Sunday, December 31, 2006
Dead Dudes In The House is about a group of friends who are going up to a house that one of them, Mark (Douglas Gibson), has bought and plans on fixing it up. Once they are there they discover a tombstone and Bob (Victor Verhaeghe) hits it and breaks it in half. Inside the house we see an old lady, Annabelle (also played by Douglas Gibson but voiced by Pam Lewis), awaken from the dead. Once inside they take a quick look around and start getting set up. Around this time Annabelle makes herself known. One of the guys follows her to make sure she leaves while Bob decides he needs to step out for some air. Only problem is, all the doors seem to be stuck. It takes them a good while on the doors to realize that maybe they should try the windows. That doesn't do them much good either since everything but the glass breaks when thrown against it. One by one they start to die and one by one they return from the dead. Will any of them make it out of the house alive?
The effects are pretty good this time around. A lot of blood can be found but the director seemed to know what to show and what not to show. There are a few times when they could have gotten a lot more graphic but what happens is either heard but not seen by showing us something else or having it simply out of frame. That doesn't mean gore can't be found though. The biggest effect for them was probably when Bob get cut in half. This was nicely done and I liked how it happened even though I could see it coming before the threat of it was even there. One guy gets his hands cut off which was funny in a way. The cut doesn't start at the wrist, that is easy to see but when we see the hand, almost jumping off the window sill instead of falling off (the funny part), we see that is the entire hand that has been cut off.
The acting is fine as well. It is nothing great but for a Troma movie it isn't all that bad really. Bob is the jerk of the group. Also back talking everyone and just being a jerk in general. There is a couple of ladies in the mix with Naomi Kooker and Sarah Newhouse. To round the cast out you have J.D. Cerna, James Griffith, Rob Moretti, Eugene Sautner, and Mark Zobian. As I said, nothing great as far as acting. The script probably had something to do with that as well. I don't know if it meant to or not but some of the lines came across as funny at times.
Dead Dudes In The House actually surprised me. It isn't the greatest horror movie around and hardly ground breaking but it is enjoyable. My main complaint would have to be with the dvd transfer. The transfer makes the movie a little to dark. When people are in the distance some, it is hard to tell which one is speaking. Another thing is that they never really explain why this old woman is back from the dead and killing off everyone in the house. I'm sure the dead don't appreciate it when then tomb stone is broken, I just can't seem them coming back from the dead just to take revenge over that alone. They give us a little bit of a history for this lady but to me it wasn't really enough. Even so I found myself enjoying it. For a late night movie, it worked. Don't let the title fool you, this is an under rated movie. Give it a try, it just might surprise you like it did me.
3 out of 5 And you thought Jason was hard to kill....
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Ozone (1993) is about Eddie Boone (James Black). He is a Detective that seems to only bust drug dealers/users. At least that is the only people I seen him going after. He isn't the nicest guy around either. He is pretty nice to his partner Mike (Tom Hoover) but to everyone else he isn't so nice. He argues a lot with Capt. Getz (Jerry Camp) to the point where Getz suspends him but he revuses to turn in his badge and gun. Eddie and Mike have stumbled onto a new drug called, oddly enough, Ozone. When they first find this drug, they shoot the dealer and the user runs off with Mike chasing after him. Mike disappears and Eddie is injected with the drug before the dealer dies. I never figured out what the drug actually does to people. It kills some people, it seems to only cause others to see things that aren't actually there and for others it makes them look like zombies and changes their voice. The dealer that first made Ozone is now some sort of freaky looking monster and wants Eddie to be addicted to this drug because through Eddie, they will be able to get everyone on this drug. I have no idea why they think this but they do.
The effects for Ozone are never what I would call good but at times it comes close. They had some interesting ideas but I don't know if they didn't have the money to do it right or if they just didn't have the know how to make it look right. Sometimes the drug would make peoples skin bubble out which was easy to see they used rubber or a balloon to cause this effect and when it poped it even sounded like a small balloon poping. They could have at least used a slightly different sound in order to try and fool us a little. Sometimes the poping sound would be followed by blood squirting out and other times no blood would come out. The blood itself even looked wrong, it was more of a pink color than red. If that is because of the drug then they should have explained that somewhere because it just looks silly otherwise. They also used a little bit of CGI in places to give the skin a kind of ripple effect. This was fine but at times they didn't get the area right, you can see the air around the skin ripple as well sometimes so they made the CGI area to large. The one thing they did get right was some of the corpses. Some of the people that used the drug would end up basicly just a lot of bones and I have to admit I was fairly impressed with how they went about that effect.
The acting wasn't something I could ever get into. Some people liked the acting, well James Black actually. While he has never become a star he has been in some much bigger movies. Just never had any real big parts from what I can see. I can't say the acting was really bad but I was just never all that impressed by any of the actors. Some of it could have been that the "zombies" voices were changed some to give them an odd sound to them, one of the ways you could tell they are not right in case you can't actually see them.
Like most drug movies, the story to Ozone was pretty out there. It will keep you guessing as to what is real and what isn't. This can get a little confusing at times. The real problem with Ozone is that I don't think the writers did much research. The opening sequence is a guy getting some Ozone and then cooking it so it become a liquid and then injecting himself with it. Sounds simple right? I have never taken drugs, other than what a doctor has given me, so I can't say I'm any sort of expert on this but I know that drugies inject the drug directly into the vein. The guy in question in the movie fills the syringe with this drug and doesn't make sure all the air is out of it, mistake number one. He then ties a tube around his arm in order for the veins to pop up. At least they got that part right. Then he literly plunges the entire needle into his arm, mistake number two. Maybe that is why he died from it but even so, the drug worked quickly, to quick really. I thought the whole purpose of injecting it into the vein itself was so it goes through your system at a much faster rate and therefore you feel the effects from it that much quicker.
After Mike disappears the police are said to have gone searching for him but turn up nothing. It is like he disappeared into thin air. We see what actually happens to him. He runs down a hill and into some building that looks very nice on the outside but is a total dump on the inside. Before he goes in though, he manages to drop his badge. The rest of the police force never find it but once Eddie returns to the area, it takes him probably all of 5 minutes before he finds the droped badge. After exploring the building some he returns to his car where he is confronted by another cop that is supposed to bring him in but this other cop is one of the bad guys. After a bit of a fight the bad cop nearly gets run down by a car (remember this is in a nearly empty parking lot) and falls down where another car runs over his head.
I can go on and on about things like that. Like an arena like fight scene that appears out of no where with some very poor looking weapons. Maybe this could have been a good movie but I don't think that the writers or the director really knew which direction to take with the story. I can let things like what I described above go if it doesn't happen a lot in a movie. One little slip doesn't always ruin the entire movie, might make me a little disappointed but I can still enjoy the over all movie. In Ozone though, they seemed to make a habit of these slip ups. Even though the acting and effects could have been a lot better, the film fails not because of that but because the writer and director didn't take the time to make the film as real as they could.
2 out of 5 Last time I want to see a demon baby being born
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
And now, the review for today. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988) is a movie I barely remember watching at some point in time. While watching it today I was able to remember the general plot and some of the scenes but I had forgotten the majority of it. Because of this, it was almost like watching a movie I had never watched before. It starts out with Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) camping out at lovers lane when they see a falling star over head and crash to earth somewhere near by. Just before this happens we are introduced to the Terenzi brothers, Rich (Michael Siegel) and Paul (Peter Licassi) show up at lovers lane trying to sell everyone some ice cream from their truck.
