Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review "Double Feature": Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2

Okay first review back after a break and an angry post. Lets get rockin...

Lets start off this review by saying: I fucking love Sam Raimi! I think the man is a genius when it comes to horror and a pretty damn good director all around. Sam Raimi firmly planted his feet into Hollywood with the extremely successful Spiderman Trilogy (Fuck you nay-sayers, I thought the first two were great), not to mention For the Love of the Game, Drag Me to Hell, and his adaption to The Quick and the Dead. Though, what really rocketed him to his now attributed fame was a little movie called "The Evil Dead".

To many horror fans, this film is arguably one of the best horror films ever made. Though a bit campy, this film is still an intimidating piece of film, for many reasons. First off, the genius of Sam Raimi quickly shines through as his impressive camera-work, breakneck-paced storytelling, and visceral content. What looks like another B-movie on the outside, is really a beast of a movie on the inside.

Story: Its your typical "haunted woods/cabin" story with a couple teens going up to an isolated spot for vacation and an all around good time. While introducing the characters Sam Raimi already shows that there is something brewing in the woods. After reaching the cabin, they spend time partying and socializing as the day turns to night. Our main character (a future god) Ash J Williams and one of his friends (Douchebag McDouchingstein) stumble upon a tape.

Upon playing said tape, they find that the person who occupied the cabin had accidentally unleashed demons by speaking the words from the Book of the Dead. One of the girls becomes very upset and they decide to hit the hay. This is where the fun starts, so no need for me to go on from here.

Acting/Dialogue: The over-all dialogue is pretty meh and there are really two stand out performances in the film (Bruce "Better-than-Chuck-Norris" Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss), but its not bad enough to take away from the movie (definitely a step up from ANYTHING Ulli Lommelz ever directed...ever). Its the typical banter back and forth; "we need to get out of here", "there is no way out", "we're all gonna die" and shit like that, but nothing cringe worthy, thank god.

Cinematography/editing: This is where half the fun comes in. Sam Raimi is notorious for his style of camera-work and editing. The camera helps tell most of the story and the editing almost disorients you as complex movements and shots come together to great a very surreal feeling.

For example, for most of the movie the camera-work is pretty typical (aside from the "Demon vision"), but soon as Ash is alone, all hell breaks look. The camera-work gets all over the place with quick cuts, strange angles, and complex movements. The whole thing is to give the impression that the Deadites have completely taken over.

One of my favorite shots in this movie is when Ash his standing over the camera. He sweeps his feet over the lens and as he does, it transitions to a completely different shot and it adds to the entire atmosphere.

Execution: Damn near perfect, the film cuts off the fat, but still manages to do more than kill off a bunch of teens we don't know. The demons are torturous, the blood is plentiful, and the movie is magnificent. Sam Raimi behind the camera, Bruce Campbell on the screen, just a completely unbeatable pair.

Score: 5 out of 5
Summary: It is fucking awesome, go see it.
Now that we've covered the start of this magnificent Trilogy, lets talk about the crown jewel, Evil Dead II. Funnier, bloodier, and more outrageous than the first.

Story: The movie quickly goes through a Cliff note version of the first movie (with info tweeked a bit) and then sends us coasting back to where we left off, Ash still stuck in the forest and without a clue. He was knocked unconscious after hitting a tree (you'll have to see the movie to understand why) and when he comes to he has transformed into a deadite, but his memories quickly snap him out of it. Unable to cross the bridge, he is forced to seek refuge back in the haunted cabin that put him through hell. For the next half-hour Bruce "Made-of-pure-awesome" Campbell will fight everything from the furniture to his own hand...and it equals pure-fucking-gold! It has to be seen to be believed.

After a couple of shotgun rounds, a lost hand, and far after Ash has lost his mind, our new cast of characters make their way into the cabin. The leading female character is there to get in touch with her grandfather, whom we know has been long since dead, but instead she finds a blood-covered Ash with a chain saw...chaos ensues.

Acting/dialogue: Significantly better than the first. Like I said, Bruce Campbell makes this movie an instant classic as he makes fighting himself an epic duel to the death. The other cast members are better than the first, but really nothing Oscar worthy.

Cinematography/Editing: Same as before, if not better. This film reaches the bar and surpasses it. The film has a more stylized quality as it starts to set in just what kind of film it really is. You still get the eerie feeling that the camera is still alive and the editing continues its disorienting reign of terror.

