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Blood Deep (2005)
What a piece of crap
Wow, it's rare that I see a film soooo bad that I can't find a SINGLE good thing to say about it. But Blood Deep is that kind of film, the kind of film bad enough to taint an entire film festival. If this was the only movie you saw at the otherwise great "4th annual Another Hole in the Head film festival", it might turn you off to the entire program, which would be a damn shame. Here are a couple of notes, just for the "director", Todd Kniss; I know it was your first time at bat and you struck out with the wood still on your shoulder, so here are some tips so next time you can at least go down swinging.
First thing I want to bring up to you is the title. If you are going to name you film "Blood Deep" it better be bloody as hell or at the very least have some depth. This timesuck has neither....NEITHER! There is for all intended purposes, no gore in this film, and less blood than the average episode of any crappy prime time crime drama, which coincidently is where most of these horrible, just plain awful "actors" busted their chops. But a great or even adequate film doesn't need gore and blood to entertain, as long as the story and characters are engaging. All the characters in "Blood Deep" are flat and boring as hell with all the depth of a puddle of urine. But I can't fully blame director Todd Kniss for that, some of that fault must rest on the shoulders of the writer, which unfortunately is Todd Kniss!
Second, don't hire three "actors" that all look alike down to their silly haircuts to play the red herrings! , I don't care how good of friends you are with them, or how cheap they are, casting actors that have similar features in a film like this makes it confusing for the audience. All of those "possible killers" look alike and with the horrible lighting and sloppy camera work neither I nor the people I was with could tell them apart.
And the third and final pointer, don't make anymore "movies" it's going to be embarrassing enough trying to explain to your parents and friends (soon to be ex-friends) where the money you borrowed went. Because I can't believe it went into production costs. But to be fare, the THIRD time I started drifting off to sleep in the last half hour of the film, I just gave into the warm comforting "Blood Deep"-less arms of slumber. So who knows maybe it got really, really good after I zonked out. But according to my friends that accompanied me, the fools that were willing to see this hunk of junk until the end, the answer would have to be a resounding "Hell No!"
The Gravedancers (2006)
Eerie as hell, I cant wait for the DVD!
I was lucky enough to see "Gravedancers" at Another Hole in the Head film festival in S.F., if you were not one of the lucky members of the audience, keep your eyes peeled for the DVD you won't be disappointed.
For fans of director Mike Mendez, who's know for adding comedic elements to his films, "Gravedancers" is a slight departure from his previous work on films like "The Convent". This time Mendez goes the straight horror route and it works out magnificently. While there are moments of genuine levity, it never distracts from the film, as proved by the screams echoing from the audience at the Roxie last night. "Gravedancers" is a unique take on the rather stale "haunting" formula, and is full of self-aware characters in a well rounded script that doesn't send stupid people into stupid situations.
I was shocked at how great the film looked, if you held this film up next to any of those crappy bloated multiplex horror flicks starring some blonde ditz from a forgettable UPN/WB show, I think you'd have a hard time figuring out which cost more. The atmosphere is perfectly creepy and has many moments that will have you squirming in your seat. Great sound effects and prosthetics add to create some truly creepy ghosts, and probably the best use of a "floating ghost" since the original "House on Haunted Hill". It may have taken almost 50 years but at least somebody has made ghosts scary again. Three cheers for Mike Mendez.
V for Vendetta (2005)
If V is for Vendetta, then D must be for DULL!
I went to a screening of "V for Vendetta" last night and if you thought the "Matrix Trilogy" was bad then "V" will have you pulling your hair out like your name was Natalie Portman. Who by the way, wasn't the worst thing in this movie, which is kind of scary considering what an awful actress she has turned out to be. The movie comes across as little more than an "anarchy sticker" stuck on the bottom of some suburban punks' skateboard to look cool. Just like the suburban punk, the Wachowskis don't really believe in what they are displaying, they're just doing it to look cool. While "V" is completely unfaithful to comic book it was based upon, that is hardly its biggest crime. Come to think of it, compared to majority of this flicks offenses its little more than petty theft. "V for Vendetta" is remembered less for being a great comic book and more for being the work of a great comic book writer; Alan Moore. While nowhere near as good a book as his prior comics that were turned into films ("From Hell" and "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"), "V" does follow in suit as a yet another terrible and mishandled film based on Moore's writing. While nobody would consider the Wachowski brothers to be more than glorified video game creators, I was actually curious as to how they would handle adapting a script for a book overflowing with dialogue and light on flashy graphics. Where as the "Matrix" films are completely style over substance, the graphic novel "V for Vendetta" has countless scenes devoid of action or explosions but full of rich dialogue and character evolution. Unfortunately the brothers Wachowski, along with their partner in crime director James McTeigue screw it up so badly that if this film were ever shown in a football stadium, it could qualify as the longest fumble in NFL history. For a film that's supposed to be coated in rebellion and anarchy McTeigue and the Wachowski's never really give you a reason to believe in the terrorist hero V or his attacks on Parliament. Instead of giving you emotional and character driven reasons to come to conclusions on the cast, McTeigue and company visually shove it down your throat. You know John Hurt is bad because he's on a giant screen with huge black pupils (to show he's evil, cant you see how evil that is?) and that Portman is good because she is attractive and V is good because he causes explosions and painfully goes out of his way to attempt to illicit laughter from the audience. Not a single character in this has an ounce of reality to them let alone passion for anything going on around them. And why didn't they rerecord weaving's voice; half of V's dialogue is completely muffled due to the mask. Bloated, self important and without any meaning is all you have to remember about the 5th of November.