söndag 30 maj 2010

The Terror Within 2 (1991)

We all love Roger Corman. Just to see the logo of his old productioncompany Concorde brings a smile to my face. That was exactly why I put on the sequel to one of Cormans finest 80s production - the Alienclone The Terror within. My thought was, you cant fail with this.

Well, actually you can.

The story isnt bad. After a global plague humanity lives out a meager existence in a postapocalyptic world where the plague still kills and if that wasnt bad enough, the wasteland is full of nasty mutants who like to rape women. Andrew Stevens stars as a soldier roaming the wasteland for ingredients to a vaccine while the residents of an underground laboratory (led by just about the only good thing in this movie, R Lee Ermey) try to keep the mutants inside. Stevens saves a young girl from a couple of mutants, but cant stop her from being raped by a mutant as some survivors try to sacrifice her to it. They arrive at the laboratory but it doesnt take long before the girl gives birth to a mutant and to top it off, another mutant manages to get inside. Let the alienscloning begin!

R Lee Ermey cant fail, even though he is saddled with a really crappy role. The monstersuits are fun, slimy and rubbery, exactly as I like them. But other than that, this is just boring. The plot is just a bunch of poorly put together clichés, there is no gore and everyone just looks bored. The whole thing looks decent but there is really no excitement to get from it. The first movie wasnt exactly the best movie ever made but it hade a bit of gore, a decent plot and was at least entertaining which this really is not. At least see it as a timecapsule from the 80s and 90s, when alienclones had genuine rubber instead of cgi. Just dont watch it unless you really have to.

Timecrimes (2007)

We all like a bit of timetravel in our movies, dont we?

However, I'm not really sure the protagonist in Timecrimes aka Los cronocrímenes agrees with me. He is just trying to relax in his countryhouse after a long day at work when he sees a naked woman in the nearby woods while looking at random stuff through his binoculars. He gets a bit curious and strolls off to look for her. He finds her lying unconcious (still naked) and while he is trying to decide what to do, a masked psycho stabs him in the arm with a pair of scissors. He flees with the psycho following and soon comes to a fenced in estate where he breaks in to hide. Yes, the best way to do that is to smash a glass door when no one answers the doorbell. If we are trying to hide we should leave lots of evidence to where we are. He finds a radio and starts to communicate with someone in a lab on the other side of the estate who tells our hero to come to him where it will be safe. Hunted by the masked psychopath, he makes his way there where he in instructed to hide inside a strange device full of water. He does just that, in panic, but when he later comes out of it he realizes it is one hour earlier. Now, in a timeline where he himself is out there roaming about, he has to make sure that events happen as they were supposed to or he may cease to exist. Or will he?

Yes, the masked bloody psycho that stabbed our hero is actually himself in another incarnation, thats not especially hard to figure out. The fun of the movie is to find out how the hell this came about and to follow the main character, who himself is not really sure he understands the concept of several versions of himself running around. Is he actually making things worse by trying to stay to the "script"? The script isnt exactly 100% clear on that but that is the fun thing about movies like these, they make you think. At least the movie isnt as ambigious as another timetravelfavorite, Primer. This is a great little scifimovie (admittedly with the scifielements fairly lowkey) with good acting and direction which should appeal to everyone interested in the concept (well, anyone who likes a thriller with a smart script really. As a bonus we get a lot of female nudity. Think about that. Well recommended.

Baby Blood (1990)

Here is a fact: The world needs more movies like Baby blood.

It's not that it's an entirely original story. Girl gets infected by parasite that forces her to kill, kill and kill again. The woman is pregnant and the parasite takes over the fetus, wanting to be born of a real pregnancy, all the while being fed blood. Not a bad story itself, parasites are good fun, but Baby Blood goes towards masterpeice material in the way it treats the story. Instead of going the usual way, a gorefest, it instead concentrates on the strange relationship the parasite and the woman has, and develops even further throughout the movie.

For a movie that is basically about showing gallons of blood and a decent amount of nudity, Baby blood sure has a nicely poignant story. Through several scenes we get to follow the relationship between the woman and the parasite as it grows and we, well at least I, arent really sure that the thing inside her is really that evil, especially since the people around her are mostly scum and assholes that really wont be missed. All this leads up to the birth and the scenes following that are even stranger, gorier and wonderful. There is an awesome scene in a bus full of drunken soccerfans towards the end that is a classic. Then there is that ending that really doesnt tell us everything we want to know but is strangely satisfying in is abruptness.

