Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lost in Translation: Salem's Lot (1979)

I found this one online, so thanks for whoever posted this.  I mean, it's not like I make the Originals, so someone also has to post them first.

In any event, here's how it was sold upon Theatrical Release in Spain (it was corrected for VHS)...
Well, James Mason was a tall Man, so...points, I guess.

Seriously though...what the hell?!?

As always, the Original...
Hey- you don't always have to work miracles with these.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Holiday Flix: The Gravedancers (2006)

The wrong kind of Wake to try and achieve.  Today's Film is The Gravedancers, a 2006 Horror Film with an odd little premise.  The Film tells the tale of 3 people that anger some spirits by dancing on their graves after, well, imbibing too many spirits.  It was apparently inspired by the Haunted Mansion from Disney.  I guess this is arguably a better version of this than the Disney one still!  The Film was apparently pitched in 1999, but didn't come out until 2006.  How did it get released?  Why as part of the After Dark Horrorfest, of course!  Incidentally, that's not still a thing right?  I'm too apathetic to Google it, if I'm being honest.  Notable people include Dominic Purcell- before slumming it in Uwe Boll Films-, Tcheky Karyo and Director Mike Mendez- of Big Ass Spider.  With that in mind, it sure is 'shocking' to see this turn into a Creature Feature by the time the Third Act rolls around.  The Director of Lavalantula did this?!?  No way!  It is a strange, mixed bag of serious and silly.  Oh and it's for this Holiday since the crux of the Film is based around an Irish Wake.  I know, I know- I thought it would be more Irish.  I'll do you next year, Shrooms.  Are you ready to dance a jig on some plots?  If so, read on...
In the wake of a friend's death- he's so important that he's played by a Producer in one Photo-, the group attend his service.  After Purcell's fiancĂ©e leaves, the remaining trio drink.

Is this Irish enough yet?
They go to the Cemetery and drink- as you do- when one of them finds a note.  This inspires them to dance on some graves.

Remember this note for later.
So, bearing mind that she didn't do anything, the wife of Purcell is the first one to be haunted.  I mean, it's in Purcell's House, but still...why?

Did Mendez just love her cry face?
Their friend Kira is found in her House having been sexually-assaulted.  What fun!

Oh and this bearded guy is from Cabin Fever.  I don't know why, but alright.
This woman continues to be haunted.  Seriously, why does she keep getting picked on?!?
The third guy calls some Ghost Hunters- including Karyo- who arrive within hours!  They eventually discover that the spirits are all 3 killers who are super-evil.

The only solution: take the bodies and rebury them.  Of course.
It's the Third Act, so the plan didn't work- I'll explain later- and the Ghosts are empowered.  Apparently they get stronger as the Month-long haunting time-limit, because reasons.

On the plus side, this Movie finally has some good visuals- creepy as they may be.
It all builds and builds to the point of insanity.  By the end, the giant face of a ghost appears and chases our Heroes in a Hummer as they crash through walls to toss some heads in a grave.

I mean...damn.
In the aftermath, the duo bury their friends and we see the Caretaker putting a new note on a grave.  Sequel Bait?  Why not?

Oh right- no Sequel.  The End.
A weird bit of fun- eventually.  The whole Plot isn't that unique.  It is a slightly-different way to get to the same point: killer Ghosts.  To the Film's credit, there is a mix of them and they do things a little differently.  You get the Rapist Ghost, Pyromaniac Ghost and the Axe Murder Ghost.  They each have their own looks and feels, so fair play to you.  The execution- no pun intended- isn't that consistently-great though.  The build up of the ghosts- like tiny, fiery foot steps and piano music- isn't that interesting.  I should also note that there is ZERO build-up with the third Ghost- he just goes right to rape, apparently!  The problem with the Film to first note is the mix of Tone and Pacing.  The Film has a slow burn, but also indulges in a lot of unnecessary Drama.  The fighting between the group is kind of uninteresting, if I'm being honest.  It also slows things down a bit too.  On top of that, it stands in stark contrast to where the Film ends up.  By the end, an Axe Wielding Ghost summons an Axe from outside like it's Mjolnir.  The Ghost have the power to literally change the world around them, moving the gates closer to the House to trap them in!  They get chased by a giant ghost head!  I know that Mendez likes to indulge in some weirdness, but I feel like the Film would have worked better if it was more of one or the other.  It is like mixing your Pinot Grigio with Pop Rocks- who does that?!?  I will also note that a tacked-on Opening Kill was from the Studio and the Director didn't do it.  Now in your in the illustrious company of The Birds 2.  You may love it for the Drama.  You may love it for the silly Horror.  In the end, I'm not sure that anyone truly wins.  Well, actually, that's not true.  Their 'corporate sponsor' here sure did win.
Next time, I take one last look at the work of Andy Sidaris.  Will he go out with a bang or 16 Endings?  Stay tuned...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nazi Sci-Fi-spolitation?: Outpost (2008)

