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Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2002)
Not so good.
I wanted to put my two cents in on this film, since most of the reviews are glowing and this is far from a good film, but what would you expect from Herschell Gordon Lewis.
When I was 13 I didn't like roller coasters, if I wanted a stomach churning experience I watched splatter films. Sometimes they were funny like Peter Jackson's Bad taste (still a favorite), and sometimes they were lurid but entertaining like H.G. Lewis' 2000 Maniacs (well the theme song is still fun). But, as I've gotten older most of these films don't really stand the test of time and the only thing they have going for them are the gore. And in most cases not even that can save them.
In Blood Feast 2 the gore is repetitive, the writing and acting are crap, and the jokes are old and unfunny. I'm not sure what I expected from Lewis, though his other films were interesting to watch for their lurid, sometimes inventive, gore this movie is just boring. I gave it 2 stars for one reason.
He is the only thing worth watching in this movie, and his character carries the only spark of genius in the entire show. It's so genius that I have a feeling it wasn't in the original script, nor did the director or writer have anything to do with it. At one crime scene he makes the requisite "boy I sure am hungry" joke, of course I rolled my eyes "haven't heard that one before", but as the movie goes on it gets so over the top that he starts every scene with "I sure am hungry" and ends every scene with "I sure am hungry". John McConnell you have found a fan.
Not bad, but not good.
Just watched this film with my sister and her kids. Although there are some interesting moments and for the most part the acting is good. This is, as others have commented, a faith picture. Most of the reviews for this film on IMDb are planted reviews by people who were involved in the making of the film. Just click on their names, most of them have reviewed one film.. this film. Others have cutesy names like RadioFlyer68, which I guess is supposed to make you think "Hey I liked Radio Flyer, maybe I'll like this movie too."
Truth is TSOJS isn't really that bad from a movie stand point, it looks good, it's well acted, and like I said it has it's moments. Overall it's no better or worse than many of the afterschool specials of the 80's. But as at least one other commenter noted it's major flaw is that it's a faith picture, where nothing ever goes wrong, the bad guys aren't really that bad, and everything in life is solved by prayer. I was able to suspend disbelief for most of the film, but when it got to the end and the "secret" was revealed I laughed out loud.
The Last Word (2008)
I'd never heard of this documentary, but after reading the plot summary on Netflix I decided to check it out. Honestly, I almost turned the movie off after the first five minutes. The opening re- enactment, ham fisted narration, and use of stock footage was almost laughable. But, as the movie went on it really grabbed me. The opening presents you with a mystery and you begin to question what you're seeing.
"What did the letter say?"
"Did he or didn't he commit the crime?"
The films finale is very effective. This is a truly frightening film, for a lot of reasons, I'm glad I had the chance to see it.
Nightmare Alley (2010)
Okay, so Nightmare Alley is another shot on video horror crap fest from the folks at Brain Damage Films. I was expecting after this long releasing no budget films maybe they'd finally start releasing movies of quality. Sad to say that's not the case, in fact I think their movies are getting worse. Nightmare Alley is bad, sometimes bad in a good way, but mostly just bad. None of these stories make any sense. It's just bad bad bad. Here's the plot of one of the stories in a nutshell.
Guy sits at a bus stop waiting for a bus. Gay guy walks up and propositions him. Guy gets mad and kills gay guy. THE END
*Sigh* Luckily I didn't pay for this, I got it for free on Netflix.
Death Race (2008)
Stupid, but entertaining.
Death Race is probably Paul W.S. Anderson's best movie, of course that isn't saying much. Although I thought the movie was stupid, and the plot was equally ridiculous I was entertained throughout. Being a fan of the original Death Race 2000 I was expecting to hate this movie, and although it's not as zany or inventive as the original DR2000, it manages to keep the action rolling steady from beginning to end. I wouldn't say it's a "So bad it's good" movie, but Death Race is never dull. Overall I can't recommend a purchase or rental, but if it happens to be on cable and there's nothing else on, Death Race will fill the bill.
All rhyme no reason.
