Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
If you're a fan of 'the films' here in 'sunny' Glasgow (that's in Scotchland near London, England for our American readers) then you can't help but have felt spoiled over the last few months what with the almost unheard of big screen showings of Suspiria, Cut And Run, Macabre and House By The Cemetery.
Surely such a feast could never be beaten?
Tho' thinking about it I'm not sure you can actually beat a feast unless of course it was totally egg based.
Like a huge 19th century omelette (usually cooked with around six or eight beaten eggs unlike our modern day equivalents that are mostly made separately for each diner with only two or three eggs) or the like.
But if this weeks offering at the Glasgow Film Theatre was indeed egg themed it would undoubtedly have been hailed as the giant Sir Humpty of Dumpty of the horror calendar, as for one night only (or two if you fancied getting the train thru' to Edinburgh) we were treated to the spectacle of a rare cinematic outing for the George A. Romero classic Dawn of The Dead and his criminally under-rated Day of The Dead.
And if that wasn't enough to send you into a state of complete arousal then the news that Genre Gods (and stars of the respective movies) Lord Ken of Foree and Sir Joseph Pilato would be in attendance would have caused spikes in this fair cities pregnancy rates over the weekend that will be felt for years to come.
Being one of those geriatric folk who looked old enough to see Day on the, um, day of release way back in the heady days of '86 (then jumping into screen 2 to watch Lifeforce, my 'O' Level grades suffered but my film education was finally complete) only added to the general air of fanboy glee surrounding the proceedings and, coupled with the chance to finally see Dawn, a film I've loved since the tender age of 9, on the big screen (and in the form of a sparkling new print) was too good an opportunity to miss.
Plus the venue has a top notch bar and well comfy seats.
So armed with my battered but well loved Intervision VHS copy of Dawn of The Dead, a box of ciggies and a heartful of love I bravely ventured into the city centre.
And on a school night too.
But could the event live up to it's promise?
copy of Dawn...yes I am that old.
I think everyone present can safely say a rousing Weegie "Aye son!" to that.
Even the shuffling old tramp that wandered in halfway thru' Dawn looking for a warm bed for the night seemed to enjoy himself, thanks in part to our admirable host, film journo and smart suited tie wearer Calum Waddell, a man whose affable charm and self deprecating sense of humour gave the event a warm and fuzzy feeling akin to a group of friends sitting watching a movie together at home, his gentle ribbing, playful banter and ability to play the straight man (when needed) to his guests only adds to the all round friendly atmosphere sadly lacking from most big horror events.
And the fact that Glasgow crowds are the best in the world probably helped a little too.
And the pair didn't disappoint.
With topics ranging from horror cinema and politics via staying over in his pals New York 'lady lair', Foree had the audience entranced whilst Pilato with his quick fire comments on everything from his non appearance in From Dusk Till Dawn to the size of Ving Rhames cock gave the impression of a horror genre Keith Richards, giving the crowds exactly what they wanted and much more besides.
Well, I can dream can't I?
Another late night, another shite movie I'd so far managed to avoid.
Damn you ITV 4!
Dir: Brad Turner.
Cast: Sunny Mabrey, Robin Dunne, Robert Knepper, Amelia Cooke, Christopher Neame, J.P. Pitoc and Natasha Henstridge.
The story so far:
Genetically engineered space whore Eve (Henstridge), having spent the better part of two movies shagging various Hollywood 'B' listers to death has finally met her match in the shape of pervy alien infected ex-astronaut Patrick (some underwear model) and after a huge, CGI filled sex fight and is last seen being driven away to the local tip to be disposed of.
The journey is rudely interrupted however when the driver notices the huge gushes of blood spewing forth out the back of the van and stops to investigate.
This is a very bad move, seeing as soon as he turns around to peer thru' the dirty window a huge rubber thing bursts thru' the glass and embeds itself in his face.
His associate, Dr. Russell Abbott (Knepper, the poor man's Jeffrey Combs and star of teevee's Prison Break) decides to have a wee nosy in the back and is surprised to find poor Eve passed out on her back with a balloon under her jumper and a really fat, pubed haired ginger kid scowling in the corner.
From the look of the boy (and his distinct lack of charisma) it's safe to assume that this is the producers son, I mean you can almost hear him thinking "Get this shit over with and fetch me a BAGEL!" as he slouches there, nipples like bullets as he cups his man breasts tightly to keep warm.
