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Monday, December 19, 2011

Bag of Bones Part 2

   A little late I know, this movie has been kicking around in my DVR for a week before I had a chance to watch it.

   The filmmakers have realized that they wasted 2 hours of footage watching Pierce Brosnan cry. Now important plot points are being hurled at you left and right. Bam! Max Devore is dead. Bam! Sarah Tidwell is the ghost that is haunting Mike. Bam! Maddie and Mike are an item. Bam! She's dead.

   So Mike realized that he has to destroy Sarah's corpse and end the madness. Sarah possesses a vagina shaped tree and tries to stop him. Joanna shows up in a red halter dress that proves bad fashion taste never dies. Her fighting style: boring Sarah to death with platitudes that Dr. Phil would find corny.

   Mike and Kyra are a family now and skipping off into the sunset. Let's just forget that he doesn't have legal custody. Or that he killed a cop. Or that there's a dead body in his house. Who needs logic when you can have a happy ending.

  Let's start with Max Devore what a waste of a good villian. He just tools through the film like a geriatric soothsayer spouting doom wherever he goes. But at least he gets a topless scene and a hot makeout session with his daughter. Okay, she was only his daughter in the book but still eww.

   This is not how I imagined Rogette at all. When I read the book I always imagined her looking like Beth Grant.

   Matt Frewer exists for one scenes bringing his scene count to four. You do not hire Matt Frewer and use him for four scenes. That's like buying a fine champagne and pouring it down the drain, it's wrong, wrong I say.

   And of course, who can forget Maddie the oldest 20 year old in the world. There's is not a moment where she doesn't come as jaded. There's no real emotion in this character at all. As for her and Mike's love story and her subsequent death, snore city. Had the couple shared more than a handful scenes this might have been important. A little less crying Pierce, a little more action.

   The only bright spot of this film is Anika Noni Rose. Even though she doesn't get enough screen time to show off her acting skills, she gets to show off her singing skills. The girl is just fabulous and I look forward to hearing more from her.

   The soundtrack is available through iTunes and is recommended. I bought her rendition of Frankie and Johnny as soon as I heard it.

  Remember when I said that Pierce Brosnan should never say frisky again? Well, I'm also going to add knockin' boots to that list as well. For shame, Pierce, for shame.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stephen King's 'Bag Of Bones' Part 1

 Film adaptions of Stephen King's novels are in a word, a gamble. Sometimes they win and other times they bomb spectacularly. Sadly, Bag of Bones so far seems to be camping in the fail territory.

   The film and novel follow Mike Noonan, an author suffering from writer's block after the untimely death of his wife, Jo. He seeks refuge in their vacation home and soon finds himself being haunted by spirits from beyond. Mike also becomes embroiled in a custody battle between a young mother and her powerful father in law.

   Mike is played by Pierce Brosnan, he is definitely not how I pictured Mike. I am not sure who I would have cast, but Brosnan would not be on that list. Other problems I have with the casting is Melissa George playing the young mother, Maddie.

  Maddie is supposed to a 20 year old girl in over her head. Her youth and innocence are partly what drove the novel. Melissa George is 35 and no amount of suspended disbelief can change that. She comes off more like a jaded soccer mom than an innocent little flower.  Matt Frewer, one of my favorite actors also appears. However so far in the film, he is being woefully underused. Jason Priestley also appears as Mike's agent, Marty.

   The first part of the film is slow and borderline coma-inducing. I understand they are trying to set up the story but it feels more like 2 hours of filler before the good stuff happens. How many times do we have to see Brosnan cry? And the unnecessary montages featuring him jogging and writing are ludicrous. Just as the movie started to get interesting the cable decided to go out for ten minutes. God has a sense of humor.

    My main quibble with this film is how they handled Jo's death. In the book it was a brain embolism, in the movie it was one of the fakest bus crashes I had ever seen. The character was pregnant for Pete's sake, the bus seemed to be a low blow. I know filming a brain embolism would have been hard to do. They could've have easily changed it to a heart attack, a simple clutching of the chest would have been sufficient for the audience.

    Speaking of ridiculous scenes, one scene in particular demonstrated how much better a book is than a film. In the book, there is a moose head who inexplicably gets more screen time than Matt Frewer. His name is Bunter and he wears a little bell. Mike and Jo apparently knocked boots soon after buying Mr. Moose. After that they refer to sex as ringing Bunter's bell.

   Now when a book character silently reminisces on this, it's sweet and tender story. When a movie character blurts it out to an elderly caretaker that he just met, it's creepy and more than a little awkward. And Pierce Brosnan is officially never allowed to utter the word frisky ever again.

  I will be tuning into part 2, because I am a masochist who hates myself. But this movie better step up it's game and become interesting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Milo (1998)

Not that you'd want to watch this piece of shit anyway.

  I am not sure whether to be offended or bored by this tepid entry in the killer kid department. Milo is about a peculiar little boy with an unnatural interest in gynecology. I can't believe I just typed that sentence.

  Milo lures five little girls to his house under the guys of seeing aborted fetuses. Yeah, that's totally what girls are interested in seeing. I'll admit Milo is creepy with his raspy voice and face dutifully hidden by a yellow slicker. Well Creepy Hauser M.D. ignores his Hippocratic oath and goes scalpel crazy.

  We flash to present day and the scariest part of the movie, the main character's fashion sense.

Headless Marie Antoinette doll not included.
    This fashion victim is Claire and apparently one of the aforementioned little girls. She returns to her hometown for a wedding only to learn that the bride, Ruth, died the night before. To Claire, death is synonymous with job opening and takes over Ruth's teaching job.

Oh hai, Mila Kunis!

    We learn that Claire is a mediocre substitute teacher who is not married. She talks to goldfish, I wonder if they call her out by name. She is seen opening a cardboard box that was delivered to her. What's in the box? A plastic baggie with her goldfish inside. Did she Fed Ex the fish to her house?

   Claire begins to repeatedly see and hear Milo everywhere she goes. Is he really haunting her or is he a manifestation of her guilt? Here's a better question: How long before this film actually gets interesting?

