Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)

Well, you get Naomi Watts this time in one of her very early roles. Does that help? Not really. She plays an assistant to a local doctor. A job she gets when coming home to visit her ill mother. They show how all these regular children get sick at the same time (fevers for everybody!). After which, they become the titular corn kids (could you imagine that awful title? please don't but how about the prequel Corn Babies... I know, I know, cinematic gold... trust me). This entry feels quite slow and boring. They must have taken the budget down to zero. You get absolutely no corn monster. People give number three a lot of crap but man that movie goes bugnuts monster massacre in the last 30 min and it is awesome. I had no idea how spoiled I was until I watched this. Number two is definitely the best sequel so far with three being super close due to the finale alone but I'm afraid it's all downhill from here (maybe five is better? hope so... I'm a sucker I know). This film feels like an unnecessary tedious origin story. Almost like a prequel to the original even though it isn't. I guess it's attempting to inject more drama and suspense but I don't think any of it works. A low-grade sequel like this should at least be fun and good grief, I want my corn monster! Sorry, "he who walks behind the rows." One of the dang kids is supposed to be "he who walks behind the rows" here... ugh. You don't even get the bowling ball rolling underneath the ground. Zip. Zilch. The doctor does get cut in half... alright. Apparently, the doctor's office is haunted by the evil corn kids because they randomly kill Naomi's friend there too. But this movie is seriously lacking in every department. Did the people making this watch the other films? The audience is light years ahead from the very beginning, which is a horrible idea. It makes your film immediately boring like it opens with the mom's dream or future prediction of some evil kids coming. Whatever. We already know that's going to happen. Quit wasting our time. Ah who am I kidding? Clearly I have some time to waste if I'm watching this :) Did I just type a smiley emoji? Did I just type "emoji?" Oh please God, kill me. Kill me now. What have I done? What demons hath the internet spawned.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Indie Horror You Should Watch

If you haven't seen these, I highly recommend you check them out ASAP. First up, Schoolgirl Apocalypse. It's cool as hell. Very original post-apocalyptic scenario with only the men being infected, excellent directing and action, etc. It deserves a lot more love and attention. Second, End of the Line. Maurice Devereaux should already be a household name. The guy self finances all his own films. Think about that for a second. He put $200,000 of his own money to make this flick. That alone takes guts but it's a damn good movie too. I also love Slashers. You gotta see his work. Third, The Human Race. I don't know why people are being jerks on IMDb but this is another fantastic tiny-budget indie. It takes risks Hollywood would never dream of and they all pay off in spades. Last but not least, The Demon's Rook. Awesome practical FX labor of love. Cool monsters and a fun time. I really wish these guys would make more films. So please support their stuff. Believe me, it's worth it.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

Correction: they definitely show the corn monster in number three. Excuse me "he who walks behind the rows." Corn monster doesn't sound nearly as cool. This film is sadly weaker than part two. The opening makes you wonder if your brain gave up and forgot the second one because there's no continuity. All of a sudden you get two new kids in a cornfield with a drunken abusive father... ok. I had to double check and make sure both Joshua and Eli are new characters. Yep, they are. This sequel is very so-so until about the last ten or twenty minutes. Then it just goes nuts. You get an ugly huge latex beast that resembles the mutated dog in The Thing if it had been accidentally crushed by the prop guy. I love it, and the body count goes through the roof. All of a sudden, you get corn tentacles flying between a girl's legs (WTF), tentacles using sickles to hack people up, a guy getting hung to death by a tentacle (it's a sight to see), etc. Talk about a frenzy of blood and death. More than makes up for what came before, and it's funny too because you think the movie is over when all this insanity explodes onscreen. Genius ending but you know they're going to completely ignore the last teaser of the corn going worldwide. I'm quite certain the next one isn't set overseas. By the way, I have to mention the absolutely brutal demise we get for Malcom. Why does this poor guy have to be so eviscerated? I mean damn. He was a good sympathetic character and they make his death so gruesome like they just had to top Predator with the ultimate nasty spinal fatality. Geez. Couldn't Eli go out that way? That kid got annoying fast and I thought the demonic brat in two was tiresome. At least, they showed Micah getting possessed like he had a little extra dimension to him but this kid is too young and baby faced to be in charge. And what was with his outlandish fireball power? Eh whatever it's always going to be hard to pull off an evil kid. Done right like The Exorcist and it's unnerving (Dick Smith's phenomenal makeup went a long way though) but if it's done wrong, laugh-out-loud cheesy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