I don't mean to be nasty but this jumped up little shit is the scariest thing in the film and undoubtedly the ugliest child I have ever seen, Christ, the kid would make a pedo vomit.
Eve suddenly sits bolt upright, giving a loud squeak as she fires a Tiny Tears doll out of her lady wumph and across the van floor before the fat kid tries to strangle her with a big rubber tongue.
Perhaps he mistook her smooth, creamy skin for cake?
Leaving Eve to her fate ( dating an ex Pop Idol bloke and appearing in Eli Stone) Abbott grabs the baby and legs it into the trees.
Flash forward a few weeks and the alien baby, now named Sara (after - and I kid you not - a Sara Lee cake packet) has matured into a precocious teen obsessed with eating gravy with her fingers and licking the windows clean.
Abbot meanwhile is back lecturing at his old university shouting at students, rambling about diseases and picking on sexy good guy Dean (ball faced Dunne from American Psycho 2) at any given opportunity.
Mild or bitter?
After some chat about science, funding and stuff, Dr. Russ and Dean become buddies and the doc cements their friendship by asking him round to his house to see some of his 'experiments'.
Oh, and the tweenie girl he keeps in the cellar.
Dean can hardly contain his excitement, unlike the constantly aroused testicle faced head of the faculty, Dr. Nicholas Turner (Hammer horror star and almost Doctor Who villain Neame) who wants Abbot off the campus by any means necessary.
And a shag if he's lucky.
In the Neame of love.
Meanwhile the fat kid from the movies beginning returns and my word has he let himself go.
Sweating like John Leslie in a playground and oozing puss from every orifice he gruffly informs Abbot that every one of the human/alien/hoover pipe hybrids have got a particularly virulent form of space asthma that causes them to melt into pools of cheese.
Which is unexpected to say the least.
Luckily being born with breasts, Sara is immune so should be able to have loads of sex without the urge to murder too many people or melt.
Look I know it doesn't make sense but I didn't write it.
Whilst all this is going on Sara has decided to cocoon herself to the bathroom ceiling, only coming out when she's turned into the (tastefully) nude, flat-faced, shelf arsed, rent-a-blonde Sunny Mabrey (she was in Snakes on A Plane and XXX2 so she can obviously spot a good script when she sees one) just in time for Turner to arrive at Russ Abbot's weird science madhouse looking for the good doctor and maybe a wee bit of shagging.
Never having seen a pot-bellied, pallid Englishman before Sara breathlessly begins to tear open Turner's shirt only to stop when she catches sight of his milky, quivering man boobs, which obviously annoys the by now rock hard old letch no end.
There's only one course of action left to pervy Nick, which is to throw romance to the wind and violently grab Sara, licking her face and thrusting his old man crotch against her like a mad dog whilst swearing.
Sara counters this suave move by spouting tentacles from her back and drilling them into Turners shiny head just in time for Russ and Dean to arrive and clean up the mess.
Despite (or because of) the blood, egg and semen stains everywhere, it's love at first sight for dishy Dean.
Sara, being a typical blonde however ignores his doe eyed stares and just carries on wandering around naked stopping occasionally to sigh wistfully at the camera.
Tentacles in mah mooth!
Whilst all this erect nipple action is going on, another of the puss filled hybrid things has discovered where Sara lives and, hoping to get lucky before his cock melts decides to pay her a visit.
You can tell that this is going to end in tears can't you?
After a cup of tea and a (suggestive) digestive the hybrid makes his move on Sara only to be knocked back (as opposed to cracked off) at the first hurdle. This annoys the wee melty fella so he attempts to strangle her.
You can't blame him tho' cos she is annoying as fuck if I'm honest.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that in the ensuing struggle Russ ends up impaled on the kitchen wall.
To alleviate all this sex soaked carnage we're introduced to Dean's comedy flatmate, the geeky rat faced Barry Hastings (Pitoc, star of the classic wind based Pontiac Solstice ad).
Being about as attractive as the majority of readers of this blog, Hastings has taken to trawling dating sites for sexual favours and is pleasantly surprised to find that a Tefal headed hottie by the name of Amelia (Cooke, best known for playing a 'fantasy model' in two episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful) wants to meet up for some hot loving.
