Saturday, June 29, 2013
I'm hitting the road in a few hours for a much needed vacation. I've packed a few DVDs, so I might review a movie or two while I'm travelling, exploring, eating tater tots, and being awesome, but I can't guarantee it. In the meantime, enjoy this extremely appropriate music video of Willie Nelson performing "On The Road Again" at the Grand Ole Opry.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Film-makers investigate a haunting in an abandoned mental asylum, and discover shaky cam, jump cuts, and sudden noises in this 'found footage' horror film. I really liked the scenes of ruin and decay from the set and the occasional unexplained figure who was often captured on videotape during the investigation, but ultimately the film was a not-very-scary Ghosthunters with better production values and an appearance by Oliver Stone. It's supposedly based on a true story, which kind of makes the ending a little ORLY?. Blair Witch Project, what hath thou wrought?
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Someone in a plush rat head brandishing an aluminum baseball bat exacts some sort of revenge against scenery-chewing teens in this Japanese horror film, but it's not very interesting. Unfortunately, the version I saw had no subtitles, so I'm not entirely sure what happened. However, I was able to discern there were a few twists and turns, but they seemed somewhat unlikely. I mean, if you're covered in blood and carrying around a big stick or a baseball bat or an ax and you think your want to kill someone with it, wouldn't you try to hit your intended target or would you just telegraph your blows so they're easily deflected and the scene can go on for a few more minutes? I'm assuming that's what's happening since everyone in Black Rat knows just enough martial arts to get by, but it's hard to tell since there were no subtitles. Eh, whatever.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The Ghastly Love Of Johnny X is an homage to 50s sci-fi juvenile delinquent musicals which never existed. It's filled with vintage cars, stockings with seams, high heeled shoes, rear-screen projections, and entirely too many songs. The thing that really grinds my gears though is the mispronunciation of the name Xavier. It's not pronounced X-avier, it's pronounced Z-avier. I totally understand when Stan Lee does it when pronouncing it X-avier. It's because of the X-Men. It's still not okay, but I understand it. So if everyone could do me a big favor and stop pronouncing it X-avier, it would make me slightly less crazy. But only slightly.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I recently interfaced with my Internet Technology And Social Networking Team, and coordinated a round-table discussion on enriching my marketing concepts, reinforcing my online presence, and forwarding my brand. After approximately 15 minutes, the round-table discussion devolved into eating all my snack cakes and watching Youtube videos of nerds playing Minecraft. I'm not sure any of those things are actual things. So I shoved everyone down the elevator shaft and did it myself.
It's not very good, but there you go.
So I guess it's time to clean out some of the reviews from my drafts that I'm honestly never going to get around to finishing because I'm much too busy Googling myself.
As you probably already know, I'm a big fan of surrealism, and L'Age D'Or is the granddaddy of all surrealism movies. Decades after it caused riots and was banned, it's still somewhat shocking. Yes, there's statue toe-sucking because that's fine.
Giant Japanese monsters battle one another and destroy a miniature Japan. Yep, that's pretty much it, although this time one of the monsters is mechanized. Terror Of Mechagodzilla is better than some of the other films in the Godzilla series, but it still boils down to the basic plot. Don't get me wrong, I'll watch a Godzilla movie at the drop of a hat, but there's not much else I can really say about them.
Speaking of Godzilla, Godzilla sort of guest stars in this film about an irritating kid who encounters bank robbers and the rigid-faced son of Godzilla while chunks of other Godzilla movies occasionally play. It was irritating.
A young boy who can communicate with the dead is bullied in this cute animated film. It contains lots of references to horror films the kiddies probably won't get, and I was astonished at the intricate stop-motion animation techniques that were used.
The History Of Future Folk
An alien's plan to destroy the world with a flesh-eating virus is sidetracked by bluegrass in this wry, clever film. I enjoyed The History Of Future Folk quite a bit, and I would love to see Future Folk perform live in Brooklyn next time I'm there.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
A group of Japanese teenagers discover spooky goings-on at a haunted fun-house or hospital, I think, in this horror film by the director of the Ju-On series. One of those now-typical long-haired Japanese ghosts wearing a white gown walks up a spiral staircase in a foreboding fashion, a helium party balloon drifts about in threatening manner, a plush rabbit backpack levitates and phases through walls for some reason, and various ghosts and bodies drop from a great height on people causing death and injury, but I'm not sure why. Featuring camera shadows and some unconvincing CGI, Shock Labyrinth seems to confuse a spiral staircase with a labyrinth and forgets to shock. The version of Shock Labyrinth I watched was in Japanese without English subtitles, so the entire film was nearly impenetrable.
Friday, June 14, 2013
The director of the cult classic film Nightbeast is profiled in this low-budget documentary. Not only was Don Dohler a film director, but he also published underground comic books and worked with R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman. I didn't know that. Don Dohler seemed like a humble, down-to-earth guy who was a good sport about the fact his movies weren't very good. Now I have to find his movies Galaxy Invader, Alien Rampage, Harvester, Fiend, and Blood Massacre.
