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Fun and charming but falls a little short
- Some great surreal humor (the phone gag, the age gag, Marlo's bizarre acting style, etc.).
- Loving pastiche of Slumber Party Massacre.
- Likable cast (especially Marlo).
- Good self-parody (actual ketchup for gore effects).
- Efficient use of low budget, decent visual style.
- Doesn't really have a consistent humor style. The surrealist stuff is maybe 10% of the jokes. The rest are very basic and juvenile. (The film actually presents it as funny to say "wieners" instead of "hot dogs," and it makes about ten ham-fisted attempts at innuendo with that in a row.)
- The dialogue is repetitive WITHIN scenes, many of which drag on for way too long.
- The dialogue is repetitive ACROSS scenes, many of which retread the same ground.
IN SUMMATION: If you like campy stuff, there's enough in here to enjoy. I half-heartedly recommend it.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
not "fun," and certainly NOT a "b-movie"
This movie's popularity comes from its reputation as a fun, campy, tongue-in-cheek, not-taking-itself-seriously b-movie. But where did this reputation come from? Let's watch the movie and find out.
Okay, I watched the movie, and I still have no idea where the reputation comes from. I guess there's the title, and I guess there's the one line Sam Jackson says ("I've had it with these...."), but other than that? There's really nothing. Let me be very, very clear on the following: Snakes On A Plane is NOT a low-budget, goofy, fun b-movie, but, rather, a bland, cliché-ridden, BIG BUDGET, typical Hollywood blockbuster!
While we're on IMDb, let's look at the "box office" link. You know what we'll see when we look there? Snakes On A Plane cost $33 MILLION TO MAKE! This is not something one says about a b-movie. It is what one says about a Hollywood blockbuster! The movie has scenes containing honest suspense, honest action, honest attempts at romance, etc. There's nothing campy, there's nothing fun, and there's nothing low budget. We have a flashy Hollywood screenplay with its multi-act structure, and its repeated lines, etc. We have very expensive and fancy set pieces, high quality film stock, flashy CGI effects including CGI snakes, and, well, like I said earlier this movie cost $33 million.
Bottom line: if you want to see a fun b-movie, then see a real one -- but don't see a Hollywood potboiler masquerading as one. This movie is unoriginal, unfun, uncampy, and NOT a b-movie! The people who will like this movie -- and I know there are a lot of them -- are the ones who also like other flashy Hollywood blockbusters. Compare this movie with glitzy stuff like Charlie's Angels or Mr. & Mrs. Smith. But for heaven's sakes, stop comparing it with b-movies. It's not one. It's not even close.
Tromeo with a Twist (2006)
could use a bigger twist
First, for those of you who are wondering what this item is, and if it has any relation to Troma's movie Tromeo & Juliet: the answer is yes, it is related. This short film was made for the 10th anniversary DVD of Tromeo & Juliet. It's a fan-made recreation of a scene from the original movie. But, as you may have guessed from the title of the short film, they added a twist.
Now, for my review of this film: Well, I do like the basic premise. Remaking a segment of Tromeo & Juliet but adding a twist? That sounds great! But... well... the problem was that the twist really wasn't very good. Certainly not good enough to carry the weight of the ploddingly slow pacing that takes place after the twist occurs. Or to compensate for the ploddingly slow pacing that took place before the twist occurred. Uh, this is just bad. Even for an amateur production. Avoid.
What do you get when you mix a lump of clichés with a directionless pacing and a group of characters who you don't care about and a failed attempt at creating an appealing visual style and an even bigger lump of clichés and a weak sense of humor and a really big budget? Why, you get one of the most intolerably unwatchable movies ever made! I'm referring, of course, to Domino.
Here are some things that people might say during the viewing of this movie:
"Ooh, wow, the storyline is told out of sequence, that hasn't been done a billion times before. And much more skillfully than in this movie."
"Wow, look at all of the flashing lights and grainy film texture and elaborate transitions! The director is trying so hard to make things look arty and to establish a visual style! It's just too bad that none of these effects add anything to the movie or make sense with the scenes they're in, and it's also too bad that most of them come across as irritating!"
"I've heard that exchange of dialogue in about twenty thousand movies before!"
"I've seen this scene in about thirty thousand movies before!"
"This one too!"
