Archive for » August, 2008 «

Friday, August 29th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

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Real Life gets crazy again as we take a week off from Midnight Muenster this week. Fear not though, we’ll be back next week in full force!

To make up for it, we’re taking the show on the road this weekend as we head to the great white North of Northern Indiana! (Exciting, right?)

What’s this mean to you? Well, not a lot except that things will be quiet around here until next week. AND…we’re taking the studio with us! The high hopes here are that we’re going to gather then original band of horror nerds that helped start it all, for a very special Midnight Muenster #13!

Stay tuned and check back next week!

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

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Postal

Uwe Boll is notorious for his questionable content and directive vision. There’s no doubt that any of you reading this review are familiar with him and know him by name. With that in mind, when “Postal” was first announced all I could do was utter a groan and a muttered “Oh god why”. As news reports started to flow from the set, especially those of Uwe inviting his critics to the set to participate in a boxing match, the movie just sounded more and more absurd. Throw in the fact that distribution problems arose due to the slanderous nature of the movie and its message, and I had written this one off totally. Going into “Postal”, I didn’t expect much. I expected a horribly unfunny movie that was nothing but over the top jokes and bad political humor. What I got to see though was a movie that was on par with the normal satire flicks of today such as “Epic Movie” or “Scary Movie”. In the normal sense, this isn’t a good thing. In the sense that this is a Uwe Boll movie that I fully expected to be horrible, it was quite the surprise.

Based off of the PC game by the same name, “Postal” is expected to be in your face with its outlandish violence and obscenity. The game was known primarily for this and not for any kind of story line or game plays mechanics; the movie was connect in the same ways, outlandish violence and obscenity, and a slight bit of invented story. In this modern day and age, the story tie in is simple; make fun of George Bush and Osama Bin Laden and you can riff off of that for a good amount of time. Uwe attempted this here and mildly succeeded. Where I expected nothing but eye rolling bad humor, we are actually shown a bit of Boll’s sense of humor and it works, at least a little bit. My favorite bits being the portrayal of a mild mannered Jewish man putting on a act and his love of Oprah is actually pretty laugh worthy since it is so out of character. This combined with the Al Taliban plot to kidnap the uber-rare merchandise of a popular kids show leaves with a zany plot that does illicit some laughs.

Added to this mix of misguided terrorists is Dave Foley as the hippy cult leader Uncle Dave. Working his whole communal religion as a long con for riches and broads they take a good stab at the culture with some good stereotypes thrown in. How they thought to combine this with a terrorist cell is beyond me, but it fits in with the theme of the movie. Foley is both funny and disturbing (I never really thought I’d ever see Dave Foley’s penis) as the leader of D.O.O.M. and segues back and forth between his holier than thou persona and his con man demeanor quite well. Zack Ward stars in this feature as our leading man, “The Postal Dude” and he handles it well also. Long deserving of a shot at a leading role (sorry, I liked the guy in “Titus” and “A Christmas Story”!) it’s sad that his first shot is attached to a Uwe Boll film.

While it may sound that I’m speaking glowingly of “Postal”, it’s not really the case. While I did get some good laughs and the plot flowed more cohesively that most satirical flicks of its ilk, the movie still has its fair share of problems. The jokes are often ham handed and forced leaving you groaning with eyes rolling. It’s an Uwe Boll film after all! Despite this, I still managed to laugh more at this movie that any other satire. The message of a buffoon running things in the world is quite clear here, but the humor is still at a level you would expect. Ultimately, I still managed to enjoy myself more than I expected. For you die hard “Postal” fans out there, you’re going to find issue with the movie. It’s really only connected by name. Sure, we get some insane violence and shots of Postal Dude mowing down random citizens, but that’s only one scene. There is a crazy gun fight, but nowhere along the way does it tie into any semblance of a story line that may have been contained in the game.

A nice edition to the DVD release is the inclusion of the full PC game of “Postal 2”. If you’ve never played it or feel nostalgic, this is a great pack in for a change! The special features are there but are really nothing overly exciting. The storied boxing matches between Boll and his five critics are featured along with some random spots featuring Vern Troyer.

I can’t necessarily recommend “Postal” for a purchase, but it’s good for a rental for sure. With humor being such a subjective thing as well as political views being polarizing, most watchers will view this as a love/hate situation. Granted, ‘love’ is a bit too strong, but it flows a lot better than a ‘kinda like/hate’ relationship. “Postal” is a good flick for a drunken movie night with your buddies and honestly, it never aspires to be any more than just that.

6 ‘oh god I feel dirty I enjoyed this’ out of 10

Curious? Buy it in the Cinema Fromage Store!

