Monday, October 31, 2005

halloween: so f'n what?!

Saw II was fairly vile and I enjoyed it, but the movie I'm really looking forward to is Eli Roth's Hostel. The preview made it look like a picture in the vein of Saw, but I expect it will be in a league of its own.

I have not been watching AMC Monsterfest this year. Same lame Halloween and Scream sequels being shown as last year. A few good Amicus movies are played when no one is awake. Couldn't they mix it up or something?

I bought a record amount of Halloween costumes, props, and decorations this year, most of it intended for use in a drunk driving PSA we are filming in my TV Production class. It was not my idea to decorate the set like a Halloween party, but I'm pretty sure that if I had not been so enthusiastic about the idea, it would have been dropped. We've got a bunch of actors coming in to play the roles and it's got me nervous. Calling lists of people is not my specialty. You all will be pleased to learn that the PSA ends with two characters in a prison cell, with the end joke being that they are going to be sodomized.

On Halloween night we are going to a vegan restaurant for their Halloween party.

I think that I am offended by people who watch horror movies only on Halloween the same way that devout Catholics are offended by those who only go to church on Easter and Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, once November starts, it's time to start watching Christmas slasher flicks once again. This year, Christmas Evil and Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 are the movies I'll be checking out after having set them aside earlier in the year.

New links: - these guys put a link to this blog in their sidebar and will get one from me in return next template update. By the way, you might notice the new, user-friendly font and size change here. Anyhow, some good writing and good design over at Igloo Lounge. The content should interest a lot of my readers as well.

Hi-Def Horror - This blog talks about the future of our televisions. Hi-Def resolution and of course the 16:9 screen. The future of hi-def is uncertain because it's unknown when consumers will open up to it. When will the cutting edge nerds feel the need to replace all of their ordinary DVDs with newer hi-def DVDs? Is this just a huge swindle? You could look at it that way. Anyhow this blog is keeping up to date with the trends and discussing DVD editions of my kind of horror, Argento's Trauma and Deep Red, as well as the Tombs of the Blind Dead movies. - a newer link directory

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Video Murders (1988) extremely poor

The imdb writes that this movie is shot on 16mm. Maybe some shots are, but I think I'm starting to know enough about the movies to recognize when one is shot on video. Every light in this movie, from a spotlights in a night shot, to sunlight, to rear car lights in the day time, is accompanied by a blurry glare the washes out everything around it. The effect is of constant soft lighting. I believe a filter could and should have fixed this problem. The problems here are almost as bad as some of the lighting problems I had in my witchfinder video, which was pretty much shot in one take with very little done on my part to make the filming conditions better than they were.

Video Murders from the now defunct Trans World Entertainment

I'd say what's odd about this movie is that it's a mix of the cheep and unprofessional and the expensive. What is expensive in this movie? A huge car chase at the end that goes on for quite some times and probably involved the use of an entire town's police department and a squad cars. A helicopter is rented as well for the final sequence. All this action comes after the first three quarters of the movie that are strictly amateur in appearance. I'm talking stuff on the level with the Tempe and Video Outlaw releases of the 90's. When the killer is video taping his prey with a camcorder I joked to my sell, that's probably one of the cameras they are using to shoot the movie. That could in fact be the case.

Some of this stuff is funny to watch though. A new romantic type of band plays in a rock club and the ridiculous looking singers hand gesture and stage presence are remarkably similar to those of The Killers' Brandon Flowers. I'm not talking about cool-looking Adam Ant stuff here, trust me, this band was hideous. The female lead has the worst hair I've seen on a girl in the movies or in real life. It's well past waist length, but the bottom of it is knotted up in a sort of bun, so that hangs like a pendulum of sorts. This character actually hits on the killer at the rock show, but is rebuffed, yet she tries and tries to get him to like her. Understand that this wanted killer is a loser to the max. He is dressed like a vagrant, is dirty, and unpleasant. How are we supposed to sympathize with a woman so insanely desperate that she goes for this guy? I've never seen a female lead portrayed as so pathetic in a film nor have I ever seen a killer come of as such as loser. In a confession speech that he makes to his camera, we learn his motives for killing. He is angry at his mother for making him move out of the house and telling him to get a job. She told him everyone would love him, but his business went under. A video business of course.

