Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Moving on to new things

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.

http://thelivelymind.wordpress.com

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Freakshow




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

We Are What We Are


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

V/H/S 2


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

Female Vampire


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

The Snowtown Murders



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

Puppy



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.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

An American Haunting


I remember way back when this first came out in 2005. I wanted to see it so bad, and I really can't remember why I never saw it until now. This is based on the "true" story of the Bell Witch.Yes, the same witch that The Blair Witch Project is based on. We follow the story of two families: the Bells in the 1800s, and a mother and daughter in present day. The patriarch of the Bell household makes the mistake of pissing off a local woman that is rumored to be a witch. Things go downhill almost immediately after his eldest daughter is attacked numerous times.

I do not condone violence against children, but the cartoon sound effects that accompanied each attack made me laugh my ass off. The worst scene is her being slapped by an unseen force, but it sounds exactly like the slap from The Three Stooges. After 30-45 minutes of back and forth and this black wolf that is pretty much a ninja, the demon finally reveals what she wants from the family....sort of. She very cryptically implies this started and will end when John dies. However it's not for messing with the witch. That would've been a better ending.

Instead John's wife has a vision of him raping their daughter, and then taking the evidence of the rape and her loss of virginity. The demon is actually the ghost of innocence. I'm not making this up. She gets astral projection powers, makes her innocence a demonic being, and tortures her father. Once the mother realized that her husband is the worst father ever, she poisons him. Virginity Ghost goes back to...wherever she came from, and the end. Ha, just kidding.

Remember that mother in present day? She's reading the journal of John Bell's wife, and very slowly realized that her ex-husband is also abusing her daughter. The end. The best part about all this is it's not the official story of the Bell Witch. It's one of many theories, but a lot of people think this one is the most plausible. That really says a lot about a legend when the most plausible explanation is an astral projection of virginity and/or innocence.

I'm just stunned, honestly. Not from how good this is, but how the subject of child abuse and molestation is approached. This is horrid. You use a movie that teens will watch as a jacked up PSA? Screw you, you don't do something like that. This is A Serbian Film for teens. It gets a 0. This is the stuff that pisses me off. Writers and directors are so desperate for people to hear their 2 cents on a subject that they make feature films about it, and make it so shocking that people will agree. We know harm towards children is bad, you asshole. 

The reason why I'm so aggravated is because of writer/director Courtney Solomon. He created After Dark Films, and decided this was the best release to represent the new company. It is at this point I realized all of my heroes have failed me...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hatchet III



I've been a fan of the Hatchet series ever since it started. It's crazy, funny, gory, and all the elements to be considered a horror fanatic's dream. This is supposedly the last film in the series. That being said...I can't help but feel like there was something missing. For starters, Adam Green was not in the director's chair. That task went to BJ McDonnell. He's mainly known as a camera operator, but name a recent movie you've seen and chances are he's the guy that had part in filming it. I personally think that's why this didn't have the same spark as the first two. It's not a bad thing, but when you watch it you can just tell something is missing.

Then there are the characters. MaryBeth is back, but in this one she's more psycho bitch than grieving daughter/sister. On the one hand, that could be expected after a 2nd final showdown with Victor Crowley. But for 87 minutes, and she manages become less likeable and annoying? It just didn't seem right. There's a whole new group of characters, but none of them seem all that interesting to care about. We do have one other familiar face: Parry Shen. It's great to see him, but I can't help but ask why he's back yet again.

I forgot to mention the sheriff and his ex wife. He's kind of a dick, and she's like this New Age hippie that lost her career trying to prove Crowley exists. I'm all for new characters, but these two were idiots. Both risked life and limb (pun intended) just to prove one another wrong. I'll let you guess how that goes. Now that I think about it, everyone was kind of an asshole. I don't think that's how you would want to end a trilogy.

I give this a 3 out of 5. It's definitely not terrible, and you'll probably love it if you're a hardcore fan. But I couldn't help but feel like it just wasn't the same. There's some great one liners as always, Crowley is still massive and brutal, but everything is just...there. And then there's this weird mush of a story line that seems to fall flat very quickly. It sets everything up, but there doesn't seem to be any real conclusion. I'm guessing it's because Adam Green is still hoping to continue the series, although it will be a whole new cast of characters that are affected by Crowley. I say see it at least once. It is still pretty entertaining even with its flaws.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hypothermia


Given the last few weeks, I'm seriously considering changing the name of my blog to "The Bowels of Netflix". And this is the movie that is making me want to do just that. Unlike most of the B-movie cinematic turds I have seen, we actually have a well known actor in this one. I think that makes it so much sadder. Michael Rooker stars as one of the main characters. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 3 years, you'll remember him as Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead. I personally loved him in Slither, but the guy has been in the business since before I was born. He's a talented actor, and it's that fact that makes it hard to believe he would agree to act in something as horrible as this.

Rooker is Ray, a guy that wants to ice fish with his wife, son, and his son's girlfriend. The peaceful vacation is interrupted by a big city assface and his "slow" son. They all kiss and make up when they realize there's the mother of all catches lurking under the ice. But it's actually a monster. A sea monster, that is a cross between the Creature from the Black Lagoon, a shark, and a tree. I'll let you guess how good the makeup is in this.

One thing I really don't get is how stupid these people are. They quickly figure out the monster is attracted to any vibrations through the ice. If you have vital information such as that, why in the name of all things sacred would you stay in a very loud trailer right on the ice that uses a shaky generator for power? And then, you basically leave people in prime position to be maimed. That's another thing I didn't understand: the creature was extremely violent and strong, so much so that you start to think there's something supernatural going on. Nope, just a ridiculously smart and strong man-fish.

