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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Phantoms (1998) - Joe Chappelle

In the 90's most of the horror movies that were made were  this kind of family friendly crap. It was an incredibly weird time; horror movies couldn't be overtly scary or gory and they were contractually obligated to have some sort of dark horribly CGI'ed monster. The cast of all of these films were usually "hot" Hollywood actors that either made a few romantic comedies or stared in a WB prime time drama. Well, this movie has a huge CGI monster, and it stars Liev Schreiber (Scream 1, 2, and 3), Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker and Charmed), and Ben Whofleck (Kevin Smith Movies, Reindeer Games, and Gigli). 

So a doctor discovers that there is some sort of ancient evil in the world that wipes out entire civilizations. It has wiped out Mayan tribes, It killed the dinosaurs, It destroyed the Romans, and now it has settled down in some small town who-knows-where, USA. This ancient evil takes over peoples bodies and turns them into some weird walking dead alien things. The movie is like a terrible mash up of The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I will have to give Ben Affleck credit here though and he had it right in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back when he is quoted saying "... but Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms." He is the only saving grace here, he is like a breath of fresh air in a room full of milk farts, and that is saying a lot for his career. The scares in the movie start about 5 minuets in and they keep coming, but gore-wise there is literally nothing that stands out. If you are a blood fan or you are really into slasher movies keep away from this one. 

I am going to go ahead and give this movie a 4 out of 10. Ben Affleck's performance cannot save the movie from failing in its attempt to scare you. Maybe if you have a NEED to watch a crap 90's horror marathon you can shove this in between I Know What You Did Last Summer and Valentines Day. 

"Affleck, you da bomb in Phantoms, yo!" - Jay 

  • Based on a novel by Dean Koontz
  • There aren't really any Phantoms in the movie
  • Released by Dimension Pictures, which is part of Miramax. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Dead Hate The Living (2000) - Dave Parker

The Dead Hate The Living! is a shining example of how not to make a successful horror movie. The characters are very one dimensional, the acting is atrocious, and the premise is just a bad idea all the way around. This is a bad movie.

As for the horror element this film doesn't let up with the so-called "Blood and Guts." I think in one part they actually mention horror movie icon/special effects designer Tom Savini among its many references. However that is all they do, they just mention him, the effects are nowhere near Savini quality. In fact their effects and makeup look like they were purchased at their local Halloween store. I know that they were on a very limited budget with $150 thousand, but you would think they could do a little better here.

The movie is about a group of friends, apparently brothers and sisters as well, who are filming a horror movie about a zombie with jaundice or something like that. They break into an abandoned morgue? Hospital? Lab? and start filming. Wait! They are not alone. They awaken the spirit of Rob Zombie who comes back to wreak his havoc on the living. Why don't they just leave? Well they can't. They are stuck in a different dimension now. Who cares?

The movie is noted however for having the late Matthew McGrory; you might know him as Tiny in House of 1000 Corpses. It makes me feel bad knowing that he was in such a bad movie. I am sure that he has been in other bad ones but this my friends takes the cake. I am going to give this movie a 1 out of 10 and may god have mercy on its soul.

Hey, Throw this TV at the Zombies. That will distract them.
  • The film was shot in 10 days. 
  • In Germany this is part of the Return of the Living Dead franchise. It is known as Return Of The Living Dead: Dead Hate The Living.
  • There is a scene with maggots being shoved into a bratty chick's face, those maggots are real and she didn't know it. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jennifers Body (2009) - Karyn Kusama

Jennifer's Body is a horror/dark comedy movie that is produced by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, who penned Juno. The movie stars Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried. Other stars include Adam Brody, Valerie Tran, and J.K. Simmons all appeared in various Reitman movies like Juno and Thank You For Smoking. The movie's main focus is on Needy who is BFF's with the main protagonist Jennifer. Jennifer takes Needy with her to see a terrible emo band at a bar in their tiny backwoods town. This is not just any other band though this is a Satanic Occult-following emo band that abducts Jennifer and transforms her into a Succubus.

The movie's dialog is pretty well written; the one liner jokes and teenage innocence are the two saving factors for this movie. The movie fails to deliver in the scare department. There is literally no build up to anything scary. The entire movie is strictly about teenagers living their lives. They hang out, they have sex, they experiment, and they go to Prom. The only difference is that one of them is a succubus.

