Friday, June 22, 2018

Ranbhool (2010) 1h 50m


Some people say that you can learn something from every experience you have.  I think that after watching this film the only thing I learned was to not trust dudes that wear tie dye and play guitar.  This isn't really new information for me.  I talk shit on hippies all the time.  So maybe this film didn't teach me anything, but rather just reaffirmed my dislike of hippies.

Ranbhool is an Indian film in which a man believes his music is essentially the music of god.  He is such a religious zealot over this thought that he has killed people that have prevented his music from getting out or say that they don't hear the message of god in it.  A teenage girl goes to her father's home with her younger sister and a friend and make contact with this crazy guy via the internet (as ya' do).  Using an Omegle style chat they view a video stream of him playing his music, but they miss him murdering his fiancĂ©.  Everyone tracks everyone else down and it ends with hostages, a standoff, and someone's grandmother getting called in to stop all this shit!

This was not a film for me.  Pushing close to two hours is actually short for most of the Indian films I've watched but this one just kept drawing out scenes for too long.  We get a lot of our killer playing his music but it is literally just the same song over and over again with him jamming on some changes.  It's not even a good song!  I mean, maybe I'm missing the voice of god or whatever in it, but it was just sounded like shitty Phish, and I already hate Phish so imagine that!  I will say there is one moment I liked and it's right after he kills his fiancĂ© and then he plays a guitar solo over her corpse.  That was one of the most metal things I've been privy to in a film.  Too bad it was a hippie solo!

I give Ranbhool 1 dirty hippy out of 5:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Scream 3 (2000) 1h 56m


Up front, I love the original Scream trilogy.  The fourth installment was okay but it came a bit too late for me me to associate it with the first three.  I, however, completely forgot about everything in this movie except for who the killer was.  I spent half of the movie texting my husband things like "Parker Posey is in this?!  Jay and Silent Bob are in this?!  What the hell is this film?!"

Scream 3 centers around the filming of the movie's meta cinema, Stab 3.  After Cotton Weary (now a talk show host) and his girlfriend are murdered, the deaths begin to follow the script for the latest Stab installment.  Gail Weathers is instantly there, Dewey happens to be there as a consultant, and Sidney is in hiding and using a false name after the second film.  Eventually the murderer ferrets Sidney out of hiding and she joins the rest of the group to find the killer and try to end things once and for all.

Scream was one of the first major films to really play with meta concepts when it comes to horror.  Through Randy, it established the parameters for what to do and not do.  With Randy having been killed in the previous film, we still get his video store wisdom with the help of a VHS that he left.  I feel like them keeping this consistent, even with poor Randy's death, was a good touch on Wes Craven's part.  The acting from everyone in Scream 3 remains solid which was great to see.  A lot of the time, as a series goes on, the actors begin to phone it in. *cough*WesleySnipesBlade*cough*

There are some over the top moments in this film that are eye rolling but it's all part of the fun of watching a horror movie that establishes up front that it knows it's a horror movie.  I will say that the bow they use to wrap everything up does skate that line of "Oh, fuck you!" once you get how this ties back to the first movie.  Sidney sums it up best though while we're getting the killer's "poor me" speech by saying "I heard this shit before!  Why don't you take some fucking responsibility!"  Honestly, all these murders could have been avoided if just one person would've gone for therapy for their mommy issues.  Actually, I take that back, all of this could've been avoided if Hollywood wasn't a skeezy place.

I give Scream 3 3 Stab 3 DVD covers out of 5:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Deep Blue Sea (1999) 1h 45m


Something that I love with horror is that when it comes to science we have this "bigger, better, stronger  faster" approach to everything.  There's no isolation of a single piece like how real life scientists cloned an ear on the back of a mouse.  No!  It's all or nothing!  If it were a horror film then they would've been trying to clone their dead child on the back of a rat and we would've ended up with something looking like a TMNT villian (I'm talking original cartoon, not this Michael Bay/Nickelodeon stuff).  Don't get me wrong.  I think that there are some crazy labs somewhere out there that are making a real life Bebop and Rocksteady under an ice cap or something, but horror really pushes science above and beyond.  Like with today's film!

