Monday, December 31, 2012

howl bennett.

Another day, another part of my birthday boxset...

Monsterwolf (2010).

Dir: Todor Chapkanov.
Cast: Leonor Varela, Robert Picardo, Marc Macaulay, Steve Reevis, Jason London, Jon Eyez, Griff Furst, Ricky Wayne, Nicole Barré, Amber Bartlett, Grant James, Dominick LaBanca, Chris J. Fanguy, Antonino Paone and Ritchie Montgomery.

"Jury duty is a civic duty".

Evil multinational oil company Badman Co. are busy digging huge random holes somewhere in the American backwoods - as oil companies do - when, after attempting to move an abandoned outside toilet with about 40 sticks of dynamite uncover what can only be described as a Stargate for dwarfs with a spooky blue flame hovering above it.

Ignoring the well known fact that such a phenomena could indicate the presence of natural gas and potentially blow everyone to fuck our fearless band of roughnecks continue blowing stuff up causing the flame to snuff it and a huge CGI wolf to appear in it's place and eat all the oil workers.


"Teeth in mah mooth!"

Meanwhile back in town the nasty, balding executive in charge of Badman Oil Ned Stark (Star Trek: Voyager and Gremlins 2's Picardo) is busy going door-to-door in an effort to convince the local townsfolk to sell him their houses so that he can dig them up too.

Whilst a few citizens are concerned most our won over by Stark's secret weapon. No, not a gold and red armoured suit but his newly acquired lawyer Maria (Varela from Blade 2 and Dallas sporting some very nice tattoos), a local gal turned big city hotshot.

You see in an act of cunning the likes of which the world hasn't seen since Blackadder's Baldrick breathed his last, Stark reckons that the locals are more likely to listen to 'one of their own' - and the sheriffs daughter to boot - when it comes to his business proposition.

Unfortunately for him, Maria begins to get more and more disillusioned with her boss' evil ways (you know the type of stuff, shouting at the local shopkeepers, calling everyone 'hicks', wearing brown shoes with a black suit etc.) and ever closer to her jury duty dodging ex-boyfriend Yale Locke (Jason London), especially when anybody who actually sells out to Stark is almost immediately eaten by a big hairy wild dog.

Or could it be a supernatural type monster wolf?

Or even a, gulp, Monsterwolf (one word)?

Well the police, led by the roguishly moustached Sheriff Lennie Bennett (Feast 2's Macaulay) reckon it has to be a wild animal of some kind but after it attempts to eat Maria, gets squashed by a truck and then scoffs the drunken driver locked in a prison cell the authorities aren't too sure, leading our heroes (alongside comedy sidekick Cannock Chase played by actor/director Furst) to visit the local native American cum cliche ridden mystic Chief Turner (full time rent an ethnic Reevis).

Guns don't kill people, skin tight nipple revealing vest tops do. Possibly.

With Turner waxing lyrical about loopy lupine legends, native American history and his plans to defiantly oppose Stark, our oil intoxicated bad man has only one course of action left him.

Yup you guessed it, he hires a band of professional mercenaries led by part-time Idris Elba alike and full time sex beast Coughlin (Eyez) to kill everyone who opposes Stark's plans.

Starting with Chief Turner.

And the difference between this and a fox?....about 6 pints.

As the mean arsed mercenaries draw ever closer, Turner explains to our heroes (via a fantastic animated flashback sequence worthy of Yo Gabba Gabba) that killing the wolf requires a tribal sacrifice.

A life for a life if you will.

And with Maria being the only other member of the tribe left (turns out she's adopted, I mean what are the chances?) her chances of making it thru' to the final reel alive is beginning to look about as slim as the movies characterizations.

Will eco-bollocks flower power save the day?

Will the mercenaries shoot everyone before returning to Manilla for some undisclosed reason?

Will Maria and Locke get to enjoy an 'R' rated sex scene where they at least get to remove their trousers?

Will Stark win the hearts and minds of the locals and eventually revenge the sacking of Winterfell?

And will Maria survive her fight to the death with our furry fanged fiend?

Or will the big bad wolf eat her whole?

I'm just asking because they usually spit that bit out.