Little does he realize that Amelia is, in fact, the leader of the hybrids and is only after poor Barry to get at his flatmates notes on cloning.
Forehead, breasts, nymphet.
Stopping on route to have sex with/murder a fat hairy bikerboy, Amelia turns up at Barry's flat, flashes her ample arse and kidnaps him.
And the reason for this?
Well it seems that if Amelia and Sara pool their resources (and hopefully shower together) they can use Deans notes to create a perfect mate that won't melt or pop off early during the sexy stuff.
With the FBI hot on their tails and Dean desperate to save his flatmate, will our interstellar whores manage complete their plan for world domination thru' extraterrestrial rutting?
Well I've no idea cos I went to bed.
How can you possibly follow the backstreet cinematic abortions that are Species 1 and 2? especially when most of the cast have jumped ship (alongside the majority of the audience)?
Well, I'm sorry Brad but I don't think the best idea was to round up a couple of your pals and hire a digital camera for the weekend then get pissed and attempt to make a sexy scifi movie out of a script written by a ten year old boy.
Much like she had to when she auditioned for the role.
Shockingly (and it takes a helluva lot to shock me) they made enough cash back (not hard seeing as it looked like it cost a tenner) to produce another sequel.
Species IV: The Awakening, I'm gunning for you.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As unusual as it may seem I've actually found myself watching some halfway decent films for a change these last few weeks.
Well, I say halfway decent...
Dir: John Erick Dowdle.
Cast: Stacy Chbosky, Ben Messmer, Samantha Robson, Ivar Brogger (I bet he has), Lou George and a load of other folk you'll probably never see again.
Do you remember the story of the infamous American serial killer the Water Street Butcher?
Well maybe this will jog your memory.
The Butcher (or Pat as his friends called him) terrorized Poughkeepsie (that's in New Yoik geography fans) for over a decade beginning in the early 90's (gah....remember them?) and was eventually traced to a rented home after what the FBI thought were a series of minor slip ups on his part.
Never the type of folk to do things by half (just asked David Kuresh), the bureau aided by several dozen SWAT teams, three helicopters and an ice cream van stormed the house only to find a cupboard full of VHS tapes, a girl in a gimp mask hidden in a table and the killer long gone.
On closer inspection the Poughkeepsie tapes (as they come to be known) are found to contain contain the entire history of the killers reign of terror.
But not unfortunately the long lost final episode of classic Doctor Who story The Tenth Planet.
Luckily for us, director Dowdle has been given unlimited access to these tapes and all the major players, from police to parents, involved in the case enabling him to create a chilling look at the career of America's most prolific killer.
Tapas and Calpol not supplied.
And my word what a career it was, from changing his M.O. at random intervals to throw the authorities off his trail to dressing up like 80's Brit teevee terror Mr. Nosybonk to frighten his victims and locking his victims in cupboards after forcing them to wear rubber Barbie masks and French maids outfits, Pat was always one step ahead of both the police, the FBI and most importantly those self appointed Czars of fashion.
Tho' to be honest he had to be good at something as to make up for his frankly appalling camera skills.
I mean, I've seen better shot drunken home-made porn (my childhood has left me very scarred).
Between random snatches (oooeeerr) of tape and numerous monosyllabic talking heads (don't get frightened, they all have bodies attached - and judging by the lack of emoting from some of the interviewee's - poles rammed right up their arses) we learn how Pat began his life of badness by abducting wee girls out of their gardens before graduating to kidnapping and torturing plainly dressed couples before finally setting himself up as a slayer of whores and sneakily framing a policeman (by using of a stolen tub of semen and a plan far too complicated to go into here) for his crimes.
Well, he would be a rotter if any of it were real.
Yup, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is another in that long line of horror mockumentaries that began with Cannibal Holocaust (and was reborn with The Blair Witch Project) and continues to this day with the release of Paranormal Activity, the movie was hyped to hell back in 2007 before dropping off the radar completely and disappearing quicker than a child on a Portuguese holiday.
just wait till the fucking starts.
It was only by chance that I came across the screener of this sitting on my shelf (just behind those classic Mexican mad mentalist movies Vacation of Terror 1 and 2) after it'd been quietly gathering dust now for about 18 months and intrigued partly by the original hype surrounding it but mainly to see why it had been forgotten about so completely, I decided to give it a go.
