, and a killer we know nothing about. Does it sound boring? I thought maybe it would be once I was getting into the movie but the phone calls are very creepy and do a lot to add to make a person tense.
I was never really scared at any point but I did enjoy Black Christmas. It seemed a little ahead of its time with some things and I thought it still holds up today. This movie is up for remake heaven. It is said that it will center around Billy (the killer) more and will have flashbacks in order to explain his motivation. This is in fact true I think. Looking at IMDb for the remake, it does list a young Billy in the credits. This is a shame since that is one of the things that make this movie stand out above some of the rest and a big reason why I enjoyed it so much. If you only watch horror movies for the gore then you will want to skip past this one. For everyone else, be sure to give it a watch.
4 out of 5 Unknown killers
I feel almost ashamed that I am wasting blog space for Bizarre Lust Of A Sexual Deviant but my readers must be warned off. First of all, I wouldn't really even call this a horror movie. I guess in part it is but overall...no. Simple plot review here: Scott (Jason Christ) is going around and chloroforms women, takes pictures of their naked bodies, leaves a picture behind and goes home to feel sorry for himself. His ex-wife Angie (Lisa Morrison) is waiting for him and when he tries to do this to her again, she shoots him in the head. End of story. It really is that simple and stupid. We watch him attack the women, feel them up a little and pose them for pictures.
What makes it worse is that there is no common sense to this movie. When Scott chloroforms some of the women, he isn't even covering their nose. He doesn't wear gloves at all and just how many people use Polaroids now days? The news casts say the number of women attacked number in the teens. Later in the movie a news cast says that 4 women have been attacked in 3 days. Scott stumbles around, nearly giving himself away most of the time, so had hard could it possibly be to catch this guy?
Very poor effects. There are basicly only two scenes when effects are used. Scott gets in the tub and starts to cut himself. What was so bad about this is the blood was already there and he just added the cuts in the mix of the blood. He was supposed to be using a broken piece of mirror to cut himself with but all it does is leave a black mark. The other scene is when Scott gets shot in the head. That scene wasn't so bad actually, probably the only good thing about this movie. The acting....what can I say about the acting.....what acting would be the best thing I believe. There is very little dialogue in Bizarre Lust Of A Sexual Deviant. When the actors are allowed to speak, it isn't all that bad but hard to judge it from what little there was.
Most of the movie we watch with music being played. The music wasn't bad but I got tired of listening to it after a while. I suppose it is better than listening to silence. When Angie hears the news reports, we see her go into a room and when she comes out she has a snipper rifle. This is what it reminded me of. Pretty good sized rifle with a good sized scope on top. Very little character devolpement here. One of the victims we watch as she and her boyfrind are talking about moving away from each other because of a job and to see how they will feel about being apart. Then we follow them around for probably a good 10 minutes, if not more, as they walk around St. Louis. Why? I don't know. To make the movie longer I guess. Why give us this little insite? After she is attacked we don't see her anymore after that anyways. Angie fills us in at the end that Scott used to do this to her when they were married and that is now why she is the ex-wife. Nice to know, I guess, but to little and way to late. Please, I beg of you, stay far, far away from this one.
1 out of 5 Glad no sequel since they killed the guy in the end
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I watched today's movie a few days ago. Sorry for no review but I have been somewhat busy over the last couple of days. The Devil's Rejects (2005) picks up somewhere after House Of 1000 Corpse's leaves off. We come into the story as Sheriff John Quincy Wydell (William Forsythe) leads his men to the house that we saw so much of in the first movie. Inside we see that Otis (Bill Moseley), Baby (Sheri Moon), Mother Firefly (Leslie Easterbrook), and Charlie (Ken Foree) are all home. Tiny (Matthew McGrory) is out in the woods getting rid of a body. A big shoot out starts out the action. Some make it out, some don't. The ones that do make it out soon call Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) to warn him that the heat is on. They go on the run while Sheriff Wydell tries to track them down and take revenge for his brother's death (from the first movie). I will let you watch the movie to see who lives and who dies but one thing is for certain, no one is safe as they run from the law.
There are two camps when it comes to House Of 1000 Corpse's, either you liked it or you didn't. The Devil's Rejects seems to be the same way from what I was reading of other reviews. Most people who loved House hated Rejects and vice versa. The more I watched House the less that I liked it. It had its moments but overall I just didn't care for it. The Devil's Rejects takes a different turn as far as the style of the movie goes. We don't follow a group of people heading unknowingly into danger and seeing what happens to them as they meet a house full of killers. Instead, we follow those killers around. This sequel boarders on being more of an action movie then a horror movie but director Rob Zombie does a nice job of keeping the movie in its horror origins.
The effects team did a great job. The most common effect is someone being shot. There are a couple of places where someone gets stabed or just out right beaten. The best effect would probably be when a woman gets hit by a big truck. There isn't much left of her and some of her parts gets left all over the road. Most movies would show us the impact and maybe a hint of the aftermath but here they show us basicly everything. The nails through the hands was done very nicely as well.
The acting was pretty good as well. What I enjoyed most of all was the actor's that filled in for the small parts. P.J. Soles, Danny Trejo, Dallas Page, Geoffrey Lewis and Priscilla Barnes are the ones that stood out to me the most. William Forsythe did a great job as the sheriff that is walking a thin line between doing the right thing as a police officer and being no better then the killers he is chasing after.
Over all I would have to say that I enjoyed The Devil's Rejects a lot more over House Of 1000 Corpse's. I felt that is was a better made film. I loved the style that it was directed in and for you 70's music fans, there are plenty of 70's rock songs to be found through out the movie. Both movies are supposed to be set in the 70's. I didn't know this about House, if it is ever talked about, I missed it. This movie won't be for everyone though. Most of the negative reviews that I was reading complained about how violent it was. There is a lot of that in this movie but then most horror movies are violent. Maybe The Devil's Rejects did step it up a little more than most but this didn't bother me any. Most people that liked House hated Rejects though so if this describes you then you have been warned.
3 out of 5 Skin masks