torsdag 9 december 2010

Ghostkeeper (1981)

I am truly a sucker for all those cozy 80:s horrormovies that mainly were released independently. There is an enormous treasuretrove of movies that havent been released on dvd but manage to find their way onto the internet in rips from old vhstapes. Sometimes you discover real gems like Strangeness (Now on an excellent dvd) and the bigfoot goreclassic Night of the demon. Of course, sometimes it's the other way around. I will never get back those 90 minutes that I spent watching Iced for instance. How about Ghostkeeper? Well, something in between I suppose.

It starts really well with an onscreen text about the Windigo, a cannibalistic creature of old indian legend. Having read Ambrose Bierce superior short story about this creature, this truly got my hopes up. Even better when I realized that the movie is set in a snowy landscape. All movies set in a snowy landscape are good. Well, Except Iced. Anyway, we follow a group of three driving on snowmobiles as they discover an old house that seems abandoned. When one of the snowmobiles break down they decide to spend the night there, only to find that the place is inhabited by an old woman and her unseen son. During the night one of the girls dissapear, though we see her getting her throat cut (well, we dont actually see it. The print was so dark you really have to guess by the sounds) and then fed to a grunting creature in an igloo in the basement. Eh? So, when morning comes they cant find her and to make matters even worse, the functioning snowmobile has been sabotaged...

On there is an entry where the director states that the movie ran out of funds halfway, making the latter half of the movie fairly improvised, making up scenes as they went along. Believe me when I tell you that it shows. The first half of the movie works fine, setting up the plot and the atmosphere fairly well but then it just collapses into a collection of weird scenes. The thing is the igloo is almost forgotten entirely, characters start to behave in odd ways and even though the movie isnt more than about 80 minutes, the last half feels like two hours. It all leads up to a decent ending but it is so drawn out and predictable that you yawn through all of it. There is no gore or any nudity to liven things up and the characters are so weirdly written, behaving like assholes that you just want them to die. With a cast of exactly seven, it does take its time. Too bad about all of this because the movie had some potential. The setting is great, the direction isnt half bad and there is a simple but nicely atmospheric score to set the mood. The flaws unfortunately outweigh the positives so I wouldnt really recommend this unless you really have to see EVERY horrormovie made in the eighties. Go watch Boogens or Strangeness instead.

There is an excellent interview here with the director about how the financing fell through and why the movie isnt as good as it could've been

tisdag 7 december 2010

Commando Mengele / Angel of death (1987)

Praise the lord for Eurociné! Or, Death to the demon Eurociné!

Eurociné is a French moviecompany that has spawned more crap than Andreas Schnaaz. They have given the world such flyinfested pieces of vomit as Zombie Lake. Mentioning Zombie Lake is actually enough. Ok, so they might have produced a couple of watchable movies but who wants to mention that when I am about to review their most glorious masterpiece...

Here is a possible scenario. We have a couple of twelveyearolds who for some reason has gotten their hands on a 35mm camera. Someones dad might have some money and gives them a couple of franc to make a movie. The kids love movies like Eagles nest and The Guns of Navarone and decide to do a similar scenario, where a few brave fight a large army, this time nazis in Paraguay. They get some cheap European actors and start to shoot their movie.

Ok, that wasnt exactly what happened but it feels like it. This is what you get when two great schlockmeisters make a soup. Scripted by Jess Franco and directed (I'm not really sure if you are allowed to call it direction) by Andrea Bianchi. Both guys do know how to make better movies than this... thing that feels like Show and tell in Kindergarten. The cinematography is static and ugly, the actionscenes look like they have been edited by a blind person and you never get any sense of coherence whatsoever. There are a couple of fightscenes in slow motion that are so totally incompentently staged that you just sit there with your mouth open, trying to comprehend what you've just seen. The music consists of a one minute long piece of melody that makes the score from Zombie 4 - After death to sound like a lost piece of Grieg.

This is truly a spectacle of the grandest kind. It is really fun to hear classic Francoactors like Antonio Mayans, Howard Vernon and Jack Taylor speak english in their own voices, where Mayans is a true wonder. Let us not forget the wonderful computervoice that appears in a scene where someone has pasted a picture (really poorly done) of Howard Vernon on a picture of Hitler. This is Eurociné in its most glorious days and I would not recommend this to anyone.

Mindboggling is the word of the day. Yes, I loved it.

måndag 6 december 2010

Resonnances (2006)

Here is a movie I bought without reading any kind of review, just because I liked the plot. I did read some reviews after I already bought it and they all seemed to confirm that this was a movie I would like. Tremors meets The Thing. You cant go wrong with a concept like that. Except that the thing bit wasnt really in the movie. Think Wrong turn meets Tremors. Without the rednecks. In France.

When the movie starts we get a glimpse of Earth from space. It is the year 16something and we see a meteorite crash in a french forest. A young woman is close by and goes to investigate but flees in terror as something starts to follow her underground, tremorswise. The creature kills her and we move forward to present time where a group of friends is preparing a camping weekend. Their trip is cut short however when they run out of gas in the wilderness. They find a gasstation but manage to pick up an escaped convict who has murdered several people. Things get even worse when they drive into a fog, get assaulted by a giant tentacle and drive of the edge of a cliff. Wounded, menaced by a coldblooded murderer and hunted by an alien creature, It's hammertime.

Resonnances was obviously shot on a very limited budget and it does show from time to time in some rather poor digital effects. On the other hand, these effects are still effective and it seems like the filmmakers have gone for that route instead. There are quite a few really good miniatures and although the digital effects are rather obvious and not that well integrated with the whole, they are still way better than most syfymovies and similar low budget crapfests. This movie has a heart and it shows. Where this movie slightly fails though, is the pacing. The first half consists mainly of bickering between the characters (though way better acted than I expected) and running around in the woods and this is stuff we have seen so many times before. But as soon as the movie gets into the main monsteraction, Resonnances turns into great fun. Ambitious fun. You would think that when you have a limited budget you would tone things down, but not here. The filmakers pull of quite a few awesome sequences where the underground creature trashes the environment in search of its prey and it is genuinely exciting, all the time towards a great climax.

Yes, I was really impressed with this movie. Philippe Robert, the writer/director/producer/cinematographer pulls no punches and has made an excellent monstermovie, all the more impressive when you consider the ambitious sequences they manage to pull off. Yes, there is a bit of a problem with a not so thrilling first half but the last 40 minutes really reward you with lots of fun. One thing that might tick people off is the fact that the movie was shot on standard definition video, though the cinematography looks really great considering. The dvdrelease does look a bit bland though, more like vhsquality but that never detracts from the fun. I really look forward to what these guys will produce in the future. Someone has to give them a decent budget... that would be awesome.

The dvd from Synapse is barebones, with only a trailer which sucks. It would have been nice if they would have included some sort of Making of doc, when we are dealing with such an interesting movieprocess. But no....

Oh, there is no gore. But lots of tentacles. Mmmm.... tentacles...

måndag 22 november 2010

Night of the demons (2009)

The original 80s Night of the demons was never what I would call a classic. It is a fun little movie with some decent scares and gore (and that classic lipstickscene...) but without an ounce of originality. It got two sequels that I personally havent seen so I cant really comment on them, but did it need a remake? No. Still, it got one. Money money money.

The story is simple, a bunch of people are having a party in an old house with a nasty history. When the police arrive to disperse it, seven people remain for various reasons and wouldnt you know, there are seven demons in the house ready to possess the living so that they can be unleashed upon the earth. Simple and stupid. They find some tunnels underneath which they of course go down into, and spend hours in a "safe" room, while being picked of by the demons one by one.

