January 29, 2010

Do Not Want- Paintball (2010)

This movie is such a mess, I don't even know where to start. 

The constant shaky cam might be a good place. The horribly written and acted characters might be another. Better yet, the shoddy story that felt like it had been written by a couple of Middle School Kids might be it too. Take your pick, it's all equally worthy of our collective venom. 

The story borrows heavily from films like Martyrs and Hostel, with touches of Gamer and let's say every Backwoods Horror movie you've ever seen thrown in, and then shits on it all. 

A lot of it didn't make much sense, but it's basically about a group of tools on a paintball trip who realize soon enough that the game is real and the stakes are -dun,dun,dun- their lives! Interesting enough premise, but too bad the execution was so horrible. 

Do these people know how to play paintball? They stand out n the open, talk loud and even scream. When people start dying, they still scream. Loudly and often. Once the first person was killed, wouldn't you think that shutting up and keeping out of plain sight might be for the best? So many of the characters actions were nonsensical or cheesy, that about 15 minutes in, I didn't care anymore. I really hate when characters are nothing more that plot devices, without a trace of depth or worth other than to be there, act stupid, and die. 

I also hate when filmmakers treat me like I'm a moron. You see, if the camera is looking one way and we the audience can't see something, then neither can the characters, right? Even if it's something in plain view of all of them, like a body stretched out in the open right in front of most of them. IN PLAIN SIGHT. But the camera swings and... the characters react! Too much of the film made no logical sense, and again, within 15 minutes I was well past the point of wanting to watch any more.

And what's with the shaky-cam thing? The entire time, the camera jiggles and shakes as if we're watching things from an unseen killers point of view, but we're not. The killer's POV was all shown through thermal imaging goggles, and the death scenes were mostly shown through them too, basically editing out any gore we may have seen. I don't get what the filmmakers were going for with most of it, but it grated on the nerves. And the ending... what the hell even happened? Screw it. It just doesn't matter.

That's right, the master was not pleased at all, and he thinks that neither will you be if you waste your time on this movie. Bad writing, bad acting, bad camera work, bad directing... I could go on and on about the bad points of this movie, but it would be a fruitless exercise. It's been a long time since a movie left me truly pissed off, and this is coming from a guy that was shaking mad after watching last year's Halloween 2. I think I'd actually watch that one again first.

Now had this girl been in the movie... no, it still would have sucked.

Do Not Want- Whiteout (2009)

When I saw the trailer for this movie, I was excited. I love movies set in isolated, snowy wilderness locales, I love Kate Beckinsale, I usually love Tom Skerritt, and above all I really love Horror Thrillers. Serial killer flicks just do it for me, as do movies like this which are basically "adult slashers." I guess I should have known that it would suck after going through so many rewrites, re-shoots, acting and directing changes, and sitting on the shelf for the better part of two years, as that doesn't generally happen to good movies.

Why does it suck? Mainly because it should have been so much better. A great setting, a great premise, a great cast... but the storyline, script and pacing were so predictable and weak, that everything else ceased to matter one bit. I guessed the "twist" near the beginning (and I'm not bragging, it was just that obvious), and it was lame. Worse still was the dialogue, which was so bad in places that it made the pacing seem even more tired and slow than it was on its own. Kate Beckinsale is hot and a decent actress, and I felt bad for her as an actress having to plod through this script. She's much better than the shite that she has to work with here, as is Tom Skerritt for that matter, and they both seemed to be trapped not by an impending Antarctic whiteout, but by the trappings of a shoddy movie.

Stopping looking for the script Kate. There's nothing around you but snow.

I will say that the movie's poster is truly awesome. Do yourself a favor at stare at it for 90 minutes, and don't waste your time on this blizzard of crap. Watch the Fritt Vilt movies instead if you want to see a good snowbound slasher.

 At least Kate Beckinsale is always pleasant to look at. At least there's that.

January 28, 2010

Blood Creek (2010)

"Who doesn't love a good story about a Nazi necromancer and a herd of zombie horses?"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450336/
Sub-Genre- Occult
Cast Members of Note
Dominic Purcell, Henry Cavill, Michael Fassbender, and Emma Booth.
*Directed by Joel Schumacher.