"Uh, didn't they reveal this 'plot twist' about half an hour ago? Was that supposed to be surprising?"
"If this movie is supposed to be showing a 'tough chick' going around kicking ass... when why doesn't she do very much of it?"
"I can't believe how unoriginal this dialogue is."
"How long is this thing? I feel like I've been watching it for over four hours already."
"I have no idea what just happened, but also, I don't particularly feel motivated to try to figure it out."
"Is this over yet?"
"I want my money back."
"The songs in this soundtrack feel so misused here."
"It's ironic that all of the cursing they use actually detracts from the impact of each one."
And, finally: "I might have to end my friendship with the person who recommended this movie to me."
In summation, this movie is a failure in nearly every aspect. Avoid watching it at all costs. If your house is on fire and this movie is playing in the only room that isn't flammable, you should seriously consider being burned alive instead.
(If I sound bitter, it's because I just spent over two hours watching this movie and, uh, I didn't enjoy it very much.)
Deviant Obsession (2002)
I have two very major complaints regarding this film.
1. That my local rental store shelved what is very clearly a soft core porn in the "suspense" category. (Had I known what it was, I would not have wasted my time renting it in the first place. And yes, this movie is a soft core porn.)
2. The title has nothing to do with the movie. No one in this movie does anything that is either deviant or obsessive, let alone a combination of the two.
Actually, make that three major complaints:
3. That I for some reason watched the movie long enough to discover point number two on this list. Boy do I regret that. Stay away from this movie. Learn from my mistake. This movie is valueless on virtually every level.
Silent Hill (2006)
I CANNOT BELIEVE people are gushing over this pile
The Silent Hill movie is getting a lot of 9's and 10's from reviewers on this site. I'm not sure why.
I am a fan of the games. A *HUGE* fan. A huge, huge, huge, huge fan. But I was VERY disappointed with the movie.
Yes, there were some good things in the movie. There were some excellent ISOLATED SCENES. There were good visuals HERE AND THERE. The soundtrack was USUALLY good. SOME OF THE ACTORS did well. I'll admit all of that.
The other 75% of the movie was lacking. I'm not sure why people are saying the movie was "faithful to the games" when the plot line was completely INCOMPATIBLE with the one in the games. Some characters were the different, and some characters were the same but the events surrounding them were different. But either way, it just didn't match up to the well-established story we know and love.
There were also a lot of moments where the atmosphere was not at all like what the games give us! The games are about loneliness, and isolation. In the games, there are never more than three people (or monsters) in a room at once. No, that's not because of technological limitations -- it's because the designers deliberately planned it that way. The movie, on the other hand, has several crowd scenes. In case you missed it, I'll repeat that -- CROWD SCENES. IN SILENT HILL. What??? Silent Hill is not supposed to be a place where you have a room with twenty people in it. Nor it is a place where you have a hallway with twenty monsters in it. That's ridiculous. It ruins the whole effect.
And speaking of "ruining the effect," let's talk about how often this movie has us LEAVE Silent Hill. The games remove us from the setting SOMETIMES, and VERY SLIGHTLY. The movie, on the other hand, removes us from it FREQUENTLY, and VERY SEVERELY. Right after a creepy scene in the foggy snow, it will suddenly cut to a screen full of bright green trees and blue sky -- two things that have NO PLACE in a Silent Hill movie.
Like I said, the movie did a lot of things right. But not nearly enough to carry the weight of the entire movie. I found myself shaking my head and sighing JUST AS OFTEN as I found myself impressed, if not more so. It does do a lot to make fans of the series happy, but it also does quite a lot to make them furious. The bottom line is, the Silent Hill series is something I love and feel protective over, and when people sully its good name I feel offended. Five stars out of ten.
Killers 2: The Beast (2002)
Basically, we have a movie that didn't live up to its potential.
This film's crew clearly included a talented DP and makeup artist, yet the same cannot be said for the director or editor (who are incontrovertibly more important towards a film's success).
There were a few nuggets of good writing and good visuals scattered throughout the movie, but the bulk was simply lacking. There are a lot of failed attempted at humor, failed attempts at action, and failed attempts at characterization. Occasionally we're intrigued, occasionally we're excited, and occasionally we're even somewhat impressed, but usually we're bored or rolling our eyes. The end result is a thoroughly mediocre experience.
