Saturday, March 31, 2012

wood and walters.

After wondering why so many good low budget horror movies were coming out of The States at the moment compared to the UK that currently seems to only produce crap it seems that one of our American cousins has decided to pick up the gauntlet and attempt to make a movie to rival Little Deaths in the 'why bother?' stakes.

I never thought I'd say this but at times like this I miss reviewing quality stuff like TAPE 407: THE MESA RESERVE INCIDENT.

And I must admit that I'm a wee bit frightened to review this seeing as last time I wrote anything here the director gave me a bollocking for mentioning his wife's breasts.

Fuck knows what Jason Horton's gonna do to me cos he looks fairly handy.

Monsters in The Woods (2012).
Dir: Jason Horton.
Cast: Glenn Plummer, Lee Perkins, Jacqui Holland, Linda Bella, Edward Hendershott, Ashton Blanchard, Blaine Cade, Claudia Perea, Gladys Otero and Curt Mega.

Look! It's that poster again!

We open on a child's tent in the local play park where the way to attractive for this movie Suzy (Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver star and scream queen in waiting, the wonderfully deadpan Holland) is enjoying a bout of incredibly noisy lovin' with hunky stud muffin Burt (Hendershott, an actor to watch and surprisingly good given what he has to work with), unluckily for her at the moment of climax and man/chicken hybrid in a wife beater vest pulls Burt out of the tent and to his doom leaving our buxom beauty to scream a lot whilst running around a tree.

Could the movie really be this bad?

Imagine my relief when it's revealed that we're actually watching a film crew shooting a shite monster movie in the woods.

Well, talk about the poststructuralist reaction to the semiotic codes of cinema and all that bollocks, we may be in for a treat here.

Or not.

You see if you're going to open your movie taking the absolute piss out of no budget, no hope straight to DVD 8 mm monstrosities then for fucks sake please make sure that the actually film you're making isn't going to turn out to be the perfect example of the very thing you're vilifying.

I've experienced some shite over the years but none as smelly as this.

Anyway, rant over, back to the ahem 'plot'.

This doesn't even deserve a 'laugh now'.
It seems that ace movie director Jayson (Plummer, who's been in everything from Speed via ER to The Sound of Music - strewth his mortgage must have gone thru the roof this month) finds himself stuck in the middle of nowhere, forced to work with an inept crew and the biggest group of non actors this side of Kill List by a producer who's insisting on adding  reels of excessive sex and violence to his movie.

Add to this his promise of a role to lead Burt's manic girlfriend Ashley (a fantastically sexy, scary and downright mental performance from Eileen Daly alike Bella, an actress who could possibly carry the entire movie on her own) and the annoyance of a documentary crew following his every move has put poor Jayson in a very bad mood.

Trying to keep everyone happy is the put upon script supervisor cum general dogsbody (the elfin Blanchard, owner of this years silkiest and smoothest thighs) and camp as pants soundman Guy (a spot on comedy performance from Perkins).

It's no surprise to say that their job is the hardest on set but it's about to get harder still when not only is Jayson is accidentally killed by a jerry-rigged camera pulley but a horde of blood-thirsty Hell Hounds turn up and start randomly eating folk.

You'd Ashton her Blanchard. Twice.

Unfortunately this is where the movie mutates from enjoyable car crash to smashing thru' the front of your house and maiming your kids, with Plummer and Hendershott out of the picture and Bella's character shunted off to a junked up no-man's land the entire venture suddenly unravels, the hand-held camera format used up until this point is done away with as the picture quality is (slightly) upgraded as the film tries to become a traditional monster movie.

Albeit one without any kind of plot or meaning, which the director quickly tries to cover by having one of the producers admitting to making a pact with the Devil to get his film made or something.

Hence the Hell Hounds arriving to steal souls and the sudden appearance of two Mulder and Scully-like 'Angels' determined to stop whatever's meant to happen at all costs.

Could it get anymore confused?

Hell yeah.

Hell Hoond in mah mooth! - These suits probably look really impressive in real life.

And going from no plot to a whole pot of plot in a matter of minutes does nothing to help hold up the already buckling foundations of the story, this extra unneeded weight only causes whatever goodwill you had for the film to disintegrate leaving you laughing out loud at the whole debacle then feeling like shit for doing so.

I mean I really wanted to enjoy this for what it was and did my best to give it a chance but when it appears that the people making it really don't give a damn then why should I?

Mental Bella dump ya fella.

But it's not all bad.

Well most of it is but putting on my positive hat a fair few of the actors are great and the monsters suits are pretty well designed, looking as they do like a cross stitching of spider, dog and mantis and under more controlled lighting you can imagine them being really effective.