Execution: Better than the first. This film takes all the awkwardness of the first one and uses it to its advantage to creating a boiling pot of pure genius. Only Sam Raimi could make such a film. Since I can't grade higher than perfect...

Score: 5 out of 5
Summary: more pure fucking awesome!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Taking a Shit": Dario Argento vs. Herschell Gordan Lewis

Now, despite what the title might make you think, this isn't a "Shit list" for directors. I actually enjoy both directors to quite an extent. The general idea of the "Taking a Shit" post is to kind of compare directors through the metaphor of (you guessed it) taking a shit. Now this may seem pretty weird, but I guarantee you there is a method to my madness.

Now, I'm sure any of my possible (hopefully existing readers) have seen the movie Juno (future review not pending...for many reasons). Within the movie there is a poorly written conversation between two characters about Dario Argento versus HG Lewis. This particular conversation ends with HG Lewis "winning" as the better of the two directors. To which I replied rather loudly to the TV screen "No way, Dario Argento takes shits more entertaining than HG Lewis!" and that was the moment this new segment was born. Now sit back and relax as I go into great detail about the shits taken by these two famous directors.

Dario Argento: At first Dario Argento simply sneaks around the toilet, spying on it for short increments of time before shooting back behind the wall. He slowly creeps up to the toilet, trying to not make his presence known. Finally, after much, much...much waiting he finally makes his move seizing a spot on the toilet. For a younger Argento it starts out smooth and quick going straight to the real meat and potatoes of the thing, but now-a-days it seems more forced and less desirable.

Asia Argento sits quietly in the bath tub, not sure what she is doing. They could have gotten someone better to sit in the bathtub while this is going on, but I guess it isn't the worse thing to happen. Though we should keep the focus on Dario, a surprisingly colorful shit seems to be emerging and no one really questions it despite the fact it doesn't make much sense.

Where it really shines though is that it almost seems like a nice staged like shit as if in a theatre of sorts. At this point the censors have started cutting out whole parts of the shit so we'll have to wait for an unrated cut to come out before we get the full genius of Dario Argento's shit. Even if there is a little blood, that's not what gets the people, its just how grim and vivid the shit really is every detail really out there for ya.

Now, even though its not the most well put together shit you still enjoyed watching and couldn't wait for the next one, even if they were all really the same. Dario ends it with a few clean wipes and throws himself backwards out a window for good measure.

HG Lewis: Even though we know what to suspect here, his shits aren't quite as predictable as Argento's. He starts off by jumping straight onto the toilet and immediately forcing what he can out to start the shit off. After the initial drop the rest of the shit is pretty bloody, but also loud enough to really make you lose interest. No one is paying attention to the direction the shit is going or what HG Lewis is doing while taking a shit, everyone is more focused on the gore and good fun nature to the shit.

Much like Dario Argento's shit, no one really knows whats going on besides that a shit is taking place. They give you some sight of the position of the shit, but not enough to really understand it. Though an HG Lewis shit seems to be more of a spectacle than a cinematic experience. Though it doesn't seem to bother HG Lewis, he seems to be enjoying the whole thing.

Half way into the shit HG Lewis starts laughing, realizing the humor behind his shits and begins to use that potential to make an even louder and bloodier shit. Making it even more entertaining to watch for the many fans spectating today. The only downside to it really is that it is kind of hard to take him seriously as a shitter when there are so many people who do it better than him.

At the end, seeing he has no toilet paper, uses his hand to wipe, creating an even bigger mess to the whole thing. To avoid complicating it any more he simply walks away from the toilet letting us kind of comprehend the entire shit.

In review: While the shit may become confusing, both Argento and HG Lewis make it enjoyable to watch in their own way, but the far better shitter would have to be Argento for his pure understanding of the logistics of the shit and passing that information down to younger shitters to try and carry on his legacy.

Bonus shit: Tom Six: This man doesn't need a toilet. In a genius move to reduce trips to the bathroom, he has surgically attached some poor victim o his ass and has been laughing that so many people actually came to see this major disappointment.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Shit List" Review: Begotten

I'm not gonna lie, I've enjoyed a fair amount of experimental and artistic films, but I can safely say there isn't a single thing of this planet that would convince me to watch Begotten ever again. This film is so infuriating that, after watching it, I spent the next hour trying to figure out why this film is hailed by critics. I would have preferred gargling a gallon of cat piss over watching this movie. While this may sound harsh and somewhat over-dramatic, I am prepared to make my case for putting "Begotten" on my shit list.

