Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Quick *Holiday* Reviews: Terrifier (2017)

Alright, Internet- you win.  In spite of not really liking All Hallows Eve and not caring about this Clown, I watched the Movie...
This is Art the Clown.  He wants to be the next Jason Voorhees or Freddy Kreuger.

Is Art really the best name that you could come up with though?
On Halloween Night, these two ladies are leaving a Bar.  They are so screwed!
He targets the pair (for no reason) and the Movie wants you to believe that you can dress up like this AND act like this without anyone calling the Cops on you.
Sure enough, he begins to kill folks.  He's also part Ninja, apparently.
While he targeted the girls, he'll basically kill anyone in his way.

Since this Movie is low-budget, that's basically just in and around this one Building.  Enjoy.
Who will live and who will die?  It's probably everyone, but, you know, still watch it...I guess.
If you want blood, it's got it.  The Film is great if you like lots of gore, splatter effects and body mutilation.  Am I done with the positives now?  Yes.  In every other regard, it's not so good.  The Setting- dark Streets in a City and a dank Building.  The Plot- strange killer murders people.  They try to spice it up with a random opening and a final Twist, but that doesn't do much.  You're pretty much stuck with 'people get killed' for the entirety of the runtime.  No nuance.  No Subplots.  Nada.  That brings me to the bigger thing- Art the Clown.  While not the worst attempt at a new Horror Icon- that's probably still the thing from The Fear Films- , he's just both too little and too much for me.  He's too little in the sense that he's just a Clown that kills you while smiling.  Does he have an interesting backstory?  No.  Does he have a gimmick or anything to show other than being a Clown?  No.  He's also too much in the sense that this is so forced.  It was pretty bad in his first Film, but you can at least excuse that as the first attempt (not counting the original Short).  Here he's graduated to a Lead in a Feature and he's a real Mary Sue as far as Horror Icons go.  He's always ahead of you, always has a weapon and is almost never caught off-guard.  He's like a skinnier, less-molesting (allegedly *wink wink*) version of Steven Seagal- only he ruins your lives and not U.S. Democracy.  Without SPOILing too much, they also give him vaguely-defined powers that are basically just plot convenience.  If you just want bloody gore, this will satisfy your cravings.  If you want anything else, stick to, well, anything else.  One last thing- who made this Poster without having seen the Movie?
A decent Film if all you want is gore, gore and more gore.  If you want Plot, Characters and mood, look elsewhere.

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Halloween 4- The Return of Michael Meyers (Part 1)

After being gone for 10 years (and briefly being a Film-within-a-Film), Michael Meyers returned!

Oh, that Title makes sense now.

In any event, he returns home, but he needs his jump suit back.  That leads into the appearance of this Mechanic...
Enter Meyers.  That or Darkman.
Just like last time, Loomis arrives at this exact point where Michael and his victim are.
In Slasher Film tradition, the body falls right into shot, revealing that Meyers killed him for his clothes.
So yeah, another man killed for a blue jumpsuit.  It's a shame that Michael can't just go to Goodwill like the rest of us.

The moral: don't wear a jumpsuit.  You'll either be killed by Michael Meyers or stuck watching bad Movies on a Satellite.

Next time, another random guy from this same Film.  Slasher Films are a goldmine sometimes.  See you then...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Quick Reviews: Bread Crumbs (2011)

Two Films in and things aren't looking great.  To find out if I got my 40 cents worth, read on...
A small Crew of people go out to a nice Cabin in the Woods (shocking, I know).

Shall we do the Check List?
- No Cell Reception.
- No Cops.
- Nobody around for miles.
They see two kids- one is, but the other is at least 20- and a doll keeps of theirs ends up at the House.
If you're wondering what they are shooting, it is Porn.

If you're wondering why you go out to the middle of the Woods to shoot Porn in a Cabin, that's...a good question.  It also *barely* affects the Plot, so why bother?
The 'kids' and an unseen stranger (that or it's bad Editing) attack one of the group outside & act weird.
The group finally goes out and things go pretty badly.  No direct SPOILERs, but, well, blood.
Can they survive the night?  Will they find out why they are being attacked?  Will you care about the Hansel & Gretel metaphor they keep pushing?

To find out, watch the Film.
It's not really good.  It's not really terrible.  It's...just kind of there.  The Film's Plot is all sorts of generic and meh.  People go to Woods.  Creepy people are in Woods.  People get killed.  The best they can add is a decently-Animated Opening Credits and the whole 'Hansel & Gretel' thing.  The Film has what they considered to be a twist, but...I mean, it's not.  It's super-obvious from the beginning.  Was someone supposed to be fooled?  Was it a trick?  The big draw to any of these Films is the creativity and execution of, well, the executions.  In this case, you get arrows, a knife and one tiger trap.  They keep going back to the first two, which is a little sad.  You really had nothing to add, did you?  The gimmick of the killers is nothing special.  Two 'kids' being behind it is not shocking in 2011 or 2018.  The whole Hansel & Gretel thing also adds pretty much nothing new.  Bread Crumbs is not a good Film.  It's just also not so bad that it's, well, good.  I was going to give them one point for the red face birthmark on the main 'kid'...until I realized that they stole that too.
A pretty harmless Film that at least has enough Plot to fill an Hour.  It's just not bad enough to good or good enough to be good either.

