Friday, June 29, 2012

The Beast of Family Burden: Revenge of Billy The Kid (1992)

Revenge of Billy the Kid (United Kingdom, 1992) (AKA Crados Family)
rating: ***1/2
starring:  Michael Balfour, Samantha Perkins and Jackie D. Broad

All the way from Britain comes a bizarro-horror comedy that's bound to upset yer lunches and change your views on simple farm life forever!

Out on a small island lives the MacDonalds, a backwoods, fart-sniffing corn-polk family of six -no,wait- five, consisting of a lard dad, an even larder mum, their two moronic sons and their surprisingly clean and beautiful daughter. (I would have included grandad but he dies five minutes or less into the movie)

The film starts off with the family and their everyday lives, which consists of dumping dead family relatives into dunghills, hunting, cooking and, well, giving each other bucket baths in the living room. All this would soon leads to ole Pappy MacDonald, either drunken or just plain dumb, spotting a fancy on their goat and have sex with it. (No worries, PETA, they didn't show it) Not for long, and in an odd sense of nature, the goat gave birth to a man-kid with a taste for flesh.

Rejected by most of the MacDonalds, the man-goat finds comfort from the family's sympathetic daughter who tends to it and named it "Billy". But after ole Pappy tries to kill it for eating some of their live stocks, Billy grew up a savage monster and vows revenge to the MacDonald family and anyone who gets in the way.

Think of it as a family comedy that isn't for the family, Revenge of Billy the Kid holds to shame on tackling some of the more suggestive and upsetting matters that only the likes of a Troma film would have in full force.

The first half focuses on what all these bumpkins would do all day long, which is mostly being slobs portrayed in the most God-awful cartoonish display complete with a sitcom-esque situation where one member's too good, smart and clean to be a part of the clan. By the time the second half comes, wherein the mutant monster was born, this was when the story finally kicks in from cheesy comedy to cheesy horror, with the monster being tormented just like his "sister" (technically) and was nearly killed when his father drove him off a cliff, which in turn sets a ticking time bomb to the blood-soaked finale that had every MacDonald, including the would be heroine, falls prey to the terrorizing Billy The Kid.

What I like about this film, other than the kills, was it's bad cheese taste that worked well to its bizzare horror-comedy nature; though there is a sense of social-commentary someplace, it didn't try to hide the fact that it's a silly movie with a bit of dread and guts, bringing forth laughter and blood just when one (or both) are called for, going as far as even nodding and winking to other horror flicks such as, a part of the film's sub-plot of a forbidden romance, the heroine's lover arms himself with weapons in a familiar manner of a certain chainsaw wielding Ash of the Evil Dead series, or even the Lawnmower-antics of Lionel from Dead Alive.

Gore in here is cheap but the kill scenes are an interesting and refreshing bunch since the build-up actually calls forth to us root for the clan being slaughtered. (Though it still makes me wonder why a monster, who's part herbivore, has an insatiable appetite for flesh) The good part of it was that, despite having a monster as an antagonist, the kills didn't limit itself to just plain maulings which was a lot during the early live stock rampages, later having Billy utilize some of the farm tools as well. There's some restraint all through out as some of the killings had underwent some cut-aways which is the only real flaw for me as I was really expecting more.

Nonetheless, Revenge of Billy The Kid is an fine example of a bad taste cinema that will delight fans of the weird and the, uh, not-so-wonderful; fart jokes, inbreeding, cusses and plain awful gore, the film sets the sights of an obscure cheese flick that fits perfectly as a B-Movie cult. Hard to understand how a film this gruesomely funny movie gets overlooked but those lucky enough to glimpse a copy of it shouldn't hesitate to see it.

1 elderly male dies of old age
1 lamb found slaughtered
1 lamb slaughtered
1 dog mauled offscreen
1 male clawed to death
1 female mauled to death, mostly offscreen
1 male gets a hook through the jaw, face bitten
1 male dismembered with sickle
1 male gored on the chest, bled to death
1 monster immolated with gasoline
total: 10

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Psycho of the Month: The Killer (Evil Dead Trap)

The Killer (Evil Dead Trap (1988))
played by: Noboru Mitani
status: body=deceased/ symbiote=alive (spoiler)
killcount: 6

After receiveing a mysterious snuff tape depicting a woman tortured with a knife, a television crew went to investigate the source. Leading them to an abandoned building, the crew starts to be picked off, one by one, by a killer in a raincoat and paper mask. Little is known about this maniac, nor is their purpose for this slaughter, yet an insatiable force within them seems to drive the frenzy they are is in...