So, all the men die and the women (finally) high tail it back to land. The creature reaches them just before they make it to the steps, and goes for the kill. The women cower, and the wife gives a speech about how everything has been taken from them and they just want to walk away with their lives. At this point I wish Man-Ray ripped their faces off, but he lets them go. To sum it up, the women survive by using the power of love. The. Power. Of. Love...

I don't even know what else to say. You waste the talent of a great actor, your monster looks like a damn Scooby Doo reject, and instead of rubbing a couple brain cells together for a good ending you end your movie with the message that love conquers all...even against giant man eating fish mutants. This gets a 0.  I think we need to start a law that requires all scripts to be read by qualified people with taste before they're made into feature films. Then atrocities like Hypothermia might not happen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Martyrs


Have you ever seen a movie so hard to watch that it felt like you heart was ripped out, put in a blender, and the soupy remains are poured back into your chest? That is really the only way I describe what it's like to watch Martyrs. I remember seeing this on the shelves of Blockbuster back in 2010. I just never got the chance to watch it. But, after the recommendation of several people in Horror Geeks, I decided to give it a shot. And...for the first time I'm completely stunned. I don't know how to properly review this just because of what happens.

I cannot ignore that this was brilliantly done. The acting and makeup looked so real that I had to remind myself that I wasn't watching a snuff film. But the subject matter and visuals are like a punch to the chest. It feels like all of the air is taken out of your lungs, and you're powerless to stop it. The director Pascal Laugier even included an intro on the DVD to apologize for the events you're about to witness. And after watching the movie, I can honestly say nothing can prepare you for something like that.

I'm not going to give anything away. I think you need to just see it for yourself. I also learned Laugier is in negotiation to have the movie remade in America with a "happier ending". I think that's a terrible a idea. Let's be honest: life is not always happy, and sometimes the villains win. Martyrs makes that point vividly clear, and still manages to shove it down your throat.   It's amazing how shocking and brutal this is, but that's what makes it so good. I give it a 5 out of 5. Go out and buy it, and spread the word about it. This is something that needs to be seen at least once.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Blood Runs Cold


I don't know much about this, other than it's one of the new B-movie releases on Netflix. The plot is far from original: friends go to a cabin in the winter time to have sex and get drunk, only there's a crazy psycho blah blah blah, you know how this is going to go. Except the actual delivery of the film is nothing like how it's described. We start with some female singer songwriter that goes to an empty cabin to clear her thoughts and write new music. Her manager is a jerk (for whatever reason), and wants her to also do interviews with the press to generate buzz for her nonexistent album. After 15 minutes of her exploring the house with an expression that makes Kristen Stewart seem over-dramatic, she goes to a local bar.

There, she finds her ex that she dumped for "fame and fortune", and his friends Captain Douche and Miss Forgettable. They have the bright idea to go back to the cabin, and we're treated to 2 of the most boring 10 minute sex scenes. The next day comes, and all of the singer's guests are slaughtered like pigs. I mean, there is bloody everywhere, ear piercing screaming, and quite a bit of property damage. Now, most people with half a brain would say oh shit and get the hell out of dodge before they become the next victim. What does our "heroine" do? Cleans up the blood, fixes the damage, and starts writing songs. You read that correctly.

Another 20 minutes of her hearing noises, and she finally meets the killer. I should probably mention that towards the end we're lead to believe the killer is some supernatural force. I was willing to accept it until she stabbed him, and a cloud of dust along with a fart noise came out. So what is this guy? A ghost? Demon? Immortal? I don't know. No, I really don't know. He's presented as some...thing that kills and eats people, and he can't die. The end.

This whole thing is a case where whoever made this did not give a shit. They got some funding, convinced 2 chicks to get naked, and got to spray blood everywhere. And it's stuff like this that pisses me off. It's 85 minutes I can't get back, and that time could've been devoted to watching something that's actually worth the celluloid it was filmed on. This gets a zero. If you want to see a cabin trip from hell, look for Cabin in the Woods or Donner Party.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spiderhole


I love IFC original movies. I don't know why, but Indie films hold a special place in my heart. That being said, there are always exceptions. I came across Spiderhole on Netflix and decided to give it a shot because it's only around 80 minutes long. I'm starting to think the shorter a horror movie is, the worse it's going to be. But I'll expand on that later. We follow four twenty-somethings that decide to become squatters in London...even though their lives seem pretty comfy. They frequently say it's going to be amazing to be free from society. What has society done to these young adults that makes them decide to go the hobo route? Nothing. They just want to smoke pot, drink, and screw each other. I think they could've done all of that in one of their mothers' basements, but to each his own.

After the most boring sex scene in cinematic history, the group discovers a cabinet that has bloody clothing and also some brain matter. At this point, most people would say hell no and get out. Not so with our group that we're supposed to root for. The ringleader says they should sleep first, and then check to make sure their humble abode is on the up and up. So to make sure we're on the same page: college students become squatters because of reasons, they find what obviously looks like remnants of a brutal murder, but ignore it in favor of drinking and sleeping. At this point, we still have to deal with these people for an hour.

