Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Ruins

What Jaws did for swimming at beaches...

What Freddy Krueger did for scary dreams...

What Jason did for sexy times...

What Jurassic Park did for strange Scotsmen who decide to clone dinosaurs for a quick buck...

What Alien did for advanced space exploration...

The Ruins did for DVD sales.

I am now petrified to get another DVD and put it in my player for fear that I may be forced to endure another 90 minutes such as those experienced while watching The Ruins. No, no, it wasn't scary in the traditional way you'd expect a horror film to be, it was scary in how phenomenally terrible an idea the whole thing is... I was pretty slow to catch on to what was actually going on in this film so I won't give it away by saying what is the bad-guy in this film though, so you can at least have that going for you... I think I only didn't catch on because my brain didn't want to believe it? Anyhow, for serious though, this film is distinctly flawed in that it really seems to be made with the thought process that the audience is going to watch it knowing it's a horror film but not know what is going to kill them (at least for the first 20 - 30 minutes of the film) which leaves the audience member (The ones who don't know about the film, such as me) thinking up what elaborate and beastly demons might be lurking in the Ruins to slaughter our hapless main characters one by one in ways each more elaborate and scary than the rest.

Is it demons from the depths of hell?

Is it a weird evolution of man that's been trapped in the ruins for centuries and is now a weird man-eating man-bat thing?

Is it an alien (or predator)?

No... it's... yes, well just take my word for it, any one of those things might have been more exciting. Not as original I'll grant you that... but more exciting for sure...

Anyhow, I'm going to sneak off and hide in a cave for the rest of my life just in case some fucktard bastard decides to make a sequel to this.

Damn, but I'm scared of dark enclosed places now!
Not because of The Ruins but because of The Descent.
Why would the descent scare me and not the Ruins? Well, because something scary is actually after people in that film! Shock, I know.

The only thing this film had going for it was the gore. But, come on! Hostel II had good gore and it didn't excuse that train wreck of a film so I hardly think it excuses this one either...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

War Of The Robots

War of the Robots is a touching tale of how power corrupts, virtue and honor triumph over evil, true love prevails and in the future everything will look terribly unrealistic and everyone will wear one piece jump suits for no reason.

Since this film was made in 1978 I'm going to make sure I don't dwell on poor quality special effects, since it was most likely beyond the filmmakers capabilities to do better, and instead I'll focus on the shit acting, poor script and abysmally vomit-inducing camera work.
Actually fuck it, I couldn't help but get caught up in the shit effects. They used the exact same (shitty) shot of a (shitty) model floating around in (shitty looking unrealistic) space about 500 times.
Did they only have the budget to fling the model through their shit space-colored backdrop once?
Couldn't they have done it a few times and shot it from different angles to change things up a little bit?
Would it have been too much to ask for them to just not show the ship at all?

Anyway... I guess the special effects aren't what makes a movie truly bad... what does that is a ridiculous plot that doesn't make any sense.

Basically what happens is a ship full of, what must be the deep-space future version of, electrical repairmen is sent off to get a satellite up and running again but when they get there the creepy (evil) scientist who was living there has inexplicably been kidnapped by Nazis from space.
Rather than just forget about it and go home, this hapless bunch of repairmen set about to try and rescue him only to find themselves confronted by a planet full of the space Nazis.

Science Fiction shenanigans ensue.

Science Fiction writers ought to be about a million times more careful with their stories than any other kind of writer because I, for one, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, can't help but pick through any and all flaws that the film may contain...
Yes, there are the usual dumb ideas that somehow mans advancement will lead him to believe that laser guns will somehow be more effective and commonly used than regular projectile weapons and the misconception that somewhere along man's evolution he will lose sense of fashion altogether so that everyone in the known galaxy is wearing exactly the same outfit. Usually overly laden with needless shoulder pads, turtle necked tops and sparkly bits. And let's not forget the military issue low-cut model for the better looking among the female crew members.

No, what I couldn't get past in this film were the following disastrous points.

Directions - They kept using the directions North, South, East and West in space. Surely even someone with the most basic of knowledge of... well, anything, would be able to realize with just a minor amount of thought that these directions pertain to relative directions on Earth! (Or presumably any other planet) But in the reaches of deep space saying "The enemy is 1000 miles North of us commander." is about as useful as a condom dispenser in a nunnery.