Out of sight!: Pledge Night (1990)

Pledge Night (1990) (AKA "A Hazing in Hell", "Pledge Class", "Death Night")
rating: ***
starring: Todd Eastland, Dennis Sullivan and Craig Derrick

It was the time of the year again when sorority Phi Epsilon Nu was holding it's traditional "Hell Week" and a few wanting pledges were lining up for the winter fuck-up of their lives.

Unfortunately for them, one of the sorority boys was possessed by a supernatural pledge-killed-and-turned-boogieman Acid Sid and it wasn't too long before he's breaking out of bodies and killing every frat member and pledges with everything from cherry bombs, bugs, an eggbeater(!) and even his own spinal cord. Why is he doing this? Who cares, but thirty minutes of cartoonish slasher antics is enough to cover up the cheesy (and nearly useless) attempt to rationalize this dung-butt attempt of a comedy hybrid.

For my fellow slasher fanatics, there's nothing quite as nauseating as a dead teenager flick that's stale and overdone. Sadly, for those people who likes their slash antics fresh and new, Pledge Night had none of these and it's actually a star travel-away from anything new and creative save the murders.

The acting is decent and so does the direction, with the plot almost had everything going for it until it was dropped at the near end when the killer finally made his appearance, punching a lot of  holes into the story in the process. In fact, there's barely any story to hang on to since it's basically just a hell week in a sorority that just gone bad after a sorority brother dubbed "Crazy Dan" got possessed for wahtever reason.

However, I can't disregard the late 80s cheese charm of Pledge Night; the plot may fail a lot, but it's got the bad charm ringing to it so much that you just had to go along with it until the gooey stuff starts. It's entertaining in a shallow yet sly manner, with much wit and low-brow humor added in the mix. The hazing part tends to get a bit slow but the wait is all worth it if you're a big fan of one-lining, supernatural, killer hippies who could have been easily passed off as one of the many Freddy clones made in the late 80s. Born out of vengeance from the same sorority who caused his death, Acid Sid had me with his acid-trip murder, mayhem and mischief, embracing cartoon logic where everything is a weapon and anything is possible. He should have been bad, but he delivers it with much mean-spirit and cockiness that you can forgive his cheap-latex acid burns and his ever-spatting one-liners to rival the corniest slashers I know.

In fact, you can look pass all the bad comedy efforts and just watch this for the kill-a-thon last bulk ala bad cheese mode. Pledge Night is far from a masterpiece, nor is it terrible. But if you're just as daring as the unlucky pledges who lost their lives here to a one-lining killer ghost hippie, I wouldn't stop you to give it a go!

1 male accidentally bathes in acid (flashback)
1 male had his groin torn off
1 male stabbed on the back with screwdrivers
1 female electrocuted in bathtub with live radio
1 female gets an eggbeater shoved down her throat, mutilated
1 male torn open
1 male had his arse blown apart with a cherry bomb
1 male strangled with a dismembered spinal chord
1 male got bugs broke out of his gut
1 male had his neck crushed, later found with his brains spilled open
1 male had his head twisted
1 male suffocates inside a gut wound
1 male and 1 female killed with sword
total: 14
Peace Out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gatlin Babies: Children of the Corn (1984)

Children of the Corn (1984)
rating: ***1/2
starring: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton and R.G. Armstrong

If you had read my buddy's Blogger of the Month's post, you know that God (or at least one of my gods) wears glasses, has a nasally sounding voice and has a heart of a small kid...sitting on his desk. In case you don't get it, I'm a big Stephen King Fan and probably own most of his books save the The Dark Tower volumes. I started reading him since I was in grade school and still follows him until today.

