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Koroshiya 1 (2001)
This one just gets better over the years....to me, anyway
This is one of those that (if you love it) you will only feel comfortable recommending to a select few people. Yes, there are a certain breed of us that revel in the depraved and obscene, but if you thumb your nose at the current wave of what many consider to be "shocking" and "disturbing", then "Ichi" is right up your alley and probably what you consider a part of your comfort zone. Yessir, this one has it all. Gore? Well, you get that in spades. Engaging characters? Look no further. For me, it's not so much that, but then again it IS the characters and the effect that they have on each other. Relationships are a big part of what drives this movie and through the plot twists and emotional punches that Miike throws, it's the characters that draw you back...for repeated viewings, that is. The blood and guts are secondary. Takashi Miike works more than most any director today. Yeah, some of his stuff is hit and miss, but this ranks right up with his best work.
Rogues Gallery (2010)
Only a 5???
It took me a while but I finally got around to this one and, wow. Even though there's a first rate cast, I just wasn't expecting it to be this good. The blend of Action and ultra mean-spirited comedy isn't something that's easy to pull off, but due to the sheer force of one Rob Corddry and some uber tight direction from first timer (!) Fouad Mikati, this thing comes together perfectly. I can see where this is not something that everyone could appreciate, but I can see this one getting a lot of replay by a select certain few. At the risk of dropping anything even resembling a spoiler, I'll keep this short and sweet (just like the movie's running time). If you loved the humor and dialog of "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" then you've found your movie. Get it.
WAY more than what I was hoping for
I gotta admit that I only had mild expectations for "Carver". I wasn't very familiar with Franklin Guerrero's work and having missed out on "The 8th Plague", I just didn't have much idea of what I was in for. After spotting this one in the video store, I blindly picked it up, expecting another one of my trash-fests. Funny thing, back when I was younger, I used to watch these straight to video horror flicks to make fun of them. Now that I'm older, I actually ENJOY them on their own merits. Inept film-making or not, I ususally find something to like. However, what I was expecting from "Carver" was far from what I got. This actually turned out to be a very well-done, engaging, and disturbing little film. Yeah, the initial setup is pretty well-worn territory, but this one took some chances, took some unexpected twists and turns and came up with something pretty fresh.
The story immediately got my attention as this group of twenty-somethings head out on a camping trip at an old childhood haunt. After stopping off at a local pit stop and meeting up with a good ole local fellow, they get caught up in helping him out with a favor (hey, the guy's a cripple). In exchange for their kindness, he allows them a free party night in his tavern. All is going well. The group does a little exploring in a seemingly abandoned house and find some film footage and a projector and then....things kinda take a turn for the worse.
The look of the movie really drew me in. This is by all means, a low-budget, independent effort and it looks incredible. Of all the films in the last few years that claimed to be a "throwback to the 70s", "Carver" has actually come the closest to getting that feel. The sets were authentically creepy and real. The actors looked like REAL people and all did admirable work. The characters were fleshed out enough that you actually liked most of them. Guerrero really knows how to set up a shot and build tension. Then there's the gore....sweet Jesus, the gore. When party time came to a hault, it got messy (and painful). Let's just say that if you found "Hostel" to be cringe-inducing and if you looked away during the eye-scene, then just stay away from "Carver". One scene in particular really stands out. Also the killer here really seems to have a fondness for "Turkey in the Straw" (so do I for that matter, but that's neither here nor there) and after seeing this, you will never think of it the same way again.
It's hard to say how well this one will hold up over time, but as far as the straight-to-video line goes, "Carver" is going to be a tough one to beat for a while. I'm sure I'll end up adding it to my library and I'd recommend it to anyone who's serious about their horror. I'll also be keeping an eye on Franklin Guerrero. He's got potential, for sure.
The Pit (1981)
A unique and slightly-psychedelic surprise. Worth owning for any fan of 80s horror.
It took me a long time to finally get around to tracking this one down and checking it out. I first saw the box for this in a video store well-over a decade ago and that cheap-looking box art has stayed in my head for so long it's a wonder that with all of my b-movie obsessiveness, I didn't find this one earlier. I really wish I had because now that I've seen it, it joins the ranks of "The Burning" and "Sleepaway Camp" as one of my favorite 80s horror flicks. Although it's less-than-perfect, there's a certain charm to it that kinda defies explanation.
Although it doesn't have quite the replay value of "The Burning" (I dunno, maybe time will tell), nor does it have any recognizable faces or an abundance of gore. What it does have is pure originality. This is one crazy little flick. That's for sure.
