Monday, February 23, 2009
Ain't It Cool News is that site where the fanboys are supposed to congregate and talk about all things geek. The lead geek, Harry Knowles, has managed to let the site degrade itself into such a sorry state that it has gone from true Fan Boy to ass kissing of the millionth degree. Point in case;
Harry does this thing every week where he goes over the DVD's released for the week. Harry missed a few and in trying to catch up has managed to give a long column of mostly one or two sentences overviews, showing disservice to the films mentioned. To add insult to injury he had the film HOUND DOG listed and states that he won't watch it. Why? Because the character that Dakota Fanning plays gets raped in the film? If he doesn't watch it then it didn't happen? If he doesn't watch it then he can use his ignorance to pretend that child rape never occurs here in the good old U.S. of A.?
It's that closed minded attitude towards everything that has put this nation in such a sorry state. Where it's okay to have television bombard us with some of the most violent imagery known to mankind, but if there's, Heaven forbid, a nipple slip, then the masses are up in arms. Child rape is a loathsome issue that must be met head on. To ignore it is the worst kind of stupidity and to have a site as popular as Ain't It Cool News help feed that ignorant fire is inexcusable.
The longer that site sticks around and acts like this, the more damage it will do. Plus, the interesting thing is that by making a statement like that all Harry has done is feed the fire for the film he won't watch by making people curious enough to go see what all the fuss is about. He is making the film more popular by dismissing it in this fashion. Way to go, Knowles. In your closed minded ignorance you will have made a film that you loathe more popular. If you weren't going to do this you should not mentioned it at all.
But then the movie companies would stop sending you all those freebies that your precious site hangs on so pathetically.
Now, I'm not going to see the movie, but it's more because it's not my kind of flick and Dakota Fanning grates on my last nerve in anything that she's in.
See? A good reason not to see a flick. Not some pretentious bullshit.
That's it for me.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I started this blog at the end of 2006, the very tail end so, 2006 really doesn't count. We've been here a little more than two years and I am over 6000 hits on my little counter thingie. I couldn't be happier for a site that serves no other purpose than what I want to write about with whatever strikes my fancy.
To show my thanks here is a really hot picture of Malin Ackerman who will be playing Silk Spectre in the new film, WATCHMEN;
And a fun little video clip:
To show my thanks here is a really hot picture of Malin Ackerman who will be playing Silk Spectre in the new film, WATCHMEN;
And a fun little video clip:
Monday, February 16, 2009
So, first up in the weekend of fun was taking the family, plus Stew and Josh to a packed house of Friday The 13th. This is what a slasher movie is and should always be. Lots of fun, Jason style kills, magnificent boobies and gore aplenty. The women in this flick are jaw dropping gorgeous and drop their shirts at the drop of a hat. Want topless water skiing? Got it. Want lots of bed bouncy bouncy? Got it. How about a set of tanned perfection glistening with baby oil? Okay, you get that to.
I hear a lot of people dissing the movie and all I can say is, have you seen any other slasher flick in your life? There is a tried and true formula and this film follows it like a lovesick puppy. Hell, it even managed to shock me once and I've seen a lot of these things.
Friday The 13th will re energize the genre of slasher flicks for some time to follow and all I can say is hurray! It's about time.
Now, let the crappy sequels commence!
Saturday at my house was chaos. It involved friends of my children staying over and lots of chaos. I wanted to hide in a corner somewhere. With one shining moment in the evening, I would like Saturday to be expunged from my mind.
Sunday, on the other hand, was fabulous.
I made an amazing breakfast casserole with potatoes, eggs, a layer of bacon along with some poblano peppers and serrano peppers along with some freshly chopped garlic and a diced sweet onion. It was very good and I will have to make that one again for myself. I might try it next time with some thinly slice prosciutto.
After church we headed back to the homestead where I watched a lot of Sci Fi Channel flicks. Well, most of them. I saw Reign Of The Gargoyles, or at least enough to know what happens.
Then I saw SPLINTER.
