onsdag 28 april 2010

Salvage (2009)

Creature features is something you never can get enough of. There arent as many being made these day, mainly because there hasnt been a real Aliensequel for some time but from time to time one or two pops up from nowhere. Salvage is a fine example of one that takes its obviously low budget and pours on loads of suspense, the nailbiting kind.

Salvage starts with a young girl being driven by her father to a small town somewhere in England to spend Christmas with her estranged mother, very unwillingly so. While driving they hear a report on the radio about a shipping container that has landed on the shore nearby but they take no notice of it. The girl is dropped off, earlier than expected, to find her mother in the bed fucking some stranger, causing her to run to the neighbour across the road. Mom comes after to try to speak to her daughter but isnt let inside, coz she is a baaaad mom. All of a sudden, when she is standing outside her neighbours house thinking of what to do, she is struck to the ground by a soldier telling her to remain on the ground. All of a sudden another neighbour comes out of his house, covered in blood wielding a hatcher and is quickly put to death. Everyone is told to go back to their houses, to lock their doors and to let no one in. At first they do as they are told but when they (Mom and her lover) hear noises from the attic, they realize that something else is going on. Something is out there and it seems to have something to do with that mysterious container.

The best thing about Salvage is the way it keeps the suspense tight and rolling all throughout. There are actually very few creatureshots, for budget reasons I suppose, but thats all the better for the plot. Neve McIntosh and Shaun Dooley provide good acting and the only negative thing about the movie is that is is too short! 76 minutes including end credits is a bit too short for a movie that could have been at least 20 mins longer. The plot is also simple in the extreme, the cause of all this is basically told with two sentences by a character, but it still works fine. This is a creature feature that is more interested in telling a story and not showing off a halfdecent cgicreation, and one of the best I have seen in quite some time. Recommended.

Though I suppose that I could be blinded by Neve McIntoshs wonderful nudescenes and the movie is crap. Naw, but they did raise the rating a bit.

tisdag 27 april 2010

Edge of darkness (2010)

For those of you who dont know, Edge of darkness is a remake of a (very) British miniseries that was broadcast in 1986, and very much a creation of its time, playing on the fear of the nuclear war. It is a superior piece of entertainment with a great lead performance by Bob Peck and an awesome script that neatly ties together to a somewhat ambigious ending. I mention this because I had the original fresh in mind when I watched this and started comparing the two from the start. Actually, you shouldnt do that. Edge of darkness the movie is a fine conspiracythriller with a couple of excellent performances from especially Mel Gibson, but also Ray Winstone and Danny Huston as some of the conspirators.

The movie starts with Mel playing Thomas Craven, a policeofficer in Boston, picking up his daughter at the trainstation. She is not feeling very well, throwing up several times when they arrive at his home and when they decide to take her to the hospital an armed man is waiting outside, shouts "CRAVEN!" and blows his daughter away with a shotgun. The police start treating this as a mistaken attempt on Mel, but we know better, dont we? Yes. Conspiracy time! This means murders, murders and murders. And nasty governmentpeople of course! And some more murders. Though the plot isnt exactly rocketscience (There are no loose ends here, everything is explained and taken care of) it works fine as entertainment. The productionvalues are excellent, the acting great and it moves at just that right pace that we want our violent thrillers to have. Dont compare it to the original, watch it for the fine thriller that it is. And face the facts: The seventies are over. The days for violent conspiracythrillers are over. We take what we can get and Edge of darkness is a fine treat.

Oh, do see the original. It is even better. Though not as violent.

måndag 26 april 2010

California reich (1975)

I am a firm believer in free speech. Even though how loathsome your opinion is, you should always be allowed to state it. Let your own actions and statement judge you. Here is a fine piece of "entertainment" that does exactly that, let the nazis speak for themselves.