This story: Now before a bunch of art house film fanatics stumble upon this and decide to flank me with how I "don't understand" this movie, I must state that the movie made complete sense to me. The opening scene depicts God killing himself by repeatedly stabbing himself with something similar to a straight razor while piles of organs slowly slip from his body. After God dies, mother nature appears, walks around awkwardly, jerks off god, and then more or less gives birth to humanity (can you smell oscar?). This is the first ten minutes of the film (and arguably the most enjoyable part) and I felt it was at least a decent start. The next sixty or so minutes is filled with you watching this guy being dragged around a barren land scape and being beaten by some indescribable figures (not like the cool HP Lovecraft kind of "indescribable", its more of that squinting your eyes and going "what is that?" kind of indescribable).

This is suppose to represent the agony of the human race and its painfully futile existence. This wouldn't be a problem if it were a short film (then maybe I would have never heard of it or wasted my time watching...I could have made a pizza instead or read a book), but it is seventy goddamn minutes of this. After the first 20 minutes it offers no more insight and refuses to tell anymore of a story (like porn without the tits).

Film Grain: I understand the intent of the film grain, I am aware that he went through a process in order to make it appear the way it does, but it honestly doesn't do shit for me. I didn't mind it as first, but as the movie progressed (and I use that word lightly) I found it becoming more and more of a pain in the ass. It makes it almost impossible to see half the things going on in the film (not that I am missing much). Even if it was trying to pull off that "atmosphere of distress without seeing the actual event" it is a very poorly executed idea. (With this being said I do understand it was an experiment and experimenting is a main part of art films, but it is still an extension of my frustration with the film itself.)

I also feel the "independent black and white" has run its course thoroughly and can be put away for a little bit. Its not that I feel that Black and white film is stupid, I just feel purposely using Black and white film is more of a cheap trick to create false depth within the film (though there are films that do wear it very well).

Sound: There isn't a single reason to have the volume on for this one. No dialogue, no sound effects (besides crickets and wind), and no music through the entire movie. Again I mention that this would have been fine for a short film, but not a film where people will have to set aside some time in order to watch.

It also annoys me on the grounds that I wish to pursue sound production as a career and it really takes away from the film to really offer no audio stimulation to go with the film itself. Which in the long run might not seem like a big deal, but there are plenty of movies that could have been broken without a good soundtrack and proper mixing.

Hell, I would have taken two people having a conversation playing as the audio to the movie instead of the dull and lifeless soundtrack that didn't even seem to go that well with the movie. In fact, in order to get through the rest of the movie, I turned the volume off and just played some music to go with it. Nothing like barely being able to watch a guy get beaten to death while listening to your "best of rush" mixtape.

Now what really gets me: I decided to look up what IMDB thought of the film (a mistake on my part) and it had a somewhat positive review. Then I looked through their miniforum at the bottom of the page and saw someone with a fairly similar opinion to mine and he was more or less blasted by the IMDB crowd for "not getting it" and how he should go back to watching "Michael Bay films". I feel this was quite unfair, just because I didn't like it doesn't mean I am a cinematic neanderthal (I can't speak for the other person in this case, I have no real idea where his tastes are). I feel I have enough taste where my opinion is as reasonable as anyone elses.

0 out of 5
Interesting idea gone very very wrong and long. Everything worked against itself to create this film and I feel that everything in general could have been executed better to make a far more enjoyable film altogether. Its in a long list of experiment films, but its really the first one that I felt really had no point or entertainment value.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Shit List" Review: Battle Royale II: Requiem

Now, I would usually never put a well produced movie on the shit list, but this one deserves it. In the vast amount of movies I have seen along with their sequels, this is possibly the worst sequel I have ever had the displeasure of watching. I got so close to the end, but I basically said "fuck it" and just had to turn that crap off. There are so many reasons I hate this movie, I'm going to take it step by step.

