Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Blackwater Valley Exorcism

I got this movie assuming it would be a direct ripoff of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I hated that freakin' movie, so I don't know what compelled me to put this in my queue. When I watch low-budget horror flicks, I always watch the trailers that are on them. I suspect that's where I unearthed this gem.

So I'm hoping that this particular exorcism movie is without that super-creepy scene where Emily Rose is all distorted in her dorm room. That shit seriously gave me the willies and that movie was not even scary. Anyway, I digress.

This movie starts with some freaky chick in the woods, clad in a nightgown, having killed and eaten a woodland creature. Some people (apparently relatives or friends) find her, and guide her back to her house and parents. Surprise, surprise, she's possessed. She speaks in a man's voice, beats up her mom, slices herself all up, and accuses her dad of molestation.

So they strap this crazy chick (Isabelle) to the bed and try to find someone to cure her.  They first try their handyman, who was a priest in Mexico or somesuch thing.  Dude seems seriously freaked out about having to deal with this and I'm going to imagine he doesn't get paid enough for this nonsense.  They even bring in a veteranarian (hahaha) to give her some horse tranquilizers, but even that is not enough to keep this psycho bitch from going all Reagan on everyone.
Finally, they bring in the town priest and that's where this movie pretty much turns into Days of Our Lives with a low budget demon make-up job.  Apparently, (I don't have this entirely straight though) the priest used to date Isabelle's sister and also abused her (?)  In addition, he fooled around with Isabelle which somehow has resulted in her being possessed.

I expected this movie to be pretty corny, but it was honestly even worse than I imagined.  Over dramatized acting, rip-off of every exorcism movie made, and stupid soap opera plot.  Skip it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie News: Machete has a release date!

April 16, 2010 is the date, Grindhouse-lovers.  And the movie's cast has only gotten more bananas.  Check it out:
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Steven Seagal
  • Michelle Rodriguez
  • Jessica Alba
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Rose McGowan
  • Danny Trejo
  • Don Johnson
  • Cheech Marin
  • Jeff Fahey
  • Tom Savini

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grace (2009)

Shortly after recommending "Martyrs" to someone browsing the horror section at Best Buy, (I'm not a creeper, I swear) a BB employee approached me and recommended Grace.  I was skeptical because I'm really not into creepy kid movies, but the guy swore that's not how this movie rolls.  Okay, random Best Buy dude, you're on.

Grace was a really good movie.  There's definitely a new concept here, which is something I've grown to appreciate in light of all of the recent reheated 80s flicks.

The basic premise of Grace is simple enough.  We've got a couple, Michael and Madeline, who are expecting their first child.  However, they get in an unfortunate car accident where Michael is killed and their unborn child is believed to be dead.  Vegan/holistic/slightly crazy Madeline insists on carrying the dead child to term and birthing it as normal.

The kid is born and a moment that should be all sad and depressing turns seriously creepy when the seemingly dead child starts crying.  It's allllivvveeee and Madeline could not be more thrilled although her holistic tree-hugging doctor remains skeptical.

Madeline takes the kid home and sort of becomes a hermit due to her obsession with her "miracle baby."  Her mother-in-law frantically tries to visit, but to no avail.  There's also some crazy side-plot here where the elderly mother in law becomes infatuated with breast feeding and even tries to use a breast pump (wtf?!)  In my opinion, they should have left this little story out of the movie because it had nothing to do with anything and served no purpose besides giving me the willies.

Anyway, I digress.  Grace won't drink milk or do anything like a normal baby.  When Madeline tries to breast-feed, Grace takes a nice big chunk out of her boob and starts drinking blood. (Vampire baby, sweeeet!)  Determined to not involve doctors or family, Madeline searches for ways to meet her daughter's nutritional needs.  This includes buying up a bunch of steaks and draining the blood into a bottle.  Let's just say that the baby knows the difference.

Madeline's obsession with the baby and keeping it's "problem" secret gets super-deep and creepy.  It reminded me a lot of the movie/play Bug where a person/people become so enveloped with their crazy world that they can't see anything else.  It was really unnerving.  It culminates in an awesome chick fight between Madeline and breast-feeding grandma and has a cool ending that sets up for a Grace 2: the Resurrection.

This movie has gotten a bunch of mixed reviews but I liked it.  Maybe I just needed a break from teenagers running screaming through the woods, and the killer always being that weird guy next door but I appreciated the new concept and approach to horror.  Well played, sir.  Please don't make a Grace 2 though.  That was just a joke.

Wrong Turn (2003)

They really broke the bank on the casting budget for this movie.   Apparently determined to get the hottest twenty-somethings possible to be ripped apart by deformed cannibals, we've got Desmond Harrington (Chris), Eliza Dushku (Jessie), Emmanuele Chirqui (Carly), and Jeremy Sisto (Scott).

Chris is a doctor running late for an interview when he hits a major traffic jam.  Determined to find a way around the disaster, he backs up a few miles to a backwoods gas station to ask for directions.  Deterred by the hick proprietor, he quickly consults a map and decides to take a swing down Bear Mountain Road and get back onto the highway past the wreck.  Unfortunately,  he crashes into another car full of twenty-somethings stranded because of a flat tire.  Now we've got six hotties stuck in the woods of West Virginia, dumb as shit and fresh out of PowerBars.

The four main characters take off for the useless gas station while the two actors apparently not crucial to the movie stay behind and smoke pot.  We all can guess what happens to them and we get our first glimpse of the results of inbreeding and why the people of West Virginia hate stereotypes.