This is truly hilarious and a bit frightening documentary, showing the neonazis in California during the 70s living their lives, educating their children to hate blacks and jews, making birthdaycakes with swastikas and actually believing that their time is coming soon. There is no narration, no judging, just letting themselves say what they stand for which is exactly what a documentary should do. Let their own message sink their boat. A part of me gets a bit terrified when we see a young boy wants to wear his nazi uniform to school but on the other hand, it is his own choice (however much the parents helpded to ease him into that role). Who knows, somewhere down the line there might be a grownup man who realized what the hell he was doing and left all of that behind him. I truly hope so but still, it is his own choice. California reich is an interesting timecapsule, and should be viewed as such.

söndag 25 april 2010

The Cave (2005)

This review is a statement: There can never be enough horrormovies set in caves, never. Yes, despite Olatunde Osunsamis attempt to totally annihilate the genre with his atrocity The Cavern, the genre lives on. 2005 was an excellent year for not only did we get Neil Marshalls superior Descent, we also got Bruce Hunts fine The Cave. Now, The Cave is no masterpiece. It has awfully shallow and macho characters and an ending full of fire and explosions that only could happen in a Hollywoodmovie and doesnt really seem appropriate in a move like this. But, and these are nice Buts, the scenery and cinematography is excellent and just the thought of a huge cavesystem full of parasiteinfested creatures gives me comfy chills. The story isnt exactly original though: A group of cavedivers have been enlisted to explore a newly discovered partially underwater cavesystem i Romania and since this is a horrormovie it doesnt take long before they are trapped after a tunnel collapses. Que nasty critters full of parasites.

Yes, cliched. But it works just fine! The environments are truly awesome thanks to some excellent setdesign and although you dont get that exact disgusting claustrophobic feeling that Descent managed to get, it still feels pretty dark and nasty. Wetnasty.

And there is not much more to say really. This is a fine monstermovie well worth watching. You should do that.

måndag 19 april 2010

Goke - Bodysnatcher from hell (1968)

The plot of this fun little Japanese horrorflick is simple, yet brilliant. An airliner on the way to its destination crashlands in the wilderness after almost crashing into something that appears to be a Ufo. Stranded in a desert, the situation is worsened by the fact the the plane contains not only a hunted assassin but also a mad bomber and the situation doesnt get any better by the fact that the Ufo that forced the plane to crash has landed in the vicinity. The assassin escapes from the plane but is taken over by a bloblike alien who enters the mans head through a suspiciously vaginalike crack in his forehead. He is now possessed by a spacevampire whose reason for being here is to invade Earth, now that humanity is busy killing each other in numerous wars all over the world.

Yes, this is actually an horromovie with a message - that war is a horrible thing. As the group of people grow more desperate due to lack of food and water (and that darned spacevampire) they start to squabble internally and everything is paralled (not so subtly) with the horrors of the Vietnam war. The characters are broad in the extreme, even more so when you add the fact that the Japanese tend to behave a bit differently from the stock european or american ones. This means that everything is taken to the extreme - the good guy pilot is a noble and kind person and the politician is a creep who only think of himself and has no qualms about sacrificing someone else to ensure his own safety. It works fine within the context of the story and can actually feel quite refreshing. Alien bodyhorror is almost always fun and the scenes of a silvery blob drooping out of or into a vagina placed in the middle of a characters forehead is always fun to watch. Goke - Bodysnatcher from hell is a fairly lowbudget movie with most of its money spent on a decent airplaneset and a fullscale replica for outside scenes so the action is focused in the plane or outside in the nearby desert/wilderness (well, a fairly obvious quarry. I kept expecting a Dalek to pop up and scream EXTERMINATE!!!). The direction is firm and the cinematography full of nice little touches like a bloodred sky and some decent special effects. It is never really scary, but a fine tension runs through it and it all moves with a nice pace towards an excellently bleak ending. This is fine scifi/horror entertainment. Recommended.

måndag 12 april 2010

House by the cemetary - The Christian version

The World First Christian Monster/Horror film, How does a man of God face a monster, get this DVD and Find out, and you wont believe the suprise ending. This film is not intended for children

Watch as DR Froydstien comes with a demonic mission to steel peoples cells in an attempt to live forever.

This film originaly directed by Lucio Fulci, is the old 80's Italian shocker made Christian, and re-edited by producer Jeff Teck..

Look at the pretty cover.

