Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Poker Run

If nothing else, I can get 2 Posts out of this crap.

In Poker Run, the bad guys take our Heroes to this Hotel.  In the, I guess, Mini Mart, a Mother and Daughter run afoul of one of the villains.
She's smart enough to take the Daughter away as the pair move to the Bathroom.
Since they apparently pay off the Owner, one of the Villains rushes in after the pair.
Off-screen, he kills the Mother and (possibly later) the Daughter.
The moral: going to the Bathroom is dangerous.

Also maybe don't accidentally piss off Biker Serial Killers/White Slavers.  Whatever you do, don't do it...I guess.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Moviestopped: Poker Run

Run being the appropriate word.  Today's Film is Poker Run, a Horror-Thriller packed on the same Disc as Grizzly Park and Blood Creek.  Low-Budget Film that disappoints again?  Yep, the streak stays alive!  Here's hoping that the final Film is better.  The Plot here- two guys must contend with 2 Bikers to rescue their wives.  Did you ever want to see a worse version of Breakdown with no Stars?  Well, you're in luck.  I would ask why your dreams were both so bad AND specific too!  Should I do the Credits bit?  Alright, I will.  The Director has done this Film and a bunch of Video Shorts for Games like Fallout 3 and Dead Rising 3 for Loot Crate.  Well, work is work.  Only one of these Actors appears to have gone on to be anything major and he's just a random 2-line Character who just happens to now be 'Dario Cueto' on Lucha Underground.  The Plot has some promise, but quickly devolves into bad, familiar territory.  To see how it all burns out, read on...
In a cold open, people are tortured.  Thanks- that added alot.
The basic premise- these 2 Bikers try to sell Bikes to make a profit, that doesn't go in their favor.
Meanwhile, 2 Lawyers dream of being Bikers and, as luck would have it, meet said Bikers later.
They now go out on the open road with their wives, agreeing to go on the titular Poker Run.

I hope you weren't too attached to that Title aspect, since it amounts to, well, nothing.
The bad Bikers finally make their move and kidnap the wives.  Want to know their plan?
Well, it amounts to this...

1) Sell Bikes to people.
2) Take them out to the Desert.
3) Kill them and sell the wives.
4) Repeat.

Somewhere along the line, they take the time to rip off 12 Rounds.  Yes, that one.
To be honest with you, the Film just gets so bleak, violent and oddly-dull that I just kind of zoned out.  Here are the key points:

- Our Heroes do bad things.
- Our Heroes meet odd people.
- They show a Flashback in black-and-white for no good reason.
I could give you context for this...but where's the fun in that?
After a whole lot of violence, everyone you like dies, our Hero rides off and the nice people are seemingly-killed by the surviving bad guy and this random RV Family.  The End.
Just run.  This one is just not good.  I'll get to the positives first.  Some of the Acting is good, feeling natural at times.  Alright, the good stuff is out of the way.  The Plot is just a mix of boring, nonsense and violence.  The crux of the Story is just confusing.  So the Bikers get mad when the guy running the Bike Shop won't buy his new bikes (as the last ones were found to be stolen).  After this, they go right to the plan of selling them to our Heroes and act like this was a regular occurrence.  So which one was it?  Did they sell Bikes to the shop OR did they sell them to random people to kill?  Pick one!!!  There are a bunch of other connected things that raise concerns like contacts they have along the Road and at the Hotel.  It sure is good to know that they pay them enough to cover up all of their random crimes.  The big problem is the Tone.  It is bleak, unpleasant and not fun at all.  Can you give us any humor or anything?  Just lots of torture, murder and violence?  Alright then.  Poker Run could be a good Film...but it isn't.  Here's a Cartoon...
Next up, the final Film on the Disc (and my main reason for getting it).  Can Adrian Paul save the Disc?  Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Moviestopped: Blood Creek (2006)

Figures- I don't get the one with 'Superman' and 'Magneto' fighting Nazis!  Today's Film is Blood Creek, a 2006 Horror Film made for about the Budget one needs to buy a used Miatta.  Do they still make those?  In any event, this is part of the same DVD Set (as in one DVD!) as Grizzly Park, plus 2 others still to come.  To explain that Intro to those that don't know, there's also a Film called Blood Creek from 2009 with some future Stars like Michael Fassbender in it.  Instead of that Film, I get the one with annoying people going into the Woods with Ghosts.  Just my luck!  The Film does not feature anyone you'll probably recognize, so I'll spare you the Trivia.  I will note, however, that the Film's Star does apparently write for James Corden's Show- random!  Without further ado, the Review...
In a mostly-pointless Opening Kill, a couple in this Barn are killed by a noose and pitchfork.  Moving on...
Our so-called Heroes are a hodge podge of annoying people, albeit a little bit more varied than Park.

