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If you... want to know what I believe
Then come... and see through me
The things... that will never be
Not much violence at all but still keeps up the slasher spirit.
Just before Halloween, three kid brothers who are alone in a big house are menaced by three escaped mental patients who have murdered some traveling circus clowns and taken their identities.
This is the movie that kicked up the big stink of director Victor Salva (most notably known for creating and directing the Jeepers Creepers movies) molesting one of the kid actors in this movie and it's the only reason I can think of as to why it was produced on DVD and ready to be sold but was eventually never officially made available to the public though there are are plenty of copies that have leaked out, some are bootlegs/CD-R but many are real. The best thing to do is to not let it hold you back from watching the movie.
Clownhouse is one of Salva's earliest films. It's obviously low-budget, it has some low-class acting though Sam Rockwell managed to break out into some kind of stardom. The acting is probably the worst part of the movie because it's based on the three kids who are left home alone while their parents are out on business or something (I don't remember that detail anymore). These kids do alright but, they're kids. I don't really enjoy watching a bunch of boring, whining kids on screen but at least my interest is peak because there are are psychotic clowns out there trying to kill the lil' boys.
The mental patients who have escaped and dressed up as clowns are for the most part pitiful. The only clown worthy to fear is Cheezo. The really tall clown who obviously has the decent clown make-up, the other clowns look dull and stupid. Luckily enough, Cheezo gets the most screen time.
There's not much violence at all in the film. It's mostly implied violence but when a movie from the 80's is based on kids, they obviously weren't allowed to put axes in their faces and behead them (dang!). There are quite a few chase scenes, mostly boring as long as Cheezo is still around, you're still around... maybe.
Mainly slasher fans will enjoy this one. There's no real slashing but it's got that 80's slasher feel without the gore. It's not too bad.
The Burning (1981)
The same old slasher formula with a dash of incredible violence.
A bunch of kids at a camp decide to play a prank on Cropsy. The prank goes wrong and scars Cropsy for life with severe burns. Now he's back out of rehab and wants his revenge! Yes, this is the full uncut version being reviewed but I don't see the big deal with the uncut footage. I'm sure the VHS copy I rented here in Australia had the exact same scenes. Yes, the raft scene is ultimately violent and looks very realistic in most aspects but that's about the extent of its violence (except for maybe the hooker scene) and doesn't do much from other slashers considering all other scenes involved.
There are a few young actors in "The Burning" who rose to fame many years later after this film had been released but contributed nothing to their popularity. Those being Jason Alexander (you know, George from Seinfeld) and Holly Hunter (who is hardly in this movie at all and not really worth mentioning). All of the cast give no great performances but do the movie justice for what it's worth. No awards to give here...
I can't say the music is all that enjoyable to listen to either. This may just be me but I hardly ever enjoy 80's music in horror films. It just seems loud and noisy but if you like music in your older horror film, the music here should be nothing to worry about. Tom Savini does a nice job on the gore effects here which don't seem to be all that different from his works on "Friday the 13th" which this film is strangely similar to in style (as is most 80's slashers).
The Cropsy character is an interesting character though gives no evidence of being a mean person before his accident. I wish I knew what he was like before he got burnt but then again, maybe he was a bore and was better off not being showed before the prank. Either way, Cropsy looks rather monster-ish in his one and only film debut. I'd be interested in a sequel if that were to ever happen but most likely never.
Overall, "The Burning" is your standard slasher film that wins points for being one of the earliest 80's slashers and being so daring as to being so violent that the movie was actually banned in many countries. Unfortunately, "The Burning" falls into the "if you've seen one slasher, you've seen them all" category. If you don't like your mindless violence, you're not going to love it...
If you enjoyed the first film, you can't go wrong with this one.
It's been five years since Trevor Moorehouse terrorized Camp Placid Pines, piling up bodies like cords of wood and now he returns! Coming to Placid Pines is difficult for Tracy, who's brother, Jason, was one of Trevor's victims near the end of the original. When Tracy's nightmares begin to come true as one by one the counselors are murdered. Someone is hunting them through the pitch-black forest and is determined to kill them all.
