Thursday, November 14, 2013

Post-Halloween update (Part 1)

So, as I said way back here, almost a month ago to the day....

I'm making a list of movies from these lists that I haven't seen, and I'm going to see every single one, and do a review update.
So, stay tuned.

And then I mentioned it again here, and here we finally are.
Today's the day.
Let's go...

Stephen King.

Firestarter (1984)

Saw it again for nostalgia, and memory refreshing.
My estimation hasn't wavered.
Fuck the government.
Fuck 'em to cinders.
Best ending ever.

Cat's Eye (1985)

Ditto my reasons for watching "Firestarter".
Forgot about the one where Robert Hays is forced to walk around the ledge of a building, or die.

I mean, I totally remembered it, but I forgot what movie I saw it in.
Damn, that's a good one.
That's something Hitchcock might've done.
If you scoff at the other two stories, that bit alone justifies this movie.

Apt Pupil (1998)

From the second batch of King.

*Krinkles nose*
Nope, seen it, still don't like it.
It's acted well, shot well, everything's competent, it's just an ugly nihilistic story with no real point.
I don't really take anything away from it, but "yep, that happened".
I'll never watch it again.

1408 (2007)

Oh, WOW!
I was SOOO skeptical of this one, but it's really, really, REALLY good!!
I normally hate ghost shit, especially ghost shit made past the 80's, but damn, but this was good!

John Cusak's character is fucking great, we really get to know him, and the spooky shit really is spooky, and wow, this really was fucking....GREAT!

I'm not practiced at my gushing, this!!
With time, this might even stack up as one of the all time great King films.

Don't rent it, BUY it.

John Carpenter.

Assault On Precinct 13 (1976)


A gang member kills a little girl during a petty holdup of an ice cream truck, the girl's father hunts and kills the gang member, the other gang members chase the father to the police precinct, and then it's all out war between the gang, and the skeleton crew of officers there to shut the place down.

It's a slow build, but once it kicks in, ho-ly shit!

This didn't need a remake.
Fuck that crap.

Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978)

As I annotated here, Carpenter didn't direct, he only wrote it.

About a fashion photographer who has psychic visions of a killer's crimes.

I was hoping this would be a lot better.
Written by John Carpenter, directed by Irvin Kershner, starring Faye Dunaway, and featuring René Auberjonois (Odo), and Tommy Lee Jones.

All really cool people involved, but I thought it was just kinda "meh".
Worth a watch, nothing spectacular.
I dunno, maybe you might like it better than I did.

George Romero.

Martin (1978)

Finally got it on DVD!!

Knightriders (1981)

Omigawd, I LOVED it!!
I loved, loved, loved, LOVED it!

I mean, I expected to like it, and at worst, snark at its silliness, but I LOVED it!!
Have to buy this one.

The characters were great, the ideals spoke to me, it's just a neat little movie.
It's weird, it's forgotten, and it's a gem.
A gem!
How did I miss out on this?!?!

Bruiser (2000)

I love revenge movies, and I totally resonate to Romero's politics, so this is another one that really spoke to me.

Didn't love it the way I did "Knightriders", or even "Martin", but it's a special little flick.
I think I'll have to collect these.

Okay, I have to yell at some critics for a second.
Hey, you morons on Amazon who said "it was boring until they go to the club, and the Misfits are playing"?
Fuck you!
Dumb animals!
Dumb inferior animals!
Fuck you!
Die in a great big fire!
*Snnkktt! Ptoo!*

Okay, I feel better. :-)
Was holding that in for a month.

Clive Barker.

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Well, it's certainly gory as all hell.
Doesn't pull any of its punches, that's for sure.
So, hey, thumbs up for that, anyway.

Thought the story was kind of basic and primitive, but, maybe I'm being a snob.
I just expect a deeper richer brew from Barker's pen, I guess.

For a rainy day rental, I guess you'll enjoy it.
If you've bemoaned the de-nutting of Barker material in the past, you'll definitely have a few smiles.
It's no great masterpiece though.

Dread (2009)

Yes, turns out that is fecal matter that spells the title in the poster.
Case you were wondering.
I sure was.
We've come a long way.

Definitely better than "The Midnight Meat Train", more psychologically disturbing, better character stuff, no supernatural shit as a cheat, I think this is the movie that "Martyrs", was trying to be, and utterly failed at.

It's good at what is is, probably the best I've seen, but what it is is torture porn, and I'm not a big torture porn fan.

