2 days ago
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Claire (Carrie Bradac) and Nick Berman (Sean Hines) get a letter from her brother Jared (Shadrach Smith). The letter is part of an old map along with a gold nugget. Jared has discovered the gold mine of Jeremiah Stone (Vernon Wells), who was a bad ass back in the day. For some reason they invite their friends Axl (Stephen Wastell), Tori (Sangie), Hayden (Rick Majeske) and Rox Ann (Elina Madison), to share the gold with them. They all head to Suttersville, where the mind is supposed to be located. Once they are there, they come across Eve (Alexandra Ford), a local who eventually warns them off. Eve tells them that the gold is cursed, and that everyone that has gone to look for it has died. This doesn't bother the group too much, even though they can't find Jared anywhere. They do find the other half of the map though, and eventually the mine. They do find the gold, which is a lot more than just gold nuggets, but they also discover that Jeremiah has returned in order to keep his gold to himself.
I decided to watch Curse Of The Forty-Niner on Instant Watch mainly because it had to do with a miner killing people. I can't really call it a genre, but I do think it is an under used killer type. The miner used here is your old west type of guy. I was a little disappointed by this. I like the mask and everything that we see with miners of today. The pick axe is still in use here though, as I am sure it has always been used. Since no mask is being used, Jeremiah is given a zombie type look instead. I was a bit confused at first as to why Jeremiah was coming back to life. All we see is Jared looking at the gold, and then we go to Jeremiah's bones being covered by dirt, which is then turned into rotted flesh and clothes somehow. I had to go back and watch it again just to make sure I didn't miss something. I didn't, but it would have been nice if they had saved that transformation until later, or at least given a quick explanation.
Much like my viewing of Wedding Slashers, I didn't find anything great in Curse Of The Forty-Niner. At the same time I didn't find it all that bad. The ratings aren't too bad on Netflix, but they are on IMDb. Even some of my fellow bloggers burned this one down, and I don't really get it. Okay so it isn't the best slasher out there, even for low budgets, but it wasn't that bad of a movie I didn't think. But everyone has their own likes, which I am completely cool with. My main problem with Curse Of The Forty-Niner was that the skimped on the death scenes. All kills happened off screen. Sometimes we would get to see what happened, like one person missing their head, another got a shovel where it doesn't belong. I guess not all kills happened off screen after all. One or two had their throats cut, with their blood collected. But it would actually take the person a little while to bleed to death first. Anyway, I didn't get the point of collecting the blood. It looked like it would sparkle once in the bucket, but this was never explained and it was never shown what he was doing with it. Even though the effects weren't bad, there just wasn't much there with them.
Curse Of The Forty-Niner is littered with cameo appearances. Vernon Wells, Richard Lynch (second movie in a row), John Phillip Law, Jeff Conaway and Karen Black. Some had more of a role than others did. Black was in the movie more than the rest, with the others being in just one scene pretty much. Wells. who plays bad guy Jeremiah Stone very well actually, only plays him in the flashback which was supposed to show just how much of a bad ass he really was. The zombie version of Jeremiah was played by Brad H. Arden. I liked Alexandra Ford in her first movie role, but at times I thought she was putting the southern accent on a little thick. I do actually know some that talk that way though, and some that are even worse. I have an accent as well, but I come across people that I can barely understand sometimes. As for the main cast, no one really stood out to me, but they all did a pretty good job I thought.
I thought it would be interesting to see just how far Jeremiah's reach extended. It was rather easy for him, since they all showed up with his gold nugget. I didn't get why he went after them sooner, unless he felt going after a group, despite not being able to get injured, wasn't a good thing until they tried making off with a lot more of his gold. Curse Of The Forty-Niner could have been better than it was, but it could have been a lot worse than it ended up too. The pacing wasn't all that bad, nor the acting. Karen Black was as wacky as ever, she always is in movies I have watched with her for some reason. If you have never watched this one, maybe you should give it a try if it sounds interesting to you. How many zombie miners are there out there after all?
3 out of 5 Colts will lose again damn it!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Jenna (Jessica Kinney) and Alex (Ross Kelly) are about to get married. What Alex doesn't know about Jenna may kill him though. You see, Jenna has had a bad string of luck with her boyfriends. Whenever she starts to get close to a boyfriend, something bad happens to said boyfriend. Her first boyfriend got ran over by a truck. Another one was murdered right in front of her. Now she is in love with Alex, and so far nothing bad has happened. Both Alex and Jenna are having second thoughts, but their friends assure them both that they were meant for each other. Now it is the day of the wedding, but Jenna's family has caught up with her. Jenna has been on the run from them, but now that they have found her, they will do whatever it takes to stop the wedding. Even if it means killing every person on the guest list.
If you go by ratings on both IMDb and Netflix, then you can expect Wedding Slashers to be a shit film. Neither site has it rated very high. I didn't look at that before watching it, but I figured it would be a low budget film when I put it in. After watching it, I didn't feel like it was a great movie, but I had fun with it. The plot is pretty straight forward about what is going on, no real twists. It tries hard to be a straight forward slasher, but there is also some comedy thrown in. According to at least one person in IMDb, Wedding Slashers started out as more of a black comedy until the producers wanted it to be a more serious film. It is hard to say if it would have been better as more of a comedy. What is there tended to be hit and miss, much like a lot of other things.
Having Jessica Kinney in the lead role is one of the things that made Wedding Slashers more enjoyable to me. I thought there were times that her acting could have been better, but over all I liked her well enough. She is very pretty to look at, and her acting really came through at times. She doesn't get nude at any point, but nudity can be found. Ross Kelly was also pretty good in the male lead role. Fans of Maria Ford will be a little disappointed, along with fans of Richard Lynch. Both are in the film, but don't have very big roles. For what it is worth, Lynch does a great job. Besides the bigger names in the film, it was the smaller roles that had some of the not so good acting in them.
