Archive for 2008

Sleepaway Camp

Monday, October 27th, 2008


There’s no way around it: SLEEPAWAY CAMP is a blatant ripoff of FRIDAY THE 13TH. It borrows the summer camp setting, the child with a tormented past and messed up guardian, and the unseen killer who’s unmasked in a crazy twist ending that nobody could’ve seen coming because it came out of nowhere. Alot of slasher movies take the same formula and put it in a different setting, this one takes the same formula and puts it in the same setting. It’s like DIE HARD in a building.

The reason it’s survived in the popular consciousness, though, is that it has its own weird brand of sleaziness that gives it a feel different from any other slasher movie, including other summer camp slasher movies. For one thing, the kids at the summer camp are played by actual kids. The vast majority of ’80s slasher movies were about teens played by actors in their early to mid twenties. And FRIDAY THE 13TH focussed on the counselors. Adrienne King, who played FRIDAY heroine Alice, was 20. Felissa Rose, the star of SLEEPAWAY CAMP, was 13. It makes it more uncomfortable. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Strangers

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman (Felicity) play a young couple who have come to town for a wedding and are staying at an isolated house Scott’s family owns. It’s a house with a long driveway and a lot of trees around, a place where people can get lost, he mentions. They’ve had a bad night and might be calling it quits with each other and then all the sudden, around 4 am, some girl knocks on the door asking for somebody they never heard of.

Out here? In the middle of nowhere? Where did she come from? Then Scott makes the mistake of going to buy cigarettes. While he’s gone the girl shows up again, and things start getting weirder. Basically this is the story of what happens when 3 people in Halloween masks show up at your house and try to get in, for unknown reasons. (read the rest of this shit…)


Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I can’t remember if I’ve brought this up before or not, but I fuckin hate Bush. Worst thing to happen to this country including our version of Godzilla looking like an iguana. I don’t think I’m the only one who’d rather not think about him unnecessarily. So when I heard Oliver Stone was already doing an all-star George W. Bush movie it seemed like a joke. It honestly sounded to me like a fictional movie they would refer to in some TV show like STUDIO 60 or one of those. A character would mention that they’re trying out for the part of so-and-so in Oliver Stone’s George Bush biography. And I would think come on, Oliver Stone would never make a movie like that.

I mean, there’s the whole too soon factor. Are we really ready for a more humanized portrait of the moronic shitbag sonofabitch who’s about to exit the White House leaving behind 2 (two) wars with no clear objectives, a Constitution that has been devalued by the government intentionally and openly violating it without any consequences, the people sorely divided for intentional political purposes, and (the cherry on top) the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression? Should we really give a shit what makes this asshole tick? Shouldn’t that be a fun hobby for historians to play many, many years from now when we’ve managed to get some of the mess cleaned up? (read the rest of this shit…)


Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Everybody loves dog movies if the dog is named Air Bud or is a descentdant of Air Bud, and he plays basketball or football, or rides a skateboard or wears sunglasses. But what if the dog’s sport was hunting, and furthermore what if his prey was THE ULTIMATE PREY – MAN. Same prey that Predator chose, in other words. Not so adorable now, is it?

CUJO is another solid Stephen King picture with a high concept about people with marital difficulties being terrorized, but for once it is not a haunted object that terrorizes them, it is a dog haunted only by a viral zoonotic neuroinvasive disease that causes acute encephalitis in mammals. Cujo got his rabies from a bat (the unsung villain of this piece, if you ask me) so now he’s kind of confused and taking his car chasing duties a little too serious. So when the mom from E.T. and the kid from “Who’s the Boss?” get stranded in their car on his property it creates a conflict. There is a strong disagreement about whether or not the dog should be allowed inside the car, basically. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern survives the FACES OF DEATH 30th Anniversary Edition!!

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I know we got some home theater buffs out there, right? Let’s say you have an HDTV, a Blu-Ray player, 5.1 surround (or whatever the best is these days), the whole setup. How do you feel about using all that to watch a guy eat monkey brains?

What I’m getting at, my friends, is that FACES OF DEATH came out on Blu-Ray and a new 30th anniversary DVD earlier this month. I don’t think Harry covered it in his column, so I thought I would give my thoughts on this important event.