The plot: I don't give a shit if it spoils the movie for you, I am doing this for your own good. In the sequel, survivors of previous Battle Royales, led by Shuya Nanahara (the hero of the first film), have formed a rebel group called the "Wild Seven". The "Wild Seven" must be the worst rebel group ever imagined for the mere fact that their base is located on the same fucking island they escaped years ago. Not only thaat, but the majority of the group is children, because it is apparently an "anti-adult" group (its just that fucking silly).

As in the first film, a class of teenagers from Shikanotoride Junior High School are kidnapped by the Japanese government (almost in the EXACT SAME WAY! Only if the rest of the movie could have been the same). Instead of stereotypically studious Japanese students, these ninth graders are “a ragtag collection of delinquents and losers from all over Japan,” (I seriously prefered the stereotypical students).

After their school bus is diverted to an army base, the students are herded into a cage, surrounded by armed guards, and confronted by their schoolteacher, Riki Takeuchi, who lays down the ground rules of the new Battle Royale game.

Instead of being forced to kill each other (the whole reason I watched the first one), as in the old Battle Royale, the students are ordered to attack the terrorist group’s hideout and kill the leader, Shuya Nanahara, within 72 hours (as opposed to sending in an actual army to do it. Really it is just an excuse for the film). Most of the kids are not interested in being forced to avenge their families, but are coerced to fight through exploding metal collars, which their captors can detonate by remote control. The students are also put into 'pairs'; if one student dies, then his or her 'pair' will also die because of the metal collars set to a certain frequency (I actually liked this idea, but wait they ruin that too).

The students are sent via boats onto the dangerous island base of the Wild Seven, and a number of them are killed during the journey onto the island, leaving only a cluster alive. Most notably (only because they are the only ones with any personality), two of the survivors are the main protagonist Takuma Aoi, and Shiori Kitano, the daughter of Kitano, the "teacher" from the first film who died after being killed by Shuya (a plot point they never pick up on as far as I've seen). Taken into the Wild Seven's base, the surviving students' explosive collars are removed and they are welcome to help the members of the Wild Seven rebel against the Battle Royale for good. Which leads me to my next point...

The Collars: WHAT THE FUCK? You put in this cool idea for the collars and then get rid of them? What I forgot to mention was that they did this with an EMP device that they magically make appear. I loved the collars, the collars turned the first one from good to amazing. To see them destroy the whole point of them is completely ridiculous.

Dialogue: It is awful, almost everyone who dies has this long-winded monologue that doesn't lead to anything. In fact when they are explaining the new battle royale rules, they lead into this list of countries America bombed, but then they don't even connect it to the rest of the speech. Nothing these characters do or say seem realistic and I can only hope the idea of a third movie never comes into play.

Characters: Like I mentioned before, you will not remember anything about anyone besides the main characters and that is kind of annoying since the first one was so good about character development. Not to mention a lot of the characters look annoying as hell, like a stereotypical version of whatever personality they are suppose to pull off.

0 out of 5
There isn't a single thing that I liked about this movie that mattered. The plot is annoying and confusing, the dialogue cheapens it up even more and I don't give a flying fuck about any of the characters. This is possibly the worst sequels I have ever seen and I wouldn't wish this torture on my worst of enemies.

The "Shit list" strikes again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Review: Battle Royale

One of my favorite things about looking for new movies is when I find a movie that really surprises me. I look at it initially with low hopes "maybe it might be entertaining", but then getting completely blown away. That is exactly what happened here with Battle Royale. Now, I'm not big on this Japanese horror movie craze, I've found a couple I really line, but nothing I would ever declare as amazing or memorable (this is until I found Battle Royale).

What I love about this movie is it has a great rhythm to it an it stays that way through the whole movie. The pacing is great from beginning to end and you are never bored. The action (though being slightly campy) delivers a great intensity every time with plenty of gore to suffice. I would definitely put this up as one of the best horror films in recent years.

Now the plot, the kids in Japan have become damn near uncontrollable. They aren't listening to the adults and are causing havoc all over. Well, as a solution, the japanese government passes a law (the name of which escapes me) and now they take a random class, put them on a island, and are forced to kill each other in order to survive. This is where one of my favorite plot devices is stuck in. Each kid is given a collar and if they try to take it off; it explodes, if they leave the island; is explodes, if they enter a restricted section of the island; it explodes, and finally, if there is not a definite winner by the end of the three days; they all explode. I won't explain anymore, but that plot alone should make it worth watching haha.

