WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS BODYCOUNT. HIGH RISK OF SPOILERS. ENTER IF YOU DARE.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Torture Show of Bore: Torment (2008)

Torment (2008)
rating: 1/2
starring:  Suzi Lorraine, Tom Stedham and Ted Alderman

I just wasted a good portion of my life with this one, and I blame my love for homicidal clowns.

Meet Dissecto, a masked loonie in a clown mask and get-up who loves capturing people, torturing them and ultimately killing them. Early on the opening, we see him making balloon animals for a bound woman before stabbing her in the neck with a butcher knife, before torturing his way through two captured mormons and presumably killing them off screen.

Now, the catch is, we also divide our attention to Ray, settling a little trip to his remote cabin in hopes of rekindling his relationship with his newly released nut of a girlfriend, Lauren. As far as I could digress this part, it's really nothing I can clamor about; the two characters often argue with each other, making them both hardly likable at all, to the point you just had to wish something, anything to happen to live up the situation.

Problem was, it didn't; from time to time, we see Dissecto torturing someone before inter-cutting to our lovers in troubled paradise, with little effectiveness from both sides.

The torture scenes were tired and uninspired; we get a hand chopped off with a mini guillotine, tooth extracted painfully, some knife stabbings, all prolonged with some unnecessary parlor tricks that our killer clown had to do before the painful stuff happens. I understand this might be for building tension, but there's nothing tense about a thin needle going through a balloon without it popping the damn thing. (If it's anything, it would probably kill it.)

By the time our killer finally got to our two lead casts, he easily dispatched the other with a chair (which is the only decent kill we get here) and abduct the other for yet again another torture show, prolonged as well with more parlor tricks. This time, however, they thrown in a random cop breaking into Dissecto's hideout and doing a little searching, just for him to get killed; if this is the filmmaker's definition of a climax, I'm this close to pulling out a flamethrower and burn all the effin props and film equipment they had for this film just to ensure they wouldn't make another movie. (As for their "creative spirit"? I think my baseball bat can fix that...)

But wait, it gets worse; after another satisfying kill (it's Dissecto. He bit the big one. There, I just saved you 88 minutes of this garbage...), the filmmakers decided to end it with another prolonged scene showing Lauren going crazy and putting on clown make-up. So, coming out fresh from a mental hospital, have a crappy day with your so called boyfriend, watch him get killed, get tortured and kill said torturer gets you crazy. Oh geez, that's highly fascinating, mate! Did you come up with that on your own? But why do I feel as if I've seen that kind of ending before?

See where I'm going with one?

Torment did made one thing clear; it's tormenting for us, too. The box already had us believing it's going to be a cool slasher of sorts, but the killer on the art looks nothing like the one in the film! Don't buy it, don't rent it, don't borrow it from an unfortunate friend or family member who has it and is trying to get rid of it by passing it to you. Don't even think it exist once you get a glimpse of it; just ignore it, think of of your family and all the minutes you'll be wasting watching this crap. Was that too much? Good. Live with it!

Bodycount:
1 female gets a kitchen knife to the throat
1 male had a hand chopped off with mini-guillotine, killed
1 male had a tooth extracted, killed
1 male had his head crushed with chair
1 male beaten to death with firepoker
1 male knitting needle to the eye
total: 6

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

House of Flying Pickaxes: Simon Says (2006)

Simon Says (2006)
rating: ***
starring: Crispin Glover, Margo Harshman and Greg Cipes

Did you know the man behind the cult family flick Harry and The Hendersons once tried to do a slasher? Did you know said slasher was fun despite the overall cheese fest?

In 2006, William Dear stepped down from making well-meaning family comedies and dramas and took a taste of the dark, gooey side of the cinema as Bill Dear, creating Simon Says.

In a near generic opening, we see a black and white family movie of twin toddlers playing on the lawn which escalates disturbingly when one of the toddler smashes a toy truck over the other. For some unexplained reason, this turned out to be a dream our lead girl was having, which makes no sense since the film clearly made it a point that she doesn't know these terror tykes.

From there on, we follow the usual trail; kids go camping, all of them stereotyped (the stoner, the mean girl, the slut, the white guy, and our marketed final girl), people warns them not to go (twice), teens stops for gas and food wherein they meet a creepy mentally-handicapped guy named Simon and his twin brother Stanley. (If you believe these twins are the ones from the dream awhile ago, you've earn yourself a cookie)

As the kids went on their way, we got our first kill involving a random hitch-hiker and a pickaxe tied to a rope. The kids reach their backwoods spot, one of them left and got hunted down by a killer (dressed as a bush, no less), and we got the earliest unmasking ever. As you've guessed, it's one of the twins (or both) and they're killing people for...well, I don't know, but they seem to be enjoying the heck out of it so I'll just leave it at that.

