Friday, September 30, 2011

Victor Crowley Lives - Hatchet 3 Has A Director

Remember a few days ago when I said I was done posting in September? I lied. News has just surfaced that BJ McDonnell is attached to helm Hatchet 3. McDonnell has been the camera and Steadicam operator for each of the first two Hatchet movies along with movies like Jonah Hex and the A Nightmare On Elm St. remake. Don't let those two shitty movies make you judge his directorial work... because he doesn't have any. This will be his first time in the director's chair so it will be interesting to see what happens with the 3rd installment in the modern day splatter slasher series. Adam Green the director of the first two Hatchet films is expected to work closely with the development of the third.

There you have it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gearing Up For October And Halloween

September has been a quiet month for me as far as movie watching and reviewing goes. When I have watched some stuff it has been mainly been things that don't fit in with the CT and a few exploitation flicks thrown in for good measure. The main reason for this is that for the last 2 years I've participated in DVD Talk's annual October Horror Challenge. This is a month long fun activity that gets the horror fans together to shoot for the loose goal of watching 100 horror movies in the month. I've successfully reached the mountaintop in both 2009 and '10 and hope to be able to do it again this year while watching at least 50% new movies. There are no real rules to it, so you can sign up and join in even if you don't plan to try to complete any of the goals/checklists. I will make a post right here every day to recap everything I've watched that day with short reviews and thoughts. This is my favorite time of the year and turning my brain to mush with tons of horror movies just makes it even better. See you guys on the first.

100 movies. 31 posts. 31 days.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Big Doll House/Women In Cages/Big Bird Cage

One of the most anticipated DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the year for exploitation fans has been the Women In Cages triple feature from the Roger Corman Cult Classics line by Shout! Factory, and for good reason. The Corman Cult Classics series has seen some classic Corman trash and sleaze get top notch releases on DVD and some in high definition as well.

Without ever experiencing the pleasure of any of these films I was pretty excited to rip into it and find out just what these flicks are all about. First up was The Big Doll House from director Jack Hill. Five women are tired of the torture and punishment and plan to break out of a Philippine jail with the help of 2 men from the outside. Pam Grier, Judith Brown and Sid Haig star, in this top notch example of a WIP flick. Everything you need to make a successful flick like this is here- Action, violence, scantily clad or nude women and some deranged women threatening males to "Get it up or I'll cut it off!". It doesn't hurt that Jack Hill just seems to know how to make great exploitation cinema.

Women In Cages is the only of the three to not have Jack Hill directing. Instead Gerardo de Leon helms with Judith Brown and Pam Grier starring again. Grier has moved on to the other side of the iron bars and is the evil head matron who likes to get some lovin' with the inmates whenever she pleases. Brown's character plans an escape with several other inmates with the head matron as a hostage despite knowing the trackers will be sent to find and kill them. This movie focuses more on the characters and their trials and tribulations in the prison and less on action. It is a solid entry and worthy of inclusion on the set for sure but it is the definite low point for me.

Jack Hill returns to bring us The Big Bird Cage, which is every bit as good as Doll House. Pam Grier and Sid Haig team up again, this time as revolutionaries who plan to free prisoners from the jungle prison from the outside in. This entry has the highest dose of comedy of the three and it works. Haig impersonating a gay man for much of the 2nd half of the film is hilarious and Grier is a total bad ass. The rest of the cast, including Anitra Ford who was one of the first models for The Price Is Right, is on point. Bird Cage may be the best WIP flick I've seen, just edging out Doll House. This is great stuff.

Anybody with the slightest interest in exploitation fare should get a copy of this. The Blu-Ray looks fantastic and the movies are great fun even at their lowest point. Plus who doesn't like seeing attractive ladies run around in little to no clothing and fighting? Nobody.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fright Night 3D (2011)

Hey everybody, I'm back. Hurricane Irene knocked my power out for a week and the internet was screwed up for another 3 days so I didn't get a chance to watch or review anything. I did however catch up on some H.P. Lovecraft reading, which is actually pretty awesome when reading in the pitch dark by flashlight only. Now that I'm back in the 21st century I'm back to CT, and caught Fright Night 3D in theaters earlier when I was randomly asked and treated to go... can't pass that up no matter how bad it might be, right?

If you have seen the original Fright Night, the cult classic from writer/director Tom Holland that features a crazy Evil Ed, Roddy Mcdowall being awesome as usual and just great 80s vampire fun and saw the trailers and TV spots for the remake you have to be aware that they don't look too similar. And you're also aware at just how shitty the trailers for this remake were. It is no wonder it didn't make much money at all, and I'm surprised it was even still in theaters today.

Charley has just found popularity in his later high school years after a lifetime of living the life of a nerd with his former best friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). After several classmates go missing Ed persuades Charlie to investigate with him. Ed believes Charley's new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrel) is a vampire and quickly taking over the town. It isn't long before Charlie realizes that Ed is right and enlists the help of vampire/occult/reality/Vegas celebrity Peter Vincent who has a history with these creatures. Charley and Peter Vincent chase Jerry back to his lair where they get more than they bargained for.

I'll start with a positive first... I expected this movie to be truly terrible. I mean fucking God awful. This has everything to do with the disastrous trailers and marketing. It did end up being better than expected, but that isn't saying much. The writing seemed rushed to me. Everything jumped from one part to the next without much actually happening until the finale. The acting across the board was pretty bad. Colin Farrell wasn't a convincing vampire... or a convincing creep who seduces high school girls. McLovin wasn't bad as Evil Ed, who they only referred to as "Evil" once in the entire movie as far as I could tell, but they didn't give him much screen time at all. It was a decent modern day take on the character. David Tennant was a cross between Criss Angel and Russel Brand which made him about as unlikeable as a human can get until the last 20 minutes by which point it was too late for me to give a shit about him. The CGI effects for the vampires was obnoxious and totally missed out on the practical latex effects used in the original that were awesome and added to the feel of the film. These odd looking, shark toothed vampires were just annoying to look at and screamed "LOOK AT ME I'M A FUCKING FEROCIOUS VAMPIRE!". The humor from the original was mainly lost as well. With only a few genuinely funny moments out of dozens of attempts with cheap one liners and slapstick it was more face palming than knee slapping. And as for the 3D which any reader of this already knows I just could not care any less about, it was actually decent looking. There was noticeable depth without many cases of it looking awkward and some effective use of the gimmicky things flying at the camera. But seriously, who fucking cares about that?

Like I said, there were far more positives than I expected. It had some cool vampire action scenes, and there were the few successful funny moments but it missed the mark by a mile.