I don't know how I haven't watched Deep Blue Sea until now, but strap the fuck in because here we go!  In the middle of the ocean is a marine biology lab where their attempting to grow a specific section of shark brains in order to harvest the tissue and possibly cure Alzheimer's.  It's a valid pursuit, except that they violated certain standards and in the process created super smart murder sharks!  Throw in Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J and you get a movie full of murder sharks and those guys!  Don't get me wrong, Mr. Jackson adds a lot, but LL Cool J is just random.

It was nice to see what all the hype was about finally.  My only major issue with this film is that it's very dated.  Granted, it's almost 20 years since this came out, but films from the 1990's just have this weird aura around them.  You know they're from the 90's based on characters, music, filming, or content.  It's like an entire decade had a slime dumped on it that dried and everything just has this odd film to it.

Otherwise, Deep Blue Sea still delivered.  The CGI looks good for the time with a few questionable moments, Sam Jackson is Sam Jackson up until he gets eaten by a shark, and I don't really remember any of the white people in this movie.  They're all kind of forgettable.

I give Deep Blue Sea 3 bottles of Cool Water out of 5:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Descent: Part 2 (2009) 1h 34m


When I covered the original Descent film in the last cut, I had one of those gut feelings that I was going to get stuck with its sequel sooner rather than later.  That's how Netflix works.  It tries to predict what you will want to watch based on what you have already viewed.  Unfortunately this is kind of a shit model because I end up watching a lot of crap for this website.  Keep in mind that I still roll dice to select these films so I can only assume that Netflix either is or is in cahoots with some sort of demonic entity hellbent on making me watch trash.  Like a less goofy Dr. Forrester.

The Descent Part 2 picks up pretty much where The Descent left off.  Sarah has escaped and is taken to a hospital where small town/big dick Sheriff drags her back out to go into the caves to find the rest of the missing girls.  The team is ST/BD Sheriff, a deputy, a small crew of specialized rescuers, and our girl.  Sarah, dealing with hardcore PTSD, has amnesia at the start until she suddenly remembers and goes into Rambo mode in order to escape.  Otherwise, this is kind of the same film as the first.  A cave-in happens, the creatures fuck shit up (as they do), and we eventually have a sole survivor... kind of.

The sheer existence of this film is unnecessary.  Ignoring the four year gap between films, The Descent Part 2 doesn't add anything to the overall lore of the caves or the creatures.  The only two additions we do get are that one of the creatures has a more feminine appearance with long black hair and what appear to be beast shapes without nipples, and the other addition is that we have a scene where we see one of them take a shit into a pool of water two of the women are in.

I have to talk about this "female" creature though because this is the stupid shit that keeps me up at night trying to work it out in my head.  First: adding breast shapes make the creatures more mammalian.  Given that they have a human/bat hybrid kind of look to them, I can understand that.  My issue is that without nipples then the creature wouldn't be able to nurse as that's a trait found in mammals.  So why have breast tissue at all?  Second:  Every single one of these creatures are bald, except for her.  Assuming she is an adult, why does she not have hair down to the floor?  Finally:  Are we to assume that if there are a "male" and "female" gender that these things fuck?!  How do they fuck?  There's nothing visible that we could even consider genitals!  Do they have a cloaca?  If they do, then this goes back to point number one of the beast tissue!  Why am I so worried about this one creature seen for 10 seconds in a shitty film?!

And this really is a shitty film.  Deaths are predictable and at time comical at how horror-by-numbers they are.  The dialog is absurd, we are never given any backstory about anyone despite the mentioning of specific past events, and the very ending of this film might as well be a zoom in on a middle finger aimed directly at the viewer because we're never going to get an explanation for it.  We're also given this awkward fan service with the return of Juno, having survived in these caves for however long with only a climbing pick and sass!  How long has she survived?  Dunno.  No clue.  Time doesn't exist underground!  Only weird monsters that cause me to toss and turn while I'm trying to figure out how they smush!

