Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody is the great movie of all time


Bohemian Rhapsody. Is this real life? Or just fantasy? Surprised that there is a lot of backlash with this flick. Sort of polarizing to some extent partly because they don't really go into his later years, specifically the relationship he had with his partner, Jim Hutton. Basically the movie begins and ends with the Live Aid Concert. Shows at the beginning this is peak Queen and the movie is how they got there. Personally, good call to bookend it with Live Aid Concert. That's storytelling and shit. Guess a bunch of people were pissed that they didn't go into the relationship with Jim Hutton more. I'm fine with the way it was. A lot of that relationship was implied. That they were happy and ended as such. This movie was more about the his time with Queen and not so much about what came before or after. Again, I'm good with that. Bitches be bitching. This movie is amazing. Shut your mouths. This is the greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Bohemian Rhapsody hits a handful of high notes, but as an in-depth look at a beloved band, it offers more of a medley than a true greatest hits collection.

Pros: Rami Malek's performance is pretty fucking sick. I like that he lip syncs. Some don't. Those people are fools. Tells a good story. Flows well. Is long as shit but doesn't really feel like it. Casting is pretty much spot on. Brian May's portrayal probably most. I mean Malek probably looks the least like the person he is playing which is insane. Movie has it all. And you can't fuck with that soundtrack.

Cons: Is a bit too long. The Live Aid Concert is slightly anticlimactic because it doesn't get any better than watching the real thing.

Gist of the movie is the biography of Queen mostly with a focus on lead singer Freddie Mercury. Follows a somewhat fictional account of his life just before joining the band, Queen coming together and finding gradual success before making it big, him nearly marrying a chick and then coming to terms with his sexuality, him getting a big head and leaving the band (which actually never happened), him firing his manager, and finally getting back with the band, getting with partner Jim Hutton (not remotely how it really happened but that's okay), and performing at Live Aid. Disclaimer,: anyone who dislikes this movie doesn't know what the fuck he or she is talking about.

Directed by Bryan Singer of X-Men movies. It stars Malek in what has to be an Oscar nod as Freddie Mercury. It stars Rami Malek as Mercury, with Lucy Boynton as Mercury's fiance Mary Austin, Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger on Game of Thrones) as original band manager John Reid, Ben Hardy as drummer Roger Taylor, Tom Hollander as lawyer Jim Beach whom Mercury dubbed Miami, Gwilym Lee as guitarist Brian May, Allen Leech as the Judas manager who outed Mercury as gay and talked hella shit Paul Prenter, Joe Mazzello as bassist John Deacon, and Mike Myers as some fictional asshole record executive. Beach (one of the producers of the film), May, and Rogers (both creative and music consultants for the film) as were heavily involved in the project which is nice. I am not sure why Myers is in the film other than that he epically used the song in Wayne's World. His Scottish accent is the exact one he always uses, the one for his dad in So I Married an Ax Murderer and Fat Bastard in Austin Powers, which is an interesting call. Despite that shit, the film uses him as a solid foil.

Best scene of the movie is when Freddy and the band are in the office of Ray Foster, Mike Myers's character, when Mercury sells everyone on A Night at the Opera. The little speech he gives is inspire as shit, talking about opera and poetry and how it is is going to be the greatest album ever and will have something for everyone and how it's going to be legend. Foster is all, stick to the formula. Mercury has won everyone over though. "Fortune favors the bold," says their manager. Their lawyer, Jim Beach, is asked to weigh in. Mercury cuts everyone off, saying he is a bad ass and needs a bad ass name, "I dub thee, 'Miami'." "What do you think, Jim?" "Miami," Beach corrects. Everyone is stoked. The band said that that was him. Possessed by Mercury. Foster lost the room and off Queen go to make their greatest achievement.

Favorite line of the flick comes after Taylor tells Mercury, "You're a legend, Fred." Mercury responds "We're all legends." After a few moments he adds, "But you're right, I am a legend." That he was. Classic Freddie Mercury. Also, love that he was into cats. Makes him a legend in my eyes. Like that he talks to them on the phone and such. Feel the same way about my little Richard Parker. Such a good cat buddy. Love a good cat owner and Mercury was very sweet to kitties. Pet the next one you see for Freddie Mercury.

Anyway, I will say the Live Aid Concert is sort of a let down. It looks a little fake and the way they shot it, with focused shots on Mercury that didn't happen in the real footage of the event, is a little distracting. It's sort of like, "oh, I don't remember that closeup" or whatever. It happens just enough for it to be off. I'm buddies with this chick who is fucking obsessed with the real Live Aid video. Like I showed her the college commencement speech from my graduation by David Foster Wallace which is still just so inspiring and such and she showed me that video, equally inspiring to her. She did not like the way it was done in the movie. I get it. But it was still not terrible and in no way ruined the movie, which was fucking great. Also, Queen never actually broke up like they do in the movie with Freddie basically being an asshole. In reality, the band was just taking a break after touring together for a decade. This was in roughly 1983. But they were working on The Works which came out in 1984. So not so much of a breakup. Need some drama I suppose.

MVP is obviously Malek who kills it. Like other successful biopics--I, Tonya, Man on the Moon, Lincoln, Capote, The Social Network, so forth--dude becomes his subject. And more than the look, Malek really nails the attitude. He does a good job of being magnetic although I imagine it's not too hard when you are the star and all and have talent and what not. As he told Hollywood Insider:
"what I really knew I needed was to capture his spontaneity. The man's not choreographed. Every time he steps out onto a stage, no one knows what he's going to do, and that's what I knew I needed to tether myself to. In order to do that, I realized, I can't work with a choreographer, I need someone to help me with movement, someone to help me discover the impetus for why he does what he does. Why every flick of the wrist occurs with him in such an elegant, sometimes dainty and sometimes aggressive way, depending on his mood. I just had to find his humanity — what his conflicts were — and discover all the sides of him, because I knew there was more to Freddie Mercury than a man who holds an audience in the palm of his hand. But I had to get that down as well."
He totes does while doing his thing out there on stage. I mean, couldn't imagine what this would have been like if Sasha Baron Cohen hadn't been let go. He looks like Mercury and all, moe so than Malek for sure, but I couldn't exactly see him nail the Queen front man. And thank fuck Malek knew enough not to fucking sing. One of the previews they showed before the movie was for Rocketman, the Elton John movie. That dude, we see, sings. I mean, he sounds fine but he ain't fucking Elton John. And I'm sure Malek is no Freddie Mercury. Just lip sync it and look dope doing it, like Malek does here. This should be required viewing for anyone making a musical biopic and this should be the main thing that aspiring directors take away. Great fucking flick.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Mandy is the greatest movie of all time


Mandy. Comes out exclusively on Shudder tomorrow. Word on the street that this little horror flick is one of the best of the year... "But it stars Nicholas Cage," you say. Yep. And he fucking kills in this trippy ass movie that is fucking beautifully shot. If, you know, it weren't so uncomfortable, it'd be a hell of a movie to trip through. But it's fuck and a recipe for a night, that's for fucking sure. Bad acid also factors into the plot. So yeah. Don't trip to this. But it's beautiful in a way that makes you want to. I was glad that I did for Annihilation. Really glad I didn't through this, if that tells you anything. This is a much darker vibe. However, it is indeed great. Greatest of all time as a matter of fact.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Mandy's gonzo violence is fueled by a gripping performance by Nicolas Cage -- and anchored with palpable emotion conveyed between his volcanic outbursts.

Pros: Fucking gorgeous. Cage is amazing. Performances in general are really something. Love a good, trippy acid movie. Makes you feel like you've been drugged at times. Chainsaw-on-chainsaw action is pretty much always amazing.

Cons: Talk about violence towards animals in a little too much detail for my tastes. Not much struggle for Cage's character. Once he gets going he easily massacres everyone. Cuts through them like "a fat kid through cake," as one character says.