Made as a throwback to the 80s slasher, Simon Says is a backwoods slasher that is either a diamond in a rough or a turd in the dirt, possessing everything that makes a slasher film good and too those that makes it bad.

The story, for one, is at its most basic, bumping over every cliches known in these films before treating us with the bloody stuff. Thankfully, the wait was worth it as Simon Says is blessed with some fun, gooey kills, putting (remake) Harry Warden's overuse of pickaxe to shame. Some of said kills were done through CG but the film never devoid itself of old school latex and corn syrup as we get crazily impressive traps set around the woods dismembering legs, impaling people, and even shred unfortunates into bits in full practical effects. To top it all off, we even have a pickaxe hurling contraption resembling a cross between a medieval catapult and a cannon, a device that I find really impressive coming from a psycho who may have enough free time in his hands to design and invent all this.

Sadly, just as some bad 80s slasher out there, we're also filled in with some unexplained plot holes; aside from the fact we got a final girl who dreams of other people's memories for no reason, we also got a random horse riding girl who appears all ghost-like just for the sake of it. There's also that time-filler massacre involving paintballers that happens sometime around the middle of the film, a possibly shout out to a similar scene to Jason's triumphant return from the grave in Friday the 13th: Jason Lives. It's all fun but it serves no purpose other than to heighten the kill count. (Not that I'm complaining, of course.)

With little mystery on who's doing the killings and cheesy effects for both practical and CG murders, Simon Says was never a film to be taken seriously. While tastes will be tested and tolerance for cheese will be needed, the film's straightforward slasher feel has little much to offer but to entertain a boring night with an unlikely scenario, unlikely villain and, yes, unrealistic kills that's conjured up for the sake of your grim enjoyment. My only suggestion on how to fully enjoy, or even love, this film? Switch off. Brains may not feel safe with you watching this title...

Bodycount:
1 male stabbed in gut with knife (flashback)
1 female stabbed to death with knife (flashback)
1 male gets a projected pickaxe to the chest
1 female gets a projected pickaxe to the back, dismembered with butcher knife
1 male had his legs shredded through a pickaxe-lined disk
2 males shredded to bit through pickaxe-lined pillar
1 dog stomped
1 male pinned to a tree by a thrown pickaxe
1 female knifed on the back, thrown and impaled on a pickaxe
1 female hanged and swinged to an incoming car, hit
1 male impaled on a pickaxe
1 female hanged
1 male burnt to death
total: 14

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thorn in my Heart. Take Uno: Halloween 6:The Curse of Michael Myers (Producer's Cut) (1996)

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers: Producer's Cut (1996)
rating: ***
starring:  Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd and Marianne Hagan

What I hate in a movie sequel is when it refuses to let go of it's predecessor and what I meant by this is whenever I watch a sequel, I'm expecting another saga or twist, have it nearly cut off from the events of the previous installment, which is a reason why I gave favorable ratings to Hostel II, Cabin Fever II, Scream 3Children of the Corn 4: The Gathering and, yes, Halloween 6, the latter I'm proud to call my second favorite Halloween sequel ever made.

Gone was the serious tone of the previous and moved to a wilder and bloodier take on Michael's legacy, Halloween 6 ultimately cuts off the ties from almost everyone from its two previous films and revisits some of the older (and nearly forgotten) characters with their own unique mythos. Part 6 may took a wilder stab at the Thorn Mythos than Michael's own knifing spree, but the cheesiness of the story, plus the messy gore count ultimately made Halloween 6 a worthwhile film for me.

Then comes my curiosity for the famous Producer's Cut, which was described by a fellow blogger as "more Thorn". Now, I never really cared for the Thorn Cult element and the only thing I did like about them was the semi-twist in the theatrical release wherein they're revealed to be not real druids, but more of scientists experimenting with the DNA results of a man cursed by magick. What further made me think twice on seeing the Producer's Cut was also the point that only eight murders were committed, meaning something about this entry may had done more talking than killing. So far that never was a bad thing for a slasher, as I do have my share of good fave "talky" titles, but coming from Halloween, a franchise that spent both of Michael's 80s and 90s return with lots of boring talks, I feared for the worse.

