Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bloody Birthday

This movie starts out really terribly, with actual still photographs of three phases of an eclipse being used in between shots of a busy hospital. It gets better, or at least more charming by bad 80s horror standards? It's about three kids all born during this eclipse (though I thought they were triplets until the last act of the movie), and they're kinda murderers. I mean, exactly murderers. The violence is light, but the acting's pretty good and the poster is great. Whenever kids are evil murderers in movies I want to see them get beaten up which makes me sort of a bad person? Sorry America I know they're our future and all.

RATING: 59%

Martyrs

Hey, do you like feeling good about yourself and life? If not, then this movie is for you. It is about the same thing every French horror movie post 2000 is about - horrible suffering and pain with no relief (although this one is actually about that, physically and philosophically). France is an interesting country because people from there will always talk about what awful savages Americans are but then they ban mosques from the whole country or make violent garbage like this where non-white girls get tortured to death. In conclusion France has the Louvre but remember that liking Western art is admitting complicity with imperialism you dumb duck!

RATING: TOOMUCHGRADSCHOOL%

(Alternate ending here)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Garfield’s cultural cred has fallen pretty far in the last twenty years or so, but you can call me a Garfield apologist if you want because I still find some of the old TV specials enjoyable. After revisiting the Christmas special a few years back, I knew it was only a matter of time until I got around to watching Garfield’s Halloween Adventure again. Since it was alright for children’s entertainment in the 1980s to be somewhat frightening, the special combines both family friendly white sheet ghost scares with some freaky murderous pirate ghosts (ghost pirates?). Garfield’s Halloween Adventure used to be my favorite Garfield special, but I’m going to have to give the advantage to the Christmas special now. I guess that makes me a sentimental old sap as well as a Garfield apologist.
 
Rating: Candy, candy, candy%
 
(Image from inbeacima.blogspot.ca)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Golem

This is one of those old movies where they don't have sound so instead they have title cards describing what people say or think and a bunch of library organ music. It's pretty good I guess for its time - the sets are really expressionistic and fun to look at. The plot, if you don't know the legend of the Golem, is that some mean  gentiles in old timey Prague are going to rough up the Jewish community, so a rabbi brings to life a monster made of clay to protect them. It doesn't really work out in everybody's favor, PS.

RATING: 61%

Friday, October 26, 2012

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Directed by Lloyd Kaufman and produced by (who else) Troma Studios, this is a movie about a fast food chicken... um, what does "about" even mean when it comes to Troma? You can see mutilation, poop coming out of a butt, and some meth-y lesbians making out topless.

RATING: ROMNEY%

Roseanne: Tricks & Treats

The Tricks & Treats DVD, which can probably be found in most $5 bins this time of year, is a collection of Roseanne’s Halloween episodes (plus one episode from the final season which was more of a Rosemary’s Baby homage). Before watching this I probably hadn’t seen an episode of Roseanne since the show’s initial run. The Halloween episodes were always fan favorites and it seems pretty obvious that the cast and crew must have had fun putting them together. Highlights from the DVD include awesome costumes, a mulleted George Clooney, an appearance from the ladies of Absolutely Fabulous, a fresh faced Johnny Galecki, and an appearance from the mysterious “Second Becky.”
 
Rating: 72%
 
(Image from comedians.about.com)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods


If you haven’t already seen The Cabin in the Woods, go see it now. I won’t tell you anything about the movie’s plot and you should probably avoid spoilers like the plague. I will tell you that it’s one of the smartest original horror movies I’ve seen in years. If you’ve been a horror movie fan for a while, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. Stop reading this hype and go watch The Cabin in the Woods.
 
Rating: 85%
 
(Image from themodernallegory.com)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Gingerdead Man

Going into The Gingerdead Man I knew that it was directed by Charles Band and released through his company Full Moon Features. So I was ready for a bad movie, one that probably wouldn't even be a "fun" bad movie. I was prepared to be underwhelmed and in that regard I was not disappointed. The movie's running time, minus credits, is 57 minutes. Gary Busey is on screen for approximately three of those minutes. Busey is also credited as the voice of the Gingerdead Man but I'm not entirely convinced he recorded all of the puppet's lines. I think they were going for Child's Play in a bakery but it's closer to something that might have been on a 90's horror anthology series like Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? I do not recommend watching The Gingerdead Man. I briefly considered giving up horror movies for a while after watching it. I have since recovered.