Ok, so the special effects are a bit uneven, I will admit to that. The acting can be a bit off too, especially the lead character who sometimes is great, sometimes just average. But all in all, the whole concept of the movie is just plain awesome and is drenched in rich colours on the screen that just makes it more appealing in its post80s kitsch. Baby blood is truly a classic which I will definately watch again. The question is, why did I wait 20 years to watch it?

Messiah of evil (1973)

Here is a classic little flick that has been unseen for a long time, only showing up on poor bootlegs och those cheap public domain dvdcollections with vhsquality. It deserved better and finally Code Red stepped up to the challenge and provided us with a fine, remastered special edition. We love you, Code red!

The story starts with a bit of hyperbolic narration, where the main character (Mariana Hill) starts to tell us her story of trying to find her father in a small californian town and the madness that came with it. Stuff like this:
"They're coming here. They're waiting at the edge of the city. They're peering around buildings at night, and they're waiting. They waiting for you! And they'll take you one by one and noone will hear you scream. Noone will hear you SCREAM!"
Yes, subtle. Seems the town is full of some sort of flesheating psychopaths but of course, there is a bit more than that. The explanation to all of this is shown in a couple of really cool flashbacks and I really like the reason for all this.

Not thats its really a zombiemovie. Technically, they seem to be dead and they do eat flesh but you dont really see this as influenced by Night of the living dead. This is a bit more arty and focused on moods and ambience, as you can tell from the instance our heroine arrives in her fathers house, with the walls full of grand murals. The lights and camerashots are all in a similar vein. Not that the movie isnt without horror. There are several excellent scenes that stand out, particularily the one in the supermarket and especially the scene in the cinema when a victim watches a movie and realizes that the seats around her are slowly being filled by ashylooking people with bleeding eyes. Great stuff.

A great 70s horrormovie that might not appeal to everyone then. I myself liked it a lot and recommend it to all the fans of 70s horror and exploitation.

onsdag 19 maj 2010

The collector (2009)

For a Saw-wannabe, The Collector isnt that bad. It's actually much better than I expected. It even manages to outlive a pretty stupid plot thanks to some good photography and great tension. The gore helps too.

Sean Penn lookalike Josh Stewart plays Arkin, an ex-con currently working on renovating a house in the suburbs. Problem is, his stupid ex-wife owes a lot of money to a loan shark and after contemplating this, Arkin agrees to rob the house while the owners are out of town. He sneaks in during the night but soon finds that someone else is there. When trying to flee he realizes he is caught in a trap where a psychopath has set up a huge number of traps in the house. You know, fish hooks, spikes, razor blades, acid. Stuff that hurt. Then there is the question if he should help the family who never had time to leave the house before The Collector got to them.

Firstly, the plot is stupid as hell. Traps are always fun, but the concept of rigging an entire house with these fairly intricate ways of dishing out pain is just so impractical. It would take way too much time just to set everything up, unless he just wanted to set his prisoners free unto the traps, which he clearly is not. The whole thing about collecting people doesnt quite come together as a plausibility, other than a horror movie gimmick, of which it is one of the corniest so far. Daftness aside, these are nasty traps and there are quite a few scenes that make you feel part of the hurt that the character on the screen feels. The actors are decent enough to make you want their characters to live and Marcus Dunstan directs with a decent enough pace to keep you interested from the start to the finish. I almost forgive him for writing the script to Feast II.

And what is it with the moviepsychopaths and their masks? Sure, it looks nasty but also like it took a hell of a lot of time to make it. Where are all those long scenes of the Collector designing his mask, and sewing it together like in Spiderman? It probably took him longer to design the mask than all the traps.

Ok, so The Collector is a Sawwannabe with a silly plot, we have established that. But if you can forget about plot (after all, this is a goremovie and as a bonus, Madeline Zima shows her wonderful boobs) you get a well directed and shot little flick which does what it is supposed to do, entertain. The plotpoints arent stupid enough to linger on, they are just silly and therefore I actually recommend this movie. Who knows, maybe we will get a sequel with a decent script?

tisdag 18 maj 2010

Mu wu wang fa (1981)

More Shaw Brothers fun!

What price honesty is bit more serious than the SBmovies I have seen before. We follow three old friends who have joined the policeforce in a chinese town a couple of hundred years ago. They are young and bright and have no idea of how corrupted the policeforce in the town is, which immediately leads to confrontation with the other officers. This soon leads to the death of one of the men and the other are starting to wonder if they should give up the job. But then things get even worse as they start to turn on each other.

