I do creature designs on my spare time.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)
Starring: Warwick Davis, Brent Jasmer, Jessica Collins
There's a old saying that whenever a franchise goes on making movies, there will come a point that they'll ran out of ideas and just chuck the whole plot in space. Now this is usually a joke but there was some series that thought this is a sell and did exactly just that. So far, I'd seen three horror villains given this treatment; Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th, Pinhead of Hellraiser and, in this review, the maniacal Leprechaun of, well, the Leprechaun franchise.
Some time into the future, the pint-sized devil kidnaps and plans to marry a princess from an alien planet to make him an official royalty, thus granting him...a title, I guess. (What for, though? I'm sure his immortality and magical powers should have been enough to cover any world dominating scheme!) At first the princess reasonably turn down his offer, but after being persuaded by the leprechaun's promises of gold and jewels, she eventually gave in to the idea.
All of this is soon interrupted when a hired military mercenary group was sent to rescue the princess and destroy the dangerous "alien". A gun/laser fight soon broke out and a grenade was tossed, which the leprechaun heroically covers to save his future wife and got blown to bits. Thinking they've won, they haul up with the princess and a few of the Leprechaun's gold, flying off to a ship that's being resided by a perverted geek and the professor in charge of the operation, who, by the way, resembles a bald German guy's torso implanted on a dalek from Dr. Who.
Of course, we know our bad guy's far from dead and the leprechaun magically regenerates himself from one of the marine's dick (don't ask) and wrecks all kind of havoc across the ship, searching for the princess and his gold.
Now, bear in mind, the Leprechaun franchise was never serious to begin with so please, do not ask why the Leprechaun is in space. Let's just say that he's so evil and demonic, he can out live us all and be greedy for all eternity; this being said, Leprechaun in Space is a B-movie slasher parody of many scifi conventions and movies like Alien and The Terminator 2.
With it's odious plotting, Japanese paper-thin characters, and terribly weak script, this sequel simply continues the same bad movie trashiness the prior three Leprechaun movies are known for, although I must admit this entry pushed it light years ahead of itself. This is more of a cartoon than a horror movie, a big joke in space under the vein of having a murderous snowman at the Bahamas ala Jack Frost 2: Attack of the Killer Mutant Snowman, only this movie is a tad better as a slasher. That being said, one of the fun part of Leprechaun is Space is that, from squashed faces to horrible mutation, some of its horror elements looks pretty impressive to say the least, which is something considering its budget obviously looked shoestring tight.
None the less, I had fun; it's a dumb movie but it's the fun kind of dumb. The kind that gets shoved down a unicorn's bunghole while it's galloping, totally weird yet magical at the same time! Not the kind of film everyone would surely enjoy, but a selective view that appreciates a shlocky silly movie just to have a good time will definitely enjoy the brainless effort that is Leprechaun In Space!
If not, then you are missing the point of this movie...
1 male hacked to death with a light saber
1 male had his groin ripped open
1 male stripped to the bone by flesh-eating bacteria
1 male crushed by a falling metal crate
1 female falls to her death
1 male had his face flattened by a flying dish tray
1 male electrocuted
1 male frozen by liquid nitrogen, blown to bits
|My sentiments exactly!|
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Chain Letter (2009)
Starring: Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif
Chain letters. Those annoying spams that's mostly written by some bored tween who's idea of a scary death sounds like a cheap C-list Asian horror. On a hindsight, they used to be creepy when cyberspace was fresh out of the open and when these letters were better written, almost resembling real news bits. Now, with the rampant development of technology, these letters became simple wastes of time that are meant to be thrown to our junk mails.
This 2009 slasher played around with this fact with a deadly twist: what if by ignoring a chain letter that promises your death, you die for real?
A group of teens receives a chain mail from an anonymous web persona that calls itself "The Chain Man"; the mail is to be passed to five others within 24 hours or else they'll meet a terrible fate. As any of us would do in this situation, some of the kids simply ignored this as junk mail; but little do they know, there is indeed a mad man out there hunting and brutally slaughtering those who failed to pass the mail.
