Archive for » September, 2006 «

Thursday, September 28th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Witches are bad mmmkay? MMmmyah.

Tamara

Tamara

Tamara, the bookish little high school senior is outcast from her classmates and in love with her teacher. With payback in mind for her article on steriod abuse in the school paper, the local jock’s are out for revenge on the homely little nerd girl. After setting up an elaborate plan to enact said revenge, mishaps occur, and soon Tamara is dead. The thing is, Tamara’s a witch! With formerly unfinished love spell in hand, when Tamara’s blood is spilled, the spell is completed, and soon Tamara is back for her own taste of revenge. And oh ya…now she’s hot!

Starring a whole bunch of no name young pretty things (read not so pretty), Tamara is your run of the mill teen scare fare, and aside for a rare R rating, it fits the bill to a T. Not scary, not necessarily well written, Tamara is a ‘get the teens to buy tickets!’ thrill ride, which actually…is kind of fun oddly enough.

The plot of Tamara is run of the mill, and aside from a few twists here in there, you’ve seen it before. Predictable and retread, imagine that they ripped the Neve Campbell story line out of The Craft, toss in some more blood, and there’s your movie. It’s the aside’s dotted throughout that makes the film rise above ‘The Craft, but pissy-er’.

There’s some gore here, and that’s what earned Tamara an R rating. Don’t go thinking we’re dealing with Peter Jackson finery here, but there’s more than your standard teen flick. With a couple of creative deaths, (come to think of it, there’s only four total) we rise above the boredom with at least a good chuckle if nothing else. I’d call one cringe worthy (which they alluded to in the trailers) and one…well a pair, that start out down right hilarious.

Acting is mediocre at best. With our badguy jocks being stock and monotone, our ‘good’ girl with an apparnt problem with sentence flow, and a teacher who’s a bit overdramatic, there’s nothing acting wise to get excited about. Tamara wiggles nicely when she’s all whored out and dancing, and ‘good girl’s boyfriend has some great dumbfounded facial expressions, and that’s about it.

If you’re a fan of a lot of the movie and genre sites out there, this time last year you would have been inundated by the flash ad’s and trailers out there. This movie was spread all over the place, and it was hard to look into horror news without being slapped in the face by the sassy lead and her axe. For all this time, I expected a crappy version of Carrie. Instead, I got a scaled down and more violent version of the Craft. (I’d say ‘crappier’ version, but The Craft was pretty crappy all on it’s own!)

Give it a rent, you’ll scold yourself for buying it. All in all though, it’s worth the netflix slot.

3 sassy axe handlers out of 5

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Thursday, September 28th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Mutants Vs. Mutants Vs. Humans 3: Giant Freakzoid All out Battle!

X Men 3

X-Men: The Last Stand

So here we are at the third installment of the nerd wet dream, the X-Men franchise. This time around, there’s not a whole lot different. Good Guy Mutant’s, Bad Guy Mutant’s, and scared non-mutants. This time the Non’s have found a ‘cure’ for the disease of mutation, and the muties are none to happy about it. In the black leather trunks are Team X, the Good Guy Mutants as they set out to convince the populace that it’s not a disease, and there’s nothing to worry about. In the red trunks is Team Magneto, hell bent on showing their superiority and set to oppress the Non’s. Mutant’s fight, human’s panic, and we have ourselves an X-Men movie!

This time around we have new faces in the crowd. We have the big blue fuzzy Kelsey Grammer as Hank ‘Beast’ McCoy, a mutant rights advocate, and member of the President’s Cabinet. We have Vinnie Jones as the phallic shaped Juggernaut, unstoppable mountain of man flesh. Ben Foster jumps in as Angel, the winged son of Warren Worthington, creator of ‘The Cure’, and last but not least, Ellen Page as the youngest wall phasing member of Team X, Kitty Pryde. There’s a host of other new faces sprinkled througout, but as it was in the comics, it is in the movies, and there’s always too many mutant’s to name.