Farmer Gene Green (Royal Dano) also sees the falling star and since it hits near his home, he takes off after it along with his dog Pooh Bear. What they find is a giant big top tent. After hearing his dog being taken by a klown, Gene runs into one of the big klowns and the klown zaps him with some kind of weapon that incases the victim in a cotton candy cocoon. Not to long after this, Mike and Debbie show up and also discover the tent are able to explore it for a bit before finding the cocoons and finding out what is inside of them. About this time they are discovered and barly manage to escape but before they do, one of the klowns shoots a popcorn cannon at them and cover them in popcorn.
Once back in town, they go to the police. Dave (John Allen Nelson) used to date Debbie and is now on friendly terms with her even though he still has feelings towards her. After listening to their story, he decided that he will at least check it out even though Mooney (John Vernon) thinks it is all a prank being played out on the police. At first it appears to Dave that it was a prank after all but soon learns the horrible truth. Will they be able to band to gether and figure out a way to save everyone from the killer klowns?
For being a low budget "B" movie, the effects are actually pretty good. You won't really find any blood in this movie. Most of the effects are for the weapons that the klowns use along with a few effects for showing people being put in the cocoons or balloons. The klowns themselves tend to be a little larger than life and a bit funny looking. I don't mean funny as in haha funny but funny as in you would look at them rather strangely if you happened to see one. The acting isn't the best but it fits the movie really. I really enjoyed John Vernon as the harded cop that didn't take crap from anyone. To me he gave the best performance.
From my plot overview, you may have been thinking that Killer Klowns From Outer Space sounds like a pretty silly movie and not a horror movie. In a way you would be right. It is silly and funny in places but it also hints at being more of a serious movie. Even so, the film makers knew not to let this film take itself to serious. Because of that, this movie works. It had me laughing in places like when the brothers show up at lovers lane in their ice cream truck and when they get cans thrown at them one of them says something like, "Fine then. None of you won't get any." Some guys says back, "We were getting some until you guys showed up!" Things like that I found pretty funny.
I also liked that they found interesting ways to use things we would normal think of when we think of clowns. Rather it be the big top tent or popcorn and cotton candy, they found interesting ways to use these things in a horror movie. Even the pie gag is used. While reading other reviews for Killer Klowns From Outer Space, I noticed a lot of people calling it a cult classic. I also noticed a few people getting mad that this movie was being called that. What defines a cult classic to me is a movie that orignally bombed when it first came out and has since become popular once on video and dvd. I don't know how this movie did on release but it does sound like it has many followers. Some people also defined this as a 'so bad it's good' movie but I have to disagree with that statment. The only place I didn't like this movie at was with the acting but even the acting wasn't bad, it just wasn't good. I have watched many a movie with bad acting and they didn't even come close to that in Killer Klowns From Outer Space. I have a hard time loving the horror/comedy mix, more so when it is more comedy than horror which this one borders as. I will admit that this is a good movie though so you can include me in the people that like this film. If you haven't watched it yet, I think you should. Just remember not to take it to serious.
3 out of 5 Not wanting to be hit by these pies
Bloodletting has all of two main characters in it. Serena (Ariauna Albright) manages to track down a serial killer that has been on the prowl for years. She pulls up in front of Butch Harlow's (James L. Edwards) house and confronts him. She reveals to him that she did this not to blackmail him or turn him in but so she can hopefully learn how to kill from him. When asked why she wants to learn something like that she tells him that years ago he attacked her and her best friend. Even though he had stabed her best friend many times, it still took her friend two hours to die. Butch still doesn't understand and then Serena tells him that she had her first orgasm about that same time. After a long talk with her he sets up a woman to come to his house and helps Serena kill her. Sure enough, Serena gets pretty turned on by this and she has sex with Butch. After this they start to go on a killing spree that starts to worry Butch. Serena wants to kill more and more and Butch just wants to kill here and there so as not to draw as much attention to themselves. Will they be able to work out their differences?
The effects for Bloodletting was a bit of a disappointment for me. They should have tracked down the people that did the effects for The Dead Next Door. There is a lot of blood and that looks real enough but the other effects just didn't cut it. What makes them even worse is that outside of the blood, there just aren't very many other effects to be found. An exboyfriend gets some of his fingers cut off by Serena and when they actually show this (only for one finger thankfully) you can easily tell it is a fake hand. The hand looks nothing like the hand that the guy actually has. Maybe they thought I wouldn't notice since it is a quick shot. Another scene was when a guy drugs Serena so he can have her way with her but she turns the table on him by bitting off his penis. Sorry guys. It would have been a cool effect except she was doing it through his jeans. I know teeth are sharp but come on. When Serena stabs a woman in the belly, blood sprays up on Serena's neck and face. Ok they are both standing so I would think if the blood would spray out it wouldn't go up that high and only that high. The only effect I did like was the exploding baby. I will just leave it at that and let you all think what you want of it.
The acting was something else I didn't care for to well. The two leads got off to a slow start. I didn't like either one at first but as the movie went I was thinking that I liked them better. I don't know if they were getting into their roles better or just working together better. I guess I could have been just getting more used to their acting as well. Which ever the case may be, I was enjoying their exchanges more and more. Bloodletting hings on these two since they are the central characters. Everyone else is a minor character, all victims. These people could have done a better job if you ask me but they weren't to bad as a whole. They didn't get a lot of screen time anyways but still, I've seen a lot better acting for on minor rolls before. What was funny to me is that Bloodletting is an expanded version of a short film that had the actors in it. I liked their acting much better in the short. It can be found on the dvd as an extra.
Bloodletting had a moment or two that I enjoyed but over all I felt it could have been a lot better. This one won't appeal to those who don't like a slow movie. There is a lot of talk going on in places. A lot of the time it is building the strange relationship between the two leads but it still can get a tad boring in places. This was probably a fairly low budget movie because the two leads are also listed as producers and the director is also a producer and the writer. He throws in a twist at the end that I just didn't care for. In a way it makes sense I guess but I just didn't care for it. There is a 'making of' feature found on the extras as well. It doesn't show much behind the scene stuff but does have a lot of interviews from the cast and crew on it. I had to wonder if any of them have watched it because I think they might be kind of shocked by what they all had to say about each other. The way it was edited was one person would say something somewhat nice about another person and then they would show that person saying something not so nice about the person that was just interviewed. As few people that worked together on this movie, I was surprised at how they didn't seem to get along all that well, and most had known each other a good while from the sound of it. Anyways, a somewhat interesting plot but just wasn't done very well. I didn't hate it but didn't like it either. Not a movie I would go rushing to find anytime soon. Sure I have seen worse than the exploding baby but at the same time, how often do they kill off babies?
2 out of 5 Splattered baby parts
Monday, December 25, 2006
I had planed on a couple of reviews before now and maybe one for today but things didn't work out that way for me. I hope everyone that reads this blog has a wonderful holiday. I hope everyone gets what they want today as well. Please stay safe. I will try and get a review up in the next day or two so I will see you all then.