During WWII, a German family living in America is bribed by the Third Reich to let a Nazi scholar come and live with them on their quaint little Town Creek farm. It turns out that the scholar is in search of a rune stone that is buried on their property, and wants to use it to turn himself into a Super Nazi bad-ass. Subsequently, the family is trapped on their farm (which is frozen in time) and put through hell for the next several decades.

"Ich liebe untoten Pferde!"
Fast forward about 70 years, and we meet Evan; an EMT with a heart of gold (?), who lives near Town Creek. He's been a mess ever since his brother Victor disappeared while they were camping together 2 years earlier... my question is, how do you stay lost in the woods for 2 years? That shit is beyond me, but when Victor suddenly shows up in the middle of the night looking like Dan Haggerty on crack, the two of them head back to Town Creek to get revenge on "Those Kraut Bastards" who have been keeping him a prisoner all along.

For the love of God I hope he's planning to shoot Channing Tatum.
The problem is, "Those Kraut Bastards" have a Super Nazi bad-ass Necromancer with a thirst for warm blood locked in their cellar, and when he gets out, they're all pretty much destined to die painfully. Can the brothers defeat the evil Nazi Sorcerer? Will Zombie Horses nip a guy in the shoulder and pull him through a window? Do the words "bone armor" make anyone else laugh as much as they do me? Maybe, yes, and they just have to.

Bone armor... lol.
I am absolutely astounded at how good this movie was. First and foremost, I loved the premise; the Nazi's sent "Scholars" to America to find ancient rune stones, hoping to harness their Occult powers to win WWII, and thus rule the world. If that isn't creepy, I don't know what is, especially since the Nazi's actually were into the Occult.

The Occult aspect of this movie is its strong point. Magic rune stones, reanimated dead people (and animals), blood rituals, wards painted on the house to keep the evil at bay, people frozen in time, the Lovecraftian "third eye," and those creepy Necromantic spells that the Nazi whispers... It was just all really, really cool.

I actually felt tense during much of this film, and especially once the Super Nazi shows up and starts kicking all sorts of ass. The guy can reanimate anything dead to do his bidding, which makes things all the more interesting. Zombie Horses, y'all. Yep. Bad ass.

It's nice to see Joel Schumacher making a strong return to the Horror genre; after all he is the guy that gave us The Lost Boys and Flatliners. And two horrible Batman sequels... anyway, welcome back, Joel.

*Addendum- This movie features a pre-Superman Henry Cavill and pre-Magneto Michael Fassbender, which is kinda cool.

Yeah, this actually happened.
Zombie Horses. Not only are they huge, mean, and very creepy to look at, but they are near impossible to kill. If they don't die after 10 shotgun blasts, I'd quit shooting and run. Or, I'd turn the gun on myself.

Zombified and under the control of an evil Nazi Necromancer, Butternut tried to rape everyone in the cabin, earning him a hide full of buckshot and a heart full of shame.
After a few title changes and basically no promotion whatsoever, Lionsgate dumped this movie into a handful of Dollar Theaters and then banished it to Straight-to-DVD hell. Why? Did anyone see The Stepfather, Whiteout, or Sorority Row? They all got Theatrical Runs, decent promotion, and they all sucked. Badly. Blood Creek is a great little movie, and I refuse to believe it couldn't have made enough $ at the B.O. to justify even a Limited Release... and no, Dollar Theaters do not count. I just don't get it.

This one is a Gorefest; blood drinking, bloodletting, torture, bone-knives through chins, all sorts of shotgun violence, Zombie Horse violence overkill, dog stabbings, zombie violence... there's all sorts of messy goodness to be found here.

Ouchie.
No.

"That's mine." or "No. You're going to feed me."

Zombie Horses are really hard to kill. Also, Evil Nazi's never die, which means that Hitler is probably a zombie somewhere in Guam or something. Great.

This movie was as enjoyable as any I've seen lately, and the best Horror flick of the year so far. Creepy, tense, interesting and bloody as all get out, Blood Creek is far better than its treatment by Lionsgate would have you believe. If you love Nazi's, zombies, or just have a love for the Dark Arts of Necromancy, then you'll love this movie. You definitely need to rent this one, if not buy it, as soon as you get the chance.

