Sunday, October 23, 2016

#22 - Jaws 2 (1978), #23 - Congo (1995)

Back in the 70's, animal attack horror was huge.  There was Grizzly (one of my favorites), Ants, Killer Bees, Nightwing (another one of my favorites), Frogs, The Swarm, Kingdom of the Spiders, Squirm (another other favorite), and, of course, Jaws.  Jaws was like the first horror movie summer blockbuster, and launched the entire genre of animal-attack horror movies, one that still continues to this day.

Jaws 2 (1978) is obviously the sequel to the first summer blockbuster ever made, one that Hollywood has been trying to emulate for decades.  Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) returns as the police chief of the island community of Amity, after blowing the shit out of the giant killer shark in the first movie.  Everything seems to be going fine, normal day-to-day routine, until there's a boating accident, and if you've seen the first movie, there's always a boating accident.  Chief Brody starts to worry about another shark coming, and his worry soon overwhelms him.  After shooting his gun off on the beach, trying to stop a school of Bluefin that he thinks is a shark, Chief Brody is fired.  Unfortunately for Brody, his two kids have decided to go day sailing...

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  Jaws 2 is not as good a movie as Jaws, to be completely honest, but sequels rarely are.  Still, it has the main character returning, his wife, the kids, the mayor, and it's all centered at the same location.  The action and story are slightly different from the first movie, and it's still a good movie in its own right.  Robert Shaw didn't come back for the sequel (he died the year this movie came out, and his character died in the previous Jaws movie, as well), and Richard Dreyfuss' character Matt Hooper was conveniently on an Antarctic schooner at the time, so Chief Brody has to handle the problem all on his own.  That makes this movie a bit bleaker than the first one, so the mood's a little different, but it's still a pretty awesome movie.  Two more sequels followed this sequel, and I'm honestly surprised they haven't decided to remake these movies, too.  You can catch Jaws and all the sequels on Netflix, but I happened to watch Jaws 2 on one of the premium channels, can't recall which one.  I've seen all the Jaws movies dozens of times already, and they never lose their luster.

Congo (1995) is another animal attack movie, this time with gorillas.  An expedition to the Congo goes missing, and Dr. Karen Ross (Laura Linney) joins another one, in search of her missing boyfriend (Bruce Campbell).  The expedition she joins is headed by Dr. Peter Elliott (Dylan Walsh), who is returning his captured gorilla to the wild with the help of Herkermer Homolka (Tim Curry), a Romanian who believes the ape has seen the Lost City of Zinj, the fabled Diamond Mines of King Solomon, which he has been looking for his entire life.  Along the way, they pick up a guide (Ernie Hudson), and unfortunately, everybody finds exactly what they have been looking for...

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  The gorillas were actually pretty well done in this movie.  If there's another killer-ape movie that has Bruce Campbell, Tim Curry, Ernie Hudson, Joe Don Baker, Grant Heslov and Stuart Pankin in it, I'll eat my hat (and I don't wear a hat).  The movie starts out with a scary scene, goes into some backstory, has another scary scene, and then just gets scarier and scarier until the ending.  Dr. Karen Ross, an ex-CIA agent and current telecommunications genius, is quite possibly the most bad-ass babe I have ever seen, and makes Lara Croft look like a professional polo champion moonlighting as an amateur archaeologist.  Congo is an awesome movie that I love re-watching, and I highly recommend it.  I caught it on Epix Drive-In, and they may play it again if you're lucky.

In other news, an update on Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (on BBCA at 9pm on saturdays).  The series is pretty much carried by Elijah Wood (though I've only seen the first episode), and he does a good job of it.  It's a little loony (nothing unusual for Douglas Adams), and nothing is explained in the first episode, but it's not bad.  Funny in spots, a bit weird, nothing too loopy.  Although, there was one scene where this one woman is trying to break free from of being handcuffed to a bed frame (no idea why she's there yet), and it's patently obvious from how wide her cuffs are that she could easily have just slipped her hand free of the cuffs and walked away.  Minor glitch in an otherwise well-done show, but I can't stand Dirk Gently.  He seems like a pompous twit, "holistic" or not, and they had to explain the definition of "Holisitc" word for word from the dictionary, twice, to make sure the audience understood it.  I love the "Holistic assassin" who just shoots anyone she wants to, and says "Whoever I kill, that was my target."  Ridiculous, but meh.  Might be fun to watch and see where it leads, though the young assassin sounds like the lunch lady from my old high school after a 3-day whiskey bender.

