January 31, 2009

Solo Review- Pieces (1982)

Sub-Genre- Slasher.
Cast Members of Note- The awesome Christopher George, and his wife Linda Day George.

Singing Humpty Dumpty while putting together a puzzle... isn't that every boy's dream activity? Wasn't it yours? No, mine either, so I'm glad this annoying little kid's puzzle is at least a picture of a nude chick, which at least makes the whole thing a little less lame. Of course when his mom catches him whacking off to his filthy puzzle, she proceeds to smack him and call him filthy and stupid, and in turn he kills her and saws her into pieces. Bitch had it coming! 

Whore puzzle.
Flash forward 40 years -that's right, 40 frigging years- and everyone has pretty much died from old age; except the creepy kid who's all grown up now, and he's still creepy. He tricked the cops see, making them think he was attacked by someone who killed his mom, because he was aclever boy. Luckily for him, there are still plenty of other whores for him to cut up; aerobiscising, leg warmer wearing, perky-boobed and 80's hairdo-wearing whores. 

"I told you not to jazzercize, bitch!"
He stalks exercise classes, skulks around pools, tennis matches... his heavy-breathing ass will go anywhere to collect the "whore pieces" he needs... But Lt. Bracken is hot on his trail! I wont ruin the ending here, but suffice it to say that you will say "WTF?!?" Out loud. Twice.

This movie is pure 80's exploitation horror bliss. In a way, I want to call this a Giallo movie; a black gloved killer, crazy music, excessive gore, bad Italian dub, horrid acting, nonsensical plot... Aw hell, it's Giallo! In a away it really does fit that mold, as the best thing about Pieces is its copious amounts of gore and violence.  

This is the 2nd to last film that Christopher George made before his death in 1983. The man was awesome, starring in such genre greats as Pieces, Mortuary, Graduation Day, The Exterminator, Enter the Ninja, and one of my personal faves, The Gates of Hell. We love and miss that guy. 

So much of this movie is bad, from the dubbing to the actions of the characters, to the plot, that it makes it pretty damn funny. The cops at the beginning may be the worst cops ever, the students act and talk like they're semi-retarded, and everyone just seems to be in this general malaise... I know it's 80's Italian Cinema, but man, we laughed out loud in places.

The ending. In the last 5 minutes of this movie, we're treated to the all too familiar "What in the hell?!?" slow-motion, makes-zero-sense-whatsoever type of ending... and I'm tired of being confused. 

Seriously... what?
 
Good old fashioned 80's gore galore! Axe violence, saw violence, chainsaw violence... decapitations, piles of body parts... this one is full-o-gore, and shameless about showing it! 

You just gotta love it.
 
A nude chick on a puzzle, a nude chick swimming, a topless chick in bed, chicks in leotards, a Hottie taking a soapy shower... and naked man ass.  So, plenty of skin for you pervs to dig on.

The dialogue in this movie is so bad/funny, that it's all the best.

Italian Horror from the 80's is lots of fun. Also, Italian Horror from the 80's seldom makes any sort of coherent sense at all.

Pieces is a trashy, fun, bloody, expectational mess of a Horror flick... but it's also pretty bad... which makes it kinda good... I say see it for the blood and gore, and have fun with it. Beware the cheese factor though.  

C-

Christopher George was a horror movie pimp... and he was from my neighborhood!

January 30, 2009

Haute Tension (2003)

Sub-Genre- Slasher/French Horror
In Attendance- Me, Eryn and The Vanilla Gorilla.
Cast Members of Note- Cecile De France, Maiwenn, and Philippe Nahon.

This is a story about love, lesbian undertones, insanity, and home invasion. It's also a cautionary tale, as many French Horror movies are, about the dangers that await innocent people in the rural French Countryside; just trust me when I tell you to always stay in the city. There's death in them thar hills.

See! Stay in the city!
When a creepy old French delivery dude comes knocking in the dead of night, we all know what he's delivering... death! Cold, hard death. He kidnaps a hot chick, prompting another hot chick to give chase and try to save her friend... I say it's because she's got some lesbian hots for the other girl, but that's just me.

Maybe don't open the door for this guy at night. Or ever.

What comes next is a bloodbath of epic proportion, a love story, and a really confusing ending. I won't spoil the ending here, other than to say that it's really confusing.

What isn't good about this movie? There are those that will complain that the "twist" ending ruined the movie, but really, it didn't. Not one bit. This movie is sick, twisted, visceral, tense, and on many levels, deep. In fact, once you see it, the ending makes the second viewing better, and more challenging. Does the title High Tension refer to sexual tension and repressed desires? Maybe. At the beginning when we hear Marie say "are we recording?", does that mean she's recalling the events from her point of view, to satisfy herself or to be deceptive? I can't say for sure.

No matter what happened, this is a movie that challenges us, and stays with us long after we've seen it. This movie is an instant classic that needs to be seen by anyone who truly loves Horror. Gritty, bloody, nasty, and even thought provoking... a must have for any good Horror collection.

I'm going to bitch about the ending really quick here, but not because I hate it, but because it threw me the first time I saw it. It isn't neat and tidy or straightforward, and it makes me think way too much... Then again, I kinda like that.

