Friday, February 28, 2014

Actually-Kind-of-Awesome Cover Art: Apartment 1303

I have given the Original and Remake of Apartment 1303 some flack for their less-than-inspired Cover Art.  Well, let's give the devil (or some sort of ghost girl, I'm guessing) their due.

Here's a much cooler bit of Cover Art for the Original film...

I must admit- it does make me curious.  Part of me thinks that the film will be full of the usual cliches, but this Poster does pique my interest.

Good job, creepy Poster.

Old-School TV: Tales of Tomorrow- The Dune Roller

This is a sad occasion.  It is the last Episode on the Disc.  This just may be the last of my...
Aliens- why are they always invading?!?  Seriously, don't they have their own Planet?  That rhetorical question leads me to the fourth (in no order whatsoever) Episode of the show called...
For some reason, the story is framed as a Story being told to this girl.  Why?  I have no clue.
Anyhow, he tells her the story of The Dune Roller.  It all starts with these two guys discovering that a nearby Element has transformed.  They try to figure out why.
Unfortunately, it turns out to be related to some weird incidents with people being confronted at their homes by flashing lights.  Yeah, you have to wait for any pay-off.

That does help explain the framing device.  In the early days, stories had to be lightened up (hence the rise of Horror Film Hosts) and have some disconnect.  Making it all past tense does the latter.
It does a good job of building up the suspense though.  You have to make do with no monster, of course.
Obviously the only one way to stop this as-yet-seen creature is to talk dryly about Science.  That was the answer to stopping any sort of monster back in the 1950s after all.
It is time for the final showdown.  They are, after all, on the part of the set that vaguely-looks like it is outside.
In the End, they blow the creature up- off-camera, naturally- and talk about how it was some sort of alien life-form controlling a meteor fragment (or something).  Oh well, at least it is dead.
...or is it?!?!?

Well, is it?  I mean, this Story is being told to someone.  Shouldn't we have an answer?  The End.
It is a bit of a tease, really.  If you go into this Episode with the right expectations, it does not disappoint.  It has some mystery to it, while giving you most of the answers you'd want.  It is silly to frame the whole thing in past tense though.  It would be neat to see a story like this redone, but with a twist thrown in.  For example, if the man was telling her the Story and then they panned out at the end to reveal that most of the World was destroyed.  As it is, the Story will just seem like a lot of build-up and little pay-off to a modern-viewer not familiar with that kind of thing.  I won't deny it.  It is certainly not the strongest of the four tales I've seen so far- that's probably still the first one- but I did like it.  It has an old-school The Thing From Another World (aka the film remade as The Thing) vibe to it.  Given that the film came out only a year prior, that's no surprise.  It is a good template for shows and films to come.  If viewed as an early draft for tales like this (see The Blob), then it is a neat piece of history.  As a stand-alone tale, it is a merely-average Episode.

After all four of these Episodes, I'm really looking forward to me.  Who would have guessed that I'd get so much out a .49 cent splurge at Moviestop?
Next up, I'm going to track down some more Episodes of this show for the future.  As to which Episode is next, even I don't know!  Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Through Adult Eyes: Paw Patrol

Things are different when you're an adult.  Shows don't look the same.  As such, here is a possibly-recurring segment examining shows aimed at a *younger* demographic through the crazy, jaded eyes of an adult.

I've got a doozy of a first show.  This is for all of you with young kids...
It is a cute, inoffensive Show involving talking Dogs in theme outfits and a kid.  It is all about morals and what-not.

Don't believe me?  See the card displayed for each Episode.
That's nice...but is it?  Let's examine it through adult eyes...
The town in Paw Patrol has no Police, Firemen, etc.  In their place, they have talking dogs in tiny cars.

What kind of twisted place is this?!?  Consider these scenarios...

* You're trapped in a burning House and the only one that can save you is this Dalmatian Puppy.
* There is a Gang War downtown and one Puppy is there to stop it.
* The building you're in explodes due to the faulty electric work done by a Puppy.

Yes, they can talk...but can they keep a city from falling apart?
I think not.

Do you have an idea for some more Shows to feature?  Leave a comment and I just may feature your suggestion in the future.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Big Ass Spider (Part 3)

It is fitting for this series based around the senseless killing of characters that are quickly introduced and forgotten that I've been so lax on finishing up the set.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

In Big Ass Spider, said creature escapes the Hospital and is now quite big (ass).  He goes to a Park and all hell breaks loose.

