Reviews

22 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
4/10
Jeepers almost Creepers
1 September 2001
A movie with much potential, good acting, a horrific villain, but ruined by a mediocre script and some unnecessary--and missing--plot elements.

The first 30 minutes of the movie bordered on outstanding, but after that it started a descent and never made a full recovery. The old rusty truck barreling down the road, the slide down the sewer, the discovery of what was there, those irritating squawking crows--good build-up. But after that, it was as if the script writers didn't quite know how to do the rest, didn't quite know how to integrate the story.

By inserting a handful of unnecessary elements into the plot, the script undermined the intensity it had built. The psychic lady, for example, was the first such unneeded element. She added nothing that couldn't have been introduced by some other plot device. The viewer just wants to stuff one of the teens' smelly socks into her big fat yapper. She was worthless.

The villain was scary, but one never learns much about him, other than what the psychic lady sputtered, about "23 years for 23 days" Oh, the horror of the number 23! Whatever. The 23-year thing was one of those unneeded plot elements that was left dangling.

The creature's penchant for using a particular sense perception in order to determine what to grab from his next victim, was dumb, as was the reason WHY. The writers could have dreamed up something better than THAT. Yeah, I know--that's how they made the 'where'd you get those peepers' line significant, but come on; they could have done better. By the time the character makes his full-fledged appearance, it's anti-climactic. He's just another horror villain able to show up anywhere and engage in disgusting acts. Yawn.

But what wasn't a yawner was when the 2 teens have the opportunity to run him over. The car-walking scene, his daring them by pacing in the middle of the road, was superb.

What WAS that thing? Why did it do what it did? Are there more like it? Where did it come from? Why every 23 years for 23 days--why not a nice round number like, say, 25? Why not every 10? The viewer never learns.

The rest of the movie, from the police station scene forward, was a hasty patchwork that attempted to tie everything together, but failed. Too bad. The movie had such potential. Jeepers almost Creepers.
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1/10
Worthless
1 August 2001
That they named this movie as part II of the original is a crime. It was the most inane, boring, stilted, incredulous movie I've had the misfortune of yawning through in a long time. That someone actually wrote that mess and thought "Hey, that's a wrap" floors me. It was worthless.
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7/10
Engaging
30 July 2001
An engaging sci-fi drama about a man who awakens to find himself, seemingly, the last person alive on earth. What does he do? What would you do? Everything's free. You could drive what you want. Wear what you want. Live in the fanciest hotel or simply pick a house to move in to. No laws to obey except those imposed by reality.

But might it not get lonely? And what if you did find someone else?

I plucked this movie off the rental rack on a whim, not expecting much really, but I was pleasantly surprised. By no means was it a 'great' movie, but I think virtually anyone would find it interesting--certainly more so than the claptrap currently being churned out by Hollywood.
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Blackheart (1998)
Watch it on "mute"
13 April 2001
The movie starts out as if it might be interesting, but then fizzles. I enjoyed Maria; she's always worth watching. She prances around in some pretty interesting outfits, and is, of course, a naughty girl. But don't expect much from the movie itself. My advice: Press the "mute" button and just absorb Maria.
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Crouching cheese-flick, hidden meaning
7 April 2001
Cheesy Kung-fu flick combined with philosophical fatalism. Great scenery and camera-work. Pretty good story line, but it was difficult to figure out who the hero was. Lots of silly people hopping around on wires--but if you can travel like that--flying, that is--why not do it all the time and not merely during fights? It's almost like supernatural gibberish, but not quite. Overrated by the Hollywood elite who are eager to show how "multi-cultural" and "diverse" they are by embracing a Chinese movie.
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Good acting for such a flimsy premise
31 March 2001
When you finish watching this movie, you might ask, "So what?" And that's the only proper response to this film. The acting was good,the suspense was built--but the plot, well, that leaved something to be desired. In fact, the entire premise of the plot was flimsy in the extreme. The notion that a, presumably advanced, alien life-form would go to all that trouble just to achieve that particular goal, is laughable.
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Arrival II (1998)
2/10
Poor
31 March 2001
This movie pales in comparison to the first Arrival, which pleasantly surprised me the first time I saw it. This garbage, Second Arrival, was not even barely believable and should never have been made. What makes actors and actresses read such bad movie scripts and say to themselves, "Yeah! That's the kind of movie I wanna make--a real crappy one! That'll boost my resume!" Don't waste your time watching this tripe.
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Raven's Ridge (1997)
1/10
A high-schoolish attempt at movie-making
31 March 2001
At the beginning of the video, before the movie begins, Mike Upton (who was "discovered" by Roger Corman) appears and gives what I can only describe as a disclaimer to his directorial debut. Essentially he says that he wants viewers to "keep in mind" as they watch, that the actors and crew are making this low-budget independent film, not for a "big check," but for their love of movie-making. And, he adds, everyone did the best they could. What does that mean?! That those actors in bigger productions who DO get a large paycheck DON'T do the best they can?!! Trying to pull at my heart strings, trying to illicit viewer sympathy for the cast and crew's supposedly altruistic ideals is not the basis upon which to plug a movie about robbery.