And.. it's so boring. Technically the movie is servicable, with decent sets and excellent makeupeffects, but the script is so generic and dull that you dont really care. The classic lipstick scene is duplicated, but nowhere near as effective. The actors do a decent job with the little they have to work with but it doesnt really help. The movie never gets any exciting, just runs through the old rut. The movie does not take itself very serious and that helps, but all in all, the Night of the demons remake is a waste of celluloid. It's not really a bad movie, just clichéd and generic. Stick with the original.

onsdag 3 november 2010

Slow slow slow

Ok, lately I havent been writing much, never got around to it... To get a fresh start I've decided to write a number of very short reviews in one big post. So here goes:

Winter kills.
Fun, well acted but ultimately too predictable conspiracythriller with Jeff Bridges and John Huston. Very entertaining but with an ending that wasnt exactly hard to guess.

Black Death.
Grimy, well made medieval thriller by the director of Creep, Severance and Triangle.

William Wesleys is a true classic, a well made horrormovie that clearly transcends a low budget with a great concept and some fine gore.

Room 205.
Danish haunted dorm movie with a cliched script straight out of an american collegemovie. It's a bit of a mixed bag since the actual horrorcontent is well made.

The Killer
One of John Woos finest with Chow Yun-Fat at his best. An awesome actionmovie with shitloads of great actionscenes.

My Dear Killer
A fine giallo with an exceptional first murder. It never really reaches the same heights as the decapitation by mechanical digger but still worth watching.

Joe Dantes Jawsclone is almost as good as the original. Lots of cool cameos and cool fish.

Trick r Treat
Here is proof that the anthologymovie is alive and kicking. Well made, fun and really violent with good acting.

Neil Marshall does it again. Roman soldiers in scotland are butchered by nasty picts. Huge amounts of gore, great landscapes with only a rather predictable ending to let it down. Still fun as hell though.

The Howling
Another fine Joe Dante flick with great werewolves

Awesome. Truly awesome. The cultmovie of 2010. A roadmovie with gigantic, lovecraftian aliens.

City of the dead
Classic chiller in the same vein as Night of the demon and Night of the eagle. The atmosphere is thick as peasoup and Christopher Lee is great as usual.

fredag 22 oktober 2010

The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

Not really the type of movie that should be on this blog, but what the hell - lets give it a sentence and a word:

WHY did they have to change the ending?!?! Apes!

The haunting in Connecticut (2008)

Why do I watch horrormovies? Back in the early days, watching a really scary movie could make me totally freaked out and I couldnt not go to sleep for many years without listening to music, a habit that I really didnt let go until I was somewhere between 20-25. And still I watched and watched. There is truly something special about being scared out of your wits. Problem is, after having watched thousands upon thousands of horrormovies, good and bad, you tend to be somewhat hardened and nowadays there are very few movies that give me anything near those chills that I used to get. The only genre that does give me goosebumps nowadays are ghostmovies. No, I dont believe in ghosts or anything paranormal but as a storypoint, there is always nice having something evil, barely glimpsed. One related fetish is Discovery channels documentary series A haunting, which is basically four seasons of dramatized "true stories" of hauntings. Perfectly shrunk into about fourty 45 minutemovies, this is great viewing that has the same set that is redressed for every episode. Believe me, there are truly a hundred ways you can decorate the same corridor over and over again. Then there is that great overly serious narration that goes something like this:
"The McBukkakis had recently started a family and was looking for their dreamhouse. After looking a long time for something that fit their budget, they finally found a house in northern Wisconsin/New York/Dala-Floda. Little did they know that something(enter any variation of the word Dark. Evil. Haunted.) was (waiting/lurking/sleeping/playing nintendo) there and it would try to (tear the family apart/kill them all/make them read The Watchtower). Well, you get the point. I kid you not, 35 out of 39 episodes starts like this. But after watching a couple of episodes you turned your brain off and just enjoyed the fleeting glimpes of satanic evil that wants to destroy the wholesome american families. Truly recommended if you like movies about evil ghosts.

So, why am I talking about a Discovery channel series in a The Haunting in connecticut review? A haunting also featured two longer episodes, one of which was based on the same supposedly true case as the movie. So, how is the movie? Not bad actually...

"The Campbell family moves into a new house to be closer to the hospital where young Matthew has his experimental cancer treatments. Little do they know that the house has a dark past and yadayada. The basement used to be a mortuary and when Matthew takes this as his room, nasty things start to happen. You know. Sounds. Fleeting images of humanoid shapes. Not so fleeting images of dead humans with their eyelids sewn shut. Eeeevil."

The narration would of course have sounded something like that, I'm sure. The haunting in Connecticut is a rather average haunted house movie. There is nothing you havent seen before, but you could do a lot worse. The actors are better than the movie deserves with Virginia Madsen as the mother of the family and Elias Koteas as a priest being the more known names. The scares are good, the backstory fairly interesting and there's a shitload of nice visuals concerning those dead people who cant see. If you get the unrated version there is actually even a bit of nasty gore. Did this movie scare me? A little. A goosebump or two which is more than I can say for a lot of similar movies. The haunting in Connecticut is perhaps more suited for horromovienovices but will also be a decent timewaster for most horromoviefans.

A decent horrormovie, yes. If you've gotten this far and find yourself interested I also would recommend you to get the dvdbox with all four seasons of A haunting. There is even a possible drinkinggame to be made - spot the moved around furniture in the same corridor in all the episodes.

I will finish this review with something completely irrelevant. Connecticut. What kinda name is that? Connecti-cut. Connect and cut? Yes, I am aware that the name comes from anglicized version of the Algonquian word "quinatucquet", but come on. Lazy explorers.

Mutants (2009)

Yes, the zombieapocalypse is upon us yet again!

The difference between french movie Mutants and your average american zombiemovie is the way they treat plotpoints. French movie Mutants doesnt really offer up anything new, it is a movie about a couple trying to find a safe haven during your typical zombie (and/or really angry people) epidemic. They hear a radiobroadcast from a governmentoperation and head into the mountains to try to find it. Problem is, he has been bitten and she is pregnant. And here is the difference: Your average crapmovie would have glossed over this as a minor plotpoint while Mutants makes that the main story. Sonia, our heroine, desperately tries to keep the infection from consuming her spouse Marco, while hiding in some sort of abandoned factory/officebuilding in the mountains and trying to keep zombies and armed rednecks away.

Unfortunately Mutants never goes in a way that is really satisfactory, instead opting for a more generic ending which is a shame. It doesnt destroy the movie, just lowers the score slightly. But other than that you can do a lot worse as far as zombiemovies go. Mutants is completely set in a snowy mountain landscape and the filmmakers has really gone for the visuals, with excellent cinematography and environments. There is a fair amount of gory violence and the tension is great, up until the dissapointing ending. The actors are decent and all in all, an above average zombieflick that at least tries something different, even if it fails slightly.

onsdag 20 oktober 2010

Charley Varrick (1973)

If there is one thing that I almost like as much as a decent rubbermonster, that would be gritty 70s thriller and by Gamera, Charley Varrick is one of best there is out there. It is also a perfect example of seventies PG movieviolence, starting with a bankrobbery where several people are killed including a policeofficer who gets a bullet in the forehead. Loving it.

