Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Evil Dead Remake

Been meaning to update for awhile, just hard to find the time to finish up posts but I've got a ton of "works in progress" just waiting to be finished up. I decided to do a quick post today about the Evil Dead remake coming up.

I first heard about an Evil Dead remake years ago, the project was still in development hell last time I checked on it. Then around October, while writing all those horror reviews, I came across a Red Band trailer and found that the movie was nearly complete! I'm usually a bit skeptical about remakes and especially if the source material is something so loved as Evil Dead in the Cult movie community, they're going to be fighting an uphill battle with this one. Ignoring the fact that this is a remake, withOUT Bruce Campbell at that, the Red Band trailer actually looked.... pretty fucking bad ass!!! Worth checking out? I definitely think it's worth a peek.

Not bad if you ask me!!! Looks like it'll be pretty bad ass, I'm excited to see it. The movie comes out in theaters April of 2013, you better believe that I'll be there!!! I just wanted to do a quick post on this because I'm such a fan of the original movies and because I woke up to this picture in my Facebook stream this morning

The above artwork is by Rick Melton, who has a website

Be sure to check out more of his amazing work!!! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Who says "FUCK" better?

For YEARS the man depicted above was practically synonymous with the word "Muthafucka". Nobody in the business dropped the F-bomb better than good old Sam Jackson. And while I'm sure he's FAR from being dethroned, I've found a new contender for best F-bomb laid in a movie: Chow Yun Fat in A Better Tomorrow II (1987)

Okay, so that alone is probably not enough to win him any titles from Sam Jackson... but it sure was funny as hell!!! I love the intensity of the scene building up to that moment where he switches from Cantonese to English just for emphasis. But let's face it, no one will say it better and more often than the man himself, Samuel L. Jackson.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Man with the Iron Fists (2012)

The Man with the Iron Fists (USA & Hong Kong, 2012) - Color, Director(s): RZA
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 95 min.

Z-rating: 5 out of 5 stars for an outrageously entertaining kung fu flick

Cheese Factor: 3.5 out of 5 stars for all kung fu genre references made throughout the film

This movie wins my vote for the most entertaining movie of the year!!! Sadly, I'm afraid it will be overlooked as certain audiences will not understand the references to other movies within the genre. If you are a fan of old Shaw Brothers films and old school Kung Fu movies in general, I highly suggest you go support this movie!!!

This throwback to the bloody days of Kung Fu movies has a story that is set in a world carefully crafted for over two years, by The RZA and director Eli Roth, down to the finest detail. The RZA is a freed slave who works as a blacksmith in Jungle Village. There are many different clans at war with one another, forcing the blacksmith to create weapons for them to fight each other with. Gold Lion, a reference to a character steeped in Wudang myth, promises a government official that the Lion Clan will oversee the protection of a large shipment of gold passing through Jungle Village. The leader, Gold Lion, is betrayed by Silver (Byron Mann) and Bronze (Cung Le) Lion who are ready to go to war with the other clans and ambush the gold delivery. Rumors of the gold's presence in Jungle Village attract thieves, bandits, assassins, and mysterious characters of all kinds. The lid blows off when the gold finally arrives and everybody goes to war over it.

I absolutely LOVED this movie. Lots of fun and great for Kung Fu genre geeks! When this movie starts, Quentin Tarantino does a quick intro and they play an exclusive trailer for QT's new movie Django Unchained. Already, that got me excited! Then the movie starts off with title screens that look straight out of an old Shaw Brothers movie, with the Chinese calligraphy and all. Any genre fanboy should have a stiffening rod stirring in their pants at this point that could easily be mistaken for a bo staff. All the weapons and costumes of each of the different clans are all elaborately designed. There are interesting new concepts mixed in with genre favorites such as a Brass Body character (played by Dave Bautista) that is reminiscent of the Invincible Body techniques seen in movies like the Five Deadly Venoms and Warriors Two. The movie is scored by RZA himself, featuring tracks with excerpts from old Wu Tang Clan songs. Also, keep an eye out for cameos by old school martial arts movie stars such as Leung Kar-Yan and Gordon Liu as well as modern day celebrities like MC Jin.

Nudity: while there was no graphic nudity shown in the movie, there are a lot of references to sexual acts being performed. In fact, a great deal of the story takes place in a brothel. Still, there are VERY beautiful girls all over this movie and they're all a pleasure to look at.

Gore: There are some gruesome and bloody moments like a guy's eyeball getting punched out of his head. A guy gets his arms ripped part way off by Cung Lee in the first 5 minutes of the movie!!! All these screenshots were taken from movie's official website and do not belong to me. Otherwise, I would've gotten some of the gorier scenes in the pictures. You should really be seeing it for yourself anyway.