After hearing about how bad the first movie is supposed to be, it made me want to see them. You know, to see how bad they really were. I had never gotten the chance to see the first Bloody Murder movie until recently though I had seen Bloody Murder 2 last year. Now that I have seen both I can compare them to one another. This sequel is a step-up in every single way possible compared to its first movie. The killer looks cooler, the acting is better (but still not all that good), the atmosphere is a better (mostly at night time) and they've toned down the many ideas which were stolen from other movies.
Even though this film seems like your typical, low-budget slasher movie there's something about Trevor Moorehouse that kept me thinking. I still don't know if it was actually him doing the killings or someone just trying to imitate him like in the first movie. Either it's intentional or they forgot to clear that up in the second movie, which was probably the case as I doubt the people responsible for this film are rocket scientists. I'll just leave it with a guess, Trevor Moorehouse did it.
If you enjoyed the first film, you can't go wrong with this one. If you didn't like the first film but enjoy slasher movies, give it a try. If you don't like slasher movies in general, don't bother with this.
It's got action, horror, suspense and gore to satisfy your needs.
A Djinn (rather known as "The Wishmaster") is released through a gem found in an ancient statue. Once the Djinn grants the 3rd wish by his waker, he and his brothers (other Djinn's) are released unto the earth. If he can get that far...
Wishmaster's a favorite of mine. The premise of the movie is really cool and shows off some creative thoughts as to how an evil genie could twist any wish into something bad. The main problem with the Wishmaster films is that the rules of the movie seem to change. For example, in Wishmaster 2 it is said that the Djinn can only grant 1 wish to people for their soul though the security guard in the first movie (played by Jason Voorhees' Kane Hodder) gets 2 wishes. The first he uses to get the Djinn to leave and then he has another to see the Djinn "go through him". I just wish the continuity in these movies had stayed intact all the time, that may have made the sequels more worthwhile.
An impressive note is that this film was only shot in about 4 weeks, maybe a few days more but that surprised me. To get this quality type of movie in such a small time is quite remarkable, reminiscent of John Carpenter's Halloween which was shot in just a few weeks.
The actors did a pleasant job with the movie, especially Andrew Divoff who has the most evil voice to be heard on film (in my opinion). This brings me back to Wishmaster parts 3 and 4 where Divoff turned down the roles which brought John Novak in to replace him. Now, I must say that Divoff is excellent but a lot of people don't give Novak the credit in which he deserves. Think about how hard it is to fill Divoff's shoes with this role, not just in the acting but in the voice. I think Novak took the correct approach in his roles by making the Djinn sound more like a genie (he actually reminded me of a genie when he spoke) instead of imitating Divoff's evil voice.
The music in Wishmaster is your usual horror suspense score, nothing too different in this but it sets the tone well enough. The special effects, although sometimes looking a bit too fake were adequate and satisfying enough. The gore in the movie was nothing short of fantastic though. Also the addition of 4 well known horror actors (Robert Englund, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder and Angus Scrimm) to the cast is a treat, if not a gimmick to gain a wider audience by using the "if they're in it, it's got to be good" trick. That also brings up the fact that the movie is not directed by Wes Craven though is advertised to make people think that he did without actually saying it.
Wishmaster is a treat for most horror fans. It's got action, horror, suspense and gore to satisfy your needs. This is really a recommendation for all horror fans, I don't see how a slasher fanatic would be bored during the movie, or a gore-hound, or someone who likes suspenseful movies that have you on the edge of your seat. This is some entertaining stuff.
Ice Queen (2005)
Low budget movies rarely surpass expectations... and this is another example of why that is.
A scientist has found a cave woman from prehistoric times frozen in the ice. She's the Ice Queen. While en route back to civilization, the Ice Queen comes to life, causing the plane they were traveling in to crash into the side of a mountain. The crash causes an avalanche, which deposits the plane, along with several tons of snow, into the main lodge of a ski resort.
