Thursday, December 29, 2011

Straw Dogs (2011)

Just when I thought I couldn't lust after Alexander Skarsgard any more, here comes Straw Dogs.  Aside from Skarsgard, who plays ringleader Charlie, the casting on this movie was pretty off in my opinion.  Kate Bosworth (Amy Sumner) couldn't hold a candle to the foxy Susan George from the original.  While they tried to play Amy off as the irresistibly sexy Southern ex-cheerleader, she unfortunately looked sallow and in need of a burger. During her (intended to be sexy) running scenes, Scream King grumbled "she is way too skinny."  Maybe Ali Larter  would have been a better fit?  James Mardsen, playing David Sumner, also fell pretty flat.  Skarsgard as Charlie, however, was sexy, intimidating, and manipulative, and his posse pulled off the stereotypical good ol' boy vibe.  An almost unrecognizable James Woods played a great drunken ex-football coach. 

So do we all know the Straw Dogs plot?  It's been slightly updated for this version.  Instead of rural England, we're in Blackwater, Mississippi, and David is a screenwriter instead of a mathematician.  Amy is a sometimes actress, seemingly gaining some semblance of fame from an appearance on an NBC crime show.  Besides that, the plot pretty much sticks to the original, with church gatherings being replaced by the all-too-important Southern high school football game. While leaving both rape scenes in, they did cut the apparent "enjoyment" of the Charlie/Amy scene. 

One thing that should have been cut from this update was the whole mentally challenged child molester thing.  This didn't make a ton of sense in the original, and it's even more random in this version.  This iteration of Jeremy is played by the guy from Prison Break (Dominic Purcell) and his love interest is saucy teenager Janice (Willa Holland), who is also the daughter of the aforementioned drunken coach.  For some reason, Janice has a weird infatuation with Jeremy, even attempting to go down on him during a football game.  This plot line just makes no sense, and clearly they only kept it in to have a reason for the crew to attack the house.

On the contrary to the original, the house attack scene in this version is AWESOMESAUCE.  We get hot oil to the face, nail guns through the hand, throat slit by glass, and the most badass kill of all, bear-trap-to-the-fucking-head. 

Overall I liked this movie as a standalone, and preferred it greatly to the original version.  Skeletal Kate Bosworth aside, definitely worth checking out.  Also, just had to stick this in for any ladies reading out there.  Wowza.  You could get it, Alexander Skarsgard ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dream Home (2010)



I just love that so many Asian movies feature women as the killer.  Girl power, bitches.  Dream Home is brought to us from Hong Kong, and features both horror and social commentary.  Cheung, the main character, has had a pretty difficult life.  Raised by poor parents in a tenement-like building with her younger brother.  Cheung's lifelong dream is to own a flat, while she watches buildings of family and friends knocked down to accommodate condos and high rises.

Cheung spends her entire working life saving for her dream home, even eschewing university to continue saving money for her own place.  When her mother dies, she is depressed to realize that she never was able to provide her mother with the home they both dreamed of.  She still has her father though, and while he is ill, she feels this is the perfect opportunity to take care of him.  However, she runs into yet another brick wall.  Her father lied about a prior hospitalization, and their insurance is null and void.  Boy, this girl has the worst luck.

She uses her own money for her father's surgery, and presses on to save for the flat.  Finally, she finds one that's perfect, albeit right at the top of her budget.  She goes for it, only for the sellers to pull out at the last minute, believing they can get more money.  Oh, really, thinks Cheung.  They can't get more money if the building is attacked by a mass murderer, now can they?

While maintaining an interesting affair with a married man, Cheung creatively kills several people that live in the building.  She has absolutely no remorse -- suffocating a pregnant woman, disemboweling a party boy, and driving a fucking stake through a drunk girl's face.  The death scenes are seriously awesome and to be commended.

I loved Cheung as the killer in this movie, although you'll never feel any sympathy for her vindictive ass.  She was sort of reminiscent of Bloody Reunion both in motivation and the sheer brutality of her killings.  Dream House was bad fucking ass, and it's available instant on Netflix.  Check it out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

American Horror Story Season 1 FINALE

It's nine months earlier and Ben has found the murder house online.  He insists that they go look at it, ignoring the fact that Vivien doesn't really seem to want to put too much effort into the relationship.  Now it's current day, and post-messy birth, Ben goes searching the house for a now-missing Vivien.

