Monday, September 1, 2014

Faith and Fuckin' Begorrah

In another day of astounding cinematic failure, I sat and watched Leprechaun: Origins.

Because I'm an idiot, apparently.  An idiot who has done something so horrible in his life to deserve whatever the fuck this was.  I'm assuming some puppies were kicked but I don't remember kicking puppies.  I repent for kicking imaginary puppies.  I do not ever intend to injure puppies, imaginary or otherwise.

This almost-watchable pile of horse shit starts the way a lot of horror movies do.  With the road-trip.  In this case, four college friends taking a last-hurrah trip through Ireland.  One of them, of course, is a History major which is why they're in Ireland instead of, y'know, Fort Lauderdale.  Barring the copious amounts of booze and throaty, shaven-headed torch song performers, Ireland is all about culture and strife and history and kilts and motherfucking potatoes.  It's still in my top 10 but that's a cultural thing because I have a sad, sad addiction to fairy tales.

And like any and all stupid teenagers, they decide to trust the fat, avuncular, shanty-Irish Mick who says, "Oh, hey, there's this big mine that has all kinds of history and booga-booga and stay in my cabin because I'm all generous and shit."

And you can frolic through the emerald fields and not actually have sex.
But did the jolly fat man tell them about the hideous creature that can see people in shades of gold that has to be appeased for taking all of the gold out of the aforementioned mine?  Nooooooooooo.  'Cause he's a DICK.

Don't get me wrong, kids, there's definitely a market for this kind of creature feature but for the life of me, I have NO idea why WWE Films (which should tell you everything you need to know right there) chose to reboot the Leprechaun series in this fashion.  Other than a short... thing... with a taste for glitter, there's nothing even remotely "leprechaun" about the creature.  They even say the thing's name is Tuatha DĂ© Danaan, for cryin' out loud and that's the name for fairies in general (the translation being "Tribe of (the goddess) Danu).

Oh, if only they'd actually read the badly researched book.
If they were going to refer to it as anything, they should have at LEAST gone by the fucking illustration and I need to smack me some researchers because it's not like fucking Wikipedia doesn't exist.

And let's talk about the creature, shall we?  I don't necessarily need kelly green swallowtail jackets and buckle shoes but, fuck, you gave me a beakless bird abortion with teeth.  Why would you DO that?  And where were the fucking shoes, man?  Leprechauns are COBBLERS.  They make SHOES.  Yeah, they're greedy bastards but you've turned something that, while it can be monstrous (since it's usually armed with a goddamn HAMMER), into a full-on thing with a hankerin' for human flesh and earrings and no reference to the source material other than location.

And you took the greatest trope of all time (or at least the easiest to play off), the Town With a Secret, and took a steaming dump all over it.  There should have been paranoia.  There should have been more interaction with the locals.  This is the ONE situation where isolation does not work and you gave me a product that smells like failure.

Plus, and probably worst of all, you took away the humor!  That was what we LIKED about the original series.  Darker and edgier is one thing but there was no attempt at ALL to temper this with any kind of humor.  We didn't need four-leaf clover jokes but fuck, man, come on. One whiskey-dick joke and we're done?  Seriously?

Plus you gave me this Scooby-Doo bullshit and a leg injury that would have kept anyone from walking at all yet allowed actual running.
Yeah, there are some decent kills but most of it took place off-screen because they couldn't bother actually showing them, there was no final showdown and our final girl should have been shot for being Needy McWhiney-Pants when her "boyfriend" basically broke up with her at the beginning of the movie but never actually said anything to that effect.  About the ONLY thing I can give this is that you didn't feel like the actors were stumbling around the set huffing glue.  I'm telling you, if WWE films and the Soska sisters fuck up See No Evil 2, I'ma have to slap Katherine Isabelle to teach them all a damn lesson.  I adore Katherine.  Don't make me slap her.

Riverdance your way past this one, kids.  No, seriously.  Get that shit up on YouTube.  I will totally post that video right here.  You get bonus points if you can do it while eating a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gay Marriage Isn't Legal Yet.

Dammit, I hate it when boredom gets the better of me.  It makes me watch the stupidest shit.

Take, for example, Brides  of Sodom.



I have to describe this?  This is going to be like writing a critique on my elderly neighbor's morning deuce.  "Contains large amounts of corn which I'm sure that his doctor told him to stay from.  Slightly greasy-looking.  Hamster fur."

I really don't want to do this.  But I will.  I need to share the pain.  This is like herpes.  You can control it but it's never going away.