(Note: The movie starts with one of the strangest openings I've ever witnessed. I don't want to give too much away but the same five-minute scene is repeated half-way into the movie. Yeah, it's a cool scene and all and it definitely gets your attention but it kinda spoils a little of what's about to come so I'm going to start my summary of what happens after that scene)
See, this twelve year-old kid Jamie is that awkward-looking, somewhat introverted kid you might remember from your own school days. He's got this vibe about him that tends to repel and creep people out, while making him the target for constant abuse and rejection. A born-loner, it goes without saying that he has no friends. He's taunted by a little girl for looking at her bicycle, yelled at and called a "hippie" by an elderly blind woman in a wheelchair(for no apparent reason), and punched in the face by an older kid for asking if he can join his club. To top things off, his folks are about to leave him with a babysitter for an indefinite amount of time (why they're leaving is never really explained, although it's presumed that they just want a break from their son). In fact, things are going so badly for the kid that I really sorta felt sorry for him at first. See, people are creeped out by Jamie for a purpose. He's more than just a little creepy. He talks to his teddy bear, "Teddy", and (get this) the bear even talks back. Oh, and did I mention that Jamie is a perv with a capitol "P"? He's already developed a crush on his new babysitter, Sandy, and he's not above a little peeping-tom business either. Jamie also has four other friends who reside in a hole in the ground out in the woods. When Jamie takes it upon himself to start feeding these troll-like critters ("tralalags"), he discovers that they are indeed carnivorous and a twelve-year old kid can't afford that much hamburger meat. Well, you probably see where I'm going with this.
It's never made clear if Jamie was this screwed up from the beginning or if he was supposed to have just snapped at some point. Maybe it was a gradual thing. Who knows and who cares? All I know is that I'm glad that the film-makers never took the matter serious enough to delve too deeply into Jamie's noggin because "the Pit" is so much fun to watch that any explanation for Jamie's insanity probably would have dulled the overall effect. It seems like the crazier that Jamie gets, the more crazy the film gets. While it may be predictable in places, there's so many odd moments thrown into it that you won't even care. And the ending is a force to be reckoned with. Those last twenty minutes are a hoot and just thinking about it makes me want to watch it again right now.
Yeah, there's LOADS of stuff for any MST3K-wannabes out there to have a field day but a lot of the laughs, I'm sure, HAD to be intentional. First off, this "pit" is a 15' by 6' hole that's maybe 10' deep. A decent sized hole, but yet half of the victims run right into it without even noticing it's there (in broad daylight, no less). Good stuff. What about the scene where Jamie takes an old lady in a wheel chair, wheels her out in the woods, dumps her in the hole, and then later rides around in the wheelchair? Oh, and what about the scene where a Sheriff finds the very same wheelchair, sits in it, then runs it into a wall. You can't tell me that there's any director in the history of cinema who could've ever filmed a scene like that with a serious-minded approach. Then there's the matter of the dialog. I can rattle off at least a dozen quotes right away and I've only seen the film once. This has some of the quirkiest dialog I've ever seen in a horror flick and that's a good thing.
All in all, "The Pit" sounds like something that shouldn't work at all, but somehow, as a whole, despite it's flaws and its (awesome) weirdness, it works way better than you would think and it's loads of fun to watch.
Little Marines (1991)
An example of just what can be remembered from childhood....
First off, I didn't know that anyone else had even SEEN this f***ing thing. I caught it when I was maybe eleven years old and that's only because my little hometown video store must have ordered every shot-on-video turd ever made (that may have something to do with why they're no longer in business) but of all the crap I watched in my youth (and I do mean CRAP, folks) this one and this other little thing called "The Skid Kid" (which doesn't even show up on IMDb, probably for the better) tend to stick out in my memory as some of the best times I ever had with pure awfulness. The story that makes up "Little Marines" is irrelevant. Just think of "Stand By Me" if it had been stripped of everything that made it a classic, then remade to where it was set in "modern" times, with nonactors, the production values of a third-rate after-school special, and written by someone who had absolutely zero idea of what kids were really like at that age.
Basically, three kids go camping. That's the plot. Along the way they run into a hateful cop, a drug-dealer in a corvette, some paintgun wielding kid on a cheap little motorscooter, and a s***load of turtles. They build a tee-pee and work out to "YMCA" (yes, that's right). There's also some very awkward and uncomfortable-feeling (for me, anyway) flashback scenes that involve a recently deceased friend of the boys and some kind of talent show with bananas for microphones (Seriously folks, Kools are all I've been smoking today). You know that odd feeling of nostalgia you get when you flip through an old grade-school yearbook? How about that feeling of dread you used to get on Sunday afternoons when you knew that you had to be at school the next morning? Well, that's the feeling I got from these scenes....the FIRST time I watched it. Not sure what that says about the film (or me for that matter) but that's the closest I can come to describing it and I've never had that same feeling come from another movie since. Weird.
Now as you can probably tell by now, if you're still reading at this point, this is not exactly high-quality entertainment. You can tell that the "film makers" did not intend to make a "hey let's laugh at the b-movie" kinda flick. It seems far too sincere for that. Come to think of it, I'm really not sure that they even knew what they were trying to make. But they did succeed in an unintentional comic masterpiece. The dialogue is a hoot and I'd add it to my library for that alone. How about all those turtles??? Then there's the aforementioned talent show. Who could forget the CLASSIC exchange between that kid Noah and the cop (Cop: "where you boys going?" Noah:Campin'). There's the TERRIBLY amusing scene that involved the boys an old lady and her dog. And who could forget the scene where Stevie gets off the school bus, sees his newly restored Huffy sitting in his driveway from a block away, whoops out "MY BIKE!!!!" then runs (in real time) while the camera follows over his shoulder the whole distance. Choice stuff. Oh and did I mention that it's been SIXTEEN YEARS since I have seen it? Generally, my memory sucks about as much as this movie, so the fact that I'm able to recall so much about this thing has to give it at least some kind of merit. I actually tried looking for it on here several years ago and came up with nothing so I was really surprised to see that it was even on IMDb.