Now, more than a while, I know King don't do slasher stories but apparently a lot of directors, including Zombie maestro George A. Romero with his film adaptation of King's "The Dark Half", refuse to accept that and had adapted some of his books and shorts into multitudes of slash and dice antics, but none of them had gone through the same popularity and recognition as the crop known as Children of the Corn.

Damien, if he embraced his persona early.
While not entirely the first of it's kind, Children of the Corn struck gold when it combines taboos of killer children and religious zealotry; opening with one Sunday morning in Gatlin, Nebraska, a group of church goers went to a malt shop only to be ambushed by the diner's young patrons and staffs, apparently under the influence of a mysterious child preacher known as Isaac and his second in command, Malachi. Soon, the rest of the townsfolk over the age of 18 were killed off, as well as any passing adults who entered their haven.

note to lovers hitting the road:
Never go for corn fields!
Some years alter, Burt (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) drove cross-country through Nebraska to his new job as a physician in Seattle. Along the way, they hit a wounded boy who appears to be attacked beforehand. Out of panic, they drove deeper into the town of Gaitlin to find some help, only to finds themselves unable to escape the town and prowled by the young and murderous cultists as well as a demonic deity only known as "He Who Walks Behind The Rows".

With films such as The Horrible House on The Hill and Bloody Birthday, Children of the Corn is one of the many additional killer kid slashers made during the golden age of its kin, though in here, while the slasher cliches are present, the bigger impact on what made Children of the Corn a cult success was its religious theme.

Perhaps more religious than the Stephen King short, the movie tackled paganism and cultism, as well as a symbolic look into the nature of fundamentalism and influence, as it twists the idea by providing young cult members, showing how easy it is to control a weak (or weaker) will and how one small idea can lead to disastrous results. Though supernatural elements were used to back up the statement through a cheaply portrayed yet thematically intimidating pagan deity, there's no denying the intangible nature of the thought, which makes this film such an interesting watch since it's both pro and against the idea of religion, sticking with the universal truth that good prevails evil. ( Any religion without love and compassion is false! It's a lie! A powerful line. Struck a few heartstrings for me. Though Evil never dies. Proven by this film's eight sequels, and counting...)

We, to be, belong! We, to be, belong!
Adult roles were minimal and, frankly, very average in your standard horror movie manner; though they're chummier to each other compared to King's short, Horton and Hamilton's characters soon fell to a more standard alpha male and damsel in distress characters commonly found in monster flicks.The child casting in Children of the Corn had its sights on John Franklin as the squeaky-voiced child preacher from hell and his warmongering lieutenant, Malachai, courtesy of Courtney Gains who don his role with much sick sense of slaughter and blood lust. Including to the change from the original prose was the inclusion of two tykes, Job and Sarah, who were there to side with our heroes through their time of need, acting as their insight to the cult's doings. Playing them were Robby Kiger and Anne Marie McEvoy, with much adorableness and amateurish child acting to go along a script made for their character to serve as a hopeful and more good-natured part of the film. The rest are either random kids with scythes and sickles, though their monstrous number does make them intimidating around a vicinity that's hardly populated. (And with decent camera work, too.)

The book had this gal on a much infamous fate.
The slasher emphasis in this film were also an odd cone compared to the rest of any titles coming out from its year. Majority of the slashers coming from this part of the 80s, solely focusing on bodycount and cheese, Children of the Corn however focuses on the creep factor, wondrously backed-up with an Omen-esque soundtrack sang by kids and numerous stalking scenes taking place in a very isolated looking town. Most of the kills came from the notorious opening scene, wherein the rest follows are either done offscreen or quickly.

Though Children of the Corn transformed itself from stalk and slash with killer kids to a supernaturally fueled religious horror in the near end, it's no short of the slash stuff rawness neither; not exactly the finest among the Stephen King adaptations as well, but quite a memorable cult title to say the least.