  Claire confides in one of the other girls, Abigail, who reminds her that Milo drowned when they were young. Claire leaves and naturally Abby has an unfortunate run-in with Milo's scalpel. Claire tries to convince her last surviving friend, Marian that Milo is back.

   Marian reminds Claire that she went a little nuts after the Milo incident and suspects that she is going crazy again. Ethan, a troubled student of Claire is seen talking to Milo. Or was he? And Claire's is attacked by someone in a rain slicker. Or was she? And LadyJ finally finds this film interesting. Or does she?

   Claire breaks into Milo's father's office and is caught by Daddy Dearest. Daddy shows her Milo's grave but she still isn't convinced. Milo manages to dispatch Marian via bicycle and drags her into the woods. Marian tries again to talk to Daddy while Milo assaults the school janitor in the hallways.

   Rather than take him to a real hospital they return to Milo's father's clinic where Claire finds some freaky deaky medical equipment. Daddy bounds and gags the janitor as Milo chases Claire. Guess what Milo is alive and well and was apparently a stillborn baby that Daddy resurrected. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.

    Claire gets knocked out and awakens wearing a wedding dress. And they say men can't commit. The janitor somehow gets loose and drowns Milo. Since he's a black man in a horror movie, he dies as well.

   In Milo's chamber of horrors, Claire finds the bodies of her friend clad in wedding gowns as well. Great not only is he a psycho killer/amateur gynecologist but he's a polygamist as well. As for poor Marian, well, Milo kind of took the choice out of pro choice. Milo killed Marian which would be believable if the actresses' legs weren't moving throughout the scene. Acting like a corpse is not rocket science, people.

   Well Claire kills Milo and escapes. We are treated to the strangest ending ever where the new janitor finds graffiti reading "Milo Was Here" Then they cut to a blink and you'll miss it scene of a young Milo attacking a young Claire.

   Congratulations Milo, you officially suck worse than Troll 2.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Walking Dead:Rise Of The Governor

 The best part of The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor is the twist ending. A twist ending that would have definitely rocked the comic readers mind's. It would have rocked my mind too, had I not read the book before starting on the comics.

  Still Rise is a gritty post apocalyptic novel that those who have not read the comic can still enjoy. It follows Phillip Blake, his daughter Penny, brother Nick and friends as they try to find a refuge from an ever growing zombie population.

  What I appreciate is the non gross out writing. I am in the minority of horror fans who don't like too much gore. Hey, I can throw up for free, I don't need to spend money on a book or movie to make me do so. The characters they encounter throughout the novel are richly described even if they only show up for a few pages.

 Rise is what a zombie novel should be, intriguing, scary and at times heartbreaking. It's also a great introduction for people who haven't read the comics. It's more of a standalone novel with nods to certain characters that appear in the comics. I have been a long time fan of the show but never had any interest in the comics until I read this book.

  Even if you don't particularly care for the Walking Dead series, but are a fan of zombie literature read this book. It's a must read for horror fans.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Survival Of Dana

The Survival Of Dana is your typical trite '70s anti-drug drama. Dana (Melissa Sue Anderson) is your typical good girl with a bright future for about five minutes.

 When she is mistakenly busted for shoplifting everything changes. Her grandmother doesn't believe her and she is forbidden from joining the ice skating team. Did high schools even have ice skating teams? She waves bye bye to her good girl ways and starts going out with Donny (Robert Carradine)

 This is the second drugs are bad movie that Carradine has starred in, he also played a junkie in Go Ask Alice. Donny is everything a girl could want, car thief, junkie, and unfaithful dog.  Dana gets in touch with her inner bad girl which is no different than her good girl role. It's hard to take Anderson seriously with her monotone voice and deer in the headlights gaze. Also whoever said that perms were a good look were seriously disturbed.

"One of these days I'm gonna break like ice. I'm gonna explode like a grenade."

   Look, Judge Reinhold! He plays an abused kid named Bear, who gets thrown through a plateglass window by one of Donny's friends. He has no real role in this movie. I suppose he's supposed to be a cautionary tale. But it's hard to stand out when every character is this film is a cautionary tale.

   So Donny and his gang piss off a bunch of thugs and wind up in a high speed chase. Dana seems worried, I think, it's hard to tell when the actress only has one expression throughout the movie. They get away but the thugs go after Dana's grandmother played by Marion Ross. Poor Marion, she must have gotten desperate for work as Happy Days wound down.

    Eventually there an epic fight in which Donny is shot dead. But at least he got to a great slow motion Million Dollar Man jump before he bites it. Dana mourns for about three seconds before changing her sinful ways. She goes back to skating and gets the obligatory good guy boyfriend that all these films have.

   Dana seems happy...I think.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Apologies

  I messed up and got too busy but will review more 8 more films as promised.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #15: Slaughter High

   Trust me the poster is the coolest thing this film has to offer. There are some movies where you root for the killer. Not because you feel sympathy for him or understand him but because his victims are all pretentious a-holes. They are so annoying that you do not want them to exist fictional or otherwise.

   We meet school nerd, Marty played by Simon Scuddamore. Sadly, Scuddamore committed suicide shortly after the film wrapped. Like all '80s nerds he is tormented by the popular kids on a daily basis.
   As far as bullies in an '80s teen movies go, these guys are the worst. They stab him in the crotch with a javelin. They give him a poison laced joint. And finally they cause poor Marty to be scarred by acid and leave school. The budding sociopaths move on with their lives.

    Years later, the gang is mysteriously invited to a reunion. Every character in this films is an idiot. When your class reunion only consists of the people who disfigured a boy all those years ago, somethings up. This brings us to one of the film's most awesome kills, a beer that blows up someone's stomach.

   The gang wises up to the fact that they are trapped in a school with a killer. So they do what comes natural to stupid people in horror films, they split up. And have sex and take long luscious baths and generally just be dumb asses. This just gives Marty more opportunities for ingenious kills like and acid bathtub or an electric bed. Marty is the most likable character in the film.

   Then something terrible happens we find out that it was all just a dream. Marty is in an institution conjuring up elaborate fantasies about revenge. This is a bummer, these characters were awful, awful, people. Death is the kindest thing Marty could do for them.

