Archive for » August, 2006 «

Thursday, August 31st, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

If the movies have taught us anything, sorority girls are generally party animals, a bit trashy, a bit slutty, and an all around good time. I don’t know what rock this group’s been living under, but they missed the memo.

The House on Sorority Row

The graduating class of the Phi Theta sorority has decided to hold their graduation party at their house. The problem is, their house mother closes the house every year on June 19th, and the party is scheduled for the 20th. With stubbornness known to the elderly, and a fierce eye for monkeyshines, Ms. Slater bears down on the girls, and tells them that there is no way they are having their party at the house. Fed up with Ms. Slater and her hard nosed ways, the girls opt to play a prank on Ms. Slater, which ends in what they think is her death. Hiding the body from the arriving party guess, the girls try to ignore the problem, to deal with it later. Before they know it, the body is missing, and now people are turning up dead. Is Ms. Slater still alive? Is there something else watching them? Do I even care? Hell no.

It’s a rare occasion that I come across a movie that makes me groan in misery throughout. Horrible acting, muddled plot, sleeper pace, they all add up to make this flick one long snooze fest. With pretty much nothing happening for the first 45 minutes or so, we are forced to watch the ‘character development’. We’ve got all the stereotypes here. We have the rock & roll chick, we have the slutty prom queen, we have the down home momma’s girl, the girl who’s not sure what clique she belongs to, and the Future Farmers of America lead girl. Er…sorry, that was my opinion of the leading lady. Filled with mostly unknowns (some may recognize Vicki the Slut as Days of Our Lives Eileen Davidson) (Don’t ask me how I knew that) we’re stuck with a movie heavy on character development, by an inexperienced cast, inexperienced with developing a character.

The plot of The House on Sorority Row is so muddled, that you loose track of what they’re trying to pull off, and eventually you loose any interest in it anyways. I intentionally left out a key plot point in the synopsis above, just as they left out a good chunk of it in the film itself. In the beginning, you see a flashback to 1961, and Ms. Slater giving birth. An evil Dr. is there, c-sections the baby, and soon we’re back at the present. Mrs. Slater is complaining to the Dr. 20 years later, and he says it’s not a good idea, since there could be a psychotic break while she’s at the house for the summer. They lead you on throughout the film that Ms. Slater is a nutcase, and has some severe anger issues. Thing is, there’s a twist. Ms. Slater’s baby is still alive. That’s the writer’s big twist for the film, but they kind of forget to tie it in until the last third of the film. Tacked on as an after thought, I had to turn to my own Mrs. just to figure out what the hell was going on with the Dr., since I was unable to catch on to their twist on my own. (Yes, I could just be dense!)

A muddled film that is boring a best, The House on Sorority Row can be missed by just about everyone. Unless you have a thing for soap stars, or sleep inducing plot arcs, run away. Run far far away. The sole highlight of the film being the band at the chick’s party, 4 Doctors out of 5.

1 Doctor Out of 5 recommends avoiding at all costs.

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Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

You would think it would be a whole lot colder being naked in space.

Lifeforce (1985)

It’s that time of the century, Halley’s Comet is passing near earth on it’s 75 year cycle. NASA and the ESA, on a joint mission, send a crew to the comet to investigate further. Upon arrival, the crew finds that hidden in the tale of the comet, is a 150 mile long vessel, apparantly abandoned. Realizing that they would not have a chance to investigate for another 75 years, the crew embarks on a space walk to the derelict vessel. Entering the massive structure, the crew soon comes upon the remains of the original crew, a large bat like creature, who’s seen better days. Exploring deeper, our happy explorers stumble across three naked humanoids, held in stasis. With a hint of more compulsion than their own free will, the men of the crew decide the humanoids need to go home with them. Thirty days pass, and the shuttle has returned to earth orbit, however they fail to answer all communications from earth. Suspicions rise, and soon a rescue mission is underway. What has happened to the crew of the Churchill, and what exactly have they brought back with them?

Tobe Hooper is a prolific man in the world of horror, but sometimes the quality does not keep up with the ideas. With a few masterpieces in the genre, and a few stinkers as well, I approached Lifeforce with reservation, and vowed to hope for the best. Lucky for me, as we dove into the start of the film, I found myself a bit captivated and ensnared solely by the scifi aspect. Watching the crew approach the comet and study from a distance, the inner space geek in me was sucked in. Starting with pure scifi, so far I was keeping up.

