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Disclaimer: I have never read the book, nor heard of it prior to seeing this movie last night with my partner.
The exaggeratedly surreal and over-the-top sensationalism of the film left me intrigued. Wanting more? Not particularly, but still The overall concept for the film was unique. If you take in to consideration all the tripe Hollywood is producing these days, the idea that our 16th President was not only fighting for equality for all people, but was also hunting down and destroying vampires yes, I was intrigued. Why not? This could COULD play-out as a rather "original" idea solely on the merit of entertainment for entertainment sake.
This movie seemed to refuse to take itself seriously, which I liked. It bent vampire myths, added a few new things to the mix and left the viewer to either hate it, or switch off their brain and just enjoy the visual onslaught of utter nonsense. I took the latter road while watching.
Sure, if I wanted to rip the movie apart, I could do just that. If you just look at some of the scenes depicted in the film: Jumping on the backs of horses during a raging stampede, the idea of vampires being so "advanced" in the 1800's to use sunscreen as a means of going out in the daylight, the fighting styles presented in the film, the entire end battle sequence on the train
.I'm just saying, I could spend plenty of words on deconstructing and brutalizing this film. But I digress
I left it to be nothing more than purely "popcorn" fun and let it rest.
Nothing new....but still...
Much, Much better than QUEEN COBRA. Loved the way the director blocked this flick. I mean, we could all tell it was shot at Randal Malone's house, but Lewis did a great job in keeping it at minimum visibility.
I think most of my flicks have been filmed in this house. It's a beautiful house...stunning and gorgeous.
The story was nothing original...nothing new. But still worked on this low, low budget level. The actresses were, as always in these flicks, wooden....but the creepy sorority killer wasn't bad. Just that halloween store sickle was CRAP! No new ground broken, but a well crafted and well shot flick from Lewis. Nice job, man! Sorry things didn't work out for us. Looking forward to more from you.
Curse of Pirate Death (2006)
Run for your life!!!!!
Okay, so I know I am listed as the writer and even got the story credit...luckily, I know that is not true. The movie you have seen (and I am sorry) was NOT MY SCRIPT! Some of the character names were in my version, but this is not mine. This was not my story idea.
Dave, if your reading this, I'm sorry to be trashing it. But you know how I feel about this one.
If you wanna check out a Sterling Gore Fest, check out Gothic VAMPIRES FROM HELL or ATTITUDE FOR DESTRUCTION. Or even THE CURSE OF LIZZIE BORDEN 2.
I know, shameless plug over!
***Can I get an Alan Smithee for this one?***
Wicked Little Things (2006)
Creepy, but not earth-shattering!
May Contain Spoilers!!! In no way, shape or form does this movie break the horror movie mold. Not by a long shot. However, it does deliver a creepy atmosphere, believable enough characters and gore.
The story is simple and doesn't bother to unfurl itself anymore than it needs to. A bunch of kids are killed in a mining accident back in the early 1900's. Since then, they have stalked and killed the residence of their sleepy little PA town in the mountains.
Simple: they want revenge on the man that caused their death years and years ago. Naturally, his great, great, great grandson is in town and he's a real prick.
Along with that, a mother and her two daughters inherit a run old house after the husband dies. The eldest daughter is rebellious, obnoxious...a typical teen. The younger is curious, bright-eyed and gets in with the ghost children.
The creepiest part of this flick is the sheer emotionlessness of the children and they hack their way through victim after victim. Excellent acting. It was so spooky! I mean, the Children of the Corn flicks are one thing...but this topped any of those (as for the creepy kids).
Worht a look. I bought it before seeing it and I was not unhappy. But I'm a horror fan through and through.
Santa's Slay (2005)
"Ho, Ho, Ho's"
I just watched this hilarious little flick again over the holiday's like 3 or 4 times. It is too, too funny and worth the 1 hour 15 min run time. It sets off at a breakneck pace and doesn't let up until the end. Goldberg was perfect as the ass-kicking, killer Claus.
The dialog was just plain laugh-out-loud. The characters were lampoon's of themselves. I mean, come on...it's a KILLER SANTA CLAUS, people. What more do you want. And it isn't a guy that is dressed up killing. It is supposed to be the actual Santa! I will watch this one for years to come and enjoy. Excellent holiday fun! Just don't it seriously. The filmmaker's do not appear to have, so why should you. It is just a fun ride!
Return to Halloweentown (2006)
Tepid & Bland
Disney has managed to make a total of 4 "Halloweentown" flicks. None of which have managed to strike too much interest in me to watch the franchise flourish. I must admit, "Halloweentown High" was a decent entry. The main reason I watch these movies is because they are adequate enough for my nearly 7 year old daughter to watch.
Now, regarding this 4th entry...I was skeptical due to replacing the lead actress of Kimberly J. Brown with the less than suitable Sara Paxton. All of what I thought would be wrong with this film was true. Sara Paxton was deplorable in the lead. She did not have the screen presence to hold her scenes together. Her acting is 1 dimensional and wooden. Her vacant, doe-eyes seem to be a window into a dark, empty place with no talent.
I think mostly I was disappointed with her and that is why the movie didn't work for me. I tried imagining Kimberly J. Brown in the room and I couldn't see it! This script was not written with her in mind.