Friday, December 22, 2006
The Dead Next Door (1988) with zombies have basicly over run the humans. We are still on control of things but just barely. The zombies were created by a virus that was, in turn, created by a scientist in, of all places, Akron, Ohio. It was only supposed to allow the dead to return to life for a short period but we all know how "supposed to's" work out. One thing that stands out with this movie is that the zombie are impossible to kill. They never did try and burn them but shooting them in the head or even taking their heads off didn't work this time around. There is the Zombie Squad that is going around trying to rescue humans that are out in the middle of no where. After one scientist, Dr. Moulsson (Bogdan Pecic), gets the idea that if they can go back to Akron and discover the orignal notes to the formula for the virus then maybe they will be able to find a cure. The Zombie Squad is sent out to help find out.
The Zombie Squad is Cmdr. Carpenter (Jeff Welch), Capt. Kline (Floyd Ewing Jr.), Raimi (Pete Ferry), Mercer (Michael Grossi) and Kuller (Jolie Jackunas). Once in Akron they discover a cult that believe the dead have returned to life for a purpose. The cult is headed by Rev. Jones (Robert Kokai). He has taken Anna (Maria Markovic) who was the daughter of the scientist that created the virus. He has her brainwashed (I'm guessing anyways) into believe that he is her father. The cult doesn't like that the Squad is looking to find a cure so are about to do whatever it takes to stop them. Can the Squad find a cure and save Anna at the same time?
The effects range from pretty darn cool to so-so. The zombies look really cool as well except there are a few that look rather silly. You have your usual zombie fair of people being ripped apart by zombie hands and of course skin being ripped away by zombie teeth. One effect I thought was pretty cool was a zombie head bites off some fingers and you see one of the fingers coming out of the severed neck. Over all I was impressed with most of the effects used. There are more than a few that don't look great but for a group of people that probably don't have a lot of experiance with movie effects, they did a wonderful job. The acting, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. I don't know if they mainly hired people from the Akron area or not but they were all pretty bad.
As you could probably tell from some of the names of the characters, there are a lot of nods that go out to Sam Raimi and George Romero mainly. Towards the start of the movie we see people in a video store and a zombie looking hand picks out Dawn Of The Dead and gives it to the clerk. In the headquarters of the Zombie Squad we see some of the watching Evil Dead. This was just some of the nods given and while it is always nice of directors and/or writers to do this, to much of it, like is the case with The Dead Next Door, it quickly starts to get a little old. The film itself is very grainy and that is because it was filmed using 8mm film. In other words it was all recorded with video cameras. While I did like this one, it is ok film really, it isn't one I would care to watch with repeated viewings. Normaly I would probably only give a movie like this a 2 star rating but considering who made it and all, I would say give it a watch, at least once. It deserves that.
3 out of 5 Hoping crwm likes this review since he loves zombies so much
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
For those of you that haven't watch Race With The Devil, it is about two buddies who decide to take a trip in an RV. Frank (Warren Oats) and Roger (Peter Fonda) are best friends that pack up their RV and head off for a skiing trip. Along for the ride are their wives Alice (Loretta Switt) and Kelly (Lara Parker). After traviling for a while the decide to skip finding a hotel and just camp out in the RV somewhere. They find a nice little spot and settle in. Late that night, Frank and Roger are sitting outside talking and having a few drinks when they hear a voice and a big fire is lit. They get a little closer to check things out and what they see is a bunch of people in robes dancing around and chanting with one guy wearing a mask. One lady is disrobed and picked up while the guy in a mask takes his knife and pluges it into the lady. Right after Frank and Roger see this, Alice starts yelling for Frank. He tell he to shut up and turn the light off but it is to late. Some of the people go after The RV but even if they manage to get away, who can they trust?
As I said before, Race With The Devil doesn't have effects that you would think of as far as a horror movie would go. Instead it is more along the lines for an action movie. There are all kinds of stunts, people being knocked off the RV, being shot (with no blood), cars fliping all over the place. I never realized it before because I had always watched it on tv before but there is no blood, or nudity for that matter (only movie I have watched where the nudity is actually blured out), because Race With The Devil was rated PG. The action sequences are not what you would see today but they are effective for this movie.
The acting as well was effective. I never really had any problems with any of the actors, small or large parts. It was the writing of the characters I really had problems with. They go a good while before trying to arm themselves. I mean they are going through Texas of all places, you can buy a gun in a barber shop in Texas if you had to. Even though they seem to run into trouble no matter where they go, they still never learn to keep their mouths shut about where they are heading to.I understand being friendly and all but after a while I think they would learn. At the very least to tell someone one direction and go the other.
Race With The Devil was a nice trip down memory lane, I have to give it that. It does a great job of building up the tension but it doesn't seem to do it as well as it once did. Maybe because I understand now they are at fault for keeping themselves in danger. Still though, you can't really go wrong with this one. Between the build up and a nice ending, plus some fairly good stunts along the way as well. Worth a watch for sure.
3 out of 5 Guess I'm in league with the devil as well since I'm in Texas
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The plot is pretty straight forward. Ringu 0 starts in present day with some girl talking on her cell phone about the video that kills. She has not watched it but talks about having nightmares about the well. Then it goes back roughly 30 years into the past. Sadako (Yukie Nakama) has joined up with a drama troupe sometime after her mother has killed herself. Akiko (Yoshiko Tanaka) is a reporter that is looking for Sadako because her soon to be husband was killed by either Sadako's mother or Sadako herself when he proclaimed Sadako's mother to be a fraud. Sadako it presented as a very shy person who is trying to build a normal life. She seems to have various powers and the people in the troupe seem to pick up on this just a little. No one seems to like her to much expect the sound guy Hiroshi (Seiichi Tanabe). What follows is showing us what happened to Sadako in the last few days of her life and possibly explain why she becomes the vengeful person we all come to know and love. Ok, some of us do anways.
One thing I noticed on Netflix reviews was the number of people complaining about Ringu 0 being more of a drama. The drama is there, and it may be true that it is more of a drama with a mix of romance thrown in as well but the horror is there. The horror part of the movie doesn't really show up to much until the end of the movie. Once at the end, I have to admit I was pretty into it by that point. However, I am disappointed in the movie. I'm not sure what I was really expecting but this wasn't it. The way they go about explaining her back story just didn't work for me at all. There are two Sadako's for one (I won't explain it but it is explained in the movie), and I just can't really see her becoming the spirit that we see once Ringu comes around.
At the same time, I did like this one. If it had been a story about someone else I would probably would have loved it but since it is about Sadako, my rating will have to suffer some because of that. The story is fairly interesting. Akiko trying to track down Sadako and learning even more about her back story was more interesting to me then seeing Sadako with the troupe. Call me a sucker for a good mystery I guess. Not a lot of effects yet again but the acting made up for that and the story did some as well. Everyone put in a good performance, as best as I could tell that is. I really enjoyed the ending but to me, the way everything is explained, it would have shown up in the Ringu lore before this movie. Pretty much everything we know about Sadako is touched on in some way in Ringu 0 and some new stuff is added as well. I don't mind the new stuff but there is a lot of deaths that are never talked about in the "sequels" to this movie and to me that is something they shouldn't have done. I'm all for expanding the lore but you need to be careful if you are filling out the back story. Some of the information shown here should have been talked about in the other movies because it is so big.
This was the last of the foreign movies I have in my queue. There are more to come but I am taking a break from them at the moment. I guess these last two could have been worse ones to end on so I'm glad that I at least did like them. Didn't love them but most sequels are hard to love. If you have made it this far into the review, I will warn you all: Today I upgraded to the "new and improved" blogger. They say it shouldn't mess with posting comments but if you do have some trouble, that is probably the reason why. In closing for this one, even though I did like it, I would only suggest it to those that have watched the other Ringu movies.