    But the tacked on sequel ending had Marty killing a doctor and nurse and possibly escaping the hospital. Let's hope that little scamp makes all his fantasies come true. I know I sound psycho but watch this movie. Trust me you'll hate the other characters as much as I do.

Friday, October 14, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #14: Cheerleader Camp

A.K.A Bloody Pom Poms
  For starters I love this poster it reminds me of an R.L. Stine cover. Cheerleader Camp is one of those so bad it's good kind of movies.

   The films stars Betsy Russell, a veteran actress of bad '80s movies such as Avenging Angel, Private School, and Tomboy. She plays Alison, an All American good girl cracking under the strain of being perfect. She and her bevy of bimbos are attending Camp Hurrah for the summer. Unfortunately nobody in a hockey mask comes to put us out of our misery.

    Alison begins being plagued by hallucinations and bad dreams. This stress keeps her from knocking boots with the dreamy Leif Garrett who finds other pom poms to shake. Soon the bodies start piling up and Alison is unsure if she's a killer or just a scapegoat for someone else.

    The killer is predictable but not because of a bad script. If you watch the trailer on Youtube, you will see every single character who dies. It's called process of elimination not that the script tries too hard to retain any sense of mystery. The movie is too busy devoting it's time to jiggly, bouncy breasts and bad dialogue.

    The ending is actually good with Alison being convinced that she is the killer. The real killer dances in victory as Alison heads off to a future of  shock therapy and Xanax.

    But as far as '80s slasher films go this is still pretty decent. If you can sit through a Jason film then you can definitely appreciate this one.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #9-13: The Child's Play Movie Guide

   I am very bad blogger. To make up for missing five days, I've decided to do one of my movie guides spanning five movies. Lazy and irresponsible, I know, but hopefully fun.

  Child's Play (1988): A young boy's dream come true becomes a nightmare after his toy becomes possessed by a serial killer.

   The Good: Child's Play was an edgy and original addition to the slasher genre. It had some good scare scenes, some original death scenes and could be funny without appearing cartoonish. Brad Dourif is an incredible voice actor and does the impossible, makes a doll appear really scary.

   The Bad: Child's Play is hindered by an uneven storyline and unnecessary characters. Even though you know from the start that Chucky is the killer, they try to make you think it was the little boy. That red herring tactic would've made more sense if everything associated with the film wasn't Chucky based.

  Notable Stars: Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, and Chris Sarandon. The true tragedy is that Sarandon is a fine actor but even he couldn't make too much out of his role.

 Child's Play 2 (1990): Proving that you can keep a good doll, Chucky's back to wreck havoc on Andy's life.

   The Good: Even it's worst films the Child's Play franchise has two things to be proud of humor and creative kills. That is the only thing that really saves this film from being a total snooze fest.

   The Bad: Child's Play 2 is simply a tepid rehash of part one. Once again the movie tries to make Andy look like the bad guy when the audience knows that the killer is Chucky. There are way too many characters introduced to simply be killed off moments later.

 The thing that really ticks me off about the movie is the way they got rid of Andy's mother. She is alleged to have been committed due to her rantings about Chucky. Which would have made sense if two police officers hadn't seen Chucky alive and well at the end of the first films. What about them? Were they committed to? A simple throwaway line about what happened to them would've been cool.

    Notable Stars: Jenny Agutter, Graham Gerrit, and Christine Elise. Oddly, newcomer Elise outshines the two more seasoned actors in the film.

   Child's Play 3 (1991) A now teen aged Andy finds himself battling his childhood foe once again.

    The Good: Nothing

    The Bad: This is by far the worst installment in the franchise. Even the world's most creative kills and funniest lines would save this film. There is nothing redeemable about this film, the characters are unpleasant assholes, heroes and villains alike. Even the doll appears dismayed at being involved with this crap fest.

    The whole point of the first two movies was that Andy is the only way Chucky can resurrect himself. However now the writers go oops never mind any kid will do. This won't be the first time a sequel messes with the mythology of the series but it is the the worst.

   Bride of Chucky (1998): Chucky is back and better than ever and this time he is not alone.

   The Good: The best part about hitting rock bottom is that you can only go up. And up this movie goes. Bride of Chucky is a perfect synergy of humor, action, and horror. The actors are phenomenal and really get into their roles. The kills are simply filled with over the top awesomeness. Plus this film has one of the best horror movie soundtracks of all time

   The Bad: Nothing it's just that awesome.

  Notable Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Katherine Heigl, John Ritter, Alexis Arquette, and Kathy Najimy in a hilarious cameo. Jennifer Tilly and Brad Douriff who voices Chucky are an awesome pair with an amazing chemistry.

 Seed of Chucky: Chucky has a baby. "Whoop De Doo Basil!"

 The Good: The film gives actress Jennifer Tilly considerable screen time as Tiffany and herself. She is the only thing that saves this otherwise dreadful film.

  The Bad: Where to start the uneven story lines, the desperate attempts at humor and cavalcade of celebrity cameos. The majority of the film centers on Glen, son of Chucky and Tiffany. Is he a boy or girl, a killer or hero? Who cares? It's like someone ate the other four Chucky scripts and puked up this mess. The film even resorts to toiler humor to garner a couple of laughs. The Child's Play franchise may have been gory but they were never juvenile avoid at all costs.

  Notable Stars: Tilly and Dourff revise their roles dragging Redman and John Waters along for the ride.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #8: Return of the Living Dead 3

Welcome to the O.C. bitch.
   In my opinion Return of the Living Dead 3 is one of the most well-written and thought provoking zombie films in recent history. For the most part the Return series was mostly campy and light hearted, more gore than actual story. This film however changes the rules and the result is 97 minutes of awesome.

   We meet teenage lovers Curt and Julie, Curt's father is a soldier experimenting with Trioxin, the zombie-creating gas from the first two movies. When the project goes sour, Curt's father is dismissed and relocated. An angry Curt runs away with Julie but she winds up dying in a motorcycle accident. Curt sneaks into the labs to bring her back to life.