Well, it sure has been fun pointlessly trashing a film that maybe 50 people world-wide have ever seen, but I'm afraid I've killed enough time doing so. I think I'm gonna try to go track it down and put it on my zune so I can carry it with me every where I go....
minor spoilers here and there. BEST SINCE ORIGINAL HANDS DOWN
Like many other true horror fans, the original is an all time favorite and being more than a little sick of all the sequels and cash-ins (with the exception of the just-okay remake) I was more than a little leery of this one, especially after learning that this was a prequel to the remake. I even scoffed at the poster when I saw it hanging in "coming soon" section. I couldn't help but think that they are riding this horse to death and yes, the "the saw is running out of gas" line popped into my noggin. However, this did not stop me from doing a few searches online. After reading some positive buzz and a few good reviews from some credible horror sites, I soon found myself, wife in tow, at the multiplex albeit, still with fairly low expectations.
Surprise surprise. I was dead wrong and this turned out to be the best one since the original. Jonathan Liebesman (spell that right?....probably not) did one hell of a job, delivering a pure ass-kicking film that could definitely stand on it's own two feet. The connections to the remake are definitely there and it does explain a lot, but if you missed out on it, you're okay. This is everything a great horror film should be. The story, although not very original, works very well, as the first fifteen minutes tells us how our little family came to be and also how Hoyt became self-appointed Sheriff. R. Lee Ermey (the BEST thing about the remake) delivers a knockout performance and has some truly hilarious lines. Check that. EVERYTHING out of his mouth had me in stitches.
This is one of those rare horror flicks (much like Hills Have Eyes) where you actually give a rat's ass about the victims. There's just enough character development for us to see their motives, to see them as human beings, for us to be scared for them and with them. Kudos to all involved. The suspense is genuine, even if the last segment is just a tad formulaic and let me say this: This "Saw" has some of the most extreme violence/gore of any major studio film in recent memory. The gore even topped out "Hostel". Very brutal indeed. I've never seen anything like that done to a cow before. Also, wait till you see what happens to a very unfortunate (and purely unlikeable) biker.
All said and done, THIS is how to revive a franchise and if there's only one flaw, it's prequel-ing a remake that wasn't all that great to begin with, but fear not, this is everything the remake should have been. I'm now left wondering where they can go if they decide to do another one. Well, if Liebesman is on board, I'll probably be there to find out and you can most certainly be that I will be adding this one to my collection once it hits DVD.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Something told me, from the first time I saw the trailer, that I was going to love this movie. I'm glad that I can trust my instincts because Shaun of the Dead rocked. Hard. This has to be, without a doubt, the best movie of it's kind since Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" and it's one of the funniest movies I saw all year.
The plot is simple: Shaun is a guy (not much different from me) who works a droning job, spends most of his free time with his roommate Ed, playing video games, and downing beer after beer at the local Pub. In fact, when we first meet him, he's being dumped by his girlfriend Liz, who is tired of the same old routine. Yeah, it takes a while for the zombie action to kick in, but I was having such a good time with Shaun and Ed, I really didn't care. The dialog is so well-written and the chemistry between the two are so good, I would've been satisfied had this been a straight comedy, without zombies. Anyway, on a very bad hangover, Shaun slowly (and I do mean SLOWLY) begins to realize that all is not well in London. He finally puts it all together when a girl shows up in the backyard, falls on a pipe (which impales her), then gets up and proceeds to attack. After watching the news, the two slowly begin to realize that people are starting to turn into zombies and eat each other. In what is probably my favorite scene, the two devise a plan to escape their house, pick up Shaun's mother, kill Phil (Shaun's stepfather, because he's been bitten) pick up Liz, then find a nice, safe place to hide out and wait for things to cool down. The way that the whole thing is shown is flat-out brilliant and if something of it's kind has been filmed before, then I'm just unaware. Love that sequence.
I can't begin to count the reasons why I loved this movie. The acting was topnotch, the dialog will have you quoting for years to come, the directing was brilliant, and then there's the zombies and the gore....Let's just say that "Shaun of the Dead" had one of the most gruesome death scenes I've ever witnessed in any movie EVER. All in all, this movie is flawless.
On a side note: I watched this movie ONCE and was able to remember all of the characters names without having to go back and double check myself. Taking my short-term (almost nonexistent) memory into consideration, that's really saying something.
