Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#31 - Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2016)

With this final post for the month, October Horror Movie Review-A-Thon 2017 is complete, and I shall rule the world!!!  MUA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!!!  At least half that statement is probably correct.  Not sure which half, but I think I lost contact with reality about 15 years ago.  Could have been longer.  Reality never sends me emails anymore.

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (2016) begins with a professional snowboarder attempting to snowboard down a mountain.  It's the end of the season for snowboarding, and if Steve can manage to stylishly impress his special guest, he secures his sponsors for all of next season!  Steve is going to drop out of a chopper, right onto the side of the mountain, and snowboard his way down!  The only problem is, the mountain is covered in artificial snow, snow that has turned all the wildlife into undead versions of themselves.  Will Steve impress his sponsors enough to secure his funding for next season, manage to fight off an army of zombies, and at the same time, impress his manager/girlfriend Branka?  Or will the Lederhosen Horde of Zombies win the day?  :-o

Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies manages to successfully combine the binge-drinking fun of Oktoberfest, with the Zombies typical of Halloween movies, into a wintry carnival of horror-comedy.  I thought it was appropriate for the last day in October, since it was snowing when I woke up this morning, and only 3 days ago I was wearing shorts.  Man, the weather changes fast around here.  Also, though I searched high and low, I could not find another movie to review in time for this post.  I thought I read somewhere that Netflix would have Neon Demon for me to stream at some point this month, but alas, that seems not to be the case.  :-(

So, the cast.  Laurie Calvert plays Steve (the snowboarder), Gabriela Marcinkova plays Branka (Steve's manager/girlfriend), and Margarete Tiesel play Rita (proprietor of the local drinking establishment).  This is a solid B-zombie-horror-comedy movie, so don't expect oscar-winning performances, and I have never seen any of the cast anywhere else.  Effects are typical zombie make-up effects and foam-rubber body parts covered in gallons of blood, which is plenty good enough for me!  No nudity, which is something you'd expect from this caliber of movie, but Branka is easy on the eyes.  Branka, and Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies, is on Showtime Beyond if you want to check it out.  I've seen it twice now, so it certainly passes the rewatchability test, though mostly for being just a fun snowboard ride.  Like the sign in the movie says, "it's all downhill from here."

At one point in this movie, they're doing like a montage of body parts flying into the air as they kill zombies, and I think I saw a pair of shorts and a telephone book just randomly tossed into the air in between, just to give you an idea of how goofy-funny this movie is.  (spoilers) I love the part where the bar blows up!  It's shot from a distance, and looks awesome!  (end spoilers)  It's not all just comedy, though. There's a plot, and it's serious, and though it may not be entirely plausible, it gets the job done.  And honestly, when you're looking for a sex-toy, you don't want something pretty or stylish, you want something that gets the job done.  This movie may not be a sex-toy, but it gets the job done, and what more could you want in a horror movie, I ask you?  Well, lots more, but hey, it's a B-movie.  What do you expect?

That's all for this month, and for OHMRAT 2017!  Woohooo!  I've done it again!  Yeah, baby, yeah!  Time to celebrate with cheap horror movies, John Carpenter's horror classic Halloween (1978), and bucketloads of Halloween candy!  Yeeehawwww!!  Happy Halloween everybody!  :-D

Monday, October 30, 2017

#30 - Little Evil (2017)

Down to the wire, and racing for the home stretch!  I almost fumbled the ball tonight, and yes, I realize that does mix a horse-racing metaphor with a fotball metaphor, and those two do not go well together.  What I mean is, I almost couldn't find a movie to review this evening!  :-o  Luckily, someone had recommended another film to me earlier this month, that I hadn't actually reviewed yet.

Little Evil (2017) is a simple enough story.  A stepdad is trying to bond with his new stepson.  Unfortunately, the stepson has buried him out in the back yard, which, not only makes communicating difficult, but really puts a damper on the relationship.  Communication really is key in these sorts of situations, mostly because, if he doesn't get some help before he runs out of air, he's dead!

This is a horror-comedy, fair warning.  These is some horror to it, though, and it's not just a typical step-dad/step-son story.  So let's recap the cast.  Evangeline Lilly plays the mom.  Adam Scott plays Gary, the stepdad.  Sally Field and Clancy Brown are even in it.  I especially loved Bridget Everett as AL.  Most of the actors give pretty solid performances, but they got a bargain on the extras.  I noticed several of them looking over at the camera during filming, which just surprised me, because the extras are usually better than that.  This movie was pretty decent, a fair B-movie, and kind of funny.  I wouldn't mind watching it again, but seeing it once gives you the general idea.  Maybe they'll make a sequel!

