Sunday, September 30, 2007


Clips from the greatest teevee challenge show ever......
It's Globo Loco!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

you can swim, but you can't hide...

Raging Sharks (2005)
Dir: Danny Lerner.
cast: Corin Nemec, Vanessa Angel, Elise Muller, Corbin Bernsen, Binky Van Bilderbeek, some raging sharks.

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Far out in deep space a cock headed alien and his crab-faced wife are arguing over directions to Waitrose or something, oblivious to the fact that another big spaceship is heading directly towards them. Suddenly the arguing couple are bought back to reality by a huge explosion (borrowed and superimposed from an old episode of Buck Rogers in The 25th Century by the look of it) as the craft collide in a mish-mash of slow mo Airfix glory and quality shaky cam. Luckily the mismatched pair manage to jettison what looks like a big wheelie bin into space before everything blows up.

The mysterious space bin comes crashing to Earth via the centre of a fishing boat (with more added on explosions and stock footage) much to the surprise of her Oscar quality crew, before coming to rest at the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle...

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Beware the bin men.

Cut to five years later and we're aboard the Oshona deep sea lab where team leader the lank haired Dr. Mike Olsen (80's teeVee hunk and former Parker Lewis Can't Lose star Corin Nemec) is having a wee bit of a run in with his fellow researchers (one of whom is his wife) regarding the inadequate facilities and general state of the place (which is fair to be honest, looking as it does like it was made out of loo rolls and pipe cleaners by a blind Blue Peter presenter. With wooden hands).

Adding to his troubles is the fact that he and his aforementioned (and fish lipped) missis (Angel) are arguing over settling down and having babies and the general feeling that no one has a scooby as to what they're meant to be 'researching'.

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The contents of my kitchen
drawer yesterday.

“We need results, people!” shouts Olsen at Vera, a particularly big chinned babe in pigtails (star of Hammerhead Sharkman and less charismatic Tara Reid lookalike Muller) as he leaves for the 'institute' to try to raise some cash (and probably wash his hair) whilst faceless extras 'Don' and 'Jake' head outside 'to fix the relay'. As you probably guessed the mismatched pair are munched by sharks (well, by sharks I mean a heady mix of scratchy shark stock footage, a shiny plastic shark nose and leftover CGI shark stuff from Shark Attack 3) within minutes of leaving the base, causing the crew to start screaming and shouting "Are you all right Don? Are you all right Jake?" for about half an hour, getting louder and snottier nosed every time.

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"Is it Giro day?"

God knows how long it took this pair to get ready and then get eaten, but by the time we cut back to Olsen he's in a car driving around Boston whilst his bosses tell him about the Don and Jake incident on the phone and before you have time to catch your breath he's on a submarine commanded by the Dentist himself, Corbin Bernsen and heading back towards the base.

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"Taxi for Schubert!"

Scarily, back at the Oshona, Vanessa Angel is still on the radio shouting "Are you all right Don? Are you all right Jake?" whilst watching bits of grue and wet suit float past the monitor screens so just to make sure they're dead she decides to head outside to take a look for herself. Within minutes she too is attacked by a shark but, partly thru' luck but mainly due to second billing in the title credits manages to stab it in the face and return to the base.

If the idea that the sharks seem to be hunting in packs (and growling) isn't enough to scare the shite out of the scientists then the fact that they decide to attack the power and life support cables connecting our merry band to the surface definitely is. All they can do is hope Olsen can reach them in time.

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Meanwhile on the surface, the supply boat (that I forgot to mention, sorry) is having trouble of it's own; every time they send a diver down to repair the cables a shark eats them and things get worse when a coastguard plane arrives to help. It's attacked by an obviously raging shark causing one of it's crew to fall into the water and get gobbled up!

Down below tensions are rising, stoat faced, rubber mouthed Harvey (Van Bilderbeek) the chubby 'cockernee'/Scots guy/Welsh mechanic is being very cowardly and shouting about not wanting to die whilst Vera is complaining about not being married. Vanessa Angel is standing about pouting, trying to maintain calm whilst a cat faced woman and a bearded scientist hum and ahh a lot in the background.

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"Cor bleedeen bliamany an' starn de
craws eet's ah rargeeng shoirk, boyo!"

On a sunny Bermudan beach a handful of holidaymakers are suddenly attacked by the sharks (this bares no relation to the rest of the movie and will not be returned to) in a frenzy of plastic snouts, rubber arms and cardboard fins whilst an offshore news crew find they've bitten off more than they can chew when one of the beasts appears to ram their boat and explode!

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Yes, the effects are really this shit.

Somewhere else a doctor is performing an autopsy on a shark and is surprised to discover some bright orange crystals inside it's tummy. Could this be related to the outbreak of shark rage? (umm...yes).

Back aboard Corbin's sub, Dr. Olsen is determined to make it back to his wife but is having trouble with a scary 'government investigator' that has been assigned to him. Cue many "You're not following standard procedure" and "My wife is over there Goddamit!" confrontations as the pair swim over to the base. The investigator stops to take photo's and is almost eaten only to be saved by Olsen, tho' I've no idea why.

