Monday, January 28, 2013

dead end.

Another new film?

It's almost like claudia Winkleman has taken over.

Well not quite but almost.

Anyroadup, I wont give too much away seeing as it appears that only myself, the director and Alan Jones has seen it.

Enjoy.

John Dies At The End (2012).
Dir: Don Coscarelli.
Cast: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Fabianne Therese, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman, Daniel Roebuck, Jimmy Wong, Doug Jones and Sir Angus of Scrimm.

Last night you had a dream. Your mother was beating you... with a whip of knotted together dicks.



In a down market Chinese restaurant somewhere in the good old US of A, fresh-faced everyman slacker David Wong (Williamson) is awaiting the arrival of down at heel (yet bright of shirt) reporter Arnie Blondestone (the always watchable Giamatti), who's job it will be to document Dave's amazing supernatural experiences.

You see, Dave isn't your normal monster battling teen (well as normal as anyone in that line of work can be) thanks to an accidental dose of a bizarre living hallucinogenic known only as 'Soy Sauce'.

Rather than killing him (as is the usual effect) the drug has somehow turned our heroes mind into a conduit to other dimensions and alternate futures, all flowing back and forth and up and down in a constant stream of patented freakishness.

And surprisingly that not the strangest bit.

Or even the beginning of the story.

Dave - not John - who may, or may not die. At the end.

It all begins when Dave, arriving home late with a stray dog after seeing his best pal John Cheese's band playing a gig in a park, gets a frantic call from his buddy, pleading with him to come over to his apartment.

Upon his arrival, Dave finds John half naked and not a little bit delusional and being a good pal decides to take him to a hospital but not before pocketing a syringe full of black liquid, reasoning that the doctors will want to know what John's been taking.

What a nice guy.

Becoming slightly more lucid,  John refuses to go to the hospital, reckoning that all he needs to settle himself is a strong black coffee and a muffin so our oddball heroes head to the local diner when John explains all about the liquid and it's unique abilities.

David surprisingly takes this really calmly until, that is, he receives a phone call from a future version of John apologizing for everything that is going to happen.

The John sitting opposite him just shrugs and pours more coffee.

Dave farted. It was an eggy one.


Deciding it'd be best just to take John home and let him sleep things off, Dave bundles his bud into his car and proceeds to head home but as is always the way with these situations not everything goes according to plan.

Suddenly John falls unconscious and in the ensuing panic the syringe in Dave's pocket accidentally gets stuck into his leg, causing him to start hallucinating all kinds of strange shit.

If that wasn't enough to ruin the evening, an inter-dimensional character named Robert North (Abe Sapien himself, Jones) appears in the back of the car and sticks a giant slimy turd-worm onto Dave's chest.


Dave does what most of us would do in this situation and slams down the breaks before tearing the turd from his chest and tossing it out of the window.

By this time North has inexplicably disappeared, leaving Dave having to explain his bad driving and stompy behaviour to the hard bitten detective Appleton who just happened to witness everything on his way back from the chippy.

Appleton takes Dave and a still unconscious John to the police station, where he questions poor confused Dave about a mass murder that occurred after the gig.

 Dave is, to say the least a little bemused by these turn of events.

Especially when he realizes that he knows beforehand exactly what Appleton is going to say.

Which kinda cushions the blow when he informs our hero that John is dead.

Sir Tom Jones modelling your mum's new vibrator yesterday.



Luckily for Dave, being dead isn't enough to stop John from ringing his pal to explain the plot.

A plot that involves not only Dr. Albert Marconi, the worlds top teevee psychic (the legend that is Clancy Brown), a wooden handed girl and a dog named Bark Lee  but also a giant pan-dimensional Demigod named Korrok who's intent on destroying all realities.

Which is nice.

"Laugh now!"

 Cue ninety minutes of the most originally freaky film-making since the original Phantasm.

Or The Beast Master at the very least.