As the death toll rises, local detectives started looking into a possible connection between these murders to some anti-technology cult that may had recruited a disfigured and completely homicidal soldier who was tortured back in Iraq for owning an American phone (?!)
We also got some good acting despite some really cheap characters, fun cameos like Brad Dourif as a Sociology Professor, a sensible social commentary that does had its point, and an intimidating killer that boasts creativity within its weapon of choice (Plus, he's by Michael Bailey Smith, AKA Pluto of the impressive The Hills Have Eyes remake!) The problem? Whoever was writing had no idea how to do the rest of the story right.
After the first few killings, the film shifts into an investigative thriller that hardly made sense as connections between these teen murder and an anti-tech cult was forced into the story, dragging what might have been a simple yet fun slasher movie into a messy pile of cinematic mush that had no idea what it wanted to be. The movie just went on with the chain letters and good gore, skipping a climax, tossing away any reason for the teens to fight back, and lead on to an unsatisfying ending that's gleefully messy but hollow none the less.
I can understand that the producers might be trying something new and unpredictable on their hands, but they simply tried too hard. The killer's motive was fine but was there really a need to chuck a sub-plot involving a cult of radicals that hates scientific progress? Was there a need for one of our teen casts to start investigating this matter if she isn't even going to do anything to save her friends or herself? Was there a need for the Chain Man to hoist a victim with chains just to cut his heels with a knife?
That last part, seriously. The killer's big; he could have just kicked the kid's leg joints to the opposite direction before he starts grinding the boy's face with a length of chain. I'm pretty sure it'll work the same way. (Killers and their gimmicks...)
The bottom line is that Chain Letter could have been good if they just kept it modest. Technology in a slasher film is not impossible seeing we have fun titles like Chopping Mall and Laid To Rest; the trick here is focus. My best bet is that it should had focused on the gory deaths seeing we already have tons of tech-oriented thrillers out there like Untraceable and Strangeland (1998), but I guess that is for the producers to figure out should they plan for a sequel.
That is, of course, if it will ever happen.
1 male had his face mutilated with chains
1 male crushed in half by a falling car engine
1 female had her head split open with a toilet lid
1 male snared with a hooked-tipped chain, hooked through the jaw
1 male set on fire
1 female chained between two cars, torn apart
1 male presumably killed
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
AND IT'S PARTY TIMEZ
Here's to bid farewell to 2014 and welcome 2015. I have to apologize my lowered number of posts and uneven schedule but, work really got hectic and the canteen PCs were taken out. Damn cheap-ass big wigs cutting corners...
But, least this year was an interesting one. Not much slashers but a lot of impressive horror flicks in general, and I even got to message some nice indie directors out there. And on a non-horror related note, i discover that i got a talent in drawing furries. Just drawing furries. Not fursuiting, that'll be expensive and creepy. I might make one when I completely lost my mind to anything but murder but since I'm still partially sane, no...
So here's again to 2015! The year of the Wooden Ram and the year when Jurassic World is coming out! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!
Terror Train (Canada, 1980)
Starring: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner
It was one New Years Eve in the 80s when Kenny, the shy guy on campus, was coaxed by his fellow freshmen to score one with Alana, Jamie Lee Curtis' good girl character in this plot. Convinced that he is finally gonna get lucky with the girl of his dreams, Kenny agreed to follow his friends' instruction to meet her in a chiffon covered room, unaware of their real intention; on the bed was an obscured cadaver taken out of a nearby mortuary, and Alana -hiding behind a four poster bed- unknowingly agreed to tease Kenny by inviting him to strip and make out with "her".
When Kenny found out exactly what he was snuggling, it's no surprise he completely lost it, leading to one hell of a guilt trip in Alana's behalf that lasted three long years until the night of their graduation.
On that snowy evening, the graduating class celebrates their last band together abroad a chartered train, donning costumes and hiring a REAL magician (the one and only David Coppefield, who apparently hates this film for some odd reason...) for entertainment. Those who were responsible of the prank tried to move on from the fact that their little stunt caused a mental breakdown, but it appears the past found a way to pay them back; unknowingly to all of them, Kenny is back and has a bone to pick with the pricks (and Alana). One by one, he murders them and dons their costume to get around unnoticed.
