Horror

Review of Theater of Blood

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Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Review

What does a frustrated Shakespearean actor do, when he is consistently passed up for awards by a group of critics who simply can’t see his vision? Knock them off, of course, setting up elaborate schemes, taken from the Bard himself.

Reason to Watch

I suppose that Vincent Price chewing scenery is reason enough for many cult film fanatics, but for those who need more convincing, the film is actually quite well done. The acting is on par with the British horror films of the time, and Jigsaw could learn a few things from the imaginatively horrific fates the critics suffer. (Don’t ask about the dog)

Context

Vincent Price was a standard of 70’s British horror, and this is a perfect showpiece for his stage acting abilities.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • You begin to resent an actor if you always have to give him bad notices.
  • Critics are likely to make enemies, inspector. You can call it an occupational hazard.
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

This movie is best savored with a glass of red wine and a theater geek.

Trivia

Vincent Price met his wife Carol on set during the filming of this movie.

Educational Content
  • Don’t try to get crazy hippies out of an abandoned building by yourself.
Justification for Rating

Great acting, great plot.. it makes for an enjoyable watching experience/

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Action

Review of Orca, The Killer Whale

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Orca, the Killer Whale movie poster

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Orca, the Killer Whale is a heartwarming tale of a killer whale and the captain that killed his mate. A new spin on Moby Dick, it features Richard Harris (known as the first Dumbledore to Harry Potter fans) trying to outsmart a pissed off killer whale.

Reason to Watch

The fine acting by the killer whale, squawking in horror as his dying mate gives premature birth to a rubber whale fetus, is a performance for the ages, and was sadly ignored by the Academy that year.

Context

In the great Hollywood tradition, this scientific travesty of a movie was green lit in an attempt to cash in on the popularity of Jaws. The human acting is questionable, effects are decent, and you can tell when they are shooting captive whales in tanks. Produced by one of the high kings of 70’s and 80’s cheese, Dino De Laurentis, this is a pungent offering for fans of animal horror.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • It is known that they have great memory and, even after many years, they will always remember the human being who has tried to harm them.
  • But you’ll murder him – you’ll sit here safe on the jetty, and shoot him through the eye? You’re not a man, you’re an animal! Its creatures like you science should be observing!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

I did just fine with a bottle of spiced rum. Taking a shot every time they show a closeup of the whale’s mournful eye will get you loaded within an hour.

Trivia

In the mid-80s, Dino De Laurentiis considered a sequel to King Kong that would have had him going head-to-head with an Orca.

Educational Content
  • Killer whales are vengeful dicks, who will eat Bo Derek’s leg to teach you a lesson.
Justification for Rating

Vague references to Native American mysticism, vengeful sea mammals and a score by Ennio Morricone make for an entertaining, one-time experience. Sadly, as in most cases, the movie is nowhere near as epic as the poster.

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Action

Review of Killer Klowns From Outer Space

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Killer Klowns From Outer SpaceRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Space aliens that look like clowns are attacking the populace of a small town, and its up to a group of teenagers with an ice cream truck to save the day.

Reason to Watch

You always knew there was something wrong about clowns, something not right… This film reveals the secrets behind the clown conspiracy. Watch in horror as innocent victims are wrapped in cotton candy, only to have their blood sucked out by vampiric aliens using silly straws.

Context

Teen horror was big business in the 1980’s, and this toned down offering was intended to pullin crowds who were unable to get into one of the Friday the 13th sequels.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • It was a space ship. And there was these things, these killer clowns, and they shot popcorn at us! We barely got away!
  • Killer clowns, from outer space. Holy shit!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A bag of circus peanuts, and some mescaline.

Trivia

Director Stephen Chiodo had hoped the shower scene would rival Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho, substituting a toilet bowl swirl for the shower drain.

Educational Content
  • Clowns are evil.
  • Small town law enforcement hates teenagers.
  • Clowns are evil.
Justification for Rating

This movie is great fun, as long as you don’t have a fear of clowns. Over the top sets, horrible dialogue and less than passable acting all add up to a hot time under the big top

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Horror

Review of Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

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Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus DVD CoverRating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

In a world where science has dabbled where it should not, a military team searches for two predators that are… HOLY SHIT! THE SHARK JUMPED 10,000 FT IN THE AIR AND ATE A PASSENGER JET PLANE! HELL YEAH!