 

Based on the online web journal cum novel by 'David Wong' (AKA Jason Pargin), Don Coscarelli's fast and loose adaptation plays out like an ungodly mix of bad Stephen King adaptations with a smattering of Garth Ennis goodness mixed in with a smidgen of William Burroughs and beat generation grooviness for good measure, served with a side helping of self depreciating humour that isn't too scared (or precious) to invite the audiences to laugh along with the absurdities on screen.

And just when you think it can't get any better Angus Scrimm turns up.


"Aye Son!"




Perfectly cast and played straighter than Hugh Jackman, JDATE rewards those of us who've stuck by Coscarelli during the wilderness years and finally enables us to forgive him for the wee boy in Phantasm III.

And if that isn't praise enough I don't know what is.

If you ever care a tiny bit about cinema and don't want to be laughed at forever for being totally unfashionable you need to see this movie.

Twice.

At least.
 
Normal mooth shite-ing service will be resumed as soon as I've finished pushing my eyes back in after William Shatner's The Visitor.

I promise

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

fest your eyes on this....





An illustration featuring the kind of films you may find at Fright Fest.


Can it really be 12 months since FrightFest last darkened Glasgow's doors with it's heady mix of horror, action, fantasy and filth filled filmic fun?

Well obviously it must be seeing as tickets have gone on sale for their 2013 extravaganza.

And what a weekend it promises to be.

If only because Dale Fabrigar and Evette Wallin don't have a film on this year.

Or  Anthony DiBlas.

Thank fuck.

But what it does have this year are the UK premieres of the Eli Roth starring disaster movie Aftershock, Neil Jordan’s vampire vision, Byzantium starring the yumsome duo of Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan plus what's been quoted as '...his darkest horror yet..." (which probably means he shot it by candlelight in an attempt to look arty), yup Rob Zombie has taken a well earned break from raping our childhoods with his newest romp THE LORDS OF SALEM.

A still featuring Mrs. Zombies bottom.



Expect copious amounts of unnecessary sexual assaults, animal masks and close ups of his wife's arse.  

But you can't have everything.

Also unleashed on the UK for the first time is the mega-anthology alumni  The ABCs Of Death as well as the cult Chilean thriller Bring Me The Head Of The Machine Gun Woman, found-footage fun from Barry Levinson with The Bay, US trick or treat documentary American Dream and the Scottish set Sawney: Flesh of Man, which should be interesting seeing as my own Sawney Bean script has been doing the rounds like an aged prostitute to no avail for the last ten years.

Bitter?

Me?

A photo that may - or may not - feature The Machine Gun Woman.



If that wasn't enough there's school based zombie fun with Detention Of The Dead and for all us uber geeks there's a Saturday morning outing for the newly restored version of Mario Bava’s classic horror anthology Black Sabbath.

Tissues not supplied.

The other Black Sabbath, tho' they did take their name from the film so I guess that's OK.

Finally, as an extra added treat, the lovely FrightFest fella's have grabbed the entire first season of hit Norwegian TV treat, Hellfjord for our viewing pleasure.



See seven of Norway’s finest directors (yes, there are that many!) team up with writer/producer Tommy (Dod Sno) Wirkola’s Nordic nuthutch that mixes the good bits of Twin Peaks with a snatch of Hot Fuzz and added horse killings in the series that Norwegian critics described as "Politimannen Salmander mister jobben i Oslo og må tilbringe oppsigelsestiden i Hellfjord, et høl av et sted langt nord i landet. Med en gang han ankommer Hellfjord begynner det å skje merkelige ting, og det tilsynelatende rolige stedet viser seg å skjule mørke hemmeligheter".

And if that doesn't get you excited I don't know what will.

Except my mum obviously.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Marigolds all in a row.


I don't often review the modern cinema and it's even rarer when it's a good film but sometimes you have to make an exception.

I wont give too much away - this is more of a big filthy plug if I'm honest - so read on, wipe yourself down then go see it.

Normal service will be resumed on Thursday when the Fright Fest line up is announced or when I get round to watching William Shatner's Groom Lake.

