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One insane ride
This is the cinematic equivalent of a vaudeville sideshow performed by freaks accompanied by one of the best 80's soundtracks ever assembled (concrete blonde, cramps, stewart copeland, oingo boingo). Originally when I saw this film I hated it. I thought it was the worst movie I had ever seen. But over the years I kept coming back to it. There's something captivating about all that mayhem and outrageousness. Everything but the violence is played up for laughs particularly Bill Moesley's over the top portrayal of Chop-Top, Leatherface's brother. Speaking of, Leatherface's character has undergone a serious transformation from the sexually confused transvestite cannibal from the original to a sex crazed teenager embarrassed about his weirdo family and fixating on Caroline Williams's DJ heroine character. Tom Savini's make-up also deserves special mention as does the state of the art production design. Kudos to Tobe for refusing to repeat the formula and Paley it safe with a tiresome retread like the following sequels became. This is one original blast of serious cult potential. Time will ultimately tell.
As direct to video horror flicks go, there have been much worse. Hell there has been worse in the theatres. So if after reading the DVD box description or seeing that cover and you're expecting something greater that this, whatever. Playing against type for a change, Englund plays the minor role of the Sheriff who has a grudge against the "Heartstopping" psychopath stalking the hospital in the picture. The biblical spouting psycho is pretty amusing in a total cornball sort of way and there is the barest minimum of tension developed throughout. Englund's good for the record but the movie is simply what it is: A cheesy horror film.
Sometimes dead is better...
I just thought I'd post a positive review of this picture which although admittedly flawed, does however offer solid bizarro entertainment. There are scenes in this film that got under my skin, (burning the leftover bodies in the trash bin like so much random waste, Englund's character fondling twitching corpses and those "dance of the dead" sequences where we watch people hiller, howl and whoop it up over sick, twisted dehumanizing acts of depravity). Much like bum fights, boxing, or even audience reaction at wrestling events. The movie is both twisted, pointed and funny as well as repulsive and out of its' mind. It makes a mockery of society's insatiable need to be entertained as well as unveiling the real sick and evil of humanity when the Mother character is revealed to have forsaken one of her own children. Englund's a riot in this one too, marking in my opinion, his best collaboration with Hooper to date. I hope they work together again next season.
Masters of Horror (2005)
I just recently watched three episodes (I still haven't seen "jenifer" unfortunately) but I thought I would share my thoughts about the series like everyone else posted here. Big fan of most of these directors so i was really anticipating this show (can't wait for Dante's and especially Carpenter's).
"Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" was an interesting take on the whole victim\victimizer story that turns the clichéd format on its' head by delving into some pretty heavy stuff concerning violence and its' traumatic affects on its' victims. Liked the subtle moments suggesting early into the episode that Ethan Embry's character is a racist tyrant psychopath. Well made. I give it an A.
"Dreams in The Witch House" is so both unsettling and amusing (that rat kills me). I always love how Lovecraft can make you question what we see as reality as opposed to the real unexplainable horror that exists everyday on this planet and how if things like this really happened, no one would believe you no matter the evidence. I guess the truth can be too horrible which lies at the center of this story. I don't think I have anything but high praise for this one. Another first rate adaptation by Stuart Gordon with some great performances. A+.
"Dance of the Dead", from what I read here, is the most divided among the fans but I think it's pure Hooper: Sick, Outrageous, and off the map. What always strikes me about Hooper's work is that for better or worse he always seems to be careening out of control which can be satisfying to horror fans (for his fearlessness to just go for it) or for a lot of people, grating. I did think that motion cam thing was a bit overused but other than that I was really impressed with this one. Although Englund has been good in other Hooper offerings, I would say this is the best of their collaborations overall. Some really funny and horrible things in here as well as an amusing commentary on our preoccupation with sex, drugs and "enteratinment" (we all kept watching didn't we?). Those dances on stage reminded me of Bumfights or boxing or any other form of twisted spectacle people can't get enough of. My kind of horror. B+.
"Jenifer" is reportedly based on a graphic novel by bruce jones and bernie wrightson. It tells the story of a Cop's obsession for a demonic woman with one messed up face. The actress is hot and there is a fair amount of T& A in this episode as well as one pretty twisted castration sequence. Like "Jenifer's" face this one's pretty messed up. B
"Chocolate" is so far the least satisfying in my opinion, chronicling a lonely, recently divorced man (Henry Thomas, who's pretty good in this), suddenly sharing the same experiences of a woman he's never met. Intriguing premise, some amusing bits but ultimately unsatisfying. The concept never seems to fully generate into anything mindblowing or eerie. It all just kind of seems bland. C
I like what I've seen here. I guess it helps if you're a fan of horror and these filmmakers. I myself have never been that blown away by the types of Horror pictures that just feature stuff jumping out at you. I'm much more interested in seeing original works that go a little deeper into the really sick and horrible facts of life.