Archive for » December, 2006 «

Sunday, December 31st, 2006 | Author: Gooch

This week on The Horror Blogs’s Weekly Round Table, we were asked ‘What are your horror related resolutions for 2007?’ So, here’ s mine!

My 2007 Horror Resolutions:

-Actually manage to attend a Horror Con!

-Finish a few random short stories that I have floating about.

-Expand on an ‘Encyclopedia of Crappy Movies’ book idea that’s been brewing for a bit.

-Actually getting around to recording and launching my Midnight Muenster podcast that I’ve been putting off for most of 2006

-Complete my Hammer Horror collection.

-Find my wife a kick ass Elvira costume. (who doesn’t need one of those for their wife?)

-Stop having hopes for remakes

-Expand my network of fellow horror bloggers! (I’ve already bugged a few of you!)

-Declare my man-love for Peter Cushing!

So there you go.

So that begs the question: What are your horror related resolutions for 2007? Hit the comments box and let us know!

Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Altered

Three rednecks head into the back country intent on catching an alien. As they blunder about the woods heavily armed, they come across the alien they were in search of. Finally catching their prey, they tie him up, throw him in the van and start to head back to town. In fear of being followed, Redneck Ringleader Duke (Brad William Henke) commands the driver Otis (Michael C. Williams) to veer off onto a dirt road. Knowing not what to do, they head for the closest thing they have to an alien expert, Wyatt (Adam Kaufman), the local alien conspiracy nut hiding off in the deep country. As the plot unfolds we realize that there is a history here involving said aliens and said rednecks, and soon our mulletted heroes are setting off to save the world from annihilation.

The first post Blair Witch project for director Eduardo Sanchez, Altered veers far far away from the spooky mockumentary of Blair Witch, and aims for the loftier realms of horror in an alien monster mash. Relatively unheard of, Altered snuck in under the radar to rest firmly on the shelf of your local Blockbuster. Sanchez’s first effort has both it’s lovers and haters, so many may look at this flick with mixed emotions and expectations held in check. Fortunately, the effort turns out solid, and successfully shows that Sanchez has what it takes for a ‘regular’ movie. (as opposed to Blair Witches false presentations, and mockumentary feel)

Altered is a creature feature plain and simple. Concentrating solely on the solitary alien captured at the beginning of the flick, we spend the entire time focused on our group of bumbling rednecks trying to figure out what to do with their captive. Encompassing one long night of fear, tension, and blood, we are given a tale of just what Joe Average may go through, should they find themselves in the same situation. Filled with many a jump scare as any creature feature should be, and plenty of goo piled on top, Altered shows it’s true colors as a fun little flick that will keep you glued to your seat, and perhaps biting your nails from time to time.

As the movie begins to role, we’re left with quite a bit of confusion. Why do these yokels think there are aliens in the woods? Where did they get these improvised weapons? What’s up with Wyatt the paranoid recluse with the cold sweats and staring out the windows in the middle of the night? An immediate turn off for some, it pays off eventually for those brave enough to endure the first thirty minutes or so. With a fine story telling touch, we are given confusion and action to catch our attention to kick things off. Once your hooked and wondering just what the hell these folks are up too, they start to give you tiny nuggets spread throughout the film that fills in the back story. A fine touch of baiting the viewer and keeping the around, the story elements of Altered are one of the key elements that made this one enjoyable to me, and helps to give us a rather full sci fi monster mash that’s more than just a boogey man destroying shit because he can.

Effects wise, Altered is nothing to write home to mom about. Fairly average, perhaps a little over the top for some, the alien getup is an exaggerated take on the typical ‘grey’ mythos. Paint him green, throw in some fangs and extra gooey bits, and you have yourself an altered alien. Where some of the effects shine however is in the death and destruction brought on by our little green fiend. From the disemboweling of Otis, to the results of the skin eating virus tearing through Cody, there is some top notch gore thrown in here, and for those fans of that, you’ll enjoy this angle quite a bit.

Not a blockbuster by any means nor a steaming pile, Altered is a fun monster mash filled with a few jumps, a good story, and some decent gore. For many of the horror flicks that have hit the shelves as of late, Altered stands above the rest. The key to enjoyment here is in the story. Nothing mind blow mind you, but fun none the less, and a slightly different take on the typical abduction scare. Give it a watch!