The biggest new face to the X franchise is Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour’s, Red Dragon). Replacing previous director Bryan Singer, Ratner was faced with the biggest new role of the entire cast. With a rabid fan base behind the first two solid X-Titles , Mr. Ratner was forced to fill Bryan Singer’s shoes, and with that in mind, the fanboy’s across the intarweb soon started speculation on Ratner’s failure, before the film had begun filming. Unfair to say the least, this left the theatre crowd’s entering on opening night with failure firmly in their minds before the credit’s rolled, but unfortunately for Ratner, it turns out it wasn’t completely unwarranted.

Where the first two films were solid in both story and character development, X-Men: the Last Stand hit the theatres as a hodge podge mess of good intentions. With key cast members returning, and all the new faces abound, we’re given a film that wanted to do good, was good in parts, but as whole landed well under par of the fanbase expectations. With so many new faces laying claim to key roles on the main cast, we the viewer need to have time for some character development, to get ourselves emotionally involved, but unfortunatley we never got that chance. As well, perhaps with an internet driven need to prove his doubters wrong, we are also given a film that tries to hard to throw new and exciting angels into the mix, and we have many characters and angles that could have proven a good addtion, but they were simply never used to their full potential.

So, for starters, here’s a list of things that could have been done better.

- The Beast. Yes, he’s meant to be highly intelligent and well spoken, and Kelsey Grammer fits that portion of the role correctly. Hell, I can even handle Frasier in the blue fur suit. The key issue here, the Beast has always been presented as having ‘beast like tendencies’. Animal lope, pencil grasping monkey feet, etc. etc. Aside from the trailer shown scene of Beast hanging upside down in his office at the beginning of the film, we see no attributes of this again until the final showdown at the end of the film. Other wise, he’s just Frasier in a bad wig.

-Character deaths. For the most part, these were handled okay. But if you’re going to kill somebody off, show it. Don’t leave a costume element laying about, and expect us to assume and believe it when Wolvie mentions it in a rage later on down the line.

-Underused additons. Throughout the marketing deluge when X-Men 3 first hit the theatres, we are shown image after image of Angel, wings spread widely and flying off into the distance. This is great, built up wonderful hype. In the final product? We see all of five minutes of the character, hyped so hard in the commercial. The same with Juggernaut. Hype hype hype, however we see about a minute’s worth of Vinne Jones crashing head long through walls Juggie style. Yawn.

-The pussification of Rogue. She’s a rootin’ tootin’ southern belle. Not a quitter. Gimmie a break.

There are more, but I risk falling into a fanboi diatribe on every minute point that the movie strayed from the comics. Really, that’s not my issue with X-Men the last Stand. I’m a full supporter of the idea that a film adaptation of a written work is going to be different. There’s going to be changes, not everything will translate to the big screen. The issue lies in sloppy character development and plot cohesion. These stand out even more glaringly, when compared to the first two films of the franchise given to us from Mr. Singer.

With the ranting of problems out of the way, there are some good elements to the film as well. The characterization of Ian McKellen’s Magneto, is showcased superbly. Sinster and cold, the essence of Magento is captured superbly by McKellen this time around. (Not that he was bad before) Showing the sheer cold manipulation of his underlings, we are given a Magneto with a single directive in his mind, who will stop and nothing, nor sympathize for anyone who is no longer useful to him. Adding to this, the love hate relationship of Magneto and Professor X again is showcased perfectly, as we see two masterminds pitted against each other, yet filled with nothing but respect for a former friend and ally, regardless of differing viewpoints.

And Wolverine. Hugh Jackman as Wolvie is, and has always been an excellent choice, and I’ll be there opening night whenever they get around to the Wolverine spinoff the studio plans on cashing in on in 2008. (Yay hetero man love!) Shocking when he was first cast years ago for X-Men 1, Hugh has shown yet again that he’s an excellent choice for the brooding badass with bad hair. As well, with the fight and action scenes in X-Men 3, we see a slightly more acrobatic and enthusiastic fighter in Wolvie this time around, and helps to capture the comic book imagery of his pen & ink counterpart.