From jobbing music vid' guy to straight to DVD hack for hire (in the nicest way of course) Todor Chapkanov - he who gave us Thor: Hammer of the Gods, Miami Magma and the snakes vs. cowboy classic Copperhead - comes probably the best Robert Picardo starring monster Wolf vs. oil exec' movies ever made.

True the plot's so old it's positively creaking and the movies cliché count goes so far off the scale it begins to bleep like the Chernobyl reactor about the 20 minute mark but it's at least watchable and, more importantly enjoyable too.

Unlike a lot of high budget fayre we've been subjected to recently.

Sinister anyone?

The pace is bright and breezy, the main characters likeable, the black-hatted villain hissable and while some of the CGI appears to have been rendered on an Amiga this only adds to the movies retro charm.

That and it's abject silliness.

Plus you name another movie where a cartoon wolf mysteriously (and without reason) turns into a giant lightning bolt in order to blow up the bad guys helicopter whilst a former Star Trek regular (and by all accounts the directors niece if her acting is anything to go by) look on in terror.

Buy it now, or at least tune into the Horror Channel until it turns up.

I mean they only have about 6 movies so it wont be too long a wait.


Friday, December 21, 2012

ice to see you, to see!

Ah, birthday time at Unwell towers, which is always an excuse to get folk to buy you even more quality movies classics to fill up what little shelf space is left.

Luckily the say that good things come in threes.

So let's start off with...

Snow Beast (2011).
Dir: Brian Brough.
Cast: John Schneider, Jason London (you'll be seeing lots of him over the next few months), Danielle Chuchran, Paul D. Hunt and Kari Hawker.

"Back to bed everyone!"

Sexy wildlife researcher cum single dad Jim Harwood (Dukes of Hazzard star and Superman's dad Schneider) is looking forward to his yearly trip to Canada (yes you can son) where he and his erstwhile colleges spend a month studying the rather splendid Canadian Lynx.

Unfortunately this year he has to drag his wayward teenage daughter, Emmy (fright haired Chuchran, best known for playing Thing 1 in The Cat In The Hat) along seeing as she's been suspended from school for dyeing a wee bit of her hair purple, fighting and tossing off the male teachers for pennies.

OK I lied about the last bit but she does look the type.

Anyway, arriving on site Jim is greeted not only by his fellow researchers Rob (Hunt from, um loads of other stuff directed by Brian Brough) and Marci (Hawker from all the same stuff as Hunt) but  the news that there are absolutely no Lynx's anywhere to be found in the whole area.

Which is fairly odd I'm guessing.

Being the geeky tech' guy, Rob reckons that they've all become camera shy whilst Marci just stands around wistfully sighing every time Jim wanders by.

Jim reckons the best thing to do is to wait till morning then go outside and maybe have a look for them.

Obviously no-one else has thought of this (you can see why Jim's in charge) so our merry band excitedly settle down to dinner whilst making a note of things they'll need the next day.

You know the type of stuff; shoes, a hat, trousers etc.

All except Emmy that is, who's too busy embarrassing Rob by flirting with him and wiggling her (admittedly peachy for a schoolie) arse at the camera.

It's gonna be a long four weeks.

Emmy: Arse of a strip queen, hair of a scarecrow and a mooth made for shite-in in. perfect.

Meanwhile back on the tourist packed slopes a number of vacationers have been mysteriously vanishing in a daze of CGI blood and growling. Ginger lard arsed forestry bloke Gibbons (Thomas looking like Harry Knowles slightly less attractive - and far less kickable - brother) reckons they've all just run away without telling anyone but the rugged newbie Ranger Barry (B-Movie monster battling beefcake London) is convinced that someone (or something - oh go on then someone in a badly dyed monkey suit) is making short work of a motley collection of snowboarders and overweight extras pretending to be ultra-fit skiers.

And he intends to crack the case with or without his partners help.

Which is lucky seeing as his sweet sodden sidekick is more interested in cases of cakes than anything else.

"Put it in me!"

Back at the research house and everyone is tucked up in bed, unfortunately our gang are being kept awake by a (fairly) monstrous growling noise coming from outside.