Maybe the killer being a loser is a good touch, as I suppose it reflects the embarrassing back stories behind real life serial killers, but there is no way anyone can say that writing and dialogue in Video Murders is any good. Fortunately the microphones don't pick all of it up clearly, a problem with video as I know first hand.

Worst scene: In one scene the killer demands his victim dress up in a Sunday dress and a shabby wig. Why the wig? This woman already has more hair on her head than a woolly mammoth on it's whole body. Anyway the results are gross and resemble a man in drag. Whatever gets you off...

Best scene: (spoiler!) The killer shoots himself in the head on a bridge, after making a speech to the the television camera pointed from a helicopter hovering at bridge level over the water. This scene is professional as if it were from a different caliber of movie all together, which just makes this movie stranger.

Director Jim McCullough Sr. also brought us Mountaintop Motel Massacre which has a bit of a cult following and can be found on DVD. I've got a tape of that one and in one of my unwatched boxes and will bring you a review of it someday. Don't expect a DVD release of Video Murders anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

wicked sick post

Thanks again to all the other blogs out there who link to here. Still, my number one referrer is with their medication mp3 blog. Now, over to the left you can see a link from Technorati that says 'blogs that link here' and will show you some of the ones that do. I'm not sure how that works, it 's not complete, sorry.

Over at a website I don't frequent,, they compiled a list of the
Top 10 Sickest Movies. While I recommend that you read their list and the notes at their site, lets go over them here. My personal accounts...

10. Irreversible - I've not seen the whole film, but my old roommate played for me the fire-extinguisher beating scene for me on his massive windscreen television. It did not blow my mind, to dark and fast moving for me to make out the details, or maybe I was sitting to close to the large TV.

9. Men Behind The Sun - I won't watch it because of the famous cat-killing scene that people seem to want to believe is fake. I have however seen I remake of it called Laboratory of the Devil from 1992. That movie had a scene where the arms of rotting corpses are being torn off and you can tell me a thousand times that it's special effects, I'll swear to you that it's the real deal.

8. Murder-Set-Pieces - Some say this 2004 movie is nothing, but shocks. The reviews are very bad, but weren't some of the great exploitation films of the 70's merely just an excuse to string together scenes of violence. I must see this movie.

7. Salo: 120 Days of Sodom - I went to a double feature, this movie and Santa sangre. After Santa sangre Cub and I had lost our appetite for the bizarre and for movies in general. We split. I'd heard that this movie is nothing but depravity. Recently I have become interested in seeing it.

6. Ichi The Killer - Does not belong on the list, though the shot where the opening title letters rise from a puddle of semen is very sick. To's credit they say "As it stands, this film is often quoted as the sickest film ever, but usually only by people who haven’t seen the rest of our Top 10."

I'm of the position that the shot where the man is cut in half the long way looks awful and fails as a gore effect.

5. Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood - They claim that this is the most notorious of the Guinea Pig movies though it is the only one I have not seen. Mermaid in a Manhole is on their honorable mentions list and I must agree, that movie is fucking gross. Picture an artist painting with the puss from the wounds of a dying mermaid. It's nastier than it sounds.

4. Cannibal Holocaust - I've mentioned this movie many times in this blog, always mentioning the issue of the animal killings. Those killings are what I think have held this movie from greatness. Even the most cynical, nihilistic, gorehounds appear to be turned off by them.