We get Obsessed With Recording Guy and Goth (looks like Stephen King) Guy this time!
Their random banter and drinking is interrupted by a mysterious woman, who is totally not a ghost!
They are going out to the Woods to camp the next day, but stop for Horror Cliche #524: Local Guy Who Says to Stay Away Due to Curse/Haunting.  Keep an eye on those teeth.
While waiting for the remaining couple to arrive, the group gets dared into wandering back through the cursed/haunted place.  They split into pairs- that way the Film can reach feature-length.
After alot of teasing, banter and nothing, they go back to Camp with the other gang.  That sure was...necessary!
Once that is out of the way, more filler and arguing takes place.  Great- now they're all drunk.

FINALLY something kind of happens as a few of the group are killed by such 'scary' ghosts as Glowing Eyes Lady and...Ghost Troubadour?
The remaining group is split up as some run to the Barn (why?) and others meet up with Gas Station Guy and suddenly good tooth.

So is Tooth Continuity something to keep an eye out for now?
Oh and he's also a Ghost.  Basically everyone is really.

All but 3 die, the latter of whom is now possessed.  One last chance to rip off Blair Witch.  The End.
Bad, bad stuff.  Like I've said many times, I won't solely fault a Film for having no money.  After all, who gets $200 million Budgets easily, save for Colin Trevorrow?  That said, make a good Film.  This is just not it.  I will somewhat credit them for trying to make the Film about the Characters, as opposed to just making them meat to be killed.  The problem: I didn't like any of them.  They were written so badly for the most part and not Acted all that well.  I didn't care about them for the most part and actively wanted a couple to die.  The Film has some slow, slow build-up.  That can work...if the pay-off is good.  Yeah, it isn't.  Here's the biggest thing: the choppy Editing.  It was done so often that it almost had to be intentional, although I can't see why.  It just looked so unprofessional and added nothing.  If it was done to make the Film seem more 'surreal,' it failed.  It made it look like these guys couldn't do much in one take and Editing was too tricky for them.  It just kept cutting so awkwardly!  All in all, it was not good.  If you want scares, look elsewhere.  In their defense, the Production Company Logo kind of told you that...
Next up, let's keep going with this Disk.  It has to get better, right?!?  Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

'Deep Blue Sea' Moments: Grizzly Park (2008)

In Grizzly Park, they wait until the last 20 minutes to really get down to things.  After the quick death of 3 Main Characters, the 3 remaining ones hide out in a Shed.

After awhile, it is quiet.  Is it safe?
Preppy Guy thinks that it is.  What could possibly go wrong with your back turned in a Horror Film?
Oh right- the Bear!
So he dies in a pretty bloody manner.
The moral: never face away from an opening/door if there was just a killer Bear there recently.

Do I need to explain this to you?!?

This moral also applies in the case of Zombies and Werewolves.

Almost Heroes: Tony (Demons)

Demons is alot of movie to explain.  Here are the key points...

- Cursed Film-within-a-Film
- Theater full of People
- Demonic Killers

With that in mind, meet Tony and his girlfriend.  She was playing with a prop mask in the lobby and got cut, which is how the infection starts both here and in the Film they're watching.
Soon enough, she starts to transform (in one of the Film's most iconic moments) on stage!
Tony puts aside his feelings to try and save everyone, attempting to lead them to the exits.
Unfortunately (due to unclear reasons), that's a no-go and Plans B-D don't exactly work either.

As for Tony, he ends up hanging on a ledge between two Demons, death seeming imminent.
Death becomes pretty certain then when the rope hanging him there is quickly cut!
Sorry, Tony- you experienced the most personal loss AND failed to save the day.

There's always 'next time,' right?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Moviestopped: Grizzly Park (2008)

Threat #1: Bears.  Today's Film is Grizzly Park, a Film I normally wouldn't care much about, but I got it for basically free as part of a 4-movie pack from Moviestop.  I miss you already!  The Plot is pretty basic: annoying people go in the Woods and die.  There's a bit more to it- although not much.  This has the grab bag of Film Character Cliches- from the Racist White Guy to the Preppy Girl to the Token Black Guy.  You know it is bad when the Black Guy replies to his name being called with 'In the house' and the Hispanic Girl answers 'Hola.'  I feel like they missed an opportunity to somehow show Night of the Living Dead here to complete Low-Budget Horror Movie Bingo!  To go more in-depth, the Plot involves some annoying people going out in a National Park as part of their criminal punishment.  The problem: a killer bear and a killer, well, killer are out there.  Who will live?  Who will die?  Will Ron Howard's Dad have more than a Cameo?  To find out, read on...
A Killer is on the loose.  He takes out a Department of Corrections Officer and...disguises himself as him...without cleaning off the blood on his shirt.  You is smart.