Whichever comes first.

And speaking of coming....

American Mary (2012).
Dir: Jen and Sylvia Soska.
Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, David Lovgre, Paula Lindberg, Clay St. Thomas, John Emmet Tracy, Twan Holiday and
Paul Anthony.

"You were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong dick in your mouth".



Student life eh? it never changes. Do you remember those dark nights out clipping 'up west' just to earn a few bob for a packet of Monster Munch and a crab apple?

No?

Just me then.

Tho' it looks like poor Mary Mason (a perfectly cast Isabelle channelling a young Anjelica Huston) might be heading that way.

You see she's an incredibly talented yet incredibly poor medical student struggling to pay her bills, juggling her course work and pet bird (not literally obviously) whilst trying not to fall asleep in the frankly foul mouthed Dr. Grant's (Lovgren sporting a scary beard) class.

Everything goes tits up tho' when in one fell swoop Grant shouts at her for (gasp) having her phone in class and the bank do something obscure yet patently bastardish to her account leaving Mary no choice but to apply for work at a local strip cum massage joint own by enigmatic Billy Barker (professional sexy man Cupo).

Admit it, you would. Twice. Three times if he offered a teabagging first.


But not even something as simple as slowly stripping to her undies goes to plan as no sooner is our heroine showing off her backrubbing skills than a motely group of bad lads burst in to inform Billy (who's good bad but not evil) that one of their pals has had a severe kicking and may die without medical help.

If only they could find someone with medical training willing to perform some ad hoc, no questions asked surgery for a large wad of cash.


Mary tests her patented mooth-shite-in device on a willing victim.


It's not long tho' before word of Mary’s medical miracle has spread and soon one of the club’s dancers, the Betty Boop obsessed Beatress (Risk running the gauntlet between sexy and sinister in a performance that will haunt your sweatiest dreams for at least a month) approaches her offering even more cash for some extreme body-modification work for a friend.

Doin' the do!



Success follows success and soon Mary is attracting the attention of high-paying body modification clientele from across the globe but her world is soon brought crumbling down after a terrible incident that leaves her life changed for ever.

Psychologically scarred and more intense than ever Bloody Mary, as her fans have come to know her, responds to the situation the only way she knows how.

Expect some violence.

Possibly.

Possibly the greatest film artwork I have ever seen.




To paraphrase Stephen King "I have seen the future of horror and it's twin shaped!"

One of the most entertaining horror films I've seen in an age, American Mary is quite possibly one of the most sickly sweet experiences you'll have in the cinema for a long time, take note Messrs Derrickson, Parker et al, this is how to make a movie.

From the fruitily freakish minds of the frankly fantastic Soska sisters, American Mary confidentially builds on the strength and originality shown in their debut movie Dead Hooker in a Trunk but this time adds a more confident, slick style and technique which not only belies the film's low budget but will go a long way to cementing their status as the most original creators working in the horror field today.

I've seen the future of not just horror but my home life too.


The twincentric script coolly explores the duality within the individual whilst cleverly having each player mirrored by other characters within the American Mary world, giving viewers the added experience of a glimpse into the world of ID twins as well as a blackly comic tale of medical mayhem and skimpy outfits which can only be seen as a bonus in anyone's books.

Plus one of the characters (who will remain nameless) has quite possibly the smoothest and milkiest thighs ever seen on the big screen.

Every performance is pitch perfect from the unforgettable Tristan Risk as the sweetly sexy Beatress who alongside Paula Lindberg as her friend Ruby give the film it's pure heart that shines brightly amongst the darkness enveloping the storyline as it runs it's course.

Jen and Sylvia, cinema salutes you.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 47).

a blast from the past....it's market stall Milf, sexy safari siren, motorway meat muncher and drug dealer dating Gillian Taylforth AKA ex-Eastender Kathy Beale.

What would ex husband Pete say?*










*Obviously he'd say nothing seeing as he's a fictional character.

And dead.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

bughuul off.