I saw this movie as a bonus feature on the Gutpile DVD. (As far as I know, that's the only place it's available.) And I'm prepared to say: Stumped is an okay film.
It isn't great, but it certainly isn't bad.
On the positive, it's creative and clever at times and contains some genuine laughs.
On the negative, it's boring at times and tends to move slowly.
Also on the positive, it features Debbie Rochon, but back to the negative, it generally wastes her talents and doesn't give her much to do.
All in all this movie is decent. It has considerable potential but simply doesn't push far enough in any one direction. If you ever have the opportunity to watch Stumped, you might as well, but I wouldn't go out of your way.
Parts of the Family (2003)
Comparing the two versions
If you're like the me from a couple of days ago, you're wondering what the deal is with there being two different versions of this movie on the DVD. You're wondering what the difference is between the two versions, which is better, and if either are worth watching. And you're also wondering why no one else on IMDb has commented on this yet, and why not even Troma.com has much info on it. Well I can answer all of those for you!
The two versions on the DVD are the original version and the Tromatic version. The original version is awful. The bad reviews on this website so far all describe the original version, and they're all correct. There's almost nothing worthwhile in the original version. It's clichéd, slow-paced, nonsensical, and just generally an abomination of film-making. And this is coming from a fan of low budget horror films.
Now, the Tromatic version is a brilliant piece of work and is highly recommended. But what is it? It's *not* an entirely new film -- it's a re-cut version of the original with newly filmed scenes added in. And, I must stress this point heavily, all of these changes are made specifically to make fun of the original version. The Tromatic version is a *parody of the original*, and a damn good one at that.
After sitting through the original film, I was miserable. I was thinking, I need some way to vent my frustrations after sitting through an hour and a half of such junk. It turned out that the Tromatic version filled that role perfectly. It adeptly (and hilariously) points out all of the (many) flaws of the original film. And it even adds additional comedy not related to anything. The Tromatic reedit of this movie is truly a brilliant piece of work, salvaging what seemed at first to be a completely unredeemable film. Lloyd Kaufman is a genius.
Shatter Dead (1994)
Brilliant film (although clearly not for everyone)
I'm not surprised that this film has gotten so many bad reviews, although this is not to say I agree with them. I contend that Shatter Dead, although obviously not professional looking, is a brilliant film.
Yes, it was shot on a low budget. Yes, it was shot on video and not film. Yes, the sound is low quality. NO, THESE THINGS DO NOT MATTER.
What matters is that there's (a) a very creative take on the zombie genre, (b) a script with tremendous depth that works on multiple levels, (c) many clever lines (that also work on multiple levels), (d) many powerful scenes, (e) a profoundly haunting mood that permeates the entire film, (f) a fantastic musical score, (g) a sharp and dynamic visual style that defies the low budget, (h) well-developed, memorable characters, and (i) efficient storytelling.
If you need your films to have bright colors and celebrities and pop music, then you will not like Shatter Dead. But if you're looking for something that's actually innovative and meaningful, then perhaps you should give it a try.
Very mixed feelings about this film
OK, where to begin....
First of all, this is obviously not a "good" movie, at least in the classical sense of the word. The editing, plot progression, narrative style, acting, and screenplay are all incredibly lacking. Meredith Lucas' lack of directorial experience is very clear in these areas.
However, I still found the film to be very enjoyable. The cast is fantastic, the soundtrack is amazing, and the photography is much better than one would expect from such a low-budget venture. And if you watch this as a b-movie rather than a serious artistic piece, it's actually quite funny.
Ultimately, this is a great example of a film that just didn't live up to its potential. It could have been enormously helped by removing a few scenes, re-editing a few existing ones, and making more dialogue to make the plot less narration-reliant. It also could have benefitted from an acting coach, although I suppose the bungled lines just add to its kitschy charm....
Anyway, in spite of its many faults, this is still a very enjoyable film, provided you watch it in the right mindset.
The Corndog Man (1999)
This movie is bad.
This movie is REALLY bad.
This movie is might as well be half a minute long and shown 200 times in a row, because you'd get the same effect.
The phone rings. Man A answers the phone and gets annoyed by Man B. Man A curses off Man B, and then hangs up the phone. Repeat.
This is the entire movie.
DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. TRUST ME.