Friends don't let friends watch this movie sober
I was a little intrigued when I saw the preview for this one. It looked, to me, like a fun way to kill an hour and a half on an uneventful Saturday night but having not been too thrilled with "Dude, Where's My Car?" four years ago, I was a little skeptical. I finally picked up the DVD a couple of days ago and I'm happy to report that "Harold and Kumar..." is the funniest movie of it's kinds since "Road Trip". The plot is irrelevant. If you've seen the previews, then you know what you're getting into. Two Stoners do their thing, see a commercial for White Castle, get the munchies and decide to take the 80 mile trip to satisfy their craving. Needless to say, absurd things happen...That's all we get in terms of story, but what really keeps it all together is the chemistry of the two leads. I loved every minute of their bantering and Neil Patrick Harris's cameo as himself still has me laughing when I think about it. His bit about the "offscreen relationships" with the cast of Doogie Howser MD. had me crying and rewinding. Someone get this guy some more parts like this one. He's great.
Bathroom humor has never been one of my faves, but I didn't mind it so much here. I could've done without that one sequence (if you see it, then you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about) and I was a little bored during the whole "Freakshow" bit. Coulda done without that too..However, the rest of the movie is so good that those two gripes are easily forgiven. True, this may be a stoner comedy, but you don't even have to be a fan of that genre to enjoy this one. I watched it with a 12 pack and had a blast. I can easily see this one joining my collection in the near future. Please give us a sequel.
There's no telling how many times I watched this movie as a kid and I still watch it at least once a month. Back in the day, I'd get bored, pop this one in the vcr, and then go outside and try to court death by bicycle, in attempt to imitate the insane tricks that I'd just watched in this movie. I wanted TO BE Bart Taylor (yes, I know that we were supposed to be rooting for Cru Jones) and I forget how many scrapes, gashes, and bruises I got from my Haro. In one of many failed attempts, I even tried to rig my backyard into my own makeshift "hell track". I'd even hum my own soundtrack (gotta love that "break the ice" and "thunder in your heart") and even though this lead to a lot of pain (and embarrassment), I'd keep trying.
Well, needless to say, the 80s are gone and I never became a professional BMXer..but I still have this movie. If you've never seen it, well, it probably won't do much for you now. It's one of those that if you didn't embrace it when you were young (anybody with me on that?), you won't get much out of it, aside from a little unintentional comedy, okay LOADS of unintentional comedy. But the story all centers around the local paperboy/bmx badboy, Cru Jones. He's not all that likable and he's pretty obnoxious to boot, but he gets wind that Hell Track is coming to his little podunk town and the grand prize is $100,000. He wants to race real bad, but the problem is, the big race falls on the same day that he has to take his SATS and his momma won't let him race. Bummer. So now, Cru has to step up and be a man and make his first big decision in life. What's a young man to do? I'm tired of writing....I hear my Haro calling my name...
Cabin Fever (2002)
fun, crazy, and inspiring...HAIL ELI ROTH!
When was the last time you loved a movie so much that you spent more money renting it over and over than you would have if you had bought two copies? When I first heard of Cabin Fever, I was foaming at the mouth. I had read nothing but praise for it, and was just dying to see what Eli Roth had committed to film. I read all the flack about "...return to 70s" and interviews with Eli about what he was trying to accomplish. I thought, "Thank God, someone has come along with enough love for the genre that he could possibly resurrect from the stream of crap that it has become. All this just made me want to see it even more. When the day finally came, I was there, in the theater waiting with glee, wishing there were some way that I could hit the fast-forward button and skip through the trailers. I was a little nervous. Had I built it up too much? Had I set myself up for a big let down? No and no. "Cabin Fever" was even better than I had anticipated. My (then) girlfriend was repulsed and furious that we hadn't gone to see "Matchstick Men" instead. Me, being the selfish jerk that I am, found myself in the theater again, the very next weekend for a second viewing. I couldn't get enough. I was completely hooked.
Why am I so obsessed with this movie? Well, I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe a shrink could figure it out, but I can tell you what I LOVED about this movie: First would be the characters. I loved every single one of these guys and gals and was with them all the way. For one, they were all REAL, not some cookie-cutter stereotypes that we're so used to seeing. These are real, flawed human beings. Ryder Strong did great as Paul and Joey Kern was very good as Jeff. He's the one that you love to hate. Cerina Vincent was wonderful as Marcy and Jordan Ladd was good as Karen. My personal favorite (aside from Deputy Winston) was Bert, played with great energy by James Debello. Yeah, he's the "comedy relief" and all and he's supposed to be annoying, but I love his carefree attitude and his laugh had me laughing. His squirrel shooting antics were hilarious and I still laugh when I think about the Snickers bar. Many have complained about Deputy Winston (Giuseppe Andrews) showing up midway through the movie and supposedly "wrecking everything". To me, these were some of the comic highlights and he gets most of the best lines in the movie. Just the idea of a party-hard Deputy puts a big smile on my face and his reaction to the truck still gets me. In fact, his reaction to anything odd gets to me.
I love the look of the movie. I guess it's supposed to be Spring, since they're on Spring Break vacation, but to me, it looked like Fall. Whether this is a goof or not, I don't really care. It gave the film a great look. I loved the set-design of the cabin. That cabin is a character in itself. Next time you watch it, pay close attention to the detail.
