tisdag 28 september 2010

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Yes, this is as weird as they come. Prophecies of Nostradamus is a wonderful movie about the end of the world as foretold by the mysterious monk, part silly and goofy, part horrifying and creepy. Even more interesting is the fact that the movie was edited after an outcry from the public.

One of the coolest actors ever in Japan, Tetsuro Tanba, plays Dr. Nishiyama, someone who has studied Nostradamus prophecies all his life and are seeing things come true, one by one. All this will lead to the end of the world and the reason for all of this? Man's own folly. For starters - pollution has created these giant slugs the size of dogs, besides the fact that it is slowly killing humanity. Then Dr. Nishiyama is called away to New Guinea where radioactivity has created giant blooddrinking bats, huge leeches that suck blood and turn the people it feeds on into raving maniacs. And, my favorite, the natives that have gone cannibalistic because of the radiation. Woohoo, the whole sequence feels like its taken straight out of an Italian goremovie, only more psychedelic. Of course, things get worse and worse and worse, with radioactive smogclouds, an exploding plane that destroys the ozone layer over Japan, burning people to death and in the end.... Total destruction by Nuclear war.

Yes, none of this make any sense but is full of wonderful scenes of strange creatures and massdestruction. Tetsuro Tanba has that strength as an actor to make all of this worth listening to, when we arent treated to delisciously moody scenes of stockfootage of wars or models being destroyed set to the gloomiest narrator found in the acting industry. The whole narrative may be fragmented and almost psychedelic (towards the end of the movie when everything is about to go straight to hell, Dr. Nishiyamas daughter finds out she is pregnant and celebrates this by dancing on a beach), but the individual sequences are strong and imaginative (my favorite being the New Guinea happenings), expertly directed with the usual excellent japanese sfxtrickery and set to a marvelous score full of synths and choirs by Isao Tomita, an artist I'm really looking forward into delving into. If you like Japanese mass destruction, you will love this. I sure did. A W E S O M E !

Why it was edited? There are a few scenes that show the world after the great war where a couple of mutated children fight over a snake which was too much for some. I watched a japanese version, but that scene was in there...

onsdag 22 september 2010

The Green slime (1968)

"You'll believe it when you find
Something screaming 'cross your mind
Green slime"

Now hows that for a themesong? This Japanese/American co-production has gotten a lot of bad reviews over the years, some of it welldeserved I suppose, but you cant deny that it is one heck of a fastpaced movie with lots of entertainment.

A meteorite is heading towards Earth and needs to be destroyed so a team of astronauts are sent from the nearby spacestation Gamma 3 to dig some holes, bury a couple of nukes and watch the piece of rock be blown to smithereens. They do their job but manages to take with them some green slime found on the asteroid which grows into oneeyed, tentacled monsters that feed on energy and electrocutes anyone they touch. It doesnt take long before Gamma 3 is overrun by these wobbly, rubbery thingies... Evacuation! Flying astronauts! Laser! Luciana Paluzzi looking hot speaking in her own, sexy voice

One thing that has always struck me is that The Green slime is a fairly brutal movie, at least for its timeperiod. People are thrown from platforms, blood splattering on the ground as they land and electrocutions with fairly good makeup of burns. this helps the movie immensly, giving it that intensity that it needs to keep the suspense going. Well, as much suspense you can get from a movie that features oneeyed wobbly tentaclethingies. It is all a bit silly but the movie is so fastpaced that you dont really care. Kinji Fukasaku was a good actiondirector and it shows, even how silly everything appears. The only thing that lets the movie down are the rather poor miniatures on display, as if Fukasaku had no idea how to light them. But who cares, it is a monstermovie we are talking about and as they go, The Green slime is an fine example of great entertainment. If you are into this type of movie, you know you will love it.

Just a final thought, kinda *spoilerish*:

Is there some rule in Hollywood that if a lead couple have broken up, the new guy has to die so that the old couple can get back together? I mean, twenty people can die to save a dog, but a new husband _will_ die a horrible death just because he married the wrong woman? Some christian thing against divorces, I dont know.

tisdag 21 september 2010

Malibu Shark Attack (2009)

Sooo... what exactly are you expecting when deciding to read a review about a movie named Malibu Shark Attack? Well, I could tell you about its finer points.

