Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Die!: Scream of the Banshee

No Leprechaun film this year- deal with it!  I went through a number of different film choices for this year.  It could have been Leprechaun 3 (which was on Syfy today).  It could have been Gettin' Lucky (next year?).  Hell, it was almost Darby O'Gill and the Little People!  Instead, I went with an After Dark Original from last year, since I already did Banshee!!! about a year ago.  Darn my poor planning!  Banshees are part of Irish lore, so I'm good to go here.  As a bonus, Lance Henriksen gets a little more love this month.  Don't feel bad for Trejo- he's going to be back soon enough.  This film is, well, about a Banshee.  Need to know anymore?  Good.  Read on...
In an opening right out of Leprechaun 2 and/or Rumplestiltskin, some Knights are after a Banshee.  This one, apparently, looks just like a witch.
The dangerous creature is taken out after being stabbed and having her head taken off via a Medieval Flying Guillotine.  Words cannot describe how silly this thing is, especially given the time period that it's supposed to exist in.
In the Present, some people working on Archival Project discover the box behind a hidden wall thanks to a map sent to them in a box.  Stop being Dan Brown!!!

Say cheese!
After the creature wails, the head evaporates into dust.  No, I don't really know why that's supposed to happen.  Regardless, the wailing spirit is now out to kill them like, well, a J-Horror creature.

Seriously, stop doing that story over and over again!!!
In another unoriginal idea, we eventually learn that spirit will show up to scare you and can kill you if you scream.  It's good to know that you watched Dead Silence...because I sure didn't.  What a headjob!
Eventually, she learns that the head came into the University's possession because of, wait for it, Lance Henriksen.  They make you wait for him to show up- leaving him to just VLogs.  You tease me so well, movie!
The spirit continues to go after our characters, even stopping them from getting to Henriksen.  Nice mug.
The film's climax involves a showdown between the Banshee and Henriksen.  Even getting impaled by the magical spear can't stop him from having one last face-off.
Mortally-wounded and having helped best a creature he's searched for his whole life, Henriksen gets to enjoy one dramatic pose...before they kill him.  The End.
Eventually, you've just got to skip Leprechaun films.  Am I sad that I didn't do a Leprechaun film?  No.  I love the series- ironically, of course- but Syfy Channel's marathon of (the first three films of) the series is enough for today.  This interesting.  It's not terrible.  It's not great.  A lot of it is just the middle of the road for me.  I like the Banshee design at times, although I wish that there was a more uniform one.  Is the implication that they all see it differently?  If so, I can excuse it...but I don't love it.  The monster design is the key to selling a film and, well, they can't decide on one.  It's almost like they got the people from that reality show about doing monster make-up to each do one as part of a challenge...and used nearly all of them.  Getting past that, the premise is a bit weird.  The Banshee is a ghost that randomly appears to you and only kills you if you scream.  While I don't want to get into that weird conversation about the choice of victims for these spirits, why pick these people?  In the flashback, the creature presumably killed Christians and Knights that hated it.  In the present, it kills people who found its head and freed it from its prison.  How dare you help me, the Banshee wails!  Overall, it's a mixed-bag of modern horror.  If you like the After Dark films, you'll like this one.  Exploding head.
Next up, I switch focus fully to Lance Henriksen aka The Man.  First up, an odd film involving science, police work and...random Danny Trejo appearances.  Stay tuned...

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