sábado, 27 de febrero de 2010
viernes, 26 de febrero de 2010
I don’t know about this movie, man. It’s given me something of a bad taste in my mouth, but I can’t say I completely hate it either. It was directed by Amando De Ossorio, a really talented filmmaker from Spain who made the great Blind Dead films and The Lorelei’s Grasp, which I love as well even though so many people say it’s crap. But this movie… I dunno. I guess I was hoping for something very atmospheric like the previously mentioned films, but nope, not in here. We get a Japanese-style monster movie, but it’s script doesn’t really make sense. I already mentioned the dubious origins of the sea monster, but the thing that really peeves me about the story is that it has the most ludicrous coincidences in the history of cinema. Our ‘hero’ is accused of driving a ship while drunk and sentenced to jail, but he goes walking scott-free right after his sentencing. This is a dubbed version, did I miss something? Then he helps the nutty girl escape, right in front of a horny orderly who recognizes the girl only after she’s inside an elevator. Then they return to a hospital (!) to talk to another survivor. You’d think there’d be security ready to see two excons hanging around, but I guess not.
Now, the film has a very talented task. Timothy Buttons is a great actor who appeared in the great Last Picture Show, and Ray Milland has appeared in hundreds of films, many of them classics like The Lost Weekend, Dial M For Murder and The Thing With Two Heads, although sadly his behavior is similar to his character in The Lost Weekend, slurring and almost falling over thanks to what looks like an over-use of the sauce. But the best performance is given by the Sea Serpent itself, a sock puppet modified by special makeup that makes Reptilicus look like the beast from Cloverfield. So those are my two cents on this, De Ossorio’s weird bastard child. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, but it’s still a lot of fun…. If you’re high.
miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2010
By the way, the Syngenor's only weakness is water. Do you think M. Night Shamalama-ding-dong saw this while writing Signs? I think he did. This is better than Signs though, sad but true.
martes, 23 de febrero de 2010
This movie was written and directed by Eric Thornett, one of the most interesting filmmakers in the indie horror scene right now, and this is probably his most interesting film. It’s a part of the ‘snuff’ subgenre of cinema, a kind of horror movie that was first begun by Peeping Tom in 1960 by Michael Powell. The script is clever and has a lot of surreal mystery. You really never know what the hell is going on for a lot of the film, almost like you have walked into a different world. It’s obvious that Thornett is a big fan of Cronenberg, as the plot has elements of Videodrome (the secret snuff channel), and David Lynch as well, particularly lost Highway, like the creepy pale guy and the white-masked slasher looking dude. Hey I don’t blame him, these are the best films by both directors and it’s great to see the influence. The movie also plays a little like Angel Heart, particularly with the way the main actor behaves. Sadly this movie isn’t without it’s flaws. With it’s creepy, film noir vibe also comes a very slow pace, and this wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that the film needs some serious editing, especially after the reveal of the ‘snuff’ angle. After that particular revelation, you just don’t care about anything that happens next. Nothing has the impact, nor the strength. The acting isn’t very good either, although in her defense, Debbie Rochon delivers as usual, proving once again that she’s the best actress in indie horror today. I would love to work with her someday. So in conclusion, this is a pretty damn good film, especially considering it’s budgets. It proudly wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve, and has the potential to be creepy. I look forward to see more of Thornett’s work in the future
lunes, 22 de febrero de 2010
The story is known to all who have read the book: It revolves around four friends: Mole, Rat, Badger, and the eccentric and wild Mr. Toad, who spends his time going from one obsession to another. When Toad gets himself arrested for stealing a motorboat (no kidding!), and the country weasels (who look like 50’s juvenile delinquents) crash on Toad Manor, Mr. Toad’s country estate. Toad is able to escape prison by dressing as a washing woman, and together the four friends go and have a fight with the weasels to take Toad Hall back. Yep, the story is very faithful to the original book, with its themes of English society permeating over to the countryside, from the point of view of the animals. The voice casting is great, particularly David Jason who plays Mr. Toad, and laughs just like Pee Wee Herman. But