In other news, I finished watching season 2 of Stranger Things.  It was pretty good, around the same quality as the first season.  Stranger Things is on netflix, so if you haven't watched it, yet, and you have access to netflix, go do that!  I highly recommend it.

That's all for tonight.  One more review to go!  Happy Halloween to you guys, if you are too busy to check my blog tomorrow.  :-)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

#29 - Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017)

"Jeepers Creepers, where'd you get those peepers?  Jeepers Creepers, where'd you get those eyes?" was a popular kids' song back in the olden days of TV land, as I recall.  I often heard it sung in my youth, long before the first of the Jeepers Creepers movies was made.  Back then, it wasn't so creepy.  Nowadays, all I can think of when I hear that song, is Justin Long's eyeless face dangling from hooks in a dank, dark cave.  Poor Justin! :-(

Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017) picks up right where Jeepers Creepers (the first movie) left off, after the "Creeper" takes off with Justin Long's character at the end of that movie.  The Police are out in force, trying to figure out what the heck is going on, and there's suddenly a Creeper Task Force being led by someone who fought the Creeper the last time it was flitting around, 23 years back.  Between the Task force and the police, surely they can deal with one little old creeper, right?  They've already captured his truck, how hard can it be...?

I saw this movie on Syfy, but don't let that fool you.  This is definitely not one of those Syfy-channel horror-movie-of-the-week productions.  Meg Foster (Masters of the Universe, They Live, Leviathan, Blind Fury) plays Gaylen Brandon, an old farmer with a score to settle.  Stan Shaw (Rocky, Snake Eyes, The Monster Squad) plays Sheriff Tashtego, also with a score to settle with the Creeper.  Brandon Smith (Jeepers Creepers) plays Sgt. Tubbs, one of the few surviving police officers from the first movie, back to go another round or two with the Creeper (played by Jonathan Breck, who also played the Creeper in the first two movies).  This is a solid, good quality B-movie here, and it shows.

According to Creeper myth (set forth by these movies), the Creeper awakens every 23 years, and feeds for 23 days in the Spring, before hibernating for another 23 years.  From what I can tell, all three of the Jeepers Creepers movies revolve around a single appearance of the Creeper.  The first Jeepers Creepers movie details the Creeper's first encounter, this movie (the third) details what happened right after the first movie, and the second Jeepers Creepers movie actually details what happens at the end of the Creeper's 23-day Spring feeding.  To watch the movies in the correct order of events (according to the Creeper timeline), you'd have to watch the first one, the third one, and then go back and watch the second one.  The odd order makes things a little confusing, but this movie does give you a little more background about what happens just before the start of the second movie.

I'd expect another series of Jeepers Creepers movies around 2024, when the Creeper would supposedly awaken from his 23-year hibernation (23 years after the first movie came out in 2001), and get started feeding again.  Of course, there's still time to squeeze in a couple more Creeper movies before then, maybe a flashback to where the creeper first woke up in time to hunt Justin Long's character from the first movie, or even a flashack to where the Creeper went to ground the last time he was out hunting.  I wonder if they'll get Justin Long back for a cameo or something?  Come to think of it, they never did give a date for when the creeper was out hunting THIS time, so maybe he's already out hunting again, as we speak!  It is horror season!  Who knows what's going on around the dark and spooky back roads of America?  :-o

I liked this movie, mostly because it picks up right where the first movie left off, and continues with pretty much non-stop action almost until the end.  There's a lot more of the Creeper's hardware shown, including the completely-implausible semi-living magical truck filled with traps that the Creeper drives, and those little tooth-filled bone-stars he throws on occasion.  There's not as much flying around in this movie, and instead of just flitting around at night like he did in the second movie, the Creeper spends most of his time aground in daylight during this one.  There's a little bit of filler material introducing Addison Brandon (Gabrielle Haugh, the Creeper's latest target), but it's not too distracting from the rest of the film, and she's easy on the eyes.  I'd probably watch this movie again, certainly just before the next one comes out, just to refresh my memory as to what's going on in the story.