Constance is watching over the new baby, and is quite reluctant to let him go back to the other house.  Ben, apparently really behind everyone else, finally realizes that Tate is Constance's son.  Moira is being more of a vindictive bitch than ever, and even claims to "not take orders from ghosts" when Vivien asks for tea.  LoL.  Vivien's sister is coming to pick up the little munchkin, while Ben plots to kill himself.  Vivien encourages him to take the baby and run, but we all know that no one's going to let him leave the house.  Well, at least alive.

The Ramos family is now viewing the house with that ridiculous realtor.  Their kid apparently thinks it's fine to skateboard around a house and it's clear that won't end well.  So, the Ramoses are moving in and Violet's hitting on their cutesy son, Gabe.  Tate is obviously furious.  The Ramos parents are planning on getting pregnant again, but the Harmons are intending to cockblock.

Tate watches Gabe sleep, and calls him out about his encounter with Violet.  History repeats itself as the Rubberman attacks Stacy and Miguel holds his hands over the kitchen burners.  Moira is back to her slutty maid routine, and Tate is out for blood.  So is Ben the Rubberman?  Too much happening.  They encourage the Ramoses to run.  Good plan.

Bye, bye Ramoses.  The ghosts have pretty much solved nothing, since it's obvious that another unsuspecting family will move in.  Ben and Tate have a confrontation, where Ben diagnoses Tate as a raging psychopath.  Tate cries as usual.  Ben applauds his crocodile tears, deeming him incapable of remorse.  Tate admits to his prior transgressions, of which there are many.

Nora has assumed possession of the formerly stillborn baby.  She's not proud of how her acquisition has turned out, as all the kid does is scream.  Is this Tate's kid?  Or Ben's?  I'm confused.  Nora thinks that Vivien is the nanny.  Ha.  Moira thinks she would have been a good mother if she "wasn't such a tramp."  It's Christmas at Murder House, right in time for the airing date!

Everyone is the happy family, while Hayden and Tate lurk in the shadows.  Three years later, Constance prances into the hair salon, telling tales of of her adopted son.  Oh okay, so Tate's son (Michael) is living with Constance, and Ben's (stillborn) son is living with the Harmons.   Constance waxes poetic about what a wonderful person she is.  Apparently her whole life has been a preparation to raise this devil child, who she believes to be "destined for greatness."  Doubtful.  Her hairstylist is as bored as me with her stupid speech. 

OMFG the last three minutes of this episode was SO AWESOME.  Like Gage Creed-style badass.  The creepy smile in the rocking chair.  Him waving the little bloody hand?!?!  Can't wait for next season!  Bring it on, American Horror Story!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

R.I.P. David Hess.  I'm a bad Scream Queen and I've only ever seen him in The Last House on the Left so I felt compelled to check out something else he's been in.  House on the Edge of the Park is about two friends, Alex (David Hess) and Ricky (Giovanni Lombardo Radice) who work at a garage in New York City.  Ricky is a slightly more mentally stable version of Matthew from I Spit on Your Grave and since David Hess got hired for this movie on the basis of LHOTH, he's playing a fairly similar character.  Right off the bat, Alex rapes a woman he spotted at a club.  At another date and time, a yuppie couple, Tom and Lisa, pulls into the garage as they are closing.  Although Tom offers money to fix the car, Alex and Ricky are more interested in leaving to party.  So, it all works out for everyone when Tom and Lisa invite them back to New Jersey for a little social gathering.

Christ, the late 70s were a weird time.  Apparently, at a "cabin in the woods," everyone is dressed in suits and evening gowns.  Lisa's pixie cut is cute as hell though.  The women at the house seem overly flirtatious, encouraging Ricky to do a striptease, while Lisa invites Alex into the shower.  After being rebuffed by Lisa, and realizing that everyone is cheating at the poker game, the party quickly turns ugly.

Alex and Ricky attack all the men at the party, and turn their attention to the women.  In a Straw Dogs-like scene, Alex rapes Lisa, although she doesn't seem entirely bothered by it.  After that, they pretty much traipse about the house torturing, taunting, and raping their victims.  The rape scenes in this movie are downright bizarre and hard to describe.  There's singing, straight razors, and lots of garters and 70s bush.  Not surprisingly, there's a reason for this whole charade, since only the dumbest of the dumb would invite random people from a garage back to their house.

I would say this movie is pretty reminiscent of The Last House on the Left and I Spit On Your Grave.  Pure raw craziness and exploitation, complete with some serious characters.    It didn't hold my attention as much as either of those movies, but it was a fairly solid rape/revenge/exploitation movie if that's what you're looking for.

Also, this was on my mind the entire movie, but doesn't young David Hess look like current Jon Bernthal?!?!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

American Horror Story Season 1 Episode 11

It's 1984 and Tate is just a little dude.  He's already meeting some ghosts in the house, including mutant child Thaddeus.  In current day, he must tell Nora that he can't just give her Vivien's baby.  Nora thinks otherwise.