The always excellent Walter Matthau plays Charley Varrick, a cropduster who has decided that robbing banks in small towns is a better way to make money. When the movie begins his crew robs a bank, killing and wounding several policeofficers and getting away with a LOT more money than expected. Oh, and his wife gets killed in the process. It turns out that this particular bank held a shitload of mobmoney. What happens when you steal mobmoney? The mob get mad at you. What happens when the mob get mad at you? They send Joe Don Baker. You dont fuck with Joe Don Baker. So, the rest of the movie is about Charley and his surviving robberpal (Andrew Robinson) as they try to outwit the nicely psychopatic mobman sent after them. Oh, And John Vernon is in it too, as a nice bonus.

Charley Varrick is a classic 70s thriller, full of violence and thrills, greatly helped by an awesome cast. Walther Matthau is as excellent as he always was, cool as ice, not letting you on if he is afraid of the mobs wrath or not. Andrew Robinson is great as the rather nervy sidekick who isnt as smart as he should be in a situation like this. And then there is Joe Don Baker, a man born to play mob hitmen. Add to this a small role for John Vernon and you have an great cast, all well directed by Don siegel, a man that made thrillers like this in his sleep. The pace is perfect, the story is well written with a mild twist or two, just like we want them. You cant really go wrong with this. Get it. Own it. Watch it. Now.

Necromentia (2009)

Pearry Reginald Teo, the director of Necromentia, said in an interview that he wasnt influenced by Clive Barker when making the movie, other than "The only thing that Clive Barker inspired me to do was not be afraid of using metaphors to reflect on the darker aspects of life"

I'm not so sure I believe him. Just look at the cover where we have a very Cenobiteish creature and the story is full of pain vs pleasure where demonic creatures are luring people to hell. Then again, Necromentia is no ripoff. It tells it's own story and although it probably wouldnt have existed in the same way without the Barkerinfluences, it's still an ambitious piece of low budget filmmaking. The story is perhaps the weakest part, an anthology about three different people linked together in attempts to open up a portal to hell with ouijaboardlike tattoos painfully carved unto backs of people. The characters are rather bland and weird (in ways that are just overdone and silly. One of the characters job is torturing masochistic people but he is later on shown to be rather queasy) and the story never gives us any surprises. In fact, you realize fairly quick that it's all design here, plotpoints designed by industrial/goth fetishists. Not all of it works, hell itself is kind of a dissapointment but the rundown apartments, costumes and weird suicidegameshows are fairly inspired when you think of the budget. What really works though are the makeupeffects. The creature on the cover of the dvd may be unoriginal, but it is truly a looker walking through the corridors of hell on hooved feet. There is a fair amount of gore and violence, all impeccably designed. Really nice stuff. The movie also features a decent industrial soundtrack (duh) which works fine to the proceedings. Acting? Yes, there is acting. Fairly decent too. All in all, if you like darker horror and can overlook some cheeze, this might be for you.

The filmmakers clearly set out to be a bit indie and avantgarde, but all in all, it's just horror and not particulary original. Goodlooking horror though.

måndag 11 oktober 2010

Bermude: la fossa maledetta aka Cave of the sharks (1978)

As many horrormoviefans out there, I was a proud owner of Phil Hardys giant tome of snobby moviereviews, The Encyclopedia of horror movies. Many days were spent memorizing the damn thing and still today there are movies in it that I have never seen, longing for a nice dvd. One of those movies were Tonino Riccis Bermude: la fossa maledetta aka Cave of the sharks, a rather odd movie that has a fun and intriguing concept, but a low budget that hampers the fun a bit. Still, as corny exploitation this works just fine.

Hunky Andrés Garcia plays Andres montoya, a fisherman that was lost at sea for six months, not even having any recollection of where he has been. He gets together with his old girlfriend (Janet Ågren), causing friction with his brother who is in love with her but really, this doesnt have anything to do with the plot. Andres is hired by an american businessman (Arthur Kennedy)to recover valuables from an airplane that supposedly sunk in the bermuda triangle and when he and a friend goes on a dive they discover a mysterious cave full of sleeping sharks and Andres starts to get flashbacks to what may have happened to him earlier. When the american doublecrosses them, even weirder things start to happen. His friend is sucked into some sort of underwater portal for starters, there is a shitload of really poor underwater miniatures and the sleeping sharks awake, where we get a rather cool sequence when our hero tries to make it back to his boat by feeding the sharks with the bodies of the americans henchmen.

No, nothing really makes any sense. The bermudatriangle seems to be about a kilometer outside whatever tourist resort Tonino Ricci chose to film this at (you see the shore all the time), there is a long sequence where a bunch of hippies on a boat stare at a weird doll that starts to ooze blood through its mouth, upon which all of them commit suicide by drowning (a rather atmospheric sequence that really doesnt have anything to do with the rest of the movie) and then there are those fishtank miniatures... But the story in itself is fairly intriguing, the dreamlike visuals are atmospheric (a lot thanks to Stelvio Ciprianis bleeps and bloops) and although the miniatures are awful, they do bring a certain weird something into the story as long as you are in the right mood. This isnt a Jaws clone, it is a weird scifimovie with sharks and although nothing really gels into a coherent experience, it is still weird enough to warrant a watch.

tisdag 5 oktober 2010

Humains (2009)

Hows this for a concept?

We take the usual Backwoodsstory with a number of people being stranded in a hostile environment and let them face the stupidest, goofiest antagonists since Harry and the Hendersons. I mean, it started so well. Just by setting the thing in the Swiss alps makes for an exceptionally picturesque setting, made for this type of movie. Put a couple of good actors in there and then spoil it all with bloodless kills and a general aura of Made for Disney tv. I was half expecting Kurt Russel or Lindsay Lohan pop up.

What a waste of celluloid. And yet, it isnt actually awful, just... bland. PG. The filmmakers clearly have a lot of potential so let us hope they grow a spine and give us some nasty gore next time around.

Telefon (1977)

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep

This little poem by Robert Frost is one of the things that makes this excellent Charles Bronson vehicle so fun. The story is simple, yet so lovely Cold war that you cant do anything but enjoy it. You, back in the fifties those evil satanic communists in Russia planted 50 plus secret agents in the good ole´ Usa, people that werent even aware that they were agents. When hearing the codeword (the nice little poem) they revert to a druginduced programming to become suicide bombers, blowing up army depots and phone exchanges, all in the beginning of some sort of invasion. Now, things never got this far but some of the more communist communists dont like the way things are going in their country and one of the escapes to Usa, to phone some people and tell them a bit of fine poetry. Ok, the russians cant have this so what do they do? They send Charles Bronson of course!

Yes, the scenario is a bit preposterous but in that nice cozy way that was the seventies. Don Siegel is the perfect man for this kind of movie, moving along at a good pace letting Bronson and Donald Pleasence as the bad guy shine, while Lee Remick has that constant glamcam on her as soon as she is alone on the screen. So, we get 100 minutes of Bronson looking grim, Pleasence making people kill themselves in superbly over the top fireworks, the same hotel as in Mel Broosk High Anxiety and Helsinki standing in for Russia, complete with Åke Lindman as a russian lieutenant. Awesome. Really. If they just had trimmed that goof of an extended ending which plainly sucks. Not enough though. Get this.

måndag 4 oktober 2010

The Sender (1982)

Here is a another fine little flick that deserves way more attention than it got. The Sender (For some reason called Nattens sång in Swedish, which means Song of the night.) stars the excellent Zeljko Ivanek as John Doe #83, a rather troubled young man who starts the movie by waking up in a ditch and then going to a lake, filling his pockets with stones and trying to drown himself as holidaygoers watch his every move. He survives but is taken to a mental hospital and named John Doe #83 as he doesnt remember his name or why he was trying to kill himself. Soon strange things starts to happen around him, doctors and patients see things that arent there and his doctor is visited by a woman who claims to be his mother, asking them to release him in his care. And they start to give the young man shock therapy, all hell breaks loose.