Neither is this guy's sprayed on 6-pack.
Gay vampire lovers that end up that way because of a curse after there are only, like, 5 human beings left on the fucking planet.  That's it.  The dudes are actually part of a love triangle with the one dude's SISTER?  I'm pretty fucking certain that becoming a vampire does not preclude you from the incest taboo.  So, yeah.  Sister gets jealous, there's horrible plotting, not one but three lame fucking escapes and the worst wig I've ever seen (and I wear some disgusting wigs).

That wig needs a fire treatment.

Motherfuckers, if you're gonna give me gay porn, I'ma need to see some dick because, frankly when I was watchin' this I was thirsty as hell (for you non-gay folks, that means "touch me inappropriately now, please") and you made my penis, as glorious as it is (to me, your mileage may vary), an innie.  There is no movie that I have seen, hardcore, softcore, gay, straight, anywhere in-between, that was less romantic (And I'm the guy that forgets his anniversary.  It's January 1st.) or LESS FUCKING SEXY. 

I mean, I expected bad acting so that's forgiven but did I really have to deal with the simpering on the part of the wig-boy?  The consistent snarling of the que--- I mean prince?  The fucking "Blue Steel" of the 'roided out dicknuts who, I reiterate, did NOT show me his dick..

But I'm still pretty, right?
If you're straight, you were probably planning on skipping this anyway and I'm OK with that.  If you're gay, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!  Help me stop this despicable and fucking deplorable practice of "If I film it, the gays will come."  Come on, gay directors.  Yeah, kudos for getting porn actors "legitimate" parts but FUCK.  OFF.  If you think that shoddy script writing, direction and acting are going to keep us buying your flicks for long, think again.

No!  Nnnnnnno!  Bad directors!  Stop giving the rest of us a bad name!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Racism is Bad, Mmm-kay?

Warning:  Sexual abuse triggers ahoy, kids.

So, I was going to do a review of Attack of the 50-foot Cheerleader today but I felt this might be a little more important, at least from a "good horror movie" perspective.

Savaged, kids, deserves a watch.

It's hokey but it does the job.

See, our main character is a deaf-mute girl in a peasant dress that looks like it was lifted straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and that's OK because as Final Girls go, she works out just fine, even though there are... complications.

She's on a trip to meet up with her fiancee when she runs afoul of racist, redneck dickheads that feel it's their mission to wipe the brown folk off the planet.  Because racism.  Did we mention that her fiancee is black?  Because that playes a huge part in this movie.

Yeah, so, in the process of running afoul, she manages to get herself taken hostage, tied to a bed in a shed with barbed wire and raped a lot.  Fortunately for us, that's not really shown.  As a result, she takes a couple of deep breaths, yanks her hands free (Well done, effects-wise.) and starts to run.  Of course, she doesn't run fast and they catch her and, thereafter stab her a lot.

'Cause that's not phallic or anything.
Needless to say, there's revenge to be had and the local shaman who inadvertantly brings her back to undeath is kind of not happy about it because she manages to attract the attention of the spirit of the Native American gentlemen who was killed by the ancestor of said racist, redneck dickheads.

And there was scalping and stabbing and yanking of intestines and a zombie lady putting her arm back together with a piece of arrow and the world rejoiced for the use of practical effects because that's the only way horror movies should be made.

Seriously?  I thought this movie was anti-racism.
I lied a little there.  There was plenty of CGI blood and that distracted me a little.  You're not ILM, people.  Stop fucking doing that.  Give me squibs and karo syrup or shut the fuck up.

ANYWAY.  I kinda dug this one.  I mean, it was kinda heavy-handed with the racism thing (on both sides because frankly the portrayal of the shaman was hokey as fuck and all it needed was a wigwam and a feather headdress to complete the fucking picture.)  And what the hell was up with all of the soliliquizing.. soliloquying?  Saying 5-minute long speeches throughout the entire fucking movie?  The only one who DIDN'T talk should have been the one saying shit out loud.

But that's OK because she didn't really need to speak to get her point across.
On the flip-side, though, we got a kick-ass handicapped anti-hero, positive racial role models, a kind of awesome downer ending that didn't leave this one open for a sequel and some very good acting. 

I know this is a quick one, kids, but I think y'all should give this a shot.  And smack a redneck afterwards.  You'll feel better for it, I promise.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Speaking of Facial Hair...

By now, I'm sure you've all noticed that I love me a good werewolf film.  That trend continues with today's pick, Wer.  And I'm sure you'll all pick up on the fact that this was produced by the folks behind Insidious and Paranormal Activity.  They seem to be following my advice this time and GOOD.  Lazy-ass bitches finally released decent content. 