Awesome: to the MAX!!! This is the type of fun that I expect to have at the movies. Uncompromising, gory, Kung Fu goodness. Trying to catch all the references was a lot of fun too. The Gold Lion character for example, I'm pretty sure, is a "nod" to the character from the novel The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Saber that inspired movies such as Kung Fu Cult Master, which also featured different clans with their particular styles. A story that heavily involves characters from a sect of the Wudang, which we all know is where the Wu Tang Clan derives their name from. During the final battle sequences, we see a fight between Silver Lion and Gold Lion's son that directly references Bruce Lee's final fight scene in Enter the Dragon. Also, the secret to defeating Brass Body is almost directly lifted from the Warriors Two movie. Not that I'm accusing this movie of stealing anything, this is just a labor of love created by a very obvious fan of the genre for fellow fans of the genre. If you've enjoyed any of the films mentioned in this review or any others in the genre, please go support this movie. Completely original films made with this level of passion are becoming rare and hard to come by nowadays. The action is fast paced, the camerawork is stylized, and it perfectly captures the essence of the old Kung Fu film they're throwing back to. Go support this film so we can have many more like it!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wrestlemaniac (2006)

Wrestlemaniac (USA, 2006) - Color, Director(s): Jesse Baget
MPAA Rating: NR
[UK: 15]
Approx. 75 min.

Z-rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars for failing in the wrestling aspect

Cheese Factor: 5 out of 5 stars for self aware cheese

From the title, you can probably guess that this movie is going to be terrible. And you would be right! Knowing this, I went into the movie with extremely low expectations. The story is that a group of people are in a van driving through Mexico to film a porno. They somehow end up where "El Mascarado" is and they start getting picked off one by one. There's some filler story in there somewhere too but as usual, no one cares. We're here to watch a masked Mexican wrestler kill people with his bare hands and rip their faces off after he defeats them. (Symbolic of removing the mask of a luchador and disgracing him after defeat) I would've LOVED this movie if it featured a character that performed deadly versions of wrestling moves. I think that's what everyone essentially expects from a movie like this but I was disappointed to find only very basic wrestling moves were used in this movie. I think I saw a backbreaker (unoriginal), bearhug, and a splash from the top of a barrel. I think it'd be hard to even find a clothesline or a drop kick.

The concept is pretty simple and easy to follow. The killer is played by Rey Mysterio Sr. (The uncle of Rey Mysterio Jr.) they finally figure out that the way to beat him is to remove HIS mask and then he can't show his face in public again. The problem is they can't overpower him so they have to find a weapon to use against him. This is the part that frustrates me the most, I think the first thing I would've picked up was a steel chair. Instead they go for a 2x4 with huge nails sticking out of one end. (That's not even a wrestling weapon!!) If they wanted the 2x4, they could've wrapped it barbed wire instead. They eventually all die and no one makes it out alive, don't bother seeing this one. You'll just be wasting your time.

Nudity: This was the typical horror formula of boobies and violence. There was a surprisingly lack of nudity for a couple of guys trying to film a porno. Not really a major complaint though because I was looking for the wrestling more than the nudity. 

The gore in the movie was simple, which I liked. I don't know if this movie would've had the budget to go all out in special effects, so I'd rather it be used sparingly than have it be poorly done. The parts when the wrestler rips off the faces is actually pretty gruesome and looks good.

She even touches the chair! What a tease...

Awesome: This movie really had the potential to be so much better. The only complaint that I really have is about the lack of actual wrestling moves in the movie. This definitely incorporated more Slasher elements than they did Pro Wrestling. For example, how they don't show the killer right away to help build suspense like the shark in Jaws. I liked that he had face nailed to his wall, that was pretty bad ass. Other than that, he's just a crazy ass wrestler that started killing people... why hasn't the police or anyone tried to stop him before? There's just a crazed, violent luchador on the loose and everyone just dismisses it as legend? Sure. Why not! If you like ridiculously outrageous movies where you just can't help but laugh when you think about the story, this one's for you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (USA, 2009) - Color, Director(s): Jaume Collet-Serra
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 123 min.

Z-rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars for a surprisingly bone chilling movie

Cheese Factor: 1 out of 5 stars for trying to make me scared of a little girl... and succeeding.

This girl will DESTROY you...