29 movies down, two left to go!  Looks like I'll be able to finish another round of my October Horror Movie Review-A-Thon, but I've been wrong before!  Can I do it?  31 horror movie reviews in 31 days?  We'll see!  In other news, Stranger Things (Season 2) is out on Netflix, and if you're not reading my blog, that's probably where you are right now, binge-watching the entire nine episodes of the second season.  Come to think of it, that's where I am going next, too.  See you there!  :-D

Saturday, October 28, 2017

#27 - American Werewolf in London (1981), #28 - Psycho (1960)

Two classics tonight!  I am behind schedule with the reviews, so without any further build-up, let's get to it!

American Werewolf in London (1981) begins with a pair of guys from America heading out on a hiking tour of europe.  Obviously they start in England, and a sheep truck drops them off in the rainy moors for the first portion of their long hike.  A short stop at a pub called the "Slaughtered Lamb" leaves them a bit spooked, so they head out onto the moors in the dark of night, during a rainstorm.  Straying from the road, the boys are out on the moors when they hear something out there in the night, something growling...

Let's cover the cast.  David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are David and Jack, two buddies just out for a good hike through Europe, when things don't go according to plan.   Jenny Agutter plays Nurse Price, and John Woodvine plays Dr. Hirsh.  Everyone does a bang-up job, and Jenny Agutter looks awesome in a nurse's uniform.  Everyone else does a good job as well, including the locals of East Proctor.  I imagine they'd have used the locals of South Proctology, but they were all getting rectal exams that day.  Odd coincidence.

American Werewolf in London is one of the best werewolf movies of all time, hands down.  The transformation sequence alone was a landmark of special effects for its time, and still looks better than most of the CGI crap they use nowadays.  I love that they use CCR's "Bad Moon Rising" to lead up to the transformation sequence, which is freakishly and awesomely scary.  The effects on the "undead" are awesome, too.  There was even a sequel, American Werewolf in Paris, but it wasn't as good as the first one.  I caught American Werewolf in London on EPIX, one of the premium channels, if you want to check it out for yourself.

Psycho (1960) starts out with a moment of weakness.  A secretary left in possession of $40,000 during a real-estate transaction, perhaps overcome with the heat and her desire to go visit her lover, absconds with the money and heads for greener pastures.  Like most first-time criminals, she makes a lot of mistakes, but perhaps her worst one is ending up at the Bates Motel during a rainstorm.  Norman Bates is the proprietor of the Motel, and the dynamic between him and his mother, does not seem to be good...

Psycho has been voted the second-scariest horror film of all time on numerous occasions.  Much like American Werewolf in London, there's a shower scene that many people enjoyed.  Alfred Hitchcok was obviosuly behind Psycho, and the movie stars Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates and Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, the lady who swipes the 40 grand.  Awesome movie, decent special effects for the time, and kickass acting talent.  As much a classic as American Werewolf in London, if not more so, for most people.  This was on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) if you want to watch it for yourself.

In other news, the Inhumans still sucks.  I hate Maximus, not in the sense that he's a good villain and deserves his comeuppance, but in the sense that he's the most ridiculous villain that I have ever seen, and he should be the comedy relief.  He's powerless, paranoid, and idiotic, and as much as the series tries to make him out to be some sneaky, smart, brilliant master of tactics, none of it makes the least bit of sense.  The rest of the Inhumans have to be absolute morons by comparison, or they'd have dropped this dipshit ages ago.  It's like watching Jon Lovits in Mom and Dad Save the World, ruling a planet of morons, only in this case everyone is an idiot.  I'm not sure who to root for.  Maybe the dog?

That's all for tonight.  Catch you guys tomorrow with another review.  :-)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

#26 - Housebound (2014)

I think, of all the horror movies, there's more haunted house horror movies than just about anything else.  Amityville Horror is just one example but I am sure there are countless others.  It's probably just a side effect of everyone being worried about the normal creaks and groans of their house settling at night.  I know when I'm laying awake in bed at night, and my house creaks and groans, settles and moans, wheezes and creaks and pops and settles and MY HOUSE IS HAUNTED GET ME OUT OF HERE (gasp, pant) it's okay.  I'm okay.  I panicked a little.  I'm all right.

