Monday, December 29, 2014

Rare Flix: I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle

Yes, this is a real Film.  No, I'm not joking.  It's real and it's...ridiculous.  No beating around the bush: this is a weird-ass movie!  Today's Film is I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle...and that's all I can say.  What can you say?  It is about a Vampire Motorcycle.  I've heard of killer vehicles (e.c. Christine, etc) and weird Vampires (e.c. Aswang), but never together.  This is a weird piece of Film History.  The question: is it good?  That's...something to be discussed.  The Story involves a weird, occult ceremony, a killer bike and lots of murder.  It is difficult to make alot of sense with this one, but do bear in mind that it is a Comedy.  That is not an excuse to not bother to write a logical Story, mind you, but it does mean that you have to treat the Film *a little* differently.  You really want to know more about this one, don't you?  To find out, read on...
A strange, occult Ceremony occurs in England and a man is killed on a motorcycle there.  Blood drips into the Fuel Tank and a creature is born.
The bike is later sold to this guy on the left and he plans to repair it.  Little does he know how dangerous it really is!
Things don't work out for those around him.  For example, his best friend (in blue, above) is killed!
He also gets in a fight with a gang in a Bar that escalates to include swords!  How does that happen?
The bike separates from our hero- after his girlfriend tries to order some Garlic Prawns- and goes on a killing spree.  He takes out the bikers (in silly fashion), a random lady (future Poor Bastard of Cinema?) and a Meter Maid with...this.
Our hero finally seeks a Higher Power (not Vince McMahon)- C3PO!  Okay, it is actually Anthony Daniels (the Actor who played the Character) as this Priest who is quite agreeable.
Their first exorcism attempt fails and the bike seeks a new target: the girlfriend.  He can now suck your blood properly (as well as a bike can, anyhow).  Go ahead- analyze this!
The group- now joined by a comedic Detective- comes to the rescue, but who will rescue them?
Ultimately though, they manage to destroy the bike and live happily ever after...until the natural bit of Sequel Bait.  The End.
This...sure was something.  What else can I say?  Alright, let me see what I can do.  A Vampire Motorcycle.  What's next- a Zombie Fisherman?  Oh right- I watched that movie too.  It is silly.  It is very silly.  The Film has a silly idea and just goes for it- for better or for worse.  The Special Effects are alright, but there are some obvious Camera Tricks used to make this work.  The Film is definitely not big-budget and it certainly shows at times.  The Film also goes off on weird diversions- like a random, gross-out Dream Sequence- and is arguably too silly at times.  There are some bits they seem to love doing- like playing the same Musical Sting when they show a Crucifix- and you will certainly either love or hate them.  This Film has its tongue planted so far in its cheek that it is poking out the side!  It is really, really damn goofy!  I don't mind this kind of thing, but I know that many of you do.  If you can't get past the over-the-top concept and execution, this Film does nothing to sway you.  Some of you will love this crazy shit, but the rest of you will just be like this...
Next up, I play catch-up on some Movies given to me in 2014.  First up, a French Sci-Fi Cartoon- need I say more?  Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Quick Reviews: Rough Magik

Is Lovecraft finally being done justice on the small screen?  Today's Film is Rough Magik, although it is not really a Film.  It is actually the Pilot for a BBC Show...that never got made.  Been there, done that.  This is an extra level of obscurity though, as it is kind of hidden as part of an obscure H.P. Lovecraft Collection and not labeled especially well.  There is some dispute about this one online, as its Story is inspired by elements from a game, as opposed to being purely Lovecraft.  My point of view: if the game is based on Lovecraft to begin with, why make such a fuss?  In this Story, mysterious crimes related to Elder Gods are happening in England.  To get to the bottom of it, a secret group meets up with a man who may have some answers.  The results: strange.  To find out more about what you didn't know existed, read on...
The Film begins with a mother taking her kids to see a surprise- a statue of Cthulhu!

While they're looking at it, she kills them!
People as part of a Secret Society contact our hero and ask him questions about Sigils and Dreamers.

