Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review: Carnosaur 2 (1995)

Like Aliens? Good, this is the same movie. Pretty much scene by scene. Remember the Dropship pilot Ferro getting killed by an Alien? Just change it to a helicopter, raptor, and some girl you don't know. You loved Hudson? Does this sound familiar? "How did they cut the power man? They're lizards man!" They don't even try to hide it. Does that mean it's good? Well, it's better than the first. They got rid of the retarded women birthing eggs bit. The dinosaurs still look pretty fake, and they reuse some shots at the end of the movie since they steal the climatic battle from the original film, but hey, give 'em a break. They had to rip off the Queen vs. Powerloader fight too. It's not easy to cannibalize your own work and someone else's. If you had to suffer through one of these, Carnosaur 2 would be your best bet. The acting is an improvement over the first, but that's not saying much. It's not like you'll really care about anyone in it, but then again, if you have some insane thirst for dinosaur-induced bloodshed, this may just be your fountain of youth.

Confession time: I actually like this movie. I'm a huge Aliens fan so throwing in dinosaurs works for me. It's horribly flawed and not original by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, a lot of it is awful, but it's not like we've had many (any) good bloody dinosaur movies. And this one is a lot more fun than the first. Yeah, I think it's just cause I love Aliens so much. That is a perfect movie.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: Carnosaur (1993)

Compare this to Jurassic Park, and it's the worst film ever made. But putting that side, if you ever wanted to see a T-Rex brutally devour some helpless hippies, here you go. It's also got women giving birth to massive dinosaur eggs, which kills them. Yeah... this movie really isn't good. But there are lots of chickens. Because they're used to... oh, who gives a sh*t, it's got dinosaurs eating people! Yeah, it's dumb. Incredibly dumb. But it's based on a book, which is probably good. I don't know. I wasn't inspired to read it after this. But the characters are named after birds. See... it's smart too? Right? No? Ok. I tried. It is extremely gory. The FX range from good (raptor attack in a jeep) to piss poor (flabby fat T-Rex neck). The good part is they're all practical, and really, they're not too bad for a low budget Roger Corman flick (he was the Executive Producer, they had two directors! two is better, right? no?). A few shots manage to look convincing (just a few though). But they only had 1 million dollars to slap together this monstrosity (Jurassic Park was made for 63 million, quite a difference). Ever dreamed of seeing a small-town Sheriff gutted by a raptor (erm Deinonychus)? What the hell is wrong with you? I mean... welcome to the movie of your dreams! Apparently, the novel had different protagonists (two journalists vs a night watchman and an environmentalist... yes, I'm stealing this from Wikipedia, do you think I have thoughts of my own?), a whole lot more dinosaurs, and no virus women-laying-eggs subplot (damn, I guess that confirms my theory the book actually doesn't suck). This movie did have an awesome preview on TV. Something about God resting. Then he made dinosaurs, and they ate people. It was ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome. Unfortunately, no one has uploaded it to YouTube yet, which is a shame. It's better than the movie. The official trailer, on the other hand, is worse so I'm not embedding it. I found a clip from the film though. Be warned: it's bloody, it's in Spanish, and the raptor couldn't look more fake. What does the guy to say to it? "Greetings, Earth Brother." What else would you say to a giant dino? Yes, he deserved to die.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: The Fly II (1989)

David Cronenberg's The Fly is one impossible act to follow. It's a classic with a flawless script, incredible acting, tight pacing, amazing practical FX, and a haunting tragic score (the music at the end is so far beyond brilliant, it makes ninjas explode out of my face). Yeah, it's that good.

So how does the sequel measure up? Obviously, it's going to take a beating. Could anybody top the original? Besides Cronenberg himself? I doubt it, but you know what I actually love The Fly II. It's not perfect, but it has a certain 80s charm to it. And Daphne Zuniga is a large part of that. She plays her role with ease and makes the love story believable. It's not hard to see why someone would fall for her. Everyone likes to rag on Eric Stoltz, but I think he does a good job in this, and the villains of Bartok Industries are pitch perfect. Of course, Lee Richardson does a stellar job as the evil head honcho, switching from a sweet surrogate father to a greedy heartless bastard in no time. I never see Gary Chalk get any credit, but he's absolutely fantastic as Anton's second-in-command. I love his death scene and especially the moment right before when he gives his boss a crazed pissed-off look as he reloads his gun. It's a one-dimensional part (and it had to be), but he nails it.

I much prefer the design of the Brundle Fly in the first film, but the monster in the second one is a lot of fun, and it has a lot more screen time, which means it's that much harder to pull off. It works though and seeing it melt faces off guards is another highlight of the movie. Ok, onto the story. An early treatment for the sequel had Seth's consciousness surviving in a Telepod computer with Bartok scientists enslaving him to develop the system for cloning purposes! WTF! That sounds a little nuts. Then again Cronenberg endorsed it at the time so maybe it would've been good. Who knows. But what do we get? Seth's son growing up inside Bartok trying to figure out his father's work so he can cure himself. With a love story and a betrayal. A much more classic monster movie, and I'm always a fan of those. And of course, the dog. Sure, the little mutated critter might be cheap, but the dog gets me every time. And it makes you hate Anton. It works. Frank Darabont worked on the script. No wonder it's good even if other cooks messed with the recipe.

The directing is solid. No shaky cam. Again, it's not Cronenberg (and I do love my Cronenberg... Scanners anyone? The Dead Zone?), but it's well done and clear. The music by Christopher Young (Hellraiser) also fits the feel of this film. It's a little more light than Howard Shore's phenomenal work (damn, I love that score), but it's good.