3.5 little green men out of 5

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Saturday, December 30th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

From TOKYOMANGO:

By sliding a canned drink between his legs and snapping it into place, Godzilla automatically spews its contents out of his mouth when tilted. He even lets out his signature roar (“GAOOOO!”) with each pour. Here he is, out of his box now, chilling in my bedroom, keeping me entertained and quenched.

If by some fluke I have anybody reading this blog from Japan, if you can find me one of these, shoot me an email! And for what it’s worth, if you’re not in Japan and your google-fu is stronger than mine? Email me that too!

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Friday, December 29th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Critters

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

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama

Taffy (Brinke Stevens) and Lisa (Michelle Bauer) are pledging the Tri-Delt sorority. It’s initiation night, so that means copious amounts of paddling by sadistic sorority leader Babs! (Robin Stille) Three nerds catch wind of the goings on at the ‘Felta Delta’ house, and head out to peak in on the excitement. After being caught by Babs, our three nerds are forced to help Taffy and Lisa in the final step of their initiation, breaking in to the Bowl-O-Rama to steal a bowling trophy. After running into feisty Spider (Linnea Quigley!) who is robbing the joint, all hell breaks loose when the pilfered bowling trophy is broken open setting free Uncle Impy, the jive talking hellspawn that has been trapped inside the trophy for the last thirty years.

Sounds quality don’t it!

Quality indeed.

Sorority Babes is not a good movie. But it’s safe to assume, when you grabbed a box emblazoned with ‘Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama starring Linnea Quigley’, that you knew that. So we have to look at this one from a different angel, and at that angel this turd has a nice polish too it that makes it shine all pretty like. What we have here is a highlight of late 80′s horror comedy that refuses to take itself seriously, and gives us nothing but a good time and heavy laughs at the on screen antics and laughable plot.

The acting in Sorority Babes is not top notch, but really, what do you expect? Fitting in nicely with the comedy vibe filling this corny monster caper, the acting at best is hammy and somewhat stilted. George Buck’s clueless grandpa schtick is chuckle worthy throughout. Our three nerds filling out a cartoonish view college stereotypes, we have the hefty nerdified jock type, the bespectacled nerdified playboy type, and the plain and simple nerd type, provide many a laugh with their over the top horny college dude antics. (Highlights being the many choreographed peeking scenes dropped throughout the opening sequences) Even the sorority babes are cartoonish in themselves with the primping and preening, talk of rich dads and disdain for the lowly pledges. Rounding out our over the top stereotype list is the bad girl Linnea Quigley as the feisty and rough Spider. Stilted acting at best Ms. Quigley provides the sassy one liners throughout the film, but we don’t really care about her acting. That’s not what she’s there for. The skin tight biker pants and ripped shirts? That’s what she’s there for. And we’re thankful for it.

The plot itself is tough to expound on in any remotely serious fashion. With the addition of sex starved college coeds magicked into wanting nerdy playboy Keith’s love muscle, and his fear of the bad touch by her hands, it’s hard to look at a flick such as this objectively, when really, we’re just having a good time. Throw in some creative death scenes such as Jimmie’s death at the hands of Uncle Impy’s demon drones in the bowling alley’s ball polisher, that’s a good time as well. As I said before, this film strives for nothing but over the top antics and laughter, and that’s what we get. Being nothing but a corny cheese fest, you get exactly what you paid for when you rent a movie entitled ‘Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama’. Except for Linnea Quigley’s boobs. We never do get to see those, and the film experience is lessened because of that fact.

So if you’re in the mood to shut the brain off and enjoy something that will make you laugh? This is the movie you want. Throw in a couple of 80′s horror icons and some bad puns, and we have a flick that’s fun to watch, and transcends the typical formulas to become a memorable movie watching experience. Except for Ms. Quigley’s boobs. Sure wish there was more of that.

4 on the cheese scale out of 5

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

The Plague

Imagine waking up one morning, just like any other morning. When you get up, you notice that your child isn’t downstairs watching cartoons like he is every morning. Then you peek into his room, and he’s still asleep. As you approach his bed, you notice he is unresponsive. When you take him to the emergency room, you realize that every child in town is in the same comatose state, and as you overhear the television news in the ER waiting room, in fact every child in the world is in the same comatose state. Thus starts the Clive Barker executive produced horror thriller The Plague. Jump ahead ten years, and the children are still comatose. Drastic measures are being enacted by the government as they begin to ban child birth all together, since all newborns are born in the same state.

