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Monday, May 31, 2010

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) - Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper came off of directing a classic amazing horror movie like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and directed this P.O.S, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. The movie is supposed to be a black comedy and in that right, it succeeds. The movie really tears down the terrorizing wall that was built around the series with the first movie. This movie is in no way whatsoever scary, or terrorizing.

Firstly the acting of Dennis Hopper and Caroline Williams is actually pretty decent, for their roles. Hopper plays 'Lefty' a Texas Ranger that is looking for revenge on the Sawyer family, after they killed his wheelchair bound son in the first movie. Caroline Williams plays a DJ that gets too mixed up in things after her radio station receives a call from two teens chopped up by Leatherface.

Now, the killings are very few in this movie. I think there are really only two killings that we see on screen. Leatherface kills some teens on what might be the longest bridge known to man, and he and Chop-top kill the DJ's close friend LG. LG dies in one of the most painful scenes I have ever had to watch, I can't even put into words how horrible of a scene this was. In fact I would have to say that the entire Sawyer clan was incredibly annoying, Leatherface with his puberty was a terrible move. Chop-Top and Cook with their constant talking over one and other and bickering made them incredibly annoying.

The emulation of the Leatherface dance at the end of the movie really seems pretty laughable too. I am fairly certain that this movie was intended to be a comedy. For that I am going to give Texas Chainsaw Massacre a 4 of 10.
In memory of Dennis Hopper
  • For some reason this movie was banned in Germany and Singapore
  • The VHS cover of the movie features the Sawyer Family posed like the Breakfast Club
  • The movie was originally intended to be called "Beyond the valley of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008) - Darren Bousman

Tag lined as not your parents opera this is the second musical, ahem, sorry Opera that we have showcased in my reviews. I really kind of enjoyed Repo, I think that in years it will be a great cult film. I know that around the country there are tons of fans flocking to midnight showings, gothed out, and singing their favorite songs.

First off the cast, I really enjoyed this cast even though it included Paris Hilton. The movie really has a really wide range of cast members including opera singer Sarah Brightman, veteran actor Paul Sorvino, horror movie bad guy Bill Mosley, Buffy's mentor Anthony Head, and Nivek Ogre from Skinny Puppy. The movie features songs that I believe are sung by each member. I have to go back to Paris Hilton again, from what I understand she paid for her entire part in the movie and helped out the director and producer by giving up some funds.

The songs in this movie are insanely good, the soundtrack itself is worth buying if your a Rocky Horror Picture Show type person. Again, I believe that every cast member actually sings their lines. I was mistake above when I said that the movie was a musical. I heard an interview with the director who drew very distinct lines, he said that a musical has talking parts. This movie has no talking lines. Every word is sung. Its really interesting to watch.

The movie is set in the future where our organs are failing at an alarming rate. A corporation steps in and begins getting people organs at discount rates but if they can't pay, they send out a repo guy to get the organs back. All of this to song.

I did not like Bill Mosley or Ogre's roles. I felt really annoyed each time they came on screen, I don't know why. Maybe my attitude will change with repeat viewings, we will see. I place this movie up there with shlock movies of the 90's, it feels like a Barb Wire or Tank Girl to me. I like both of those movies but in no way are they good. The movie def. has cult appeal to me and I give it that.

Sing it loud

  • Rumor has it Paris Hilton had a copy of this script smuggled in to her while she was in jail, to bone up on it.
  • The director also directed Saw IV, and he used sets and props from that movie to make this.
  • The movie was snubbed when it went up for marketing and kind of got lost in the fold, thus the big response to midnight showings.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Trick 'R Treat (2008) - Michael Doughert

This might be the best horror movie I have seen in very long time. I am a big fan of multiple story horror movies, and this is the most creative one I have ever seen. This movie calls back to the good old days of horror, the 80's. It makes me feel like I am watching a good 80's flick like Creepshow or even reminds me of Tales From The Crypt episodes. This is definitely going on my 1001 horror movies to watch before you are killed in one list.