They wake up 12-18 hours later and find that the vodka bottle just sitting around next bloody clothes had been spiked with roofies. Shocker. It is then our champions for the Darwin Awards decide this shit is not right and try to leave. However, the doors and windows have been welded shut. I have to stop here for a second. They want to be "free from society" for stupid reasons. Okay, that's fine. But they choose the one house that is obviously isolated, and also refuse to scope out the place to at least make sure it is safe. And we're supposed to feel sorry for them when they get turned into steaks?

I haven't even gotten to the best part. The person that locked them in and starts the off-screen torture is a man whose father was murdered. I think. It's not quite clear, and after a while you just stop caring like I do right now. To save you 80 minutes, I'll sum it up: stupid asses decide to become squatters because the world is a big meany face (or something), ignore glaring red flags, then die one by one by some dude that gets his rocks off by dissecting people.This is a 0. It's slow, dumb, and has so many plot holes it makes Swiss cheese jealous. I haven't really seen any horror movies about squatters, so I can't recommend anything better. And to be honest if movies about squatters are like Spiderhole, I'll pass on the whole sub-genre.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Kill Katie Malone


I first saw this two years ago when I first signed up for Netflix. I also had this compulsive need to watch every horror movie in their catalog. And, to my surprise, I think it's still pretty decent for what it is. It's about a ghost of an Irish peasant girl whose soul is bound to a box. Whoever owns the box, is also owner of her soul. But there's a steep price that comes along with being Katie Malone's owner. I do have to point out one annoyance. It lists Dean Cain on the cover. I'm going to tell you now it's just a poor tactic to lure you into watching this. I'm not even sure if people born after 2000 even know who he is. The rest of us would remember him as one of the many incarnations of Superman. I can commend him for still getting work, but he has also fallen into straight to DVD hell.

There's also Stephen Colletti. I only know who is because I watched way too much MTV between 2004 and 2008. He was one of the spoiled rich kids on Laguna Beach. But once again, I will give credit where it is due. He has made a nice transition into TV and film. He was in another decent horror movie called Mask Maker. And that pretty much rounds out anyone that is remotely recognizable and talented. The overall pacing and story is okay. It's downright campy at times, but it's still watchable.

I give it a 3 out of 5. It's not completely good, but it is one of the better movies available on Netflix. Once you get past the camp, some of the slow parts, and questionable special effects, it's a good movie to watch to kill some time. And I believe this marks the first time I watched a movie and still liked it a second time. I already know this good news will be short lived...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Shrooms


I really don't remember how I came across this a couple years ago. All I know is I thought it was amazing, and one of the best horror movies I have ever seen. Now I realize whatever I was smoking at the time must have been good if I actually liked this movie. The plot is a bunch of college kids go to Ireland to ingest the mother of all shrooms and have a trip to end all trips. While tripping, they discover they're not alone, and a local urban legend is quite real and out for blood...or is it? I think I'm making this sound way more interesting than it actually is.

I just have more questions than anything. Why would you spend an ass load of money just to take shrooms? I'm pretty sure you can go anywhere in the country for the same thing. And why would you put together a group of people that obviously hate each other? There's Mr. Steroids, Kim Kardashian wannabe, Miss Hipster/Hippie, and a guy that can pass as Jason Mewes stunt double. And of course there's the blonde goody two shoes heroine and her dark, brooding Irish friends with benefits. You also get to listen to these idiots bicker and turn on each other for 80+ minutes.There's also the fact that that blondie takes the PCP of shrooms and almost overdoses. We're then subjected to what are either visions or hallucinations. It gets old fast, but the worst part is they just used the same scenes over and over. There's the hyper sped up version that are supposed to be the visions, and then the normal speed. So, if you take out the repeating scenes, I think this whole thing would only be about 40-45 minutes.

To put a pretty bow on the crap present: the characters are horrible people, the visuals are annoying and laughably bad, and the entire thing is just stupid when you really sit and think about it. I don't know what the I was thinking. This gets a 1 out of 5. I give it that much just because the plot is original. Everything else is just lazy and unintentionally comical. After viewing this for a second time, I've come to terms with the fact that I had no taste in movies between the ages of 16 and 21.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shigurui: Death Frenzy


I only watched this because it was about to expire on Netflix. I try not to be picky about anime. Of course horror and comedy will be my personal favorites, but I still like to branch out. I even ignored the 2 and a half star rating. That was a massive mistake, and that rating is overly generous. This show is horrible. It's about samurai...I think. The majority of the time we see scenes of rape, mutilation, torture, butterflies, cicadas, and a whole bunch of people that spontaneously give birth to their own intestines. There's also frequent scenes of women getting their nipples ripped off, a graphic birth of a deformed baby, and one guy gets castrated by a hot poker.

Another issue is the lack of variety of colors. Every scene is washed in gray, black, red, or pink. It's very hard on the eyes, and it takes a minute to figure out what the hell just happened. The dialog is nothing more that horrific screams, orgasmic moans, squishy noises, and people insulting each other. The soundtrack is somewhere between non-existent and a didgeridoo. In other words, it's incredibly annoying after 5 minutes. This gets a 0.

The plot is nowhere to be seen and the violence is either random or repetitive. What little voice acting there is just sounds bored and lifeless. I think this might be better in written form, or even as a 90 minute movie. But 12 episodes? It's just a big waste of time, and a bigger waste of talent.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Seven Days


A parent should never have to bury their child. It's even worse when that child is taken away by a stranger's hand. Seven Days is a French film that starts with a well off doctor and his family. Then his daughter is brutally raped and murdered by a child molester. We see the parents try to make sense of such a tragic event. Their grief and pain is almost unbearable, until the doctor snaps. Instead of letting the justice system put the man away for 25 years, the doctor chooses to kidnap, torture and later contemplates murdering his child's killer.