3 out of 5 Missing Samara
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The first thing I noticed in Ringu 2 (1999) was that it picks up almost right from where the first one left off. In the American version, a few months time had passed. The second thing I noticed right away is the main character has changed. We no longer are following Reiko (Nanako Matsushima) and her son Yoichi (Rikiya Otaka). Instead we follow along with Mai (Miki Nakatani) who was Dr. Takayama's (Hiroyuki Sanada) girlfriend. In the first movie she was pretty much a minor character, didn't get a lot of screen time. We find out that Reiko's dad has died from the tape and now the police are wondering where Reiko and her son have disappeared to. The police go to Mai for answers while Mai goes to Okazaki (Yurei Yanagi) who worked with Reiko.
Mai and Okazaki find Masami (Hitomi Sato). Remember how the first movie started? Two girls, one watched the tape and the other didn't and the one who didn't watch it did happen to watch her friend die? That would be Masami. She has started to have powers much like Sadako (Rie Inou) has. She can create images on film simply by thought alone. Mai soon finds Yoichi and discovers that he is doing the same thing but is even more powerful than Masami. Can they help him in time?
At first I thought that Ringu 2 was going to be completely different than The Ring 2 because it started that way. But as the movie went on I started to see how some of the plot points were the same for both movies. One of the things that was set up in Ringu is that Sadako may not be completely human and that is advanced along in this movie as well. One of the first new things we learn about Sadako in this movie is that she somehow managed to live in the well for 30 years before she died. I didn't care for the fact that Sadako may have been something more than human, I am glad they never pushed that in the American versions. She has powers most humans don't have but she is still very much human.
One reason fans rejected Rasen is because they tried to put a science twist to it by say that the tape was actually transmitting a virus. Even though fans did accept Ringu 2 as a more true sequel, it still has some science in it. What is funny about the whole thing is that Rasen actually follows the books more closely in plot. I did like Ringu 2 but that doesn't mean I liked everything about it. I felt that it followed more closely to what I thought the sequel would do. It followed the original movie and expanded on it. Actually Rasen did this as well but in a more different direction than I was expecting. Ringu 2 is more like Ringu as far as the style goes. It feels much like the original did. However, there are still some plot holes that I just couldn't ignore. How could someone live in a well, human or not, without any food and eventually undrinkable water? Is Sadako possessing everyone that manages not to be killed by her tape and if so why did it effect Masami? She never watched the tape. Why wasn't Reiko possessed? She watched the tape and still lived. In the end, Ringu 2 leaves more questions than it started out with and answers very few of them from either movie.
There are things that are done right as well. Like the first movie, the effects are more about camera tricks than blood and gore. We get a little of the blood but not a whole lot of it and that was prefectly fine with me. I like that this series has never turned into a blood bath. I enjoy watching getting killed in bloody ways as much as the next fan, well most fans anyways, but I also like creative and non-bloody ways that horror movies can find to kill people as well. There was one death that fooled me. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't watched it but I will say it was very creative and involved a black & white sequence.
By movies end, I was getting a little confused with the science stuff. I didn't like it to well but I managed to get through it without being to mad at it. There is an interesting side plot with Okazaki getting the tape from a girl named Kanae (Kyoko Fukada). She hasn't watched the tape but can get it. Okazaki talks her into getting the tape for him but before she hands it over, she watches it. Okazaki promised to pay her for the tape but she just gives it to him with the promise that he will watch it which he says he will. He even calls her on the 7th day to say that he did watch it when he actually didn't. The ending of the movie ends with this side plot coming to its conclusion.
Ringu 2 isn't a perfect movie but I did enjoy it. How did I rank it against The Ring 2? Well lets just say: American 1, Japanise 1. I will leave it at that. Now it is time to watch the last (so far at least) movie in this series.
3 out of 5 Still perfers Samara over Sadako
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Fangs Of The Living Dead is about Sylvia Morel (Anita Ekberg). Sylvia finds out that her mother has died and Sylvia is the now proud owner of a castle and a title. She decided to go there and check things out. Once there she stops at the local tavern and is talking to the barmaid. When asked who and where she is from she happily tells them and when she says who her relatives are she gets the "everyone stop what you are doing and look at her in horror" treatment. Once at the castle, Sylvia meets her uncle Walbrooke (Julian Ugarte). She finds out that her great grandmother ( I think that is right anyways) used to dable in black magic and chemistry to try and find the key to enternal life. The towns folk didn't like this idea so in a flashback scene, very much like something straight out of the old Frankenstein movie, they attack the castle and take Malenka (also played by Anita Ekberg), who oddly just stands there the entire time the towns people are attacking, and burn her alive. They completely ignore the guy who is either dead or in a very deep sleep though and that is to bad because when he wakes up he shows us his fangs. Malenka did discover a secret before she died, how to make vampires. Or did she? By the end of the movie some of the characters claim it is all a lie in order to drive Sylvia crazy and get what is hers for themselves. But when uncle is touched with a torch, he quickly starts to decompose very rapidly.
Since I just gave away the ending to this one, you can probably figure out what I thought about it. Fangs Of The Living Dead is another vampire movie with no blood in it. At least these vampires have fangs but still no effects to be found except for the guy decomposing but even that wasn't really worth writing about. There are at least three different versions of this movie out there and from what I was reading, none of them are better than the other. Ossorio tries to mix in some comedy but for me this falls short. I think it is mostly because of the bad dubbing. The very last scene we see is one of the barmaids offering to go home with one of the guys and he looks at her in a surprised way and then shows his fangs and they run off in Benny Hill fashion. When Sylvia discovers that vampires are real she lets out a scream. At least I think she does, it sure looks like she screamed but the way it was dubbed it came out more like Ahhh! Even though this was a bad movie, slow pace with lots and lots with worthless talking, it was still nice to have watched another movie by Ossorio. To bad it had to be a bad one but Ossorio doesn't have the best track record with me anyways. Unless you are geeky like me and feel the need to watch horror movies for silly reasons then don't bother with this one.
1 out of 5 Hoping the next movie will give me something more to write about
Monday, December 11, 2006
Uzumaki is about Kirie (Eriko Hatsune). Kirie is a high school student who has a life long friend in Shuichi (Fhi Fan). Shuichi has always been there for Kirie and he wants her to marry him someday. One day she finds Toshio (Ren Osugi), who is Shuichi's father, filming a snail. Kirie tries to talk to him but is completely ignored. She says something about this to Shuichi and he tells her that his father has gotten very weird lately. Toshio has become obsessed with the spirial. He has a whole room of things that has the spirial on them. As he becomes more and more obsessed with spirals, we start to see them as well. They are hard to miss at times but once in a while one will appear on the ground or you can see one on the side of a building. The director tries to draw our eyes to them because they are spinning a little so it is a little easier to spot them. More people begin to become obsessed with the spiral as well. One girl even curls her hair in that way. We start to see that some people are drinking a lot of water and their eyes change into something very weird looking. Eventually we see that they have changed into giant snails. What is going on in this little town?
