Monday, September 18, 2017

Drifter


Drifter is an indie/cult film that has been on Netflix for quite some time now, and the cover art just looks intriguing. I really didn't know what was going to be behind this poster marquee, but obviously it has something to do with two dudes sporting handguns, some chick in pigtails screaming and a red car. Well, the car isn't red-but the pigment of the vehicle's paint job doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. What does matter is how disappointed I was by the time Drifter's run time had ran dry. The first half of this film was fantastic- Dominick is just a straight up chip-on-his-shoulder type of guy that gives no fucks and his brother Miles is the complete opposite. So the dynamic is right there right when this thing opens. By the time the audience makes it to about the 35-45 minute mark however, is when the film just starts sliding it's way into the murky depths of rip-off territory. The one big flaw that really bothered me through out the whole thing was the score. Man the music was just awful. Notes and swells were placed in all kinds of wrong spots that made some scenes feel more awkward than suspenseful and would have been way more effective if there just wasn't any music at all. Let it breathe a little. Give it some space.

I mean... the whole point of robbing someone's home is to take everything. So, yeah. Take everything.

Damn their car is a jalopy.

If this area is a wasteland, than this is a post-apocalyptic movie?

Sibling rivalries never die.

Oh boy. Here we go. Desert degenerates.

Hell yeah bro. Shoot first, ask questions, well... never.

Mirages are deadly. Be careful.

Bite the pain. That's all you can do at that point is just to bite the pain.

Dom, dude-she's trying to warn you. Pushing a woman to the ground is asking for me to kill you. 

I'm telling you right now. Banging Sasha was a terrible mistake.

Miles, if you had the strength-I would have loved it if you threw that glass right at Doyle's head. 
  
The two best characters in Drifter have to be Dominick and Doyle. Doyle was great because he kind of reminded me of The Joker except with a layer of Fallout on top. One of the biggest let downs of this film that I mentioned earlier was how it ripped off something. That something is none other than my favorite horror flick of all time-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There's a dinner scene in here that is pretty much almost identical to it and I actually threw my hands in the air and exclaimed "What is this, Texas Chainsaw? Sweet Jesus." I was not expecting that at all which is why I had that reaction. Drifter is not even close to being a terrible film. It's very watchable and you can definitely get swept up in what may or may not happen. But it's surely not a masterpiece either. Indie film junkies that love post-apocalyptic material will dive right in, but if you're a horror fan that has more of a grindhouse leaning, you might not dig it as much. Don't go wandering around town now-Doyle won't like that very much.    

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Arachnophobia


Among the many horror flicks my dad had on VHS while I was growing up, Arachnophobia was there right along side them. I will always remember him telling me about the scene where they all start pouring out of the sink in the bathroom and the infamous part where Jeff Daniels' character slaps together his homemade flamethrower for the final showdown. Classic indeed. I truly don't know if this film in particular has anything to do with the fact that any insect these days just grosses me out, but if you've seen this you know exactly all of the cuts where there are just tons of these things all over the house towards the last act-it really leaves impressions on you. The same way that Jaws made people afraid of sharks when it was first released, I'm sure that Arachnophobia made a similar ripple effect on everyone's psychology having images imprinted of big masses of spiders just overcoming your home. Nope and nope. The answer is just no. Can't deal with it. That's what homeowners insurance is for. Light it up, watch it burn to cinders, collect the insurance money and move somewhere else. 

"Any man eating dinosaurs?" You know, this setup kind of does remind me of Jurassic Park.

    How can you even tell where you are on that map? Everything is in red scale.

Every insect in the whole world could disappear and I would jump for joy.

I need one of those fogger guns for my house. I hate killing bugs by hand.

You can keep entomology. My favorite bugs are dead ones. I don't care how endangered they are.

This is the umpteenth movie where the mortician is eating a damn sandwich. I don't get it.

You can unpack the boxes in the morning. It's time to unpack your wife now.

 Burn the barn down. Burn it.

Stuffed shirt yuppie bastards. I hate all of you.

