Monday, October 25, 2010

Catch A Flick Spooktacular - GALAXY OF TERROR

In honor of the ALIEN Quadrilogy coming out on Blu-Ray tomorrow I thought I would share some thoughts on GALAXY OF TERROR a so called rip-off of the ALIEN. The "King" of cult B-movie cinema Roger Corman wanted his studio to capitalize on the success of 1979's ALIEN. To give his film an edge he gave marching orders for the story to have deep psychological implications.

On a desolate, storm-lashed planet, the last survivor of a crashed spaceship is attacked and killed by an unseen force. Without delay, the spaceship Quest blasts off to the planet to search for survivors. As the Quest approaches the planet’s atmosphere, it suddenly veers out of control and plunges toward the surface, crash-landing there. After recovering from the landing the crew make way across the landscape of the planet, they eventually reach the other vessel. Entering, they find evidence of a massacre that took place. The rescue team split into two and explore the craft.
After some exploration, they discover a massive pyramid-shaped structure, The exploration of the pyramid lead to a series of deadly encounters with monsters and other strange things that kill the crew members in exceedingly violent ways.

For being a low budget this 1981 science fiction horror film looks really good! A lot of that may be because future the "king of the world" himself James(Avatar)Cameron worked as the Production Designer and Second Unit Director on GALAXY OF TERROR.

I've seen GALAXY OF TERROR twice now and while the story and plot is somewhat weak and convoluted, I just love watching the special effects!
I can really only recommend this to moviegoers that love cheesy B-movies. GALAXY OF TERROR would work very well as a double feature with something like ALIEN or ALIENS.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catch A Flick Spooktacular - THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Back in my college days one Halloween weekend I hung out with my Drury University buds. While everyone was deciding on where to go and what to do I flipped between television stations watching HALLOWEEN and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Being quite familiar with HALLOWEEN I mainly kept THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW playing because I had never seen it before. I had always heard about how great of a cult classic it was but never had the nerve to seek it out feeling that the film just really wasn't something I would like.

That night it must have played back to back because I only got to see the first half twice! We left to go do whatever and it was always when Eddie (played by the musician Meatloaf) showed up on his motorcycle. Years since I've seen clips but never had I watched the movie in it's entirety. Being a movie buff I wanted to see it but got turned off by the whole cult craze of it all. I had no interest in the midnight participation screenings at all! So for years I passed the film and it's fandom as "weird".

This year marks an anniversary year for the film (35 years) so they released a Blu-Ray(which looks to be a very impressive release)and it's currently on Netflix Instant Watch! So last night I finally got to witness THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW in it's entirety! The camp value is indeed what makes this probably the most famous cult classic in motion picture history. I liked it and in fact I think it's better than most "cult classic" films. The biggest credit I give the film is it's originality with a lot of old hat horror material. The music is good too and complements the scenes very well.

Newly engaged couple Brad and Janet encounter a flat tire on a rainy night. They seek help at a castle Brad noticed along the way. What they did not know is that it is the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Futer. The couple are invited to stay for what will become the strangest night ever for the both of them!

With the exception of a dragging(no pun intended) final act I did like the movie for the most part. It surprisingly kept my attention! I can only give THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW a recommendation to people that really want to see what it's all about, that and fans of B-movies I guess.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Catch A Flick Spooktacular - PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2

Oh boy! It's good. It's real good! Just got home from a 10pm advance screening and it was one of my best theater experiences of the year. I'm still a little freaked out so that's why I'm writing this immediately to shake off the nerves a little bit.

So, I'm just going to say that these Paranormal Activity movies are going to be the next horror movie craze. (Which is about time, the torture porn genre has overstayed it's welcome). The fist one everybody knows was a smash, this second one should make twice as much and it very well should. It's really good!

