Ahh... what a breath of fresh air. The trailer really doesn't even do this one justice. It's got a lot of slapstick humor, sure, but it's well-written, well-acted, and it has a hell of a lot of heart. This surprised me in a really good way, which reminded me of something like Shaun of the Dead. Just because you have ridiculous circumstances and slapstick humor doesn't mean it has to be at the forfeit of character development and a well-written script.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
I don't think I really quite understand the cult status of this movie. Sure, it's a good flick, but is it really that much better than all of the other Sword and Sorcery movies that came out at the time? For my money, Krull is still the best one, but I might be in the minority with that sentiment. Conan is solid, does a couple of things very well, but still doesn't have anything that REALLY makes it stand out for me. I can only assume the success has more to do with Arnold becoming a big star afterwards and the fact that it's based on a very popular character from literature and comics.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Yeah, this was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. Frantic camerawork, music video style editing, bad acting, and a lackluster script. Ron Perlman was solid and the first act was decent, but once Conan becomes an adult and Jason Momoa starts to do his best Christian Bale Batman impression it all goes downhill. The comedy is about the only thing that I didn't expect, and holy crap was it bad. This movie felt like it came straight out of the mid-90s. Corny. It's all just really corny, which is strange considering how gritty they were attempting to make everything.
Now speaking of bad cash-ins.
Death Race was a shitty remake of a wildly entertaining film by Roger Corman, called Death Race 2000. The original is exploitation, with pedestrians being run over to add points to each racer's score. This movie was extremely campy and violent and that was the beauty of it. The remake? Well... it just tried to be a generic big budget action movie, and generic it was. Instead of being something unique, offensive, and memorable, it was that sort of feau-violence. It was mainstream exploitation targeted at 14 year old boys. Basically, it was watered down to make it family friendly, and given the subject matter... what's the point? Not to mention they added all this dumb stuff that made the whole thing work almost more like Mario Kart than any real kind of race.
Then they shat out a prequel on DVD called, inappropriately enough... Death Race 2. Since when is it alright to name a prequel like a sequel? Surprisingly, though... it wasn't bad. It had Luke Goss and Danny Trejo, and it was more well-written and well-acted than the remake was. Not to mention, it showed how the race got set up and gave us some other nice set ups that the remake skimmed over. I loved the ending of this one, too. It's hard to talk about without getting into spoilers, though so... you've been warned. At the end of this prequel, Luke Goss gets disfigured and becomes the original Frankenstein. This is the character that Jason Statham is posing as during the events of the remake. It's a cool nod and a great ending.
Now, we have another movie in the franchise coming out, Death Race: Inferno. It has Luke Goss returning (presumably to star) and has the director from Death Race 2 back as well. Good news. Check out the image below.
This is interesting for a few reasons. With Luke Goss returning from Death Race 2, it seems that this will be a sequel to that movie (making it another prequel to Death Race), but this image makes it seem like they're leaving the prison setting behind, which makes no sense if it's a prequel to Death Race, since they're in that setting during that one. Maybe they try to do the death race somewhere out in the world but it goes horribly wrong and they say something to the effect of "never again" at the end of the movie. Who knows. I do hope they branch out and do away with the prison thing. This is Death Race, not the Running Man, and this would be one step towards making something much closer to the original Corman film.
The one thing I do really like about this is that if Luke Goss is returning it means we finally get a REAL Frankenstein. This means that we get a legitimately disfigured racer, and that's just cool. Not a guy wearing the mask and pretending to be Frankenstein, not a guy becoming him in the last 10 minutes, and hell... not a guy wearing prosthetics over the exposed parts of his face that make him appear to be disfigured. This would be the version that we have never really gotten, and I like the prospect of that.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I wanted to like this movie, I really did. I love cheesy tongue-in-cheek horror movies. I love Troma. I love Poultrygeist. Unfortunately, what that movie does right, this one does wrong. It just tries way too damn hard to be bad and funny and comes off feeling fake. The movie feels like it was made by people who think they're way funnier than they actually are. Blegh.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I should state off the bat a couple of things about how I do top 10 lists. First of all, only one movie from any particular franchise. Second, I choose them based on a combination of how well they fit the theme AND how much I enjoy them. If a particular movie is good, but doesn't really fit the theme, it'll be lower on the list. If it's GREAT and doesn't fit the theme I might bump it up a number or two, however. Do I like Frozen more than Rare Exports or Cold Prey? No, not really, but it exemplifies exactly what this list is about.