A

Emma Booth is in this. *Apologies to Emma Booth for our mistaking her for Winter Ave Zoli. Hey, they do look kinda similar...

January 25, 2010

A quick review of The Road (2009)

The Road is not a really much of a Horror film. It's certainly a genre flick, full of post-apocalyptic ruin and chaos, and some truly horrific visuals and themes, but at its heart, it's really a drama about a father and a son.

Still, I believe it to be relevant to most Horror fans interests to share my thoughts on the film, as it should be right up most of our alleys. Ahem.

Penned by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men), The Road is a story of a father (Viggo Mortensen) and a son (some kid actor) fighting for their very survival in a world of post-apocalyptic strife and ruin. Food is scarce, bands of armed thugs roam the roads looking to take anything from anyone they come across, and hope is all but nonexistent. Did I mention that cannibalism is pretty rampant too?

It's a sparse, bleak, and truly a depressing film in many ways, but it's also an uplifting meditation on sacrifice, and just what a father would do to see that his child is safe and cared for. I cringed a few times and the lengths Viggo went to.

I hated the ending, although I get the point of it, and the whole thing just left me feeling blah. Still, it was poignant and had something to say, which made enduring its bleakness that much easier. It was a really good movie, but you may want to wait to see it until you're in a down mood to begin with. Otherwise, it might just ruin the rest of your day.

If I were grading, The Road would be a B+

 So apparently this movie is set in Detroit?

January 23, 2010

Daybreakers (2010)

"The first horror flick of the new decade is here, and it's... pretty good!"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/
Sub-Genre- Vampire
In Attendance- Me, Machine, Dave and... Machine's Dad?!?
Cast Members of Note- Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan and the HOT as all hell Isabel Lucas.

Daybreakers begins with a scene showing a cute little girl committing suicide by setting herself on fire. From that point on, any illusions we had about this movie being some cheesy romantic turd pile like Twilight, went right out the window. Thank God.

"Maybe we could kill Edward Cullen with fire?"
In 2019, Vampires rule the earth. The few humans that are left either hide out to avoid becoming food, or are hooked to machines and farmed for their blood, thus becoming food. So, either way, food. Problems with this genius system arise when the Vampires realize that soon, there wont be any humans left to milk, and they will all be screwed. Why are they screwed you ask? Well because without blood to sustain them, the blood suckers will become half-Vampire, half-mongoloid atrocities.

Vampoloid.
Not wanting to turn into uncivilized monsters, there are those amongst the Vamps that are trying to find a cure for their "condition." One of them (Ethan Hawke), along with the help of Elvis and some hot chick, race against all time and hope to find a cure for Vampirism and save the world, and reestablish dominance of the Human Race. Lead by Ethan Hawke. Think about that one. Ethan Hawke is humanity's only hope. Yeah.

"Yeah! Go kick some ass... Ethan Hawke?"
Daybreakers was a pretty damned decent Vampire movie. Not only did it offer us a ton of blood and gore, but the look and feel of the everyday Vampire Society was really interesting to witness. I expected more action, and a little more Vampire badness, but overall it worked with what it was trying to achieve; a look at a normal, average Vampire Society, if such a thing is possible.

Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill are great in this one too, but then when are they ever not great? They're so good that they even made me believe that Ethan Hawke was good too, which he kinda was. Wow, I just said that. You win this round, Ethan Hawke.

He always plays an awesome bad guy.
Jump scares. Do we really need a bat to suddenly fly into the camera, accompanied by a sharp and loud musical cue, only to fly out of the camera just as quickly? Oh, that's real scary. This movie certainly didn't need any of that crap, and it made me wince in shame and pain more than once.

I'm a bit upset that Isabel Lucas didn't get more screen time. She's so cute, and her character could have been so much more integral to the plot instead of just showing up and being rushed out of the storyline. Did I mention how adorably cute she was?