Unfortunately they're shot in the height of summer in various degrees of focus making the whole thing look cheaper than your mum.

It's heartbreaking to see a movie with such potential fail so badly simply thru' lack of discipline and focus, Monsters in The Woods should have been the dogs bollocks whereas it ended up just smelling like them.

I think I'm going to cry now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

seperated at birth?

Lindsey Lohan and Gollum.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

hark! the spark!

A public service announcement just for you.

Sorry but I just love cartoon talking dogs.

clip clop.

Not giving to much away (again) as (again) this lil' movie was pretty good.

And surprisingly for all the recent hoo haa it was directed by a guy.

Thanks for re-igniting my belief in competent male film makers Mr. Flanagan.

Or can I call you Mike?

Absentia (2011).
Dir: Mike Flanagan.
Cast: Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Morgan Peter Brown and Dave Levine.


The homely yet terrifyingly breasted Tricia (actress/producer/director Bell) is at a crossroads in her life; her loving hubbie, Daniel, disappeared without a trace seven years ago, she's pregnant by another man (obviously), the police officer investigating the disappearance and torn between leaving her old home and starting again or continue waiting for Daniel to hopefully return.

If that wasn't enough to send her prematurely grey then the fact that the local neighbourhood seems to be in a downward spiral of petty thefts and house break ins might just do the trick.

Enter (yes please) her button nosed, ex drug using wayward younger sis, Callie (Parker from the Tony Todd, Michael Berryman starrer Cut looking like a dirtier Jessica Alba), eager to put her criminal past behind her and ready to help her sister move on.

Most importantly by finally having Daniel declared legally dead - in absentia, as you will.

Oh yeah and by cramming as many pair of big grey mummy pants she can into a small suitcase.

I don't know what's more scary, the ghostly looming figure or Tricia's frankly terrifying cleavage.

But as is the way in this type of movie, things don't go according to plan (which is lucky for us otherwise it'd be a really boring film); there are tensions between Tricia and the father to be Detective Mallory (Space Guys in Space's Levine), he attempts at packing consist of sitting on the floor looking at her wedding pictures and a very annoyed and shite covered Daniel keeps appearing around the house screaming a lot.

Which I'm assuming isn't helping her pregnancy mood swings much.

It's not only Mrs. bun in the oven having a bad time tho' as cutesy Callie has begun seeing ghostly tramps and bags of old coins in the creepy old tunnel that connects Tricia's street with a nearby park when out jogging whilst a skinny young man carrying a bin bag has been following her around warning her not to leave any rubbish, food, car keys and the like in the aforementioned tunnel.

Cassie: smokin'.

Is this the real-life Callie wonders or, in the words of the late Sir Frederick of Mercury, is this just hallucinations and paranoia due to years of dodgy drug abuse?

There really is no time to wonder tho' as on the day the courts issue her husbands death certificate, Tricia is shocked to find him collapsed in the street outside their house...

Now you just try and throw a sausage up there.

Coming to Absentia totally cold save a report on the abysmal poster campaign that made the whole thing look like some run of the mill murderous mentalist movie, I was completely surprised to discover myself watching a well acted, well scripted and fantastically plotted story that takes genres as diverse as family drama, psychological thriller, urban myth and good old fashioned ghost stories and mixes them up in a big bubbling cauldron of creepy goodness to produce one on the most effective (and low budget) mysteries I've seen in recent years.

Callie may look all coy now but just wait till the mooth shite-in starts.

Writer/director/on-site caterer/co-producer/tea boy/editor and Mr. Happy lookalike Flanagan* has managed to created a true indie movie that's storytelling power isn't hindered by a lack of budget but inspired by it, with it's natural realistic dialogue and believable performances from it's cast of relative unknowns.

You don't often see this much love, care and passion put into a movie.

Which does beg the question of who the fuck thought this poster would adequately sum up the movie and lift it head and shoulders above such utter shite as The Sleeper:

Come on, it's not even either of the movies actresses!

Plus had they not seen these:

Please can we find whoever did this and punish them now?

Ignore the cover, ignore the spoilerish reviews (except this one obviously) and settle down with a rare horror movie that's intelligent, thought-provoking and damn fine entertainment.

Just next time get me to design the poster.

*as an addendum to the review I'd just like to point out that after the bollocking Mr. Flanagan gave me for referring to Tricia's breast as 'terrifying' in the review I think that Mr. Grumpy would be more appropriate.

Yes I know she's your wife and I know she was seven months pregnant but if you must know it was Mrs. Lamont that commented on them first.

And after three kids herself I reckon she has more experience of recognising terrifying mummy breasts than you do.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

people you fancy but shouldn't part 38.

Ms Pac-Man

readers queries.

