Reviews written by registered user
SalamanderGirl

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16 reviews in total 
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34 out of 48 people found the following review useful:
another pointless remake, 31 December 2006
3/10

This movie is a pale imitation of George Romero's original. Giving characters the same names isn't enough, pitting characters against zombies isn't enough. The 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead was outstanding, while this one fails almost completely on every level. Remember Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho and Roland Emmerich's remake of Godzilla? This turd is somewhere in between, trying to step in the footsteps of greatness, but, like a zombie, exhibiting no life of its own. This zombie movie is simply, well, dead.

I suggest you go rent the original Night of the Living Dead, or either version of Dawn of the Dead, or Return of the Living Dead or 28 Days Later. These are the zombie movies that will stand the test of time.

Dead End (1985)
5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Funny, but way too violent, 1 October 2006
6/10

I like gory movies, but a baby Zombie returning to the womb is simply going too far. In "Dawn of the Dead," George Romero deliberately used off-color blood. It was red, but it didn't exactly LOOK like blood, and I think that was good. It added a slight non-real look to the film. The producers of "Dead End" supposedly used real blood and real gore, and that's just gross. There's an unusual "realism" to this movie which is unnerving, and at times I felt like I was watching a snuff film. There's so much screaming and so much misery, it's hard to believe any of these people were just acting. The zombie attacks in this movie aren't scary, they're simply ugly. It's like the filmmakers wanted to remind viewers that people bleed when they die, and they don't stop screaming until the lights go out. SOME of the gore would have worked, if not for the ugly documentary-style of film-making, constantly jolting the viewer. The characters are more or less believable, but none of them are very likable. The dialogue is fast and funny, but again, we don't like these people. The lead character is a reckless, devil-may-care jerk who thoughtlessly endangers the lives of everyone around him, just for the sake of "getting the shot."

However, in between all the disgusting deaths and the restraints of what must have been a non-existent budget, this movie leapfrogs to Naked Gun-like comedy, much of which is laugh-out-loud hysterical. The filmmakers take jabs at everything from Rocky Horror and Star Trek to President Reagan and Scientology, and numerous '50's horror movies, including a hilarious homage to Howard Hawks' "The Thing." There's even a character named Romero who starts kicking a dead horse.

It's too bad this movie can't be edited and re-released, minus most of the bloodshed. It could've been one of the funniest movies ever, but instead it's just one of the ugliest, redeemed by some imaginative deaths and some very funny moments.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"Welcome back to life...", 1 October 2006
10/10

I'm not going to say Re-Animator is "better" than George Romero's Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead, but it's certainly up there. Like "Dawn," this movie is funny and scary at the same time, with an emphasis on pushing the horror envelope. I think Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" was inspired at least in part by this movie.

Renegade scientist Herbert West creates a serum that brings anything back to life. My favorite line is when West re-animates a dead cat. "It was dead... twice". Enter an idealistic young intern who's dating the Dean's beautiful daughter (if I were gay, Barbara Crampton would be the one), and well-stocked morgue and a plagiaristic scientist, and you've got a recipe for non-stop comic-vomit.

A roller-coaster of gory effects and violent deaths, "Re-Animator" doesn't stop for a second. It's not for everyone; some people don't enjoy watching naked zombies tearing themselves out of body bags and ripping people to shreds. But if you do... =)

9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Where are the zombies?, 1 October 2006
1/10

Aside from a really stupid scene where black magic resurrects an island villager, there are NO ZOMBIES in this stupid movie! The "plot" is a rehash from a million other grade-Z thrillers, with bad actors walking around spouting nonsense dialogue, while a very bored audience waits for them to die. Correction: while a very bored audience waits for them to get EATEN BY ZOMBIES, which THEY DON'T! This isn't even a crappy "Dawn of the Dead" rip-off, it's nothing. A more appropriate title might have been "Boring People Massacre," or perhaps "Boring People on Island Where Nothing Happens".

This reminds me of two other really bad "zombie" movies where there were no zombies. "Revenge of the Living Dead," and "Virgin among the Living Dead," neither of which had any zombies whatsoever. When the title and poster art and description on the video box promise ZOMBIES, they should maybe HAVE ZOMBIES in the movie!

In any case, don't make the mistake I did. When and if you find this on your video shelf, DO NOT RENT IT!

Krull (1983)
1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Forgettable, 1 October 2006
3/10

I actually remember very little of this movie, other than a giant white spider, a young Leim Neeson, and some very bad James Horner music that borrowed far to much from John William's score for E.T.

There are these good guys on a planet called Krull, who only have swords to defend themselves. The bad guys have lasers and spaceships, but they still ride around on horses. An arranged marriage between waring factions is the only way to stop the evil invaders, but before the bride can say "I do," she's kidnapped by the bad guys and taken to their evil fortress.

The groom enlists the help of a Dirty Dozen-like band of criminals, and so begins the quest to save the pretty bride from the evil invaders. Bad effects, bad sets, really bad acting and REALLY bad writing don't help this turkey one bit. It's not an Ed Wood dog that's so bad it's funny, it's just bad.

The strangest thing about "Krull" is that it was directed by Peter Yates. Yes, THAT Peter Yates, the guy who directed Steve McQueen in "Bullitt" and Dennis Cristopher in "Breaking Away." In fact, a year after this turkey came out, he was nominated for an Oscar for "The Dresser." Wow.

The Pack (1977)
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Move over, Cujo, 1 October 2006
8/10

"The Pack" is perhaps the best Killer Dog movie ever made. At first glance, it appears to be a simple enough story that we've seen a hundred times before. Assorted people trapped in a house, locking doors to keep something out. The Killer Shrews, Savage Harvest, Day of the Triffids, and a hundred other films all used this same premise, some with greater results than others.