It's business as usual over in Shaw Brothers country with cool sets, tons of decently choreographed fightscenes and lecherous overacting, but the story is actually much darker and serious than I am used to. It takes a decidedly nasty tone halfway through and keeps that momentum to the end with tons of nasty violence and humiliation. There is even a decidely odd scene where a female character is stripped, chased and murdered by a rapist that seems totally out of place in the movie. Not that all of this is a bad thing, all of this definately stays in your mind afterwards. If you like Shaw Brothers movies, you will like this.

måndag 17 maj 2010

Crazies (2010)

Once upon a time in a town oh so small,
an airplane with Trixie from the sky would fall.
Oh my, What is Trixie? Anyone would ask,
it's a chemical agent: mayhem it's task.
It comes in the water, incubation is quick.
48 hours, then you get very sick.
A town full of crazies, death and despair
Well shot destruction, some gore here and there
The acting...

Ok, who am I trying to kid here, my english isnt exactly good enough to write a piece like this so I'll end this with:

The Crazies is a fun little flick
Somethingsomethingsomething or you can suck my dick.

And is it just me, or doesnt Timothy Olyphant look like he is 25? Seriously, Radha Mitchell looks like she's ten years older than him, when in reality she is five years younger.

söndag 16 maj 2010

Alien Uprising (2008)

I make no secret of the fact that I worship Alienclones, in fact, one of my wet dreams is soon coming true with both 80s faves Galaxy of terror and Forbidden world being released on special editions full of extras. Since there arent that many new clones made these days, we will have to settle for what we get. Such as Alien Incursion, which isnt exactly a good thing.

Let me see if you've heard this plot before. There is this mighty company with different colonies all over the universe and they have lost contact with one of them, so they send in a squad of marines and a company guy who is there to shut down the failing fusionreactor. The movie starts with the ships computer waking them up, preparing them for the landing. Oh yes, nothing new. Doesnt really have to be. Soon after landing they encounter a nasty creature that starts to kill them one by one.

Ok, so I like a halfdecent Alienclone much more than your average slashermovie but this is not particulary good. The story is cliched as hell, which doesnt really bother me much but the problem with Alien incursion is that it is way too lowbudget to have an impact and the filmmakers failed in their task of utilizing the small assets they had. For instance, everything is basically set in a warehouse, complete with empty shelves and lockers. The sfx when it comes to the weaponry is among the cheapest I have seen so far and makes your average Alfonso Breccia Star Wars ripoff look good. The actors are underwhelming throughout and spout their cliched marinedialogue with the enthusiasm of a high school play. The alien creature looks ok, not that you get to see it that much. I wanted to like this but it is a bit too hard to do that. Pedestrian filmmaking at its most boring I'm afraid. I would rate it a bit higher than the 2.7 that its Imdb.com average is, it's not that boring but I would only recommend it to someone like me that wants to see every Alienclone that has been made.

Paranormal entity (2009)

The Asylum are back with another cheap knockoff, this time with a carbon copy of the smash hit Paranormal activity. Directed by Dick Van Dykes grandson Shane, this is actually way cheaperlooking than the original which supposedly cost $15000 but it isnt actually as bad as you would think.

The movie starts with a 911 call where a Thomas Finley calls the police claiming that someone killed his own family, ending with "It killed her!" We are then told that Thomas Finley was arrested for the rape and murder of hiw own sister and later commited suicide in his cell. One year later a tape was found in the attic of the house and that you are about to watch what really happened. It turns out the mother in the family was trying to communicate with her dead husband, letting something else into their home... something much nastier.

Not bad, not bad. There are a few silly little things with the movie such as the fact that the house doesnt look lived in at all. There are no clothes in the closets, barely any decorations at all which sort of enforces that cheap aura. The nightvisionscenes doesnt look nightvision at all, more like someone lazily slapped a green filter on it. Then there is that cross on the wall in the sisters room, made out of cheap plastic, which just is plain goofy. Or are people actually hanging cheap plastic crosses on the wall? I wouldnt know. Anyway, these little things do their best in dispelling any sort of realistic feeling in the proceedings, but if you are able to look past them, as I was, you will find that there is a nice little scary movie waiting. The horrorscenes themselves (knockings on the walls, poundings, weird writing, footprints) are fairly creepy and to the movies defence, there actually is a lot more going on in Paranormal Entity than in Paranormal Activity. No long dialoguescenes, just nice, cheap scares. Kudos to Asylum for including a bit of nudity as well, something Paranormal Activity sorely lacked.

