Archive for » October, 2007 «

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

So here we are, two years later. What started out small has now grown into over 500 reviews cataloging a history of crappy cinema that stretches decades. Thankfully, after two years it’s still fun and my tolerance for crappyness is still intact. If not warped. Or twisted. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but for myself (and you can ask the people that know me) that is a long ass time for me to stick to a project! So, here’s to a few more years, and mountains more of crap. Crappy movies that is. You can keep the crap.

Since it’s a birthday, and Halloween (Duh), my present to you all is a handy dandy list of flicks that you can’t go wrong having on hand for this, the most hellish of holiday’s! Perfect for parties or even snuggling on the couch with your favorite ghoul, these are my own personal faves to peruse on Halloween.

In no particular order….

Sure, Halloween’s all about the scares, but there’s no reason you can’t have a good laugh at the same time. A Mel Brook’s classic, “Young Frankenstein” and it’s tap dancing Peter Boyle simply can’t be beat.

Um…duh. It’s got the same name. There’s really no need to explain this one. Mike Myers, Jami Lee Curtis, and P.J. Soles boobs. What more do you need? This will make you look over your shoulder when you head out to car.

Halloween simply isn’t a party without zombies, and frankly, “Dawn of the Dead” is the king of the hill as far as zombie flicks go. Sure, “Night of the Living Dead” came first, and it is indeed a classic. Dawn however let us see the blood and guts in full color the first time, and to put it plain and simple…kicks ass. Ken Foree gets his start as a scream stalwart and is down right enjoyable here.

Every junior horror head’s wet dream! “Monster Squad” is the ultimate in scares for the junior set. Mixing in all the classics…Frank, Drac, and Wolfy, the horror end is covered with a healthy dose of “The Goonies” mixed in for fun. Thankfully this is finally out on DVD this year, so you have no excuse not to watch it. Get the kiddo’s in there with you so they can enjoy as well and so you can hear them repeat the classic mantra…”WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS!”

Sure, there’s not much thought behind adding “Friday the 13th” to the list, but what do you expect. Blood and guts, boobs, and camp all rolled up into one tidy package and frankly, it’s just pure fun as far as slashers go. Many will argue (mostly the First Lady of Fright) that “Nightmare on Elm Street” belongs on this list before “Friday”, but Jason and his mum has always been more dear to my heart than Freddy. They’ve got more boobs too.

Speaking of boobs, after a few hours of butchery, jumps, and gore…as the party begins to clear out and you’re left alone with your favorite lady friend…it might be time to dim the lights and have some…’quiet time’. There’s no better holiday accompaniment for this that Ingrid Pitt and the twins in “The Vampire Lovers”. It’s campy, it’s gothic, and it’s naked. A lot. And a heck of a lot of fun. Ingrid’s got the moves to put darn near anybody in the mood, so why not?

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. ”
-Bill

This, right here, is my all time favorite Halloween spooktacular. And it’s a Disney flick! Who’d a thunk it? Frankly, there’s no movie out there that manages to be this atmospheric and creepy. At a wee age I had many nightmares of Jonathan Price yet I still managed to watch it every chance I got because I loved it so much. If you have young ones of your own, this is the movie to sit down and watch with them to introduce them to your favorite genre.

So there you have a folks. I could go on for hours sharing a multitude of favorites for the holidays, but really, you only have so many hours in the day. I mean, you have to go out trick or treating after all. Can’t take up the candy time. This list will give you a fun Halloween weekend though so pop some popcorn, raid the kid’s candy bucket and settle in for some scares. In the meantime, Cinema Fromage will still be plugging away for hopefully a couple years to come. Who knows? Hopefully you all have enjoyed the trip as much as I have!

Want to add your own favorites to the list? Want to wish us a happy birthday? Want to tell us to get the hell off your lawn and to quit polluting your internets? Comment below!