2 males and 2 females poisoned
1 male had his neck slashed with sickle
1 male had his hand shredded on meat slicer, killed
1 male had his neck slashed with billhook
1 female killed offscreen
1 boy hacked with knife, ran over by car
1 male hacked to death offscreen
1 male corpse found
1 male had his neck broken
total: 12

(Note (and spoiler): Though it appears Eli was blown apart by the demon He Who Walks Behind The Rows, it turns out that, in a sequel, Eli was put to a coma rather than killed in that incident.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Non-Horror Post: My 15 Marvel Heroes

Thought I could take a break from the slashings and do into something quite the opposite of killing: GNODAB!

Heh, kidding.

Yeah, I may not show it off a lot but I , other than a Slasher flick nut, am also a fair Marvel fan. "Fair" coz I never actually go for the collecting comic books gig but instead, I pick up Trade Paperbacks once in a while to fill up my need for a good read. Funny thing actually is that all this fandom for Marvel characters started with a mini-series Marvel Zombies, wherein every hero and villain under the Marvel title have gone flesh-hungry and undead. Ever since then, my curiosity to the super heroics grew as I continue reading and trying to figure out every infected hero.
The day God smiled at me...and it was good.
Now, with all the upcoming superhero flicks out there, as a partial "Marvel zombie", thought I join the hype (a little) and present to you all my top 15 fave Marvel heroes.

15. Spiderman (Peter Parker)- Yes, no Marvel fan is without a fan fave and who's best to start a count down with than our friendly neighborhood Spiderman? While I did follow most of his adventures through the big screen, I have my fair share of his books and I find the wall crawler as witty as he is complex.
14. Power Man (Luke Cage)-  Hero for hire and, soon, an Avenger; the former gang member turned superhero with a strength to rival got me with his persona, hard-boiled style super-heroics and his more than usual character origin.

13. Captain America (Steve Rogers)- Call it my interest on World War II, but the patriotism that is personified as Captain America finds his way in this list as both a fan fave and an inspiration for me in some way.  Inner strength? Maybe.

12. Black Widow (Natalia Romanoff)- Russian super agent lined with the same super soldier serum that created Captain America, the Black Widow agent known as Natalia is actually a new comer in my fave heroes. I wasn't really interested at her until I got a hold of her origin issue and I like it enough to have this seductive super spy in the list.

11. Gorilla-Man (Kenneth Hale)- Slightly underrated but a potential Marvel character, the Gorilla-Man is an near immortal character cursed to be, well, a gorilla. Technically, he's a skilled fighter enchanted with superhuman abilities, but the point that he's a talking gorilla calls for some recognition.

10. Hercules- another god as hero, Hercules, the son of Zeus, is a lover and a fighter. An adventuring warrior whose super strength can rival even that of The Hulk. What's more, he's also an Avenger. How cool is that?!

9. Hit-Monkey- a strange new creation for marvel's recent years, the hitman of hitmen, a seemingly normal macaque trained himself martial arts and gunslinging, which led him becoming so good at it, that he's now known as the feared and dangerous Hit-Monkey.

8. Machine-Man (Aaron Stack)- When it comes to helping "fleshies", Aaron's an agnostic on that subject. But if the man is willing to pay this robot booze money then this Machine Man will do whatever it is for said the booze money. A proud robot with a drinking habit. Nice one, Marvel.

7. Man-Thing (Theodore Sallis)- Technically, I only heard and seen of the Man-Thing in a Marvel TV movie which I enjoyed. It was a cheesy fair, but a better turn for the creature's origin and purpose as a murderous guardian of the Swamps. Comic-wise, he's a mutated man, but we had a lot of those already so this thing got in for the TV movie alone.

6. Nova (Richard Rider)- The Human Rocket and a space police, Nova's origin may ring a bell or two to Spiderman's but his character later evolved to a more cosmic proportion, making him a worthy champion of the galaxy and even be part of multiple superhero teams. What got him so close to the top five was his struggles to maintain the responsibilities of being a member of each teams. Something I cared to admire.

5. Power Pack (Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie Powers)- Okay, to be fair, I only read the All Age releasing of the Power Pack series and, well, I kinda like it. While the original run had a more mature tone in it, I do read comics for fun and not to swell in each other's loathing all day long. (I have slasher flicks for that!) So yes, for the All Age comics alone, the rascal team of super kids gets in the top five spot.

