Friday, June 29, 2012

Visiting Hours Review

A star studded cast rounds out todays review, something that I don’t usually get to see often, and it’s from well back into the 80s. In fact, it’s from 1982, and the movie sums up a lot of fears for many people, especially those of us that aren’t too keen about going to the hospital. If hospitals scare you, wait until you check out this slice of horror called Visiting Hours.

The movie stars a lot of big names, including none other than William Shatner! That’s right, William freakin Shatner is in a 80s slasher flick and he’s not too unlike his Star Trek role. Ok, so he’s not fighting aliens or exploring parts unknown, but he’s in this film trying to make sense of all that is going wrong with the world at large. The movie has a great deal of sickness, horror, gore and so much more.

The movie revolves around an activist that is being hunted down by a sadistic killer, and after she survives an initial attack, the killer stalks her in recovery, and all hell breaks loose. The movie also shows a lot of flashbacks and sequences regarding our killer so that you can get a taste of how crazy he is. He stalks the nighttime hospital in full doctor garb, and at one point kills a nurse, rapes a young woman, and attacks yet again anyone that is near him with clues to what he’s doing. I know, an awkward sentence, but eh, I’m trying summarizing this thing without giving too much away.

Much of the violence is after the fact and isn’t prolonged into too much gore. In away the movie feels like it was strategically made for late night basic cable, instead of theatrical release. There’s just too many cutaways for this to be a straight-laced horror film on wheels. That in mind, it’s a slow moving movie for the most part, and a great deal of it doesn’t make sense even if it was 1982.

The killer looks a lot like a mix of The Riddler (Jim Carrey’s version) and Dwight from The Office, making this movie somewhat funny at times. Overall, I didn’t really feel like the movie was a big success in creeping me out, as it just seemed tame at times.

However, there are some sick parts done with slick camera work and timing. The flashbacks are great, but as stated above there’s a pull away of the angle so that you don’t really get the complete scope of what’s going on or how bad things really are. I guess that’s the draw back here, for once you want blood, and when it’s not delivered, you assume the movie isn’t as “horror” related as you might have thought.

There are some genuine creepy moments, but overall Visiting Hours is not a highly recommended film to watch. I was hoping for more hospital horror than just a straight laced thriller/slasher film. That being said, check it out if you want, otherwise watch something with more gusto.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Baby Review

the baby
There are a lot of movies that make me cringe, but they are usually labeled as something horrific or have a lot of brutality. This 1973 horror film did nothing of that nature to me, until the final reveal in which I wanted to punch the television as hard as I could. Not too many things bug me, and most horror films I can figure out, but this film had me second guessing, talking to my girlfriend back and forth and wondering what in the world was happening and whether or not this film was a serious contender for an instant classic, and it sure played with me like, well, a baby. The film I’m going to try and ramble about today is The Baby.

The movie seems weird at first and continues in very awkward stages. The plot revolves around a social worker that has to deal with a very strange family that has a “baby”. The twist here is that the baby is full grown, an adult, and acts completely like a baby. When the social worker finds out that the family is abusing the child, a whole new world opens up and she fights hard to get him the help she believes he needs. However, there is a switch in plot points where psychosis sets in and the well to do worker becomes a serial killer, and before that ends something big happens, something so big that you’re going to probably laugh. During the film there is a point where one of the baby’s sisters breast feeds him, breaking yet another taboo in horror.

Now, the plot thickens and logic gets thrown out the window as we start to ask a lot of questions….for instance:

Is the child faking?

Is the child playing a fetish?

Is the child just mentally retarded?

Those questions and so much more start to take shape and I started to realize that no matter what I thought was right, it was wrong. The ending plays out like a modern Hitchcock tale with some extremes that you just can’t predict. If you called the ending before it happens, I commend you, otherwise get ready for something to punch you in the gut.