This was an amazing piece of low budget film making. The concept that 90 percent of the film takes place in a little out of the way gas station is genius. One set for the most part and four main characters that gets whittled down to three pretty quick. Seems there's this thing that is able to infect and take over living flesh. It absorbs some of it and eats the rest. It is able to make the flesh do what it wants. The process is pretty gooey and nasty, but it works really well. I thought that the use of the jerky cam during monster attacks was a little over done, but I know they did it to hide the really bad creature effects. At least I assume that's the reason as the damned jerky cam prevented us from ever seeing the monster clearly.
This was an effective little monster fest that reminded me of some older Corman films in that you have one location and a small cast up against a monster of some kind.
I also liked that they explained nothing about the monsters origins and the ending doesn't resolve the situation making this a perfect jumping off point for a sequel or three and I am fine with that.
I fell asleep last night to the strains of MST3K's The Giant Gila Monster.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
A site that claims to be the ultimate fan boy site has lately, in my opinion, shown itself to be nothing more than a bunch of overhyped garbage. Add to that the insult I felt at a recent post about David Cronenberg concerning his new film, The Matarese Circle. This reviewer who goes by the name Beaks ststea, and I quote; 'the man who once stuck a vagina under Marilyn Chambers's armpit'. Any true fan of Cronenberg would know that Marilyn Chambers had a PENIS under her armpit! This is not something that anyone who knows anything about Cronenberg, let alone film, would get wrong.
For a site that purports to be all about film, this is a grievous error. Ain't It Cool has been on a crappy downward spiral for some time. I think that this is the final nail in that geek coffin.
I'm done with it. How about you?
Monday, February 9, 2009
SEVERIN TO RELEASE ‘THE SINFUL DWARF’
ON DVD FOR FIRST TIME EVER IN AMERICA
ON MARCH 30TH
Long-Reviled ‘Mother Of All Dwarfsploitation Films’
Promises To Incite Huge Ire From Little People
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 9, 2009 – Severin Films today announced the March 30th release of THE SINFUL DWARF, the infamous 1973 Danish-made/London-lensed shocker that has been called “perhaps the sleaziest film in EuroCult history.” Events surrounding this first ever North American DVD release are scheduled to include a rare theatrical screening at Austin’s Alamo Draft House on April 3rd, as well as national protests from various outraged Little People’s organizations. Severin’s restoration of the still-controversial movie was made possible by the recent discovery of a pristine 35mm print found hidden in a janitor’s closet at The Danish Film Institute.
“A young bride,” promised the original U.S. ads, “left alone to the lewd passions of an evil dwarf!” Former kiddie-show host Torben Bille stars in this EuroSleaze classic as a diminutive degenerate who imprisons drugged teenage runaways for use as sex slaves in the attic of his elderly alcoholic showgirl mother’s decrepit rooming house…and that’s just the first ten minutes. In their December 12th 1973 review, Variety condemned the film as “repulsive”, further declaring “Torben leers and lurches like a demented Bette Davis.” Over the past three-plus decades, the movie’s repellent international reputation was furthered by infrequent screenings of heavily censored fourth-generation bootleg videos as well as a recent viral campaign that shocked even the most jaded of fringe film bloggers. “Best. Plot. Ever.” wrote CinemaIsKing.com. “This whole movie delivers the goods!” while Mania.com raved, “A must-view. After all, can one really go through life without having seen a movie called THE SINFUL DWARF?”
“THE SINFUL DWARF is a towering achievement in graphic depravity,” says Carl Daft, co-founder and CEO of Severin Films. “With this release, Severin is officially going to Hell, and plans on taking as many EuroCult fans as we can with us.” As for the large-scale protests threatened by various Little People’s organizations, Daft is sanguine. “Clearly, THE SINFUL DWARF does not imply that all dwarves are pint-sized perverts with massive penchants for drug trafficking and sexual degeneracy. It would be like attacking Graham Greene for THE QUIET AMERICAN.”
I am not a fan of remakes. When I see PG-13 rated drivel like PROM NIGHT or BLACK CHRISTMAS, I have to ask myself why? These are films that still work. They don't need a re imagining. My steadfast rule is that if it was a work of fiction, or fact, if you like in the written word, then it cannot be a remake. Each one of the films based on this written word are, in fact, adaptations. You get good ones like the 1953 version of WAR OF THE WORLDS compared with the horrific Spielberg/Cruise adaptation many years later. I saw it and wished that I didn't.