Here is a rumor about this issue that I found on the bloody-disgusting board, written by user SlasherIndex:

On the fact of the animal killings, I've read that it was of the Producer's decision and not Deodatos. In fact, the Producer is the one who shot the footage and Deodato wasn't even on the set. I think its Lenzi on Ferox who shot the animal murders and regreted it on the DVD commentary. As for Deodato, he wasnt even there. And i do believe the deaths are no different than watching something from National Geographic. Are they exploiting the process? Maybe, but it wasnt like it was glorified as in "killing animals is good", they ate the animal. This is what these people do in these tribes and have been for thousands of years. You also have to look at the meaning of this... First the filmmakers kill animals to eat them, and then they themselves are eaten. Its a moral lesson, so when it comes down to it, it proves a very powerful point with a possitive message. It wasnt meant to be just a shock film, no one spends that huge a budget to shoot a gorefest. This was shot to be a very serious film, and of course, its became very misunderstood.

As for the other cannibal movies, I would say some of them are equally as violent as Cannibal Holocaust. Cannibal Ferox, for example, but I think one cannibal movie can represent the entire genre for this list.

3. Cutting Moments - A 1997, 29 minute film from someone named Douglas Buck. I've never heard of it.

2. Aftermath - Another short film. This one by Nacho Cerdà, accused of filming the Alien Autopsy because this movie shows an ultra-realistic autopsy. I'd like to see it.

1. August Underground’s Mordum - A sequel by Fred Vogel to his original August Underground that only a few years ago were said to have been seen by less than a hundred people because the world would not be ready to handle it. I don't know, but I will find out.

Then the IGN drops a bunch of honorable mentions that pissed off everyone on the two message boards I saw feedback about this list on.

Honorable mentions: Scrapbook, DeadAlive, Visitor Q, Hellraiser 2, Mermaid in a Manhole, Nekromantik 1&2, Kichiku, Cabin Fever, Audition, Land of the Dead, Pink Flamingos

The horror movies that you've heard of on that list should not be there. Sure they are all good, but this is not a list of great timeless horror classics.

Seriously, if you think the sickest movie ever is Dead Alive or Saw or something, you've only scratched the surface. Movies can go much further.

These people (
one/two), according to a message board, have seen just about all these movies on the list, which is an accomplishment for sure. Let's hope they have not lost it.

What about my honorable mentions?. I'd like to add the Hong Kong movie The Untold Story. I rented that and was watching it in a roomful of people. During a particularly brutal moment, one kid, a house guest and emo type from Wesleyan University, got up and said "I can't watch this shit!" He stormed out of the room and was not seen for the rest of the night. His girlfriend stayed and watched the rest though. He must of felt like a pussy when she did not get up to go find him until after the whole movie was over.

The other honorable mention I'd like to put forth is Buried Alive, aka Beyond the Darkness, aka Buio Omega from Joe D'Amato. People swore for years that it must have been a real corpse that is used in the scene where a body is dismembered and thrown into a bathtub of acid.

What the hell, I'll mention Splatter Farm as well. One of the Polonia brothers shits a butcher knife. There is also anal fisting, off screen, but we see the shit-smeared arms. Sorry I had to mention that... There is another noteworthy death in that movie, but I'll keep it a surprise for you guys who are trying to track a tape of that movie down.

Stay tuned, my next post will be a review of the very rare Video Murders, which is for sure one of the worst films that I've ever seen.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Satan's School for Girls (1973)

First a little bit on info on who is coming to read this blog. A lot of you are horror fans, naturally. Other people come here from search google after searching terms like 'scenesters' and 'fashion' which makes sense because I cover the scenester pop culture from time to time. I even venture into political movements when they offer some entertaining or controversial ideas.

There is one keyword I'm sick of getting hits from, the term 'moshzilla'. I wrote
an entry about this internet phenomenon that everyone was talking about in perhaps January or February of this year. There was a funny pic of a girl dancing at a hardcore show that was made funnier after countless kids took the image and photoshoped it onto pictures of famous events or basically anything. Things got funnier when the girl's parents threatened to sue, but today I think I can say that it is time to let moshzilla go. The joke is getting old. Hardcore kids love their inside jokes a little too much, anyone remember the 'Rick ta Life on a horse' picture or the Atom and His Package Youth of Today cover? How about the band Good Clean Fun? Yes, these are jokes that are only funny if you are a hardcore kid in the know. I'm sure this makes a lot of people feel superior and connected to a super exclusive scene, but drop this one. I should not still be getting 20 hits a day from people looking to read about what I wrote about moshzilla. That shit is dead.