  At first Julie seems alright but is soon gripped by the urge to eat brains. Unlike typical zombies, she is still self-aware and tries to fight her deadly urges. She learns that intense pain can stave off craving and does some damage that would make any masochist proud. The unlikely couple finds themselves on the run from gangsters, the military, and zombies alike.

   This is probably one of the few zombie films that you see from a first person point of view. Julie comes off as sympathetic and not just a bumbling bag of flesh in search of brains. I was impressed by the actress who played Julie, Melinda Clarke from the O.C. I didn't think much of her acting but this film changed my mind.

  The ending is quite beautiful and tragic which is what really sets this film apart from other movies in this genre. This is a must see for zombie fans even if you do find yourself tearing up at the end. If you are squeamish though, you might want to give this film a past. It is a lot gorier than your standard zombie fare.

Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #7: The Initation of Sarah

   As far as horror goes, this film is a toss-up, it does have the common elements of a horror movie but it is also an ABC Family production.

   To start off I have never seen the '78 film so I have no basis of comparison. I do know that actress Morgan Fairchild appeared in both of them. The film is about two twin sisters Sarah and Lindsay who are heading off to college. Sarah has had some problems in the past and the girls hope to have a fresh start.

  Their mother urges them to join her sorority, Alpha Nu headed by the prim and proper Corrine. The girls are also being wooed by Pi Epsilon Delta headed by a the slightly odd Doctor Hunter. It turns out that Alpha plans to sacrifice Sarah in an effort to keep their youth and powers.

   The movie is pretty decent, it lacks gore and only has a couple of murders that take place off screen. The actors are pretty awesome, Mika Boorem who plays Sarah is a likable heroine. Jennifer Tilly as always is seductive and gets a couple of good one-liners throughout the film. The films also stars Amber Wallace a talented but woefully underused actress.

  Summer Glau is also in this film but she really is a blank slate, there is none of the awesomeness that she would later bring to Firefly and TSCC.

   The film also gets some serious awesome points for featuring T.Rex's Children of the Revolution for the climatic end battle. This is one the few films with sequel hooks that made me actually want a follow up film. This is a great film for horror and non horror fans alike.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #6: Maximum Overdrive

Many people have trashed Maximum Overdrive but I am not one of them. To me, this film is one of the better Stephen King film adaptations. There is action, comedy, cool cars, kickass music, and hot chicks, everything the '80s stood for.

   The movie based on the King short story Trucks where the very things that man made turn on them. The main action takes place at a tiny truck stop in North Carolina where a few survivors plot to escape. However they are surrounded by thousand hungry trucks demanding to be fed or else.

  Yeah flimsy plot but the movie manages to overcome it. You got what is probably Emilio Estevez's best role since Breakfast Club. A soundtrack consisting of nothing but AC/DC. The voice of Lisa Simpson, Yeardley Smith playing a neurotic newlywed. Marla Maples killed by a watermelon. Or the obligatory Stephen King cameo where he gets to utter this awesome line "Honey! C'mon over here, Sugar-buns. This machine just called me an asshole!"

  The kills are phenomenal, steamrollers, soda machines, and video games get to lay waste to the humans who underestimated them. There is not a single death scene in this picture that isn't worth applause.

Even the star of the film is not human, it's a kick ass semi truck bearing the face of the Green Goblin. This truck is fab, fab, fab. One day I will get my license, buy this truck and drive cross country scaring tourists and children alike.

If you like the '80s, you must watch this movie. Enough said.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #5: Deadly Friend

The original Lady Ga Ga

  Wes Craven is a fabulous director and a horror icon, creating some of the best horror films in our lifetime. But sometimes he can also bring us disasters such as My Soul To Keep and of course Deadly Friend.

  Deadly Friend is just awful, dark, depressing, and just unpleasant to boot. It also inexplicably is home to one of the best kill scenes in recent horror history, but more on that later.

   We meet uber geek Paul who has just moved to town with his mother. Paul is owner of a robot named BB who looks like the product of a one night stand between Johnny 5 and the yellow Power Ranger.

  Matt soon befriends Samantha, the typical girl next door. Samantha's father is an abusive alcoholic who is getting worse every day. One night Samantha and Paul play a prank on a crotchety old neighbor woman played by Anne Ramsay of the Goonies fame. She winds up shooting BB and essentially destroying it.

  Tragedy strikes again when Samantha is killed by her father. Paul realizes the odds of finding another hot blond who thinks robots are sexy are slim to none. So he takes the BB's AI, steals Sam's body and implants said chip right into her brain.

 Sam 2.0 stumbles around expressionless and talking in a monotone. Not too different from pretty much every role Kristy Swanson ever played. Sam's true self keeps flashing through and eventually she takes our her revenge on her father and the evil neighbor. This is where the awesome kill scene happens, she decapitates the neighbor with a basketball. The reason I think this scenes is so badass is how uncovential and unpredictable the weapon was. Check out the scene here if you are interested.

   Eventually Sam 2.0 gathers the attention of the police and Paul tries to hide her in a woodshed. Cops find her, she finally becomes the old Sam, cops shoot her, Paul cries, it's a feel good film for the whole family. Now the end scene confuses me as I have no idea whether it was a dream sequence of the stupidest scare ending ever created.

  Paul just hasn't learned his lesson and goes off to steal Sam's body. All of a sudden she comes to life, tears off her skin to reveal an evil BB who then apparently strangles him to death as the credit roll.

   Avoid this movie, there is only one good aspect and you can find that on Youtube. Attempting to view the rest of this film will just result in 91 minutes being cruelly stolen from your life.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #4: Chopper Chicks in Zombietown

   Chopper Chicks in Zombietown is one of the best worst movies in history. (Suck on that Troll 2). It is a wonderful blend of horror, action, and comedy and is must see for any horror fan.

   The plot is pretty simple. A gang of bikers stop by a small town for a little R&R. A demented mortician has been raising the dead and forcing them to work in mines. The townspeople refuse to fight their dead relatives leaving the biker chicks to defend the town. Throw in some blind orphans, a midget, and Billy Bob Thornton and you got a hit.