It is always nice to watch a movie that relies on a good script instead of how powerful images the crew can bring upon the screen, not that The Sender isnt full of great stuff to look at - for example the sequences with shock therapy and a later try at a lobotomy. But the movie goes forward in an excellent pace, revealing as much to the audience as it needs to know toward a awesome ending sequence when secrets are revealed and hell is paid. The only complaint I have is the totally unnecessary "twist ending" which just about undoes all the fun we've had. Other than that, this is great horror low on excess (but some fine violence) but with great acting, good tension and an all out fine time in front of the television. Very recommended.

But... Song of the night?

Shaun of the dead (2004)

Ok, what hasnt been said about this fabulous little movie that is not only a great homage to the zombiemoviegenre, but also an excellent little movie in itself, surpassing most attempts for the last 15 years. Good stuff. It has an awesome cast and a shitload of fun cameos. And Gore! No nudity though. Damn.

What else can I say? If you havent seen it already, get the fuck out of your sofa and get it! NOW!

tisdag 28 september 2010

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Yes, this is as weird as they come. Prophecies of Nostradamus is a wonderful movie about the end of the world as foretold by the mysterious monk, part silly and goofy, part horrifying and creepy. Even more interesting is the fact that the movie was edited after an outcry from the public.

One of the coolest actors ever in Japan, Tetsuro Tanba, plays Dr. Nishiyama, someone who has studied Nostradamus prophecies all his life and are seeing things come true, one by one. All this will lead to the end of the world and the reason for all of this? Man's own folly. For starters - pollution has created these giant slugs the size of dogs, besides the fact that it is slowly killing humanity. Then Dr. Nishiyama is called away to New Guinea where radioactivity has created giant blooddrinking bats, huge leeches that suck blood and turn the people it feeds on into raving maniacs. And, my favorite, the natives that have gone cannibalistic because of the radiation. Woohoo, the whole sequence feels like its taken straight out of an Italian goremovie, only more psychedelic. Of course, things get worse and worse and worse, with radioactive smogclouds, an exploding plane that destroys the ozone layer over Japan, burning people to death and in the end.... Total destruction by Nuclear war.

Yes, none of this make any sense but is full of wonderful scenes of strange creatures and massdestruction. Tetsuro Tanba has that strength as an actor to make all of this worth listening to, when we arent treated to delisciously moody scenes of stockfootage of wars or models being destroyed set to the gloomiest narrator found in the acting industry. The whole narrative may be fragmented and almost psychedelic (towards the end of the movie when everything is about to go straight to hell, Dr. Nishiyamas daughter finds out she is pregnant and celebrates this by dancing on a beach), but the individual sequences are strong and imaginative (my favorite being the New Guinea happenings), expertly directed with the usual excellent japanese sfxtrickery and set to a marvelous score full of synths and choirs by Isao Tomita, an artist I'm really looking forward into delving into. If you like Japanese mass destruction, you will love this. I sure did. A W E S O M E !

Why it was edited? There are a few scenes that show the world after the great war where a couple of mutated children fight over a snake which was too much for some. I watched a japanese version, but that scene was in there...

onsdag 22 september 2010

The Green slime (1968)

"You'll believe it when you find
Something screaming 'cross your mind
Green slime"

Now hows that for a themesong? This Japanese/American co-production has gotten a lot of bad reviews over the years, some of it welldeserved I suppose, but you cant deny that it is one heck of a fastpaced movie with lots of entertainment.

A meteorite is heading towards Earth and needs to be destroyed so a team of astronauts are sent from the nearby spacestation Gamma 3 to dig some holes, bury a couple of nukes and watch the piece of rock be blown to smithereens. They do their job but manages to take with them some green slime found on the asteroid which grows into oneeyed, tentacled monsters that feed on energy and electrocutes anyone they touch. It doesnt take long before Gamma 3 is overrun by these wobbly, rubbery thingies... Evacuation! Flying astronauts! Laser! Luciana Paluzzi looking hot speaking in her own, sexy voice

One thing that has always struck me is that The Green slime is a fairly brutal movie, at least for its timeperiod. People are thrown from platforms, blood splattering on the ground as they land and electrocutions with fairly good makeup of burns. this helps the movie immensly, giving it that intensity that it needs to keep the suspense going. Well, as much suspense you can get from a movie that features oneeyed wobbly tentaclethingies. It is all a bit silly but the movie is so fastpaced that you dont really care. Kinji Fukasaku was a good actiondirector and it shows, even how silly everything appears. The only thing that lets the movie down are the rather poor miniatures on display, as if Fukasaku had no idea how to light them. But who cares, it is a monstermovie we are talking about and as they go, The Green slime is an fine example of great entertainment. If you are into this type of movie, you know you will love it.

Just a final thought, kinda *spoilerish*:

Is there some rule in Hollywood that if a lead couple have broken up, the new guy has to die so that the old couple can get back together? I mean, twenty people can die to save a dog, but a new husband _will_ die a horrible death just because he married the wrong woman? Some christian thing against divorces, I dont know.

tisdag 21 september 2010

Malibu Shark Attack (2009)

Sooo... what exactly are you expecting when deciding to read a review about a movie named Malibu Shark Attack? Well, I could tell you about its finer points.

1. It's shot in Australia but set in Malibu so the actors keep slipping into their original australian accents all the time. It stars Peta Wilson who is starting to look quite the milf, and she does have that sexy Kathleen Turnerish voice...

2. The Sharks. Yes, Goblin sharks look pretty ugly but, as the movie claims them to be, they arent extinct! It would take the scriptwriter ten fucking seconds to google it! They are all halfdecent cgi except for some rather goofylooking fins.

3. It has one of the coolest movielines ever. When asked what happened to a character, the response from our hero is: "There was a shark in the parking lot". You dont hear that one very often.

4. As usual, since this is a syfymovie, there is no gore other than some cgiblood and a couple of halfeaten corpses.

Yes, your average syfy sharkmovie. This one gets extrapoints for skipping the usual stockfootage but loses them when the cute blond chick doesnt take her top off. A heck of a lot better than Raging sharks and Blue demon though.

måndag 20 september 2010

Event horizon (1997)

Ok, Event horizon is a good movie. I admit that. but every time I watch it I think less and less of it, dwelling more and more on details I dont like and most importantly - that the setpieces never are as horrific as they need to be to keep up the all important momentum. The story is solid and a minor classic - the spaceship Event horizon mysteriously vanished some 20 years earlier and has now reappeared inside Jupiters atmosphere. A rescueship is dispatched to find out what happened and when they arrive they soon realize that the crew is dead or missing and something is really wrong with the ship. It has been somewhere nasty and as one of the crew members is saying after he tries to commit suicide: "He is coming".

The cast is excellent, although Richard T Jones horny black guy is just a big cliché. The direction is good, the photography scrumptios and the whole thing is a setdesigners dream. The problem is that the movie never really lives up to those incredibly ominous words. Yes, things happen, people die and we get glimpses of the nasty fate of the Event horizons crew but nothing that really stands out. There are some glimpses of what could have been on the extramaterial since the movie company forced the makers to remove a lot of potentially interesting stuff, but since a lot of these are in rather poor condition it never really feels part of the picture. As it is, Event Horizon is a decent, welldesigned movie that never really "bites".

Shutter (2008)

The word of today is pointless.

Example: Mediocre, unscary, by the numbers remake of far superior Thai movie Shutter.

Heck, even the remake of One missed call was better.