This was an interesting movie. It is hard to watch, and it never lets up. But it makes yourself wonder if you would take the same action if anything as horrible as that ever happened to you. If a loved one is murdered, is it enough knowing their killer is behind bars? Or would you need your own brand of justice? The movie asks that question, and I don't think any of us could easily answer. It's heartbreaking to see a family ripped apart by grief and tragedy, but it's worse when one side handles such things in such an extreme way.

As a viewer, you want the murderer to pay for his crimes. However, you don't want the doctor to be the one to dole out the punishment. I thought this was excellent. The plot is gruesome, but the pacing and acting makes you feel like you're watching a real event play out. And it also makes you wonder if you would ever do the same if you were in the doctor's shoes. I give this 5 out of 5. As much as I love mindless gore, it's interesting to see gore as a tool of revenge. Give this a shot. It'll be worth your time.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Home Sweet Home


This is one of two movies with the same name. Hopefully the other one is better than this. This crap is the first English film for French director David Morlet. Sound familiar? He also directed the French zombie movie Mutants, which I thought was awesome.  When I heard this was his latest effort, I'll admit that I was pretty excited. Mutants was such a strong movie in plot and acting that I mistakenly thought the same would be said for Home Sweet Home. I don't know what went wrong, and how it could be possible for something to piss away any potential in a matter of minutes.

We start the film with a masked intruder invading the home of a married couple that is out on a date night. He drinks milk, eats their food, goes through their photos, and sniffs the wife's underwear before hiding until they return. Once they arrive home, we're subjected to 30 minutes of meaningless conversation. Nothing happens until the 45-50 minute mark, then the remaining time is the wife trying to escape and she ends up dying anyway. And the masked intruder? A local police officer that gets his rocks off by torturing and murdering random town residents. Why? Because screw you, this is only 80 minutes long and there's blood and gore. You're not supposed to pay attention to the plot.

I just can't believe an officer in a very small town could get away with murders of that scale. You're also led to believe this happened more than once. The guy has one huge duffel bag filled with booby traps, a sword, guns, knives, and things that any normal person would question why a cop would be roaming around with stuff like that. Apparently he also scoped out any potential victims by stalking their homes. In this case, he's spotted by the wife who calls the police. Somehow all calls from her house get routed to his cell phone. Every. Single. Time. I don't know much about law enforcement, but why would emergency calls be going to someone's personal cell phone? Did I miss something?

In order for such events to happen, the police department would have to be oblivious. But with today's technology, I imagine it is damn near impossible to commit such crimes without someone saying something. Then there's the married couple. I understand putting a lock on a gun for safety, but why the hell would you only have one key that's down in the basement? And then even after you have the gun, you hesitate is shooting the killer. He then chops off your hand with a sword and stabs you in the heart.

I'm willing to overlook a lot of things when it comes to movies. But when things would only happen if people were that damn stupid? I can't do it. Anyone's survival instincts would completely take over. If that means you have to shoot the bastard 5 times and once in the head for good measure to insure you will live, then dammit that's what you're going to do. And let's not forget the fact this psycho murdered your spouse by scalping him. I don't know about you, but if I had the option to take out whoever killed my husband, that dude would have more holes in him than a pincushion.

This gets a 0. While I understand the writer was trying to show some kind of humanity on the wife's part by not going for a kill shot, it comes off as stupidity and weakness which leads to her death. I refuse to believe such a situation could happen even in the dumbest of circumstances. When faced with death, most of us won't go down without one hell of a fight. Home Sweet Home basically says otherwise, and takes too much time to do so. This falls into the category of home invasion movies, but I'm so sick of seeing these things everywhere that I can't recommend a good one right now.

However, if you want to see highly unlikely circumstances that lead to outrageous results, check out Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. At least in that one the sheer stupidity makes sense.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Black Blood Brothers (Season 1)


Here's another thing I watched only because it was going to expire on Netflix. I remember I tried starting this a couple years ago, and I wasn't all that impressed. I'm glad I gave it another chance. This kicks ass. It's only 12 episodes long, but there is zero filler and each episodes forwards the plot. It's about a war between different classes of vampires. Each clan rules a different territory, but there's a race called The Kowloon Children that threaten the peaceful relations between vampires and humans.

It's action packed, funny, and a take on vampires that doesn't make them glitter covered wimps. The only downside to it being short is that the first season is that a lot of questions are left unanswered. You see the dynamic between the characters, but it's never explained why people are acting the way they are. However, I've heard a lot of this gets cleared up in the second season.

I think my absolutely thing about this is the voice talent. It's almost all of the Funimation regulars, but every single actor holds their own. J. Michael Tatum, Colleen Clinkenbeard,
Jerry Jewell, Brina Palencia, and many others round out the all star cast. I give this a 4 out of 5. It was better than I thought it was, and it's nice to see vampires how they're supposed to be: sexy, brutal, and bloodthirsty.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Paranormal Asylum


Just because you can make a movie, doesn't mean you should. Paranormal Asylum is the poster child for that fact. Notice that someone had the balls to say this "gets it right". Yet another case of bribery or the threat of physical harm to get someone to tell a huge lie. The plot is a group of jackasses decide to go to the abandoned asylum that once housed Typhoid Mary, and film any evidence of paranormal activity to sell to a TV show for fame and fortune. The people we're supposed to root for even though you want them dead after 5 minutes are Mark, Andy, and Michelle. Mark is a failed L.A. writer, Andy is the stereotypical ass monkey that mooches off airhead fiancee Michelle.