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Frogs

Jason Crockett is your consummate southern gentleman. Ah hardliner for the old days, he invites his children and theirs to his secluded island estate every year for his birthday. Jason has holed his mansion away on this island far away from the annoying people on the mainland. His estate still has its fair share of annoyances though; wildlife. Unable to stand the constant noise of the filthy creatures, Jason works hard at having the local wild life poisoned so that they leave him alone. Who wants that pesky wild life anyways? Enter Pickett Smith. Pickett is a free lance photographer working on a photo spread on pollution for an ecology magazine. When Jason’s drunken sun nearly runs Pickett over with his boat, they feel compelled to take him back to the mansion so that he can dry off and enjoy some food. Finding out that Pickett is some what of an ecology buff, Jason talks him into surveying his island to see if there is a better way to deal with the critters that are driving him nuts. As Pickett sets off, he soon finds that the poison hasn’t quite worked as expected, and now the local creatures have an agenda of their own….An agenda for……REVENGE.

Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? Rampaging frogs! Marauding snakes! Stalking crocodiles! Naturally, you can see what drew me to this 1972 package of natural horror. When you get down to it though, the deadly reptiles are not quite as imposing as you might think. While the box and poster are promises many deaths by millions of frogs… they don’t quite take part in the carnage first hand. Sure, there are a hell of a lot of frogs about. They’re pretty prominent throughout. When it comes to murder though, they take part as more of a ‘casual observer’ rather than ‘axe wielding maniac’. Perhaps you remember the “Simpsons” episode with the comments about the dog with the shifty eyes? That is precisely how you know these frogs are killers; the shifty eyes. The majority of the victims die at the hands of their own stupidity. But when you see the random reptile of the moment sitting off to the side with its shifty eyes; you know they’re the ones to blame. Some perhaps take a bit more active role in the rampage. Watching the iguana push the bottle of poison off the shelf in the green house went a long way to show the steely cold heart of the ruthless killer. However, when idiot son accidentally shoots himself in the leg with his shot gun and the spider comes along later to through Spanish moss over him, you might wonder if the spider indeed meant malice towards his victim, or perhaps he was just trying to keep him warm until help came along.

“Frogs” is one of those older horror flicks that were never really meant to be taken seriously. The ‘nature gone wild’ angle was used a lot in the seventies with such flicks as “Piranha”, “Squirm”, and the like. While none of them were particularly…good, they made for a laugh during a late night viewing. The plot of “Frogs” loosely tries to tie in a tale of ecological wrong doing and how karma can bite you in the ass for performing such wrong doing, but it’s more of afterthought than a ‘smart ecological thriller’. Mixing in the shoddy deaths and their loose attempts at tying the critters into the deaths of these island visitors and any sense of serious can be thrown out the window. Surprisingly, there were some who had more faith in this being smarter than it turned out, as there’s some fairly big names involved. Ray Milland of “Dial M for Murder” fame, Joan Van Ark whom you might remember from “Dallas”, (Why I know this, I don’t know, but I actually remembered who she was without the help of iMDB) and most surprising, Sam Elliot of ‘bad ass cowboy’ fame.

If nothing else, “Frogs” is a good laugh for a Halloween party or your own late night movie marathon. It’s corny and rather pointless, but it has killer frogs. Mix in a loose attempt at plot and watching some recognizable actors trudge there way through a septic tank of a movie and it’s enjoyable for at least a watch. Just make sure you get it from the bargain bin, you don’t want to want to spend too much on this one.

2 deadly amphibians out of 5

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Monday, October 29th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Well now you can listen to it instead!

The crew at Bloody Good Horror has joined together to bring you the first in a hopefully long line of Bloody Good Podcasts!

Each week you will find myself, Eric Newell, Mark Newell, and Jon Schnaars meeting up to discuss the latest in theatrical releases, dvd releases, and general horror news!

The first episode looks deep into 30 Days of Night, Saw IV, and the latest in Horror News!

Check it out on Podomatic!

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Monday, October 29th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Saw IV

Jigsaw’s back at it once again. But….wait a minute….didn’t he croak at the end of the last one? Maybe so, but somebody’s torturing the crap out of people in the vein of Jig’s classic engineering masterpieces of gore.

