March 27, 2015

DVD Review: Slither (2006)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439815/
(aka Night of the Creeps 2.)
Release Date: March 31st, 2006.
Country: USA.
Rating: R.
Written by: James Gunn.
Directed by: James Gunn.
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry, and Tania Saulnier.

You know, with all of the zombie movies that we've been watching lately, it's become apparent that when done right, the zombie comedies tend to be the best of the bunch. We know: Slither isn't exactly a true zombie movie, but it does involve a viral outbreak which turns people into zombie-like monsters, so it counts.

Either way, Slither is a clever little movie that bears more than a passing resemblance to another "alien slugs turn everyone into zombies" movie, Night of the Creeps. Both movies are highly entertaining, but there's just something about Slither that excites us more. It's probably that Slither is more grandiose and crazy in its delivery, and goes to crazier places than does Night of the Creeps, but it could just as easily be the presence of Elizabeth Banks that makes us love it so much. It's complicated.

A meteorite crashes into the woods near a small South Carolina town, bringing with it a gelatinous parasite that has a vagina on its back. When a horny Grant Grant's wife refuses to put out, he heads to a bar where he picks up a local strumpet and lures her into the woods, presumably to get laid. His romantic plans go awry however, when they happen upon the parasite and it shoots a barb into his chest, thus taking over his consciousness.

BACKGINA.
With his transformation into a mutant octopus thing well underway, Grant begins killing small animals around town, because he's hungry. When his wife begins to question his rapidly deteriorating appearance, Grant runs off and jams his overpositors into the same strumpet's tummy, and injects her with his slug seed. Then he kidnaps her and starts her on the same diet of dead animals and fresh meat that he's been on. She's going to be a mother, after all, so she needs her nourishment.

WAS IT RAPE?
It's not long before the whole town is infected by Grant's slug babies, and they turn into zombie-like extensions of him, forcing the Sheriff and his men to hunt him down and stop him. Will the Sheriff stop Grant from taking over the world? Will the Sheriff take the opportunity to movie in on Grant's hot wife, now that hes a mongoloidal monster? Is there any Dr. Pibb in the cooler? Far be it from us to spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that there is no Dr. Pibb in the cooler, and somebody is not going to be happy about it.

SHE DOESN'T CARE THOUGH. SHE PREFERS FRESCA.
As Horror Comedies go, this movie is top-notch. Slither hearkens back to the time of 50's B-Movies, where cheesy monsters besieged Anytown, USA and wreaked havoc on its citizens, and it does so with a healthy amount of affection, and a great deal of levity. There are plenty of nods to other Horror properties throughout the movie, like The Thing (1982), Stephen King's The Stand, The Brood (and a few other Cronenberg flicks), The Blob, Predator, Troma, Frank Henenlotter, to name a few. It's really great to see a Horror movie like this made by someone who obviously loves Horror movies.

Slither is also a gory beast of a movie which boasts some fantastic practical FX work. 

Slither is also blessed with a solid cast of actors that have great comedic chops. Nathan Fillion is a vastly underrated actor by just about everyone outside of Geek circles, and his brand of sarcastic humor is a perfect fit in this one. As creepy and imposing as Michael Rooker can be, he's equally as funny, and his performance as Grant Grant in this one shows just how dynamic his range is. Some of the funniest bits in Slither belong to Gregg Henry, another underrated character guy who is awesome in everything he stars in.

And let's not forget about Elizabeth Banks. She's a super QT, she's funny, and she's no stranger to genre work. It's easy to see why she seems to be in everything lately.

SHE'S GOT THAT PREGNANT 'GLOW' ABOUT HER, DOESN'T SHE? 
The only scene in the movie that was even remotely scary was the part where Tania Saulnier's home is invaded by the slugs, and that sucks. It's not a big complaint, as the movie was definitely played more for laughs than it was Horror, but that whole sequence worked so well, and was so intense, that we just wish there had been a few more like it.