Another offender is the 'we only used the name' remake. DAWN OF THE DEAD is a good example. Now director Zack Snyder redeemed himself with 300 and looks to be doing more of the same with the upcoming WATCHMEN flick, but his foray into sacred zombie territory was a bad idea. DAWN OF THE DEAD stands as the perfection that it is. Changing a bunch of the facts around and making another film that would have been better if they had no tried to ride on the coattails of a classic is a no no.
I get a lot of flack from people who say that my viewpoint seems a little narrow, but you know what? That's their opinion.
To help drive my point home let's look at MY BLOODY VALENTINE.
This is a film that still works to this day because of how it was made and the fact that the events of the film take place in a small, insulated mining town. Did not need a remake. Maybe the producers knew this and decided to do two things differently. First, they went with a hard R rating, something that a lot of the horror remakes tend to avoid like the plague. Second, they employed a gimmick, in this case, 3D. And not shitty, second run 3D from the '80s. This is cutting edge 3D. This is the reason to see this movie. It will not play well at home on a smaller screen. I think that the DVD sales for this thing are going to be abysmal, but they have re released the original film in a director's cut so they will make their bank off of that.
The remake pales in comparison to the original. I can vividly remember most of the original film and I haven't seen it since it was released on VHS forever ago. It is what it is, makes no apologies for it and tells an interesting story in the process. The remake does none of this and comes across as shallow.
So, in the end. Here are the rules;
If the film is based on some form of literature whether it be a book, short story, magazine article, comic book or the ingredients on the side of a box of pop tarts then it is an adaptation. Make as many of those as you want because this is a case of another media showing it's version of what it read.
If the film was a film in origin, then leave the damned thing alone. We don't need remakes of films that we watched when we were younger. We still have those movies and they are readily available to rent or purchase.
So, Hollywood, go make something original or adapt something already conceived. We don't want your remakes.
Even 3D won't save those things.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
SPOILERS LURKING AHEAD!
I want to take a moment to reiterate that there are spoilers aplenty in this review. Why? well, I read the first set of reviews of the flick and they all said the same thing; the 3D is cool, but there's this one, insulting moment in the film. Insulting to us, the viewers. I really want to address that.
First up, the flick. And, yes, I will be drawing comparisons to the original. Seems that there was a cave in and explosion in the mine of Harmony. When they finally rescue the guys there is only one left alive. Harry Warden. And he is in a coma, but it's pretty obvious that he killed the other men with a pick axe just so they wouldn't use up all the air and give himself a better chance at survival. He awakens at the hospital and slaughters everyone there. Okay, even I find that a little unbelievable. Everyone? Come on I don't buy that for a minute.
Then after waking up from his coma instead of being all happy he's alive he heads back to the mine where a bunch of kids are having a party. Yeah, not a good idea. In a short span of time he slaughters everyone down there with the exception of Axel, Tom, Irene and our heroine Sarah, played by Jamie King. He gets shot by the only and only Tom Atkins so you know he's gotta be dead, right?
Let's skip ahead ten years and see, shall we?
Tom, who escaped from the mine. Not Tom Atkins, the character named Tom, comes back to Harmony to settle some business. He is there to sell the mine which will effectively destroy the town of Harmony. This makes him a very unpopular person. To add insult to injury, his childhood sweetheart, Sarah has married his rival, Axel. And, if that wasn't enough, there's a guy who looks a lot like Harry Warden did whacking people with a pick axe. Seems that when it rains it pours in Harmony.
Then we get a bunch of small town goings on, a lot of slash and gash, one very nice naked female and what is supposed to be a bizarre twist ending. This is the part that made a lot of people mad.
See, early on we get a scene that completely clears one of the main characters of all wrong doings. With what we have been presented, there is no way in Hell that he can be the killer. Can't happen. But this is the movies, folks. What we see isn't always reality and apparently in this case what we saw was a hallucination by the person we stopped suspecting pretty early on. And the real killer is pretty smart. He does things that make it seem like someone else is doing the killings. Pretty smart, but in the end, makes perfect sense.