Now the characters, while they seem to be average bratty teens, there is a sort of underlying thing to all the characters that gets brought out by the Battle Royale. The characters are very well written and keep the plot very interesting as you slowly learn about each one and feel kind of pulled into their world (to a point of sympathy, a thing some directors forget to do). The main character is very obvious, but part of you starts pulling for a favorite as they all seem to have their own personality and secrets.

The cinematography is very well done, bringing the empty jungle feeling to life in a very believable way. It helps tell a really nice story as it moves along. You can tell that the director really knew what he was doing (even if he did fuck up the sequel enough). The emotions are displayed perfectly, even with it being foreign, and nothing seemed really awkward, choppy, or unexplained.

What I really wanna focus on this film is how relentless it is until the end. There is this slight feeling of despair as you watch the film and get attached to many of the characters. Part of it may even make you wonder what you would do if you were put in such a situation and how would you survive.

Score: 5 out of 5
High replay value, very original plot, great execution, I loved how the characters were reveal, the script was well written and the ending is very well done. The only negative part is that the sequel ruins everything I loved about the first one. Definitely a "must see".

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Shit List" Review: Necromania

Welcome to the very first "shit list" review on this site. This list is reserved to the very worst movies I have ever laid eyes on. I don't just mean bad, I mean absolute abominations that should never be viewed by a sane audience. I enjoy certain schlocky films, but the films that make it here have very little to no enjoyable qualities. Now I start off this list with the famed "Necromania"...

Now I've seen both Orgy of the Dead (future review pending) and Plan 9 From Outer Space (future review pending), both which had been worked on by B-movie icon, Ed Wood (future honoring pending), and both being over an hours length, but I was not prepared for this horrid piece of crap. This film was presumed lost in the annals of history, but unfortunately Something Weird videos decided to grace us with this 40 minute find (I would like to state that I refuse to watch the full cut which was located not more than 8 years ago if memory serves).

Plot? What plot? This is all you need to know about this film; it is a sexploitation film directed by Ed Wood it is 40 minutes too long and came close to making me never want to have sex ever again. I want it know that on my first viewing I did not finish this movie despite that it is only 40 minutes. Still want to see it? Let me fix that for you.

The first thing that will strike you about this film is its awful film grain which has only half the color spectrum and lines from beginning to end. Once you get through that, the next thing you will notice is the awful acting, and I mean awful. This acting is bad enough to kill any career on the spot (and hopefully it did). Just listening to the delivery of some of those lines make me want to slam my head against a wall until everything goes dark. The utter lack of direction these people had is blatantly obvious as they stumble through lines like they were five.

Now, as I mentioned, I couldn't tell you exactly what the plot is, maybe its because its just the 40 minute cut. For the most part the movie gives the impression that the plot is suppose to just come in every once in a while to see if you are okay before disappearing into the hills. As far as I know, the plot is about this couple having trouble in their sex life, they travel to this creepy bordello type establishment and some creepy shit happens. That is about as much as I know, because it falls apart from there as Ed Wood seems to try and just stuff a bunch of macabre imagery to try and create that horror feel.

Ed Wood claims he had two of the best cameraman in Holly Wood working in this film, but that doesn't mean much since it was in the same essay that claims that the movie didn't insult your intelligence. The cinematography is very poor and doesn't do anything to save them film what-so-ever.

Lastly, the sex, the one part people would think would still be entertaining. Surprise, Ed Wood can ruin that too. You'd swear that these people were blind. I'm almost insult to have to consider it a sexploitation for the mere fact that it was some of the worst stuff I've ever seen. If you want to watch a guy lick someone's stomach for ten minutes, that is fine with me, but I'd rather not. I'm not joking, they just go around licking legs and stomachs in the dumbest ways I've ever seen. Not even an attempt to fake the idea that there is sex. It is just so bad, it is the only funny thing about the film.

Score 0 out of 5
The Shit List's first victim...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: Blue Velvet

All over the world, there are directors that make such a gigantic mark on the film industry that they will be talked about and remembered forever, David Lynch is one of these people (Future "Honoring" Pending). With such hits like; Eraserhead, The Elephant man, Twin Peaks, and the movie we will be reviewing, Blue Velvet.