Continuing the scifi theme, captivation peaks even further as the crew descends into the gargantuan vesself, in unblinking anticipation of what’s to come. Are there going to be aliens? Are they still there? Cool guns? (pewpewpew!) Alien technology? Large Bat People. Oooo that’s kinda cool! Soon we’re delving even deeper into the ship, and our hapless crew stumbles onto the mother lode. Hot naked lady in stasis. In space! So yah, now this is looking like a good movie!

The conglomeration of scifi and horror has been tried many times over the years, always with mixed results. Sometimes we’re treated to something such as Alien or Aliens and somtimes you get Alien 3. Good for us, Tobe Hooper manages to blend the two together rather well, and giving us something totally unique in the process. And we’re not just talking a scifi/vampire amalgamation either. Tobe even manages to sneak in a taste of zombies as well, to top the whole thing off.

When digging through the back catalog of cheesy horror classics, they all tend to blend together. So, when I happen to stumble upon a film that stands out as much as Lifeforce, it’s a treat indeed. A rather bizarre presentation all together, the plot is an obvious stand out. The pacing of the film comes across different as well. Instead of headlong into the fray, Lifeforce feels more plodding and contemplative, which in this case, works. Makeup effects are fun throughought, if not dated by todays standards. Any time you throw animatronic corpses into a movie, I’m a happy movie watcher!

The cast is well rounded, if not a bit unknown. Starring Steve Railsback (The Devil’s Rejects) as the tormented lone survivor of the Churchill, we are given an excellent portrayal of a man frayed around the edges, teetering on the brink of craziness. We even see a bit role by Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X Men, duh) who neither really stands out, nor lags behind, but he’s there and lets the geek in you yell out ‘Ooo! Picard!” (be forwarned, we get close to some unintentional near man love between Stewart and Railsback! But it’s not that exciting, and kind of funny all the same) Rounding out the main cast is Mathilda May (boobs) (I dunno, I never saw her before this) as the naked space vampire. Seeing that we haven’t seen a whole lot of space vampires, it’s safe to say that she turned in a solid performance as the cold and maniuplating foil in Lifeforce, and hey, she looks nice in her birthday suit.

Lifeforce is a treat for fans of vampires and aliens, and vampire aliens. With it’s heavy mix of scifi and horror, Lifeforce is what Event Horizon wanted to be. Easily one of my favorite Tobe Hooper films. Rent it, buy it, but you have to see it. Plain and simple.

5 puckering Picards out of 5

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Monday, August 28th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Quite possibly a first for Cinema Fromage, (ironic considering the name) I delve into my first taste of French horror. (Note: Didn’t turn out quite as good as French Fries)

The Living Dead Girl (1982)

The normal routine for movie watching at Casa del Queso is to drop the DVD into the player, plop onto the couch, find the remote, and flip over to the appropriate inputs for movie watching. So imagine my awe when I flip to the DVD input, and immediately upon launch we are presented with a well endowed woman, naked as the day God made her, covered in blood. Poised menacingly behind her, is the rather imposing figure of a second well endowned woman, this one dressed from head to toe in black leather, and a big feather headress. Descending upon the first woman and her ample assests in classic vampire chomper action, lady 2 digs in for a midnight snack. Cut to ample lady number 1, laid prone (busom’s up of course) and leather lady posed looking down upon her. Seeing as this was playing as soon as I put the disk into the player, needless to say, I was rather excited. I turned to the Mrs. and exclaimed, “This movie is gonna be AWESOME!” Turns out, it was the distributors logo. Woah.

