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Makes me want to Dope Slap Solomon
17 May 2016
Not a bad movie for what it was: swords and (evil) sorcery. The history is poor. The writing is okay. The acting is nothing to write home about. The special effects don't get out-of-hand until a couple minutes at the end. The mystery is well played and not revealed until the end. Other people may see it before it's revealed, but I didn't.

My only real beef with the movie is Solomon's spell. When I'm fighting supernatural forces for my life or for the lives of my friends or family, I don't need some moron to exercise his Latin poetry. I need something short and easy to say in a language I know. "Begone," or "Scram," springs to mind.

If the magic spell needs to be long (I can't imaging why.), and if there are a limited number of copies of the spell, it might be a good idea to forgo all the decorations when creating more copies. The spell in the movie is on multiple "illuminated" pages. It might not have fit on one page even without the illustrations, but it surely would have fit on two. I would command my monks to forget the illustrations and just copy the magic words. When we had hundreds of copies, I might have relented and allowed the occasional flower, but not until the spell and the world were safe.
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Excellent undead short subject
6 March 2011
This French undead film is a love story. I don't speak French, but there is little dialog and it's easy to follow even without understanding the language.

It's a typical undead siege/apocalypse movie. It doesn't take itself too seriously.

A handsome Frenchman and a gorgeous French woman are getting married. The church is overrun as the ceremony concludes. One knows, even without understanding the language, that they have pledged their love "until death do us part," or some such thing. They fight their way out of the church into an overrun Paris. I can't say more without telling the entire story.

The special effects are great. The weapons handling is a little sloppy. For instance, the living fire full magazine bursts into one undead person rather than spraying a large number. Nonetheless, the fight sequences are fun to watch.

The weapons get bigger as the chase gets hairier. Just when it seems all is lost, love smears its bloody self across the screen and the story ends happily.
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Zombie Hunter (2005)
Pretty good short film
2 October 2010
Good minimalist film. Effects were well done. Good undead makeup. Simple story line appropriate for a mini-movie. I stumbled across this movie in my ongoing search for undead movies. Several of my students members of the independent movie club. I like to find movies for them to watch to get ideas about what other indie movie makers are doing.

Whoever found the setting and the actors did a good job. This is worth the 11 or so minutes. It has everything I look for in an undead movie: siege, heroine, hero, undead. Add to the mix a good setting, good script and good music and this is a winner.

The only weakness in the film is the setting. I liked the desert, but I did not understand what the cinder block buildings were or what the people were doing there.
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Platoon of the Dead (2009 Video)
Hard to imagine what could save this movie
27 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Some movies can be saved by the judicious display of naked female breasts. This movie isn't one of them. This was an interesting idea poorly executed.

There are so many errors it's hard to know where to start, so I'll start at the beginning. The first person we see is a soldier sleeping in the woods. When he wakes we notice he's an unarmed combat engineer. He has a major's gold leaf on his collar. When he meets another soldier, he is addressed as "Private."

I understand no one's perfect, but why make such an idiotic mistake so early in the movie?

This major/private who seems to be afraid of his own shadow, has jump wings. Not all paratroopers are brainless brutes, but few of them are so wet-behind-the-ears they run from the enemy without taking their weapons.

This movie would have to improve significantly to compete with anything by Ed Wood.

The music was reasonably well done.
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The Teacher (1974)
Morality tale on the dangers of single women
25 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This would have received 1 star but Angel Tompkins' bare breasts are worth at least one star by themselves. If there had been more bare breasts, I would have added more stars.

The Teacher is a morality tale. Societies should beware of single women. They'll seduce our innocent sons and drive our already insane vets into homicidal rages.

Though this movie was made in the 1970s, its temporal setting is the 1950s. Not only is Diane, the teacher, single, but she's divorced. One of her friends hints at how sexually frustrated Diane must be with her husband gone. Clearly there's nothing a woman can do to relieve her sexual frustrations without a man.

Diane is so oblivious that her breasts are responsible for the deaths of three people. First one of her two infatuated students dies while looking at her bare breasts in the harbor. (I've spent a lot of time on and around the water and I've never seen a bare breast.) Then his friend is killed by the insane brother of his dead friend who happens to be a veteran. Then she kills the friend's insane veteran brother as he's raping her. (I guess that one she knows what's going on.)

The sex scenes are bizarre. When Diane takes Sean's virginity, he has his pants on. The scene is the least tender sex scene I've seen. She isn't "making love" with him. She's raping him. It's written all over her face. He seems to enjoy it. (What 18 year old boy wouldn't?) When she asks him if he wants to do it again, he tells her, "Once is enough." (Okay, so one 18 year old boy wouldn't.)

They leave their pants on when they swap bodily fluids on her boat. She and Ralph both have pants on when Ralph rapes her.

I guess the moral should be, "Don't trust divorced women. They'll seduce our sons and teach them how to dry hump."