the main draw to the film is, of course, the stop-motion animation. It’s just awesome, being able to make the characters interesting to look at, while keeping a fantasy vibe intact. The best sequences involve the Weasels, particularly the three main scenes. When Mole gets lost in the woods, and later when they attack Badger in Toad Manor, the Weasels are made out to be really scary creatures, and they behave in an almost inhuman fashion. The way these movies are cut, with quick edits and claustrophobic close-ups and tilted shots, give the sequences real suspense and terror, and they’re pretty intense for a children’s film. The third sequence involves the third act itself, where our four animal friends fight against the weasels in Toad Manor. The animation is flawless, being as frantic and energetic as a cartoon, only with the stop-motion, it’s given a whole new dimension in awesomeness. Sadly, and this is going to piss off the arthouse types, I actually like the Disney version more. Not that this is a bad film by any means, it’s quite excellent. The problem is, I’ve never thought that the story lent itself to the long film format, I believe it works better as a short. The Disney film has great pacing, and sadly this movie does not, sometimes feeling like you’re being dragged on. The story of Wind In The Willows has been told and retold many times in film, sometimes even using live-action actors instead of animals. How boring. This is one of the best, and I recommend it for it’s great music, great voice acting and top-notch animation. I wish I had toys of these four characters.
domingo, 21 de febrero de 2010
For those who are uneducated, Jamie Gillis was simply the best actor in the history of classic pornography. He starred in such classics as Water Power (as the enema bandit!), Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, The Defiance Of Good, The Story Of Joanna, The Opening Of Misty Beethoven (a personal favorite!), Barbara Broadcast, The Ecstasy Girls, Neon Nights, Dracula Sucks, Ultra Flesh, and the illegal-to-own New Wave Hookers, alongside the then underage Traci Lords. The man always gave great performances, from scary to funny, and was always entertaining to watch.
His last film was the underrated zombie comedy Die You Zombie Bastards. He will always be fondly remembered by fans of trash cinema and classic porn.
viernes, 19 de febrero de 2010
This film was written by Paul Schraeder, the same man who gave us the excellent script for my favorite movie, Taxi Driver, and would direct films like Hardcore. You can see in this film many of the themes that would pop up around Taxi Driver, from the protagonist who’s a disgruntled, insomniac Vietnam vet and his quest for vigilante justice, to the way he views his world around him as ugly and rotten. William DeVane is no Robert Deniro, but he’s still a pretty good actor and is able to make the character of Charlie as a very realistic Vietnam veteran. Many people might see this movie and think he’s being wooden and uncharismatic, but that’s the point. As the son of a Vietnam vet and grandson of a WWII vet, I can tell you that war kills emotions, and DeVane’s lack of display of them works perfect for his character. Tommy Lee Jones is also great in this film, even in this being one of his early roles. He’s also the quiet type, but he really comes alive during the ending’s vengeance sequence, as he smiles and giggles at the process of going into battle. I also have to give credit to the beautiful Linda Haynes, who is able to carry the role of the girl who loves Charlie very well. She’s really the emotional heart of the movie, considering how much macho stuff is going on. It’s too bad she retired in 1980 to become a legal secretary, she had a lot of talent and it’s on full display here.
Sadly, this film has ssome flaws that I have to address, mainly the character of Cliff (Lawrason Driscoll). He’s the cop who wants to marry Charlie’s old girl. Just by what he did, you don’t like the fucker one bit, and the fact that screen time is taken out to force us to watch this guy hunt down Charlie and then get shot down by the same people Charlie is trying to kill makes you wonder what the fucking point was with that subplot. Thankfully the rest of the film is damn near flawless. John Flynn, who is famous for doing great thrillers like The Outfit, does a great job and the end sequence, where our two leads go into vengeance mode with shotguns into a hotel, is fucking awesome. You REALLY want tos ee these guys get it. I can’t help but think again to Taxi Driver, which has a similar ending, and while I don’t consider this to be as good as Taxi Driver, it’s still pretty up there. Hell, even Quentin Tarantino agrees with me, he named one of his distribution companies after it. So check this movie out, it has everything a revenge thriller should have, and it’s a near-perfect film.