The biggest problem with trying to do a plot recap on a Saw movie is that it is near impossible to do without giving away the entire flick. The plot hinges so much on twists and turns and surprises that it is near impossible to not let something important slip. Adding to this issue, there is another problem at hand: after sitting through the entire 95 minutes of this latest installment… I’m still not sure that I know what the hell was going on! Therein lies my problem with the Saw franchise: each film strives to be a bigger mind fuck than the last. This makes sense on paper, but on delivery, the movies become so convoluted to out do the previous that it’s damn near impossible to follow. Strangely enough I was able to keep up with them throughout the majority of IV but there are plot points here, and fairly major ones at that, that are not explained, fleshed out, or even hinted at. When this glaring plot hole is centered on the central plot twist for the movie, this causes problems. (And gives me a freaking headache.) In hindsight I would say it is the obvious setup for the fifth installment due out next year, and that’s respectable. They just could have taken and extra minute or two to flesh it out and not leave the ending feeling cold and confusing.

Plot points aside, I’m sure there are many of you out there that like me, are only there for the gore. If there’s one thing that Jigsaw is known for, it’s his elaborate death traps. Every film finds new ways to dismember and mutilate his victims with fountains of blood and cringe inducing mayhem. Thankfully for us Saw IV proves to be no exception to this rule and manages to make even the hardened horror hounds out there such as myself sit back and say ‘Damn!’. Starting from something as simple as a standard autopsy shown cut by cut in gruesome detail, the blood and guts live up to the precedent shown from episode one. Once again I do not want to spoil any details. That takes too much fun out of a movie of this type. I will say however that scalp still hurts from watching this one and I will be wary of ice for the next couple of weeks.

For fans of the Saw series, number IV lives up to the expectations set by the first three films and fits nicely into the family. Nothing has really changed to the overall formula and for this franchise, that’s a plus. Any kind of divergence from this standard would make Saw IV an even cheaper cash in than it is already going for. While the film still fails to live up to the sequel fest of ‘Friday the 13th’ or ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ that is so desperately trying to imitate, it still has some merits of its own to stand on. Just be sure to bring some aspirin for this one because your brain is going to hurt by the time the credit’s roll.

2.5 ‘I don’t know what the hell they were talking about but the way that arm ripped off was cool!’ out of 5

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Plasterhead

Four college kids are heading to Miami for winter break. Somewhere along the line, somebody decides they need to take a leak so they stop along side a cornfield outside of the sleep little country town Rolling Glen. While taking said leak, the token black guy of the group find a purse laying forlornly alongside the road with $500 in cash in it. With much excitement, he brings the purse back to the car to share his find. Plans of drunken debauchery with an extra $500 in Miami are discussed amongst the group. That’s when ‘she’ pipes up. ‘She’ is the goody goody who always has to do the boring thing, the right thing. Digging through the purse, she finds the owners ID and her address and proceeds to bitch and moan about taking it back to it’s rightful owner. Reluctantly, the group gives in to shut her up and they head into Rolling Glen to find the house. As they begin to ask questions, they receive a multitude of odd stares and shocked slack jaw responses. There seems to be something fishy about the backwoods surrounding Rolling Glen. Lucky for us, these four college kids eventually find themselves in a country house in the middle of these woods and soon the story of Plasterhead is brought to life.

Generally when watching a b grade horror flick, your victims fall into a couple different predefined categories. There’s ‘campy’, there’s ‘funny’, there’s ‘badass’, and there’s ‘vulnerable’. So imagine my surprise when after these four kids are on the screen for no less that five minutes that I discover a new category; ‘Holy crap I hate these people DIE DIE DIE!’. Sure, there’s been other movies where the main characters annoyed me to a high degree and sure, I’ve wished death upon them as well. But it really has never reached the DIE DIE DIE! proportions within the first five minutes of screen time. There is just a a collection of traits about these four individuals that sets my skin to crawling. Between mis-acted stereotypes, general apathy towards their delivery, and the general actions of the characters, I felt no sympathy towards the victim. I was ready to jump in and start smacking people before Mr. Plasterhead even got started. Oh, and the sheriff with the bronx/hillybilly accent; he was just laughable.