That's all for tonight, I'm all caught up on my reviews, and I'll catch you guys tomorrow!  :-D

Friday, October 21, 2016

#21 - Cooties (2014)

It's not often you find an intentionally funny horror movie that's any good.  Usually, they are supposed to be scary, and turn out not only to be not scary, but unintentionally funny.  Those are just bad horror films.  The ones that are intentionally funny are called Horror-comedies, or homedies.  Horror-omedies?  Corror?  Comorrorrororor?  Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon?  Nope.  I'm getting nowhere.

Cooties (2014) is an intentionally funny horror movie, and not a horrible one.  A teacher named Clint (Elijah Wood) returns to his old home town after failing as a horror writer, and embarks on his first day as a substitute teacher at his old elementary school.  Clint runs into an old crush named Lucy (Alison Pill) in the teacher's lounge before class, and immediately hits it off with her, despite also running into her boyfriend, Wade (Rainn Wilson), the phys-ed teacher.  Clint's day is going pretty awesome, which can mean only one thing.  That's right.  All hell is about to break loose.

The Good:  I've gotta say, it's good to see Elijah Wood working again after being typecast as a Hobbit for so many years.  And, sure, he's probably been acting for years, but never in any horror movies, and that's all I watch.  Also good to see Rainn Wilson finding work after his failed series, Backstrom, though this movie was actually filmed before Backstrom, so...  Yea.  Alison Pill is always good to watch, in anything, but not many horror movies in her list of roles.  The rest of the cast did a decent acting job, and I loved the janitor, Hitachi (Peter Kwong), going all Samurai on the kids.  Probably something he's been wanting to do for years.  The movie was actually pretty funny in spots, though it does better as a black comedy than an actual comedy.  Watch it for the amusing horror, and not the scares.

The Bad:  No nudity, sadly, though Alison Pill is just adorkable in this.  Some of the jokes were odd, like Wade calling Clint a Hobbit, which breaks the 4th wall and something I'm not fond of (one reason I wasn't overly thrilled with the Deadpool movie).  The plot got a little dodgy around midway through the movie, as the unnamed virus seemed to move through the uh, "population" with unnatural speed.  Also, why would the sickly rip out phone lines?  That doesn't even make sense, except to make it impossible to call for help.

The Ugly:  Hey, nothing like calling an unnamed virus "The Cooties" and watching as it makes its victims erupt in blisters and leaky pus.  Maybe a little too disgusting, and maybe asking a teenage girl if she had achieved "menses" yet, could have been avoided.  Seriously, as Clint says, why is Sex Ed always taught by the creepiest teacher?  Although, mine was taught by a hot blonde teaching assistant, but maybe I am the exception.  I do applaud the writers for going that extra mile for a joke.

I caught Cooties on one of the Starz channels (Starz Comedy, I think?), if you want to watch it yourself.  This is the second time I've seen it this month, so it certainly passes the rewatchability test.  Interesting side note, Elijah Wood is "Todd" in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which premieres on BBCA tomorrow night at 9 pm.  Stick with the horror movie fans, Mr. Wood, we're a loyal bunch.

In other news, I have ice cream!  :-D  Mmmm, chocolate!  See you guys tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

#20 - Here Comes the Devil (2012)

I mostly don't review foreign language films, not because I have a bias against them, but because I usually don't speak the language.  It's sometimes hard to read the english translation at the bottom of the screen while trying to get into the horror movies, and that detracts from my overall enjoyment of the flick.  Rarely, I make an exception, such as the Host (2006 monster movie), and like tonight, when I couldn't find anything else to watch.