X-Men the Last Stand was a let down after the likes of X-Men and X2. Yes, we can normally count on mindless sequels being subpar, in this case the first sequel was at least as good as it’s first, if not a little bit better. After seeing the first sequel reach these heights, one tends to overlook normal trends, and hope for the same amount of quality show previously.

Rent it if you are a fan of the first two, but this one doesn’t require a spot on your dvd shelf.

2.5 Kelsey Grammer furries out of 5

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Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Being a horror geek is serious business! As a blogger and overal media junkie, I read a lot of blogs, and surprise surprise, a lot of them are horror related! (Who’d a thunk?)

So, here’s a brain dump from horror blogs across the web, that any self professed horror nerd should be reading!

Louis Fowler over at Damaged 2.0 dives into 3 Days of Dawn as he gives a listen to the three Dawn of the Dead soundtracks, including Dawn of the Dead 2004, the excellent Goblin Soundtrack from Fulci’s italian edit, and the original Romero Soundtrack.

The folks at I Spit on Your Movie (a new find, quick to the regular read pile) provide some handy coverage of dvd releases from both Region 1 and Region 2.

The The Horror Blog has an excellent weekly feature every Friday, called ‘The Horror Roundtable’. Tune in as bloggers join together every week to expound on a random horror topic, as provided by Steve at THB. This week’s issue is “Name a horror character mashup that doesn’t exist, but you wish did.”

Last but not least for today, Kappanohe at Blogspot has posted a fun little creepy short story, that she had picked up by Daikaijuzine.com, and new horror fiction e-zine. Fun little read, check it out! (blogspot links aren’t working for me today, so check the story out here!)

That’s it for today, I’ll be sure to share more as I stumble across them!

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Monday, September 25th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

As I often scream for orginality out of Hollywood, I finally got what I wanted. But man did it make my brain hurt!

Katie Bird

Katie Bird *Certifiable Crazy Person

Katie Bird has some issues, and she’s going to take them out on her therapist. Spawned from a long line of serial killers, Katie Bird relates her tale to her therapist, all while torturing him to death. Flashing back frequently to her past and tutelage under her watchful father, we learn just what exactly brought Katie Bird to be the psycho hose beast she is today.

Katie Bird pulls no punches. From the sheer brutality of the torture scenes, to the presentation of the deeply disturbed Katie, there’s no question, this chick’s whacked. Scenes of Katie Bird’s training, under the watchful eye of her serial killer father (Lee Perkins) are sheer cringe inducing craziness. From pulling teeth, to facial reconstruction with a hack saw, it’s all there and it’s all in the open for us to see. Many times I found myself cleching my hand over my mouth in pain, as KB set to work with a pair of pliers in an open mouth. Yikes.

Katie Bird is such a mixed bag, it’s hard to get a grasp on initially. Jumping from present time, to childhood, to her teen years and back, at first we are on a psychotronic trip that makes it hard to figure out just what the hell is going on. Once the film settles down, and reaches a groove, well, then the movie begins to shine to some extent.

As we watch the teen Katie Bird’s (Taylor Dooley) interaction with her father, we glimpse into a depraved take on the birds and the bees. There are many allusions to this age old father daughter torment throughout. As the father forbids the child Katie Bird from entering the barn, when she cries for the first time over a boy, and he then deems her old enough to enter the barn, to her future self as a psychopath who connects pain and blood to sex. A deep story indeed, it will just take you some wading to get there.

The cast was a stand out for the most part this time around. The highlight being the interaction of teen Katie Bird, and her father. Throughout much of the film, Lee Perkins owns the part of Father Bird, to the point of being hypnotizing. His artistic look at his killing and torture, his love of his young daughter, and the pride of watching her learn his trade is palpable through out. Yet even with his passion and love in the forefront, there is still a level on menace that permeates through the entire performance, leaving the watcher captivated and chilled to the bone. Teen Katie Bird as well with her childlike enthusiasm and innocence, her curiosity at her father’s craft stand out as well. Just how could this sweet little girl turn out to be this deranged hag we started out with?? This brings around to adult Katie Bird, played by Helene Udy. At the start of the film, adult Katie Bird comes across as random and horny. Extremely horny. There is definite turbulence under the surface, but this accross as sloppy in the beginning. By the end of the film, we see true mastery. Sheer manic and psychopath, Helene Udy drips ‘psycho bitch’ (as well as other bodily fluids) and shows us truly what a certifiable crazy person may be. Well, true enough for us couch potatoes.

