Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry Deathmas: Saint Nick

Let's close out this year with a silly, silly bang!  Today's film is Saint Nick, a movie that I've just been DYING to see.  Granted- I could have watched it back in- I think- May when Netflix first got it on Streaming.  What would be the point of that though?  I was saving it for that's what I did.  Saint Nick is a Foreign Horror film that plays off of some old Folk Tales to create modern terror.  The film is a bit tongue-in-cheek at times, but never betrays a serious tone too much.  The concept is a bit silly, although the characters don't question it.  It's a tale of love, loss and dickhead College students in the Netherlands.  Will old St. Nick kill them all or will our brave hero- joined by a crazy cop- save the day?  To find out, you have to read on...
Saint Nick circa the 1500s was kind of a dick.  He robbed, killed and assaulted a small village.  Nobody could stop him.
 All of that changed on one December 5th when the Village worked together and burned him to death.  He didn't take it well.
The spirit of Saint Nick returns for a post-title kill in 1968.  He takes out a family, leaving just one son who hid.

Jump cut to 2010 and the kid is now a jaded Cop.  Meanwhile, this young couple is just adorable.  Seriously, don't you want to just kill them?
It's December 5th again and we have the first Full Moon on that day since 1968.  That means that Saint Nick is back.

Dutch Uncle Sam is pissed!
 Saint Nick is enjoyed by his group of Black Petes.  If you like your henchman as Pirates in black-face, this is your film!
 Since this is a Foreign film, some of the taboos that we hold dear are fair game.  If you take the time to translate that sign, you'll know that this movie pulls no punches!
Will our heroes- a hapless College Student and a crazy cop- win the day?
Will Saint Nick get medieval on some modern-day Cops?
 Will Saint Nick ride off into the sunset or will he finally pay for his crimes...again?  To find the movie.  The End.
The season may be over, but I can still enjoy Foreign Horror Movies.  I will say one thing: the Streaming version on Netflix (which I watched, since I'm lazy) is Dubbed.  It's not the worst Dubbing I've seen- I own about 30 Kung-Fu films which are worse- but it does deter from the film.  That out of the way, I kind of liked this movie.  It has a simple premise- evil Saint Nick attacks a city of 'sinners- and works well for it.  I would have liked a bit more on-screen action throughout, as opposed to the bottom-heavy finale that we actually get.  I could also say that the make-up work for Saint Nick is not super-great.  It's not bad...but it reminds me a lot of that movie Uncle Sam.  The gore effects are goofy at times as well.  In spite of that, I liked the use of practical effects, the overall concept and the production values in general.  It's a well-made movie about a silly idea.  It's a film that probably couldn't be made the same way in America.  Speaking of things that can't be done in America...
Next up, we're entering all-new territory as I cover new films AND have no announced schedule.  First up, will the third film in a Spanish film series renew my fandom?  Stay tuned...

