Horror

Review of Ginger Snaps

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Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps DVD Cover

 

 

Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Your first clue to the type of movie you’re about to see is the title, which is a play on words in a couple of witty ways. Ginger is the name of the lead character who is bitten and infected by a werewolf on the day she gets her period.  She then goes on a killing spree, as any self-respecting werewolf would. It’s also a euphemism for a quick, unexpected dog bite. This kind of black comedy is what you’re in for, along with a good bit of gore.

Ginger and her sister consider themselves weird because they stage and photograph bloody death scenes. Then they find out that they’re really weird because one of them is now a werewolf. Your basic heavy metal, sex kitten kinda werewolf, but a lycanthrope nonetheless. A pissy one, too.

Reason to Watch

If you’re into some pretty heavy gore, like pretty young women, dark humor and metal music, you’re probably going to be a happy little viewer.  If you’re into analysis of such films, you can ponder the fact that this film was praised for using werewolfism as a metaphor for puberty. To this reviewer (a female) , it seemed more like a tongue-in-cheek illustration of how deadly women can become when they’re on their period.

Context

This film started production right after Colombine and took quite a publicity hit for its glorifcation of teen violence.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Ginger: The fuck, Bee. This is your idea. If you don’t like your ideas, stop having them.
  • Bridget: Are you sure it’s just cramps?
    Ginger: Just so you know… the words “just” and “cramps,” they don’t go together.
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Midol and a silver belly ring.

Educational Content
  • Silver belly rings do not contain enough silver to cure werewolfism.
  • Being a werewolf apparently makes you quite horny.
Justification for Rating

It’s heavy on the gore and a bit on the depressing side, even for horror. However, the occasional humor is quite good. In fact, writer Karen Walton won an International Horror Award for Pretty Funny Writing. Not making that up.

Clip

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zoa1A987A_k

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Drama

Review of Night of the Comet

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Night of the CometRating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Review

1984 is wholly drowning in science-fiction oddities. Some of them fail miserably and others are quaint and retreaded, though sort of intriguing. Night of the Comet is unabashedly open to taking in influences from many mediums and genres, sort of crafting a romance story around a science-fiction tale, capping it with humor and drama alike. Night of the Comet isn’t particuarly good, but for what it does, you come to appreciation the seamlessness of making so many types of movies in one and having it turn less into a hodge podge mess and something not entirely pretentious. Night of the Comet is quiet for all its exaggerated tendencies, and the film comes and goes without making a huge splash, but a quiet simmer that will stick for some time. Like a slow kiss and not meaningless mediocre sex, Night of the Comet is pretty and interesting, and for sci-fi in the 80’s, that’s about as modest as it gets.

Reason to Watch

Night of the Comet does a lot right, and doesn’t focus on one thing to drive the characters through their silly story.

Context

The film’s charming elements are helped further by a story that actually sort of makes sense, something akin to a god-like impossibility in mid-80’s science-fiction realm.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Willy: You wouldn’t believe what we want from you. In your worst nightmare you wouldn’t believe. 
  • Regina Belmont: C’mon Hector, the MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A nice cup of coffee and your viewing glasses, this contradicts the absurdity with a little bit of wholesome goodness

Trivia
  • The original working title for the film was Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies.
  • The Shopping Mall featured in Night of the Comet was the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The Galleria has been used for several movies including Terminator and Fast Times at Ridegmont High.
Educational Content

If famed gruesome horror/children’s film director Robert Rodriguez likes something, it’s probably good

Malls are creepy when empty

If Night of the Comet does something right, they remind you that Dawn of the Dead is a good movie

Justification for Rating

Unlike many cult films, Night of the Comet is a legitimate engrossing movie. it takes influences from many different sources, yet on its own, its a nice mix of many different things that work well together, as opposed to a blender of random items that make a chunky gross brown smoothie.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91xWXTIwTwM

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Comedy

Review of Return of the Living Dead

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Return of the Living DeadRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

When Dan O’Bannon and George Romero crafted Night of the Living Dead in the late 60’s, the producers and the duo themselves never obtained proper copyright. In totality, the franchise naming and overall premise wasn’t particularly owned by anyone, allowing both O’Bannon and Romero to create two deviating franchises based on the original movie. Due to creative differences, the two parted, and O’Bannon took a more humors approach to the zombie apocalypse, ushering in Return of the Living Dead and four sequels. And like many many-sequeled franchises, it is the earliest iteration that obtains the most respect. Return of the Living Dead is a largely comical trope through the zombie outbreak, drowning in comical overdone make-up effects and solidifying many zombie archetypes that stay in place even to today.