The worst Tourism Video for Eastern Europe since Hostel.  Today's Film is Outpost, a 2008 Film that has lingered around in my Netflix Queue for a long, long time.  The main reason: the fact that it has 2 Sequels.  The existence of these says nothing about the quality of the Film- see Leprechaun-, but it did make me curious.  Oh and the Film has a pseudo-Sci-Fi Plot involving Nazis.  It also stars my favorite Punisher- Ray Stevenson from War Zone.  Fun Side Note: Ray was in that Film and then the Thor Series.  Also from a more edgy, non-canonical Marvel Film and in Thor- Idris Elba.  Good company, mate.  The Film is about a bunch of Mercenaries taking an assignment of getting a rich guy through a war zone to find something important.  That turns out to be a Bunker full of Sci-Fi stuff that may be the death of them all!  The whole thing is bleak and gray- thanks again for popularizing Color Correction, Cohen Brothers!-, but is it good?  To find out, soldier on...
Ray Stevenson is a Mercenary.  He's not happy, but he'll take any job he has to right now.
He puts together a small team to take a rich guy to where he wants to go.

Seriously, I hope you like muddy gray.  This Film is almost entirely that!
He takes them to a mysterious Bunker and they look around.  What kind of stuff could be in here?
Dead bodies, of course!  Lots of them!

On the plus side, it's still only the 3rd worst Air BNB Rental Story ever.
They discover the dark secret of this Bunker- Nazis.
The Employer is looking into the secrets of this Bunker, but someone is looking into him too.
As it turns out, the Nazis were experimenting with some sort of energy MacGuffin that ended up doing something weird- trapping them in some sort of limbo where they both exist and don't exist...or something.

Look- it is Magic Super-Nazis- just go with it.
Can our Heroes figure out the truth and find a way to save themselves?
Will the Nazis prove to be unbeatable?  Will they ever lose their flair for the dramatic?

To find out, watch the Film.
Damn dark, dreary and bloody.  Outpost is an odd little Film.  It's not really good.  The overall look (gray tint aside) and atmosphere is good.  The Plot takes some nice weird and unexpected turns- use of Nazis aside.  The Acting is fine and nobody does a bad job.  On the flip side, it's not really all that bad either.  The gray-tinting is very annoying after a while, to be fair.  The Plot is basically just a setup for seemingly-invincible bad guys who exist as Nazi versions of Mary Sues.  Leni Sues?  I'll get back to you on that.  Thanks to super-science, they can just kind of appear out of nowhere, seemingly can't be killed and have super-strength.  I know they *try* to explain this in an interesting way, but it is mostly just a cheat.  It makes me wonder if the 2 Sequels are just new Versions of 'Find Nazis, fight ineffectively against them and then Roll Credits.'  I guess I have to watch them and find out.  I can appreciate how serious they take this, but the overall silliness of Super Nazis makes me yearn for something more like Dead Snow 2.  Hell, there's a Film coming out where Nazi Zombies fight in Planes made out of killer Sharks coming out this Year!  The Film is...fine, but nothing special.  Speaking of which, here's a Film Company name that's...fine, but nothing special.
Next time, I celebrate a lovely Holiday with the return of a Series.  It's only been 3+ Years, so I might as well get festive with them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Phenomena (Part 2)

Another poor victim in a Film full of them.  These one are especially worthy of note though.

While in Switzerland, our Heroine wants to call her Dad for help, you know, on account of all the murders.  He's unavailable, but someone will be there eventually.
So after being chased by the killer, facing all sorts of crazy stuff and escaping the killer- twice!-, she makes it to shore nearby.

Who's in that Car ahead?
It's Morris- her Dad's friend.  Finally, a happy ending after all of this...
Yeah, I saw that coming.
The bottom line: he went out of his way to try and help a young girl.  His reward- a comically-abrupt decapitation from Argento's ex-lover.

The moral: don't help Jennifer Connelly.  She knows what happens when you try.

Next time, some kills from Gang Wars/Devil's Express.  It is 1/3 random killing, so I'm good.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Quick Reviews: Transformers- The Last Knight (2017)

After the Oscar Season ends, it is important to look at the best and worst stuff.  Guess which one this is...
In the wake of the last 'Film,' Optimus Prime goes into Space to find his 'creators.'

This just leads to him ending up on a semi-destroyed Cybertron and getting 'mind'-controlled by the new Villain- Quintessa.
Oh and the Film begins with the reveal that Cybertron Knights joined forces with Arthur and Merlin.

I really don't want to speak of this again.
When the World is approaching apocalypse as Cybertron literally approaches.  Only an artifact from the Cybertron Knights can save the day & everyone wants it.

Dammit.  What did I just say?!?
A quirky Robot that has been on Earth for over 1,000 years brings Cade to his Boss- Anthony Hopkins.

Between this and Steve Buscemi's Voice Cameo, the deluge of people too good for this Film Series continues.  They are one Jeff Bridges away from a full Big Lebowski Reunion too!
As things get worse, the Government works with Megatron.  Yeah, that will end well.
As the Third Act approaches, evil Optimus Prime shows up.  Will he be lead to the death of our World or be its savior once again?