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“Damn magnetic spikes!”

Everything is going to hell over at Oshona now that Vera has noticed the “Damn magnetic spikes!” on her computer screen and everyone has realised that 'the relay' is still broken. Vanessa is bugging Harvey to go repair it, using the argument that it's possibly a suicide mission so she doesn't want her hubbie to have to do the job.

Harvey, perfectly reasonably tells her where to go and storms off to get pissed whilst the other crew members tut at him for refusing to swim into certain death, leaving Olsen and some French guy (who's sons sixth birthday it is) to venture out in the mini-sub to the relay and put extra cash in the meter or something.

Can you guess who's going to die?

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Frenchman in mah mooth!

Everything seems to be going to plan when sharks attack the sub and kill Frenchie, leaving Olsen no choice but to get Captain Bernsen to fire a torpedo at his location, hopefully killing the (raging) sharks but leaving him unscathed. Back on Oshona tho' things have gotten even worse (if that's at all possible) when government guy reveals himself to be a 'black ops' bad man with insider knowledge of the orange crystals and shark rage.
You see, it appears that the alien bin was carrying special space fuel and now that the sharks have eaten some of it their intelligence has shot thru' the roof causing them to work as a team to protect it at any cost! (and no, I didn't see that one coming).

His mission is to salvage the bin and kill anyone who knows about it (which no-one did till he told them).

Will Olsen survive the torpedo blast and get back to rescue his wife and kill the bad man? Will Captain Corbin stop sweating and drinking coffee? Will the sharks eat Harvey when he tries to escape in (another) mini-sub whilst singing 'Blow The Man Down'? and will logic (and physics) be thrown to the wind at the movies climax when the force of the base imploding throws the survivors clear of the wreckage and up to the surface?

Notorious big animal and stock footage obsessed filmmaker Danny (Shark Attack 1-3, Octopus 1-2, Spiders, Alien Hunter....basically all the hits) Lerner delivers a genre classic almost matching his masterpiece Shark Attack 3.

The scripts bizarro mix of aliens, mad sharks and special forces action is a fairly straightforward romp only spoiled by plot holes so large that as the film approaches its climax you begin to think that the whole thing is about to collapse around the casts ears but Learners bullish determination pulls the whole thing off with aplomb.

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His choice of stock footage is almost as entertaining as the film itself; with cars and houses visible when the sea plane lands on the 'ocean' and deep sea shark attacks that show the creatures breaking thru' the waves to footage from his previous hits. Whilst it's nowhere near Raptor quality (famously cobbled together by Roger Corman from three existing films and re-employing key actors to reprise their roles) it does come close at some points.

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In his ten year career spanning over seventy (!) movies, Lerner appears to have learned nothing about film making except that all you need is action, a big monster, a (kinda) famous face and a few explosions to guarantee a hit.

And who are we to argue with him?

In equal measures arse numbingly awful and a work of utmost genius, this is the kinda movie the zed grade was made for.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

taking the michael.

Halloween (2007)
Dir: Rob Zombie.
Cast: Tyler Maine, Sir Malcolm McDowell, Dame Udo Kier, Sybil Danning, Danny Trejo, Sherri Moon Zombie, Brad Douriff, Scout Taylor-Compton, Danielle Harris, William Forsythe, Daeg Faerch, Richard Lynch and Lord Ken of Foree.

Haddonfield, Illinois, 31st October. Monster Mash is playing from an old radio in the Myer's kitchen. Nice but dim stripper mum (Zombie) is fixing breakfast whilst her wheelchair bound boyfriend Ronnie (Forsythe) shouts abuse at anyone who'll listen, between making lewd comments about his step-daughter Judith's arse that is. 

Long haired and pretty lipped Michael (Faerch) is the main target of his bullying, what with his predilection for killing his pets and wearing a crappy clown mask it's no wonder really. His mum tho' is too busy making baby Laurie wear hats indoors to notice (which for a baby that size is actually very dangerous).

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It's worse for Michael at school tho', not only is his headmaster the 'B' movie bad man Richard Lynch, but the school bully appears to be collecting flyers of his mum from the strip joint and talking about her 'titties' a lot whilst slapping Mike round the head. 

When the Lynch man tries to break it up Mike shouts "Fuck off" at him and legs it......uh oh.....could his day get any worse?

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"Mah wean's no mental big yin!"

Principal Lynch invites mum Myers into his office, you see he has some worrying news regarding her son. It would appear that little Michael has taken to mutilating cats, taking photo's whilst doing it and keeping their corpses in his locker (as you do). 

Mum says it must be a mistake but it's too late as the head has already called in eminent child shrink Dr. Sam Loomis (McDowell in a stick on beard, Peter Davison-esque wig and acting like he's still doing coke) to help Michael with his little 'problems'.

Unfortunately for all involved, whilst this cosy chat is going on Michael is in the woods bludgeoning the school bully to death with a lump of 4 by 2 to John Carpenters original Halloween theme before returning home to get ready for some trick or treating fun.