Here Comes the Devil (2012) is a spanish-language film (at least, I think it was spanish, I admit to having the sound down relatively low during the movie) about a pair of missing kids that wander into a dark cave on a haunted mountain and spend the night there.  The parents are freaking out, worried sick, and then the kids show up the next morning, as if nothing has happened.  Everything seems to go back to normal, except the kids seem so...  lifeless.  The concerned mother begins to investigate, and that's when...  oh yea.  You know it.  All hell breaks loose.

The Good:  Hey, there's nudity in this film!  The first 5 minutes involves an explicitly lesbian affair, and then things get weirder from there.  I am always concerned about our fragile mental state in this country when an axe-wielding maniac can chop up a bunch of teenagers into little gory bits, and the movie gets a PG-13 rating (or something similar) but if the movie dares to show a couple of normal, consensual adults having everyday-old sex, it gets an NC-17 rating (I don't even know what this movie was rated, and I don't care).  Makes me think we're just a little bit too uptight and repressed about some things, but I've been told I am a little weird, myself.  Maybe it's not everyone else's sensibilities that are off, but mine?  Naaaaaaaaaah!  That's silly.  Acting in this movie was kind of wooden, but considering the trauma the characters are supposed to be going through, I guess a complete lack of emotion is normal?  Maybe everyone is just in shock throughout the entire movie.  Kind of makes sense.

The Bad:  Special effects in this movie are pretty much someone flicking the light switch on and off rapidly.  There's a couple other cheap effects but they aren't very well done, and are extremely short-lived.  I can't say as they were effective, either, because it was such a jarring disconnect from the rest of the film that the effects seemed to toss me out of my suspension of disbelief.  The adult babysitter's nipples did look awesomely well-pierced, and if that was a special effect, kudos!  If that wasn't a special effect, and that's just how her nipples normally look, then that actress is awesome, and I want to date her.

The Ugly:  I knew when I saw the chubby Mexican guy's bare hindquarters in the first five minutes, that this was going to be a quality horror film.  I think probably the most disconcerting thing about this entire movie is the almost gleeful way the young couple goes about taking their revenge.  I don't want to give anything away if you want to watch this (it's on Netflix), but let's just say, taking a shower together while covered in blood and getting your groove on, is probably not normal behavior for a married couple in this situation.  Makes the shower scene in Psycho look completely appropriate, by comparison.

I'm not sure I'd watch this movie again, but it wasn't a bad watch, the first time around.  Having watched horror movies all my life, I didn't find anything too shocking here.  Back in the glory days of my youth (the 80's), horror movies typically showed lots of boobs and gore in equal measure, and if a horror movie didn't take the plunge and toss in some rampant nudity, it usually wasn't worth watching.  Of course, that was back when only geeky, nerdy guys watched horror movies, and seeing the naked ladies up on the big screen was the closest they were going to get to sex until they hit college.  Now that things have changed (have they?), horror films are more interested in being taken seriously, so they avoid nudity like the plague.  Honestly, I think the horror films today are worse off for their restraint.  There's just something about watching a film, and seeing some naked young co-ed getting hacked to bits in the first 5 minutes, that tells you that the movie you are about to watch isn't going to be taking the safe and well-traveled road in an attempt to pander to the more prudish amongst us.  If you're not willing to take any risks, then how can you surprise your viewers with an exciting plot?  Also, aren't geeky, nerdy guys still your primary audience?  Horror movie makers, is attracting a couple more ladies to the theaters worth it, when you're alienating your entire demographic?  Nerds rule!  Show us some love.  :-)