Poultrygeist (2006)

Troma. Yes, that says just about everything you need to know about this movie. Cheap, cheerful, gory, disgusting and plain silly from the first minute. If you want to you could even say that Troma wants to say something about the fastfoodbusiness but you know that isnt true. This is entertainment, pure and _simple_.

So, here we have a movie about a fastfoodrestaurant built upon an ancient indian burialground. With this concept we get a shitload (I said shit. giggle) of cheap jokes, a lot of cheap disgusting gore, several songs (yes, it's a musical too) and a cute little lovestory. You cannot compare anything of this to anything remotely resembling quality entertainment since this is Troma, but on the other hand, you cant hate it. I mean, chicken zombies. What the hell?

There's not much more I can say about this, it is a Troma movie. If you like Troma you will gobble this up, thats for sure. If you are not a Tromafan, well you still might like it. The jokes are cheap, the gore quota is high, the breasts are plentiful and funny and one of the songs, Slow fast food love, is pretty good. Did I mention giant chicken zombies?

A day of violence (2009)

Any movie that features Giovanni Lombardo Radice as a doped out hobo who gets his throat slit should technically be worthy watching. The keyword here is should. The problem is just that A Day of violence, how ambitious it may be, still fails for a number of reasons. More on that later.

There's no doubt about it, if you like your violence brutal and plentiful, you will most likely love this movie. A Day of violence is about this loser of a thug who robs Hopper, a dopedealer for 100000 pound and slits his throat. The following day he gets a job for the local kingpin (who just to show how brutal he is, tortures our heros best friend and removes his genitals with hedgescissors, all in gory detail) to collect 100k from the very druglord he just killed and robbed. Yes, big trouble. Exactly how he will get through this sticky situation is what the movie is about, but since it starts with his shotgunblasted corpse in the morgue, we know it will be violent.

Ok, here is my main problem with the movie. Our hero is an asshole, we establish that from the moment he slits Hoppers throat. Sure, towards the end we are made aware of the fact that there were somewhat noble intentions behind the happening, but the train left hours ago. I couldnt bring myself to feel any sort of sympathy for the man, everything that came to him was well deserved. The actor playing him was ok when it came to actionscenes, but dialogue? Not his thing. It doesnt matter how much violence and boobs a movie has, if the main character is someone you feel deserve to die - it will diminish the netertainment value.

With that said though, A Day of violence is a well made exploitation piece, on a obviously low budget and has the audacity to never let the budget show through. Guns and gore galore, and if thats what you want, this movie is a good place to find it. The moviemakers clearly show potential so I really look forward to them doing something on a bigger budget in the future.

onsdag 15 september 2010

Samurai zombie (2008)

Samurai zombie, what a nice title. I really had to preorder it as soon as I read about it, especially since it was written and produced by Ryuhei "Versus" Kitamura and directed by the star of Versus, Tak Sakaguchi. And you know, the story sounded fun too. Well, the further you come into the story the more it sounds like a rehash of Versus, only with less gore, less flair and cooler zombies. I wont spoil anything other than its about a number of people meeting up in a forest and all being hunted by zombies. Why? It has something to do with the past...

Yes, this is basically a remake of Versus, only more old school horror. As such, it works fairly well, the environments are excellent (a forest, an old abandoned village) and the Samurai zombies are really cool, lumbering creations. The characters and the actors are ok, we even get a weird policeduo, just like in Versus. Tak Sakaguchi is no Kitamura, but does a decent enough job with the atmospherics which is one of the main reasons for watching this movie. My only real complaints is that the story isnt anywhere near as wild as Versus, almost pedestrian and that the gorequota could've been much higher. There are a few scenes of decapitation and grue but unfortunately the focus of the movie is mood. A slightly above average zombieflick, well worth watching - mostly for the cool zombies and a very strange character who thinks himself immortal. I've seen lots worse.

tisdag 31 augusti 2010

12 rounds (2009)

I like Renny Harlin. Most of his movies actually, especially Die Hard 2 and Deep blue sea. I even like his version of the Exorcistprequel a lot.

But this? An actionmovie with a really stupid script and a lead that used to prowrestle. The only redeeming factor is a decent bad guy and one or two ok actionscenes. But no... My girlfriend even forgot that she'd seen it after a couple of days. It's that memorable.

Skip it.

Nu-Meri: Book of the New Spawn (2009)

Ok, the first question that popped up in my head after watching this movie was: Who was it made for? Well, me maybe. I do agree to the fact that there can never be enough nasty fishmovies and this sucker rates way above your average syfymovie, both in plot and weirdness. But still, the script needed a bit of tailoring if they really wanted to make an memorable horrormovie.

Our heroine, likes fish. A lot. No, not in any sexual way (put down your dirty mind, just because this is a japanese movie.....) but she wants to study them and help protect them. When she isnt carving them up in the fishmarket of course, where she helpd out her family on a regular basis. She also studies marinebiology and has gotten an internship at a local fishlab, along with a friend. When they arrive strange things start to happen - her friend tends to wake up staring in the night and after she dissapears her body is found in the ocean full of fishbites. Someone is obviously performing unethical experiments on the poor, unsuspecting fish. And then it gets really weird. I dont want to go into any major details to spoil anything, just mention that it involves flying, carnivorous fishheads. Yes. Fishheads.

The only thing is that for a movie that is only 75 mins long including credits, it is pretty dawn slow. Nothing happens until more than half the movie has passed, before that we follow the young girl living her life, meeting friends and praying at any fishrelated shrine she can find. It's almost like one of the narratorless documentaries following the life of a young japanese woman. Not that its totally uninteresting, the actors are decent and it feels fairly unscripted but not very horrormovieish. When the horrors finally come in the end, they are well staged and really creepy as soon as you accept the flying fishheads which are wellmade on an obviously low budget. Actually, the general weirdness of the last 15-20 minutes are more than worth the while. The buildup could have been a little bit... different. Still, I like the movie as it is. Recommended if you like your dope a bit odd. Like me.

Another thing. This is a sequel. To a movie that seems to be about bunnies. In a horrormovie kinda way. Wtf?

Sole Survivor (1983)

Code Red has shown itself to be a class act when it comes to releasing fine little obscurities with an extra gold star for my two faves, the extremely fun little monstermovie Strangeness and the awesomeness that is Messiah of evil. And here they have struck gold again, perhaps not as rich a vein as the two movies mentioned in the earlier sentence but still, a fine little movie that deserved a decent release.

Here is a fun little obscurity that rates fairly high on the creepiness scale. It is obviously low budget and the acting is rather uneven but the general ambience of the whole thing wins out in the end. Think of it as a mixture of Night of the living dead and James Herberts The Survivor, and then some. We follow a young woman who survives a plane crash, only to be haunted by strange voices and mysterious people who in the beginning only watch her but soon start to kill everyone around her. Enough said about the plot, it is simple but very effective. The movie focuses on mood instead of gore and it is well directed by Thom Eberhart whose debut this was. The acting is maybe the low point, ranging from wooden to ok, but it never detracts from the enjoyment. The general creepiness of all that is going on, from the voices to the people who pop up from time to time just to watch her before turning homocidal and the mystery of why this is happening, something that is subtly laid out by a psychic friend of the lead.

A decent little timewaster, well above average, which is well worth a purchase. And that "Before Final destination... there was... " bit, not really. Some meager similarities maybe, but entirely different movies.

Super Inframan (1975)

Super Inframan is pretty easy to categorize - It is Shaw Brothers answer to the japanese phenomenon of Ultraman, a concept that very mush appeals to me. Giant men in suits fighting giant monsters. And what a ride this is.

