Reviews written by registered user
cactuscab

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
17 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The doctor is out…of his mind, 7 October 2007
5/10

That was the tagline, wasn't it? Maybe I'm misremembering but I really think that was the tagline not the one listed on the mainsite. Anyways, Dr. Giggles comes at dead end of the initial slasher age that started in the late 70's. They obviously had the formula down pat: the madman with a gimmick (the high pitched giggle fit doctor), the small town setting, the innocent final girl. Total formula played straight down the line. But by the early nineties the slasher genre was DOA (only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of irony in the form of Scream). As it is, Dr. Giggles is a yeoman's effort. Nothing to ring the dinner bell about, but if you appreciate the genre you could do worse. The dirty old man in me really thought highly of Holly Marie Combs but you know, we were the same age back in '92 so that makes it alright, right? Five decidedly average stars.

Clerks II (2006)
Smith's Beaches, 31 January 2007
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Smith as a filmmaker, besides a fixation on scatological humor and blue jokes, is obsessed with the definition of male friendships and what separates those friendships from men who want to screw each other. Most of his films contain a male tandem with whom only they can confide in. The women in their lives just don't understand them (even as Smith writes the women as jocular smut mouths no different from their male counterparts) the way their bosom buddies do. Chasing Amy goes so far as to have the male lead offer to have sex with both his pseudo-lesbian girlfriend and his in-the-closet best friend at the same time. The friend agrees. Amy, showing the only modicum of sense, storms out of the room. Thus leaving the two men to go back to repressing any physical feelings for each other. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a running gag of homosexual tension, the comic version of the biblical Jonathan and David for the Catholic Smith. The duo even show up on VH1's I Love the 80's with a segment entitled "Guys we'd go gay for." Go gay for? Seemingly, they've been there and done that. The only film Smith's directed that escapes Smith's predilection toward examining male friendships/homosexuality is Jersey Girl, the one film he's made that's roundly dismissed by his predominately male viewership.

Which brings us to Clerks 2, twelve years burning down that road, the Quick Stop a heap of ash due to Randall leaving the coffee pot on overnight. The boys end up at Mooby's the least busy fast food restaurant ever, which leaves the guys with plenty of time to tilt at windmills verbally. Seems Dante has hitched his wagon to a woman of means who plans to ferry him down to Florida and set him up with his own car washing business. The woman is the controlling type and Dante is actually in love with the manager of Mooby's. This of course does not keep him from his dream of leaving the Garden State, no it's not until after the (homosexual) donkey show with the crew in prison that Dante realizes why he must stay. The bilious Randall finally opens up his heart in that jail cell (a place of male bonding if there ever was one) and pleads for Dante to stay, stopping just short of saying "You complete me." Of course Jay accuses them of being gay, but this is possibly the only interesting part of Clerks II, its exploration of straight blue collar men speaking of a bond generally left unsaid. Sure male relationships are explored in movies, but usually in the Peckinpah/Tarantino machismo style or in the whiny privileged light of indie cinema (say, Kicking and Screaming to pick a movie that came out around the time of the original Clerks). This would all be a lot more interesting if Smith wasn't satisfied to simply play in the sandbox of staid juvenilia and he didn't have such an inert sense of cinema. 4 stars.

Part deux, 31 January 2007
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The young people return to Camp Crystal Lake (well, across the lake at the very least) no worse for the wear, dimly envisioning another seven sequels and a monster mash up with Freddy down the road. Even poor old coot Ralph is on the sore end of his warning that doom awaits those who enter. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Ralph. As for the kids they frolic, smoke weed, copulate and die, generally in that order. Steve Miner makes Part 2 the most self-consciously stylish of the sequels using Jason's P.O.V. to directly implicate the audience in the violence, but also turning us into voyeurs, leering as the scantly clad Terri (is there a cinematic character with tighter shorts and tinier tops? Not that I'm complaining) goes skinny-dipping. Later she throws a towel on the leering camera (and by transference, us the audience) presumably so we can clean up after ourselves.

Pre-hockey mask Jason makes his adult debut here and is particularly nasty as the sex=death focus of the series is established in full. One couple is skewered immediately post orgasm. A handicapped fella gets a machete to the face pre-sexafied, presumably sent blue balled to the afterlife. And dig how that wheelchair maintains its balance all the way down those stairs.