The pacing: I love it. The first half is relatively tame and plays more like a comedy. You meet the characters, spend time with them as they party and do their thing, and begin to feel sorry for them because you know all is about to be ruined. I especially loved the campfire tale about the bowling alley. Classic indeed. Once things finally kick into gear, the last third moves at a breakneck pace. THAT was great directing and as for the ending, well, (notice how I'm avoiding spoilers for those who haven't seen it) I really hope that Eli gets it in him to do a sequel because I want it to continue.
In short, I love this movie so much it's downright scary. I don't know for sure how many times I've seen it over the last years and there's no telling how many times I'll watch it for years to come. Clichéd as it may sound, this is by a horror fan FOR horror fans. Easily in my top 5. HIGHLY Recommended
Monster Man (2003)
Just got around to seeing Monster Man yesterday. It had been a long wait and after lots of anticipation and build up, I'm glad to say that it came through and met my expectations on every level. True, you really can't expect too much from hearing the plot rundown, but after reading some of the reviews for it, I was ecstatic. I mean, what trash fan wouldn't want to see a gore flick about a deranged inbred hick mowing people down with his make-shift monster truck? I went in expecting a cross between Road Trip and The Hills Have Eyes and got so much more. This was a horror comedy that actually worked. The film makers got it right when it came to making you squirm and making you howl with laughter at the same time. Kudos to Michael Davis for going all out with the gore and pushing the envelope with the sickass humor. Let me list just a few reasons why I love this movie so much: First off is the story. It's been done to death in so many other flicks. A college guy gets wind that his childhood crush is getting married. He, being the 25 year old virgin that he is, hops in his Vista Cruiser and decides to take the road trip to confess his love, hoping that she will fall head over hills and all that good jive. Hidden in the backseat of his station wagon, is good buddy Harley. Harley is the loudmouth, former friend, who laughs and talks just like Jack Black in High Fidelity. You can't help but like the guy, but if he was your friend in real life, you'd have to keep a whiffle ball bat handy(laugh all you want, but have you ever been hit with one?) to keep him in check. So, he's a little on the obnoxious side, to say the least, but you can tell that he's a loyal friend, deep down...Anyway, they're on the road and when they stop in a bar, they aggravate the locals. Now they're being stalked by a leatherface clone in a monster truck. That's it. Yeah, along the way they pick up a gorgeous hitchhiker but I'm too lazy and hungover to go into that right now... so just watch the damn movie.
Second thing I love was the humor. This one had some of the sickest laughs of any movie since Cabin Fever. Just how messed up is it? Well, I won't even go into the whole cat scene and as for the "corpse burrito" thing, I'll leave that to your virgin eyes as well. The bar full of amputees was somewhat disturbing and that guy who looked like John Turturro bothered me too. Harley, although a totally obnoxious frat-boy type, can really sling off the one liners. Love the clogs, by the way. I need a new pair..
The GORE. This one pours it on heavy. While the first hour plays out as a demented road comedy, the last third is all about blood and guts. If the movie hadn't kept such a light tone throughout, it would have been a little disturbing, but seeing how it was all played for laughs, there is no way possible that you will be bothered by it. If you're still in your seat by the time it comes, you'll probably see the humor in it too, but seriously, there were buckets and buckets of the red stuff. There was a big plot turn that I DIDN'T see coming and when the credits rolled, I was completely satisfied. I had gotten exactly what I came for and I'm really glad that I bought it. Much like Cabin Fever, it's going to get a lot of replay.
The Look of the movie was outstanding. There was this deliberately cheap look that made the whole thing scream late 80s and I loved the exaggerated colors. It's obvious that Monster Man was done on a relatively low budget, but much like Cabin Fever (sorry I keep comparing the two) it actually works in the movie's favor. Cabin Fever was an ode to the 70s greats, this was the 80s answer to that. So take that for what it's worth. No CGI here. This is what we all needed. I'm not exactly sure why it didn't get a theatrical release because this is everything that Jeepers Creepers SHOULD have been. Thank god for Lions Gate.
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
I need a life
The first time I saw "Sleepaway Camp", I was hanging out with some friends, it was somewhere around four in the morning, and I was the only one in the group with a fetish for b-movies. I rented this one without knowing anything about it other than it had some really nifty cover art. I was expecting some of my usual rubbish with the campy dialogue, scant 80s cloting, and some hilarious death scenes. Well, I got that and so much more. Nevermind what my friends thought of the flick (shocked, appalled, disgusted, disturbed), I got what I came for.
That was seven years ago and I know I should have grown up by now, but what's wrong with me,I'll never know. In my mind, this is the definitive 80s slasher. The series managed to find a permanent place in my library and I just can't get away from watching these movies. There's not much for me to say in the way of plot. It seems that there are already plenty of other sickos out there who felt that it was their purpose on earth to ruin the legendary ending for anyone who hasn't seen the flick and was unfortunate enough to read a few reviews before checking it out.
If you call yourself a "horror fan" and haven't already seen this one, then it's going to be okay. Go get a copy and while you're at it, get the sequels as well.
