Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Real or just a clever marketing scheme? Various interwebs message boards have comments that seem all too strangely similar, word for word even. I'm guessing viral campaign vs. alien invaders.
Nonetheless, the video is pretty creepy.
Cortez the Killer
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Zack Snyder directed this remake of the 1978 zombie and gore classic. I liked 300. It was violent, entertaining and both manly as hell and queer as a $3 bill. Sort of like Manowar. He also directed Watchmen which I liked. It was entertaining, fairly true to the original story and was neat to look at. His first directorial effort, 2004's Dawn of Dead however - well I love it. In fact, it's better than the original.
Oh calm down Comicon nerds. If you're having a conniption fit right now, you need to stop complaining about my Ghost Adventurer's post and face the facts.
I'll review Romero's original film at some point, but for now let's all admit the following - despite it's groundbreaking gore effects and clever satire of American culture, it's poorly acted, poorly scripted and way too long. And really, the satire isn't all that clever really. It's not as clever as Night of the Living Dead was.
The remake has lots going for it. For one thing, it's exciting. I know some "purists" are not fans of the fast zombie, but you have to admit that it's always been a little goofy that people couldn't outrun flesh-eaters with a top speed of 2 miles per hour. I happen to like the fast zombie - it's much scarier to me. And there are some undead dudes here who are fucking fast AND creepy. The zombie with one arm sprinting towards the protagonists - yikes man!The legless dude who comes swinging down on the one guy - double yikes!
The script, while pretty faithful to the original concept, is also much better. It was mainly handled by James Gunn who also wrote and directed Slither. And he was married to Jenna Fischer. For one thing, the dialogue lacks the wooden and forced qualities that the original has. It's also kind of funny at times, and occasionally, a little sad. It has some fun twists, but they're not ridiculous - the concept of the entire population turning into man-meat gobbling goblins is ridiculous enough. Basically, the writers knew when to push things and when to pull their punches.
And while both films are uber-gory, the gore in the remake is more "painful" to watch. The exploding head scene that kicks things off in the original is amazing, but there is something more awful about the remake's scene where the truck overturns and the chainsaw winds up in the woman's shoulder. It's just mean.
It's not a perfect film. The characters are a little . . . well stereotypie - the ultra serious cop, the power-trippin' redneck mall cop, the clean cut good dad, the little blonde nurse who surprises everyone with her resilience, the gangsta dude with the heart of gold, etc. etc. The zombies sound like cheetahs for some reason. And the zombie baby scene, well that's just fucking stupid and totally unnecessary.
If you like zombies, gore, action, fun stories and have a love of nihilism, check this one out. Then go back and watch the original. I'm telling you, it's better and that's NOT a knock on the original. It's just a damn good horror movie. And has a cool soundtrack as well.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
1. Its going head-to-head, opening on the same date (10/23) as the latest Saw flick. Hasn't this franchise pulverized a dead horse enough?
2. The trailer even uses the SAME exact grandiose soundtrack as the Saw films which is basically signaling a big 'F-you, our film is going to be better' type of stance.
Regardless, the film looks really interesting. Even though I can't stand Cameron Diaz.
Cortez the Killer
Monday, June 22, 2009
Posted below is a 9 minute clip from the film that has gotten me all revved up. Apparently, Warner Bros. has been sitting on this film since 2007 and it will finally see the light of day with a DVD release coming this October. You would think since it stars the ever more increasingly hot Anna Paquin, and because of the fact that True Blood is the most popular vampy thing this side of Twatlight (I can't take credit for this amalgamation of words, but this fine young lady can), that it would see a proper release. But I guess that's what makes this far more intriguing and tingly in my man parts. I'm definitely looking forward to its release, one way or another.
Cortez the Killer
P.S. more reviews coming soon. I was visiting future in-laws in Philly (who's residents have accents EXACTLY how you would imagine them to be) and taking some much needed time off.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Check out the trailer for the new flick below. Explosions, zombie kills, hot girls and Van Halen. My head just exploded.
