I just want to start by thanking everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings. I've decided to switch to a new format that better suits the needs of my blog, and helps me expand my network. I'm still going to leave this old one up, as well as link to it. But from here on out, all new posts will be on the new site.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I think I finally figured out something about myself. I’m starting to see a pattern in the movies I liked back in 2007. I had just graduated high school, had my first real job, and my parents couldn’t tell me anything. That horribly misguided attitude bled into my movie selections. I didn’t understand the value of acting, writing, and overall plot. Anything that had senseless gore and sex was Oscar material, in my opinion.
I say all that because that’s my best guess as to why I gave Freakshow 5 stars on Netflix. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is my first run in with The Asylum. If you don’t know who they are, you are one lucky bastard. They take any blockbuster or cult film, and make an insultingly cheap version that blatantly rips off the original. They don’t even bother to come up with a better title, so we’re left with things like Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies or Transmophers. Sometimes they do have a vaguely original idea, like Sharknado. I didn’t say they had good ideas.
Freakshow is an offensive attempted remake of the 1932 cult classic Freaks. It’s about a traveling circus and its performers, and a couple crooks who intend to rob them blind. It was actually quite controversial at the time, mainly because of Tod Browning’s decision to use real sideshow performers. As you might have guessed, Freakshow goes for that same shock value. It doesn’t work.
The acting is unbelievably bad. I think the main female villain thought she was going to get an award for her performance because it made soap operas look tame. And her crying face looks like a cat when it yawns. In between the poorly placed scene transitions, everything has a red or blue tinge to it. It’s like someone dipped the celluloid in ink during post production. There is only one sequence that shows where most of the budget went: the “new act”. Basically the performers maim and flay the female villain while she’s still alive.
I don’t know what they were going for, but they missed the mark. Yes, something like that does happen in the original, however it’s not to the extremes that Freakshow went to. This was just an excuse to dissect a person on camera without it looking like a snuff film. The hour and 10 minutes leading up to it are just padding that are a parody of a real movie.
This gets a 0. The Asylum isn’t a film company. They’re nothing but con artists who prey on people that don’t pay attention to film titles, and rely on cheap gimmicks to maintain what little fan base they have. Freakshow was the beginning of end of decent filmmaking. There are countless movies out there that are being overlooked or not even made because these jackasses are flooding the market with crap. I’m going to ask you to do two things: watch Freaks, and never watch a movie from The Asylum. I’m hoping if we collectively ignore them, they’ll eventually disappear.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I’m working on an article for another site, so I’ve been watching every 2013 horror movie I can find. Most of them have been awful. And there are a couple that were okay, but there are so many things wrong that it's hard to fully enjoy them. But…this one surprised me. I had heard of the original a couple years ago, and had no idea a remake was in the works.
To my surprise, this is good if not better than the original. We follow the Parkers, a reclusive family that owns a trailer park. The day before a major storm comes through, the mother dies. The eldest and middle daughters are forced to make sure the house continues to function smoothly. What follows is a study of family loyalty and traditions. It might sound boring, until you discover the family tradition is pretty morbid.
The biggest thing that stands out is the dynamic between the two sisters. Both want to be loyal to their family, but also realize that there are some lines that families couldn't cross. They're basically forced to complete the yearly "cleansing" that was their mother's responsibility. Now that I think about it, this could be considered a coming of age tale from hell. The only downside is it's somewhat predictable. It's nowhere near as bad as it could be, but it's not hard to figure out what's going on.
That being said, I actually like this one. It’s a very slow burn, but just enough happens that makes you want to keep watching. The final reveal of why this family is so damn weird will blow you away. This is like Martyrs levels of messed up, but it was exciting to watch. After having to sit through 15+ bad movies this week, I was happy to find an exception. I give it 4 out of 5. The acting and writing were unbelievably good, as well as the overall setting. Give this a shot. It’s certainly better than most of what’s out now.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
As I've said before, I wasn't a huge fan of the first one. I personally feel a movie is a waste if you can't see what's going on. I'm guessing V/H/S 2 learned from the mistakes of the first one. This is unbelievably awesome. We only have 4 stories this time, but that seems to be the magic number. We have ghosts, zombies, the end of the world and some scary as hell aliens. This is the horror movie I have been waiting for.
I have not seen anything this scary in a long ass time. It's a breath of fresh air, and it reminds you there are still some filmmakers that know what the hell they're doing. This time it's all about point of view, but we can actually see what's going on. The thing I loved most is you feel like you're right there, and you're going through hell along with the characters. It's amazing how believable each segment is.