Project Terrible: Rounds 1-10

Round 1
1. The Capture of Bigfoot (I Like Horror Movies):
2. Revenge of the Living Dead Girls (Mondo Bizarro):
3. Jaws of Satan (I Like Horror Movies):
4. Revenge of the Star Creatures (Confessions of a Film Phillistine):
5. Beware! Children at Play! (Mondo Bizarro):
6. Zombie Campout (Mondo Bizarro): 
7. Slices (Mondo Bizarro):
8. Bone Sickness (Mondo Bizarro):
9. Live Freaky, Die Freaky (Mondo Bizarro):
12. The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes (Confessions of a Film Phillistine):
Round 2/2.5
1. Twilight (Mondo Bizarro):
5. Bloodthirst: Legend of the Chupacabras (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
6. Bloodthirst 2- Revenge of the Chupacabra (Mondo Bizarro):
8. The Skeleton Key 2: 667 Neighbor of the Beast (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
10. Anthrophagus/Abusurd (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
12. (David DeCoteau's) House of Usher (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
14. The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
Round 3
8)Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
14)Wrong Turn 3- Left for Dead (The Girl Who Loves Horror) :
Round 4
1. Vampire Boys (Cinema Gonzo) :
7. Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace (Gaming Creatively) :
10.R.O.T.- Reunion of Terror (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
11. Fall Down Dead (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Movie Diary) :
18. The Monster Man (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Movie Diary) :
19. C Me Dance (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Movie Diary)
Round 5
1. Ring Around the Rosie (Mondo Bizarro) :
3. Human Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
6. Exorcism- The Possession of Gail Bowers (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
7. Ferocious Planet (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary)
Round 6
2. Grim Reaper (Let's Get Out of Here) :
4. Frankenstein 2000 (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary)
6. Deep Evil (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
7. Goth (Mondo Bizarro)
8. The Telling (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
Round 7
1. Offspring (Mondo Bizarro:
3. The Vanguard (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
4. Dead Heist (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
5. Windows (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
8. Frogs (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary) :
9. The Bleeding (Cinema Gonzo):
12. Adventures of Thunderstorm- The Return of Thor (Cinema Gonzo) :
22. The Amazing Transparent Man (Let's Get Out of Here)
Round 8
3. Attack of the Beast Creatures (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
4. Area 407 (Mondo Bizarro):
5. The Bermuda Triangle (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary)
6. The Dead Undead (Cinema Gonzo):
7. The Legend of Boggy Creek (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
8. Not of This Earth (Mondo Bizarro) :
9.The New York Centerfold Massacre (Mondo Bizarro):
10. Snowbeast (Gaming Creatively) :
11. Message From Space (Mondo Bizarro):
12. Fading of the Cries (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):
13. Haunted Poland (Mondo Bizarro) :
14. Calamity of Snakes (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary)
15. 1313- The Bermuda Triangle (The Girl Who Loves Horror) :
16. Pharaoh's Curse (Gaming Creatively):
17. D.C. Sniper (Gaming Creatively):
18. Nightmare in Wax (Cinema Gonzo) :
19. Birdemic- Shock and Terror (The Girl Who Loves Horror) :
20. Oasis of the Zombies (Gaming Creatively) :

Round 9
1. The Manster (The Girl Who Loves Horror):

2. Die (Mondo Bizarro):

3. Coons- Night Bandits of the Night (Geek Juice):

4. Nabonga (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):

5. Meat Weed Madness (The Girl Who Loves Horror):

6. Madison County (Geek Juice):

7. Snowbeast [2011] (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):

8. Horror House (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):

9. Dumpster Baby/The Suckling (Maynard Morrisey's Horror Diary):

10. Bong of the Dead (Mondo Bizarro) :

11. 8MM2 (Geek Juice):

12. Cathy's Curse (Mondo Bizarro):

13. Robotropolis (Geek Juice) :

14. Android Insurrection (The Girl Who Loves Horror):

15. Robot Monster (The Girl Who Loves Horror) :

16. Vile (Gaming Creatively) :

17. Rockabilly Vampire (Gaming Creatively) :

18. Suburban Sasquatch (Gaming Creatively) :

19. The Apparition (Gaming Creatively):

Round 10
1. Meat Weed America (Mondo Bizarro):

6. Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie (Gaming Creatively):

Sunday, December 30, 2012

TV Deathmas: Breakaway

Everything that is old is new again...but also old.  Today's film is Breakaway, another film that I've been sitting on for months.  I discovered it while collecting films for Dean Cain Week, but avoided it for obvious reasons.  Now tis the season to rip it a new one.  The film's plot is essentially Die Hard.  Now I joked in my Teaser that Firetrap was also a Die Hard rip-off.  That's not entirely true, as its film that I would say is *inspired* by the 1988 classic.  It made Cain a robber and added the Disaster Film element in place of the Terrorist/Criminal element to a certain extent.  This one is freaking Die Hard!  Cain is a Cop and his wife is working on Christmas Eve in a building overrun by criminals trying to steal the safe.  What they changed is the location, setting it in a Mall.  Mind you, the film barely plays with this idea and you only ever see about a dozen people in it.  It does make some good use of the Stores as set-pieces though, I will say that.  This one also adds a schmaltzy element to the story, giving the villain a motivation for robbing the place.  His nice-guy-turned-bad routine wavers a bit though, as he threatens to kill many people to get the money.  Even with all of that said, this is probably the most competent film I've seen for this week's reviews though.  To see if this film is cheery or a Grinch, read on...
Cain is a Chicago Cop on a sting operation in, I guess, Chinatown.  As they watch an arms deal go down, things couldn't possibly go wrong.
 I'm just kidding- of course, they do!  A bunch of people get shot, including some well-to-do Restaurant Owner.  Oh and this car blows up without a trace of fire.
While our hero gets suspended (since the guy complained to the Mayor), the evil Eric Roberts and his gang go to rob a Mall on Christmas Eve.  Why?  Because his daughter needs an operation that costs $250,000!