(Mocking whiny critic voice)
"But 'Human Centipede' is torture porn, myeh, myeh, myeehhh!".
Fuck you, you're stupid.
Torture porn takes itself seriously, HC is laced with black comedy.
It's a different beast.
You slack jawed philistine.
Go eat your own poop.
Then defenestrate yourself.

Anyway, if your tolerance is high, and your mind is open, I recommend this one.

Tobe Hooper.

Eaten Alive (1977)

Yep, this was as cheap and sleazy as I thought it was gonna be.

A violent rapey redneck keeps feeding people to his pet crocodile.
Said crocodile seems to have a bottomless stomach.

Only worth seeing if you're an obsessive Robert Englund completist, a Tobe Hooper scholar, or one who likes to spite the British film board by watching everything they deemed too hot to handle.

I'm all three.

From a scholar level, you can see the evolution start to happen, you can actually see onscreen, the "Texas Chainsaw", Hooper changing into the "Poltergeist", Hooper like a butterfly.
It's hard to explain, you'd have to see the film.

Body Bags (1993)

Saw this for nostalgia.
Not as great as I remembered, but still pretty neat for all the guest stars.
John Carpenter just finally put out a blu-ray of this.

Dunno if it's worth owning or not, but it's fun.

Tom Savini.

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

Finally got it on DVD!!

Sea Of Dust (2008)

A wretched and pathetic waste of your time.
A waste of the photons to get it to your eyeballs, and of the electricity to get it to your brain.

Fuck, look at the film festivals that lauded this thing.
Ken Russell championed it.

And it's a total dog turd.
People on Youtube do better than this.
People's personal vlogs are better than this.

The ONLY good parts, are when Savini is onscreen.
He plays Prester John like a Price villain, or Phantom Of The Opera.
That's fun, but there isn't nearly enough of him.

Everyone else is bad high school play level cheesy.

As for it being an allegory to George Bush?
It's pretty strained if it's there at all.

Avoid this mess like puke on a sidewalk.

Now watch, someday, I'll meet Tom Savini, and he'll say this is his favorite fucking movie, and he'll find my review, and cry.
That's the kind of shit that happens to me.
Reality will bend and contort for it to happen too.

Tom Holland.

Class Of 1984 (1982)

I liked it, but not as much as I hoped I'd like it.
It sided too much with the teachers, and made the punks irredeemable unlikable assholes.

My grandfather would have loved this though.
He hated 80's punks, and loved shit like "Death Wish".
Especially part 3, where Bronson kills that whole gang.

Anyway, one thing I got wrong last time, Michael J. Fox doesn't die, he makes it.

Yeah, "Class Of Nuke 'Em High", and "Return Of The Living Dead", were better punk movies.
More fun, anyway.

This is still worth seeing once though.

Dan O'Bannon.

Blue Thunder (1983)

Re-watched for nostalgia.

Okay, I still like this, but man, it's really hard to get past how many innocent people Malcolm McDowell and Roy Scheider must have killed in their little dogfight.
Especially since an earlier scene makes a point of McDowell being a bad man because of his callous indifference to killing innocents.
And there, it's just fucking dummies!

Anyway, this predicted and tried to warn us of the expanding of police powers, and the whole drone strike program of today.

It wasn't heeded.
We're fucking doomed.

Screamers (1995)

I dug it.
I was really skeptical, but it's pretty good.
Peter Weller is awesome in it.
Peter Weller is awesome, period.
If it weren't for him, it'd be a couple stars lower.

Yeah, it's low budget, but they squeeze the value out of their dollars, and make a fun little flick.
This is what a SyFy movie would look like if the people involved actually gave a shit.

So, there's this intergalactic war over mineral resources, but on top of the human conflict, a robotic weapon has evolved AI, and gone rogue, and attacks all humans.

The robots are given the nickname "screamers", because of the noise they make.
It's quite annoying actually, you'll be playing with the volume throughout.

They start out as rat sized burrowing tunneler things, but they evolve into multiple types, all the way up to humanoids, and the only way to tell them from humans is to cut one open, or if they repeat certain phrases over and over like a parrot.

It's quite an involved little universe, it would have made for a good video game.

I really enjoyed it.
You may want to check it out.
It's not the greatest thing ever, but it is entertaining.

Don Coscarelli.

Survival Quest (1989)

Eh, I liked it.
Lance Henriksen was cool in it.

Neat little movie.
Worth one viewing.

Stuart Gordon.

Re-Animator (1985)

Finally got it on DVD!!

Dolls (1987)

A lot better than I expected.

WAYYY better than "Puppetmaster".
And I mean all of 'em.