Wide awake and shivering with a mix of fright and mild apathy our merry band nervously approach the window to hopefully get a wee look at what could possibly be making such a noise outside.

Coming from Glasgow I automatically assumed that it was either a tramp or a drunken couple of copulating Neds.

"We're ootside ya windae rapin' yer bin!"

 As Jim (being the headline star) lowly moves his trembling hand toward the curtain the noises suddenly stop.

Without a moment’s hesitation and in the most nonchalant manner ever, he announces “Back to bed, everyone.”

And guess what?

Surprisingly everyone does as they're told.

Unfortunately the next morning a mixture of lack of sleep and Emmy's harsh face is causing tempers to fray, poor Rob is sweatingly concerned about his cameras and there's a wee bit of sexual tension in the air between Jim and Marci.

Just imagine Coronation Street with an added big monster.

And snow obviously.

Anyway it's in this very snow in fact that Rob, whilst fixing one of his aforementioned cameras manages to fall into a big hole containing huge piles of bloody bones and half a snowboarder much to Jim's amusement.

And if that wasn't enough Emmy (in between griping and frowning) has noticed a big white - well more a kinda yellowy piss stained - monkey jogging merrily along towards our studly duo.


"Are you looking at my bra?"

Escaping in the nick of time - and on a snowmobile - Jim and Rob are now pretty certain that the beast is the reason for the disappearance of all the Lynx in the area.

and it's probably why there are no actors of quality left in the local vicinity  either.

As our merry quintet decide what to do next - Jim, Elly and Rob want to go home, Marci wants to go out and make friends with the beast - Ranger Barry has decided to head out into the snow to see if he can uncover any evidence of foul play or big monsters.

but as all this inane chat and navel gazing continues the dreaded snow beast is still on the loose.

And hungry for fresh meat.

Unfortunately for certain members of the cast tho' he'll settle for cardboard.

Not to be confused with the 1977 made for teevee Yvette Mimieux starrer Snowbeast, this 2011 re-imaging is quite possibly the most terrifying Sasquatch based horror movie starring an ex-Duke of Hazzard that you will see this year.

With it's tiny cast, minimal settings and comfortably cliched script from Brittany (Scents and Sensibility, Christmas Angel) Wiscombe, Snow Beast throws convention to the wind by proudly displaying it's (frankly magnificent) monster suit at every given opportunity, whether it's stumbling menacingly around the trees like a drunk trying to find it's way home or camply springing out from behind bushes bearing it's tanned man tits whilst roaring, the creature is a sight to behold and probably the first time I've seen a director embrace the man in a monster suit in such a non-apologetic way since the John Guillermin remake of King Kong.

And the film is all the better for it, playing out like a classic monster B-movie of yesteryear, no nudity, no swearing and minimal blood-letting, just a very tall man in a fur coat and knock off Wampa mask.

What's not to love?

A piece of cinematic genius yesterday.

Honestly, every single second the Snow Beast is on the screen is another moment of happiness made possible by knowing that somewhere out in the big bad world there are still people intent on making little movies featuring faceless stuntmen dressed up as huge furry monsters.

And I for one salute them.

An essential purchase and most likely the best film called Snow Beast ever released.

Monday, December 10, 2012

monkeys that look like batman villains (part one).

comics greatest dilemmas.

songs of praise.

Just so you don't all forget the true meaning of Christmas, here is a selection of our favourite Christian albums for your viewing (and hopefully listening) pleasure.

Don't worry if you don't celebrate Christmas tho' because according to those pesky Mayans the world's about to end so this may be your last chance to embrace your maker before the end.

Who says this blog isn't helpful and caring?


Sunday, December 9, 2012

fall out boy.

Chernobyl Diaries (2012).
Dir: Bradley Parker.
Cast: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Nathan Phillips, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal and Dimitri Diatchenko.

Have you heard of extreme tourism?