I was really impressed by Marc Fratto's second film Zombies Anonymous (AKA: Last Rites of the Dead). So, I was eager to see Strange Things Happen at Sundown. Overall I was disappointed. Not because of the camera-work, or the acting, or the lighting, or the special effects, I knew they would be sub-par. What really disappointed me was the writing. Zombies Anonymous was well written and well edited (assuming you see the full version), Strange Things was overlong, and overly ambitious. There are plenty of great ideas, and funny moments, but overall they don't add up to much of a movie, which is too bad.
I can't recommend this video, but at the same time I can't trash it. If you're interested I say pick it up, check it out. If your on the fence about watching it, don't bother, rent Zombie Anonymous instead.
You may not Believe it, but I REALLY liked it.
Disclaimer: Let me start by saying that I was neither drunk nor high when I watched this movie. I watched it stone cold sober, alone, in my living room.
Amazingly I just gave an Uwe Boll film 8 stars, I know, I can't believe it myself. If I were twelve years old and still read MAD Magazine I'd probably have given it ten stars.
There are plenty of "zany" pop culture riffing movies out there, (Meet the Spartans, Super Hero Movie, Date Movie, etc.) but the difference here is Postal works. I laughed throughout the entire movie, with the exception of about seven jokes which didn't make sense or just didn't work. But it doesn't matter that these seven jokes failed because the movie is an endless stream of jokes, sight gags, bikini clad cult members, machine gun battles, and bad taste in the vein of John Waters/Troma Films earliest efforts.
It's too bad Uwe Boll got himself involved in a petty internet pi**ing contest over this film. I think had he just been modest, kept his mouth shut, and let the film speak for itself it may have been a minor success. The old Hollywood saying about there being "no such thing as bad publicity" doesn't work for you when all you get is BAD PUBLICITY.
That said, the only real problems with the film are the low budget production values and a few of the minor performances, but even those problems just add to the humor of this film.
The plot actually made sense.
The actors played it straight without being too zany too often.
And the jokes, although in bad taste and definitely not for everybody, were never so mean spirited that I was turned off by them.
I think Uwe Boll knew what he was doing with this picture. The satire and parodies worked well, and there were even a few jokes that made me want to cheer. I know, crazy huh?
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
A boring and predictable slasher film. DON'T BOTHER.
I read about this film on-line and after seeing the generally positive reviews it has received, and viewing the trailer, I decided to check it out for myself. What a disappointment! It starts out well enough. the opening scene was actually pretty tense, but from there it's all downhill. I can see that the filmmakers were trying to do something different with this movie, but by doing so, they took all the enjoyment out of watching it. Those choices combined with the "C.S.I" editing, use of music and montage, lack of suspense, scares, or humor really drag this film down. There's too much foreshadowing and to many "subtle" clues, so when the first twist arrives early on, you already know how the movie is going to end. I gave the movie three stars because I think the cast did a good job, other than that I can't recommend this movie.
Last Rites of the Dead (2006)
Well worth the price of a rental.
I tend to rent a lot of direct to video movies. I know I shouldn't, because most of these films are garbage, and renting them only puts money into the pockets of greedy hacks, but every once in a while you find a gem like Zombies Anonymous.
YES: The lighting sucks.
YES: Thespecial effects are lame.
YES: The videography is mediocre and the editing a rough in spots, but you know what? The writing is really good.
I was able to overlook all of the low budget flaws because there is actually an interesting story to be had in ZA. I won't go into it here because I want you to RENT THIS MOVIE! I almost didn't, it was stuck all the way down in the Z section and the cover art was horrible, but I took the plunge at brought it home. I am glad I did.
The only real drawback to this movie is that the two major action set pieces go on FOREVER, and only highlight the low budget. These are both in the final third of the video and they drag down the momentum. There also seems to be a scene missing toward the end, because I was lost for half a scene before I realized "oh that's who that is, and that's what's going on.". With all these technical problems I still give this movie a 9 out of 10. If more no budget film makers made movies like this (smart, funny, and entertaining) then maybe Hollywood would take notice and start making good movies as well. Not because it's a trend but because it's a matter of life and death.
