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.

You're 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?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kill Cruise


I can sum up my feelings for Kill Cruise with one scene that takes place within the last twenty minutes or so of this film. Randomly, in the middle of Su having a mental breakdown of some kind, the dog that has been on the boat with them for however long by this point takes a shit by the edge of the boat, some out of place romantic-overly dramatic music starts playing and the skipper gets a bucket and starts washing the dogs crap into the ocean and says "next time, you shit overboard, ya' hear?" That scene alone puts everything into perspective with how Kill Cruise plays out. I didn't completely hate this early film starring Elizabeth Hurley, but I just know if I was her I would be fucking embarrassed. It ended up being one of those gutter trash films that has a severe identity crisis where it doesn't know if it's trying to be a mystery, a documentary, a commentary, a character study or a psychological thriller. And to be fair, I still don't know which one of those this is supposed to be either. I would stretch really far to say that this could be The Thing on a boat with two women and a man, but again-I think that's just going to far. I just didn't like anything about this film-the cinematography is hideous, the three main characters are just clumsy and don't fit together very well and the plot just felt flimsy and amateurish. 

That's not a real ship. That's one of those hobbyist ships that people build inside of wine bottles.

I'm terrified of deep water, but this flood scene is hilarious.

These mustache-ride captains act like they've never seen a woman before. Play some more checkers you filthy animals.

Dear sweet Moses the voice dubbing in this film is amazing.

It's going to rain?! It just fucking rained!!

(Holding my head in shame) Elizabeth Hurley...what the hell...

  So even old fat women want to see Liz Hurley do a strip tease?! What the fuck is happening in the movie?

I'm sorry. The most intelligent person on the boat-no, the whole damn movie-is the dog. That's right. The dog.

Not only does the majority of Kill Cruise just bore and confuse the audience, it's also loaded with way more 'what the fuck' moments than I was ready for. Towards the beginning when you first see Su and Lou, Lou slaps Su in the face for some reason that I still don't care about, and then they go into a seaside bar and sing some song about love or something, and everyone starts chanting "take it off" including sailors, the bartender, old fat ladies and whatever other degenerates were there at the time. Su takes a seat while Lou tries to be sexy and pleases everyone, complete with a quick cut of some sailor biting his lip in excitement and the bartender throwing his hands up in the air in fulfilled joy status. That was a lot to get out. Zits and zombies, I paid two dollars for this on dvd last week when my wife and I went down to Champaign for a couple of days, and I was expecting a horribly good time. What I paid for was a film that wants to jump off the plank into the deepest parts of the Atlantic while still trying to entertain you. It half-assed it's goal. Now I just need some insulin.       

Monday, August 21, 2017

Beyond The Gates


Back in the 80's and 90's there were some really interesting innovations for table top games by way of glorious VHS tapes. There existed such board games that I remember as Atmosfear, Nightmare and D&D DragonSrikte which at the time were more interactive than your average board games because, well, they had GM's (or game masters) that told specific players certain tasks or quests to do in said games as you watched them on your VCR. That's mainly what Beyond The Gates' concept relies on, but there's much more of a backstory to it than just a bunch people playing this VHS game because they can. The Hardesty brothers reunite after their father disappears some years later, and they have to figure out what happened to him. Gordie is the hard-edged "chip on my shoulder" brother that just wants to close down his father's video rental store because he just doesn't give a shit, and his brother is of course the opposite "no direction nomad" type where he wants to keep it open because it was their dad's store and there's a lot of memories and nostalgia there. Gordie's girlfriend Margot also gets pushed in the mix as she sort of mediates between the two and keeps them both level with one another as they try to figure out what's going on. Of course, they find dad's key to his office in the video store-and they find a VHS board game called Beyond The Gates.

You have to be proud at the grand opening.

Inner workings of the almighty VCR. Classic.

Who cares. Lighten up, man.

I would soil myself If I walked into a video rental store like this.

Gordie needs to learn how to have some fucking fun. Jesus Christ.

Hank is a dirt bag. I want to punch Hank in the mouth.

Why would anyone have a gun? For protection maybe??
  
That's on helluva cheesy VHS for a board game. And Barbara Crampton is still hot.

 I can't lie-that was really weird and awkward.

 Good morning really creepy antique store owner. Go out and get some sun.

Sweet-I was hoping that voodoo doll would be for Hank.

 After all of these years with seemingly endless stacks of horror films out there, I'm still blown away that no one has ever done one that revolves around VCR board games. But here it is. Beyond The Gates stepped way over the level of integrity I thought it was going to go, and this has to be one of my favorites that I watched this year. The scenes where Gordie, John and Margot are all on the couch watching the VHS and playing the game are very engrossing and kind of strange because Barbara Crampton as the GM for the game was just damn perfect. After giving any of the three of the main characters specific instructions on what to do next, the way her eyes just burn through the screen at them and you during those scenes actually made me not want to look at the screen. The shit was creepy an unnerving, and I kind of wanted to put this film down for a minute, but I couldn't. Loved it. Zits and zombies-go on Netflix and give this a whirl. You can only pray that it's just a game.    