Holy crap, you could buy a new daughter for that- and they'd throw in a free Toaster!
As movie convenience would have it, Cain's wife- Erika Eleniak...again- works at the Mall and he's in there too to apologize.  You see, they had a fight over money, since he's not working and her Baywatch money ran out years ago.
Cain proceeds to take out the henchman like in Die Hard, but they do find time to advertise a Jet Li movie though.  Good cross-promotion!
In a bit that bugs me, our hero has to battle two brothers that are explosives experts.  The elder one is killed by his own grenade after he gets shot by Cain.  The guy freaks out and says 'You killed him.', he didn't.  Not really.
In a twist that everyone saw coming, Cain's partner is working with the bad guys.  Meanwhile, I'm too distracted by that over-sized gun magazine and can't process anything.  Holy shit- how many bullets does that hold?!?
 The climax takes place in the sewers beneath the Mall in Chicago.  Not to be picky, but those should be WAY dirtier than that.

Roberts dies, but all turns out well in a Christmas sort of way, as Cain and Eleniak pay for the daughter's surgery.
 This is sweet and all, but you're talking about blood money.  This guy tried to kill you're just ignoring me now, aren't you?  Fine.  The End.
It's beginning to look a lot like Die Hard.  The film is not bad.  Let me just get that out of the way.  If you can get past the fact that it's a Made-for-TV rip-off of Die Hard with C-List Stars, you can enjoy it.  It's a lot to accept- I know.  I've had to accept much sillier and worse things than this, but other people may not be as generous.  The film doesn't hit a lot of unique notes, but it does hit them well.  It's not likely to become part of your Christmas tradition.  That said, there are a shit ton of WORSE Christmas films out there, whereas this one falls somewhere in the middle.  If nothing else, it has a mixed message for all of you out there who may not all celebrate the same holiday...
Up next, a film that I've been hanging onto for many, many months.  Will another

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Because I Watched It: Santa Claus (1959 and 1898)

Let's take a break from Cartoon Intros to celebrate the season.  Since I got some good shit this year, I'll give you a good film short to go with this silliness.

Many of you know this film thanks to MST3K.  If you don't, you're in for a ridiculous treat.  Santa Claus, Scratch and Merlin- oh my!
As a bonus, here's a short film that I found online with the same name.  It's got music added to it, which is quite good.
If you're still in the festive mood, I recommend the Christmas-themed releases of Rifftrax.  You've got batshit crazy- Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny-, insane shorts- Santa's Toyshop- and much more.

More cartoons next week...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Deathmas: Silent Night (2012)

Did anyone really ask for this?  Today's films is Silent Night, a Remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night.  For what it's worth, the original is a good movie.  It's still a Slasher film and is full of the cliches of the Genre, but it's smarter than it's given credit for.  So, when I found out that there was a Remake, I was...suspicious.  When I found out that Malcolm McDowell was in it, I was really suspicious.  The result: not good.  The whole spirit of the original is gone and we just get a nameless, faceless killer.  So what is the plot?  A man dressed like Santa kills people in a small town for no clear reason.  That's basically the film, save for when they finally get around to explaining his the last two minutes.  This, of course, makes you question everything in the film, but not in that Sixth Sense kind of way.  I won't SPOIL that reveal for those who really want to be surprised, but I will say this: prepare for disappointment.  That's actually a good summary for the film as well.  To find out why I disliked it so much, read on...
A mysterious man in a Santa suit- complete with plastic mask- has invaded a small town and begins to kill people for their supposed sins.  How he knows their sins is anyone's guess.

Seriously, if you watch the whole film, you'll really question this in the end!
As HIS luck would have it, it's Christmas time and the town has an Annual Santa Parade.  This, of course, means that people walk around ALL DAY in the outfits.  No, really.
In one of two scenes that come from the original, we get the 'Grandpa wakes up to freak out a guy' scene.

The problem(s): it happens to an adult, it has no consequences and does not build up our killer.  Why did you pick this moment to include, while you excised so many others?!?
Instead of playing Dr. Loomis, McDowell plays Sheriff...Sheriff.  It's a Mario thing.

Aside from a few jokes, even he seems to dislike him being in this movie.  "One more house payment..."
Since this is a 'modern' horror film, we have very bloody kills that border on being silly.  This is a problem, since they stop short of their actual point here.
In one of the few compliments I'll give this film, Jaime King (who otherwise sucks here) does some good Acting in one dramatic scene.  Sorry, other 88 minutes of the film!
In the other scene they take from the original, this lady gets killed by being stabbed on some deer horns.  Yea.