Instead of just asking him anymore, they drug him and make him tell the Story of how he first learned of Cthulhu Cultists...
He was working with the Military on an Island as a Specialist.  The men were suspicious of him...
After a group come back horribly shaken up, they go to a mysterious house.  A man shows up and they all freeze in place!

He has a Story to tell our hero.  Yes, a Story within a Story (within a Film Story).
He's an Ancient One who took over a human body to observe us and try to keep the forces of evil back with his Sigils.  Forces of evil like Cthulhu!
After that, he is killed by the Soldiers and the Story ends.  Back in the Present, the men talk about how many Dreamers are now appearing and how much work they have to do...  The End.
It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't hate it.  I like key aspects to it and am willing to forgive some of the bad ones.  The Film uses a slew of non-matching Military Footage early on, but that just feels like a budgetary thing.  Likewise, the Lighting is a bit off at times.  I get the impression that stuff like this would have been fixed if it was ever a Show.  Obviously, it wasn't, so I can see people still giving this film guff about it.  The Story here is a bit weirdly-structured, but I can see what it was going for.  Again- something to be ironed out in the future had it become a Show.  One thing I can give this one is that it feels more like a one-and-done Story than the other failed Pilots-turned-Movies did.  I do want to see more of this (although, it has been 14 years, so...), but don't feel as left hanging as I did with The Norliss Tapes, for one.  Given all I know about this one, it stands out as someone trying to make a new IP out of Lovecraft and doing a decent job at it.  With more money and work behind it, it could have turned out as something even better.  As it is, Rough Magik is a decent Pilot that is just a little odd.  Not as odd as this *completely-real* shot from the Film though...
A decent Film that really suffers from being just a Pilot.  It is almost more of a tease than anything else.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Zoned Out: Night of the Meek

Another week brings us one last celebration of Christmas right out of...
In this updated Version of a classic Zone tale, two men learn the spirit of Christmas via vague magic.
In the Story, a boss at a big chain Clothing Store (William Atherton aka the older version of William Zabka) is having some issues.  The Coat he set aside for his wife's present was sold and his Santa... out getting drunk.  He's a friendly drunk, since he's actually supposed to be our hero.  Yea?
While taking out his trash on Christmas Eve, he drops the bag and...a toy comes out?  He reaches for more and they just keep coming!
Discovering the trick of the bag, he invites the whole neighborhood to come visit.  They can ask for one gift and it will just appear out of the bag!
Atherton shows up and claims that the stuff was stolen.  Needing help, our 'Santa' gets receipts to pour out of the trash bag, covering for him.

In the aftermath, he meets Atherton outside and gives him the coat he a signed baseball.
As a bonus, our 'Santa' becomes the real Santa now- suck it, Tim Allen!  The End.
Simple, unoffensive fluff.  The Story is nothing great, but really does nothing too wrong.  It is interesting to see a guy plays a drunk, while also becoming our hero.  They try to sugar-coat it a bit here, as they did in the original.  He's drinking because he can't live up to what he wants to be: a true Santa.  It all works out in the end, so there's really not much to fuss over though.  Here's some weird Trivia for you: Art Carney played the lead in the 1960 Version of this Tale.  He doesn't appear in this one, although he did plays 'Santa Claus' in a different project in 1984!  Go figure.  The low-key, silly nature of this makes it work, provided you don't ask questions like 'How do those receipts check out?' or 'Why does Atherton wait until Christmas Eve to try to pick up the coat?'  A magic trash bag is just par for the course in a Show like this.  It is a Christmas tale and I'm all for it.  As someone that is not that sappy about the Holidays and doesn't care much for the super-saccharine stuff, this one still works.  It is nice, friendly and unassuming.  I like it.  The Producers sure did, since they thought it was good enough to redo 25 years later.
Next week, I usher in the year 2015 the only way that I can.  That's right- Leprechauns!  Stay tuned...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Horror Shorts: From Beyond

Even more obscure than the Stuart Gordon Film, there is this one.  Bundled with 3 other Shorts and a more-full Feature (around 45 minutes), this one made me curious.  After all, I've seen From Beyond done on a bigger budget, so how would this turn out.  In the Story, a man is presented with a miracle of Science from someone he probably shouldn't trust.  What he finds will change his life...but for the better?  To find out, read on...
A man drives through the rain to see someone.  Why?
He arrives at the man's house and he is shown the way to the basement.
Inside, the man activates a strange machine that...seems to change reality itself!