There's one thing about Arachnophobia that I have to say-I absolutely forgot how funny and witty some of the characters and dialogue is in here. It's actually not even really a "horror" film per se'. It's more like a "comedic thriller" I guess because it has peaks of being lathered in suspense and dread whenever it shows you what the spiders are doing, but then you have these humorous valleys with Jeff Daniels and John Goodman as Delbert the exterminator and he definitely alleviates some of the tension against the cuts with the spiders. If you have any extremes against arachnids or insects of any kind, you might not be able to handle some of the things that take place in this film. Or if you want to watch them burn to death in a sweet orange fireball of fear and aggression, please give this a spin. Delbert is always willing to give a helping hand.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

IT (2017 Re-Make Theatrical Experience)


Zits and zombies... what a momentous occasion. 

Before I actually even begin to dive into anything that has to do with the IT re-make, let me just state something if you already don't know-that I absolutely despise re-makes. I loathe them. I generally gravitate around the idea that if you plan on being involved in modernizing a film or updating it by re-making it, for the love of God do not just do it shot for shot or completely ignore that there ever was an original or some sort of source material from which your inspiration came. Please. At least pay some sort of homage, take what you like, cut what you don't and respect the idea that this film may need this. It's only for the greater good of cinema and the art form in general. Otherwise your just doing it for the money and not any sort of personal satisfaction knowing that you actually turned out something worth partaking in. That's where the new adaptation of Stephen King's novel IT steps in. 

I fold my hands and bow in pride.

My wife and I haven't been in the theater to really see much of anything in the last year and a half or so because, well-Hollywood is just shit nowadays. There. I said it. It has turned itself into a cash grab factory of awful rom-coms, neutered action flicks, cheap jump scare infested "modern" horror tunes and line for line reboots that no one ever asked for. But then something kind of unexpected and miraculous happened. The re-make for IT was announced and I was highly skeptical. I was throwing my hands up in worry about Pennywise either being overdone or not enough. I read the book again to make sure that this magic wouldn't and couldn't be lost. My dear community of undead....

I was dead fucking wrong.

 We went to see it earlier today with my pal Slasher Steve and much to our surprise (especially since there were quite a few teens in the seats) no one was on their phones, no one was yelling and screaming, talking, or being total jackasses during the film. Even during the previews, no one barely said anything. I couldn't have asked for more. Being floored by this atmosphere of politeness and common courtesy wasn't even the icing on the cake. The film was. Sweet Jesus, was this kick ass. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever say that a re-make of IT would ever be better than the original. In comparison, now that I've seen this newer version just a couple of nights after re-watching the original mini series... the Tim Curry original isn't even remotely frightening at all. It's a children's movie about an evil clown named Pennywise compared to this. PBS could probably get away with airing it uncut right after the newest episode of Sesame Street, and no one would bat an eyeball. All of the child actors in here were flawless, Bill Skarsgard was superb, the cinematography was excellent and the screenplay stuck way closer to the book than the original did which made this so much more effective than it should have been.

Zits and zombies, I implore you... if even after all of the hype, the opening night frenzies and all of the money IT made during the initial weekend still haven't convinced you because your just to damn stubborn or to attached to the original-put down that can of Pringles and get your ass to the theater and see this. You deserve it. And so do the people that made this movie. We all float down here. And you'll float too.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Junior (...A cut above) (VHS)


This is another one of those cheesy 80's horror rip-offs that claim to be in the same upper echelon with the likes of Leatherface and Freddy Krueger. It's just not possible. It doesn't even come close.  I kind of got what I expected when I bought this on VHS at Gordyville a few weeks ago for a dollar, and as long as I am thoroughly entertained, I am happy. And that's pretty much how it went down. Junior's main focus are the two main female protagonists, K.C. and Jo, who at the very opening of this film are being escorted out of prison. We don't know why, but it's implied that they are women of the night, and were caught doing some business, so they were thrown in the clinker. Determined to start over and open their own marina, they drive to some small town that doesn't have a name (at least I never heard anyone in the film say the name of it) and they meet the jackass sheriff as the welcoming committee. What a way to start a new life. I fell in love with this film zits and zombies because it's pure Canadian trash. The levels of awful voice dubbing, acting and camera work really make this a hilarious candy and popcorn flick to watch on your VCR-along with the fact that you get to see K.C. pretty much naked on multiple occasions (which is back when Suzanne DeLarentiis was way hot) sided with the imploringly stupid dialogue and even dumber characters make this a great experience for any bad movie fanatic.

Hot 80's chicks in a women's prison. Fantastic way to open, gentlemen.

You drive like shit and you treat women like trash?! Give me a gun!