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ninja III: The Domination (VHS)


The whole first fifteen minutes of Ninja III: The Domination has to be one of the most insane, over the top action openings in a ninja film ever produced. It just never seems to end, and when it finally does (even after getting blasted by about fifty cops all with 12 gauges) the black ninja still manages to use smoke to disappear and stay alive. It's this ridiculously long and drawn out, broad daylight brawl that takes place on a golf course with tons of cops, security guards and a few random golfers here and there-they all try to do something to kill the damn black ninja, but not a single one of them can accomplish this singular goal. Christie, who is an electrical worker and an aerobics instructor, is working on a telephone pole as this shit is taking place, and of course the black ninja finds her and gives her the magical samurai sword before he finally eats some dirt. She takes it back to her place, plays a few rounds on some arcade cab called "Bouncer" and heads off to her aerobics class that she is going to instruct. She is a busy woman. It's after this point that Christie starts becoming possessed by this fairy dust-sprinkled sword, and all sorts of hilarious shenanigans ensue. Including Christie seducing her cop boyfriend by pouring a can of V8 down her neck "seductively". Yeah. When I think fiery arousal with a blazing hot woman, I think tomato juice.

The last thing anyone should wear while spelunking is a white business suit.

Why are there ancient Japanese samurai weapons inside of a boulder, inside of a cave that has a spot light gleaming out of it?!

Outlaw Golf on the original Xbox had to be inspired by something.

  How the fuck does a metal golf club bend around a guys arm with no injury? How??

 Cutest female electrical worker ever.

Damn I love 80's chicks.

 Now I have another movie to watch that has a ton of random scenes with chicks doing aerobics in spandex and leg warmers.

C'mon bro-you couldn't even open the car door. (smack my head) My God.

Yeah. Pour some V8 down your neck. That's fucking sexy.

 After receiving a full body scan from her arcade cabinet and the samurai sword, Christie will go on a killing spree. Watch.

I forgot to mention that there is a drinking game that can be played with Ninja III: The Domination. When Christie is with her boyfriend through out the film, his cop buddies are usually around and when she sees one of them, she has a flashback of that particular cop blasting the hell out of the black ninja at the beginning during the golf course brawl. Every single time this happens, you see that same exact re-used shots of the black ninja falling on the ground after being shot. Every time. If you can dupe your friends into watching this with you, you'll all be blitzed by the time this movie is over. It happens way to many times, and I believe that it was used for padding of some kind. I really do. Zits and zombies, Ninja III: The Domination is outrageous, silly, ridiculous and outlandishly absurd. There is no good reason for this to have even made it to blu-ray a while back, but I'm glad it did. Highly entertaining stuff. Oh, yeah-the soundtrack features some of the absolute worst 80's music I've ever heard. Downright ear bleeding quality that I don't even think fans of 80's music would even want to move to. The Revenge of Shinobi is still in my genesis. Time for some unlimited shurikens.   

Monday, August 7, 2017

Parents


I do not own a copy of this on the newly printed Vestron blu-ray release, but the dvd I have is pretty sufficient to say the least. It's in a multi-pack from Lionsgate, so there are no special features or anything, but watching Parents just straight away is a weird yet satisfying treat on it's own. This is a very different type of film for Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt, and yet they were cast perfectly in my opinion with their quirky acting and straight-laced surface level yuppie prose they presented here. Right from the opening you get a sense that there just isn't something quite right with these two as Michael's parents, and the reveal later on with what he finally learns about his parents is pretty morbid indeed. The setting and time this takes place in isn't exactly set in stone, but I would have to guess somewhere between the 50's and 60's with how the dynamics between these two characters are represented here, along with how everyone is dressed and the older way of how men and women are placed in society. The women are at home and the men work. You get the idea. It's basically another film that states that everyone has some sort of secret that they would rather not have anyone know of, and I guess that's just part of human nature. 

   Americana. American perfection. The American dream.

I wish men were still men and women were still women.

Everything is dark. That's what I'm so worried about.

That might be a good idea. I should fill my water bed with cranberry juice.

Is that little girl behind Michael in class Felissa Rose?

 So were they having sex or... what the hell were they doing?!

The school psychologist is a kook-I love her!

Everyone watches everyone. The human species is nothing but a mass of perverted voyeurs.

Michael is hiding in the pantry and gets choked by the sausage on the shelf. Oooookkkk...

Night terrors are the best.