Monday, October 29, 2018

My Crazy Youth: The Time That 'Gargoyles' Battled a Magical Werewolf on Halloween

Gargoyles was great.  It got a bit weird by the end- where they once teamed up with King Arthur to battle Macbeth!- but it was always quite good.  It's a weird premise- granted.  If you don't know, here's the summary- Gargoyles are 'monsters' that only live at night and turn to stone during the day.  They were betrayed Centuries ago and awoken in the Present Day (of the early '90s).  I haven't done enough on this Show, which I vow to do better about.  I picked this one to do now since, well, Halloween.  I watched it a bit ago, but obviously had to wait.  I can explain the actual Plot in the Review, but know this- Odin's Eye.  That's a thing.  To find out how much weirder a Show already about nocturnal Monsters in Manhattan can be, read on...
Xanatos- this Show's Lex Luthor, but with nuance- gives his girlfriend- a former Fighter with a face tattoo- a gift as part of their engagement- Odin's Eye.

Seriously, a Fighter with a face tattoo.  Mike Tyson must have been inspired by this Show.
The Eye is a magic amulet- naturally- that has a surprising effect.

Well, it would be a surprise if you didn't read the Title of this Post somehow.
Yep, it makes her a werewolf, since the thing somehow magnifies your inner self...or something.

She goes on a nightly robbing spree, but doesn't kill anyone, since Kid's Show.
Xanatos- seen here in his Iron Man Armor- tries to get Goliath- the Leader- to help, since he's a nice guy.  Elisa- their friend and possible love-interest to Goliath- says that it must be a trick.

To be fair, he was, is and always will be a dick.  He's just being sincere this one time.
The Halloween thing comes up in two ways...

1) The rest of the Gargoyles are excised to a B-Plot where they love being able to walk around in the open.
2) Elisa is pulled from a Costume Party so that they can be this very-subtle Beauty and the Beast metaphor thing work.  Also Disney.
Working together, the pair stop her enough to take the Eye away and restore her.  It goes to Goliath, setting up random stuff I'll cover later.

And now, there were no side-effects from this electrocution or the many forced transformations.  The End.
A good Episode, even if they lay it on a little thick.  To be fair, I am an Adult watching a Show aimed at a younger demographic.  That's not a be-all-end-all excuse for any Kid's Show- just a reasonable thing to think.  In any event, the actual Story is nice.  You can see a rich guy giving a fancy gift to his fiancĂ©e- it just happens to be magic.  This is a world where Gargoyles exist, so why not?  The Show only got weirder from here- including introducing Characters like Iago, Proteus, Oberon and The Lady of the Lake, just to name a few.  The Show was always well-animated, well-Scored and well-Acted.  I'm sure that there are weaker Episodes, but I don't think it ever got bad.  This one is close to being too 'on-the-nose' at times, but reins it in pretty-nicely.  The only downside for me is how little they use the Halloween setting for the Story.  It's there for one or two bits with the other Gargoyles, but that's it.  The main Plot is good enough to make up for this though.  When it comes to underrated '90s Shows, this guy sums it up best...
As far as Halloween Episodes go, it's nothing special.  As far as Kid's TV in the '90s, the Show, as always, delivered.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Impossibly-Busy Cover Art: Haunted (1977)

I like this one for silly reasons.

There is some clear creativity on display, but some big issues.

The biggest- it is too busy.

See for yourself...
Like I said, fun stuff, but there's just TOO MUCH text covering the damn thing.

Where do you look?
Do you read it top to bottom?
Left to right?

Also, that Tagline- gold.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

'90s Trash: Scanners 3- The Takeover (1991)

At last, the final head explosion!  Today's Film is Scanners III: The Takeover, the 1991 Film that wraps up the initial Trilogy.  The Series then became about the titular Scanner Cop for the next two (and last two) Films.  If you didn't see the first Film, you don't need much explanation.  The same goes for the second Film.  The gist of it: people are born with mind powers and some end up being evil.  There aren't recurring Characters- just the basic concept.  Like the last two, this is a one-and-done, despite a sequel-bait ending.  This time, we get the story of two Siblings that are both Scanners.  One of them regrets a careless act and leaves, while the other goes crazy and fulfills the Film's subtitle.  This one is chock full of what you hope for: bad '90s fashion, silly effects, a silly Story and just the right amount of ridiculous.  It's almost a shame that it took me this long to get to here!  To see how the original 'trilogy' ends, read on...
The Film opens with some long text explaining what Scanners are.  Naturally, do this in the THIRD FILM.