Oh hey. Another fucking remake. This time on the chopping block? The Evil Dead. I know, I know, remakes are bad, death to Platinum Dunes, etc. Normally, I like to reserve judgement until I start seeing some real information about it. Maybe a press release, maybe a trailer, or maybe just who is involved. The Evil Dead remake is a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are producing it. That's a good sign, especially considering that Wes Craven was very involved in the remakes of The Hills Have Eyes and Last House on the Left and they were both at the very least watchable. On the other hand... Diablo Cody is writing a draft of the script. Here's a link to an interview about it, shoot me now.
I know that some fans might read that and be reassured by it, thinking, "Oh! She's a fan of the original! She sounds like she has the utmost respect for the source material! She couldn't POSSIBLY fuck this up!" Well, my only response to that is... Halloween. Rob Zombie is a huge fan of the original movie, and he had so much respect for the source material that he called up John Carpenter to make sure it was alright with him that he remake the movie. That's some serious fandom. That being said, his remake sucked. Simply being a fan isn't enough to make a good movie. I love Megadeth, but that doesn't mean I can whip out a guitar and start playing the solo from "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due."
Not to mention, she like talks like a teenager like when she's like trying to get like a point across. She like not very like articulate like and for a writer that's like kind of like important.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
It really does come down to one thing. Do you like this kind of stuff? If you answered with a "yes," then you will probably like Krull. It's classic fantasy with a slight bit of a twist. It's cheesy, sure... but it's wildly entertaining, and that's all it ever aims to be. It's escapism in its' purest form.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Scream is solid, if utterly forgettable. It's going to please fans of the series, but it's not going to draw in anyone who hasn't liked the previous installments. It's certainly better than Part 3, but that's not saying a whole hell of a lot. There's not much to say about it, really. It is what it is and you probably already know if you're going to like it.
More importantly, go buy Skyrim.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Rare Exports is one of those (ahem) rare instances where a film maker takes a completely outlandish concept and treats it as if it were the most serious and important thing ever made... and it works. Usually we end up with something that's poorly written, impossible to care about, and boring as all hell when this is attempted. Rare Exports, however, does what it does almost flawlessly. It's totally original and unique, and totally unlike anything we would ever see getting a wide release in the states. It may be a bit early for Christmas, so I don't blame you if you wait until after Thanksgiving to give this one a watch, but if you make it to the end of the year without experiencing this movie... it's your loss.
Now... let's see what's up with Jay Lee, the sick genius that brought us, Zombie Strippers.
Well, after having seen that trailer for his new movie Alyce, I can certainly say it's not what I was expecting, but I'm excited. Zombie Strippers, much like Piranha 3D, was way better than it should have been. It was self-aware and campy, but some of the jokes were also really smart and there were some nice sprinklings of social commentary throughout. Still, I like to see a director try something new, even if it is still within the horror genre. Hell, Adam Green followed up Hatchet with Spiral, a movie that most would probably lump into the Psychological Thriller genre, and that worked out pretty damn well.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wow. This movie. What to say? Well... there's a good chance it might end up on both my best of and worst of the year lists. It's in a weird place where I recognize its' laundry list of flaws script-wise, but it's still incredibly entertaining, especially at the end. I just wish it had a much tighter script, but I don't know if it would be nearly as fun if it were a legitimately good movie. I think part of the charm is knowing how terrible it all is. I think that this movie has an appeal to me that's similar to Troll 2. Great movie to riff on and I would imagine that it's a nice one to watch when you're drunk.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I got really worried when I saw the Rotten Tomatoes score on this one. I was expecting another Sucker Punch, but this actually turned out to be what I wanted it to be. It's schlocky, it's cheesy, but it's fun. The characters aren't anything to write home about, but they all have personality (and much of that certainly has to do with the actors playing them). The script is solid, without any major plot holes or things to gripe about, and the visuals are unique and creative. It felt like I was watching some bizarre stage production.
Oh... and Mike Patton narrating is a stroke of genius.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Oh man, this movie. The Human Centipede 2 still didn't deliver the kind of movie that I think of when I hear the title, "The Human Centipede." This movie takes itself deadly serious almost to the extent that it feels like it was made as some sort of super-pretentious arthouse film. Unfortunately, due to the movie not having anything to say, and the kind of advertising that Tom Six has put out there to support it, we know that isn't true. This whole thing just leaves me scratching my head. The advertisements really made this movie seem a lot more self-aware than it turned out to be. What we get is a boring, derivative, meandering mess with very few redeeming qualities. The plot is as paper thin as they come and there isn't a single character to sympathize with.