Rating: 13%

(Image from bmovieshelf.blogspot.ca)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ice Spiders

I don’t like to ski but for some reason I’m a sucker for movies based around skiing and ski resorts (Ski School, Better Off Dead, Hot Tub Time Machine, etc.), which explains, for the most part, why I ended up watching Ice Spiders. The movie, directed by Tibor Takács (The Gate), finds a sleepy ski resort preyed upon by giant, genetically engineered spiders. The CGI spider effects in this movie are pretty terrible, but that probably comes as no surprise. Stephen J. Cannell, who created dozens of TV shows including The A-Team, has a small part in the movie as the owner of the resort. As far as poorly made, low budget, made for TV horror/sci-fi movies go, Ice Spiders is definitely one of them.
 
Rating: Web of Death%
 
(Image from freecodesource.com)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Re-Animator

This crazy med school student named Herbert West thinks he can bring the dead back to life with a glowing green potion. He thinks this because he actually can I guess, except the people are usually sorta psychotic and murdery when he brings them back. The movie is shot kinda blandly, which is what happened in the 80s for almost every movie, but the gore and comedy (goredy?) are pretty good if you are making me come to a determination on this movie's worth and etc.

RATING: 71%

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Creature From The Black Lagoon

This is another one of those Universal Monster movies everybody knows about but nobody has probably seen. It is about this gill-type man who lives underwater going about his own business until a bunch of busybody scientists harass him into kidnapping a bikini lady. It doesn't end up to well for one particular titular amphibian, let me tell you! The movie is pretty boring, with lots of long shots of biologists spouting that pseudo-science laced with heavy religion that seemed to be the only kind of science acceptable for 1950s era movies. On the bright side, the Creature's effects are still terrific, and the movie spawned this song and this scene.

RATING: 43%

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Innkeepers

This movie is a pretty spooky movie about (as you can probably guess) a haunted hotel. It's obviously no The Shining, but it takes it nice and slow so the scares have more impact. My only problem is that after the movie was over, I was like, "Oh, it's just about a haunted hotel." There's not really any kind of depth to it whatsoever (like what do the ghosts symbolize, man?), and it's definitely not as good as Ti West's The House Of The Devil. Also it divides itself into "chapters" for no apparent reason other than to make itself seem smarter maybe?

RATING: 61%

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sea Beast


When you watch a bunch of shitty horror movies in a row, you start to evaluate them on a sliding scale. “Well, Sea Beast wasn’t very good but at least it was better than Octopus. So I guess that means it wasn’t a total waste of time.” Sea Beast stars Corin Nemec (TV’s Parker Lewis) as a down-on-his-luck fisherman plagued by little green aquatic monsters. The movie is quite similar to Humanoids from the Deep (which I can’t believe I haven’t already reviewed on this site) wherein a small fishing village is besieged by killer creatures from the sea. That said, Humanoids is an enjoyable B movie from the golden age of Roger Corman schlock while Sea Beast is more of a forgettable SyFy Original movie that hardly merits a rewatch.
 
Rating: Better than Octopus%
 
(Image from amazon.ca)

Chillerama

This is one a those horror anthology type movies, which are sometimes great (Creephsow) and sometimes awful (Creepshow 2). This one is awful. It's a "horror comedy" but it seems like the directors all think that the genre they are spoofing is stupid - they've got a couple characters who love movies but they only ever quote Star Wars or Indiana Jones, no horror movies - and the comedy is lower than brow (numerous jizz and shit jokes). Also if you like jokes at the expense of gay people or Jewish people then you might like this movie but also fuck you. Don't worry though there's not even any black people in the movie to have racist jokes about.

RATING: 7%

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blood Surf

I think Blood Surf was hoping to catch on with extreme sports fans by mixing surfing with sleaze and saltwater crocodiles. The trailer beats you over the head with various in-your-face fonts and radical spellings of the word ‘extreme.’ The movie follows some brain dead surfers and a couple of opportunistic documentarians hoping to shoot some surfing footage in an exotic local teeming with man-eating sharks. They run afoul of a grizzled sea captain (played by Duncan Regehr of Monster Squad fame), some rape-happy pirates and finally a giant killer croc. None of the characters really have any redeeming qualities or self-preservation instincts, which left me hoping for a real downbeat ‘70s style ending where either everybody dies or nobody really survives intact. This, however, was not the case.  
 
Rating: I wish the croc had won%
 

Let The Right One In

This  is a Swedish vampire movie in which a bullied kid befriends another kid, except the second kid is a vampire. So there's some vampirish hijinx including the kid vampire's slave trying to get blood for the kid vampire (in the book I guess the slave is actually a pedophile?), and the main kid learning to deal with bullies in responsible and less responsible manners. It's a beautiful movie, and it just goes to show you that if you recommend a movie to me I will watch it eventually, years later, unless that movie is Sliding Doors which my father recommended to me 12 years ago and I still haven't gotten around to watching it. (Also I was sure Internet John reviewed this but I couldn't find it in the search, so I win again at reviewing things first!)