Satan's School for Girls is a made for TV movie brought to you by producer Aaron Spelling who I guess has been around forever, proving today that the old will never give up their grip on popular entertainment. Did anyone see that article in Rolling Stone about a year back about who is responsible for breaking all the new rock/pop stars? Old and uncool, but very rich and powerful people are choosing for all of you which bands you should see on your MTV. They won't retire. How could they give up their money and power?

This movie is good, but not great. More info in the Cub Speaks.

Cub, internet research after watching this movie turned up two shockers. One, this movie was made four years before Suspiria. Two, this movie was remade in 2000 with Shannen Doherty staring! What do you think? (Note: the new version is not available on vhs or dvd)

I am surprised that this movie was made 4 years before Suspiria (my all-time favorite movie).

What held this movie back, because it's not an awful movie by any means, is the lack of splatter, since it was made for TV. What do you think, add some Technicolor blood and we would have a keeper?

This movie was good but I have to say that even if there was Technicolor blood, it still would not attain Suspiria superiority. It is in a league of its own. Argento is in a league of his own!

Cub, as a psychology major, how did you feel about the way the psych teacher was portrayed?

The psychology teacher was obviously portrayed in the stereotypical dull, stern, narcissistic male role of the Freudian type. But it was the 70's so I don't blame the way he was portrayed... psychologists have come a long way cub!

If the teacher had a lab full of bunnies in a maze, instead of a maze of mice or rats, you would say "set the bunnies free!", right cub? I don't think animals should be used in research, especially in the schools.

I would free the bunnies. I agree that animals should not be used in research or school settings, that is why I saved our little Buns from the torturous life of being a school bunny. (note: we adopted a bunny that a school was giving away, at first he would not let us pet him, but after improving his conditions, diet, and giving him supervised freedom and attention, he has become extremely affectionate)
He loves his life with us! He gets to roam the entire apartment. I love Buns!

Once again Cub, you figured out who the villain was before I did. Good job Cub. It's always the one you least expect who turns out to be the devil.

I always know who the villain will be, cub. I am just that good!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

a matter of bad taste: masturbation of horror

I wrote this a couple days ago and I get on the subject of bad horror soundtracks. I guess I should say that a good horror soundtrack would be the one to Devil's Rejects that uses classic rock that will not date the movie in unintentional ways as the years go by.

Coming soon, a review of Satan's School for Girls with a Cub Speaks... but for now, this:

I always like to say that most people I know have pretty unique and good taste in music, but generic bad taste in movies. Yes I'm talking about your video (ok, ok, DVD) collection! I'm a big fan of movie-to-music analogies. Your DVD shelf, translated movie by movie into albums, gives us rather ordinary results. You have Pulp Fiction and Royal Tenenbaums (Criterion Edition), that translates into Nirvana: Incesticide and Radiohead: OK Computer. Fine records I suppose, but rather ordinary and easy to come by. Your guilty pleasure DVD (so cute to have these?), Coyote Ugly, is the equivalent of one of the Lemonheads later albums. Not very cool.

I'm not being fair. I take a risk that I can't ask everyone to take. It's called 'buying blind'. You buy a DVD you've seen, know you are going to like, and are going watch multiple times. I buy something I've never seen, can't find at a rental store, and know very little about before pressing 'play'. How can I afford to do this? Practically everything I buy is used, dirt cheep, shitty quality, maybe even damaged. Even most horror fans don't buy blind. I am weird, but I estimate my horror collection to be 2000+. I have boxes and boxes of unwatched tapes and even DVDs.