He explains that the machine allows you to see more than just the plain world around you.
He not only sees color, but he sees, well, this...
Needless to say, seeing a real-life Metroid in front of you would garner a surprised reaction.

More importantly, the machine makes it so that the creatures can see you as much as you can see them.
Naturally, the guy freaks out and shoots the machine, which makes the Inventor disappear.  It just kind of stops yeah.  The End.
An interesting attempt to do Lovecraft proud.  The Short clearly has a small budget (I don't know what it is).  The Actors aren't the best out there, but also aren't bad.  The whole thing was made on the cheap and it shows...although mostly in the CGI.  Obviously, they kind of had to go that route for the Lovecraftian stuff out there.  I have seen worse effects too, so that is something for this Short.  It has the tone of discovery and mystery down pat, which is definitely a plus.  While they don't do anything too major, they seem to do Lovecraft proud with this attempt.  I'll have to look up more of their stuff in the future (if there is any).  Maynard has probably reviewed like a dozen of their Short Films by now, but he can just go to Hell!  Just kidding- he can go to R'yleh.  One more shout out for Miskatonic University...
It shows touches of really neat stuff, but doesn't quite break out.  It is very accurate to the Story, so that is a plus.

Impossibly-Weird Cover Art: Night of the Demon (1980)

After watching the Film awhile back, I found this thing online.

If you recall, Night of the Demon (1980) is about a Bigfoot.

Keep that in mind, alright.  Just remember than when you see this..., um, what is this?

It looks more like a demon than what the film gave us, but certainly not like this...
So yeah, this is...kind of a lie, right?

A weird lie- granted- but a lie nonetheless.  Just odd.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Deathmas: The Children (2008)

Are you ready for a bleak and bloody Christmas?  If so, keep reading.  If you want silly fluff, I'll just direct you back to Christmas Bounty.  The Children is a 2008 Film from the After Dark Horrorfest that attempts to one-up Who Can Kill A Child?  This is not to be confused with Come Out and Play (the recent Remake), nor should it be mixed up with 1980's The Children.  So, you may have guessed what this Film is about.  That's right: killer Children.  Is it wrong that I have yet to find any of these things scary.  Is it because I don't have kids?  Maybe.  In this Film, a pair of Families get together at a nice Cabin (in the Woods) and anarchy starts.  Something is making the kids sick (which the Parents don't see?!?) and they are planning something evil.  Can 1,000 close-ups of a blank-eyed kid substitute for terror?  To find out, read on...
It is Christmas time (or Boxing Day) for these families.  I hope they get a leg lamp!
Something is up with their kids.  These Parents of the Year somehow don't see anything wrong with this kid and never ask him what's wrong.  They...suck.
What is making the kids sick?  Why does it make them killers?  Why do I ask questions in Horror Films that think that mystery is a substitute for good writing?
In spite of everything strange going on, this is a Christmas Film so everything will work out.  Right?
Wrong!  People die!

Merry Christmas everyone!
In one inexplicable moment, a kid tricks the mother into climbing up the Monkey Bars (even though she can reach him from the ground!) in heels.  Another kid pushes her leg and a 2-inch fall inexplicably shatters her leg!

Even for Mr. Glass, that is just silly!
While it is somewhat realistic for the adults to not think that the kids could kill, it means that the Film drags and repeats...ALOT!
So if you like bickering, random gore and assholes talking mean to each other forever, this Film is for you!
Oh and if you think that this is remotely-scary.

