måndag 30 november 2009

Zombieland (2009)

Zombies are good. But are Zombies good when they are in a John Hughes movie? Not that Zombieland is a John Hughes movie, but it sure feels like that at times. There is humor and romance, in a postapocalyptic, zombie-infested setting. Our hero, Columbus, is a neurotic loser who's only social interactions the latest three years are through World of Warcraft, but all of his neurotic rules has, for some mysterious reason, made him an better survivor than most. While trying to reach his hometown and find his parents he first encounters Woody Harrelsons hilarious Tallahassee, a grumpy man in search of twinkies. They arent exactly friends at start, mostly due to our hero being an annoying little twit but soon strike up a friendship. After a while they meet up two young sisters who cons them out of their car (twice) but some sort of agreement is reached while the journey continues.

Yes, there is no real plot here. The thing about Columbus trying to reach his parents is forgotten halfway through the movie, on purpose, and the rest of the movie is basically about killing zombies, serving us with a great cameo and getting Columbus and one of the sisters to hook up. Not that that is a bad thing, it just feels a bit unfinished. But still, it is a very entertaining movie with goofy, likable characters and loads of nice grue and fun settings. Very recommended

fredag 27 november 2009

Heat (1995)

Yet another movie that doesnt really belong here but one that is so fucking good that I at least have to write something. Awesome, supremely well acted and engaging from start to beginning, and the 170 mins flow by like a breeze. The shootout in the middle of LA in broad daylight is one of the best actionsequenses ever. Period.

Dead in the water (2006)

Does the world really need more cheap zombiemovies? That answer would be yes, but I do prefer when the movies contain enormous servings of gore. Dead in the water is a nice try, with a decent plot, decent actors and a great location but it barely has any gore at all! Zombies eat people. Onscreen. not take a bite or two out of them offscreen. Shame on you!

With that out of my system I must say that Dead in the water is a nice try. It misses out on a lot of horror with it's slow pace and cheap makeup effects which is a shame since the storyline is effective. Two couples, with their own issues and problems of course, travel to a cabin to visit the two womens parents. When they arrive the cabin is locked and the older couple nowhere in sight. They start looking and soon find a severed arm down by the lake and one of the girls is injured while picking it up from the water. Needing a first aid kit, they break into the cabin and find it smashed to pieces, with the parents missing and wouldnt you know, the car breaks down. Yes, the living dead are lurking in the forest and it will be a long night.

Not bad, but not really good either. It takes an awful lot of time before anything major happens. Never boring but never really exciting, the movie does show some potential and I look forward to seeing more from the filmmakers if they get a chance to do a movie with a bugger budget. An average, somewhat unbloody zombiemovie. Not something I would recommend but on the other hand I wouldnt tell anyone not to see it either. Grade ok.

tisdag 24 november 2009

Time Walker (1982)

Ok, the poster gives away just about the whole movie, and the trailer does a fine job with that too so there will be spoilers. The mummy is a extraterrestrial! Not just any extraterrestrial, but one full of a deadly fungus that works like a flesheating disease on a sugar rush. Awesome concept. Too bad the movie is so... pedestrian.

It starts well, with a bit of dialogue over some stock footage until our hero finds a previously undiscovered mummy in the tomb of Tutankhamon. They bring it to a California university and while blasting it with some radioactivity, one of the students discover 5 jewels in a hidden compartment which he steals. Well, and this wont come as a surprise, radioactivity awakens the mummy which also is encrusted with that deadly fungus. It starts wandering around the campus looking for the stolen jewels and the people in possession of them tends to meet a sticky, yet ungory, fate. But what is the spacemummy really after?

Timewalker looks good on paper, and has a really good trailer which I saw dozens of times back in the 80s, but for some reason I never saw the movie. Not that I missed much. The story is sound, the production values are ok but the whole thing is filmed like a tv-movie, which it could've been if it werent for a few quick glimpses of breasts. The script is the movies own worst enemy which has the mummy roaming around in the universitys own nuclear reactor and not doing much until the last 20 minutes. Timewalekr plods on in a decent pace but people behave pretty dumb and the ending... well, I assume they wanted a sequel but that is so stupid and the sfx of the alien without the wrappings... dimestore. still, the movie has a bit of that typical 80:s movieambience and is never actually boring. The mummy itself looks good and so does the flesheating disease. It is definately not worth the 2.1 grade that it has on Imdb but thats the fucking MS3TK syndrome for you. Assholes

Pontypool (2008)

I like movies with original ideas. Yes, I know. Stupid. I also like movies with a one room setting, when the filmmakers has the talent to pull it off. Like Pontypool.