And surprisingly it's not half bad.
Dowdle , who later went on to direct the American Remake of [Rec], the so-so Quarantine
(nobodies perfect) does a top job of making the killer's VHS footage look uncomfortably real (maybe too real, I can't imagine the pixel-lated, scratchy nth generation copies transferring to a cinema screen) whilst the script references such real life events as the John Wayne Gacy trial and the September 11th attacks adding an air of 'could be' reality to the whole affair, hopefully freaking out most of middle America along the way and inducing severe migraines in the rest.
The result veers wildly between being a skin crawlingly uncomfortable experience and an arse numbingly boring one depending who's on screen at any given time, whilst there are a few convincing performances from the movies cast the majority of the actors involved appeared to be construct entirely from MDF board and if you concentrate enough you can actually see the woodworm slowly crawling up the actors faces.
for shite-in in if ever I saw some.
A special mention must go to the FBI man who, when talking about the time his missis accidentally viewed one of the tapes after mistaking it for that weeks Sunset Beach omnibus said this of her reaction:
"it was over a year before my wife let me touch her again".
Quality (if oh so slightly snigger inducing) stuff.
But for every crap commentary there's a scene that is so bizarre and unflinchingly vile that it demands your attention.
The grainy footage of an unfortunate woman hogtied like a plumb and sweaty turkey and the almost unwatchable (in a good way obviously) scene where pervy Pat invites the teenie, cookie selling Girl Scouts into his house are just two that come to mind.
In that instant you have no idea where Dowdle is planning on taking the film.
Or the viewer.
And there's precious little of that in modern cinema.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Shockingly I'd managed to avoid it up until then.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Dir: Alexander Witt
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Sandrine Holt, Thomas Kretschmann, Sophie Vavasseur, Razaaq Adoti, Jared Harris, and Mike Epps
Welcome to Raccoon City, a normal American suburban paradise indistinguishable from any other but for the large amounts of piss stained tramps wandering about trying to bite folk, the fact that it looks a wee bit like Canada and that the bird from The Fifth Element has taken to wandering about the streets wearing a tea-towel as a dress.
While the stinky hobo's are quickly taking over and the towns residents (who surprisingly aren't evil) are desperately trying to leave (or at the very least are desperate to appear in a better film), the local law enforcement (and part time jazz dance crew by the looks of them) are fighting a losing battle to maintain order (and interest) against an overwhelming number of undead gypsies and the directors almost obscene obsession with crash zooming in on ladies underwear as they climb stairs to avoid a nibbling.
If this wasn't enough to put a downer on everyones week, the evil multinational in charge of the town, the Umbrella corporation has decided to erect large gates at every exit and has taken to machine gunning anyone who gets too close.
Which is a mercy killing really.
The local (and I do mean local) news anchor Terri Morales (turnip nosed, topless star of Rapa Nui, Holt) is bravely (and sweatily) reporting from the front lines.
What she doesn't realize is that Umbrella are blocking the broadcast, effectively cutting Raccoon City off from the outside world.
You see, it seems that not only do they own the local secret labs, the pound shop and the bakery but also the news channels too.
Imagine an even more patently bastard Rupert Murdoch empire but with sexier suits and less grating accents.
Tho' you think she'd have noticed the big, fuck off 'U' on the side of the cameras before now.
Back in town at the local police station, a squad of Raccoon Cities finest are doing their best not to get bitten by skanky zombie whores whilst not spilling their coffees and filing traffic reports but to no avail.
Enter (oh go on, if I must) barely dressed, gun toting tottie Jill Valentine (Guillory from Love Actually), a no nonsense, kick arse cop kicked off the force for doing things her way.
Is there any cliche this film wont dig up and parade kicking and screaming in front of us like so gin soaked arthritic relative?
Valentine: She loves you not.
Taking time out from telling everyone to leave whilst walking around with her arse wiggling in the style of a ten year old cross-dressing Chinese boy, Jill shoots an undead hooker in the face and grabs a Snickers bar before heading off to meet up with her better looking (and far better dressed) cop buddy Carlos (the chip pan haired Fehr from, ahem, The Mummy Returns).
Which begs the question as to why she didn't just go and meet up with them in the first place rather than going to the station just to walk straight thru' and leave.
Oh yes, it was so we could all enjoy the long tracking shot of her backside.