When it soon narrows down to just him and Alana, deadly chases and twisted twists were not far from the expected, seeing this is released during the bygone years of the 80s slasher boom. And yet, you can tell Terror Train is in a league of its own; while it is a slasher, bloody kills wasn't the winning factor of the film but it was its creepiness, sadistic streak, and a bit of ingenuity.
It is brutal without being overly bloody, raising up a few creative carnage as the killer walks among potential victims unnoticed and play with the idea that everyone was donning costumes, meaning he can murder anyone without alarming the entire party. (That is until said victim's friend took notice, then it was pandemonium!) It seems pretty obvious that the killer wanted all those responsible for the prank that ruined his life to emotionally and psychologically suffer first before grabbing them by the throat, even more when he chases Jamie Lee's character through an abandoned corridor during the film's climax, at one point mocking her by smearing blood all over her face and then teasing her with an axe when he corners her in a cage.
What's more impressive is how well the claustrophobic feel was in this film, seemingly thanks to an atmospheric cinematography and some darn-good performances from its casts despite the trace of cheese. As of any 80s slasher, it still does the classic cliches, minus T&A, (unless you count the corpse...you freak of nature) but the only real let down was, after a few unnoticed killings, the movie slows down in the middle and went to stab at at teen politics and a bit of the blame game; not overly bad but simply dragging seeing the film did had a good start and all the killer did at this point was skulk and glare. Then again, this is a minor gripe, and things did got going once more after the thespians discovers the murders.
1 male found ran through with a sword, crushed underneath a train
1 male brained against a mirror
1 female found with throat cut
1 male found stabbed
2 males mentioned missing
1 male decapitated
1 male found impaled with swords
1 male falls to his death unto a frozen lake
Starring: Nick Stahl, Eddie Kaye Thomas, January Jones
You know what not to do with your friends at New Year's Eve? Run around in your tights with a rocket strapped to your butthole hoping you'll take off like a jackass. You know what else you shouldn't do? Watch a 2002 movie titled Taboo, an experience that I'll guarantee is ten times worse than having your ass blown apart by an explosive.
Sometimes it is best that one should keep their mouth shut, but six high-class buddies (?) decided to play an innocent game of Taboo one New Year's Eve night, where one will pick a taboo card and write the answers "yes" or "no" on said card in response to its written question. The friends them picked a random card once it was shuffled around, and did their seemingly best to guess who answered the card.
Seeing the name of the game is Taboo, it's not hard to understand that the questions are juicy; an entire year after the night they played this game, these friends are back together to celebrate New Year's Eve only to discover that one of them has a sinister agenda. One by one, they all fall victim to a friend-turned-enemy, who was apparently blackmailed thanks to the personal details they revealed on that one night of Taboo.
The premise actually got me looking into this movie as it resembles a bit of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians; unfortunately, the film failed to be as exciting as my favorite thriller novel, since none of these characters even tried to be likable or root-worthy. They're socialites, snobs who think about no one but themselves, and they're quick to prove this point as they seem to hardly care when one of them dies off or had gone missing.
Then again, they may have a reason for not acting too surprised that their buddies were mentioned gutted; half-way into the film (which honestly felt like an eternity), it was revealed that the missing/dead friends are actually alive and was torturing their blackmailer. They seemingly forgive her, and was about to live through the night chipper, that is until one of them loses his mind for God knows what reason and began shooting everyone with a hunting rifle. Trust me again, this is not as exciting as it sounds and I regret nothing spoiling this to anyone. (You'll thank me later!)
|Wish that was my hands over there on that rifle...|
For real, don't give any shit for this movie. It's not worth your time, your friend's time, your dead grandparent's time, and most of all, my time.
1 male shot on the face with a rifle
1 male shot on the head with a rifle
1 female beaten to death with a rifle
1 female hits her had against a pool table, beaten to death with a pool cue
1 female poisoned
1 male poisoned