I give The Descent Part 2 0 caves out of out of 5:

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Conjuring (2013) 1h 52m


I find the Warren's to be fascinating people, and I mean this in the most neutral and scientific sense.  While they were a power couple of paranormal and demonology, there always remains a thread of skepticism with their cases that someone is trying to pull.  Others in their field have denounced them or claimed they were exaggerating cases.  Prior to this, most people know them from the Amityville Horror case or seeing Lorraine on Paranormal State, and in a way maybe the pop culture association has done more harm than good.  With that said, I was excited when this film was going to come out because I was hoping it was going to pull back some of the veil on their work.  Instead it spawned a spin-off and sequel which I feel is more damning than Baal on holiday.

We start The Conjuring by getting a brief telling of Annabelle, a spirit that inhabits a creepy porcelain doll (in real life it's just a Raggedy Ann doll).  This is more to give us a lead-in to the Warrens as they're approached after speaking at a college and asked to come to a possibly haunted house.  The rest of the film is a mix of the family living in the home, the team investigating, and some personal life of the Warrens.

This film should really just be called "Jump Scares: The Movie."  Existing as much more of a paranormal drama, it's mostly figures popping out and loud noises ensconced in a supermarket paperback.  The only scare I liked was the sheet being blown off the clothesline and taking the form of a person before flying up to a window and then away.  I don't think it's coming back either.  We'll miss you sheet, we barely knew you.

I do want to rant about one thing here:  At the beginning we're given some text about the Annabelle doll and how the story was locked away until now.  Okay, first, that fucking doll is the most well known thing in their collection.  You can go to any paranormal website and there's probably a page on it.  They claim it caused a motorcycle accident with someone that made fun of it.  Before this film, if you Googled the Warrens you would see that fucking doll!  They do fucking tours of their haunted object museum!!!  Kiss my ass "locked away until now."

Okay, rant over, but so is my love for this film.  It wasn't what I hoped for when it first came out.  There are too many artistic liberties taken via Hollywood and at the same time I found myself bored.  If you're trying to make something scarier and instead I'm looking up haunted objects on Ebay then you failed!  I would be interested in a movie on this supposed Djinn trapped in a ring that will make you a sexual beast!  That can be The Conjuring 3: The Ring!  Only $49.99, with free shipping!

I give The Conjuring 1 picture of the real Annabelle out of 5:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Teeth (2007) 1h 34m


One of my go-to jokes when people ask me why I'm gay (as if there were some quick-time event that I hit the "dicks" button for) is because "vaginas have teeth."  While I know this isn't true, I think that the idea of something like human teeth (especially baby teeth) inside of the vulva causes most people to cringe.  So when we're given a film like Teeth, does it have the bite to it that we're looking for?  I'm sorry, that was terrible.

Okay, here's what you need to know about Teeth.  A teenage girl that grew up near a Photoshopped set of nuclear cooling towers is one of the faces for the local abstinence and purity ring group.  The state that they live in puts giant gold stickers over the female sex organs in their school books so our virginal girl doesn't know that she has the dreaded Vaginal Dentata!  It's a real mythological thing so look it up if you're bored. Eventually she begins to give in to temptation only to find herself about to be sexually assaulted when her extra chompers tear off her attacker's dick.  The rest of this film is her learning to actually use them for her greater good!  Seriously.

Here are my takeaways from this movie: 1) All men are indeed scum, 2) virginity is still not a real thing and is only a social construct in which parents lie to their children that "love" is the only thing that makes sex pleasurable, 3) I forgot that purity rings are meant to be a placeholder for a wedding ring which made me unreasonable annoyed.

Teeth started out as the b-movie it knew it was but by the third act wanted to take a more serious role and that ends up killing it for me.  I don't feel like the heel-turn was needed with the guy that she has pleasurable sex with.  I don't think the stuff with the mother was necessary, even as a vehicle of you sinned and this is your punishment.  And I don't think we needed a huge set-up to make her step brother an even bigger piece of shit.  Speaking of which, once again we get terrible tattoos that look as though they were drawn in by a marker just before the call of "action!"  Stop that shit!  Look at someone with tattoos!  If you need reference I'll send you pictures of my arms (or more if you want to pay... but I'm not cheap!).