If there is one thing you can say about Wedding Slashers, then that would that it is a bloody movie. A lot of people get killed in various ways, usually in a typical slasher type way though. The problem I had with the special effects though is that it felt like there were two teams working on them. Some of the effects look great, while others looked very bad. My favorite was a person getting their head cut off. We then see the head with the eyes still looking around, and the body twitching. This happened somewhat early in the movie, so it got my hopes up. I soon realized that not all the effects would be that good sadly. None so bad that they took me out of the moment, but I did have to roll my eyes at them at times.
I did find the plot of Wedding Slashers a little confusing. It wasn't what was going on that confused me, but how much time was supposed to have passed. At first there are a couple of flashbacks, and they tell you how far back in time they are going. Once they get to the present though, I was never sure what time it was supposed to be. At one point it is just suddenly night time. If there was a period of things getting dark, then they skipped right over it. I was also never sure how many were there of the wedding party and/or guests. Despite these things I still had fun while watching Wedding Slashers. If you do decide to watch it, if you have Netflix you can watch it on Instant Watch, just don't expect a lot out of it and you should be fine with it. Hardly one of the great slashers out there, but a fun one none the less.
3 out of 5 Who knew an incest couple would have such a hot daughter
Thursday, November 25, 2010
A film crew has decided to do a documentary about the Isla de la Roca Penitentiary. When we first meet them, they are about to interview John Elias (Stacy Keach), who used to be a guard at the prison. John begins by telling them that many people believe the Devil himself built the place, and then men came along and made into a prison for the worst of the worst in the southern States. While John is telling them about the big riot that eventually shut down the prison, we watch a flashback of the events that tell a slightly different story. Once the interview is over, the film crew heads to the prison. What they don't know is that a group of jewel thieves have holed up in the prison. After their robbery went wrong, resulting in three deaths and one of their own being shot in the leg, When the wounded robber's blood hits the floor, it seemingly awakens the spirits that are still in the prison. Will the two groups be able to work together to survive?
A lot of horror movies depend on the location to add to the scares. Providing a real location will often help, more so if the place is a well known for being haunted. The location in Death Row isn't a real location, but it does have the feel of a real prison at times. The places they use inside the prison are pretty limited, so Death Row doesn't use its location very effectively. The story itself wasn't all that great either. I kept waiting for the two groups to come together and watch the sparks fly, but that never really happens. The robbers find one guy, and I think two of their own has already been killed by that point. Another gets killed soon after, so by the time the rest of the film crew is known by the robbers, the shit has already hit the fan and there isn't much of a conflict between the two groups. What is there felt more like an after thought than actual conflict.
One thing that did surprise me was how bloody Death Row was at times. Three deaths stood out, while the rest were nothing. One person gets squeezed through some bars, with chunks the shape of the holes falling off. Another person gets sliced up by some type of machine. While it was a pretty cool death, there was oddly no blood to be found in that scene. The last death was someone getting their lower half cut off. With guts hanging out from both ends, it was a nice scene as far as the effects went. For a made for TV movie, it was a very surprising death scene, but again there was hardly any blood. I don't know if this was done on purpose so they could get it approved for TV or what the deal was, but with scenes like that I would think there would be a ton of blood around, just not a little bit splashed onto the wall.
The acting wasn't too bad. Jake Busey was the leader of the robbers, and you can expect some more over acting from him. It was nice to see another movie with him in it though. He was at the first horror movie convention I ever went to. I didn't go talk to him, but I knew who he was at least. Stacy Keach shows up at the start, and then again towards the end of the film, which surprised me a little. You can also find Danny Trejo in a minor role. He was a priest at the prison, who has a short interview scene. Kyle Schmid, Jamie Elle Mann, Reynaldo Gallegos, and Marco Rodríguez round out the robbers. Claire Coffee, Scott Whyte, Shanna Collins, Danny Arroyo, and James Leo Ryan round out the film crew.
One of the things I didn't care for was the ghosts themselves. Looked like they used real people, with some pretty good makeup effects at times, and then used digital effects to make them look ghostly. They are usually surrounded by, what some described as anyway, digital fire. I didn't care for this look at all. One thing I didn't get is how the ghosts left the women alone for the most part. When they did bother them, it was to try and kill them of course. I found this a little hard to believe. I know they are ghosts and can't do a whole hell of a lot, but these were some nice looking women. I just found it hard to believe that a bunch of cons that have been in prison for a long time wouldn't bother the women more than they did.
For a made for TV movie, Death Row was surprising in some ways. It was pretty gory at times which did manage to shock me just a little bit. The rest of the movie is lacking though. By the time it ended it was getting pretty stupid. The plot wasn't making a lot of sense to me by then either. I suppose for a TV movie it wasn't as bad as I am trying to make it out to be. After all, they can't show near as much on TV as they can in a rated movie. Since the plot wasn't all that great though, which is where a TV movie should hopefully shine more, I couldn't get into Death Row very well. Death Row isn't real bad, but I can't suggest seeking it out either.
2 out of 5 At least the cons showed up when one of the women was taking a shower
Friday, November 19, 2010
Ben (Joshua Jackson) and Jane (Rachel Taylor) are newly married. Before they can really celebrate that fact though, they head off to Japan for a photo shoot that Ben's friends got for him. They do get a bit of a honeymoon though over in Japan, but as they head to the honeymoon, Jane accidentally hits a woman that is in the road. When they come to, after their car hits a tree, they can't find any trace of her anywhere. When the police arrive, they can't find anything either, so just assume it didn't happen. Once on the job, Ben gets the pictures back from their honeymoon, and in some of them they notice there is a white streak through them. Jane believes this is a spirit, which begins to show up in other pictures as well. When Ben and Jane realize that some of the pictures with the spirit in them were before the accident, Jane realizes it isn't connected to her.
