August 29, 2014

What's new on VOD this week?

VOD 550
Of course VOD options are getting bigger and better, it's almost the Fall, and most people tend to stay in more in the Fall. You know, school and stuff.

Thankfully we have all kinds of great movies to keep us warm as the nights grow colder, both this week and beyond.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Godzilla, and The Rover are all available for early digital purchase on Amazon right now. All three movies are fantastic, and well worth your rental/purchase dollars, but just know that "owning" them digitally a few weeks early is going to cost you between $14.99 and $19.99. We'd personally rather spend $19.99 on the Blu-ray for movies like Cap and Godzilla, and own them in the best possible quality, but that's just us.

If you're just looking to rent them, then hold out for a few weeks and wait until they hit a reasonable rental price. If you need to see them NOW, then have at it. We bit on The Rover, ourselves.

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Saying that Leprechaun: Origins (read our review HERE) was a disappointment is putting it mildly; the movie is a travesty. If you're looking for a fun addendum to the original franchise, this is not it. Rent it if you will, but honestly, spending your money on any other VOD title this week would be the far better move.

Jamie Marks is Dead looks like it could end up being really good. It's got an interesting premise, and a hell of a cast (Liv Tyler and Judy Greer are always awesome), so here's to hoping that the movie plays as well as its trailer did.

Kite is a live action film based off of the 1998 Anime of the same name. We have to admit that it looks fun, as it has that Point of No Return vibe going for it (plus Sam Jackson), but it's only on DirecTV as of right now, so we'll have to wait to check it out.Damn you, Comcast!

Moebius is a Korean film that has been banned in its home country because of its supposed nasty subject matter, and so we're naturally intrigued. It's also a movie that runs for 89 minutes and contains no dialogue whatsoever, so it's bound to be different. We're really interested to see how this one plays though, and we'll be checking it out in short order.

We'll also be watching The Possession of Michael King pretty soon here, as we haven't seen a decent possession movie in a while. Will it actually be decent? Who knows, but we'll be taking our chances all the same.

Thus is the life of the Horror faithful.

VOD Review: Leprechaun: Origins (2014)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2345613/
I have to imagine that the only reason this movie exists is that the WWE Studios "brain trust" were sitting around one day, trying to figure out what kind of new, cheesy B-movie they could make a buck with, when somebody said "Hey, we've got a midget on the payroll, let's remake Leprechaun!"

Great idea, but too bad they didn't give Hornswoggle a cute little outfit and have him run around saying cheesy one-liners as he killed people though, because then maybe this sorry movie would have at least been somewhat watchable. 

Now, I've never been a big fan of the Leprechaun movies. They were campy fun for what they were, but by the time the series got to the point where the title Leprechaun was followed by such subtitles as "In Space" or "Back 2 Tha Hood," I was fine with never watching any of them ever again. I mean, how high does someone have to be to actually want to see the Leprechaun get all pissed off at Mack Daddy O'Nassas because he stole his hit record-making magical flute?

There's not enough drugs in the world.

Still, at least the Leprechaun flicks of old, for better or worse, were played for silly laughs, and never fancied themselves to be genuine quality Horror flicks.

So along comes WWE Studios with what they claim to be a "prequel" to the original franchise, even though it clearly is not; yes, the poster says "A Horror Icon is Reborn," but this movie contains no Horror Icon whatsoever, nor does it connect IN ANY WAY with the original franchise, and so that phrase is a lie, plain and simple.

What we do get with Origins, is a grunting, rubber-suited mongoloid that we're supposed to believe will somehow evolve into the wise-cracking, humanoid creature that Warwick Davis made so famous back in 1993. At least in some form or another.

Sadly, we got nothing of the sort.

The movie opens with a couple running for their lives from what we presume is WWE Wrestler Hornswoggle in a rubber suit. Since they're running through some tall grass, we can't actually see what's chasing them, but we sure do know it's scary. Why we can't see Hornswoggle dragging both of them to their deaths, even though the grass isn't really all that tall, we have no idea.

I know this is a WWE film, but  come on, man.
Soon thereafter, we get a group of four young American tourists who are looking to discover the wonders of Ireland, when it's suggested to them by some locals in a tavern that there's a special place for them to see... none of that really matters though. Point is, the locals are up to no good and they lock the kids in a house, so as to make some sort of sacrifice for Hornswaggle.