You see, Demon Princess Elzebub rules Inner-Earth from Devil Island. She has decided that she needs the outer Earth too and starts to send out her monsters to conquer and divide. Of course, outer Earth cannot put up with this and has the Science headquarters try to put a stop to the evil Demon princess with their highly trained fighters and the brilliant Professor Liu Ying De. Our hero (played by Danny Lee) is even transformed into a cyborg, the titular Super Inframan who also has the suspiciously Ultramanlike ability to morph into a giant Super Inframan (which they unfortunately only do once). Let the fighting begin! For instance, Plant, my favorite monster of the movie, is some sort of Plantcreature with a skullface that infests the HQ with its giant tentacles. Then we have Mutant drill, who has a drill on one hand and a some sort of hammerish claw on the other. And there is so much more!

Just about the only thing I can complain on is that the numerous fights are all humansized except for one small instance, which means that instead of monsters trashing building in slomo we get hilarious rubbersuited kung fu fights instead. Once you accept that the movie is all straight and pure enjoyment. 90 minutes of monsterfighting, how can you go wrong?

I bought the HK release of this, which means I only got the original soundtrack with subs but for once I'm actually contemplating getting the R1 release just for the hilarious dubbing. This doesnt happen often, I can promise you that.

tisdag 24 augusti 2010

The Tattooist (2007)

Here is an interesting little flick that somehow never really got the attention it deserved. It's no masterpiece but a decent horrormovie with a good, fascinating story and some fun, bloody grue. Jason Behr plays tattooartist Jake Sawyer who has a strange fascination for tattoos with magical powers, even up to the point that he is sought out by sick people wanting to be cured. When a young boy dies (the father believes that the tattoo was the cause) he flees the country and ends up in New Zeeland, mainly for the interest in the samoan rituals of tatau, a deeply rooted coming of age rite. He steals a tool from a fellow artist but realizes his mistake after cutting himself on it and experiencing some pretty weird dreams. The problem is, the people he has tattooed are beginning to die horribly.

The whole concept of the samoan tattoos and making a horrormovie with it is a winning concept. The first half of the movie is pretty slow, but it is essential for building the story and when things start to happen we are rewarded with some pretty nifty deaths and a good tension all through to the end. Jason Behr makes a good brooder of a hero, and the new zeeland actors are all way above average taking the movie out of some last minutes hokeism regarding christianity and a slightly underpowered ending. A well written and fun horrorflick, well recommended.

tisdag 17 augusti 2010

Big bad wolf (2006)

This movie has everything I need. Tits, gore, werewolves, plotdevelopments worthy of a pornmovie! So why does it suck so bad? Ok, maybe I'm exagarating a bit, there are parts of Big bad wolf that are worth watching, but the movie gives you some really nice goodies in the beginning and then forces you to watch 50 mins of dull humdrum until you get anything else, that is a lot for a gorejunkie looking for a quick fix.

Yes, it does start pretty well with a young nerd inviting his sorority "friends" and the tomboy chick he is a bit in love with to a cabin in the wilderness for a party. It doesnt take long before all the teens except our hero and his crush are devoured by a wisecracking werewolf (who sometimes speaks without his mouth moving, and sometimes with his mouth moving). The main suspect is the youngsters stepdad and when a friend of his mom arrives with the same suspicions, a race to obtain some dna is on. How do you obtain dna from a man? Well, our hero's crush gives stepdad a blowjob. Wtf?

Yes, include a teen romance and have the main girl give the guy's stepdad a blowjob. That will surely help the budding relationship.

If you find this fairly cheap, I would recommend it. It has boobs, intestines and a half a head torn off. As werewolfmovies go, Big Bad Wolf is mostly just corny but still watchable if you are in the right mood.

onsdag 11 augusti 2010

Not dead

Just lazy and havent watched much movies lately. I am preparing reviews for Samurai Zombie, Big bad wolf and Poultrygeist so expect them to appear in a day or two. But then I have to start watching movies again!

onsdag 28 juli 2010

Attack of the crab monsters (1957)

Roger Corman is awesome. If you're reading a blog like this, chances are that you are already fully aware of that fact but I just wanted to remind you of the fact. Todays evidence is the wonderful little movie Attack of the Crab monsters, a title that tells you exactly what need while still having a plot that is way more intelligent than you would expect.

What a magnificent specimen.

Agroup of scientists arrive at a small island to find its previous occupants missing. While inhabiting the house the earlier people lived in they realize that something strange is going on. People start to go missing and their disembodied voices are heard in the night. Yes, its crabs. Not that crabs (sorry, I couldnt resist) but giant mutant crabs that assimilate their victims intelligence and speak with their voices to lure the survivors to their doom, all while reducing the island to swiss cheese by digging tunnels.

The movie was made for $70000 and this shows, mainly in the rather limited outdoors locations, but the quality of the script outweighs this by far, especially with the scenes of the crabs trying to lure the next victim out for a midnight snack. The acting is a bit stiff and hysterical, but that is fairly common with movies from this era. Roger Corman directs with a pace that never lets you be bored and the crabs? The movie is from 1957, crabs looked like that back then. All in all, this is a fine piece of monstermovie for all the fans of the genre.

Zombies of mass destruction (2009)

One thing that may anger me greatly is when the female lead in a lowbudget horrormovie doesnt take her clothes off. For a horrormovie to succeed there has to be a large amount of well made gore and copious amounts of nudity, it's as simple as that. A good director, a well written script and some good acting might help too, but in the end it exploding heads and tits that I want. Which makes this movie even harder for me to review of course. Not that it is some kind of exceptional movie, Zombie of mass destruction is really "just" Above average, but the direction is decent, it has an incredibly cute lead actress (the gorgeous Janette Armand) who refuses to show herself in nothing less than her underwear and has a script that actually tries to say something about racism, US politics, religion and homosexuality, even though most of it isnt exactly subtle and very often is disguised with jokes. My main gripe with this is that I kind of feel like an asshole when I bitch about wanting more boobies. I'm not used to watching movies with messages. With that off my chest: Who am I kidding? I want more naked breasts!

Janette Armand plays Frida Abbas, a young Iranian girl living with her father in a small Island town outside the coast of America, having just dropped out of school. At the same time a young man arrives in town with his boyfriend with plans to let his mother know that he is gay. While he tries to get the guts to tell his mom and Frida tries to dodge the typical small town racist thoughts that she might be a terrorist, what do you think happens? Well, if you read the title you realize that there will be a zombie outbreak and our character desperately trie to survive. Yes, we've seen it all before.

And that is what this movie is all about. We have seen it all before. The plot is old and the satire is obvious, however well intended. But with that said, I would still recommend Zombies of mass destruction to all fans of zombiemovies for a couple of reasons. It is a decent horrormovie with a somewhat slow buildup to a rewarding last half and it has huge amount of ripped out throats, exploding heads and other fun stuff with excellent make up effects. The actors seem to have fun with their roles and most of the jokes actually work, however crude they might be from time to time. In short - if you like zombiemovies you will most likely like this.

måndag 26 juli 2010

Atragon (1963)

I will freely admit that Ishirō Honda is one of my favorite directors of all time. I eat and sleep Kaiju overall and Hondas output is truly the finest of them all. Atragon is perhaps not one of Hondas best (I reserve that to Mysterians, Godzilla vs Monster zero and Matango), but it still one heck of a fun movie. This time its Atlantis aka the lost continent of Mu who is behind the grand massdestruction. You see, they want the Earth back (it used to consist of their colonies) and if we dont do what they say, they will kick the living daylights out of us. The only hope is a submarine, Atragon, which some people say that it dont even exist. On the other hand, The Mu-people are fairly sure of its existence and want it destroyed.

