Posts filed under ‘Reviews (more ranting)’

ZOMBIES – Pt. 2 Braaiinnnnsss… set the mood: the sounds of Oktobre fest sausage eating contest

Burial Ground: The Night of Terror

This movie looks terrible. I almost scrapped the zombie theme altogether in favour of more complaints about alcoholism through a review of The Lost Weekend when I watched the trailer for this monstrosity. I only get one day off a week and I’m going to spend 1.5 hours with this?

I’m not sure what’s going on here. 4:15 minutes in, a man who is described as a “Professor” but who looks more like Rasputin meets Ted Kazinsky, ventures into a mausoleum or grave site of some sort, starts banging away with a pick axe, apparently waking the dead. He shrieks “But I’m your FRIEND!” as several decaying corpses inch towards him and proceed to feed. Lesson learned: be quiet in grave sites, for the dead sleep lightly.

Cut to happy Italian people dubbed with English as they venture to the countryside to have some kind of weekend away from whatever lives they lead. This film doesn’t concern itself with backstory. These people are tightly wound, since they are all over each other as soon as they arrive. “You look just like a whore. But I like that look on you.”

This one couple has brought their child with them, though I’m concerned that he’s not actually a child but a thin, short man in his 30s. This is Michael, and there is something bad about him because the score is weird and ‘terrifying’ when he is in the room.

20 minutes in, my favorite line is spoken “Oh, you’re getting a raise from me, but it has nothing to do with money.”

Huh, I have a feeling that zombies have some connection to Michael, because the zombie score is the same as Michael’s score. How odd…

The scene in the sculptor’s studio reveals that Michael has some kind of Oedipal complex, as he runs yelling “momma” when he catches Mummy’s new boyfriend coping a feel. Cut to sex in the yard. The two (unnamed?) friends make the mistake of banging behind some bushes near what I assume is an unmarked grave (oh, a burial ground? Probably). Now we wait 5 minutes for the zombie to slowly (very slowly) crawl towards them. After the zombie eventually gets close enough to grab at their ankles, they scream in terror at the decaying skull and its maggot accessories, but take a moment to question what it may be. They stare for a bit, then run when they are attacked by another creature of the dead.

Cut to weird music over a montage of all the zombies crossing the grounds of the mansion, stumbling slowly. I’m sure they’re mobility would have been better if they weren’t all wearing canvas dresses.

Back in the studio, Michael finds a cloth that “smells of death” just prior to being bombarded by the zombies. George, the boyfriend, shoots vainly at the corpses (corpsi?) while Michael and Mummy run away. After closeups of the brownish liquid that closely resembles baby poop which seeps from their wounds, George is consumed in a feeding frenzy.

Cut to the garden, or the burial ground, where the third couple are attempting to get fresh, but of course they are interrupted by some twelve zombies who just sort of stand there and do nothing. Probably because they don’t have any eyes.

Back to the first couple (the model who shouldn’t be a model, who didn’t and probably won’t get her raise from her photographer) gets her foot caught in a bear trap, which is far more realistic than if maybe she’d just fallen (that would imply women are the weaker species – this film is so pro-female). Her beau attacks a zombie with some kind of random gardening tool but the zombie overpowers him and strangles him until another couple saves him by smashing the skulls of the zombies with large rocks. All the while the model just screams and screams and I wish someone would just hit her with a rock so she’ll shut up.

Mummy tries setting a zombie on fire by dumping paint thinner on it and a match. Then she clutches Michael close to her bosom as they watch him burn. As she sets the others on fire, I wonder if this will backfire and the place will burn down with her and her rapidly aging son trapped inside. Also, I’m concerned by the look on her face which seems to indicate a love of burning flesh. This may be the perfect set up for a life long battle against pyromania. “But mummy, I just got a bad grade! Please don’t burn down my school! No, mummy, please!”

Minute 40 is when things start to become a little far fetched. The maid, who is wandering around alone with only a pillar candle for light, intends to close the shutters when a clever zombie throws some kind of railway nail (think Christ… for some reason) that just happens to hit her in the hand, keeping her from moving away as the sicle they’ve acquired is used to slice off her head.