He does, however, make history by giving us the first Poor Bastard that I DON'T feel sorry for.
Just kidding, Lloyd.  Well, kind of.

Next up, another Park visitor (wearing a kind of Ed Hardy shirt) gets stabbed through the heart (roughly) and the Spider's to blame!.
More visitors are killed as the Spider rampages.  I'm getting flashbacks to that great scene from The Host (the good Korean film, not the Stephanie Meyer shit).

Oh and that is apparently getting/has gotten but we won't get in the U.S. for awhile a Sequel.  Good (I hope).
More random killing.  This guy reminded me at first of Angry Black Guy Almost Hit By A Car (aka the best character in The Frankenstein Theory).  Was this his ultimate fate?
The Spider is finally chased away by the bait of killing our heroes, but he/she does leave a pretty big body count in his/her wake.  Damn Spider- why you so mad?!?
The Spider would kill others, but they at least seemed to be a bigger part of the story.  These random Park Visitors/Quinceanera Celebrators were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The lesson: giant Spiders are dicks.   

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Moon Over Miami: Decadent Evil II

A film so bad that a man who almost never says 'No' to a role turned it down.  Good for you, Phil Fondacaro.  That's right- it's Full Moon again.  My love-hate relationship with the puppet-obsessed film company continues.  I don't hate them for trying to make Horror Movies.  I hate them for making almost-always-shit Horror Movies.  That make sense?  Today's film is Decadent Evil II, a film whose title still makes no sense.  I mean, is there a Principled Evil or Ethical Evil that I'm not aware of.  Is that when you molest Priests who got away with molesting their Altar Boys?  Is that when you lynch old White Supremacists?  I got a million of em!  If you want to know what happened in the original film, go here.  For those of you who are too lazy to click on the obvious link, I will give a brief summary below.  To find out if the second time is the opposite of the charm, read on...
Here's a rundown of what happened in the first film...

* There are Vampires.  They own Strip Clubs, since...boobs.
* Phil appears as a midget Vampire Hunter since...funny?
* He kills all of the Vampires, save for one, but dies in the process.
* The remaining Vampire turns good- since she's in love with a human- and plans to revive Phil.  This is the last time you'll actually see him.  Good for you.
Our pair are apparently following Phil's cross- acting as a divining rod- to find the Head Vampire.  They apparently need his blood to revive Phil, since...Plot Point.  This leads them to Arkansas, although I doubt that they actually shot there.

I actually have been to Hope, Arkansas (Bill Clinton's home town) and there were only like five vampires- tops!
It leads them to a Strip Club (naturally!), but they lose the cross.  Without it, they are able to pad the run-time out by having the pair work at the place.

Oh and Phil's dad- the Homunculus puppet- is along for the ride.  A Puppet in a Full Moon Film- shut the hell up!!!
This freaky Vampire dude- who looks like a cross between the villain in Slayer and The Asylum's random Devil vampire- is on the loose and apparently has to hit the exact number of 10,000 people killed to be *more* Immortal.

Sure- why not?
Seriously, why include this Puppet?  It adds nothing.  At all.
Over half-way through the film, they finally get some blood and revive Phil's character.  He's now played by...this guy.  No comment.

Oh and he acts justifiably-upset that they have revived him as a Vampire.  Can you imagine that happening to Van Helsing?
This all leads to a showdown at some big Ceremony.  The Vampire Lord- who turns out to be the Janitor in disguise, if you care- needs just one more sacrifice for the super-whatever-who-cares.
Not-Phil shows up and turns the tide with his ability to throw a stake with pin-point accuracy from about 40 yards.  In the last film, he had *literally* one trick, so...good for you.  You're still not Phil though.
The Vampire Lord and all but one of the bad guys are killed.  The day is saved, well, except for the fact that Not-Phil is now a Vampire and his dad is still a Homunculus.  Speaking of which...

The film ends on a *high* note by having the lone surviving Vampire girl being raped by the Homunculus.  Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.  The End.
Man, this one was not good.  Sorry to any Full Moon fans out there, but I have to speak the truth.  The story- barely there.  The driving force is literally just 'find the head Vampire' and that's it.  The forward momentum is barely pushing the so-called Story.  The Acting- not that good.  Nobody is really bad per se, but nobody stands out.  Some people come off as a bit hammy though.  The Effects- so-so.  I will give them some credit for the practical effects.  I'm always a big fan of those, provided that they don't impede upon the action.  Good suits are only good if the creature looks real and can move in a remotely-normal way.  I will also say that there is a limited number of bad CG Effects here.  That's not because there are many good ones- it's just that there are so few CG Effects at all.  I'd look like a giant hypocrite to complain about a relative lack of CG, so I won't.  The big issue is the lack of action and excitement.  This film is like 80% build-up.  They try to pretend that more is happening by having a pair of random women get killed, but this adds nothing.  In the End, this is a pretty unnecessary Sequel to a film that wasn't that great before.  The fact that it took me so long to get around to this (as it was OOP and I bought it up cheap) should tell you something.  This film just leads to one place: the Toilet...
Next up, I begin a new (and short) Round of Project Terrible with Troma.  If it guarantees to be Demented, I'm in for 'a good time.'

Project Terrible Returns: The Future Begins

I love to suffer.  I love to make people suffer.  You love to watch me suffer.  It's a win-win-win.
It's a short and simple Round with just Bob, Maynard and myself.  We know pain, so this should be interesting.

Films you will see Reviewed include...

* Demented Death Farm Massacre
* Generation Um...
* Dance or Die
* Frankenstein: The College Years
* Plutonium Baby
* UFO Abduction aka The McPherson Tape
* Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (Bonus!)

Keep an eye out for the Reviews in the next Month or so.  Enjoy the shared pain.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oddly-Familiar Cover Art: Apartment 1303 (Original)

As we saw last time, there are only so many ideas out there.  Let's see if the Japanese- who are usually good for something unique- are up to the task.

The original Apartment 1303 (which I still haven't watched) features an eerie visual on its Box Art to be sure.
It is cool and all, but...why does this feel familiar?  Hmm...
Oh, that's what it is.  Given that both films are from the same Writer, I can see the connection.

That said, could you have know, a little bit?  Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Old-School Television: Tales of Tomorrow- The Crystal Egg

Life happened and I couldn't get around to the third Episode on Saturday.  Stupid friends and family!

Regardless, let's take a belated look at one of the many...
Today's tale is a fairly-well-known tale from a famous Writer.  Many of you may know who it is, but I won't SPOIL that just yet.  Don't scroll to the bottom- that's cheating.

Since I can't read the DVD Box properly, let's watch...
The Episode begins with a shot of a Phonograph.  We begin to hear a man tell the tale of how he found the titular artifact.  The Framing Device has me worried...
A man shows up at an Antique Store and is interested in buying said Egg.  The Owner tries to extort him for a bunch of money- well, okay, 5 and a 1/2 pounds.

Since he can't pay right away, he leaves the item there to pay later.
Said Egg is then given to our hero to study it until the man comes back for it.  What does he find?
A gateway to Mars!  He can see a world that has only been dreamed about!

On the plus side, it allows them to re-use the set from the last Episode I watched.
Unfortunately, his time with the Egg is too short-lived.  He still has more to study.  He still has more to learn!
He gets really desperate, even going to the new Owner and pleading his case as well.  His search for knowledge will not end!
Well, it actually will.

We eventually see the record reach its conclusion and see a man break the record, destroying the evidence.  We see our obsessed hero dead.  Holy Shyamalan!  The End.
This is certainly a different one.  The previous two Episodes featured Monsters- visible or invisible.  This one is all about a man obsessed.  That's not bad- just different.  As a whole, the whole thing feels like it used to be a Short Story.  Is that bad?  I don't think so.  You might.  Big deal- wanna fight about it?  In all seriousness, it is a unique way to do the story.  The framing device is not too invasive and really does what it is supposed to do: frame the story.  That's it.  Understand that this is arguably the first Sci-Fi/Horro Series, so there is alot of experimentation involved.  It is a solid story told in a pretty straight-forward way.  Could more have been done with the story?  Certainly.  It makes me want to look and see if other Shows have done said Story (like Night Gallery or what have you).  Incidentally, did any of you not know who wrote this Story?  If you didn't, here you go...
Next up, break out your tiny daggers and square force-fields.  That's right- we're going to Dune for real this time.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Oddly-Familiar Cover Art: Apartment 1303 (The Remake)

I just keep getting Deja Vu...

Spending time around Redbox Kiosks, I see the Cover Art for alot of films, even ones that I have not heard of.  That's the case with this film (which is apparently a Remake of a Japanese film...that I've also not heard of)...
Weird and kind of creepy.  It is also...somewhat familiar.

Where have I see this before?  Oh right...
Of course, as a Wrestling fan for the last decade or so (since around 2000), it also reminds me of a particularly-memorable piece of promotional material for a Pay Per View...
Nearly 8 years and it is still creepy.  Damn, Cena!

As a bonus, let's take a look at the original Japanese film and see how pretty much guilty of the same thing.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WTF Japan?!?: Dead Sushi

It's weird as hell- what a shock!  Today's film is Dead Sushi, a film by Noboru Iguchi.  If you don't know him, he's a Japanese man with a really-twisted sense of humor and a film industry keen on constantly-funding his crazy ideas.  I'm not complaining- just stating a fact.  His previous films include The Machine Girl (I haven't reviewed this?!?), Robo-Geisha and Mutant Girls Squad.  He's one of my favorite Japanese Directors since he just says 'Why not?!?' to every ridiculous thought in his head.  This is the man who made a film called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead (future review) after all!  So what is this film about?  It is about Zombie Sushi.  Well, what were you expecting?  The best comparison is calling it 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes As Done by a Crazy Japanese Man.'  Sold yet?  Well, I won't SPOIL the whole film here.  Instead, I'll just give you a slimy, slightly-cooked taste of what this film is really about.  If you're reading about a film called Dead Sushi, you might be the film's audience.  To find out, read on...
This young lady wants to be a Sushi Chef.  The problem: her Father doesn't let her, since she is a girl.
Desperate, she runs off and gets a job working as a Waitress at a Hot Springs Resort.

She hates the job and gets picked on.  Fortunately, this random older gentlemen encourages her.  You can probably guess that he'll play a bigger part later on.
The Hot Springs has an uninvited guest, however, in the form of a Homeless Man who commands kill!

I guess I'll have to induct these two as Poor Bastards of Cinema soon enough...
A group of businessmen (and their Secretary) arrive and start to act like asses.  Their false understanding of Sushi offends our heroine, leading her to speak up.  This leads to a wacky fight.

On top of that, the Homeless Man- who turns out to be a vengeful Scientist from the same company- starts injecting a Re-Animator-style drug into the Sushi, which grow teeth and start 'infect' the other Sushi.  Yes, Zombie Sushi.
 The Sushi- which can also fly- start to rack up a pretty good body count.  They are mean seafood and they sure do on the tongue and eventually kill you.
Have you ever woken up feeling like crap?  Consider what happens to this guy and you can really put things in perspective.
The villain eats some infected Sushi (on purpose) and transforms into a creature...which I won't dare SPOIL here.  You just have to see it.
I also won't go into too much detail about the film's climax.  It gets really crazy and just keeps going.
I will leave you with no answers, but with a moment when a character in the film begins to question the events of said film.  The End.
Oh yeah, this is a weird one.  Seriously- Zombie Sushi.  You just kind of have to go with that.  This is a weird Horror-Comedy...but it kind of works here.  The whole thing is just plain weird and makes no apologies for it.  Noboru Iguchi makes no pretense of making serious films or ever playing things straight.  I'm fine with that.  The film features flying Sushi, people getting their faces pulled off, Sushi humping other Sushi and something you would never guess made out of Sushi.  There is no internal logic (that will reasonably explain things, that is).  There is no Exit.  There is only 90 minutes of crazy shit that just keeps going.  If you like crazy Comedy mixed with crazy spurts of CG Blood and ridiculous on-camera effects, this is the film for you.  Seriously, it is about Zombie Sushi.  If you still want to see it, you should love it.  If you didn't get past the introduction, then you are NOT the audience for this film.  As for me, it makes me feel weird...
Next up, I cover my first Full Moon film in six months.  As a bonus, it is a Sequel to a film which sucked (and featured Vampires too).  Stay tuned...