Gist of it is Nicholas Cage, who plays the lead Red Miller, and his special lady friend Mandy Bloom are just trying to live out their days peacefully in 1983 in the rural Pacific Northwest, just tripping and looking at the stars and shit (sounds nice, right? this is basically how I live now), when a cult leader spies the girlfriend and decides to take her with the help of his followers and a group of whacked-out bikers that look an awful lot like Cenobites. After the Cenobites subdue the couple, the cult then force feed Mandy an LSD-like substance with darker implications while the leader tries to talk her into joining their pathetic little group. He inevitably exposes himself and she laughs uncontrollably. This results in the group immolating her while Cage watches in horror. Once he gets loose, it is fucking on and dude takes some of the bad acid and goes fucking off, killing the shit out of everyone in what can only be called a fucking rampage. It is lit AF.

The movie, which came out earlier this year, was directed by one Panos Cosmatos. His only other credit as director is a flick called Beyond the Black Rainbow which is un-fucking-believable. In addition to Cage, the film stars Andrea Riseborough as Mandy, Linus Roache who I vaguely recognize I think from his role of Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins is the cult leader, Richard Brake as The Chemist who is cool and totally whacked, Bill Duke who you'll recognize as the black dude from Predator that is not Carl Weathers plays Cage's buddy in one of the only speaking roles outside of the cult, Cage, Mandy, or the Chemist, and Ned Dennehy, Olwen Fouéré, and Line Pillet play various cult member (basically the right-hand man, the old/annoying one whom we find out is the most sensual lover that the cult leader has ever experienced, and the pretty one, respectively).

Lots of pretty sick kills in this. I mean, there is a chainsaw-on-chainsaw fight that ends with a guy falling on a chainsaw that doesn't even break the top three. The best though, in my opinion, comes early in the rampage. This is like the second Cenobite that he kills. They are fighting hand-to-hand and what not when Cage gets the upper hand. He then uses the opportunity to Bruce Lee him, that is break his neck kung fu style. It isn't the kill that I was impressed with as much as what he does after which is an insane amount of cocaine. This, obviously, is the correct response to such a situation. He also takes a little hit of the bad acid that turned these folks into Cenobites or whatever which was not recommended. Late in the movie we see he is likely headed down that Cenobite road. No coming back from that if you know what I mean.

Favorite scene is from when Cage kills the old cult member chick that is just the worst up to where he kills the cult leader. So this chick is insanely fucking desperate. Early she is all, "what can I do to make you happy" to the leader who is tired of her shit. He is all like, "nothing, everything you do is wrong" and rages out on her. Later, she is the one administering acid to Mandy and abusing her because the cult leader, whom Mandy is not fucking interested in, wants her and shit. They set her up as this pathetic enabler, basically. Pretty stoked to see her go, sure, but it is the scene itself and how fucking sad and pathetic she is that really makes the scene. By this point it is only her and the leader left and she is the last line of defense between him and certain death and she has no chance of physically subduing him or anything. Instead she tries to bone him which is sick. We learn, from her, that dude said she's "the most sensual lover he's ever experienced," and she tries to seduce him. Gross. The next thing we see is Cage going into the cult leader's secluded little meditative room. Cage throws him her head when he comes in. He freaks out as he doesn't want to die. Offers to suck his dick even. But I'm pretty sure he already had a blowjob and Cage tells him "I am your god now," which is baller, in the voice of one of the Cenobites, and crushes his head with his bare hands. Spoiler. Best damn scene of the movie.

That's the look
So yeah, love the end but because he so easily kills everyone, especially so with that weak ass cult leader, it might come off a little anticlimactic. But regardless of how you come off there, you do get some good lines and shit there though. I'd put the best line in the movie as one from that scene. It comes when the cult leader is trying to save his life and shit. He tells Cage, "you can't kill me, God is in this room." That is when Cage starts talking in parables and shit and hits him with this line:
"A psychotic drowns where the mystic swims. You're drowning. I'm swimming,"
That is some dope shit to say if you are ever in a situation where you are about to kill the leader of a religious cult. It's from Joseph Campbell if it sounds familiar to you.

Yum
So... MVP is obviously Cage. Dude can fucking act, he proves. He usually phones it in but he goes all out in this one. During his vision of his girl where he looks all fucking crazy. He whens MVP with that look alone but the whole time he is on screen is pretty sick. Like after his girl gets burned to death and he slips out from the tree he is tied to when he fucking rages and downs a Belushi amount of vodka whilst screaming in emotional pain. That is some real shit. Then when he is talking to his bro, Bill Duke's role, who is a fellow Vietnam vet or something, and he rages like a mad man to him in a way that is barely coherent but gets the point across, "crazy evil," man. His whole performance is intense and bad ass in a way that he never is. Beautiful movie. Fuck.

Also, something I LOLed at was the Cheddar Goblin commercial. This shit is fucking insane. It comes on after Cage comes in from his wife having just been burned to death. Pretty intense shit. That is when Cage, who is soaked in blood, wearing a long-sleeve and underpants of the tighty-whitey persuasion, looks up at the TV and sees this bizarre commercial come on. In it this thing called the Cheddar Goblin pops up from a bowl of pasta as the unhinged mascot for this mac&cheese brand of the same name. He then proceeds to puke mac&cheese all over the heads of the two children eating at the kitchen table. It is fucking insane. Weirdest and most hilarious inappropriate shit I've ever seen in my life. Apparently this was made by some guy named Shane Morton who also worked on "Too Many Cooks" for Adult Swim if you remember that insanity. He came up with Smarf.  Anyway, movie is tits.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Motel Hell is the worst movie of all time


Motel Hell. For Thanksgiving I am starting this thing where I watch movies involving cannibalism. This is the first. In it we get a guy that sells human meat to the public who can't get enough. This happens in many of these types of movies. Like all of them, I imagine, there is this obligatory scene where the guy doing the killing and selling the meat is all like, "it's the quality of the meat! Everyone loves this meat! The best kinda meat there is. Everyone sure can't get enough of it! It's the meat!" Yeah, pretty sure I wouldn't eat whatever someone who talks like this is selling even when I did eat dead animals. But yeah, I couldn't imagine a movie I dislike more than this. It is in no way enjoyable. Horribly made with a nonsense story and is also very disturbing. A trifecta of shit. Worst movie of all time. (However, after some time, now that I am sitting down to write it and I'm thinking about it and all, I remember it being pretty funny).

Pros: Hell of a chainsaw dual. The way the killer gets it is pretty solid. Like that kids wander into the slaughterhouse and are forever mortified. More kids need to know how the sausage gets made.

Cons: Tone is way off for the subject matter. It is intentionally campy but also tries to be scary. It sometimes works, like with another movie that is basically this exact movie only better (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), but not for me, not here. The plot hinges on the survivor chick being really stupid, basically. Can't believe this shit is Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Gist of the film is Farmer Vincent's meat sticks drive everyone crazy with how delicious they are. People come far and wide to stay at his hotel and munch on his sausage. Everyone seems to think the world of him even though he kills animals for a living and freely talks about eating dog and shit. One day this chick and her biker boyfriend wreck near the farm (I think Vincent caused this but am not entirely sure). Well the biker either dies there or Vincent kills him, also unclear, and claims he buried him on his property. The girl comes to eventually and freaks. They bring in the sheriff, a relative of Vincent's who is also cool with eating dog but we find is unaware of the human entrees, is upset that Vincent didn't call him but explains to the chick that burring her boyfriend is indeed legal in that county. The next day Vincent goes and talks to this chick, giving her the most basic religion talk and because she is fucking stupid she is all, "I guess that makes sense," and decides to stay. From there she and the sheriff seem to sort of have something going on at first, he takes her to the drive-in while Vincent kidnaps people, severs their vocal cords, and buries them up to their necks in his garden. He then slaughters these folk and turns them into sausage. Dude is charming, I guess, in a "aw, shucks," sort of way, and, improbably, wins the heart of the much younger girl that he saved earlier. However, when the girl finds out that he is using long-pig as mystery meat she gets all revolted and his hotel/sausage empire comes crumbling down.