There's a slightly homoerotic killing spree going on at the local golf course in this no-budget slasher comedy, and someone's responsible. Featuring a dated soft hair-metal score by Kip Winger, The Greenskeeper is corny and self-aware. The 30-year old teenagers in the film get offed by golf clubs, a tennis ball server, a coat hanger, and a golf ball washer, but it isn't very good. I wish there was more to complain about, but The Greenskeeper wasn't very interesting. Insert yawn here.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I was surprisingly annoyed by the film The Source Family. I was expecting a rambling, incoherent documentary about gullible hippies doing culty things while kicking out some rambling, incoherent, psychedelic jams. Unfortunately, The Source Family turned out to be a rather well-constructed documentary about gullible hippies doing culty things with very few rambling, incoherent, psychedelic jams AND a very brief, rambling, incoherent interview segment with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, and I suddenly realized that I'm often annoyed by hippies and Smashing Pumpkins. I always thought that Smashing Pumpkins could have been one of the greatest rock bands ever if they just got rid of the frontman, but that's not important right now. I was hoping for a lot more freaked-out Source Family music, but didn't really get it.
What you do get in The Source Family are culty robes, communey gowns, extravagant headwear, awkward nudity, unfortunate polygamy, and VW buses.
A guy climbs a beanstalk and battles giant monsters in this Asylum film. Let's just say for instance that your over-protective adoptive parents keep some secretive magic beans from you but they get planted anyway and a huge beanstalk grows into the sky to an unknown realm which is where unknown realms usually are, you know, in the clouds sort of; and you decide to check it out which seems reasonable...wouldn't you at least bring some supplies, you know, like weapons or at least some granola bars?
No? OK, then.
I realize that after you unconvincingly gave your jacket to a woman who was unconvincingly attacked by unconvincing CGI beanstalk vines, wouldn't you at least bring try to get back your anachronistic leather racing jacket because it might get a little nippy in the magical cloud realm, or would you have the foresight that you would meet your father and get to wear matching Yeti Snuggies? That seems a little unlikely.
Speaking of anachronisms, there are a bunch of them in Jack The Giant Killer; like the required Asylum helicopter scene at the 33-minute mark, or the modern cars driving by in the distance, or the omni-present UK video cameras which I don't think existed in the weird sort of 1940s era Jack The Giant Killer is supposedly set in. But let's be honest, there's bigger fish to fry in Jack The Giant Killer; because there's a cloud chick unconvincingly riding an unconvincing 6-eyed cloud monster, a flying castle that runs on an ice-cream scoop of coal, an unconvincing cardboard Transformer, and the fact that a majority of the movie involves the cast looking concerned either into or slightly past the camera.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
A mummy covered in green stuff get revived by x-rays in this tedious sci-fi film. 30-year old college freshmen unconvincingly boogie, unconvincingly make out, and unconvincingly Walk Like An Egyptian while Shari Belafonte wears headbands and legwarmers. I don't know why. Then two full grown cops shriek like 3-year old girls and flee a regular-sized rat because it's in the script. There's a gooey hand and some night vision mummy POV shots, but they're not very good. Time Walker is #20 on The Sagal Index Of The 1000 Worst Films Of All Time, but I've seen worse.
A traveling CPA battles bureaucracy using tax loopholes in this inventive, wry independent film. Clever and inventively shot, George Biddle CPA is funny but overlong. As to be expected in low-budget films, the camera and boom are often visible in reflective surfaces, and someone reads from an actual visible script. However, it's cute and watchable. Honestly, you can never go wrong with a scene involving a high-speed escape through an avocado farm as our hero accountant who just pilfered gasoline flees a graphic designer on a tractor.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
People talk and talk about fog-wall-building slime people we never get to see because of, well, the fog. Actually, people seem to talk a lot about stuff that happens in The Slime People and we don't get to see it because of the fog. Briefly, the slime people eventually make a foggy appearance, but it's tough to see because of the fog. In fact, it's foggy whenever something other than talking about slime people happens, and maybe they should have called this movie The Fog People.
No, not that movie. This movie.
Someone digs up a body in a graveyard, then there's some calisthenics. Naturally, wrestling happens because Ladron De Cadaveres is a lucha libre movie. A wrestler gets knifed in the shower by a hobo wearing a phony beard and mustache, and the dead wrestler gets carted out of the gym in a drippy wicker basket. Of course, the recently deceased wrestler is fodder for a chimp/luchador brain transplant, and it turns out the phony bearded guy is a mad scientist who has a completely different mustache under the phony one. Sadly, the transplant didn't take, so someone props the stiff up on a lamp-post on a street corner because that's fine. Then some more wrestling/judo happens, and one of the wrestlers named Vampiro ends up dead. For some reason, the formerly dead Vampiro becomes undead and causes a lucha libre stampede. Then Vampiro sprouts some body hair and the movie becomes a part Wolfman, part Nacho Libre, part Frankenstein, part King Kong extravaganza. I actually enjoyed Ladron De Cadaveres, but I don't speak Spanish so I have no idea what actually happened in the film.