As for me, I'll stick with Silent Night, Deadly Night.  The End.
Yeah, I was not a fan of this.  The best word to describe this one: unpleasant.  The concept is dark, the execution is bleak and there are so few likeable Characters.  It is one of those 'everyone starts acting like assholes' Films that people seem to keep making.  Who likes that kind of stuff?  Who would like this Film?  So if you hate all of the Character, an interesting Killer/Killers can make up for it right?  That's certainly true (to some), but this Film doesn't even give you that.  Some of the kids try to look menacing, but just kind of look like they took too much ADHD medication.  Staring is not inherently-scary, guys.  So if I don't like the Characters, don't find it scary and don't like the Plot, what is there?  British Accents and one interesting Character don't a Film make.  So, in summary, if they had changed nearly everything about this Film, I might have liked it.  As it is, it is the Film equivalent of one of those terrible Sweaters you get from Aunts you've never met.  Merry Christmas!
Up next, I'll keep the British trend going with some post-Holiday Horror.  You have never regretted a bike purchase more than this guy!  Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Project Terrible Holiday Edition: Christmas Bounty

Back by popular demand- but not quite complete.  I love Project Terrible.  Bob loves Project Terrible.  Other people do as well, but...are too busy right now.  Since it is kind of my thing, I always make time for it.  Bob and I are doing two hand-picked Films in the time between official Rounds to keep you satiated.  He gave me two WWE Films Productions and one of them is set on Christmas, so I'm going to begin right now.  Christmas Bounty was a Film made for ABC Family last year and dumped onto DVD shortly thereafter.  Since Netflix carries it on Streaming, it is an option to do now.  So what is the Film about?  Well, this lady used to be a Bounty Hunter and has an emergency related to her old job come up...on Christmas.  Things get even more complicated when she runs into her old boyfriend (The Miz)- the one she left behind.  Naturally, her new boyfriend shows up too and...she never told him about her old job.  Wackiness ensues.  A Holiday Film about killers with no death- great.  A Film full of shooting, but nobody ever being hit- natural.  A Film Starring The Miz- joy.  Since Bob just kind of hates his face, I'm doing this.  Just remember that The Marine 4 comes out in 2015, Bob!  Is this a new Holiday Classic or on par with The Pac-Man Christmas Special?  To find out, read on...
A woman (Francia Raisa) is living in up-state New York as a Teacher and is dating an Investment Broker.  Life is good.
...or it was.  A man she put away years ago is out and is threatening her family (as opposed to just killing them by surprise).

She used to be a Bounty Hunter (with her parents) and now she must return home to catch the guy.
Unfortunately for us, this guy shows up.
She is forced to team-up with him and her parents to get to the bottom of the case.  They have to catch the criminal before he can get what he wants- them dead!
Further complicating matters, the boyfriend shows up (even though he agreed to wait until New Years to see her) and he doesn't know a thing about her past.

Since this is a terribly-written Comedy, they dick around and lie instead of just telling him the truth.
Will all this wackiness and shooting (plus a Mob Wedding), will everyone survive to celebrate Christmas?  Yes, of course they do.

In spite of that, I won't SPOIL this any further.  Watch it if you want/dare.  The End.
This is surprisingly-average, to be honest.  The Story is not that inspired, but doesn't do anything too stupid.  You have silly conceits (like nobody ever being shot and them just not telling the boyfriend the truth from some reason), but no real Plot Holes.  One thing I'd note is that they barely acclimate you to the woman's new life before throwing her back into the old.  This means that the change has less impact than it should, since you see her 'Jersey' side for about 90% of the Film.  The Acting is pretty middle-of-the-road as well.  Some of them- like the Villain- are pretty hammy, while The Miz tries to do some TV-Level Dramatic Acting.  He's...alright.  One knock I can give him is from the Film's only Chase Scene (around the halfway point) in which he suddenly gains a thick accent...and never does later.  Weird.  The Action is pretty decent, although there is certainly no confusing this for The Raid or anything.  Other than that, there's not much to say.  There's weird, nitpicky stuff like them re-using a Shot (in 2013!) which seems like some bad Editing.  This Film is good enough to please the least-picky of its target audience, while doing nothing to stand the test of time.  This is the kind of Film that gives one its Actors (The Miz) his own name as a Character Name, so that should say alot.  How do you feel about this one, Miz?
Next up, I officially celebrate Christmas with...child murder (both definitions).  I might have been better off with He-Man and She-Ra, huh?  Stay tuned...