This idiot
Directed by one Kevin Connor whom I've never heard of, it stars one Rory Calhoun whose name sounds familiar and face is def familiar (he has 126 acting credits but none of them are think I've seen before), the late Nancy Parsons who is most remembered as Balbricker from Porky's which I've never seen, Nina Axelrod is the reasonably attractive one, and Paul Linke is the sheriff. We also get small roles from John Ratzenberger who was Cliff Clavin in Cheers who plays one of the people that gets planted and turned into sausage, and Wolfman Jack who plays the role of Reverend Billy.

Ok. So first, let's discuss this dog eating bit. Great way to turn me off. Slaughtering animals, especially dog. During the picnic scene with the girl, his sister or whatever, and the sheriff, he talks about how grandma loved that dog and so forth and when she got sick told him to take care of it when it was barking. "And boy did I take care of it... She loved that dog but when I told her what I done, she still ate it and thought it was delicious." They all think this is fucking hilarious. What the fuck, man? "Meat's meat," he says. That it is. All fucking morally wrong, I say. They take the opposite approach. Most people live in a gray area.

Anyway, best scene has to be the chainsaw dual, been seeing a lot of these lately (strangely). This is the big fight at the end. It features Calhoun wearing a pig head, which thankful looks fake as fuck, and him and his cop nephew really going at it. It's pretty impressive for this time and considering how old the dudes going at it are and all. Plus one is wearing a pig head.

Favorite kill is Nancy Parsons's character mostly because she sucks. You fucking hate this bitch so much that you are really rooting for the "stock", the people that were going to get eaten, when they break loose and rip her apart with their bare hands, possibly eating her. Also, at one point, when the old sausage king is trying to sell his pretty, young lady on human consumption, he tells her that he treats his stock "better than most farmers treat their animals." Jesus, that ain't saying much. Also, this is how basically every farmer justifies killing anything. So yeah... Don't eat meat people.

Best line of the movie needs some context and comes at the end here. So dude is constantly hyping up his meats and shit. Quality of it and so forth. We know it is human and all that. He would lay on the quality think and always tack on "no preservatives" at the end. You don't really give a shit about the "no preservatives" bit because, you know, long pig and all. But he keeps harping on it. Then at the end, with his dying breath, the old guy says, "I'm the biggest hypocrite of them all. My meats... I used preservatives." Pretty fucking funny.

The MVP for this movie has to be Rory Calhoun. Has a couple of solid lines and really just goes over the top with his performance. I like how he seems pretty genuine about all this insane shit that he is saying and then the next minute is pretty much Leatherface. Quite a balancing act this guy has going. Apparently the movie was going to be way fucking brutal with bestiality and shit but they apparently didn't have the money to make any of that shit look real so they went the other way with it and Calhoun was more than happy to just yuck it up. So that was Motel Hell. After writing about it, I'm pretty sure I liked it but it's still trash and that whole dog eating bit left a bad taste in my mouth.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story is the worst movie of all time


The Girl in the Spider's Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story. Jesus. Like the off brand for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Loved that movie. Was expecting David Fincher or something in that vein. But this movie doesn't have the same vibe even. Make that clear from the get-go with the shitty intro music instead of that hot Trent Reznor/Karen O "Immigrant Song" from the original movie. Also, replace all the actor with far less talented sort of look-a-likes. Like instead of 2011 it girl Rooney Mara, 007 Daniel Craig, and the classic beauty and icon Robin Wright we get Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, and Vicky Krieps, respectively none of whom I'd ever heard of. Plus the movie was based on the first book in the series not written by Stieg Larsson. Despite that Larsson, at the time of his death, had a fourth book in the series most of the way complete and outlines for several more, this work by David Lagercrantz does not use the Larsson book as its source and completely does its own thing. Yeah, read the book, you can tell. Last that I'll be reading in the series unless Larsson's longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson, finishes the series that Larsson had mapped out. Anywho, little surprise, after some shitty internet research, that this is indeed the worst movie of all time. This movie fucking sucks.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: The Girl in the Spider's Web focuses on the action elements of its source material for a less complex -- and only sporadically effective -- franchise reboot.

Pros: Occasionally (unintentionally) hilarious. Love that LaKeith Stanfield guy.

Cons: Pretty boring. Impossible not to compare it unfavorably to the Swedish and David Fincher movies that came before it. Not crazy about the cast. Lot of magical internet bullshit that is ridiculous (hacking into an airport's security system by planting a cell phone in the vicinity of its router [which I might add is all run through the crappiest consumer-grade home wifi version]). Must have forgotten to change the router password and username from admin admin. Also, some very fortuitous shit happens that Lisbeth seems to psychically just know will happen. Also, why the fuck is Stephen Merchant like a serious actor all of a sudden. He was solid in Logan but it's a hard pass after this one but wish he'd focus his time on the shit that put him on the map like Meet Ricky Gervais, The Office, and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, which is a true gift to the world.

Sooo... Gist... Once again, hacker woman Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are in the middle of some shit. This time Lisbeth has stolen a missile control program from the US's National Security Agency that gives whoever has said program the power to launch any nuke in the world. Turns out the key to unlock it is the program creator's son (the programmer guy is played by Steven Merchant by the by) who has some horribly explained number magic that makes little to no sense since they dropped the whole autism angle that was in the book. Various spies and government people and Lisbeth's sisterand her gang are trying to steal it from her and shit whilst pinning the murder of Steven Merchant on Lisbeth. Directed by some guy named Fede Álvarez, it is supposed to be a direct sequel/soft-reboot of Fincher's film. Starring in the film are never seen her Foy as Lisbeth, never heard of him Gudnason as Blomkvist, Stanfield from Sorry to Bother You as some NSA agent come to get his program back, and Sylvia Hoeks (no idea) as Lisbeth's sister Camilla. This film is fucking trash.

Fucking lame
Oh boy is there some shit with this movie. There was little to enjoy about this flick. Lisbeth was the tough but vulnerable feminist antihero in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In The Girl in the Spider's Web she is a fucking superhero. Also, lots of not only right place, right time, it's like Lisbeth is psychic when it comes to this. Example...In the ridiculous airport prison break, Lisbeth leaves a suitcase in the middle of a crowd. Security grabs it. When they open it it is full of dildos and a cell phone. That cell phone gets her access to all the computers on the network and access to the cells in the airport holding. Stanfield's character gets broken out as a result of this and she has a person get on the PA and tell him go to such and such a gate via a popup message. When he gets there, in a trashcan waiting for him are a cell phone and what I thought was another dildo. It turns out this is a conk device that he uses on a security guard after he gets out that appears out of nowhere pointing a gun at Lisbeth. No fucking way would she know this guy was going to be there. Finally, the white paint on Lisbeth's face when she punishes some over-the-top evil wife/hooker beater at the beginning of the movie looks fucking stupid. Fuck this shit.

Nothing stood out as far as best line goes. Best scene and best kill are one and the same and was basically the only part of the movie I legit enjoyed. This was towards the end, spoilers, when the male douche villain guy gets stabbed with this neurotoxin that he had scientists whip up that causes permanent blindness. He was going to use it on Blomkvist but shit went down and Steven Merchant's kid stabs him in the ankle with it. What happens from here is all fucking hilarious. First he falls out of a window, breaking his leg compound style when he hits the ground 40 feet below. From there he gets up and feels his way to a nearby forest. Meanwhile, Lizbeth's sister is making her escape with her driver heading down the road. Something miraculous basically has to happen for her to not get away. Enter this idiot stumbling around on the road, blindly feeling his way around. The driver, of course, doesn't see him and nails him which causes the car to spin out of control and hit a tree so that the bad guys don't get to make it away scot-free. This was obviously ridiculous. I couldn't stop laughing. Luckily there were only three other people in the theater, all of whom where likely equally hating this, most of whom where also laughing. Not good.