This is a generic monster movie. A moronic plot with unnecessary happenings to fill up the length of the movie, below average actors and I can't say anything good about the characters as they are as emotionally thin as paper. The only time I was interested in watching these horrible actors/characters was the pointless sex scene with big fake boobs filling up as much of the screen as possible (it really is my favorite scene from the movie if I had to name one). To sum it up, bad acting.
Gore effects, whilst sometimes extremely amateurish, are quite a bit of fun to endure. It's definitely fake but funny, sometimes Evil Dead type funny. There are some decent crashes pulled off on the screen but are usually followed by horribly crafted CG imagery. If only they had kept this movie totally prosthetic and can the CGI, it may have been able to hold some kind of merit. Alas, they tried to get too Hollywood and make it worse.
Wardrobe design for the Ice Queen and miscellaneous characters are pretty bad, the make-up for the Ice Queen is bearable but only because it makes you laugh. Tee-hee-hee, she look funny.
All they really needed was some more talented people behind the scenes. If only they had a director who could hide that TV movie feel, if only they had a few more decent actors so it doesn't look like a movie filmed by a high school class. It could have rivaled such movies as Pumpkinhead, The Unnamable and Rawhead Rex but falls too short due to its lousy production values.
Evil Aliens (2005)
Good for a laugh with your friends.
Evil Aliens tells the story of a group of disreputable news unit who sets out to cover a bizarre story of alien abduction on an isolated island off the coast of Wales.
If you're into movies that just don't let up on incredibly weird scenes, this is the movie for you. You get to see some sick stuff and also some funny stuff, usually combined. You want to see a human having intercourse with an alien? You can see it here. You want to see a violent anal probe? You can see it here.
This is an independent film by Jake West, a guy who seems to have won countless number of awards for many low-budget films. The movie is handled in quite a professional manner and makes good use of obviously fake CGI. Somehow, he pulls it off so it doesn't feel so uninvited.
As the movie progresses, your face will change into many different shapes. Some of the expressions may be... "cool", "what the hell?" and "ummm, I'm going to look over here... now". All in good ways. The movies takes so many good ideas (however messed up they may be) to the extreme, they don't hold back on anything. It's good to see something refreshingly new to the screen.
Capped off with a stunningly entertaining ending, which is not common with these low-budget films. They usually seem to waste all of their money on the first half of the movie that they run out of money to complete their "great" ending. This is not the case with Evil Aliens as it is the best part of the movie.
One of the best low-budget films I've seen in a long time. Keep an eye and ear out for all of the major film references, you should find some in there. It's very consistent, and should keep you there for the full 90 minutes.
Good for a laugh with your friends.
Just a movie about guys running around with guns.
Based on the hit computer game about Marines sent to investigate what went wrong on a space station. They never expected the scientists to still be there, turning into creatures and driven by a need to kill whoever they choose! Anyone who's ever played a game has most likely played "Doom" at one point or another. It's no surprise that at some point, the game would turn into a movie. This film is exactly what I thought it would be. It's a mediocre action movie with lots of effects that crush any hope you had of enjoying a decent horror flick.
If I had to tell you a similar movie that would sum up "Doom", I'd tell you to combine "Alien vs Predator" and "Resident Evil" together and you'd have "Doom" in a nutshell. Keep in mind, the creature effects in both "AvP" and "Resident Evil" are far superior to those in "Doom".
"The Rock" (Dwayne Johnson) is one of those actors that I always enjoy watching on screen. Whether or not the movie he's starring in is good or not, I'm always pleased with his performance. While his efforts in "Doom" seem a little tedious, he's still gives the best performance out of any cast member in the film. What is with the cast anyways? It's the most generic bunch of guys I've seen. You got your macho leader, your hero, your nervous dork, your hard-ass, your tough guy and your... Asian. Wow, I see they've really been following the cliché book mighty closely.