Still, Producer's Cut or not, a slasher's a slasher. And it beckoned for me.

Same as the original Halloween 6, the Producer's Cut still focuses on Michael's return to Haddonfield years after being captured by the Thorn Cult. Though the theatrical cut had Michael killing off his niece, Jamie, early and spends his rampage looking for Jamie's baby, the last of his bloodline that he must kill under his apparent curse, the Producer's Cut took more time trying to flesh out what happened in between this movie and the previous installment, mostly involving the cult and Jamie being a tool to the cult's ritualistic worship of slaughter.

The Producer's Cut has it's interesting moments; though indeed the slaughter count's been cut in half, the final product was still a tied continuity that sorta let go of Jamie Strode's side of the story and slowly shifting its attention to the rest of the characters through a new light. Around the first running hour, H6 Producer's Cut was your standard slasher; Michael Myers dons another form of enigma, the one that's more intense as the film teasingly hints a form of supernatural influence to his invulnerability. This angle gets more and more thought out until the last 30 minutes, when the film turns into an Omen or Rosemary's Baby clone of sorts, with the druids explaining their goal and Micheal's possible origin.

I would be thrilled by this revelation but it has some parts that didn't cut out for me. For instance, I kinda saw it coming: Michael was shot multiple times (two of them, mind you, was through his eyes!), stabbed, set ablaze, and yet he lives and come back for the next year, all patched up as if his parts were made out of replaceable car parts. Clearly, he surpassed mortality and he's now Jason Voorhees with some Celtic magic flowing in his veins. This movie, or at least this version of it, milked this angle all too much for me that it really missed a lot of action and had gone more of a semi-intellectual thriller for most of its running time. I'm all for fun nights of quiz shows and family games, but when I lock myself in my room to watch a horror film, I expect a lot scares, blood, action or thrills, and H6 Prodcuer's Cut only has half of it.

Other things I couldn't really accept, other than the halved kill count, was the idea of Michael raping his own niece. It doesn't seem fitting to a monster of his standards but that's Pagan magic I guess. The climax doesn't work too well for me either but I did enjoy the last few minutes of the film, a final set-piece that ultimately brought Loomis down with an eternal curse. It was a nice touch for the mythos, an epic plot twist if I may say so myself, but it's just another cliffhanger for me and I'm really getting tired of these kind of endings. (Least seeing Michael in his new cloak was a cool ending shot. I always wanted to see him dressed in a cloak...)

More magic, less slaughtering, H6 Producer's Cut was a deserving cult classic of its own, just not mine. No, I prefer Michael to be slaughtering doctors, pushing heads through bars and pin a guy to a fuse box until his head explodes like a potato. Michael deserves to be less explained and feared more because he is The Shape. He defies explanation...

Bodycount:
1 female had her head shoved to a spike
1 male had his neck broken
1 female hacked with axe
1 female shot on the head
1 male pinned to a fusebox by a knife through the gut
1 male knifed repeatedly to the gut
1 male had his throat cut with knife
1 female stabbed to death with knife
total; 8

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day with a Short Shear Terror: Thanksgiving (2007)

Grindhouse: Thanksgiving (2007 short Faux Trailer)
rating: ***
starring: Mark Bakunas, Jeff Rendell and Karel Vanásek

While it's  feature length version is still a long shot away, for this Turkey Day, let's review one of the faux trailers featured in the retro-tastic double bill grindhouse tribute "Grindhouse".

As a tribute to slasher flicks of the 80s, Eli Roth directed his own Faux Trailer featuring the rampage of a Pilgrim-suited maniac, slaughtering people for Thanksgiving. He called it, well, Thanksgiving.

The trailer was simple as it is; small town holds an annual Thanksgiving celebration with parades and stuff, that is until we have our maniac doing what he does best. The trailer is really nothing more than money shots of what could be an actual 80s horror flick, with the sensibilities of the more recent slasher entries. And when I meant recent slasher entries, I meant it's over the top; we got a trampoline strip, public beheadings in a crowded parade, teens getting decapitated while making out (TWICE!) and our killer fucking a stuffed turkey.

If this was ever a rel flick released in the 80s, it'll probably banned like crazy with all them money shots, but as any wishful thinking any dreamer can dream, Roth made a cult legend out of this two minute fake trailer. I mean not only did the guy knows what makes a good 80s slasher fun (blood, sex, craziness and everything in combination) but he's probably the guy who notices how rarely Thanksgiving get tackled as a holiday killing spree. I mean, yes, we do have Home Sweet Home, but let's face it, that film hardly lived it like My Bloody Valentine did for Valentines Day. As far as I'm concerened, the closest thing we got as a real Thanksgiving slasher was Thankskilling, the story of an evil turkey on a rampage; now if Roth would only capture that same magic, or even improve it, I'm ready to see this.