Cortez the Killer
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Cortez the Killer
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
T&A Factor 5/5
Anyone who reads this here interwebs blog knows of my affinity for cornball, cheese dick-a-licious 80's horror flicks. Horror movies from the 80's range from genre defining to downright awful to so bad its good, like going on a candy binge when you need to have a severe root canal. Painfully aweful yet oh so sweet. Chopping Mall definitely fits into the later category.
A high end robotic security team of Johnny 5's (think a bastard, stubby Ewok-a-fied version of the robot from Short Circuit), are dispatched nightly at a local mall to scan the various levels and be on the lookout for any bad dudes. One night, a storm hits and a bolt of lightning is sent through the engineering room, zapping the little robots and making them go cuckoo nutzoids.
A group of kids that work in the mall decide to lock up shop and then head over to the furniture emporium to shack up together for the night, indulging in the typical excesses that are a hallmark of 80's horror: sex, booze, etc. I love 80's horror movies for mainly 2 things: T&A and the ridiculous characterization of dopey and douchey teens. Somewhere in the mix is of course, blood and gore, but the way these characters are written and the mozzarella cheese uttered in just about every line of dialogue is simply amazing.
The robots start picking off the kids and janitors who are cleaning up the place for the night and the remaining kiddos band together to fight off the wacked out Johnny 5's. They raid a sporting good store in the mall which just so happens to stock military assault rifles (seriously?) and they devise ways to kill off the crazed tin cans on mechanized wheels.
This movie has it all: robots, lazers, sex crazed kids, cornball dialogue (one of the girls grabs a gun from one of the dudes when he can't shoot straight and after she hits her target says, 'My dad was a marine'-- what a freakin' coincidence!) and one of the raddest head exploding scenes I have ever seen this side of Scanners. See this 80's classic if you haven't already.
Cortez the Killer
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
An Italian woman who arrived late for the Air France plane flight that crashed in the Atlantic last week has been killed in a car accident. Johanna Ganthaler, a pensioner from Bolzano-Bozen province, had been on holiday in Brazil with her husband Kurt and missed Air France Flight 447 after turning up late at Rio de Janeiro airport on May 31. All 228 people aboard lost their lives after the plane crashed into the Atlantic four hours into its flight to Paris. The ANSA news agency reported that the couple had managed to pick up a flight from Rio the following day.
It said that Ms Ganthaler died when their car veered across a road in Kufstein, Austria, and swerved into an oncoming truck. Her husband was seriously injured.
Cortez the Killer
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Is there any better combination in the world than horror movies and metal? Peanut butter & jelly, beer & pizza, Italian food & red wine, tequila & Mexican food. I think not. Chances are, if you aren't in love with both, you won't really dig this film.
Trick Or Treat stars that nerdy dude from Family Ties who's obsessed with all things metal and in particular, one guy who looks like a cross between Tommy Lee and CC Deville. He's the a-typical outcast at school, bullied by the jocks. Ironically enough, the movie reminds me of my buddy and fellow writer on this here interwebs blog, Complaint Dept. He told me about the douchey jocks at his high school and how they all frowned upon heavy metal but at the same time, 'jocked' Guns N' Roses. Yeah, these guys kind of fit that mold.
He wakes up one morning finding out that his rock hero was killed in a hotel fire. Totally bummed, he visits one of his only buddies, a local radio jockey (played by the over marketed, dollars constantly in his eyeballs, douchebag extraordinaire, Gene Simmons--I've never liked KISS, btw). The jockey tells him that he has the only copy of the last record made by said rock dude and he plans on playing it at midnight on Halloween. He gives the record to the nerdy kid as he's already made a taped version.
So nerdy kid pines for the one girl in his school he knows he can't have. She invites him to a late night pool party, and he's promptly thrown into the pool with a weight that's been tied to his backpack by one of the jock-a-roos. He's rescued from the pool by the girl, he storms out, and vows revenge. He goes home that night, plays the record and of course, by spinning it backwards a message is revealed and the rocker dude comes back from the grave.