All you need to know is that two attempts at a drug to help them have failed.
At a Christmas Party (random!), our Hero is showing off his powers.  He accidentally throws his friend to his death, leading to this subtle reaction.
A bit later, his Sister is still having trouble with her powers.  She takes Eph-3, an experimental new drug made by her Stepdad.  It works and the LED proves it.
Unfortunately, this also seems to affect her brain in bad ways, as shown by her randomly-killing this Pigeon.

 It would be a Poor Bastard of Cinema, but it crapped on her.  I have a personal reason for finding this especially heinous.
She decides to enact an elaborate plan to get revenge and/or power.  First step, power up and free some Scanners to be her Henchmen.
Next step, kill the Dad and, well, do what the Title says.
She tries to kill her Brother- since he's an Heir- and the family friend, but only succeeds at the latter.  He's back from being a Monk in Tibet and ready to make things right.
Skipping past some silly Action Scenes and Plot, she reveals her master plan: take over the World through TVs!  Since it is during Monday Night Football, I'll just blame Andy Sidaris for this one.
A silly, silly battle ensues and, by pure chance, the Eph-3 comes off.  She kills herself to save everyone...except for a bit where her digital form lives on.

Don't worry- nobody followed up on this.  It goes alongside all of the forgotten stuff from the Children of the Corn Films.  The End.
All of the cheese that you could ask for.  Scanners 3 is the best Scanners Film for me.  It's not the best-written- that's the first one.  It's not the goriest- that's Scanner Cop 2.  It doesn't have the oddest moment- that's still the mental projection head explosion from Scanner Cop.  This one, for me, was just the best combination of silly, over-the-top, sincere, dated and blissfully-dumb.  It takes itself very seriously.  In spite of that, it has cars exploding for no reason, people standing next to grenade fire with no harm, old men fighting Thai Kickboxers, mind control through television, nearly-implied incest, silly effects and the newest weapon against scanners- bright laser lights!  It's all gloriously-silly and self-important.  It's not a good Film.  It isn't for, well, all of the reasons that I mentioned.  I still love it though.  Still watch the original first, but then go right to this one.  Trust me- it works.  I wouldn't lie to you- I'm not this Movie and their really-obvious fake hands, after all.
Next time, I find some more fright before Halloween.  Knowing me, it's going to be silly.  Stay tuned...

Friday, October 26, 2018

King Me: Castle Rock- 'The Box'

Another week and another slow walk down the Green Mile.  Will my patience be rewarded this week?  Let's see...
In Shawshank, the Prisoner/Kid continues to act strange.

If you were looking for more interactions between him and Deaver, skip this one.
Speaking of Deaver, Henry is looking into his own past and discovers some stuff he didn't want to know...

Lest you think I am just being mean to this Show, I will credit Scott Glen for being so damn good.
I will also point out this somewhat-subtle bit as a Scene plays on TV that relates to the Story.

It might feel forced, but they don't linger on it much.
As more secrets come out, Henry makes a big decision that will affect his future.
At Shawshank, we actually have something happen besides people talking about stuff.  No SPOILERS as to what though.

To find out, watch the Episode.
A bit of nothing Episode- again.  This time, it is all about atmosphere and revealing slightly-more about stuff we already kind of knew.  We knew that people think that Henry killed his 'Father.'  Now we know more people that think that and how it informed their actions.  We knew that the Prisoner has some sort of odd effect on people around him.  Now we see it more.  We knew that the Guard has issues with Shawshank.  We see that he STILL has problems with it, but that, at least, comes to a head.  So much of this Episode continues to be slow walking, slow looking and pensive looking around while thinking.  I guess we're not past that.  There's still nothing *bad* about the actual Show.  I like the ideas here and want to see them go somewhere.  If I hated the Show, I would just stop watching and not give a crap.  I don't...and I do.  You know what I mean, right?  As a fun little aside, I watched Creepshow and saw this little Easter Egg at the end of one of the Segments.  Yes, I know this is all based on Stories that existed that long, but it is still nice to see something like this all the way back in 1982...
Next time, we reach the halfway point of the Series (so far).  Will I ever get what I'm asking for?  See you then...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Poor Bastards of Cinema: Halloween (1978) {Part 2}

Another induction and this one is NOT PETA approved.

When Loomis and the Sheriff find where Michael was hiding (at his old house), they find out that he killed a local dog and ate some of it.
The Film doesn't actually show you the gore, so that's not enough for a Post.  Thankfully for me, it is not the only dog.

Later that night, a poor Babysitter has to watch a girl and her dog.
She lets the dog out when she gets tired of his barking.  Naturally, nobody listens to the dog.
...and now he's dead.  Michael apparently thought he was a bunny rabbit and hugged it too hard.
The dumb Babysitter also somehow mistakes 'Dog dying in pain' for 'Dog hooking up with a bitch.'  What a dumb, well, you know.

The lesson: don't help us dumb Humans.  We don't deserve you.

Next time, I keep on the Series, but change the Film.  More random guys to be killed!  See you then...