Horror

Review of Bad Taste

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Peter Jacksons Bad TasteRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

When four members of the New Zealand Astro Investigation and Defence Service (AIDS – well the movie is called bad taste) visit a small town in order to investigate a UFO siting they make some grisly discoveries and unveil a dastardly alien plot. The townsfolk have been murdered by aliens who, it turns out, are from the intergalactic fast food chain Crumb’s Crunchy Delights and human flesh is the delicacy they are seeking. A gore-fest ensues as Derek and his team do battle with the evil aliens. Lots of blood with a large dose of tongue-in cheek humor.

At times the movie has a somewhat amateurish feel but, for me, that just adds to its charm. Given that Peter Jackson made the film largely in his spare time, with the cast made up of friends and a budget tighter than a ducks ass I think a little slack should be cut.

Reason to Watch

Lots of gore, plenty of humor, man-eating aliens and an exploding sheep, what more could you ask for?

Context

Made over a four year period and funded by himself initially and completed with a grant from the New Zealand Film Commission. Peter Jacksons’ first foray into film – enough said really, a birth of a movie great.

Most Memorable Quotes

“I’m a Derek and Dereks don’t run!”

“Why can’t aliens be friendly?”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

A real late-night beer and friends movie and it is preferable to have already had a few prior to starting the film. A love of gore certainly helps and also those from the US need an understanding that a “mate” has a different meaning outside of the USA. Possibly also a visit to Christians of Facebook to really feel terrible.

Trivia

The film contains the only known cinematic depiction of a sheep being blown up with an anti-tank missile.

Educational Content
  1. People carrying axes are rarely friendly.
  2. Having a bayonet hammered into your heel hurts.
  3. Blood is very slippery so make sure to mop it up before someone gets hurt.
  4. Throwing pine cones at someone who has a chainsaw is likely to be an ineffective form of defence.
  5. Kicking a decapitated torso in the balls accomplishes very little.
Justification for Rating

The film has plenty of gore and enough humorous moments to make-up for some of its’ shortfalls.

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Horror

Review of Videodrome

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Videodrome DVD CoverRating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Review

A television programmer attempts to signal into a mysterious broadcast of people being tortured and possibly murdered for entertainment. Considering this could be the future of television, Max Renn pursues the source of the broadcast slowly being brought through a series of techno-hallucinations. The film quickly escalates further and further from its original tone, eventually devolving into such a  uniquely fascinating take of insanity and 80’s aesthetic horror. Director David Cronenberg has created a fair amount of bizarre films in his long run as a director, but Videodrome is Cronenberg at his most merciless. You get the impression he has something to say, but it’s drowning in one disgustingly bizarre scenario after another.

Reason to Watch

Well, James Woods pulls a gun out of his own chest and goes on a murder spree. Oh, and he makes out with a tv. I think there’s a message there, but when the tv began going on a rampage, I sort of forgot thinking about it.

Context

Perfectly embodies a bizarre 80’s vibe through one of Canada’s most notoriously wicked directors, David Cronenberg.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Max Renn: I want you to stay away from them. Those mondo-weirdo video guys. You know, in some countries, like Argentina, making subversive video is considered a criminal act. They execute people for it. In Pittsburgh… WHO KNOWS?
  • Nicki Brand: I live in a highly excited state of overstimulation
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

It’s not necessarily SUPPOSED to make sense, and don’t assume everything you see is a halluncination, because that gives the film one of those “it was all just a dream” vibes, and that’s awful and lame.

Trivia

Videodrome is one of the most sampled sources in history, apparently especially among heavy metal musicians. I guess metalheads like cheesy 80’s special effects and flesh eating organisms. Makes sense to me.

Educational Content

If you are in need of a weapon to be attached to your arm to kill a distasteful tv personality, tear your own chest open.

Justification for Rating

Though Videodrome is undoubtedly silly and entirely over-the-top, there is some intriguing substance here for those who want to dive beneath the surface of the overtly bizarre.

Clip

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdOnUtHamko

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Horror

Review of Ginger Snaps

Horror 1 Comment »

Ginger Snaps posterRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

Ginger Snaps follows two sisters who fight but love each other, and are just on the break of dating boys and having to enter into the big wide world of being a young woman. Indeed, it sounds straight from the bowels of the Disney Channel, yet Ginger Snaps makes the tiresome cliches of teen romance and sisterhood sort of enthralling and fresh. Oh, of course the fact that they transform into werewolves helps as well. Ginger Snaps says a lot about womanhood, and though it doesn’t have the aggressive flair of typical horror films, it is violent and gruesome in many situations, and surprisingly thrilling. Ginger Snaps can largely be ignored on its premise, but viewers and cult fans alike may find something to grab onto.

Reason to Watch

Emily Perkins and Katharine Isabelle are gorgeous, but they also turn into terrible monster werewolves, and wreck havoc. It’s excellent! Sort of reminiscent of Salma Hayek in Dusk Till Dawn when she transformed into a werewofl and bit that guys face off.