I was surprised at how close the remake of Shutter ended up to the original movie. Sure there are plenty of changes that were made, but if you had never watched the original film, you would pretty much get the same story out of it. I do like the original way more though. The biggest surprise about this remake is that it is now taking place in Japan instead of Thailand. The prevailing theory for this is because director duties were given to Masayuki Ochiai, who as you can probably guess is Japanese. There are some other changes as well, some minor, some not so minor. I think the biggest change that I took note of was that they didn't use the ghost as much as they did in the original film. This took away most of the creepy factor I thought. I didn't mind all of the changes at least. None were made that I felt made Shutter an improvement over the original. Ben's friends are in this one more, and showed them in a worse light. The ending stayed the same, but was changed slightly as well. I didn't really care for the change at all to be honest.
The acting was pretty good. I like Joshua Jackson as an actor, but there are always times I don't care for the way he acts something out. That was also the case here in Shutter. Megumi Okina plays the part of the ghost. You may remember her as Rika in The Grudge (2002). David Denman and John Hensley got the parts of Ben's buddies. There wasn't a whole lot of special effects to be found outside of the ghost pictures. We do see the dead body of the ghost, which I thought was revealed in a better way in the original film. Besides that, Ochiai seemed to want to go for more of a gross out factor with the ghost instead of a scare factor. There were a couple of times the ghost shows her real self, a corpse, to Ben. Even though it was different, I will pick the feeling of being scared over feeling grossed out any day.
If you hate sub titles with a passion, this remake of Shutter is the way to go then. The film itself isn't bad, but near as good as its Thailand counter part. While certain things are different about each film, the location and some of the story details, the meat of the story remains the same. If you have watched the original film, you won't be surprised by anything in this version. Nothing major was done to the overall plot details. The way they figure out what is going on was changed slightly, not sure if it made more sense to the American target audience or not though, it doesn't offer anything surprising that would make a difference to watch one version over the other. I say stick with the original version of Shutter unless you don't want to mess with sub titles. The remake isn't as good, but it is still an average film experience.
3 out of 5 Hope I never piss off a ghost
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
A group of friends that are in college together decide to take off for the weekend. Carl (Johann John Jean) has the hots for Katie (Kira Madallo Sesay), who happens to be dating someone else though. He steals a couple of books that Professor Jenkins (Glen Plummer) was talking about in his class. The books talk about the Giddeh, a powerful voodoo demon that likes to tear peoples arms and legs off of them while they are still alive. They don't know it, but the books also tell how to summon this demon, and that they do. Giddeh is among the group now, and it is up to Jenkins to try and save them.
Voodoo Curse: The Giddeh is credited as the directorial debut of Glen Plummer. According to some though, Plummer had a fall out with the producers and backed out of the project. Some of it was directed by Plummer, and most wasn't. This could explain the film itself, because it is a very bad movie. Voodoo Curse ends up being a very confusing mess of a movie. I am assuming that Plummer shot all the scenes that he himself was in, which wasn't all that many. Where to start on this mess? Lets see, Katie seems to have a personality change sometime between college and at the cabin with her friends. Her boyfriend beats up Carl because he thinks Carl is moving in on his girl, even though Katie swears they are just friends. Carl never mentions this to anyone, and never looks like he got beat up. The boyfriend swears he will go to where ever the group is going and kill them all if he is being played the fool, but never shows up. The same stairway is shown in at least three different scenes. You know when it is very low budget when you are stuck reusing the same sets. Towards the end of the movie Katie gets some blood on her white shirt. The location and the amount of blood changes between shots. One character completely disappears. Close to the end of the movie things start to feel very rushed. I thought that part of this was because they didn't film enough scenes for the ending, but went ahead and edited together what they had. One scene of some lady doing a voodoo dance was repeated I don't know how many times, and I was never sure how it even related to what was going on in the movie. Before the one character disappeared, he explains why it would be bad to release the Giddeh three times, to the same person no less.
We never actually see the Giddeh do his work. He slinks around the forest for a little while. He has glowing red eyes at times. I have no idea why he does at times, but not at other times. One scene he is back lit with some fog or smoke all around him. That looked very cool, but it was only one scene so it hardly made up for anything. After telling us numerous times how the Giddeh kills people, you would think they would give us at least one kill that way. I'm sure he killed everyone he could by pulling their limbs out, but we never see that happen. We do get to see him pull someones head off, which is supposed to be the death blow, but the head had a nice clean cut to it. I could be wrong, but I don't think you will get that from pulling their head off. That was pretty much the extent of the special effects by the way.
Some movies can be saved even if a new director has to take over a film. Now that this was pointed out to me, I can think back and pretty much figure out which scenes were likely directed by Plummer, and which ones were not. It explains a lot if it is true, which I see no reason why it isn't true. Voodoo Curse: The Giddeh had some interesting ideas there, but it ended up being a very confusing movie. The acting was a little below average, special effects were barely there at all, and I had a hard time figuring out some of the characters and what the hell was going on at times. You would think the new director would be using the same script, but then again maybe not. Unless you are really curious about this movie for some reason, I would highly suggest skipping over it. The short run time, falling short of 80 minutes, does help get through it a little bit, but I still wouldn't suggest it.
1 out of 5 At least the snow caps I had while watching this were good
Monday, November 15, 2010
After leaving a party, Thun (Ananda Everingham) and Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) start to head home. As they are talking, Jane notices someone walk onto the road, but it is too late for Jane to avoid the person. They crash after hitting the person, but before they get out to check on this woman, another car can be seen heading in their direction. Thun gets scared and keeps telling Jane to leave until she actually does so. This chain of events seems to bother Jane more than it does Thun. Thun takes pictures for a living, and ever since the accident he has been noticing some strange images in the pictures he has been taking. At first he writes it off as bad film or a defect with the camera, but soon he will no longer believe that. What starts off as an accident turns into something more sinister when they find out that no body was found.
