Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Tortured (2010)

I've been wanting to watch this movie forever, because yay Bill Moseley, but also Erika Christensen and Jessie Metcalfe!  Torturing child killers?!  Awesome.  And although I haven't mentioned this in a while, this is one more flick on my way to completion of the "Bill Moseley Movie Project," where I watch every movie Bill Moseley has ever been in.  Fangirl much?  YEP.

I'm always excited when I see the IFC intro, but the Twisted Pictures logo brings back wonderful memories of watching the first Saw movie in one of those discount/second-run theaters in my college town.

In The Tortured, young Benjamin Landry (Thomas Greenwood) is kidnapped by John Kozlowski (Bill Moseley).  His parents, Craig and Elise (Jessie Metcalfe and Erika Christiansen) are obviously distressed and frustrated by the police. Bill Moseley as the bi-polar princess/daddy?  Well...he busts out the Otis Firefly voice, but the intimidation just isn't there.

So it's no secret that that Kozlowski is the one responsible for the kidnapping and murder of their son. After he receives only 25 to life, the Landrys are set on revenge.  What makes it extra interesting is that Craig is a doctor, therefore being able to inflict the most amount of pain on Kozlowski, while keeping him not only alive, but conscious.

They go down the gauntlet of torture, planning to drag it out as long as possible, while continually reminding Kozlowski of all he did to their son.  At first, they're a little hesitant, but then they really go balls to the wall.

Now, there is a twist in the last five minutes of the movie that turns the whole thing on its ear.  I can't say whether I really liked the twist or not, but it did wrap it up in an interesting way.  This movie sort of reminded me of Prisoners but it didn't even come close to having the same impact.  All in all, an okay movie if you like seeing people be tortured, but not enough suspense, and certainly not enough Bill Moseley.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sharknado 2 (2014)

They survived the first Sharknado, and now Fin and April are on their way to NYC to visit his sister and do some publicity for their book.  April is excited over the attention, but Fin is pretty rattled.  I mean, after all, "IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN."

I knew from the start that this one would be more ridiculous than the first, but in the first 10 minutes, Fin is already flying a freakin' plane and April is losing a hand!  Soon enough, the sharks are milling around in the Hudson!  They're headed for the Statue of Liberty!  They're headed for the Mets Game!

The dramatics and overacting in this Sharknado are far superior to its predecessor.  From her hospital bed, a handless April begs to be let go to help save Fin, just moments after she encouraged him to go alone!  As they rush to the subway, a Mets fan declares: "it's fine!  The 7 train is ALWAYS running!"  A cab driver sends these poor suckers looking for weapons in Times Square, deeming it the "Crossroads of the World!" From a rooftop, Fin declares, "even the Sharknados are tougher in New York!"

The sharks also die in better ways this time.  They get hit out to left field with souvenir bats.  They get stabbed with bats while trespassing on the 7 train.  They get thrown into a pizza oven by Biz Markie. They get bombs thrown on them by those slingshots you use for free t-shirts at games.  A shark gets sliced in half with an NYFD-official chainsaw.  NYers fire machine guns at the sky, and the sharks fall like rain.  Kelly Ripa stomps on one with her shoe.  Al Roker and Matt Lauer stab one with an umbrella.

The people die in better ways. The Statue of Liberty's head bowls over unsuspecting NYers.  A shark plucks a tourist off the ferry.  A shark swims onto the 7 train and eats a Mets fan. A cab driver gets chomped while trying to Tarzan-swing across Times Square.  Even Damon from Shark Tank is a victim of the Sharknado.  Plus, everyone and their mom is in this movie.  Kelly Osbourne, Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa, Mark McGrath, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Perez Hilton, Biz Markie, Jared Fogel, Downtown Julie Brown, Billy Ray Cyrus, Judah Friedlander, Vivica Fox, Kurt Angle, Andy Dick...and more.

Thank you, Sharknado 2, for bringing me enjoyment on a day I really needed it.  I'm struggling at work, adjusting to a new medication, and just feeling generally lousy.  And sometimes you don't need a depressing and depraved horror movie...sometimes you just need something where a man pulls his ex-wife's wedding ring from a shark's stomach, and proposes to her again.

Sharknado (2013)

Shocker of the year, but I actually haven't seen Sharknado yet.  I missed the premiere of Sharknado 2 the other night, so I figured sometime over this weekend they would be playing both of them in a row.  Scream King is out of town, and we're laying low moneywise, due to our upcoming move and trip to Korea.  So it's been a great weekend for packing, cleaning, and of course, blogging.

I'm obviously going to review Sharknado from a purely parody/joke/hilarious perspective.  I've been cracking up at websites and such that are reviewing this as if it is intended to be a real movie.  You know Tara Reid is my girl, though.  She is in SO MANY horror movies.