Oh, just drink it.
When Hornswoggle shows up in the middle of the night, looking for blood, he chases the kids around, claws at them, and chases them around some more. Luckily they find an ancient book in a basement that explains the plot to them, and lets them know that the WWE personality chasing after them is supposed to be a Leprechaun. Then there's some more running, more clawing, some growling, and an ending that made us want to suplex our TV.

"Wharrgarbl!"
There's not much good here to report, I'm afraid. The movie has some solid production values going on, as most WWE products do, but it's a lame, uninspired, and boring effort for the most part. Too bad that the screenwriter (Harris Wilkinson) sold Lionsgate on his "darker pitch," because they originally wanted it to be a more humorous effort in the vein of the original series.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that he won't be selling them on his pitch for a sequel.

There's no story here, no build up, we don't have any reason to like any of the characters... everything just kind of happens, and in an unremarkable fashion.

"Who wrote this shite?"
The big mistake they made with this one is that it's just not fun like the old Leprechaun movies were. If anyone should know how to make goofy shit palatable to an audience, it's the WWE, so we're not sure why they decided to go the "serious" route with this movie.

Had they made the script fun, and made Hornswaggle actually play an evil Leprechaun with some sort of personality, it could have at least been a so-bad-it's-good type of effort like Sharknado, or any other SYFY original movie. As cheesy and silly as the old Leprechaun flicks were, they were at least in on the joke, you know?

She's looking for a better script.
Here are some questions that we have about Leprechaun: Origins:

  • Why do we only get to see quick glimpses of the Leprechaun?
  • When we did actually get to see it, why did the Leprechaun look like an angry raisin with teeth?
  • Could they not have designed a better costume for Hornswoggle to wear? 
  • Why did the Leprechaun have "gold" heat vision? 
  • Why were the end credits 12 minutes long?
  • What was with that ending? If a petite, young girl can kill the Leprechaun with a machete, why are the villagers so afraid of it? They have shotguns.
  • Did they actually think that the "fuck you lucky charms" line really fit anywhere in this movie?
  • What was the point of the gold? It popped up at the beginning and the end, and served absolutely no purpose.
  • Why do so many Horror movies these days have to include a scene where someone gets dragged away by something that is unseen? Do filmmakers understand what sort of logistics they're implying with something like that?
  • What exactly is this movie a reboot of?
  • What just happened?

Please just hit each other, and let's be done with this.
The WWE should stop making movies if this is the best that they can do.

Odd, we had the same looks on our faces during this one.
If you really wanna see this one, then there's certainly nothing that we can do to stop you, but just ask yourself why you would want to waste 78 minutes of your life on something that isn't even laughably bad.

This is the first Do Not Want grade that we've handed out in a while (mainly because we've been trying to avoid movies that we know we'd flat out have to bash), but this one is absolutely too well deserved to skip over.

Leprechaun: Origins is easily the top contender for Worst Movie of 2014 so far, and we honestly hope that we don't have to endure another movie as horrid as this one anytime soon.

At least WWE Studios knows how to cast good looking girls in their movies. At least there's that.

August 28, 2014

Netflix Review: American Mary (2013)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959332/
This week's Netflix Review is a movie from 2013 that we never sat down and watched all the way through until just now. We don't know why we kept putting it off over and over again (we've had a copy in our hands for well over a year), but it wasn't until a recent search of Netflix that we finally said "You know what, we need to watch this right now."

American Mary was at the top of many "Best Of" lists in 2013, and many people have hailed it as a modern-day classic of sorts.

Classic or not, this is exactly the kind of movie that makes Netflix such a cool thing to have.
Mary Mason is a "far too sexy to be a surgeon" medical student, who is struggling to pay her bills while studying her ass off, and as all sexy medical students do, she resorts to stripping to earn money to survive. During her "interview" at the club, the owner tells her that if she comes to the basement, she can "earn" herself a quick $5000. All she has to do for the money, is perform some illegal surgery on a guy who's been tortured, and save his life. Needless to say, she's all for it.