In other news, there was a re-hash of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on TV tonight.  I know Tim Curry is a cult icon for his role in that film, and I honestly tried to watch it tonight, hoping to review it for tonight's movie.  But look, there are just some things that even I, jaded horror movie viewer that I am, cannot stomach.  Like...  Singing.  (shudders, looks ill)  Look, when I was a kid, I thought like a child, and I played like a child, and I sang along with the Sound of Music, like a child.  But when I became an adult, it was time to put away childish things, like Stretch Armstrong, and musicals.  I just can't watch them anymore.  Maybe it's because I am too depressed to feel like singing of late, or maybe it's just because a bunch of normal-looking adults bursting into song at the drop of a hat, just kicks me out of my suspension of disbelief so quickly that I can't possibly re-engage the movie's incoherent plot.  No matter the reason, I came to the movie 8 minutes late, and turned it off 15 seconds into the first musical number I saw.  I apologize for my inability to stomach the joyous carousing of an otherwise probably-talented cast, but if you're singing and dancing, how scary can the damn horror movie actually be?  Terrified people do not sing and dance, unless someone is shooting at their feet, and I watch Westworld for that.

That's all for this evening.  Hopefully something horrific presents itself for watching on TV tomorrow at some point, because I am almost out of decent horror movies on Netflix.  And that is truly SCARY.  :-o

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

#18 - Sacrifice (2016), #19 - Last Shift (2014)

Finished up late last night, so I didn't have time to finish yesterday's post, so I have two movie reviews for you tonight.  Both of them are actually decent, though I wouldn't say particularly outstanding.

Sacrifice (2016) is the story of a Obstetrician, Dr. Tora Hamilton (Radha Mitchell), who moves to Ireland with her husband after a miscarriage.  Hoping to adopt, she has to maintain a residence on the island for a year to satisfy the residency requirements.  Unfortunately for Tora, while digging a grave for her dead horse, she finds the body of a ritually-sacrificed woman buried in her back yard.  As an Obstetrician, Dr. Hamilton recognizes that the corpse recently gave birth, and tries to assist with the investigation of the murder.  The local police seem more than ready to brush the corpse under the rug, which only makes Dr. Hamilton all the more passionate to solve the murder...

The Good:  In some horror movies, all hell is not about to break loose.  Some of them are just good, old-fashioned psychological horror.  Sacrifice is that rare breed of psychological horror that isn't a cheap Psycho knock-off, but a well-done, thoughtful exploration of the kind, charming peoples of rural Ireland.  Honestly, if this is what rural Ireland is like, I never want to visit there.  Makes backwoods psycho chainsaw murderers in the USA look like fluffy bunnies.  (shudders)  Acting was good, ending was even halfway decent.

The Bad and The Ugly:  No nudity that I recall, unless you count the gutted bog-corpse.  I wasn't fond of Sacrifice, not because it wasn't a good movie, but (small spoiler) because there weren't any actual monsters in it.  If you've read my blog, you know I like monsters.  Fake ones, of course.  Real ones scare me.  Like, big spiders.  Monstrously creepy.  Clowns.  Creepy.  Men with back hair.  CREEPY.  Other than that small problem, this was an excellently done psychological thriller that I wouldn't watch again, because there's no goddamn scary monster in it.  You can catch it on Netflix if you like that kind of horror.  Only question I have is, when police tell someone to keep their noses out of police business, why the HELL does that person ALWAYS ignore that advice?  So stupid!  Who does Dr. Hamilton think she is, Jessica Fletcher?  This isn't "Murder, She Wrote!"  Also, who the hell takes a day off work to dig a grave for their own dead horse?  Ew.  Leave it for the husband to find.  Foolish woman.  Other than that, nicely done flick.  Moving on.

Last Shift (2014) is a tale, much like Assault on Precinct 13, of a police station about to be shut down.  Unlike Assault on Precinct 13, the action in this particular film doesn't happen by chance.  Officer Loren is a rookie cop assigned to babysit the old station until a Hazmat team can come down and dispose of the last of the evidence in the evidence locker.  Unfortunately for Officer Loren, the Hazmat team is delayed, and wouldn't you know it, the police station she's in happens to be haunted.  What rotten luck!