"The Pack" is one of the better ones. The people are believable characters with lives that are interesting, not just cardboard cutouts with interchangeable dialogue whom the audience will remember only by their violent deaths. In fact, there's little blood in this film. But lots of menace, as a pack of dogs terrorize people on an island.

What makes "The Pack" a cut above other films in its genre is that the dogs aren't played as blood-thirsty monsters. They're simply pets who have been abandoned on an island, and they're just looking for food. In addition to a few genuine scares, this movie also has heart, and last scene will make you cry.

Joe Don Baker, Richard B. Shull, R.G. Armstrong and Bibi Besch are among the cast, and the performances are good, but the scene stealer is the lead dog, who's manic, vicious, lethal, and still an animal, a living creature, not just a monster.

"The Pack" was directed by Robert Clouse, who directed Bruce Lee in "Enter The Dragon.".

Evilspeak (1981)
It was OK, 1 October 2006
5/10

If for no other reason than to see Clint Howard in one of his few starring roles and to listen to really bad Omen-imitation music and to see huge pigs eating people, check this one out.

Clint Howard is a nerd at a Military Academy who is mercilessly harassed by his fellow cadets, who among other things, knock off his puppy. So with the aid of Satanic powers from a computer, Clint enacts revenge on his tormentors. Blood galore, a few OK murders, and enough cheese to feed Mickey for a year.

Evilspeak was the brainchild of Eric Weston, who wrote and directed the above-average Robert Davi film "Hitters" in '02. It's not5 rocket science, but if you like dummy horror movies like I do, you'll enjoy this.

8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Predator 0.1, 25 August 2006
6/10

Seven years before Arnold Schwarzenegger got to say "I'll be back" for the tenth time, this low budget science fiction slasher movie introduced audiences to the idea of alien hunters going after human prey. Granted, intergalactic Frisbees aren't quite as exciting as a semi-invisible Predator, but this movie did come first. Without Warning isn't an action movie, and it owes more to Friday the 13th than Extro, but overall it's an enjoyable ride. Lots of familiar faces, including Martin Landau, Cameron MItchell, Jack Palance, a very young David Caruso, Larry Storch for TV's F-Troop, and last but not least, Kevin Peter Hall as the alien hunter, seven years before he got to kick Arnold's butt in Predator.

If you can forgive the low production value and the cheesy script, then you might want to give Without Warning a look.

Popeye (1980)
12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
I almost laughed once, 25 August 2006
1/10

What went wrong? Robin Wiliams was born to play Popeye, and his comic genius should have blended perfectly into the role. Shelly Duvall actually looks like Olive Oyl. Others were well-cast, including the always excellent Ray Walston. The sets were imaginative, the songs were okay, if not all that memorable. So what happened, that every single moment in this movie became an unbearable eye-sore?

Popeye was doomed the moment Robert Altman stepped onto the set. I cannot understand the loyal following some filmmakers have, blind to the garbage they keep putting out. In my humble opinion, Altman is one of said filmmakers, who's every movie I have seen, again, in my opinion, was garbage. Quintet, M*A*S*H, Nashville and so fourth just sat on the screen like stagnant snails, doing nothing for hours on end. McCabe & Mrs. Miller is the single worst western in film history, and should be a bigger embarrassment to Warren Beatty's career than Ishtar. The Player was nothing more than a self-indulgent parade of celebrity cameos. Short Cuts might have been an okay movie, if perhaps someone had bothered to find an editor and write an ending. Ready to Wear sums up Altman's film career to a tea. Nothing happens for a long time, then someone steps in dog poop... lots more nothing, then someone else steps in dog poop... nothing, poop, nothing, poop.

But somehow, Altman has this Emperor's New Clothes thing going for him. No matter how bad his movies are, critics praise them, as do his peers. I've personally not met one person, not one, who has any of Altman's movies on video or DVD. Go into any house with a movie enthusiast and you'll likely find films by Spielberg, Coppola, Soderbergh, DeMille, John Huston, Victor Fleming, William Friedkin, Orson Welles and so on. But I've never known anybody with one movie Altman ever directed, and I know quite a few people. Not that his loyal fans don't in fact collect his movies, but I'm happy not to know any of them.

At least Popeye was just nothing. No poop, just lots of nothing. Pure Altman.

11 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
De Palma at his worst, 23 August 2006
1/10

Like most of De Palma's grade Z Hitchcock rip-offs, only worse in every respect. Nothing in this film is realistic or believable. It's just an excuse for nudity and gore, and of course, for Brian to "channel" Hitchcock.

The "plot" is basically Vertigo meets Rear Window. Craig Wasson stares into a window, witnesses a murder, and -- well, what's the point? Body Double has so many unlikely coincidences, so many unrealistic and ridiculous scenes, it actually works pretty well as a comedy. De Palma enthusiasts often find themselves defending this film, but anyone with half a brain can easily see it for what it is. Bad acting, dreadful writing, and a show-off director who thinks he can guild a turd with weird camera angles and slow motion.

Don't get me wrong, the man has talent. Scarface, Untouchables, Carrie, Casualties of War and so fourth. But sadly, for every good film Brian De Palma has turned out, there are more than a few Femme Fatals and Dressed to Kills and Blow Outs to remind intelligent viewers he's drastically overrated. If the Japanese had been half as inept, Pearl Harbor would have been funnier than the Bay of Pigs.

As to originality, there is a line between paying homage and outright stealing, and most of De Palma's Hitchcock wannabe thrillers step way over it. It's a wonder Hitchcock's estate hasn't filed charges.


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