The other stand out character for Katie Bird, is the soundtrack itself. Seemingly one man and an electric guitar, it has been a long time since I’ve heard a score that stood out as much as Katie Bird’s. Life like and a character in it’s own right, the soundtrack is the key to setting our moods, from quiet and contemplative, to sheer insanity. I have high faith that Katie Bird would fail to be near as good as it was, without the stellar soundtrack it was given.

Now it’s time for the bitch.

Yes, I cry for originality, and yes Hollywood is stale. In an effort to visualize the fractured mind that is Katie Bird, the entire film is edited in an artsy ‘window box’ style. Three, sometimes four vaired sized windows on the screen at any given time, each showing different angles, sometimes the same. As the film started, I could bear with it during our introduction. Yes, it does visualize a shattered psychopathic mind. But for the whole freaking film? GAH. Never before have I become phsyically angered by a film, to the point of being ready to chuck my remote at the screen. Irritating at best, the entire length of the film is edited in this faction, and it is down right distracting. It’s hard to put into words just what style we’re going with here, but alas, my screen shots are home. Regardless, this editing style has knocked off at least a point and a half off of what would other wise be a solid effort.

So in the end, Katie Bird is a good flick, that should be seen by horror and gore hounds alike. Brutal and honest, and viciously unique, this is what Hollywood should be churning out instead of ‘Generic Slasher 5: The Return’. This movie will rape your brain, and make you stew for hours aftewards over what the hell you just watched, but it’s a good hurt.

But for fuck’s sake, leave out the artsy fartsy editing, other wise I’m going to have to buy a new TV.
(yes, I usually try to avoid the F Bomb’s here, but this warrants a special occasion)

3 annoying editors out of 5.

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Monday, September 25th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

“I gotta keep my perspectives straight!! And any man that don’t know when a big rear takes priority…well, I feel sorry for that man!”

Hey look, I can read too! Who’d a thunk it?

From time to time, I happen to hit a book or comic, that just screams Cinema Fromage, and well, the Goon fits us to a T. Mafioso, Zombies, random monsters, and a high level of hilarity make my new find a must see for all fans of cheese!

So I give to you…

The Goon

The Goon and his faithful sidekick, Franky, are hardworking mafia enforcers. As the front man for the ruthless Labrazio, the Goon has a reputation for ass kickin’. One day, when the mad priest and his undead army rolled into town, it was soon upon the Goon’s shoulders, to keep the zombies at bay.

That’s a brief over head of the plot, and really, it’s hard to go much deeper. Unique as unique can be, the Goon is something altogether different, and is a hell of a ride because of it.

Combining horror elements, in a completely comical and action packed setting, the Goon is a roller coaster ride of hilarity. Running into a rogue’s gallery of miscreants throughout the book, we have character development out the wazoo as well. Zombies led by a made priest/demon? Check. Giant firebreathing horned toad that speaks spanish? Check. Spontaneously combusting oragutan’s (for no reason whatsoever)? Check.

Side splitting humor is packed throughout, which is what makes the Goon so fun. We have our dark elements for sure. Gooey zombies, an living man hit with a zombie spell, turning him into a beast that craves dead flesh, gypsies, etc. But it’s the humor that helps the Goon stand apart from your standard horror rag, and makes it shine. Let’s also not forget, I’m not quite sure when the last time I saw a zombie story surrounding a mafia family. Mafia and zombies? Hell ya!

A good read all around. If you’re a graphic novel fan with a bent for the dark & twisted, the Goon is for you. With the current spate of comic book movies Hollywood’s been churning out, I hope the Goon gets it’s nod soon!

5 zombie ass kickin’ mafia muscle out of 5

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

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Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

I loves me some Christopher Lee.