The film quality bounces back and forth between film school and "found footage". The supposed abandoned asylum has brand spanking new paint and hospital beds. Then there are the ghostly inhabitants. I think whoever made this thought TV static was the scariest thing since Pennywise. Any movement by the ghost, jump scares, and even some scene transitions are nothing but static. Also, jump scares are the only method used to try and be scary. It's kind of hard to take any of it seriously when the ghosts look like Marilyn Manson music video rejects.

As you can guess, the acting and writing is close to vomit inducting. Everyone looks stoned, and make no effort to deliver a line with any molecule of emotion. I think the most confusing part was the interaction between the people we're supposed to want to live. They suck. Andy is verbally and emotionally abusive, Mark is a doormat, and stupid ass Michelle holds a seance to "stir up some evidence". Who thought it was a good idea to create this abomination? Writers Fred Edison and Gregory Scott Houghton, and director/producer Nimrod Zalmanowitz. This is the first major film for the writers, but the director has worn many hats in his 13 year career. However, none of his credits are worth mentioning. While he has several titles as a producer or editor under his belt, they're all straight to video or short films.

I don't even know what else I can say about this. It gets a zero. It's dumb, a waste of time, and I can't help but think this is making fun of the real filmmakers out there who are still struggling to be noticed. Also the director's name is freaking Nimrod. What good could come a grown man named Nimrod? Absolutely none. If you want to see something that actually looks like a haunted asylum, look for the House on Haunted Hill remake or Session 9.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Remarkable Power


You probably can't read the quote on the poster, but a critic claims this rivals anything by the Coen Brothers. Either someone heavily edited that quote, or that critic was paid to tell a bold-faced lie. The official description is a TV show host seeks to destroy the lives of his cheating wife and her famous lover. However, the title and the actual film forces you to focus on a scam called Remarkable Power that leads to an accidental murder, and a whole bunch of people that are affected by it. You basically watch two different movies play out, and neither make sense.

The first is the TV host. His show is being cancelled, and he decides to use his final show to show a tape of his wife banging a famous (and also married) baseball player. This story takes all of 20 minutes to tell. The other is a burned out pothead that buys tapes from an infomercial to change his life. He believes that the tapes help him unlock his inner potential or some shit like that. I gave up on paying attention because the whole thing is a jumbled, boring mess.

It bounces around everywhere. 3 months ago, a week later, 6 months later, present day. And none of the flashbacks or flash forwards help explain why everyone is either incredibly dumb or a douche. All the characters are just weird and unlikable. It's labeled as a comedy, but there was nothing funny about it. And I'm pretty sure the whole thing was film on someone's personal camera. This gets a 0. It's a waste of film and talent. No wonder it was on Netflix for only a couple of weeks...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rango


It took me forever to watch this. I love Johnny Depp, but the guy is in damn near everything. When I heard he was doing yet another children's film, I didn't exactly rush to see it. Rango is a comedy western about a pet chameleon that ends up in the desert, and must find his true identity while saving the dying town of Dirt. I am aware of how dumb that sounds, but just hear me out. It's not all that bad. It's actually funny, the voice acting is great, and I was entertained. There is one major problem. This was marketed as a kid's movie. The dialog and subject matter is around the PG-13 and sometimes R range.

I don't believe in sheltering a child. But murder, suicide, sexual innuendo, and a major identity crisis? And an almost 2 hour run time? I think that's a bit too much for kids to handle. That being said, I think this is a great movie...for those that are 13 and up. I give it a 4 out of 5. It's different without trying too hard, and also has a cast of characters that are both funny and memorable. Give it a one time watch, but I think really young kids should skip this one.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Speed Grapher


It took me almost a year to finish this. It's not bad, but it is unbelievably hard to sit through. Speed Grapher takes a look at a city that is overrun by corruption, greed, and sexual depravity. There's also a bit of a supernatural aspect. The Goddess (a 16 year old named Kagura) grants powers to those that kiss her that are part of the Roppongi Club. The powers are an amplified version of that person's desire, and is often used for murder or manipulation.

The premise is original and daring, but the execution is oftentimes graphic and depressing. There's also a strange dynamic between Kagura and her rescuer, Saiga. Saiga is in his 30s or 40s. In other words he's a little too old to have such a bond with a teenager. It's heavily implied their relationship is more that platonic. It makes the whole thing a little weird considering he's supposed to be the hero. Every other episode also has the trend of someone wanting to rape Kagura. Long story very short, this anime is about messed up people, and what happens when they have even the tiniest amount of power.

It's really dark, gross, and a good chunk of it seems like it's done for shock. But, when I was able to stomach it, it held my attention and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I give it a 3 out of 5. I love the plot, but it loses points for violence against young children, rape, pedophilia, human trafficking, and for having a lot of characters that need some serious psychological help. If you can stomach bottomless pits of depravity, I say watch it at least once. If you want to maintain some faith in humanity, pass on this.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror


I probably shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did when I was watching this. Burial Ground is an Italian grindhouse zombie movie. In other words, expect gore and lots of sex. It came out way back in 1986, and is considered a cult classic because of its low budget, and they cast an adult dwarf to play a child that loves his mother way too much. Given when this movie was made, the special effects makeup is pretty good. The acting is godawful, but would anyone expect Oscar material out of something like this? I didn't think so.