To ruin any joy, the killer Santa throws an axe...that just manages to cut her Achilles Tendon.  That was either really impressive or really coincidental!
I will SPOIL this one moment for you- since it deserves it.  McDowell is confronted by the killer and his flamethrower.  He says 'You made one mistake- you brought a flamethrower to a gun fight.'

Naturally, he doesn't shoot and gets killed by the flamethrower.  Of course- you freaking moron!  You DID NOT FIRE YOUR GUN!!!!
I won't SPOIL the Ending if you really care, but I will mention that the Police Station has Red and Green Backup Lights.  Silly.  The End.
I sure hope that the Remake of this review is funnier.  In all seriousness, this is not a terrible film.  There are enough well thought-out moments that salvage it.  The problem is that there are a ton of stupid moments that drag it down.  The idea of silent killer is okay- it just fails in comparison to the one in the original two films.  Yes, the guy in the crappy third film- which I own on VHS- doesn't talk, which I guess was an odd bit of foreshadowing.  The theme of killing the guilty is a good one.  The problems are two-fold.  One- his way of knowing about their 'sins' is ridiculous and not thought out.  Second- the scale of their 'sins' is dubious.  Dirty priest- sure.  Lady and man who take photos of a model- not so much.  Seriously, if you wanted to be dark, there's all sorts of things that you could have implied that they were doing.  You want to be dark and twisted- show them bringing a sheep out before the killer shows up.  It would be kind of funny, but it would be better than 'photographing a topless woman means that you die.'  Furthermore, they don't build up him seeing them in the act- he just shows up as its happening.  If you want to build suspense, show scenes of people doing bad things and show that they're being watched.  When the killer show up, he has his motivations.  In one case, there's an over-the-top bitch of a girl that he kills...since he just happens to show up at the door when she did her 'sin.'  If you're going to pull that crap, just say that he's killing 'sinners' and is crazy for doing so.  He's either the most lucky killer of all time or in a shit film.  Don't.  do.  that.  Did I just write a better film?  Oh and without SPOILING anything, the most important kill of the film happens off-camera.  The worst sin of all- they outdo the lens flare by just flat-out shining a light in my face.  What a dick of a film!
Up next, do you like Die Hard?  Well, here's a TV movie rip-off starring Dean Cain that's not Firetrap.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Deathmas: The Christmas Season Massacre

It will make that ugly sweater that your Aunt got you look good!  Today's film is The Christmas Season Massacre, a film that's bundled on DVD with Psycho Santa and Satan Claus.  When I originally rented the Disc a couple years back, I never bothered with this film.  After watching TWO of them, do you blame me? So what is the film about?  Well, it's about the least-threatening Christmas-themed killer since Christmas Evil.  In this case, he's a loser in a 'wife beater' wearing an eye patch and one shoe.  Can't you just feel the terror leaping off of the silver screen?  This is amazingly-bad.  To see how low a Sub Rosa film can truly go, read on...
The film begins with this guy driving out into the Woods and relaying a story about some kid in his school who was a dork with only one shoe (don't ask).

ALL he does is tell us this, since the film couldn't be bothered to hire some teenagers to reenact this stupid story.
After nearly 10 minutes of his constant talking (with only three camera angles), he gets his balls ripped off (via cheap effect) and his date is...attacked.  Yeah, she doesn't die.