Housebound (2014) starts with an attempted burglary.  Kylie's boyfriend attempts to rob an ATM machine, and succeeds in knocking himself unconscious.  Being slightly more capable than her unconscious boyfriend, Kylie manages to rob the ATM, but has some car trouble attempting to escape.  As punishment, Kylie is sentenced to home imprisonment, subject to an ankle monitor that broadcasts her location at all times.  Unfortunately, Kylie doesn't have a home, so she's sent back to her mother's home.  Kylie doesn't get along with her mom, and doesn't want to be home.  Kylie's mom isn't too happy with the situation either, especially since Kylie doesn't believe her mom when she tells her daughter that strange things have been happening around the house...

One of the interesting things I noted about this movie is that, when Kylie tells her haunted-house story to her probation officer, his reaction is not the standard reaction you'd expect.  I don't want to give away what happens, but there are definitely a lot of unintended laughs in this movie.  This is a New Zealand-made movie, so I really don't know any of the actors.  I guess that kind of helped, as it made each actor seem like he or she was perfect for the role.  This movie is a little different than your average horror movie, and there's even some comedic moments here and there, but it's not a bad watch.  Maybe a bit of a slow starter, and the ending wasn't what I expected, but not disappointing.  I caught this on netflix, and it's there if you guys want to check it out.  I don't know if I'd watch it again, but it wasn't bad the first time.

That's all for tonight.  Been one of those days, you know?  I'm off to chillax until bedtime, listening to my house creak and pop and groan and ZOMG MY HOUSE IS HAUNTED!  :-o  No, no, it's ok, I panicked.  I'm all right.  I'm ok.  I'll be fine.  After 20 or 30 years of therapy.  Maybe.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#25 - Life (2017)

Sci-fi has long been an excellent source of horror, from the campy sci-fi of the 1950's, through Alien in 1979 to Event Horizon in 1997.  The red planet Mars has long been a source for these alien monstrosities, though we now know it to be mostly barren and mostly dry.  Does alien life exist on Mars?  And what would happen if we found it?

Life (2017) begins with the recovery of some martian soil samples that were almost lost due to an unexpected meteor shower.  Rory Adams is an astronaut aboard the International Space Station that manages to catch the samples before they plummet into Earth's atmosphere and burn up.  When going through the soil samples, a microscopic bit of extra-terrestrial life is discovered.  It's just a single-celled organism, and it looks dead, but the biologist thinks it's just hibernating.  Once he manages to wake it back up, however, you know what happens!  That's right.  All hell breaks loose!

Let's start with the cast.  Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, Deadpool) plays Flight Engineer Rory Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Nightcrawler) plays Crew Medical Officer Dr. David Jordan, Hiroyuki Sanada (47 Ronin) plays Systems Engineer Sho Murakami, and Rebecca Ferguson plays Dr. Miranda North from the CDC.  I don't know any of the rest of the cast, but obviously these are all veteran actors anchoring what I would say is the pretty bog-standard plot of an alien sci-fi horror movie:  Recovered alien escapes to wreak havoc!  Then again, just because it's been done before, doesn't mean these guys didn't do an excellent job of it.

This was an expensively-done movie.  Just hiring the cast would have cost tens of millions of dollars, and I'm surprised I haven't heard more about this movie before now.  It almost looks like they borrowed the real ISS to shoot the scenes in, which is just crazy talk.  Aside from the excellently-done special effects, I fucking love that they named the alien Calvin, and it has a personality all its own.  No nudity, but there's lots of blood, and how do you go wrong with a Martian named Calvin?  That's right, you just can't.  I'm a little pressed for time tonight, so I can't really give this movie all the love it deserves, but I would definitely watch it again.  It flows really well from beginning to end, and though I saw the end coming a mile away, it was still a fun ride getting there.  Check this one out on Starz Edge, if you get the chance.

That's all for tonight!  Catch you guys tomorrow for another horror movie review!  Can I do it?  Can I review 31 movies in one month?  I've done it 8 times before, but who knows!  Maybe this is the year I will fail!  Won't that be funny, and simultaneously, horrific?  :-D

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

#23 - Stickman (2017), #24 - Howard The Duck (1986)

We're in the home stretch!  Only a week to go before All Hallow's Eve, and I hope everyone's ready for it!  Do you have enough candy for the kiddies?  Is your costume all set?  Have you watched enough scary movies?  I hope the answer to the last one is no, because there's still a week's worth left of movies to review, here on my blog!  The 2017 October Horror Movie Review-A-Thon isn't over just yet!