Drac, rising, graves, it's all there

Dracula has Risen From the Grave (1968)

A year previous, Dracula was out and about doing his thing, when the townsfolk revolted, and laid him to rest at the base of a mountain. One year later, the townsfolk are still revolting, and still a bit put off by the whole Dracula business. When the Monsignor arrives to an empty church, sans priest, he sets off to find out why nobody is going to church. Finding the local priest in the tavern with the rest of the townsfolk, Monsignor is regaled with the superstition of the locals. The shadow of Dracula’s castle touches the church in the late afternoon, and because that, it is evil, and they refuse to set foot inside. Agast with their rationale, Monsignor forces the priest to attend him on a journey to the castle. Upon arrival, they excorcise the castle, forever banning the evil of Dracula to permeate the countryside. However, when the priest tumbles to the base of the mountain in a drunken stupor, and cuts his head above the ice, Drac soon awakes, and finds his castle barred from him by way of a large and shiny cross. Quite pissed about the fact, Dracula vows revenge on the Monsignor and heads off to the nearby village.

Christopher Lee, if not apparant by now, is by far my favorite of the actors to portray the Man in Black. Combine this with the masters of the gothic macbre, Hammer Studios, and nearly anything the two combine to put out is guranteed entertainment. Dripping with atmosphere, tension and gothiness, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave is an engrossing tale of evil revenge.

Packed with Hammer beauties such as Veronica Carlson, and horror veterans like Rupert Davies, you cannot help but fall into the story, from beginning to end. Believable in both their conviction and fear, you’ll be hard pressed to draw yourself away from the screen. Throw in the always excellent Christopher Lee Dracula performance, and you have a clear winner. (Blood shot eyes=the tank is empty!)

My only real complaint over the film, was that it needed more Lee. For a movie with ‘Dracula’ in the title, starring Christopher Lee, you would sure hope there would be a lot more of him. Aside from the quick shots of him in the shadows, him in his coffin, him biting a chick, there seems to be a lack of Dracula as a whole. Luckily for us, when he is on screen? He owns the screen. With menace emanating from his eyes, you’ll be transfixed (O Face!) as he floats in to do his deed.

The other complaint? (Not a real complaint) No boobs! (It’s Hammer! C’mon now!)

Slow paced, yet still engrossing, Dracula has Risen from the Grave was an all out blast. Sucked in totally, it wasn’t until the end when the Mrs. told me that, no matter how much I heckle and yell at the TV, they actresses still won’t show me their goods, that I realized I was talking to the TV.

Good stuff, rent it, buy it, watch it.

4 rising dead dudes out of 5

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Tuesday, September 19th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

I watch a lot of crap, and as we’ve seen in the past, sometimes I grab just way too many to give time for a full review, or sometimes….I just don’t feel like it! So here’s this week’s ‘Cheese Doodles’….

Destroy All Planets!

Destroy All Planets

When Giant Turtles attack! Gamera (the giant rubber spinning turtle who) defender of Tokyo show’s up to fight off the latest Tokyo oppressor, Viras! (Giant Squid/Virus combo) Outside of the first Godzilla, you don’t really watch Man in Suit movies for the plot! Always cheesy, always corny, you watch these films for the fun of watching a man in a rubber suit tearing shit up!

Note: It was a proud moment in this horror nerd’s life when his 6 year old daughter came home from school, with the day’s artwork clutched in her little hands. As she showed off the pictures she drew of the day, one with a rather large oval head and and green fangs stood out. “What’s this a picture of kiddo?” “GAMERA!” She loves these movies, and daddy loves watching them with her!

Gahzirra!

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack!

Hey look, more men in suits! Same as Destroy all Planets, we’re not here for the plot, we’re here for the mayhem! The D (the kid) and I get a kick out of these, and they’re becoming a Friday night tradition for us. With G, M & KG (forget typing all that out again) you get your standard slow build up, and then all out mayhem! This time we have 3 beasties teaming together to tear apart tokyo, but seeing as this one’s a newer incarnation of the franchise, you get some updated effects and destruction. Standard fare as far as Godzilla and Friends go, and even more if you’re a fan of the Power Ranger fighting style!