Trick 'R Treat is a multi story horror movie with about 4 different plots going on at once. One, there is a school bus with weird kids. Two, there is a weirdo teacher guy. Three, Sookie Stackhouse and friends are looking for dudes. My favorite Three, an old man is visited by a special little guy. The last story is of a couple that is terrorized. The whole movie has this tone of folklore and superstition and if you don't buy into it, the entire town will hunt you down.

The thing that pulls this movie together is a little guy in a crude burlap sack costume. His name is Sam and he was the subject of the director's short film of which this movie is based, Season's Greetings. Sam is a pretty awesome silent narrator who always seems to be there just so that you know something is going on. Oh, he is scary as hell too. I swear I am going to find a little person and have him dress as Sam for this Halloween.

My favorite holiday is Halloween, so I think the movie really speaks to me. I can see this movie becoming a Halloween tradition for me and for a lot of people. The one thing that I like most about this movie is that all of the stories intertwine. You are always noticing things in the background that are going on, that would also be happening either later or earlier in the movie. The other thing is the payoff's, this movie has mucho payoff's and they rock!

Another thing that I hate in movies are the over use of CGI, this movie does not over use CGI at all. ****SPOILER**** There is a scene with werewolves and I love that for the wolves themselves they didn't use CGI, instead they used animatronix! ****END SPOILERS**** I always make the argument that CGI movies are talentless, I think that it means much, much more when you have a team of set designers making sets out of whatever. Hell for Roadhouse they built a damn gas station and blew it up! CGI doesn't make great movies.

The movie has buckets of blood and the killings are pretty original. If you are into gore the movie has a pretty decent amount of it. The only thing there is a shortage of here are jumpy scares. The movie doesn't really rely on them to scare you, the movie sets you up mentaly and then scares you. The movie gets your heart pumping from beginning to end.

Trick 'R Treat gets a well deserved 9 of 10 from me and I hope that horror movies take a note from this and do more like it. I didn't expect much from the movie, as I stayed away from the reviews and postings about this movie for like a year. I knew it was awesome because I had to watch it two times in a row... SO enjoy

What a treat


  • If you didn't notice alot of the actors are all Marvel Comics movie alumni
  • This is a Canadian movie, filmed in Canada
  • Anna Paquin is becoming hotter and hotter... she is in this, its not really a fact but I just wanted to say it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) - Steven Chiodo

So first off this movie is not serious at all. The Chiodo's brothers know that they are filming this parody, goofy, slapstick horror movie and we are fine with that. Just knowing that stuff alone lets this movie get a pass in our book when looking at say, the Acting, the Story, the Character arcs. What we have here is a movie that was made just so that the brothers Chiodo's could showcase their Special Effects work.

So right off the bat we know that the Brothers, who are responsible for the movie, don't necessarily have a film making background. They are effects guys, and you have seen their stuff other places too like Critters & Team America. The acting in this movie is atrocious, but I think that it adds to the charm of the film. The movie itself harks back to the 50's monster movies, where a small town has to deal with an antagonist from space. This time the small town is Santa Cruz, and the antagonists aren't giant Rats, or Robots, or Plants that want to invade. They are clowns that are surrounded in bad puns. They fly through space in a giant circus tent type UFO. They shoot popcorn, encase victims in giant balloons and cotton candy wraps. 

This all sounds fun and good but that's not to say that the movie doesn't have a creepy vibe to it. The special effects for the Clown outfits themselves are incredibly scary, especially if you don't like clowns. The movie has all sorts of deaths, most of which are funny parody's of themselves. The movie still delivers where it needs to though just candy coated, again pun intended. For example, a victim is encased in this cotton candy type substance. When discovered by another character, the exposed faces are obviously dead and covered in blood. 