This film could have succeeded simply based on babes in leather and zombies but Chopper Chicks takes it one step further. They actually have character development and a plausible back story. These are not random biker sluts from the planet bimbo. They are smart, funny, and kick some serious ass.

The film has a pretty eccentric cast. There's the aforementioned Billy Bob Thornton who plays a former boyfriend of one of the bikers. Martha Quinn plays a towns person and Hal Sparks fills the role of the head blind orphan. Mr. Sparks, if you ever read this: I must interview you or marry you, whatever comes first.

A girl can dream

Find this movie, watch it, absorb it's message, it is the holy grail of bad movies. Why are you still sitting here and reading? Go!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #3: Hello Mary Lou Prom Night 2

    For this entry I'd thought I'd look to the cinematic style of our good friends from the Great White North: Canada. Mary Lou is an in name only sequel to the '80s horror flick, Prom Night. In truth I like this one better and appreciate it not keeping in touch with the original.

In my opinion the original Prom Night was a snore, a tepid whodunit that wasted the talents of poor Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen. What can you say about a film that sets it final chase scene to disco of all things. Mary Lou went supernatural and improved itself over it's predecessor.

    The film opens in the '50s where we meet bad girl Mary Lou Mahoney. The only thing that that Mary Lou wants in life is that coveted prom queen title. Give the girl a break, this was before Woman's Lib. A prank played by a jilted lover goes horrible wrong and Mary Lou is burned alive.

   The film fast forwards thirty years ahead when highschooler Vicki finds Mary Lou's prom attire in a storage room. The discovery releases Mary Lou's vengeful spirit who tortures and eventually possesses Vicki. Mary Lou sets out to avenge her death and don her crown.

   Mary Lou is not bad for a B movie horror. There are few slow suspense scenes that hinder most slashers of that era. The kills are pretty good, from possessing a computer and electrocuting  a teen to stabbing a priest with his own cross. The hardest thing an actress can do is the possession storyline, but Wendy Lyon pulls it off. She channels Mary Lou's voice and movements with surprising ease.

Not too much gore but there is a particularly squicky scene where the possessed Vicki attempts to make out with her father, luckily it's a short scene.  There are some hysterical one liners most of them uttered by Mary Lou. The ending was actually kind of tender with Mary Lou confronting the kid who inadvertently ended her life. The movie does lose points for the tacked on sequel hook at the very end though. It also loses points for the senseless murder of a pregnant girl.

 Most of the actors are unknowns safe for '80s bad ass Michael Ironside who plays a principal and father of Vicki's boyfriend, Craig. I don't really mention Craig simply due to the fact that he had the screen presence of a Pop Tart. He would later utilize that talent by playing a zombie in the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake.

  Still, this is a film I would recommend for '80s horror fans and luckily made the transition to DVD so it will be easy to find. If you like the original Prom Night then you might want to avoid as it is a completely different movie.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #2: Daddy's Girl

The '90s were a breeding ground for the killer tot genre. You had Mikey, The Paperboy, and even Macaulay Culkin in the Good Son. However, Daddy's Girl set itself apart as being the only film where the killer was a girl. 

    Gabrielle Boni plays Jodie the aforementioned Daddy's Girl. She predictably slices and dices her way through anyone who stands in her way. Boni is a great child actress and possibly the only really good part of the film. It also stars William Katt, Whip Hubley, and Peggy McRea who just seem to be going through the motions.

   The chief problem with this film is that it is phenomenally boring, with drawn out suspense scenes and one too many nightmare sequences. The kills are mediocre and the majority of the characters are just assholes.

  Seriously, there are no redeeming qualities to anyone in this picture. We are supposed to care about these victims not root for the killer.   They even shoehorn in a orphaned cousin  who realizes what Jodie really is about. This leads to a vague attempt at a back story for Jodie, which like this film is uneven and half baked.

   The ending is the real insult of the movie. The boy killer movies always have their killers going out in a blaze of glory and sometimes even surviving. The lone girl killer movie goes out with a whimper.

  She attempts to kill her mother who unfortunately survives. Daddy saves the day and realizes what a holy terror he was raised. He is very disturbed by this knowledge and turns away from his crying daughter. Does she grab a garden tool and punish him for his betrayal?

  No, no, a thousand times no. She simply bursts into tears and begs her Daddy to love her again. And that's how this film ended. No follow up or grand finale. Just tears and jeers for all. Avoid this film, you've been warned.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days Of Horror #1: Trick Or Treat

    Welcome boys and ghouls as you all know I am a horror movie fanatic. In tribute to my favorite holiday Halloween, I will cover one horror per day until the big day. First on the chopping block is the 1986 lost classic, Trick Or Treat.

    This movie was released on DVD in 2002 and quickly fell out of print. Unfortunately music copyright laws are preventing this film from being re released. Which is a shame since this is one of the most awesome horror films to come out of the '80s.

    We meet metal head outcast Eddie (Marc Price) who is mourning the loss of his idol, Sammi Curr. A sympathetic DJ gives him a rare final record of Sammi's to be played on Halloween. The spirit of Sammi uses the record to contact Eddie, helping him exact revenge on his high school bullies. But when Sammi's plans progress from pranks to murder, it's up to Eddie to stop his idol before it's too late.

     The movie avoids the pratfalls of just hiring pretty people who can't act, something that plagued most '80s horror films. Marc Price best known as Skippy from Family ties sheds the nerd image and puts in a likable performance. Doug Savant also plays against type as the main bully. The film is blessed by two metal gods, Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy is hysterical in a cameo as a priest decrying rock n roll. And he's oddly intelligible to boot. The actor who plays Sammi Curr, Tony Fields puts in a pretty scary performance. Not bad for a former Solid Gold dancer.

    What's impressive about Trick or Treat is it's pacing, there's very few slow or pointless scenes. It also with the exception of one scene avoids the obligatory horror movie sex scenes. The kills are quite creative, one scene consists of Sammy blowing up another singer's head via microphone. The singer is played by Kevin Yagher who also did the special effects. He would later go on to providing special effects for Freddy Krueger and the Crypt Keeper.