As I've grown older, I've noticed that I have less patience for crappy direct to video movies. With the proliferation of inexpensive video cameras and editing software, plenty of people have turned to the direct to video market to make a few quick bucks. Now even larger companies like Dimension Films are releasing low budget "So bad it's good" trash on their Dimension EXTREME video line. The problem is most of these films are just "so bad" without being "good" in any way, shape, or form (I'm talking to you Automaton Transfusion). Many companies of this ilk will have a minor hit, take for instance The Bare Wench Project. From what I understand, the movie made loads of money on video and cable. So, what did the film makers do? They flooded the market with more sexy spoofs till there was no market left to be had. This happens all the time. I guarantee that within a year and a half Dimension Extreme will disappear, they'll have made their money from the gullible looking to see something new and move on. This happened with Brain Damage Films, Full Moon, The Asylum, Troma, and the producers of Polymorph, Suburban Tempe films.
The reason I bring this up is because Polymorph is actually an entertaining flick, and one of Tempe's better movies. Most people rave about the Dead Next Door, or Ozone, but this movie is the best of the whole lot. Sure it's bad, but it's bad in the same way The Evil Dead is bad, or Bad Taste is bad. It brings new ideas to the table and keeps the action moving forward. I recommend this movie to anyone who misses the good old days of watching bad cinema, and instead of being disappointed, having a good time. So, get a six pack order a pizza, invite some friends over and enjoy.
Automaton Transfusion (2006)
WOW! What a piece of garbage!
Let me start off by saying that making a movie and having it distributed (by a major studio no less) is no easy task. Let me also say that the lighting is nice, the acting is WAY better than this film deserves, and the directing and editing aren't bad.
That said, this movie sucks. There is no plot, things just happen, and not original things either. Almost every "kill" in this movie is from some other (better?) zombie movie. Now I know that you can't be original all of the time, and even Tarantino borrows heavily in his films. The difference is Automaton Transfusion is just a series moments from other films strung together into one 75 min. disaster. I would be fine with this if the film cost $2000, or even $7000. BUT $50,000!!! REALLY? Not only that but the DVD I saw had major frame rate issues, and mouths fell in and out of sync (bad PAL to NTSC Conversion?). Dimension films needs to get a better conversion put together because this is crap.
30 Days of Night (2007)
No Good **Possible Spoilers**
Let me start by saying that I think the comic book 30 days of Night is one of the most overrated comic books in recent history. After reading it once I tried to give it to some friends of mine. After they read it, they brought it back to me, they didn't want it either.
So when I heard Steve Niles sold the rights to his book for one million dollars to Sam Raimi's production company I was hopeful that they would turn it into something worth watching. Sadly they stuck close to the source material.
I've never in my life seen a two hour movie that actually made me feel like I had been siting in the theater for thirty days. The problem is this movie takes itself too seriously, just as the comic book before it had. There are action scenes that fall flat, and emotional scenes that carry no weight. The actors all did an admirable job trying to bring their characters to life, but in the end the script just isn't strong enough. The biggest problem with this movie overall, is the score. It just sits there, doing nothing. There is a scene where one of the survivors drives down main street with a piece of heavy machinery running down and cutting through anything that gets in his way. Does the music pulse and thump? Does the music rise as the hero takes a stand and confronts the baddies head on? NO! The music just sits there. We get a few strings, a nearly inaudible tambourine, and an even more inaudible drum cadence. Why? Because the director thinks he's making a scary movie instead of a monster movie. Another scene like this is the final fight. The last stand. As the scene opens we have the hero making a lonely walk toward the center of town. As he begins his walk we get a rock snare thumping. Alright some music!!! Nope. He gets to the center of town and suddenly the drums disappear and instead we get quiet strings and what sound like someone running a drill over guitar strings. Exciting stuff let me tell you. The only reason this movie gets five stars is because the cinematography is really nice. There is one overhead shot near the beginning of the monster invasion that makes you feel like you're there, and helpless to do anything. Kudos to the cinematographer.