The Good:  This movie wasn't bad.  Decent acting, Officer Loren (Juliana Harkavy?  Never heard of her) manages to carry the entire movie all by herself, with minimal assistance.  Which makes her like, the Tom Hanks of horror, if Tom Hanks was completely unknown, and a woman.  Special effects were reasonably effective, nothing particularly outstanding.  Typical jump scares and atmospheric horror.  Plot was coherent and easily followed.

The Bad, The Ugly:  No nudity, which is bad, because officer Loren isn't bad looking.  Still, she looks good in uniform.  Ending was predictable, from about the first 5 minutes into the movie.  A surprise ending would have been nice, instead, I got what I expected.  Wasn't a bad ride, but like getting off a roller coaster you've already ridden 100 times.  Catch Last Shift on netflix if you've a mind to.

In other news, I went out and took about a gazillion pictures of Fall foliage today.  Love that smell of the crisp leaves, drying and crumbling away on the ground out there.  There's still crickets out there, chirping here and there.  Late July to Mid-October isn't a bad run, but I kind of feel bad for those last few males still chirping out their calls this late in the season, because they expect snow in some parts of the area this weekend.  Most likely, their comforting songs will stop soon, and all that will greet me when I listen out my window will be the cold, dead silence of the long, long winter.  Makes you wonder what's wrong with those poor, poor few male crickets, still trying valiantly to attract a mate, no matter how old they are, knowing there's so little time left that they could DIE AT ANY SECOND.  Makes you wonder what's wrong with the females, that refused to mate with these poor determined crickets.  Doesn't perseverance count for anything, anymore?  Don't give up, little male crickets!  Keep chirping!  Don't go gently into that good night!  Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

Uh...  Ahem.  I am in no way comparing myself to an old cricket.  That's ridiculous.  How silly of you to suggest such a thing.  Well.  That's all for tonight.  Til tomorrow, then.  Yea.

Monday, October 17, 2016

#17 - Contracted - Phase II (2015)

Most zombie movies, when they bother to deal with the actual outbreak at all, do so as a very brief introduction to the plague, usually flashing a few quick scenes of some poor lab technician accidentally screwing up, and dying horribly.  Ten minutes into those movies, the world is a seething mass of walking dead.

Contracted: Phase II (2015) continues the story introduced in Contracted (2013), which I reviewed yesterday.  Riley, who had a very brief romantic interlude with the heroine of our last movie, Samantha, is the lead in this movie.  If you've watched Contracted (on Netflix), you know who Riley is.  To sum things up, Riley was a bit obsessed with Samantha, and was basically stalking her.  Which makes him the perfect lead for this movie, because he has all the missing details of the events of the last movie.  After his fling with Samantha, he's been feeling a little...  Well, the movie title just gives it all away, doesn't it?

So if you haven't figured it out yet, the Contracted movie series is not about pressing legal obligations.  Each of the leads in these movies has "contracted" a disease.  It's about the very beginnings of a zombie apocalypse, or as I like to call it, the Zompocalypse.  Or maybe the Z-pocalypse.  Or perhaps the Zombie-lips.  No.  No, not the zombie lips.  That's just wrong.  Still working on it.  Hmmm.  Moving on.

Contracted and Contracted: Phase II are focusing on the detailed events of Patient Zero (usually what they call the primary communicator of a plague) and the events and people around them.  This is a huge difference from most movies, who focus more on the doctors trying to cure the plague, the military personnel trying to contain it, and sometimes the police.  So just to give you a reference point, in your typical zombie apocalypse movie, the events of Contracted and Contracted: Phase II would have happened already, usually just before the opening credits.  I can only hope they are working on a Contracted 3, because the story has only just begun.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly:  Contracted is like The Hobbit, if the Hobbit was about Bilbo finding a ring, and they dragged that single event out into several movies.  So, even worse than the Hobbit, but it gives you a chance to really get into the lives of the characters.  You ever look at a walking, rotting corpse and go "Why do I care if that smelly old cadaver gets a bullet put in its head?  I have no idea who they were when they were alive, they only exist to scare the main character until the guy gets a gun."  Well, I have.  The Contracted movies focus on who the zombies were before they died, and every single one of them had lives and loves, hopes and dreams, and...  it's sad really.  Sad to see the rotting corpses meeting their final ends.  Did you know, according to legend, if you feed a zombie salt, its soul and personality are restored?  So, if a zombie is ever chasing you, stock up on salt.  Just make them eat it, and BLAM!  No Zapocalypze.  Hmmm.  No.  Not that one either.