This is the perfect set up for the zombies to create some kind of Home Depot army of rebellion, as they’ve broken into the gardening shed and taken all that they could in order to gain access to the delicious, if vacuous, brains inside the mansion. I’m getting a distinct Land of the Dead feel, in that they’ve clearly evolved enough over the first 35 minutes of the movie to take advantage of potential weapons. They are even climbing the walls of the mansion now.

And the model continues to moan, something that sounds like a disturbing mixture of pain and pleasure (this would be less disturbing if she were in some kind of s&m situation, rather than just sitting on the couch crying about the bruise the bear trap left on her leg).

Someone is cut from the broken glass of a window (yes, zombies were involved), death isn’t clear but it’s assumed. The model suddenly has nicer hair (her colour still needs work, but she’d gained control over the frizz during her fit of screams). A zombie gets into the house and she just stands there screaming and doing nothing with the harpoon she’s wielding. You’ve got a harpoon for Christ’s sake! A fucking harpoon! They move about as fast as meatloaf! If you aren’t going to do anything, at least run away or be dramatic and give yourself to them so I don’t have to hear you scream anymore!

Mummy and Michael hug some more.

Oh good god! HE’S PUTTING THE MOVES ON HIS MOTHER. And it took kissing, breast bearing, and fingers in cooch for her to slap him away. I told you he was a grown up, they could have never hired a 9 year old to do that! After she rejects him, he finds Leslie, the one who had been cut, who is now a zombie. Now all he has to do is have sex with her, and this movie will be the worst thing I’ve ever seen.*

The Model’s hair is bad again.

Even better. Mummy, now regretting her decision to not have sex with her son, finds Leslie eating Michael’s arm. Mummy freaks out and smashes Leslie’s head on the bathtub. A mixture of blood and milk runs from her head.

Since the garden tools failed, the zombies get a battering ram. Some how. That isn’t explained. I’m sure it’s not important.

This is so bad it’s not even all that funny anymore. So I opt to watch the rest in fast forward mode. It seems the professor makes another appearence, now as a zombie. The Model still can’t do anything but scream. The four stumble out to the road, leaving the house to the zombies. They find a Monastery. I’m sure the monastery is inhabited by zombies. OH, IT IS! OH MY. How shocking. How horrifying.

This film was given a 4.9/10 on imdb.com. I don’t know what was wrong with the people who cast that vote. I looked up Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, a film I saw years ago during my Bill Maher phase, and it was rated only 4.4/10. This movie is not better than Cannibal Women. Not by a long shot. At least it was clever in the dumbest sense of the word. The Men lived in fear of the Women, crocheting pot holders all day and acting as the servents to the Women, who would sacrifice ‘hot’ men (those tanned bulky blonde men who wear tiny pants to cover their privates – not my type).

Oh, the movie is still on. The Model is still screaming, though her hair is decent again. Actually, I’m starting to suspect that the Model with the nice hair is a different actress altogether, since she seems a bit prettier, though not at all less annoying. Michael reappears, of course. HE’S THE ZOMBIE GOD, ISN’T HE? And now Mummy’s letting him suckle, and is surprised that he tore her nipple off. Well now they can have hot incestuous zombie sex together. The zombie baby would be more interesting than what they’ve got working for them here.

Now the zombies are running the photographer’s head into the blade of a table saw. I don’t know where the table saw came from. Considering the setting, its appearance is very random, though consistent with the rest of the film. The Model screams as the zombies eat her.

The End.

Thank Gods. Watching that made me wish there was a zombie apocalypse outside, then I could go do that instead of watching this horrible waste of celluloid. Argh! Foiled again!

^^^^^^^^^… I don’t think any amount of hat hair could represent how terrible this was. I’d rather watch The Legend of Boggy Creek again.

* I looked up the actor who played Michael. He was 25 when this was made. Poor man.

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July 31, 2007 at 7:20 pm 3 comments

ZOMBIES – Pt. 1 When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth… set the mood: the bells of hell – kevin quain

Zombies.

I’ve never written about them. After seeing Dawn of the Dead for the first time, I wrote a short story about myself and my friends and our attempt to escape a zombie appocalypse by hiding in a mall. Brilliant, I put a real spin on the story by making one friend some kind of supernatural zombie (if that makes any sense at all) who could hunt the rest of us methodically rather than through a mindless, animal instinct. One particularly gruesome scene involved an escalator. Brilliant.