Hiding out in a church alongside Terri the reporter and rent an ethnic sidekick Wells (Adoti from Doom - the guy must like his video games, well it's either that or he's got a huge drugs habit to fund) our heroic trio come across a fat vicar and his zombie sister before being attacked by some inconsequential CGI turd-monsters with big tongues.
Slobbering slimy mouth monsters and skimpily dressed heroines?
This is where the movie could get interesting.
But no, given the choice between some girl on monster tentacle sex or having the writers wife smash thru' the window on a motorbike the director goes for the latter.
Yup, it's genetically engineered skinny bird Alice (the monkey faced, Scrabble scoring Jovovich), fresh from lying strapped to a bed and flashing her smooth milky white thighs and a wee bit of bush (just enough to give the small boys watching something to do with their free hand) at the end of the first movie and ready to kick zombie bum.
Oh, and show her pants a lot.
Meanwhile back at the plot, the evil (yet sexily uniformed) Major Jeff Cain (Kretschmann, that nasty rapist from The Stendhal Syndrome) is busy arguing with the crippled (both physically - I mean he is ginger - and emotionally) genius behind Umbrella's slightly dodgy bio-weapons experiments Dr. Ashford (Harris, who should really know better). It seems that in the confusion they forgot to evacuate the good doctor's daughter before shutting down the city, mistakenly crashing the car she was in into a wall instead.
Wheeling off in a strop (well in a wheelchair but you know what I mean), Ashford (but alas not Simpson) secretly contacts our merry band of zombie hunters - who've now picked up a wise cracking pimp named LJ ('played' if that's the right word by a shameless Epps) and offers them a safe route out of the city.
But only if they rescue his daughter first....
Jumping the directors ship for the abominable sequel to the lackluster (nah, I'm being polite - that should read utterly shite) Resident Evil, baby faced movie mangler Paul W.S. Anderson handed over the reigns to Alexander Witt.
As you may remember, Anderson is the genius behind the anal rape of Forbidden Planet that was Event Horizon, the fist fuck of a film called Alien Vs. Predator as well as the not too bad (if I'm honest) Mortal Kombat and the Kurt Russell straight to video abortion Soldier.
Sorry if I'm bringing back bad memories here but people need reminding of these facts.
And scarily he's still allowed to make movies.
On a brighter note, this is (so far) Alexander Witt's only shot at directing a movie and I think you'll agree it takes a special kind of talent to miss the mark so widely.
The scary thing is how?
Witt's DP CV is certainly impressive (in a mainstream kinda way) and for the past 20 years he's been working alongside Sir Ridley of Scott which you'd think would be pretty good on the job training.
At the very least the film should look nice, not like it was shot thru' a gauze of watered down shite.
Complete and utter tosh, which has scarily given me a real urge to look out the third film.
Is there any hope for me?
A fairly mixed bunch in our list of Death's newest disciples this month, so let's get straight down to it with a murder that scared the shite out of me after the amount of death threats I've had regarding this blog recently, that of Filipino/Canadian film critic and advocate of Southeast Asian cinema Alexis Tioseco, no doubt killed by irate Wendy Richard/Rob Zombie fans.
Sticking with the Southeast, ex-model, former representative of the Chungcheongnam-do province at the 1993 Miss Korea beauty contest and star of The Foul King, Siren and Ghost in Love Jang Jin-young passed away as did the Hungarian voice of Sean Connery, Morgan Freeman and Darth Vader Tibor Kristóf.
In the world of animals, Jake Brockman of Echo & the Bunnymen and the world famous pelican Mr Percival both died as did Garron himself, the professional gruff Scotsman Iain Cuthbertson.
Sticking with (but not to) the TeeVee, Felix Bowness, best remembered for his portrayal of the jockey Fred Quilly in the BBC shitcom Hi-de-Hi! rode his last pony slowly overtaking Troy (writer of Z-Cars, Edge of Darkness and the greatest Brit flick ever The Italian Job) Kennedy Martin's teetering on the brink gold filled bus before crashing into Robert S. Baker, the producer of the Sir Roger of Moore classics The Saint and The Persuaders!
Finally long term readers of this blog will be sad to hear of the death of OAP horror afficionado and Italian splatter fan my Nan, whom you may remember from her comments on House by The Cemetery and her love of Cannibal Ferox.