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

We’re hitting all cylinders this week as we delve into the hilarity achieved by Alexander Aja’s “Mirrors”. We also discuss the finer points of gay marriage and a few funny guys ruin the Google report for everyone. This is why we can’t have nice things people.

Click here to check it out!

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Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

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Heads up to all you Indy readers out there….

Key Cinemas in Beech Grove are having their ‘Weekend with the Dead’ film fest! What’s that mean? That means for $8 you can see “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”, “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie”, “Shaun of the Dead”, “Cemetary Man” and Fulci’s “Zombi 2″!

Much like Horror Hound Weekend, we don’t get to see stuff like this in Indy much, let’s show em how much we like it and go go go! Tickets to all five movies for only $8?

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Thursday, August 21st, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The mythical world is not happy with those of us here on Earth, especially Prince Nuada. Returning from exile the prince usurps his father’s throne in order to bring to life the Golden Army and declare war on the mortal world. Thankfully for us, we have Hellboy and his BRPD cronies on hand to help quell the uprising as they go to battle against the prince and his minions.

2004 introduced Hellboy to the big screen packed with action, humor, and Ron Perlman in a big red suit. For those not familiar with the comics, the movie showed glimpses of a fantastical world filled with demons and creatures barely imagined with a brief back story of the young demon. With “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”, the world of Hellboy is expanded and fleshed out making the entire universe more tangible and easier to sink our teeth into. Expanding ever so slightly on the back story of our demonic hero and his gang of fellow monsters, the franchise is formed into a action packed entity with many off shoots and some history to boot.

The biggest improvement over the first entry in the “Hellboy” world is an improved story telling that manages to be more cohesive and whole. Where the first movie was fun, it felt brief and slightly glossed over. In “Hellboy II”, the depth of the world is fully exposed and makes for a fun watch while building hopes for even more adventure. Filling us in on the mythical world ruled by Elves, it now begins to hint at a real and natural feeling. Not only that, this world is Mike Mignola and Guillermo Del Toro’s own. Never does it feel like a re-hash of twice told tales; instead the entirety is unique. Even their description of Elves, dark and mysterious with a wood like façade, is a new twist on the race. Where “Lord of the Rings” and countless other tales paint the Elven race as wispy and magical, the Elves of “Hellboy” are dark. Often times we are left to wonder their true nature as Prince Nuada unveils his ultimate plan. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we can still see that he is not exactly evil in his own world. While appearing aggressive and dangerous, he only has the good of his own kind in mind. Adding to the story telling fun, never does “Hellboy II” feel like a tacked on sequel to the former movie. Instead, it feels much like an additional story in the world ensuring us that the franchise could indeed hold a long life showing us glimpses of their dark universe as opposed to stretching out a story in hopes of profit.

Ron Perlman returns to the role of Hellboy still feeling like a natural fit. Bringing to life the once horned hero from the comic book pages, his since of humor and hamminess is a perfect balance for the hard hitting action sequences. Selma Blair, while often seeming brooding and moody, still manages to bring a level of ‘real life’ to the craziness that surrounds her. Not given much to work with, she does appear flat at times but overall, the need for this is there and she works well with what she has. Doug Jones pulls triple duty this time around and does so masterfully. Returning as Abe Sapien as well as filling in for the Angel of Death, the man showcases his odd mannerisms and speech bringing to life three completely separate characters. New to the cast this time around is Luke Goss as the elfin Prince Nuada. Always imposing, often creepy in an otherworldly manner, he brings the Prince to life and helps the viewer to tune into his need and drive.

There’s not too much negative to say for “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”. For me, it is a definite improvement over the first installment. Where “Hellboy” was fun, it still managed to leave my expectations somewhat disappointed. After “Hellboy II”, I was left with a large grin on my face having enjoyed an all around good old fashioned action romp with great atmosphere and some creepy denizens to boot. Ultimately, the sequel felt like what the first should have been. I can only hope now that we will soon return to the world of Hellboy and Abe Sapien as they dive into yet another case for the BPRD. You can count on me being there rooting for them when they do.

8 “I didn’t mean Selma Blair was ‘flat’ flat” out of 10

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

This week we tackle 2007′s After Dark Film Fest entry “Crazy Eights” as well as a 2005 indie fright fest “Bloodshed”.

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

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Friend of the site and co-host of the excellent Kryptographik Podcast joins us this week with a guest review! Check out Brian’s review of “Death of a Ghost Hunter” below! Like it? Be sure to add him on Twitter!