Lasers - lasers will not become weapons in the future. Maybe in space battles they'd become useful, but even still doubtful. This is a point that bugs me in any sci-fi movies though, of course but in this movie the thoughts were exasperated when one hapless character was trying to man the laser guns from the ship (This hapless character, by the way, has lived in a cave with no light or any signs of civilisation up until the moment about 15 minutes prior that he was picked up by the ship, so why they were having him man the weapons was completely beyond me.) but was having no luck hitting anything. "I'm fed up!" he declared like a 10 year old brat, somehow forgetting he's in the middle of an epic space battle, and was told by the head honcho guy to "Aim a little in front of your target and you'll do better!". Wise advice if you're firing a fucking regular gun but, surprise, lasers travel at light speed, I dunno if you know how fast that is but it's pretty fucking amazingly so-fast-you-don't-need-worry-unless-your-a-gazillion-million-trillion-miles-from-your-target fast. What? If you're going to use lasers as weapons in your shitty sci-fi film, at least check into what a laser is and how it might function.

Gravity - a quick Gravity lesson. The bigger something is, the more gravity it has. If we step on any surface that's a lot larger or smaller than the Earth we're likely to notice the effects of this by either being crushed into a puddle or floating away as soon as we try and leap out of our space craft. But no, somehow even when on an insignificant asteroid (Which somehow sustains a small population of freaks) everything is just tickity-boo. No problems breathing or remaining on the ground. Amazing!

Texan Accent Guy - There was this one guy who was declared as coming from Texas in the film. I have no idea why, because it was never a plot point of any kind. He didn't save the day by rounding up cattle or successfully landing them in his ranch that he knew like the back of his hand. He didn't even have any sort of Texan sensibilities. Whatever they might be. So you may think that it was only brought up to explain some poor actors uncontroloably strong Texas accent! That would make sense! But no! The actor was so unbelievably not from Texas that they would have been better suited asking me to play the part and telling me just say "shucks" and "y'all" a lot.

Space Fights - space fights are lame unless you really have a budget to make them awesome. In 1978 the only person capable of that was George Lucas. Notice that in any of the Star Trek movies the space fights are largely subdued and boring? I did, and fuck all y'all that disagree. But, if you must have a space fight at the very very least what you could do when the good guys ship is hit and you have to do that "Shaking the camera while everyone flails around pretending the ship is shaking" thing, at the very very least you could make sure that everyone flails in the same direction. Otherwise it's like... what the fuck is happening here? Is the ship being shaken in all directions at once? Is this some weird space-time anomaly that makes gravity and the pulls of space act differently on each individual? No, it's a director who didn't think before he picked a camera and said "Sci Fi! That's the genre for me!".

Robots - Hey, if you're going to make an army of killer Aryan robots, why not make them good enough to be able to face a group of about 7 people armed with flashlights without being slaughtered by the hundred?

I dunno why we were meant to be surprised when it turned out the weird Nazis who spoke monotonously, all looked pretty much the same and were dressed in aluminum foil were robots! I mean the movie's called war of the robots, and they were the only ones doing any fighting... perhaps the movie had a different title initially and the studios came down and made them change it. Maybe it was called "Attack Of The Shitty Script" or "Stuff Happening In Space You Couldn't Give A Flying Fuck About".

Fuck me, this review is long.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Basically what happens in Face/Off, for those of you who are unaware, John Travolta steals Nicolas Cage's face. The reasons for this are obvious, you see, Nicolas Cage is a terrorist (A true movie terrorist, who seems to have no motive or reason and just enjoys blowing things up and killing people) and the only way to get answers about where the big scary bomb is, is to steal his face and talk to his brother! Obviously waterboarding, electrocuting and pistol whipping suspects wasn't quite as popular back then... in fact I wonder how Mr. Travolta's anti-terror unit functioned since I'm not sure I saw them even try and question their suspect before they resorted to complicated, dangerous and fairly implausible surgery to get their answers.

This all essentially leads up to a random scene where a bunch of guys get wasted and just keep saying "Face.... off!" over and over again. To me, it seemed like just a little bit of "Movie Masturbation" (A term I think I just invented, thank you!), essentially to give the guys down at Crap Trailers Inc. something to work with.