Which brings us to the plot, which was rehashed from other, better, movies and, besides that, was poorly executed. The plot devices--those scenes that are supposed to "move the plot along"--were always flimsy and often absurd. For example, one robber, who mentions that he's an ex-con, has conveniently infiltrated the ranks of the armored car service, becoming a driver. Only one problem with that: Armored car companies always do background checks and DON'T HIRE ex-cons. When the armored car was forced off the road, the legitimate security guards weren't suspicious--no standard operating procedures were executed.

The shootout scene is ridiculous. A half-dozen people fire at point-blank range but--and the film is weirdly doctored here--no one gets shot, though I could have sworn the fat cop did. Confusing editing. The robbers, though they had the shootout near a city, weren't worried about anyone hearing the noise.

Motivation? There really is none given. Obviously the desire for wealth is a motivation for robbery, but these characters weren't developed enough to SHOW us WHY they decided to turn to crime. The movie starts and BAM, a bunch of young people are planning to rob an armored car--"just because"--the viewer is left to assume.

But the robbery is merely a way to get the kids into the woods where, the director apparently thinks, the real creepiness will begin. Wrong. This 'antagonist'(who's the protagonist? I never figured it out)is the most a not-so-scary-as-he-is-strange bad guy. But he's nothing more than a caricature of a "redneck."

Oh, everything about this movie was dumb. The crime, the arrest scene, the purpose of the map, the couple getting angry at each other, the digging for the loot, the redneck, the shootout, the interrogator, the traps, the final scene--everything! It's as if a bunch of talented high-schoolers made a movie.
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9/10
A Romance in which philosophies clash.
21 September 2000
An historically-based film focusing on the romance between Abelard and Heloise which highlights two philosophical outlooks on life.

Abelard, though a first-class thinker, accepted the premise of the Church--that one's life belongs to God, that sex is evil, that happiness on earth isn't possible. But yet he acted against that premise--he fell in love with a woman of reason: Heloise. Abelard's implicit premise, the one he subconsciously held, was in fact pro-life and pro-earth. He loved Heloise because she reflected the things he valued most deeply: Intelligence, beauty, and happiness. But since those things are not valued but are in fact derided by the Church, Abelard believed that his feelings for Heloise were wrong, were worthy of guilt.

Heloise, on the other hand, never accepted the anti-life, anti-pleasure, anti-earth philosophy of the Church. She scoffed at religion, challenged its teachers, and refused to accept things on faith. She held reason, beauty and happiness in high esteem. She saw in Abelard a reflection of her highest values, and, consequently, she acted to gain those values. She never felt guilty about her love for Abelard. She never apologized. She never wavered.