RATING: 79%

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Razortooth

I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for with Razortooth within the first five minutes. The movie opens with some escaped convicts on the run in a swamp. The convicts are being chased by a search party of cops. Well, not so much cops as a group of non-descript guys wearing black t-shirts with the word "Police" printed across the front. They didn't even spring for fake uniforms or badges or anything. Multiple members of the production staff had to have come together and said something to the effect of, "We've got to get some costumes for our search party. Now, we could rent some uniforms or we could just get some shirts printed up that say 'Police' on them." And someone else had to have replied with something like, "Yeah, you know what, that's probably good enough."

Rating: Josh Gad probably doesn't have this on his resumé anymore%

(Image from forgottenflix.com)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Crocodile

Combining standard Jaws ripoff fare with some slasher movie elements raises Crocodile just above terrible, but not by much. Directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist), Crocodile finds a batch of horny college students on a spring break lake cruise getting stalked by a killer croc. The animatronic crocodile used in the movie is decent, but more often than not the movie relies on a CGI croc that looks pretty damn terrible. Whenever the computer generated croc has to move around in the same frame as some of the actors the effect is laughable. Not that the real live actors do much better. Across the board the acting is all pretty bad, but a special mention has to be made for the male lead who is remarkably terrible. The crappy cast is at least rounded out with some older, grizzled character actors who easily act circles around the rest of the main cast.

Rating: Chomped in half%

(Image from scifi-movies.com)

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Wolf Man

In this "classic" "monster" movie a guy gets bitten by a Wolf Man so then he every now and then turns into a different Wolf Man and acts a damn fool. It's fine I guess - it's the 40s so how can you criticize the makeup or acting or gender politics of when the main dude basically forces himself on an engaged lady because he's that sort of doughy leading man type of pre-1960? Well, it is 1941 so I do think you can criticize the reprehensible nature of implying this Wolf Man thing is the fault of movieland gypsies while the Nazis are rounding up real live gypsies and putting them in concentration camps. Uh, but, like, go Classic Universal Monsters???

RATING: 37%

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Octopus


You have to get through 35 minutes of the movie Octopus before you get your first look at the titular cephalopod. What’s worse is that it takes that long before the octopus even becomes a factor in the movie at all. While it’s not uncommon for a low budget creature feature to hide its monster for as long as possible, at the very least the filmmakers normally imply that their monster is an active threat prior to the big reveal. It might take some time before we get a clear view of the shark in Jaws, but at least it kills someone in the first five minutes of the movie. You shouldn't have to sit through a third of a movie called Octopus before you ever see a freakin' octopus.

Rating: Tentacle through the head%

(Image from mrqe.com)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Red State

Internet washout Kevin Smith made this movie without any kind of studio backing, which as an artist I can appreciate, but the movie is shapeless and takes four or five turns into totally different movies which leads me to believe there was nobody there to say "Hey, uh, wha?" Is that good? I STILL DON'T KNOW. I feel like I'm too familiar with Smith's other movies to think of this as genius, per se, but maybe it's sort of like Adam Sandler's performance in Punch Drunk Love, one weird and unique artistic expression that the artist himself would never recognize in a million years. So the plot is a Fred Phelps-esque preacher hates gay people in pretty violent ways and lots of people say "homosexual" in really fake southern accents.

RATING: 73%

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

If you're having trouble placing A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in the overall Elm Street series, just remember it's the one where Freddy is revived by a dog pissing fire on his shallow grave. It's also the only one that shares some similarities with the Highlander franchise. As the survivors of Part 3 get killed off, the new Final Girl, Alice, begins to inherit their talents (karate, nerdiness, etc). The Dream Master is a mixed bag, it's not the worst in the series but it's part of the long, slow decline of the franchise. The films kept dialing down the tension and gore while amping up the jokes and spectacle. When they started out, you were supposed to be afraid of the supernatural child murder who could kill you in your dreams, you weren't supposed to root for him to show up with Spuds MacKenzie and crack wise at the horny teens.

Rating: Roach Motel%

(Image from traileraddict.com)

Stephen King Cameos

Ok so full disclosure I accidentally rereviewed Creepshow 2 of all movies, but here's something related. So in the 80s and 90s no matter how bad the adaptation, you could always count on Stephen King popping into his movies somewhere. The best is obviously Creepshow where he stars as a redneck in segment two, but second best is, I dunno, Maximum Overdrive where the ATM tells him to fuck off? Oh, cocaine!

RATING: 75%