Everything's going fine in Santa Monica until a hurricane approaches, and with it, a bunch of angry sharks.  Bar proprietor Fin (Ian Ziering), his buddy Baz (Jaason Simmons), waitress Nova (Cassandra Scerbo) and resident drunk George (John Heard) take off to check on Fin's ex-wife, April (Tara Reid) and his daughter Claudia (Aubrey Peeples).  At first they think that the sharks and raging waters are confined to the coast, but they soon realize that the sharks will come up through storm drains and other things.

They battle a shark with a bookcase! They run from a ferris wheel!  They rescue a bus full of stranded schoolchildren! And when I saw that shot of the sharknados from afar, I laughed with glee.  And how else to stop the tornados full of sharks than to throw bombs in them?!

Sharknado comes at a glorious time, where it can grab a generation that is completely captivated by brainless, so-bad-it's-good entertainment.  A movie doesn't have to be good just has to be completely fucking ridiculous.  Throw in a couple D-List stars--the 90210 guy, Kevin's McAllister's dad, and the BJ girl from American Pie, and you have a recipe for success.  Thank you, Sharknado.

The Last Days (2013)

The concept for this movie really intrigued me.  An agoraphobia so severe that it would kill you to go outside?  Plus I love post-apocalyptic stories, and even though this isn't a zombie attack or a nuclear winter, these people seem pretty well fucked.

Marc and Enrique have been trapped in an office building for three months after what is deemed "The Panic," which basically kills you when you step outside.  They decide to make a run for it.  Marc wants to find his girlfriend, Julia, and Enrique's motivation is unclear at first.  As they make their way through the subway, they see that they've previously been living in the lap of luxury in comparison.  The subways are now basically refugee camps where people battle for food and water.  The GPS they are in possession of becomes a hot commodity.  They must wind through tunnels and sewers to reach first Marc's apartment, and then Enrique's destination.

As they make their way to their respective places, they come across others, and learn lessons about surviving in this new world.  Some of the scenes, such a the rain in the apartment and the view of the burning buildings, are downright beautiful.  The apocalyptic views of Barcelona are amazing, deserted and with wildlife running free. Also, a FUCKING BEAR.  That was probably a little overkill but also kinda cool. The details were incredible, like the stacked shopping carts with torches in the supermarket, the rats running along the subway tracks, and the pigeons hanging from the ceiling in Marc's apartment.  The people they came across were equally intriguing, and the relationship between Marc and Enrique really developed throughout their journey.

I saw that not everyone liked the ending.  Let me be clear, I freaking LOVED the ending.  I thought it was a really great wrap up of the whole story, which was intense and beautifully woven.  I actually teared up a little at the end, but I am a little overemotional lately ;)  DEFINITELY check this one out on Netflix instant.

I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013)

"Like" is maybe not the word to describe the original I Spit on Your Grave, but it's an important movie.  With one of the longest rape scenes on film (it may have been surpassed by Irreversible) it wasn't a fun slasher, but it had a big impact on horror.  I had mixed feelings about the remake but somehow the remake's sequel got bumped to the top of my dvd queue and now this is my Saturday morning.

Katie Carter (Jemma Dallender) is a poor naive Midwestern girl trying to make it on the mean streets of New York as a model.  But for someone who is broke and living in a rat-infested building, she still takes cabs.  WTF.  Anyway, her model friend advises her to get new photos taken, but she can't afford it.  So she answers an ad for free and meets up with these weird foreign guys even though the whole situation is EXTREMELY SKETCHY right from the start.  See this is why New Yorkers survive so long, and a lot of these transplants get chewed up and spit out.  We know a bad deal when we see one.

Strangely, one of the photographers/brothers returns to her apartment to drop off the photos on a thumb drive.   Later that day, this dumbass makes mistake #2 by propping her door open to take out garbage so she doesn't have to bring the key.  NO ONE IN NEW YORK WOULD DO THIS.   Predictably, this is the beginning of her problems.

Of course, degradation, abuse and rape follows, involving this group of depraved brothers and some dude who pays to abuse American women a la Hostel.  There are some truly horrifying moments in this movie, including the cattle prod, and especially the box which is my worst freaking nightmare!  But her revenge torture scenes are fucking BRUTAL, man.  Maggots, infections, pus, vises, and drowning in shit.  This girl had time to plan this out and she is cold as ice.

It's funny how a lot of movies are being filmed cheaply in Bulgaria these days.  Some write the country into it's plot, and this is one of them.  Although their reason to go to Bulgaria is flimsy at best, it does make for an interesting filming location.  I wasn't expecting to be impressed by the acting in this movie, but this girl goes from a gullible Midwestern flake into a cold hard raging badass.  She could have just curled up in a ball and died, but she puts her game face on and sticks it out.

According to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, I'm in the minority, but I have to say I liked this movie.  It was a while ago when I watched the remake, but I feel like I liked this one even better than that.  I got it on DVD, but maybe they'll put it on instant soon!