So, some guy on the internet has taken it upon himself to edit his own version of Lucio Fulcis goreclassic House by the cemetary, and has been selling it on Amazon.com. Just from looking at the guys website, this promised to be something beyond belief. Who the hell would buy such a thing? Well, that would be me. I had to.

It starts with a new titlescreen - Teckfilms.com and The mentalchurch.com Present a film by Jeff Teck. House by the cemetary revisited, The christian version. Yes, the asshole actually states that he made the film. While watching this little cheap videoanimation we are treated to a midiversion of some psalm or something, still hearing the pianos of the movies original soundtrack until the movie starts with the scene where Bob see the little girl in the painting of the house. Yes, no sign of the scenes with Daniela Doria and her lover. Was it the boobies perhaps? Boobies are bad and make you go to hell. Bob tells his mom that the girl told him not to come to the house and when the camera zooms in on the painting we get an animated scene with flames "skillfully" edited into the picture along with a scary cheap synthesizer effect and a text that says:

"someone may die
pray they dont go to hell"

Oh yes, this is going to be awesome.

The movie then gets going with getting that obnoxious little kid and his parents to the Freudstein house and I'm desperately waiting for more fun stuff. Sure enough, when they arrive at the real estate agency and Bob is talking to the little dead girl, that screen with the flames and the evil sound pops up again, this time with the following little tidbit:

"hell is not for children
they don't know thier right from left hand"

Along with editing, spelling is not Jeff Tecks greatest talent.

They arrive at the house, bicker a bit about Catriona MacColls nervepills and all of a sudden (through the magic of bad editing) it is night and the flames pop up again:

"whats next
it's anybodies guess"

Yes, by now I am convinced that God is wathing over all of us. Especially when the next scene comes, when Catriona is sleeping and Paolo Malco finds the empty Freudstein folder, with added voiceover from Jeff Teck:

"Lord Jesus I come to you because you are good. There's just something about this house, something I dont get. The more I read about you the more I believe. Yet sometimes I feel our lives are in danger. I dont know. I wish I had the answers. The noises, the whining. Something about this house is just different. I hear the sounds that I have to go explore what the sounds are. Oh lord, help me and my family escape the day of judgement when all will come down upon us. And I know whatever we face down in this house, we can handle it. Thats what you are best at, Lord. Bringin things to a good end. I dont know whats through that door, I dont know whats under this house but it could be an evil for this is a sinful planet. Then who could explain it? Lord I just want to thank you in the name of Jesus that you are in control and I just want to thank you for all you do. No matter how spooky this place gets I know I got you! Thank you Lord. Amen."

The original scene is a pretty atmospheric one, showing that old Fulci had some pretty decent moviemaking skills, greatly helped by Sergio Salvatis excellent photography. This version? Uhm, yeah. When the monologue is finished, Malco hears something behind the cellar door and goes to investigate. Too scary for Jeff Teck who scissors the proceedings like he is blind and all of a sudden we cut into a scene next day, in the middle of a sentence. Later on, when Malco is reading his predecessors diary Teck edits in a short scene where a frantic McColl tries to open the cellar door, and goes back to the diary scene like nothing happened. Why? Only Jeff Teck knows. All of a sudden we come to that classic scene where McColl finds the babysitter wiping the blood of the floor. You know, The "I made coffee" scene. Thie means that Teck also cut out the scene where the realestate agent meets her maker. This goes for the babysitterscene as well. Surprised? And then we come to the climax that goes all Takashi Miike on us. The movie turns black and white (You know, the tenth generation vhsdub black and white) when Paolo Malco attacks Dr Freudstein, a overdubbed voice says "Lord Jesus help me", the screen is bathed in fog and lightning comes down from above. Then the Earth explodes. The End. The endtitles tell us that Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco and Giovanni Frezza stares.

Ok, this is by far the most retarded excuse for a "movie" I have ever seen. The editing is pitiful and seems to be done all random. The last half of the movie are full of skips, graphical errors and loud bursts of static, with the occasional repeating of a scene. Unfortunately the christian propaganda is kept to the first half so I guess he got tired of it and just went haywire. It has to be seen to be believed.