     If you are an '80s, horror or metal fan you must seek out this movie, it will be hard due to it's unavailability but worth it.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Surviving Sara Shepard

  It all started with Pretty Little Liars: The Series. Like Secret Life, I came for the adult actors and stayed for the rest. Who could resist a series that boasted the talents of Chad Lowe, Holly Marie Combs, and Laura Leighton?

  The show centers around four teenage girls and the murder of their best frenemy, Allison. The girls find themselves blackmailed by someone claiming to be Allison. PLL treads dangerous waters focusing on a murder mystery right out the gate. Twin Peaks imploded after wrapping up the Laura Palmer storyline and Desperate Housewives suffered a little after the mystery of Mary Alice was solved.

   The show manages to stay entertaining with a talented cast and unpredictable twists and turns. The show also earns points for giving the adult actors actual storylines and not wasting their talents.

  Since I liked the show, naturally I read the series. The problem I had with the books was how stilted the writing was. For example "Emily waved 'bye to her mother and pulled up the blah jeans that were hanging on her skinny hips." I understand that these books are geared towards teenagers but give them some credit, they aren't stupid.

   This series is nine books long each one more ludicrous than the last. It was a guilty pleasure that went ludicrous speed by book 5#. The main characters swapped partner's so quickly that you would need a scoreboard to keep track of who was with who. The storyline was wrapped up in book #8 where we learned that Allison had a psycho twin who impersonated her and that's who the dead body really was.

    The popularity of the series brought new life to the books. The newest installment has the girls accidentally killing an Alli lookalike and are once again blackmailed yet again. Having not learned their lesson the first billion times around they become "A's" victims once more.

 Luckily, I was not turned off from Sara Shepard's writing. If I had, I wouldn't have discovered the awesomeness of The Lying Game and it's sequel Never Have I Ever. The book centers around foster kid Emma who discovers that she has a long lost twin sister named Sutton. Unfortunately, Sutton's dead and Emma is blackmailed into taking her place as she tries to solve her sister's murder.

   The books are perfect for a light summer read. It's unpredictable, it has great character development and keeps your interest until the very end. The bad aspect of the books is the incessant description and brand name dropping of all the clothes and gadgets the characters use. It starts to feel like you're reading a store catalog at times.


The books recently debuted as a series on ABC Family, the same channel that features Pretty Little Liars. The series ignores Sutton's murder and has the twins trading lives and searching for their long lost mother. I am on the fence about this show.

  It does have the same twists that PLL has but unfortunately not the same caliber of acting. It's coveted adult cast is even lacking with the exception of Heroes star Adrian Pasdar and soap star Tyler Christopher who I adore.

   Sara Shepard, you write teen novels that I can't get enough of. And they evolve into t.v shows I can't miss. I don't know whether I love that of hate that about you.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Camp Nightmare or a.k.a Who the Hell is Marvin?


Summer Camp Nightmare is another one of my "Holy Grail Movies." You know the films that you have wanted to see forever but could never find. Now I wish it had remained lost in the archives.

   Don't let the advertising fool you, this film is not a slasher film. It's a very boring rehash of Lord of the Flies sans the pig head and latent homo erotic themes. We visit your typical '80s summer camp full of teenage counselors who want to drink and bone. There's a "mean" counselor named Mr. Warren, who of course, stands in the way of their summer debauchery.

    One Manson-in-training camper named Franklin stages a bloodless coup and manages to lock up all the adults. Hooray, the counselors can finally drink and bone, expect for the scant few who still remember that they have small children to tend to. One of the children, Donald serves as a narrator recording the events onto a seemingly endless supply of blank cassettes.

     Without rules, chaos prevails Mr. Warren is killed trying to escape and a rape occurs. Franklin, who now refers to himself as a General lets the rapist off the hook. The girls revolt and carry him off to the woods and according Donald he is never seen or heard from again. It seems like a cop out, the movie was fine with showing a woman getting raped but not with showing the rapist getting his comeuppance.

    Eventually the cops show up and thanks to Donald's tapes, Franklin faces punishment for his misdeeds. The movie tries to paint him as a poor neglected teenager towards the end but it's too late, the character is just simply unlikable.

  This movie is just boring, nothing really interesting happens until the middle of the film.  The first part of the film tries and fails to flesh out the characters. The cast is relatively unknown save for soap star Melissa Reeves and Tom Fridley who is John Travolta's nephew.

   There are huge plot holes throughout the film like why would a camp have so few adults in the first place? What about the rapist? Not to sympathize with the character but he was murdered by a group of "innocent" teenage girls. Are they going to be able to live with what they did? Do they hope his parents will simply forget he existed? What prompted the cops to show up at the end? How is it that no one even attempted to break out and get help? It's not like they were being closely watched. And why is there a letter on the poster from Marvin and no one named Marvin?

    I guess not all "Holy Grail" movies can be as awesome as Jennifer, The Snake Goddess.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Stepford, No one dreams of Jeannie

   If you have seen The Stepford Children, consider yourself lucky. This is one of many television films that fell through the cracks and never made it to DVD. You can find it online if you look though.

  We meet the Harding family, Steven is a former resident of Stepford and moving back for a simpler life. He's accompanied by wife, Laura, and his two stereotypically '80s punk teenagers. Laura is played by the fabulous Barbara Eden.

  Steven joins the fabled Men's Association who in addition to Stepfording their wives are tuning their teenagers to perfection. Steven fits in perfectly unlike his wife and kids. Laura is stunned by how vanilla her new town is, and ruffles feathers demanding changes.

  The teens, David and Mary, stick out like sore thumbs at their perfect high school. David doesn't care, he has met Lois another wild teen whose mother has just drank the Stepford Kool-Aid. Mary however starts to question her individuality after suffering a series of humiliations at school. The trio attempt to loosen up their fellow students by blaring rock music at a school dance. The devil's music whips them into a frenzy and causes the teens to be arrested.