The lead this time a tomboyish female who fends off Jason using her child psych degree to fool him into acquiescence (well, sort of. It ultimately leads to another 'Carrie' ending rip-off). Jason, ever the good boy, is fooled by the girl donning his mother's sweater. He then sees his mother telling him to put down his weapon. This is used again in Freddy vs Jason, where Freddy impersonating mother again, resurrects Jason by admonishing him into raising from the dead. Jason, buddy, cut the umbilical cord.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
So it begins..., 31 January 2007
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The man behind the mask that launched a thousand sequels is not to be seen here but in embryonic form at 'Friday the 13th's 'Carrie' rip-off ending. Instead, it's mommie dearest slaughtering a camp full of young people somehow avenging her son Jason's death a quarter of a century earlier. I had not seen this film since junior high, one of the first horror films I ever watched, and it was an odd experience revisiting it now with so many horror films now under the bridge. For one thing, the sex saturation level is extremely low. We get some counselors dry humping at the beginning, a tame game of strip monopoly and Kevin Bacon and his paramour under the cover of darkness with very little nudity. The teens in this one are not as annoying as later efforts, here just part of the blank generation. The lone female survivor reminding me of Alyson Hannigan, minus the playful eyes. A steady, if not spectacular start to the most enduring slasher franchise of the eighties. 6 stars.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Pretty okay, 25 November 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen four of the Masters of Horror episodes thus far: "Cigarette Burns", "Dreams in the Witch House", "Sick Girl" and this film. Of them I find 'Cigarette Burns' fairly forgettable, 'Dreams...' the best of the bunch, 'Sick Girl' awful, a huge disappointment after Lucky McKee's 'May' and as for 'Incidents...' I thought it was kinda all right, to paraphrase Charlie Daniels. The story is simple enough: a young woman has an accident on country road and ends up being stalked by a crazy psycho. The gimmick is that the woman has more going on than the killer expects. The basis for the movie is from a Joe Lansdale story (who's early stuff I highly recommend if your into gonzo horror stories; check out "High Cotton" or "Bumper Crop") and it's an effective foundation for a film. But the high point is the lead performance by Bree Turner. I'd only seen her before in comedies, thought she was a pretty and competent actor. Here she proves she can carry a film and has range. I really hope she ends up getting a chance to carry a major film. Recommended. 7 stars.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Why does this movie hate laughter, 25 November 2006
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The worst type of film you can spend your time watching is an unfunny comedy. It becomes an endurance test, how much horrible word play, pseudo hip dialogue exchanges and ham fisted physical comedy can you withstand. Really a comedy, unlike other genres has only one goal: make the audience laugh. If you don't accomplish that, no matter how pretty the sets are, how much effort the actors give, it's all for naught. All this preamble for Just My Luck, because really there is not much to say about it. Lohan (so great in Mean Girls) seems to have let her cardboard cut out twin act in most of the scenes. Totally lacking any charisma. The story does her no favors being completely asinine. A good early indication of how wrong the movie is in its attempt at comedy is the opening scene where the young man tries to deliver the music CD to the music executive (I know these character have names, I just couldn't be bothered for a movie like this). Everything goes wrong for the character in this scene. An audience that has any reference for comedy will see every complication well before it happens. This kills a comedy. Laughter comes from unexpected events. Not a single thing in this movie happens that we are not all ready ahead of. Two stars.

Xtro (1982)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Difficult Pregnancy, 15 June 2006
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a fairly awful 'Alien' rip off about extra-terrestrial's kidnapping a guy, sending the guy back-who is now at least part,if not completely alien-then having the guy infect his son. Having his son infect the babysitter. Having the baby sitter then lay eggs. Then having the son and the father leave. I think that covers it. Mainly it is an excuse for the alien/human things to dole out gruesome punishment on humans via biting, evil midget clowns and the occasional black panther attack (the animal, not the militant organization). This movie reaches out to a very unique niche audience: Those who wish to see a woman give birth to a fully grown man. Bonus points if you wish that fully grown man to look like an older Adrien Brody. If you count yourself among those who would like to see such matters, then this is the movie for you! For myself, 1 star, plus 2 more for Maryam d'Abo's rack.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Tackles the Tough Issues of the Day, 15 June 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On the surface this is a simple movie about an alien that comes out of a family's television and kills them. But there is something going on beneath this jovial veneer. For example, when the parents come home from their night on the town with another couple ready for a night of debauchery and wife swapping, their son informs them that an alien came out of the T.V. and ate grandpa. How does the mother react to this information? She wants to give the child pills. Pills! Child drugging is the answer for any nuisance that interferes with her lifestyle. Brain altering drugs is her solution to parenting, like so many other parents in America. For shame! TerrorVision takes a brave stand on this touchy issue.

The other controversial issue touched on in this edgy film is State's Rights. In the Grandfather's bunker a Confederate flag is hung with pride, while the American flag is used as a mere table cloth. Is the monster in this movie a symbol of an intrusion by the federal government? TerrorVision is desperately in need of a special edition DVD (Are you listening, Criterion?)to help examine exactly what political points the film makers were trying to get across. 5 stars for the movie. 1 star for the character of OD. And one extra star for Diane Franklin because she's so dang cute.

3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
I am not a 14 year old girl, 11 June 2006
6/10

But I wound up watching this movie on a Sunday afternoon and I enjoyed it. Admittedly, I ingested six Shiner Bock's before viewing and a couple while watching it. Still, I stand by my positive review. I'm not going to try to defend the film in any intellectual way. It's no Kurosawa or Truffaut piece of work. I can only defend it in the same way I would a Journey song: Yes, it's corny, but I am drunk so screw you. Is that too confrontational? I'm sorry, I'm drunk. Whoops, I just spilled my beer. Party foul. At this point I'd go into an irrational diatribe about the Mariner's inept hitting at too loud a volume. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I have to say, the criticism of Christy Carlson Romano acting seems out of place. She's given a character that has no internal logic by the writers and does the best that could be done with it. Her scene at the door where she confesses her love for her partner is particularly good, to my senses. Any way, I feel kind of unmasculine now so I'm going to go watch Commando for the seven hundredth time. 6 stars.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Pretty much for Metal heads only, 30 May 2006
6/10

This is a documentary by an anthropologist / Metal fan to find out why people like metal and why it is maligned by pretty much everyone who doesn't like metal. The simple fact is that when you put on, say, Metallica's 'Whiplash' you either go "Yes, more please" or "What the hell is this noise?" Those that get it need no explanation, those that don't, no explanation will do. This documentary generally preaches to the converted and seems more like an excuse for this metal fan to interview a bunch of his hero's. The main highlights are the clips from "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" (THE greatest Metal documentary ever) with the dude who says "Punk sucks. It doesn't belong here, it belongs on F'ing Mars" while wearing zebra stripped pants and matching muscle shirt. The one truly great interview is with the band Mayhem. The one who's name I can't remember answers every question by cursing out the interviewer while his band mate, named Blasphemer, remains silent. Golden.


Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]