Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Movie: The Hitcher (1986)
So The Hitcher was one of those supposed horror movie classics. Being remade in 2007 in an era where the movie industry seems to have run completely out of ideas, I figured the original must be worth seeing.
From the get go I was pretty into it. Rutger Hauer shows up within the first five minutes and just begins twisting the place up.
I believe Rutger Hauers REAL back story involves him being some demon that was just to rough for the whole hell scene, or him being some escaped top secret weapon that wanted to be in pictures. Whichever of these seems more true to you..pick it and believe it because that's how Rutger Hauer acts. He doesn't really act...he just terrifies audiences into thinking it.
So anyhow, this movie is about some idiot kid who's doing a drive away for some rich dude. Basically a drive away is when you drive someones car to their lazy ass over a great distance. This lazy ass happens to live in San Diego...so that's where the main character is taking the car. Apparently from what we know from all road/action/ horror film you can't go anywhere out west without driving through Texas. Somehow the planets align and all the roads reroute themselves through the Lonestar state.
Also from these movies we've learned that Texas is a terrifying place full of Chainsaw massacres, wild vigilante cops and crazed hitch hikers. Crazed hitch hikers and vigilante cops just so happens to be the guys that out main characters have been stuck with.
So this crazy hitch hiker begins a game of cat and mouse with the main character. Rutger seamless sets up elaborate frames to make the murder of dozens of people looks like they were done by the kid.
That's the movie...like that's it. It's just that...over and over and over again. Nothing really seems to happen ever. The kid complains, the chick in it whines and Rutger mercs out cops like it's going out of style.
The point of the movie is this. Rutger Hauer knows where you are constantly. If you're reading this, he knows about. He's sitting outside your window. He followed you home from work or school just thinking about how he's going to F your life up. It doesn't matter if you drive, fly, teleport or astro project somewhere. He'll be over the the next dune staring down at you in a beat up pickup truck or mysteriously in your room without a sound.
My guess is he had a real bad "big brother" complex when he was a kid. Rutgers sister must've been some smoke show who picked up the worst dudes. When they would step out of line, Rutger would materialize out of seemingly thin air and twist their shit up real bad. Then he would just follow them around and terrorize them
So yeah...Rutger was great but the movie around him sucked. It was pointless and arduous aside from some really sweet shots. Shots, though great can't save a movie. I can make sweet dolly and crane shots all day but if my subject is a three day old turd, you're not going to watch it. Unless you have some weird fetish.
I give this lil nugget a 2 out of 5 Stars.
Rock and Roll.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Movie: Dead Man's Shoes
So I thought this was a horror film.
<====look at that.
I read the synopsis of this just before I watched and was like "what?". But the plot sounded interesting and so I put her on and let her run the course.
I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised. This movie is a basic and straight up revenge tail. Nothing turbo original here but there's something about it you can't put your finger on at first.
In short, when Richard returns from the army he vows to seek vengeance on those who abused his mentally handicapped brother while he was away. He does just that and quite viciously.
At first you're not sure if you're supposed to laugh or not. Not because it's poorly acted but actually because it's so well acted. Paddy Considine (who also wrote the film) plays the main character, Richard. He's such a strange character to the point where you laugh at first but after a moment what he did wasn't comedy...he's a F'ing crazy person. It also doesn't help that from the get go, I recognized him as one of the Andy's from Hot Fuzz.
Anyhow, this movie wasn't a masterfully woven tale of intrigue but seemed to hold interest nonetheless. Paddy's performance was absolutely stellar. They never touch on what has happened to his character while in the army. Judging by the way he acts and the animistic stare in his eyes....it was something awful.
Check this one out if you like to check out new movies and are willing to give them a chance. If you like fast paced films with big budgets and explosions...you won't like this one.
I give this lil nugget a 3 1/2 of 5.
Til next time, keep it metal!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The Movie: Behind the Mask: The rise of Leslie Vernon
So this is one that had caught my eye a year or so ago but I never bothered with it. Hence why I've gone and taken on this little project. To watch movies that I didn't give a chance .
This one thoroughly surprised.
Last night I watched My Name Is Bruce and was pretty let down. On top of that I had never been overly expectant of Behind the Mask. I needed something to watch so I tossed this one on.
At first the production value of this movie seems low. It seems like a fake documentary. Something along the lines of a Blair Witch or Cloverfield. However, this rapidly changes throughout.
Behind the Mask in short is about a man who wants to become a legendary killer. He has trained all his life and prepared for his big night, the (however many year) anniversary of his "death". He learns basic magic tricks and escape tactics from books and trains physically so he can perform the tasks of a great killer.
A documentary film crew has been commissioned to come along with him to document as he plans his night of death.