The "Survival Kit" DVD set is worth buying twice.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
why the term "instant classic" was invented
This movie is not funny. It's Friggin' HILARIOUS. The first time I watched it was during the winter and I laughed a few times, but remembering the motorcycle chase scene, I gave it another run and was blown away. I haven't laughed so hard since the second time I saw "The Big Lebowski" and I ended up buying my own copy.
What is it about Summer Camp movies? Is it nostalgia or what? I'm really not sure. I've always had a weakness for them, but this tops all. Ironically, it's a parody of nearly every Summer Camp movie out there and it covers many, MANY other topics that I'm just too lazy to ruin for you. It's also better than just about any other Summer Camp movie out there, and despite all the absurdity going on, it actually does a good job of catching that feeling of being at camp.
There's not much more I can say about this one without ruining most of the jokes, but I can say that if you want a comedy that's actually funny, then don't rent this. BUY IT. Watch it at least once a month for the rest of your life (once a week during the Summer) and encourage your friends to do the same. This is why the term "instant classic" was invented.
nice way to kill an hour
This is a cool little DVD that's great for a rental and will be amusing to horror-buffs as well as people who aren't very familiar with the genre. It contains several highlight scenes from such classics as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (which happens to be one of my favorite scenes from any movie ever), "Phantasm", "Child's Play 2", and of course there's a couple of scenes featuring Jason and Freddy. What confuses me is why the people who put this together felt that adding in scenes from lesser known titles such as "The Dentist", "Wishmaster", and the great little hidden "Jack Frost 2" was a good idea. I didn't care for "Wishmaster" one bit and "The Dentist" was about as wretched as they come (that's my opinion anyway). Personally, I would've rather had some old classics ("Wolfman", "Frankenstein", "Pumpkinhead") instead, but then again, this still makes for a very entertaining watch and at only 58 mins, it's mostly time well spent.
Oh, and I almost forgot about that scene from "The Guardian". I've never seen that one, but I guess I will have to catch it now. That scene was awesome.
for the most part, I enjoyed it
"Identity" was one that I had really looked forward to seeing. It looked like a good old-fashioned horror/murder-mystery with a sparkling cast and a perfect backdrop (seedy motel, stormy night) I was in awe after seeing the teaser-trailer once and I knew this was one that I HAD to see. Well, I finally got around to seeing Identity and was it all I hoped for? Well....
Overall, I had a good time with Identity. I adored the set-up, with the first hour bringing the ten-strangers together and making it all seem like it was fate. This movie has NO dull moments whatsoever in its 90 minute running time. From the opening frame, we are given a few pieces of the puzzle, and as time goes on, there are more pieces scattered here and there as we frantically try to put it all together and make sense of the whole thing. For the first hour or so, I was having the time of my life. The mood was perfect, the direction was brilliant, the performances were taught (gotta love John Cusack and Ray Liotta) and I just didn't want it to end. However, when the time came for the killer to be revealed, I felt let down. I don't know if dissapointment would be the right word for it, but after investing the whole movie with these characters, I wanted more of them, and above-all a better explanation. For those who haven't seen it, I won't spoil it. You may even like it. I, however, am indifferent about it. I didn't dislike it, but I wasn't totally satisfied either.
As I mentioned earlier, this movie has a cast to die for (no pun intended) and everyone came through. John Cusack was totally three dimensional as the ex-cop turned chaffeur and Ray Liotta was outstanding (as always) as the cop who's transporting the convicted killer. The underrated Jake Busey did what he could with an underwritten role as the aforementioned killer (please, lets get this guy some more parts) , but John Hawkes was a major standout as the hotel "owner" with a great sense of humor. If this movie had any comedy relief, this guy was it. I love Clea Duvall and I was a little disappointed that she wasn't given more to do than cry and act scared. The big surprise for me was Amanda Peet. I've never been a fan in the past, but here she was exceptional as the hooker with a conscience.
Boiler Room (2000)
very entertaining and realistic
Being in sales myself, I tend to see every movie on the subject that I can get my hands on. It doesn't matter what the characters are selling because it all comes down to closing and what lengths the characters will go to to get the sale. I loved "Tin Men", "Used Cars", "Death of a Salesmen", "Glengary Glen Ross" and of course, "Wall Street", but "Boiler Room" is the one that I can identify with more than any of the others, mainly because it's all guys around my age and (sadly) I can relate to many of the tactics used in the film. Giovanni Ribisi is never bad (in my book) and I consider Nicky Katt to be one of Hollywood's most underrated. Not to mention, I'm a huge Ben Affleck fan and even though his performance is brief here, he's excellent and you WILL remember his first scene as one of the film's highlights.