Ben wants Violet to see her mom.  Little does he know that she can't leave the house.  The gays are decorating the nursery with potato stencils.  Remember those?  LoL.  Constance calls their relationship an "abomination."  Chad says "so is that hairdo."  Mwahahaha.  Also, I want to start calling Tate Norman Bates Jr.  Anyway, they plan on stealing Vivien's babies and smothering them when they're at super-cute stage so they stay that way forever.  Totally healthy way of thinking.

One of Vivien's twins (I'm guessing Tate's baby) is pretty much absorbing the other one The Dark Half-style.  Still, she's getting on a plane to Florida.  Violet converses with the CraigsList psychic, who waxes poetic about Roanoke and such.  Yawn.  However, they learn a way to possibly banish some of the spirits of the house.  Hint, hint: not so successful. 

Meanwhile, Vivien is screaming bloody murder and going into labor.  She fuzzily remembers having Violet.  Dr. Montgomery assists with the birth. Constance is way overconcerned with her devil grandchild.  Ben and Vivien seem to be making some sort of reconnection.  I'm hoping the baby looks like Sloth.  Constance and Moira admire the baby, while Hayden enters with a "hey, bitches."  She's my new favorite person on this show.  As you remember, she wants the baby as well.  Maybe each person in the house can take a limb. 

The result of Tate's devil spawn doesn't bode so well for Vivien.  Which side will she choose?  Violet's or Ben's?  Violet confronts Tate about both his death and his intentions.  Oh, and also the mass school murder.  He cries again, which I'm starting to believe is all a farce.  I absolute love Violet's new badass attitude towards everyone, especially Tate.  He's getting more emo by the second, and I'd tell him to go away too.  Vivien arrives looking fresh as a daisy and as foxy as she looked on the first ep of this show! 

This ep was a little more whiny and emo than I would have hope for.  What's in store for next week?  The season finale!  Every wants that baby and they'll fight to the....death? for it.  I'm not sure what they can do to each other but someone's getting that devil spawn.  I'll be sad to see this season end!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bloodlust Zombies (2011)

Alexis Texas.  What a cool name.  Who is this person?  Oh, a porn star and model.  Apparently she plays someone called "Buttwoman."  TP for my bunghole?  I am so immature.  Whatever, she is pretty though.  And apparently going the Zombie Strippers/Jenna Jamieson route, and making the foray into horror movies.

In a vague rip-off of the beginning of 28 Days Later, Blooodlust Zombies starts with a lab testing some chemical weapons, this time on cats instead of monkeys.  But they catch the rage all the same.  Everyone in the office celebrates this as a major victory, so obviously that's what they were aiming for.  The next ten minutes plays out pretty much like a porn, fully utilizing the talents of Miss Alexis Texas, as she dons some cowboy regalia and bounces atop some crusty C-level guy.  Unfortunately, she hits the intercom button, and the entire office hears the details of their ridiculous tryst.  While imitating the bumping and grinding, two lab technicians knock over some vials, and in the midst of the cleanup, accidentally let loose an infected cat.

The "angry pussy" as the dorks put it, scratches another employee, and we all know how this kind of thing goes.  The rage/zombie infection/whatever is spreading and I'm guessing a porn star is slated to be the savior of these poor suckers.  Everyone in this movie is so incredibly stupid, and their horrible acting seems intentional.  There's the bumbling security guard (Dan Lantz), the douchey corporate horndog (Adam Danoff), the nerdy-yet-hot temp (Lauren Todd), the executive ice queen (Janice Marie), and the office hottie (Alexis Texas).  Some incredibly unscary zombies (they call them mutants) prance about the office complex, while the regular people do a pretty bad job of fighting them off.

This was supposed to be a horror comedy, and there were some parts that made me giggle a bit.  Alexis herself clearly realizes that her acting is pornstar-cheesy and she seems to just go with it.  This movie was a pretty standard low-budget zombie ripoff, but if you like B-movies and porn stars adding their nakedness to a movie for no apparent reason, then Bloodlust Zombies might be worth a watch for you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Amityville Horror (2005)

You know I just couldn't post any regular picture up here.  Ryan Reynolds was in SICK shape for this movie.  Or another movie and he just happened to look hot here.  Who cares?  He's pretty much fallen off the map as of late, but Scream Queen wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating cookies.

I watched the original The Amityville Horror and observed that while the original is based on that 70s-esque slow build and creepy atmosphere, the remake relies on the characteristic jittery cuts and jump scares popular in the 2000s.