Back to bad taste. I listen to shitty metal music, generic 80's thrash metal, and metallic British punk rock. It can be established that I am not a connoisseur of fine music, but I feel comfortable saying that today's metal is a big mess. It makes 90's Victory Records metalcore look pure by comparison. The shit you see on Headbanger's Ball mixes Ross Robinson rap-metal with radio rock, screamo, melodic goth metal, power metal, black metal, and of course metalcore to create one super-produced huge sound. Sure, we won't miss the jock metal and track suits, but watch out, Papa Roach have reinvented themselves by putting on eyeliner just like 18 Visions.

Sex is back and that's fine. 90's hardcore was very puritanical and the alternative rockers were too sensitive to objectify women, but now we have returned to an eighties level of excess.

That's leads us to the soundtrack (
myspace page) for the promising Showtime Masters of Horror series. Mudvayne, Alkaline Trio, It Dies Today, Avenged Sevenfold... there is your proof that metal hardcore has merged with the mainstream. Look at the pictures for an Amp Magazine cover and a real tacky pinup complete with tribal graphics and a dog collar. There was at least one person with a brain who commented. "i cant wait for dario argentos episode... to be ruined by screamo and nu metal.."

"wow i just got cum on my computer from jacking off to this pic" read one commenter, asserting his questionable heterosexuality. Dudes don't know what to like unless it's got big tits and make-up. That's why they are such easy prey for cross dressing hookers with their members tucked between shaved legs.

here is one more: "she is the most beautiful women i have ever seen i always had a crush on her damn i hope one day i can meet her "

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

don't support their bullshit (once again)

So the new Fog sucks and nobody liked it. Yay! Well "It opened up number one!" you say. Unfortunately yes, but this blog post at puts it in perspective.

With an $18 million production budget, the remake of John Carpenter's 1981 horror picture will likely be profitable for Sony, but it's no The Grudge nor even a Boogeyman. It's on par with the melted House of Wax and below what has come to be expected for a major horror movie in October. The original, considered a disappointment for Carpenter at the time after the success of Halloween, grossed $21.4 million, which would equal over $50 million today adjusted for ticket price inflation—a figure the remake will fall well short of.

A lot of people say, "well the original Fog was not that great, so I don't mind them trying to improve on it". A true point is made that this is not sacrilege on the scale of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, but I would still argue with people who make that statement. This remake culture weak and lazy. Who dares wins. The studios are conservative and know than can make an easy profit of a remake, what with nostalgia and all, but they never make history. It's horror stagnation.

I'll take a sequel over a remake any day. Dawn of the Dead, the remake, was barely ok. Land of the Dead, the sequel, was phenomenal.

Let me tell you this. I did not go out and see The Fog! That would have a total waste of time and money and insult to me easily offended brain. Supporting it is supporting stupidity in the name of horror. If you buy the DVD you do double the damage you would do seeing the movie in the theaters. You nerds don't have to buy every horror new release and then replace it with the next special or anniversary edition of the same movie that will come out down the line in the following months or years. Don't be a chump, buy a reissue of something obscure and learn something that every other douche bag studying the Firefly family history does not already know.

Think of the video selection in the stores a few years down the road. Do you want multiple copies of The Fog and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes taking up shelf space where classic Mario Bava and Larry Cohen films could be?

Skip the Fog, here are some random quotes from the
bloody-disgusting review board:

hunter daniels: i walked out, and i never walk out of movies. it was just painful.

Firstperson i:
This was the worst movie I have ever seen at the theatres! This movie has nothing at all going for it, I can't see how anyone could like this shit. We need to let hollywood know this shit needs to stop!

The thing i don't understand is why the people who said that they dont like the movie went to go see it. I kinda knew the movie was not going to be good so I stayed home. Sometimes I think some of you guys want to complain and cause drama for the hell of it. Well I have said my piece.

That last one rings true to me. I'll still cause the drama, but I won't be supporting what I'm complaining about financially. Last year I went to too many movies in the theaters.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Crystal Force (1990) total shit

It's been a little while since I posted, but last post was a video so I hope everybody watched it. You still can.