MVP is Stanfield whose talent was so beyond this movie it was fucking unbelievable. He does cool/nerdy well here like he did in Sorry to Bother You. He wasn't really given much to work with but does his best, adding little flourishes like a "pow" and finger guns when he knows he is on camera. He adds a bit of comic relief to what is supposed to be a serious movie. These things he does well. That was all it really took for an MVP on this piece of garbage. The sooner I forget this, the better.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Night of the Demons 2 is the greatest movie of all time


Night of the Demons 2. I know. Not what you would call a classic, but it is a super fun flick for a Halloween night at home. If you actually watch this you you'll notice a familiar face among the mean girls as one Christine Taylor, wife of Ben Stiller. This flick would help launch her career as she would go on to be remembered for such roles as the K-Mart girl (Matilda Jeffries) in Zoolander, Kate in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Sally Sitwell from Arrested Development, and her true breakout role of Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie. I remembered when the those Brady movies came out thinking that that had to be the girl from the original series, just that she had aged exceptionally well. That was not, in fact, the case as the role was indeed played by Taylor who looks hella like Maureen McCormick, the woman who played Marcia in the show. Wasn't the only person who thought she looked straight up like that chick apparently as they make reference to their similarities in this movie, which came out a year before she took on the role in the film version. In this dickface character Rick, played by one Rick Peters, calls her "Marcia" as sort of a put-down while they are driving to the party towards the beginning of the flick. After some shitty internet research, this appears that this was before she was cast in the movie. Regardless, she is a very pretty lady and maybe one of my favorite bits of the movie which is, let it be known, the greatest of all time.

Pros: Personally thought it was more developed than the original (which isn't saying much). Acting is surprisingly fine, for the most part. Gore/practical effects aren't too shabby. Kill off Jehovah Witnesses and some other religious zealots, always a plus. Pretty ladies (again, for the most part).

Cons: Basically more or less the same as the original just more ridiculous. Not exactly what I'd call a real scare. Nor does it have what I'd call a coherent story-line. Some horrible early 1990s CGI.

Ger
Kids from either a Catholic high school or college (the actors are like 30ish) face off against the demon-possessed Angela from the original Night of the Demons movie after an idiot seminary student conjures her up. Also, she just happens to be the sister of one of the students, a quiet goth girl named Mouse. It was directed by one Brian Trenchard-Smith who did a couple of the later Leprechaun movies including Leprechaun 4: In Space and stars Cristi Harris who is a very attractive lady who gets topless as the redhead Bibi, Darin Heames as Z-boy, Merle Kennedy as Mouse, Amelia Kinkade reprises the role of Angela, Rick Peters as douch Rick, Jennifer Rhodes as the older kick-ass nun chick, and the lovely Taylor as the hot one. The movie was indeed direct to video.

Some shit/observations... The movie is crazy homoerotic with frat dudes in their tighty-whiteys peeping on the sorority, or whatever they are, galls across the way. All of the male parts are over-the-top and ridiculous. We have Perry, the fucking loser seminary student with a magic priest book that conjures Demon Angela, who was already around but whatever. Speaking of the demon/s, can't understand shit they are saying. Plus all the shit with her having a sister is dumb. They occasionally abandon it and then halfheartedly come back to it. Also like how they sort of kill off Taylor, turning her into a demon, and then bring her back because, hey, she's pretty. 

Best line of the movie is also a pretty decent kill. It comes after they end up at the location where Angela reigns or whatever where they throw an inappropriate party considering what went down and what not. But someone takes lipstick off site and now Angela is free to run amok. As such, she finds Taylor and her dude who is also involved in the best scene as a result of this kill/line. The line comes when Angela finds them making out or whatever. They are petting and what not when Angela's hand sort of appears in the car with them and starts grabbing at the dude's dick. He is all like, cha, when they sort of realize it was his date who was doing the tugging. That is when Angela pops up says "strapping young buck, how about a little head?" and chops his head off. Angela thinks this is hilarious. And, you know, totally is. But yeah, Angela is still gross, even in her human form. Weird they chose this chick to build the franchise around.

My favorite scene in the movie is also with this decapitated fellow, I think this is Rick, maybe. In it one of the bros comes up on him playing basketball with his own head. Again, hilarious. The guy who walks up on him is all, what in the fuck, so Rick sticks the head back on his neck and is about to kill the guy when Perry comes out of nowhere and sprays him with a supersoaker filled with holy water followed by a roundhouse which knocks the dude's head off. Rick screams "technical foul, where is the ref when you need one?" At this point Perry punts his head whilst screaming "field goal!" Completely absurd. Doesn't get much better than that.

Best kill is tough but I'd go with Angela who dies in a sort of grand finale. So the gist here is Angela is getting her sister to turn evil or whatever and orders her to kill the nun, who is tied up. Instead, the sister stabs Angela which is pretty dumb. That gives all the teens the chance to gang up on her, shoot her with motorized squirtguns of holy water and what not, sort of melting her into this weird snake thing. That is when Perry, ever the roundhouse enthusiast, kicks a cross in the wall resulting in sunlight coming in and hitting Angela. I was all, "what the fuck is that supposed to do?" when it hits her and she fucking explodes in ridiculous and incredible fashion. Love it when the bad guy explodes unexpectedly, spoilers.

MVP of the flick is obviously Taylor. Not only is she quite a looker, you can tell she is something special, even here. I mean, she has a ways to go before Zoolander and what not, but she plays a serviceable mean girl and even displays a little bit of range as she goes from abused college chick, to sorority bitch, to hardened kick-ass, to demon. And that is the greatest movie of all time, Night of the Demons 2. Better than Night of the Demons even. What what.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Trick 'r Treat (2007) is the greatest movie of all time


Trick 'r Treat. Catching up on a couple Halloween movies I didn't have the heart to write last week with being depressed about my dog's passing and all. Heart hasn't been in it, I guess you could say. So here is this, later than it should be. Night of the Demons 2 coming soon. So, yeah, Trick 'r Treat. Watch it every Halloween with a pumpkin beer in hand. This is sort of my It's a Wonderful Life. Winner of a bunch of niche genre awards, this beats out Creepshow and Tales from the Hood as the best anthology of all time, at least IMO. Is held in decently high esteem by critics, who generally aren't kind to horror, boasting an 83% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes when it was harder to get such things and has something of a cult status among genre enthusiasts. It's sort of a travesty that it didn't get a theatrical release which has been the stuff of mystery since its straight to DVD release in October of 2009. I bought this right when it came out without knowing anything about it and was completely blown away. You don't see a lot of new movies with big names which include an Academy Award winner, Anna Paquin, attached to them as well as such a well regarded producer/director in Bryan Singer (he's probably most known as the director of the good X-Men movies [in which Paquin played Rogue]) that get relegated to the bargain bin right off the bat. As such I've always been pretty curious about the film's history and why it took so long to come out and never actually hit theaters. Best I've heard is that it was supposed to come out October 2007 but distributer Warner Bros. pulled it with no explanation, sitting on it until it finally got the old we-don't-give-a-fuck-about-this-movie treatment. Speculation has that they didn't want to compete against the fucking garbage Saw IV and that this was sort of backlash from disappointing box office numbers from Superman Returns, a movie Singer produced (his production company Bad Hat Harry [a reference to Jaws] produced Trick 'r Treat), directed, and wrote with this film's director, Michael Dougherty, from the previous year. But here it is with a premier in my living room. This shit is a gem, though I'm not sure it would have actually made all that much money.  Regardless. Greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: A deftly crafted tribute to Halloween legends, Trick 'r' Treat hits all the genre marks with gusto and old fashioned suspense.