THEY'RE ITCHY.
Poor kitty!

NO, WHISKERS, THAT'S NOT A CAT TREAT!
There's no shortage of gore and disgusting imagery in Slither. Whether it's slugs crawling into people's mouths, "zombies" eating people, people getting split in half, thousands of slugs exploding from a person's bloated body, or people getting their faces shot off, this movie is all sorts of wet and red.

THE PRACTICAL FX IN THIS MOVIE WERE RIDICULOUSLY GOOD.
We get a very quick flash of Tania Saulnier's goods during a bath scene, but aside from that, this movie is pretty tame in the sexy department.

STAND UP, WOMAN!
The real bright spot of this movie is its dialogue, which was sharp and laugh-out-loud funny. Clark Gregg's rant about Dr. Pibb was probably the best verbal bit of the movie, but both he and Nathan Fillion had plenty of great lines throughout.

THIS GUY lol
James Gunn is a mad genius. Also, Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker should be bigger stars; God, they're so good.

WORST BABYSITTER EVER.
We've always been baffled at how poorly Slither was received by audiences; not only did it bomb at the Box Office, but to this day there's been no U.S. Blu-ray release, and it remains for many people a largely unknown movie. That's a real shame, because Slither is probably one of the wittiest and most entertaining Horror Comedies that we've ever seen.

It's no surprise to us that Guardians of the Galaxy was one of 2014's biggest hits, because James Gunn knows how to make an entertaining movie. The proof is right here.

A

Slither is available now on DVD and VOD.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GYI3B8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000GYI3B8&linkCode=as2&tag=thehorclu0a-20&linkId=A5B3KUR53NOJADIS

These lovely ladies make the world of Slither a far prettier place to visit.

March 26, 2015

The First Trailer For Maggie is Schwarzeneggerrific!

A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side.
 
Since Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to acting full-time, the projects that he's chosen to star in have been less than stellar. After seeing this trailer for Maggie though, it looks as if he's getting himself back on the right track.



Maybe we're drunk, but we thought that trailer was all sorts of great. It not only looks like it's going to be full of all sorts of creepy zombie goodness, but it sure feels like it's going to pack one hell of an emotional punch as well. A sentimental zombie flick? Alright. Why not?

It'll be great to see Arnold in a good movie again, even if it does end with Abigail Breslin eating his face off or something. Actually, we'd kinda like to see that.

We'll definitely be checking this one out when it hits Theaters on May 8th.

March 25, 2015

Blu-ray Review: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363547/
(aka Down With the Sickness.)
Release Date: March 19th, 2004.
Country: USA/Canada.
Rating: NR.
Written by: James Gunn.
Directed by: Zack Snyder.
Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Webber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, and Michael Kelly.

Zack Snyder tends to get a bad rap as a director. The man has given us some great movies like 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, and Man of Steel, all of which we enjoyed the hell out of, and none of them fared all that well with critics. Even Fanboys (and girls) seem to be split on whether the guy is a genre visionary, or a complete hack.

We can see how some people would say that Zack Snyder makes movies that look gorgeous, but are on the hollow side of things when it comes to plot. We don't necessarily agree, but we can see it.

As lukewarm as most critics and fans seem to be about his movies, we can't help but love that it's his Dawn of the Dead remake that's been the most universally loved.

After a long day at work, sexy nurse Ana goes home for a nice evening of drinking wine and making love with her husband, only to be woken up in the middle of the night by a zombie kid who eats his neck, which turns him into a zombie, which makes him try to eat her neck. Barely escaping with her life, Ana is shocked to find a word gone mad with the chaos that only Zombie Apocalypse could bring!

IT HASN'T BEEN THE BEST MORNING FOR HER SO FAR.
While fleeing for her life, Ana speeds off in her car but quickly crashes, because, woman driver. Lucky for her she's found by a group of survivors instead of the undead, and they decide to hole up in the local mall, and maybe begin to rebuild society together. They have like 4 women with them, so it's plausible; it won't be easy, but it's plausible.