Actually that answer is never answered. Suicide Club and Uzumaki both have open endings. Suicide Club at least drops hints as to why the events we are shown are happening even if it doesn't give us a full blown explaination. I don't mind working it out in my head. Uzumaki however, will start to drop hints but then it will suddenly stop and move on. The story makes sure to point out a mirror that was used when one guy is killed. A reporter, who is trying to figure out what is going on, discovers that the word for mirror is also the same for serpent. They have different characters but the word comes out the same (I don't know if this is actually true, it was just explained that way in the movie). Then we see this guy reading an aritcle that is titled "Ancient mirrors discovered in Dragonfly Pond". He then calls Shuichi and tells him he has discovered something important but before we find out what was so important, the reporter is killed and that little plot line is then droped. Kirie's dad seems to go a bit crazy after visiting the pond so there is some connection to the pond but what is it? That is how this movie seems to go. Everytime it starts to try and explain the plot it just gives up on it and moves on.
The effects are nice. There are times I was some what impressed with this movie. Mostly for the visuals or the effects. But a movie with little to no plot can't be carried by visuals alone. The movie moves along at a snails pace. This wouldn't bother me so much if we got to know the characters more. That is there but it is trival in the end. Uzumaki is so slow that when something interesting does happen you may not even care by that point. I felt like there could have been a really interesting story here but it was never allowed to develope. Instead we get a lot of visuals that don't explain anything. The director seemed to have more fun filming the two leads riding their bike more than anything. A town slowly descending into madness would have made for a great film. Even though the giant, partly human, snails looked cool I never understood why this was happening or what it had to do with the spiral, other than that to shell has a spiral design to it. Only for the curious I think.
2 out of 5 Getting dizzy from all the spirals
Saturday, December 09, 2006
What is Suicide Club you ask? The movie opens with a bunch of school girls (54 actually) going about their day and waiting on a train to arrive. Everything seems very normal. They are, for the most part, laughing and talking to themselves like one would expect. Then as the train approches they line up and hold hands. They all count to three as a group and then jump just as the train is pulling in. We see a white "sports" bag, it looked more like an oversized handbag to me but they call it a sports bag in the movie, but I just assumed it was droped by someone that had just watched this happen. We are then taken to a building where two nurses are working late at night and discover that they jump to their deaths and a white bag is left behind yet again. The police are quick to discover that there is a roll of flesh inside these bags. Strips of human flesh, stiched together to make a roll of flesh. Detective Kuroda (Ryo Ishibashi) starts to get some strange phone calls about all of the suicides. They are strange because the person keeps asking the Detective if he is connected with himself. He is also told that there is no suicide club like they believe to be. Is there one and what does the rolls of flesh mean? Are they from people who are already dead or still alive?
Suicide Club is a mix of a mystery and horror. The effects are nicely done but some people complain about them. Like when the train runs over the girls we see big sprays of blood going all over the place. In other words, they over do the effects. Some people felt they did this in order to give it a more light hearted feel but that is not what I took from it. I felt they did this in order to get the point across in a more graphic way without showing all the bodies being cut up by the train. Later on we see this again when a group of kids jump off the top of their school. We don't see the bodies hitting the ground, we see the bodies quickly going by the windows and then a big spray of blood. There are some much worse scenes to get the gore across though. The first girl hit by the train we watch as the train runs over her head. Later on we watch as one lady is cutting food for her family and starts to cut into her fingers and hand, never once showing any pain. Yet another scene is in the morge where a pile of body parts sit on a table. The doctor says, "There is more than one body here. We will pry them apart later."
I found the first hour of Suicide Club to be a very good movie. It really kept me interested in the deaths and what they could mean. Was it some sort of cult? Was there someone behind the deaths? Then the movie takes a left turn into the bizzare. I suddenly found myself in something that came close to reminding me, and others, of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It gets back to "normal" and then takes another left turn towards the end. Suicide Club never really answers any of the questions it brings up durring the movie. It does a lot of hinting but never truely answers anything. Instead, it leaves it up to you what you take away from this movie.
If you don't want to know what I thought this movie was about then read no further. I understand that some people would rather watch it for themselves and try and figure it out without being told. There are a lot of pop culture refrences to found in Suicide Club. There is a group of young girls that have a singing act and one of the leads, Mitsuko (Saya Hagiwara), figures out that there is a connection between this group and the suicides. Not all of the suicides are linked though. Some, like the group that jumped from their school, seem to do it because they feel it is the cool thing to do. This is the point the movie was trying to get across, at least to my eyes it was. There was a lot of talk about being connected to other people and the connection still being there after your death. And there was a lot of talk of being connected to yourself. So I felt the movie was trying to get across that we should be our own person. Live the life you want, not the life others want you to live. However, the movie loses this point by the end because it gets so bizzare and strange by this point. I think people are saying huh? instead of oh I get it. The movie also sorta contradicts itself by the end but I will let you watch it (if you do) to see for yourself. That point might just be me thinking it does.
Overall I enjoyed Suicide Club (Suicide Circle is the actual translation). Even though it does get a bit bizzare and confusing by the end, it is still a good movie. As I said before, it has struck a cord in people. Any movie that does that is doing something right.
3 out of 5 Not joining any clubs soon
Thursday, December 07, 2006
The Vampires Night Orgy is sorta mislabled by Netflix. It lists the year as 2003 so I thought I was going to get a newer movie. After pressing play though, it didn't take long for me to figure out that this was an older movie. The way it looked and the music especially, reminded me of something that came out of the 70s. After looking for the movie on IMDb, it confirmed what I had thought, it was made in 1973. Not that I have anything against movies from the 70s but it was sorta like expecting your graduation present to be a new car and instead you get a Pinto, not that it happened to me.
A group of people are heading to their place of work in a bus together. The driver (L. Villena) has a heart attack and dies. They decide that since there is a town close by, they will go out of their way and stop there in order to deal with the dead body they are now traveling with. Once they get there though, they find no one around at all. They all go into a pub and find some rooms above and decide to just stay there for the night. The only person that is around is another person that came into the town by his own car. Luis (Jack Taylor) is having some car trouble so decides to stay there as well. No one ever mentions the fire in the fireplace at the pub. Obviously someone had to been there since wood just doesn't happen to find its way into a fireplace and sets itself on fire. Anyways, Luis's room is next to Alma's (Dyanik Zurakowska) room and he discovers a hole in the wall where he can peek on her getting dressed for bed.
We soon discover that there are vampires in the night. At least I think they are since I never once managed to see any fangs. The next morning the town seems to have come back to life. Major (Jose Guardiola) seems to be the man in charge and invites them all to stay for a few days. They don't seem to have any meat in the town so Major sends Gigante (Fernando Bilbao) to go find some. He finds some alright after choping off one of the towns folk leg. This is served to the guests who are none the wiser. Why should they be? It looked more like a ham than a human leg after all. Each night though everyone seems to disappear again. The guests never seem to think this is strange. It is only after a few more of them disappear that Luis begins to think something is wrong.
I was pretty bored through out this movie. The effects are next to nothing and I could never get into the acting or any of the characters. I found out, through IMDb, that there are actually two versions of this movie. There is one called Orgy Of The Vampires that has more nudity in it. I don't know if it has more effects but it sure needed it. There are no orgies, not like most people think of the word's meaning, but there are mass feedings. By this I mean the vampires will simply pile on a person and bite where ever they can so maybe that is an orgy to vampires.
