Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hell Baby (2013) - Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon

This movie is an strange roller-coaster ride of comedy and horror. It stumbles through comedic scenes like a variety show on prime time Comedy Central. If you like Key and Peel, Reno 911, The Nick Kroll Show, and comedic shows like that, then you will really like this. It's a good thing I am a fan. 

This horror film is brought to you by Lieutenant Dangle and Deputy Junior. That is the most hook-worthy way to pitch this to friends. Robert Ben Garant started his film career back in 1992. He hadn't wandered into the horror genre much, if at all. However, he is incredibly seasoned. His long-time writing partner, Thomas Lennon, is no rookie behind the camera either. He has held positions in editing, producing, writing and directing. By the time he is working on this, he has already been a huge contributor to many comedy troupes and programs including Human Giant and the Upright Citizens Brigade. 

This movie is about a very expectant couple, Jack and Vanessa (Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb), that move into an incredibly haunted house. This house is falling apart with ghosts. Supernatural stuff happens all over the place. Not to mention the creepy drifter, F'resnel, that just happens to always be under-foot. Vanessa becomes entranced by the house, or some dog, or the pregnancy and starts some really evil shit. Jack has to call upon the Catholic Church to help in exercising his wife. The Church sends two bad-ass priests.

Demonic possessions, ghouls, creeps, ghosts, and Keegan-Michael Key haunt this movie and do a good job at it. From jump scares to creepy scenes, this movie has them all. So it has the horror side covered. It has more comedy than horror, so it should balance out and make for a killer date movie. Other comedic horror movies run into various problems quickly. The Wayne's have a lot to do with that. However, every now and then something awesome slips though and is made. This movie is further from Scary Movie  and closer to Mel Brook's Haunted Honeymoon, in a good way. The cameos are non-stop. A ton of comedians from Kumail Nanjiani to Dave Holmes all make appearances. I really liked the Kumail character's punchline. It was hilarious. 

I highly suggest this movie. It's funny. It's scary. It's pretty well made. Like I said above. It's a great date movie. Very funny and just a tad bit raunchy. Maybe too much for really conservative types but smooth overall. 

Country: USA

Did ya know...
Riki Lindhome was so comfortable with Lennon and Garant. She chose to do her introduction scene in full frontal.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Clownhouse (1989) - Victor Salva

I for one am kind of afraid of clowns. At least I used to be. This movie would have scared the crap out of me back in '89. It still did a good job today. It wasn't spectacular but it did the job. My friends Grandmother had a series of pictures in her house that were about 10.5 x 13. The pictures were half mirror and half picture of a Norman Rockwell type clown's face. They were terrifying. At night, you would just see clown faces floating in the hallway. It was really disturbing. This movie was kinda like that.

The film is about an escaped group of disturbed mental patients that murder an entire circus. Assume the identity of a group of clowns. Then proceed to terrorize the one kid that is deathly afraid of all the clowns, and his brothers. The clowns actually seek to murder these boys that are staying alone in a really big house. It is an Old Dark House film that uses the clown style really well.

Sam Rockwell, Nathan Winters, and Brian McHugh had a really good amount of screen time. It helped develop their characters really well. Everything happened so naturally and nothing seemed forced. If your going to make a B-Movie at least make it a good one. The film is really practical, in that the murders and plot all practically move forward at a believable pace. It is a good example of a scary flick that needs very little blood.

The film has a strange overtone knowing about the disturbing acts that took place on set. However, I am trying to review this movie strictly from a unbiased standpoint. It is a shame that what happened, happened. But this is still a horror movie and I need to treat it as such. That being out of the way. This movie was really scary. It was surprising really.

Clownhouse is a unique movie. It feels like an episode of Goosebumps that went a bit far. It doesn't have that much blood. It's actually pretty tame. But damn is it scary. It's funny it attempts to almost explain itself with an odd little thing at the end that says;
"No man can hide from his fears; as they are a part of him, they will always know where he is hiding."
I always thought it was convenient that the psychopaths knew where to find Casey. The boy thought he was safe with his brothers but the clowns knew just where to find him.