This is a 5/5. It's not stupid B movie crap that has been plaguing Netflix recently. It's scary, evenly spaced, and just very well done. The actors are what sell the whole thing. You almost have to remind yourself these horribly disturbing tapes aren't real. Go out and buy it. This is something every horror fan needs to see and own. It's hands down the best horror movie of 2013.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I found this on some list about the most sexually explicit horror movies. Me being the pervert that I am, I had to check it out. Surprisingly, it's currently available for streaming on Netflix. It's a French film from the 70s about, well a female vampire. So creative, I know. She's mute, and goes on vacation at some villa and kills random people. But she's not exactly the normal kind of vampire. That would've been a better movie.
The one we're forced to deal with kills people by first screwing them, then sucking out their life force through their genitals. You read that correctly. I'm just going to guess that this was softcore French porn from the 70s that was marketed as a mainstream movie. How else could they get away with nonstop graphic shots of women that are apparently allergic to razors? It gets to the point where there's absolutely nothing scary or sexy about it. The main character never wears clothes, and has several unnecessary masturbation scenes. I have to say those were hilarious because she just rolls around and humps inanimate objects or her dead victims.
The editing is horrible. It's between hairy vagina closeups or blurry outlines of faces. And I believe there's only 20 minutes of dialog out of an hour and 40 minutes. Considering I review actual films and not cheap porn, there's not much I can say about this. This gets a 0. There's nothing except vagina, boobs, and awkward sex scenes. And the constant unneeded zoom in shots were just disgusting. Yes, vampires are supposed to be sensual and intriguing. But when they're always naked and can only feed by humping? That's not a vampire. It's a succubus knockoff. If you want a movie to add to your porn collection, this is perfect. For the rest of you that just want a decent vampire flick, check out Fright Night or Stake Land.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I decided to give this one a try because it has ended up on a lot of lists as a hard movie to watch. Not one to back down from a challenge, I found it on Netflix. I can very clearly see how it ended up in the top 3 of those lists. We have another one based on a true story. This time we meet cold-hearted and mentally unstable John Bunting. He somehow convinced a group of people to aid him in murdering others. His man sidekick was a teenage boy named Jamie, who is the main focus in his film. Jamie...lives in what is basically hell. His parents are divorced, his brother sexually assaults him, and he seems a little too close to his mother.
What follows is 2 hours of the most messed up shit no human being should have to live through, or die from. John didn't believe in quick and painless. Whoever stirred up his wrath (or was just the most unlucky person in Australia) was subjected to God knows how many hours of torture, then forced them to leave a voicemail to a close relative explaining that were leaving and planning to never return. John, Jamie and their associates did this for 7 years. The movie follows the beginning of the crimes, and follows all the way to one their last before they were caught.
So I gave a lot of back story. What about the actual movie? It's one of those things were you hate it and love it at the same time. I hate it just for the subject matter, and a lot of scenes I had to look away because it was so horrible to think about what the victims had to endure. I love it because it's exceptionally well done. It's not beautiful actors in a pretty city. You believe it's real people, in what is basically the ghetto trying to get by. You feel like you're watching every bad thing happen in real life, and you can't do a damn thing to stop it. I think that's just brilliant film-making. I give it a 5 out of 5. The story is incredibly dark and depressing, but the execution is done perfectly. I say give this a shot, but also that it is absolutely not for the faint of heart.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Mental illness can be a bit of a touchy subject for me. I have my own issues, as well as members of my family. So when it comes up in movies, it can go one of two ways: the main character was crazy all along, or there's just something "off" about the character. Puppy didn't use either of those, and the result is quite odd. We start with Liz, an irresponsible brat that's banging her brother in law. After running over her dog and getting kicked out, she decides to commit suicide. She's rescued by Aiden, who then ties her up and claims she's the wife who left him.
At that moment we realize Aiden is severely mentally ill. The biggest problem I have is that we're never told what he has. It might not be essential to the story, but it would help explain the random delusions Aiden experiences. We're basically told he's just crazy to be crazy. And yet he's on medication. This is pretty much a 90 minute analysis of Stockholm Syndrome. It's just boring, and I just have more questions than I think I should.
How did Aiden find Liz? Why exactly did his wife leave him? How did Liz know he was off his meds? I have a long list that I don't care to get into. This wasn't that great. It started off interesting, and then fizzled out and died. I give it a 2 out of 5. It's not as offensive as most of what I've seen recently. But I still don't like how the subject of mental illness was handled. I think it was going for black comedy, but it wasn't funny or that dark.
Then I did a little more research on the film. As it turns out the director is self-taught, this was his first film, and it was shot in 20 days. That explains everything.