I love how the *second* film in the series already has the word "final" in its title. Talk about calling the game early. I can't explain it but I have a strange fascination with these bad Children of the Corn sequels. Mostly, I think I'm a sucker for the monster hiding in the corn at the end that they pretty much never show. "He who walks behind the rows." Sounds cool, and they do The Thing trick where you have something moving under the ground (I wonder if they also pulled a bowling ball beneath the surface). I would argue there actually are some good things in this movie. You get some nice gory deaths like the glasses guy bleeding out of every orifice on his face during the church sermon. Ned Romero who plays Frank Redbear, the Native American professor, is a fantastic actor, and despite the unnecessary cliche coda with him (good intent but a little hokey), he pretty much steals the show. I love the clever bit of dialogue where he says the earth isn't in balance then the reporter asks him if that's what happened in Gatlin. Heck no, those kids went psycho and murdered their parents! Not an exact quote but it's a hilarious little moment. The young girl in it is pretty and they give her a silly showering-under-a-waterfall scene so you can get the obligatory swimsuit shots (hey gotta keep that male audience interested). The acting really isn't that bad although the evil leader of the kids could be better at times but what do you expect? I do actually like the dad and son characters. Even the lady in charge of their bed and breakfast is charming. Hard to believe a simple short story from Stephen King would go on to spawn so many sequels but I guess it's not that surprising in Hollywood. This is probably the best of the sequels but I just bought the 6-film collection so I can dig through all the rest to make sure (I'm a glutton for punishment). I've seen some of them before but they all kinda blend together (and the result ain't pretty). For some odd reason, I thought Redbear was in the first film too but I was wrong. Shows you what I know.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Here is a fun exploitation flick overflowing with style and energy. The girls all have a ton of screen presence, and the story makes you anxious what will happen next because you know things could go off the rails at any moment. Supposedly made for a budget of only $45,000, I would argue every penny is up on the screen. The music is catchy too, setting an irresistible tone. Of course, they're not taking themselves seriously with this so neither should we. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. I've seen quite a few movies lately but none had this much spirit. I wish we'd get more movies like this nowadays. All our micro-budget indies seem to be way too dour. I'm sure there must be some lighter ones but doesn't seem like we get fun exploitation like this anymore. Deathgasm was pretty awesome although more horror than this but both have tons of charm.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Cube sequels are pretty good.

I wasn't expecting a whole lot. I loved the first film but didn't get around to Hypercube or Cube Zero until recently. I had heard the sequel didn't have traps but it seemed to me like it did. They were just done differently with these expanding killer prisms and this other lawnmower cube blade thingy but I still felt it had plenty of tension while being quite creative. Cube is a masterpiece you won't top, but as far as sequels go, they did a good job. This robot eye makeup on a higher up in the third film bugged me a bit since it doesn't look very convincing but all the stories are unique and interesting with good twists by the end. Heck, I actually wish they made more since this concept seems like it could keep going with pretty reliable results. Getting more of a peak behind the curtain in the third one was fascinating. You really do wonder about the people in charge making these cubes, and Cube Zero seems to set the whole series in a dystopian future. Of course, I'd rather have original films than tons of sequels, but if they're going to pump them out anyway (and you know they will), this is one horror franchise I thought actually had legs whereas some seem stretched far behind their limits (back 2 tha hood? holy cow, they've made 7 freakin Leprechaun movies now! geez). Did I mention I have a strange obsession with Children of the Corn sequels? No idea why. Yeah, I'm weird. The end boss, the monster in the corn, "he who walks behind the rows," some crap like that, always seemed cool to me. Alright, I'm incriminating myself at an alarming rate. Twilight sucks! There we go. We all on the same page now? Don't look over here. Nobody is behind the curtain.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Surprisingly, I loved Alien: Covenant.

I was very mixed on Prometheus. The guy who maps the ship gets lost in it? The supposedly super smart scientists decide to throw caution to the wind and remove their helmets? Gee, why don't I pet the Alien cobra? He is her father... uhm so? This isn't Empire Strikes Back. In fact, I didn't even want to see Covenant. I figured I'd never see another good Alien movie again. Well, I'm happy to admit I was wrong, but I have to say I'm shocked at all the negativity surrounding this film. Whether I wanted to or not, I read everything people said about it beforehand and yet despite all that, I still liked it. A lot. To me, it's a billion times better than Prometheus, which again is not a high compliment since I hated the stupid characters in that one (and why didn't they leave in the deleted scene of the engineer speaking at the end?) but damn Ridley Scott got me. I did end up liking the characters in this, Fassbender was phenomenal, and the script made sense. Someone said there was a 5-minute flute scene, and like any rational person, I thought, "Damn, that sounds bad." Yet said scene has two Fassbenders in it, doesn't feel long at all, and is actually quite interesting since there's more going on than just learning the flute.

