Ads 468x60px

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleepaway Camp

   Sleepaway Camp was a B grade slasher flick that was saved by an original and unexpected ending. An ending which I won't reveal here. I recommend that any horror fan check it out.

   The movie centers around a typical '80s summer camp. You know the one where the counselors are sexed crazed morons who let the campers go wild. And like any '80s summer camp someone is intent on making it a summer to remember.

  The main characters are Angela, a strange mute girl and her overprotective cousin, Ricky. Felissa Rose plays Angela and I must say that she's a phenomenal actress. She can emote more with a single glance than most actresses can do with a whole monologue.

  Other actresses of note are Karen Fields who plays resident bitch, Judy and Desiree Goulds who plays Aunt Martha. Karen plays the bitch to a Tee, she's unlikable but in a really enjoyable way. I really wished the role of Aunt Martha was bigger. Desiree Goulds is just adorable as a perky Stepford wife on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I only hope the rumors about her renewing her role in a future sequel are true.

   For a slasher the kills are pretty top notch. Very inventive and different from anything Jason or Leatherface have done. Let's just say you'll never look at a curling iron in quite the same way. The film builds a perfect amount or suspense and throws in realistic red herrings to keep you from guessing the killer too early in the film.

   The only thing I didn't like were the filler camp scenes. I know they were there for atmosphere and mild character development but it does hinder the film some. There's a scene with a baseball game that runs way too long and too slow.

    This film is a must see for any horror fan. However watch these films in order as watching any of the sequels out of order will spoil the surprise.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday the 13th: The Series-The Inheritance

  Friday the 13th: The Series was a horror television series spanning from 1987-1990. In my opinion, it was probably one of the finest horror television series created. Join me every Sunday, as we search for cursed antiques and bad '80s fashion. Just don't plan on seeing Jason Voorhees though.

   The show centers around an antique store owned by Lewis Vendredi. He sells cursed antiques to unsuspecting customers via a pact with Satan. He finally gets fed up with doing Satan's bidding and quits, dying soon after.

    The store falls into the hands of his two distant relatives, the prim and proper Micki and the increasingly annoying Ryan. The duo decide to sell the store and everything in it. An old bud of Lewis', Jack Marshak, discovers what Lewis has done. They decide to put their lives on hold and vow to locate all the cursed antiques.

   Antique of the week: Vida, a very creepy talking doll with a murderous streak. Mary (played by Sarah Polley) discovers the doll in the store prior to Lewis' death. It is in fact this girl who changes Lewis' mind and he refuses to sell the doll to her parents. Vida is innocently sold to the family six months later.

    Vida is a talking doll who tells Mary that they can do anything they want. Mary has a wicked stepmother who makes the mistake of trying to take Vida away as punishment. She winds up falling down the stairs but survives. Later, in the hospital, Mary allows Vida to kill her stepmother.
   Sarah is left with a neighbor who dares to deny this murderous moppet extra chocolate chip cookies. The neighbor almost dies but is rescued by Micki and Ryan. Micki tries to take the doll but almost dies in the process. Ryan rescues her and they get the doll back.

   No one seems really concerned on how messed up Mary is going to be after this incident.


  Robey who plays Micki is a fabulous actress and singer. Check out her cover of One Night In Bangkok here

  John D. Lemay who plays Ryan is one of the few links between the Friday the 13th Series and the Friday the 13th films. He starred in Jason Goes to Hell: The "Final" Friday.

  Lewis' death was pretty bad ass. The best part was when flaming hoof prints started walking down the stairs. Top notch special effects for it's time period.

  Jack is allegedly longtime childhood friends with Lewis but it takes him six months to learn of his death. Does not compute.

  Ryan wears a blazer and tie with cargo shorts. That is cheesy even by '80s standards.

  Micki's whiny fiancee used the word behoove. One day I intend to use that word in a sentence.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Crush

   In the early '90s, horror was mostly dormant. Slasher franchises vanished and horror seemed to primarily set in two categories Sci Fi and psychological. The Crush certainly wasn't original, it was part of the stalker girl oeuvre alongside such classics as The Temp and Poison Ivy.

    Struggling writer, Nick, moves into a pretty swank guest house owned by The Forresters. The house comes with electricity, gas, and an underage psycho who won't take no for an answer. The psycho is Adrian played by the '90s answer to Lolita, Alicia Silverstone.

   Since the character of Adrian is so much younger than her slutty counterparts, the film treads lightly on the film's sexuality. Sexuality is the base of most psycho films and removing that element turns The Crush into a rather tepid film with too much emphasis on overdrawn suspense scenes.

   Nick as the film's victim is just too stupid to live. Once he realizes just how unhinged Adrian is, rather than get the hell out of Dodge, he simply stays put antagonizing her even more. Would you really hook up with another chick in your apartment knowing there's a jealous psycho next door just waiting to destroy you?