As you know, FACES OF DEATH is one of those movies with a reputation so vile, so putrid that it’s not even thought of as a movie. It’s just a tape. A tape more hated than BATMAN AND ROBIN or MEET THE SPARTANS – one most people are disgusted by without having necessarily seen it. Like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE only worse, because it has REAL DEATH IN IT! (read the rest of this shit…)


Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

To be honest I had written off the possibility of good Stephen King-based movies a while back. It seemed like that whole thing had run its course, but then I saw THE MIST and that was an enjoyable one. So I gave 1408 a shot, what the hell.

John Cusack plays a writer of haunted places guidebooks travelling around to allegedly haunted rooms, testing them, staying the night and writing about them. But he’s kind of a dick about it and doesn’t even believe in ghosts. And it’s indicated that something tragic happened in New York that caused him to leave his wife. But now he wants to go back to New York for the first time to stay in this room he found out about, 1408 at the Dolphin, where a whole bunch of people have killed themselves. And of course he gets in, the room terrorizes him for real, he learns about himself and explores the traumas of his life and faces why he left his wife. Spoooooky. (read the rest of this shit…)

Reeker and No Man’s Land: Rise of Reeker

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I’d been meaning to see REEKER since it was mentioned in the Fangoria magazine, then I was reminded by some list of recommended slasher movies. I seem to have pretty much squeezed the juice out of this genre but every year around Halloween I start scouring again just in case there’s a couple drops I missed. And there probaly are still some good ones out there that I haven’t seen.

I’m not sure this one counts, though. It’s okay. It’s about a group of older-looking college students carpooling to AREA 52 – THE WORLD’S BIGGEST RAVE! Two women, three men, and one of the men just stole a box full of ecstasy pills from a psychotic corpse-fucker. And that guy is sort of mad about it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rawhead Rex

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

This year they came out with a Clive Barker movie called MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN. Didn’t play anywhere near here so I haven’t seen it yet, but I did see the trailer and when they said the title at the end everybody laughed. Real mature, fellas, real mature. Well, this is an older Clive Barker picture and luckily nobody would ever be able to imagine a dirty interpretation of this particular title. I mean how would you even have a gay porno called that, unless you had a guy in it named Rex. But how many guys are named Rex in this day and age, I doubt something like that would happen.

Anyway this is your basic monster rampage picture but also with some of your typical Clive Barker themes. An American family is investigating their Irish homeland because dad’s writing some book. While checking out an old church, lightning strikes an ancient stone statue, resurrecting an 8′ tall monster-faced berserker bastard who we assume is named Rawhead Rex, although I don’t think anybody ever calls him that and he definitely doesn’t introduce himself. He is not so much a talker as a doer, he goes around mangling people, throwing people through walls, biting off people’s heads and those sorts of activities. Let’s say you’re a woman standing indoors, he might bust through the window and grab you by the neck and tear your clothes off and carry you out the door. That’s just who Rawhead Rex is, that’s what he does. You can make your own judgments on his lifestyle, and if you’re against it like I am don’t worry, he eventually gets defeated by that glowing magic they had in the ’80s that looked suspiciously like it was drawn on frame by frame. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Howling

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

If you ask me, AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON is the best werewolf picture mankind has developed so far. But watching THE HOWLING again reminded me there’s at least one giving a little friendly competition, keeping AMERICAN WEREWOLF honest. Even if it’s not as good.

THE HOWLING is directed by Joe “GREMLINS” Dante, so it has his usual Cormanite monster nerd business: Dick Miller in a supporting role, cameos by Roger Corman and Forrey Ackerman, some black humor here and there. But the tone is more serious than AMERICAN WEREWOLF and way more serious than anything else Dante’s ever done. Filmatically I would say it’s his best directing job by far. Instead of AMERICAN WEREWOLF’s contemporary twist on urban gothic THE HOWLING starts out as straight up sleazy urban noir, werewolves in the world of serial killing and bondage porn. At times it feels more like a David Cronenberg than a Joe Dante. (read the rest of this shit…)

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

So here we are. The VERY LAST time we will ever see Freddy Krueger. Dead forever. Never, ever again will he appear in a movie of any kind, because this at last is the end of him. It says it right there in the title, twice. He is dead, and this is the final one. And what a journey it’s been. But thank God we have this precious last 89 minutes to spend with him.

I don’t know if all the New Line Cinema people were wearing funeral clothes when they made this, but behind the scenes it was kind of a family affair. Director Rachel Talalay had been working on the Freddy pictures since part 1, usually as a producer. This was her first time directing – she later did TANK GIRL. She’s also the only woman to ever direct a Freddy movie. (read the rest of this shit…)