No nudity, which is good, because there's not too many hot babes in Phase II.  Lots of gore, and if you have an issue with maggots, then you're going to want to keep your eyes closed through half the movie.  Actually they use mealworms in place of maggots, which is what they normally use for the movies.  Mealworms are like potato chips for lizards, fun to eat, but no nutritional value.  Also, they are a lot less icky than actual maggots, larger and easier to wrangle, and completely harmless to humans.  The special effects were understated and effective, except for the voluminous amounts of blood and mealworms, which I guess are technically special effects.

My only problem with this movie was near the end, and I don't want to give anything away, so I will be vague.  There's an agent investigating the goings-on from the first movie, and I don't know her origins, but her accent gets so thick during the excitement at the end, that I can barely understand her.  Which is odd, because I didn't notice her having an accent during the rest of the movie.  Also, her behavior seems a bit odd for a veteran agent, though I can see why they did it.  Still, it's kind of out of character.  If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I am talking about.

Let's hope Contracted 3 (assuming they are making one, I have no clue) is a little bit better, and continues the trend of focusing on the early stages of the Zeeclypse (nope, still not right).  I can't wait to see what happens next.  Not sure if I'd watch Contracted 2 again, since, you know, I've seen it and all, but it was definitely worth the initial viewing.  You guys can catch it (and Contracted) on Netflix, if you want to.  I highly recommend it.  It's like a 3-hour Zombie Apocalypse mini-series.  Uh, if that sounds like a good thing.

In other news, it's getting closer to Halloween, and horror movies are on half the channels now.  AMC and TCM have them pretty regularly, and of course there's always SyFy, and Chiller, and El Rey.  Of course, that's not even mentioning the premium channels.  Starz has started running the second season of Ash vs Evil Dead, which, forgive me for saying so, just isn't as good as the first season.  I'm pretty sure the Evil Dead movies were awesome because it was Ash vs the zombies, and he was totally on his own.  Sure, having friends sort of tamps down Ash's tendency to fly off the handle, and keeps him grounded, but he's also not as entertaining.  Or, maybe it's just because hes older now.  Or, maybe it's because I'm older...   Naaaahhhhhh.  It's the sidekicks.  Ash never needed them before, and I think they're cramping his style.  Anyways, there's a lot of horror playing on TV, if you've a mind to watch it.  Enjoy!  This month only comes once a year.  :-)

In other other news, I had 142 visitors to my blog yesterday.  Crazy shit, since I average about half a dozen a day.  Huh.  Weird.  That's all for tonight.  Catch you tomorrow, when I will hopefully be able to find a horror movie as good as Contracted: Phase II.

#16 - Contracted (2013)

You know the fun part about trying to find things you haven't really seen before, but that might turn out to be good?  Occasionally, they really are good.  Like that one I saw the other night, the New Zealand one, The Dead Room.  You read the synopsis, you start watching it, and at the time, you have no idea whether it's going to be awesome, shite, or somewhere in between.  Most of the movies I have seen lately fall somewhere in between, but more towards the shite end of the scale.

