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Nightmare Asylum (1992)
The traditional dictionary definition of "asylum" is "a place where one can be safe" a shelter, sanctuary, refuge. Back during the 1930's when I was a kid, my folks would take me to a wildlife sanctuary, and I'd get to feed stale bread to ducks. Therefore, one might assume that a nightmare asylum would be a place where people who suffered from nightmares could go to have pleasant sleep. Or, since this was a fantasy movie, perhaps a place where repetitive nightmares could go to obtain some much needed rest. For instance, I repeatedly dream that it's the first week of the academic year, that there are several classes that it's very important I attend, that I don't know where or when they are, and that the university has a policy of never releasing such information. That could use a rest, as well as the one where I'm teaching a class with no idea of what I'm supposed to be teaching. However, this wasn't such a movie. Unlike other reviewers, I watched it through to the end, though with the sound turned down because I couldn't make out what the nice folks in it were saying anyway and my dog needed her nap. The set was super low-budget, which I liked: mostly a cellar with steam pipes and the usual corridors that lead to dead ends. If the cast had appeared on the old Dragnet show, each member would have been arrested for overacting. The theme music should have been People, people who ear people / Aren't the most popular people in the world. The hamburger and various scrap meats seemed fresh enough, and leaner than what one usually finds in supermarkets, while the spaghetti seemed sufficiently cooked but not overcooked. I hope that the cast and staff salvaged most of their gore grub afterwards. The fight and dismemberment choreographies were frantic, unconvincing and boring. Especially those of a large, bewigged gentleman who waved a huge knife and his small, skinny gentleman pal. Since this film was made in the early 90's the pal didn't seem to be a Significant Other. That was kind of the author, producer and director.
Twister's Revenge! (1988)
Twister triumphant !!!
There seem to be only two reactions by reviewers: Gaaaaaaah! (thus its overall 2 rating) and Yay! (burp). I watched it sober, with a few intermissions while doing other things, and found it a good slapstick comedy with acting quite adequate for what it was trying to accomplish. But then Curley Howard is one of my three or four favorite actors. The female lead had a fairly easy role: mostly one of being gagged, bound, and tied to a chair next to a ticking bomb. She also was quite adequate. The monster truck was more than adequate: it was noble, inspiring,overcoming all obstacles; sadly, its eventual tank opponent lacked personality. Delightfully, indeed considerately, all characters, both primary and minor, survived explosions, the houses they occupied being flattened, and numerous other deadly experiences with no worse effects than soiled clothing and temporary confusion. None of the characters, including the tank, could shoot accurately, but this is typical of such movies
unlike the "blood and gore all over the floor, and me without my spoon" ones. The sound on my copy was dreadful, but I've been having trouble with sound on my laptop anyway, so this may not have been the fault of my very inexpensive DVD. Would I watch this again? No, but the once was fun.
The Vampire Conspiracy (2005)
A severe case of vocabulary poverty
I'm a fan of low, low, low budget movies. In this one, almost the entire set was of what I assume were plasterboard corridors. Fine. The film's colors kept fading to black, white and red. Fine. The actors and actresses were inexperienced. Since they tried hard, fine. So why did I give it such a low rating? (1) I won't swear to this, but would estimate that at least 25% of the words that the characters spoke were forms of the f-word. This gets monotonous. When I'm finally able to finance Inconsiderate Fatheads From Outer Space, I shall have the alien invaders repeatedly saying "carnal knowledge", "sexual congress", and "fornication". The worst that the Good Guys shall say will be "darn", "shucks" and, in dire extremity, "poo". (2) Another quarter or so of the remaining dialog was incomprehensible, even though I had the sound turned way up. So, although I was able to follow the overall plot, many of its details never registered. All that said, that overall plot was novel, the extras who portrayed the undead were well made up. They snarled, crawled (when necessary) and bit well. I was surprised that when a fairly blunt, though jagged, wooden spike was thrown at them it would go through them so easily, but then their bodies may have decomposed quite a bit. The best thing in the film was the music. Sad to say, even it lacked.