What's even worse is that this will no doubt get labeled as one of the most "extreme" horror movies ever by a lot of people, but I can't even say that. Bare in mind that the version that's out On Demand is the cut version, so it's devoid of that supposed barbed wire rape scene, but even that one scene isn't going to be enough to bring this to any sort of new disturbing heights. The problem is that we know almost nothing about any of the characters that are being sewn together, so why should we care what happens to them? I mean, there's always going to be a level of disgust when things like what's depicted in this movie go on, but without any real connection to the characters it becomes impossible for the movie to elevate about a basic gross out. A Serbian Film wasn't disturbing because it was rape-tacular, it was disturbing because all of these horrifying things were happening to a character that you actually sympathize with and care about.
I know that some of you might be saying about now, "dude... the movie is called THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE and you're bitching about characters?" Look... I'm not saying that I expected this to be a masterpiece. I never expected it to have deep characters by any means, but this movie seriously goes above and beyond to make sure you don't give a shit. If it were more self-aware or tongue-in-cheek than it turned out to be then I wouldn't mind as much, but it isn't. Shame.
And now for more remakes that nobody asked for. Now, I've sort of come to the point where I've accepted remakes as a part of the movie climate (especially in horror). Some of them are good, most of them suck. There are some that shine as classics in their own right, such as Carpenter's The Thing or Cronenberg's The Fly, so I don't get as worked up as I once did, but often times I end up scratching my head (doing that a lot in this post). I'm not surprised by this next one that's in the works, since it has a fairly strong cult following, but the casting news boggles my mind.
They're remaking Maniac, and they're casting Elijah Wood.
Yeah, you read that right. Frodo Baggins is going to play Frank, everyone's favorite shotgun-wielding, scalp-stealing serial killer. What? I just can't wrap my brain around that. It's not that I can't see him playing that kind of character, since he did a DAMN fine job in Sin City playing that creepy cannibal with the sharp fingernails, but it's just hard to see him as Frank Zito. I think most of that has to do with the fact that he's a MUCH smaller guy than Joe Spinelli, but who knows? Only time will tell.
I'm calling it now, though... they're gonna recreate the famous shotgun scene.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I love Halloween. The original 1978 classic from John Carpenter is my favorite horror movie of all time. It's simplicity at its' finest and everything is executed to perfection, from the fantastic cast to that wonderful autumn suburban setting to the music. Oh the music. Everyone knows that theme song and in a way it's probably more famous than the movie itself, but even the other songs are absolutely perfect. That ominous, brooding chase music is great, with all of the synthesizers and piano it just... works. There's a reason all of the subsequent entries into the series used it. Well... besides for Zombie's abortion of a sequel to his abortion of a remake.
Unfortunately, even though Carpenter's Halloween is the strongest slasher movie ever made, it's a tough act to follow, and of the really iconic series, it's probably the weakest as a whole series. Jason has probably the strongest series of movies, with 1-4 and 6 ALL being good, solid entries. Even the BAD Friday the 13ths are at least watchable, with them getting campy and funny. Same with A Nightmare on Elm Street. That series has about as many good movies as it has bad ones. Halloween, though? Not so much. The first one is great, the second one is good, the third one has nothing to do with Myers so let's skip it, the fourth is solid, the fifth is garbage, the sixth is a confusing convoluted mess, H20 is solid, and Resurrection is a glorified Direct-to-Video sequel. OH BUSTA RHYMES, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME???? Oh... and Zombie's movies need to be launched out of a cannon into the sun. That makes 4 movies that are watchable and 6 that deserve to collect dust in a basement somewhere. And yes... even the Producer's Cut of H6 is bad.
That being said... why is this blog post a day late? Well, you can thank Mother Nature for that one, as she saw it fit to give us a foot of snow a day before Halloween. Since not all of the leaves had fallen off of the trees yet, that added a whole lot of extra unecessary weight, and caused tree branches to fall off as though they were made of paper (actually... I guess they kind of are...). So Connecticut had some of the worst power outages that it has EVER had, and we are now on Day 4 of our blackout. To get that video up yesterday I had to go to a family friend's house (who had power), charge my laptop, come home, record a video by candle light (no... I didn't just do that because it was Halloween), go to my Grandma's house (who has power), export the video (since I didn't have enough of a charge left after editing it to do so), put it on my external hard drive, struggle to get it onto her computer (she doesn't have wifi, but she has internet), give up, burn it to a disc, load it onto her computer, and upload it from there. Her connection is also incredibly slow, so it took an HOUR to upload. So... I'm not doing that again. Don't expect a video tomorrow unless I get electricity back.
Oh... and my costume was Herbert West from ReAnimator (in case you didn't know and were wondering).