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.


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

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.