The movie is set in a radiostation in a small Canadian town. The nightshift is starting and our grizzled dj (played by the excellent Stephen McHattie) starts up the banter. This, however, wont be any ordinary night. A traveling reporter calls in about a strange occurence at the local doctors office where a mob of people starts being aggressive. It doesnt take long until more reports are coming in about people acting strange and it all escalates into violence. Something is infecting them and it sure as hell isnt your average venusian spaceplague.

I am not going to say anything more about the cause of this infection because it sounds a bit weird on paper and I recommend that you yourself keep away from reading about the movie to keep the surprises and twists as fresh as possible. As I mentioned earlier, the entire movie is set in the radiostation and it is up to the actors and their script to convey that feeling of dread which is so important for the movie to work. They all do an excellent job, just by listening to phonecalls about the escalating situation and people who are being turned into something while they are on the phone. This is not a zombie gorefest, though there is a little bit of blood. This is a funny, tense and weird little horrormovie with an excellent script. See it.

torsdag 19 november 2009

Death Troopers

There will be some spoilers in this review and if you want be unspoiled I advise you not to look at the bottom picture. Which is a shame because it's really groovy.

Well, it's not a movie. It's a book. A Star Wars book. A Star Wars zombie book. Zombie stormtroopers, now thats a cool concept and I keep getting images of an entirely different ending to Return of the Jedi, where the ewoks are messily devoured by decaying stormtroopers and imperial officers. Oh, dreams are a wonderful thing.

For some reason my expectations were rather low and I assumed that this would geared toward a younger audience, and it's short length screams tight editing and as zombienovels go it's a bit toned down as in no major orgies of gore. It is still pretty violent though and works fine as a horror novel. Until a certain plot development that is, which I will come to later. Death troopers is about a Imperial prison barge breaking down on it's way to a colony. They discover an abandoned Imperial destroyer in the vicinity and boards it to find parts to repair their failing engines. Unfortunately they bring something else with them, a disease that kills in hours and, duh, rejuvenates the corpses who wake up hungry for human/wookian/misc alien flesh! Joe Schreiber is a decent writer and the pace is brisk and always entertaining. The horror parts are decent but the novel isnt fleshed out very much. 248 pages doesnt allow for much character development and it's over before you realize it. Not that it's a boring ride, on the contrary, but it's pretty lightweight stuff. And then there's that little plot thingie I was talking about earlier, something that kinda kills some of the suspense...

You see, two of the prisoners on the barge are a pair of rather well known smugglers: Han Solo and Chewbacca. Heard of them before? Yes, to get to use these characters were probably really fun for Schreiber but to the rest of us it means that there's not much hope of any really dark stuff happening.

Oh well. Death troopers is a quick, entertaining read with no other intentions than just that. If you are a Star Wars fan and a zombiefan you will find this enjoying and it's perfect if you have 2-3 hours of spare time.

The picture is lying. There are no lightsabers in Death troopers. Lots of blasters though. And zombies.

onsdag 18 november 2009

The Offspring (2009)

I never liked the last part of Mad Max Beyond thunderdome, that part with the childtribe. It ate away on the harsh bits of Max surviving in the wasteland and just felt plain goofy. Andrew Van Den Houtens The Offspring is based on a novel by Jack Ketchum where a small tribe of feral children are eating their way through the local population of a small town. Strangely enough, the movie is based upon a second book, which means that some of the characters are survivors of an earlier attack, a move that feels really strange at first, but works just fine onscreen. The feral children are handled a bit more "adult" than in the Mad Max movie, but still feel odd with their hairextensions and silly grins. The nonhumanactors are ok to good though and everything works in the context of the story. I just might have to get the books.

But, as you all are waiting for, is it gory? Yes. Very. Guts are torn out and eaten, tops of heads are lopped off and its overall a very violent and rather sexual picture. So violent that my girlfriend barely watched it through. It's a good sign when your spouse squirms and cant sit down after barely half of the movie. It's not a very special movie, it's a movie about feral cannibals and the gorequota is good. You know what to expect. And it's way more entertaining than that stupid "punk"-band.

måndag 16 november 2009

I'm feeling a bit cranky...

Of course, I'm talking about the Jason Statham doublebill I just had.

So, the story is this: Jason Statham plays hitman Chev Chelios who is dying. In the first movie he needs to keep adrenaline pumping regularily or die, and in the sequel, well. That would be spoilerish. It's basically the same deal but different. This means that Jason Statham does what he does best, running around killing people. In between all this we have, well not much. It's basically just Jason Statham running around killing people and fucking his girlfriend, a wonderfully airheaded Amy Smart.