American Sexy.
A few days later, Mary is approached by a creepy bitch named Beatress, who has had a bunch of surgeries to make her look like a retarded version of Betty Boop. Beatress offers Mary $10k to meet with her equally freakish-looking friend, Ruby Realgirl; Ruby wants to have her nipples and meat curtains removed, so that she too can look like a living doll out of my deepest nightmares. Of course Mary does this odd job as well, because, why not.

Mental illness is a real thing, people.
When some of the Doctors at her Hospital invite her to a party, where they drug and rape her(because men are evil), Mary calls on her club owner friend to help her kidnap the offending creeper, so that she can fuck him up real good with a scalpel. And saws. And a bunch of other surgical instruments.

A back-alley root canal is always a good place to start when seeking revenge against a rapist.
From here on out, Mary quits school and decides to become an underground surgeon instead. I guess the moral of this story is "why go to school and end up getting raped when you can just do illegal Body Mod surgery on the mentally ill." I don't know.

I won't spoil the ending for you here, but I will say that we still have no clue what the title American Mary even means.

Bitch don't play.
American Mary is a really engaging movie that made us laugh as much as it did flinch. I mean, it's obviously not a movie that is steeped in much reality, and a lot of it is just too damned bizarre to take seriously, but as an escapist rumination on revenge, it works perfectly.

Whether the story and it's odd characters do anything for you or not, you can't ignore the fact that the Soska Sisters directed the hell out of this one. It not only looks and feels like a slick, Hollywood production, but the no one in the cast feels out of place or out of their depth. American Mary may have had some dialogue and story issues that didn't thrill us, but everything else was on point.

If anyone doubts the acting skill of Katharine Isabelle, they should really see American Mary. She's fantastic in this, and to be honest, had any other actress played the title role, we may not have enjoyed it as much. She truly owns this movie, and she does so effortlessly. We really don't understand why she doesn't get more high profile roles, because there doesn't seem to be much that she can't handle on screen.

Worst stripper ever.
Everything was gong so well right up until the point where Mary did a complete 180, and instantly became a vengeful murderess. Maybe she was mentally unstable to begin with, and being traumatized finally pushed her over the edge, but we got no realistic transitional period to convinced us that her transformation was genuine.

I mean the first half of the movie was great (aside from some of the quirky bits), but around the halfway mark, the movie turned into an entirely different animal. We liked what it turned into, but it just felt as if it didn't fit perfectly with what had come before. Maybe we just liked Mary more when she was actually sympathetic.

GHB is a hell of a drug.
The whole Body Mod thing is absolutely lost on us as well. I will never understand how disfiguring ones self equates to showing the world who they truly are. The quirkiness of the twins, the fake Betty Boop, the woman who wanted to be a living doll... it was all just a bit much. Had they lost some of the goofier elements of the movie, it would have been better off. 

We get that American Mary had to play quirky and odd to be able to tell its story, but couldn't it have been just a tiny bit more realistic, or at least not so unrealistic?

What happened to you as a child?
Rape, plenty of instances of Body Bod surgery and its aftermath, a stabbing, some tazing, a good and hearty bludgeoning, plenty of torture... American Mary is one visceral, and violent flick, even though it doesn't get crazy gratuitous about it.

"Don't taze me, ho!"
We get a few topless girls in this one, but most of the sexuality in this one is implied or played down. Also, Katharine Isabelle, though she doesn't get naked, looks sexy as hell in most of the scenes that she's in. Girl's just got it like that.

Not really digging the bangs, but that's just us.
Few women wear a leather apron as well as Katharine Isabelle. Also, any girl who has an intimate relationship with a turkey is not well in the head.

She really loved that turkey.
American Mary may have its share of issues, but the fact is that it's a bold and enjoyable movie that we just couldn't help but love. Mostly. The fact that it's on Netflix is reason enough for any Horror fan with Netflix to sit down and give it a go, although we have to imagine that it looks gorgeous on Blu-ray. Netflix or not, if you haven't seen this one yet, you really need to add it to your short list asap.

B+

American Mary is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and as of right now, it's streaming free on Netflix.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BSU0FO2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00BSU0FO2&linkCode=as2&tag=thehorclu0a-20&linkId=DVTKHVOCRLICCW54

Katharine Isabelle is the hottest thing to come out of Canada since maple syrup! Wait, is maple syrup even a Canadian thing? If not, then we'll go with Bryan Adams, because he was awesome.