From the excellent beginning (the people of Mu kidnapping scientists) to the end where massdestruction sets in, Atragon is Honda delivering the goods. The cast is full of faces you recognize like Kenji Sahara and Akihiko Hirata and the special effects are as wonderful as you expect them to be in this era of japanese filmmaking. My only complaint would be that Manda, kaiju of the month, only is in it for a very short time but we get enough cool destruction anyway. An excellent movie which should be in every fan of Tsuburaya och Hondas collection.

Terror (1978)

If there ever was proof that Norman J Warren was a more than capable moviedirector, Terror is it. The plot is flimsy, simple to the extreme, but the separate horrorscenes and the movies general pace is excellent. This is also the most Giallolike non-italian movie I have ever seen, which really isnt that strange since Warren openly admits that the biggest inspiration for this movie was Dario Argentos Suspiria.
Terror starts with a prologue in ancient times where a witch is caught and burnt at stake, not before uttering a curse upon the family responsible for hunting her down. A couple of hundred years later a moviedirector is having a party in his his house and when one of the guests is hypnotized for fun, she begins to speak in a strange voice that utters they very sam ecurse we heard in the beginning of the movie. Everyone laughs it off as a joke, but it doesnt take long before people in the directors surroundings start dying one by one...

So, what he have here is basically an english verison of the italian Giallo. There is not much plot at all, just long, stylish and well shot sequences of grue, spiced up with a bit of nudity. Exactly the way we want it. Warren is a very competent director, and Terror keeps up the momentum from beginning to the end even though the plot is thinner than my collection of Adam Sandler-movies. There are several really cool sequences such as the one where a filmstudio "comes alive" or the one that ends with a cameo by Peter Mayhew, aka Chewbacca. This is top quality exploitation and if you havent seen it already, do so. Even better, track down the Anchor Bay Norman J Warren box which has this movie, plus a number of his other including Inseminoid and Satans slave, all with numerous cool extras. It might be out of print though so it can be a bit pricey. But it is really worth it.

måndag 19 juli 2010

Blind womans curse aka Tattoed swordswoman(1970)

From the moment I received this dvd I knew that this was something I would like. Starring the great Meiko Kaji and directed by Teruo Ishii with a plot that mixes horror, grue and swordplay, how can you fail? But for some reason it took me several attempts to finish the movie, not because it is bad or boring, but instead the fact that I think I'm just a bit bored with movies lately. I should just watch big budget trash instead, not fine movies like this.

Meiko Kaji plays a young member of the Tachibana clan who is having a rather rough time at the moment. Another clan is secretly plotting their demise and is getting help from a mysterious blind woman and her hunchback henchman. Soon, young girls of the clan are found dead with their back tattoos removed and all of this points back to something Akemi did five years earlier, placing a curse on her.

Yes, this is good stuff.

S1wordplay, blood geysers and Meiko Kaji. You cant really go wrong with that. But as I mentioned earlier, the first half of the movie was really hard to get through which is a shame, since this is prime Teruo Ishii. His wild imagination with the camera and the setdesign really shines from time to time. Fortunately the last half ups the violence and fun stuff to the point that I (momentarily) had to drag myself out of that damn rut. This is something that every fan of Teruo Ishii, Meiko Kaji and japanese genremovies will like. I would even recommend this to the lovers of the more violent and fantastic Shaw Brothers movies of the eighties. Someday I will watch this again when I can appreciate it to the fullest.

Shooter (2007)

Here is another movie that's too big budget an dmainstream too really fit in here, other than the fact that this is really a throwback to 80s action. Mark Wahlberg plays a supersniper who is hired by members of the government to look for a possible attempt to assassinate the Us president, but is really a scapegoat for something entirely different. Now on the run, Wahlberg spends the rest of the movie shooting lots of people in the head while trying to clear his name, which is great entertainment. A fairly lightweight conspiracyactionthriller which is low on shakeycam, this is excellent viewing on a hungover sunday.

söndag 18 juli 2010

Feast 3 - The Happy finish (2009)

A telling sign that a movie might be awful (apart from the fact that the previous movie in the series sucked ass) is that (still wrapped in plastic) it comes with a return form from the previous owner with the reason for return being:

It's a terrible movie so I dont want it.

At least someone did the right thing.

Feast 3 follows directly from the end of part two which was one of the most stupid sequels I have ever seen, following a really good movie. What the hell happened? We follow the survivors of the second movie as they try to make it out of the monsterinfested town, all while bitching and moaning and behaving like general assholes. There is not a single character worth following and they keep repeating stuff like introducing a new character as a possible hero, killing him off 5 mins later. It worked in the first part. Not over and over again.

I mean, I watched the movie just a few days ago and I dont even remember how it ended. Thats how crappy this is. There are nice rubbermonsters, there is a lot of gore and loads of boobies but I never thought I would actually say this: It isnt enough. The movie is just too stupid and immature to be anything else than crap. Even the Scary movie franchise has more integrity than this. Example: The movie starts with a character being decapitated, her head eaten and then shat out in obnoxious closeup. If they had stopped with the first movie, Feast would have been remembered as a fun little flick, a minor cultclassic. Now its just a fun movie with two of the worst sequels ever. This is a movie that should be avoided.

torsdag 15 juli 2010

Rovdyr (2006)

Rovdyr has absolutely nothing new to show off, nothing. The story is a shitload of cliches and storylines that we've seen hundreds of times before. Yet, I liked the movie a lot which proves that if you have talent and know what you are doing, you can turn shit into gold.

Ok, it's not that bad, it's just that if you've seen The Hills have eyes, TCM and a Wrong turn or two, you know exactly what to expect of this. A group of norwegian youngsters are travelling through the dark forests of norway sometime in the seventies and soon end up as hunted prey as a bunch of inbred rednecks pick them off one by one. There are no surprises but the director knows his horror and the atmosphere in the dark forest is excellent. Having grown up in Sweden about 100 kilometers from the norwegian border I feel at home here and the movie is the ultimate proof of what I've always known - that norwegians are inbred hicks!

Jokes aside, this is basically just another one in the outback genre but it is made with a heart which means you can appreciate the clichés for what they are. There is quite a lot of gore and you are never bored, which for me is a good grade. The only thing I didnt like with the movie is that there is no nudity. Shame on you, director! Recommended.

Curse 2 - The bite (1989)

This is a hard one to review. The problem is, Curse 2 - The bite (of course having nothing to do with part 1) is neither a good movie nor a bad movie. It is professionally made with a couple of fun special effects and decent photography but there isnt much drama in it which is too bad for a movie that has a rather cool plot. I mean, havent you always wanted to see a movie where a guy is bitten by a radioactive snake and having his arm turn into a snake? But the only entertainment you will get out of this movie are a few fun kills and watching Jamie Farr of M.A.S.H hamming it up as a doctor chasing our soon to be a mutant snake monster hero. As 80s horror there are worse movies to watch but rather a lot that is better. I just cant think of anything more to write.

söndag 4 juli 2010

The Hunting party (1971)

The Hunting party is a movie that never will win any prices for political correctness. I truly wonder, who was the intended audience for this? I mean, one of the things you learn from this movie is that rape is okay, as long as you give the lady peaches afterwards. Oliver Reed stars as an outlaw in the old west who decides that he wants to learn how to read so his gang kidnap a young schoolteacher (played by Candice Bergen). What they dont know is that she is the wife of psychopath millionaire Gene Hackman who gets pretty upset and decides to hunt down the kidnappers with his scoped, highpowered rifle and make them pay. What he doesnt know is that Candice Bergen (after being raped and given a can of peaches) has fallen in love with Oliver Reeds character and when he finds out, yes there will be hell to pay.