The Vampires Night Orgy does have a couple of interesting scenes however. In one scene the head vampire, the Countess (Helga Line) has sex with one of the male guests, gives him a love bite on the neck after a kind of silly strugle, and then pushs him out the window to the awaiting vampires that are also very hungry. Another scene is actually more than one. There is a small subplot with the little girl of the group (Sarita Gil). She finds a boy (Fernando E. Romero) to play with at times. Nothing to strange about that is there? There is though, the boy seems to vanish at times. I don't know if the boy is a vampire or ghost. He takes the girl to the cemetary and they end up taking her doll and covering it up with dirt. They then see the people from the town coming and the boy holds the girl down and covers her mouth telling her to be quiet so they don't hear. He does a little to good of a job at this though, she either faints or is killed from it. Either way, he rolls her into a grave and starts to push dirt onto her.
The main problem I had with this movie is I didn't know who was a vampire. Some are easily spoted since they show us some fangs but not all have fangs. Are they not vampires? I couldn't tell if everyone in this town had been turned into vampires or only some of them. The Major told the guests that if they had looked in the cemetary they would have found the people in the town and towards the end of the movie we do see a bunch of people going through the cemetary but it is never explained if they are hiding in plain sight (so to speak) or if there is some other reason they are going there. The only other thing that jumped out at me is they explain why the vampires were out durring the day. Since they are in a valley between mountains, it was believed that the sun never actually appeared in the valley. Since there is no direct sunlight, the vampires can remain out in the day. Maybe this is where Joss Whedon got the same idea from. Maybe the other version is a better one, I don't really see how it can be any worse. On the off chance, have any of you watched the other version?
1 out of 5 Defanged vampires
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I think anyone who is a horror fan knows Halloween (1978). It has become a staple to horror films, more so to the slasher sub-genre. A young group of fairly unknown film makers and cast set out to make a movie for a fairly low amount of money and it worked. Up until The Blair Witch Project came out, Halloween was the hightest grossed low budget movie. Why did this movie work so well? For the same reasons it has become such a well loved movie for horror fans, including myself. The slow pace of the movie helps us get to know the characters well but director John Carpenter made sure to keep things interesting at the same time.
The opening of Halloween is unforgetable. So it is highly unlikely that the kid actually did the acting for the killing the sister scene, how many movies would push the blame of a murder onto a kid? Even with a great opening sequence, the movie could still have went downward from there. I've seen that happen plenty of times before. A friend of mine has a neice that is 15 years old. She finds these older movies that most horror fans consider to be classics (by this I mean movies from the 70s but I'm sure movies older than that are the same way to her) boring and stupid. I can almost see why when it comes to Halloween. Outside of the escape Michael pulls off, not a whole lot happens until the murders start up again. Even when the murders do start again, it doesn't feel rushed. Michael takes his time.
The build up is something I actually enjoyed for this movie. I enjoy getting to know the characters of a movie. It makes the movie that more interesting and it also helps to explain some of the things a character will end up doing. I can see this part of the movie as boring to some people that have short attention spans. It could easily be boring watching the girls do their girl talk on and off but John Carpenter makes sure that we see Michael becoming interested in this small group of friends. He also makes sure that we know that Michael has decided to watch and stalk them. Laurie more than the others it would seem. Why Laurie? They never try and explain this, it is just because. At the time, as I am even now, I was fine with that. I've always thought that maybe Laurie reminds Michael of his sister in some way or maybe he is simply attracted to her. In later films, they try and explain this away as Laurie being Michael's sister and him somehow knowing this. I went with it at the time but I have never really believed that.
Another great thing about this movie is the way they lighting is used. Perhaps I should say the way shadows are used instead. One scene I will probably never forget is Michael slowly appearing out of the shadows and Laurie not realizing he is there. Another great thing about the movie is the music. If you think about it, the music does repeat itself a lot and normaly this would start to annoy me but you hardly notice it because it works so well putting you into the scene that is happening in front of you. The only thing that is really lacking is the effects. Halloween is basicly a bloodless movie. Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre before it, people don't always recall this and seem to remember it as a gory film even though it wasn't. Effects are always nice, well if they are done well anyways, but it doesn't always make a movie. Halloween keeps the tension high at the right places and therefore it doesn't need a lot of blood to get the point across.
If you should happen to be reading this, thank you dad for getting me into this series of films. If it wasn't for him I may have watched this movie later in life when horror movies don't effect me as much as they once did. Oh I still enjoy them a great deal, I just don't get as scared as I once did from watching them. Since my dad got me to watch this movie, and a couple of others, before that time, this movie scared me a great deal. It is those memories that still make this a great film to me. I have often noticed that the movies that are highly regarded to that person are the horror movies they watched while still getting into the genre. Is this a favorite of yours? Why or why isn't it?
Before I close this up, I should talk a little about the acting. The acting is something else that helped sell this movie so well. Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis were simply outstanding in their roles. P.J. Soles also had a memorible part in the movie. The cast helped round out a great movie. Halloween hinges on the cast. Lucky for them they found some people that were as serious about this movie as the people making it. The cast could have easily helped this movie become such a bomb.
In closing, I remember either reading or hearing John Carpenter say that he didn't want to make a sequal with Michael because he felt the story had been told and there was nothing else to tell. I don't really see how he can say that. Michael gets stabed and shot and falls out of a two story window and simply disappears. That is just begging for a sequel. If he didn't want to make a second movie with Michael then he should have ended it more like he did with the second movie. The third movie is what Carpenter had more in mind for the Halloween series. He invisioned a series of movies with halloween as the central theme.
Halloween is almost 30 years old now and people still talk about this one. Films are still being made. Not to long ago, Rob Zombie said that he will be doing a remake. From the sounds of it, he wants to explore Michael's past more than the other movies have done. Any thoughts on this? I'm not sure why the studios have green lighted this project. There are some movies that simply shouldn't be remade. To me, Halloween is one such film.
Monday, December 04, 2006
1. Popcorn or candy?
Depends on where I am but at home I would say candy more than popcorn but I have to watch it since I can eat way to much at one sitting and it isn't the best thing in the world for a swimmer. If we are talking about at the movies then popcorn hands down. Candy cost way to much to buy at the movies. Then again so is popcorn but at least you get a lot more of it.
2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.
This one took me a while to figure one out since forever is a mighty long time. I have come up with an answer though. Rosemary's Baby is a movie I have been meaning to watch for a long time and have yet to do so. I've heard a lot about it. Watched many clips from the movie on various shows. I guess I am a little afraid to watch it now because I'm afraid it won't hold up to all the hype I have been hearing so I keep putting it off.
3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar : Who loses theirs and to whom?
I'm not into the Oscars at all. I have only watched it here and there, never for very long. What do I care what others consider best picture and what not. In order to actually answer the question though, the time Bill Murray lost and I believe Sean Penn won. I think I have that right. I don't consider myself a big fan of Bill Murray but he is very funny. Even though Bill Murray says that awards mean nothing to him, it was easy to see that he was disappointed in not winning the oscar that year. Did he deserve to win? Maybe, maybe not. I have yet to watch either movie so I can't say for sure. Then again, one persons idea of good acting is anothers idea of bad acting.
4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe. Which will it be?
This was another hard one for me. I never thought of stealing a costume because that would be wrong! Stealing is bad. Even so....the lead actress in Opera had a nice wardrobe for that movie so I would sneak in and steal whatever one I could get my hands on.
5. Your favorite film franchise is…
I can't say I have a favorite above all others. There a few that I can really get into so I guess I will just start naming them off. The action genre probably holds the best franchises around. Indiana Jones, Die Hard, and Leathal Weapon to name just a few. For the horror genre, Final Destination, Phantasm and even the Friday The 13th movies. I wonder though, which genre started the franchise movies? Was it horror with the Dracula and other such horror icons of the 30s?