I recommend this movie to those that want to watch it. Without the controversy we have a really good movie on our hands. Think of it like that when your watching it and I guarantee that you will have a good time. Or you'll be scared. It depends on your level of fear based in the clown horror genre.

Director: Victor Salva
Country: USA
Style: Clown Slasher Horror

Did ya know...
The film was released on VHS and Laserdisc in 1990, and on DVD in 2004. This was Sam Rockwell's first film. On the door to one of the older brothers bedroom is a poster for Something in the Basement (1986), the first film/short by Victor Salva, which also starred Nathan Forrest Winters and Brian McHugh.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Fly (1986) - David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg is the father of Body Horror. The genre that features creative ways of destroying the human body. It connects with the viewer on a level that makes you cringe and squirm. Almost as if you might be feeling the pain that the character on screen is going through. His films like Scanners, Videodrome, and The Brood are all equally as creative as this remake. However, this film is truly his masterpiece.

This is a remake of the 1950's original starring Vincent Price. Obviously, that version is much tamer than this. Instead of Price we get Jeff Goldblum and he does a fantastic job. Goldblum is a mad scientist of sorts that is obsessed with teleporting human beings between these two pod's that he had created. Time after time his experiments fail. He sends a chimp through and the chimp is, like, completely turned inside out. It's nuts. Some people that I watched this with got kind of sick when some of these scenes happened. Geena Davis does a great job as the love interest. She is so torn. It's wonderful.

The film is littered with gore spots and it makes it all the better. Just when you think that the movie can't be anymore disgusting, WHAM! You're hit in the face with an ankle being melted away by some acidic regurgitation. This is definitely not a horror movie for novices. If you can't stand the heat stay out of this kitchen. But if you do power though it. If you grab that brass ring and step up to the plate, you will be all the more entertained for it.

I highly recommend The Fly. It is a perfect feature from a fantastic director. It would be ideal to try and make it through a marathon of Cronenberg's work. This is a perfect topper. Totally gory, totally disgusting but totally disgusting! Check it out.

Director: David Cronenberg
Country: USA
Style: Body Horror

Did ya know...
This was originally pitched to a young Tim Burton who had no interest in the project. 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bloodwork (2012) - Eric Wostenberg

Bloodwork was neat. It had a neat little plot. It had a neat little cast of characters. It was neat. However, it was also really lame. Like, irritatingly lame. Bloodwork starts off promising and it feels like it might go down the same route as Hostel. However, multiple hangups and delays in the plot made me feel as if they were writing the script as they went. You literally witness this movie plateau and then stagnate right before your eyes. The ending is almost welcomed with open arms.

The film is about two broke Canadians that want to travel to Europe. Their main goal is to pick up a lot of chicks when they get there. The only problem. They are fresh out of money. One of the two have the great idea of signing up to become test subjects. They would receive $3100 bucks for their trouble. This particular experiment will require the bros to stay at a strange facility for a few days. At the facility they meet a strange array of characters. Some old woman, a drug addict, Eric Roberts makes an appearance at some point, a few girls, a weird doctor. Let’s just say that the experiment becomes a bit fucked-up.

The plot is really thin. It gets lost sometimes but mostly manages to reel itself back in. This seems to be what makes the movie suffer the most. Too many things seem to be going on. However, the film has a good deal of gore. Mostly medical gore like incisions, needles piercing the skin, etc. There is a beheading. If you are sensitive to that kind of thing then consider yourself warned. Oh, the go-home sequence is done really poorly and goes on for far too long. The whole movie seems a bit mismanaged and could have been executed better. Maybe the producers gave up on it a bit?

Director: Eric Wostenberg
Country: Canada

Did ya know...
Also known as Bloodworx and The Last Experiment.