I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween everybody

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Hope all of you are enjoying your pagan holiday. Germans especially I encourage to celebrate Halloween, perhaps while waving six American flags and singing our national anthem in both English and German.

I did not find a clear winner to Slasher Search this year, but I will ruminate on it. At least I saw lots of interesting oddities and did a respectable number of horror reviews, including a bunch today. INSIDE is a modern classic I never saw before and ISLAND OF LOST SOULS is a classic classic that I never saw before, so those were the highlights of my viewing this month. Anyway have a fun day, eat some apples and pumpkin seeds to balance out your candy diet, and try not to get run over like that masked guy that gets mistaken for Michael Myers in part 2.

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.

Island of Lost Souls

Monday, October 31st, 2011

tn_islandoflostsoulsThe Island of Lost Souls is an interesting island. That’s what Ed Parker (Richard Arlen) finds out when he shipwrecks and the drunk captain (Paul Hurst) of the boat that rescues him dumps him along with the cargo on this small slice of uncharted jungle property. Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton) is out there doing some cutting-edge scientifically research with one colleague, Montgomery (Arthur Hohl). He’s somehow figured out how to bypass millions of years of evolution and has created futuristic plants, including giant asparagus. He lives with a pretty young weirdo girl named Lota (The Panther Woman) and a staff of hairy servants who Parker believes are the “strange looking natives” of the island. Yeah, they look strange all right, they look like the wolf boy on the cover of the told freaks video. (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.

Q (aka Q – The Winged Serpent)

Monday, October 31st, 2011

tn_qBruceQ (aka Q – THE WINGED SERPENT) is writer/director Larry Cohen’s version of a giant monster movie, about a small time New York City getaway driver played by Cohen’s DeNiro, Michael Moriarty. He’s recently out of the joint, failing to get a job as a bar pianist, and gets screwed over by some mobsters during a failed diamond heist. He runs straight from the scene of the crime to a (closed, it turns out) law office high up in the Chrysler building, where he ends up having to hide from a security guard in a not-open-to-the-public area beneath the needle. There he finds a dead body and a nest with a giant egg. Huh.
(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.

Pig Hunt

Monday, October 31st, 2011

tn_pighuntPIG HUNT is a 2009 low budget horror romp that was released by Fangoria, a magazine I proudly subscribe to but, let’s be honest, not a name I trust on a video cover. A group of friends from San Francisco take a trip out to some property that this guy John (Travis Aaron Wade) inherited from his uncle, where they’re gonna go hunting together. It’s some macho dudes and one resented-but-tough girlfriend (Tina Huang, who apparently played a waitress in DRIVE). And there’s a giant pig out there somewhere.

I almost said there might be a giant pig out there, to avoid spoilers, but that would be a disappointing movie if they set up the possibility of a giant pig and then didn’t follow through, wouldn’t it? So don’t worry, there’s a pig. But it’s not a straight monster movie, there’s more threats involved and they’re both human and regular-sized. (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.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Monday, October 31st, 2011

tn_tuckeranddaleTUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL is a corny name for an enjoyable comedy that plays off of the ol’ slasher tropes in a clever way. It starts like a real slasher movie, with a group of college kids heading out to the woods for Memorial Day weekend. And for a minute it really could pass for an authentic modern day (but not necessarily good) serious non-comedy horror movie. When they stop at a gas station to get beer they have a run-in with creepy rednecks, just like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or similar movies. But of course the rednecks are the titular Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), two completely innocent guys who just get nervous talking to women and come off as scary to kids like this. I wonder if that’s what the deal was with Leatherface?

(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.

Scared Stiff

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

tn_scaredstiffslashersearch'11I’m including this as part of Slasher Search ’11 because that’s why I rented it. But it turned out I was wrong, it’s more of a ghost or haunted house type movie.

The opening ten minutes or so really leave you guessing what the hell this movie’s gonna be about. It starts on a plantation in 1800s Virginia, something about some slaves giving a stone mask to the slave master’s wife to protect her from a curse that some guys they keep cutting to on the Ivory Coast are working up. Then we go to modern day (well, 1980s) Virginia, where the house still exists, and a lady is filming a music video, and a psychiatrist is dealing with crazed patients in an asylum. How does this all tie together? Not well.
(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.

Silent Madness

Friday, October 28th, 2011

tn_silentmadnessslashersearch'11SILENT MADNESS is another song in the key of HALLOWEEN, with little melodies from a few other slasher favorites. A psychotic mute inmate from a mental asylum gets out and returns to the scene of a 20 year old massacre. Like A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET there’s a boiler room involved, like BLACK CHRISTMAS he kills some sorority sisters still on campus when most students are on vacation, like HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW there’s a cranky old sorority mother, like SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE the killer (played by stunt coordinator Solly Marx) is a regular looking dude with no mask or anything, and there’s a twist ending that’s kind of a nod to FRIDAY THE 13TH’s nod to PSYCHO. But it’s nowhere near as good as any of those movies. I don’t want to call it Z-grade, but it’s pretty low on the alphabet. Maybe W-grade? (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.

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

tn_wrongturn4When I saw that there was a WRONG TURN 4 I had to think for a minute to remember if I had seen part 3. I did, so what’s one more gonna hurt? Nothing. That’s generally the best attitude to go into a movie with, right?

The first WRONG TURN was a competent but bland studio version of a savage cannibal movie. It didn’t work for me. Part 2 had some humorously over-the-top digital bodily mutilation, but a completely obnoxious “people making a reality show run into trouble” type of plot and characters. I forgot to write reviews of parts 1 and 3. I don’t remember what part 3 was about but if I remember right it was similar to part 2 but a little funnier and less grating. Maybe. They’re all kind of shitty movies with some bright spots. This is no exception. (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.

Inside

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

tn_insideHere’s another popular 2007 French horror movie. This one came out about a month before FRONTIER(S) did and like that one it has a pregnant protagonist and takes place during a time of rioting in the underprivileged Parisian suburbs. But it seems to be in the present and it’s much simpler, fewer characters and locations, and to me way more effective. “Fun” is probly not the right word for this one, but it comes close.

The movie opens with a (digital) baby in its mother’s womb… and what happens to it when the mother is in a car accident. In-utero whiplash. So, yeah, it’s pretty fucked up. But that’s how they do it in France. (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 Carpenter

Monday, October 24th, 2011

tn_carpenterslashersearch'11Here’s a weird one. Martin (Pierre Lenoir) comes home one day to find his wife Alice (Lynne Adams – “Yakuza with rocket launcher” in JOHNNY MNEMONIC) cutting his suits into little squares. After Alice has a stint in a mental hospital the couple comes to live in a new house, still undergoing some refurbishment.

One night Alice wakes up and hears power tools being used in the basement. She investigates and finds a dude (Wings “Ramrod” Hauser) still working on the house. He explains that he has a strong work ethic and won’t stop until the job’s not finished. (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.