I applaud her for pursuing a more grown-up career path.
As for the rest of the cast - Judith Hoag is a beauty and a talent and I was glad she got more screen time in this installment. Debbie Reynolds was a mere cameo - but can you blame her? J. Paul Zimmerman was allowed to expand his part in this film, which was a change. And it appears this film sets it up for him to be a possible main character for a potential 5th film.
Return to Halloweentown was a tepid & bland film with no meat to it! Overall, as a grown adult, I will give these films credit for what they are - Decent films for young children to enjoy at Halloween.
House of the Dead (2003)
Perfect Example of Hollywood Garbage
I start by saying this will be a short review. Anything negative that can be said about this film has already been said.
Poor direction. Disjointed script. No reason or rhyme. Flash Cuts used in a very distracting, confusing way.
Should only be watched if one is in need of inducing a coma or seizures.
Uwe Boll does not deserve the job that he has! Someone give me millions of dollars and a camera and I can make garbage like this.
Why do some producers feel we (the audience) are too stupid to realize crap when we see it.
House of the Dead 2 (2005)
Marginally Better Than The First
The original HOUSE OF THE DEAD was a joke! An insult to horror fans worldwide. Uwe Boll is and forever will be a hack in the Directors chair. There is no style or merit to his work. It is all plain, dull and over-the-top in a way that does not represent a keen and penetrating eye for Cinema.
With that said...HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2 raises the bar...slightly. The story seemed to be put together better and had a focus in mind. Borrowing elements from previous zombie flicks like DAY OF THE DEAD, 28 DAYS LATER and countless others...HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2 did not break any new ground. It did, however offer a story that was not painful to watch.
Edge of Seventeen (1998)
Edge of Stereotypes
First off I must admit, I was only 7 or 8 in 1984, the year this film takes place. However, that does not mean I do not understand the harsh reality of growing up and coming of age. It truly does not matter what year it is or what the subject matter is. In this film, the subject matter just happens to be a young man coming to terms with the fact he is homosexual.
Big deal! All young men go through awkward and difficult times in their young adult life. So what! Puberty, sexuality, the size of their Johnson....All young men have at one point questioned themselves regarding their sexuality. I am not 100% gay, but that doesn't mean I don't understand what the lead character was going through.
Unfortunately, the reality of this film is dead on. Most gay men are only after sex. Anyone reading this that denies that...read it again...I said MOST. Of the gay men I know and associate with, they will tell you the same thing. I felt this movie, as harsh and true to life as it was, did not, in my opinion, help foster any sense of pride for being gay or bisexual.
This film, though full of reality and complex situations, does not deliver the goods, in my opinion. It only makes people look at gays, lesbians and bisexuals as freaks, drug addicts, partiers, etc. And in most cases, it is a sad true reality.
The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)
Quoth the raven..."Please, no more!"
In the year 1993, Brandon Lee created a very memorable, dark & beautiful character: The Crow. The movie, with an exceptional script, smart direction, excellent photography and a brilliant cast, it truly one of my all time favorites. Everything from the look of the film, the characters (especially Lee as the Crow), the phenomenal soundtrack and the overall story of love being stronger than death - I was hooked! I love that film! I saw it in theaters no less than 8 times.
CITY OF ANGELS was a shallow, bastardized attempt to cash in on the success of the first film. In some ways, ANGELS almost ripped-off the original, but in a way that makes me loathe the film. Very disappointing!
SALVATION, the third in the series was...I can't even remember. I saw it once, and do not remember being overwhelmed by it or feeling anything for it.
And now, 2005 brings back the return of The Crow with WICKED PRAYER. Unlike the first three films, this one takes place in the desert, near an Indian reservation. I must admit, I was impressed with the cinematography on this film. The desert scenes, the flashback scenes, all were well done and looked great.
So...what do I think of the film? The direction? The acting? For starters the direction of this film was all too often sloppy. It appeared, more times than not, the film was confused with where it wanted to go. The characters seemed stuck into scenes, with little to no direction, and carried scenes with no skill. Each set up seemed and felt under-rehearsed and underdeveloped.
Edward Furlong is by NO stretch of my imagination an acceptable Crow! Looking too much like a gay goth groupie, instead of a vengeful angel set to make the wrong things right. His costume appeared to steal too much from the original. I felt his performance was bland and tasteless. There was no emotion displayed by his character. I did not feel pity or sorry for him, or what happens to him. I was no convinced that his love was so undying that he could be brought back from the dead. He is no Brandon Lee! I mean, come on: "Quoth the Raven, Nevermore. Motherf**ker!" What kind of crap writing is that? Boreanez is wasted in this film. Though, he has not impressed me much with previous roles such as Adam Carr in VALENTINE, I still feel he is a solid actor and really can pull off the bad guy look. However, in WICKED PRAYER, it never feels like we are 100% sure of what he is doing or why. OK, I get that he is performing a ritual to become a demon or devil, but where did this come from? What is in motivation? World domination? I don't think we will ever know.
Tara Reid....Ugh! And Macy Gray?!?!? And what was up with Dennis Hopper, in what could only be his worst performance.
None of the cast is able to save this mess! Very upsetting to see the series continue to be treated this way. What started out 12 years ago with such an inspiring beginning, is continuing to fall further down the spiral of sequel Hell!