Sinister (2012).
Dir:  Scott Derrickson.
Cast:  Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Michael Hall D'Addario, James Ransone and Clare Foley.





Nothing says arty horror like a Super 8 flashback, especially one that shows a bag headed family of four standing beneath a tree with nooses around their necks awaiting someone to hang them in spooky slow motion.

Which is nice.

It's just a pity it didn't just end there tho'.

Anyway flash forward a few months and permanently cardiganned  true crime hack Ellison Oswalt (Hawke, he must owe Uma thousands in maintenance to resort to appearing in this ) and his already annoying family - Brit wife Tracy (wide mouthed thespian Rylance, fresh from appearing onstage with Hawke in Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov) and their two children, the ungodly and frighteningly ball faced Ashley (Foley) and lank haired lady-lipped Trevor (D'Addario, best known for voicing Tuck's cousin Buck in the Wonder Pets episode Save the Cool Cat and the Hip Hippo/Tuck and Buck) - are moving into a new house near the crime scene so he can write a book about the aforementioned deaths and hopefully discover what happened to the families fifth member Stephanie (not the Lazy Town one, probably) who disappeared following the hangings.

What Oswalt hasn't fully explained to his family is that by near to the crime scene he really means the actual house where the murders took place.

Nice guy.

"Someone's hanging families fwom the twees! This is sewious!"



Between necking bottles of scotch, looking wistfully into the middle distance and setting up his office, Oswalt sets out to explore the house, finding a box in the attic containing a Super 8 projector and several reels of 8mm film.

Each are labelled with innocent, yet slightly sinister names.

Creepy.

Obviously our hero can't resist a wee looksie and, hoping for a bit of amateur porn swiftly sets up the projector.

Unfortunately (or even fortunately who knows what turns Hawke on? Not one of the worlds sexiest women obviously, seeing as he dumped her for the nanny)  Oswalt discovers that he's now the proud owner of a collection of bona fide  snuff films depicting an assortment of families being murdered in a variety of amusing ways.

These include a family being torched in a car (BBQ '79), having their throats cut whilst tied to a bed (the cheerily titled Sleepy Time '98), being tied to deck chairs and drowned in a pool (Pool Party '66, no Aquabats present I'm afraid), death by lawn mower (Lawn Work '86) and the hanging family from the pre-credits sequence (Family Hanging Out '11).

The pool party film proves particularly upsetting for Oswalt, especially after he notices what looks like a man with a Dorito for a face peering out from the bottom of the pool before turning to look at the camera.

As Doritos usually don't obviously.

Searching back thru' each film frame by frame (thankfully not in real time, tho' it feels like it) he eventually finds Mr. Dorito - alongside a weird painted symbol - in each of the films, patiently watching the carnage unfold.

Further investigation reveals that in each case a child from each family disappeared directly after each murder spree.

Hmmm....could this missing kids be the ones behind the camera?


My face delivers a powerful crunch that unlocks the bold and unique flavors you crave. Oh yes, and I murder families too.

If so then Oswalt - and the writers - have failed to notice quite a few things.

Like where the Hell the kids managed to get a Super 8 camera from - and the films developed, I mean Jessop's is shut - between 1998 and 2011?

And how long did it take Mr. Dorito to teach them how to use one?

Did he use sign language seeing as he doesn't have a mouth?

All that focus pulling and loading, it was a bloody nightmare back in the early 80's for us and we knew what we were doing.

Just one other thing, do you remember the huge light you had to strap to the side?

I had trouble carrying it as a big strong 8 year old and then I didn't have to contend with tying up my family then murdering them whilst carrying the whole camera kit.

At this point I looked at my watch and realized that the film had only been on for 40 minutes even tho' it felt like days.

Thank fuck for fast forward.

If nothing else watching everyone running about at 6x speed adds at least a little enjoyment to the movie.

Ethan Hawke looks back at his illustrious career. Poor sod.