Since then, I don’t write about zombies. Why would I decide to turn my talents towards something far less exciting and peckish? Honestly, the zombie genre has a canon that is far too clear and I don’t think that I could, without the help of someone who is well aquainted with comics and mythology, create something that I would consider original. In all honesty, until Planet Terror, I thought it was a dead genre.

Rather than go over the same old stuff, I’m going to just skim over my favorites with a brief description of why they are great, then get on to reviewing the crap…

1. Planet Terror – Yes, I actually list this as my favorite zombie film. It’s disgusting, clever, sexy, and somewhat nerve racking. It’s everything a zombie film should be and more. Rodriguez has done a service to amputees. I know I’d do Rose McGowan with a wooden leg.

2. Shaun of the Dead – Yes, I listed an homage as my second favorite. It’s because I could watch this again and again. It’s light, it’s quick, it’s funny, it’s british. I can’t resist.

3. Dawn of the Dead – There we go. This is third because as much as I love it, it’s quite long, and when I think “must have zombie fix” I think of Shaun. BUT this is a masterpiece in it’s own right, a fantastic social commentary, and excellently bloody for the time period. Gotta love that Nurse Zombie.

4. 28 Days Later – Brilliant. The visual of London completely deserted is eerie as hell. Not gonna lie, initially though Danny Boyle copped out by breeding Dawn with Lord of the Flies… Still think that’s what the film is, but at least it wasn’t Zombie II meets Porky’s…

5. Dead Alive – Man, I don’t have anything bad to say about LOTH except that they are too long, but that’s not Peter Jackson’s fault. I do miss that Jackson doesn’t make films like this one anymore. Greatest moment: Lawnmowing a zombie party. Guh-ross! OR the mother’s ear falling off her head into her soup.

6. Cemetery Man – I much prefer the original title Dellamorte Dellamore simply because it sounds far more beautiful. And who doesn’t want their zombie movie to have a little romance? I like this one because Rupert Everet plays this grumpy, misunderstood, sexually frustrated undertaker who sits up all night waiting for the dead to rise. Best moments: Grave sex and Gnaghi’s romance with a zombi head.

7. The Evil Dead – I actually don’t automatically categorize this film with the typical zombie film (hence its place at a solid 7), but it really is. Sort of. This was the only film I actually couldn’t watch straight through on the first run. I’m a hard-ass when it comes to scary movies; no clutching to anyone for me (cuddling is better anyway), but this one… I had to stop it half way through and finish it the next morning, in the kitchen, with my dad 😛

End of list (because 7 is the perfect number). Damn, I hope these zombie posts improve cause this one is a head-shaker…

July 31, 2007 at 5:51 pm 1 comment

“there is green stuff floating in that glass of water…i’m assuming it’s yours?” set the mood: Rocky Racoon

There’s always green stuff floating in my water.
Having viewed the most rececnt Strongbad email at Homestar Runner, I was reminded of The Legend of Boody Creek, a terrible film I reviewed several years ago.
So, instead of writing something new and exciting, cause that would require some effort and brain function, I’m pulling out this piece from the portfolio, partly because I find it a little amusing (I still consider a job in the film critic field from time to time), and I would like to spread the camporrody gospel. It’s about time this movement be given a real, solid, ridiculous name.

Back in the year 2002 I wrote…

It is a tradition of sorts for Lisa and myself to venture once a week to the local video store to rent a bad horror movie. Bad horror movies are the best kind in our opinion, because they are cost effective, creative and entertaining as hell. We believe that they should invent a special genre for the bad horror film, give it a name of it’s own that describes the comedy, campy, and unhorrifying aspects of all that fall into this category. From now on, it shall be deemed camporrody. There are many different levels of camporrody, basically there is the good (Sleepaway Camp, The Evil Dead, Dead End), the bad (Blood Feast, Sleepaway Camp II & III), and the not worth the time and effort to watch.

First off, let’s discuss the positive aspects of this genre. Most young, aspiring filmmakers go with camporrody because it is cheap and easy to make. All you really need is a camera, a couple of people who have no acting experience, a convoluted idea, and some corn syrup. Depending on how convoluted your idea is, you may need a lot of corn syrup . In fact, you may need none whatsoever, the decision made by the creators of The Legend of Boggy Creek.