Demonic Toys

Demonic Toys

There was a small string of films in the late 80′s and 90′s, that featured anthropomoprhic toys and doll’s wreaking havoc. Demonic Toys and Puppet Master are the standouts. Not high art by any means, Demonic Toys is a stellar example of cheesy 80′s slasher pics, even though it came out in 92. Sure it was on the tale end of the craze, but it’s goofball brainless fun none the less. These type of movies are staples of late night cable channels, and they’re usually fun to sit through if you’re up anyways. I wouldn’t make the effort to stay up for it, but if you’re an insomniac, there’s worse way’s to stay up staring at the ceiling!

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Monday, September 18th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Hey, this is another Hammer film! Er…well, i guess it’s not, it’s Hammer Studio’s little brother, Amicus!

The House that Dripped Blood

The House that Dripped Blood (1970)

Everybody loves a haunted house story, and the House that Dripped Blood fits into that description perfectly. An empty house out on the countryside, was the last known location of well known actor , Paul Henderson. (John Pertwee, Dr. Who!) A Scotland Yard investigator arrives on the scene, in an attempt to discover the missing Mr. Henderson. As he digs deeper into the history of the house, he learns of the misshaps of the three previous tenants, and their own untimely demise. As the investigation takes place, we are treated to four short films detailing the history of the house.

In ‘Method for Murder’, we witness the tale of a horror writer, renting the house to clear his head and allowing him to concentrate on his latest tale of an evil strangler. Soon, he realises that his characters have come to life.

In ‘Waxwork’ we watch as Phillip Grayson (Peter Cushing, Star Wars, Hammer Studios mainstay) retires to the lonely homestead, to while away the hours lamenting over his stolen, and recently deceased lover. As he ventures into town, he stumbles across a wax museum, to find a statue that is the spitting image of his lost love. As he becomes obsessed with the statue, the statue’s creator comes to enact his own plans of obsession.

‘Sweet’s for the Sweet’ brings us another Hammer Studios (and Star Wars) legend, with Christopher Lee as the troubled single father of a little girl. Moving into the country estate to keep his daughter away from the unsuspecting public, he hires a tutor for his young daughter. As the tutor delves into the mind of this troubled girl, and the strict and stern treatment from her father, she soon comes to realize that the troubles of the young girl run far deeper than she would suspect.

Finally, in ‘The Cloak’ we see Jon Pertwee (Dr. Who!) and the CF fave Ingrid Pitt (The Vampire Lovers!!!) in a classic, if not a little humorous, vampire tale. Mr. Henderson is in town to shoot a horror movie. (he’s an expert.) Being an expert on filming horror movies, Mr. Henderson is unhappy with the cloak provided by the costume department , and opts to purchase his own. Finding a shop in a dank and dark alley, Mr. H finds the perfect cloak, and heads home to practice. As he tries on the cape, he begins to notice peculiar happenings, such as his dissapearing reflection, the fangs growing from his mouth, or the fact that he can fly. Is there more to this ancient cape than meets the eye?

Phew, that’s the longest recap yet.

Amicus films are confusing from time to time. Using Hammer actors, the stylized sets, and air of aristocracy, you’d swear at first glance that The House that Dripped Blood was a Hammer film. But it’s not. Luckily for Amicus, House that Dripped blood has a decent pair of legs to stand on, and shines solidly out from under it’s Hammer Lookalike status.

A slow and rather sleepy paced film, House that Dripped blood is a thinking man’s horror film, as opposed to a slasher film. Filled with brooding and mystery, House relies solely on atmostphere and delivery to build tension and wariness throughout the four short films. All of the films are at least fairly entertaining, however the film doesn’t pick up speed until the end. The first two featurettes, are frankly a little boring by today’s standards, if not a little corny and cliche. Tales of grown men gazing longingly over autumn trees and sun dappled brooks may work for some folks, but not in a horror flick. The real fun comes in the final two installments with the appearance of the great Christopher Lee, and later the late Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt (rowr). With Christopher Lee’s brooding asshole breaking down to desperation, and the hilarity of Jon Pertwee discovering his new undead power, to Ms. Pitt’s….cleavage.