Contracted (2013) is one I have had in my netflix queue for a while.   Something, instinct, perhaps, suggested I wait until my Halloween Horror movie Review a thon to watch it, and now I am glad I did, because this is actually a pretty decent horror flick.  Samantha is a lesbian waitress, to shoehorn her into an easy description, who is still desperately in love with her ex.  Unfortunately, Samantha and her ex, Nikki, are on a break from the relationship, is the best way to describe it.  Samantha goes to a party hosted by her friend Alice, hoping Nikki will show up, and becomes a bit depressed when Nikki doesn't.  Alice manages to get Samantha drunk, hoping something will happen (Alice is also a lesbian, and looking to hook up with Samantha).  Unfortunately for Alice, some dork named BJ sneaks in with an obviously-drugged drink, and spirits Samantha away to his car.  Samantha is raped, but awakes the next morning in her own bed, with little to no memory of the night before.  Sadly, Samantha isn't feeling all that well, and assumes she's just a bit hung over...

I don't know about you guys, but I come down with illnesses fairly frequently.  You know that feeling you get, when you're starting to feel a little under the weather, and you know you're not right, but you're not sure what's wrong yet?  Like, you have absolutely no idea, because the symptoms aren't the usual cold or flu ones?  I can't tell you guys how many times I have had that feeling, and lucky for me, it's always turned out to be just some variety of the standard colds and flu.  I often tell people I'm like a viral canary, because I'll probably be the first to go if there's ever a major outbreak of something dangerous.  So far, I have usually recovered within a week or so, with a more prudent respect for whatever invading virus or bacteria that just had its wicked wicked way with me, and get on with my life.  But do you know the feeling I am talking about?  When you're feeling sick, but you don't know why yet?

Sam has that feeling.  And having been where she is (well, sort of, I don't recall ever being raped, anyways, though i think i might have been drugged once), I immediately identified with her.  So here I am, identifying with the main character, and guess what?  Spoilers!  Turns out she's Patient Zero!  Yea, I mean, it's kind of obvious from the title and all, but I was heavily into my suspension of disbelief at that point, and I'm just going along, enjoying the movie, identifying with the main character, and I come to find that shit out!  And I'm like AAAUUGH!  And then I'm starting to feel like Charlie Brown just after Lucy has pulled the football away, and I kicked and missed, and I'm airborne, and just floating, waiting for the ground to come up and knock with wind out of me.  Well, it does.  Boy, does it!

Now, on to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  No nudity, but it seems to come incredibly close on occasion.  Special effects were minimal, and remarkably effective.  Acting was decent, but I didn't recognize any of the actors except Samantha's mother.  Samantha was moderately cute, until about fifteen minutes into the movie, when the effects of the virus started to be noticeable.  I love how the movie begins the day count as she wake up after the rape, and then towards the end of the movie, lets you know exactly how many days are left!  Awesome plot device.  What could have been better about this movie?  Meh, I dunno. It seemed to work pretty well.  Maybe a bigger budget, but you know what?  There's a Contracted 2!  And I'm going to watch it on netflix tomorrow night, if at all possible.  So we get to find out what happens next!  Awesome sauce!

In other news, it's late, so I'll be quick.  Still watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Sunday nights, but all he talks about is the election.  Sure, that's important, I guess, but after 2 years of the god-awful political shit-show that is our 2016 presidential election, I'm SO glad it will all be over in 3 more weeks.  Honestly, at this point, if Trump got elected and blew us all to hell on his first day, I'd probably thank him for not having to be around for the rest of his presidency.  Because after that, it'd only get worse, much like this entire election cycle.  It just keeps getting worse, and all I want is for it to be over, and to go away, and it just won't.  Why do they even bother with televised debates?  The candidates can just argue over Twitter from now on, and anyone who cares can just read their twitter feeds.  Need to know what their platform is?  Check Facebook!  Now quit splashing their pasty old faces all over my TV, and let me stick my head back into the sand, and pretend everything is going to be OK.