Blue Velvet is a sort of mystery film containing both elements of Film-noir and surrealism. With David Lynch's style of directing, this becomes a very interesting and fun combination (much like peanut butter and chocolate, De Niro and Hoffman, or Roman Polanski and any girl under the age of 18...too soon? I felt a Michael Jackson version would have been too obvious. That's me for ya, always taking the high road...). The story takes very odd twists, but it all leads up to one very exciting piece of cinema.

The story, Kid discovers ear, wants to find out more, gets involved with two women at once (that man whore), and gangster antics ensue. The most interesting this about this movie has to be its name "Blue Velvet" which is taken from the song that plays multiple times through the film (Trust me, you'll almost be sick of it by the time they are done playing it). The interesting thing is that Blue Velvet plays no real significance in the movie. It comes to play in abstract ways, but for the most part it could have been anything to replace it.

Another thing I really like about this movie is some of the characters. While I really don't care for the protagonist or his "princess perfect" of a girlfriend, the antagonist is extremely good at capturing your attention. It is made obvious in the film that he is deeply disturbed and very dangerous. Along with that, he has some of the best lines in the film ("Heineken? FUCK THAT SHIT! PABTS BLUE RIBBON!").

While I would love to tell you everything I loved about the film, I just don't have the time, but one thing that really kind of bothered me was the execution of some of the lines. While it states plainly in the opening credits that there is a dialogue coach (which I wasn't aware existed until then...go figure) I felt like someone wasn't really watching them and the emphasis gets a bit skewed. It wouldn't be a big deal, but it happened quite a few times at some moments that stand out a bit.

Score: 4 out of 5
Really nostalgic to the days where film-noir wasn't so obscure and definitely some of David Lynch's best work, but while still having replay ability, it isn't something I could watch again so close to its last viewing. The cinematography was perfect and the execution of the story was brilliant.

Review: Rosemary's Baby

Now, many things can be said about Roman Polanski as a person, but there is nothing disputing that he is a phenomenal director and proof to this can be found in the horror classic "Rosemary's Baby" this chilling and unsettling movie is much talked about among the fans of supernatural, as well as suspenseful, horror.

Now, what exactly makes this movie just so frightening and unforgettable? Is it the storyline? In an attempt to keep from ruining it for you all I can tell you is this; A couple rents an apartment in New York, Rosemary gets pregnant and suspects her neighbors to be witches, chaos ensues. As silly as I make it sound, the story is very well put together and is executed almost perfectly.

Not only is the story well written, but the pace works perfectly for the mounting suspense. It is a bit slow, but it is well worth it. Like I said, Polanski might be a scum bag, but hell if he didn't know how to direct. If you love slow-burning plots, then you will definitely dig into this without a problem. The pacing definitely gives you time to soak everything in or enough time to through in a couple guess at what is going to happen next.

Now, what really kept me interested was the bizarre imagery which is immersed periodically into the film as dream sequences. The cinematography and directing is the real key to this number and both did a great job at making this piece of the movie really off-setting and enjoyable. Though I will say that some of the imagery was a bit pointless and could have held a bit more relevance to the plot.

Lastly, the ending. This ending will make you feel slightly disturbed and cheated, but in a good way. While it does hold the feel of the time period it is based in, it is still one hell of an ending even for today's standards. I can definitely pick this out as one of my favorite endings in the list of movies I've seen.

Score: 4 of 5
The film was extremely enjoyable despite the slow pacing and I can definitely say that the replay value is pretty high. The only reason I don't give it a perfect 5 is for the mere fact that there was this slight sneaking suspicious that the editing itself could have been a bit better, sometimes it just jump when you weren't really suspecting. Didn't upset the rhythm of the movie, but something I wish they could of done a bit better. Definitely a "Must see"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: The Human Centipede

Okay, I have finally watched the movie, and here is my overall opinion. Disappointed.

This movie is mostly about the gross out factor which wasn't even that big of a deal when it came down to it. Watching the surgery was the sickest part and that last for only a minute or so. I did like how he sets up a language barrier by putting the Asian as the lead, but other than that I found no real well done sadistic quality of this movie.

I also felt that the script was poorly written and even more so poorly acted. It almost turned into a cheap shlockfest when it came to the noisy no personality teens being caught by an evil german doctor.There was nothing in the movie, besides the actual surgery that invoked any sort of sympathy and that's where I felt it really lacked substance.