So what we were really in store for…

Random French bad dudes are dumping toxic waste in an old crypt beneath an old castle. After dumping their load, the thugs decide to try their hand at grave robbing, and venture off into the crypt proper. Upon popping open one of the more recent looking coffins, they are surprised with the pristine corpse of a blonde girl, who promptly wakes up, and wreaks havoc on generic french thug A and B. Dirty work done, the dead girl ventures out of her crypt and across the country side. Cut to a pair of American tourists, who happen to be out on said countryside snapping some pictures, and arguing over whether or not Mrs. American Tourist is a photographer or a washed up actress. Seeing the sad little dead girl wandering through the field, American lady snaps some pictures, and they head off into town. Soon, dead girl wanders into the castle, and it is here that we are given a bit of backstory to the plot. Turns out, sad little dead girl is one Catherine Valmont, who’s folks used to own the castle. When she was young, Catherine and her best friend, Helene, made a blood pact that they would be friends forever, and follow one another to the grave. Realizing that Helene is in fact, not dead along side her, Catherine calls Helene, and tips off her presence with the old music box that the girls used to share. Realizing that only her friend who has been dead the last two years would know of the song contained in the music box, Helene rushes off to the castle to see what’s up. Once realizing her reanimated friend was in fact, the person who called, Helene relishes in the chance to be with Catherine once more, and soon vows to help her on her road to recovery from death, to undeath.

Phew, that’s a long recap.

An engaging plot, The Living Dead Girl gives us a zombie tale, with a bit of a variation from the norm. This time around we are not given a plague, or undead army, just one sad little undead girl. Normally brought back by a virus, or some kind of toxic sludge, in The Living Dead Girl the toxic waste is mostly just a red herring, and what brings us back from the dead this time around is a tale of love and devotion that stretches beyond the mortal coil, in Catherine’s overwhelming desire to be with her love Helene. Mix in some nudity, and a somewhat attractive blonde zombie chowing down on her friends and neighbors, and you have yourself a horror movie. The blood and guts effects being mostly subpar, and a slow and lurching pace, and it’s not exactly a good horror movie. But a horror movie all the same.

Filled with annoying acting on the whole, The Living Dead Girl is, at times, a bit of a chore to get through. The American tourists are played to the extreme, and are annoying at the best of times. When finally we see the demise of Mr. and Mrs. Simon, cheers were heard throughout the house. The casting of the second lead, Helene, is a bit confounding. Poor acting, poor pacing, and a lumbering gate, it was obvious that Ms. Helene was the ugly duckling of the duo. The role of Catherine Valmont was the sole highpoint to the cast, if you could call it that. Over dramatic through much of the film, she didn’t really have a lot to work with, considering she was a reanimated corpse. She does look rather fetching in a bloody nightgown however!

Filled with unintentional comedy, you will find yourself laughing out loud frequently. The low end of 80′s fashion, laughable acting, and laughable dialogue, helps make The Living Dead Girl a more enjoyable trip, as opposed to being extremely boring. This is not a good movie. But it’s not a steaming turd either. Rather slow, the plot in itself is just weird enough to keep one interested to see it through to the end, and you’ll have some laughs along the way. And naked French women. That usually helps too.

If they ever make a feature film out of the Redemption Films Ltd. logo however, I’ll be there opening night.

3 ample assets out of 5

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Monday, August 28th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Below is a handfull of films that I’ve watched, and don’t plan on giving a full review treatment. Attached are a few word opinions on the films. These are being dumped mostly for the ‘diary’ aspect, and I don’t plan on reviewing either because my brain’s too muddled to make a valid opinion, I feel asleep halfway through, or because I would ramble on in a heavy case of heavy fanboism!

And away we go…

Survive Style 5+ An excellent film all around, and already covered in depth by our own David Kocher. Great film, give it a watch, and really couldn’t say anything that he hasn’t already said!

Fifth Element – Riff Traxx If you have yet to hear of Rifftrax, get there now! Mike Nelson of MST3K fame continues on the legacy, minus the bots. With a hefty catalogue already building, The Fifth Element is a great addition, and is great fun to watch. MST3K fans, you have been put on notice. You need these!

The Devil’s Backbone Not a bad film by any means, this one failed to grab and hold my attention. A sleepy and slow paced films, it is highly atmospheric, and well constructed. It was just so slow paced and sleepy feeling, that I did in fact fall asleep with a good 45 min. left to go.

Lady in the Water A decent film, not Shyamalan’s greatest, and not his worst. This one fall’s smack in the middle, but rates better than the Village, possibly better than Signs. The plot and presentation are a bit muddled, and you’ll have to be paying full attention to decipher the whole thing. Top notch performance by Paul Giamatti and Opie’s daughter. The key element here is, Shyamalan has finally stepped away from his tried and overcooked formula that has been used in EVERY SINGLE ONE of his other movies. See it for that if nothing else.