The movie is wonderful because it demonstrates two contrasting philosophical views on life. But since the predominant view in Abelard's and Heloise's time was based on faith, mysticism and obedience to authority, unfortunately life, happiness and love were casualties. Watch this film with your lover and say a word of thanks to REASON, FREEDOM, and SCIENCE that you two don't live in the atmosphere that those two did.
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The Prophecy (1995)
6/10
Interesting concept for a movie, but undermined by unnecessary elements
14 September 2000
A movie with an interesting concept--a second angelic war in heaven, brought down to earth--but bogged down with unnecessary elements. First, the idea that the offending angels needed a particularly dark human soul in order to win their war--and, further, that this soul turn out to be an unknown Korean War veteran living in a tiny western town--is ludicrous. The movie would have been better served had the "soul searching" been replaced with a more unique gimmick. Second, the film would also have benefited with the absence of the Indian "exorcists," who did nothing but shake feathers, chant mantras, and talk in that slow-paced, no-contraction English that Hollywood always has Native American actors speak in. And the "possessed" girl was totally unconvincing.

The angel characters were all excellent. But Lucifer could have done without his diminutive, hooded, white-faced imp-assistant, who, apparently offended his boss in some fashion at one point, and became the object of a short but ferocious growl. It gave Lucifer a chance to flex, but hey, why cart along a trouble-making imp? But apart from little Baron von Imp, ole Lucifer really helped this movie. At one point he informs the main character, a priest turned cop, that he, Lucifer, really WAS under his bed sometimes! And Walken was excellent as a bad angel.

But the ending, oh, the ending--not good! A regular god-in-the-machine cop-out. Watch the movie and count all the missed opportunities for good horror.
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An excellent Zombie Movie
14 September 2000
This is one of the few good horror movies about zombies that I've ever seen. It has wonderful acting, mystery, intrigue, a great plot, and, of course, scary zombies. I wish modern horror movie makers would create more movies in the vein of this 1966 classic, rather than continually pumping out the tripe that we see so much of today. This film is a respectable addition to any horror lover's personal movie collection.
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5/10
What could be more horrific than having Gary Busey sneaking around your house?!
12 September 2000
Of all the people who could be hiding in a secret compartment in one's house, Gary Busey has got to be one of the most unsettling possibilities. In fact, rather than having Busey portray a fictional character--the mentally disturbed Tom Sykes--the director should simply have let Gary Busey portray the mentally disturbed Gary Busey. Now THAT would have added an extra layer of creepiness to the film! Yes, the movie was predictable at many points. And yes, the ending was unimaginative and even disappointing. But there's something so sinister, so psychologically tumultuous about the prospect of that clunkhead, Gary Busey, sneaking around an unsuspecting family's house, that I found the film bordering on the horrific. (I visualize him right now, crouched in my attic, strumming his guitar and singing "Peggy Sue.")What's that noise I hear?! Could it be....GARY BUSEY???!!!AAAAHHHH!!!
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Almost Heroes (1998)
Some good gags, but not the height of hilarity.
11 September 2000
The movie had a good Farley-esque premise, but the director failed to use Farley to his full comedic potential. We should have seen more of Hunt's (Farley's character's) misbehavior after upturning a bottle of whiskey; we only get to hear Perry's character's description of it. More could have been done with the "crazy Indian" scene. In fact, lots of semi-funny scenes COULD have been a real hoot if only they'd turned Farley loose. But I like the movie anyway. Too bad it was Farley's last.
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This Movie-lo: Not Funny-lo
10 September 2000
If you gave a 14 year old a million dollars to make a movie, Deuce Bigalow is what you'd get. Who writes these ludicrous scripts?! It has a couple of semi-funny gags, but that's it. In fact, the movie is almost like a sackful of SNL skits pasted together with a flimsy premise. It's ridiculous, but not even in a funny way.
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6/10
Suspense, mystery, and intrigue that lead to: A bad ending
10 September 2000
If you like a supernatural thriller with a really bad ending, you'll love "The Ninth Gate." Everyone in the movie gives a great performance. But for what purpose? To what end? To an end that leaves the viewer confused, disappointed, and--after investing 2 plus hours in what was an intriguing movie--angry.