Well, as I say, it maybe a while before Roth finishes this flick, but so far, let's savor this sweet taste of an impossible fruit, before the main course gets real. So til' then HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!

Bodycount:
1 female killed with knife
1 male decapitated with axe
1 male killed offscreen
1 female lands groin first to a knife
1 male beheaded while in tryst
1 male beheaded
1 male found beheaded
total: 7

Buzzsaw Surprise!: Kolobos (1999)

Kolobos (1999)
rating: ***
starring:  Amy Weber, Donny Terranova and Nichole Pelerine 

One of the biggest highlights of the 90s, particularly around the latter years, was reality teen TV. Kids of that era somehow loved the torture, pain, and misery of obnoxious teens crying for whatever reason that'll come in mind, so using them as a plot point for a few horror movies then became some sort of small fad that kinda continues today.

Kolobos is one of the many "reality TV slashers" to come out at their prime, though the emphasis of the TV genre to it's plot plays little as the rest of the movie follows a more psychological bodycounting run. It starts off with a POV shot of a wounded girl staggering under a rainy street. A car hits her and the driver sends her to a hospital, where she's kept for questioning under suspicion that she's may have done the damage to herself. Unfortunately, the girl remembers very little until she saw an ad on a newspaper, looking for willing participants for what is basically a reality TV show. Almost instantly, it all came back to her...

We then go face to face with five others teenagers who introduce themselves through promotional audition tapes: we got the comedian, the student, the loudmouth brat, the party girl and the rejected loonie house releasee. (AKA probably our girl) After a night of dinner with the show's director and probably hours later watching a cheesy slasher flick series, one of the girls gets their gullet sliced open by a projected buzzsaw from nowhere. One girl noticed, screams, and the whole night went crashing down like dominoes. Evidently, there's a killer with a nasty habit of skinning his own face trapping them in the house and he somehow rigged it with some bizarre traps, further dooming these teens to the slaughter.

An engaging piece of horror imagery, Kolobos finds itself slowly moving to stranger tides along with the characters' descent to unimaginable madness. Early on, the movie does have the slasher tone and mystery head on, but the further the  murders proceed to bump off the teens, the more we slowly get to the surreal horrific hallucinations that prowl our obvious final girl. Interesting to note that said "hallucinations" are often accompanied by some Italian horror inspired set-up such as weird editing, lighting and sounds, which I believe was already foreshadowed by the movie's own opening theme, which sounds awfully familiar to that of Suspiria, a classic Italian horror that also practiced using horror imagery.

As a slasher, Kolobos is fairly thrilling; while it did suffer some pacing problems. odd acting and the overall lack of characterization, Kolobos delivered a pretty good bunch of onscreen murders and gore (including the aforementioned buzzsaw kill), pretty much a roundhouse of shocks, disgusts and grue, all in loving close-ups and even some odd angles. It's a sick and fair set for a slasher film of that time, quite refreshing with some creepiness to go around, mostly coming from the odd imagery at the near end.

So, where does Kolobos comes short in? Not much at a fact, but there is one thing that both fascinates  me and caught me off guard: while the movie is a clear hybrid of traditional teen slasher and some Italian inspired visual horror, the film's final twist may not sit that well for some as it can get a bit confusing. It's not exactly a first, but without spoiling much, it may debunked a lot of things that happened during the movie, though the reveal still found a way to be creepy.

It's a good film, but a little too familiar around its way; Kolobos manages everything it can with subtlety, harking some efforts from its own. It ain't a perfect teen slasher, but i find it recommendable for those looking for a good rent or late night viewing.

Bodycount:
1 female gets a hatchet to the chest (film)
1 male knifed to death (film)
1 female found with a fork stabbed to her neck (film)
1 female killed with hatchet (film)
1 male hacked to death with hatchet (film)
1 female sliced repeatedly by projected buzzsaws
1 male found with throat cut and wrapped in plastic
1 male bathe in acid, face bashed to sideboard
1 female pushed eye-first to deer antlers
1 male found dead with mutilated face
total: 10

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The generation worth forgetting: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (AKA "The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre") (1994)
rating: *
starring: Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey and Robert Jacks


Yeah. Sure. Whatever. Sigh... How did it come to this?