The Baby is not a scary movie, necessarily, but it has its moments. There’s no gore, no major sex scene, but it has enough horror elements to make this something to watch at least once. I wouldn’t watch it over and over again, and it is not a favorite, but it is something worth checking out, especially for what happens, in the end!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rubber Review

I love a good independent film, but I haven’t seen a whole lot of greatness since I reviewed “Blood Car” all those years ago. This latest trek into grindhouse cinema was supposed to be a stellar flick with lots of gore, but instead, I fell asleep twice, and wondered if anyone could appreciate what is essentially the worst idea in horror. The movie I’m talking about right now is none other than Rubber.

Now, before I get some angry mail, I know that this is not a “serious” horror flick, but it poses itself as a comedic romp. The film directed by Quentin Dupieux looks great, and has a lot of great sequences in terms of cinema. The lighting, the close ups, editing, sound, and lots of mannerism between the tire and the exploding bodies that accrue through the film are quite well done all things considered. A lot of straight to dvd studios can learn a lot from the way that this film is shot and edited.

But just because this piece of crap is polished and is worth watching, doesn’t mean that you are getting some top-notch movie quality. In fact, this boring, slow moving movie had me falling asleep twice. I had to take 2 viewings to get through it all, and it is a BS.

If you watch this piece of crap, you will notice that the antagonist is nothing more than a tire. The tire plays villain through this film and it can be likened to a slasher flick in many ways. The slashings are insane, with heads blowing up, bodies fighting to stay alive, and random things. Every aspect of the film has the antagonist acting just like you would think a very smart villain would. The police finally gets into this film and we get into a major killing sequence in the end, and oh yes…. sequel material, but I won’t go into that aspect.

Rubber is not scary, it’s partially horror, and it moves about as slow as you would expect a tire to move. The film has a self-awareness to it that’s quite interesting, but overall, I don’t know if I would recommend this to everyone. It’s not that great, it’s kind of boring. Watch it if you want something original and off the wall, don’t watch it if you are into fast paced slasher or horror films.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Top 5 Worst Fathers in Horror

There are a lot of fathers that are sewn into the psyche of horror tradition. Most of them are not to be praised, and while I was compiling a list of great fatherly moments in horror, here are my top 5 worst fathers in horror for now. Just in time for Father’s day, here are my list of the top 5 worst ever!

#5 Captain Spaulding – The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1,000 Corpses – The killer clown persona takes on a whole new meaning when we are introduced to the worst father seen in a long time. The sadistic excuse for a shop owner and terror ride driver comes through firing off shots into the face of a would be killer in his first film role, then comes across as a dad trying to protect his daughter in the second. Spaulding for President is what I want my shirts to say, but alas, Captain Spaulding is a sick father who will do anything for a sick and twisted laugh. He’s not to be praised, but hey, he isn’t #1.

#4 The Stepfather – The Stepfather Trilogy – In the 1980’s a series of movies came through that took the traditional role of fatherhood and made it into a sickening place for those of us that went through divorce and had to deal with a new man in our lives. The Stepfather trilogy made us all appreciate a father that didn’t want to swindle and kill us all. The Stepfather did get a remake but the original creepster reigns supreme. Oh and how can you forget those posters?

#3 Ed Wilson – Natural Born Killers – While not a horror movie in the traditional sense, no one that saw the movie can deny that Rodney Dangerfield’s portrayal was insanity. What a scumbag and what a great role, he really put the boots to his daughter, and just made everyone uncomfortable in the theater at the time. Go back and watch it, you’ll swear it’s not the same person.

#2 Gus Gilbert – Pet Semetary 2 – Another stepfather in the list? Yeah, this is a sad state as we saw a terrible push forward, where Gus abuses and loses his sanity. He really makes for a terrible dad and well; he pays for it with gusto.

#1 Jack Torrence – The Shining – Just when you thought I was going to forget about this great portrayal of a dad that goes completely insane, I bring to you the #1 worst father in horror. Jack Torrence goes completely insane and wants to murder his family, and he is going to stop at nothing to get it done. The picture might not be as accurate as Stephen King wanted, but it is one of the iconoclasts of horror from his works.