I have to admit, I hesitated to buy this even though it was on sale at Walmart for only $4. I didn't want to waste my money if the movie turned out to be a dud. Well, let me tell you, this is probably the scariest movie I've seen about a scary little girl since Hard Candy. For some reason, the idea of a highly intelligent, manipulative, and murderous little girl is deeply disturbing to me. When you watch as many of these horror movies as I do, you just get a bit desensitized to them after awhile and they're not terrifyingly scary anymore. You still get a thrill from watching it but you're just less likely to jump at every scare attempt. This movie was just the right formula I guess, because this little girl gave me that chill down my spine and made me feel like I might lose control of my bladder.

You just fucked up...

Isabelle Fuhrman perfectly plays the role of Esther, a mysterious and honestly quite scary little girl with a dark secret. On the outside, she's very sweet and proper but will become murderously violent if you get on her bad side. The way the story builds, you can see that she is highly manipulative and is constantly plotting. She's got a wide array of skills at her disposal such as understanding sign language, having a way of earning trust and sympathy from people, and thinking quickly on her feet. She starts developing an Electra complex, which we later find out she seemingly has a history of, and so begins her rivalry with "Mommy". Esther begins to ruin mother's credibility and soon sets her up to look like an alcoholic with a problem. The ending is fantastic as we find out the truth of Esther's past. I thought she was scary from the beginning but towards the very end, that's the kind of stuff nightmares are made of...

Nudity: None. Perv. There is one scene where the boys are hanging out in the treehouse when one of them busts out a porno mag and they're shown flipping through it.

Gore: Not overly gory but still packs a surprising punch. Very effective use of violence and blood where necessary.

Awesome: VERY. I laugh now when I think back to how I hesitated to buy this at first, thinking it might not be scary. The story is great, Isabelle does an incredible job of playing Esther to the point where it's just terrifying, and I found it to be very scary and original. The coolest thing was Esther's art, with glow-in-the-dark paint. Coolest thing I've ever seen! This is also another Dark Castle film!!! These guys seem pretty popular with me this year.

Piranha 3DD (2012)

Piranha 3DD (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): John Gulager
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 83 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for purely mindless fun and entertainment

Cheese Factor: 4 out of 5 stars for the B-movie grade cheese

I guess I should've called the review Piranha DD, since I've only seen the 2D version of it on DVD. I was really looking forward to watching it on the big screen but was bummed to find that it wasn't playing at any theaters near me. If you've seen any the Feast movies that I recommended for Halloween 2010, then you should be pretty familiar with the type of humor expected from a John Gulager film. A purely exploitative trashfest featuring memorable lines of dialogue like, "Josh cut off his penis because something came out of my vagina."

The story here is that a new water park is opening up for the summer and it's going to feature "water-certified" strippers. The asshole (played by the actor I hate most, David Koechner) that owns the place is pumping his chlorine treated water out into the lake, which is attracting the piranha who are looking to spawn. Christopher Lloyd is back to explain that the piranha, affected by the chlorinated water, are confusing the water park for their spawning grounds. A marine biologist, played by Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th and The Crazies remakes), rushes back to her step-father that runs the water park and tries to warn him of the danger but he refuses to close the park on the opening day. Once the piranha arrive, it's absolute chaos as the water runs red with blood.

Nudity: With a title like "DD" what do you expect? Of course it's going to be a mindlessly entertaining movie that is filled with tons of nudity and sophomoric humor. My biggest complaint is that I didn't see this movie in 3D, my favorite scene from the original was when the two babes were swimming around each other complete nude in the water. Watching that in 3D was so beautiful, I really wish I saw this one in 3D too. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like this one had as much nudity as the first.

Gore: There was plenty of gore in this movie too, unfortunately though, still not as much as the first movie!!! The cheesy humor and B-movie goodness was definitely there, no doubt. There is some gore but not as much, or as well done, as the first movie.

Awesome: Pretty damn awesome. If this were a standalone film, I think it would be rated a lot higher. The problem is that it's overshadowed by it's predecessor. A lot of people actually bashed this movie when it first came out. I think that the movie is a lot of fun and a decent sequel. Ving Rhames is hilarious as always, there are a couple other cameos that are pretty funny too. This is just an all around fun movie that is very entertaining if you just sit back and let it entertain you. Sure, it's no Piranha 3D, but it's still a damn fun movie. (I don't know that anything can match how awesome the original was!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (USA, 2011) - Color, Director(s): Robert Hall
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 93 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for a totally bad ass sequel to a totally bad ass movie

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars

ChromeSkull ink!