We've got the standard Amityville Horror story here, about a blended family moving into a large and haunted home in Amityville, Long Island.  We all know they only lasted 28 days in the house, but let's stick around for the story.  This time, George and Kathy Lutz are played by Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George.  They have three kids, Billy, Michael and Chelsea (played by Chloe Grace Moretz!)  George Lutz is awoken at 3:15 each morning with a desire to check the boathouse.  The Lutzes start experiencing strange occurrences in the house, including strange noises, windows opening, etc.  Unlike the original Amityville Horror which clearly didn't have a special effects budget, this iteration features weird and creepy ghosts, including the little dead girl, Jodie. 

Also unlike the original, the updated Amityville Horror focuses around "Ketch 'Em and Kill 'Em," the idea that the house was built on land where Native Americans were tortured and killed, by a cult preacher named Father Ketchum.  They discover that these spirits, and the evil of Ketchum, possess the house. 

I'm not one to immediately hate on remakes just for the fact that they are remakes.  Along the lines of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, this is a pretty good update of a classic.  The Ketchum backstory is a little lame, and I'm sure we're all sick of the over-makeuped creepy little girl cliche.  But overall, a solid flick.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

American Horror Story Season 1 Episode 10

We're back in 1994.  Constance is with the guy next door whose family killed themselves, who we now know as Larry. They're trying to have an enjoyable meal but Tate cannot STFU as usual.  Now previously, we thought that Larry was all burned because he was trying to rescue his family, but as with many things in this show, that is not what it seems.
 
Vivien is still locked up when Ben shows up to tell her that the babies have different daddies.  He says he believes her about the rape, but to be honest, he does not sound that convincing.  The cops show up at Constance's house and show her death pictures of Travis. Oh, poor stupid Travis.  Meanwhile, the truant officer shows up at the Harmons, and Ben is forced to confront Violet about the fact that she's missed over 3 consecutive weeks of school.  She seems pretty apathetic, but forces some crocodile tears.

Constance shows up at Larry's house, assuming he was Travis's murderer.  Larry is quick to tattle on the house-dwellers as the killers.  Constance is incredibly hilarious and ridiculously racist in this episode.  The Harmon's house is infested with bugs, and Constance gets dragged into the police station.  They grill her on all the deaths of her previous children, her husband, and of course, Moira. 

In the Murder House, a super-dorky exterminator tries to enter the basement.  We all know this is a problem. It ends predictably.  Ben investigates boarding school for Violet.  At the same time, a whole little society is existing in the basement.  Did we know that Larry's wife and kids were down there?  Sweet special effects on the burning people, yo. 

Ben runs into the Rubber Man and there's a decent fight, which is won by chloroform.  But before he passes out, Tate reveals his second personality.  Tate convinces Violet to do some sort of Romeo and Juliet thing so they can be together forever.  Violet, with better sense than I thought she had, tries to escape the house.  But we go into some Nightmare on Elm Street 4 shit where she keeps trying to leave the house, but ends up back in it. 

HOLY CRAP HARMON FAMILY REVEAL!!!!!!  I was not expecting this for one moment!  The Sixth Sense-style, someone is a ghost that didn't realize they were!!  Larry, probably hoping to somehow impress Constance, admits to Travis's murder and is off to prison.  He wants one last thing from Constance, but will she give it?

Next week?  Everybody wants those twins, and Vivien's going into labor!  Better get her inside the Murder House!!

American Horror Story Season 1 Episode 9

*fans self*  Even more banging in this episode than we're used to from AHS.  Ryan Murphy is going alllll kinds of Christian Troy on this shit.  Vivien is in the looney bin, and Hayden is angry.  Oh so angry.  All the ghosts she keeps sleeping with are not making her feel any better.

Back to 1947.  A neighborhood doctor, David Curan, is now living in the house.  He services local patients.  Services as in bowm chicka bowm bowm.  Elizabeth Short (Mena Suvari) arrives, looking to get her teeth fixed so that she can be a big star.  She has no money, but can provide other forms of payment.  He knocks her out with the gas and rapes her.  But ooooopppss!!  She doesn't wake up.  He's worried about what to do with the body, but Dr. Montgomery is more than happy to take care of it.  He acts like he's going to bring her back to life, but instead hacks her all up and dumps her on the lawn.  She is, supposedly, the Black Dahlia.
 