I never reviewed the first film so here are a few thoughts about that one first. For what PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is about the film works very well. The movie is meant to be real footage but fails ever so slightly due to that you can tell these people on camera are clearly dramatically acting. It's a little much at times. Don't get me wrong, the film is scary and has some nice spooky moments. I really love the final scare and again it really lets the audience know you just watched a movie.

The ending of the first film really had me interested in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2. I was game when the trailer lets you know the girl from the first one returns and it's not completely the same thing over again but with different people. Now, seeing that this is a horror movie I'm not going to spoil anything for you because what would be the fun in that! I will tell you what we're dealing with story wise.

The sequel focus's on the first films sister and her family, her husband, stepdaughter, and a baby boy. It's all about little baby Hunter. To avoid a convoluted rambling rant I'll put it simply that "paranormal activity" runs in the family. Which is sort of hinted at in the first film anyway. You want more than that? "They" want the baby and that's all I'm saying.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 succeeds because it does what a horror sequel is meant to do and that's up the ante of the original! It's scarier and the story is better too! In the first movie I was freaked out, however; at the same time wondering how they did some of the special effects? The acting also took me out of the moment. With part 2 I was more invested and less concerned about how the filmmakers pulled off some of the things they did? Unfortunately some of the bad acting is still present.
My only real complaint is the ending gets messy. Shaky cam and that last fright is a little too familiar and weak. I'm willing to bet they shot the ending first and built the rest of the movie around that!

Better than the original. Highly Recommended!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Has it really been 10 years! Hard to imagine but it's true. I have always been a fan of the show Jackass. I never got into the spin-off shows as much. When that first Jackass movie came out it was one of the best movie event's of that year! It was one of those moments that shouldn't have happened but did. The opening credit sequence is still one of my favorite bits, It's like oh yeah were taking it up a notch!

When JACKASS: NUMBER TWO came out I didn't see it in theaters, it was around the same time I just didn't care too much to see a sequel and heard they upped the gross out factor so I passed.

When it was announced a third film was being made in 3D I was curious because I knew it'd be good 3D. It's good alright! It's my favorite 3D movie of the year so far (I'm sure TRON LEGACY will trump it). JACKASS 3D is what a 3D movie is supposed to be! The 3D really puts you into the action! With the addition of slow motion you see every hit and cringe like you never had before. You really feel like part of the stunts. JACKASS 3D will make you cringe more and also gag more too. This movie is so gross out at times it make John Waters probably blush! The whole audience gagged in harmony during the Port a Potty Bungee Jump stunt.

I really could have done without all the poop. This movie has a lot of it. JACKASS 3D has so much poo that I'm not even afraid to watch THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE any more, and that movie doesn't even have poo in it shockingly enough! Seriously if any of you can tolerate JACKASS 3D then I'm going to take a wild guess THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE will be a walk in the park.

Why do I like this movie so much? I don't know, it might have to do with the sentimental aspect of it all. These guys have been doing this for 10 years (on television at least) and it shows. They are older now so they complain more about the pain but we don't scoff at it we care because we understand that what they do is stupid to begin with. I'm not implying these guys have gone soft, quite the contrary because they do some of the most craziest stunts ever. It's just fun to see them be not as brave as they used to be. With that being said I really feel this is the last one, they give the movie a real nice ending. Some may return I have a feeling, you know they just love this too much! Highly Recommended (except for all the poo)!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Catch A Flick Spooktacular : A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)

As much as I want to compare this remake to the original I don't want to be "that" guy. This face lift to the classic original modern horror classic is not all that bad. Platinum Dunes last remake effort FRIDAY THE 13TH really missed the mark on what made the original film(s) iconic in the modern horror genre! Most of the Platinum Dunes remakes don't work at all, most of them.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET very well may be the best of the remakes. Everything is working here to make a good scary movie. The atmosphere feels like an Elm Street film. The dreams look great and set the mood. The teen characters are halfway decent unlike the kids in the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake who are all bad stereotypes. And the final thing that makes this new Elm Street work is the best thing, Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy! By his second or third scene I wasn't concerned I was convinced!