If this movie was better known, it would challenge Ed Wood's "Plan 9" for the Golden Turkey.
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Feast (2005)
Too dark
19 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Feast had great potential, but the whole thing was so dark it was like looking at a black screen too much of the time.

**** Spoiler follows **** I liked the freeze frames to introduce the characters. That was clever. It was especially clever that the filmmakers weren't entirely candid with those intros. They added a nice touch to the story.

The story was great. The acting was up to par. I could have stood more (any) bare breasts. The FX were fine, but it was impossible to see most of the movie because it was so dark. That's why the middlin' rating.

I was disappointed.
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This is the first movie I've seen that I would rate X.
19 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is the first movie I've seen that I would rate X. Even bare breasts couldn't save this movie.

I don't expect reality in my horror movies, but I expect to be able to stretch my disbelief to accommodate the unreality of the setting. The characters were so far out that no one could believe them.

There was no story line. I know, the sheriff was supposed to be going insane from grief for his brother, but that was not apparent enough.

No law enforcement agency would allow the brother of a slain officer to be involved in hunting the brother's killers. The Flying Spaghetti Monster knows I have no love for Texas, but the Texas Rangers have a reputation approaching the RCMP. They would never allow the sheriff to get involved in the hunt.

I could go on about the interstate nature of the killings, the weapons, etc. but I won't.

This wasn't a horror movie so much as a gross out festival. "Let's see how much we can gross out our viewers" I wasn't grossed out so much as I was annoyed by anyone expecting me to buy the reality of the story.

I don't buy it. It was fun taking a hammer to the DVD. Made me feel as if I hadn't waster the whole 90 minutes.
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Zombie Town (2007 Video)
Just what I look for in an undead movie
18 January 2009
I stumbled upon this movie in the video store. I blew off the dust and took it home. It started out like a straight dead movie then morphed into more of a spoof.

I don't look for great special effects. I don't look for deep meaning. I expect enthusiastic participation and a good attempt at making an internally consistent story.

This movie had the things I look for. The story is not new but internally consistent. The acting is not great, but everyone was doing his or her best. The effects were gory enough.

There was nothing missing from this movie. Anyone who gave this less than 10 stars doesn't get the whole undead/indie movie scene.

There was one character who reminded me strongly of Dwight Schrute from "The Office." Because of him, I'd give the movie an extra star if I could
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I found it hard to follow.
19 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the undead creatures. The people more or less acted reasonably, as much as anyone does in an undead movie. My problem was the groups.

Were there two groups or three or two groups and the pair of men? How did the soldiers fit in?

The "surprise ending" was certainly a surprise. The authors didn't play fair. For such a surprise to work, the author has to set it up. The audience should say, "A ha!" when surprised, not, "What the...?"

On another note, I am a U.S. Army infantry vet. I thought the infantry was bad with their inarticulate use of the work "f*ck" every time they open their mouths. It seems that British civilians are even worse. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster it's a one syllable work. Think how much longer the movie would have been if every line had the phrase "silly little goose."

"Kill the silly little goosing thing, Tom." "Silly little goose you!" "Why don't you silly little goose yourself?"

Hell, I'd STILL be watching the movie.

Seriously, is anyone impressed by people using "f*ck" or some form of it in every speech? Does it add anything for anyone?

I had a math teacher in high school who said, "'Kay?" at the end of every sentence. It went like this: "This is a linear equation, 'kay? You use it to graph a line, 'kay? Here's our graph, 'kay? This is the x axis, 'kay? Put your first point here, 'kay?"

It nearly drove my classmates and me out of our silly little goosing minds, Then we started counting the "Kay?"'s and high-five-ing every tenth time. Someone finally told him what we were doing and we nearly got expelled, but he finally stopped.

I don't care about the socially problematic nature of the word, but it makes the dialog that much harder to follow.

I know this is some kind of Indie film, but the sound quality was also not up to snuff. My sixteen year old son and I both had a hard time hearing and understanding the dialog, making an already confusing plot even harder to follow.
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Taxi (I) (2004)
Pedestrian comedy
4 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The first couple minutes is not bad, though unconvincing. After that the movie sinks to cliché. Who would have thought a taxi with a super charger? Who would have thought of a mouthy taxi driver? Who would have thought of an inept police officer? Who could believe a police officer so inept that he could not drive a car out of a parking space without hitting both the car in front and behind him? What a surprise it was when the airbags, that deploy instantly in the event of a crash, deployed several seconds after the crash! No one ever thought of that before. I do not know why there is a minimum of ten lines required for this review. I ran out of things to say several lines ago and now I am just typing to fill the required minimum. Am I there yet? Not yet. I am only on my ninth line. When I finish this line I will stop typing. I do not know if I have to fin=ll the entire tenth line or not. I am going to take a chance that I only have to get to the tenth line, not fill it. WAIT! WAIT A MINUTE! II filled it! Hazzah!
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Too dark, but not a bad zombie flick
13 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I am a zombie fan. I have seen dozens of zombie movies, maybe more. This one is nicely self- consistent. Decent story. Not-bad acting. FX aren't bad.