I have no idea what these guys were snorting up their noses but this had to be the lowest a franchise can to go. Hell, it even made some of the worse sequels look like Psycho in comparison! This movie! This God damn movie...

A re-imagining and psuedo-sequel of sorts, TCMNextGen is basically a story of four teens out for prom night, only to end up going through a night of unimaginable terror when one of them, in a state of momentary madness, decided to chase her cheating boyfriend. In a car. With her friends inside. And accidentally running over a guy in the middle of an overgrown Texan forest.

Now in a bigger spot of trouble, one of them stayed behind to make sure almost road-kill man doesn't pass on to the afterlife while the rest of the three went to get help. And as you can tell at this point, they meet a family of freaks living in a white trash cabin in the middle of the forest. One by one, they fell victim to the family members' bizarre murderous assaults, but they are nothing to the oddity that is Leatherface! The Chainsaw wielding screaming transvestite!

No. Joke. There...

Let's look at the facts here; Kim Henkel directed this piece of trash, a fact I can't get over with since he's practically one of the people responsible of the classic TCM 74. Perhaps he thought he could do better and I admire that, but seeing the outcome, I would rather shake him over and over again until he apologizes for wasting a good hour and a half of my life with this disastrous pile of dreck!

TCM NextGen isn't scary. Nor is it campy. Nor is it anything worth seeing to be honest. We know the story and we know what'll happen, but it lost everything that made this franchise good; Gone was the dread of the first, the cartoonish madness of the second, and/or the subtlety of the third. Instead, we have a whole movie about how a filmmaker trying to make horror villains out of a dysfunctional white trash family with little effect, considering these guy's diet of  human flesh was replaced with stale take-out pizza, their house filled with garbage instead of human bodies and the fact that these people act more like country dicks than insane serial killers.

This new clan includes Vilmer, the supposed leader of the clan who has a remote controlled leg brace and a successfully brainwashed  girlfriend Darla who believes his conspiracy delusions. We also got W.E. Sawyer, a highly cultured redneck with a penchant for literature, which is kinda okay but useless altogether. These new members of the Sawyer clan might be colorful but they're so over the top that I can't really decide whether I should fear them, or pitying them due to the fact that these guys can't seem to get along one bit.

Even Leatherface here is less threatening; he hardly killed anyone and the only threat he has done was wearing a woman's face and chest, dress up in a drag, and flail his chainsaw around like a banshee. (And screams like one. Annoyingly) If there's anyone who made a large number of death toll here, it's Vilmer; he's more abusive and controlling than anyone I've seen in the series, and could have been a villain of his own.

With hardly any bloodshed and no likable characters from any side of the party, I could actually forgive TCMNextGen for all it's imperfections. I can forgive the odd characterization, the lack of blood, the jump from cannibals to trailer trash, and heck, even the screaming, tranny version of Leatherface here; but they had to ruin it with the oddest and very far-fetched plot twist ever made for a slasher franchise: Conspiracy!

Turns out, Leatherface's family is actually a part of an Illuminati conspiracy where they are tasked to do something with "true horror". Whoever, or whatever these guys are up to, it makes little sense; I mean what could be more horrifying than being chased around in the thick forest by a shrill chainsaw-wielding maniac? What else?

Perhaps, maybe, watching this film? If that's the point then I'm more than happy to agree upon that. But it isn't so, again, bullflop.

There's also some very confusing scenes in terms of continuity; I know the intention here was to start off fresh from the very first TCM as a remake-sequel hybrid, but since it did take notice of two "minor incidents" (two previous sequels), doesn't that mean W.E. Sawyer should have been executed via gas chamber years ago? And what's with Sally Hardesty making a cameo in the end? Wasn't it mentioned someplace that this survivor from the first movie had passed away under extreme catatonia? And since when did Leatherface fully embraced being a drag queen?

On the positive side, if the film would try to cut off itself from the TCM franchise, the premise of a slasher family controlled by an Illuminati group does make a good backdrop for a creative plot if they dwell on it a little bit more. Also, the "Lady leatherface", despite her shrew complexions, kinda grows in you in a more comic way, though her-I mean, "his" mask does give away this film's limited budget.

I wouldn't recommend this film to any cool cats out there. Not one single cat. But if you're the kind of kitty who likes to dunk its head to a moving propeller blade out of curiosity then it's your shredded grey matter, not mine. Do us a solid and just rent this flick somewhere. It'll save you the extra bucks.