Where this movie faults is the screenplay and lack of character development. The film does have an interesting story but everything is rushed. It's like the filmmakers and producers decided that Freddy Krueger is so iconic that everyone knows who he is. Yes, everyone meaning real people not characters in your story. These kids suffering from nightmares are too quick to understand and realize just who and what Freddy is! This is a little extreme but it's like these kids know about Freddy from seeing the other movies! Maybe it's not as bad as I'm thinking and I'm just showing my age because I'm sure kid audiences of today(twenty-somethings that think THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is the most boring one) are fine with that. Heads up, spoiler alert! Now this film really could have been great and be a little different from the rest of the series like a real re-imagining, by making Freddy innocent of his crimes and was getting revenge because he really was not a pedophile. I really thought the story was going in this direction in the end but nope it did not. While I like this remake the powers that be had to ruin the end for me and everyone else by recreating the lame ass ending to the original by killing the mom at the very end. Come on guys! Nancy gave Freddy a pretty glorious death, no need to go screwing that up now!

Despite the negatives just mentioned I really do recommend a watch if your a fan of the series or horror in general. The atmosphere is great for a elm street picture, and the dreams look really cool. I also really liked the whole "micro-nap" addition to the series. Everyone is tired in this film so Freddy can jump out at anytime, it's sort of cool! The scene at the durgstore is my favorite!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Catch A Flick Spooktacular : HATCHET

In honor of HATCHET 2 out now in theaters just not any in Springfield, I thought it would be fitting to review the first film. I'm not a very big fan of HATCHET but I see strong promise in Director Adam Green. After viewing his second feature FROZEN which is a nicely executed 90 min. film about 3 people stuck in a ski lift. The premise does sound silly and potentially dumb, the first thing that comes to my mind is that how is something like this going to be scary and keep my interest? I'm not reviewing FROZEN now but what I'm saying is that Green wrote an interesting script and cast actors that make the story seem real. That takes talent and with that I'm thinking we will see Adam Green's break out horror hit someday soon!

In the mid to late 90's we saw a return of the slasher film, the good one's were short lived and the rest of them were just watered down PG-13 wastes of time. It wasn't until early 2000 that moviegoers saw a return of the gruesome horror movie style we movie buffs loved from the 70's and 80's. While bloody good fun was back in horror it was missing something or someone? The SAW film's gave us Jigsaw and with HATCHET Adam Green gave us Victor Crowley!

Growing up Green was a huge fan of horror and a even bigger fan of the FRIDAY THE 13th films. Someone like Jason Voorhees has been missing from horror and thus Victor Crowley was born.

When a group of tourists embark on a tour of the haunted Louisiana bayous they learn of the terrifying tale of Victor Crowley. When they get lost and the boat crashes the tourists quickly learn Victor Crowley is real and anybody who enters his swamp is uninvited.

The origin of Victor is a nice campfire romp that I won't spoil for you here. If your a fan of the slasher flick especially the Jason one's then I recommend the movie to you! If when you watched these films and always rooted for the killer then I highly recommend HATCHET! If you were like me and always rooted for how the killer was going to get killed, then you might just think this movie is just okay? I think it's just slightly better than good. You see HATCHET glorifies the kills and the killer, which doesn't really do anything for me. As my friend always says and I agree that "you always kill the monster in the end". Horror movies today have it backwards, you don't have your monster come back at the end of the film ( if you do that then what's the point) you have them come back at the beginning of the sequel. In the 80's they always killed Jason and they always killed Freddy! We don't want to pay our hard earned money for evil to always triumph in the end!

In closing I have a strong nostalgic place in my heart for HATCHET but nostalgic is just about as far as it goes. I am ready however for Adam Green to stretch out his artistic wings and give the horror genre something fans can really sink our teeth into, I know he can I just hope he does too? Recommended only for the die hard fans!