Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013

Okay, so the world didn't end in 2012. Why didn't that surprised me? And, as always, we continue on to the next year, which so happens to be 2013. Never knew we'll make it that far...

So, as any movie fan out there will be, I'm generally excited to see some upcoming features out there, whether they will be out that year or on the next, and I thought I could list down some titles out there I'm psyched to see and hopefully will be out that year. Here's some slasher/ horror flicks out there that I'll give up my left hand just to see!

A promising year? Hate to get ahead of myself, so I'll keep it a lowdown when it comes to expectations. Still, some of these flicks does look cool, so I guess I got a whole year to find out!

So, til' then! Happy New Year Y'ALL!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Holidays: What I got and what wished I got

So, turns out the 12/21/2012 End of the world prediction was a load of crappola (as always) and Christmas went on as scheduled, and though while I did still had work that day, I managed to snag some goodies for myself to indulge on.

Here's what I got this Holiday:

An LMFAO Soundtrack
from my sister

A Bench Michael Cinco Impalpable Perfume
from my mum

A DVD of the Dark Knight Rises
from a co-worker
A DVD of Mute Witness
from my boss

Now, here's what I wish I had this Holiday. (Dreamingly speaking 9u9)

An DVD of the Series 5 and 6 of Doctor Who

Cuz i never got into the scifi clique until I met The Doctor
A Copy of Deadpool: Suicide Kings
Cuz Deadpool is still my man!
A Friday the 13th Comic from AVATAR
come on, you know me!
A Copy of Sequential Art comic strips by Phillip M. Jackson
Cuz M. Jackson's cool!
A Dalek figure

A Comic Con Exclusive Adventure Time Toys
still loyal to the show...even if the story's qality had gone downfall when Flame Princess came...
A Screening for Bloody Homecoming
fireman slasher. need I say more?
Billy Club to be finished!
Seriously, we should support this and show
 I know how many runs you scored last summer what
a real baseball slasher's like!...
And there you have it. A little late, but at least I could hope for these next Christmas, right?...right?...

Anywho. Better be back on doing slasher flick reviews. i saw a bunch during this holiday season, mostly non-holiday related, but fun nights all the way~! So, til then, hope y'all had a great Creepmas, Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever Holiday you celebrate and see you soon!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh we all walk the Wibberly-Wobberly walk: HARDWARE (1990)

HARDWARE: Mark-13 (1990)
Rating: ****
Starring: Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis and John Lynch 

Isn't it funny how some peeps actually believed the world's gonna end in 12/21/2012? Well, in celebration to our world's "end", I will be reviewing a piece that I think best fits this preposterous claim all the while getting in touch with the yuletide spirit, HARDWARE: Mark-13!

While not the most holiday-esque looking horror flick, HARDWARE's radiation-ridden, post-apocalyptic setting actually took place in Christmas Eve, where we begin with a zone-tripping scavenger picking up robotic remains in a radiated desert and wanders back to civilization with hopes of selling it. Just so happens, returning soldiers Moses "Hard Mo" Baxter and Shades were there at the scrap shop and spots the scavenger's haul; Moses decided to buy the scraps as a present for his artist girlfriend, Jill, who was waiting back home for him.

Unknown to him, however, the parts belong to a government released cyborg project M.A.R.K-13, a cancelled production presumably made for a mass genocide. Capable of repairing itself,  the MARK-13 builds a new body from the tools found around the apartment while Moses leaves Jill for an urgent meeting. Now trapped in an apartment room with a homicidal robot, Jill is forced to fight back and survive a seemingly indestructible killing machine while her boyfriend race against time to save her.

Based on a short comic from a 2000 AD comic book (beating Judge Dredd to the big screen by about 5 years), HARDWARE is an amalgam of cyberpunk, post-apocalypse sci-fi, and slasher film elements with it's barren mood, mechanically eldritch villain and a decent numbered bodycount. While it's limited budget does show around the film's almost one-location story, I find HARDWARE's creatively suspenseful, surrealistic, and underlying religiously-apocalyptic tone to be a charming note.

The movie isn't hard to follow; I could best describe the majority of the action to be likened with that of the stalk-and-attack last half of Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), as the leading female character gets attacked by the monster after around the first thirty minutes where it took the time to build around its casts and artsy premises of beautifully detailed, if not obviously cheap, post-apocalypse. It's a mood piece, that's what it is, relying on the dark overtone of the movie for a full effect dread to make-up for its own short comings, done quite well with the sun-baked visuals of decay and poverty, pollution and desperation in a one modern world. Lay a tense and claustrophobic story over those themes and you got yourself a powerful B-flick that will win the hearts of some.

