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Archive for October, 2010

Vern’s Underrated Horror A-Z

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

tn_dontgointhehouseMore horror movie recommendations than you can shake an ax at

This one cool movie criticism type blog (short for web log) called ‘Rupert Pupkin Speaks’ started a thing of everybody doing their lists of top ten underrated horror movies. They got HOWLING director Joe Dante, Alamo Drafthouse guy Zack Carlson, and Ain’t It Cool’s Mr. Beaks in on the action, among a whole bunch of others. Everybody’s doing it. So I got jealous and tried to outdo them with not a top ten list, but an entire ENGLISH LANGUAGE ALPHABET of underrated horror. Let’s see if I can do it. (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.

Alone in the Dark

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

tn_aloneindarkALONE IN THE DARK is the story of a bunch of people together in the dark. It’s a siege movie, but it starts out like THE NINTH CONFIGURATION or other movies where a guy comes in to take over as the new doctor at a mental hospital, and he meets all the colorful characters and what not. For example New Line Cinema’s mascot Lynn Shaye plays the receptionist who turns out to be a patient.

Dwight Schultz, aka Howling Mad Murdoch, the mentally ill member of the A-Team, gets to play the doctor in this one. It would be cool if Mr. T showed up as a vegan helicopter pilot, or George Peppard as a spacey hippie who absolutely hates it when a plan comes together. Instead they have ex-military Jack Palance and preacher/arsonist Martin Landau as two of the guys on the third floor. These are the patients one hospital employee describes as “very, very intense.” They also got a huge fat child molester (Erland van Lidth, Dynamo from THE RUNNING MAN) and a notion that Dwight Schultz killed the old doctor and they gotta get revenge. They wait for a window of opportunity, and it opens up pretty quick when there’s a power outage and they’re able to get out, Michael Meyers style. (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.

Madman

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

tn_madmanThe year after FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 and THE BURNING and the year before SLEEPAWAY CAMP there was another summer-camp-slasher movie called MADMAN. It takes place on the last night at a camp for gifted children when a campfire story seems to summon an undead killer who proceeds to butcher the counselors one by one.

The head of the camp tells the killer’s legend as a ghost story to scare the kids. His name is Madman Marz, he was a wife-beating alcoholic farmer who went nuts, murdered his wife and daughter, got hung for it but his body disappeared. On the other hand it’s mentioned that he once got part of his nose bitten off in a bar fight and he didn’t even notice. So that part of the story makes him sound pretty cool. We’re all human, we have our good traits and our bad traits. Leatherface, for example, is very good at sewing.
(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.

Long Weekend (2008 remake)

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

tn_longweekendremakeWatching the remake of LONG WEEKEND today something seemed awfully familiar. I mean not just the movie itself. It was the opening credits. Flying over Australian trees and bodies of water, gently pulsing electronic tones, for a second I thought I forgot to change the DVD because it seems like the exact same credits as the last movie I watched, STORM WARNING. I knew it was the same writer, Everett De Roche, but it turns out it’s the same director too, Jamie Blanks (also editor and composer). So he must’ve been on a De Roche kick just like I am.
(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.

Storm Warning

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

tn_stormwarningIn my review of LONG WEEKEND I mentioned that the same Australian, Everett De Roche, had written that one, RAZORBACK, ROAD GAMES and LINK, and because a track record like that is rare for a non-director screenwriter I would definitely have to watch some of his other works. Since I am a man of honor and what not I’ve already done that with the much more recent STORM WARNING (2007). I’ve found references to the script being 25 years old, but I think De Roche worked with them to make the movie, they didn’t just find it in a closet somewhere and shoot it without telling him.
(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.

Long Weekend

Friday, October 29th, 2010

tn_longweekendPeter (John Hargreaves from DEATHCHEATERS) and Marcia (Briony Behets) are a couple who are really pissed off at each other when they decide to go camping on a beach out in Middle of Nowhere, Australia. There have been some serious betrayals and traumas that they’re still dealing with and spending the 3-day weekend together is supposed to maybe help, but only seems to be exacerbating things. You know these two aren’t the best for each other when Peter is introduced watching Marcia through a rifle scope. He also likes to fake at hitting her when she has her back turned to him. This guy might be kind of an asshole, I’m thinking.
(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.

The Vindicator

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

tn_vindicatorI liked VISITING HOURS so much I figured I should follow the ol’ auteur theory with its director, Jean-Claude Lord. I know it’s a French theory, not French-Canadian, but I think it still applies. It’s 1986, only four years after VISITING HOURS, and the poor guy is already doing THE VINDICATOR.

THE VINDICATOR is the story of Carl Lehman (David McIlwraith, who played Andrew Card in the TV movie DC 9/11), genius scientist and soon-to-be-father who goes in to confront the famed rich guy Alex Whyte (Richard Cox, who played Alan Dershowitz in the TV movie AMERICAN TRAGEDY) who cut off his funding just when he knew he was on the verge of a huge fucking scientific breakthrough. What could go wrong? He’ll probly be very persuasive and the two will work out a compromise to continue the research, support each other and work together for the betterment of mankind. I’m sure everything’ll be fine.
(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.

Visiting Hours

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

tn_visitinghoursslashersearchwinnerVISITING HOURS is up there with the best slasher movies I’ve seen. You think you’ve pretty much exhausted them and then you find out a gem like this that was sitting there all throughout the 1980s, its distinctive VHS box staring at you from the optical illusion eye sockets of its hospital room windows lit in skull formation. I knew that image like I knew my own hands but it never once occurred to me to ask “What is this movie? Should I watch it?” Not until you guys recommended it to me for the hundredth time. So thanks for that.

Some might consider this more suspense thriller than horror. It’s different from a HALLOWEEN or a FRIDAY THE 13TH because there’s nothing supernatural, there’s no mask, we know alot about the killer and he’s not a monster or a legend. He’s just a crazy weirdo who’s slipped through the cracks so far. But I consider it a slasher movie because it has a whole lot of the classic tropes: woman-hating maniac with sexual hangups on a knife rampage, suspenseful stalking sequences, upsetting murders, strong female victims-turned heroes. Carol J. Clover must not’ve known about this one either or she would’ve been all over it in Men, Women, and Chain Saws. (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.

Link

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

tn_linkLINK is a really unusual horror picture that starts out like a normal monster movie (POV of unknown beast crawls into a little girl’s room at night) but succeeds by avoiding any of the obvious formulas. Terence THE LIMEY Stamp plays Dr. Phillip, an eccentric professor at London College known for his books and lectures about primates. Academy Award nominee Elizabeth Shue (PIRANHA 3D, THE HOLLOW MAN) plays Jane, an American student who wants to learn from him and manages to become his assistant, staying at his remote property where he does IQ experiments with his apes Imp, Voodoo and Link. (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.

In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

tn_kilimanjaroYou know John-Rhys Davies? I believe he’s the dwarf in the Lords of the Rings, but he’s best remembered as Sallah, loyal friend in the Indiana Jones pictures and passionate explainer of seatbelts in the Indiana Jones Disneyland ride. IN THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO is the story of Sallah’s further adventures as a mine operator in Kenya. The credits don’t call him Sallah, they call him “Chris Tucker.” But you tell me which is more likely: John Rhys-Davies is playing Sallah again, or John Rhys-Davies is playing Chris Tucker? I rest my case.
(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.