Clerks II This is the film I’m avoiding review, in order to hide my raving fanboism. I groaned along with the rest of the film geek crowd when this announced, and waited for the release with baited breath, fearing the worst. Once it finally arrived, I was blown away by just how good this film turned out. The perfect bookend to Smith’s Jersey Trilogy, let’s just hope that his next foray is something new and fresh. (He’s doing a horror film dontchaknow) Clerks II is hilarious, abrasive, disturbing, and touching all at the same time. It outshines Kevin Smith’s last two efforts easily. Oh and, Pillow Pants.

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Friday, August 25th, 2006 | Author: David Kocher

Many times in the course of watching of a Troma film, I (and others, I’m sure) have asked “What would happen if these guys had a real script and a real budget to work with?” (Ok, ok, I apologize to all of the Toxie fans out there that might have been insulted by that question.). Well, the answer is Slither. Pillaging and plundering from just about every classic body-invasion horror movie out there, writer/director James Gunn (who got his start at Troma with Tromeo and Juliet) takes equal parts Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Blob, Tremors, The Fly, The Thing, Shivers, & Night of the Living Dead, tosses in Michael Rooker (Henry, Portait of a Serial Killer, Mallrats) and Nathan Fillion (Firefly), some surprisingly convincing CGI special effects, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and comes up with one helluva comedy-horror movie.

Wheelsy is just your average small southern town. The mayor shouts F-bombs from his car in front of children, the police aren’t exactly competent, and the annual opening of deer season is the biggest day of the year (complete with a New Year’s-like countdown, and New Year’s-like drinking). Then suddenly, from the heavens! A meteor, filled with an alien creature (which looks like a gummy trilobite. Hey, there’s a marketing idea, great for the science nerd with a sweet tooth in your family! And no, you can’t have it, I’ve already trademarked it.) lands in a field, and just needs a host to complete it’s dastardly work! Along comes the richest man in town Grant Grant (Rooker), and quicker than you can say “body snatcher”, the creature has tunneled into Grant’s chest, then up into his brain. Grant returns home, and begins to stockpile meat. Lots and lots of meat. Grant’s wife Starla (Elizabeth Banks) doesn’t really suspect anything until her husband begins to look like he spent too long in the microwave. But when his arms turn into psuedopods and he tries to strangle her, well, that’s when it’s time to have the police deal with the situation.

Sheriff Bill Pardy (Fillion) has just been promoted, and along with having to deal with the Tourette’s mayor, his jokester deputies, the dispatcher that nods to his questions over the radio, he has had a crush on Starla since high school. Unfortunately for Pardy (and the town), Grant starts taking over the townspeople, at first individually, and then in larger and larger quantities. Some he impregnates to spawn fat slugs (with hilarious and messy results) which infect others, some he takes over himself, and some he just stockpiles for food. Once infected the townspeople become one big extension of Grant, leading to multiple versions of “Grant” telling Starla “Remember that marriage is to have and to hold, in sickness and health”, while the original starts to look more and more like the bastard love-child of Jabba the Hutt and an octopus.

Is Slither predictable? Yes. Does it look and taste like a combo platter of horror movies from across the spectrum? Absolutely. But make no mistake: Slither is a total blast. Equal parts hilarious and disgusting, Troma has hit a home run with their first “big budget” offering. I give it 4 Gummy Trilobites out of 5.

Funniest line in the movie: Sheriff to lesbian deputy: “If he had a vagina, you’d marry him”. A kid nearby pipes up: “What’s a vagina?” Sheriff: “Umm, it’s a country. Where Ghinese people come from.”

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Thursday, August 24th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Crazy old scientists can never catch a break!

Die, Monster, Die! (1965)

Yet another Karloff Klassic (did I just do that?) 1965′s Die, Monster, Die! shares a tale of the family Witley. Invited to his fiance’s estate to meet the parents, Stephen Reinhart journey’s to the Witley estate. After receiving a cold shoulder from every local he mutters ‘Witley Manner’ to, Stephen’s first impression of his new family is one of confusion, and a bit of apprehension. After meeting Susan’s wheelchair bound scientist father Nahum (Mr. Karloff) Stephen begins to cotton on to strange happenings abound in the Witley household. In a meeting with his future mother-in-law, who is holed up in her bedroom hidden behind her gauzy veil’s, he is presented the first of many great mysteries surrounding the Whitley family. Mother’s maid has disappeared, unseen for weeks. With this ingrained firmly in his head, combined with the strange sites, sounds and happenings surrounding is future inlaws, Stephen vows to get to the bottom of the mysteries, and make his escape with Susan in tow.