Another problem with Plasterhead is the pacing. Sometimes stilted, usually boring, the movie plods along at a slow pace that makes it hard to pay attention throughout. By the time the killer shows up to start taking out the trash, I was thoroughly distracted by something shiny over on the other side of the room. Once again; back story is important as is character development. But you have to make it interesting. Watching four annoying schlubs spew stupidity out of their mouths while stuck in a car is not entertaining to watch. Watching a local sheriff who can’t remember which accent he is supposed to use act shifty; it may be funny to watch, but it’s not really entertaining. The back story portion, that was relatively entertaining. Two local drunks extol Plasterhead in a long winded, slurred story. With a nice nod to “The Big Lebowski” to kick it off, this was relatively interesting. Unfortunately it was too little, too late.

So, this was a horror flick and I watched it. I can’t say that I’m proud of this fact, but it’s in the can. There are much better ways to spend $3.50 or to spend a Friday night. Viewer beware!

1.5 ‘if this Plasterhead guy doesn’t show up and kill these idiots soon, I’m going to do it for him.’ out of 5

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Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Tis the season folks; Halloween! (This shit’s better than Christmas!)

So I’m going to kick off the season right with showing you my truly frightening Halloween costume…..

Cinema Fromage. The Girl Scouts edition.

So here’s my call to you folks! Let’s share the holiday cheer! Have a scary costume planned for your drunken All Hallows Debauchery? Send them in, we’ll post them up! Let’s see just how scary you Fromage readers can be!

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Monday, October 15th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

I wanna rock.

Black Roses

We all know that Rock and Roll is evil; especially hard rock. There is no exception when the band Black Roses visit a sleepy small town to kick off their world tour. The parents in town are up in arms; they don’t want any bad influences for their children. The disaffected youth however, are all for it. It would seem though that the parents are in the right this time as there is more to the Black Roses than meets the eye. As it turns out, this band of spandex clad men are actually demons hell bent (ha!…get it?) on turning the town’s youth to the dark side and giving themselves an evil army to wreak havoc across the land.

When I word it like that, Black Roses sounds pretty sweet. Evil heavy metal bands, youth gone wild, demons, death, the works. All the elements are there, but one key point to remember; this movie was made in 1988. The most evil this band was guilty of was crimes against the ozone layer with their clouds of Aqua Net. (Crimes against fashion too, but it was the 80′s, that’s a given) While director John Fasano first made us laugh our asses off at his misguided attempts and hard rocking horror in Rock and Roll Nightmare, I was both excited and somewhat apprehensive when settling in for his second feature. Nightmare was a mess; a mismatch of rubber puppets and a big haired dude in nothing but a loincloth. In Roses he’s pulled together a tighter story, (some might say a story in general) but it’s still pretty hokey and all in all, kind of boring. It’s easier to follow and the majority of it even makes sense; it just takes a long time to for anything to get started. Whiny teens and an over involved and somewhat creepy English teacher take the main stage for the majority of the first half of the film. Once the demons start to show themselves it’s unfortunately not quite enough to get excited about. Sure the teenage boy under the spell who tells his dad he loves him before he pumps 6 shots from a revolver into him was a nice turn. Typical teenage girl’s girlfriend seducing said girl’s dad over a game of strip gin rummy, it was pretty funny and boobs are always nice. Our central ‘good girl’ rubbing her boobs in the mirror for ten minutes for no apparent reason…well, that’s always appreciated. The problem is there are good chunks to be found, there’s just too much boring crap in between to keep it interesting.

Black Roses is one of those 80′s horror flicks I always saw on the shelf but never got around to renting. It promises a lot but in the end disappoints over all. It’s a definite improvement over Fasano’s first outing and is worth the watch for nostalgic reasons, just don’t get too excited going in. If you want to enjoy your heavy metal horror, Trick or Treat is a lot more entertaining for the camp factor.

