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Murder on Flight 502 (1975)
Oh those crazy movies of the week
You know why I gave this a 10? Because I watched it two nights ago with a friend and we laughed the whole way through. It is so deadpan that you could never accuse the cast of taking it seriously. The production values are bottom of the barrel, at the beginning of the film the cast congregate in the TOA first class lounge that is supposed to be at JFK airport in New York, however the 'Theme Building' at LAX is clearly visible out the window as well as several palm trees. I am an airplane buff so I notice when things don't match up in films involving airplanes, but anyone can see that the different shots of the plane in this film are clearly of several different airlines, and the shot of the plane taking off is actually a plane landing. I remember watching it on TV when I was younger and thinking it reminded me of an Agatha Christie story on an airplane, and that's basically what it is. the story is good, the set is so so, an earlier review mentions the lawn furniture and cheese display in the planes upper deck, that got a good laugh from us as well. On an interesting note, the stewardess uniforms that Brooke Adams and Farrah Fawcett are wearing were actual uniforms for TWA and can also be seen in 'Catch Me if You Can' at the end when Leonardo DiCaprio climbs out of the plane through the toilet. This movie deserves audience participation, or at least a drinking game.
The Amityville Horror (2005)
They should just slap a new name on it.
This gets a ten for the acting, but that's where the 10 ends. As a story, on it's own, this could be a whole new movie and not even resemble the Amityville story as told in the original book, change the names, nix the quarter moon windows and voilà. The things that made this such a scary story in the first place appear nowhere in the film, turning Allison DeFeo into the Jodi character was a little tasteless on the part of the writers. I think the pig aspect was much more creepy if you ask me, even though years later it surfaced that Jodi was actually the neighbors dog. The original film is tame in this day and age, but in it's time it was a rather frightening story, just the cover art on the book was disturbing in the fact that it was just a house, nobody on the steps with a gun or an axe, just a creepy looking house that, if lit right, could be your own house. It made you feel like every time you heard an odd noise that your house could be haunted, too. With as much material, whether true or not, that Jay Anson, and the Lutzs gave us in the original book, most of which never appeared in the first adaptation, why would they need to fill the film with things not originally documented. The most notable scenes, for example the blood dripping down the walls and staircase as they were escaping, and the terrified babysitter with braces, are overlooked for a creepy skinny guy in the basement (by the way John Ketchum was shunned for adultery, not murdering Indians) and the comic relief sitter of the remake. Which brings to light, just how many Kiss t-shirts does a kid have to wear to push the seventies environment? When did the Lutz family become climbing experts? And what shampoo is Kathy using that her hair could withstand such a yanking by the boat and come up bouncing and behaving? To compare the original to this remake and say one is better or worse than the other is like comparing the original Moulin Rouge with the updated version from a few years back. They both take place in the same location, but that's where the similarities ended for me. I still prefer Amityville 11 The Possession, of all the films made surrounding the house and it's story this one still creeps me out.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Has Hollywood run out of original ideas?????????????/
First off let me rant on the fact that whoever was in charge of creating the look and atmosphere of 1973 should hang there head low for the crappy job they did, i.e. Abercrombie low riders do not replace a good pair of Wranglers and some hush puppies. Secondly the original had a disturbed feeling that the remake fails miserably in recreating, for example the looks of confusion and bewilderment on Gunnar Hansen's face, and the one foot in the grave grandfather. The replacement Leatherface's dirty looks and "evil" stare cannot compete, and do not compliment the character, and the extra characters do nothing to add to the movie. It was the subtlety of the original that made it the horror classic that it is, and the obviousness that makes this version truly suck.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
House of 1000 Turds
I caught this on TV last night and thought it was pretty awful. A hybrid of 'Moulin Rouge' 'Tourist Trap' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and not in a good way. I love a good Karen Black, for gosh sake she landed a bunged up 747 saving Gloria Swanson and Mr. Roper and still made it on time to Jay Gatsby's for Gimlets. She's lovely as ever, but it seems like they put her in the movie to make a fool of her and that's not to cool. And for goodness sake will someone please cast Bill Moseley in their local Rocky Horror floor show so he can be Riff Raff once and for all, sheesh. Skip this one and rent Tourist Trap (if you can find it) And if it's Karen you're looking for, grab a copy of 'Airport 74'.
Killing Moon (1999)
My problem with movie planes
I don't ask for much in an air disaster movie, but this one is pathetic. It all starts on a small plane sitting at the gate that all of a sudden is huge on the inside, so some people may not notice that. How about a flight attendant going from first class back into coach and as she passes through the curtain she's coming up
from the back of the plane? Obviously the work of a lousy director (the flight attendant puts a pitcher of water on the cockpit floor for instance) speaking of her, why is she all by herself in a big plane like that? Someone apparently blew the budget on the fake blood dripping from the actors nostrils. Am I ranting, no not really, but if you have the ability to make a film no matter how lousy the script/story, or how bad the actors you are stuck with, at least keep the sets common with one another.