In case you did enjoyed it though, well, good for you. I'm sure Lady Leatherface will love you...

Bodycount:
1 male had his neck broken
1 male run over by truck multiple times
1 male brained with sledgehammer
1 male brained with sledgehammer
1 female had her head crushed underfoot
1 male had his face split open through a plane propeller
total: 6
The Illuminati says understand "fear"
I say "no...I do not understand your definition of 'fear'..."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Things get nailing! The other way...: Famine: Ways to Die (2011)

Famine: Ways To Die (Canada, 2011)
rating: **1/2
starring:  Beth Cantor, Christopher Patrick Donoghue and Nathan Durec

Before seeing this movie, I went through Ryan Nicholson's Star Vehicle, a slasher flick featuring a deranged limo driver slaughtering the cast of a fictional slasher movie out of an obsession with a scream queen. Honestly saying, that movie bombed big time for me thanks to its tedious pacing and overcooked cheese, which is sad to say since I'm a huge fan of the director's first feature film, the psuedo-retro slasher Gutterballs.

With that being said, Famine is Nicholson's next foray into all things stalk-and-slash, revolving around a yearly "famine" held in a university someplace where students lock themselves up in a gym with the rule of no food eaten whatsoever. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the students participating this year are the same ones involved in a bizzare accident some years ago, when a beloved teacher (named Mr. Balzak...read it. fast.) was left disfigured after a semi-retarded girl accidentally knocked him to a bottle of acid. And on just cue, we got the school mascot, a handyman named Nailer, killing off the students and anybody else in the way apparently out of random. Or is it?

For truth's sake, Famine was never a good movie to begin with; the acting's horrid, the plot's a generic slasher set-up, soundtrack is annoying (at least for me. Not a big fan of heavy metal, guys,) and the pacing of the film really has its slow moments where we have to endure minutes of purposely bad characters doing whatever teens of their age will normally not do. (Such as eat and jerk off in a bathroom. At the same time. gross)

But perhaps on a personal taste, the film has a bad movie charm to it that I can't help but feel drawn to; the mascot killer can be a tad creepy if we are not thinking over how is it managing to run or effectively hold its murder weapons, and their kills are treated with enough of Nicholson's recognizable over-gore to cater for the gore fans. Then there's a slightly good twist in the end; it's not new, but I never seen it coming either.

With a short running time of an hour and 17 minutes, it's a little challenging to sit through Famine since it starts off so slow but once the gore starts, it builds through with growing craziness and violence entertainingly enough to at least pass the time. While this movie did made me question Ryan's directorial abilities, I can always appreciate a good fling when it cones to slasher movies and this one did just okay.

Bodycount:
1 female had a knife thrown into her head
1 male had his throat slit with a knife
1 male impaled through the head with a rail spike
1 female lands face first to a rail spike
1 male found with his eyes gouged out
1 male found murdered
1 male found stabbed in the throat with air fresheners
1 male decapitated with grill lid
1 male found with his face carved
1 male gutted with a switchblade
1 female scalped with a knife
1 female stabbed repeatedly with a knife
1 female shot in the head with a nail gun
1 female shot in the chest with a nail gun, lands face first to a knife
total: 14

The Saw is Family: Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
rating: ***
starring: Kate Hodge, Ken Foree and R.A. Mihailoff

I never knew the wild ramblings of a deranged cook would become a literal reality; around the early 90s, where nearly all slasher flicks had gone and lost their taste, there were some titles out there still trying to kick some life back into the almost dead sub-genre. Now while almost every idea out there were cooked, served, saved and pre-heated over and over again, some odd ideas still got their way through and that would include TCM's lovable cannibal Leatherface getting a more "loving" family.

More of a direct sequel to the original, TCMIII starts off with a meat hammer slamming to a screaming victim's face, killing her as the big guy prepares to skin her for a new mask. Over the window, a hysterical looking girl watches in horror as Leatherface proceeds with his craft, accidentally snapping a twig which made the big guy alert and the gal running.

We leave it at that when the movie switches focus to a Californian couple, Michelle and Ryan, out for a road trip in the open Texan deserts and stopping by for some gas. But when the stop's perverted attendant tries to make his way to Michelle, a kind hitchhiker helped them out for a while until the attendant pulls out shotgun and proceeds to fire. Scared off, the couple drove through a shortcut given to them by the hitchhiker before the brawl, but as they find out, the trail leads to a deserted forest. A short road attack had the couple off the road and finds aid from a concerned survivalist happen to be driving by, but it soon became clear to them that someone's out there is hunting them down, and if you know your Texan chainsaw massacres, then you know damn well why...