Pros: Probably the best Pulp Fiction type segmented movie that isn't Pulp Fiction. Each segment is about the perfect length. Even the weakest of them is solid and pays off later. Cast is a solid A with an  honest to god Oscar winner who is also a pretty lady. Has something for every type of horror aficionado. Looks great. Has great atmosphere. You can't watch this and not be stoked for Halloween. No shit, this is my go-to movie of the season.

Cons: Movie is basically perfect although the serial killer principal story is sort of weak.

Pretty lady
Gist here is pretty straight forward. Spoilers below if you want to watch it. (I recommend reading this and watching it anyway).  We have five interwoven Halloween tales, so of told in a Pulp Fiction type style--a couple where the dude is a holiday fanatic and the wife not so much who is punished by this little pumpkin creature for taking down the decorations too early (which sort of serves as the intro for the movie and is by far the shortest skit), a werewolf (Paquin) making her first kill (they play it like she is a virgin who has decided to give into her friends' peer pressure and have her first fling), a serial killer school principal (who ends up being a werewolf entree later in the flick) who is raising his son in an unconventional manner, a group of kids who play a prank on a semi-autistic girl and are punished by the murdered zombies who were too once outcasts when they were students, and an old bastard who steals kids' candy (and we find out was paid to kill the outcasts who come back as zombies from the earlier skit) who has to fend off this miniature, pumpkin-headed monster/demon intruder--all taking place in a medium sized Ohio city known for it's holiday celebration. Present in all of these stories is this little pumpkin headed demon thing, which is pretty cute and looks sort of like my little doggy Lu, that enforces Halloween traditions. Those who break these made up norms suffer his wrath.

Staring in the film are Dylan Baker (he was the pedo in that movie Happiness that don't recommend anyone watch) as the serial killer, Leslie Bibb who was Ricky Bobby's wife in Talladega Nights, Brian Cox as the old man, some kids and other randos from Dead Like Me, Paquin as the werewoof, Thurman Murman as this kid who gets killed, and mostly unknowns. There has been talk for at least five years about a sequel but that shit ain't never gonna happen.

Best line of the movie was "Charlie Brown is an asshole." As a crazy Peanuts fanatic, I feel you kid. Snoopy is my guy. As a writerly sort, I identify as that little pup.

So cute
The best of the segments, IMO, is the one featuring the kids who go out collecting jack-o-lanterns for this ritual involving the dead special needs kids. They have to collect one for every kid that died and this will summon them or something. It all ends up being this mean spirited prank on this girl that the kids call "Rhonda the Retard" who seems to have a mild case of Asperger's where the others dress up like zombie kids and come after her after she descends to the bottom of the quarry via this lift thing. When they do this she goes nuts and falls and hits her head, crying somewhat hysterically. As she makes her way over to the lift, the zombie kids really do come to life. She then gets on the lift, locks the door, and goes up as her tormentors are ripped apart just below. Don't fuck with this chick (or any chick or kid for that matter).

Favorite kill and MVP both involve Brian Cox, the original Hannibal Lecter, among other things. We are sort of introduced to this character early on during the principal bit with Dylan Baker (who is also dope). He sort of creeps up on the principal as he is trying to shut up Thurman Murman whom he is burying in his back yard. We also, at one point, see him, Cox, yelling for help from his window and getting attacked. He obviously has some shit going on. Once we get to his bit, spoilers here by the by, we see this little demon kid, Sam whom is in all the skits, killing folk who break the Halloween rules and what not, who sets his sights on Cox for stealing kids candy. The way he does it is a pretty good gag, really, sort of subverting who gets the trick. He outfits his little doggy with a costume where all the kids see are these glowing eyes that make it look like a monster. So Sam comes to take his treat, basically. First he dongs and dashes him a couple of times, the last time planting a shit ton of jack-o-lanterns on his porch. Then, when he goes back in the house, Sam makes a bunch of noise and shit so that Cox knows someone is in there with him. At that point the dog runs up stairs, where the noise is coming from, we hear a yelp from the dog and then once Cox goes upstairs, "trick 'r treat" and various other incarnations of that are scrawled in blood on the walls. So it is implied that he kills the dog, which you know, hated it, but maybe not. I choose to think not. Anyway, the little Sam monster and Cox tussle for a while before finally Cox shoots it in the head with a shotgun. Instead of brain and shit blowing out the back of his cute little pumpkin monster head, we get pumpkin goo which is fucking cool. It doesn't actually kill Sam, we see as he comes back and attacks Cox before Cox finally gives him a piece of candy, saving his life. This reprieve, however, is short lived as we find out that Cox was the bus driver in the dead kids section. So when Cox goes and answers the door for the last time of the night, he is visited by the children that he murdered so many years before, ready to get their revenge. Fucking sick.

All of that is to say that Cox really sells the shit out of a scared old man with a life-long mean streak in him, not to mention justifiable paranoia. For this performance, he gets the MVP. Love that guy. And that was one of two of my Halloween movies this year. This one, of course, is an every year watch, much to my female companion's irritation. The other one, Night of the Demons 2, I'll get to soon.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Halloween (2018) is the greatest movie of all time


Halloween (2018). Yes. Not a masterpiece. In fact, one of the worst twists of all time. But almost certainly the best sequel (although I may make a case for Halloween II and Halloween III: Season of the Witch). Believe at least that part of the hype. But that is a low fucking bar. We will see if it holds up on the second viewing before I definitively rank the films in order. Sort of love/hate the franchise as a whole even when it goes off the rails. Maybe because it does. This is one of only a couple of them that are genuinely not terrible. If you haven't seen it, you probably shouldn't read this unless, like me, you don't give a shit about spoilers. I'm generally of the "oh man, I've got to see this shit!" when I get a spoiler. I will also read Wikipedia pages before I go see a movie to get the plot. So you get spoilers. Respect that, as Spike Lee would say. Anyway. Danny McBride surprising me again. This time with his writing abilities. He is a pretty underrated talent IMO because he is so goofy and iconic in his comedic work, namely as Kenny Powers in Eastbound and Down. Sort of like how you couldn't cast Ed O'Neill in anything without the audience LOLing because he is Al Bundy to everyone. So yeah, better than all the other sequels, probably, but it totally should be. Those others were generally written but just some random guy and directed by some cheap first-timer. This is David Gordon fucking Green and Danny mother fucking McBride. It should almost certainly be better but this is what we got and it is serviceable. So focus on the good. It is scary, funny (occasionally when it shouldn't be), and is a genuinely alright movie. Yeah, greatest film of all time.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Halloween largely wipes the slate clean after decades of disappointing sequels, ignoring increasingly elaborate mythology in favor of basic - yet still effective - ingredients.

Pros: Doesn't fuck around. Gets into it and doesn't do a lot of exposition. The opening credits with the pumpkin. John Carpenter score is fucking sick. Child dancer is sweet. So are the kills. That long tracking shot is perfection. Actually, several really dope scenes. Same look as the original. It is legit scary at times. Lots of tension and he doesn't pop out a lot. Opening jack-o-lantern scene. Black watching Repo Man was a sweet little easter egg.

Cons: Tone is sort of off. Too much random comedy thrown out there. The podcasters are stupid. Not my favorite opening. Basically everything with Dr. Sartain is fucking unwatchable and takes you out of the experience. It almost ruined the movie. Also, although there a lot of solid scenes, they are kind of disjointed. Doesn't flow all that well. Black kid is funny but throws off the tone. You laugh when it should be scary and shit.