    The cast is passable. Alicia Silverstone doesn't really come off as evil, more merely annoying as she emotes her scene in a bored monotone. Don't get me wrong, I love Alicia, just not in this film. Kurtwood Smith is underused as Adrian's beleaguered father. Screen Queen, Jennifer Rubin is probably the most interesting actor in the film and should have had a bigger part in the film's finale.

    Let's talk about Cary Elwes for a moment. He's a great actor and has played some great roles. Saw, The Princess Bride, and Kiss The Girls for example. Then, inexplicably, he will take roles where he is a second banana to CGI tornadoes and fodder for Jim Carrey. I don't get it.

    The ending really falls apart with epic badness. A girl psychotically chopping lemons is not scary. Neither is a grown man being chased around a merry go round by a knife wielding teenager. And after all this crap, it took one simple punch to take out this girl. At least go out in a hail of bullets like Glenn Close.

    Of course, due to the character's age, she doesn't die. She gets shipped off to a loony bin where she finds another handsome man to obsess over. Ho hum.

   Here's a fun fact: The film was allegedly based on a real event from the writer/director Alan Shapiro. He even went so far to name his character after the real life girl. The character was originally named Darian in the theatrical cut but it was changed to Adrian after a lawsuit.

    I think the real story behind this script would have been a hundred times for interesting than the movie it spawned.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Village of the Damned

  I'm just come out and say it, I love this movie. It's one of my favorite '90s horror films. Sure, it's not as good as the 1960 original, it's less creepy and more violent. Still, it can definitely stand on it's own merit.

  The movie concerns a small California town where ten women suddenly become pregnant by a supernatural force. They give birth to an eerie group of super smart kids with homicidal tendencies. As the deaths increase, the town debates whether to eliminate the kids or co exist with them.

   Let's start with the cast. Where else in movie history do you have Christopher Reeve and Mark Hamill in the same film? Christopher Reeve was a phenomenal actor and it really shows in this film. The movie also stars Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, and Meredith Salenger.

   The film really belongs to Salenger in her haunting role as Melanie, a virginal teen who loses her baby in childbirth. Salenger is a great albeit unappreciated actress in the film industry. I wish she would do more mainstream roles.

   Most of the actors playing the children haven't done anything major since Damned, save for two. Lindsay Haun who played the murderous leader Mara has recently appeared in True Blood as Hadley. And Thomas Dekker, who played protagonist, David, has starred in the abominable 2010 remake of Nightmare on Elm Street and The Sarah Connor Chronicles.


     As I said before Damned is violent, excessively so. A character eviscerates herself with a scalpel, a man gets cooked on a grill, another impales himself on a broom. This movie is not for the weak of heart or the easily squeamish.

    But there's also a sweeter side to the film concerning David whose "mate" dies in childbirth. Considered weaker than the rest, he is essentially written off by the others. This allows him to develop a conscience and empathy which gives this film a lot of heart.

    Like most remakes it pales in comparison to the original but is still good in it's own way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Leprechaun: In the Hood

Leprechaun: In the Hood doesn't break any fresh ground for the Leprechaun franchise. It's the same old tale, someone steals gold, the Leprechaun kills people, wisecracks ensue.

 I don't know whether to like Hood or not. On the bright side, it is a little fresher than the previous installments, especially with the new and pimped out Leprechaun and his band of zombie fly girls. There are some genuinely funny moments. Unfortunately most of the humor is more suited for a family sitcom than an alleged horror spoof. The film does score points for not stooping to body humor which is par for the course in most comedic horrors.

  On the not so good side, the film is so stereotypical it borders on the offensive. It's not just the black people that get this shoddy treatment, Asians and Transgenders are targets too. I was especially offended by the rampant homophobia that accompanied some of these scenes.

   The cast of the films are mostly unknowns save for rapper, Ice T., who is seriously in danger of losing his ghetto pass if he keeps taking these shit roles. Coolio, who waved bye bye to his ghetto pass along time ago does a completely useless cameo.

   I was not crazy about the ending. It seemed like the script writer got bored towards the end and just gave up. It mad no sense and is just a blatant sequel hook disguised as an ending. Plus it has no correlation with the film's sequel Back to Da Hood. It's Leprechaun in the Hood, it doesn't need to be Citizen freaking Kane, but at least try to have continuity.

  The soundtrack however is bad ass, some of the better rap music I have heard in awhile. Even the Leprechaun gets his own rap number at the end of the film. Here's the link to the video since they won't allow it to be embedded.

 It's not so much as funny such as really sad. Oh and by the way, never watch this film on BET. Profanities were being muted every other second. It was borderline irritating.