I still intend to post my review of the Exploited show. I saw the Misfits last night in Santa Ana and that was pretty fun. D.I. opened again (I reviewed the Misfits
Trilogy of Terror last Halloween in Anaheim) and this time I did not sit out their set chilling in the car with Cub. I'm glad because these guys were very charismatic and catchy. I need to get all of their old records. I only have one of the new ones.

Another band that played last night was Orange, who recently signed to Hellcat Records. Just because they are only fourteen years old does not mean that I had to be impressed, the little guys sucked big time and reminded me of that annoying Australian band The Living End. The kids should all start dating Kelly Osbourne, but she would like, not be into them cause they are soooo middle school.

Some kids are ok though. About a month ago we saw a San Diego band called Wrecking Crew who were much tighter and catchier and probably all under 18. Sure it is sacrilege to use the band name of Boston hardcore legends (do an internet search guys - when choosing a name), but they did tear it up.

On to the subject of the extremely shitty Crystal Force:

Crystal Force contains the second most awful climatic sequence I have ever seen in a movie. The first would be from Blood Red Planet, made by the Polonia brothers and Jon McBride, whom I like. I've praised them at times in this blog and just yesterday or the day before that got comment on one of my older posts from an actor in Blood Red Planet. Guys, I have to say sorry, but the ending of Blood Red Planet is awful, though at least I've had fun watching it over and over. Crystal Force, I will never watch that again.

What's with this movie? It's not shot on VHS. There is a bit of a budget. The monster looks cool, if not a little rubbery. Unfortunately in every scene his appearance is enhanced by awful video effects that make him look like shit. He flickers or is only partially superimposed on the screen. In a particularly lame moment his head hovers inside a toilet bowl that is shot from directly above. It looks horribly 2-D and besides, this is not Ghoulies is it? We are supposed to be dealing with a demon here.

Crystal Force directed by Laura Keats

The final sequence involves the beast goring a whole bunch of middle-aged suburban woman, which is fine, the gore is not bad, but as I said, the monster is obscured by video effects. As the shit goes down, the human villain peers through the window and laughs. He did this a couple of times earlier in the movie as well. The shot each time is a close-up of the window, with this guy's upper body pretty much filling in 2/3 of the frame. At no time is this window shown in the context of the rest of the room with the people in it. If they showed that we would say, "hmmm, how are they not noticing that guy audibly laughing and standing about six inches away from that open window for an extended period of time".

More about the climax. For some reason most of this movie takes place in a home that is also a beauty parlor where all the yuppie woman hang out. I can see why a movie maker might set the movie in a beauty parlor. So the hero can blow up the monster with aerosol can of hairspray. It does not happen, the cans are all set up, but that plan is abandoned when we see that an ordinary spray bottle, with some blue fluid in it, can do the job on it's own. That's it really, the monster can't handle the squirts and it's not a joke or a spoof, it just a really stupid ending.

This is not some Troma movie or deliberate project to make the stupidest movie of all time. It just is total shit. What about the rest of the movie. It's just talk, talk, talk, from a bunch of older women. I feel bad for them, like they all probably thought they were making a real movie like Close Encounters Of the Third Kind or something, but really it just junk with a bunch of unappealing female masturbation scenes. Aren't these movies aimed at adolescents? You'd think they could get some younger girls so that kids could get into it. The women gossip about getting hot for Billy Idol and David Lee Roth and that is oh so scandalous and there is much giggling. Was this movie really made in the year 1990?

There are so many extraneous characters and the movie tries to deal with real themes like deaths in the family and loneliness from time to time. The filmmakers were not in touch with the horror market. At least I hope they weren't, though I know the 90's were a shitty time for horror.

And why is there a Crystal Force 2?! It's not even made by the same people. The only explanation is that a lot of people rented Crystal Force because the box looks cool and it hints at sex. I think that Crystal Force 2 is available in a very cheap four movie DVD bundle from Brentwood Video, but I'm not certain.