Part two is the weakest of the two, the plot is weak and it gets worse and worse the closer you get to the end of the movie. The directors supposedly shot 300 hours of footage so I guess that may be one of the reasons but hopefully they can use that for a couple of equally stupid sequels.

If you like your violence fastpaced and full of nudity, then Crank and Crank: High voltage will be right up your alley. Exploitationmovies for the new millenium.

onsdag 11 november 2009

Favorite horrorsites?

I want to know what sites you regularily visit, to read news and reviews of horror movies. My own personal faves are:

Dvdverdict: A large site that puts up 10-15 reviews a day, more towards mainstream in general but reviews most of the horrordvds that are released and the reviewers are people that like the genre.

Horrordvds: Reviewsite that isnt updated as often as I would like to except in october when they review one dvd every day.

dvd drive-in is another awesome reviewsite with great reviews, and most of it horror and exploitation.

Separated after birth?

Robert Foxworth from Prophecy

Hugo Stiglitz from Nightmare city

måndag 9 november 2009

Prophecy (1979)

As far as giant mutated bear movies go, Prophecy is at the top of the list. Well, Is there actually a list?

All jokes aside, Prophecy is a fun, if a bit goofy, 70:s horrormovie with that kind of message overtones that are as subtle as a PETA commercial and horror scenes that seem kind of out of place in a movie rated PG, but those were the glorious seventies. For every piece of goofy dialogue there are high quality horror. And the bear? Well, yes, it does sort of resemble a pizza with extra meat toppings but it's still pretty darned effective.

Robert Foxworth (with a humongous afro and that cool beard he always has) travels to Main with his wife (Talia Shire who spends the entire movie either crying or just about to) to investigate claims that an evil papercompany has stolen lands from the indians and are polluting the water. Which, of course, they are. In fact, their pollution has created five feet salmon, deadly racoons, monster tadpoles and a gigantic, mutated grizzlybear that kills everything it gets its claws on. Hands up for pollution for creating mutant grizzly bears in places where there arent any. The locals belive the indians are behind all the murders but our hero soon realizes it's that damned mercury! Curse you, Mercury!!

Yes, the plot is pretty heavyhanded but it's perfectly functional in that special horrormovie way. All the actors play it pretty straight which serves the movie well. The first half is pretty talky but it does set up the characters for a handful of cool creative death scenes, where the classic is the little boy in the sleeping bag. Yes, this movie kills kids! And the kid is not even annoying! Good stuff. The final 30 minutes where our heroes try to flee through the forest in the middle of the night are really superior where my own personal favourite is the part where they travel by car and slowly scan the surrounding woods with a floodlight. Towards the end we even get a bit of Godzilla vs Logcabin before one of the coolest/silliest twist endings of all time.
Yes, there are a lot of things in this movie that you shouldnt take entirely seriously but there are equal parts of good horror too and I recommend it to everyone that likes a good monstermovie. Too bad John Frankenheimer cut some of the gore before it was released. Hopefully we'll get a nice special edition on dvd some day.

And the mercury would've gotten away with it if it hadnt been for that pesky Robert Foxworth.

Here is the awesome trailer

District 9 (2009)

Now, District 9 is almost too mainstream for this blog. There are no rubbermonsters. In fact, the movie has some of the best computer effects I have ever seen. The story is good enough to be called genuine scifi, although it does get a bit videogameish towards the end. Not that it lessens the entertainment.

Heaps of gore, excellent story and sfx that blows you away. Watch it, for fucks sake!

söndag 8 november 2009

Seventh moon (2008)

This is movie that must be seen under special conditions:

1. Be openminded and calm. Realize that shakycam can be a useful tool.
2. Under no circumstances have any lights or candles lit in the room.

I must say that I've been very impressed so far with what the Blair witch creators have done after the total smashhit they created and I am one of the few people who actually enjoyed Blair witch project 2. Daniel Muren directed The Believers and The Objective, both decent movies with above average scripts and he produced Rest stop and Alien raiders, bith unoriginal but well done horror movies. Eduardo Sanchez created the superior Altered and now we come to Seventh moon, the latest piece of horror. A good movie, with some flaws, but still a good one.

We follow a young couple on honeymoon in China. The husband is chinese but obviously born and raised in America and he doesnt speak much of the language. They have hired a guide to show them around in the countryside and taken a great liking to him, giving him presents before going out on a longer trip, while a Hungry ghost festival is being celebrated all around them. Being a bit drunk, the couple fall asleep in the car and dont wake up until late at night. Their guide has stopped in the middle of nowhere, telling them he is lost and is going to a small village nearby to ask for directions. But of course, he doesnt come back and they soon realize that there is more to this Hungry ghost festival than they would ever know. Soon they are running for their lives in the darkness, hunted by something straight out of a chinese legend...