To find out, watch the Movie (if you really must)...
Holy space crap, Batman!  I don't have high hopes for any Film in this Series when I approach them after the first one.  I have rarely been proven wrong in any way.  The previous Film was an awkward mix of Sequel and Reboot.  This one also does that.  Remember how the Autobots first showed up in the original Film?  Well, after four Films, they were actually here WAY before then.  Decepticons fought Cavemen, Cybertron Knights fought with Arthur (damn you again, me!) and even Bumblebee fought the Nazis.  Yes, Nazis.  This one just continues to dump exposition that nobody cares about and that often contradicts things.  So now Shia is from a line of people that fought for good throughout History and were constantly joined by Autobots.  These people include a random grab bag of Historical Figures ranging from Tesla to Harriet Tubman to Albert Einstein.  This is documented in Photographs that one guy has, but somehow otherwise hidden from everyone else.  I also have to know what role that Autobots- before Automobiles existed- did to help Harriet Tubman.  Where is that Film?!?  I will also tell you that the Marketing of the Film and the final product are very different.  The Film was 'sold' (although Sales were the lowest ever) on the idea of evil Optimus Prime.  While he's part of the Film, he doesn't show up fully until TWO HOURS into the Film.  It features way too much filler, including the TRF Sub-Plot, the pointless Characters, the stupid Comedy and the focus on Cade flirting with our new Heroine.  We even get Suicide Squad-style Introductions for new Decepticons, at least half of which are killed in the next Scene!  This is a bloated, stupid mess that doesn't even end properly, setting up a 6th Film that will now likely not happen.  Oh and they waited until now to introduce Hot Rod...and gave him a stupid French accent.  Ugh.
Considering the caliber of Films that make up the Series, this still sucks.  It just keeps going and going and going...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lost in Translation?: The Howling (Part 4)

Alright- I think I'm done 'spamming' my own Page with these for a while after this one.

I'm allowed to do it to myself, right?  Cool.

In any event, one last Howling Poster to show.  Das ist gut?
No- not every Blonde Supermodel ever!!!

Incidentally, that Tagline is a real awkward translation in Babelfish.  It's basically talking about your animal side trying to get out or something.  I wish I still knew an Austrian fella.

Here's the original, complete with a possible nipple or two.  I covered them on the Redo.
I'm obviously-biased, but it does look better with some more color.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

TV on the Internet: Ash vs Evil Dead- 'Family'

I'm a bit late starting the Season, but that kind of works out.  It helps me not seem like that guy is trying to 'SPOIL' a Show for you less than a Week after it aired.

I'm already the guy not watching on Starz (but am heavily promoting the Film online), so good.

Season 3 is here and I'm very excited.  How many ways will people/Deadites be dismembered this Year?  Let's see...
After seemingly-fixing everything last Season (in his own twisted way), Ash is living life anew as a Store Owner.
Evil won't stay buried, of course, and it finds a new way to come back!
It turns out that Ash has a Daughter and she's being targeted by the titular Evil Dead!
Can Ash prove himself once again as the Hero he needs to be save his family?
...or will a new, furrier Deadite prove to be too much to handle?

To find out, watch the Show!
A good return to a good Show.  Ash vs Evil Dead is a different kind of Horror TV Show.  Stuff like American Horror Story is designed to scare you, while stuff like Channel Zero is designed to creep you out.  This Show- it is designed to make you laugh and enjoy the over-the-top gore.  That is something that they continue to do well going into this new Season.  You get some nice chopping, shooting and explosions.  You also get some good prop comedy that the Series- post original Film- is known for.  Everyone gets a decent moment to shine and they set things up nicely for the remainder of the Season.  Can the Ghostbeaters deal with a new member?  What new evils will the Book unleash?  What is Ruby up to now?  Can they ever truly get rid of the Book?  These are questions that I hope to see answered in the upcoming Episodes and look forward to.  I'll leave you with visible proof that this Series truly knows its Audience...
Next time, the family reunion has to be short-lived.  Evil is back in town and there's killing to do!  See you then...

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Phenomena (Part 1)

Dario Argento is one of my favorite Directors.  Phenomena is one of my favorite Films of his.  So how did I not do these?

In the Film's Opening, a Tourist Girl is left behind by her Bus and wanders around the Alps.  Just like Goldilocks- no doubt an inspiration- she wanders into a House for help.
She gets attacked by an unseen killer- for once not using Dario's hands- and runs away.
She's stabbed by scissors- the second most famous use of those in Horror- and her face smashes into some glass.  It doesn't break nicely either- ouch!
So who is the Actress playing this basically-unnamed girl who is violently-killed to start the Film?
Why does that last name seem so familiar?  Oh right- her Father.
Damn- this girl learned the hard way not to break and enter!

The lesson: don't be related to a Horror Director and/or get lost in the Alps.

Next time, Argento evens things out with a dead guy.  This one also layers on the pathos...