The overall idea of the movie is over hyped and unfortunately camp with its execution. I felt the movie would have been some what improved if it took a more Frankenstein like point of view and focused on the doctor's life and goals instead of some random tourists who happened to fall in the most cliche styled capture ever.

I am not to excited for a sequel and I felt the directing of this movie was very poor.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

points for originality, but thats the only thing it had going for it.

Honoring: John Carpenter

John Carpenter was born January 16, 1948 and is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, composer, editor, and actor. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres, his name is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction.

John Carpenter's first major film as director was Dark Star (1974) a science fiction black comedy that he cowrote, produced, directed, and composed for. Carpenter's next film was Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), a low-budget thriller influenced by the films of Howard Hawks. He not only wrote, directed and scored it, but also edited the film under the pseudonym "John T. Chance". The film was released in the United States to mixed critical reviews and unsuccessful box-office profits, but after it was screened at the 1977 London Film Festival, it became a commercial success in Europe and is often credited with launching Carpenter's career.

John Carpenter's third film was his legendary smash hit "Halloween" that helped launch the slasher genre. Originally an idea suggested by producer Irwin Yablans which was entitled The Babysitter Murders, he envisioned a film about babysitters being menaced by a stalker, Carpenter took the idea and another suggestion from Yablans that it take place during Halloween and thus the series was made. Carpenter again worked with a relatively small budget, $320,000. The film grossed over $65 million, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time.

Carpenter followed up the success of Halloween with The Fog (1980), a supernatural revenge tale inspired by horror comics such as Tales from the Crypt. Completing The Fog was an unusually difficult process for Carpenter. He was dissatisfied with the view rough cut of the film. He had to devise a way to salvage a nearly finished film that did not meet his standards. In order to make the movie more coherent and frightening, Carpenter shot additional footage that included a number of new scenes. Approximately one-third of the finished film is the newer footage. Carpenter immediately followed The Fog with the science-fiction adventure Escape from New York (1981), which quickly picked up large cult and mainstream audiences as well as critical acclaim.

His next film, The Thing (1982), is notable for its high production values, including innovative special effects by Rob Bottin, special visual effects by matte artist Albert Whitlock, a score by Ennio Morricone and a cast including rising star Kurt Russell and respected character actors such as Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart, Keith David, and Richard Masur. The Thing was made with a budget of $15,000,000, Carpenter's largest up to that point, and distributed by Universal Pictures. Although Carpenter's film was ostensibly a remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks film, The Thing from Another World, Carpenter's version is more faithful to the John W. Campbell, Jr. short story, Who Goes There?, upon which both films were based. The Thing was part of Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy a trio of film's with depicted scenarios of the apocalypse.

Years continued and John Carpenter has been credited from movie to movie, including, but not limited to: In the Mouth of Madness, Prince of Darkness, Christine, Village of the Damn, They Live, and Escape from L.A. His career has been quite the vast exploration of his many talents. He is undeniably one of horror's greatest contributors and only years will tell if John Carpenter's movies will be able to remain as timeless as they have so far.

So today, I pay great respect to this legend and can only hope that his future projects will keep bringing out the innovative mind of this legendary director.


Review: The Curse of Frankenstein

For those familiar with the horror industry, one name from the 40s-60s should stand out in particular, Hammer films. The hammer horror movies are famous for reviving Gothic horr into the film industry. Many of their classics include; The Qautermass Xperiment, The Satanic Rites of Dracula (future review pending), and many other films. One of the earliest ventures of Hammer Films into the horror industry was the infamous "Curse of Frankenstein" and interesting adaptation of Mary Shelley's story that is often overlook due to its Universal counter part.

With a great cast (including Peter Cushing and Christopher Less), an amazing script, and a well-seasoned director this movie is definitely an underrated classic. The plot is very well paced and doesn't even come close to insulting the audiences' intelligence. This adaptation focuses its narrative on the Doctor Victor Von Frankenstein as opposed to the monster like is Universal counter part. This movie is very easy to follow, but rarely boring in its content.

Score: 4 out of 5

High replay value, well produced with a low budget, and definitely of of Hammer's finest film, its only downside is its lack of attention around the horror world.
(Review original post on forums)

Reivew: The Last Man on Earth

As many of you are aware, a recent blockbuster that hit the silver screen not to long ago was "I Am Legend" a film Starring Will Smith, an adaptation of the story of the same name. Little to many people's knowledge, it isn't the first adaptation, there have been two other films to hit the silver screen who have played off this very same book. One being the Omega Man and the movie I am reviewing The Last Man on Earth.