Enter Tom Russel (James Van Der Beek). Tom’s been away in prison for much of the ten years that the children have been gone, and now he’s free. Heading home for the first time in ages, he is met with a lot of animosity and fear. Trying to settle back into a normal life as much as possible, he does what odd jobs he can find, and helps his brother with his comatose nephew. As he settles in to the rhythm of life at home, all seems to be slowly returning to normal. Until the children wake up.

The Plague is executive produced by the master of wtf Clive Barker in name only. Regardless, The Plague manages to pull in the sense of creeping dread and sheer out there-ness of Clive Barker to a T. Slow and plodding to start, it might take some effort to get through the first twenty minutes or so as we build characters and back story. That’s the thing about the Plague though. While it may come across as boring at the start, the character development and back story development are enough to suck you into this slow burner, and make you hard pressed to pull away from the couch. As we slog through the beginning of the flick and reach the climax of development, the children waking up, The Plague turns the corner from sleepy street to ‘oh shit!’ in a matter of seconds. Transforming into a zombie staple in a matter of seconds, we move from sleepy to exciting and from here on out, it’s a matter of holding on for the ride.

With many scenes and elements throwing back to the grand daddy of zombie flicks, Night of the Living Dead, The Plague manages the zombie element of the film well enough to pull the viewer in. With a few twists to the common canon of zombiedom, we have single minded drones marching on a small town hell bent on death and destruction. However this time around they are not zombies in the purest sense, they are zombies in action. The children are alive, yet they are not as they were. Never being told exactly what cause this plague, we begin to see the true meaning of horror behind this little flick. Most parents will agree, there is nothing scarier than something happening to your kids. Be it sids, sickness, injury, etc. This time around we see an entire planet whose children have been struck down mysteriously, and left with a shell of a human being to care for over the next ten years. As the parents turn with glee to see their children rise from their inexplicable catatonic state and turn on them in murderous rage? Yah, scares the crap out of me!

The Plague is a sleepy little film that many have not heard of, but it’s worth a watch. As I’ve always been one to scream for originality out of Hollywood, that is exactly what we get in this new twist on the zombie horde. There are some faults however that cannot be looked over entirely. Aside from Dawson in the lead, the rest of the cast comes across a bit wooden and hard to believe in. Even Dawson himself, while trying to be a slightly scruffy ex con, he still comes across as cute and cuddly Dawson. Sort of takes the edge off you know? The biggest fault unfortunately is the ending of the Plague, and it’s a problem that still ‘plagues’ me now. Steeped heavily in religious history and esoteric verses, as Dawson comes up with a solution for their problem and figures out the riddles, he failed to explain them worth a shit to we the viewers. Left with a ringing ‘WTF!!??!?’ the Plague goes from creepy zombie flick to ‘I have no idea what the hell they just did’ in a matter of seconds, and overall, this ruins the experience a bit. After sitting through such a competent creep fest for an hour and a half, one wants an ending they can comprehend. At the same time, I’m still ranting about it to the Mrs. the next morning, so maybe the accomplished what they wanted. Hard to say.

3 crappy endings to an other wise good flick out of 5

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Tuesday, December 26th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

So here we are, the second half of the Cinema Fromage Christmas Spectacular! Enjoy, and later today we should be back on our regular schedule!

Beerfest

Another Broken Lizard Joint, and we get what we expect. Good laughs, plenty of cringe worthy moments, and overall a fine Broken Lizard product. Worth the rental at least, and the die hard fans will want to purchase.

Night at the Museum

This was a fun movie that turned out to be even more fun than I expected. Yes it has Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in it, but luckily for us they’ve broken their stale formula and given us something new and unique this time around. Fun for the kids, a good time adventure with plenty of laughs. Throw in Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney, and we take the level up another notch.

Count Dracula’s Great Love

Watched on our part as part of the wifey’s christmas present Elvira’s Movie Macabre, this movie is downright painful to watch. Filmed in Vaseline-o-scope judging from the blurry transfer, we’re treated to a slightly portly version of Dracula and the bevy of busty women that sleep over at his castle. Boring to say the least, the only thing making this worth sitting through are the Elvira segments sprinkled throughout, and even then, I’m not sure it was worth it. It had boobs though. There was that.

A Christmas Story

Duh. it was Christmas Day! If you make it through Christmas without catching this on TNT’s 24 hour marathon, I’m not sure you’re right in the head! This one’s a classic that will get watched every year on the big day. I know you’ve all seen it, so no point in going to in depth.