I can understand why some people will not like this film for Sanchez has made a rather poor choice with the handheld camerawork and the fact that 95 percent of the movie is set in almost total darkness. The camera isnt still for one single moment and it can get somewhat annoying. It didnt detract anything from the entertainment from the movie, but I realize that for some, it will. Dont watch this movie with one eye on your computer. With that said, I really liked Seventh moon myself. The story is excellent, with the hints of what these creatures are sufficient to create a nice dread all over the happenings and the actors do really good jobs. The movie is basically one long extended chase scene and the surroundings are perfect for this, especially with the added alienness of the landscape with our heroes somewhere in a very foreign country not knowing where they are and barely speaking the language. The creatures themselves are mostly out of focus which works perfectly and when you finally see them in detail you realize that they are a marvel of perfectly simple makeupdesign. The last 15 minutes are as they should be, truly horrifying.

Seventh moon is a good little picture with an interesting premise, and if you can get over the fact that the camera sometimes is bouncing all over the place, you will suitably rewarded. Do not expect a high gore quota, there is some blood but not what a similar genrepicture would deliver. Not that it matters though, the chills are abundant. Recommended.

fredag 6 november 2009

Deadline (2009)

Young woman with a history of nervous problems bla bla bla, moves out to an old house in the middle of nowhere bla bla bla, hears strange noises bla bla bla and discovers a box of videotapes that the husband of the eaarlier family shot and now she hopes to discover the secret behind what is happening on those tapes. bla bla.

Ok, so it's not as bad as it sounds. There are quite a few scary and atmospheric scenes in the movie but they are all ruined by a really lousy script that delivers two really stupid and boring twists towards the end.

It's ok for a late night viewing I guess but I long for that day when haunted house movies are smarter and Brittany Murphy sleeps in the nude.

onsdag 4 november 2009

Bite me! (2004)

I consider myself a fan of Brett Piper. You have to admire someone who consistently stays old school and uses optical effects and stopmotion, instead of CGI. His plots are also always old school monster stuff with giant spiders, blobs and all that other stuff that you love. Bite me must have one of the best plots ever, on paper at least, with genetically enhanced marijuana creating giant spiders/ticks that end up on a stripclub, turning their female victims in lesbians. Wow. Well, it isnt really that good in reality, in fact it's probably my least fave Brett Piper movie so far but it is still a decent little romp.

The movies biggest problem is that it looks really, really cheap and that is something that Piper is usually better at. The Imdb states that the budget was 1 million dollars, and imdb cant be wrong, eh? Perhaps cheap isnt the real problem, it looks... dull, even though one of the buildings is in the shape of Godzilla. Another problem is the fact the nasty critters doesnt really do anything, until towards the end when one guy is infected and turns into some sort of psycho who looks like a Nightmare city reject. The actors arent really that exiting either, other than Rob Monkiewicz who seems to have been watching a lot of Bruce Campbell movies and turns in a decent, hammy performance. Misty Mundae is along for the ride and although she may not be the best actor around, she still treats her lines seriously and looks like she has fun doing it. Other than that there isnt much to say about the acting, although the movie gets a bonus for having every single female actress do a nudescene or two.

All in all, this is a standard Brett Piper movie with good, old school stop motion, with a slightly duller script than usual. If you like your budgets low and the ladies naked you will probably enjoy it but I would rather recommend Drainiac, Shock-O-Rama or Bacterium instead.

Now, where is Muckman?!

tisdag 3 november 2009

Happy birthday Godzilla!!

Our favorite rubbermonster turns 55 today!

Happy Birthday, Big G!!!

måndag 2 november 2009

Aliens vs Predator (2004)

I absolutely hated this movie when it was released. The biggest reason for that was the fact that it was rated PG13 (11 in Sweden) and there is absolutely nothing worse when moviemakers start to dumb down franchises just to sell more tickets. Paul W S Anderson has a tendency to do that with his movies, which is odd when this comes from the guy who made Event Horizon, but he has proved it on several occasions with his awful Resident evil and the production of the even worse Resident evil 2. He did redeem himself a bit by hiring Russel Mulcahy to do the third, superior Extinction. I do think that it's mostly part of the movie companies influencing him since he does seem to be quite a fanboy if you listen to his commentaries. Maybe I'm just jelaous because he gets to have sexual intercourse with Mila Jovovich every night?