4. She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters)- She maybe just a female version of the Hulk, but I do have soft spots for heroes who breaks fourth walls, both literally and figuratively. Plus, I really like the fact that she retains her intelligence and that she's an awesome lawyer...even if Lawyers just happen to be the least entertaining people I know of...

3. Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze)- Hell hath no fury like a flaming skeleton on a motorbike. Nuff said.

2. X-23 (Laura Kinney)- let see. Goth chick with two adamantium claws coming from her hands and one in each of her foot. She's a female clone of Wolverine and she has issues that you just had to care for. Not to mention, she's hot. Yeah, got enough good reasons here to put her so close to being number one.
1. Deadpool (Wade Wilson)- Four words: Merc with a Mouth. A nearly-deathless (or IS deathless) Super-ninja with an annoying-as-hell Mouth and breaks the fourth wall more than your usual occassion. Yeah, he certainly deserved this spot.

And there you have it, one side of me that you never expected to see (or might have, depends if you know your way around this blog) Now you know what Marvel movies I'll be anticipating for. Will it be long for us to see Ryan Renolds as Deadpool? Who knows...

Swamp Boogie Continues: Hatchet II (2010)

Hatchet II (2010)
rating: ***
starring: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder and Tony Todd

Picking up where the last movie left off, wherein swamp hulk Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) had his grimy hands on our surviving gal, Marybeth (Danielle Harris), an eye-pluck at the ole mongoloid giant had Mary escaping her would-be murderer. She swims to a nearby house owned by a gator hunter, who then shelters her until she introduced herself. For some reason, the ole one-eyed gator hunter panicked and pushes our Marybeth out of his house, only to find himself no longer alone, disembowled and strangled into decapitation, by none other than Crowley himself.

One loud and bloody opening credits later, Marybeth found her way back to a post-Mardi Gras New Orleans streets; mucked up and stressed out with all the mayhem that happened to her last night, she turns her attention to one Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd), who had more to say about Crowley's history than what was told to us last time. Turns out, Crowley was the birth child of a curse placed on his father, forced to cheat on his ailing wife when she was stricken with cancer. The curse had the boy deformed, his mother dead the instant she saw him and his father forever burdened to take care of his freakazoid son. What's explained next was the old story; one Halloween night, a prank gone wrong and had Victor caught in his burning house, with his father accidentally splitting his face with a hatchet in a dire attempt to save him. The only twist here is that Marybeth's father was one of the kids who had caused the fire.

Now in an attempt to rid the swamp of it's murderous ghost, Zombie pulls up a mob of hunters to finish off Crowley once and for all. But with Crowley's brute strength and seemingly immortal state, can a group of hunters be the answer to ending the horror? Or is there something else up Zombie's sleeves?

It's always been hard to follow up a big hype; whether you know your game or just lucky, a cult hit like Hatchet was perfect cash-in to the likes of entertaining masses with blood and grue, as well as getting a good franchise running. Better yet, with the enforced supernatural tone of the film, wherein the first just hinted, it stapled the Hatchet series a boogeyman that can live forever and a franchise that can be the next Friday the 13th or SAW.

However, like I've mentioned, it's all about gameplay; the first Hatchet was an old school throwback to 80s slashers. It knows the structure by heart and was even guilty of the sub-genre's shortcomings, which were quite forgivable seeing how great the end result was.

In Hatchet II, it's all about tie-ins; the film never felt like a totally separate entity as a lot of connections from the first had me wishing they just moved on and started anew. It certainly followed the tradition of Halloween II (1981) or Cold Prey II, but unlike those two sequel masterpieces, they try to stand on their own ground and delivered a film either more entertaining than the first or is on an equal footing. Hatchet II, with it's over-reliance on it's predecessor, gave up the plot (entirely) and just thrown in another reason for these guys to be around the swamp. All of this would have been good but the build-up to it was very slow and lacked any interesting new faces. In layman's term, it's just a movie about meat being butchered.

Speaking of butchery, the film's kills are a colorful bunch; still staying true to the violent nature of the first flick, the Hatchet II's slab-dab of gut pulling, beheadings, facial shreddings, crushings, and even an impossible skinning, had this film an MPAA's nightmare. (Hah! Take that!) Perhaps the only good thing about this movie, it's gore effects are still a good viewing despite the apparent cheapness on some.