It's kind of hard to rate something like this. I'm sure this was terrifying (not really) when it first came out. But now it's just corny and unintentionally funny. I still give it 4 out of 5. Yes, it's camp to the max. You also realize just how many films, writers, and directors took inspiration from it. It also managed to accomplish quite a bit for its time. The gore was over the top, but believable. The only thing I really can't get past is the zombies used weapons to kill people. And it is as stupid as it sounds. Outside of that, this would be a great addition to any cult classic collection.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Riddick



I don't remember the first two movies that involved Riddick. I know he was a character in Pitch Black, and that The Chronicles of Riddick lead to the best nap I ever had. So, when I heard they were making yet another movie, I wasn't expecting anything great. Maybe some action and lots of boobs, but that's it. I'm happy to say that the third time's the charm. I really liked it. It's not perfect, but it was funny and actually engaging. The plot is Riddick sends a distress call, and two different crews answer. There's also a hefty bounty for whoever captures him dead. Then chaos naturally ensues.

The acting is a bit cheesy at times, but still convincing. The dialog is what surprised me the most. I thought it was going to be flat, boring, and stiff. There's actually quite a bit of comedic relief, but it fits. And the action scenes and gore are absolutely bloody and brutal, which I loved. I give this a 4 out of 5. I'm sure this was meant to be taken seriously, but it was funny as hell to me. I say go see it in theaters. It's definitely worth the money.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Inside


Yet another movie that makes me not want to interact with people, ever. Inside is about a pregnant woman named Sarah (Alysson Paradis) who loses her husband in a bad car accident. The night before she's supposed to give birth, she is attacked by who could be considered the craziest bitch in France (BĂ©atrice Dalle) that wants her baby by any means necessary. Yes, this is a French film, and it is glorious. It's gory, scary as hell, and truly a masterpiece. I first heard about this back when Dimension started releasing movies on their Extreme branch. Then I saw the DVD art, and it took me almost 6 years to gain the courage to watch it. There's just something about seeing rusty, bloody scissors dangerously close to a pregnant woman's belly that is very unsettling.

But I'm glad I finally did. Even if you took away the blood and guts, Dalle is still terrifying. You discover the reason why she's psychotic, and it does make sense. The only problem is she's freaking brutal in her methods, and then you don't feel as much sympathy toward her. Speaking of her methods, I have to commend the special effects makeup/visual effects team on this movie. It's one thing to do great makeup, but when the camera actually zooms in on the damage and you have to remind yourself this isn't a snuff film? That is some bad ass makeup.

We also have a case of fiction not being far from fact. That's right, this is also based on actual events (thanks to Milos for the tip). While the real story doesn't have as high a body count as the movie, it's still chilling: A mentally unstable woman lies to her friends and family about being pregnant. When it comes time to give birth, she puts out an online ad seeking a pregnant friend. Whoever had a due date that was close to the one she made up became her victim. Yes, she performed a forced c-section, and it is as bloody and disgusting as it sounds.

I think the fact that this is based on a real story just adds to horror. When you know a plot is just made up, it makes it easier to deal with. If there's extreme gore and mayhem, you can rest easy and tell yourself it's only a movie. But what if you know some of the images you saw actually happened? I don't know about you, but that scares the shit out of me. You can't rest easy knowing there was or is someone screwed up enough that can commit such acts. And people wonder why I don't like leaving my house...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Compliance




WARNING
This film is based on true events, and will make you not want to leave your house ever again.

As I've said before, I've seen some truly messed up shit. I thought A Serbian Film and Antichrist were at the top of the heap, and nothing could surpass them. Oh, how I hate being wrong. Compliance is about a prank caller that calls a local restaurant pretending to be a police officer. He tells the manager that one of their employees has stolen from a customer, and needs help conducting an investigation. Now, that right there should raise a red flag for anyone with common sense. But that is not the case here. Management then subjects the poor girl to humiliation and even rape. This goes on for hours until the maintenance man discovers what's going on and finally talks some sense into everyone. At first glace, this seems like a terrifying tale of being in the right place at the wrong time. But...a little bit of digging reveals this ACTUALLY HAPPENED

This tale of the shift from hell is based on a series of crimes that occurred for almost 10 years. Some random sick bastard got his jollies from calling fast food restaurants or stores, giving a very vague description of an employee, and then accusing them of a crime. Management actually provided the name of whatever victim. The movie is almost a play by play of what happened to Louise Ogborn. What she had to endure is senseless and downright disgusting. I think the same can be said of her manager who actually agreed to what could arguably be called torture. There's a video floating around of her manager being interviewed by 20/20. In it, she has the nerve to say she's just as much a victim as Ogborn. I call bullshit.

Not once did this idiot stop and think: "Hey, a complete stranger is telling me to strip my employee and hold her against her will. Something just isn't right here." Call me mean, but I don't get how a person could be that damn stupid.  I realize I haven't said much about the actual film. It is incredible. I actually give it 5/5. The acting is amazing, and it is a true psychological thriller. The only flaw I could find was the portrayal of Ogborn. Her equivalent seems annoyed at the things she has to do. In reality, she was understandably terrified and in hysterics. Other than that, this is an outstanding movie. But I feel like something could also be learned from this story. The best I can come up with is a quote from unrealitymag.com: “This is an ugly film about ugly people doing ugly things in an ugly world”.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

American Mary


I first read about this in a recent issue of Fangoria magazine. It sounded so weird, but original: Katharine Isabelle (Freddy vs. Jason, Ginger Snaps) plays a med student named Mary. Her bills are quickly piling up with no way to pay them. Eventually she decides to resort to stripping, but on her first night she ends up performing surgery on a bouncer with a nasty eye injury. She also receives $5,000 for her troubles. Word gets out that Mary is able to do surgeries that might be considered unconventional, and she ends up dropping out of med school and making a business out of body modification surgeries.