I don't know.  I wasn't expecting much and I was let down.  It's sad too because I was onboard when I hit play.  I love terrible b-movies!  It was here, the plot was here!  It started out like it!  Then you tried and it ruined everything!  Let this be a lesson!  Don't try anything!  Just do it!

I give Teeth 1 dental dummy out of 5:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cabin Fever (2016) 1h 39m


I didn't realize until the end of this film that I was watching a remake of the original movie.  They literally took the script from the Eli Roth original and did a re-shoot.  Was this really necessary?  I know I'm jumping into the shit talk on this way to early but for real?  It's not like you were rebooting the property or anything.  It's only made worse because I'm not really a fan of the original Cabin Fever to begin with.

If you're unfamiliar with the plot, a group of college kids rent a cabin in the country.  Early on we know that there is some sort of viral or bacterial outbreak based on an exploding dog named Pancakes.  After one of these college jag bags finds a gun at the cabin and accidentally shoots an infected man in the woods.  The man finds his way to their cabin where he vomits blood everywhere before being set on fire and runs off to dive into the local reservoir.  The disease begins to develop in our cabin kids and they all end up dead, one way or the other.

Neither this, nor the original are really scary as far as horror movies go.  They really get classified as body-horror for the squick feelings you get from seeing huge wet open sores or someone shaving their legs and literally shaving off strips of flesh.  The latter of which I don't remember seeing in this re-make.  I covered the prequel movie Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero a while ago but it doesn't add much to the lore.  It just makes me wonder what Sean Astin needed the money for.

Here is my head cannon for why this film even exists: Travis Z tells Eli Roth he wants to direct a movie but doesn't have the background to do anything big.  Eli Roth figures that Cabin Fever was his big breakout so he gives Travis Z the script, says he'll produce it, and assumes that lightning will strike twice.  Instead it hit a small child off to the side and both Eli and Travis are labeled as witches and burned at the stake.  The End.

I give the 2016 remake of Cabin Fever 1 Eli Roth PETA ad out of 5:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Vault (2017) 1h 31m


I feel like film production companies still have this odd assumption that casting people based on name or affiliation alone will make a movie good (or at least draw).  We know this isn't true based on some of the big flops that have existed *cough*TomCruiseMummy*cough* but yet we still get these middle of the road, or worse, films that have some heavy casting done.  I would rather these companies save their money and give us a better film rather than wasting that dough of what is essentially turd polish.

The Vault focuses on a bank robbery gone dumb and the eventual release of ghosts in the bank?  I think.  Or the bank was just haunted and opening the second vault made it more haunted?  All I know is that people have quit this bank due to the weird things that happen around the downstairs where the old vault exists.  In the 80's a bank robbery went wrong and it lead to the death of pretty much everyone involved except the unaccounted for leader.  They all haunt that downstairs now but may be locked in that vault.  Either way, this odd group of white trash (including the woman that plays Pennsyltucky from Orange is the New Black) stir up some shit and end up dead thanks to these bland specters.

That's the whole film pretty much.  We do find out that the person that points them to the vault and attempts to save everyone is the ghost of the bank manager from that original robbery, but you could kind of tell that by his porn stashe and outdated suit.  I was bored the whole way through The Vault.  It has what could be labeled the worst use of the song Crimson and Clover, jailhouse tats that look like they were Sharpied on just prior to filming, and a Wilhelm scream.  A fucking Wilhelm scream in a 2017 film!  How hard is it to have someone record their own death scream? 

I can't with this film.  I really can't.  Hopefully that vault actually exists so they can take all the copies of this film and lock it inside.  Then if anyone opens it they're haunted by this film for the rest of their life.