IT'S EQUALLY AS PLAUSIBLE THAT THEY'LL GET EATEN TO DEATH.
The mall thing works out alright for a while, but eventually things start to fall apart and get dire for our brave band of survivors. Will the mall be the safe haven that they were hoping it would be? If not, is there a place that they could go that would be any safer? And if so, how in the hell are they supposed to get there? Far be it from me to spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that you actually have to watch through the end credits to see if they survive or not, and even then, it's not really made all that clear.

STICK WITH HIM, DARLIN', HE'LL GET YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO GO.
Say what you will about remakes, but James Gunn and Zack Snyder knocked it out of the park with this one. Sure, it may not offer the biting social commentary that the 1978 Romero classic did, but this is a lean, mean zombie flick in every other way. If you aren't a fan of the whole "fast-moving zombie" thing though, then you probably won't like this one.

We're usually fans of the Romero style of zombies (slow moving) above all others, but we loved how the undead in this one were quick and aggressive, as it made for some pretty intense moments throughout the movie. If you're going to remake a classic movie like Dawn of the Dead, and forgo the satire and subtext that helped make it so great, then at least make sure that your movie is entertaining as hell. Lucky for us, that is exactly what Zack Snyder excels at.

ONE OF THE CREEPIEST KIDS EVER!
Sarah Polley makes for a solid final girl in this one, although at times her "tough girl" shtick felt forced, and wore a bit thin on us. She's a great actress who has been making her bones in Indie flicks for years now, and it's nice to see her in a bigger, more mainstream role for a change. Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, and Mekhi Phifer were all likable in their roles as well, which is nice, because in a movie like this, we have to like the characters or else it just becomes about the blood & gore. We also got a kick out of seeing Modern Family's good-guy dad, Ty Burrell, playing a sleazy POS asshole; for a guy who is usually so funny and lovable, he played against type perfectly in this one.

NOT ONLY IS TY BURRELL AWESOME IN THIS, BUT HOUSE OF CARDS STAR MICHAEL KELLY PLAYS A KICK-ASS ROLE TOO.
I know that both Zack Snyder and James Gunn moved on to bigger and arguably better things, both of which involved massive Superhero franchises, but couldn't they have found a way to give us a sequel? One was originally planned, and subsequently scrapped, but we still need to know what happened on that island! I mean, we pretty much know what happened, but it would have been cool to see it play out. 

APPARENTLY THE ASPCA DOESN'T EXIST IN A POST-APOCALYPTIC WORLD.
The bit with the zombie baby was a cheesy, and probably could have been left out. The idea of a pregnant woman dying and coming back to life is disturbing enough without adding in an undead baby mewling for flesh... especially when it comes off as funny instead of horrifying. 

AS IF BABIES WEREN'T ALREADY CREEPY ENOUGH...
There is an abundance of blood and gore in this one, as is par for the course with any good zombie flick.

MAYBE SHE JUST WANTS A HUG?
One sex scene that lasts for about 10 seconds, and a pair of boobs during the credits. That's it.

A DELETED SCENE FROM MODERN FAMILY.
Not all remakes suck. Also, once in a while we're alright with the whole fast-moving zombies thing.

UNLESS OF COURSE WE'RE BEING CHASED BY THEM. THEN WE DON'T LIKE IT.
If we had to pick the 10 best zombie movies of all time, I can't imagine this remake of Dawn of the Dead not being on the list. It might not be perfect, but it's got just about everything you could want from a good zombie flick, and unlike most other flicks of its kind, we find it to be highly re-watchable.

A

Dawn of the Dead is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CW7ZW6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001CW7ZW6&linkCode=as2&tag=thehorclu0a-20&linkId=SPTKZR5CPQOWGMNS

Sarah Polley and Lindy Booth made our new millennium hotter.