There is not a single truly "good" character in this movie. Oliver Reed, the hero, is s rapist and his gang would like to to the same thing to the woman. Gene Hackman, who I suppose actually has the right to be upset, is a sadist who likes to torture prostitutes while he is away from his wife, and while his posse does protest somewhat to the idea of shooting people who doesnt have the chance to shoot back, they still go along with it. You realize pretty quick that there wont be any happy endings here.

Ok, so who am I kidding?! I love this stuff. The Hunting party is full of graphic violence, gigantic squibs and with all the fun actors around like Reed, Hackman, Simon Oakland and L.Q Jones, there is never a dull moment. So the morals of the story might be a bit... depraved... but who cares? This is grand entertainment!

Species 2 (1998)

I believe that one day there will be a national holiday in awe of Species 2. Not too many year have passed for the movie to become the cult that it desperately needs, but it will come. Rest assured, it will, for spectacles such as this are rarely created. The sequel to 1995:s fun monsterflick Species has everything you need:

Copious sex and nudity as a Martian astronaut brings home a strange infection which makes him try to mate with just about everything. After the act we come to the violencepart as the poor womens bellies are ripped open as an alien child is instantly born. There are tentacles involved too! Natasha Henstridge returns as a "good" alien this time and dont worry, she has nudescenes. The movie is also full of really good actors such as James Cromwell, Michael Madsen (before he started to appear in just about anything), Peter Boyle and a couple of other familiar faces. The dialogue these people are forced to mouth is among the most preposterous yet and you actually feel sorry for them. Peter Medak, a true professional, does what he can with what appears to be a fairly limited budget and the script from hell (by a guy whose previous experience includes writing Beverly hills 90210.) and the movie still looks good, with a bunch of fairly good digital gore (for the timeperiod) and a final creature that looks like H.R Giger designed a muppet.

You cannot hate a movie like this, in ten years this will appear on doublebills with Bruno Matteimovies and the audience will love every single moment of it. I long for that day.

The Grudge 3 (2009)

Ok, call it quits now. You have officially killed the franchise now. I liked the original Ju-on movies, even the lowbudget tv-movies back in the days when asian horror wasnt just all pale women with long dark hair. The first two american remakes were ok, mostly for the fact that they were directed by the very same creator of the original japanese movies. But Grudge 3... this is the kind of sequel that exemplifies the reason why sequels are hated, the kind of sequel that would make any Children of the corn part shun it. Yes, the curse has travelled to the US now (well, Bulgaria or some other easteuropean country) and has infested the house in The Grudge part two. Oh, nasty. Especially since there are about four tenants in the house and it takes 90 minutes to kill all of the them. The scares are strangely unscary and telegraphed way ahead - my girlfriend, who normally gets really scared watching movies like these, was strangely indifferent. Yes, she jumped at the right moments and looked away when something "spooooky" was happening, but usually she gets mad at me for forcing her to watch movies like these. When The Grudge 3 was over, it was like nothing had happened.

No, keep away. Dont watch it. Ok, the director of the fun parasiteflick Splinter got paid doing it, but that is about the only positive thing I can think of. Not even he can do something with this script. Most likely the most boring and unspiring sequel ever.

S.N.U.B (2010)

I hadnt heard of this movie before I surfed onto webpage and found it under horror. Reading the story, I realized I had to have this movie and bought it without reading any reviews or watching the trailer. I like to take a chance like that from time to time. I cant really say I was that dissapointed, S.N.U.B isnt a bad movie. The only problem is, the back of the dvd reveals waaaay too much of the movies plot and lulls you into thinking this is some sort of cool zombiemovie, when it really isnt.

A weasly lower politician somehow founds out that a terrorist threat is about to happen, a nuclear bomb has been found in central London and he manages to bully his way into a S.N.U.B (a Secret Nuclear Underground Bunker). The unimaginable happens, the bomb goes off and reduces London to a radioactive wasteland leaving the survivors to fend for themselves. But when a couple of soldiers go out to try to repair a radiomast, they are killed by something unknown and... well, here is the problem with the synopsis on the dvd, it tells way more than that, event that doesnt occur until about 50 minutes into the movie which is pretty lethal for a flick that is only 77 mins including the end titles. Yes, there is a little grue and some nasty creatures towards the end but this movie is more about the buildup to that event and the paranoia and fears that the survivors have. In a way, this feels like it would fit in on BBC a friday night on a scifi/horrorspecial, like those classic tv-movies and serials that Nigel Kneale wrote ages ago. Not that this is any way near as good as that. S.N.U.B actually manages to drag a bit which is a mean feat sincve the movies is so short. The characters are fairly clichéd and underwritten(though decently acted in that british tv kind of way) and the script should have been looked over a bit (one of the characters mysteriously vanishes two thirds into the movie never to appear again. Either victims of poor scriptwriting or poor editing?). On the other hand, the movies makes good use of its locations and the special effects of the nuclear explosion and its aftermath are surprisingly effective, considering what was obviouslt a very low budget. Perfectly watchable as a lowbudget scifithriller, just dont read all the way down on the dvdcover and expect the gorefest its trying to trick us into believing that it is.

The Children (2008)

Admit it, you want to see kids killed on film. One of those taboos that never seem to go away, The Children tries to make amends for that by killing of its evil kids in fairly violent ways, even though they they actually chicken out in the end, not showing any gory details. At least the filmmakers compensate with gory kills, including a short but sweet knife in the eye gag.

Yes, the children are turning evil. Why, we never find out other than that the script allude to some sort of unknown disease. We follow a couple of families going out to a countryhouse during the winter, with the movie starting out like one of those dreadful dramas with the couple bickering about their relationships. But soon the kids start puking yellow and setting up traps for their parents, like a sledride into a pair of hooks, the eyeviolence earlier mentioned and some other juicy bits. Of course, the parents never really believe that their toddlers are capable of such deeds, making it easier for the nasty little critters to claim their kills.

I liked The Children a lot, for several reasons. Firstly, the acting is great, both the adults and especially the kids who goes from weeping to killing in seconds. The script is low on details, but uses the cute little children in good, sick setpieces and although the ending isnt exactly satisfying, the rest of the movie makes up for that. The violence isnt really that graphic, but the deaths are of the kind that hurt and makes you cringe from time to time. I recommend The Children to anyone that likes a decent horrormovie or anyone that likes to watch fouryearolds stuff toys into open, steaming gutwounds or the very same fouryearold get impaled on a wooden splinter. Time to watch Who would kill a child?

Hong kong godfather (1985)

Shaw Brothers rules. I'm a big fan of their horrormovies of the seventies and eighties, and I dont mind any of their supremely violent Sword n' Sorcery pieces like Portraits in Crystal or Bloody Parrot. Here is another great flick, this time set in Hong kong in the eighties. The plot is as thin as that mint wafer from Monty Pythons The Meaning of life, about a group of gangsters getting revenge upon a former friend who betrayed them and killed their boss but this isnt about story. This is about the most insanely violent fightscenes I have ever seen!

The movie starts out slow, with some violent fights but nothing you havent seen before. But then it adds another gear, and another, and another and the last 30 minutes is just one long bloody fightscene where our heroes kill with knives, guns and fists and you just sit there, staring at the insane carnage with disbelief going through your brain. Did you actually see all that? If you like old Shaw Brothers or just kung fu movies in general, this is a must see. At least fastforward to that last fightscene in the supermarket, it will blow your mind! Or watch the scene where a thuig takes a little kid and break his back on his knee...