Mum returns home to confront Michael about his 'hobby' but as soon as he tells her "I never done it, it was a bad boy done it and run away. I only said I'd done it but I never did". She says OK and heads off to work at the local strip joint, leaving dirty Judith and her arse splitting shorts to look after Mike whilst he's out asking for candy.

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Sheri Moon Zombie:
eat a pie for fucks sake.

Mishearing her mum's request as "Leave Michael outside whilst you shag your greasy boyfriend" Judith proceeds to have 'the sex' with the aforementioned greaser (who bizarrely wants to 'do it' whilst wearing an exact copy of Michael Myers' mask from the original movie - post modern or what?) whilst Michael amuses himself by duct taping his drunk step dad to his wheelchair before beating him to death with a baseball bat.

Not content with just the two murders today, he then proceeds to stick a big knife in the boyfriend before attempting to touch up his sister (whilst cunningly disguised in a mask) then stab her too before chasing her around the house like wee Jimmy Krankie on crack.

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"Ahm no climbing that
fookin' beanstalk again!"

Mum returns home from a hard nights gyrating to find her blood soaked son sitting on the doorstep cradling his baby sister and shouting "I've not murdered our was a bad boy what done it..." and so on.

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Laugh now!

Wee Michael (who has taken to wearing a variety of home made paper mache masks making him look like one of Slipknot) is soon locked up in the (surprisingly deserted) Smith's Grove Sanatorium under Loomis' supervision where he spends the next fifteen years denying he did anything (in between making masks and stabbing nurses with forks obviously) whilst Loomis looks on with a trouble expression.

Indicating this passage of time with Michael getting taller (and his hair going from blond to black and now being played by Tyler 'SaberTooth' Mayne ) whilst Loomis' hair gets shorter, the good Doctor decides that he should stop seeing Mike for various reasons (the main one being that he's not spoken for five years) and leaves but in a strange quirk of fate, this is the very night that the hospital decides to hire two pissed, redneck guards to work night duty. 

You can see where this is going can't you?

The pair decide to molest a female patient in front of Michael (in a totally gratuitous and offensive rape scene) then beat him with a stick and smash his masks when he doesn't respond. 

Of course the mask smashing sets him off so he kills the bad men and stomps out of the hospital towards Haddonfield in search of teenage babysitter and all round nice girl Laurie Strode (Taylor-Compton), a girl with whom Myers shares a special bond, stopping only to kill horror legend Ken Foree along the way.

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McDowell hears Donald Pleasance
spinning in his grave.

And this is where the movie goes from so bad but (kinda) watchable for the cameo's to becoming a big incoherent mess....we've just spent the last fifty odd minutes learning about Michael's back ground and oh so terrible upbringing in arse numbing detail, but that leaves only another forty five minutes to actually tell the films main story; that of Myers' brutal rampage around his old home town that fateful Halloween night.

So how does Mr. Zombie get around this problem? Scarily by literally re-staging entire scenes from the original

Laurie drops a key off at the old Myers house, watched by a scared Tommy?....Check!

Laurie, Annie and Lynda are chatting away during lunch break when Laurie sees Michael from the window?.....Check!

Laurie having to babysit Lindsay as well as Tommy so Annie can fool around with Paul?....check!

Michael killing Annie whilst wearing a sheet and Paul's specs?....Check!

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Remember...piracy is a crime!

Zombie might have well of just stopped his movie and put the original on at this point rather than embarrass himself (and us) with almost xeroxed scenes and conversations from the original, just delivered in a less convincing way. 

It's like watching a bad fan production of Halloween where the director thinks that because everyone is named after characters we know and love that'll we'll care for them as much as we did the originals. 

Add to this the frightening amount of cult star cameos in the movie and it becomes more like a journey thru' a sad fan boys mind than a proper film (I will admit tho' it did feel it had been cast out of my subconscious at some points), and whilst it's good to see such luminaries as Ken Foree, Malcolm McDowell, Udo Kier, Sybil Danning, Danny Trejo, Brad Douriff and Richard Lynch together on the big screen in one movie, it's just a pity most of them have nothing to do but deliver a line then walk off.

Did Zombie (and Dimension Films) have such little faith in the project that they felt they had to fill it with so many crowd pleasing cameos just to entice the hardcore horror movie fans in?

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Trick or treat?: definitely trick.

I'll freely admit that I've no idea if the last twenty minutes or so improved any, cos frankly I was so bored and embarrassed that I had to turn the thing off, which is a shame really, as Zombies first foray into film, House of 1000 Corpses is a genuinely great movie and came as such a surprise with it's no holds barred tribute to the 70's stalk n' slash genre that we all expected great things from him. 

His second feature The Devil's Rejects admittedly had some great moments, but the directors reliance on ill judged sexual violence and shots of his wifes arse began to creep to the fore, much the same as they do in Halloween.

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If I was in this shit
I'd hide my face too.

To counter critics before the movie even began production, Zombie promised a terrifying look into the psyche of a killer in his version of Halloween, pity all he's delivered are the warmed up offcuts of a genre classic to be spoon fed to an apathetic teen audience that doesn't know any better but to go "Rob Zombie rocks dude!".
Which is a shame really.

Just stick to the original, I beg you.