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Death of a Ghost Hunter
Review by Brian Matus

Plot Description from Amazon.com: “In 2002, renowned Ghost Hunter Carter Simms was offered $5000 to conduct a 3-day/3-night paranormal investigation of the infamous Masterson House. Twenty years earlier, Minister Joseph Masterson and his family were brutally murdered inside their home. With the aid of a videographer, a reporter and a spiritual advocate, Carter set out to prove (or disprove) claims that the Masterson House was haunted. What transpired is the most terrifying and tragic paranormal investigation in the history of modern Ghost Hunting.”

Perhaps, and perhaps not.

Written and directed by Sean Tretta, I can’t help feeling that this film had a good premise, but was lacking in its execution. For example, if Death of a Ghost Hunter was presented as a “found footage” film (similar to The Blair Witch Project), it would have lent an immediacy that I feel the film was lacking. Instead, we’re presented with a film “based upon the events described in Carter Simms’ journal,” which gives the film the feel of a re-creation from the TV show ‘Beyond Belief’.

The film starts out fairly promising, depicting the murders of the Masterson family. The film then skips ahead 20 years to the beginning of “renowned Ghost Hunter” Carter Simms’ investigation. Oddly, she looks more like the kid’s mother from Two and a Half Men than she does a “renowned Ghost Hunter.” Maybe I watch too much TV, but I expected someone “renowned” to look old enough and tough enough to have established such a reputation.

We’re told that the owner of the house, Seth Masterson, is a “Los Angeles based television producer,” and that while he refuses to go in the house, he has a cleaning woman dust the house once a month. Otherwise, the house has been preserved as it was 20 years ago (minus the blood, obviously). Due to a recent traumatic experience, the cleaning woman refuses to clean the house any more, and so Seth has hired Carter Simms to investigate.

Carter tells Seth that she prefers to work alone, which should immediately seem odd to anyone who’s seen Ghost Hunters (yeah, more TV). How she juggles audio and video equipment while conducting an investigation is beyond me. Perhaps that’s why she’s “renowned.”

Regardless, Seth insists on hiring a crew to assist her investigation. The following day, a cameraman (Colin), a reporter (Yvette) and a member of the local church’s youth group (Mary Young Mortenson) introduce themselves to Carter (as Seth seems to have split back to L.A.), and all hell breaks loose.

Eventually.

In the meantime, there’s a “Ghost Hunting 101″ segment that will sound familiar to anyone who’s seen Ghost Hunters on the Sci-Fi Channel, followed by some wandering around the house, some weird noises, and a chair that seems to move by itself. The “chaste young church member” (Mary) gives everyone a hard time, especially the “slutty reporter” Yvette. By the second night, the supernatural events get more threatening, and our cast gets increasingly strung out. The following morning, Mary’s agenda is revealed, and she gets into the worst catfight ever filmed before getting thrown out of the house.

Naturally, she comes back with a final revelation, as the film makes its way towards its climax.

I almost feel as if I’m making this film sound better than it is.

While the film generally looks pretty good, the acting is, to be polite, “inconsistent,” as if the actors occasionally hit the wrong notes. What makes things even worse is that the film’s volume levels seem to rise and fall depending upon who’s speaking. I literally sat through the entire film raising and lowering the volume just to follow people’s conversations.

Towards the end of the film, there’s yet another re-creation of the original murders from 20 years ago. This time, we see details that were left out when we saw the murders the first time. This is followed by at least 5 minutes (though it felt longer) before the end credits that are not only unnecessary, but could have driven the point home in 30 seconds.

It’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen, but I can’t really recommend it either.

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

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Fellow word nerd & genre lover Bryan White at Cinema Suicide updated this morning with exciting news on his Proposed panel at South By Southwest:

Against all odds, my panel submission for the upcoming South By Southwest show in the interactive portion has passed the first test in spite of being submitted over a month late. And if you can believe that, it has nothing to do with movies. I’d love nothing more than to roll out there and pretend that I’m some kind of horror movie expert for the movie portion of the show, but the fact is that it’s in Austin and that place is overflowing with wannabe Tarantinos, Roths and Harry Knowles… so, you know.

Be sure to jump over and check out the full post to see how you can help! Voting’s easy, so why not? Bryan’s a stand up guy and knows his shit. It’s a pretty good idea to boot.

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Saturday, August 16th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

In this week’s episode we take a look at the Irish zombie flick “Boy Eats Girl” and then follow it up with the action monster flick “Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior”.

Two shall enter, only one shall leave! Find out which in Midnight Muenster #11!

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

This week we talk about two Roman Polanski films, “Repulsion” and “The Tenant”, in our first listener recommended double feature (thanks, Christine!). Plus, the Google report turns Meta, and Mark from PA sends in an inflammatory voicemail where he praises Casey, calls out Schnaars, and talks smack about someone who’s not even on the show!

Check it out!

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