The Fly II is worth your time and then some. I love it, and I wish they'd make more monster movies like it (and definitely a helluva lot more like the original, but Cronenberg is Cronenberg, which is what makes the first so extraordinary).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Review: Godzilla's Revenge (1969)

Not a horror movie you say? Watch it, and when your eyes bleed out their sockets, try telling me that. Where to start? Did you like some other Godzilla movies? Good, because you get to rewatch them in this. Everything is reused footage aside from the me-like-apples retard conversations between Godzilla's brain-damaged son and some Japanese kid (who has probably hanged himself by now). To sum it up in the most sophisticated manner possible, it felt like my brain realized some foreign entity declared war on it so it lathered itself up with fire and started playing the banjo in fire-resistant overalls until it decided the only reasonable solution was to self-destruct in a pair of beige blue rocket pants. In other words, I think I lapsed into a coma and died. Yes, I'd recommend it. I think the moment the light from the movie hits your eyes, your pride retreats into your skull and melts. This is your guaranteed ticket to shame and remorse. Ever wanted to go full retard with a fat little Barney impersonator? What about a green bug-eyed midget that blows smoke rings? Meet Godzilla's Revenge. And I actually like Godzilla's son in other movies. "But it's got Godzilla in it," you say. "Can't be that bad." That's what I thought when I watched the American Godzilla movie, and then my soul remembered the meaning of pain. Masochists, this one is for you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: Son of Godzilla (1967)

Where to begin... Godzilla himself looks like a saggy mutant hippo with one enormous fat neck that's bigger than his actual head. It's by far the worst of the suits. Couldn't they just reuse an old one? The giant praying mantises are actually pretty well done as is the spider Kumonga (though the fact they're his only enemies is ridiculous), and I actually like the scenes between father and son, but overall, this film is extremely disappointing. It's nothing compared to the masterpiece of the original or my personal favorite, Godzilla 1985. All the sets and everything look so cheap, which I'm sure they were. And besides the big guy's laughably bad appearance, any sense of danger from him is gone as well. There's no king of the monsters here. Obviously, this was aimed at kids, and it shows. It's a complete 180 from the atomic nightmare Godzilla was supposed to represent. No cities are destroyed. Godzilla couldn't even stay in shape for this one. God, that suit looks awful. My eyes are crying out for help. Did they want him to be deformed? What the hell happened? Did he finally let himself go? Jeez, that's one of the worst things I've ever seen. Wake me when it's over.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: Split Second (1992)

A lot of people call this a crappy Predator ripoff. While it's true the monster vaguely resembles H.R. Giger's famous Alien (ok, it looks just like it), I have to disagree. Because this little movie has one thing going for it that's more badass than anything in the known universe. Rutger Hauer. And of course, Neil Duncan. Together, they're an unstoppable force that elevate this to new heights. This feels like an 80s flick. It's got the gore, nudity, tough guys with guns, one liners, practical FX, and a monster ripping out hearts. Sure, the creature is never explained. It's the devil! And yes, it can shoot guns with those long sharp fingers. It took lessons, ok? Yeah, it paid for 'em. It loves MasterCard. What the hell do you want? It's got fuckin' Rutger Hauer! And the best line(s) ever in the history of cinema: "Guns! We need bigger fucking guns!" How can you not love that? It's hilarious. Hauer and Duncan make this thing awesome. I wish they would've done a sequel just so they could team up again. And the setting kicks ass. A flooded London in the future. The sewers. Is it as good as Aliens? Well... no. Predator? No. Terminator? No. Dammit, stop saying good movies. It's better than Carnosaur! Never heard of it? Yeah, it sucked. Actually, it was like a bloody Jurassic Park with a shitty story, no park, and worse FX. Kinda enjoyed it in a bad way (and you thought I had good taste). Anyway, the point is Rutger Hauer! Rutger fuckin' Hauer! And yes, this is the most in-depth review you've ever read not written by a 12-year-old. Did I mention Kim Cattrall? No? Ok, good. She sucks, but you should see it. It's awesome.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Review: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

One of the greatest cult classics ever made. Popcorn shooting space guns, cotton candy cocoons, a Godzilla Boss Klown, giant curly blood-sucking straws, face melting pies, what more do you need to know? Are there robots? What are you? 10? What's that? Ninjas? You're seriously asking me if there are ninjas? That's a good point though. Note to self: always include ninjas. No, there aren't any ninjas. But there's an old man and his dog in a cute little homage to The Blob. And there's a creepy circus tent in the woods. And there's a shower scene where clown plants attack a lady. Yeah, that part kinda sucked. I mean... yeah... uh, it was awesome! Best thing I've ever seen. But seriously, I died a little bit inside when I saw that.

The Mooney puppet though is awesome. That's my favorite scene. The lighting is perfect, and it's actually a little unnerving. It helps if you think clowns only exist to drag you under your bed and eat you, which they most certainly do. But John Vernon does a great job in the grumpy cop role, and he completely sells that part.

What else? There's some girl klowns with inflating balloon breasts, and they have the hots for two guys they find. Nothing strange about that. So yeah, question. Old dude sees a tent in the middle of the forest with no paths leading to it. No roads. No people anywhere. No power sources. It's dark as hell outside, probably midnight, and he just wanders inside? What a dumbass. But yeah, that's what I'm nitpicking. Everything else made sense. I love the movie though. I hope they get the sequel off the ground.