At first I wasn't too sure about Shutter. I didn't really have a problem with the story, after seeing the couple hit someone, but it didn't impress me all that much. While it was a ghost story, which made it slightly different from other hit and run plots, it didn't feel like it was going to be that great of a movie. Shutter explored ghost photography for a little bit, which made it slightly more interesting, but didn't stay on the subject for very long. Even though I liked what they were doing with the ghost, it was the story that made Shutter great to me. Some felt that they used the ghost for too many jump scares. I didn't feel that way, but then again I never jumped because of it. The story going off in a direction I would never have guessed was a good thing. It added a lot more mystery to what was going on. Sure there was some already there with not knowing who the person they hit was. But later on in the movie we learn that Tun is connected to this person in some way. It wasn't all good though. The writers made it very hard to like one of the lead roles by the end of the movie. I don't think it was needed to pull the rug out from under one of the leads so that we go from somewhat liking the character to hating the character. This was a big thing, but it didn't take away my entire enjoyment of the whole movie in that one spot thankfully. I have had movies completely reverse how I felt about them just because of the way it ended before.
Not a whole lot of gore effect to be found. A few shots of someone that has fallen from a great height here and there, and we see a body that has been dead for a good while. That is as far as it goes though. The ghost itself, while we do get a shot of its long black hair at least once, was a bit different in some ways. We see her face rather often, not that it helps in figuring out who she is right away. I liked that since the biggest part of the time all we see is an eye or some other part of the face. The acting wasn't bad, but there were plenty of times I thought the characters weren't acting all that scared when they should have been. That was just me though, as I know I would get pretty freaked out if I knew I was being haunted in some way. The subtitles were not hard to follow, and there was only a couple of times it went by too fast for me to read.
If you like ghost stories, I am pretty sure you will like Shutter then. I liked that they went with photographs revealing the ghost at times. This is something that isn't used a whole lot in movies, to me anyway. As I said above, I liked what they were doing with the ghost at times. They had her walking upside down at times, or crawling the wrong way down a ladder which looked very cool to me. The ghost never said anything that I can recall, except in dreams, which people complained about. In truth though you learn this was how she was in real life, so it made sense to me that she would be that was as a ghost as well. The ghost was played by Achita Sikamana, and I felt she did a good job with it. I'm curious now to see the American remake of this film since they used American actors in it. I'm curious to see how they change the story because of that. It won't be my next review, but it will be coming soon. If you have yet to see Shutter, then isn't about time you did?
4 out of 5 I hope a ghost never pulls my bed sheets off
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Doctor Edward Kanopolus (David H. Hickey) believes that the human mind has the power to heal the body. It just needs help to unlock that power. Edward is working with a pharmaceutical company to come up with a serum that will do just that. He believes he is close, but the company is looking for results now, and is threatening to pull the plug soon or take his work away from him. Eddie (Derek Phillips) is Edwards nephew. Things are looking up for Eddie lately. He just got word that he got into medical school, and he is starting to patch things up with his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Lizabeth Cardenas). Eddie gets drunk one night and manages to get hit by a car. His injuries are bad enough where things aren't looking so good for Eddie now. Edward believes that even though his serum hasn't worked as he wanted to, because he thinks he has only tested on the dead so far, he thinks it will help save his nephew. We all know that in horror movies, good intentions never worked out as planned though.
The first thing I noticed about Serum was that it looked like I was watching it on VHS instead of DVD. It has a very grainy picture through out the movie. The next thing that I noticed was that writer/director Steve Franke is a big fan of fade outs. Serum turns out to be Franke's first film as a writer and director, and at times it does show. I don't mind fade outs, but I am used to them being used when going between scenes. In Serum they are used in an odd way some of the time. Edward finds a test subject, fade out. Show the test subject eating some type of animal, fade out. Go back to Edward, fade out and so on. The story itself wasn't too bad, but there were times it felt like a romantic drama instead of a horror movie. Not that is a bad thing, since Franke was at least trying to give us some character development. The longer the drama of Eddie trying to get his ex back, and his best friend finding out his girl is messing around on him (with the guy that Sarah had been dating no less), it was starting to feel more like filler instead of character development. Outside of the zombie or monster, or whatever it is supposed to be, at the start of the movie, we don't see another one until late into the movie. I appreciated the character development, but it just went on way to long. Not only for me, but for lots of other people as well.
The effects were actually pretty good. Nothing real gory, but at least blood came squirting out whenever a bite was taken out of someone. If you don't like needles and things like that, you may not like that part of Serum too much. The acting wasn't all that bad either. I was actually expecting it to be worse than what I got. I can't say anyone really stood out to me, but at least no one was just real bad either. Derek Phillips and Lizabeth Cardenas make a convincing couple I thought. Both had times when I felt their acting could have been a bit better, but it was easy to over look at least. You can also find Dennis O'Neill, Bill Sebastian and Kevin Suires.
Even though it wasn't actually needed, I would have liked to have had a reason for the serum turning people into monsters. The makeup for this could have been better I thought. All it was doing was making the person's face bubble up. The ending could have been a lot better as well. It leaves things wide open for a sequel, which I don't think is really needed here. In the end I didn't think Serum was a horrible movie. It took a bit too long to set things up, which was really its downfall. I wasn't bored with it, but I was starting to lose interest in it after a while. Franke has only directed one other movie, which sounds like a kids movie from the title of it, so I am hoping he has gotten better as a director. Some get better, while others never seem to do or get worse.
2 out of 5 Tired now after spending the day with two little ones
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Slash starts by showing us Jethro (Danny Keogh) draining blood from some bodies. A young boy, who we later learn is his grandson Mac (Adam Woolf), is playing in the barn at the time. He watches at first until Jethro finds him. When Jethro tries to grab Mac, he knocks over a lantern which quickly sets Jethro on fire. Mac gets away and then moves away with his mother. In the present, we soon learn that the farm that the opening took place at is still there, and someone is still killing people. Mac (James O'Shea) is now grown up and is the front man of a rock 'n' roll group called Slash. They are about to get a record deal when Mac is summoned back to his family farm by his dad because Mac's aunt has passed away. Mac is met by his dad, Jeremiah (Steve Railsback), and Billy Bob (Nick Boraine) who settle Mac and his band in. After the funeral the tour bus breaks down, so Mac and company have to stay longer than planed. Mac begins to act strange to his friends, while some of the group goes missing. Is Mac to blame, or is there someone else doing the killing?