A decent little horrormovie which is quite worth watching if you like this type of movie. The scares are decent, the story is ok, the actors better than I expected them to be and the sister shows her boobs on several occasions. Check it out.

fredag 14 maj 2010

The Deadly mantis (1957)

Something strange is happening in the Arctic. A weatherstation is destroyed, then an airplane and the authorities are baffled. What could it be? What creature is capable of destroying a plane like its a toy? I wonder why, when I am sitting in my sofa watching The Deadly Mantis. Yes, as I watch the military wade through minutes upon minutes of stock footage as they they try to solve the mystery of what creature this can be, in the movie The Deadly Mantis. I ponder this question myself. What could it be? In The Deadly Mantis.

Jokes aside, this is an excellent little flick where the military try to stop *SPOILER* a giant mantis *END OF SPOILER* from reaching South america. The plot is rather minimal, the characters arent particulary interesting but the *SPOILER* Mantis *END OF SPOILER* is an awesome creation and the scenes where it destroys various buildings are awesome. There is truly a shitload of stockfootage but since that is pretty common in the genre, it doesnt hurt the movie that much. I have seen worse. The actors range from stiff to somewhat average which also is a staple of the genre. Nathan Juran, who made a lot of fun movies with Ray Harryhausen, directs with his usual professionalism and if you like 50s monstermovies, this will be 80 minutes of wonderful fun. The only thing that I would have liked is more footage of the *SPOILER* Mantis *END OF SPOILER* destroying stuff.

The Hangover (2009)

Yes, another comedy. This one is about a couple of guys on a bachelor party in Las Vegas. They drink Jägermeister full of roofies and wake up missing the groom. Since this is a comedy they guy is still alive somewhere. Pretty funny at times but wouldnt it have been more fun if they had sold him to some cannibal cult?

söndag 9 maj 2010

Avatar (2009)

I guess I am a bit dissapointed with the fact that I didnt go to the cinema to watch Avatar for if it is one thing the movie does right is look good. The environements are truly awesome and gel almost perfectly with the human actors and sets. If this is the way movies are going to look in the future, well let me tell you, It's going to look goood.

Too bad the movie has one of the most boring scripts in a long time. I have seen Scooby Doo episodes that were less predictable. Everything works sort of, in the way of entertainment, and the movie is never boring (which is a feat, since Avatar is over 160 mins long...), but there isnt a single plotpoint that you havent seen coming miles away. Another thing that bothered me a bit is the sanitized violence. I wasnt looking for a goremovie, but in Avatar everyone dies like in an old cowboymovie. They just keel over without a trace of blood. There were a few scenes that felt edited to cut away just before the violence and I wonder if this was done to secure a lower rating...

Still, as mindless entertainment this is way better than your average Roland Emmerich movie, but as far as James Cameron movies go, this is not among his best.

And lets not forget that H O R R I B L E endcredits song

lördag 8 maj 2010

Ultimate warrior (1975)

Really good postapocalypsemovies arent exactly common. Two thirds of them are low budget exploitation crap (which really doesnt have to be something negative) and the rest semiserious depressive thrillers or dramas. The Ultimate warrior is a rarity, a movie lodged somewhere in between a decent image of what life after a catastrophy might be and an entertaing and violent exploitationmovie.

So, Max Von Sydow is The Baron - the leader of a group of survivors in New York after some sort of catastrophy where all the crops died out. Of course, there are different factions fighting over the scraps of food and supplies that are left, nor counting the people who have started eating each other. The Baron has an ace up his sleeve though, seeds that are resistant to the diseases. He wants to take them outside NY, somewhere where they can be sown and flourish. An opportunity comes when badass Carson (Yul Brunner)comes to town and hires him as a strongman, and to hopefully bring the seeds somewhere safe. But, the internal strifing is growing more and more, not to mention the fact that another camp wants everything they own pretty bad.