TCMIII is more of a retelling of the first film, with the story still focusing on the the villain's family slaughtering people for food as if it's a normal livelihood, which makes this entry also slightly reminiscent of TCM2's outlandish attempt to bring out some color to Leatherface's life, minus the cartoonish feel and with a more bizarre range of characters (though none of them actually got the same flavor of the original clan), including a Texan wannabe-Samaritan, a technology loving hick, a heterochromic loonie with speech impediment and, the oddest addition, Leatherface's own young daughter. (Ah whu?!)

The producers actually wanted this to be an TCM entry that stands on its own conitnuity (disregarding the previous films) but with many ideas and continuities shown and hinted here and there such as the pre-credits narration explaining the events from the first TCM movie (as well as the fact that "Junior" here wears a leg brace. Die hard Chainsaw fans would know why he has that), I guess it is safe to say that plan did went through. There's also that slight cameo of TCM2's Caroline Williams, who many fans suggested as Stretch recovering from her horrendous incident (which I highly doubt but accept as a likely theory.) The inclusion of a Ken Foree as a survivalist, however, did brought a stronger character into the fray. His role here was more like of Lefty's from TCM2, a strong arm of the protagonists whose experience, will to survive, and a mean AK47, makes him a formidable foe for the clan. Funny, though, he was supposed to die in this flick, evidently from his supposed death by chainsaw as we see him get dismembered, but he showed up alive and well with hardly a scratch on his body save a small head wound. Guess fans in test screenings will always have their way...

That being said, TCMIII does nothing more than be Texas Chainsaw Massacre with its killer living with another colorful (and yet at the same time, one dimensional) family. There isn't much to go around with this one either in terms of slasher antics as you'll probably know your way around it. Murders were surprisingly tame for a movie made in the late 80s, something we can always blame the MPAA for. Hec, if it wasn't for them, this one would actually had a naked guy hung upside down and get sawed in half! 

In the end, TCMIII is hardly a step up for a franchise entry but it's no short of an entertaining piece of slasher goodness in terms of premises and ghoulish humor. My only gripe with it is that it can get a bit draggy in both horror and non-horror scenes and it could really use some more gore and chainsaw action, but what else can we do?  Least it made a lot more sense than that harking 4th sequel...

Bodycount:
1 female gets a meat hammer to the face
1 female dismembered with chainsaw
1 male bludgeoned on the temple by projected sledgehammer
1 female shot
1 male shot
1 male set ablaze
1 male shot on the chest with shotgun
total: 7

Sunday, November 18, 2012

They will end the world: My top 20 Cabin In The Woods Monsters

So, Just has The Cabin In The Woods suggested, our world's gonna end via full on attack of seemingly immortal horror movie monsters. If that's our fate, then I'm just gonna go head on and say Best Apocalypse Ever!

But before that happens, let me just share you guys my top 20 fave little (and huge) nasties that mauls, bites, and maims in one of 2012's most anticipated and exciting horror-slasher hybrid! So start the count down of the world's end with:

Ah, classic~
20: Zombies- Ah, the classic set-up. Death by Zombies! Or in a shorter term "Zombiepocalypse!" As a second fave horror sub-genre, Zombies had always had a good on impression for me, especially the slow ones. (The Fast Ones just overdid the threat, personally...)

stop looking at me. stop looking at me..
19: The Reanimated- I'm not sure why the fans, or maybe even the staff, called these weird fuckers as "The Reanimated" since they look little like revived bodies but whatever. So long as these bastards stop looking with their freaky upside-down heads (and climb on ceilings!) I'm cool with them...yeesh...

"We have such sights to show you..."
18. Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain- An obvious Rip-Off of Hellraiser's Cenobites (maybe even one of them!), Fornicus got in my list for being a good little tribute to my childhood fave horror franchise! Now if only he did a little more than just look menacing...
"OH COME ON!"
17. Merman- Ah the irony, you want something in life and next thing you know, you'l get it when you're about to bite the big one. One thing's for sure, Merman is really scary...

the clean up is a nightmare!