Slash ended up being a weird film for me. I never felt bored while watching it, but at the same time it never interested me all that much. The plot for Slash was somewhat interesting, but in the end it comes up short. The small sub plots within the group of characters was interesting and annoying all at the same time. Suzie loves Mac but thinks Candy is a slut for whatever reason. Keith is a black guy that thinks everything has to do with him being black, and also happens to be the only one that carries a gun. There is also their tour bus driver who loves to film everything and gets bossed around by everyone. For a no name band they sure had a nice tour bus. One thing that has been annoying me since watching Slash has nothing to do with the movie itself, but with other reviews. Time after time Slash is called a killer scarecrow movie, when it isn't at all! The killer sort of looks like a scarecrow I guess, minus any type of stuffing of course. Sure he tricks people into thinking he is a scarecrow sometimes, but one he isn't. Anyway, Slash is a film out of South Africa, not that you would be able to tell that from watching it. The setting and the story itself just feels like it would have been something that was filmed here in the States. I think I would have liked it more if it related to their culture actually.
Another thing that surprises me about some reviews is when they talk about how great the kills are. I can't say that the kills are off screen, because we see them happen the biggest part of the time. But they are filmed in a way that doesn't actually show the kill. Like the killer's body is blocking the view, but it is still happening on screen. Only two scenes stand out as far as gore effects go. One guy gets a blade through him, and a different guy gets pulled into a combine, I think, and we see what is left of him come out the other end. The last kill was the best in the movie, but this was hardly a bloody movie. The kills felt very tame overall. The acting wasn't too bad. I was very disappointed by James O'Shea. He looks great with no shirt on, but spends most of the film in brooding mode. Steve Railsback and Nick Boraine stole the show with their acting. Boraine was funny at times while Railsback was just great in general. You can also find Brett Goldin, David Dukas, Nina Wassung, Zuleikha Robinson, Craig Kirkwood and Neels Clasen.
A funny little goof in the film is one where a character picks up a knife, knowing it is a fake knife, and uses it to kill someone. Problem is, there is no way this character would know it was fake since he never met the person that originally owned it. Slash comes across as an average slasher type film. In fact it was a bit too average. Even though it managed to keep my interest through the whole film, I can't give it my average rating to it. This mainly had to do with the kills, but it was also because even when the shit hits the fan, it still wasn't a very tense movie. I was a bit confused by the Billy Bob character since he seems to know more about what is going on than he lets on, but by the end of the movie he is apparently good friends with the main group. I couldn't figure out which side he was on, and I still don't know. Slash may be an average film, but it was just a bit too average for me to really get into it.
2 out of 5 Don't people know a real scarecrow killer when they see one?
Friday, November 12, 2010
Vince (Stephen Graham) is about to go through a divorce and is taking it pretty hard. His best buddies have decided to take him to a small town out in the country where women out number men three to one. They want to prove to Vince that not all women are out to get him, so to speak. His friends can't really brag though, as each seem to have women problems of their own. Leaving Banksy (Neil Maskell) behind because he is late, the friends head off to Moodley to get drunk and meet some women. They hire a bus to take them there, and as it turns out their driver is also a woman. Once they get to Moodley, things seem very quiet there. No one is on the streets, and they can't find anyone at the local pub either. A few of them go off on their own and start to notice things like bloody hand prints. Mikey (Noel Clarke) discovers one woman munching down on something, with body parts all around her. When he makes himself noticed, the woman picks up an axe and comes at him. They soon learn that all the women in this small town have become man hating zombies.
Doghouse is a movie from the UK, so expect a lot of accent. I hate to call the women in Doghouse zombies. They have the look, and most of the time they act like zombies. They never say if the women are the living dead though. In the credits at the end of the movie the different zombies are listed as Zombirds. Since that is just a play on words, I will go with the film makers and call the women zombies. A lot of people, and the film makers as well I believe, like to call Doghouse a war of the sexes, but I wasn't so sure. The zombies do hate men only, but was it because they were the opposite sex or because all women turned into zombies? The zombies tend to be dressed in ways that go with male problems, or they have weapons, which is something new for most zombie movies anyway. Some things are also said by they guys that relate to women in a general way. I wasn't offended or mad about any of it, but some women were it seems. The movie itself, and the plot of the movie, was just okay to me. Doghouse isn't a straight up horror film. It also mixes a lot of comedy in with it. I wasn't surprised by this, since the trailer made it pretty clear this would be the case. I did laugh in places, but over all I wasn't all that impressed by the comedy part of the movie. With all the different types of zombies around though, it becomes one of those movies where you can talk to others who have watched Doghouse and talk about your favorite zombie.
If you like gory movies, Doghouse is pretty good in that department. It isn't real gory, at least I didn't think so, but there are some nice effects there. Since I don't watch a lot of movies from the UK, I didn't know of the actors. Those that do though seemed to like Danny Dyer in his role. Many seemed to feel Dyer was "taking a piss at film critics" in this movie. How he was doing that wasn't explained, but I will take their word for it. Noel Clarke, Lee Ingleby, and Terry Stone all had a scene together that had me laughing pretty good through it. I think Ingleby was my favorite actor for this movie. He is rather nerdy, which I actually liked this time around. The women who play the zombirds also did a good job with their roles. There is a little bit of nudity, but not a lot.