Mary's luck does turn around, but she seems to go through a psychological change as well. At first you feel bad for her. Then she goes from hero to villain in a short time. But it does make sense. Without spoiling anything, Mary goes through a very traumatic event at the hands of someone she trusted. So by the last 30-40 minutes of the film, she basically snaps because of it. She becomes this tragic figure, but it's done in such a great way. We see that Mary wasn't able to choose how her life went at certain points, but she's still bound and determined that things end up in her favor.

I should mention there are two writers: The Soska Sisters. These are the ladies responsible for Dead Hooker in a Trunk and See No Evil 2. While their first two films are questionable in taste, American Mary is actually a solid effort from them. I give it a 4 out of 5. It's different and interesting, funny, and Isabelle shines as Mary.  I say go out and buy it. It would be a great movie to have in any collection.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

High School of the Dead (Season 1)

WARNING

This anime contains enough panty and side boob shots to be soft core porn. Once you get past all of that, it's actually a brilliant show. The plot isn't original: high school kids surviving a zombie outbreak. But the interesting part is how each episode carefully examines each character, and how they've adapted to what is basically the end of the world. The show basically asks this question: If the world were to end, who would rise to the occasion? Would it be who you expected, or the one you ignored?

We also see how morals and standards go out the window: families killing their children so they don't become infected, theft and rape are now the norm, and it gets to the point where you're not sure who's more evil: the zombies, or those still living. In the midst of all the madness, we have 5 teens that have to quickly grow up and band together. I think this show is amazing. It's not just sex and mindless violence. It really is an in depth look at how any personality type could potentially deal with an apocalyptic situation.

 I give it 5 out of 5. This what zombie movies should aim to be like. It's awesome to see something zombie related that's more than head-shots and sex. While I do love those, they become quite boring and repetitive after a while.  If it's not your cup of tea, and least watch it for Monica Rial. She's the ditzy nurse that joins up with the teens. She's also... "blessed" when it comes to her bra size, and that leads to some great comedic scenes that break up all the tension perfectly. It's on Netflix and Hulu, and it's only 12 episodes. You'll be glad you watched it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Night Raid 1931


This marks my first anime review. And I'm a little disappointed. The premise sounds awesome: a secret spy organization in Shanghai, China tries to prevent terrorist attacks. The main agents, however, have been gifted with powerful psychic abilities. I thought I was going to see a lot of action and intrigue. What I got was a slow, jumbled, hot mess. It's just confusing, and creates more questions instead of answering them.

The only positive are two characters named Aoi and Feng Lan. Aoi is one of the agents. While his powers are arguably the most powerful, their duration has a time limit. He's also impulsive, but that usually works in the team's favor. Feng Lan works at a local restaurant, and nags Aoi into buying food. The interaction between the two is hilarious. Unfortunately that seems to be the only genuine interaction in the whole show. Dialog between other characters seems so forced and lacking any emotion. That's surprising considering the cast has Andrew Love, Luci Christian, Chris Patton, and many others who I think are some of the most talented voice actors around.

For an original premise, great voice actors, and interesting characters I give this a 3 out of 5. It's not completely horrible, but I think more questions should've been answered and there didn't need to be so many filler episodes. It probably would've helped if there had been more back story for all of the characters instead of just one. If you want to see mystery and espionage done right, check out Ergo Proxy or Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Antiviral


I'm going to warn you now that this review requires some back story. This is the debut film from Brandon Cronenberg. Does the last name seem very familiar? It should because his dad is David Cronenberg, master of body horror movies. Body horror plays on the fears of infection or mutations that can happen to us. While I commend his son for wanting to follow in his father's footsteps, I wish his first effort was stronger and not as mindbogglingly weird.

Antiviral takes an unflinching look at celebrity obsessed culture. We follow Syd March, a salesman for the Lucas Clinic. The clinic specializes in selling diseased or infection-ridden samples from celebrities. Anything from herpes, the flu and even HIV can be purchased by people that are desperate to have a physical connection with their favorite actor or actress. But, Syd also uses his body as an incubator to sell the same samples on the black market. You can guess where this is going. He obtains a sample of a cold from the actress du jour Hannah Geist, but it's not just any cold. He basically injects a new strain of bubonic plague into his body. The movie is mainly spent watching him slowly die from hallucinations, internal hemorrhaging, and brain melting fever.

Ultimately he lives...by making a deal with the Lucas Clinic since they created the virus that killed Hannah Geist. Why would they want to kill their cash cow? To make an even bigger profit from her death. What is the point of all this? The best guess I have is that this is the direction our society is heading in if we encourage such unhealthy obsessions with the rich and famous. Or it could be the writer/director just wanted to fill almost 2 hours of screen time with blood and steaks made from human skin cells. I wish I was making the human steaks part up.