I'm not big in regards to sci-fi trappings, as you can tell by lack of or ignorance towards Sci-fi pop culture (save, of course parodies like Spaceballs and Family Guy's own take on the Star Wars franchise. Also, I'm digging a bit into the Doctor Who fame), but the idea of a self-repairing killer robot sounds like a real winner for my book. I'm partially disappointed, however, as the robot hardly killed anybody, per se, after upgrading itself. All that cool cyberpunkiness and he just wasted three guys, with an additional accidental death and an ofscreen killing for a total of five measly murders. It's a fair count, as I mentioned, but I really wanted to see this thing in full action. Other than that, the borg's main weakness is too generic and a bit rushed to be considered original. (To be honest, a lot of things here still don't add up. Like how did the cyborg ended up in the desert in the first place?) Least it's intimidating while it lasted though, and it's stalk scenes were really worth it.

While it has the shell of a post-apocalyptic nuke flick, or the plotting of a sci-fi thriller, HARDWARE is more likely an art movie than anything else. It's reliance to visual skill and imagery may as well be a double-edged sword; there will be people who will get it, and those who will not. I got a bit of an artistic taste so I guess that's where some of the movie's Dario Argento-esque imagery charms its way to. That or I'm just a sucker for killer robots since it's such a rare idea for a horror flick. (Straight horror flick, please.)

So this Christmas, if yer feeling bleak, stuck and utterly sullen, why not let somebody else be miserable than you and watch them being terrorized by a killer bot? If you would like a good swing of that action, and don't mind budget, solid plotting or arthouse flick, why not try HARDWARE? Where fat peeping toms get gouged in the eyes and doors can kill!

1 male found poisoned
1 male had his eyes gouged, drill through the chest
1 male injected with poison, slashed his own wrist
1 male cut in half by mechanized door
1 male shot on the head
Total: 5

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Sin of Sinterklaus: Saint (2010)

Saint ("Sint") (Netherlands, 2010)
Rating: ***1/2
Starring: Egbert Jan Weeber, Bert Luppes and Caro Lenssen

Just when you thought Santa couldn't get any meaner and crazier, we have this foreign variation to the popular slasher trope of killer Kris Kringles where it is said that whenever the moon is full before Sinterklaas Day (a Netherlands variation of Christmas), the titular Bishop and his cronies, which revealed to be the opposite of their currently benevolent visage, would return to steal and murder every child in Amsterdam and slaughter anybody that will get in the way.

Opening in the early 1400s, we watch Saint Niklas and his troops of raiding hoodlums pillage a town of their food, drink, clothing and children before retreating to their aging ship. The villagers, who have been putting up with the Bishop's constant raids, decide enough is enough and fight back by setting his boat ablaze, killing him and his troops. Or so they thought.

Returning as vengeful revenants, Sinterklaas and his army of "Black Pietz" continue their evil deed whenever a full moon coincides with the night before Sinterklaas day, one being on 1968 when a young boy named Goertz saw his whole family get murdered by the bishop and his zombie army. The deaths traumatize him into a paranoid, Sinterklaas-hating police officer of the present who believes that the killer bishop will soon return.

True enough, Sinterklaas shows up that night with his army of burnt ghouls, slaughtering hundreds and kidnapping children; somehow surviving an encounter is one Frank, a high school student who is falsely accused of a Sinterklaas murder after finding him in one of the crime scenes. But when the death tolls continue to climb and more children goes missing, it's soon clear to these people that there's more to it than a mere single murderer and Frank has no choice but to survive the night and aid one man who knows what's really going on: Goertz.

What it lacks in a strong story and character development, Sint is more of a movie made for gory kicks and high speed action. The fast pace has us moving from one scene to another, mostly involving the killer Saint and his zombie cohorts murdering random characters with barely enough screentime whenever they're not kidnapping children. This direction killed off some potentially intense scenes but my guesses are the director, Dick Maas, wasn't aiming for a slow scare-fest but rather a fun thrill ride with as much gore as possible.

Ironically, I fail to see enough of the red stuff here; yes, we do have plenty of murders but they're your standard stabs and hacks that you've seen in almost every other slasher flicks made before. This might be because despite being labeled as a "Santa Claus Slasher" movie, the tyrannous Bishop, who sports the coolest looking bladed staff I've seen, never did most of the killings and instead, his army of Black Pietz did and they're armed with some very basic weapons. In fact, the only thing Santa here did is look menacingly cool and killed at least two to three people. Kinda misleading for those hoping to see a killer Santa but let's look at the positives.