So, for some reason I decided to watch AvP again. Why, I have no idea but I guess I needed a bit of acid blood that sunday morning. It turned out to be a good thing because the movie isnt as awful as I remember it. Actually, it is a nice little romp which has its loopy plotholes and corny dialogue, but the positives far iutweight the bad. I had no idea.

The plot is AvP:s weakest thing. The Weyland corporation (Yes, half of what will be Weyland Utani) discovers heat signature on an island in the Antarctic. A team is sent there to mine whatever riches are there but discover an underground pyramid. Before you can say "the comics are better" alien embryos are bursting out of the crew and the survivors have to battle not just aliens, but Predators as well. The plot itself is not bad though, but it's pretty daft when you try to fit it into the rest of the alienverse when all of a sudden the Aliens have been on Earth all along, wiping out entire civilizations. Yech.

Other than that, it is a fairly decent movie with truly superb set designs. The abandoned village on the island gives the movie that ole The Thing feeling and the tunnels below with that cool pyramid are inspired even though the changing corridors feels just like a gimmick. The actors arent given much to do other than trying to look scared and they are never really given any chance to create any characters with the meager script. Cannonfodder. But both Ridley Scott and James Cameron managed to serve up cannonfodder with souls, so why not Anderson? Oh well, the aliens are cool, the Predators tough as nails and the Alien queen looks truly awesome so in the end we actually have a decent little romp that is'nt as bad as it's generally thought of. It's James Camerons fault. Why oh why did he have to create a sequel that's equally as good as the original and making everyone that came after look like talentless hacks?

So, should I give AvP: Requiem another spin? Maybe I should wait four more years... at least it has all the gore that this one is missing.

Btw, I do like to read trivia on Imdb.com, but some of it is really useless: How about this: First Predator movie to feature a left-handed predator.
Oh thank you, I didnt know I could survive without that little tidbit.

Angels and demons (2009)

Another movie my girlfriend forces me to watch, though this one wasnt as hard since we went to Rome last june. An ok, if predictable movie with pretty awesome sets. Well, if a movie costs $150 millions dollars they should look fucking awesome.

The book is better.

A night at the museum: Battle at the Smithsonian (2009)

What the hell is this movie doing here, in this blog? Well, I saw the movie and... well. Hmm. It was somewhat entertaining.

It does have a giant octopus. And Hank Azaria as an evil pharaoh with a lisp.

Ren zhe wu di aka Five element ninjas (1982)

More Shaw Brothers!

Five element ninjas is about two different martial arts clans battling out. The good guys are winning, that is until the bad guys bring in ninjas. What follows is 105 minutes of kick ass kung fu with lots of cool weaponry and fight styles. Almost too much of the good stuff. The plot is silly but entertaining, just fight upon fight upon fight and in the end I felt the movie could've been 20 minutes shorter. The fights are bloody though and never gets boring, but I actually had to take a short break toward the end.

Still good fun of course, and the haircuts are mindblowing. A decent, violent kung fu movie that would have benefitted from some nudity but in the end is good stuff for the fans. I dont regret buying it but I was perhaps expecting more after that masterpiece that was Portrait in crystal but still, you cant dislike this kind of goodnatured fun.

Shui jing ren aka Portrait in crystal (1983)

I still curse myself regularily for not "discovering" Shaw Brothers until just a few years ago. Their 70:s and 80:s horrormovies are nice and nasty and full of nudity and gore, but one thing I wasnt aware of was the fact that a whole bunch of their kung fu movies were equally fun. A perfect example of this is Bloody Parrot from 1981 and and even better example is Portrait in crystal, an extremely entertaining movie by Shan hua, the same director as Bloody Parrot.

There is a legend that says that if you pour blood on a crystal statue, it will come to life and do your bidding. Our hero is a crystal carver and when one of his statues is stolen, he finds himself accused of creating a crystal assassin who is trying to kill the leaders of the poison clan. Of course there is another evil at large and our here will have to fight a lot of nasty people and then there's the nice poison that makes people explode. A bit like Luigi Cozzis Contamination, but without the extreme slow motion and a Goblin score.

Actually, the only negative thing I can come up with when it comes to Portrait crystal is that Bloody parrot had more nudity. Nuff said.

The 77 minutes are brisk and paced well with a decently clear story, something that Bloody parrot had way too much of. The fightscenes are well coreographed and all the different martial arts extra (the poison, etc) are well thought out and only adds to the supreme entertainment. There is a little nudity, but there could've been more I suppose, though it doesnt really detract from the fun. Assassins, gore, fights, blood. Portrait in crystal is excellent fun and a must for Shaw Brothers fans.