Wer is an odd duck.  It seems to have torn itself directly from the pages of a 14th-century woodcut print rather than anything that we would recognize as "werewolf".

This one, to be exact.
Our story, though, takes place in modern France, near Lyon, which is somewhat appropriate because it fits their legend of the loup-garou, and the unfortunate attack of American tourists by... something.  (Yeah, we know the name of the fucking movie gives it away, Sparky.  Slow yo' roll.)  In the mock news coverage that starts the film, we know that a man has been arrested for the murders but an enterprising young expatriate lawyer takes the case because she's damn sure that an animal was the culprit.

Because this guy CAN'T have eaten tourists... because they're tasty.
Why do enterprising young expatriate lawyers always take these cases and why are they always so very fucking wrong?

Yeah, that's it.  Give us your snark face.  You'll regret it.
The EYEL scrounges up a team consisting of her ex and a dude that got busted in America for selling out a client and they set about trying to exonerate the suspect by way of Porphyria (Which, by the way, cannot be transmitted by anything but genetics, despite what they say in the film although it can be induced through mercury or arsenic poisoning.  Of course, they also say that Porphyria can cause superhuman strength when it patently cannot.) and subject him to a battery of test that, quell fucking surprise, cause an "attack". 

And by "attack", I mean tearing loose from his restraints, killing the doctors and nurses all messy-like and fleeing into the street.  We catch a glimpse of an almost transformation when the cops corner him into an abandoned buliding where he proceeds to feed them their own entrails and gnaw off their fucking faces then jumps out of an eighth-story window and lands on his goddamn feet whereupon he starts running again at speeds faster than 60 miles per hour... on all fours.

Dude, I know dogs hate baths but damn, seriously?  Hygiene is your fucking friend.
Oh, and on top of this, remember that whole "transmission" thing I mentioned?  Apparently they're going with D&D rules on this one because one of the legal crew managed to get infected by a scratch and failed his fucking endurance check.  We know this because one of the tests is a "corneal imprint" which involves swiping a microscope slide across your fucking eyeball then exposing the resulting goo to a chemical of some sort and the assmonkey does this to himself.  The slide, in this case, is BROKEN and slices through his fucking cornea all up close-like. Y'all are damn lucky there are no pictures.

To protect your fragile minds... GUMMY BEARS!
Anyway, I have to say that I really liked the beginning of this one but towards the end it just fell apart.  I mean, yeah, there's the fight between two werewolves (one of which has shaved everything it can see because no body hair, including eyebrows, gives you an alibi when the police try to identify you as part of the problem later) that was done well and the portrayal of bestial human beings was OK but there was just this whole CSI feel to it that was just not horror.  It turned into an action flick at some point and that's OK but it was kind of a let-down.  I mean, Van Helsing (a vastly underappreciated movie) was better.

Make up your own mind, really.  It was good but not as good as it could have been.  There's a lot of found footage to this one, too, which I was not really appreciative of although, to be fair, that wasn't a large part of the movie so I'm willing to forgive (SO MANY LINKS!  IS TOO MANY!  IS TOO MUCH!).

Plus, there was this and I'm down with it.
All in all, though, it IS a well-made movie that had plenty to appease the gore-hound and ALMOST appease the intellectual.  It just had things in it that I didn't care for and there was a whole lot of not-research in the script which was distracting to a know-it-all like myself who actually wrote a term paper on porphyria and its connection to werewolf and vampire legends in high school.

Because I'm THAT kind of horror nerd.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hand Job

So.  Picture it.  1981.  Mustaches and huge pubic forests are still figured heavily in porn.  Madame Mao is sentenced to death in China.  Peter Sutcliffe is found guilty of the Yorkshire Ripper murders.  The first recognized cases of AIDS hit hospitals.  Pastelle separates and felt berets are a real thing.  Monchichis and Strawberry Shortcake haunted our nightmares.  Clash of the Titans lorded over our dreams.

And Oliver Stone wrote a horror movie that starred Michael Caine.

I really have no idea why I remember The Hand.  I'd only seen it once before I rewatched it for you guys.  There's not a whole lot about it that's game-changing in the world of horror.

In any case, the story follows a cartoonist who, during the course of a fight with his wife over the direction their marriage is going, loses his hand in a car accident.  The hand itself, is kind of psychotic which is reasonable since all it did was draw a Conan ripoff for ten years.  I'd be pissed, too.  So, we follow this man through the course of his relationship and his recuperation and discover that he's really quite insane.  It's totally a thing.

HA!  "Thing"  See what I did there?

Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
As he's recuperating, and discovering his madness, the hand decides to take things into it's own grubby digits and starts offing people and scaring the cat so bad it actually launches itself out of a window.  Suicidal cat scares are totally the worst,.by the way.  Fuckin' directors.

So.  Umm.  That's it.  Yeah, there's the wife fuckin' around with her "spiritual coach" and Caine himself fuckin' around with one of his students as revenge and then there's the ickiness of the lingerie to consider but that's the story.  All of it.

Who goes to a professor's house uninvited and proceeds to flash their tater tots within the first 5 minutes, anyway?

I wish there was more to say about this.  It's well-written and well-acted which are bonuses but you kind of feel no sympathy for the guy.  His life is falling apart around him, not the least event of which is trying to cope with the loss of a limb, and, yet, you just want to get him off of his lazy ass and tell him to suck it up even though we ALL know that this guy is devastated and should be cut a little slack.  I mean, he got the awesome robot arm and shit.  He's Steve fuckin' Austin and all he does is whine and get all maudlin and morose and "You're not taking my kid away from me."  (Said kid, by the way, played the young Christina Crawford in Mommie Dearest.)

On the other hand, (spoiler alert) the wife SERIOUSLY deserved it.  She gave NO reason for her wanting to leave except she was being all Yoga-nutty and felt unappreciated but she didn't actually recognize and appreciation she DID get.  The two of them probably shouldn't have married to begin with.

Kind of OK with these folks ending up here.
And everybody else that Cain interacts with, barring the prosthetician that gave him the sweet robot masturbator, were utter dicks.  They started nice but every single fucking one of them displayed a selfishness on everyone's part.  Even the daughter's.

Yeah.  Biting is going to stop an undead hand.  You go ahead with that.
I do still like it, but that's due to nostalgia over anything else.  This is one of those "Your Mileage May Vary" flicks.  It's not great but it's not good, either.  It does give us a nice look at Stone and Caine's early career, though, and I appreciate that.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stop Screwing With The Damn Sharks!

Sorry for the delay, kids.  I would have had this out sooner but my car is being a little bitch.

ANYWAY!  There are times when it gives me great pleasure to bring you something that I like, even if I like it for exactly the wrong reasons.

Such is the case with the 1999 Shark masterpiece Deep Blue Sea.

Granted, there isn't a whole lot to compare it to in the "killer shark" subgenre but, hey, I do what I can.

This tasty little snack showed up on the scene in 1999 with it's easter eggs and it's LL Cool J and its pre-Hung sexiness Thomas Jane all shirtless and wet and... ummm... wait.  I lost...  Uh... What was I saying?

OH!  Yeah.  Right.  Got a little distracted in my salty bits there for a minute.

SO... yeah.  I actually liked Deep Blue Sea a lot.  Not because it was Oscar-caliber.  Not because it actually set women's depictions in movies BACK a few decades.  Not because it had awesome special effects (which it did, for the time, but that's beside the point).  No, none of those things.  I liked it because, as much as it tried to be brainy, it was easier to take if you didn't think about the WHY and focused on the HOW.

Like HOW can I get Thomas Jane shirtless and wet in my bedroom?
Here's the sitch with the story.  Samuel L. Jackson owns a pharmaceutical company.  He wants to know how Saffron Burrows is doing with her miracle Alzheimer's research because, duh, everybody's all interested in that shit.  (Shut up!  That link is totally appropriate there.)  Thomas Jane is the bad boy smuggler all turning his life around and pulling license plates previously swallowed by other sharks from the jaws of deadly Tiger sharks and being all swoon-worthy and shit.  LL Cool J is a damn cook.  Because racism.  Stellan Skaarsgard is the absent-minded professor who pees where everybody can watch.  And some other people.

See?  People.  Being all science-y.
Of course, in classic Hollywood style, nothing can just be fucking normal so a perfectly normal day trip to Sharkschwitz to visit the workings of Mrs. Mengele turns into the storm of the fucking century and, OHNOES!  The sharks have the average intelligence of a fucking toddler thanks to Burrows and her decision to be a damn deity and, therefore, are fucking ninjas.  They not only figure out how to get out of their respective areas in the compound, they figure out how to get INTO the compound and have the idiot monkeys blow up the pylons for them so they can get out of the compound altogether (since the titanium cages that held them (with no roofs) will now be underwater) because THESE experimental animals were never meant to be sterile and the whole world needs a swarm of hyper-intelligent sharks who will therefore be our aquatic overlords because you KNOW those bitches will be figuring out head-lasers and robotic legs right-fuckin'-quick.