Like she reads books LOL
 
Vampire suicide, exploding Vampires, Vampire vomiting, staking, decapitation, pouring blood, dripping blood, splashing blood... in short, yes, it's all kinds of gory.

We get some human boobage, but it's not very sexy or hot.

"Living in a world where Vampires are the dominant species is about as safe as bare backing a 5 dollar whore." Classic.

Ethan Hawke doesn't suck as much as we originally believed. Also, Vampires are people too. But not really.

Aside from the fact that we expected to see an all out Vamp vs. Human war, and didn't, this was a pretty enjoyable blood-sucker flick. The premise was interesting and the blood flowed freely, which is really all we can ask from a movie like this. It could have been a bit tighter in places, but all in all if you dig Vampires, you'll probably dig this movie. Check it out if it's still in a Theater near you.

B-

Well hello there, Isabel Lucas.

January 22, 2010

Kill Theory (2010)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0893532/
Sub-Genre- Survival/Slasher
In Attendance- Me. Machine, Erin, and The VG.
Cast Members of Note- Agnes Bruckner, Taryn Manning, the "new to me" hotness of Ryanne Duzich, and Waingro himself, Kevin Gage!


A bunch of Yuppie Larvae head out into the woods (of course) to celebrate their impending College graduation, which involves beer, guns, slutty chicks in bikinis, sex and an oiled-up silk pillow case race through a pool of JELL-O... and also a creepy killer who wants them all to kill each other by 6 A.M.

Were I him, I'd kill her with my sex.
They are instructed to bump each other off or all be killed as punishment, and so they do. It's kind of sad to me that friends and lovers turn on each other when threatened with painful death; I mean, I'd kill all of my friends, slowly and painfully, but I'd be real sad about it. Or maybe not. Hell, it makes for a fun game I guess... Either way, betrayal and painful death ensue.

I won't spoil the ending here, but suffice it to say that the last person alive isn't who I thought it'd be, and the "twist" at the end was cool, without being crazy unbelievable.

Who gave the dumb blonde the gun?!?
Finally, a stalk-and-slash movie that didn't leave me feeling just mostly satisfied, or vaguely pissed off... It was lean, mean, well paced, well scripted and the actors all did a great job. Oh, and it's a little bit messed up and bloody too. Did I mention that I thought the ending was perfect too?

This was just a well made movie, with some hot chicks and some good kills, and I for one hope it gets a theatrical release before hitting DVD. I know it was made in 2007, and obviously went through some re-shoots, but this movie is so much better than most of the genre dreck that we tend get in Theaters... like The Spirit, Saw 53, Disaster Movie... are those all Lionsgate films? Oops.

Get on the damn stick, Lionsgate! Don't "Meat Train" this movie!

Hey Lionsgate, would you help us bury her like you bury all of your cool Horror movies? K thnx bai.
Am I crazy or did I not catch Carly Pope in this movie? This movie obviously underwent some pretty big re-shoots and endured a lot of trimming, but I wanna know what was cut and why! Like the different killer! The movie rocked with the changes that were made, but I'm just really curious to see the cut stuff.

*Addendum- Carly Pope was in a picture shown at the beginning of the movie. wow. 

Not in the movie, dammit!
Once again, the tight-bodied slutty chick denies the Token Fat Guy a piece of tail, just because he's geeky, socially awkward, and can only seem to generate chemistry with baked goods. Especially pie. It's discrimination I tell you!

Shovel violence, eye violence, some neato knife violence, man-bear trap violence... this movie has some pretty wicked and bloody kills!

We get one pair of boobs for a second of two, and Ryanne Duzich gets pretty skimpy too, though only teases us in the end.

Oh dude, I am sooo with you!
"Deep down, we're all killers." or "That's called closure."

Women never forget once you've cheated... never! Also, don't trust your friends, they'll kill you if they can.

Yes, I added two plus's to the grade; I need to see it again before I decide if it's classic enough for an A- grade, so for now, it's a B+ and then some.

This was a bad ass little Survival/Slasher flick, that didn't make me scream at the screen 20 times... well, other than the occasional "show your boobs!"... I don't know when it's coming out either Theatrically or on DVD, but see it when it does.

B++

Taryn Manning is in this.