A plot with many twists and turns, Die Monster Die shows us a peek at what horror used to be. With some jumps, and minor gore (negligible by today’s standards) in tow, Die Monster Die approaches horror primarily from a plot point of view. Filled with mystery upon mystery, the strangeness of the Whitley Manor unfolds gradually, as we follow Stephen on his late night investigations. Yet another movie based upon an H.P. Lovecraft tale, it is no surprise that we are treated with horror of a more lyrical sense, than that of in your face and blood and guts. While Lovecraftian tales are often filled with the gooey side of all things creepy, Die Monster Die takes a stab at the subgenre itself (face it, Lovecraft was so prolific, he qualifies as a subgenre) in ways different than most. There are some monsters, and as I said, some minor gore, but it’s not the focus of the film.

With a plot driven horror flick, it always helps to have a master story teller on top of it, and that role is filled superbly by Boris Karloff. A later film in his career, Mr. Karloff is older now, and as such his hypnotic touch as seen in earlier films has tarnished a bit. Being confined to a wheel chair for a role limits the man some more, but still he is able to overcome. You will travel the spectrum as you start the film with heavy dislike for Nahum Witley, as he appears to be a crazy and domineering old coot. As the film progresses, and Dr. Whitley tells of why he turned down his path of madness, you will turn the corner, and become sympathtic with the old man, as Karloff himself turns is performance completely, and tugs at the heart strings a bit.

The rest of the cast is competent, with no one standing above the rest, and yet no one falls below the curve, to lower the quality of the film. The acting as a whole is completely average throughout. Since we are really here to see Karloff doing Lovecraft, it doesn’t really matter. They’re just set pieces anyway.

Campy at times, Die Monster Die is one of the old greats, if not quite a classic. You won’t hear it’s name bandied about at the top of anyone’s list, but it is a must see for any horror buff deliving into the back catalogue for something different. An excellent choice for a rainy Sunday.

3.5 grumpy scientists out of 5

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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006 | Author: David Kocher

The place: France. The year: 2010. Crime & corruption have gotten so out of control that the French government has decided to just wall off the worst neighborhoods and let them destroy themselves once and for all. Sound familiar? In Banliueue 13 (known as District B13 in the US), it seems we have our typical futuristic “the inmates are running the prison”, bad-guy-teams-up-with-good-guy buddy-movie action film. But hang on a sec… Maybe it isn’t so typical.

The main reason is David Belle, creator of Parkour, a new type of extreme sport/martial art which, according to Belle, is “an art to help you pass any obstacle; to go from point A to point B using only the possibilities of the human body”. Belle stars as Lieto, a vigilante/bad-guy-with-the-heart-of-gold who has been trying to rid Banlieue 13 of Taha, the typical all-powerful crime boss. As the film opens, Lieto has finally gotten to Taha and turns him in to the police. But as luck would have it, the cops are pulling up stakes and leaving the district for good. Not only do they let Taha go, they arrest Lieto and give his sister to Taha as a hostage. Taa promptly goes back to work doing what uber-bad guys do, and hijacks an armoured car. Unfortunately for him the car doesn’t contain any cash, but an experimental neutron bomb that the government has been working on. Once the bomb’s case has been opened, it must be defused within 24 hours, or bye-bye Banlieue 13. Of course Taha’s goons open it up, and the countdown commences.

Enter Banliueue 13′s second star: Cyril Raffaelli, a martial artist and stuntman with over 60 films to his credit (he’s probably best known to American audiences from Jet Li’s Kiss of the Dragon). Raffaelli portrays Damien, an undercover cop who is forced to team up with Lieto to find and defuse the bomb. Want more cliches? You got it. Lieto & Damien don’t like or trust each other, but eventually their teamwork shows them that they need each other, and they save the day. Anyway, you probably knew that as soon as you saw “buddy movie” above.