Special effects are as good as you can expect for a movie based on a video game, though I was not very impressed with the creature effects. Granted, they don't show the creatures much or at all but isn't that half the reason you wanted to see this film anyways? To see a whole bunch of creatures come on screen and put up a fight? Errr, I did. Also take note that the movie is extremely dark, so when something actually goes down, you're going to miss half of it because it's so damn hard to see the interesting fight between one of the creatures and that black guy "Destroyer".
The game view near the end contains some impressive visuals but grows tiresome quickly. I really enjoyed the shots of guys getting heads exploded but once we get to the chainsaw, it just became tacky.
The movie did seem to gain interest in the last 10 minutes or so but by that time, you're probably to depressed to care. This is a movie for guys, full of testosterone. It's filled with guns and when they don't have guns, they've got even bigger guns to fill in the absence. You get the idea... just a movie about guys running around with guns.
Bad Taste (1987)
Watch and enjoy with a bowl of cereal.
Lord Crumb and his army of aliens has landed on earth with the intention of selling mankind as intergalactic hamburger meat. Earth's government issue a full-scale alert and unleash their first line of defense "The Boys" - Derek, Frank, Oz and Barry... Will Lord Crumb succeed in turning the human race into "Crumb's Country Delights" or will The Boys stop him? I can't say that I knew a lot about this film before watching it and I can't say that I saw this earlier than this year (though I could blame that on the fact that the movie has been banned in my state for quite some time). What I can say is that this is an experience for all horror fans. I'm not implying that a slasher fan is going to love it, or a ghosts fanatic will too but this is at the very least, a one-time viewing for all of the movie-going public.
From information that I've gathered, this film was just a bunch of friends getting together on the weekends to make a movie. I'm not sure if a script was present but supposedly this film was totally improvised whilst being filmed. Now, you may have just thought that I contradicted myself by saying that there may have been a script and yet the movie was improvised but I mean it in the way that there is a script with no real dialogue, just details on what kind of path the movie would follow. Technically, if they did have something like that, I guess you wouldn't call it a script in the first place. Let's just say that the movie isn't exactly the works of Shakespeare but works well enough for the film that it is.
All of the acting is campy and not all that serious. I don't think anyone really needs to question the acting in the first place as it's not really required and would have probably been a lot worse if taken into the serious approach. I'm not sure if these guys have acted in anything else, possibly just small films that aren't backed by major studios but gt a thumbs up in my book. Peter Jackson playing the main role in the film as Derek kind of surprised me. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Jackson's work in movies such as The Lord Of The Rings or even Braindead/Dead-Alive (not to say this movie didn't have its moments) but I can certainly see why he got so famous.
All of the gore is lovely to watch and is presented in a more comical manner. It's not the type of film I'd go "Ughhh!" at (do I do that to any film?) though the more relaxed viewer may find the gore highly disturbing. I can see why and don't blame them, though they deserve it for not keeping a healthy horror movie diet.
Overall, the movie is pretty good. Don't be fooled by the "Director of The Lord Of The Rings" promoting on the region 4 DVD as it is pretty much as far from the Lord Of The Rings movies as possible. Watch and enjoy with a bowl of cereal.
Alone in the Dark (2005)
Washed up actors, pointless plot scenes and a confusing director.
Edward Carnby, detective of the paranormal, unexplained and supernatural, investigates a mystery (the recent death of a friend) with clues leading to "Shadow Island" that brings him face to face with bizarre horrors that prove both psychologically disturbing and lethal, as he discovers that evil demons worshiped by an ancient culture called the Abskani are planning on coming back to life in the 21st century to once again take over the world... and only he and a young genius anthropologist with an incredible memory (and his ex-girlfriend), Aline Cedrac, stand in their way, at a gateway to hell. Standing in Carnby's way, however, is the impact that a brief encounter with an evil spirit called the Queen had upon his mind, as he slowly finds himself overpowered by the forces of darkness as they eat away at his very sanity...