The funniest thing about this movie is that the band, who resembles the likes of Dashboard Confessional, is actually a satanic killer band. It is a really stupid concept and the entire movie itself is really stupid. If you are walking past Jennifer's Body on the shelves in the video store, or on Netflix skip it.

Who ever thought that old toe thumbs was an actress that could survive outside of Transformers was sadly mistaken. Don't see Jennifer's Body and expect to be scared. It just wont happen.
  • Pete Wentz (Formerly of Fall Out Boy) and Joel Madden (of Good Charlotte) were considered for the lead singer role in the band that went to Adam Brody. 
  • From promotion to screen it took 15 months! 
  • There is a long foreplay, heavy petting, and deep kissing scene between Needy and Jennifer (I provided it below for you. Now you don't have to see the movie at all. Your welcome)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Slumber Party Massacre 2 (1987) - Deborah Brock

Found this little gem today at Goodwill on VHS. They don't always have the best selection; most of the time they only have a few copies of Aladdin and Die Hard 2. This time I was pretty lucky and actually picked up 3 flicks: This movie, Jawbreaker, and Trick of Treat (Which looks like a carbon copy of Slumber Party Massacre 2, at least from the cover).

One, this is an extremely weird horror movie. Two, this movie has all sorts of re-watch value. Three, this movie fits right along with Behind the Mask. Both movies have a ton of horror movie references (for example this movie has two police officers, Voorheis and Keruger). The movie is littered with terrible one liners and various dance sequences. Oh wait, did I not mention, the movie is a musical. Everyone in the movie is in one way or another fixed into a musical sequence. Unfortunately the soundtrack for this gem was never released and the songs are extremely hard to come by. 

The plot? Was there a plot? Not really, the surviving sister from the first movie is hunted by her own mind/dreams... How can I more accurately describe this? An Andrew Dice Clay impersonator that plays Meatloaf-ish tunes and chases girls in panties around a town at night. What is his preferred weapon of choice? Well that would be his electric guitar with a drill for a head.

The movie delivers the blood and guts and doesn't skip a beat until the weird ending. That seems to be the only thing holding it down in my mind. If you were looking for a movie to watch whilst playing beer pong this is definitely it. The movie is fun but it is horrible. The acting, singing, storyline, and production value are far below par.
"Lets Buzz"

  • This movie is a sequel to Slumber Party Massacre, and it is followed by: Slumber Party Massacre 3: Cheerleader Massacre, Cheerleader Massacre 2, and loosely Sorority House Massacre 1 - 3. 
  • Crystal Bernard is in this, you may remember her as Joe's wife from Wings. 
  • This movie was released on VHS and Laserdisk

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) - Scott Glosserman

What would the world be like if famous killers and monsters from horror cinema were real? What if Jason Voorhees really killed all of those frisky camp counselors? What if Michael Myers really came back to kill his sister in the town of Haddonfield, PA? What if Freddy Kruger could really invade your dreams and kill you while you sleep? Behind the Mask is set in a world where all of these occurrences happened. Leslie Vernon, the main protagonist of the film, is inspired by these classic slashers and killers.

This is a twisted ride into the life of a rookie slasher. A camera crew is given a "behind the scenes" look into Leslie Vernon's life. They will walk and stalk with this crazed madman who is, in turn, being hunted by his own doctor Doc Halloran (Robert Englund) who wants to see an end to Leslie's killings. This movie is one of the most creative looks into the horror genre I have ever seen. The movie goes everywhere and references tons of horror films.

The movie switches between documentary footage and regular slasher horror movie footage. It really works in some places, except for the showdown scene, it just kind of jerks you out of the experience. The movie also screams "Spinal-Tap" to me and I was waiting the entire film for Leslie to get lost under a stage in Colorado somewhere (It was Colorado, right?).

So, in closing I think that if you like Spinal-Tap, Halloween, and Cloverfield-type first-person camera movies you will really enjoy Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. I am sure that you will enjoy the unique plot of the movie over the actual horror content. I am giving this movie a 7 of 10.

"Plants and turtles. I only keep pets I can eat"

Filmed in Banks, OR
There is a sequel in the works
There are tons of horror movie easter eggs, keep your eyes open