"Remember... THIS?!?" What could go wrong
The gist... Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode who squares off against Michael Myers, again. In this incarnation Myers killed a mechanic and three of her friends before getting captured on Halloween night in 1978. The hospital stuff in Halloween II didn't happen in this universe as it is a direct sequel to John Carpenter's original Halloween from 40 years ago. Here Laurie has some serious PTSD issues that cost her a relationship with her daughter Karen, played by Judy Greer from Arrested Development, and granddaughter Allyson, played by newcomer Andi Matichak. So we have three generations of Strode woman all affected by Myers, all traumatized, yet strong, in their own ways. Myers, for his part, aged incredibly well. I guess homicidal rage works for him.

A Blumhouse production directed by David Gordon Green who also did Pineapple Express and Prince Avalanche among other shit, and written by Jeff Fradley, Green, and McBride. This is the second retconning after Halloween H20: 20 Years Later did it back in 1998. Nick Castle, who played Michael Myers aka The Shape in the original, reprises the role was word on the street but all but one scene had out of work stuntman James Jude Courtney, who did a wonderful job, putting on the mask. Others in the film include Haluk Bilginer (never seen him) as Sartain, Toby Huss who will always be The Wiz from Seinfeld (he was also Felix in Carnivale and Artie in The Adventures of Pete & Pete) as Judy Greer's husband, Virginia Gardner as the pretty, blonde friend Vicky who dies horribly, Will Patton who is one of those whats-his-faces as Officer Hawkins, and Miles Robbins who plays Vicky's boyfriend who is a stoner nice guy and basically the same role he played in Blockers.

Couple of other characters of note are Cameron, the boyfriend of Allyson played by Dylan Arnold, and his buddy Oscar played by Drew Scheid. Cameron is possibly the biggest douche-bag in the entire 11 movie franchise. It's implied that he is cheating on Allyson with a chick who goes to the Halloween school dance as a sexy tiger and then acts incredulous when he gets caught blaming it on her being on her phone. He throws it in dip or pudding or whatever and she can no longer get calls. It's a plot device that movies employ that explains away lack of cellular telephone technology. You think he is going to die like most bad boyfriends but we never see him again. Spends the rest of the movie balls deep in the sexy tiger chick most likely. Anyway, so after Allyson storms off, Cameron's best bud Oscar starts to walk her home. This is the setup for one of the best scenes in the movie. It is a close second to the long tracking shot that I'll get to in a moment. Here, Oscar tells Allyson that she is the coolest and prettiest and nicest girl in the school. See where this is going. He tries to bang her. WTF, dude? She shuts it down and storms off. He doesn't get rapey, thank fuck, but he is an idiot and says as much. They are taking a shortcut to wherever and Allyson is gone by that point. He sort just lays there berating himself when Myers shows up. There is this motion light there that kicks on and off conveniently. Shit was dope by the way. He sees Myers and thinks it is Mr. Elrod (a reference to Halloween II, Mr. and Mrs. Elrod were the old couple he steals the knife from that are watching the original The Thing movie at the beginning of the movie). Myers creeps him out more and more as he gets closer and closer to him every time the light goes off and comes back on again. He eventually gets killed horribly.

Favorite line of the movie is from Hawkins, Will Patton's character. That line, which is some dope shit to say and true, is: "There's a reason we're supposed to be afraid of this night." Other than that nothing really stands out except for the funny ass shit the little black kid says.

References in this movie are more or less constant. They are retconning the movie because they think all of them are shit but then they pay constant homage to them which is weird but ultimately pretty cool. There are probably double-digit references to the original and II--the classroom scene where a teacher drones on with the main teen sitting in the back right corner looking out the window [also in Halloween H20], the three teens walking Laurie falling off the roof [roles reversed as it was Michael that fell in the first {this also happened in Halloween: Resurrection}], the ending with the fire was basically the same as II (also that they mention people thinking Laurie and Michael are brother and sister), the escape from Smiths Grove, the kill with the hammer, the woman that gets stabbed in the neck talking to Sally on the phone that lived next door to the Elrods, and I am sure several others--a lot of which have been referenced in other movies within the franchise. The main one we get for III were the masks that the kids were wearing were the Silver Shamrock masks from that film. From Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers we get a very similar brutal scene in a gas station/garage that looks more or less exactly the same. From Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers you get the comic relief cops, these legitimately funny unlike 5. From Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers you get the evil doctor, I guess. Bunch of stuff from H20, most notably the bathroom scene where Michael goes into the lady's room, which looks exactly the same, and confronts a lady taking a shit. From Resurrection we get the falling off a roof and the lady in the truck at the gas station that says "Resurrection" on the side of it. Not sure about the Rob Zombie movies as it has been a long while but I do recall a guy getting his head stomped which spoiler happens in this one and is probably the coolest kill.

Speaking of kills, lots of carnage in this flick. Off of memory, so I may be missing one or two, I can recall 17 kills, 16 by Myers. What can you say? Dude just wants to kill. He is pure evil. In this universe he doesn't necessarily need to kill Laurie but there she is so he might as well go for it. She is chasing him around and what not which is she is on his radar. If she didn't show up and try to stop him, then he would have just been out there rampaging and what have you. Most of these deaths are head smashings and neck breakings. But he sort of levels up as the movie goes along. When he first escapes from the bus as he is being transferred to another hospital, they say the one he is being transferred to is a real piece of shit compared to the one he is at which is truly disturbing considering what that one looks like, on the 40th anniversary of his murder spree, which is fucking bananas that they would do it then, he kills the first dude on the scene by breaking his neck. This guy is some hunter who is taking his little kid to go shoot defenseless animals in the face. The kid tells him he just wants to dance, which was endearing. That is when they come to the bus crash and Myers somewhere in the vicinity. The dad goes out and, as mentioned, his neck gets broke. After some time, the kid goes out and investigates. This kid is maybe 10. He finds a cop on the ground and is told to run. Instead he gets on the bus where Michael's doctor is chilling. He says not to shoot him but the kid must have thought he said to shoot him because that is what happens. The dancing boy goes ape shit and runs to the SUV and tries to peace the fuck out even though he, you know, probably can't drive because he is 10. But before he can figure out how to put that bitch in drive, Michael gives him the old reach around and chokes the shit out of him before snapping his neck. Yeah, they fucking go for it and straight up murder a child. Don't see a lot of child murders these days but this movie is all like fuck it. It was a seriously shocking death but I was on board with it.

Later it is implied that the doctor freed Myers which brings us to the shit. Basically everything with this doctor character is fucking stupid. The first we see of him is at the asylum where he lets those podcasters break out the mask which seems to have awakened something in Myers. Then he gets shot. Then we see him in the hospital where he makes the worst joke ever. The Will Patton sheriff character doesn't want to take the doctor along to help find Myers but this other black cowboy sheriff guy who is maybe in charge or something who might be a throwback to "The Man in Black" from Halloween 5 but disappears after the first half hour of the movie convinces him otherwise. Well while they are driving around at one point he says he wants to see Michael in his own element which is insane and dumb. Something like, "I want to know his pleasure." Think we know where this is going. Should have kicked the guy out of the car right then. But instead, after the Will Patton character picks up Allyson (which he is cool with her riding around with them for whatever reason), they roll up on Myers who is just walking around in the country. Patton is all, fuck this, and runs him over with his SUV which is a bold move. Thought it was going to be another Ben Tramer situation from Halloween II when they run over the wrong dude but it is not and is instead like Halloween 4 and H20 when they run his ass over which results in momentary loss of consciousness and slight irritation. But when they get out of the car, Sartain says that Patton killed him even though Myers is property of the state. Patton is going to finish the job and blow his head off when suddenly Sartain suddenly breaks out this weird knife thing and slits Patton's throat. What the fuck? What. In. The. Actual. Fuck. So let me get this straight. He goes to medical school, treats patients in Smiths Grove for however long, studying insane people and what not. And now he just starts killing cops so he can keep studying this guy that was getting transferred to another hospital anyway? What the shit is that? Yeah, this is the dumbest fucking thing I've maybe ever seen in my life. I almost fucking left the movie. This was surprisingly predictable considering how fucking stupid it was and the worst thing in the movie. That this movie easily breaks the top three dumbest things in the franchise is infuriating. It is very hard not to focus on this. It almost transformed the movie into the worst of all time. But when you take that out it isn't half bad. Try not to let it taint the movie which will be hard. He then puts on the mask and throws Myers in the back of the police cruiser with the girl. Watched this at the Starlite Drive-in here in Bloomington, Sammy Terry was there, it was dope, so watched it in the car with two other folk. We thought Sartain was going to be the killer now. "Oh, fuck," was the reaction in our car. All agreed this was fucking dumb.