I'm not a huge fan of the video game series but I did own part 4 on Playstation and I suppose it's a good idea to base the movie on, both the game and movie are somewhat similar. There are a lot of Uwe Boll haters out there. I however, think he's a decent action director. Some of the visuals he can create can be pretty cool to watch.
Boll's last film, House of the Dead (universally hated by the entire world) is the only other film of his that I remember seeing and in comparison, he's taken a step up with Alone in the Dark. Maybe it was better because there was a little more substance to this plot, maybe because there was a little more to know in this movie, maybe it was because they have some better actors in this film, who knows? Now, I'm not a fan of any of the actors in this film. If I had to choose the best actor, I'd have to go with Dorff because I own a few of his other films on DVD. Slater has always been a borderline actor and seems to keep it together in this film but is slowly dragged down by his co-star Tara Reid who will annoy you with her explosive mouth and whorish face. She really is annoying! Alone in the Dark never really gave me the action I craved until the end and by that time, the movie had already failed me. A big issue is that I'm not entertained by movies just using 3 minutes of continuous gunfire. It's not exactly exciting to see a bunch of bullets flying at the screen, it's too repetitive.
I didn't mind the monsters, they seemed to stay true to the game, visually (as I recall). The CGI in the movie is generally questionable, yet bearable. I really like the music from the soundtrack in the first scene of uncontrollable gunfire where the screen kept going black when being attacked by those creatures. Usually heavy metal doesn't mix well with most scenes in movies, although I do feel as though it's a good testosterone builder, they did will with the music in this film. "Ghost" by Mnemic is a cool song, been listening to it on the soundtrack ever since early 2005.
The movie suffers from seemingly washed up talent, pointless plot progression and a confusing director. Somehow they manage to keep the film within some kind of boundaries of toleration but that all depends on how far away you draw your lines.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Enjoyable fight sequences but everything else is quite boring.
An expedition of archaeologists on Earth discover an Aztec temple hidden under the Antarctic circle, housing a host of Alien creatures. A group of coming-of-age Predators have also come to the temple, as it has long been a training ground for their race. From there on, it's Aliens vs. Predators, with the humans caught in the middle.
This is a fairly hard movie to rate as I can easily say that I was disappointed with the movie as a whole but I thought the action/fight sequences between the Aliens and Predators were stunning. Clever use of slow-motion with bone crushing thuds everywhere as Aliens and Predators recklessly trash the set.
Now that I've proclaimed my love of the action sequences, it's time to say a few things that I don't like. I don't like the fact that it took so long to get into the actual action. I'd say that it takes like 45 minutes at least just to get to the first action sequence. Yeah, from then on in it gets interesting but everything before it was pretty much a snooze-fest. I hated pretty much every single human character shown on screen. I actually prayed for their deaths... quicker would have been better and the lack of violence towards the actual humans also lets this one slide down the scale a bit. Don't get my words mixed up, there is quite a bit of violence in the movie, it's just not gory or bloody.
There's also one thing about this movie that seemed to work well on me and that was the playing field. It seems that the Predators alone have an advantage over the Aliens in one-on-one situations so every time I saw a Predator get slaughtered, something inside of me stopped. I felt weird, I don't know how to explain it but it was a powerful feeling. Kind of like the feeling of a highly obsessive fans' favorite sporting team reaching the final game and getting their asses whooped! I hear a lot of people don't like the plot but it's not that bad and what a lot of people don't understand is that Anderson tries to tie the movie in with the comics, he may not have ended up with a masterpiece but anyone who's been a fan of AvP before the movie should know and respect this. Also, the fact that this movie wasn't even finished by its deadline is another reason why it got so sloppy. I'm not saying it would have made the film any better by giving it some more time though it may have given Anderson and his crew a lil' bit more credit where credit is due.
Many loyal fans will be disappointed but hey... unfortunately that happens.