Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Last Exorcism

The next person to tell me that I didn't like a movie's ending because I didn't understand it, and then proceeds to EXPLAIN it to me, is going to get my foot up his or her ass. Let's just get that out of the way right now.

I was with this movie right up until the end. I'm one of those people who sits there in a movie and comes up with endings in my head to pass the time, and sometimes I think my endings are better than the real ending once it happens. I think that happened this time. I still think the quiet little ending that I had planned in my head would have been better than the one I saw onscreen, but now that I've let it sit for awhile I am happier with the ending the way it appeared, and I'd like to say a few things.

1. I did not dislike the ending because it wasn't happy. I came into the movie not expecting it to end with rainbows and puppies and kittens, and indeed, if it HAD a happy ending, I would have felt it was a cop-out.

2. I do not need your little 18 year old self to EXPLAIN the particulars of the ending to me. I grew up in the 80s, with satanic panic and ritual abuse reports all over the media, and the McMartin trial, and if you don't kn ow what any of these things are, that's because I know more than you, not the other way around. I UNDERSTOOD what was happening in the ending perfectly well, I just don't think it was as powerful as the ending I had in my head. Yeah, I get it, and I'm ok with it now, but I was let down because I still think my ending would have been better. It's not the movie's fault, though, and I need to evaluate the movie for what it is, not piss all over it because of what it ISN'T. On those terms, it was a good little movie.

3. I most certainly do NOT think the ending is as cut and dried as some people are making it out to be. I think there are several different interpretations and ideas you can come up with from what we're shown onscreen and most of those interpretations could be perfectly valid. Whenever anyone makes a post declaring THIS IS WHAT THE ENDING MEANT AND ALL OTHER IDEAS ARE TOTALLY FALSE AND STUFF, that person just comes across looking like a pompous assdrip.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lost Boys II: The Tribe

I totally almost typed "Lost Boys II: The TriPe" when I was typing the title of this movie, and I think that's a Freudian slip of the best kind in this case. This movie was a mess. The shower scene is the best part of the movie. I love Corey Feldman and Corey Haim and the original "Lost Boys" is one of my all-time favorite movies, but this isn't even worthy to be called a sequel.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This movie almost seems like an anthology of scary stories at first, and each of the stories on their own, though not always the most realistic thing I've ever seen, are freaky enough to keep me totally interested in the movie. Once things tie together, again, it gets a little hard to believe, but the actors and actresses play everything totally straight so there's never a sense that anyone is just cashing a paycheck here, and in the end, I really enjoyed this movie, in spite of its flaws. Clowns freak me out, and some of the other images I won't spoil here will stick in your head, as will the killer's maniacal laugh. I recommend this one. Give it a shot. It's not perfect, but its good scenes are better than some movies I watch in their entirety, so it's totally worth the watch.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Furry Vengeance


OMG this is the worst movie ever made. Seriously. No one in this movie can act, not even a little, and nothing that happens makes any kind of sense, and we have no idea who these characters are, and we hate them all for being so stupid from the very beginning so we don't care what happens to them, and then just when you think the movie couldn't get any stupider, it gets worse and it tries to have pretensions to a PLOT and a DEEPER MEANING and you just want to stab the director in the face and then vomit into the open knife wounds. Seriously. Skip this.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Repo Men (2010)

I don't know how I feel about the ending to this movie. Up until the ending, I loved it, and the ending did make sense and answered some questions I'd been yelling at the screen, but I'm going to have to let the ending sit for a bit before I form a final opinion on it. Otherwise, this was a lot of cool, gory fun and it's also a bit unnerving. 20 years ago I might not have batted an eye at this movie, but now, I can TOTALLY see this happening in our country, so it really freaked me out and got under my skin a little (hardy har har).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kolchak: the Night Ripper

This is the first episode in the short-lived "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" TV series where Kolchak the reporter had a monster-movie-of-the-week kind of format where he'd try to crack a supernatural murder case in under an hour every week. the format got old, but some of these mini-movies are supposed to be good. This one was ok. A tad dated and Kolchak is kind of a jerk, but otherwise the episode kept me entertained. I like anything Jack the Ripper related, so I had fun with this episode but I hope some of the others are better.


At some point halfway through this movie I thought maybe I'd dropped acid sometime during the day and forgot about it, because I couldn't explain the movie any other way, but the feeling passed and I'm left with admiration for this movie. This is a twist I've seen done before, but never quite this way, and if it's true there's nothing new under the sun, at least these filmmakers found a way to redo this twist and make it worth watching again, and for that, I'm thankful. Give this movie a chance (but you might want to take some Dramamine first).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Drag Me to Hell

I saw the opening sequence of this movie and thought "Oh lord, what have I gotten myself into?" But it gets better after that, I promise, so give this movie a chance. The effects are too cartoony for my taste (seriously, sometimes they look downright ridiculous) but the story is good, and I actually liked the main character. Not a big fan of her boyfriend's snobby, wasp-y family, but he was ok, and I actually cared what happened to her (even if she was an idiot throughout most of the movie).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blood and Black Lace

Lest you want to burn me at the stake for insulting one of the most beloved and talked-about Italian horror movies, let me assure you, I LOVE Italian horror movies. I've seen plenty of them, and most of them are a million times better than this movie. that's right, I didn't like it. I don't care if Mario Bava is supposed to have been a genius, you can't tell that from this movie. Right from the beginning the movie is "stylish" in the most annoying way possible, with opening credits that made me want to gouge out my eyes (and ears...what the FUCK was that music?)