I give The Vault  0 thieves out of 5:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

6 Souls (2010) 1h 52m


My first note for this film is just "Pittsburgh represent!"  In truth, Pittsburgh is nothing more than a setting for this film but it was nice to see some old favorites like Ritter's Diner.  There is a moment though where the one shot looks like it was done in East Liberty but then the next shot of what's supposed to be the same scene looks like it's the West End.  This means nothing to you reading this unless you're from the 412, but at least it's not someone trying to pass off Toronto as Pittsburgh.

Oh man, let's talk about the plot of 6 Souls.  Cara is a forensic psychologist that gets called in by her father to take a look at an interesting case of a man with multiple personalities.  What's interesting about this case is that the personalities have no overlap, so much so that one of the initial two we're introduced to has colorblindness where the other doesn't.  A third personality comes out (a singer in a death metal band) and this leads to Cara finding that all of these personalities were real people at some point.  Eventually this film goes off the rails when it begins to involve some made-up Appalachian folk-magick, the story of a priest without strong faith, and what might as well be some "believe in god or the boogyman will get you" spooky twist.

Of all the directions this film could have taken, I wish it would've chosen any of the others than the trail it took us down.  It wasn't bad so much as it was just asking too much of the viewer to stay engrossed when it seemed like the story was falling apart more than it was coming together.  The ending was too transparent to have any sense of shock or sympathy from me.  The entire first two acts are slow and while they're presenting us with information it's info that we're not sure what to do with.  We know it'll get glued together but by the time it does we already knew where it went so there was no reveal.  When the hypest thing in this film for me was Ritter's Diner then you know this film fucked up somewhere.

As a side rant, what fucking audio software does the one guy in this film have where he can take a photo, isolate a section of it, and turn it into a three dimensional soundwave?!  Most people are running Pro-Tools so don't lie to me like this jagoff in an old Southside warehouse has anything but that running in his "studio."  Funk dat!

I give 6 souls 1.5 Mortal Kombat Soulnados out of 5:

Monday, June 11, 2018

9th Cut Starts! The Lost Boys (1987) 1h 37m


When I was in college I took a course on vampire lore.  One of the first things the professor asked us was "why are people interested in vampires?"  After the typical collegiate round of answers she finally just yelled "it's because they're sexy!"  I think that this film really makes that ring true.  Sure, there were the Hammer films of the 70's which were just shy of (or just were) porn coming before this.  But this, this is 80's leather jacket sex on legs... and a possibly queer Corey Haim with his sexy Rob Lowe poster on the wall, camp style clothing, and a beaver hidden in his closet.

The Lost Boys takes place in Santa Carla, California where Michael, Sam, and their mother move in with her father.  Michael instantly falls for a girl that hangs out with David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang of assholes which includes Bill (Alex Winters) from the Bill and Ted franchise.  Sam ends up befriending the Frog brothers at the local comic store and they give him a comic about vampires that they say may save his life.  Michael gets turned into a dhampyr by David's crew, Sam freaks out, the Frog bothers want to kill all bloodsuckers.  So we get this rag-tag group of dorks trying to find and kill the head vampire all to one of the best soundtracks to ever exist.

This movie is a classic.  You can't hear that dark synth and child chorus singing "thou shall not want" without getting hyped immediately.  When the final fight happens we get some great vamp kills, including the infamous "death by stereo."  The casting and acting are all spot on.  Kiefer is pretty much the only one in the vamp gang that has real lines and his presentation plants him firmly in the realm of "this dude is a badass."  My big question mark for this film is that as one of the Frog brothers, I have no clue what Corey Feldman's voice is supposed to be.  I don't think he even knows what it was.  It's like he was possessed by a 70 year-old chain smoking grandma. "Read this comic and pick me up a carton of Reds!"

There were two modern sequels made to this film.  I'm not sure why.  I haven't seen them so I can't say.  I doubt I will ever willingly sit down to watch one of them by my own volition.  This movie didn't need a sequel.  All of the loose ends are tied up so to me it's like looking at something like the Mona Lisa and deciding it would look good to copy it but just make her have a big cartoon dick behind her.  Big ol' floppy purple wang flappin' in the breeze.

I give The Lost Boys 5 unnecessary Zombie Peter Pans out of 5: