Saturday, June 30, 2012

Slasher Crap(pier): Rest Stop- Don't Look Back

I'm afraid of some ghosts.  Yeah, SPOILER Alert- this film is about Ghosts.  That make sense to you?  That movie about a guy killing people and torturing them while driving in a Truck is...a Ghost.  That family in the RV- Ghosts too.  This is pretty damn insulting, especially when you consider that this is apparently the premise of the whole series.  That's right- they 'planned' this all along.  It just makes about 500 plot holes in the process, but I guess they didn't care.  The sequel takes place 1 year later and involves the brother of the film's original lead.  You know, the guy that was mostly tortured the whole time before he died.  Couldn't have made it the heroine's brother or something?  As a bonus, the lead brings along some random guy and a whore- why not?  To find out just why I hate this movie so much (besides what I already said), read on...
The opening scene takes place in the '70s.  The crazy family grab a guy, kill him...but he comes back as a Ghost and kills them, thus making them Ghosts the whole time in the first film.  Yea.
In the Present Day (thanks, Title Card), the brother of what's-his-name is back from Iraq.  He hooks up with Some Whore- I defy you to critique my character definition)- and decides to go looking for him.  Sure- most people that disappear for a year turn up alive...idiot.
Hey look, Charles Manson is running a Gas Station.  This character confuses me, as I'm not sure how he can be working with the Ghosts (SPOILER) or why exactly he would do so?  Do they just agree to not kill him in a silly way?  No answers here.
Speaking of stuff not adequately-explained, Nerd Hanger On meets up with the Heroine (although not the same Actress- oops) and they have sex.  When he wakes up, she vanishes...since I guess she was a Ghost.  No, really.

I can explain why seeing Ghosts, but how do you explain f#%*ing one?!?
The damn family- including the Twins- show up a couple of times here.  When can I be rid of your creepy, matching faces?  I guess after this next section, really.
Seriously, why does the Gas Station Owner work with the Ghost?  What does he gain?

Oh yeah, they also establish that The Driver doesn't/can't talk...while he can drive a car, bite people's fingers off, use a video camera and tie a knot.  Of course- why would anyone question that?!?
Further muddying things, Gas Station Owner tells them how to kill The Driver- it's stupid, so I won't say it- & they do it.  Another explosion- check.

However, it doesn't work- they never say why- and the RV with the family in it kills Hanger On Guy.  So is the RV real, but being driven by Ghosts?  If it is, I have questions.  If it's not, I have even more!
 Despite no evidence suggesting this, we learn in the dark ending that Some Whore is dead and now in the clutches of The Driver.  Twist.  Endings.  Must.  Make.  Sense!!!!  The End.
Why did I even bother?  The good part- they explain everything (sort of).  The bad part- they explain everything in the most asinine way humanly-possible.  Well, I guess they could have just said 'It's all a dream.'  Seriously, Ghosts?  You couldn't have made him just super-evil, some sort of demonic creation or, God forbid, not something this stupid.  Does he really drive the car?  If so, how?  Name one film in which a Ghost drives a car- I dare you.  No, the Amityville House moving the Diaper Truck in Amityville 1992 doesn't count (as it just unlocked the brakes)!  I should mention that the original Director is merely on-board as a Producer which translates to 'The Studio wants to make another one and we'll pay you to act like you like it.'  It's possible that he was really deeply-involved in the Production, but it's just one of those signs that says 'Beware- shit sequel!'  Speaking of shit, where was the surprise in any of the surprises?  For example, our Hero finds his Brother alive and rescues him...only to learn that he was really a Ghost.  Yeah, we saw him die in the last movie!  It would be like if Psycho 2 built up to revealing that the Mother was actually dead...again.  The surprise appearance- and sex scene...ew- involving the Heroine from the first film falls in the same line.  The Ending implied that she was dead and merely haunting the Rest Stop.  Big shock- that's still the case!  Speaking of which, she was killed elsewhere, so why haunt the Rest Stop?  Hell, the idea that the evil RV Family help The Driver is silly, since he killed them!  'Sorry that I killed you- want to help commit a serious of implausible murders that insult the audience?'  'Oh, you scamp!'  The bottom line: adding Ghosts to a series is stupid, especially when your film is already stupid.  Isn't that right, Muppet Face?
Next up, Dario Argento returns to Mondo Bizarro with a more-recent effort.  Can you combine murder with video Poker & still have a good film?  Stay tuned...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Slasher Crap: Rest Stop

The only one really being tortured is me!  Some people may like this movie (not a whole lot, honestly), but it just hurt.  I tried- I truly did.  Unfortunately, this movie has really weird pacing and can never keep the film moving.  It stops and starts all the time.  With no rhythm, the flaws are more noticeable as well.  I'll get into those more in-depth later on, but, sufficed to say, there are many.  If you like films that are long, drawn-out and full of confusion, this is your movie.  If you like to see what Torture Porn really looks like, this is your movie.  Since I already watched it, I'm going to pretend that its mine.  To find out why I live to hate, read on...
The plot is simple (at first): a couple elopes to California, but makes a visit to a Rest Stop along the way.  Things go wrong, however...
...when the husband to be goes missing.  This leads to *sigh* our heroine sitting around and moping.  Despite being connected to a road, she...just kind of stays there.
In a scene that's clearly supposed to be more important than it is, our heroine gets a ride from a crazy, religious family in an RV.  Among the clan are those twins from Seconds Apart- yea.

In this film, they amount to nothing but distraction...unless you watch a Post-Credits Scene.  Yeah, that's good Screenwriting!
Some of the 'high points' of this movie all center around our heroine being trapped in the Women's Room at the Rest Stop.  No, really.

First, she tries to pry open the lock...only to get one of her fingers bitten off.  Bear this in mind for later.
Later, the killer- just called The Driver- dumps their video camera from earlier in.  Besides an excuse to show their sex scene from earlier again, it also shows the guy being tortured.

Wait- porn and torture in one scene?  You're making the expression seem very literal, Rest Stop!
In another scene, our heroine is trapped with a paralyzed Cop (Joey Lawrence).  He mostly just spouts random information before asking our heroine to shoot him, rather than leave him to be burned to death. 

Just to be cruel (and ridiculous), she somehow misses the brain on the first shot...while the gun is literally in his mouth.
Over an hour in, the movie FINALLY changes locations for more than a minute as fire is set to the Rest Stop...causing it to blow up.  Lots of gas stored in those toilets, huh?

Oh and we later hear about how the Women's Restroom was 'burned.'  Did he miss the explosion?
Our heroine thinks that she has The Driver caught and beats his head in.  However, thanks to the 'Killer Knows Everything' Cliche, he disguised the boyfriend as him.  That's bleak.
In The End, she blows up The Driver's truck...but he still catches her.  The explanation for this random event the Sequel.  Yeah, screw you, audience!
Aargh!  This movie just hurt me- a lot.  Where to begin?  Pacing- awful.  Story- barely there.  Gore- lots of it, mostly related to torture.  There were a number of ways that this film could have at least been decent.  One- better, more consistent story.  How does the killer know everything ahead of time?  If you're just going to tell me that he's just been doing it long enough to guess everything, you are making a big cop-out.  How does he kill so dramatically without ever being caught?  The answer given in the sequel- I'll explain it then- is a big, old slap in the face.  It raises about 5,003 more questions than the two that it actually answers.  Second- less torture crap.  The only way that some people think to be scary is to have people get tortured.  It's not scary- it's just gross and discomforting.  Just stop it already- seriously!  This movie is ruined by a number of things, including the random, unexplained moments and those mentioned above.  For those of you online who say that it all makes sense, you're lying to both yourself and me.  That logic is about as fake as these random stunt boobs...
Next up, the Sequel that actually explains what's going on.  That is, of course, if you can decipher which message is supposed to be the real one and which one is a lie.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Buy the DVD!: Tombs of the Blind Dead (Part 2)

Here's an informative run-down on the Blue Underground DVD for Tombs of the Blind Dead.  The key thing is that the DVD gives you the original version (yea!) and the American version (boo!).
There are a few scenes oddly-excised from the Original film.  See the first 4 Chapters for the American version...
...and compare them to the Original Version.  That's right- they cut a (fairly-mild) Lesbian scene.  Why?
Speaking of odd, the American version takes the scene 'Blood Sacrifice' (Chapter 16 in the Original Version) and slaps it onto the opening of the American Version.  Weird, right?
Lastly, there's a scene excised from the American Version.  What's in that gap between 17 and 18?
Why it's a scene where our main Heroine gets raped by a Sailor.  Yeah, they cut that!  Kudos for leaving in the scene of re-dressing with zero context.  That sense now.
So, in summary, the Original Version is better, albeit notably different.

Aside from the Dubbing (which I hate!), the Spanish Version has a Lesbian Scene and a Rape one.  That balances out, right?

Slasher Crap?: Venom (2005)

Can you really blame a natural disaster for a film's failure?  Today's film is Venom, a movie that didn't get exactly get a proper release.  The big problem was that it came out just after Hurricane Katrina and it was set in New Orleans.  Granted- the company behind its release barely advertised (supposedly only a week before its release) and barely even bothered to put it out (putting it in less than 500 theaters).  So why should you care about the film after nearly 7 years?  Well, it is by- in part- Kevin Williamson.  Yeah, that should do it for some of you.  While I couldn't care less, he is a notable name in Teen-Based Horror.  The plot involves Voodoo, random sub-plots and a Jason-style killer.  To find out if the whole thing is worth remembering, read on...
In the intro, a Voodoo Priestess- who is the only other black lady in the film BTW- collects a bunch of snakes in a briefcase and goes to get rid of them.  Why does this matter?  You'll see.
In a roundabout coincidence, the snakes get loose and kill this Tow Truck Driver who tries to help her.  I should probably mention that the snakes are the hosts for evil souls, shouldn't I?
Hey, a Rapper is in this movie- playing a Cop no less.  I wonder what's going to happen to...oh, he's dead.
The killer is the reanimated corpse of the Truck Driver, now possessed by evil spirits.  Wouldn't they just be trapped in that body?  Mind you, I took Intro to Voodoo in High School, so I might be rusty.

Bonus points: Netflix's descriptions calls the killer 'Mr. Jangles.'  Nobody does that in the movie.
The killer takes out a bunch of people as part of its plan, do something Voodoo-like.  Yeah, they're vague about this.  Ooh, scary.
The other black lady in the film- the Priestess' grand-daughter- gives us the info dump on the villain.  Thanks to Netflix's sleeve, this bit of dialogue is entirely-pointless.  Yea.
The climax of the film takes place at the Farm House and gives us some brief moments of gun-physics that would make the folks over at Mythbusters cry.  Yes, that happens when you're shot in the head!  Whee!
With the film's cast boiled down to one (it's the obvious Final Girl), the killer thinks that he/they has/have victory in sight.  However...
The heroine manages to run him down with his own truck- vehicular irony!- and cause his body to, well, explode.  Yeah, that makes sense...if your body is a balloon!

Regardless, the villain is dead...or is he?  There's no sequel, so, yeah, he's dead.  The End.
Eh, I kind of liked it.  To be honest with you, I've never been the biggest fan of this kind of movie.  No, not just Kevin Williamson movies, although that's true too.  No, I mean these slasher-style movies made for teenagers.  I grew up during the modern revival period of them and still didn't give half a shit.  To give you some idea, I've never seen Scream 2 or Scream 3.  I say all this not to draw up Comments, but to make it clear where I stand on this.  As far as this movie goes, it could have been better and it could have been worse.  I liked the setting and tone they were going for, but wish that they could have evolved beyond the obvious stereotypes.  Here's another thing: was there a point to one guy being the illegitimate son of the Killer (pre-possession)?  I mean, they don't play it up as a shock thing.  There's no dialogue after his death like 'If he could kill him, there's nothing he won't do' or some such thing.  Rather, the guy just off-hands mention his past and dies a couple scenes later.  This film has all of the makings of a series and its kind of a shame that it never got that.  Of course, my real reason is the desire to see Mr. space.  Take us away, best parts of the movie... 
Next up, a film about a Rest Stop.  Let's all do the torture porn tango!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Slasher Crap: See No Evil (w/ Kane)

Here's a secret: I really like Kane.  For those of you who don't know, Kane is a WWE Wrestler who is gigantic (billed at 7' and 300 lbs), evil (he once jump-started a man's balls) and scary (dark red attire, evil mask, fire).  I even like him so much that I once played as him in an online, text-based wrestling game.  It's a bit silly to me now, but I did it so that I could write evil Kane promos at a time when the real-life Kane was bogged down in crappy stories.  When he was given a movie in 2006, I was happy for him.  Unfortunately, this too turned into an angle- sigh.  In See No Evil, Kane plays an evil killer who stalks a Hotel.  As such, he was inexplicably turned evil again in the WWE and kept mentioning a date- the release date for this movie.  Unfortunately, like a lot of stuff involving Kane, the film is a lot of bad surrounding one good thing- Kane himself.  He's great in this movie, even if he has no clear motivation for 90% of the film.  This film is truly Saw-lite, just with a big killer doing the gruesome murders.  The sets are all brown, covered in filth and look like they smell like ass.  Even the DVD release foreshadows this, as it features a Trailer for the Saw 2 DVD release.  To sort out the good from the bad, read on...
In the opening scene, Kane is stopped from killing a lady, but manages to kill one cop and take another one's hand off.  He also survives a bullet to the brain and eludes capture...somehow.
Years later, two groups of criminal youths are sent to work off part of their sentence cleaning up an old Motel.  Naturally, the film meanders for the next twenty minutes setting up the characters...who die in the next hour.

Time well spent, movie!
Skipping ahead, Kane starts to kill the people.  Yea...I mean, boo.

Seriously, he's the best part of the film, so he can do whatever he wants as long as he stays on screen.
Silly moments include a scene explaining that Kane (aka Jacob) set up trip wires tied to bells all over the building.  It takes away from his killer mystique to picture him spending days setting that up!
His collection room is right out of a crazy person's diary.  Could this film be more like Saw or Hostel?
In a shocking twist, the old lady  is actually Kane's Mother.  Holy Friday the 13th, Batman!

Wait- nobody knows that she's Kane's mother?  The famous serial killer?  Nobody notices that she hired the guy who shot her infamous son and who was maimed by said son?  You could drive that ship from the opening of Star Wars through this plot-hole!
To amp up the gore and silliness, Kane is killed by a pipe through the eye.  Of course, that's not enough to take out the Big Red Monster!
He falls several floors, crashes through some glass (which should have been broken already) and the pipe gets ripped out of his head, killing him.  Thankfully, the Pimp and his former-girlfriend survive.  Yea?  The End.
It's...Saw.  As I mentioned, I think that the character of Kane and Glenn Jacobs has been very underrated for years.  Sadly, his only film effort so far- save for a cameo in MacGruber- is exactly the kind of crap he's been bogged down with for years.  Pointless unmasking, Katie Vick (don't Google it) and electrifying Shane McMahon's balls to build up to a match are just a few of the 'high points' of his career.  This film boils down to a mix of Saw, Friday the 13th and a bit of Halloween/TCM.  It's a generic mish-mash of other Horror films and has no identity.  The only good part is Kane- plain and simple.  His fairly-natural acting and presence here makes the movie feel like a lazy effort designed to showcase a good performer.  I didn't expect a great movie, but I did expect a decent one.  This movie is just a generic cash-in that wastes his lead and his particular talents.  When you have someone who already looks like a Slasher Movie Heavy, you cast a dull, by-the-numbers film.  Look at this face and tell me that you couldn't have done better...
Next up, a film that kind of slipped under the radar due to Hurricane Katrina.  Will it be a good idea to review while my house is in the path of a Tropical Storm?  Stay tuned...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Horror Crap-llection: Zombie Dearest

Schedules, schmedules.  The final film in the Midnight Horror Collection Vol. 2 is Zombie Dearest.  Well, Demonic Toys 2 actually is, but I already did that one.  First, the good stuff.  It's not Australian, it's not about hiking, it's not about pointless jump scares and it's not about bad green screen ghosts.  Hell, it also doesn't include racist puppets, demons in wells and giant, evil bongs.  Now, the bad stuff.  It's not very good.  It's a comedy that's not very funny.  It's a horror film that doesn't ever really scare.  Can it succeed in spite of these flaws?  No, not really.  To read about it anyhow, read on...
The film begins by introducing us to our two leads.  One is a super-serious businesswoman.  The other is a guy that is a cross between Jason Segel and Joe Manganiello from True Blood.  He makes this dignified introduction here...

She leaves him- for a vaguely-good reason- and moves back home.  He follows her.  She agrees that they'll stay together if, for all purposes, he'll be her house slave. 

Seriously, she says that they'll stay together...if he does nothing but fix up the house.  Ouch.
Does this random flashback of her Aunt digging in the yard prove important?  Of course it does.

As it turns out, they killed a handyman and buried him in the yard.  While digging up the septic tank, our hero accidentally brings it to life...via magic.  That's a new one, movie!
Our hero takes the whole 'zombie' thing pretty well, since there's manual labor to do.  No, really.
The wife is a bit shocked at first, but, eventually, gets on board because, you guessed it, there's manual labor to do.
Skipping ahead (you're welcome), our hero is bitten by the zombie and begins to turn...while doing his Caveman Stand-Up Schtick.

Question: Is it still a Zombie when you use 'pixie dust' to bring a corpse back to life?  It's a gray area IMHO.
Just to really say 'screw you' to the audience, the film pulls out a Chekhov's Gun and gives us a Status Quo Ante, undoing the entire film.  Now I really feel like I wasted my time.  The End.
Better late than this crap.  I'm sorry- this movie sucks.  I know that it was obviously a labor of love...but it sucked.  To start, it's not that funny.  The jokes are usually telegraphed from a mile away or just seem random.  This is often a Mad Libs-style script when it comes to character development.  Our hero is a wannabe ______ who does _____ about _____.  In this case, he's a wannabe comic who does jokes about Cavemen.  They tried a show about that once & it didn't end well.  As a comedy, there are no real scares here.  This one at least has horror elements- as opposed to Deadfall Trail- but still feels like an odd addition to the Midnight Horror Collection.  I expect a bunch of slasher films/creature features/ghost stories.  Do I expect a random horror-comedy that is full of emotional character moments (which I don't care about)?  There is a good movie buried in all of this crap, but I defy anyone to dig their way through it to get there.  Take us away, pointless stand-up comedy...
Next up, a week of slasher/horror films that may or may not suck.  First up, a WWE wrestler in a film far worse than he deserves.  Stay tuned...