It looks like nearly every review here has gone through the plot and at least every other review has talked about the sublots involving Seth's father and his love interest, so I'm not going there either. I entered the world of sales a little over a year ago, and even though "Boiler Room" had been out for a while, I still hadn't seen it. Like the guys in the movie, I was lured into sales by the fast money and the after-hours lifestyle that seemed to naturally accompany it. Ben Younger obviously knows a lot about the profession and the lifestyle. Hats off to him for painting a realistic portrait of what it's like to be a young sales person.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Gotta Love it
Like everyone else, I did my fair share of waiting for Rob's directorial debut. Loving his music, art-work, and taste in movies, my expectations were reasonably high. So, when it was all said and done, was I satisfied? Yes. First off, let me say that I don't watch movies because I want some kind of lesson on life. I prefer to watch trashy horror movies because I love the atmosphere and sleaziness of movies like "Last House on The Left" and "I Spit On Your Grave". Call it a sickness or make of it whatever you will, but that's just the way I am, I guess.
It may not be for everyone, but anyone who's followed this movie through the production and all the delays should know what to expect when they go into it. The plot takes a back seat to style and there are no "good guys" worth rooting for. My personal favorite was Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding. This guy stole the show every time he showed up and if there's only one complaint I had with the movie, it's that he wasn't in it enough. But that's okay because once Otis shows up, all is forgiven. Bill Moseley is always fun to watch and I'm happy to say that he didn't let me down. This is one crazy mother that I don't want to mess with. Karen Black was fun as the off-kilter Mother Firefly and Sherri Moon was kooky fun as the demented Baby.
I thought that the sets were a sight to behold and that house was fun times. I loved all of the exaggerated colors that Rob used (lotsa reds and greens) and the grainy look of the film made me think back to "Last House on The Left". The two bumbling cops were also reminiscent to "LHOTL" as they provided some pretty decent comedy (gotta love Walt Goggins). Thanks to Rob's script, there are some really great one-liners here and although most of them go to Captain Spaulding, Otis gets what (to me anyway) is one of the best lines ever uttered in a horror flick. I won't spoil it for anyone.
All in all, I loved the film and I think Rob may very well have a new franchise on his hands. Sadly, many people out there won't enjoy it, but I'm sure that it will please the crowd that it was intended for. Thanks Rob.
Roger Dodger (2002)
A good time
I'd heard of "Roger Dodger" when it was in the theaters, but I didn't get around to seeing it until last night. I had only a vauge idea of what the movie was a about, but still, it was enough to get me interested. It was a very interesting way to spend nearly two hours. Roger comes across as the "legend in his own mind" and it was a pleasure watching him control every conversation. With this movie, the plot isn't important. It's all about the dialogue and that will keep you glued. I particularly enjoyed the handheld cam stuff and thought that added even more realism to the whole thing. The movie plays like a Saturday evening at a nightclub. I felt like I was there and was actually surprised that I wanted to be. Worth more than one viewing.
Waking Up in Reno (2002)
all said and done, I had a great time with Waking Up In Reno.
I waited on this one for a long time and now that I've finally seen it, I'm happy to say that it was worth the wait. While you may have to be from the South to fully appreciate the humor, I think it's enjoyable enough for just about anyone. I went in expecting light-hearted fun and I got just that. I loved all of the characters and found myself wishing that I was riding with them in that red SUV sipping a Pabst. Good to see Patrick Swayze again and Billy Bob really should do more comedies. Charlize Theron's accent was very convincing as was Natasha Richardson's. Well worth a watch (or six) and I will be buying the DVD.
"I was thinking about going down to the lobby and teasing that rattlesnake."-Lonnie Earl
I need help
Second only to Dolemite, this has to be the funniest film I've ever had the privilige of viewing. I would write a somewhat coherent review for it, but seeing as how the film-makers failed to give us a coherent film, I guess it only makes sense. Actually, NOTHING about "Werewolf" makes sense. It's like the film makers would shoot, run out of money, shoot again. Shoot, run out of money, shoot again. Shoot, run out of money, shoot again. You get the idea. How else could anyone explain the guy with an everchanging hairstyle. It looks like he would just drop whatever he was doing at the time and hot foot it over to the set to be in his scene. Really, this movie must have been filmed over the course of years. The werewolf itself also changes forms. When a skeleton is uncovered by a group of archeologists (?) the skeleton appears to be maybe three feet tall. Later on, when a guy transforms after getting scratched by the aforementioned skeleton (I didn't know that was possible), he looks like a bear with one of those halloween masks I had when I was a kid. How's that for ya? No, I'm not trying to be funny. I'm trying to be accurate. How about that Joe Estevez? He's always awful, but here he actually shines. It's too bad that he wasn't the lead.
My personal favorite scene was where the werewolf drives a car. That was priceless and it still gives me the giggles when I think about it. I never saw the MST3K version, but I doubt if I could have had more fun with it than I did watching it alone.
The Great Outdoors (1988)
I love it
This is a childhood favorite of mine, so I guess there's some nostalgia attached to my fondness for this film, but to me, it just keeps getting better. Much like Uncle Buck, every time I watch it, I'm reminded of how much I miss John Candy and what a great loss he was to the world of film. He and Dan Aykroyd had great chemistry and it would have been nice to see them do more stuff together. The other night I was watching "Waking Up In Reno". Afterwards, I popped in "The Great Outdoors" and had a nice double feature. Seriously, if you've never caught this one, then you've missed out big time. Check it out. There's not much thinking (if any) required, just a great time. It plays great on a rainy Saturday.