The Precursor is the pending title for my video class final and it's based on a speech that the human villain in Crystal Force made to his two Dobermans. He speak of some kind of ancient force that created God. No, I'm not making a Crystal Force spin-off, but it's funny how we can find inspiration is some of the lowest places.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

witchfinder video staring Cub and Dallas

This video has sound, so TURN IT UP, I did not use a boom mic and we've got
lots of white noise. You are lucky I even used a tripod. Once again you have to press play to get this video going.

If I run out of bandwith see the file here at Putfile.

Not working? YOU PRESSED PLAY? Ok, then go watch it at Putfile.

Can't hear some of the dialogue? You're lucky. All the important bits can be
heard so don't sweat it. Once again this was an assignment I handed in unedited
with all the raw footage. It was edited for the internet. The music is by Jim
Paterson from mfiles.

Monday, October 10, 2005

a pre-vue of what's to kum

I've had some terrible ideas and I'm forced to hand them in for school. Expect me to generate hype for my shitty projects in this blog. Comming soon, a review of the awful Crystal Force (1990) and how it inspired me.

the literature of the suburban witchfinder...

Also, a review of the Exploited playing to a small crowd in Santa Ana. The may not be relevant, but man do they play fast. Speed metal's not dead!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A History of Violence (2005)

1st - The random news: I just finished my second super-short video. The good news is that this one has sound. The bad news is that you are going to hate the sound because it sounds like something you would get from Video Outlaw or worse. Everything was shot in one take. I had another in-camera-editing assignment, but when I post the short on the internet, it will be edited and cleaned up a bunch.

A History of Violence: You either loved this movie or you hated it. That seems to be the general reaction I'm seeing on the net. Cub and I had a blast, a couple of my friends up in Los Angeles thought they had seen this movie done better before. Violence is an issue often addressed by directors today and I'll admit that this movie did not break new ground philosophically, but it did go over the subject matter in a way that at least made me think, even if I had already thought the same things through before.

10/10 on

Cub, I have to say that at times I found this movie very funny, like in the scene where the guy gets shot in the head and we see he face half blown away, I almost spit my mouthful of Coke on the two or three rows in front of us, I was going into seizures. There were lots of laughs, maybe some as a coping mechanism for the audience members who did not know what to do with such graphic violence, but I think that the scenes which follow the violence change the tone quick and make us remember that there are costs. Violence does not happen in a vacuum. I think that particularly the scene where the son acts out violently at school (met by cheers from the audience) is followed by a sobering scene where we all are almost chastised for enjoying the violence. The Dad says something like "hey, we could get sued for this, it's serious."

Wow honey... I am really impressed at your reflections over the movie and I could not agree with you any more on all the issues you have touched on. Shoot... you pinpointed everything down so nicely that I can't argue or debate with you on any of it. I agree that people laugh at the most gruesome of things simply as a defense mechanism and not that they actually think it is funny. The psychologist in me can tell you that. People tend to laugh at the most inappropriate times simply cause they are uncomfortable and can't sit in their own anxiety (oops getting way too ahead of myself and starting to ramble). Anyway we all tend to do this, it's a part of being human I guess.

Some internet people, perhaps not experts, think David Cronenberg might get nominated for Best Director. Do you think that could happen? I hope so.

I hope Cronenberg does get nominated because this movie was amazing. I give it 10 bears!

One thing about this movie I don't see people talking about, is that it's not very realistic. The town is a fantasy, the action scenes could not really go down that way. I like this because they do away with realism in order to have the extreme variables that can really nail the point home. If the movie were lifelike as it appears in the rather dull preview, I don't think it would be as effective. I guess I just like overkill and shit that is over the top. How about you?