Back to present day, and Ben gets a call from the hospital.  Vivien is not well enough to handle the news that her twins have two different fathers.  Seems highly improbable, but so does much of this series.  Ben is getting seduced by the women of this house from all angles, and he is trying to stay faithful to his wife.  Are men this weak?  Seriously?  But when he finds out about these different fathers and such, he takes off for the hospital to confront a pretty comatose Vivien.  He accuses her of being a hypocrite, cheating on him herself, all while playing the martyr.  He thinks the father is that security guy, but apparently he shoots blanks, so even if he did sleep with Vivien (I thought no) he would not be the father.

Enter Travis, Constance's boytoy.  Did you guys forget all about him?  Me too.  That Constance is quite the firecracker, but I am confused why so many men love her.  She's drunk and boots him out to go walk the dog and get cigs.  On the way to the store, he runs in Horny Hayden.  They bang, which is no surprise at this point.  Hayden's sister and a detective show up at the Murder House, looking for the supposedly missing Hayden.  She appears, looking fresh as a daisy, declaring that she is now living with Ben.  Case closed.

Hayden nabs Travis for a booty call, and finally indulges her insatiable need to kill someone actually living.  Charles Montgomery "takes care" of the body, with Larry dumping it outside a random basketball court.   Meanwhile, Constance realizes that Tate has impregnated Vivien, and Mommy Dearest is pissed.  She makes Tate cry, which is not too hard to do.

Finally, Constance speaks to her reality-wannabe psychic about what would happen if someone was impregnated by a ghost.  Apparently it will usher in the End of Days, Satan's spawn, etc. etc.  Ooooppss!  Guess Tate should've kept it in his pants.  Can you believe we're approaching Episode 10?  Can't wait!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Shuttle (2008)



Getting home from the airport is a pain.  When you live in Manhattan, there's no one to pick you up from the airport, and you have no car to leave in long-term parking.  You can pay a fortune for a cab, or take the subway or bus, which takes forever.  Lately, I've been thinking of trying one of those Super Shuttles that I see driving around midtown.  Perfect time to watch this movie, right?

Two girls (Mel and Jules) are returning from a vacation in Mexico.  They meet up with a couple of fratty-type guys (Matt and Seth) and they all end up taking a cheap shuttle together.  They also ride with a super-nervous accountant (Andy) who is mostly just a detriment to the situation.

Everything is going fine, with the young'uns flirting hardcore throughout the ride.  However, they soon notice that they are cruising through a crappy neighborhood nowhere near where they live.  The driver seems to have ulterior motives and doesn't seem to intend on taking anyone back to their homes.

He plays both mental and physical games, injuring the "stronger" of the group and manipulating others with threats and rules.  The ladies in this movie are actually pretty smart and not just bumbling topless idiots.  There's a twist midway through, which gets the ball rolling for a variety of other occurrences and subplots.

In the end, this movie was reminiscent of Live Animals and the end really made my skin crawl.  I'm a fairly claustrophobic person and the thought of that happening made me die a little inside.  There were some parts in this movie that were a bit slow-moving, but overall, it was a good flick.  

Someone's Knocking at the Door (2009)

I live in an apartment building where sound travels in crazy ways.  So movies that feature actual knocking on doors kinda spazzes me out.  When I first turn this movie on, it has sort of a Requiem for a Dream quality and I almost turn it off.  This is a story for another time, but I absolutely loathe Requiem for a Dream and even thinking about it gives me a minor panic attack. 

The premise of this movie is that two ex-hippies return to a medical school where they were once test subjects.  They target a bunch of drugged-out students and kill them through violent sex acts.   I don't know what drugs these people are on, but they seem to make them exist in some sort of parallel dream universe.  There is lots of nudity in this movie, and it kicks off in the first five minutes.  My husband is out of town at the moment, and I was really sad that I couldn't yell "BOOBS!" to him right after the movie started. 

What is the point of the stuttering guy in this movie, except just being annoying?  He's like the Franklin of Someone's Knocking at the Door.   Now I know people are stupid in horror movies, but this one takes the cake.  These morons FIND drugs from the 1970s and just decide to take them.  My freakin' Sudafed expires in a year.  And you're stupid enough to inject drugs from decades ago?  You deserve what you get.  Basically everyone just trips out, somehow gets lured into an enticing sexual situation, and ends up dead.

This movie was shot in 11 days, presumably by people that were extremely high the entire time.  This also claims to be "the most depraved film of the 21st century," which I would not believe for one moment.  The music is a teenage hipster-wannabe's wet dream.  This movie was truly horrible and I can't believe I even left it on as long as I did.  Some are classifying it as a horror-comedy...well, this is no Zombieland.  Unless you want to be endlessly confused and see girls wearing dildos, I'd say skip this one.