The merry band of wanderers comes upon a cabin where they feel there might be a phone.  And the one girl, Carly, who is obviously a few eggs short of the dozen decides it would be a good place to use the bathroom.  I despise the insinuation that women would rather use a bathroom in a random filthy backwoods cabin than just go outside.  Not only does she insist on finding the bathroom in this Deliverance-style residence but then pokes through the cabinets and such before actually doing what she came there for.

Predictably enough, there's no phone, just body parts and filth, and the deformed inbreds arrive home in the truck from Rest Stop before dipshit Carly has emerged from the bathroom.  The group splits up and hides while watching their friend from the car get prepared for a buffet.  After a fairly intelligent escape attempt, we realize it couldn't be that easy, or the movie would be over.  We get treated to a pretty fast-moving 40 minutes of the crew being chased over the mountains and through the woods. The freakin' inbreds are like gremlins though...they keep multiplying and I'll be damned if I can keep track of how many there were. 

This movie was like Hills Have Eyes + Texas Chainsaw + Deliverance.  Predictable at times, but worth a watch, especially for those who want to see Eliza kicking the shit out of mutants while wearing a wife-beater ;o)

Friday the 13 Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

A true camp classic.  Originally slated to take place mostly in Manhattan, it's budget ran short and the plot of Jason Takes Manhattan was relegated mostly to a senior cruise boat.  You know, sorta like Terror Train in the water.

It's damn good to see the New York City of the late 1970s/early 1980s.  They say with the recession and all, we're headed back to the days of rats running free and people shooting up on corners so this is like getting a free preview.

So in true F13 fashion, we've got a young couple in Daddy's boat floating around on Crystal Lake.  Are we meant to believe that Crystal Lake is close enough to Manhattan to get NYC radio stations?  Where is this?  Jersey?  Westchester?  I need to plan a trip.  These horny teenagers are dealt with about as you would expect and we're onto the senior cruise!

Personally, I've never heard of such a thing, but this sounds like a pretty badass time.  The senior class of 198-whatever is gearing up for a cruise to New York City on a funky looking boat.  There's an English teacher and curmudgeonly principal-type aboard ready to keep any fun from happening.  And off they go.

They really need to start Friday the 13th sequels off with a "previously on" as I can never remember how Jason died in the prior installment.  Apparently, the last movie had him chillin' out at the bottom of Crystal Lake, and he grabs the anchor like a stowaway (seriously) and comes along for the ride.

This boat is pure 80s, complete with skeet shooting and a rad neon dance club.  There's even a boxing ring up in this piece...what kind of boat is this?!  We've got all of the F13 players: the pretty shy girl, the sensitive hunk, A/V geek, Joan Jett wannabe, and the blonde bimbo.  Even a waterlogged crazy-Ralph type is thrown into the mix. ("This voyage is doooooommmmeeedd!")

Much like his nemesis, Freddy Krueger, Jason has gotten pretty creative by the seventh sequel.  We've got death by harpoon (complete with intestines), murder by electric guitar, and burning death by hot stones in a sauna.  Predictably enough, as the high schoolers sail on towards New York, Jason terrorizes the vessel.

Some are able to escape (of course) and reach Manhattan in a rowboat.  Now I'm not entirely sure you can just roll up on the docks of Hell's Kitchen in a little dinghy but apparently these folks are able to pull it off.  Of course, the scenes in the city portray New Yorkers as jaded narcissists who would pretend to sleep as a hockey mask clad murder stalks the subway chasing screaming teenagers.   We get to see a full view of the ghetto Times Square of the 80s, complete with junkies, rats floating in toxic waste, and graffiti everywhere.  It is pretty cool to see, considering that Times Square is currently Manhattan's Disneyworld.

This is one of my more favorite installments of the F13 series, purely for its fantastic camp value.  Everyone knows that Friday the 13th stopped being scary after the first movie, but Part VIII is the best thing next to Mouth shaving his head and going all creepy lake child on all of us.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Otis (2008)

Otis is the story of a loner psychopath who kidnaps young blondes and watches them on a camera rigged into a bedroom.  He talks to them via calls on a princess phone, refers to them all as "Kim" and has some sort of weird obsession with the prom.

After he accidentally dunks one of his captives into the bathtub with a lamp, Otis is in a hurry to find another prom date.  He scoops up unsuspecting Riley Lawson (Ashley Johnson) from under the nose of her clueless parents (Daniel Stern and Illeana Douglas)  Preoccupied with their delinquent son, they're thrown off guard when Otis calls them up asking permission to take their daughter to the prom.

So this freak is playing out some weird high school fantasy where he dresses up as a football player and blathers on about receptions and yardage.  Poor Riley gets dressed up in 80s cheerleader gear and is forced to do weird cheers and jumps.  They drive around in a fake car and watch movies in the company of garden gnomes.  Meanwhile, Otis keeps delivering pizzas and living life with no one being the wiser.  He prepares for the the infamous "prom night" by building a pretend dance in his garage and getting dressed up in a dorky blue suit.

Meanwhile, the Lawson family is stuck with a bunch of idiot FBI dudes including a "pedophile specialist" that has a sick fascination with restraints and child molestation.  Fearing that justice may not be served, the Lawsons decide to take matters into their own hands and track down Otis themselves, vigilante-style.

This flick has an awesome soundtrack of all 80s music and a badass lead in Ashley Johnson.    However, it's really not a horror movie, but more of a black comedy.  The last half hour sorta drags a bit but all in all, an amusing movie.