Wow, what a movie. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve been watching it again and again every since I first had it on VHS back in the early 90’s. It’s just so damn cool! For starters, let’s talk about the cast. We have a lot of young talent from the early 80’s in this one, and they all more than do their share of good acting. Swayze is great as the leader, Charlie Sheen is surprisingly restrained and non-psychotic, and C. Thomas Howell actually plays the most disturbed and mentally deranged psychopath in the movie. I mean, it’s not like he goes crazy in an obvious way, but after drinking deer blood, he turns into a truly soulless mercenary, and even has what can be called either the most badass or the stupidest death in the entire movie. But my favorite performance comes from Lea Thompson, who plays a traumatized young girl who learns to become a badass. I think she’s a very underrated actress and it’s sad that she’s mostly known for goofy comedies like Howard The Duck or The Beverly Hillbillies. She should be as big as Nicole Kidman. We also get some really cool cameos from people like Harry Dean Stanton, Powers Boothe and Ben Johnson.
I give most of the credit to why this movie is so bad to director John Milius, who also directed Conan The Barbarian, although I prefer this one. Milius shows his obvious knowledge of film language and history and showcases a lot of sequences that seem like tributes to more classic films. The skylines will remind everyone of the films of John Ford, and the sequences on horseback will remind you of David Lean’s film Lawrence of Arabia. I also like that he’s able to give the Russians a more human aspect, instead of making them generic evil characters without redeeming qualities like Steven Speilberg would have done. This is just a great action movie, with a lot of great scenes, great acting, and a great script. One of the best.
But there is one mayor saving grace: the dinosaurs. They don’t show up as much as I wished, but when they do, they’re in complete stop-motion glory. It’s like a stop motion gift from the gods, thanks that they break for the monotony of the ‘heroes’ talking bullshit and walking around aimlessly. We get stegosaurs, that triceratops with only one horn, I dunno it’s name, dilophosaurus and of course, the mighty T-Rex. These animals kill our heroes and every time it happens, it’s hilarious. So yes, this movie really sucks, but it’s pretty hilarious in how much it sucks and it does feature cool dinosaur effects. Recommended with a bunch of friends and a hell of a lot of beer.
The Planet Of The Dinosaurs Drinking Game! Take a shot when:
-the group walks around aimlessly
-A dinosaur shows up
-A dinosaur eats someone
-the characters are building thankless chores
-the shirtless guy flexes
It’s a little sad that this movie has now been almost completely overshadowed by it’s 80’s musical comedy, which is now as big a part of the culture as Ghostbusters or other mayor 80’s films. But in all it’s defense, this movie is a very good comedy film, even if it is low budget. The actors are all great. Jonathan Haze is great as the geeky Seymour and Jackie Joseph (who was later in Gremlins) is very pretty and is less annoying than the actress that appeared in the musical remake. I also prefer the actor who played Mushnik, Mel Welles, just because he looks like every time he talks, he looks like he’s about to have a heart attack. We also get a lot of good cameos, the most memorable of course is Jack Nicholson as a masochistic client in the dentist’s office, who really loves getting dental torture. His character would later appear in the guise of Bill Murray in the remake. This one also has a very funny cameo by Dick Miller, who is a Corman and Joe Dante regular, as a guy who eats flowers.
Roger Corman once boasted that he was able to make this movie in three days. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it shows on something, it’s on the plant itself, the gigantic Audrey II. Because of the budget, the creature is definitely a letdown. It doesn’t have any of the personality or evil attitude of the creature in the 80’s remake, but it’s forgivable because of it being a different time and, to be honest, an independent production. The script is still solid as hell, it’s simply very funny, has great acting, and has a pretty good Dragnet parody (and I love me some Dragnet). This movie comes very well recommended, especially if you’ve only seen the remake.