On a note, I dig a lot of scenes here; one involving a high-speed chase where a police cruiser escorting the wrongfully accused lead spots Saint Niklas horse riding from roof to roof and proceeds to apprehend him through a shoot-out. Of course, it didn't end well for the cops, but at least we get a scene that perfectly mends high-concept action and some level of camp, making it one of the coolest moments of the film. Put in a really epic score and you got yourself one hell of a Christmas movie!

The film's also camp in tone, despite some really touchy subject matters such as child murder, with the church and government covering the Sinterklaas abductions for some fully unexplained reason. The comedic tone is hinted on some very silly mess-ups from our heroes and some dead pan reaction of some people. I'm pretty sure if you get a falling house break into your apartment, you don't stand there with your lover, drinking wine without screaming at least once.

The make-up effects of the movie are also on a decent run; the villains' prosthetic make-up calls for some cool zombies. Our killer Santa, however, spends more time in the shadows so the only time we get to see his full burnt look was somewhere around the end, which hinted an opening for a possible sequel. Not really a good thing for me but seeing how fast everything happened, I could really use a second round of this villain and his exploits to fully grasp how great this movie is, or if it can do better.

The overall result is a horror movie made for pure popcorn delights; Sint's cheesy fun in every exploits, though lacking strength on some of its own department. (et al, a stronger plot for a high concept) Anybody reaching for a different take on their Killer Santas will find a good time with this title! Just sit back next to a cozy chimney, watch out for burnt zombies with hatchets, and enjoy this movie!
He comes for your children...
1 female hacked in the back with a hatchet
1 male pitchforked through the chest
1 male had an axe thrown to his head
1 male had his face split with shovel
10 males burned to death in a blazing ship
1 girl pulled up into a chimney, taken
1 boy pulled up into the chimney, taken
1 girl killed, blood splash seen
1 male killed, blood splash seen
1 female found with missing eyes
1 male ran over by a ship
1 female found with throat cut
1 male gets a saw-toothed sickle end of a staff through the head, exits to mouth
1 male beheaded
1 male killed offcamera
1 female ripped in half
2 males crushed inside a car by a falling horse
1 male sinks to his death into a canal
1 male ran through with a spear
1 male had an arm lopped off with hatchet, thrown through window
1 male gets a dagger through the neck
1 male ran through with sword
1 male accidentally shot in friendly fire
1 male had his head sliced off with the saw-toothed sickle end of a staff
1 male bled to death from stab wound
300+ children decimated in explosion
Total: 335+

Atrocious Thinking Matters: ATM (2012)

ATM (Canada/US, 2012)
Rating: *1/2
Starring:  Alice Eve, Josh Peck and Brian Geraghty

This is an interesting premise; three bank personnel get stuck inside a nearly abandoned carpark ATM booth during Christmas Eve. Why? Cuz a hoodie killer is out there watching them and just had killed somebody to prove he's serious about it.

Let's count that: three adults. One killer. In the middle of the city. How hard can it be to stop this guy?

So that's one point down for this mediocre thriller and sorta slasher movie from the guys who wrote the equally mediocre (for me) Buried (2010); the rest of the movie's downfall is, well, I never quite got that engaged in the situation. If there's anything, I'm rooting more on seeing the killer snuff them all out since he's probably the only one with a brain. Or half a brain. (He came to kill people without any weapons. What if one of these guys had a gun?) I mean, I can tell that they're a bit weirded out when this guy just popped out of nowhere and just stares at them, and even more freaked out when he decided to bash a guy's head against the pavement, but I've seen a lot of opportunities for these guys to just run, gang up on him and live a happy life for the next 40 years or so. But no, they're freaked out by a guy in a partially menacing hoodie, who did nothing but stare and kill with things he's just lucky enough to have cuz these guys leave them behind and are too scared to go back and get it from him.

Pros? Good acting, especially from Josh Peck, who I respect a little bit cuz I'm used to be a fan of the Nickelodeon teen sitcom Drake and Josh. I also have to keep points for the killer, who looked rather cool in that Urban Legend (1998) - inspired hoodie, as well as the movie's devilish twist ending which at least explains why this killer hadn't moved inside the ATM booth after all this time.

So, skip it?

Oh yeah, definitely skip it! If you want to shower yourself with a C-flick that serves no purpose but to "thrill" you with cheap, logic-less plot? Here's you cup of tea and have fun. You the rest? Find yourself a classic B-flick and just do better with yourself!

1 male had his head bashed repeatedly against pavement
1 male brained to death with crowbar
1 male garroted
1 male gets a screwdriver to the gut, crushed by an incoming car
1 female hits her head against counter
Total: 5