“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Archive for September, 2007

Death Sentence

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Kevin Bacon plays a regular ol’ businessman guy whose son is randomly murdered in a gang initiation killing/convenience story robbery by tattoo-having, muscle car-driving, meth-dealing fantasy skinhead gangsters. When it becomes clear that the killer will only get a few years in prison he decides not to testify so that the case will be dropped and then he hunts the guy down and murders him. That is why it is called DEATH SENTENCE. The end.

Wait, no. My mistake. There’s more. Even if it’s obvious, even if it’s corny, what makes this movie cool is the gimmick that the good guys and bad guys reflect each other. In the scene where Bacon’s son is murdered, the older gangsters call the killer “my boy,” like Bacon would’ve at his son’s hockey game. They’re proud of the little guy. You know what they say about gangs, even phony movie gangs like this: they’re like a family. Bacon has a family member murdered, so he gets revenge. But that means the gang has their family member murdered, they must get revenge on him, so they come after him and his other son and his wife, and then he has to get revenge on them for trying to get revenge on him for getting revenge on them. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hatchet

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Well, I guess now it’s officially a pattern. The pattern goes like this:

  1. small independent horror movie plays a few small film festivals.
  2. People on the internet go ape shit because they got to see it first.
  3. Buzz spreads for a year or so.
  4. Anchor Bay (#1 releaser of horror movies in the VHS days) buys rights, gives tiny theatrical release.
  5. I see it on DVD.
  6. god damn it, why don’t they make good ones anymore

This pattern started with BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON and fortunately this one is not as asinine as that one. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t cut the mustard. Believe me, I wish it did. I see mustard everywhere and I want nothing more than for that mustard to be cut by a movie like this. But just being above the standards of the DTV giant snake movies is not a horror resurgence. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern Reviews The DEATH PROOF DVD!

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Since this showed up at my house, I’ve screened it three times. I hate that they are not putting out GRINDHOUSE together, but I really like the international cut of DEATH PROOF, and I know that sooner or later, I’ll be able to own the same thing I saw in theaters this spring. It’s just not right now, and I guess that’s just the way it fucking goes.

Vern’s got a typically strong write-up of the disc for you today, and it was nearly as much fun to read this as it was to watch the disc:

For me GRINDHOUSE was one of the great theatrical experiences of 2007. A rare modern instance of filmatists trying to put on a real show, and giving you more than your money’s worth. Two movies for the price of one, plus fake trailers – an affordable night or afternoon out. Yeah, I read about how it failed to make money for the Weinsteins, but guess what? That’s what happens when you spend decades buying other people’s movies so you can cut them, dub them, retitle them, sit them on a shelf for years, and then only allow them to be rented at Blockbuster. When you spend that long doing that many cruel and unusual things eventually your bi-yearly good deed will fail for you too. Because you are an asshole. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern is sympathetic to those in ZOO – the yearnings, the love… the bestiality.

Monday, September 10th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

ZOO, directed by Robinson Devor, is a movie you might’ve heard of when it played Sundance last January. For some reason it had a very limited theatrical run, it was not really given the same chance a SPIDER-MAN or a SHREK would get to catch on with the public, but fortunately THINKFilm releases the DVD September 18th.

I really liked Devor’s first movie THE WOMAN CHASER. That one, COCKFIGHTER and MIAMI BLUES are the only movie adaptations of my favorite writer, Charles Willeford. Patrick Warburton is so good playing a bored used car salesman turned desperate embezzler/nihilistic independent filmmaker that I have a hard time not picturing him as the lead in other Willeford books as I’m reading them. I can’t recommend that movie enough, but unfortunately it’s never been released on DVD, and good luck finding the VHS. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern Vs. SHOOT ‘EM UP!

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Perhaps the single most important piece of film criticism we’ll publish this month. You don’t have to like me or Harry in any way to love Vern. He’s always been one of the most distinct voices we publish here, and there are certain films where I look forward to his opinion in particular.

I know a lot of you wanted to read a HALLOWEEN review from him, and he’s published one at his fantastic world-famous blog now. But I think it’s more important to be able to present his review of the film by Michael Davis that we’ve been talking about for a while now. Vern’s a stubborn, passionate fan of action films, and I knew that he’d approach this movie wide open to it. Seems like he really got it, too, enjoying it for any number of reasons and on several levels. This was a great read, Vern. Thanks for always raising the bar with each review.

We all know HARDBOILED is one of the greatest action movies of all time. This has been discussed, voted and agreed upon officially. But for all the time dedicated to honoring that movie, not much has been set aside for the HARDBOILED poster. Remember the first time you saw that, before you saw the movie? What more did you need to see? That simple, perfect, iconic image of Chow Yun Fat (whether you knew who he was then or not) holding a gun in one hand and a baby in the other – that should’ve been enough. It doesn’t tell you everything about HARDBOILED, but it tells you alot. The theory of badass juxtaposition at its most basic symbolic level – one man holding life and death. Good and evil. Innocence and violence. Machine and flesh. Yin and yang.

More importantly, the guy is holding a baby in one hand and a gun in the other. Forget what it means. Concentrate on what it is. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Halloween (2007)

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

please deliver to:
Michael Meyers
Spooky old Meyers house
Haddonfield, IL 61764

Dear Michael Meyers,

Vern here. Big fan. Going way back. I watch HALLOWEEN once or twice a year. Part 2 once every couple years. Part 3 every once in a while, even though it’s lame that they wouldn’t pay you enough to come back for that one. 4 and 5 I watch once every 3 or 4 blue moons. Part 6 I watched once in a theater and once on producer’s cut video and that’s quite enough of that shit, thank you very much. Part 7 I actually like, mainly because of Laurie getting away, deciding she can’t run for her whole life, going back, chasing you down and lopping your god damn head off. No offense. And then part 8 I saw on DVD and if I could I would become a child, dress up as a clown and sneak into that movie’s bedroom with a knife. Not that I would get off on that or anything, it would just be the right thing to do. You would hate that one too because they burn down your house. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

AICN BOOKS! Wow! Vern Can Read! ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER: VIOLENCE, SPECTACLE, AND THE AMERICAN ACTION MOVIE Reviewed!

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

I kid. I know Vern can read. When we first talked all those years ago, when he was fresh out of the pen, he told me that he had to do a lot of reading in prison to break up the monotony of all the gay rape.

No, really, I kid.

Vern, buddy, thanks for doing this one. Good stuff, and my favorite read of the day:

I am here today to review a book. That’s right motherfuckers, I know how to read. The book in question is Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie (revised & expanded edition) by Eric Lichtenfeld. Our young friend Quint kindly suggested me to review the book and I was happy to check it out. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.