Though, I can't hide that it can be repetitive and some are a bit cartoonish for my mouth. A innard strangulation until head popped? A man pulled away from his own skin? An eight foot long chainsaw?! I know I'm all for cheesiness but who on earth would even make an eight foot long saw?! And more importantly, how would you even use it?! Still, if you're the kind of guy who likes grue logic-less, all practical and non-CG, then Hatchet II's still a good run. Think of it as a really, really bad late-80s slash flick that is good somehow and you'll do fine.

In the end, it's surely a step down from what Hatchet had established. A sequel with more blood and kills, but nothing else. Luckily for us, it ends with another cliffhanger and I hardly believed this is the last time we will see the likes of Crowley; perhaps by then, we will see a true improvement. For now, I can see Hatchet II as a good timewaster, a video party rent, or a buy for Hatchet fans anywhere or slasher fans who likes it easy.

1 male disemboweled and strangled with his own innards until head pops off
1 female succumbs to sickness (flashback)
1 female "died of fright" (flashback)
1 male killed offscreen with hatchet (flashback)
1 male had his head split in half with hatchet (flashback)
1 male had his lower jaw ripped off (flashback)
1 male had his face sliced off with hatchet (flashback)
1 male gets a fishing rod impaled to his mouth (flashback)
1 male had his face repeatedly smashed in with hatchet
1 male forced face-first into boat propeller
1 male decapitated with hatchet
1 female gets a hatchet to the groin and chest
2 males goes through a double chainsaw splitting from the groin up
1 male gets a hatchet to the back, belt-sander to the head until brain exposes
1 male had his head kicked in half by the mouth against a table
1 male killed, bloodsplashes seen
1 male chopped in half with hatchet, pulled off from his skin
total: 18

Friday, June 15, 2012

Boggie Down The Swamps: Hatchet (2006)

Hatchet (2006)
Rating: ****
Starring: Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore and Deon Richmond

Time to say hello to the overly familiar and recognized cult hit classic of the 2000s; A messy offering to the 80s stalk-and-slash done in tribute of Friday the 13th with gore. Lots of gore.

Opening with an awkward father-and-son gator hunter pair who gets a terrible turn with a human body-disassembling hulk before shifting to a lively and sexually active Mardi Gras party with boobs, booze and beads filling every corner of the street, in comes in our reluctant hero, Ben, whose recent break-up have him dragging his heels around New Orleans, ignoring the festivities and queering up his crew of college frat mates, including token Black guy Marcus. However, he decided to be more culturally active in another way, via haunted swamp tour. Yay?

At the tour, which a reluctant proprietor (Tony Todd no less) willingly cut off his ties with due to a bad experience with a couple of tourists prior hand, right-hand man Shawn corrals Ben and Marcus into the  group which includes a porn producer and his two female "stars", a middle-aged overweight couple, and a local, whose mysterious and distant personality clearly marked her suspicious. Sometime in the middle of the murky run, we all get educated with the story of Victor Crowley, a uber-deformed boy who had only known the love of a father who tried his best to hide his son away from the judging world. Sadly, it ain't that hidden well as one Halloween night, while his father's away, a group of pranksters accidentally sets Victor's house on fire. When his father returns, he reaches for a hatchet to break into the house and save his son but, in a panicked streak, Victor had his face pressed against the door, killing him instantly when his father's hatchet split his face in half by accident. His father died soon out of heartbreak and so starts the legend of the vengeful ghost of Victor Crowley.

Not too soon, this unfortunate group would find themselves away from civilization and trapped in the swamps when, in dumb luck, their boat beached against some rocks. In addition to that, one of them got bitten on the leg by a croc and, worse, they all ended up nearby the Crowley House (or at least what remained of it) where, so to speak, resides the fleshy ghost of none other than Victor Crowley himself, bulked up and effing angry, ready to tear them down to twos, threes, quarters. Literally to pieces.