6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why’d you invite them? What do you feed them?
Movie people? Hmmm.....Robert Englund, A.J. Cook, Christina Ricci, Tina Romero and I guess I would have to invite Dario Argento even though I might not be able to understand him to well. My reasons why? Well because I could of course! Seriously though, Robert Englund and Dario Argento because I admire them both and they have been in movies for a long time so I'm sure they would both have some great stories to tell. A.J. Cook (Final Destination 2) and Tina Romero (Alucarda) because...how to say this.....I guess I am into them. Maybe I even have a little bit of a crush on both of them as well. More so with A.J. Cook. I have liked the movies I have watched both in and I think it would be great to be able to hang out with them both for a night. Christina Ricci is a combo of the other two reasons. Even though she is a little older than me, I sorta feel like I have grown up with her. I have watched a lot of her films, probably more than all the other people on this list of guests put together. She does a wide range of movies so she probably has some great stories to tell as well as being very beautiful (even if she has let herself get a little to thin of late). What to feed them? Whatever their hearts desire.
7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?
Honestly I have never ran into this problem. Not talking on cell phones anyways. The only time I have run into a problem is when I was at.....I think it was the new Superman movie. A lady sitting a row in front of me fliped open her cell phone and was doing whatever on it for a good while. At least she wasn't talking but that bright light was a bit distracting all the same. I liked Cattleworks answer for this but I was thinking more along the lines of wiring up each seat with electricty and giving the person with the offending cell phone shocked. However, I don't think that would stop the stupid people that probably couldn't figure out the reason for the shock and it would be my luck that my chair would be the one turned on.
8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.
Interesting question. I would have to go with Mystique since she can change into anyone but then again she is a 'bad guy' so might screw me over and let me be killed. Sorry but I got really tired of Ripley. It is possible to make an Aliens movie without her you know. Sarah Conner is a wanna be Ripley and if it wasn't a terminator then she probably wouldn't care anyways. The Bride was ok, all I can say is she can take a beating and keep on ticking. I don't remember Mace even though I have watched Strange Days. But back to Mystique, how can you not want her. I mean it is Rebecca Romijn after all.
9. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen in a movie?
Tuff question but an answer did spring to mind fairly quickly. Actually it is a close call between two scenes. The Ring with Samara. She left me feeling scared more than once actually. The entire movie did but Samara really sold that movie. The other would be the twins in The Shining. Not only was that scene scarry, the twins are creepy looking on top of that.
10. You’re favorite genre (excluding comedy and drama) is?
Ummm.....let me think a while on this one.......it couldn't be horror could it? Naw that can't possibly be it. Could it?
11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?
Truely I would let movies be made that are creative and are having a hard time finding a home. There are a lot of ideas out there that major studios are afraid to take a chance on. I would be willing to take that chance. I might not have my job at the end of the year but that is what I would do.
12. Bonnie or Clyde?
Umm...neither. They have been dead a long time ago so probably nothing left of them. Even so, neither one of them was all that interesting to me.
13. Who are you tagging to answer this survey? (Three or more)
You see Cattleworks, I do read your blog. I check it more that you actually post to it! Tag, you're it go out to, cwrm (you know you want to do this, I did it after all), Final Girl and lets see...oh ok, Jed and whoever else might happen across this.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
The Card Player (2004) isn't so much of a horror movie as it is a police thriller. Anna Mari (Stefania Rocca) works in the Missing Persons department. While sitting at her computer, she gets a strange email. The email invites her to play poker for the life of a woman. A picture of the woman is provided and she realizes this is a woman that has been reported missing. When the time rolls around, sure enough the person finds her in an online poker site and asks if she is in. The Commissioner (Adalberto Maria Merli) refuses to let anyone play though. Since the killer doesn't get an answer fast enough, the woman is killed. They have to assume she was killed because the game shows the poker game but there is also a small area that shows a web cam image. All you can really see is the woman's head but sure enough, her body is found in the river. John Brennan (Liam Cunningham) storms in after the body has been found and demands to know why they didn't play the game. I was a little confused as to why he was involved with the case. Argento says in his interview that he wanted the killer playing this game with police all over the world so maybe John had played him before he found out where the game was being played now. Something I will have to look for next time I watch it.
The next time the game is played the police lose. They get a tip about a guy that has been seen playing a lot of video poker but this turns out to be a young guy who isn't really old enough to be gambling yet. Since Remo (Silvio Muccino) is so good at video poker, they get him to play the next time the killer comes calling. The first time he plays something happens to interupt the game so for the next game the killer manages to kidnap the Commissioner's daughter. Remo manages to win this game and true to the killers word, she is set free. However, Remo now becomes a target. Will the police be able to find out who the killer is in time?
When most people think of Argento movies, they think of all the effects to be found. In The Card Player you won't find very many effects. We never actually see any of the women killed. They scream a lot and seem to choke a little and we watch their head slump. No blood to be found. The effects are mostly the makeup that is done for the dead bodies that are then found. The only blood to be found is when one of the cops is killed. He trigers a trap that was set up. This, and the other effects, are well done. We are shown that something is about to happen. Gears are turning and we now know that a trap has been sprung but we have no idea what that trap is until it happens. This is a bit odd for Argento, having so little effects but he was trying to be a little different with this movie. Does it work? More effects would have been nice but as long as the effects that are there are done well then I have no reason to really complain. I've always looked a little down on movies that show off effects just because they can.
Most of the acting I really enjoyed. The leads are solid. Most people seemed to have complained about the dubbing but I'm not so sure this movie was dubbed. I thought this was an english speaking movie and at least one other reviewer felt the same. The Card Player runs a little more than 90 minutes. We don't really see a lot of the killer in this time but we do get to know the leads fairly well.
Compaired to Argento's other horror movies, this one does fall a little flat but that is just because I don't think it was ever intended to be called a horror movie. In Argentos interview, he never once calls it a horror movie, he always refers to it as a thriller. This isn't his best work but it isn't bad either. I enjoyed the police work that was shown but then I am into that a bit. The only real complaint I have is that there wasn't much done with the bodies that were found. They do look over the bodies and find a seed from a plant that provides a clue for later but after that we never hear anything about the bodies. The cause of death is pretty obvious but I would still think there would be reports on the bodies to be found. Over all though it is a nice thriller.
3 out of 5 Run down by a train
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The Church starts hundreds of years in the past. The Knights Templar are being lead to a cave, just outside of this cave is a rock with the numbers 666 encraved upon it. Inside the cave they find a couple of people that look like they haven't taken a bath in some time. One of the women has a bandage around her foot and the person that lead the Knights to the cave accuses her of being evil. One of the Knights kills her, by squeezing her head in his hands. I didn't think a human is that strong but ok. They take the bandage off her foot and find the stigmata of a cross. I would think the cross as a good thing but they find it to be a bad thing and go on a killing spree in the cave and in a near by villiage. After the slaughter, they dig a big pit and start throwing bodies in. One person can be seen moving around and the priest orders the bodies to be burried quickly because they are turning into demons and rising from the dead. After all the dirt is back over the bodies, a giant cross is then droped onto the place where the bodies are.