Any comedy that can make me laugh, even if it is only once mind you, gets a fairly good rating from me. The scene that had me going the most is probably because of the situation. I don't really want to spoil it, even though it doesn't matter a lot to the plot. I just don't want to give away what I felt was the funniest part of the movie away. Hate that in trailers. Lets just say it reminded me a bit of the movie Sorority Boys and leave it at that. Doghouse has one problem I couldn't completely overlook, which was a bad ending. Wasn't the worst ever by far, but it could have been a lot better than it was. The way the plot was moving I thought the ending would be fun, but it wasn't to me at all. Not to say that Doghouse is a bad movie in general, because it isn't at all. I liked it well enough but didn't fall in love with it by any means. It is worth a watch though, and I am glad that was able to borrow it for the day at least. This review took a longer than I had planned on. My back has been keeping me up at night, so I haven't been getting a good nights sleep last few days. Here is to hoping it gets better and I can watch more movies soon.
3 out of 5 Not really sure why they decided on this title for the movie
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Motorman Dan (David C. Hayes) collects items that were once owned by serial killers. After getting a knife that a guy claims was used by a serial killer, he took it out of police storage somehow, Motorman Dan heads back to the repair shop he owns in the middle of the desert. Meanwhile, Ryan (Jose Rosete) is driving around when he has some car trouble. Leaving his car behind, he starts walking and eventually sees Dan coming. Ryan tries to flag Dan down, but Dan is busy with something else and doesn't see Ryan until he happens to run the guy down. Instead of taking Ryan to the hospital, or calling someone, Dan takes him to his garage/house instead. Dan works on Ryan and makes him into...something. He is now supposed to be half man and half machine, but I couldn't tell that at all. Anyway, Dan orders Ryan to kill anyone that comes in so now Dan now his very own serial killer. Ryan's sister Angela (Patti Tindall) has been looking for Ryan ever since he disappeared. Will Ryan be able to kill his own sister when she stumbles across the shop?
So obviously Machined is a low budget movie. Because of that it fits right in with my blog. Machined started off somewhat good. I mean the whole car breaking down has been done to death, but what Dan does to Ryan could have been interesting with the right script. Writer/director Craig McMahon was probably limited by his budget so I understand not showing a lot of what was done to Ryan. In fact we don't really see much of anything being done to him. The end result is that he now wears a clear mask, that we only get to see from Ryan's point of view. When we see Ryan, he is wearing a welding helmet (at least that is what it looked like to me) with lights in it and shoulder pads of some type. It looks kind of silly really and to be honest, doesn't look like something that Dan was trying so hard to make. Once Ryan becomes...whatever the fuck he was supposed to be, Machined becomes very repetitive. People show up with car trouble, except a sheriff who was in uniform, Dan watches the video cameras from some room while Ryan stalks and kills each person. After each killing we get to see Angela on her search for Ryan or some scene between Dan and Ryan. Things change up a little bit when Angela shows up at last, but it was still her running away from him through most of that. The ending, at least they final showdown between Angela and Ryan, saved Machined a tiny bit, but not enough to have to sit through the whole movie for.
Machined wasn't much as far as effects went. We get to see some stabbings, welding rods being pushed through body parts, but all we really get to see is the blood that each wound makes. This was mainly because almost all kills took place while we are watching Dan watch Ryan on this dinky TV he has. The acting was okay I guess. I wasn't really all that impressed with anyone, but I can't blame things on bad acting. Both David C. Hayes and Patti Tindall do their best with what they have. If it wasn't for Machined being so damn boring, I might have appreciated the acting more than I did. Then again, maybe not.
Going back to the TV Dan was watching for a moment here. The thing keeps losing the single, was which annoying as hell. Apparently it was the TV since sometimes Dan would hit it and it would clear up for a short time. This would happen every time. A few times wouldn't have bothered me, but when it does it a lot it was just starting to become very frustrating. I hate to give any movie my lowest rating. Okay, that isn't completely true. Some movies out there deserve it after all. I do hate to do it with Machined since not everything about the movie was bad to me. Normally I would justify that good, however small it may be, to throw a movie into a bad rating, but not the worst. I just can't bring myself to give Machined a higher rating though. The movie bored me almost to sleep a few times. The music was loud, but it was hard to hear the actors because of that. Hell it was hard to hear them at times without the music playing. Because of all that, I have to give it the lowest of the low.
1 out of 5 Worst costume for a killer ever?
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Doctor Taa (Wichan Jarujinda) and all his nurses have been on a plot to sell the remains of dead bodies on the black market. One of his nurses, Tawan (Chon Wachananon), is in love with the doctor but suddenly decides to blow the whistle on the whole operation. The doctor and the other nurses don't want this of course, so they deal with her in their usual way. They kill her and then sell her body parts off. But as legend has it, a person will come back from the dead on the seventh day after their death in order to take revenge on their murderers or the ones that tries to steal their true love from them. Since this is a horror movie, I'm sure you can guess who comes back.
Sick Nurses was a bit confusing at first. It explains very little at the start of the movie, and ten minutes in we already see the ghost attacking people. We see Tawan killed, and the main reason why she is killed. There is more to it than that of course, which is all told in flashbacks. Even though it might be a little confusing at first, those that like their movies to get right to the point shouldn't be disappointed. Since I believe this is the first ghost story movie I have watched from Thailand, I don't know if all their ghosts are like this one. I can't remember ever seeing a ghost like this one though. For this ghost, her hair changes color a little bit, and her skin turns completely black. With this being an Asian film, the ghosts hair plays a big part. The ghost can also take control of the living sometimes. Like their hands will turn black and do things against that person's will. Oh, and she can add an extra hour to the clocks apparently. The ghost is very different to say the least. Another thing that was a bit confusing at first is that events are happening at the same time at first. I didn't catch onto this even though they kept showing the clock with the same time on it for a while. Once I got past being a tad confused, I started to enjoy Sick Nurses a little more. It manages to mix a little bit of comedy in with the horror which was nice at times. Some of the kills were a bit silly looking at times, but then Sick Nurses never came close to being a scary movie.