If there's one thing we slasher fans can agree with, it's the 80s; those days of forbidden fruit partaking, slipping into drive-ins or grindhouses or even yer local movie houses as a little tyke, or hanging out with yer girlfriend in hopes her frightened screams would be followed by her arms wrapping around you. A lot of our slashers these days have their gimmick but it's best to remember the good years that started the full run of the slasher circle and with movies like Blood Night: Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009), Dark Ride (2006), Last Caress (2011), The Tripper (2006) and even the sleeper hit, The Sleeper (2012) (*rimshot*), young fans of the 80s grue are doing their best to keep the nostalgic feeling felt.

Hatchet, for one, harks back to the late 80s entries where plot is thin and gore is important. Only here, thanks to our little improvement in modern practical effects and open acceptance to poking fun at the subgenre's trappings, gore is good and the story is a silly romp that's made for pure enjoyment. With limbs torn off, bodies chopped in half, and jaws shredded to bits, the film's blood work broke all limits and delivers some of the sickest kills ever to be laid eyes upon. Committing these acts against the human form is our new age boogeyman, Victor Crowley, whose deformity-based origin rings a bell or two to our beloved Jason Voorhees as well as his hulked up backwoods hick character. In fact, if you're an avid fan of the F13th series, you'll see a lot of inspiration drawn from our Hockey masked killer and his films. (And they, in return, felt honored to be an inspiration, based on the 2009 documentary His Name was Jason.)

Ringing true to it's 80s inspiration, Hatchet walked through rounds and rounds of the cliches the genre is known for, which may or may not be a hot idea for many people, nevertheless worked fine if the audience are booking up for the throwback horror of the year. Sadly, among its attempts to spark the flare back to its granddaddies, it can't help but be guilty of the flaws. As one might expect, the comedic nature of the film rely heavily on script and with that, some of the jokes just fell flat like pancakes. Some works, but the cheesiness has its levels and in the end it, will all be up to the peeps who're gonna watch this film.

Still, as a Friday Night flick, you can't go wrong with realistic latex gore and blood that run like rivers, packed in a slasher flick who knows its genre well. Hatchet may not be everybody's piece of pie, but for those who loves their gore and their slasher, ought to give this film a try and a chance. Who knows? Maybe with all the hype going on with it, you might end up hitching along to the ole' Crowley Place, and had yourself holding to all yer pieces!

1 male found in half
1 male dismembered to bits, torn in half
1 boy had his face split open with hatchet by accident (flashback)
1 male hacked in half with hatchet
1 female had her head pulled apart by the jaws
1 male had his head twisted off
1 male decapitated with a spade
1 female had her face shredded with belt-sander, impaled to a shovel's handle
1 female dismembered offcamera
1 male had his arms ripped off, slammed to a tombstone
Total: 9

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Last Axe on the Left: Axe (1977)

Axe (AKA California Axe Massacre, Lisa,Lisa) (1977)
starring: Leslie Lee, Jack Canon and Ray Green

Slow in pace, no sign of plot, light on gore despite labeled as a "Nasty", California Axe Massacre, or Axe in some box titles, had brought the likes of Craven's infamous Last House on the Left (1972) to Southern fried proportions minus the infamy.

The story starts with three killers waiting in a room owned by an associate that had done them wrong; when he came back with a gay lover, the hoodlums starts beaten the tar out of him, killing him and his lover running through a window and falling to his death. Yes, you heard me. One kill and one man slaughter. Now on the run, the trio head country, where they tortured a store clerk by throwing fruits above her head and shooting them with a live gun. As far as I'm interested to see torture, or not, this is hardly rocking my attention and is boring me to death. Technically, what I'm saying here is that it ain't that evil enough for me. Eitherways, they left before anymore damage can be done, and seek refuge in a house owned by a quite daughter and her paralyzed grandaddy. Of course, seeing this can be considered as a Last House on the Left clone, the girl ain't that all helpless and she has a mean hatchet to whack back at.