As a guy, I'm digging all the butt shots so far. Just had to point that out.

I'm sure prison kicked ass compared to this dump.

Sexy brunette with a twelve gauge-count me in!

Luke is my hero. He lives in a house that floats on water, has no job, no relationship and just tends to his plants.

This sheriff needs a good tooth-straightening. Maybe a nice right hook.

I have no reason to complain, but why are K.C. and Jo wearing bikini's while re-shingling the roof?

Junior's mom is a guy dressed up as an old lady. Has to be.

If you really want to track this film down, it gets confusing. It has about four or five different titles, mostly Junior, Junior....A Cut Above, Hot Water, and just being called ...A Cut Above. And there were quite a few distribution companies that put this on VHS back then as well, so there are numerous versions with different cover art to make matters even worse for collectors. Pure and simple, Junior is a Canadian garbage delight. If you want to see some of the worst audio and voice dubbing combined with one of the stupidest horror villains probably ever put to celluloid, then hunt this down. If campy, dumb horror schlock isn't part of your taste bud lay out, steer clear. This wasn't made for you. Oh, by the way-there's a scene where K.C. takes her bikini top off, stuffs it into a bottle of alcohol during a speedboat fight, and lights it off and tosses it as a molotov cocktail. Yeah. I wasn't expecting that. But I clapped and jeered in male, testosterone fueled enjoyment. Tan-lined boobs. Yes sir.              

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Jungle Trap (Bleeding Skull! dvd)


You bloodthirsty goons already know that I'm a huge fan of anything that Bleeding Skull! is involved with, and their latest release on VHS and DVD had me pretty intrigued from the beginning. Jungle Trap was wrapped up way back in 1990, but never saw that light of day at all, in any form. The guys at Bleeding Skull! took it upon themselves to edit it, master it and completely do the score from scratch to get the film in a finished form to be put into print-for the first time AT THIS VERY MOMENT. As amazing as all of that effort and energy was to get this into horror and cult film collectors' hands, I have to say-this is probably my least favorite release put out by BS! and Mondo. I apologize. I actually feel bad for stating that, but not every piece is a winner. I did enjoy myself as I was watching it for my notes, but I couldn't derive any spark, any pop, any flame of ovation that would push me to herald Jungle Trap as a "must own" film to add to your SOV collection. I do understand the blood, sweat and tears that went into this for preservation's sake. I get it. Nothing can be lost. Maybe I need to watch it again. Maybe there was something I missed. I'll bring more beer next time.  

Ha, ha, ha! That was the worst action opening ever put to film!

Yeah, go read the trade papers. You'll never make it.

"Palace Hotel". Wow. What a creative name for a resort.

My unborn child could have chucked that molotov harder than that.

Someone's got the yellow fever. Bad.

   Hey you-low budget Indiana Jones-stop over acting. You're ruining this for me.

  Father Time knows how to party! Drinking whisky while flying a plane-what a rush!

 All Josh has been waiting for are some fortune cookies.

Dear Lord you must have been really thirsty.

Man, Janices' head shrunk quick.

There's a bat. There's lots of stock footage of bats.

 There is no question of the amount of time and work that the staff of BS! put into getting Jungle Trap out there on DVD and VHS, but I have to be honest and say that this isn't essential SOV viewing. Just the fact that they wrote the score for this film from scratch is a testament to their love and dedication for underground and obscure cinema, but this truly is only for BS! or SOV completionists only. Those of us grave diggers that must have everything on our shelves. There had to be some damage on the master tape from 20+ years ago as well because there a couple of spots where the video quality plummets so low that I thought I was playing an FMV game on the Sega CD. Like Night Trap or Double Switch. Zits and zombies, just be cautious around this one-this is for seasoned professionals only.      

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Event Horizon (blu-ray)


Feeling enclosed and claustrophobic is a terrifying feeling, especially when the situation bears some "this is the end" moments where the weight of what is happening just crushes everything around you. One of the greatest isolated space horror flicks of all time has to be the original Alien movie, which has a crew on ship hurtling through space that has no idea what's about to happen or how alone they truly are. With the exception of the alien, of course. One of my absolute favorite space horror flicks has always been Event Horizon, and it's purely because of just how I get sucked into the feeling of how dark and engrossing this film plays out. It's one of those movies where I've started a ritual of every couple of year viewings-and some how I still grit my teeth at the same scenes, even though I know exactly what's coming. It makes you sit down and wonder just how big and expansive space really is, because no one really knows what is out there. It could be anything. It could be nothing. But the very idea that a man has designed a gravity drive to bend time and space to almost literally travel anywhere in the universe is already daunting enough, but once you add in the fact that the ship Event Horizon itself has actually been "beyond the stars" to some sort of hell dimension is just flooring in it's own right. The simplest way to describe this film is probably just to say it's Hellraiser in space, but that's not really the case. This film is darker than that. It shows you things. Welcome aboard.