Vacant faced American nice guy Chris (McCartney, the voice of Theodore in the Alvin and The Chipmunks movies - seriously I couldn't make this shit up), his terrifyingly breasted girlfriend Natalie (Chillerama's Dudley) and their plain (IE not blonde and with natural boobs) friend Amanda (Kelley from teevee's Covert Affairs) are enjoying a summer break travelling thru' Europe which, as all our American readers will know is a small country near London,  just outside Paris, France and ruled by Queen Angela Dorothea Merkel II of Englandshire.

That's the geography out of the way so let's crack on with the plot.

God save the Queen!

Quickly taking in the sights during the credit sequence (because we all know there are only about six things of interest to see in Europe) our merry band decide to stop for a few days in Kiev, (that'll be the Ukraine fact fans) in order to visit Chris's bad boy brother, Paul (Sh#t My Dad Says' Sadowski) before carrying on to Moscow where Chris intends to propose to Natalie atop the Eiffel Tower.

Aaaah how romantic.

Anyway, after a night on the town to show how wacky 'n' cool they all are Paul suggests that to make the holiday (sorry 'vacation') one to remember they should all sign up for one of local sexy man Yuri's (the fantastic Diatchenko) extreme tours.

Seeing as the Urban Exploring one has sold out and the Hitman tournament isn't for another year or so our cool dudes and dudettes decide to take a day trip to the abandoned town of Prypiat which sits in the scary - and oh so slightly radioactive - shadow of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Nothing like milking a real-life human tragedy for entertainment is there?

Prypiat: A local town for local people.

Also joining our funky foursome are the comedy accented Norwegian Zoe (Cold Prey I and II's bowl haired babe Bolsø Berdal) and her swoonsome (and unwashed) Australian beau' Michael (Phillips from Wolf Creek).

Things don't start too well tho' when not long after starting on their adventure, Yuri's van is refused entry into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone checkpoint due to what the guards explain are 'secret manoeuvres' but not even the might of the Russian army is going to stop Yuri showing his clients a good time.

Or even a giant mutant rubber fish or two.

Heading back toward town, our dishy driver takes a sneaky shortcut thru' the woods and within no time at all (look it only has an hour and twenty five minutes running time) the group arrive at the abandoned city which, if I'm honest looks spookily like Glasgow city centre on a Sunday morning.

They may be all shits and giggles now but just wait till the radioactive buggery starts...

After an afternoon visiting deserted schools, rundown fairgrounds and mouldy chip shops Yuri decides to take our merry band to see the highlight of the tour, the upper floor of an abandoned block of flats from where they can view the infamous Chernobyl arc reactor (number 4).

And get chased by a CGI bear.

Preparing to leave the site, Yuri is fairly upset to discover that the wires in his van appear to have been chewed on by someone mistaking them for liquorice  and that his radio wont work.

By that I mean his two-way radio not the one tuned to T.A.T.u. FM.

As night falls and the sweet sounds of those risque Russian rudegirls fades into the distance our backpacking band are sure that they can hear strange noises in the distance, Yuri is convinced that it's a pack of wild dogs joining in the chorus of All The Things She Said but the others aren't convinced.

It's more tuneful for one thing.

Being manly types (and possibly hoping the band themselves are outside) Yuri, armed with his trusty potato gun and Chris go out to investigate.

A load more Russian arse yesterday.

Shots and screams are heard causing Paul to man up and attempt a rescue, only to return seconds later with a whimpering simpering Chris.

It appears that the poor boy has had his leg bitten by an unknown assailant.

Or one of the aforementioned dogs.

The canine type not Lena Katina or Yulia Volkova obviously.

The next morning in an attempt to get away from Chris' near constant moaning Paul, Michael and Amanda decide to go looking for Yuri, following  a handy trail of blood to a creepy underground shopping centre where they soon come across what remains of their jolly driver.

And with Yuri gone the group have lost their only means of escape.

Plus the movie has lost it's only believable and likeable character.

Frankly they're fucked.

Beware! Yuri's van is NOT full of sweets.

Returning quickly to the van, our tiresome trio plang to hike to the nearest checkpoint for help.

Natalie not content with letting her boyfriend be the groups whiny bitch starts crying and pleading them to take Chris along but one glimpse of her slapped arse of a face convinces the others to leave the pair behind.

Which is probably the best decision that anyone involved has ever made up to this point.