Gonna have to wade into spoiler territory here so stop reading now if you haven't seen it, but I don't understand why some are complaining Ridley screwed up the mythology with this one. Uhm, he did that already with Prometheus by saying the Space Jockey was just a stupid suit. The engineers still created the black goo. David simply refines it. Why is that bad? Sure, the gestation period is very short but David has been tinkering with his specimen a ton and I don't think we can assume the eggs in the first Alien film's Derelict Ship came from this same strain. Plus, from a practical point of view, no one these days would put up with Alien's deliberate, labored pace and AvP already jacked up the gestation time. Anyway, I love David playing creator, his great interactions with Walter, and I ended up liking Daniels and Tennessee a lot too. The Neomorph was fantastic. Same with the classic Xenomorph. I guess they painted over the practical FX with CGI, which I hate, but it looked quite good. I don't know why they needed to have practical built then in the first place unless they wanted to help the CG artists by having a real model to build off but I hope they warned the poor practical FX guys they were going to do that. Regardless, I loved it. Sometimes, the characters might make questionable decisions but they're not supposed to be super scientists in this one and they all seem realistic given how the android is meant to be their protector, they're in high stress situations, etc. People seem to be nitpicking the hell out of it and making little things seem all encompassing when they're not. At all. My dad called it, "Boring." What the heck. I was never bored in the slightest. At the beginning, I was still skeptical (listen for the music though... seems quite a few missed that) but it won me over big time. My buddy and I are both huge Aliens fans and we loved it. Now I hope Scott gets to finish this series of films but the poor box office worries me.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) is astonishingly awful thanks to the rancid editing.

Like most who played the original Resident Evil games, I wanted a film series closer to that (really curious how Romero's adaptation would've panned out), but Paul W.S. Anderson's efforts held a certain guilty charm. At least, some of them. Well, I hate to admit his latest, and supposedly final, sequel suffers from some of the worst A.D.D. editing you'll ever see. It ruins the entire thing. It's cut so fast you can't tell what's happening, you can't enjoy anything, and you get a headache trying to decipher what the fuck is going on. It's a shame. I never want to root for a filmmaker to fail. Making any movie is a crazy shit ton of work. Try it. You'll see. Sure, it's easy to watch a film and say, "This sucks! A mutated baby ant could do better!" But actually making one, and making a good one, is insanely-difficult, grueling work. It ain't fun. Ok, sometimes, it's fun, even a lot of fun, but it's still hard work. If you don't believe me, try it. I love making movies (in my tiny little nobody indie world) and I ain't complaining at all but way too many people think filmmaking is easy. They think you can magically do whatever you want without any limitations. What a fairy tale, and the higher your budget, the more strings attached aka more pressure, more outside interference, more likely something is going to get screwed up, etc. etc. Heck, your own ego can easily derail you. Making a movie is like navigating a minefield from hell especially in Hollywood. Just watch the documentary A Foreign Filmmaker's Guide to Hollywood. Oh wait, you can't since gee, big surprise, it hasn't been released in America. Ok, end rant. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. I wanted this to be good. Iain Glen is back. An extraordinary actor who doesn't get nearly enough roles worthy of his talent. I like Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element!). Paul W.S. Anderson has done films I'm extremely fond of such as Event Horizon, Soldier (Kurt Russell!), Mortal Kombat (eh, sure it wasn't R-rated, and I can't rewatch it, but it was good at the time! great music!), etc. Well, one question: what the hell happened with the editing? Seriously, it ain't bad. It's hideous. It's migraine inducing pain. Pain pretty much sums it all up. It's like they don't want you to see anything. It's impossible to believe this is the same filmmaker who made Resident Evil: Afterlife (one I actually quite liked). Did the studio kidnap the film and butcher it or what? Why, oh why, did they cut it like this? And yes, finally got back access to my blog. I'm sure you're thrilled. Blogger support is a non-existent joke (it sucks ass).
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