Rendition is a rather run of the mill film. I was expecting to see a movie that made me think, or brought new ideas on the torture debate to the table. Instead I got a movie that was about as realistic as an episode of C.S.I. with a twist ending that, in my opinion, cheapened the entire experience. I know a majority of critics praised this film, but I just don't see what the big fuss is all about.
The young pregnant woman fights to save her husband from being tortured at the behest of the cold old hag, but luckily in the end the cute guy saves the day and they all lived happily ever after. Oh, except for the evil torturer who loses his daughter. THE END.
What a crock. One of my major gripes with the film is that the female characters were totally one dimensional. You could almost lose the female characters entirely and the film would play about the same. Except it would be a half an hour shorter, and I wouldn't have had to sit through that bull**** twist ending.
Tales of the Rat Fink (2006)
A Big Disappointment!!!
What A Drag! This movie is 75 minutes of after effects animations set to surf music, nothing more. If you're really interested in learning something about Ed Roth read the book HOT RODS by "BIG DADDY" Ed Roth. The book contains all of the images used in the movie, and then some, as well as a plethora of information on his designs and techniques. This film would have made for a nice short subject. The animations are really cool, but there's just too much filler and not enough meat. In total there's probably four minutes of actual "footage" and most of this is stock footage. The rest of the film is made up of still images and animation. Read the book avoid the movie!
Not bad for a first film.
This is a hard film to rate. I enjoyed most of the film and found the last thirty minutes or so to be rather jarring. The biggest flaw is that the plot relied on the main character (Angela) to act like an idiot throughout most of the film. Actually all the women in this film are written poorly, doing or saying idiotic things. Also the musical cues were so heavy handed. In the end though, I did like this movie. The director was able to push me into an uncomfortable spot, and the fact that it worked was great. 8 of 10 stars. If this weren't his first film 6 of 10 stars.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
I never thought I'd say this, but I'd rather watch STRANGELAND
Where to start? Okay, first I must say, DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE! I gather from reading many of the reviews on this site that most of the high marks come from ROB ZOMBIE FANS. I admit that I do enjoy his music on occasion, but this movie is just "messed up". When I say that I don't mean it in a, "Wow, I was really disturbed, that film is 'messed up'!. What I mean to say is, "Wow, when they gave this film the 'greenlight' someone really 'messed up'!". I waited just as long as everyone else to see this movie, and it was such a disappointment. I don't want to be wholly negative about this film so let me say what I did like (There are only two things). 1.) When it came to making you jump, Rob used misdirection well . I jumped pretty high at least twice, and nearly jumped about four other times. He was always able to pull you away from what was going on for just long enough, then he'd have something jump out and scare you. 2.) His wife. (Sigh) Not the greatest actress in the world, but she sure is cute. Now for the bad. 1.) The editing. My head hurt soo bad when I left the theater. He tried to be Oliver Stone and juxtapose various images, but it didn't work. Mostly because there was no rhythm he was just being goofy. 2.) He used so much stuff from other movies it's pathetic. I noticed at least 7 "homages" in the film and I'm sure if I looked I could find many more. 3.) The extreme lack of plot and character motivation. People in this movie do things not because it's in their character, but because they have to get to the next plot point. 4.) Where is the sheer terror I was promised. I ask you to show me one person who found anything in this movie disturbing. Overall I hated this movie and urge everyone to stay clear. SHAME ON YOU MISTER ZOMBIE, SHAME ON YOU!