It's as if the screenplay writer didn't know how to write the ending, so he just concocted some symbolic mind-twist that was neither clever, nor ironic, nor satisfying. And I absolutely reject the notion that, if only the viewer were a deeper thinker, then it would all make sense. Nonsense! Socrates, Aristotle and Plato or their modern movie-going equivalents couldn't have made sense of the way the film ended. Perhaps if you majored in Luciferic studies at Satan State University, perhaps--perhaps--you'd "get" what happened at the end of the Ninth Gate--but I doubt it. If Satan himself watched this movie, even he would walk away scratching his horns, and ask, "What the heck happened during the last two minutes?" Watch this movie if you like disappointments.
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2/10
Can this sequel be worse than the original? You Bet!
9 September 2000
This movie was crap with a capital "C." The opening scene showed promise. But that "promise" was broken shortly after the viewer learns where the plot is going.

And the wooden statue, Morty, who was rather creepy in the original film, looks plain goofy in this one. It was so obviously just a guy in a cheap plastic costume. (And by the way, who else thinks "Morty" is one of the most un-scary names on planet earth? It ranks right up there with "Jimmy" or "Fred" when it comes to horror value. Or why not just name the wooden statute Henry-freakin'-Kissinger. "Run, it's Dr. Kissinger!" That'd be about as scary as "Morty.)

And then there's a scene where the "hero" hits his father's tombstone with---"a sledgehammer?" you might guess--"a two-by-four?" someone might venture. No, he angrily beats his father's tombstone with a twig---a freakin' twig. But worse than that, once the characters walk away, the tombstone actually, and inexplicably, bleeds. Oh brother!

There's also a Native American guy who lives with the main character's grandparents, but apparently, does nothing except Morty-maintenance. He perpetuates creepy Morty-legends, warns those who scoff, and even fixes Morty's arm when it becomes damaged during a childish prank. But for all his respect for and tenderness toward Morty, does Morty give a rat's hairy behind? No.

The movie drags on, and eventually several people die in ways that correspond to their worst fears (sort of). This film is a real yawner. Don't rent it.
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Vampires (1998)
7/10
This movie lacks a certain "bite", but still is not bad.
9 September 2000
The movie opens with a trained, fully-equipped team of vampire slayers, led by Jack Crow (James Woods), methodically purging a "nest" of its fanged occupants. This is one of the best scenes of the movie and sets the viewers up to think, "Hey, these guys know what they're doing. They're some rough-and-ready characters."

But, lo, where is the master vampire? Not to worry, he'll have his chance at revenge...later that very night, as the "trained" vampire hunters go to the nearest town, lay down their weapons, and begin drinking and whoring. And they knew full-well that a master vampire, whose "subjects" they'd just fried, was still lurking about! How stupid can you be???!!!

The movie marches on, showing carnage and betrayal as the plot is advanced. (And, frankly, it's not a bad plot). But there are many holes, many questions that are not answered, like, Why was such an mysterious and important item (a cross that would permit a vampire to walk in the sunlight) guarded by such a inept group of robe-clad nincompoops, who, according to their own harried screams, knew "The day has arrived!"? If they knew that a particularly horrific "day" was inevitably going to "arrive," why, then, did they lack even a modicum of defensive capability. Why were they caught frantically scampering around like a herd of panty-clad Dr. Smiths (from TV's Lost in Space..."Oh the pain, the pain of it all..."). Oh well, we'll never know, and they're too dead to tell us.

Be that as it may, this movie does have some good dialogue, interesting characters, a unique idea or two, and an actual plot--which makes John Carpenter's "Vampires" stand head and shoulders above most of the horror movies that are out today. I enjoyed it despite its defects.
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Earth: Final Conflict (1997–2002)
Sci-fi Lite and Prissy Aliens
7 September 2000
I've watched several episodes of this series and, believe me, I've TRIED to like it. Really! But it's just not gonna happen. I think it's rather weak sci-fi.

I laugh every time I hear the aliens, the Taelons, speak. If the comic geniuses from "The Kids in the Hall" or "Mad TV" did a skit imitating Earth: Final Conflict, they would sound as flamingly gay as these Taelons do. The Taelons even emphasize their "s" sounds, so that "Catch those pesky humans" becomes "Catch thossse pesssky humansss"...and then in your mind you can't help but add "...or I'll ssspank your buttockssss with a Cat O' Nine tailssss."