This movie picks up right where the first one leaves off. The survivors from the first movie are just leaving as a team of people move in. Just like MiB, these guys are the clean up crew that came to scoop up the pieces of ChromeSkull and try to put him back together again. These guys talk about protocol like they're part of some large organization. Really strange for a killer to be part of a network. While the original ChromeSkull is out, this other dirtbag from the organization tries to step up and finish off the survivors. This really enrages CS when he gets the news. I'm not sure what this mysterious organization is but Danielle Harris seems to be one of the ladies in charge. They tempt CS out of his hospital bed with a new girl and he's quickly back into action, showing that other douche how it's really done. CS is apparently the man running the show cause he has the power to fire that other dude, causing him to "snap" then shave his head and trying to don the chrome mask. Before he was kicked out of the organization, he commissioned a team to create a giant throwing star-like weapon that has the signature ChromeSkull blades at the end of it. When the two finally meet, it becomes immediately clear... there can be only ONE!!!

Okay, so the story focuses a little more on the girl but nobody really cares. We're all here for the gore and the violence!!! And they deliver all that in spades. I like that they were so ambitious with the storyline. There's a story going on about a girl who's going blind and is trying to survive this nightmare that she's in, there's another about an internal power struggle between two people who want the same position within an organization, and it's still a Slasher film all at the same time.

Nudity: Doesn't show much more than the first but at least there's a shower scene in the first 10 minutes of the movie. Gotta give them credit for trying!

Gore: Tons. There's buckets of this stuff. Definitely the centerpiece of this slasher double feature. While I loved the original Hatchet, I thought the sequel went downhill as far as the special effects. I'm not sure if it was a budget issue or what, but I know I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the original. This is top notch gore from the beginning of the series to the very end. I am very much a fan of the special effects in this series, provided by Almost Human Inc. (A special effects company owned by the director, Robert Hall)

Awesome: Very. I really enjoyed this series even though it wasn't anything groundbreaking. The special effects are amazing and that's really what you're watching it for. These two movies should be shown in a double feature at any Halloween party. I consider this to be part of the new wave of Slashers, I just wish more people were aware of good ol' ChromeSkull...

Laid to Rest (2009)

Laid to Rest (USA, 2009) - Color, Director(s): Robert Hall
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 90 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for a totally original and gory as hell Slasher

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for bad acting and bad dialogue

Laid to Rest is a very original horror movie. I had heard a lot about this movie when it was releasing but was never interested enough to sit through it. Something about it really put me off and I think it's what put most people off this movie. The killer with a chrome mask that calls himself ChromeSkull sounded like it'd be too lame of a concept to actually work. Well if everyone's always complaining about remakes and how Hollywood recycles old movies without coming up with any new ideas, why weren't more people supportive of this movie? The guy dresses like he's in MiB and walks around with a camera attached to his shoulder like a parrot. He looks like some sorta tech pirate walking around with two big ass knives carving up pretty girls. What's not to love?

After an incredibly gory opening credits montage of girls being cut up and open, the movie starts off with some chick waking up to find herself locked in a casket. (Interesting way to start a movie!) She finds her way into the next room and tries to call for help. This is where you first get a sense that there's something wrong with her, like maybe she has brain damage from being locked in the casket for too long. When she peaks out the door, she sees a man wearing a chrome mask in the form of a skull. This is the first time we see our killer.

Now, he's not your average slow moving dumb beast of a killer. Aside from his attire, he drives around in a nice car with vanity plates and carries a chrome briefcase with him that has medical supplies as well as the glue he needs for the mask. YES!!! This killer will stop in mid-kill just to reapply his mask before continuing to kill. I thought that was absolutely hilarious.

The rest of the film just involves the girl trying to survive and everyone around her becoming a victim of this lunatic. The acting in this movie is mediocre and the lines of the girl with head trauma is just downright annoying. I understand that she's supposed to be have brain damage, but the way she talks drove me absolutely insane the first time I watched this movie. Also, why does every computer they use look like it's running Windows 95? The gore effects are what really steal the show. As cheesy as the rest of the movie might seem, the gore is top notch and is pretty brutal to look at. And in any Slasher film, the star should really be none other than the gore effects. I give them kudos for getting that right.  

Nudity: The other half of the equation that seems to be missing here. Whenever I think Slashers, I always think piles of dead bodies and boobies. Where are the boobies?

Gore: The gore effects in this movie are FANTASTIC. Absolutely top notch. Like I said before, they absolutely steal the show. I love that he walks around with two big ass knives and just cuts people into pieces. ChromeSkull is such a bad ass.