The acting in this movie is pretty terrible, with everyone acting as suspicious as possible (I think we're supposed to suspect everyone) so the actual killer doesn't stand out too much because everyone is acting like a raving lunatic, but by the end of the movie when the killer is revealed, I honestly didn't care anymore. I was falling asleep, and everyone was so sleazy, using coke and stealing money from each other and blackmailing each other that they pretty much all deserved to die anyway. One particular character was having sex with/using drugs with the first three victims of the killer (slut that he is) an I was disappointed when he didn't die, but other than that, I didn't really give a shit what happened to anyone in the movie and the lighting was annoying, not stylish, and the music was grating, not shocking, and everything about the movie felt like it was working against the feeling it wanted to achieve. This was a spectacular failure for me and it made me want to watch a better Giallo to wash the taste of this one out of my mouth. You can safely skip this "classic." You won't miss much (except a headache).

The Crazies (remake)

Words can't describe how much better this movie is than the original, but I'll try. First of all, the plot follows a much more logical pattern in this movie. I'm sure the original thought it was being all edgy and shocking with its opening scene, but it was muddled and confusing, not shocking. Plus it threw us into the fray before we even knew any of the characters enough to care what happened to them yet. We didn't get to meet those characters until they were already in a crazy situation and on the run from the military. In the remake, we see a scene of chaos, and then we flash back to two days earlier and see the town before all this started, and we get to know and care about the characters, so we actually give a shit what happens to them. Much better.

Second, the characters in this movie act like residents of a small town would actually act. Everyone knows everyone else, they all know who's the town drunk, who's dating who, etc. I've lived in small towns all my life and this is much more believable than whatever bullshit dialogue the people in the original were supposed to be spewing. Instead of standing in our faces and screaming "THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU!" this movie SHOWS US with its plot and the events that happen. Again, much better.

Third, the gore and special effects and acting were much better, and the sets were far more realistic. Now this might sound like a nasty thing to say, since I know the original didn't have a very good budget, but I can't forgive Romero for having a good idea and then going ahead with it anyway if he didn't have the budget to pull it off. "Night of the Living Dead" worked with a tiny budget because its idea didn't call for huge sweeping sets (like a decontamination chamber, for instance) and when Romero had the idea to adapt Stephen King's novel "The Stand" into a movie in the early 80s, he put the idea on hold because he knew he didn't have the budget to pull it off and he wanted it to be good. He should have realized how silly it would look to have the military be five guys in green pajamas running around a town in makeshift Hazmat suits that look like Hefty bags, herding all the infected people into one school gymnasium and then being surprised when they escape. Come on, give me a break. This movie doesn't have a ton of expensive sets either, but what they do have looks believable. Instead of randomly trying to herd everyone in town into one gymnasium, they herd the townspeople into vans and then check to see if people are showing signs of infection, and then they separate the infected from the uninfected, which not only creates drama and pathos, it looks more believable, and it adds a huge emotional impact later on in the story when other details are revealed (which I won't spoil here). Suffice it to say, "The Crazies" of 2010 isn't perfect, but it's a damn sight closer than the original.

The special effects falter a little at the very end, but I didn't mind too much, and all in all, for my money, this is a remake that is superior in every way to the original. THIS is what remakes should be. They should take movies with good ideas and poor execution and make them better. That's what this movie does, and I love it for that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who Sloo Auntie Roo? / What's the Matter with Helen?

Alright, I don't care what the movie cover says, the name of the movie is "Who Sloo Auntie Roo?" That's the title that makes sense and it rhymes, too. Somewhere someone decided "whoever" was more "correct" but when I watched this schlocky little movie as a kid, the title I remember was "Who Sloo Auntie Roo" so that's what I'm sticking with. I was excited to find this two pack for $4.99 at Meijer today because I loved these movies when I was a kid. Good stuff. I love October!

The Crazies (1973)

Good GOD this movie was boring. I know Romero has a rabid fan base who treat him like God, but he was asleep at the wheel here. Half the dialogue doesn't even make any sense; it's just a bunch of bad actors yelling about how the government doesn't care about anyone. When something happens, it's pretty interesting, but there are huge long stretches where NOTHING happens and those are indescribably boring. Skip this.