But this brings us to the best kill. Again, 16ish from Myers. Most of them brutal. About half of them onscreen. Several of them on the periphery. But the most satisfying and most brutal is Sartain. So after Sartain makes his kill and throws Myers in the back with Allyson, she is all, "I need the fuck out of here, he is going to wake up and kill me." Sartain gist here is something like, "if only Michael would talk to me. He can talk but chooses not to. I know what he wants to say, I know the other side of murder." Uh, ok. So the girl is like, "oh, he said something to me when he was trying to kill me." Doctor is like, "do wha?" She tells him to let her out and he'll tell her which is all bull shit. But Michael wakes up and kicks his way out of squad car by breaking through the cage and pinning Sartain between the driver's seat and the steering wheel. He crashes or whatever, Allyson Scream 2's her way out of the cop car, and Sartain falls out of the car onto the street. Michael eventually gets out and stands over Sartain. Sartain, who threw his life/career away for this is all like, "say something, Michael." Michael looks down on him, says "something" (j/k, he doesn't really say that), and then stomps on his head so that his brain explodes out onto the street. It was fucking gnarly. 

Another solid couple of kills come right after that and are off screen. Two cops see the crash or whatever and go over to investigate. Basically there to pad his stats late in the game. They are endearing and funny. One of them is trying to turn the other onto banh mi sandwiches, which are to die for with the aoli, pickled veggies, mushrooms, and cilantro and what not, but the guy wants no part. Just wants his PB&J. Other guy thought he would say that, and explains that the term "banh mi" refers to the bread, not what is inside, and had them make him a banh mi PB&J. Don't find out if it is any good or not though as they have to go investigate this shit which leads them to good ole murdering Mikey Myers. Next time we see them the sandwich enthusiast's throat is slashed and the other cop, the sad one who lives off of trash and homemade brownies, his decapitated head is in the other guy's hands and all his shit is hollowed out and he has a flashlight shoved up his neck hole, making it look like he is a human jack-o-lantern. It's pretty sweet but would have taken so fucking long to execute. 

There is another group of dope kills early in the movie that is fucking sweet and ends up being, IMO the best scene of the movie. That scene comes not long after Myers escapes and gets his mask. It is early evening and trick-or-treaters are out in the town. It is about the only time we really get a sense of Haddonfield, when Myers is out there stalking the neighborhood. Again, he is a dude here, just some nut who kills. Never is that more apparent than in this scene where he is walking down the street and these kids bump into him, like the ones from the original that we learn did peyote with The Wiz back in high school. That sort of kicks it off. Its the long tracking shot where he goes from being out on the prowl to committing a bunch of silent rage kills that call back to the first two flicks. It was the one we get almost in its entirety in the second trailer. It is intense and cray. Hear a baby cry and you are sure Michael is going to kill it. The whole thing is nuts and it never gets better than that.

So... Who's the MVP of this film? Really tough decision between The Shape and JLC. Judy Greer would have definitely been in contention here but I feel she is underutilized. The ending though was super solid for her though when she acts all scared, saying"Mom, I can't do it," and cries and acts all weak and stuff even though she has been trained like John Conner from Terminator, I was sort of angry here thinking this was fucking dumb when Myers pops out and she is all, "Gotcha" and shoots him. It was an "oh shit" moment for sure. That shit was cool. The actor playing The Shape, one James Jude Courtney, whose acting credits include Biker #2, Man in Bar, Mafia Goon, Huge Goon, Thug, so forth, hasn't done shit since 2002. Not a fucking thing. Fucking nails it. I'd put him at third best among the various actors that put on the mask. Dick Warlock, not touching that performance from Halloween II, he basically defined the movements for the rest of the films. Nick Castle, the original, also can't fuck with that. To quote Sidney Prescott in Scream 4, this is from before I had a best quote section or this would have been it, "Don't fuck with the original." BTW, all that Nick Castle returning to the role of The Shape was fucking horseshit. One fucking scene was Castle on camera. When Laurie sees Myers in the mirror and takes a shot at him. That is it. Yeah, a who gives a fuck, bullshit second and a half of footage. Anyway, mostly basing Courtney's performance on a couple of scenes. The best scene of the movie where he is pretty much moving like a shark: deliberate, focused, with efficiency. Then the scene at the end when he gets shot and falls down the stairs. When he pops up. That shit was dope.

But ultimately, gotta give it to JLC. Overall she does a good job of selling her character as a bad ass that is severally traumatized. Most apparent when she goes to Smiths Grove to kill Myers when he is being transferred but doesn't and then goes to her granddaughter's National Honor's Society or whatever dinner that she isn't entirely welcome at. This dinner is nuts. She immediately grabs her daughter's wine glass, her daughter really didn't want her there, chugs it, and then freaks out which ultimately leads her to breaking down in tears and almost walking into traffic. In the ending she really shines as well where she actually goes on the offensive and hunts Myers throughout the house. There is a pretty cool scene, much like one in The Prowler and also Tourist Trap, where there are these manakins all over the place. She uses them as target practice in her backyard (there is an awful, stupid scene when Allyson is making her way there when and she sees all this and just screams in terror even though she probably knows they are there and that shit isn't scary anyway). You think Myers is hiding amongst them. This is indeed what happens but it is a pretty effective scare nonetheless, IMO. BTW, this whole ending, which we are getting into, is pretty polarizing. Laurie lives alone in the woods and has converted her basement into this bunker with an arsenal of weapons. To enter you have move this motorized island in the kitchen. Eventually Myers rips that shit off its tracks or whatever. That is when you get Greer's character shooting him and him falling down the stairs. He does pop up, as mentioned, and Laurie is there to help her daughter and granddaughter escape. But Michael grabs onto one of them. At that point Allyson stabs Myers in the hand with a butcher's knife which causes him to let go. Here Laurie hits some button and these spikes bars block the exit in the floor. It wasn't a hideout, as Akbar would say, "it's a trap", and they pump flammable gas down there and light that shit on fire. The floor is wood meaning they probably wouldn't be able to watch it burn and get out alive, which they do, "happy Halloween, Michael." The end. But we don't see Myers die and during the closing credits we hear him breathing. So they kill him but might be more. Of course there will be. That shit is already confirmed, son. But yeah. This was no Halloween. Probably no Hallow

Friday, October 19, 2018

Night of the Creeps is the greatest movie of all time


Night of the Creeps. An all-time fave. Female companion loved it as well. Watched this last the night before the eclipse with an unwanted house guest. Wanted a weird space invader movie and this fit the bill, for me at least. The guest was not into it. Too crazy for him. Had to turn it off. Punished him with Detention instead which he also wasn't really able to handle. Time to revisit. Better than I remembered. Greatest film of all time indeed.

Something cool about the flick is that all the character names pay homage to other horror directors. These include characters named after James Cameron, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg who did Jeff Goldblum The Fly movie, Joe Dante of The 'Burbs and Gremlins fame, Tobe Hooper who's most remembered for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (going to be watching all of those flicks soon) who also did Funhouse and Lifeforce which I called "the worst movie of all time" but am seriously reconsidering as maybe the greatest movie of all time as I remember it fondly (it is a naked, space-vampire movie after all),  John Landis who did An American Werewolf in London among other things, Steve Miner who directed Friday the 13th: Part 2 and Part 3 as well as Halloween H20, Sam Raimi of The Evil Dead and Drag Me to Hell fame among other awesome shits, and George A. Romero who more or less invented the zombie movie. I'm not really sure why the director of this flick, one Jeff Dekker, never made it to the level of the directors he pays homage here. After this movie, Dekker's second film was 1987's Monster Squad which is universally loved. Other than that he directed an episode of Tales from the Crypt and the film Robocop 3 which he co-wrote with Frank Miller and is not remembered fondly.  He also wrote the story that would be used for the basis of the film House from 1985 directed by the aforementioned Steve Miner. He has a couple of producer credits for stuff I've never seen and a handful of writing credits, most recently for The Predator from earlier this year which was not well received. Does get much better than this or Monster Squad. Would have totally watched anything else horror related he would have made but alas. There is basically none.

Oh, wow
Pros: Extra cheese here. Over-the-top and doesn't take itself seriously though it obviously loves the genre. The worms and gore are great. The first zombie/alien movie that I know of, it is a pretty unique crossover film with an interesting/engaging plot. Cast is surprisingly solid and features Tom Atkins from Halloween III: Season of the Witch (among other things). What I consider a perfect self-aware, horror/comedy film.

Cons: Aliens in the opening scene look pretty stupid. There are also some dead animals.

Gist of the movie is that to impress a girl, dweeby college student Chris and best bud JC pledge a fraternity full of douche bags and are forced to steal a body from the college morgue when shit goes wrong. Must be a different breed of chick than I am used to that would be impressed by what frat a dude would join or whatever. The movie opens with a bunch of aliens chasing this other alien who ejects a weird canister out into space. The canister crashes to earth in the 1950s and a coed couple goes to investigate. Meanwhile, there is an axe murder on the loose who is in the area. When the dude leaves his date in the car, the murderer shows up and hacks her to bits. We later see that a cop named Ray Cameron, who had dated the girl when they were in high school, stumbled upon the scene and shot the killer to death. Fast forward 30 years in the future and the male coed in the car is the body that the dudes try to steal. Turns out the guy is infested with these sentient worms that turn people into zombies by flying into their mouths. The first person to discover the issue ends up being the female crush, Cynthia, who ends up working with the pledge to stop the college from getting overrun with these worms/zombies. Eventually the axe murderer gets possessed and shit is fucking on. On the whole, the film is an early kitchen sink type movie that throws everything out there and sees if sticks. Parasitic alien worms, B movie alien spacemen, slasher madmen, teen comedy, cop/medical drama, this film has basically everything and enjoys something of a cult following these days.

The Bradster
It stars Tom Atkins who fucking goes for it in this flick as Ray Cameron, Jason Lively who was Rusty in one of the National Lampoon's Vacation movies (European Vacation) plays Chris Romero, Steve Marshall as James Carpenter "J.C." Hooper who is the handicapped best bud of Chris, and Jill Whitlow as Cynthia Cronenberg who is the semi-rare attractive survivor girl that shows a little boob. Also appearing in the film are cutie Elizabeth Cox from Intruder as Kathy, Allan Kayser who was Bubba in Mama's Family as Brad with the vanity plate "BRADSTER" on his whip who is the generic dickhead frat douche who dates the character Cynthia before he kicks the crutch of the crippled kid which prompts her to do the classic crank flipping the bird and then later (once he has turned to an alien zombie which she doesn't notice for an insanely long time) break up with him, Robert Kino as the Asian janitor Mr. Miner who barely speaks English and just keeps repeating "screaming like banshees" which he thinks is the funniest thing he has ever heard in his whole fucking life, Dick Miller from Gremlins and The 'Burbs and a million other things has a small part, David Paymer who is a guy you sort of recognize but have no idea where from as a medical student that gets murdered, Vic Polizos (another I-sort-of-recognize-that-guy guy) who plays this coroner that is constantly eating while poking around horribly murdered individuals, David Oliver who died of AIDS in the early 1990s as Steve with the uni-brow who is basically just a generic meathead, and the very attractive Suzanne Snyder from Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Return of the Living Dead II, and Weird Science. Lot of people you sort of know, I guess.

The zombie ax murderer. Lot going on here
Best line of the movie is a tough one with this flick and Atkins going a mile a minute. The first thing he says, something of a swing and miss, came after a guy asks him if he is the detective when he replies, "No, Bullwinkle Moose." Later that same scene we get "That's fine. Candy-ass, but fine." and when talking about a body that suddenly wasn't there he says "What, did he have a date? Whaddya mean it isn't here?" and later "Zombies, exploding heads, creepy-crawlies... and a date for the formal. This is classic, Spanky." Chris also has a pretty good one. Atkins basically out of nowhere starts telling Chris, a college freshman whom he calls "Spanky", before they really know much of what was going down, that he shot and killed that ax murderer though he didn't need to. Chris then replies, shocked, "detective, other than confessing to a murder, is there a point to this conversation," which is bold. Also of note here, Cameron buried the guy under the floor of the sorority mother's home. The guy ends up coming back to life and they have a zombie ax murderer situation on their hands that they have deal with. But my fave line is probably, from Cameron, "What I'm going to need is your standard flame thrower."

"Your date's here! And he's looking good!"
Best scene of the movie is easily the zombie formal. The sorority girls at this point know shit is going down. Cameron, Chris, and Cynthia have let them know what's up. Meanwhile, down the way, the Beta Frat that they seem to have some sort of thing with, had a bus crash because of a possessed dog and all of them end up getting infected. Once they show up shit really hits the fan and it becomes your typical zombie/home invasion flick. Well sort of. It kicks off with a Cameron zinger, "I got good news and bad news, girls," he says, "The good news is your dates are here." "What's the bad news?" one of the girls asks, taking the bait. Cameron tells her, "They're dead." At that point one of the dead guys breaks into the sorority house and attacks a chick. Atkins unnecessarily pushes her down after she breaks free from the guy and tells her to duck. He then looks the zombie guy in the eye, says "it's Miller time", and shoots him in the face. When the worms come crawling out, he takes an aerosol can to his cigarette and lights those shits on fire. Bad ass. From there all hell breaks loose and it descends in complete chaos. Sort of like Re-Animator. Dope ass scene.

It is during that best scene that we get the best kill as well. While Cameron is busy flame throwing people to death, Chris and Cynthia remain outside, getting overwhelmed by the zombie hoard. But they end up making their way over to this little shed with all the sorority's landscaping equipment. It's then that Steve, with his unibrow and all, among other Beta zombies comes at the pair and breaks through the shed's walls. Steve eventually grabs Cynthia and is going to turn her when Chris grabs a lawnmower and fires it up, saying "later dude" as he mows the guy down. While not nearly as insane as when the main character in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive does it several years later, but this put that instrument on the map as a viable and gruesome tool to dispatch zombies with.

MVP of the movie is 100% Tom Atkins. It's not even close. As you can see from best scene and best line, he is all over this movie. He really swings for the fences in this flick. Every damn line from the moment he is on screen is quotable and absurd. As someone at Horror Freak News put it, "Tom Atkins steals scenes with one-liners like there was a prize for it," one JC Richardson wrote. Pretty much as every damn line is a joke. Sort of like how Deadpool 2 was. They just keep coming at you. This was also Atkins favorite of his 81 movies according to the source. That's saying a lot considering he was a huge overachiever for his shtick being an over-the-top chain-smoking drunk that cracks wise whilst looking hungover. He was Michael Hunsaker, the guy who got involved over his head with paramilitaries in Lethal Weapon, for god's sake. "Never before has a C Level actor risen so high."