I fun way to spend two hours, The House that Dripped Blood may not rank as a favorite amongst the hardest of horror fiends, but most of you should appreciate the film for what it is. A solid, rainy day story. Give it a rent!

3.5 bursting Pitt busoms out of 5

Oh and what’s a CF Pitt review, without one (two) of these?

YAY!

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Sunday, September 17th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Although I’ve seen it a ton of times now, it’s time it gets the official CF Treatment!

House of 1000 Corpses

House of 1000 Corpses

A group of kids are stuffed in a car, driving cross country. Why are they driving cross country? Their driving cross country, to gather research for a book on road side oddity’s scattered across the country side. Queue Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and his mueseum of killers and monsters. As the kids dig into the local mythology, Captain Spaulding talks them into riding his murder ride, where they learn the tale of Dr. Satan. Curiosity piqued, the teens badger Captain Spaulding for the map to Dr. Spaulding’s grave, and set off into the rainy night. Along the way, the run into Baby (Sheri Moon Ms. Zombie, buns!) who informs them that her house is near the grave! As they proceed to Baby’s house, they blow a tire, Baby promises her brother can tow them in and fix it, and as in all horror movies, hell breaks loose as soon as they enter the homestead.

Rob Zombie, long time horror advocate through music and videos, finally decided to make a horror flick. For his first venture in the director’s chair, he opted to make a film, that is a hodgepodge of classic elements in an effort to reawaken horror of the past. Luckily for Mr. Zombie, he was successful on almost all aspects of his first foray, although I’m not sure it reawakened anything. Hollywood’s still churning out crap remakes left and right.

Plot and setting are straight out of the land of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The family and setting’s being as backwoods kitsch as possible, along with token body parts, victim accesories, and what not strewn about. Outlandish camera angles help to set the mood as well, as the mayhem ramps up, as well as a heaping helping of crazy shit, for crazy shit’s sake. From our first sighting of the front porch, we know this family’s just not right. Just like Chainsaw Massacre. But that’s okay, I saw this film as an homage.

Rounding out a decent plot is the all star cast of crazies sprinkled throughout House of 1k Corpses. Starring Karen Black, veteran of hundreds of campy b-movie classics, we are given a manic and nerve crawling Mother to our clan of lunatics. Bill Mosely yet another hardened B veteran (Chop Top folks. Can you say ‘homage’ any louder?) plays the frenetic and wordy Otis, ring leader of mayhem. Sheri Moon (and her pleasant posterior) turn in a fun performance as the insane Baby, who’s laugh itself will get under your skin, to drive you crazy.

Plot and acting combined to make House of 1000 Corpses a fun film. What brought it down however, was the overambitious cinematography. Wild camera angles aside, we are treated to so many different lense effects and choppy editing, that it lended itself more to inducing nausea than any of the gore in the film did. Coming across at times as R. Zombie screaming maniacally ‘HAY! Look at me! I’m crrrrraaaazy!’, the many different camera effects brought the movie down a notch. If I see another solar flare scene again, automatic -.5!

House of 1000 Corpses is definitely not the best nor most disturbing horror flick I’ve seen, but it is one of the better flicks of the era of horror. With remake after remake coming out of Hollywood these days, it was nice to see something somewhat original, even though it was a heavy handed homage. Sure, there are so many similarities to Chainsaw that you wonder at times where the fat dude in the skin mask is, but it’s still better than a straight remake, or Children of the 13th Still Know What You Did Last Summer in your Nightmare part 10. Not masterful, but it’s a blast to sit through.

I’d say buy it (I did). It’s a good time, and besides, it’s Rob Freakin’ Zombie! How much more horror do you get?