I totally loved it and rave about it to everyone I know!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Progeny (1998) Brian Yuzna

Progeny, a late nineties effort from the people that brought us the Re-Animator movies. Stuart Gordon directed the original Re-Animator along with the stellar From Beyond and Dolls. He wrote the story for this movie. Brian Yuzna, whose first film wish the fascinating Society, directed the Re-Animator sequels and directs Progeny. Screaming Mad George, effects wizard for the two Re-Animator sequels, does the effects here. Unfortunately they are the only thing worth checking out in Progeny, an unimpressive work in every other respect.

Even some of the creatures are pretty weak. At first the white gummy-like aliens were captivating, but they got a little too much screen time in the white light. An insemination scene with bug-type organs looks cheep and has been done better in other movies. One birthing scene was memorable, but lost some points for turning out to be just a dream sequence. I hate those. The last shot of alien baby FX was absolutely fantastic, but that does not come until the final five minutes of the film. It too could have been a dream sequence, things get foggy. When this movie loses it's grip on reality it just heads right to the shitter. We get a truly lame twist and ending to this film with lots of unexplained bullshit that we don't even want to know the answer to. Think X-Files. I've had enough of that shit for life.

I'm not feeling charitable, so no points awarded for this movie taking place in Newport Beach, the city I live in right now. Hoag Hospital is right next door to me. The medical center where this movie takes place is fictional and I'm pretty sure the movie was not shot on location. Is there alien mayhem going down at Hoag? Oh shit.

In one scene the mother tries to abort the evil seed with a coat hanger. In the next she is angry because her husband wants the pregnancy terminated. What we get here are random outbursts without explanation.

The trailers that aired before this movie were so fucking bad, except for Stuart Gordon's Space Truckers.

One bid of wisdom from this movie in the form of dialogue, seriously. The subject at hand is alien probing.

"Why would they do this?"

"I don't know. I don't know if we can know. What do you figure animals think when we experiment on them?"

Think about that.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

take your MST4K and stick it!

Don't you hate when you are looking up a movie you've just enjoyed watching and you find a smart ass little reviewer (on a site like imdb or yahoo - that allows user reviewers) saying "this film is begging to be MST3K'd". I'm talking about those little bitches in the corner of the screen and their fans who are like the kid who comes over to watch the wrestling pay-per-view and has to keep remind you the wrestling is fake.

No fun for me, but some of you need these guys and maybe I should live and let live. I don't think so, these snobs suck dick. Let me quote one for you. "This is another one of those horrible horrible movies that are only good if you watch it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you watch this movie without seeing it on MST3K and listening to the bots rip it apart then you are in big trouble my friend. The movie is a lame excuse for a monster movie. Complete with cheesy (and i mean really cheesy)special FX, horrible acting, and ridiculous plot line. You have to wonder if some of these movies were made intentionally for MST3K because it is so horribly bad that it makes you wonder how the directors sleep at night."

That's from Slipmud95 on the imdb (the word 'slackergod' is in his e-mail address) on Lamberto Bava's not-too-awesome Devil Fish which I believe really played on Mystery Science Theater. It's a bit of a dull Piranha/Jaws rip-off, but surely it deserves a review where at least one specific example from the movie could be mentioned. Still, I suppose 'slackergod' could be working on making a much better movie himself. In fact the '95' marks the year he started penning the script for his Reality Bites sequel. Don't worry guys, he will be done soon! Now he's been giving the movie a Royal Tenebaums feel so it will be just as derivative of other Wes Anderson movies as Devilfish was of Jaws. I'm just teasing, I like 'slackergod' and hope one day that he does get a letter back from his idol, the smart movie maker, Quentin Taratino.

Wait no, Quentin Tarantino, and Slipmud 95 are not birds of a feather. Check out this Tarantino quote.

"Laugh when its funny, not to prove you’re superior to the movie. Just Give yourself to the movie. Then at some point in the film you’re realize that you really fucking care about these characters and you’ll ask yourself when did you start to fucking care. They’ll sneak up on ya."

That from an
article about Tarantino hosting an all night 80's horror marathon. Found via Blog By The Cemetery.