Here we have one of those fine little flicks that isnt exactly a masterpiece, but so well made and designed that you get a warm feeling in your stomach watching it. Everything is shot on a studioset in California (fairly obviously so) but the rundown buildings create a perfect atmosphere. Yul Brunner is truly a badass and butchers about half of the cast himself with just a knife. The rest of the cast are excellent with Max Von Sydow a good leader, William Smith as the hunky badguy Carrot and Stephen McHattie in an early role. Everything moves along at a good pace and is always entertaining. I would've liked to know a bit more about the world outside NY, but you cant have everything I suppose. This movie was banned in Sweden when it arrived on the cinemas in the seventies so parts of me had real high expectations and although I was somewhat let down believing that the movie would contain heaps of detailed violence, it is still a really good movie that lovers of postapocalypse will adore.

tisdag 4 maj 2010

Inglorious Basterds (2009)

I am not a Quentin Tarantino fan. I would probably like the guy in person but I think that most of his movies are somewhat overrated. Reservoir dogs is my favorite and I guess that Pulp Fiction and the first Kill bill are ok movies.

Thats why it took me so long to finally see Inglorious basterds.

And it's a fun flick. Not as good as Reservoir dogs but still entertaining as hell.

But the coolest things about the movie is its spanish title. Malditos bastardos! Say it a couple of times, savour the words and let the strength of it roll of your tongue. Imagine Paul Naschy saying it. Malditos Bastardos!

Vampire girl vs Frankenstein girl (2009)

I wonder how Yoshihiro Nishimura and his ilks decide what kind of movies they are going to make every time. Part of me believes that they have a large number of different names and plotdevice on a wall and throw darts at them. If you've seen Machine girl, Tokyo gore police and Samurai princess you know what I am talking about and I can tell you that I am really looking forward to RoboGeisha and Mutant girl squad.

If you've seen the movies I mentioned earlier you will recognize this, especially the cheap and cheerful special effects. The plot this time is basically a Shoujo manga gone to hell where a young kid in high school, Jyugon (played by 29 year old actor Takumi Saito) falls in love with a transfer student named Monami. Problem is, she is a vampire and wants to make him into one. Another problem is Keiko, a girl who has set her eyes on Jyugon since way back and she isnt taking no for an answer. Ok, mix this with the various freaks and misfits of the school (The wristcuttinggroup, The Ganguro girls) and the fact that Keikos dad is a mad scientist and we get this delightful gory soup that only could've come from Japan. Keiko dies but her dad resurrects as a Frankensteinian monster and you know that there will be lots of bloodshed.

This is fun stuff from the first frame. The girls are cute, the hero is fairly useless and the gore is plentiful. Well, as plentiful as it may be, Vampire girl vs Frankenstein girl has actually a bit more plot than usual and although it is just silly stuff as the wristcuttergirls singing songs about slicing their wrists or partaking in the wristcutting olympics, most of the movie is just plot. There is some blood here and there but less than I expected which meant that i was somewhat dissapointed with it. Until the climax though, where the last twenty minutes is just a long, awesomely gory and weird fight. All in all, Vampire girl vs Frankenstein girl is a silly movie that will leave you with a smile on your lips, with all of its not so political correctness and those oh so cute girls causing all that mayhem. Not as weird as Tokyo Gore police and nowhere near as racy as Samurai princess but still a fun flick.

Hanzo the Razor: The Snare (1973)

Hanzo the Razor is the hardest man in the world. To make things easier for me because I am a lazy son of a bitch, I am going to quote my review of the first Hanzomovie:

"Razor Hanzo is a no bullshit guy. A bit like if Charles Bronson was living in Japan in the days when there were no filthy gaijin influences. He is a policeofficer in Edo but has some rather unorthodox working methods, which isnt exactly approved by his superiors but Hanzo is so fucking tough that he doesnt care, he hates them anyway since they're all whimps. When he is not out chasing criminals or corrupt officers, he spends his days torturing himself to become even tougher and also pounding his giant penis with a piece of wood to make it even.. harder? Hanso's speciality is coaxing information out of female suspects using his giant tool by putting them in a fishnet, lowering them down on his rod and then spinning the net until they tell him everything when he threatens to stop pounding them. Yes, only in Japan."

In the second movie, Hanzo gets in trouble with the Shoguns treasurer and discovers a temple that sells young women to lecherous old men. Yes, Hanzo gets to torture a nun this time. Awesome. Shintaro Katsu is hardcore as usual, I couldnt think of anyone else that would look so cool running around killing people in his underwear to the tunes of an awesomely funky seventies synthscore. This is a fine piece of violent 70s exploitation and I truly recommend it to fans of the genre.