Awesome: Totally. Definitely one of the better slashers to come out recently. The last movie I saw with effects of this quality was Hatchet (2006), which is one of my all time favorites. This one is likely to be overlooked and I want to make sure I recommend it any slasher fan. In fact, I highly recommend putting it into the queue for Halloween this year.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Cabin in the Woods (USA, 2011) - Color, Director(s): Drew Goddard
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 95 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for an absolutely FANTASTIC concept

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for all the references and "in-jokes" that horror nerds eat up

A group of teens are away for the weekend in a cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to them, what seems to be a government agency is orchestrating their deaths for a ritual sacrifice to appease some ancient gods. (Called "The Ancient Ones")  Apparently, each country around the world is attempting to organize their own version of the ritual sacrifice but every country seems to have failed except for Japan and America. A wrench is thrown into the works when the kids start catching on to what's happening...

What is there to say about this movie? For one, I had a hard time trying to classify what kind of movie to even consider it. Supernatural? Slasher? Stoner Horror? Whatever subgenre you want to categorize it under, it's definitely worth a look if you haven't seen it yet. If only for the last 15 minutes of the film. It's absolute CHAOS!!!!!!! Maybe even the best 15 minutes in recent horror history. The problem? The rest of the film. Not that the movie was slow or hard to watch, it is just so mildly interesting compared to the better parts of the film. The first 20 minutes or so is absolute rubbish. Things start to get interesting once the cellar door opens and even then, it's just building up towards the last 15 minutes. Once they go downstairs, they choose their own method of death depending on what they pick up and play with. When you see the connection these items have with the method of death later on in the movie, that's where you start to see the references to other films show up.

Place your bets!! What will be killing the kids?

As a horror geek, my biggest complaint is probably the same as everyone else. Why wasn't the last 15 minutes longer?! The movie was only 95 min. I could've watched another 30-60 minutes of monsters on a rampage. Other than that, I definitely think this movie is worth at least a watch if you like horror movies. There are a TON of references and things to notice so it's a satisfying watch for horror movie geeks. 

Nudity: Not much in the nudity department for this movie. There is one scene where the blonde girl takes her shirt off and we see her topless. So do the guys in the control room! One scene is better than none!!!

Gore: Lots. Heads decapitated, blood, guts, and people torn apart. Sheer volume, but a lot of it comes from violence that's implied. So while there are a lot of remains, not too much of that violence actually happens onscreen.

Awesome: Pretty freakin awesome. Like I said, the dull parts can get pretty boring especially when compared to the best parts of the movie. However, this movie is more of the package deal. The first time watching it, you'll either love it or hate it. If you're a horror geek though, you'll probably come back to it. On repeated viewing, you catch more of the references and the dull parts become easier to sit through. You have to judge it as a whole and not by its parts. I wouldn't go as far as to call it one of the best horror movies of the year but it was fun and worth at least one watch.

Idle Hands (1999)

Idle Hands (USA, 1999) - Color, Director(s): Rodman Flender
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 90 min.

Z-rating: 5 out of 5 stars for laugh out loud horror hilarity!

Cheese Factor: 3 out of 5 stars for stupid fun cheesiness

Time for a fun movie, this is an oldie but goodie. Idle Hands is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again. Part Horror movie that almost feels like a Slasher film at some moments, part stoner film, part teen scream with a young and sexy Jessica Alba, and all Comedy!!!

A lazy stoner kid named Anton (Devon Sawa who later stars in Final Destination) and his two stoner friends like to hang out and get stoned. (He uses a modified inhaler as a pipe!) Anton's parents are murdered and when they finally discover the bodies, all the evidence points to Anton being the killer. As it turns out, his hand is possessed and it proceeds to kill his two best friends too. Anton has a crush on the girl across the street (Alba) and inadvertently gets her involved in all this too. The hand wants a soul to take back to Hell and when Anton foolishly cuts his hand off thinking it'll solve the problem, the hand is free to go on a killing spree and roam about in search of the soul it wants. Meanwhile, a bad ass Druid high priestess (Vivica A. Fox) is hunting down the demon that possessed Anton's hand, she's the only one with the weapon to stop the hand.

This movie is lots of fun and recommended for anyone who has to entertain for people who aren't hardcore horror fans. Also good to play at party or something. Even more fun when you have a bong to pass around while watching this movie...

Nudity: There's one scene with nudity that clearly sticks out in my mind. The rest of the scenes are just them talking about sex or making references to it. 

Gore: Not bad in the gore department. More than I expected. Seth Green gets stabbed in the head with a glass bottle and I think you can head the liquid slosh around inside. Definitely more than I expected from a Horror/Comedy

Awesome: Totally! I think this movie is absolutely hilarious and like to watch it every now and then. Stoner humor with a lot of references and things to look at in the background. The Offspring are playing at the dance, there's Rob Zombie's Dragula music video is playing on TV in one scene, and they're watching the original Dawn of the Dead in another.