 Zits and zombies, I didn't think about this before, but Parents is actually pretty similar to the film Society with Billy Warlock. The child doesn't feel like they fit in, the parents/family has a hidden agenda they don't to be found out about, there's a pretty heavy reveal (albeit the pacing is different) and the child wins. And both films are very fulfilling to watch. I love this stuff. I won't spoil what happens in the final act, but I will say that aside from a few just really bizarre and out of context moments in Parents, this is a hidden gem in the horror world. I've pretty much never heard anyone talk about it, and it's a shame. Now that it's on blu-ray, I hope more of you gore geeks check it out because the tension, pace, characters and dialogue all work in favor of making this movie happen, and it's a strange offering to partake in, but it's damn worth it. Check it out. Oh, and if you're girlfriend just barges into your house and hides in the deep freeze, there are consequences. Just saying.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Devil's Candy


I absolutely love it when I have the chance to dive into something that I know zilch about. The only things I kept seeing and hearing about pertaining to The Devil's Candy was that it's probably the best indie horror flick of the last couple of years, and usually that gets me to wane towards spending the time to watching it and taking some notes. I had the very distinct pleasure last night before going to bed, and my God everyone was right for once. I had no idea that there was going to be a metal soundtrack, I had no idea that the acting was going to be indie film perfection, and I surely didn't have any inkling that the cinematography would be so artsy and spot-on. There pretty much is nothing negative to say about The Devil's Candy except maybe that kind of obvious CGI fire in the Hellman's house in the final act of the film. That is a ridiculously small nit-pick in comparison to what type of a quality standard this film holds (especially for the horror genre) as I hadn't felt that engrossed or absorbed into a story the way I was with this with anything in quite a long time. That's saying something. Nothing is out of place here and this truly is horror gold, and any zit or zombie has to make the time to watch this. No excuses. None. 

  Hell yeah, bro! Can't sleep, rip some riffs on that axe!

Such dark symbolism. An inverted crucifix.

 Fucking Am I Evil! This movie already kicks total ass and it's only been five minutes!

This real estate agent is just... strange.

Nah... it's not creepy at all that this fat dude in a red jogging suit is sulking his way into a hotel at 2am.

My daughter is going to wear Slayer shirts too. It's going to be great. 

Pantera! Hell yeah, this soundtrack just keeps getting better!

  Man, I need a huge jar full of random candy. That would be awesome.

Art and murder.

Motherfucker, get out of his daughter's bed or I'll kill you myself!

Seriously, if you have a hankering for something a little sweeter in the horror world, The Devil's Candy will fill that cavity. There truly isn't anything negative to say about this film except for what I've already stated above, so get some beer and pizza ready because this is one that horror fans shouldn't miss under any circumstances. The metal soundtrack, the cinematography, the story, the characters... everything presents itself as the perfect recipe for some sort of sugary confection, and that's quite alright with me. Get out your red flying V's, because you'll need to learn to solo for this one.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Baskin


I've watched plenty of foreign horror films from different countries including Italy, Germany, Norway, Canada, Japan... but never from Turkey. A Turkish horror film is something that I never thought I would ever encounter, let alone find it on Netflix of all places. Baskin is a film that I had heard a little bit about here and there when it was first released, but I never really had any interest in it. The cover and poster art are pretty cool looking, but a great cover makes a great movie not. I personally don't know how I feel about Baskin overall mainly because I just don't really know what the point of it all was. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to dig for a deeper meaning behind this film, but it's basically five cops get called as back up to some creepy looking house/building, they run into a lot of fucked up people doing fucked up things in each room, and then they end up getting slowly tortured and brutalized by some dude that has an overgrown fetus-head that seemed like it never developed after he left his mother's womb. Or Satan's. Or whomever. The point is that I don't really know if Baskin truly has any, and that makes me a little disappointed because there are a lot of great things packed in here, especially the cinematography, score and the overbearingly dark mood and atmosphere that actually makes this an interesting horror experience for veterans and newbs alike.

Skeletor? Is that you?

T.V. static is always creepy.

A bucket of entrails-not exactly what I had in mind for a snack, but it will do.

Soccer-who cares.

Because bestiality is a normal part of life. Apparently in Turkey.

Man, Turkish music blows.

Plague of frogs. Something isn't right here.

Arda still has to be dreaming. I don't get it.

Now it's turning into Resident Evil.

    Fatty always pukes first.

I wouldn't take that guy anywhere. He would be shot before he goes with me anywhere.

Let me guess. It's some cult that has to do with frogs, fucking and black magic.

One of the taglines for Baskin is "Five cops go to hell". And that's really all you need to know going into this flick. Zits and zombies, I still have no idea if this can be recommended or not. All I can say is that if you're in the trenches looking for something with a really dark and uneasy atmosphere, a fantastic score, cinematography that holds angles and shots you don't normally see in film that often and top notch make-up and practical effects, Baskin will satiate that foreign horror sweet tooth that's been bothering you for awhile with that nagging cavity. If your looking for something deeper with a decent story and characters to care about, you'll have to look elsewhere. It's about as thin as those banners that football teams run through at the beginning of a game. Man, what am I doing-I don't even like sports. Eh, whatever.