A lot of people seemed upset by this blatant manipulation and all I can say to them is this; Did you not watch slasher movies in the 80's. They treated us, for the most part, with complete disregard as to facts and what is a real and what isn't. This is no different. Actually, it comes across as something that Quentin Tarantino would do and then people would call it brilliant. Hell, it even gives us a non ending that should have the words MY BLOODY VALENTINE 2: ELECTRIC PICKAXE BOOGALOO written all over it.
And if they people at Lionsgate decide to go with that title, they can reach me here at this blog and we'll work out some sort of monetary agreement.
So, was it any good? Sure. Could have used more boobies. Jamie King could have given them up as we have seen them before. Megan Boone who plays Axel's cheating girlfriend definitely should have given up the puppies. The gore effects were fabulous and made me say ouch more than once. The 3D was in my face and that was cool, except for the huge headache I had for an hour or so afterwards. That kind of sucked. The coolest part for me was when the killer, who shall remain secret (It was tom. Not Tom Atkins, the other Tom) is smashing lights as he approaches Sarah and Axel. Every time there is the flare of an exploding bulb he briefly turns into Harry Warden. Pretty cool.
Now to the more important question. Is it better than it's predecessor?
The original My Bloody Valentine worked for a number of reasons. For one the time frame from the original cave in to the present day was decades long which gave it more of a folk tale feel to it. Couple that with the realistic backdrop of where the film was made and the fact that nothing but no name actors were used and it gave a more realistic feel to the entire thing. The mine felt creepier, the killings seemed more brutal and the final reveal of the killer made a lot more sense in the process. The remake did ape a lot of what came before; the person getting stuffed in the dryer, people's names, the rivalry between Tom and Axel, for Sarah. Although, in the original, Tom's name was Jessie, but that's splitting hairs at this point.
In a sea of holiday based, slasher flicks, My Bloody Valentine from 1981 had more heart (no pun intended) and a Hell of a lot more logic. At least for a slasher flick. And with a new release that replaces all the gore that had originally been cut from the theatrical release waaaaay back in '81, this version is preferable over the carny show that is MY BLOODY VALENTINE IN 3D. If you're a 3D fan then by all means see it. I liked it and the last horror flick in 3D that I saw was Friday the 13th 3 in 3D.
Yeah, I know, I'm old.
Get out of here.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I have been on this Fred Olen Ray kick lately and that means I will be passing the experience on to you, the readers. I can hear your collective groan, but I have always been a fan of Fred's. Sure, I don't like those comedies he does like INVISIBLE MOM, but he has made so many other flicks that I could care less.
Now we have a relatively new film entitled Tomb Of The Werewolf. My first impression was; Man, this looks cheap! But then I got me some Michelle Bauer and the credits promised Paul Naschy as well. Score!
The premise is that there's this guy who is the last of the Daninsky clan and he knows that there is a treasure to be had. And he wants it. He hires a TV crew to come along and film the action.
Unbeknownst to any of them is that the woman in charge of the castle is Elizabeth BAthory. Yeah, that one. Michelle Bauer plays the part. Seems she is just around for one reason. To get the last of the Daninisky clan to open the tomb of Waldemar Daninsky and remove the weapon from his chest that keeps him under wraps.
Yeah, that happens pretty quick and we get Waldemar in his old school makeup chomping the shit out of our erstwhile TV crew and a few villagers as well.
Fred Olen Ray knows what is going to sell a flick, but he also has a soft spot for the movies that he grew up with. To make both ends meet we are treated to a bevy of voluptuous beauties who all drop their clothes with little if any coaxing. Not a lot of soft core action as this is primarily a werewolf movie. I was surprised to see adult film star Evan Stone in the flick. He was probably happy that all he had to do was fondle a girl for a minute before he gets whacked by the werewolf. A very funny moment.
In the end the film is about the effect of curses and we get a few surprises along the way, a large quantity of very nice female nudity, blood and gore as Waldemar wreaks havoc throughout and, what can be the only happy ending for a werewolf.
I thought that having Paul Naschy as Waldemar was fantastic and the fact that Fred kept the old school makeup for the werewolf was another definite plus.
Naschy fans are going to watch this for Naschy. Everyone else gets something for their troubles as well.
Being a more recent Fred Olen Ray movie I was a little worried. I should have known better. Fred is a pro and always delivers.