Alright, with a running time of an hour and five minutes, I was expecting an all through gorefest and stalk antics, seeing that this is labeled as a "slasher" and is in the Video Nasty list, but what I had instead was a cheap run of exploitative nonsense that hardly make up for its supposed infamy. Yes there's rape, but it's barely graphic, more like watching a middle-aged guy wiggle around on top of a nearly expressionless gal, who mind you is also reaching for a weapon to kill her rapist. Other than that, there's barely any gore in it, and the title didn't match-up to my expectations of an axe massacre while we're at it. Then again, how can you have a massacre with only three victims? And one of them didn't even die at the hands of our psychobitch! So I don't really get all the infamy about this, was the version I saw cut? Was there supposed to be more gore in it? I just checked IMDB and I think I got everything right. This is nasty enough to be banned? Who the hell gets offended by this worthless-oh wait, I am, right now. Well, yeah, I am pissed. For different reasons.

Yeah, without a doubt, I'm pissed, and agreeing with the ban, for an entirely different reason. If you still want to check this one out, be my guest...

1 male beaten to death
1 male crashes through window and falls to his death
1 male back of neck sliced with razor
1 male hacked to death with axe
1 male shot on the head
total: 5

Better be them than me: Seven Below (2012)

Seven Below (Se7en Below)
Rating: *
Starring:  Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames and Luke Goss

Yeah, why is every slasher movie I see with Val Kilmer in it have him dead after a few scenes? I mean in Mindhunters (2004), he had a couple of scenes as a FBI head and next thing you know, he's a friggin' meat puppet with hooks pierced into his face. Now, this? I almost feel sorry for the guy.

Dead by dawn...or less

Anywho, this dreck of a flick opens some time in the 1950s, with a boy snapping from the fact that his family is tarnished by daddy's cheating, mum's depression and granma... being old-ness, I guess. Like that ole Halloween night in Haddonfield, the kid kills his family with a hunting knife. No one lived. The End. Now, on to the next part!

Fast forward to today, a groups of five tourists and their van driver crashes off the road after avoiding a lady that came out of nowhere. Of course, they're stuck now in the woods with their driver dead but, look-ho! A Samaritan! Good! He tells them there's no cellphone signal, however! Not good! He then invites these folks to stay at a creepy old house where he lives alone and also happens to be the same place the opening massacre happened! Definitely not cool!

The Samaritan starts acting all weird and creepy once the tourists settle in, of course. Uneasy vibes around the house and someone from the group dies mysteriously. Oh yeah, there's something not right here. What's more is that there's also a storm brewing outside, keeping the tourists in so they try keeping their cool. That is, until another one of them is found dead.

Should have been a fair run, but Seven Below has this awful atmosphere that just doesn't work. The mystery aspect of it is hardly engaging at all thanks to some pretty lame scripting and direction. I can't really decide if the guys who planned this flick wanted a thriller, a ghost flick or a slasher, but there's certainly an attempt to be elevated of sorts by doing the whole "you can't fight fate" idea by having their supposed host bringing them in because fate calls for it and history has to repeat itself. Kinda did, yes, but so what? It was hardly entertaining, made the film feel longer than it needed to be and the pretentiousness of it all is just ho-hum.

The movie's practically confused by its own plot and they did very little to fix that. Heck, all I know is all of them is a reincarnation of the murdered family and, if I get this right, one of them is the reincarnation of the killer kid in the opening. Okay, fair enough, but why on Earth did the kid gone crazy in the first place? Explain that! No? There you go.

Okay, let see if there's anything I can say good about this film...I'm gonna try here...alright...here it comes...

I have nothing.

Kills? Lame and repetitive. Score? Doesn't fit at all. Acting? Why is Val Kilmer associated with these no-names? In a B-Flick? Camera Effects? CG at its worse. Sense? Not one found.

Long story short, lame-a-thon. Avoid like a fat kid with his mouth open, staring at you while you eat a bag of chips.

1 female gets a hunting knife to the gut
1 female found with a throat cut
1 male gets a hunting knife to the gut
2 girls stabbed to death with a hunting knife
1 male had his head crashed against a windshield during car collision
1 male strangled to death
1 male found with a throat slit
1 female stabbed in the gut with a hunting knife
1 male stabbed in the chest with a hunting knife
1 male stabbed in the back with a hunting knife
1 male presumably killed with a kitchen knife
Total: 12