At first this movie has the look of a fake documentary. However this changes when Leslie begins to explain how he will perform certain tasks. When he explains the movie kicks into "Real" movie mode, with actual shots, lighting and effects. After awhile I found myself enthralled because I had never seen this film tactic.
If you had asked me halfway through the movie, "What kind of movie is this?". I would have replied "Comedy" like you were retarded or something. This movie is very funny and witty....until the third act.
Not to ruin anything but to sort of let you know what you're in for, the third act takes a complete 180 and becomes a straight horror film. Sure it is a little aware of itself and plays off of Stereotypes but it is clever nonetheless. The documentary cameras go down, the plot devices begin to spring to life and the film takes a new course.
I'd highly recommend this one to any horror fan who's seen tons of slashers. Though its comedy can reach all, it calls upon classic slashers and the stereotypes that come with them to derive some great comedy.
I give this lil nugget a 4 out 5 stars.
Till next time, keep it Metal!
Monday, April 27, 2009
The Movie: My Name Is Bruce
So as you might have gathered thus far...I'm a horror fan. Being a horror fan comes with some irrefutable allegiances and one of those is your loyalty to Bruce Campbell.
The Evil Dead films are some of the best in horror (and comedy) period...there's no arguing that, it's science. Bruce played one of the greatest heroes on film in this series. If you don't know who Ash is or you've never seen the Evil Dead series...you seriously need to get out and see some movies.
So this caught my attention not just because Mr. Campbell is in it but he plays himself in a movie that he wrote...and directed. How could we go wrong here?!
The problem is in the fact that I was way to excited for the payload that this movie would deliver. I never thought that maybe this low budget film may not be the movie of my horror film, fan boy dreams.
In this film we meet Bruce Campbell, the real life film star of some golden films from the last few decades such as Maniac Cop, Alien Apocalypse and Bubba Ho-Tep. In a lull in his career where he continues to make rotten B movies, Bruce is kidnapped by a small mining town that is having some demon troubles.
When a Chinese demon (or god...or whatever the hell he is) is released from a mine shaft where he was left to protect the grave of a one hundred Chinese miners, he begins to go on a vengeful killing spree. Bruce is called to action by the town because of the reputation he's gained from being in B movies.
The movie does succeed at poking fun of the Bruce Campbell's career as he is an actor that does not take himself to seriously. Unfortunately a few decent laughs sprinkled throughout the movie can't makeup for the time you feel like you're wasting. Bruce himself is pretty on par because he's acting...well, like himself. Everyone else in the film for the most part falls short of Oscar worthy performances and by short I mean not even frickin close.
The movies production value is all together pretty low. The deaths in the film are pretty generic and unoriginal due to the fact that whoever dies...gets their head lobbed off. Yeah I ruined it. Sorry : (
All in all this movie was a let down for me. Maybe it just wasn't my particular brand of comedy and it just wasn't for me. Also if you are an AVID Bruce fan you most likely will enjoy this movie because it does personify everything Bruce. I like Bruce a lot but not enough to make this one that I'll go back and watch.
I give this little nugget a 2 out of 5 stars.
Till next time, keep it metal!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Movie: Slumdog Millionaire
What better way to get a little more into this whole thing with the Oscar winner for best film of 2008.
I'm going to keep this one short because I started it at about 11:3opm. After watching the film and deliberating with my room mate about it, I've arrived at the hour of 2:30am on a work night. So lets go!
When I got this movie, I was expecting a mediocre film that had been hyped beyond all recognition....and I could not have been any farther from the truth.
This one is a general feel good film that hits it's target with deadly accuracy. The story itself is a gritty look into the tough lives lead be those who live in the slums of Mumbai. Though the progression of the story is moved along by sad acts that are commited by friends and family, you do come out of the end feeling generally good.
Danny Boyle is such a fantastic director. He was able to bring us the next stage of Zombie-esque horror action in 28 Days Later as well as pulse pounding science fiction in Sunshine and even the grit and truth that comes along with a Heroine addiction in Trainspotting. He doesn't miss his mark in this one either.
This movie was beautifully shot and I stress the meaning of BEAUTIFULLY. The style of the film cooinsides perfectly with the overall story in a manner that only your eyes can explain to your brain. When mixed with excellent acting this little flicker show begins to take on the traits of a phenomenal little film.
Oh and the gal that plays Latika...isn't to hard on the eyes either...
<=== That's her right there...if you were wondering.
Anyhow! I'd highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't already. Slumdog isn't a movie that can be explained...it's one that needs to be experienced.
I give this lil nugget a 4 out of 5 stars.