There you have it, the worst fathers in horror. Buy the films, watch them, and appreciate your father a little more.

Monday, June 11, 2012

In Time Review

First and foremost, I have changed the titles back to what they are, reviews. I tried to add different stylized titles, but they didn’t seem to work for the desired effect, so the review moniker is back again. We begin this week with a review of an interesting piece of science fiction starring a few people that you wouldn’t guess were in this film, especially if you only saw the original trailers. That being said, you absolutely knew that Justin Timberlake is the star of this movie, but what it was all about? Well, that was a bit of a mystery. The movie we are trying to review is In Time.

The film starts with a dystopian society, which is how a majority of great writers view the world in the future. I don’t think I’m quite as pessimistic but alas, I’m not a great writer. The future is quite difficult, where people must work for time, no longer money. In fact, the only currency is time, and makes anything else obsolete. This kind of worldview makes for an interesting conundrum for those that are living day-to-day, and literally only have 24 hours. We are introduced to characters on the sad part of the world, and they just want to be in the rich areas.

Much like the problems in economics today around the world, we are placed into a science fiction world where time is monitored by police, and there are banks that only cater to the rich, and loans that charge 30% interest on time. It’s an interesting world, but the lackluster futuristic options got to me. For instance, there are scenes where keys are used instead of any sort of high tech gadgetry. Even in 2012 we have keycards for hotels etc. Keys? How archaic. Not only that, a great deal of “futurisms” are placed into the backseat and we must just “believe” that the world that is presented is a plausible future. I don’t buy it, but that’s ok.

The movie flows fast, with our main hero looking more like superman than an average desperate person. He goes through the highs and lows in this very formulaic ride through what may or may not be in our near future. (of course it’s not in the near future, death has a 100% ratio of success) Visually the show is great, with lots of fighting, and interesting moments, but the attempt at being some sort of James Bond is lost on me, even though Timberlake tries really hard to fit that role. I didn’t really like the overall imagery, but there were some highlights in the way the director of photography framed the images. A lot of the backgrounds, colors, and actions were vivid, making for a lavish display of beauty amidst a lot of chaos.

Science fiction has a way of molding several genres to make their point heard. This film makes for an interesting take on currency, economics, and much more. I enjoyed the overall premise, but by the 4th act, I had already given up on the whole thing. I tried to rationalize it all instead of enjoying the show. Science fiction does that to me a lot; it will start with a great premise, then turn into a mess in the end. The end is a mess, and maybe that’s the whole point. In Time is a cool flick; I recommend it for its visual design, not the plot. The plot falls flat, but the visuals are somewhat great overall.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mothers Day Brings The Noise

Bass! How Low Can you go....! I was on the road coming home from a Casino and had an interesting discussion about whether or not breaking and entering is a film genre. There are a lot of different movie genres that are mash ups of stand alone headings, and the breaking and entering genre doesn’t seem to be one of the classic monikers that you see when you go into a dying video store. Mothers Day is a remake of a 1980s slasher flick that had similar ethos, but not quite the same delivery mechanism. This film punches you in the face from the beginning, and then tries to unravel with more twists and turns than a Matthew Lillard cameo.

Much like my second favorite Christmas horror movie, this film starts out simple enough with a party of friends that have secrets, but won’t reveal them to each other unless they are in duress. A stage is set in this one with a bank robbery gone wrong, or rather, a baby being stolen. Something happened and putting together all the pieces after I’ve seen the film, is hard. Maybe I should start reviewing directly after watching cinema rather than coming back to it several days later and trying to put together something worth reading.

All that pretense aside, consider Mothers Day a combination of exploitation cinema and Tarantino style twists and turns. There are so many different pieces that get shoehorned together into a tale that is just not reasonable or even plausible. The possibility of things working out, are slim and dumb. The actor’s decisions are not rational, and they shouldn’t be, but the way they play out are just stupid. For instance, if I were in the fray, I’d have gotten the guys and ladies together and attacked with some sick blows to the head, and if I had to, scratch and bit my way to freedom. These poor saps cry, moan and get tortured.