Can kids ever escape horrific violence in French horror movies? And for that matter, what about the dogs... I guess if you're cute and or cuddly in these movies, you're pretty much as good as dead. I'm eventually going to need therapy.

This is probably one of the bloodiest movies I've seen. What makes it worse, or better if you're sick like me, is the realism and mood which make it hard to watch at times. I especially like the buzz saw... This is great stuff.

You're singing? Now?!?
 
We get to see some boobs, and a hot/odd masturbation scene, other than that, this movie isn't much on the sexy stuff.

"I won't let anyone come between us any more."

Women really are crazy. Also, I need one of those crazy French vans.

Hate the twist ending or not, this is a spectacular film, and one that Horror really needed to be made in the lull of the early 2000's. Bloody, tense, engaging, and ultimately disturbing, this one is a must own.

A+

Worst romance ever... but hot participants.

January 2009 is over...

... so what exactly has the new year given us in horror thus far? At the box office we got... -Three remakes including The Unborn, My Bloody Valentine 3-D, and The Uninvited; which were ok, pretty good, and not good at all, respectively. -One sequel, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, which has been getting lukewarm reception (although we have yet to see it for ourselves.) -The 3rd After Dark Horrorfest came and went rather quietly, which makes me wonder if we'll see a 4th... Having seen none of the ADHF flicks, we can't say much about them yet. -Outlander and Donkey Punch both got limited releases despite being arguably as good, if not better, than the wide releases mentioned above. On DVD we got... Own it- Eden Lake, My Bloody Valentine SE (1981), Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey), Splinter. Rent it- Mirrors, Midnight Movie, Amusement, Repo: The Genetic Opera. Skip it- Boogeyman 3, Vacancy 2, Saw V. Rent or Skip, we can't decide- Gutterballs, The Alphabet Killer, Hit and Run. The one's we haven't seen yet- King of the Hill. One good wide theatrical release, 2 good limited theatricals, a handful of must see/slew of maybe see DVD's... That's what 2009 has given us so far. Hopefully F13 can give us the jolt we need come Feb. 13th, because January was a less than stellar month for horror if I'm being honest.

January 29, 2009

Dorothy Mills (2009)

After playing a few festivals in 2008, Dorothy Mills is finally being released on DVD everywhere... I've been curious about this one since seeing the trailer.

Sub-Genre- Possession
Cast Members of Note- Carice van Houten, Jenn Murray, Gary Lewis.

Dorothy Mills is a creepy little girl that looks like an albino version of Nellie Olson from Little House on the Prairie... she's also a horrible babysitter, jamming bottles into infants faces and screaming at them about how bad they are. She may also be schizophrenic or possessed, and a nymphomaniac alcoholic. She apparently has issues.

If that picture doesn't creep you out, I'm not sure what will.
She lives on a creepy little Irish Island where everyone seems to have issues of their own, including, but not limited to; driving people into lakes, rape, animal cruelty, mass-animal-murder, incest, their love of the electric guitar, Exorcism and obsessive karaoke. When a hot psychiatrist shows up to diagnose little albino Nellie Olson, things obviously don't go smoothly.

Is Nellie/Dorothy possessed, or just a nut-bag? Is everyone on the Island hiding a terrible secret? Will the truth ever be known? Will that blind old woman ever stop being creepy? I won't spoil the ending here, but suffice it to say that I was actually satisfied by the ending.

Stop staring at me!
This film is beautiful to look at, is dripping with atmosphere, and does a good job of maintaining unease and a subtle feeling of dread throughout. It's a different kind of creepy, mainly brought on by the creepy-ass Irish Islanders rather than some totally evil force.

This isn't an Exorcist clone/ripoff/tribute as the poster and synopsis might imply, and it's not much like The Bad Seed/The Good Son either... it isn't even conventional Horror in some ways. Despite all fo that, the dread remains, and you can't help feeling it for the movie's entire running time. The plotline is more along the lines of "bad things that bad people do to each other, with a supernatural twist." I was hoping for more of a Demonic Possession type of thing, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I got, none the less.

Was the "Possessed" swearing and carrying on supposed to be scary? Dorothy's quiet moments were far creepier than her outbreaks, and though they fit with the story, I'd have preferred to see more subtlety. I guess I keep looking for The Exorcist in every "Possession" movie I see, with very few coming close to its level of execution.That's mostly my issue though, I suppose.

Did all of the sheep have to go? That was just cruel, man.

Looks like it's lamb for dinner, boys.
 
Deer violence, sheep mass-murder, baby feeding violence, handgun violence, and a bloody nose.

Nope.

"Go and see in the church. She let the Devil into her house." or "She left us, without a word of her destination."

The lesson here is to avoid small Island communities that call you "outsider."
"God fearin' backwoods folk" are the same everywhere, whether in Ireland or Alabama. Also, never trust the Irish.

Dorothy Mills was a very well made film, with solid performances from its actors and atmosphere to spare, the only problem is it's not very scary. This is definitely not an in-your-face Possession movie, nor is it a killer kid flick; rather it's a subtle and nuanced psych job of a Horror Thriller which is sure to please if you like thinkers. Definitely check it out, but don't expect straight out "Horror."

C

Carice van Houten is hot.