The effects were pretty good for the most part. There is only one scene where it looked like they went with CGI blood, which stood out because of it. There is lots of blood in Sick Nurses, but I didn't find the effects to be very graphic. Except one anyway. One nurse does lose her lower jaw. This looked very good, but it was done in a sort of funny way. The acting wasn't too bad from what I could tell. Everyone screamed when they were supposed it, I think so anyway. The doctor was probably the worst of the bunch as far as acting went.
While I thought that Sick Nurses was an okay film, I wasn't going to give it a very high rating. I had my mind pretty made up about that after a while. The movie was fun in some ways, but the ghost killing her fellow nurses just wasn't really doing it for me. It wasn't until the back story that I became more interested in what was going on. Even the back story didn't make a lot of sense at first, but by the end of the movie, it all came together nicely. The twist ending went in a direction I wasn't expecting at all. It was because of the twist that I decided to bump up my rating a little more. I still didn't find Sick Nurses to be a great film, but it was fun. Some nice gore effects at times plus some silly deaths can make for a good time. All the women are nice to look at as well. Just one scene with a little bit of nudity though, so don't expect that. One scene had one of the nurses showering with her clothes on. While it looked stupid as hell, it did actually fit her character. If Sick Nurses sounds like a film you might like, give it a try!
3 out of 5 Giving birth to a full grown woman has to give a new meaning to birthing pains
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Six people wake up in an abandoned factory, not knowing how they got there. As they explore the factory, they realize that they are being watched on camera. Eventually they hear a voice telling them that they are on a TV show called Are You Scared? This is something that they all wanted to do, but never heard back from anyone about it. The show is supposed to exploit their greatest fear, but they never signed any papers in order to be on the show. The thing they don't know is that the "show" is being run by a guy that wants to teach people that in order to get what you want, sometimes you have to suffer for it. This guy also has a grudge to settle against one of the people in his game.
It was clear right from the start that Are You Scared was trying to be a knock off of Saw. With an opening of some woman having to walk across broken glass and sticking her head in acid, that she doesn't know is acid of course, it was clear which direction the movie was going. It didn't bother me that it was trying to copy Saw, but with its own little twist. I don't know if this was the first movie to do it, but I'm sure it isn't the last. Where Saw knew its limits, Are You Scared suffered from its low budget. The fact that the bad guy tricked people into thinking they were on a reality show is different, but completely ruined by the fact that they had no idea of how they got to the factory. Once the six people learn that the show is actually "real", they calm down and play along, for a little while at least. I found this pretty stupid on their part since a real show wouldn't kidnap people to put them on it. The story, by writer/director Andy Hurst, did get a little better once it was revealed that the bad guy had a special interest in one of the six people. It added a layer that had been missing through the whole movie. I thought that Hurst should have revealed this either sooner or just went with it right from the start, maybe making the other people her friends or something. Just having six people that we know nothing about, outside of the basics, all through the movie doesn't do anything for me when they get into trouble.
The low budget comes through when we see the special effects. It is a shame too since there is one effect late in the movie that was very impressive. A guy loses part of his head thanks to an axe, and it looked very good. Outside of that one effect though, things looked bad. One of the six has an explosive device inside of him, which he only has 60 seconds to get it out. When it goes off, the bang looked somewhat cheap but the guy is there one second, and completely gone the next. And in case you missed how he completely disappeared, the bad guy shows it over a couple of times on one of his screens. There are no flying body parts, they guy is just gone. That is how silly it looked. Another effect had to do with a drill going into some one's head. The start of it looked something like a digital effect, a bad one at that, and it didn't look much better once it became a particle effect.
The acting was a bit of a mixed bag. I didn't think anyone was the worst ever, but I never got into any of the acting either. Alethea Kutscher becomes the main character sort of by default. That was probably best since she was one of the better actors in the movie. I also liked Erin Consalvi who was another of the six. Brad Ashten, Carlee Avers, Kariem Marbury and Soren Bowie round out the six trapped in the factory. Eric Francis plays a Detective who is trying to find everyone. Jennifer Cozza is an FBI profiler sent in to help. And we have Brent Fidler playing the bad guy.
Detective Bowman has to be one of the worse cops put on film. Once he learns for sure that a new game has started, he says something like: "I guess we sit around and wait for him to call. He always calls." I could be wrong about what he said, but that is pretty close I think. Anyway, I was like shouldn't you maybe try and find these people instead of waiting on the call after the fact? He does actually do this, but it was still a stupid thing to say. Once he finds out where the game might be taking place, he goes in with no backup what so ever. You can probably guess what happens to him, since it always happens to cops that do that in movies, but the way it was done was also stupid. A big sliding door that makes a lot of noise opens behind him, but does he turn around? Only when it is too late of course. Are You Scared is a little frustrating because you can see that it could have been a better movie than it ended up being. I can't really suggest this one to anyone, but there are people out there that did really enjoy this one. I found out as I was doing a search for this movie that there is a sequel out there. I will probably get around to it someday, but I'm not in a big hurry.
2 out of 5 Thinking I would make a great reality star
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Mya (Anessa Ramsey) and Ben (Justin Welborn) are messing around behind Mya's husband. When Ben wakes up, he discovers that the TV is on and there is some weird signal coming from it. He watches for a short time (which we later discover was longer than we thought), before getting back in bed with Ben. Once Mya is back home and heading to her apartment, she finds Lewis (AJ Bowen), her husband, along with his two friends Jerry (Matthew Stanton) and Rod (Sahr Ngaujah). Lewis seems very suspicious as to where Mya has been and what she has been up to. Jerry is swinging a bat around, and when Lewis tells him to put it down, Jerry refuses. Eventually this leads to Lewis taking the bat away from Jerry and beating Jerry with it. Mya sees this and is able to sneak out, only to find that just about everyone is going crazy. With every phone, TV and radio playing the signal, it is easy to assume it has something to do with this. Will Ben and Mya be able to find each other again, and even if they do will one or both give in to the signal?