Despite being located in the “Horror” region of the video store, The Legend of Boggy Creek is far from horrifying. It intrigued us at first, the box was particularly amusing with its poorly painted picture of a hairy monster ploughing through the mountains at sunset and its close-up of the same picture duplicated on the back. Before renting, I did some research, always a good idea when you are going to hand over five dollars and 87 minutes of your life to something made in 1975. Videohound’s Horror Show gave it one and a half bones, not too shabby when it comes to camporrody, and said that it was hugely popular drive-in release. Good start. Also mentioned that the Fouke monster is really more like “a guy in a gorilla suit who never does anything particularly threatening.” Sounded camporriphic to me.

Right off the top, we were slightly wary about our purchase. When the gigantic THIS FILM IS RATED PG BY THE MPAA came up on the screen, we groaned a little, feeling as though perhaps this won’t turn out to be the craptacular camporrody we had hoped for. Then the movie started.

The general idea around this film seems to be that the small town of Fouke is being terrorized by a monster in Boggy Creek. Everything is rainbows and balloons until sunset, and people hide in their houses, fearing the noises from outside. The first couple of times one actually sees the monster however, it appears to be the middle of the afternoon. Poor use of the day for night technique, if you ask me. A hunter in the woods sees him and concludes that he is “washing his feet in the ice cold creek.” A young boy sees him standing there, then shoots him several times before running away screaming. The monster just cowers in pain. A woman and her three young children run into the monster while on a walk around their tree-sheltered property. They scream in horror and the monster just stands there.

The real problem with this as a horror film is that nothing ever happens. The monster doesn’t do anything. Sure eventually they find a mutilated cow and a dog whose skin has been removed from his skull, but anyone could have done that. Hell, if I were a nut in Arkansas, I would probably torture and kill things too if it could easily be blamed on the hairy outcast. Really, it just seems as though the monster wants a friend. He approaches several houses filled with young people and doesn’t do anything terrible until they start screaming and running around in circles. And even then he just retreats back to the woods. Going back to wash his feet in the creek again I suppose.

It’s as though these filmmakers decided that they couldn’t fictionalize reality in the least for the sake of entertainment. Apparently this is based on true events and that all the players are representing themselves. Now there is keeping truth intact and telling a boring story. This is a boring story. The only aspect that made it remotely amusing was the fact that it was so bad and tried so hard to be good. The filmmakers didn’t even have anything to do with what we laughed about the entire time; the back of the box described the monster as being “unbelievable fast,” a typo we couldn’t let go of. Yes, he was unbelievable fast when he ran in front of that car. So unbelievable fast that we thought it was a glitch in the tape, and only noticed the hairy legs interfering with the beams upon closer inspection.

The film’s technical aspects were very distracting (in possibly a good way) from the overall story line. All the shots were either very long or extreme close-ups (and I mean extreme) and the film, due to poor quality Betacam stock or aging left the images yellow, grainy and fuzzy. If there was a focus puller on set, which I really doubt since the quality didn’t look like it had any focusing ability whatsoever, he must have been drunk or comatose. It was difficult at times to even tell if the monster was in the shot or not.

Alright, so The Legend of Boggy Creek was made (obviously) with little to no budget, the first rule of camporrody. And the film was slightly creative with its gorilla suit, bad narration and ridiculous folk music. Okay, I did find it mildly entertaining, I mean how could I not when I was in tears over the image of Travis Crabtree canoeing along with his own folk tune in the background? But The Legend of Boggy Creek, due to its unnecessary length, still falls in the “not worth the time and effort to watch” category.

The Legend of Boggy Creek
1975
Travis Crabtree, Herb Jones
^^^^^
(My rating system may be confusing…the above are, as I was told in Kindergarden, ‘hats’, for vowels in the language they call “French.” As I do not know the proper term for them, hats they have alwasy been. The concept here is simple: hats cause hat hair, the more hats you wear, the worse the hat hair tends to get. Five hats means this is one of the worst movies of all time.)

Ha ha. Upon internet inspection, http://www.smokeyandthefoukemonster.com is the place to go in order to learn more about the history of this film. And, interestingly (if not completely confusing) it has been released onto dvd (!) and is available for as low as 12.95 from independent sellers at Amazon.com.

February 19, 2006 at 6:32 am Leave a comment


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