Stickman (2017) starts with a mental patient in a hospital, a fair beginning to a large number of horror movies.  Apparently, something called the Stickman was responsible for a number of deaths, killing kids with nightmares in their sleep.  A ten-year old girl lost her mother and sister to the Stickman, and has been in a mental institution since then.  Fortunately for this mental patient, she seems to have conquered her demons, and has been nightmare-free for almost a year now.  In a few months, she will turn 18, and the hospital is ready to release her to a transition home.  That's good news, but if she didn't really kill her family, then where's the Stickman?

Stickman seems to be a cheap knock-off of Freddy Krueger, with less character, less acting talent, and less budget, and I didn't even like the Freddy Krueger movies.  I don't know anyone in the entire cast of Stickman, and judging from the IMDB page on this movie, neither does anyone else.  There's barely a few flickers of dream-images from Stickman haunting nightmares, and then he's released into the real world where a bunch of teenage girls scream and run and get slaughtered for the duration of the movie.  There's nothing here to enjoy, remember, or take note of, but if you want to waste your time checking it out for yourself, there's always Syfy Channel.  Moving on, because Stickman isn't worth wasting time on.

Howard the Duck (1986) opens with Howard, a humanoid space-duck, coming home from work at his boring job as an advertising executive.  Howard cracks open a cold one, sits down in his favorite easy chair to watch TV, and is then sucked into a beam of energy that transports him to Earth.  Howard doesn't know how he arrived here on Earth, but he meets up with Beverly, the lead singer in an all-girls band, who are still struggling to get gigs in bars.  Beverly's friend Phil is a janitor at a museam, but he knows a few scientists, and they think they might know just exactly how Howard arrived...

Howard the Duck is Marvel's most enduring superhero movie, made long before the Thor, Hulk and Iron-Man remakes.  While those movies have long since been played out on network TV, Howard the Duck is still going strong on the premium channels, where I caught it.  Leah Thompson (Back to the Future) plays Beverly, Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption) plays Phil, and Jeffrey Jones (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Who's Your Caddy?) plays Dr. Jennings, one of Phil's scientist friends.  These three veteran actors are basically the main cast, in addition to the team of actors who played Howard.  Come for an adorably cute Leah Thompson in panties, snuggling up to a three-foot tall space-duck, stay to watch a pre-Oscar-winner Tim Robbins get his head dunked into a muddy river while trying to repair the gas line on a lawn-mower-engine-powered hang glider!  :-D  Where else are you going to see all that, in one movie?  This was what George Lucas did, between Star Wars trilogies!  If that's not ample reason to check this movie out, I don't know what is.  I've watched Howard the Duck every time I've seen it on TV, since I first saw it in 1986, and I am going to keep watching it, every damn time.  It's that funny, and that good.

What qualifies this as a horror movie, and makes it eligible for a review in October, you ask?  Well, Howard is constantly mistaken for a kid in a duck costume for the entire movie, for one thing.  Two, he's a space-duck, possibly with space-rabies!  "Is that a thing?" one of the characters in the movie asks.  "I don't know, I think I heard something about that!" answers another.  Also, spoiler alert, Dr. Jennings turns into a Dark Overlord of the Universe, and intends to bring down his demonic allies from the Nexus of Sominus, a dimension in space where demons dwell, and invade the entire Earth!  If that's not scary fucking shit right there, I'm not sure what is.  Props go to the Dark Overlords of the Universe, for being the most evil and alien-looking space monster I have ever seen in any movie in my entire life.  How does a three-foot space-duck with no discernible super-powers defeat a Dark Overlord of the Universe, you ask?  Watch the movie, and find out!  Where do you find it?  Check the premium channels, or maybe Crackle.com, or even YouTube.  It's got to be playing somewhere, dammit!

One last thing I'd like to mention, when you think of Iron Man, or the Hulk, or even Thor, does their theme song play in your head?  They don't even have their own theme songs, do they?  No, they don't.  Not only does Howard have his own rockin' theme song, but it's the catchiest theme song of any superhero movie, since Spider-Man of the 1970's.  Watch Beverly and the Cherry Bombs playing it at the end of the movie, and it'll get stuck in your head forever!  It goes "Howard the Duck!  Yeah!  Ain't no way to conceal it!  And he shot an arrow, straight through my heart!"  Yes, Beverly, your heart and mine.  Your heart and mine.

That's all for tonight.  It's almost time for dinner, and I have other horror movies to check out.  I'm all caught up on my horror movie reviews now, so I'll see you guys tomorrow for another review!  :-)