4 Sheri Moon moon’s out of 5

Sidenote:

I talked in this review of Zombie’s tendancies towards ‘HAY! I sure am crrraaaazzzy!’ but don’t let that make you think I’m a R. Zombie hater. I did enjoy this film, though it wasn’t as great as I’d hoped. With his second film, Devil’s Rejects, he hit a near home run as far as I’m concerned. When comparing the two film’s side by side, you can see the leaps and strides Zombie made in his filmaking, and I felt he drove his point home, and presented exactly what he was going for in The Devil’s Rejects. So if you take anything from this review, don’t take home the idea that I’m a Zombie nay sayer. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m moist in anticipation to see what he does with Mike Meyers and the gang in his upcoming Halloween take. (and hopes of more Sheri Moon ass of course)

mmm tasty

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Sunday, September 17th, 2006 | Author: Gooch

Yes! Line dancing zombies!! And uh….it works!

Dead and Breakfast

Dead and Breakfast

A group of friends are driving cross country in an RV, to attend a mutual friend’s wedding. Things are going well, until the RV runs out of gas, and our gang of friends find themselves stranded in the small country town of Lovelock. With nothing else to do but hang out and wait for the gas station to open in the morning, the friends pack into the local Bed and Breakfast, owned by none other than David Carridine (Kill Bill, a whole bunch of other awesome stuff). All seems quiet until the rude french chef at the B&B (Diedrich Bader(Drew Carey Show, Napoleon Dynamite) is slaughtered in the middle of the night. As the group panics over the bloody death of Chef Henri, the run upstairs, only to find Mr. Wise, the owner dead as well. Being only the first night, the evil has only just begun as we see a lone shot of Mr. Wise’s little buddist box torn open by accident the following day. Spirits rise, people die, and the fun has only just begun.

A hilarious horror comedy, Dead and Breakfast is the American take at the U.K.’s Zom/Rom/Com classic, Shaun of the Dead. They didn’t quite make it to Shaun of the Dead levels of awesomeness, but they came damn close, and we get a great horror comedy filled with line dancing zombies as a result. For a low budget indie, the writing in Dead & Breakfast is top notch. Laughs abound, we find our selves clutching ourselves in side splitting laughter as the zaniness unwinds. (Not that kind of clutching ourselves perv)

With solid writing, how else can you make a movie better? By hiring a kick ass indie cast, that’s how. As mentioned before we have cameo’s from David Carridine and Deidrich Bader. In our group of friends, we have such names as Ever Carradine, niece of David & daughter of Robert Carradine. (Louis Skullnick!) Ms. Carradine turns in a solid performance of the group’s tough & smart chick. We have Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Denny on Grey’s Anatomy) as the local Sherriff, who so wants to be a hardass, but he’s not quite there. Rounding out our little group of zombie fighters is Jeremy Sisto (May, Six Feet Under) as the wise cracking hipster. (I’m of the opinion these days, if it’s low budget horror, and it has Jeremy Sisto, I’m gonna watch it. He’s reaching aJeffrey Combs level of B movie awesomeness)

With plot and cast out of the way, we’re down to the nitty gritty, and even the nitty gritty in Dead and Breakfast deliver. Slimy and red, the gore in D&B is top notch, and quite plentiful. Packed full of exploding brains, gnashing redneck zombies, and drippy lot lizard’s, D&B will make even the hardest gore hound happy. Not necessarily a disgusting level of goo, but enough to make it fun, and get their point across!

Dead and Breakfast is a good ride, and lots of laughs. The humor is there at every turn, as well as the goo and gore. Happy to mention this one in the same breath as Shaun of the Dead, Dead and Breakfast is a must see for horror fans. To round out the entire thing, we have the addition of Randall Keith Randall (Zach Selwyn Attack of the Show, Zachariah and the Los Lobos Riders) providing a good chunk of the film’s soundtrack. As a greasy country singer/gas station clerk, Randall shows up periodically throughout the film, with his witty songs as segways between scenes. Think an old school balladeer, except with cowboy hats, rap songs about hemophilia, and chaw. Zach and his songs help round out the hilarity of Dead and Breakfast, and will leav you rapping in the shower about hemophiliac’s for days to come. (Check out the Dead and Breakfast soundtrack on Zach’s site, it’s worth the click through!)

4.5 Line Dancing Zombies out of 5

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