This just wasn't very good. The plot is very interesting, but once again the actual delivery is what kills it. Plus Syd is a dishonest, unlikable, whiny brat. Also he's creepy. The very last scene we see him cut into the regenerated skin of Hannah, and suck out the blood. I was willing to give this a pass until I saw that. So for a too long run time, annoying characters, and visuals that made my head hurt, this gets a 1 out of 5. It doesn't always pay to focus on visuals instead of plot. If you want to see body horror done right, look for Videodrome or The Thing.



Friday, August 30, 2013

You're Next


One of my all time favorite home invasion movies is The Strangers. You're supposed to be safe in your home, and when that sense of security is shattered it truly is terrifying. The only problem with that film is that other filmmakers try to copy that same terror and fail miserably. You're Next is no exception. The film is directed by Adam Wingard. Sound familiar? He's the one partly responsible for unleashing V/H/S onto the world. He's also the editor of this film, which is quite obvious. Yes, my arch nemesis Shaky Cam is back in full force. When done right, it adds to the tension or mass hysteria that the characters are experiencing. Wingard doesn't seem to understand that.

Much like V/H/S, the editing is so bad that at several points myself and other viewers became dizzy. There's also quite of bit of strobe light effects, so please do not see this if you're prone to seizures. So the editing and cinematography is terrible. The plot and gore should make up for it, right? Well, the thing about gore is that it's only effective if you see the end result. If I see someone get beaten to death (which happens twice within a 20 minute span), I fully expect to see blood splatter and brain matter all over the room. Instead most of the deaths happen off camera or we only see the victims' faces, and some squishing noises. In other words, it was just repetitive and boring.

We're now left with the plot. At this point I still had some hope left. Of course that tiny glimmer of hope was crushed around the 45 minute mark. In order to explain, let me go back to The Strangers. The reason why it was so scary is because we never found the reason why the couple was picked by the crazies in creepy masks. When done right, that type of plot can work out very well. It just doesn't work here, and prepare for spoilers.

Long story short, an older couple is celebrating their wedding anniversary, and their highly unlikable hell spawn bring their equally unlikable significant others. There's the brother that's a douche bag for no reason, the brother that's fat and gets picked on by the douche bag, the black sheep, and sickeningly sweet sister. People start dying like flies, and we discover the black sheep has hired ex-military to dispose of his family so he can get the inheritance. Why? Because he's the black sheep. No seriously. That's really the only reason the movie gives as to why he would pay to slaughter his family. And yet he appears to be emotional when forced to kill his own brother. I call shenanigans. If someone pays to kill their family for the prospect of more money, they're a heartless bastard. Therefore if a situation arose where they had to kill someone, there would be no hesitation and they certainly wouldn't be emotional. After more jumping around the house, the black sheep dies from getting a blender shoved into his head and turned on.

Oh I forgot to mention the fat one's girlfriend. She just happens to be the daughter of a survivalist who forced her to move to the Australian Outback when she was a child, and taught her how to defend herself if needed. That's right, there just happened to be someone that can save the family. Well, maybe considering the fat one was in on it too. Shocker! Have you noticed how I've described the plot? That's exactly how events were laid out in the film. Confused? You should be. Annoyed because this whole thing is so contrived and mind numbing stupid? I know I was when I realized I paid $8.50 to see this turd.

This movie is just pointless. The characters are so annoying and spoiled that you actually want them to die. The plot is so thin and complicated that it really shouldn't even be called a plot. And finally the editing is so bad to the point where you actually have to figure out if someone just died. It's yet another 0. Just watch The Strangers or Funny Games. They're both creepy, and you'll be able to see what the hell is going on.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Raspberry Reich




WARNING

This movie is unrated, and the following review will contain graphic description of gay sex scenes. Don't say I didn't try to warn you.

No, this is not a gay porno. This is some artsy film by Bruce La Bruce. I don't know who he is, and frankly I'm too scared to do a Google search to find out. From the 30 minutes that isn't hardcore porn, the plot is some German nymphomaniac wants to start a sexual revolution that goes against heterosexuality, marriage, and monogamy. And she bases her delusions on revolutionaries from the 1970s. In order to test her male followers, she has them have sex with each other. Basically this is a 20 minute short film stretched into a 90 minute feature. It also took me 3 hours to finish it. You're welcome.

I feel the need to add that I have absolutely no problem with gay/lesbian/transgendered films. What I can't stand is when a movie uses that for shock value. It's cheap, and paints a negative picture on someone's lifestyle. Men don't just turn gay after 5 minutes, and they're don't always hop from one partner to the next. This movie wants you to think otherwise. I'm not even going to dive into the whole German aspect, because quite frankly this movie is just stupid.

As I've said before, if you want to make porn just go ahead and make porn. Do not try to hide behind terms like avant garde or art house. You're not being creative. You're being a pretentious douche bag. Now, it's one thing if there's only one graphic sex scene, or even major nudity. But when I see a penis thrusting in and out of a vagina, mouth, or anus it's porn. There's no gray area, and it is definitely not artsy.  Then there's also the masturbation with guns, old people having sex on a table, and several close-up shots of ejaculation. And I can't forget about the constant paragraphs of texts over seizure-inducing backgrounds.

There's just no point to this movie. It's all about shock and sex, but it's not done tastefully and it's far from new. This is in the same vein as A Serbian Film: using graphic sex as a metaphor. It doesn't work that way, and it's a load of crap. It gets a huge 0, and just avoid it at all costs. If you want to see shock done right, check out Blood Feast or The ABCs of Death. But, if you're like me and you just have to see it, at least have alcohol on standby. It's the only way you'll be able to sit through it.