The movie doesn't really have any resolution, evil is supposedly defeated. It is assumed that everyone who was attacked by the clowns are dead since the end of the movie doesn't actually touch on the carnage that was left. Though there are like 20 or maybe more dead from the clowns, just in this town alone, the movie ends on a high note with the fleeing clowns throwing pies at our heroes. This of course leads into the awesome music that rolls over the credits compliments of The Dickies

That leads me to the soundtrack, the movie spawned a pretty awesome song entitled Killer Klowns (From Outer Space) which is sung by punk band The Dickies. The song plays over the credits and is awesome, it might be one of the best songs over credits for a long time. The movie also has this creepy random generic altered circus music that actually sets a really creepy tone for a lot of scenes. The soundtrack, I believe, is one of the best in horror movie history. 

Although this movie isn't really scary and isn't really that amazing of a film. I think that it deserves a spot on the 1001 horror movies to see before you die. The movie, at least for me, was a staple and I really enjoyed it growing up. I am going to give the movie a number score of 6 of 10. If you haven't seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space you need to go out and see this! I'm not joking, it comes on TV like all the time, its free on Hulu right now, at least at the time this was written. Go see it if you haven't because you are missing out on some real retro nostalgia. 

I feel like pie
  • The movie was shot in Santa Cruz (on the Boardwalk and in town) also Watsonville, CA
  • The Chiodo's brothers designed the clowns in this movie, they are supposedly planning a sequel. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Scanners (1981) - David Cronenberg

The next movie that I bring you is Scanners from 1981. A cornerstone when it comes to the Body Horror genre. Directed by veteran film director David Cronenberg who is also responsible The Fly, The Brood, Videodrome, and more recently Eastern Promises. This movie hits all of his usual features. The story is fantastic and presented in the best way it could have been for it's time. You can definitely see this movie as being an inspiration for the horror directors that followed. Namely, Clive Barker.

Now you can't talk about Scanners without bringing up the gore. The blood spurting everywhere. The heads exploding! These are such detailed scenes, they're pretty gruesome. The most notable scene is the first 'head pop'. It's such a shocking and graphic scene and has been referenced in quite a number of other movies including Wayne's World, a personal favorite of mine.

Scanners are people who have a sort of telepathic power that can take hold of others and make them do what they want. Darryl Revok is a rogue Scanner who is considered, by a certain specialized government agency, to be a telepathic terrorist. The above act triggers the agency to hire another scanner, Cameron Vale. Vale goes on a journey to find Revok, the journey takes him into a world that he never realized existed.

This was an amazing piece of work from Cronenberg. What else would I expect from this directors prime. It was graphic and intense. The music was jarring and kept you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The story is interesting and the theme is very involved. It's a great movie that showcases what a great director could do with what he had. I suggest this to anyone looking to expand their horizons. Some people will argue this isn't horror. I don't really know what their talking about. Pretty terrifying stuff.

I'm thinking of a number...
  • The movie was inspired by a chapter of William S. Burroughs' book Naked Lunch
  • The exploding head effect was done with a fake head filled with dog food and red paint and then shot with a 12 gauge shotgun... cool huhh
The money shot.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Sixth Sense (1999) - M. Night Shyamalan

M. Night Shamalama is one hell of a director, or is he? That guy had some really good ideas at one point, but I think after movies like The Happening and Lady in the Water he needs to hang up the camera. The Sixth Sense is the first movie directed by M. Night. This should of been his only venture into film making. Well that's not true, Unbreakable was a pretty decent movie.

The movie does a pretty good job of holding your interest all the way through. Haley J. does an awesome acting job for a little kid. The one problem that I have with this movie is that it forces you into viewing the "Twist." If you were to watch the movie from another angle you would notice things. Those things would ruin the "Twist" for you. M. Night really loves his "Twists" and it shows, this movie is a damn roller coaster.