House by the cemetary is a fine little goreflick but the script is not exactly logical and rather fragmented, but when a christian hack starts messing about with it, cutting out all the gore and deleting random scenes (the whole thing is just 53 minutes. Go figure) and adding animations that a five year old could have done better it turns into something totally incomprehensible. This is just fucked up. I wish there was a commentary track by Jeff Teck, but I would probably be too afraid to listen to it.

Thank you lord for this little movie and the pleasure it has given me.

torsdag 8 april 2010

Collateral (2004)

Collateral. Michael Mann is awesome. Why did I wait six years to see this? Dumbass.

The Laughing policeman (1973)

I'll have a good policethriller anytime and The Laughing policeman seemed like just a movie I would appreciate. Based on a book in a Swedish series of policenovels that everyone knows about in Sweden, since they sold millions and they make about a movie a month based on the characters. Looking at the cast (Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Louis Gosset Jr, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Koslo and Joanna Cassidy amongst others) and the director, it seems the movie couldnt fail. Well, it didnt either. Too bad it's not exactly a success.

The movie starts with a cool scene where an policedetective follows a man onto a bus late in the night. Later on a man gets on the bus, sits himself in the back and starts assembling a machinegun. Yes, Massacretime! 12 dead! It turns out that this now very dead detective was offduty, looking into something that he had told none about, not even his wife or partner on the force. The police now has to look into all of the deceased peoples backgrounds to find out why this happened. But the movies biggest mystery is why Walter Matthau has his pants pulled up under his armpits. He looks kinda ooold.

Jokes aside, The Laughing policeman is a decent thriller. It is well shot on great SF locations and the plot itself isnt half bad. The only problem is the script which starts out good, then spends about an hour meandering about with Bruce Dern showing how good he can be playing a major asshole. It is always entertaining, but feels a bit random. It should've been tightened a bit to get the plot flowing more efficient. Other than that, it's a fine movie with an awesome cast and some decent bits of violence that will be liked by fans of 70:s policethrillers.

onsdag 7 april 2010

Triangle (2009)

Here is a fun flick that basically is a more adult Twilight zone episode, but with a fun story and some great visuals that'll leave you satisfied after watching it. It's the concept of Groundhog day with a day taking place over and over again, but this time in a horror setting and that is something I would like to see more of. This time some holidaymakers are on a sailing cruise in the Bermuda triangle, going straight into the storm of the millenium. With the boat capsized and turned upside down, they manage to climb aboard on a large cruiseship finding it totally abandoned. Well, this is a horror movie. Not totally abandoned. Our heroine, Jess played by Melissa George (or the Greys anatomy girl as my girlfriend called her) starts hearing weird noises and soon they all start to die one by one, blasted to bits by a masked psycho with a shotgun. But then it all starts over again from the moments before climbing aboards the ship, with Miss George still aboard the boat, there being two of her. Things play out fairly similar to earlier and she realizes that some of the sounds they heard were actually her. Everyone dies again and everything starts over. Is there a way to stop this or are they doomed to play this game forever? And just who is that masked killer?

This is a fun flick with a fun concept, played out well on the screen. The twists and turns come flying at a mad pace and even though some are quite easy to figure out, others arent. The tension on the boat is high as you follow Jess first trying to find out the rules of it all and then trying to play it, through paths set up by a former self. It doesnt really end up as you would think and although I didnt feel that the ending was 100% succesful, it is still satisfactory. This is Christopher Smiths third film after the atmospheric Raw Meat ripoff creep and the amusing horrorcomedy Severance and he handles the horrors and goings on quite well. I am really looking forward to seeing his next movie now, Black Death, something about Satan and the black plague. Recommended.

Ninja Assassin (2009)

Now this is guilty pleasure viewing at its best! Forget the shallow, simple to the extreme plot and just enjoy this wonderful tribute to blood! It's like being ten years old again and scanning the videorentalshelves again, finding a movie with a cool cover and the Cannon logo. There are Ninjas versus Swat, Ninjas versus Ninjas and Sho Kosugi, all because Sho is sending Ninjas all over the world killing people. Just like we want them to do.

No, this is not a "good" movie. But its entertaining as hell and if you dont like it you are probably evil and should be cut down by Ninjas!