Until tomorrow night's Contracted 2 review, when all hell probably breaks loose.  Come on, you know it's coming.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

#14 - Suspiria (1977), #15 - Donnie Darko (2001)

Since I missed last night's post due to family stuff, I am posting twice tonight.  Tonight's theme is, horror movies that aren't particularly terrifying, and ones that I don't really get.  No, really.  I don't get them.  And I'll go into exhaustive, boring detail about it, too, so, aren't you guys lucky?  :-D 

Suspiria (1977) has to be one of the all-time, most beautifully made, classic horror movies that I find neither horrifying nor understandable nor entertaining.  It's probably just me, because lots of people love this movie, but let's sum it up.  A ballet dancer heads to Italy to study with a prestigious ballet school.  She witnesses a woman running away from the school, a woman who is later found murdered.  As the girl settles into her classes, odd events begin to haunt the school.  What's going on?  I have no earthly idea, but all hell is probably breaking loose, somewhere.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:  Suspiria is a classic horror movie from horror master Dario Argento, hailed as one of his first and finest.  I have watched it several times now, and I really can't make heads or tails of it.  I mean, I get the basic story line.  Ballet dancer heads to school in foreign country, finds odd goings-on, and gets curious.  I won't spoil the plot, in case you want to watch it on El Rey network (where I caught this one, and I hear they are going to play it again at some point), but I just don't know what's so special.  Honestly, the only thing in this movie that remotely weirded me out was the maggots falling from the ceiling.  The rest of the movie was just a bunch of weird murders and bright lights and goofy crap going on.

I guess the acting was good, but I recognized very few of the actors/actresses.  Udo Kier makes an appearance, and Jessica Harper stars as Susie Bannion, the lead. The special effects were good for the time, I suppose?  I don't know.  I guess my biggest issue with this movie was, I couldn't identify with anyone enough to get into it, and the ballet dancer just doesn't seem to handle anything particularly well.  In fact, her first day of class, she passes out, bleeding from the nose.  Who does that?  Bleh.

Would I watch this again?  I've seen it a few times, now. I might even watch it again, but I don't seem to get much out of it.  I can't really recommend it as enjoyable, but, a lot of people like this one.  I got nothing.  Heads or tails whether you like this one, or not.  Interesting fun fact, they are remaking Suspiria, and Jessica Harper even has a role in it.  The remake is due out in 2017 and is slated as being in "Pre-production" at the moment, according to  Moving on.

Donne Darko (2001) is another movie I have a hard time making heads or tails of.  An emotionally disturbed teenager undergoing therapy, has a jet engine fall on his house.  He meets a frighteningly tall and grungy-looking bunny rabbit who leads him through some weird acts of vandalism while he's sleep-walking.  The rabbit tells him the world is ending in 28 days, and Donnie spends the next 28 days trying to figure out wtf the rabbit is talking about.

There's a lot of fun facts about Donne Darko.  Patrick Swayze is in it.  Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead.  Drew Barrymore is in it.  Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it.  The whole movie is set in 1988.  What does it all mean?  I have no idea.  Is it scary?  Well, the giant talking rabbit with the glowing eye is a little creepy, especially when you consider just how dirty his costume is.  I don't know why that's creepy, but it is.  Makes me wonder just where the hell he's been.  I mean, exactly where does Frank, the giant talking bunny rabbit with the glowing eye, hang out in his spare time, when he's not telling Donnie Darko to burn down schools?  Yeah.  I don't know, either, but I WONDER.

Donnie Darko was on Sundance channel, if you want to watch it.  I've seen it a couple times now, and like Suspiria, I can't make heads or tails of it.  Maybe that's the freaky part.  Maybe that's what is so scary about it.  I don't know.  I don't really find it very scary, but, maybe it is, and I'm just too jaded to realize it.  Will I watch it again?  Maybe.  I'm always on the lookout for new lessons to learn in life, and I can't help but wonder if I missed the point of suspiria and Donnie Darko.  So I may watch them again, just to see if I can catch what I missed.  I'm not really a puzzle kind of guy, but sometimes, especially when the puzzle if a horror movie, I can't help but puzzle at it.  Much like the Grinch, I tend to puzzle and puzzle until my puzzler is sore.  Then I put ointment on my sore puzzler, and move on with my life.

That's all for tonight.  Several more horror movies to watch yet this evening, just for kicks.  :-)