Burn, baby! Burn!
16. Jack-o-Lantern- Dude, it's a Jack-O-Lantern headed man, in an old-timey suit, that breathes fire! Screw any other Jack-O-Lantern headed killers or monsters out there! Somebody make a spin-off using this monster!!!
the ones of the left...
15. KKK- A trio of Klan members (well, two members and an official) is seen briefly on a monitor, standing patiently for their release. Hmm, Murdering Racists White Supremacists labeled as "monsters". Seems kinda fitting, just wished I could had seen them in action, they'll make one hell of a controversial slasher villain...

angry. angry. victims
14. Suffocator- Another briefly seen monster, an undead man with a penchant for suffocating victims with plastic bags. Subtle, but least he looks cool!

"please don't cut!"
 13. Doctors- We really need more good killer docs out there. These guys were glimpsed for a few seconds, about to cut open an unfortunate fella, which is more terrifying considering their eyes are sewn shut..

Joyride!
12. Dismemberment Goblins- A duo of crazed and mischievous goblins was first seen splitting a soldier in half (and dwarf tossing it), and later, through the monitors, riding a go cart. Heck, it has Gremlins written all over it, only more extreme! Gotta love that part!

"I will fuck you, one way or another!"
12. Angry Molesting Tree- Oh God! Evil Dead reference! And a fun one at that! Who knew a tree would get angry enough to puree a guy into...well, a bloody fountain?

Don't these guys know? You have to shoot them at their funny bones!
11. Clown- Hey, you know me. I love killer clowns. Especially the ones impervious to bullets and brandishing a knife!

Ooooh, he's hungry!
10. Dragonbat- Now, this is something I can fully appreciate. Being a fan of giant monster flicks as well, this man sized bat monster impressed me with it's vicious look. Split-mouths, high-pitched roars, awesome wingspan, why not?

If only the Strangers had one more guy...
9. Dolls- A quartre of porcelain masked murderers. I'm a guy who owns a part of the web for this dedication for slasher flicks and anything else in between. Need I say more?

that's just wrong in every way...
8. Mutants- Though they were just in it for a few measly seconds, these freaks had the most funniest looking kill I've seen in history. Who knew death by toxic vomit would be so gross and randomly funny for me.

I'll steal your soul!
7. Witch- This is an awesome rendition of a traditional witch with equally awesome powers! So far only two is seen: levitation and the most creative visual death I've seen: literal soul-ripping!

hush little baby...
6. Alma Wade- AKA that creepy girl that stalks a wounded soldier. She's supposed to have psychic powers, but I'm just gonna admire the fact that she looks so calm and cool along with the mayhem.

Patience is a virtue. Patience Buckner is not.
6. The Buckners- Well, they're maybe undead pain worshipping backwood idiots, but they're our undead pain-worshipping backwood idiots. 

ain't that adorable~
4. Sugarplum Fairy- Let's all agree with one thing: she's creepily adorable. I mean she does ballet while peeps are being mauled to bits! If it weren't for them raw of pointy teeth I would had hugged this baby!

ah, the brony side of me...
3. Unicorn- You got to admit, this one's a real shocker! Who knew a unicorn would qualify as a horror monster? Well, at least now we know what's the horn for...


eat your hear out, Jacob...
2. Werewolf- though I'm rarely a fan of werewolf flicks, since there's very little good ones out there, I'm just glad to see a traditional werewolf here. And he's the best kind, too! Immune to gun shots! Best traditional werewolf ever!

killer robots. we need more of these.
1. Killbot- Aww, sweetest of all doomed angels! This has to be the coolest thing in the purge for me! We hardly get killer bots in horror flicks. Gore-inducing killer bots, not the shoot them with lasers kind, and this one's a Godsend for me! Coolest thing ever!

Bonus!:
Monsters I wish I've seen in action:
50 Foot Woman- Come on! What's a horror flick tribute without one of the hottest classic 50s B-Movie classic monster?

Kevin- Ah yes, the legendary "Kevin" That nice harmless guy that looks like he works at someplace like Walmart. How I really wished I've seen him...

The Huron- Sounds like an awesome monster! mentioned to be a Native American with a habit of scalping people, a probable tribute to my fave cheese fest slasher Scalps (1983)

 Monsters I really hate:
Kiko- Augh, I know I'm very open to everything, but if there's one thing I'll never fully appreciate, unless they try real hard, it is long haired ghosts. I've seen them a lot of times and I already know the formula of their movies, but Kiko here proved something I never thought is possible and that is how cliched some of these Asian ghost flicks are.

Wraith- Oky, he looks cool, but if we're gonna put the context here, all this guy did is go through people. Which is lame...and why I don't watch too many ghost movies... Now if only they showed how he could kill, I might appreciate him more.