Anyway from what I can gather Oswalt (still in that bloody cardie) has a chat with a nice policeman who looks a wee bit like Bruce Campbell's cancer riddled brother (Generation Kill's Ransone), who in turn tells our writer friend all about the previous killings, that the families were all drugged prior to being offed and that a child from each family went missing following every murder.

 Hopefully this guy'll at least get a thank you credit seeing as all Oswalt has done so far is drink booze and stumble sweatily about his attic stopping occasionally to berate his wife and kids.

 As luck would have it the local town has a professor, Jonas Bros (an uncredited D'Onofrio, clever guy), whose expertise surprisingly is the occult, corn-based demonic phenomena and transcribing spooky graffiti.

Who'd have guessed it?

"Spice Girls number one for Christmas.....MONSTA!"


Pottering (in a non Harry way obviously) away in his library for a few minutes, Jonas is able to not only to decipher the symbols shoddily painted in the films but also give Oswalt a complete profile of the mysterious Mr. Dorito who, it transpires is really an ancient pagan God named Bughuul.

Obvious really seeing as America is well known for it's ancient Pagans.

Bughuul, our plot covering professor explains, liked nothing more than killing entire families in order to steal their children consume their souls.

Which, as hobbies go isn't really that bad if I'm honest.

Nonplussed by this revelation (either that or he frankly can't be arsed putting up even the slightest interest in the film other than thinking about his pay packet) Oswalt goes home to have another wee drink before bed, totally missing the fact that his terrifyingly ginger daughter has started daubing satanic symbols round her bedroom walls. 

Jim'll Fix It...FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!

Checking the 'time remaining' bit on the menu I notice that the film is nearly over (thank you Baby Jesus!) so decide to risk the rest at a normal(ish) speed.

Oswalt is still skulking about the house with a glass permanently welded to his hand and yes, his family are still annoying and there are still spooky noises in the loft.

What kind of a hint does this guy need to leave a house? I mean if I was Bughuul I'd be thinking that the guy was either hard as nails or taking the piss.

Either way he must be bored because one night our corny creature decides to organize a film show in the loft and invite all the lost kiddies he's so far abducted.

And this is meant to be the bad guy?

All i ever got from a demon as a kid was a sore arse and a gold medal saying he'd fixed it for me to meet Jonathan King.

Talk about being unlucky.

Hearing the film projector running Oswalt enters the loft (well if I had to choose between entering a loft and his frankly torn faced wife I know which way I'd go) disturbing the group of rotting faced (and rotten acted) children and causing a slightly annoyed Bughuul to appear in all his latex glory in front of him.

I probably don't need to say how terrifying this scene is.

Shite in mah....oh, you don't have one.

As if woken from his non-acting doldrums (or he's just realized that he will never again ski down Uma Thurman's frankly magnificently mighty cleavage) Oswalt springs into action, taking the camera and the films to the garden and burning them before waking his family to telling them that they're moving back to their old house.

 Obviously not right away tho' or they'd miss the movies shocking climax.

Which because I'm a nice man I wont give away.

Tho' you've probably guessed that it features the wee ginger girl killing everyone.

Maybe.


Uma Thurman: Magnificent breasts.






Sloppily written, blindly - and hook handedly - directed with performances that would put Conrad Veidt's somnambulist Cesare to shame, Scott (Hellraiser: Inferno) Derrickson's horror by numbers opus shows exactly what's wrong with mainstream Hollywood's attitude to horror and to it's audiences in general.
Lowest common denominator film making with no heart, no soul or no mercy written by - and for - those who think Poltergeist is still the cutting edge of modern horror and who praise The Ring remake above the original.

It really upsets me that shite like this can make $47,000,000 at the box office when fantastically scary fare like Haunted Changi and the dark fairy tale Ink can't even get a decent cinema release.

And it's all your fault for going to see it.

Unless you didn't when it's not, obviously.

It's only January 2nd and I'm already depressed.

Cheers Mr. Derrickson.
Tho' saying that it does mean the year can't get any worse.
Doesn't it?