Evil Dead II (1987)
I just watched this one again late last night and I STILL can't get over how great it is. The Evil Dead 2 never loses its charm and Ash's one-liners just keep getting better with age. This happens to be my favorite trilogy of all time and it's nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite. Each one is great in its own right because they're all different. The first Evil Dead was all horror, this one was more or less a remake that added comedy to the mix, and the third was pretty much straight comedy. I'm sure that many fans were a little upset by the abundance of humor in Army of Darkness, but I love it nonetheless. Hopefully Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell will reunite, if not for another Evil Dead flick, then something else. They work great together.
Final Destination 2 (2003)
Last night, after work, I decided to catch a late showing of FD2, a film I wasn't really sure if I wanted to see to begin with. The first one boasted some pretty nifty death scenes and managed to keep me entertained for most of the running time. Knowing that this was going to be more of the same, I went anyway, glad that Devon Sawa was now out of the picture. Well, it was more of the same, but this time it was done much better, with a lighter (and sickly funny, I might add) tone. True, this one had most of the stuff that has made me hate most of the so-called, half-assed, "horror" movies over the last ten years, but this time it really didn't bother me and I was surprised that I liked most of the characters. What really made this one stand-out to me was the fact that we had a good director who's not afraid to show us some gore. No fake outs or camera cut-a-aways here, nope. This one shows it all and gleefully at that. In short, it's not for the squeamish.
Now, the plot paralells the first film to a tee, but what I really liked was how it tied each of the main characters to those poor souls in the original. It was a pretty cool idea and it was pulled off convincingly. Tony Todd shows up again as the mortician and I'm not really sure what his purpose is supposed to be, other than to be ambiguous and aggravate the hell out of me. Now it may just be my feeble mind, but I have yet to figure out his character and how he's supposed to know all of this stuff about death. Please, on the next one, let's have a little bit of background info on him.
The death scenes here are something to behold. Yes, some may complain that they are too elaborate and blah blah. Yes, they're elaborate, but that's what makes them fun. I won't spoil anything for you. Too many people have mentioned the opening highway scene already, so I'm not going there, but I will admit that it was pretty damn unsettling and it did cross my mind more than once on the way home. brrr.
If you liked the first, you've probably already seen it. If you didn't like the first, see it anyway. The ending is something else, I can tell ya that....hehehe
This time around, a couple of college kids are on a road trip and take a wrong turn. There's not much else in the way of plot. Leatherface has gotten even dumber (wasn't he blown up last time?) and the family has changed so much that I think this was intended as a remake rather than a sequel. Viggo Mortensen is cool as Tex and Joe Unger is awesome as always. Why doesn't this guy get more parts? The stand out for me, was Ken Foree as Benny. This guy rocks and if there's anyone out there who can give the sick clan a run for their money, it's this guy. In short, if they want him, they're going to have to work for their dinner.
I knew what to expect with this one and I got what I wanted, however, my only complaint is the way that this one was tampered with. It's been butchered and trimmed down so much that we're barely left with 80 minutes of screentime and the gore is seriously lacking. I know there's an uncut version floating around somewhere, but I've never been lucky enough to track it down. Still, being as it is, I can settle for the video copy and keep waiting for a dvd. For die-hard fans of the genre, it's worth a look. If you didn't like the others, then why are you even here?
The Bog Creatures (2003)
A pretty good rental
We rented this one because we pretty much knew it would suck and we figured either way, it would be fun. Anyway, last night, I finally got around to watching it and I was kind of surprised that it turned out to be somewhat watchable. The plot (what little there is) concerns a group of misfit teens being "selected" to go out and dig for junk where a bunch of "bog people" once lived. Once some corpses uhm, I mean artifacts are discovered, weird stuff starts to happen. That's it. Since we learn jack-all about the characters, you will not care about one single person here. There is no gore whatsoever and the creature (zombie) effects are pretty damn cheesy. Did you ever watch that show that used to play on Nickelodeon called "Are You Afraid Of The Dark"? Well, if you can remember back that far to what those effects looked like with all the fake fog and whatnot, then you can get a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. It's on the same level.
Now, I just watched this last night and the only character that I even came close to liking was the guy who swallowed a pair of panties (!). I do remember a couple of cute girls running around (Don't get excited. There's no real nudity to speak of) and there was this guy who looked like he was trying to be a body double for Tommy Lee. His faux tough-guy persona was fun times. There was also this guy with a weird accent that showed up close to the beginning then just disappeared. That's too bad. He was funny. All in all, it's a pretty decent effort that makes good use of its low-budget (although, not nearly as well as "In The Woods").
I think the coolest part of the Dvd was the "making of" that was tacked on. Here, we get to go behind the scenes and meet the director. He's a pretty likeable guy with some interesting things to say. He gives us his definition of "guerilla film-making" and we learn about how the idea for the story was conceived.
If you're into b-horror, you may want to give this one a look. It's (if nothing else) worth a rental and the premise of a Viking/horror movie is actually kind of original in this day and age.