The movie is incredibly depressing and frightening at the same time. If you haven't seen the movie I will let you in on a little bit here... Bruce Willis is a psychologist who was accosted by some guy one night in his home. He later helps little Haley, who is going through some kind of adolescent rough patch. This was actually the first time I have ever seen the movie and I really enjoyed it, although M. Night seems to be going strictly by the book when he is making this movie.1999

The entire movie can be used as some sort of film-making guide almost. Red means danger, key words used over again to make a point, etc. The movie looks like Robert McKee's Story put to film. All we have here are ghosts but some of them are pretty freaky and there are some really scary parts that made my heart pump.

I see a failed career
  • The movie was inspired by an episode of Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark.
  • The film was up for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.
  • Bruce Willis who is a Lefty, learned to be a righty for this movie

Friday, May 21, 2010

Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008) - Robert Hiltzik

My roommate is a huge fan of this movie and he wanted me to watch it. This movie is a sequel to one of my favorite 80's horror's, the original, Sleepaway Camp. Return to Sleepaway Camp looks like it's trying to be a cheap B-Movie like the original. There are some really cool cameos most stemming from the original movie like Angela herself Felissa Rose. My favorite roles though go to Big Pussy aka. Vincent Pastore and Lenny Venito. It looks like they pulled a lot of actors from The Sopranos to act in this movie.

The protagonist/antagonist is a mentally challenged bully who is overweight and gets made fun of the entire film. He is friggin hilarious, he even has a terrible tagline that he uses all the time; "Your Ass Stinks!" he literally uses the line about 200 times in the movie and says it to every character.

Oh did I mention that the late Issac Hayes plays a chef! What original casting, the movie, I believe, was made after Issac left South Park. What a smart move to leave that show, that must of been paying him a bunch of money, and go on to play a chef in this movie! The death scenes are pretty cool though and pretty original. Death by shit filled joint has to be my favorite.

The more I think about it, this movie was almost certainly made terrible on purpose. It has some really funny parts and is a great movie to watch with a bunch of friends. I would highly recommend this movie for anyone that wants to put on a great group horror. Beers or Pot really enhance this film and make it almost too funny. The movie is not scary at all, so don't be swayed but it has enough gore to satisfy even the most hardcore Horror fan.

It was purposely made to be horrible and I think it is following on this new trend of "New Grindhouse" movies. It has horrible acting and a terrible story. This again is another movie where even multiple deaths can't shut down a facility where these deaths are taking place.

  • This movie is Issac Hayes's last movie (What a film to go out on with such a great career behind him)
  • The movie has many members of the Original cast including; Angela, Rickey, & Ronnie

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Graveyard Shift (1990) - Ralph S. Singleton

This movie is horrible, its a horrible story, and it has horrible actors. It has many of the marks of a horrible movie. Terrible and off dubbing also it never gives a clear shot of the antagonist. Hell even the tag line is horrible; "Stephen King took you to the edge with The Shining and Pet Sematary. This time......he pushes you over." REALLY!

Brad Dourif is one of the actors that the director must of spent most of the budget on. This is actually the second movie that I have reviewed with Mr. Dourif in it. I reviewed Halloween 2 where he plays a sheriff. This actor is actually pretty awesome, he has been in like everything horror. From Blue Velvet and the X-Files to being the voice of everyone's favorite plaything Chucky.

Well this movie, if you haven't seen it please don't rush out. This is quite possibly the worst Steven King adaptation I have ever seen. I am going to spoil whatever their is to spoil here. The main bad guy/girl/thing is a giant rat. That's the antagonist, is a huge fucking rat. I haven't read the book or short story or whatever but this movie is a great deterrent.

I wouldn't even want to dignify this movie with an actual number score, but I am going to have to give it something I guess... 1. I do not recommend seeing this movie, but I do recommend not seeing it. Please do not see unless you are some hardcore Brad Dourif freak who cant go on in life without seeing every movie he has done.
  • It had a budget of 10.5 million (WOW, it knocked me on the ass to know this)
  • Filmed in Main at the historic Bartlett mill they renamed it "Bachman"