Let’s put aside the cliched aspects of Banliueue 13 for a minute (since the whole thing is basically one big action-movie stereotype) and concentrate on the action itself. The opening sequence is absolutely jaw-dropping, with Belle showing the audience exactly what Parkour entails. Lieto is tracked down by some bad guys, and has to escape from his run-down highrise apartment building. Belle goes over, under, around and through every obstacle in his building, the adjoining parking garage, neighboring apartments, and everything in between. No wires or CG were used for any of the stunts in the film (incredible as it seems once you see some of them). I can’t express how amazing some of the stunts are, and as the film goes on you start to anticipate how the two stars are going to fight/run/punch/avoid each situation as it comes up.

Banliueue 13 was written and produced by Luc Besson (Leon, The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita), and ably directed by first-timer Pierre Morel. I give it 4 Crazy Running And Jumpings out of 5.

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Monday, August 21st, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

In DefCon 4, the world definitely ends in a bang. No whispering here folks!

It’s 1985, and we’re full swing into the Cold War. In the cold dark reaches of space, Two guys, a Girl and a Pizza Pl…er… orbiting nuclear launch platfrom watch over the world from afar. A military installation, these three individuals have been sitting on this orbital satellite for nearly a year, waiting for a personnel change, so they can get back to good old terra firma. Towards the end of their stay, the Cold War escalates, and soon, the Russians are mounting their attack. As they receive their attack codes, and decide whether it’s time to launch their payload or not, World War III errupts, and in a matter of minutes, it’s all over. Soon, as the three crew members check their hometowns from space, the satellite begins to malfunction, and they begin to plummet to earth. What will they find on the recently devestated earth? What will happen to their loved ones? Only one way to find out folks!

Defcon 4 is yet another title, that has haunted me since my youth. I remember fondly my local small town movie theatre, with their lone Defcon 4 poster hung in the lobby. For years I stared longingly at the apocalyptical poster showing the hull of the satellite, and a space helmeted skeleton perched in front. Always filled with wonder over this bleak imagery in front of me, (and frankly, I was like 11 or 12, that skeleton was scary shit!) I never did manage to see the film, or even really know what it was about. Luckily, I opted to change that finally.

Defcon 4 presents us with a standard, almost to the letter, 1980′s post apocalyptic adventure. It’s formulaic, and by the numbers. Bleak outlook for our good guys. Encountering a wacky survival nut loaded with guns and defenses. Former hot chicks that are dirty and grimy, but still tough enough to survive. Mutants, rogue military bands led by enigmatic crazy guys, just crazy enough to get others to believe him. It’s all there! Even the acting is par for the course for 80′s sci fi fare, as many come across as flat, bland, or inept.

My childhood views of wonder and awe over this unseen film were still not totally tarnished. Despite the unoriginality or subpar acting, I still found my self watching with a childlike grin on my face, as you watch the unlikely survivors play army and fight mutants, in any child of the 80′s Mad Max fantasy world. We’ve seen it before, but there’s still a grain or two of original thought to make this a fun endeavor for fans of the post apocalypse, and maybe even those fans of the mindless adventure film. This isn’t T.S. Eliot quality here, but it’s a fun ride none the less.

Defcon 4 isn’t a good movie. But it’s fun, and why else would you watch this crap?

3.5 Mad Max wannabe’s out of 5

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Sunday, August 20th, 2006 | Author: Gooch

Starring Ingrid Pitt, Hammer Studios bodacious boobstress of British B-movie ballyhoo as a lesbian vampire hell bent on the blood of buxom babe’s, do I even really need to write a review?

Eh, that’s what we’re here for, so let’s get down to it.

The Vampire Lovers (1970)

Starring Hammer stalwarts Peter Cushing and Ingrid Pitt, The Vampire Lovers is a period tale, revolving around a young girl, Marcilla (Pitt) who’s mother is repeatedly called off to tend to a sick or dying relative. Not wanting to leave her lovely young daughter (play along, she’s supposed to be young) to fend for her self, the Countess first imposes on her friend the General (Cushing) to watch after the young Marcilla while she’s away. What nobody knows, is that young Marcilla is a vampire. Feasting upon the General’s young neice, Marcilla soon uses up her food source, mom comes back, and they run off to their next haunt while the General has disappeared, mourning the death of his young neice. Soon, the ladies find themselves stranded along side the road, only to be taken in by yet another General, and his young red headed daughter. (Oh yah, she’s quite buxom too) Soon, Marcilla (now Carmilla) is hungry again, with a taste for young girls, and sets off to repeat history. Soon the second General’s butler begins to catch on, and pulling in some local help, begins to scheme the demise of the lovely Marcilla/Carmilla/Count Boobsalot.