Hell, they already figured out how to cull the herd.
So, anyway, the whole movie is "How do we stop the sharks?  No, wait, how do we get out?  No, wait, how do we stop the sharks?"  It's like the horror movie equivalent of Benny fucking Hill.  I expected Yakkity Sax to start playing at any moment!  But, you know what?  That's OK.  If THEY'RE confused, I'M amused and that makes having to put up with Saffron Burrow's neoprene-ensconced Victoria's Secret bearable.

Her secret?  No silicone in THOSE jugs.
Now, to be fair, she DID use the rubber suit to insulate herself from electrocution.  I said she was anti-feminist not stupid.  Well, maybe a LITTLE stupid since she didn't stop to consider the consequences of, oh, I don't know, TRIPLING THE COGNITIVE RESOURCES OF AN APEX PREDATOR IN ITS NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.  Well, not its natural environment but close enough to it to legitimately plot an escape route and follow through on that plan!

With as much stupid as there is just lying around like a frathouse after a kegger, the plot is pretty tight.  There aren't any large plotholes and, frankly, any movie where I get to see Sam Jackson get nommed on by a genetically-enhanced Mako shark is fuckin' A-OK in my book.  Not because I dislike Mr. Jackson.  I just like to see everybody get their share of the stupid.  I'm a giver.  It's what I do.  It's what I LIVE for.

Tastes like chicken and waffles!  (Ooooh, that's racist.  BAD BOB!  Bad.  No cookie.)
So, to wrap this up, Deep Blue Sea is not better than Jaws and, frankly, if Sharknado didn't exist, this would still only be in the top ten.  As it stands, though, this is probably my third favorite shark flick after the first two Jaws movies because it's silliness-on-a-stick and I don't think it cares that it looks foolish.  I appreciate that in a shark movie.

I say haul anchor and sail this one on home, boys and girls.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

How the Mighty Have Fallen

We've talked a lot about Peter Benchley here but this isn't about him.  It's about how producers and directors completely forget how to fucking feed a cash cow.

After Jaws 3-D came out (which was fucking brilliant in its suckitude), I don't think the world WANTED a new Jaws film because, seriously, the next step was either gonna be Disneyland or this.  We got this.  A shark REVENGE film.  It says so right in the title.  "This time it's personal" it says.  A shark, who been done wrong by humans, follows the Brody family in order to eat them all like the tasty tidbits they really should have been two movies ago.

It manages to get one of them and, fuck you, I cheered.  What police officer goes out on a boat alone KNOWING that he's been face to face with the shark that his dad electrocuted AND had it's spawn follow him and his brother to Sea World.  SEA WORLD!  In case you're wondering, not ONCE does Sea World get mentioned in this fourth installment and, goddamn it, I want to know why.

So does Ellen Brody.
Speaking of Jaws 3-D, why the hell did they replace both of the Brody boys with actors that were much younger than the versions portrayed in the previous film?  Oh, that's right.  They wanted to pretend the third movie never happened.  Assholes.

So, yeah.  The shark follows a grieving mother and her family to the fucking Bahamas where, it's said, they don't go.  Which is kind of a lie because they've been found in nearly all coastal and offshore waters that have a temperature between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  ANYWAY.  It FUCKING FOLLOWED THEM because it had a vendetta.  Sharks, to date and to all known science, are not fucking telepathic.

Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada.
Michael Caine needs to have not been anywhere near this one.  His "paycheck pictures" are legendary but fuuuuuck.  I'm surprised they haven't made the producers edit him out of the movie, yet.  For serious, the man skipped out on ACCEPTING HIS OSCAR because he was filming this trash.  And Mario Van Peebles?  I have no idea why he's even in this because the fucker wrote his own part.

Lorraine Gary and Michael Caine's matching hairdos think this is hilarious.
This movie, by the way, is comedy gold, even if it does suck out loud.  Richard Jeni's act in the 80s used Jaws: The Revenge as a substantial part of his act.  Because no comedy writes itself faster than a stupid horror movie with an unacceptable premise and horrible acting on all parts.

I would have been perfectly OK with seeing the kid get eaten, here.
From the Banana Boat girl whom you can SEE actively puts her leg in Bruce's mouth to the airplane water landing that should have killed all of the passengers, the sheer unbelievableness of this is what kills me.  Yeah, we expect the rubber shark, although, it probably should have shown up much less and I think it's only there so some effects guy can say "There, I fixed it", but fuck, really?  You couldn't have just written new characters or expanded on 3-D?

Laziness.  Pure fucking laziness.

Once again, do not make a drinking game out of this.  You will die.  A lot.  Your liver will actively go on strike and walk out of your body under its own power.

It's known as "The Worst Sequel of All Time" for a goddamn reason.