"Put it in me!"

Making it as far as the car park the group are lucky enough to find the spares they need for Yuri's van as well as a bullet riddled bus with a couple of torches in the glove box and a bloody uniform stuck to the seat.

Stealing the torches (but obviously leaving the uniform) our heroes decide to head back and repair the van only to end up getting chased by a couple of angry dogs meaning that the 10 minute walk back to Chris and Natalie ends up taking about 16 hours.

And that doesn't even include the precious minutes wasted when Michael falls into a small pond and is attacked by a fish.

Finally returning to the van, everyone is (fairly) shocked to find it smashed into tiny metal pieces and lying on it's roof (see? I told you it was like Glasgow), within the wreckage is Natalie's video camera which reveals that she and Chris were attacked by a group of ball headed, shaggy haired, eczema covered tramps.

But alas there's absolutely no footage of her jumping around with her tits out.

C'mon, I mean what kind of woman is this?

Natalie farted and it smelled of shame. And eggs.

Paul, coming over all heroic (tho' not over Michael’s scraggy beard unfortunately) decides to mount a rescue party but only succeed in waking up even more tramps convincing our luckless band to beat a hasty retreat.

Poor Natalie meanwhile spends these tension packed minutes getting rescued then recaptured whilst everyone else points torches at various small children that appear and disappear without warning.

As this exciting* game of cat and mouse races toward it's conclusion our mud soaked pals are whittled away one by one, first Michael is dragged away by his skinny beard and then poor underwritten Zoe is tossed off a ladder, leaving
Paul and Amanda to navigate a series of ever more twisty passages finally emerging into the Chernobyl power plant itself.

Which is a wee bit unlucky seeing as the place is more radioactive than one of Godzilla's stools.

Godzilla's poo: Liable to burn your eyebrows off.

This becomes obvious when both Paul and Amanda’s faces start melting, which frankly is much better than their up to now dirt and tear smeared look.

As they make their way hurriedly to the exit the pair stumble upon Natalie's prone corpse propping open a door like a drunk teenager on a Saturday night binge (tho' to be fair her pants aren't round her ankles) and after stumbling past her and out out into the moonlight find themselves surrounded by a gaggle of Russian military personnel.

Are our terrified twosome safe?

Will their unsightly skin rashes ever clear up?

Or will we be subjected to the final indignity of a sub-par Twilight Zone ending where Amanda, having seen too much is locked up in a room full of big faced mutants forever?

Go on, guess.

Imagine if you will a world where a group of European film makers decided to make a horror movie based around the 9/11 attacks, where a group of tourists visiting Ground Zero are attacked and killed by a band of survivors who, after being trapped underground for ten years have mutated into cannibalistic mutants.

Or one where a group of inbred Holocaust survivors, living in the tunnels under Auschwitz since the end of the war, systematically stalk and slash a group of teens because the all have blond hair?**

Too sick? Too crass?

Not if you're Oren Peli, creator of the bizarrely popular Paranormal Activity series of movies, which after an admittedly enjoyable first movie descended into even more and more ludicrous inbred sub-plotting set in ever increasingly sized houses.

Proof if any is needed that you can flog an increasingly decomposing horse.

As for Chernobyl Diaries, surely someones taste monitor should have started bleeping the minute the title was mentioned.

Either that or you have the courage of your convictions name it "Attack of The Funny Foreign Cancer Sufferers" and be done with it.

Or did they just think no-one would remember the disaster?

OK Mr. Peli, I dare you take make a movie of this next.

Maybe, just maybe if it were any good it could be forgiven for such a lapse in taste but frankly it's not and it can't.

Cheap, lazy offensive film making at it's worst.

Tho' Peli, being a cutting edge and confrontational kinda guy must think that there are no boundaries when it comes to entertainment, so if any readers know  of any personal tragedies he or his family have been thru' feel free to get in touch and maybe we can make a movie about that.

He obviously wont mind.

*that's irony by the way.

** Actually scratch that one, it pretty much like a pitch Oren Peli may have already made.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

dogs that resemble film directors (part one).

Martin Scorsese.

never forget.

Belinda Maine.