Further compounding the shit, they draw more exposition out and add random facts that are pointless.  Why is it important that this woman faked her death a year ago if SHE NEVER APPEARS AGAIN?!?!?
So this is our killer.  After being abused by kids and getting one bad present, he snapped and killed his fellow classmates...slowly over a period of ten years or so.  Why the people didn't just MOVE is anyone's guess, I suppose.
After a seemingly-pointless scene of him killing a guy while he's screwing a girlfriend, leading to an implied rape scene that ends WITH A JOKE, we see the remaining classmates.  Their plan: get drunk and hang out in one location together on Christmas Eve.
It's rare that I have to worry about a film giving its cast tetanus, but I do here.  Ew!
Cutting ahead- you'll thank me-, our villain kills off most of the annoying cast.  He confronts the, um, Final Guy and gets stabbed in the head.  If you think that he dies've confused this with a better film.
After killing everyone, the film cuts ahead to five years later.  We learn that the lady he raped in Scene 2 gave birth to a kid (who looks like he's closer to 8 or 10).  Oh and he still has the knife in his head.  The End!
Oh wait- the movie just hit 65 minutes, so they pad the run-time out with Outtakes.  That will get you to 80 the saddest way possible.  The *real* End.
It's so 'festive' that it hurts.  Let's get this out of the way: despite what they try, this is NOT a Christmas film.  The killer does not dress like Santa, there's very little in the way of seasonal effects and there's nothing festive here at all.  With a few minor tweaks, this could have been The Halloween Season Massacre or The Easter Season Massacre.  Nothing that you would have cut out would have effected the story in any major way.  Now the bigger problem: everything else.  This horror comedy is not funny, it's gore is amateurish and I hated everyone in the film- the villains, the heroes and even the people just reading dialog over static shots. Nothing was good here.  Mind you, this is a Sub Rosa (Extreme) film, so that should be obvious.  Even so, I watched this film and suffered the consequences for you.  Take us away, fetish that I will NEVER be able to explain...
Next up, after covering two of the original films (the ones that I could get), I switch gears.  Will this pointless Remake change my opinion of them or just validate them?  Stay tuned...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Deathmas: Kazuo Umezz's The Present

メリー クリスマス! Today's film is The Present, which is actually more of a Short than a film. It comes to us from Kazuo Umezz, a Japanese Horror Writer who is apparently pretty prevalent. I suspect it's a situation like with Jack Ketchum. He's a very prolific Writer and has many film adaptations of his work...but I haven't ever read any of it. If you have, more power to you. I'm here to be festive, so let's get to it. This is a story about Santa Claus...killing Japanese twenty-somethings in an abandoned Hotel. I guess the old saying is true: 'The more things change, the more things stay the same. All you have to say here is 'Japanese Killer Santa' and you've sold many people. There's...well, there's more going on here though. Some of it is good and some of it is bad. To find out whether this film is naughty or nice, read on...
It all begins with a little kid sick in bed.  If you turn this into The Princess Bride, I' very confused.
 Seemingly jumping ahead several years, our heroin is going to a Christmas Party with all of her friends.  She plans to offer up a very special present to a guy she likes: herself.

Please ignore this obvious Final Girl set-up.  She's totally in danger.
However, the Merry bunch are being watched by one man: Santa Claus.

I know, I was hoping for an *actual* Japanese Santa, but I'll take this one too.  Hopefully it's not Garbage Day!
Did I mention that this film is gory yet?  Well, holy shit is it gory.  Nearly every kill happens off-camera (must be a budget thing), but you definitely see the bodies!
I just want to mention that evil Santa has a Christmas Tree Star on a chain that he tries to kill people with.  That's...all I have to say.
Unfortunately, this film has one major knock against it: lots of torture scenes.  They're just gross and mean for no reason.

Well, in hindsight, my Jack Ketchum comparison proves to be quite accurate!
Our heroes are kind of screwed, but a lot of this has to do with them being idiots to the Nth Degree.  Case in point: this guy somehow doesn't realize that his leg has been cut off!!!
All hope appears to be lost and our heroine appears to bite the dust when...

She wakes up!  No, really.
This takes a turn for the worse when her friend appears to be killed (over the phone) and she's attacked.  What's going to...

She wakes up, again!  Yeah, this whole thing was a kid's complex, David Lynch-style fever dream  Ugh!  The End.
You had me...and then you lost me.  'Japanese Killer Santa' = great.  The actual a mixed bag.  I liked the idea, but I didn't care much for the execution.  The actual plot is so stock and cliche at the beginning that it's laughable.  It takes a dramatic turn for the weird when Santa starts killing people.  The film turns dark and ugly when Santa starts dismembering people and chopping up the body parts.  Oh and he feeds the meat to his off-camera Reindeer.  This is super-creepy and I want to like it...but it's just torture.  It's gross and dark for no good reason.  It takes a final turn for the @%$# you when they pull the 'It's a dream' crap TWICE!  It's a bad thing to do once...but twice?  You can just go to Hell, movie!  Yes, you deserve to die and I hope you burn in Hell!  If I were to say one last positive thing, it's this: the movie is 45 minutes long.  Take us away, off-screen killer reindeer...
Next up, Christmas gets ruined by the final part of a Christmas Slasher trio.  Nothing says the Holidays like annoying douche bags and a man with an eye patch!  Stay tuned...