Netflix decided to list The Signal under the zombie genre. That is part of why I have been avoiding it some, I haven't been in much of a zombie mood. Once again though, those at Netflix don't know what they are talking about. There are no dead people walking around in this movie. A lot of people have gone to the basics of kill or be killed, but that is hardly a zombie. I guess it is close to the genre listings they have though. The Signal was filmed in an interesting way at least. The movie is split into three segments. Each one has a different writer and director attached to them. The overall story of Mya trying to find Ben, Ben trying to find Mya, and eventually Lewis trying to find Mya as well, remains through each segment. The main difference is that each segment is told through a different character. It begins with Mya, switches to Lewis, and then it ends with Ben. The signal itself is never explained. The plot hints that no one will be able to leave Terminus, the city where this takes place, so it is never clear if it is only happening there, or elsewhere as well. I enjoyed all of this, as it made The Signal stand out some. But I was never pulled into the story very well. While there are places that were drawing my interest more, I felt like it was being drawn out a little too much at times. It seemed that some people, all of who we follow in the story, are not affected by the signal as quickly as others.
The effects are kept simple. There are plenty of scenes where people murder one another, but it is done off screen. Some blood gets on each character at least. I guess there is a scene where a guy gets some screws drilled into him, and then he pulls his arm away. That was a bit bloody in itself. The acting wasn't too bad. Each of the lead actors were good. Can't say I was a big fan of any of them, but they aren't bad actors. Cheri Christian and Scott Poythress are also very good. Even though they were in supporting roles, I ended up enjoying their characters more.
The Signal, the second segment more than the others, throws in a lot of dark humor. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. Dark humor is often lost on me, I admit it. The ending for The Signal I though was a bit stupid at first, but the more I think about it the more I realize it leaves things pretty open. I don't mean open for a sequel, but open in the way that lets you make up your own mind on how to interpret it. I thought it was neat in that way at least. A lot of different ways to look at what the ending means in this movie. The Signal is hardly a bad movie, but it didn't grab me very well. I liked the idea of keeping the same basic story, but breaking it up in order to give different people their take on the story. I don't think this would work well for every movie though. The Signal is worth a watch at least.
3 out of 5 Tricking someone into thinking they aren't married is easier than you think
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Sarah (Ciara Richards) is a goth girl who enjoys doing rubbings of grave stones and hanging out with her friend Allison (Adrianna Eder). They have a bit of a rivalry going with valley girl wannabe Clare (Jackey Hall), who of course hates Sarah and Allison. After laughing at Clare in class, Clare follows one of their teachers who claims to have real zombie blood. When Clare sees that the blood is real, after seeing some zombies attack the teacher, she is able to get the blood. She then takes the blood and pours it into the mouth of a sleep Sarah. Her transformation is slower for some reason, but eventually she starts to hunger for human flesh.
Dorm Of The Dead, which doesn't really have anything to do with a dorm, was written/directed by Donald Farmer. I haven't watched any of his other films, but he plenty of them under his belt. This makes Dorm Of The Dead all the more perplexing. You would hope that someone with over 20 films to their name could make a decent movie. I guess I shouldn't say that. To be fair, I never felt that Dorm Of The Dead was a good movie. It had too many problems and I knew somewhat early that it would get at least a 2 star rating from me. One the end of the movie rolled around, I had to change my mind and go even lower. There were things I liked about Dorm Of The Dead, not a lot but there were things at least. Things start off weird when a guy gets turned down by a girl. I wasn't sure if they were a couple, but I guess it didn't make too much difference in the end. After his rejection, a zombie comes up behind him. Since apparently it is a zombie that was a girl, he starts making out with her right away. Another zombie girls shows up and he starts making out with her too before they actually attack him. I guess he isn't very picky about who he makes out with. It wasn't like they were rotting or anything, but you could tell something was wrong with them. That is what bothered me a bit about Dawn Of The Dead. I didn't mind the making out or nudity found in the film, but it felt like they were put there just so they would be there. The scenes felt out of place at best usually. The ending was one of the lamest endings I have yet to see.
I was a little mixed with the acting. While I liked Ciara Richards and Adrianna Eder, I never thought they were great actors. I can say they were at least putting some effort, rather you consider it bad or good, which is more than i can say for some of the other actors. Jackey Hall was just so bad in this. I'm not sure which is more scary, her acting in this movie or the fact she is still getting roles. Tiffany Shepis shows up in a smaller role as Amy. She gets attacked early and becomes a zombie. Since I watched this on Instant Watch, I didn't get to watch the making of feature, but some that did were saying that Shepis looked somewhat embarrassed that she was in this movie. The effects are pretty bad as well. No wounds when a zombie attacks, despite the fact that you can see them chewing on flesh after a bite. Just some smeared blood where the general area is. The zombies, if they had any makeup besides blood on them, were often just done on the face only.
Speaking of the zombies, I never knew when a person would turn into one. Some would, some wouldn't it seemed. The rate that they changed was also different. The teacher guy injects one woman, who he is having an affair with, changes quickly. Sarah takes much longer even though it is the same blood. Sarah's transformation made the story more interesting in some ways, but it still made no sense to me. I suppose they could explain it away by how they got the blood, one was injected while the other got it in her mouth, but I don't really see how that would make a difference. With bad effects, cringe worthy acting by some, and a very lame ending, I don't think you will miss anything with Dorm Of The Dead. I was thinking a group of girls or guys or both, holed up in a dorm as zombies attacked or something like that. No we just get a loose plot that has nothing to do with a dorm other than some of the characters live in the dorm. Unless you are a big fan of Shepis, or zombie movies, don't bother with this one.
1 out of 5 At least some of the women were nice to look at nude