Play Dead (2009)
Why did I watch this movie all the way through? All, all, dreadful all? Because I wanted to write a review of it for you nice people at IMDb , that's why. Begin with something positive? Okay: like Desperation and the several Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, this one is a valuable reminder to big city folks like me
well, Topeka is a sorta-big city
to ride clear of isolated small towns. Especially ones without cell- phone service (nor internet service!). Folks in them can be kinda inconsiderate. Negatives? Well, starting with a little one, even in my rootin'-tootin'-backpackin' days, had I suffered even a small part of the beatings that some of the characters received I would have been out of things for the rest of the hour and a half. A bit more serious: repeated use of the f word, including in seemingly-unwarranted incestuous accusations. Much more serious: again and again I was baffled by what motivated both the behaviors and failures to do anything of both the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. No spoiler, but this bafflement reached Bottomless Pit depths with the Bad Guys' behavior at the film's climax. The one exception was the behavior of the Retard,who was also portrayed by the only good actor. Couldn't this last say more about me than the movie? Maybe, but it seems only fair to warn others. When I was a lad there was a famous often-banned novel about ladies who chose to live an Alternative Lifestyle. It was called The Well of Loneliness. This movie is the Sump of Emptiness.
You Move You Die (2007)
Bang bang bang, thud thud thud; bang ...
I bought this as the third disc in a set labeled Thugs and Guns; that label applies especially well to this film. Either you like depictions of ruthless, insensitive violence or you don't. I do, but then I'm also a devoted fan of Cheld's Play's Chucky: Go, doll baby, go! Despite what another reviewer (birck) wrote, I found the camera work in this movie forceful, compelling in its through-the-eye-of-the-pep way. As the camera moves around, you do too. The movie's split-screen effects were distracting at first, but as I got more and more used to them, also quite effective. Yes, throughout most of the movie it was very, very unclear why the leads were doing what they were doing, but the explanation at the end was most satisfactory. Though unrealistic and unrealistically bloodless, the many, many action scenes were also well done. However, unlike my feelings toward Chucky, I kept hoping that the lead characters would each come to painful final ends. "Did they?" Gosh, would I write a Spoiler? One warning: over the years I've worked with several Australians. To be sure, the characters depicted are New Zealanders, but both drive on the wrong side of the street. Language used by the Aussies I've known is much more cooth than that of these Kiwi gentlemen, In particular, their use of the f word becomes monotonous, becomes vain repetition. This harms the movie; otherwise I'd have given it a 7,
Hostile Intent (1997)
Excellent, suspenseful action movie
I find it hard to understand why this movie has received such a low overall rating. Granted that it's a little hard to follow in places, but whenever that's so it soon becomes clear. The underlying premise of a Federal government that seeks to keep detailed watch on its citizens whenever they use the internet was still sci-fi when this movie was released in 1997, but probably is sober reality now. The acting is fair-to-good, the characters' gradual realization that they are being mercilessly hunted is suspenseful and well done, the action sequences, which make up much of the film, are superb. I obtained this in an inexpensive 4-DVD pack called Thugs and Guns Collector's Set. Look for it!
Omen IV: The Awakening (1991)
Implausible and a little too sanitary, but enjoyable
I'm used to being in an IMDb reviewer minority, but found this to be quite a good thriller. It was adequately acted. Indeed, Asia Vieira as the evil little girl, Lee Grant as the mother and Michael Learner as the private detective were excellent. Things moved along nicely, with only a few slow spots. For a low-budget movie, the special effects were fine.I would have enjoyed more gore, but I'm a nasty old thing. Granted that, as a sequel, Omen IV is inconsistent with Omen III: once Christ returns there will be no Son of Antichrist. And the attempt to combine the Bible with New Age spirituality was even less plausible than 2012 Doomsday's attempt to combine it with the Mayan calendar cycle. Still, offhand I can't think of a good horror movie that lacks doctrinal flaws. As always, the final question is, Would I watch Omen IV again? Certainly, though I've got enough of a backlog of interesting-looking unwatched DVDs that doing so won't be for a while. And also enough of a backlog of other DVDs that seem interesting in the sense of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Perhaps reviews of these later
The Apocalypse (2007)
Texas Is Coming Again !!!