Sadly not as good as the U.S. version *Spoilers*
I know I'm going against the grain with this review, but I found the original version just didn't stack up. *SPOILERS*
This version is full of it. How could this woman have had sex with the male lead, yet alone bear his child, without knowing he was a psychic. I'll tell you how. The writers didn't want to spend the time writing, when they could just say, "Well, the guy is a psychic, so anytime a problem arises he just knows the answer." This really detracted from the story. That's why I think the American version worked much better, there was always that uncertainty, you never knew if they would find the answer to the riddle. It added suspense. Also. WHAT IS SO SHOCKING ABOUT A PERSON WITH HIS/HER MOUTH HANGING OPEN? Every time a body was found the people would say "I've never seen anything like that." It got alot of unintentional laughter from the people watching the movie with me. At least in the U.S. version they actually looked inhuman. The only thing that I wish the American version used that this film had was the last 30 seconds. Maybe they've found a way to stop the whole thing, but grandpa has to sacrifice himself. That was a cool twist. Oh well, maybe next time.
Christmas Nightmare (2001)
Not bad but could have been better.
I'll be brief and to the point with my review. The first half hour of this movie is well designed, and actually works. I rent many low budget horror films from my local video store, most are cheesy, campy, or just trash. I expected no more than that from this movie, but after the first few minutes I was kinda surprised at how well it was made. I didn't even mind the obvious digital effects, because the story was allowing me to suspend disbelief, and the acting was above average for a movie of this kind. The problem is after the first half hour everything had been said. The movie began to repeat itself over and over, and the tension that was built within the first half hour just sat there. It didn't continue to build mind you, IT JUST SAT THERE. Overall I'll give this film 6 out of 10 for at least trying to be more than a blood, guts and breast film. And just so you know, there is only blood in this film neither of the latter, which is, to a degree, refreshing.
This movie, like most bad movies, is about a half hour too long!! (if you saw the movie you'd get that joke) Spoilers!!!
I saw SPIDER-MAN opening night with a capacity crowd. I'm not sure how much they liked it, but I was really bored with it. When I first saw the infamous teaser trailer for this movie I must say I was intrigued. I've been a fan of Spider-Man since I was a kid, therefore I was keeping my fingers crossed about the whole affair. For the most part Marvel comics hasn't really had a very impressive run with their movie properties. Most of that was due to the lack of F/X technology available in the past. So after seeing the more recent trailers, I was getting more and more reved up to see this thing. So on Friday I bought my ticket early and waited to see what I hoped would be a "high flying, rip-roaring time" at the movies. Instead I was treated to Peter Parker The Movie. For a summer action movie, this movie is light on the action. Normally Sam Raimi is able to keep things rolling when it comes to action pieces. Granted he didn't write the script, but he also didn't direct it with his usual kinetic energy. *Spoilers* The movie opens with a really cool Animated Marvel Comics logo, but it's all downhill from there. In case you don't already know. Peter Parker is a high-school science geek who, on a school field trip, is bitten by a genetically mutated "super spider". This scene is one of the most annoying in the whole movie. I'm not a purist and don't mind the fact that the means of mutating the spider were changed. But man what's with that scientist rambling on about the various spiders to the high school class? "This spider's reflexes border on precognition, you could almost say it has a "spider sense". Yipee, That was a laugh riot my friend! It was like one of those really bad 1950's horror movies. Where the doctor explains everything in a dumbed down fashion to other doctors who probably want to slap him for talking down to them. The scenes that follow are probably the best of the whole movie though. (Flash Thompson's slow-mo punch was pretty darn funny.) When Peter discovers his super powers, he begins to experiment and have fun. Even if he was a little less worried then I would be in such an instance. It was fun. And just like the original comic book handled it in a nice way. Giving Peter moral challenges, some of which he fails. As any young kid given super powers would. But these scenes make up the bulk of the action sequences. After this there are maybe fifteen minutes of Spider-Man. If you've seen the commercials you've seen it all, LITERALLY. Most of this takes place in hokey montages of action, like in Superman. The rest was a talkie snore fest, the only time it got interesting was when J. Jonah Jameson was on screen, or Willem Dafoe was kickin it Jekyll and Hyde style. Otherwise some of the monologues were just hard to listen to. And Tobey's voice coming from the costume was bad. I know if I were a scrawny kid who had the duality of being a superhero I'd come up with th ebest darn superhero voice I could. I wouldn't go around doing my best imitation of the pimple faced teen from the Simpsons.