These aliens are prissy, pretentious, and proud of it. I think their real motive is not to invade earth, but merely to hang out in "alternative" bars and march in gay-pride parades.

Watch this with your friends, drink beer, and ad your own prissy dialogue whenever the alienssss sssspeak. It'ssss a hoot.
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Visitors of the Night (1995 TV Movie)
2/10
Gushy, sentimental nonsense. The only "visitor of the night" I experienced while watching this was: grogginess.
7 September 2000
If you like drama, there's not enough of it in this movie to intrigue you. If you like suspense, you'll certainly not suspend your nap as this movie "progresses." If you appreciate science fiction, there's precious little science and even less imaginative fiction to warrant watching this mess. In other words: this movie has nothing for everyone.

Spunky Candace Cameron Bure (she played the oldest daughter in the TV series, "Full House.") plays Katie English, a somewhat rebellious child (she can't even act rebellious), is repeatedly abducted by aliens, draws some pictures of it, and yells at her mother (the lovely Markie Post). But Mother, after being hypnotized, recognizes these tell-tale signs in her daughter, including puncture marks that looked like they were inflicted by a tri-fanged vampire, that remind her of her own alien abductions. There's a lot of crying, arguing, yelling, etc., and the movie deftly meanders, whining forth for over 2 hours.

Our little "Rebel" also prances atop a figurative soapbox a couple of times, spouting environmental doomsday pap. This has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the movie, but was apparently put there for the viewers "benefit" and "education." This 1995 script has Katie telling her classmates how "civilization as we know it" will collapse by the year 2000 (The same drivel that teachers back in 1980 told children would happen before 1990; the same claptrap that's vomited in classrooms across America today).

Finally the viewer gets to see the aliens. These entities are the quintessential mouthless, big-eyed, naked, mind-communicating creatures we've come to expect. But that's okay, they're a welcome relief in the movie. Yes, they're a welcome relief, but they are, however, rather incompetent scientists: they can't get their experiments right. But nonetheless I couldn't help but feel sorry for them for having repeatedly abducted such crybabies as specimens. In fact, I kept hoping they'd abduct me so that I wouldn't have to finish watching this horrible movie.

I strongly recommend that you neither rent the video release, nor watch this movie should it again rear it's boring head on TV.
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Nightbreed (1990)
6/10
Good visuals, confusing storyline.
7 September 2000
I never read the novel upon which this movie was based, but it was incredibly obvious while watching this movie that it was indeed based on a novel; the script didn't have that "stand alone" feel to it. The movie tried to incorporate so many elements that the novel apparently offered, that it ended up simply being confusing and disfunctional. Viewers are treated to a plethora of interesting, unique monsters, almost none of whom we learn anything about in depth. There are more questions than answers, more conflicts than resolutions, more visual thrusts than verbal parries. There's an unrealistic, ho-hum attitude by the human characters toward the idea that a troop of monsters live in a nearby cemetery. No problem, say the humans, we'll just get our guns and kill 'em. Yeah right!

The script writing is bad, the visuals are good, the plot is weak, the storyline is confusing. Watch this if you must, but don't expect too much.
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2/10
Dennis Miller fans might enjoy it--a bit, but no one else will.
6 September 2000
This is simply one more extremely bad vampire flick that occupies space in the "Horror" section of video stores. The notion of "plot" barely even punctures this movie. But Dennis Miller is, well, Dennis Miller. It is only because of him that I rented the movie, and only because of his wry, sarcastic comments that I finished watching it. If you're a Dennis Miller fan, then perhaps you should see Bordello of Blood. But don't rent it for its horror value--there is none.
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5/10
For Bigfoot enthusiasts, this is a good flick. But don't expect to be terrified.
5 September 2000
This early 70's movie is done in a documentary/re-creation-of-actual-events format. When I saw it as a kid, it scared me. And I think it would still scare kids today. (Bonus for parents: there's no bad language). But after seeing this movie as an adult, I really didn't find it frightening---just a bit creepy. So if you're looking to be scared out of your wits, then I would not recommend this movie. But if you like movies that have a generally creepy feel, and/or if you're a Bigfoot enthusiast, then get the movie, dim the lights, and enjoy.
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