Characters are more engaging, writing is better, acting is better, animatronics on the dolls are exemplary for the times, and the budget, and they're leaps better than "Puppetmaster".
Last bit goes without saying.

Everything is better.
It's actually a real fucking movie.

Not a great movie, mind you.
It's a nice little divergence.
Another rainy day movie.

But compared to what ripped it off, and the success it garnered, this deserves your time far more.
Don't be snookered.

Lloyd Kaufman.

Parts Of The Family (2003)

Only been able to seen the pre-altered unfunny version online so far.

Just wretched.

Tales From The Crapper (2004)

I can see why this one's so hard to pin down for critics and reviewers.

It really is both the worst, and one of the funniest Troma movies at the same exact time.

The movie that the funny is layered onto is just fucking miserable.
Julie Strain is awful, she can't act her way out of two wet sheets of toilet paper.
Not even the whole fucking paper bag.

BUT, the fake audio commentaries, and other gimmicks they put over it are a fucking laugh riot.

Soooo, I don't know how to rate this....

I wouldn't recommend it.
Not to normal people.
Maybe if you're an absolute Troma junkie.
Like, actual shivering for a fix level junkie.


Slither (2006)

This was just wonderful.

This is what "Xtro", would be if it didn't suck.

Why did I wait so long to see this?
It's James Gunn!
I worship "Tromeo & Juliet", and "Super", why didn't my dumb ass LEAP on this one?

Sometimes, I'm not too swift.
I cop to it.

Father's Day (2011)

This massively surpassed my expectations!!

Holy shit, did I dig this!

A joint production between Troma, and Astron-6 (the people that brought us "Manborg").
Stars everyone from "Manborg", in new roles.

If you bother to get either, get both.
You need both.
They're fucking beautiful.

This is what this "Grindhouse", horseshit would be if it were actually good.
This confirms my rant about that shit.
I win, mothafucka.
Argument over before it started.
I nuke your Hiroshima.
We're done.

How to describe?
...I can't.
One of those ones where everything happens.
Incest, penis cannibals, vigilante priests, vigilante gay hookers, necrophiliac severed head humping, everything.
It's a riot.
You'll love it.

Your jaw will hang open in awe when the credits roll.
You'll pray to this movie.

David Cronenberg.

Shivers (1975)

Yeah, for 1975, this went pretty far.

When the horniness parasites infest people, they get rapey, and rape everybody!
Old people, little kids, everybody!

We're spared the full on rapes, but people get dragged around corners, and scream, and we know what's going down.

It should have been called "rise of the rape-zombies".

Cronenberg claims in an interview, that Dan O'Bannon stole the xenomorph from him.
As far as can be proven, this was the first movie to have a worm thing pop out of a guy's belly, and O'Bannon admitted he'd seen this at the time, so...

Not  a great film, but it's interesting to see for historical context.
Like "Eaten Alive".
Especially in light of that Cronenberg may have invented the Alien.

Rabid (1977)

Wasn't nearly as good as I thought it would be.

Kind of a letdown.
Not a crushing letdown, but....mneh.

Naked Lunch  (1991)

Um...some interesting images, to be sure, and Peter Weller is cool as always, but, overall, a hipster-y mess.
Like an episode of "Tim & Eric Awesome Show", if talented people were involved, wasting their gifts.
You'd be safe in missing this one, I think.

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg sure come off looking like a couple douchebags.
That was my big take away.

Yeah, that's about it.
I'm not one for deep textual analysis.
Either a flick works as a flick, or it doesn't.
If the novel is better, well, I don't review novels here.

I thought this landed with a dull wet thud.

Crash (1996)

An abortion.
Overrated swill.
Fuck critics.

The violence is wimpy, the sex is unsexy, the characters are loathsome, and unsympathetic, you don't miss anyone who dies, its messages are trite, and not at all clever, and not at all subtle, there's just nothing any good here.
There's no twists, no surprises, it just plays out, and ends.
And if you try to say THAT'S the statement, fuck you.
Then art becomes non-falsifiable, and I can shit into my hand, and call it a movie.
Nope, we're not playing that game.

"Crash", sucks.
Cronenberg failed.
Live with it.

Existenz (1999)

Now, this one, I liked.
I liked it a lot.

This is the movie both "The Matrix", and "Naked Lunch", wish they were.

"The Matrix", was popular tripe, this is art.
You're forgiven, Cronenberg.
Up until this point.

Now you've got 2002-2012 to apologize for.

And, we're done until tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we start in with Guillermo Del Toro.

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