Hammer Studios are a mainstay of horror from the 50′s, 60′s, 70′s and who knows how long. Always standing out first and formost with an air of regality, the majority of Hammer films are usually period films, often centering on vampires and the like. They like you to think they’re classy. However, all of that is nearly always a front, to cover up their own unique sense of pervertedness, as the Hammer Studios always held a stable of buxom babes, and they weren’t afraid to use those weapons. The Vampire Lovers is no different!

Led by Ms. Pitt and her twins, the acting in Vampire Lovers is standard Hammer fare, with no real stand outs, and nobody falling by the wayside. Except for the twins, they stand out for sure. Ms. Pitt acts with an air of distance and age, showing the worldliness of a vampire, with ages of knowledge to let her seduce her subjects. Peter Cushing, in a rather small role, stands out solidly as the General, and turns in the performance you expect of him. The victims of Ms. Pitt play out the naivete of their young roles to a T, often awed by the worldly woman presented by Ms. Pitt and her…fangs. The acting is solid, and does nothing to detract from final package.

The plot in itself is solid, if not a little slow. Centered on these two loosely connected families, both prayed upon by the Lesbian Lestat, you are sucked in by the interactions of said families with Ms. Pitt, and their cluelessnes to her actions. As the butler begins to catch on, you’ll find yourself watching a bit anxiously in wait for the final outcome, and just what will happen to Ms. Pitt and her twins.

The real jewel to Vampire Lovers, is …well… the lesbian vampires and their boobs. They’re all over the place! Remarkably, they are always presented rather tastefully and not always just there for boob’s sake. Be it a medical exam, the changing of clothes, or a bubble bath, they’re usually being show for a reason, and not just to have them flapping in the breeze as they run off through the woods in flight from whatever random slasher guy happens to be about.

To be completely honest, we caught this post 12 am on a movie channel, so unfortunately, I myself missed the last fifteen minutes or so. That being said, I did enjoy what I saw of it, and regardless of what happend in those final fifteen minutes, I still fell asleep with a smile upon my lips, and visions of boobies bouncing through my head.

4 buxom babes in period corsets out of 5

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Friday, August 18th, 2006 | Author: David Kocher

After a bit of a hiatus (which involved picking up and moving 1000 miles, plus some family emergency stuff), I have returned! On the agenda for today is The Descent, which was reviewed here a few days ago. I don’t need to go into the details of the movie (Gooch’s review does a great job with that), so this is more of a follow-up opinion.

Since I’m not claustrophobic (unlike some people here at CF) I didn’t have to leave the room for any parts, but the movie does a great job in making you feel the weight of every foot of dirt and rock over the characters’ heads as they descend into the Stygian abyss of the cave. The look and feel of the movie can only be described as dark, dirty, gritty and eventually bloody as all hell. The lighting is creative (as it has to be), with helmet lamps, Zippos, flares, Cyalume tubes and infared all taking over the chore of showing what it looks like when you are two miles underground. The creature design is good, if somewhat derivative (one specific name will pop into your head as soon as you see the first beastie.), but they are spooky and well done.

The few issues I had with the film are minor, but annoying nevertheless. I agree with the difficulty in telling the characters apart, as in one part I thought that something had happened to one of the characters when in fact it had happened to another (I had to rewind to make sure). Another thing that bugged me a bit was that there were a few very obviously telegraphed “jump” moments. You know, the music shifts, a character looks one way, the camera pans with her, and when she turns back… Boo! The Descent generally does a good job in staying away from the typical horror movie cliches, but some of the jump moments you can see coming from a mile away.

One thing I wasn’t aware of until I started writing this review is that there are two endings to the film, a British and an American version. The version I (and Gooch) watched was the British version, which is considered the “original” ending, although in interviews director Neil Marshall has stated that when the movie was released in the UK, he had both endings in mind. He decided on one, but when it came time for the US release, he had changed his mind to the other. If you see the US version, make sure to catch the UK ending (you can find it on youtube, just search for “descent ending”) just to get both interpretations. I personally like the British version better, as it leaves less open to speculation but is much darker.

All in all, The Descent packed a helluva punch both visually and emotionally, and I consider it one of the best horror movies of 2006. I give it an enthusiastic 4.5 Children’s Birthday Cakes out of 5.

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