Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bottom Barrel Scraps Vol 1

Coz sometimes, there is such as thing as too long reviews for movies that are so bad, dull and/or boring, they don't deserve them.

Blackburn (2015)
Rating: 1/2
Starring: Sarah Lind, Zack Peladeau, Emilie Ullerup

A group of college kids driving across the backwoods mountain route find themselves taking a detour after a horrible CGI landslide blocks their path. The new route unfortunately takes them to the hunting grounds of a murderous backwoods clan consisting of burnt nuthouse escapees, lead by female psycho in a wedding dress.

If you have seen one or two Wrong Turn movies, then you can expect the same kind of bloodshed from Blackburn, down to the fact that it takes place in the woods, there might be some cannibalism involved and that there's more than one deformed killer hunting the cast down. It could have been all fine and fun but indistinguishable antagonists and the painfully boring protagonists just made this movie rather pointless to exist and a chore to watch, somehow worse with its attempt to develop some love triangle-teenage pregnancy conflict within the small casts of stereotype slasher meat. At least the victims get to die through gory deaths, right? No, no they didn't. It's bloody, yeah, but it's hardly anything you have not seen 50 slasher flicks before.

Generic plotting, uninspired. So, no. Just, no. Any backwood slasher (save for Don't Go In The Woods (1981)) is better than this forgettable bear turd of a movie.

1 male murdered offcamera
1 female had her neck snapped
1 female found dead from a rockslide
1 male hacked to death with a pickaxe
1 female murdered, fingers and toes chopped off (flashback)
1 female murdered (flashback)
1 male mentioned knifed to death (flashback)
A number of individuals killed in a burning building (flashback)
2 females skewered from head to death with a rod
1 male shot with an arrow
3 males seen taxidermied
A number of victims seen
1 female hacked on the back with a hatchet, blowtorched on the face
1 male set on fire
1 male knifed through the throat
1 female gets a buzzsaw to the gut, falls unto a burning gear
Total: 17

K-Shop (United Kingdom, 2016)
Rating: *
Starring: Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar, Scot Williams, Ewen MacIntosh

Here's one movie that started out promising; a British Pakistani moves in to his father's kebab shop in the middle of a bad UK district only to have said dad beaten dead in the pavement by some drunken rowdies. Out of this tragedy rises an anti-hero who murders drunkards and serves their flesh as delicious kebab meat, kinda like a modern day Middle-Eastern Sweeney Todd. All of this in the first 30 to 40 minutes in a two-hour movie. What happens afterwards, you ask? Said Anti-hero feeling shit-sorry about himself, contemplating about continuing his murder-canniballism shtick or not. This meant a lot of talking, self-loathing and our protagonist just being an ass to not just himself, but to a whole lot of people, too. Not a lot of gory killings to follow either. Whoopee-fucking-doo-NOT!

A lot of peeps call this a black comedy but I don't see the kind of dark comedy I'm used to here. It kinda did at the beginning and I was pretty certain it will eventually go down the "haha-coz-it's-horrible" kind of gig, but all I got were "I-kill-people-and-yet-I-still-feel-empty-wa-wa-wa" downer talks. The whole thing is just too long for it's own good and whatever message they're trying to relay just got muddled along the way. If there's anything this film did for me, apart from one satisfying murder of a drunk dyke, it'll be the strange craving for meaty Pakistani kebab.

And now that I brought that up, anyone of you knows a good Pakistani restaurant in Manila?

1 male hit his head on the pavement
1 male had his face burnt in a deep fryer, dismembered
1 female had her throat cut with a cleaver
1 female murdered offcamera, arm seen
1 male murdered offcamera, clothes seen
1 male dies from stab wounds
Total: 6

The Laughing Mask (2014)
Rating: *1/2
Starring: Floyd Adams, Arisia Aguiar, Jade Aguiar

In its core, The Laughing Mask is less of a slasher movie and more of a cop drama with gory torturous murders and shit load of uninspired acting befitting a smut flick. It follows a group of law enforcers, including two rival detectives, as they trail along the bloody breadcrumbs left by the titular killer, all the while preventing the murder of one disgruntled writer who lost his family to the laughing maniac and just announced his pure hate against the vigilante in nationwide television.