Oh, and as a bonus you get a serious role for Ben Miles, from Coupling. Awesome.

Hell's fever (2006)

New Italian gore movies dont grow on trees, you know and thats why finding a movie like this makes you happy. Well, at least thats what I thought after watching the first four minutes of Hell's fever where a guy gets parts of his face ripped off while hunting deer in a winter landscape. After that we are treated to scenes of poorly dubbed dialogue and I felt like I was in heaven. Too bad I had to watch the rest of the film to get my hopes dashed.

Yes, the movie starts with a halfdecent gorescene, just enough to get you interested and when the bad dialogue starts you feel like you are back in the eighties when deleriously crappy (read: entertaining) Italian schlock was all over the videostores. We now get to follow a small group of friends preparing for a skitrip but after half an hour we realize that they are actually on the run from robbing a bank and killing a guard. Now, if this was a real plot-twist or just bad storytelling I'm not really sure but it sorta felt like a plottwist. Ok, interesting. Then we find out that they are going to hide in an old abandoned mine and your mind goes: Woohoo!!! A cavemovie! Cavemovies are awesome! Especially with some unseen beast running around tearing faces of people. This will be good stuff!


The problem is that the filmmakers didnt want to make a horrormovie. Nooo, they wanted to make one of those thrillers where everyone doublecrosses each other and there's a cool twist in the end. Well, what they want and what they provide us with isnt exactly the same thing. I will now spell out the entire movie for you just to illustrate what a wasted opportunity this movie is. If you dont want any spoilers, stop reading about this awful movie NOW.

So, they all end up in the mine but the lift down to the 2nd level only takes one person at a time. The first guy goes down with the money in a suitcase handcuffed to his arm. 5 minutes later the lift comes up again with an empty suitcase and a cut off hand. Next guy goes down, and next, and nest. We dont even get to see the 2nd level of the cave until the last 10 minutes of the movie! The characters spend the entire movie moaning and whining on the first level mineset, where you from time to time even can see where the set ends and the walls of the studio begin. Then, when the movie is almost over we get these extremely gory flashbacks to what really happen and I kept wondering "Why now?!" The workings of the plot are so incredibly lame and convoluted that you wonder why they even bothered when the filmmakers clearly werent There are two other strands of plot which I wont even discuss here because they are so poorly integrated into the movie that it would have been better without them. Oh, and that beast? It's a rabid dog that never gets near the mine.

What a waste of time, especially since the rarely seen level two of the mine actually is a well designed, atmospheric piece of work and if the movie has used that location more it could've been really good. Well, better at least. But as it is now it is a poorly written movie with awful acting/dubbing and the only nipples you get to see are through a bra! The twists are just stupid, and frankly, the concept with the characters going down into the mine one by one is just... I was gonna say retarded, but I think the words Totally fucking uninteresting is more like it.

I must admit that I was somewhat entertained by this trainwreck, just by watching the idiotic ways the characters behave, the so called twists in the story and the hilarious dialogue. The nice gorescenes towards the end (gutting, pickaxe to the head and more) is somewhat redeeming too. If you are a fan of italian exploitationmovies there is a chance you have seen worse movies and enjoyed them too.

tisdag 6 april 2010

A bit of the ole mainstream...

This weekend I watched the following movies:

Shutter Island.
A good looking, well directed and well acted thriller that unfortunately is way too predictable for its own good. The ending was pretty inevitable and the only questions were details. Still, good viewing.

A mix between Assault on precint 13 and Prince of darkness. Take two good movies, mix them and get a... half decent one? Entertaining, sort of, but a movie with hudnreds of people possessed requires large amounts of violence, something this movie fails to deliver. Watch it if you have nothing better to do.

A fun story with a great concept. The whole world has been turned into vampires who are trying to live normal lives while the human population (And the source for the vampires sustainance) is dwindling away. Unfortunately, the filmmakers dont really have anywhere to go with the story and it kinda fizzles out after a great first half. Still worth watching though.

Isnt it sad, you have a whole weekend to watch obscure exploitation movies and all you watch is this? Damn you Left 4 dead 2, damn you...