I should also note that the Film actually begins by (sort of) quoting II Kings 2:23-24.  Why?
We next meet our Cast and they annoy me.

On the plus side, Rance Howard shows up for 45 seconds.
This is Ranger Bob.  He's in charge of taking them out into the Woods as part of this punishment.

Just to repeat: he's taking people into the Woods...with all of the Animals...during the time when Bears are apparently gorging themselves.  Who approved this program again?
This is our Dumb Girl.  She confuses a Skunk for a Dog.  Remember this later.
About that whole Killer in the Woods thing?  That's over with pretty quick, as the Bear gets him.
Two of the gang split off to prove that they know the way better.  This works out great!
After wasting alot more time, the Ranger goes looking for the pair and the body count suddenly escalates, with more than half of the Cast getting killed in 10 minutes!  Holy pacing, Batman!
The Dumb Girl is revealed to be actually smart (and evil) after everyone dies.  So was that part with the skunk a trick (even though she was alone)?
Oh well- she dies.

As it turns out, Ranger Bob is evil...or something and he can see us.  The End.
Bears.  They are good.  This Movie is not.  It is pretty predictable and there's really no good surprises.  Hell, it isn't even much of a surprise that Dumb Girl is smart- it has been done 1,000,000 times by now (or 2008).  The reveal that Bob is the bad guy (or Hero, depending on your point of view) is not that surprising, but it does raise questions.  Was he directing the Bear?  Did the Bear kill some of them without his direction?  Did he also direct that Wolf that killed Asian Girl?  What is his motivation here?  I suppose none of that matters.  After all, this is just a Film and I'm kind of a dick for getting hung up on details.  Why should I expect logic here?  A man wears a shirt covered in blood and nobody bats an eye.  People are sent to the Woods to clean up trash.  A man snuck up there with a bear suit.  A girl packed a gun this whole time and it NEVER affects the Plot.  Racist White Guy becomes Stoner Guy...even though there's no way he snuck those Drugs up.  A bear can decapitate you with a single swing.  Bears don't smell and can sneak up on people.  Here's a random fact for you: Whitney Cummings plays a News Reporter at the End.  I hope that helps. Grizzly Park is very predictable, mostly-annoying and just plain 'meh.'  It does feature some less-than-convincing prosthetics though...
Up next, more randomness from the same Disc.  Three more to go- joy!  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Flix: The Dooms Chapel Horror (2016)

What happens when a Sub-Genre I don't care for meets an Actor I like in a Plot that sounds interesting?  Let's see...
In some fairly-convincing Home Movies, we meet a nice young man who is nice and happy...before he's chopped up by a wheat thresher.

Thanks alot, Industrial Age!
In the Present, the younger Brother (who shot all of that) calls a Documentarian to cover his return home.

Gee, this always works out great!
The return brings up alot of bad memories, but he's determined to do it.

As for the Documentarian, he's determined to get a bad Film, since he came alone.  That means no Sound Guy, no Sound Equipment, no help with the Lighting...
His visit is marked by deaths, including those who were trying to beat him up the night before...
The key to this whole thing: a Cult Leader...played by Bill Oberst Jr.  He's definitely evil!
With our Hero's past coming back to haunt him (and kill the Town), will anyone survive?  To find out, watch the Film.
Considering how it started, I was expecting much worse.  Dooms Chapel has one big thing against it: the Found Footage aspect.  It doesn't add anything.  More often than not, it is ignored or downplayed.  For example, one Scene of our Hero and his Girlfriend having an argument is not enhanced by it being shot 'in secret' by the Documentary Filmmaker.  At other points, I'm not clearing who is even supposed to be shooting it.  I should also note that, yet again, there is no explanation for how this Footage was made available, let alone Edited.  Come on, people!  There is also the usual bits where they mix in outside Cameras- like Deer Cam or Security Cameras- that don't add a whole lot.  They also get a bit into the 'Oh, it just happened off-camera' stuff.  That said, the actual Story is kind of interesting and the Acting really saves the day.  If you can get past the silly conceit they attached here, there's a good Story and performances to see.  Bill Oberst Jr nails his role as the Backwoods Cult Leader/Preacher.  Considering how nice he seems to be in real life, it is amazing how well he does with this material.  The Dooms Chapel Horror is a far better Film than I expected...even if they do rip off that shot from Cannibal Holocaust...
Pretty good stuff if you can get past the pointless Found Footage aspect.  Natural Acting saves it.