And really folks, how scared can you get when this is the face of evil?

2 girls rubbing their boobs in the mirror for 10 minutes for no real reason, but we like it anyways out of 5

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Tuesday, October 09th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Here we go folks!

The winners of the 2 flight of the Living Dead DVD’s are:

Tony Case
Mitzi Harrison

Congrats!

Fear not Aaron Cogan, you get a Flight of the Living Dead squishy skull!

Hope you all enjoy and be sure to check back regularly for more giveaways! In the meantime, you have until the 13th to sign up for our Plasterhead Giveaway!

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Tuesday, October 02nd, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

You know, I’m feeling really generous as of late. It’s true! That’s why I’ve decided this week I’ve decided to team up with Arts Alliance America to bring you YET ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!

That’s right folks, more free $h!T!

What’s up for grabs this time around? This time, 3 lucky winners get a chance to win a DVD copy of…..

Plasterhead

What do you have to do this time? The same as all the other times! Shoot an email to cinemafromage@gmail.com with the Subject line of: PLASTERHEAD by October 13th! In the subject be sure to leave your name, address and age in case you’re the lucky winner!

Be sure to check back soon for the Cinema Fromage review, and good luck!

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Tuesday, October 02nd, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane

A group of mad scientists on the lam from the CIA are traveling cross country in the company of their frozen colleague. Frozen stiff in a special refrigerator coffin in the cargo hold, she is the host of their newly developed virus that allows soldiers to rise up again after death and continue fighting. While frozen she is mostly harmless and there’s nothing much to worry about. Unfortunately, the plane they are riding on encounters a large storm with heavy turbulence causing the coffin to shift allowing the test subject to escape. With the virus left unchecked she soon becomes zombified and the mayhem is set in motion. Before long the undead are chomping away through the cabin and all hell has broken loose.

Zombies on a plane? Sounds like a relatively cheap cash in on the popularity of another recent mid flight epidemic film. When it all boils down, that’s pretty much what ‘Flight of the Living Dead’ is; a cheap cash in. Surprisingly, the end product is of higher caliber than you would normally expect in this predicament. Well shot, adequately acted, it manages to raise itself above the usual Cinemax rip off. The problem is that it’s going to take you a bit of work to get to the good stuff.

My main gripe with ‘Flight of the Living Dead’ is the time spent building our character development and back story. Sure, both are important; when I’m sitting down to watch a movie about zombies on a plane however, I don’t care so much about that. I want to see people get chewed up and I want to see it now. Spending too much time on this the movie lurches on for the first forty five minutes at a rather slow pace with some groan inducing dialog threatening to make you wander off to do something else. Nothing of excitement happens during this setup and you begin to wonder why you should care.

Once you force your way through the slow opening and the ghouls begin to gather however, the level of fun begins to climb, and climbs pretty fast. Upon looking at the title, did you wonder just how much they can do with zombies on a passenger jet? I mean, there’s only a limited amount of space and just how exciting can it be? In all honesty I don’t know if they manage to play on the viewers ignorance of just how big a jet liner is on the inside or if there’s some truth to the size and scope of the insides of these because there’s a whole heck of a lot of places for zombies to hide. From the opening onslaught of a creature emerging from behind the mirror in the bathroom, to the gaping whole of death into the teeming undead cargo hold, there was actually quite a bit of danger and places for the good guys to hide. The creative ways that our survivors holed themselves up and all of the places that the zombies managed to pop out of made for a lot of fun and creativity in the death department.

There were a few subplots carried on throughout the film but ultimately they didn’t really matter too much. There were plenty of laughs once the action kicks in as well. Just prepare to work through the slow opening act and you’ll be rewarded with a surprisingly fun zombie romp for the final two. Keep in mind, this flick takes a heavy dose of suspension of belief (yah yah I know, ‘zombies’); has anybody ever told these cops that firing a gun in a pressurized tube of metal 10,000 feet in the air is a bad idea? Apparently not.

3 ‘huh, there really were zombies on that mother%*#&*^& plane!’ out of 5

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