Jump to current time. Evan (Tomas Arana) is going to a church, that we later find out was built over the area of the massacre. It is his first day on the job, he is going to catalog all the books inside the church. He meets Lisa (Barbara Cupisti) who is there restoring the paintings and the church. Lisa stops some guys working in the basement from drilling because it is causing cracks to appear, just not on the floor but also in the support structures. She finds a parchment and gives it to Evan. He soon discovers that it talks abouts the cross that can be found in the basement of the church, yes that cross. We are told by the workers and Lisa and now shown to us by Evan, that there is a cave under the floor. This confused me since I thought the area had been filled in again. Anyways, Evan manages to allow the demons to escape and he is the first to be possessed by them. A fail safe is eventually triggered and everyone that happens to be in the church at the time becomes traped when the doors are sealed shut. Can they defeat the evil demons or will all of man kind fall before them?
The effects are just ok this time around. None of it managed to impress me at any time. One guy throws himself onto a jackhammer but I fail to see how it managed to keep running after the guy falls onto it. Don't they have like a trigger type thing so it can be stoped right away if needed? That was probably the goryest it really ever got and it wasn't all that gory. My favorite would have been when a woman got hit by a subway train. It looked neat but not very realistic. No blood in that scene but then again, I think she was possessed by a demon at that point. Then there are the demons themselves. We actually only get to catch glimpses of them until the very end and then only get a good look at one demon. The one we get a good look at is refered to as the goat demon. It has the head of a goat you see. It ends up having sex with Lisa which is the only reason we get a good look I think. The acting wasn't to bad really. I enjoyed it even with the dubbing. Hugh Quarshie plays Father Gus and you will also find Asia Argento (Dario's daughter) in one of her earliest roles.
The other reviews I looked at are mixed at best. One thing I noticed though is that no one really explained why they liked or disliked The Church. So I will explain why I didn't like it. The start of the film was pretty good, it did its job of setting up the story to come. Some people did complain about the next part of the movie but again it was a part that I enjoyed. The Church took its time setting up the end of the movie. It gave us time to get to know each of the characters a bit. Some of it was a little confusing but could be over looked. It starts to fall apart some once the demons have escaped. Evan was the first and only one to be possessed for some time. Even after their escape, it is still a slow build up. At one point Evan apparently pulls out his heart and holds it up the sky.
At first I thought that the way each person was becoming possessed was by coming in contact with someone already possessed. That is how it appears at first. But once the doors have been sealed shut, I had a hard time figuring out who was possessed and who wasn't and how each new person became possessed. I guess it doesn't really matter how it happened but it would have been nice since there are a lot of people in the church by this time. For example, there is an old couple there at the church when the doors are sealed. They start to explore the church in order to find another way out. For whatever reason, they head up to the bell tower. We see them by the bell and cut away from them for a little while. When they cut back to them, the woman is hitting the bell with her husband's severed head. Is she now possessed? If so when did this happen? Another head scratching moment is when the school teacher is killed by the guy that had thrown himself onto the jackhammer. If a person, even a possessed person, can't die from that then I hate to see what it will take to kill him. Besides that though, when the teacher is killed, they show no one reacting to this at all. It just cuts away to some other scene and when they do come back only one child seems to be upset over it, if he is upset over that at all, might be upset over something else for all I know. Another kid is trying to talk to him and as they talk the upset kid looks like a mirror image of the kid that is talking to him! Then he gets pulled down and they cut away to some other scene never to return.
I don't know if it was the story that ended up being lacking or the way it was edited or maybe just a little bit of both but it turns into a confused mess. I know it isn't the most orignal story to be found but it could have been so much better then it turned out to be. I really wouldn't suggest this movie unless you are like me and just wanted to see it because it is somewhat attached to the Demon series.
2 out of 5 Going splat on a subway train
Friday, December 01, 2006
Feast starts up pretty quickly. There is no real build up to the story. It starts off giving us a freeze frame of each character as the camera works its way through the bar the story takes place in. In said freeze frame, we get a little bit of information about each character. The name (often a nickname). sometimes their job, a fun fact and life expectancy. My favorite would have been:
Fun Fact: Blew Mick Jagger...Recently
Life Expectancy: May be dead already
As you can see, this is a movie that doesn't take itself all the seriously. It isn't a straight up comedy but it isn't a straight up horror movie either. Think of what Slither did with zombies and slugs and then apply that for Feast but with creatures/monsters instead. Feast plays off a lot of clitches of horror movies and twists them around. A man runs into the bar covered partly in blood and tells everyone that the monsters are heading this way. We are told, durring the freeze frame, that he is the hero and will live to the end of the film. When the other characters ask who he is he says he is the guy that will save everyones butts and then is attacked through the window he is standing next to and loses his head. This was part of the appeal to me, I never knew who was going to die next.
This is a love it or hate it movie. After reading some of the reviews on Netflix, I was a little surprised at how many people didn't like this movie. most reviews gave the movie either 1 or 2 and a 4 or 5. Very rare did I see someone give it a 3. I have said before that I watch horror movies to try and be scared by them, not laugh at them. So a horror movie that tries to do both usually fails for me. Mostly because it wasn't what I was expecting. I think this is partly why so many people hated Feast. Some other complaints was that it has no plot. I never understood this complaint when it comes to movies like these. It is a survial movie. How much more plot do you need before you turn it into a twisted mess?
While I enjoyed the acting for the most part, it was really the effects that took the show. As the title suggests, there is blood everywhere. Since this is a low budget movie, one that actually had its budget cut even lower at one point, it is a very nice surprise to see such nice effects. If you like your movies with a lot of blood, this is a movie for you. Heads being ripped off, legs cut off, faces ripped off....al that and more. As for the cast, you will find Eric Dane as the short lived hero. Navi Rawat as the heroine who is just trying to live so she can get back to her daughter. Duane Whitaker as Boss Man, owner of the bar that gets invaded. Krista Allen as Tuffy, wife of Boss Man. Balthazar Getty as Bozo, the smart ass of the group. Diane Goldner as Harley Mom, would be theif. Judah Friedlander as the Beer Guy, dork and loser of the movie. (That is how they describe him in the movie and truthfully, it fits.) Jenny Wade as Honey Pie, waitress and just dieing to leave town. Josh Zuckerman as Hot Wheels, the crimple, they wouldn't kill a crimple would they?? Eileen Ryan as Grandma. Clu Gulager as the Bartender and also father to the director. Henry Rollins as Couch, looking a little older now and is pretty funny as a motivational speaker.
Even though I really enjoyed Feast, it still has some faults. Sometimes the story, for what it is, doesn't make a lot of sense. Sometimes the creatures are able to punch through metal and wood, along with people, and other times they can't at all. In truth, you can find that fault with almost every creature feature. The one thing I really didn't like was the way the action scenes were edited together. Maybe it got better as the film went on or maybe I was just getting used to it, not sure which. Even so, the way they edited these scenes made the action very fast and hard to follow. Some people didn't like the creatures but I thought they looked pretty cool. Where are they from? What are they? What do they want? All that is pretty much just left up in the air. No one magicly has all the answers for once. I can say this about the creatures though, at times they are pretty damn horny.
I hate to really compare it to another movie and I will probably be told I am wrong for doing this, but, if you liked Slither then you might want to check out Feast. They are different but in the same style. Feast offers up some silly jokes at times but I still found it be fairly close to Slither. Also like Slither, I think Feast will get better with repeated visits. Both are movies that take repeated visits in order to catch everything. I did like this one, very much so, but it fell short of me loving it. Maybe once I have watched it a second time, I will then love it. Both movies deserve that I think.
3 out of 5 More creatures that like mouths