A ridiculously silly affair, virtually no blood or gore, but high on the metal and rock out factor, I can't totally recommend this unless you are a huge fan of metal. If you just like horror movies, you are going to think this is an absolute stinker. But I love every minute of this flick. Everyone's favorite and now infamous money grubbing icon, Ozzy Osbourne also makes an appearance as a TV evangelist, talking about the sins of listening to rock music. Oh the irony!
As I type this, I'm listening to the most recent Mastodon album 'Crack the Skye' for the umpteenth time. Fucking brilliant.
Cortez the Killer
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Frontier(s) is a splashy and painful gorefest with little else going for it. The storyline is much too familiar - wild young kids with bad luck and hard lives head out for the countryside for some R&R (though in this case they are runnin' from the law). They wind up at a B&B run by some inbred cannibals with mutant children crawling around the abandoned mine that the B&B is built over. The inbreds humiliate, torture, kill and eventually eat the young kids. The female lead manages to kill them all and gets away.
So you've seen it a few times before. The twist here is that it's a) In French b) Set in the future and c) involves Nazis. Otherwise, there is very little to set itself apart from the other so-called "torture porn" films that have been popping up lately.
Well, I suppose that's not entirely true. Frontier(s) does manage to set itself apart in that it tries WAAAY to hard. The victims are remarkably resilient and tough, therefore requiring quite a bit of abuse. The settings and locations are extremely dark and spooky, the killers ridiculously sweaty, mean and one-dimensional. The situations are far too nasty - swimming through pig shit, tunnelling through teeny tiny crawlspaces ala The Descent, navigating one's way through an enormous maze of corpses hung up like sides of beef. And the gore is very over the top - melting faces, exploding heads, circular saws through the skull, wire cutters through the Achilles tendon, etc. etc. And gallons and gallons of blood.
So while gorehounds will be interested - I was for a while - eventually it becomes too much. Some restraint is required for this to be anything other than ridiculous and a spectacle of silliness. Which makes it all the more strange that this was awarded (slapped with?) an NC-17 rating. Maybe I'm too sophisticated or maybe I'm too callous and immoral, but I fail to see how anyone could take this all that seriously and be offended by it. Grossed out, sure, but a 16 kid would laugh at this and giggle along with the special effects.
Decent, but not great. A great film for those interested only in gore, but the lack of style and direction coupled with the just plain silliness of the whole thing might result in a "meh" for others. Still. . . when selecting tags below, I have to admit, this one kind of covered it all.
- Complaint Department
Monday, June 1, 2009
Very cool Canadian film that proves a big budget, splashy special gore effects and a pile of boobs is not required to make an entertaining and effective horror film.
The premise of Pontypool is very basic - it's essentially a zombie film with very few zombies. You know the drill: some sort of virus starts to infect the townspeople and they start turning into murderous and mindless killing machines. Eventually everyone in the town has "turned" except for a small group of people holed up in (insert remote and dangerously underdefended location here). In this case, it's a radio station.
Pontypool differs in that none of this is actually seen. Instead, it's described over the airwaves by the cranky morning DJ as news reports start coming in from various sources (except for actual news sources). At first, the phone calls and "eyewitness accounts" start to seem incredible - too incredible to be real. Bodies being torn apart by family members, mortally wounded zombie folk making eerie (for real) "baby sounds" into the phone, army trucks arriving in town, etc.
The film almost operates the same way that the original War of the Worlds broadcast did way back in the early part of the 20th century (that's fun to say). And while the film starts slowly (it almost has to in order to be believable) it eventually becomes very taut and tense. There are some creepy-eepy moments here, even though there is relatively few "scares" and blood. Lastly, the virus itself, how it operates, is kind of cool as well. Not to spoil anything, but it attacks people through the way they process information in their heads. It's weird, but kinda neat. In a dorky sci-fi way.
And when the scares and blood do arrive, they do so with tasteful restraint, but enough punch to really be effective. The one "gore" scene is far more effective than the thousands in Hostel or Dawn of the Dead.
Pontypool is a great movie. It's funny, clever, very smart and scary in an unconventional way. Watch it. It's been a while since a saw a film that didn't suck balls. Good job Canada.
- Complaint Dept