Tuesday, June 23, 2009

*Review* Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

I had the pleasure last week of watching Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer on Netflix instant Q. After seeing so many terrible low budget B horror movies as of late (Hatchet, anyone?) I was expecting the worst with this.

Plot: Jack Brooks (Trevor Matthews) is a highschool student suffering from anger problems after watching his family get murdered by monsters on a camping trip when he was a child (who can't relate to that?). His unbelievably high maintenance bitchy girlfriend (Rachel Skarsten) only makes matters worse for him. After his professor (the beloved Robert Englund) asks him to fix a plumbing issue at his creepy old house he unknowingly unleashes an ancient evil that only Jack Brooks can defeat.

My thoughts: For a low budget horror movie the creature effects and make-up/prostetics are top notch here. The acting is quirky and surprisingly well done specifically the three actors I mentioned above. The dialogue is pretty well crafted given the plot, and there's not a whole lot of things to complain about here. I really was expecting a terrible movie but I couldn't help but have fun watching this. After watching Robert Englund in Hatchet, I felt terrible for him because not only was his role small and insignificant, it was terribly written and executed. In JB: MS, they let him shine, and he doesn't disappoint one bit. Running in at about 85 minutes the pacing never slows down. Granted, it does take a little while to get going but the payoff is worth the wait. I can't stress enough about how good the creatures looked for a low budget movie. This just goes to show you that you don't need millions of dollars to waste on bad CGI that comes off as cartoony. It felt refreshing to see a B movie that actually pays off with the recent movies that I've seen. It left me wanting more, and was pleased to hear that they are planning a sequel. I recommend this movie to any horror fan looking for an hour and a half to put your feet up and have a good time.

Rating: 8.2/10

Monday, June 15, 2009

*Review* Drag Me To Hell

Sam Raimi returns to horror with style, thrills, and a familiar sense of humor.

Story: Christine ( Allison Lohman ) is a young, hot loan officer of sorts stuck in an office controlled by her sexist boss who tends to favor her fellow asian work colleague. Her boss makes it apparent that he doesn't think that she is capable of making tough choices. There is a promotion that she has been striving to get, when a sickly old woman (Lorna Raver) named Mrs. Ganush comes in asking for a third extension on her house loan. Christine thinks about what her boss said about making tough decisions, she turns down the request for a third extension. Mrs. Ganush proceeds to beg Christine, even going as far as getting on her hands and knees, but Christine sticks to her decision - which prompts Mrs. Ganush to get gypsy on the bitch and curses her. Christines skeptic boyfriend, Clay ( Justin Long )- who represents the voice of reason and logic stands by his woman as her life begins to be dragged.......to hell.

What I thought: If a one-eyed Gypsy woman with no dental insurance ever asks me for something, you better be damn sure I'm gonna get it done for her. There are so many memorable sequences in this very refreshing horror thriller, most notably the scene in the parking garage - you will know what I'm talking about after you see it, that stand out in this movie. It's been a while since Raimi has helmed a horror project and it's easy to see that he hasn't lost his grasp on the genre. He has the uncanny ability to mix over the top thrills with humor that make lousy attempts such as the Grudge and Saw series look even worse than they already do, if thats even remotely possible. This movie runs in at about 90 minutes and to me that is the ideal length of a movie and it doesn't wear out its welcome. Allison Lohman shines - she does an amazing job playing the helpless yet strong heroine, and you can't help but feel sorry for the poor girl the entire movie - especially when Long's character brings her to his "you can do better than this white trash" type of parents house for dinner, (in another very memorable scene.) The PG-13 rating didn't hurt this film one bit. There was no sense of it feeling watered down. This is classic Raimi. The writing is excellent. The script feels very much alive and the dialogue flows well. Coupled with an amazing score, however if you are expecting an Evil Dead remake here you are going to be a little disappointed because even though there is a great deal of fun to be had here, the story takes itself seriously for the most part. I recommend this movie to anybody that has a pulse.

Verdict: Sam Raimi proves that he is today's master of thrills and laughter.

Rating - 9.1/10


"Midnight" by Not The Government
Directed by Lloyd Kaufman

A while back I was involved in a music video for Troma Entertainment. The video was premiered at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors Los Angeles in April. I really do enjoy this video and I love every time I work with Troma so I figured I would post it. You can find me dancing in the background in a blue shirt.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sharks In Venice Review

Sharks In Venice (2008)

Starring Stephen Baldwin.

This film is about David, a te
acher who has to go to Venice because his Dad has disappeared. He finds out how to get to an ancient treasure that has been lost for centuries. The mafia comes after him and kidnaps his girlfriend to force him to get them the treasure. Only thing is the water surrounding the treasure is infested with sharks.

My thoughts:
I'm going to tell you right now there is only one shark in "Sharks In Venice". Why didn't they just call it "There's A Shark In Venice?"

There's a scene in this film where David gets his leg ripped off in a struggle with the shark. In the next scene he's in the hospital and they tell him he's lost a little blood and he'll be fine.
That looks to me like he lost his leg. In this scene they also show the shark breaking through a boat which they never explain.

There's a huge flashback scene in the beginning of this film where David is talking about where the treasure came from. In this scene there are
knights fighting on foot and on horse back. We didn't need to see all of this to get the point of where the treasure came from. They just wasted their budget on useless footage. Knights are cool but not in a film called "Sharks In Venice." I wanted more shark action.

The continuity is so terrible. They use the same footage multiple times and it is very noticeable. The last 30 minutes are so ridiculous they made m
y stomach hurt from laughing so hard.

My advice would be rent it if you're in the mood for a terrible straight-to-dvd movie. It's a lot more enjoyable than most of the sci-fi channel movies out there.
Sorry Mr. Baldwin.