At the beginning of the movie you may wonder to yourself why it seems like Nicolas Cage is seemingly trying to act, something very rarely seen from him and with good reason, and why John Travolta isn't being a loud-mouthed obnoxious fuck-hole as usual but it becomes apparent that they sort of had to try and be one another at first since they both had to swap places for most of the film.

If you haven't seen Face Off some of your well intentioned, booze hound friends may tell you this movie is "Worth a watch at least" or worse still, "Good for a laugh" but believe me when I tell you that you should fuck them in the earhole and run a mile before they can catch up with a copy of it on DVD. Seriously, what kind of fucking maniacal sadist makes a movie like Face Off? And on top of that, what kind of a shit-faced mental patient decides to cast John Travolta and Nicolas Cage? In the same movie? I nearly died from sheer disgust trying to watch this film through to the end! But I made it, and believe me, you don't want to even try and go there... save yourself and burn every copy of Face Off you can find.

Having said that, it's worth watching... for a laugh.

If you're reading this review on my actual blog, and not through my notes in Facebook, I've attached a video in which someone quite wisely summarizes Face Off into a 2 minutes and 21 second long video, to save people the trouble of watching the whole movie...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cheezy Horror Trailers: Vol. 1


Someone had a bunch of really old crappy quality trailers for really cheesy horror films on their computer.

They bought a DVD burner.

They got burning.

Et Voila! Something that you may be fooled into thinking might contain some sort of commentary, funny "Mystery Scient Theatre" style mockery or maybe an intricate documentary following from trailer to trailer talking about the ins and outs is created.
But it is none of these things! It is simply a bunch of trailers, one after the other, no introduction, no explanation and no order.
In fact at least two of the trailers appeared twice!
I'm not saying it wasn't enjoyable in it's own special way, I'm just saying it wasn't really a movie and so doesn't really warrant getting a review.

So why am I doing one?

I blame my medication.

I can't give it a rating as I usually do, because... well that would probably destroy all that is good in the world.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Burning

Somebody sure did see "Friday: The 13th"prior to making this little gem...

Unfortunately they then proceeded to watch "Animal House"...

They then decided that merging the two film would in some way be the perfect movie!

Perhaps it's just that they had no idea how to actually blend the two movies, so instead they seemed to film two entirely separate movies with the same cast of actors.
One funny.
And one laughable (But in a different way).
Then they spliced the two movies together et voila! "The Burning" was born.

They did get one thing right, and hired Jason Alexander, who's complete lack of a place in this movie made it worth staying awake while it was on.


Basically in this film the bad guy from "Blade" gets sent to Moscow to steal a fancy cross as punishment for being hit by a car.

When he gets there he discovers that all Russians talk English, even to each other, in fake accents and somehow everything they say is made 10 times more humorous because of it!
That last part may have sounded sarcastic but it was true. The term "Bullying, cannibalism and homosexual rape", both spoken and in typed format does nothing to the funny bone but make a gigantic burly (fake) Russian say it to a squeamish nerdy (Russians aren't ever really nerdy, even in this film he turns Bad-ass by the end) guy called Dmitri (Also a fake Russian) and it's laughs-a-hoy!

Anyway, in his short hijink filled romp in Russia, the bad guy from Blade discovers that in spite of their humorous accent and strange customs of chopping people's heads off with large retractable scissors the Russians really aren't that friendly and at least 50% of them (based on the number he met he must have come to this conclusion) worship Ivan the Terrible, being the only historical figure besides Yeltsin that anyone outside of Russia has ever heard of. And I'm not even that sure he was Russian (Wikipedia says he was about as Russian as they come. I'm an idiot).
The 90 minutes which make up this film basically consist of a ripe mix of about 25% humor, 74% blood, 1% something else. Much like many independent horror films it's following the trend of going for a few cheap laughs along the way... not that it's a bad trend, mind you, but I think we're at the crest of that particular wave and it's only a matter of time before Hollywood churns out a mega-blockbuster that follows in the direction of all these relatively awesome films and suddenly the small(ish) following for such films will be so sick and tired of how "cool" they've become that they'll have to get into something else, like Magic: The Gathering or something, instead of wasting their time on movies with no plot and all gore.

I mean... this movie was pretty good, I'm only bad-mouthing the possible future of the horror-comedy genre as it will inevitably become stagnant and weak.
Probably around the time I finish my own screenplay and release my own horror-comedy.

Then everyone will gather on the streets to point and laugh at me.