So, here we have a group of actors pretending to be cops, criminals and everyday fillers bundled together in a movie about a serial killer who not only slays deserving victims, but occasionally keeps some alive to torment. It's a big shoe to fill in if I may say so myself and I will commend some of the efforts done here, but the downer comes at the fact that the executed final product could have been better. Apart from the terrible talents involved and the camera work just looking uninspired, there's also pacing as slow as a snail high on shrooms, the inserted footages of black and white cartoons for the sake of surrealism just didn't work for me, and the use of 40s to 50s carabet music throughout the bloody rampages just gets tiring and annoying real quick.

The Laughing Mask tries to be so many things all at once that I easily lost track of the story and I hardly cared about who lives and dies, so much so that I actually stopped watching this movie halfway and decided to mend my boredom with a double feature of Fender Bender (2016) and Ditch Day Massacre (2016), didn't touch it for at least a week until I decided to man up and finish the damn thing for the sake of this review.

Did not regret stopping halfway, but did regret deciding to see this movie in the first place.

1 female killed with a peeling knife
1 female electrocuted to death
1 male electrocuted to death
1 male gets a blowtorch to the mouth
1 male shot on the head
1 male murdered offcamera
1 male used as a human shield, shot dead
1 male had his throat slashed with a knife
1 female hacked with a sword
1 female garroted
1 male had his throat cut with a knife
1 male pinned to the floor with knives, dismembered with a chainsaw
1 male decapitated with a machete
1 male shot
1 male slashed on the throat with a dagger
1 male stabbed with a dagger
1 male shot
1 male shot on the head
1 male shot
1 female shot
1 male shot
1 male shot on the head
1 male shot to death
1 girl seen drugged, presumably killed
1 female brained with a bat
1 female stabbed with a dagger
1 male castrated with a garden shear
Total: 27

Wonder Valley (2015)
Rating: 1/2
Starring: Suziey Block, David Michaelson, Natalie Pero

A girl suffering from vividly bloody nightmares decides to join her bestfriend and two other guys at a camping trip to some barren valley to ease up her some anxiety issues. None of this is going to end well, of course, as a random shadowy loon with a pickaxe starts to hack them down and possibly cannibalize.

What got me into watching this was its relatively short running time, thinking that even if Wonder Valley will turn up pretty bad, at least it'll be over soon. But holy Hell, was the pacing slow! It actually felt like couching through a friggin millennia as the movie's very muffled audio quality, glitchy editing (the title card just appears in a split second), and grimy video tone made everything hard to follow and there's barely any real slasher action happening to make up for the goddamn wait!

I guess the people behind this weren't aiming for a paint-by-number slasher flick but rather some sort of psychological survival treatment utilizing the barrenness of the desert for an extra creep factors coz, y'know, it's not like we have not done anything like that before. (The Hills Have Eyes series, Blood Frenzy (1987), Scalps (1984), The Hitcher series, Dust Devil (1992), Duel (1971)... Nope! We haven't done anything like that!) Should that be the case then, I may be no expert in writing psychological horror flicks but the last time I saw one, you got to have the right hook to reel us in like, I dunno, interesting characters or premise? Wonder valley has four campers in a very rocky valley, with one of them having bloody nightmares that really doesn't add up to anything. The only psychological horror I can squeeze out that notion is the fact I got the unfortunate luck to watch it. Enough, said! Trash this one!

1 victim missing, glasses seen
1 female hacked on the head with a pickaxe
1 male decapitated with a knife
1 female had her throat cut with a knife
1 male stabbed on the neck with a knife
Total: 5