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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Night Of The Living Dead 3D

This movie wasn't bad by any major standards it just seemed unnecessary to me. While it contained a lot of homage and inside jokes to George Romero's 1967 classic film but it still just lacks any spark. The plot is similar to the original, siblings Johnny and Barbara (called Barb in this version) head off to a cemetery when they are plagued by zombies. Barb eventually winds up at a farm with Ben (played by a white guy instead of the usual black guy) Harry, Helen, and Karen are the owners of the farm as opposed to a family forced to hide their. Tom and Judy make an appearance but with none of the sweetness or romance usually seen between them.
Two new characters are added Owen (a stoner farm hand) and Gerald (played by the incomparable Sid Haig) a mortician with a dark secret.

Simply put this movie was just dull, things move by way too fast, and even the 3D effects that are the main draw of this film are simply uninteresting. Sadly even the most indiscriminate horror/zombie enthusiast will find anything worthwhile in this tepid remake.

Sadly with the original Night Of The Living Dead now in public domain there is no stopping people from remaking this film over and over with no respect for the original. For a good remake track down Tom Savini's 1990 remake, it stays true to the original with a few good changes to spruce it up a bit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Spotlight On Slashers #1: The Slumber Party Massacre Trilogy

In my opinion, the slasher film is the best in cinematic junk food. There's no deep insight into the killer's psyche. No rhyme, no reason. Just blood, breasts, and senseless dialogue. There are some that vanish and never even make it to DVD while others stay popular after all these years. Slumber Party Massacre may not be one the popular ones but they are a must for any self-respecting horror fan.

Slumber Party Massacre: Few people know that this movie was never meant to be a serious slasher film. It was written by feminist author Rita Mae Brown as a parody of the slasher genre. But in typical Hollywood fashion it was taken seriously and filmed as such. Because of this the movie contains a lot of humorous moments both intentional and unintentional. The movie still contains everything a slasher fan loves and is more entertaining than a lot of the other films in this genre. Props for not shedding any real light on why the killer did what he did or giving us some happy ending. The plot is typical. A group of young nubile girls fight a very uninvited guest during a slumber party.

Slumber Party Massacre 2: What The Fuck? I mean seriously what the fuck? I mean my standards for horror films are pretty low. There are a lot of movies I watch that will never fall under the self-respecting horror fan guidelines. And this movie still sucked. It stars former Wings star Crystal Bernard as Courtney one of the survivors of the massacre all grown up. She and the other members of her lame, Bangles-esque rock band are off to for a slumber party weekend. However Courtney is haunted by dreams of a punk rock driller killer and pleas from her institulaized sister Val (another survivor of SPM 1) not to have sex. She should have pled with the viewers not to watch this crap. For a slasher movie it waits an hour before giving us any kills. Instead we sit through an hour of Courtney's visions, her friend's head turns into a pimple and a mutant chicken attacks her. When the kills finally come viewers have pretty much lost interest and the ending is confusing and dull.

Slumber Party Massacre 3: Interesting enough this was not initially filmed as a SPM sequel but the title was changed in order to squeeze out some more juice from the series. Ironically it is a truer sequel to SPM 1 than it's confusing counterpart. The plot goes back to basics the nubile teens, the weird red herring characters, and blood, gore and sex galore. It seems to regain some of the humor of the original as well However if anyone reading this wants to view the trailers on Youtube or elsewhere, DON'T view the trailer for this one. For some inexplicable reason the trailer tells you outright who the killer is.

Cheerleader Massacre (a.k.a. Slumber Party Massacre 4): I'm putting this in here to save space for my review of this movie once I locate it. Filmed 13 years after SPM 3 it stars Brinke Stevens who reprises her role of Linda whom she played in SPM 1.

This trilogy has one more interesting fact about it, all three films were written and directed by women. A rarity in the often male-dominated world of horror.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Halloween 2007

Rob Zombie has done the impossible, he's taken a long dormant, steadily decreasing horror series and given it new life in this remake of the 1978 classic. However he puts his own spin on the story by giving us something that no Halloween film has done before, he gives us a look inside Michael Myers. No longer a silent menace quietly depleting the population of Haddonfield, Illinois we see a more human aspect to him and strangely some sympathy.

The movie is awesome it says true to the movie but also adds his own spin on the events. It has great casting, a perfect soundtrack, and a great blend of storytelling and bloodshed.

The cast includes Malcolm McDowell doing a fantastic job filling Donald Pleasence's shoes as Michael friend/nemesis Dr. Loomis. Sherri Moon Zombie shines as Michael's mother and proves that she's capable of versatile roles. And newcomer Daeg Faerch is mesmerizing as a young Michael Myers.

Even the secondary cast is awesome with cameos by horror veterans such as Danny Trejo and Ken Foree and Clint Howard. And the much welcome return of Danielle Harris is a treat for all Halloween fans. For you non fans, Danielle Harris appeared in Halloween 4 & 5 as Laurie Strode's orphaned daughter Jamie. Despite her popularity with Halloween fans she was passed over not only for Halloween 6 but was also retconned out of the series with Halloween H20.

The only dark spot in the casting has to do with the character of Laurie Strode, Michael's younger sister. This Laurie played by Scout Taylor-Compton does not hold a candle to the role originated by Jamie Lee Curtis. Her Laurie has none of the innocence and vulnerability as the original. Instead she comes off nearly manic and becomes annoying the longer she stays on screen

This movie is a treat for horror fans whether you are a newbie to the series or a purist you will enjoy it.