  The Stepford men descend on Lois who calls David for help. They attempt to leave town but Lois is severely injured in a motorcycle accident. David sneaks into her hospital room and realizes that she is a robot. Laura begins to investigate the crash but they cops are unresponsive.

   David meets the new and improved Lois and confides in his mother. They go to visit her parents and Laura notes the changes in Lois' mother. Laura returns home unaware that Steven has upgraded Mary in her absence.
   Unnerved by her daughter's sudden change, Laura furthers her investigation. She learns that her hubby's first wife had died suddenly. She digs up her grave and uncovers a smashed up robot. She races home to learn that the Men's Association is looking for David. Mary 2.0 attempts to stab her mother but Laura manages to short circuit her and escapes.

   The men are furious that David managed to escape. Mary breaks in and finds her real daughter but their escape is thwarted by the men. However, David shows up in the nick of time and they flee Stepford.

     The films only real problem was how slow the movie progressed. It seemed like the saved the real action for the last 15 minutes of the film. It also ended  really abruptly, it's kind of jarring. Barbara Eden is pretty awesome and the storyline was decent. It didn't try to rip off too much from it's predecessor, The Stepford Wives which I appreciated.   All in all, the film is okay. Not the best in the world but it's watchable.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Whatever Mikey wants Mikey gets

    In the '90s, it was all about the killer child. You had such classics as Daddy's Little Girl and The Paperboy, even Macaulay Culkin got in on the action in The Good Son. Out of all of them, Mikey is hands down the best.

    Rather than waste half the movie with long drawn-out suspense scenes, Mikey cuts right to the chase. His family doesn't make it past the first 15 minutes. Mikey is adopted by another family who have no idea who they brought into their home. Of course, once things don't go his way he resorts to some very tough love.

   The most refreshing aspect of this movie is the death scenes, they are fairly realistic. These are kills that a young person could conceivably do. Some of the deaths in the other films would require the main character to have super human strength to pull it off.

    The cast of the film are pretty fun too. Mikey is played by Brian Bonsell, who is known for his roles as Andy Keaton on Family Ties and Worf's son Alexander on STNG. Brian Bonsell is a perfect choice for Mikey. He can play innocent just as well as psycho and there some really chilling scenes in the film. 

   A pre-Melrose Place, Josie Bisset, plays a neighbor who unfortunately catches Mikey's eye. And there's some horror royalty with Whit Hertford, who played Jacob in Nightmare on Elm Street 5.  They actually put in some fine performances despite the film's B movie status.

    The film does lose points for having the obligatory sequel hook but then again what horror film doesn't? It may be a B movie but it's actually well done. Any fan of the slasher genre should check this out, it's worth it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lesson for the day: Child proof caps save lives.

    Now I feel the need to add a disclaimer before I proceed. I am in no way making fun of cyberbullying, it's a serious topic that can destroy a person's life. However, if you are going to make a movie about the subject, try not to make it a melodramatic mess.

     We meet Taylor Hillridge, blond, well-liked, bright future, basically doomed. She is finally allowed to go online without her mother watching her every move. She joins a site called Clickster, which essentially Facebook with no rules and inexplicably no delete button.

    Taylor meets a cute guy online who is everything she ever wanted (sound familiar) but soon turns on her. The high school lemmings follow suit and soon Taylor is considered the town whore. Not only that her best friend and other man of her dreams abandon her as well.

    If things could not get worse, the viewers learn that her other best friend, Samantha created the dreamy guy's account in order to mess with Taylor. What possible reasons would she have to betray her best friend like that, you ask? Because Taylor liked a guy that Samantha didn't think was good for her. Apparently Samantha was wronged by a guy and sees all guys as the enemy.

   Taylor reaches the breaking point and posts a video implying that she is going to kill herself. Samantha sees the video and races to Taylor's house with Taylor's mom and ambulances in tow. They throw open the bathroom door to find Taylor struggling with a child-proof cap. Yes, I am not kidding, her whole suicide was thwarted because she couldn't figure out the complicated dynamics of a child proof cap.

   ABC Family, if you are trying to make me feel sympathy for the main character you failed.

   So Taylor gets counseling and Samantha confesses her role in the whole cyberbullying thing. Samantha is soon the school's whipping girl but feels she deserved it. Samantha essentially gets away with what she did. No arrests, no one sues her, and Taylor still hangs out with her. A great message to young teenage girls out there.

Taylor and her mom commit themselves to making a anti-bullying law. Taylor publicly confronts the head mean girl and her fairweather friends and dream guy join her accompanied by other outcasts. Of course, the head mean girl falls off her pedestal and the Internet is safe again. There is even a montage of kids texting one another in joy. All that is missing is a rising rendition of "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead"  

    Did anyone involved in this movie ever see the movie Heathers? Sure, the head mean girl might be dethroned, but someone else will just take her place.  ABC Family had a great chance to shed some light on the issue but instead chose to make yet another unrealistic, melodramatic, teen movie.

Monday, June 27, 2011

True Blood: The Season of the Douche

  Season 4 of True Blood premiered last with an blend of awesomeness and ridiculousness. Let's start with Sookie's time in fairy land; hated it. The fairies were one of my favorite parts of the book series and it just came out as cartoonish at best. However, I did have a little giggle at Mr. Bill Lumbergh playing Sookie's grandpa, too bad his part was woefully short.

    True Blood has time skipped one year which I love. Two of my favorite shows, Desperate Housewives and One Tree Hill improved due to time skips, and I hope it does the same for True Blood. 

   Jason is still fantastically boring, I didn't like him in the books either. Equally boring is Sam and his angsty relationship with his brother. Hopefully introducing more shifters might make him a sight more interesting. The boring also accompanies poor V-addicted Andy, crazy Arlene, and sadly, the show's golden couple, Hoyt and Jessica.

   The whole Hoyt and Jessica thing ticked me off. We spent a whole season of Sturm und Drang before the couple got their happy ending. And first thing out the gate, they are at odds again. I know in television, happy couples are boring but would it kill them to give us a couple of happy episodes between the two?