Context

Ginger Snaps is an endearing tale of two sisters, but it is also a violently gruesome action adventure film, so it’s essentially the best of both worlds for those first date nights.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Ginger: Do you think I want to do back to being nobody? You’re fucked! 
  • Ginger: [to Brigitte] A girl can only be a slut, a bitch, a tease, or the virgin next door. 
  • Ginger: You swore we’d go together, one way or another. 
    Brigitte: When we were eight. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Understand that the girls are young and will make poor decisions. You may find yourself throwing stuff at the television in frustration, sort of like the ending of Lost.

Trivia

Although Katharine Isabelle is supposed to be playing Emily Perkins’ older sister, she is actually five years younger than Emily in real life. 

The production searched for sixth months to find the right actresses for the roles of Ginger and Brigitte, but were having no luck. Ironically after such a long casting processKatharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins auditioned on the same day and landed both roles. 

The opening shots of the girls fake suicides had to be shot on location at an actual home. Someone would have to distract the home owner’s four year old child whenever the actresses, who would be covered by fake gore, would have to come inside to change. 

Educational Content

Menstruation is a bitch for guys and especially girls

Being 12 does not give you the right to wiled a handgun or be a brat

Justification for Rating

The fact that Ginger Snaps really catches you off guard is truly something in film. It holds little back, and really wraps the story comfortably around two fantastic lead actresses who are believable as flawed and confused sisters.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYWd8HmoZPA

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Horror

Review of Night of the Living Dead

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Night of the Living DeadRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Night of the Living Dead originated the zombie craze, and George Romero is more than responsible. It’s not cheery, it’s not happy, and the ending is painfully immediate. Though there were attempts to remake and re colorize and revisit this film over the ages (basically they molested it), the original disturbing charm of the original is where it is at. The film follows a closely-knit small group of stragglers who fight amongst themselves in a zombie apocalypse. They are isolated, alone, and still manage to bicker about nonsense. As you can see, the film created zombie staples that remain to this day.

Reason to Watch

Well, this first zombie film in the …Of the Dead has dated the absolute worst of them all, so for that, it’s required viewing.

Context

For it’s time, the film was intensely horrifying. Even a few murders scenes were still quite shocking for modern viewing, especially putting it in the context of the era. But really, it’s a black and white horror/zombie flick from George Romero, and the pure insanity and low-budgetry of it is impressive. It holds up terribly over time, but that’s key to a great cult film.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Tom: Well… the television said that’s the right thing to do. 
  • Sheriff McClelland: Good shot! OK, he’s dead; let’s go get ‘im. That’s another one for the fire. 
  • Field Reporter: Are they slow-moving, chief? 
    Sheriff McClelland: Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Your very own zombie coloring book, so you can try to add some color to this lifeless movie.

Trivia
  • Night of the Living Dead is free domain, meaning it is essentially for public use. The original studio neglected to place a copyright, apparently thinking it wasn’t worth the $15
  • the film is available free for viewing just about everywhere
  • The majority of the film was just sort of improvised, coming up with genius lines like “There is no Sunday school picnic!”
Educational Content

You thought zombies were slow? There even slower. Wait. Slloooower. Their basically crawling, their babies. Never go to the cellar in a zombie apocalypse, and killing children is okay if they are out to eat your limbs.

Justification for Rating

The film deserves to stand right in the middle, as it is iconic in creating many zombie film staples, but it has also aged teribly. Though some people like that style, and that is okay to. basically, Night of the Living Dead was supposed to be serious and anything but satire, and the effects and film making made it just the opposite. And now over 40 years later, it’s got this weird mix of serious/stupid, and we still don’t really know what it’s supposed to be.

Clip

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gUKvmOEGCU

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Horror

Review of The Screaming Skull

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The Screaming SkullRating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

When a stale looking newlywed couple show up at the home of the husband’s late wife. Some odd placed mysterious events cause his new bride to believe she is going absolutely insane.

Reason to Watch

It’s just so bad its good. The twisted up face of actress Peggy Webber make you want to laugh but also hide behind your pillow. The dreamy creepy scene where moments before Jenni (Peggy) show some skin, is my favorite part because she just pops up and scares the heck out of me.

Context

This is a gem of B rated horror flicks, falling into the times of other great films like “20000 Leagues” and “OK Coral”. Its a must see that should be added on the belt notch of cult movie fans.

Most Memorable Quote(s)

Jenni Whitlock: Eric, when you found me, what else was there?

What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Any opiate close at hand paired with a bottle of NoDoz trucker pills, along with love for black and white films will help you through the first 15 minutes. After that you’ll need a good pal to sit there with you, each taking turns slapping the other awake so that you don’t miss the mysteriousness of bad music and a whole bunch of nothing.

Trivia

How many skulls does it take to drive a newlywed batty?

Educational Content

If a priest gives you intimate details pertinent to your survival, don’t believe he’ll keep that abortion a secret.

Justification for Rating

There’s just enough screaming to possibly drive anyone watching it nuts, if a film can do that it deserves 3 stars in our book.

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