Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hot Girl of Horror #11: Monica Bellucci

Brotherhood of the Wolf is my favorite film of hers, and if you've seen it, you'll definitely know why, but it's also just a flat-out phenomenal movie that everyone should see. The other big horror movie she did was the '90s classic Bram Stoker's Dracula in which she played the count's bride, but her part in that was pretty small. Still, you'll probably remember (she was topless and it was a great scene anyway). Those are the only two real horror movies she has done (that I can find at least). I don't count The Brothers Grimm or Irreversible even though the latter is pretty damn horrifying at times. I was lucky enough to catch Le Pacte des Loups in the theater, and I'm glad I did. If you missed it, I highly recommend it, and Monica Bellucci is a big reason why. She is absolutely gorgeous, and here's the proof.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Alligator (1980) is so much better than you'd expect from a Jaws ripoff.

For one, it has all practical FX. They even mix in some real footage of alligators. Yes, this wasn't a big deal back then, but since we've now all been eye-raped by the awful CG alligators in Eraser, this is important to point out. I think Robert Forster is also a big reason why this film works so well. He doesn't seem like an actor at all. Just an everyday guy you can easily root for, and he helps ground the film by giving such a believable performance. You get some excellent bad guys too that are easy to hate. Maybe it's a cheap trick, but having your antagonists heartlessly kill a ton of dogs is a definite way to make your audience despise them. Then you get Henry Silva. A name we should all know, but not enough people do. He was Steven Seagal's nemesis in Above the Law. Of course, he has been in a lot of other films too, but here he plays a hunter (aka Quint's role), and he does a fantastic job with it. Alligator is well directed too with a fast pace to keep you entertained. Even the pre-credit sequence, which has the obligatory flushing an alligator down the toilet scene (yep, it's silly, but that's the old urban myth), manages to be effective thanks to the opening of a real alligator attacking a guy at a Florida gator show. Good thing they didn't try to make this PG-13 either since all of the blood really sells the opening. Alligator bites are always pretty gruesome anyway so it's smart they use that to set up the threat. This movie even has something I'm so sick of in horror films: nobody believes the protagonist about the giant alligator, but they even make that painless and move past it quickly to advance the story. I'm really surprised just how good this film is. I always remember seeing the VHS cover at video stores and wanting to check it out. It's such a shame you don't get any good cover art these days. Anyway, I'm glad I finally saw this. If you're looking for a good '80s flick you might have missed (or don't remember), this is one worth revisiting.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hot Girl of Horror #10: Mila Kunis

American Psycho 2. Yep, Patrick Bateman's lovable antics got a sequel, and I watched it. Is it good? Not really, but it depends on what you think of Ms. Kunis. I actually didn't mind it. Sure, I don't really remember anything about it other than she's in it, and it's basically just another slasher cashing in on a famous movie's title, but it also gives you a ridiculous opening that undermines the last film's ambiguity and complexity. Still, I didn't exactly go into it with high expectations so I wasn't disappointed at all. As far as her other horror films, she had an uncredited part in Milo, a film from the creator of Anaconda (yes, that's how they're selling it) with the tagline, "Remember, Jason and Freddy were kids once too." I never heard of that one, and with a rating of 3.9 on IMDb, I don't think I'll be watching it. Maybe if Kunis was the star. She really hasn't done a lot of horror. Do you count The Book of Eli? I guess there's some Piranha TV movie... what the hell is that? It's odd the things you can find on IMDb. Yes, I have way too much time on my hands. I remember when the internet was just dial-up. That means I'm old. Life sucks. Anyway, time to say hello to Ms. Kunis...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: Cronos (1993)

This is my favorite Guillermo del Toro film. I really like Hellboy and its sequel, but The Devil's Backbone didn't do much for me. Mimic isn't even really his movie since it got screwed with so much, which explains why it was disappointing, and I have yet to see his director's cut. I enjoyed Blade II though and Pan's Labyrinth had some amazing moments (like the scene with the Pale Man that preys on kids), but nothing comes close to Cronos for me. Maybe Pacific Rim will change that (I can't fuckin wait), but Guillermo's first feature is a masterpiece, turning the vampire movie on its head, and it also has my favorite Ron Perlman performance. He's so much fun in this movie. I was afraid Cronos might be a bit boring, but it wasn't at all. At 94 min, the time flies by, but besides the excellent pacing, what makes it work so well is you care about the characters. Essentially, it's the story of a grandfather and granddaughter finding a device that grants immortality but at a cost. Of course, they're not the only ones who want it. Soon two men come looking for it: an obsessed, rich madman who is dying and his psycho nephew. The real heart of the story is the relationship of the grandfather and granddaughter, but I'm sure I should emphasize again: it's NOT boring. It's just a damn good film with beautiful cinematography, an excellent score, outstanding performances, etc. Sure, it's not really scary, but that obviously wasn't the intention. Just watch it. This is the kind of movie Hollywood would never make now. You got to have young attractive stars especially in your horror films. An old man as the lead? Not happening. It's a shame too, because this is what we're missing out on. What's really ridiculous is the other poster for the film. Guess what it has on it? A hot semi-naked girl who isn't even remotely in the movie. That's marketing for you. I'm partly to blame too since I did think it might be boring, but in my defense, that is because The Devil's Backbone almost put me to sleep (I wasn't tired, and I was actually looking forward to it... the characters and the story just didn't hook me). Cronos is amazing though so if you haven't seen it, hunt it down. It might still be on Netflix although they screwed up the framerate when I saw it on there, but I'm definitely buying it the next chance I get.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hot Girl of Horror #9: Elisha Cuthbert

Besides being Jack Bauer's daughter, Ms. Cuthbert has starred in a few horror films including the House of Wax remake, Captivity, and a family horror movie called Believe. I didn't even realize there is such a thing as "family horror," but I guess The Legend of Sleepy Hollow would qualify, and I love that. Can't believe that's so old. Still, horror and family seem like opposites... "Alright kiddies, it's time to watch Martyrs!" Anyway, I never saw Captivity so I can't really comment on it. I heard it isn't that great (4.6 rating on IMDb), but I would watch it just to see her. I thought she had been in more horror movies, but that shows you what I know. House of Wax was ok I guess. Paris Hilton's death scene was the best part. I don't think I'd ever watch it again though. Correction: it's a pretty damn good movie really so just ignore my previous stupid rambling. This is what wisdom gives you: you realize you don't know jack. Alright, ready for the pictures? Yes, you've suffered enough. Hey I've got space to fill. It's not my fault. You can look down at any time. Seriously go ahead. Chicken nuggets are weird. Like what part of the chicken is that? It's just a name? Ok fine. I like robots. But not the fat robots. Eh I like dem too.