That would have been interesting if we had established a permanent colony on the moon in 2015.

Mars has women. Let's go to mars.

The vastness of space is both fascinating and frightening.  

Weir, that's probably not a good idea. Step back into your cryo-pod.

A gravity drive sounds interesting. Damn, I love fictional space travel.

EA had to be big fans of this film to develop the Dead Space franchise. They had to.

   Are you sure you want to put your arm in the gravity drive, Justin?

Dr. Weir is either insane or a genius because no one could ever create an artificial black hole.

 Trust me. You don't want to see what's in that footage.

 Fight it, Captain Miller. It's not real. It's not fucking real.

 My favorite and most unique thing about Event Horizon is that the crew isn't up against anything physical like aliens of foreign life forms or anything like that-it's the ship itself. What it brought back from the other place it was before. The brilliantly beautiful thing about the idea of this is is that no one can really destroy it. It never ends. The fact that there never was a sequel to this leaves me ecstatic in terms of exploring the ideas of this film and coming to your own conclusions about where the ship went and what happens after the ending credits. Brain blowing stuff here. If any of you zits and zombies are fans of Hellraiser or Alien or anything like that and have never seen Even Horizon, for the love of God find it and watch it. Turn the lights off and the volume up. This one will make you look over your shoulder. Seriously. It happened to me.

Monday, August 28, 2017

One Hour Photo


My initial experience with One Hour Photo was one of the last times my parents rented a film from Hollywood Video before it closed down. I don't really know what they were expecting with this film since it stars Robin Williams as a very lonely, broken and weak man who succumbs to his personal demons-they couldn't have been anticipating some sort of comedy. I don't really know. All I can remember is that my whole family and I watched this in the basement (it was finished by hand by my father and a few other people after we moved in) being completely blown away as this film progressed into a crescendo of psychotic insanity that I truly don't think anyone could have pulled off better than Williams did here. The scene where the cops start investigating Sy's apartment and stumble into the room where he has an entire wall dedicated to photos of the Yorkin family is just downright disturbing and leaves the audience with a very horribly uneasy feeling that anyone could do that sort of thing to them or their families in real life. Hell, people stalk each other on Facebook so I guess we all do that same thing digitally, but there's something real and wrong about actually having physical photos posted on your wall about a person you have an obsession with that just takes this emptiness and loneliness to a whole other level.

 Mugshots are always the worst.

Dead or Alive is a great fighting game. Good choice, kid.

Cutting film. The old school way.

That's hilarious-Sy invented the selfie before stupid smartphones ever existed.

  Yeah... now you have a picture of Sy the photo guy. And he has a whole set of you.

Jake's perception level is through the roof.

White knight during the day-lonely, broken stalker at night.

Jesus, the psychology behind Sy's logic of people taking photos is mesmerizing and it gave me goosebumps.

Your getting to close, man. Don't stick your hand in boiling water-you're going to scold yourself.

"The things we fear the most have already happened to us." So profound, bro. So profound.

Bill knows. He knows about the extra photos, Sy. You're fired. Get out.

It's not to often that I say any one film is a masterpiece, but I truly feel One Hour Photo is a masterwork of psychology that shows just how alone and isolated a human being can be if all of the elements in their lives comes together as such. Robin Williams' portrayal of Sy in this film really is one of his best and darkest performances, and I'm sure he had a rough time being this way as he was most likely funny and light-hearted in real life. Unfortunately, zits and zombies-you never really hear to many people mention this one when any of his movies are brought up, and it's a shame. It really is one of my personal favorites in his catalogue, and if you haven't seen One Hour Photo and have any interest at all in psychology, just set some time aside and watch it. I just remembered I have this roll of film I need developed from 1999... eh, I guess I'll just ask Yoshi to do it. He won't plaster pictures of me all over his living room wall... would he?