This just popped into my inbox (ooeerr).

daer ashtan,

would aleins win jurrasic park?

thanck you. 

And the answer?

Well it's over to you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

a day in the life of clark kent (part one).

Lunch in the park.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

terror train.

Back online (that was painless) and attempting to spew forth as many updates as possible in case you thought I'd died.

Either that or gone to Birmingham.

So enjoy this quickie, I know I did.

Not wanting to give too much away (again) as it's actually a great lil' movie.

Hollywood are obviously listening to me.

Jack The Reaper (2011).
Dir: Kimberly Seilhamer.
Cast: Tony Todd, Sally Kirkland, Douglas Tait, Stacey Carino, Richardson Chery
Hope Jaymes and Christopher Raff.

It's Saturday morning in Anytown, USA where a ragtag bunch of the most PC teens ever assembled(one's deaf, there's a girl whose father abuses her, a badlad jock, wise ass black guy, fat pig-boy, a ginger, an albino skater dude, soon to be a teenage dad hero etc.) are preparing to set out on a field trip to a train museum as  punishment for failing an exam on the history of Sodor.

Or something.

They might look bored now but just you wait till Sir Topham Hat turns up...

Things start off a wee bit strangely when Ms. Molesto is convinced that they're being followed by a huge, pick axe wielding figure who keeps waving at the bus but thigs get even creepier when, on arriving at the museum who should turn up to teach them about trains and stuff but Tony Todd doing his 'death is everywhere' skit from Final Destination.

Oh and a really obese girl.

In plaid.


Surprisingly it seems that as well as having to look both ways at level crossing and not play blind man's bluff there's something else you have to do to stay save on the railway lines and that's to look out for one Mr. Jack Reaper, a ball headed, black eyed inbred whose hobbies include showing his nipples to everyone and lopping off the heads of unwary travellers.

A wee bit like the late great broadcaster, professional pedo and corpse fiddler (allegedly) Sir Jimmy Saville famous for (amongst other things) the old 'This is the age of the train' ads.

Just imagine taking Sir Jimmy Saville's foetid load in your mouth, clotted, lumpy and with the same hint of nicotine yellow as his hair. Imagine the involuntary gagging as his shiny tight Adidas shorts release a miasma of trapped fragrances as his pulls them quickly to his knees; liver, cabbage, Scotch eggs and sprouts.

Anyway on their way back to school the bus crashes leaving our creeped out class teacher and driver-less.

As if that wasn't enough to cause a major bout of trouser filling they appear to be stranded right next to a deserted carnival.

With Allie Beano, Tad Soonadad and Morag Molesto staying with the van, the others decide to head toward the big tipper in search of help and candy floss, not realising that their every move is being watched from a distance.

For this is Jack's carnival and although the rides are free, the price to leave may just cost you your life!

Mwah ha haaaaaa!

"Dear Jack, could you fix it for me to shit on a horse?"

First time director Kimberly Seilhamer's lo-fi trash 'em/slash 'em flick is a smartly scripted, incredibly entertaining slasher tale that's minimal budget is offset by the myriad of bright idea's and sickly sweet imagination on show.

The plot, whilst nothing ground breaking is peppered with a number of clever moments and has at least a few nice twists along the way, rattling along at such a pace that you can't help but get dragged along for the fun, which in turn is helped by the fantastically believable (and more importantly likeable) cast, great looking set design and a genuinely creepy villain in Jack, played to perfection by jobbing actor Douglas Tait.

Forget the legality of it, you and her will probably be dead soon anyway.

With everyone and their dog jumping on the slasher revival wagon, it's great to see at least a couple of directors (Seilhamer and Donner Pass' Elise Robertson) have brought a wee bit of love and attention with them to this much maligned genre.

But perhaps a woman's sensibilities was all it needed to flourish.

Both beautiful and spooky with a just a hint of Joe Lansdale goodness in it's protagonist, Jack The Reaper deserves to make it's mark on today's horror market.

Or more preferably on to the back of Justin Russell's head.

I mean if that can do this on a budget of £3.80 imagine what they'd achieve with a full tenner.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

all quite on the west end front....

Waiting for a new interweb connection so posting from my phone....hence the lack of updates but don't worry, vaguely amusing  reviews of Jack The Reaper, Urban Explorers and Trasharella to follow.

Until then a question.

Can you fit a DVD movie on a VHS tape? (answer peeking).

Apparently, not.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as I figure this new router thing out.

Monday, March 5, 2012

things i get via email (part, um, whatever).

Received this email earlier today.

Apology for poor English but when were you when Heat Legend dies?

I was sat at home drinking brain fluid when Ferd ring

‘Heat is die’


And you friend?

Could it be that dinosaur sex man is back?