Reason to Watch

If you felt the zombie apocalypse story lacked a little comedy relief this way of jar Jar Binks or Animal House, return of the Living Dead is there to save the day.

Context

Return of the Living Dead is violent, gruesome, and horrifying stupid. With that said, it’s pure unrelenting entertainment, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Burt Wilson: I thought you said if we destroyed the brain, it’d die! 
    Frank: It worked in the movie! 
    Burt Wilson: Well, it ain’t working now, Frank! 
    Freddy: You mean the movie lied? 
  • Suicide: How come you guys only come around when you need a ride someplace? 
    Spider: ‘Cause you’re one spooky motherfucker, man. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A love for zombie films is pretty necessary. this thing is straight zombie grade-A sweetness

Trivia
  • The film’s original intention was to be filmed in 3-D. Not quite Avatar level 3-D I’m sure, but also two decades before that movie became a hit
  • Executives attempted to get George A. Romero involved with the project as producer, and had a hefty lump to pay. He never responded
  • The director was shocked to see so many females interested in the film, saying he would have shown Thom Matthews naked if he knew that would occur
Educational Content

Even in death, you have a sense of humour

Nicknames make you zombie fodder

Justification for Rating

This unrelenting take on the zombie franchise works better as a comedy and as an entertaining film far more than any of George A. Romero’s latter-day zombie attempts where he essentially took the zombies in a direction of banding together and forming societies- except without the comedy and more of a “we’re serious, we’re building a farm” angle. it was awful.

Clip

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

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Horror

Review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Review

A gang of young kids driving through Texas in a van hear stories of killings in the area… feeling invincible they continue on until they pick up a hitchiker who is obsessed with telling them the killing methods they use at the slaughterhouse he works at. After the hitchiker slashes his hands, sets shit on fire and demands money, they kick him out of the van, but not before he cuts the hand of wheelchair riding Franklin. They run out of gas after kickin’ out the hitchslasher and Kirk, the driver, heads for an old house and becomes the first to meet Leatherface and his mallet. Kirks girlfriend Pam comes after him only to end up fatality number 2, this time with a pretty little hook shoved through her back. Jerry, rings in at number 3, falling victim to the mallet.
The only ones left now are Franklin and his sister Sally… after nobody comes back to the van they figure it’s time to go find them. Franklin, obviously easy prey, is next as Leatherface takes him down. Sally is now left all alone and leads Leatherface on a long chase that ends with her being held up in Leatherface’s house with him and his fucked up family. Between the furniture being made out of human bones and the hitchslasher from earlier being one of the family members, Sally, being the bright girl she is in this movie, realizes she should probably get the hell out there. She manages to escape, gives chase again… this time leaving Leatherface behind.

Reason to Watch

Next weeks dinner ideas.

Context

Made “presumably” on true events and had a much larger impact on audiences in 1974 than it would now. Not a lot of gore and blood, but a nice sense of terror for the most port.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • “My family’s always been in” meat”
  • “That’s the last goddamn hitchhiker I ever pick up”
  • “I just can’t take no pleasure in killing. There’s just some things you gotta do. Don’t mean you have to like it”
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A couple of napkins and some of that home made chili from the old smelly couple down the street.

Trivia
  • Despite the implications of the film’s title, only one victim is killed by a chainsaw (Franklin).
  • The financing for this film came from profits made off Deep Throat (1972).
  • Uncredited and then unknown John Larroquette provided the narration
Educational Content

Never pick up hitchhikers, never trust a man who uses human skin as a facial mask, and never eat chili in Texas.

Clip

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-73BUDHcCCc

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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.

Clip

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