   There were some good aspects to the premiere. I am loving the cool, confident, Tara. This is the Tara we fell in love with in the first season before becoming the perpetual victim we all know and loathe. Thank God, she ditched that hideous afro she sported in the Season 3 finale. Jesus and Lafayette are adorable but I am not feeling the witchcraft storyline. Pam is always awesome but woefully underused, get that girl a storyline, quick.
  And finally after seasons of teasing, Team Eric fans seem to be getting what they want. I may be in the minority but I never liked Bill and Sookie together. I never liked Bill, hence the douche remark. Oh yes, good old Bill, is in the mix as the King of Louisiana. Apparently his royal duties consist of playing hide the kielbasa with every available chick in Bon Temps. At least the books were kind enough to ship him off to Peru for awhile. I want Evan Rachel Wood back, she was my favorite.
   I did catch next week's episode on HBOGO, don't worry I won't review that until next week. I do have to say I should have waited to catch it on television. The damn thing stalled every ten minutes and the video quality jumped from good to crappy multiple times. Just a warning to those who want to catch it online.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

An Ode To My Dead MP3 Player


  I own a Dell DJ, well owned one, I should say. It was a ludicrously heavy silver behemoth that had been discontinued three years before I purchased it from eBay. It was bare bones, no video, no color screen, no hope of syncing with iTunes. But I loved it, it was my constant companion.

   But without fanfare, it simply died. To my complete amusement, I realized that I had gone through the 5 stages of a grief.

   Denial: It's not broken, the batteries just dead. I'll charge it overnight, yeah, that'll work. It must be the cord maybe I'll angle it in this direction. It must be my USB port, I'll plug it in my boyfriend's computer, it'll work then.

   Anger: Why did you break down now? I have bills, I won't be able to afford one until next month. Why didn't you die when I got my tax return? Why did you die after I spent that Amazon gift certificate? Why? Why? Why? This sucks!! Why do these things always happen to me?

   Bargaining: Just come on one more time. I'll press the reset button and you'll turn on again. I'll be able to rescue my music. Listen DJ, I don't wanna rip all those CDs again. Please, just one little spark is all I ask.

   Depression: I really got to stop keeping you by my computer. I keep reaching for you and turning you on and nothing. I have no interest in purchasing new music. Exercising in silence is so boring. I can't keep you but I can't throw you away. You sit there silently mocking me.

    Acceptance: Well, the Sony Walkman is kind of swanky. Good price. It'll be nice to have video functions even if I never use them. It might be nice to have something more technologically advanced. The warranty will be a nice change.

     To my fallen musical comrade, you were a good investment. You survived countless falls to the floor, an impromptu puppy attack and an unfortunate trip through the washer and dryer. You managed to survive longer than any mp3 player ever had a right to. Why Dell stopped making you I'll never know. Farewell.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Season In Review (Mild Spoilers)

  As another television season ends I'd share my thoughts on what I liked and hated this year

 The ones to watch...

    One Tree Hill is definitely the little show that could. It has run 8 seasons, half of them under the threat of cancellation. It managed to stay fresh and interesting despite the loss of two of their most popular cast members. It managed to introduce new characters successfully without shoving them down our throats.

    I loved the Stalker Katie storyline, Brooke finally getting her happy ending, and the hit and run mystery. The only episode that really bugged me was the lame ass superhero storyline. Camp is one thing but it completely missed the tone of the show. I appreciate the show for sticking to continuity and not just flat out ignoring past storyline like a lot of shows do.

    Thankfully CW is giving the show another season for a proper send off. My only request more Dan Scott, the show is lacking without him.

   Desperate Housewives was phenomenal this season. It was definitely a nod to the first season with the return of Paul, Felicia, and Zack. And revisiting Andrew's hit and run storyline was a great choice. I miss Drea DeMatteo but was excited to see Vanessa Williams take her place. The problem is that Vanessa Williams doesn't do anything, she just stands in a corner firing out sarcastic quips. This woman is an amazing actress and needs to be utilized.

    I liked Paul's storyline, Brian Austin Green's arrival as Bree's newest boy toy, and the resolution of the hit and run storyline. The baby switch storyline was a bust and I am glad they swept it under the rug. Susan is getting borderline ridiculous. I know the writer's want her to be wacky but there's a fine line between funny and annoying. But all in all good season.

  True Blood hits it's pique of awesomeness last season. There was character development, intriguing storylines, and it's usual blend of blood, sex, and humor.

   Bright spots include the hiring of Joe Manganiello as the werewolf Alcide. I love how the character of Tara has been allowed to evolve past a bitter victim and into more of a bad ass.  James Frain was a hoot as Tara's psychotic vampire boyfriend, Russell, I almost wish they'd let him live. As a self professed member of Team Eric, I am thrilled that they are starting to move forward with their storyline. Also of note was exploring Sookie's darker Fae side.

   I was not fond of Jason's storyline but then I have never really liked him. Lafayette was utterly and completely wasted. Sookie being taken away by the fairies at the end was cheesy and Bill's "power struggle" just did not fit his character. Also way too much time was devoted to Hoyt and Jessica's relationship as well as Sam's prodigal family.

   True Blood returns June 26th on HBO. And you can view the new season's trailer here .

    On the fence....

       Glee is like that ex you can't quite give up. I should hate it. They employed Gwyneth Paltrow, my least favorite of all actresses. They couple swap so often that it's just irritating. And I'll be honest I can't stand any of the new characters. John Stamos was cool but underused. We need more upbeat story lines like last season and less angst.

       But every once in awhile, I get sucked back in only to be disappointed.

 Evicted from my DVR...


    The very thing that attracted me to The Secret Life of the American Teenager was it's complete ludicrousness. I found their refusal to take themselves seriously. But sadly the very same ludicrousness is what is driving me away.

   These characters are supposed to be teenagers but are concentrating more on babies and weddings than college or keggers. The show so did not need yet another teen pregnancy and the Ricky/Amy/Ben/Adrian love trapezoid is a snore. The others characters are not picking up the slack either.

   Plus there is a severe lack of Molly Ringwald, the very reason I watched the show in the first place. I just can't watch anymore.

   And there you have it. Questions? Rebuttals? Drop a comment.