Only two significant comments. It's too dark. the movie takes place in a prison. I used to be a police officer. Every prison I ever saw was brightly lit. the guards want to be able to see what the prisoners are doing. the darkness of this movie destroyed its verisimilitude and made it much less pleasurable to watch.

The other serious incongruity is the woman whose large, bare breasts pop on and off the screen. Who is she and why is she hanging around the prison with no shirt on? I like bare breasts as much as the next guy, assuming the next guy isn't Ted Haggard, but they seem out of place in a prison movie, a zombie movie or in this case, a prison-zombie movie.
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No that I expected anything better
20 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have always been a good movie fan. I have recently become a zombie movie fan. I have watched 20+ zombie or zombie-like movies in the past year. This one is below the bottom of the industrial waste barrel.

The characters are caricatures: the pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty, the pretty girl who knows she's pretty, the pretty girl who's an athlete, the jock ex-boyfriend, the computer geek who (surprise! is good looking and black! Zounds!) the put-upon hero, and lastly the geeky/ annoying/genius younger brother who will save the day.

I don't expect too many movies to be as good as Romero's originals, but this one doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same orifice. Romero's comes breathlessly from the lips of the terrified protagonist. Mention of this one comes from the nether regions, with an aroma to match.
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Dirty Love (2005)
I sprained my finger hitting the fast forward button.
16 May 2006
When I get an "Unrated" movie, I don't expect it to be good, but I expect some redeeming characteristics. There was a minimum of "breast" and "vagina" talk, but the only bare breasts in the movie were shot from a distance and covered with vomit.

The humor was juvenile and not even a little funny. The writing and acting were abysmal. I honestly cannot think of one good thing about this movie. This is a first for me.

It is not credible that anyone, let alone more than one person, gave this movie a 10 rating.

This movie is so bad that I am never going back to the block buster whence I rented it because I am embarrassed that someone there might recognize me as the guy who rented this movie.
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About what you'd expect from Martin Lawrence.
14 May 2005
Nothing to get real excited about, but a pleasant way to spend a couple hours. There were plenty of gun battles, and they were pretty good. I have nothing to complain about concerning the fight sequences. The pretty girls were indeed pretty, though I could have used a few more of them or a little more time with them. The only "sexy" scene wouldn't have made my mother uncomfortable. The cops were cops. The robbers were robbers. There were some clever, witty remarks. I can't say that I wish I had written this movie, but I would not be ashamed if I had.

I was surprised to see Timothy Busfield in the movie at all, and disappointed that he had such a small part.

The acting was fine. I had no problem. The effects were fine, aside from the infrequent glitch. The writing was okay, nothing to write home about, but what one would expect from such a movie with such a cast. I am not sure why I didn't like this movie better, but I can't rate it higher than a 6.

I enjoyed the movie, but I doubt that I will rent it again.
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One of the dullest movies I have ever slept through.
1 May 2005
The book was entertaining. It did not translate well into a movie. There was little story. What story there was was hard to follow through all the special effects.

We blew more than $40 for five tickets, popcorn and soda on a Sunday afternoon because the kids really wanted to see the movie. They liked it well enough, but that's all. When kids really like a movie, they can't stop talking about it, reliving it, asking what everyone else liked about it, etc. My kids, aged 15, 12 and 8, didn't even mention it beyond saying "Thanks for taking us."

The acting, directing, casting, etc. were just fine, but there wasn't, anything for them to act, direct, etc. Seriously disappointing.
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I, Robot (2004)
Good enough, but not related to the book at all
4 April 2005
This is an enjoyable-enough movie, but the title suggests that it is related to Dr. Asimov's book of the same name. It's not.

Susan Calvin is in the book, and the Three Laws are from Asimov's robot stories, but the plot is much closer to a short story called "With Folded Hands" (I don't remember the author) except that this movie has a happy ending. WFH does not.

Smith's character seems loosely based on Lije Bailey, the protagonist from Asimov's Caves of Steel, which is a murder mystery about a dead robot scientist who may have been killed by a robot.

If I knew nothing about the book I, Robot, I probably would have rated this movie higher, but the misleading title and the poor attempt to present this as Asimov's work make my rating of 6 a gift. Perhaps it reflects my love of science fiction more than the quality of the movie.
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The Cooler (2003)
Old plot, too predictable, way too much violence
26 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Ii thought the acting was fine. I rented it primarily because I like William H. Macy. I was disappointed as the plot started to unfold. It was completely predictable. The only thing I didn't see coming was the wife not being pregnant.

I could have done without the violence. I expected a little violence, but there was way more violence that I expected, and more than I thought necessary.

There wasn't as much humor as I hoped, either. There was a lot more sex than I anticipated. That's always a plus.

Overall the predictability of the plot so overshadowed everything else I consider my 6 rating a salute to Macy more than my real enjoyment of the movie.
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