People travel to a land that time forgot in this sci-fi adventure film. Someone aboard a biplane sees a pterodactyl, then says, "That's magnificent!" before shooting it down like the Red Baron because that's what people back in the olden days did with their biplanes and pterodactyls. Then some unconvincing dinosaurs attack sort of, and a bosomy, scantily-clad cave chick appears because it's in the script but it's not very interesting. A bunch of movie happens, like where the cave chick gets bench-pressed; but I became distracted by the fact that there's an entire genre of Japanse film about sea creatures playing sports and forgot to continue watching People That Time Forgot.
Yes, that's a real thing.
Amazing! How have I never heard about this? It's a crab playing soccer in a film called Kani Goalkeeper.
And this one is called Calamari Wrestler. I don't know what is happening in this clip, but it's fascinating.
I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that it's completely acceptable to watch a movie where a crudely animated stegosaurus pulls a biplane, but it's weird to watch a movie where a guy wrestles another guy dressed as an appetizer. Ah, the world we live in.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Seemingly two movies in one; Beast Of Blood is part tedious jungle man-hunt, part gooey zombie head transplant film. Neither are very good. Sure, you get about 5 whole minutes of a maggoty, partially skeletonized monster with an ax who goes on a rampage on a ship, but it's abandoned pretty quickly for an hour of machete-filled, sarong-filled, jungley hi-jinks involving a dude with a Conway Twitty haircut and sideburns. Then, after a little native girl "It's not you, it's me" romantic dysfunction, there's a brief head transplant surgery scene involving what appears to be a 5-lb beef brisket under anesthesia as someone says, "Reactivate the artificial head!" which seems fine. Beast Of Blood is cautiously recommended if you like stuff that sucks, but skip the middle hour or so.
Actually, just watch the trailer. You'll get the gist of it.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Robin Hood battles zombies in this RenFesty action film. Yes, I said zombies. Sorry to get your hopes up, but it's not very good. Until the unconvincing, frothy-mouthed zombies finally appear at the 1 hour and 29 minute mark, what you'll actually experience is wooden acting, confusing dubbing, awkward dialogue, amateurish fight scenes, and medieval laundry. Sometimes people will take a magic potion which changes their appearance, and I can only assume they're taking the anti-diarrheal medication Imodium because they groan in agony, clutch their stomachs, and fall to the ground. Here's a trailer:
Oops, it looks as though someone replaced a tedious trailer of Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood with a classic clip of the Merrie Melodies cartoon Robin Hood Daffy which is a relief and hilarious. Let's try it again:
Again, someone replaced a dreadful trailer of Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood with another gut-busting clip from the Merrie Melodies cartoon Robin Hood Daffy, and I honestly can't thank them enough and I don't think Imodium had anything to do with it.
Third times a charm!
Nope, I wouldn't call that charming.
The set-up for Invasion is actually pretty intriguing. The plot is this: Aliens invade a small town; and the action unfolds in real time, in seemingly one-take, all through the dashboard video recorder of a police car along a dark dirt road, illuminated merely by headlights. A car drives up and down a dirt road, and all the viewer sees are starkly lit trees and brush. Sometimes a cast member twitches, staggers around, and sometimes hugs another screaming cast member in the car's headlights. The dialogue consists almost completely of voice-over narration. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the whole movie. Invasion has a vague Invasion Of The Body Snatchers meets War Of The Worlds meets Manos: The Hands Of Fate vibe about it, you know, because of all the driving, body-snatching, and aliens you almost never see. Actually, the appearance of Torgo would really liven this flick up. And if you think the film is tedious, wait until the end credits which seem to go on forever.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Brains get transplanted in this Al Adamson film. So, this guy dies, and then he's transported to the lab wrapped in crinkled tin foil like he's a gigantic brain-needing baked potato. Meanwhile, the camera shoots through a large jar containing a rat, and a sloppy pink brain gets electrodes attached to it. Then there's a thrilling rooftop chase scene as a woman with blue eyeshadow smokes a Virginia Slim. Then a different woman being taunted by a dwarf while chained in a dungeon has an obviously phony rubber spider on her hand. This woman somehow escapes the chains, but gets bitten by a rat. Some dude is awfully concerned and applies first aid, which consists of slicing the wound with a pocketknife and sucking out the poison because that's fine, makes sense, and isn't especially hygienic. Then a monster with a rubber cone-head wanders around, then the movie ends.
While I will cautiously recommend Brain Of Blood if you like stuff that sucks, I wholeheartedly recommend the trailer. Everything about it is great...the voiceover, the graphics, the brain surgery. Just do that instead.