The fights in the film are pretty cool, including one of the better chick fights I’ve seen in a long time. While it’s not going to win any awards, and more people will pass on the notion of a breaking and entering movie that also has a kidnapping sub plot, it does in fact have enough of an exploitation feel to make horror fans unite in applause, especially the more torturous scenes like one where hot boiling water is poured into a mans ear holes.

Mother’s Day is NOT a great film, but it is one of the more impactful movies in the horror genre. I feel that it was definitely something that should’ve been released sooner and with less gloss at times. In fact, there are a lot of glossy moments and for the subject matter, seems out of place. The twists and turns seem fair, but the overall picture is one that is not as satisfying as the gore and punishment that is rendered throughout the film. I recommend Mother’s Day as a horror movie and thriller, but it’s going to take some effort to “believe” the plausibility of the overall film.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

5 Shirts That Will Send You Straight To Hell

When it comes to shirts, you usually have your pick of random things that won’t get you in trouble. But then there is Tshirt Hell. They will give you a shirt that will not only be offensive, it will be so offensive, you run the risk of going straight to hell. Since this website is all about horror and nasty bits, I decided to pick 5 shirts that will send you straight to hell if you wear them, and if you click through, you can buy them! Yeah, and I get like a buck or two, which would be nice because I’m so broke my ears are bleeding. So here you go, 5 shirts that will send you straight to hell.


#5 Suicide Watch – Eating popcorn while someone is about to end it all? There’s nothing more tasteless than this, except maybe an Al Snow match! Ha-ha. Never mind.


#4 Ron Jeremy for President – He’s done it all, and everyone, so why not put him and Paul Giamati in the White House? I’d vote for Ron any day. I’d love to meet and greet and be on set with him, that’s for sure.


#3 Jesus Bong Load – Jesus knows that he (and his father) created cannabis, so here he is offering a bong load to one of his favorite stoner friends. His father made it, and here it is.


#2 Disney on Ice – Do you know what ice is? I didn’t really get it, until I zoomed in and noticed that all the Disney characters were high on crank!


#1 Jesus Returns To Destroy – The Bible does say that if Jesus Comes back, he’s coming back with a vengeance, so here’s a shirt that showcases that. The best thing here is that if you wear it to church, you’re going to get thrown out. Unless they are a cool church like Mars Hill Seattle, now that’s a cool place. I’m sure Mark will just laugh, sigh.

All right jerks, the above 5 shirts will send you straight to hell, and you can buy them via Tshirt Hell online. Remember, if you click through, I get a few cents, so why not help me out and take you and your loved ones straight to heck…hell…whatever.

The Shrine Put Me To Sleep

This month starts with a bit of torture porn. Despite the fact that I absolutely hate the term, there’s not much else I can say about the beginning of this film, besides that. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love kink, but the term torture porn is NOT anything to do with the horror genre, and here I am using it to intro this review. I’m a bad writer, that’s for sure. We start this month (a little late, mind you) with a film that most people haven’t seen yet, and more people don’t care about. The movie is titled The Shrine.

This film opens up with a guy getting his head caved in by what appears to be druids. We then flash forward to a newsroom and photographer whom become the crux of the story. A group of friends travel across the world to find out why a journalist is missing, and along the way they find out that there is something sinister going on, and that a shrine/church could be responsible.

The majority of the film is a mix between exorcism movies that have come out recently, and Euro trash films that are made to scare tourists. The movie really takes a lot of liberties with the genres, and at times slows down to a snail pace. By the time the viewer catches up with everything that is going on, it’s gone on too long and you start to realize that there is a role reversal afoot.

The Shrine is not a straightforward horror flick; it has a lot of movements that are dramatic, scary, and not worth watching. I don’t recommend this film at all.