I may be confused, but this movie's special effects seem to have been by the same people as those for 2012 Doomsday and 2012 Supernova. They range from excellent, as when a road comes apart during an earthquake, pretty good, as a BIG tornado approaches, to the same sorts of weaknesses as in the other two movies: ashes that fall without leaving a trace on anything, heavy rain that falls without getting anything wet, bright sunlight during driving rain (with audible but invisible hail), bright sunlight as a tornado strikes. Also, some of the seen-from-a distance disaster scenes are strangely familiar
not so much stock footage as recycled footage. The incoming asteroid being as large as Texas was also familiar. Maybe I'll use that too if I ever get sufficient funding to make "Inconsiderate Fatheads From Outer Space". The misrepresentations of what the Bible teaches aren't as startling as in 2012 Doomsday, with its link between Mayan religion and Christianity, but people being Raptured at intervals instead of all at once is
original, to put things gently! For that matter, so is auto drivers considerately bringing their cars to a halt before being Raptured, and their not leaving their clothing behind. The acting? I'm tolerant of weak acting as long as the story moves along, which mostly it did. I mention acting last of all, because one doesn't watch this kind of movie for its acting. Would I watch this movie again? Probably not. Did I get my money's worth? Yes: I bought this as part of a DISASTER! 6 MOVIE PACK from a supermarket's reduced- price barrel, each disc of which netted out to costing a little under a dollar. Well worth every penny!
2012: Supernova (2009)
Lively and fairly good despite plot holes
I disagree with many of the other reviewers ... though, as I've explained elsewhere, I'm a fan of bad movies ... da badda da bettuh! This, though, had fine special effects for a low-budget movie, the action sequences were exciting (though the fight scenes got terribly repetitive) and, except for the actor who portrayed the Russian, the acting was actually rather good. The stunt men/women who performed the driving sequences did excellent jobs. Like, wow! Plot holes? Close-on Tommy-gun fire is considerably more effective than portrayed. People who have tall stacks of crates toppled upon them rarely are nimble afterwards. People who have been repeatedly hit in fights end up bruised: these didn't. The underlying "science": yuk, yuk, yuk !!! And the identity of the Head Bad Person was a bit obvious. It's always enjoyable to see "2012" computer equipment in earlier films. The readout for when the full effects of the supernova were expected to strike Earth was delightfully retro. I look forward to a 2013, 2014, or 2015 movie who's starting point is that the world really was destroyed on 12/21/12, and which will then go on to explain why we didn't notice.
2012 Doomsday (2008)
Low-budget and Errant
I'm fond of movies that are quite poorly done. Especially the low-budget ones, such as this near-gem. The special effects of the ground cracking open were fine. However, those of snow falling on the Mexican forest while the temperature also fell and fell were unusually terrible. Not only didn't the snow cling to leaves, but it didn't even melt on them. Nor did below-freezing temperatures affect the vegetation itself. I'm too old to have any more kids, but were I to have a son I'd name him Stock Footage --- in the same spirit as Rip Torn. There was a fair amount of that, too. And the acting was at best so-so. So, ordinarily I'd give this the IMDb equivalent of a C-. However, 2012 Doomsday supposedly is a Christian movie. It tries to combine Christianity with the supposed expiration of the Mayan calendar cycle next December. It teaches that the Last Judgment can be diverted, postponed. It teaches other things that Jesus warned Christians of in Matthew 7:15-20. Since in 21st Century America most people don't read the Bible much, this movie
by the examples it portrays
could lead viewers to believe that they're saved when they aren't.