Til next time, keep it metal!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The Movie: Splinter
So here we go....movie number 1. I was excited as hell to get this little endeavour on the way finally. My Netflix movies came in last night (Friday night) but it was the first Red Sox Vs Yankees game of 2009. Being an avid Red Sox fan, I decided that it took precedence over this movie.
Anyhow! Let's talk indy horror, which is the category to which this little diddy owes its allegiance.
Hollywood as a whole is doing a terrible, TERRIBLE thing to the horror genre these days. Unoriginality in it's remakes and utter lack of ideas have caused the horror fan drinking hole to run dry...and there are plenty of thirsty gore hounds out there!
This has caused us to reach out and try and find solace in the only thing we can besides the classics...the indy's. The Indy horror world seems to be the final frontier for the horror film and from what I've seen, it's a bleak and barren place.
We've all been in blockbuster and seen horror movie upon horror movie on the never ending shelves and thought "Who the hell watches this shit"? Unfortunately indy horror has very little going for it.
But alas...there is hope!
Here and there we get some gems that slip out under the radar and get mixed in with the heap of garbage we see at the video store but if you dig deep enough you will find good stuff. My best example is a small and relatively unknown Canadian flick called Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. This was an example of awesome hack and slash, 80's style, creature driven and comedy seasoned film. As much as I love that movie though...I'm not here to write about that one. I've seen it...damn!
There have been other gems out of the indy horror world and I must say, Splinter is one of those Gems.
While not overly original and groundbreaking, Splinter is definitely something we haven't seen in awhile. The story in short consists of a Criminal on the run, his addict girlfriend and the two young lovers they've taken hostage. While making a run for the border,the SUV they are driving, overheats. They stop at a rural gas station where they stumble on something they didn't expect.
Some sort of parasitic organism has come to town on business apparently and is looking to kill some free time by mingling with the locals. But like most attempts to mix with a crowd you're unfamiliar with...there's some unexpected variables. Like for instance....one of the characters being a Biologist.
Lucky for our antagonists, they have an expert on hand to help them battle a strange organism that man has never seen. How about the definition of convenience? Especially when you need to try and push some plot points.
Luckily...these are the only issues with this film that I had. The originality came in the creature that acts as our protagonist. I don't know what to call the thing...the splinter? The splinter guy? Splintosaurus Rex? I don't know....but if you put a guitar in it's hands, it would rock the joint. The creature sort of reminds me of a creature from The Thing (My favorite) mixed with the main bad guy from Slither and finally garnished with some Zombie like traits. Take the prior ingredients and mix them in a pot with some decent makeup FX and you got yourself a kick ass, original and tasty creature feature bad guy!
It's strong points were mostly technical for me. Well shot, well lit and the makeup was near boner inspiring
So after all of that...I feel like there isn't much else to say without giving something away. Splinter will in no way be an Oscar winner nor find itself in the annals of horror history but it was original enough to be interesting and relatively well made.
Check out Splinter if you got the time or you're looking for some fun popcorn film to watch with some friends. It seems to me that this one is something you'll have to make your own judgement on.
I give this lil nugget a 3 1/2 out of 5.
Til next time. Keep it metal!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So my Name is Dave and I was inspired by a friend of mine to take on this little task. I'd like to consider myself a film maker by trade even though I work at a television company. I make short films here and there when I can and I stick mostly to writing screenplays.
I wanted to do this because I seem to have hit the point in my movie watching career where I feel like I've seen everything worth while...and that couldn't be farther from the truth. Inspiration is a tough thing to come by these days because of the simple fact that I don't seem to be looking hard enough.
So many movies come and go from theaters and I never give them the slightest chance. It's the same with movies on the video store shelf or coming from Netflix. I just find myself not wanting to give a lot of films the time of day. Hopefully this will push me to give these films the chance they deserve.
To forewarn you (Whoever may be reading this) I can guarantee you one thing....most of these movies will be Horror films. I am an avid horror film fan and consider myself to be somewhat of an elitist on the subject. My spectrum however is not so broad, as I turn down more horror films then I actually see. I hate horror films out of Hollywood as of late (they all seem to be shitty ghost movies) but there are plenty of Indy ones and older ones out there.
I won't watch any films that I remember to any degree more so then maybe who was in it or what the general plot was. So I will only watch movies I've never seen or haven't seen since I was a kid.
If the movie is so bad that it deems being shut off, I will at least watch half of it for it to be counted as the movie for that day.
After viewing the movie, I will write a review and what I felt were the strong or poor characteristics of the story.
If I happen to miss a film, I will try and double up on day when I have time to catch up.
So, this is the setup and this is the goal. I don't begin until either Friday or Saturday when I get my Netflix movies back in. So until then....PEACE. LETS DO THIS THING!