Reason to Watch

Pop icon Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas turn in exquisite performances as… LOOK, HONEY! THE OCTOPUS JUST DESTROYED A SUBMARINE!

Context

In our modern society, where the speed of science is outpacing religion and morality, this movie asks the hard questions about pro… HAHAHAH! THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE JUST GOT EATEN BY THE SHARK!!!

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Now if we don’t find the bible means of stopping this fucker, Sharkzilla is gonna own the seas.
  • Listen, screw these environmentalists. When I give the order, shoot to kill!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Beer, and possibly a pizza.

Trivia

In the scene where Emma, Seiji and Lamar are interrogated, Baxter (Lorenzo Lamas) describes Emma as “a woman whose career is all washed-up.” This is a pun on Deborah Gibson’s music career, which reached its peak with the album Electric Youth in 1989, but floundered through the 1990s.

Educational Content
  • Prehistorical animals that are preserved in ice are still alive.
  • Debbie Gibson got kinda fugly
  • Sharks will jump out of the ocean and eat airplanes.
Justification for Rating

It’s rare that a movie makes you reconsider the path of your career, and… DUDE! LORENZO LAMAS ABOUT TO OPEN THAT WHOOP ASS CAN ON THAT SHARK.

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Horror

Review of Dawn of the Dead, 1978

Horror Comments Off on Review of Dawn of the Dead, 1978

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★½

Review

George A. Romero’s epic sequel to his genre-defining Night of the Living Dead is arguably superior to its ground-breaking predecessor.

As a zombie plague engulfs the planet, four survivors – TV girl Fran, her helicopter pilot boyfriend Stephen and two soldiers Peter and Roger – take refuge in a sprawling shopping mall, sealing the doors and creating a zombie-free hideout. In time they find their lives dull and empty inside their consumers’ paradise until their peace is destroyed by a marauding biker gang. The ensuing battle against both the bikers and the undead provides more opportunity for some wonderful gore.

The film is wonderfully written and directed and is full of satire, sub-text, allegory and clever imagery. The characters are well developed and reasonably played and the dialogue is both believable and economic enough to ensure a well-paced film. This all means that you can watch, completely guilt-free, an array of wonderfully produced gory effects (god bless Tom Savini) – screwdrivers through the ear, a rotor-blade scalping, bullet induced head explosions, machete decapitations and a liberal sprinkling of gut-munching.

On a personal note, Romero is the “Daddy” of the zombie genre and all the subsequent fast moving zombie goons really need to be bitch-slapped with a copy of the DVD, preferably prior to removing from the player.

Reason to Watch

The film is simply one of the best horror films ever made. Can be watched simply to revel in the violence or gore (of which there certainly is plenty) or can be appreciated as multi-faceted piece of cinematic art.

Context

Made in 1978 a full ten years after the first in the series. The delay, in part, was due to Romeros desire not to become overly identified with the horror genre. The delay didn’t work out too well for old George as whilst the film was a huge critical and financial success it certainly had him positively hog-tied to the zombie genre.

Most Memorable Quotes

“They’re us, that’s all, when there’s no more room in hell.”

“Who the hell cares! Let’s go shopping!”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

To some extent this depends on what you want to take from the movie and also which version you are watching. If you are planning to have a beer-soaked gore and violence fest then the remote may come in handy, especially if you are watching the rather-slower paced 140 minute extended version.

Trivia

Despite being a sequel this is the first Romero film in which the zombies were actually called zombies.

Simon Pegg, star and co-writer of Shaun of the Dead, is a huge fan of the film and the work of Romero generally and is hence staunchly against the seeming modern move towards faster moving zombies.

Educational Content
  1. Zombies move slowly!
  2. To kill a zombie their brain must be destroyed.
  3. Even well-lit malls can be really scary.
  4.  Surviving a zombie apocalypse is pretty tricky and we should all have our plans in place.
  5. Zombies may be slow and clumsy but you have to admire their tenacity.
Justification for Rating

It would have got 10 out of 10 but some of the acting could have been a little better.

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