Flushed Away

A fun little animated adventure from Aardman, the makers of Wallace and Grommit. Good voice acting, good story, good laughs. There is A LOT of adult oriented humor in this one, so even more fun for mom and dad to sit through, but there’s still plenty for the kiddies as well.

Torchwood 1×11: Combat

I’ll throw this in there because it was in the middle of the mayhem. The latest ep of Torchwood. Kinda boring, kind of a Fight Club rip off.

Grandma’s Boy

This one surprised me. Coming from Adam Sandler’s film house and full of his actor buddies, I expected the typical Adam Sandler formula. Except this, this was actually pretty hilarious. Filled with pot head jokes and video game nerds, the laughs are in abundance. Through in a good story line along with it and we have our selves a damn fine movie. Check it out, you’ll like it!

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Sunday, December 24th, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Merry Christmas to you all, from Cinema Fromage!

Time to break out the nog.

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Saturday, December 23rd, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s Christmas Time, and that means christmas vacation! Throw in the fact that I’m taking a week off from work as well, and that means you have a happy little movie nerd! Starting on Friday the 22nd (Slow day at work) I kicked of the Cinema Fromage Christmas Spectacular, and from there, I’ve been on and off the couch throughout a variety movie fare! So for now, we get a quick recap of just what’s been watched so far at the CFCS, with a quick blurb. Some of these are better than others, so check back later for a full recap on some! (Less writing means more movies!) Last Years CFCS landed early taking in the Turkey Day weekend, so feel free to look back and how we fared with a shorter time frame. In the meantime, follow along as I proceed to turn my brain into mush! These will be recapped roughly by day! Think I’m nuts? Got suggestions or questions! Hit the comments!

So hold on to your butts….

It’s the 2006 Cinema Fromage Christmas Spectacular kick off!

Superman 2: The Donner Cut

The Story goes, Richard Donner shot extra scenes, etc. while shooting Superman 1. He was planning on doing #2. Then him & teh studio got in a pissing match, and they gave it to Richard Lester. And that’s the Supes II we’ve all seen. Now they’ve dug out all of Donner’s extra scenes, etc. recut it together, and we have the Donner cut. And it’s a pretty different flick. Cut way back on the camp, make a more serious movie, a different ending and all that jazz. Good stuff. This version of Superman 2 makes Superman Returns fit in even better with the first two. So if you didn’t like Supes 2, watch this. If you liked Supes 2, watch this, you’ll like it betterer.

Superman Returns

This was the official kick off movie for the CFCS! I liked it so much, I watched it twice! I loved every casting role in this minus Lois. She kinda sucked. The rest? Top notch. The new Supes channels C.R. in here, and he’s a perfect fit. Spacey as Luthor was amazing! Story was excellent as well.

Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

This shit sucks. I had mediocre hopes for it too. I laughed from time to time, but a lot of that was at the background people and not at the Will Ferrell schtick. Don’t get me wrong, I like Will Ferrell, but this one didn’t work. Better luck next time.

The Gravedancers

This is a fun little flick. Not masterful by any means, but seeing as it’s from the director of The Convent I was quite pleased. There’s some good jokes in here, and some decent effects, so over the top hokey effects. One line of dialog towards the end pissed me off to no end however.

She

It’s Hammer Studios with Chris Lee and Peter Cushing. Of course I liked it! This time they bypass the horror and take on fantasy adventure. Pretty campy take at Lawrence of Arabia fare, but still fun none the less. The kicker here though? Ursula Andress. Yummy.

Rocky Balboa

Not being a huge Rocky fan, I figured I’d hate it. But I didn’t! Who’d a thunk it? Overly sappy a good chunk of the way, still a solid story and it’s all Rocky as you’d expect. The Rocky fanfare still makes me want to run around and punch shit though. That’s good stuff.

Santa’s Slay

Stumbled across this one by accident, and boy was I happy! Funny throughout and pretty off the wall, this a fairly fun christmas horror flick that’ll make your belly quiver like a bowl full of jelly. Lots of big faces in here including Chris kattan, The Nanny, Bill Goldberg, Dave Thomas, etc. etc.

So there you have it folks, day 1.5 of the Cinema Fromage Christmas Spectacular! Check back late tomorrow for the new list! (Good god I hope I survive that long)

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Friday, December 22nd, 2006 | Author: Casey Criswell

Blind Templar Zombies!

Tombs of The Blind Dead – Trailer

Tombs of the Blind Dead

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