I want to start off this review with the reason I love this movie so much, its lead actor; Vincent Price, playing the protagonist who is forced to fight against vampires in order to survive. The films mood is very unsettling and very well done and Vincet Price's performance was almost "Price"less (don't worry, no more puns from here on out). The story telling in this film is fantastic and is paced perfectly for the point of the story. The intense dialogue of the protagonist and the directing of the film helps bring out the despair any human would be feeling if stuck in that position.

Another reason I feel this movie is superior to its recent counter part is its ending, a much more powerful ending with no real punches pulled. The daunting silence that fills up the last minute or so of the film is one that could sit up hairs on almost any arm. Its a great flick and great for even the most modern of horror fan.

Rating: 4 out of 5

High replay value (seen it about three or four times since purchasing it.), great story with an amazing execution, the only draw back of the film is that it has not aged well, the make-up is very poor for the vampires and isn't very convincing at any extent. This movie is one of the movies on my "Must See" List. Enjoy
(Review originally posted on forums)

Review: Wizard of Gore

There are many genre's that come to mind when thinking about the schlock of the movie world, but none have been so grand as the Exploitation film. An exploitation film is a type of film that is promoted by "exploiting" often lurid subject matter. It has also been the main source of many spin off genres: Blaxsploitation, Sexploitation, Nazisploitation, spaghetti westerns and many more. Today I offer a tribute to the world of exploitation by doing a review of a movie directed by the God father of exploitation films HG Lewis. The film I have chosen to review is often hailed as his most well known and most popular film; The Wizard of Gore. A film starring Ray Sager as Montag...THE MAGNIFICENT, and Judy Cler as Sharron Carson.

This film is almost infamous for its campy effects, slightly incoherent but original story, and its almost ridiculous ending. Now normally this would entail a negative review, but as a cheap exploitation flick I found it very entertaining and loads of fun. The effects are what offers most of the movies appeal as you see the cheesy fake blood and organs being squished in the hands of Montag...THE MAGNIFICENT! Loud and obnoxious screaming along with jumpy and inconsistent music will fill your ears ten minutes at a time as you watched them get "Slaughtered" in various and funny ways.

Now, it has been brought to my attention that there is a remake lurking around, but I can assure, much like Plan 9 From Outer Space, the remake is just a lose touch in what made the original fun and entertaining.

Review: 3 out of 5

High replay value, fun to watch, but also can get lost in the world of exploitation as nothing huge and its plot is still a bit incoherent at times.
(originally posted on the Forums)

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Home for Horror

A midst the chaotic nature of the movie world, very few of us can actually find the time or appropriate place to appreciate the world of film and the glory of all its genres. With sequels and remakes becoming all the more abundant, one would wonder what is left to appreciate all together. It seems that the world is running low on not ideas, but reasons to truly present new ideas. When remakes and sequels seem to bring in enough money to suffice, why should one bother on creating something new, right? Unfortunately, we can not speak loud enough to take an effect on this large and unfathomable industry, but that does not mean we can't appreciate the splendid fruits of the creators who have blazed through the industry to create the original works we love and not to forget the new minds that seem to slip through the cracks of modern cinema.

With the vast size of this industry, despite me love for all types of film, I feel the need to focus on one particular genre. I share a love with many for a particular genre that is all, but ignored despite the work it has done for modern movies and the amount it ties into with some of the world's greatest directors. This genre by no simpler of a name but, horror! Giving air to such directors as: Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, John Carpenter, and so on and so forth.

This world of movies does not just appreciate the cinematic adventures posted upon the big screen, but also the independent world that constantly stretches its boundaries and audience. With festival after festival popping up to showcase these young stars as well to appreciate the iconic figures that gave it it's start. With over a century of history and no true recognition, it proves not only to be one of the hardest working genres, but one of the most underrated genres as well. Which is not to say that there is no room for error in this genre. Many a times has horror made a less than enjoyable film to forever be lost in the catacombs of compilation DVD's without so much as a cult status.

Here I present a place where these films can truly be appreciated. This blog is a conversational spot with presented pieces to honor those who have come before us and paved the bloody road that is horror. I will throw in a review of movies of all sorts. Enjoy your time here and there will be much more to come.