1. It's shot in Australia but set in Malibu so the actors keep slipping into their original australian accents all the time. It stars Peta Wilson who is starting to look quite the milf, and she does have that sexy Kathleen Turnerish voice...

2. The Sharks. Yes, Goblin sharks look pretty ugly but, as the movie claims them to be, they arent extinct! It would take the scriptwriter ten fucking seconds to google it! They are all halfdecent cgi except for some rather goofylooking fins.

3. It has one of the coolest movielines ever. When asked what happened to a character, the response from our hero is: "There was a shark in the parking lot". You dont hear that one very often.

4. As usual, since this is a syfymovie, there is no gore other than some cgiblood and a couple of halfeaten corpses.

Yes, your average syfy sharkmovie. This one gets extrapoints for skipping the usual stockfootage but loses them when the cute blond chick doesnt take her top off. A heck of a lot better than Raging sharks and Blue demon though.

måndag 20 september 2010

Event horizon (1997)

Ok, Event horizon is a good movie. I admit that. but every time I watch it I think less and less of it, dwelling more and more on details I dont like and most importantly - that the setpieces never are as horrific as they need to be to keep up the all important momentum. The story is solid and a minor classic - the spaceship Event horizon mysteriously vanished some 20 years earlier and has now reappeared inside Jupiters atmosphere. A rescueship is dispatched to find out what happened and when they arrive they soon realize that the crew is dead or missing and something is really wrong with the ship. It has been somewhere nasty and as one of the crew members is saying after he tries to commit suicide: "He is coming".

The cast is excellent, although Richard T Jones horny black guy is just a big cliché. The direction is good, the photography scrumptios and the whole thing is a setdesigners dream. The problem is that the movie never really lives up to those incredibly ominous words. Yes, things happen, people die and we get glimpses of the nasty fate of the Event horizons crew but nothing that really stands out. There are some glimpses of what could have been on the extramaterial since the movie company forced the makers to remove a lot of potentially interesting stuff, but since a lot of these are in rather poor condition it never really feels part of the picture. As it is, Event Horizon is a decent, welldesigned movie that never really "bites".

Shutter (2008)

The word of today is pointless.

Example: Mediocre, unscary, by the numbers remake of far superior Thai movie Shutter.

Heck, even the remake of One missed call was better.

Poultrygeist (2006)

Troma. Yes, that says just about everything you need to know about this movie. Cheap, cheerful, gory, disgusting and plain silly from the first minute. If you want to you could even say that Troma wants to say something about the fastfoodbusiness but you know that isnt true. This is entertainment, pure and _simple_.

So, here we have a movie about a fastfoodrestaurant built upon an ancient indian burialground. With this concept we get a shitload (I said shit. giggle) of cheap jokes, a lot of cheap disgusting gore, several songs (yes, it's a musical too) and a cute little lovestory. You cannot compare anything of this to anything remotely resembling quality entertainment since this is Troma, but on the other hand, you cant hate it. I mean, chicken zombies. What the hell?

There's not much more I can say about this, it is a Troma movie. If you like Troma you will gobble this up, thats for sure. If you are not a Tromafan, well you still might like it. The jokes are cheap, the gore quota is high, the breasts are plentiful and funny and one of the songs, Slow fast food love, is pretty good. Did I mention giant chicken zombies?

A day of violence (2009)

Any movie that features Giovanni Lombardo Radice as a doped out hobo who gets his throat slit should technically be worthy watching. The keyword here is should. The problem is just that A Day of violence, how ambitious it may be, still fails for a number of reasons. More on that later.

There's no doubt about it, if you like your violence brutal and plentiful, you will most likely love this movie. A Day of violence is about this loser of a thug who robs Hopper, a dopedealer for 100000 pound and slits his throat. The following day he gets a job for the local kingpin (who just to show how brutal he is, tortures our heros best friend and removes his genitals with hedgescissors, all in gory detail) to collect 100k from the very druglord he just killed and robbed. Yes, big trouble. Exactly how he will get through this sticky situation is what the movie is about, but since it starts with his shotgunblasted corpse in the morgue, we know it will be violent.

Ok, here is my main problem with the movie. Our hero is an asshole, we establish that from the moment he slits Hoppers throat. Sure, towards the end we are made aware of the fact that there were somewhat noble intentions behind the happening, but the train left hours ago. I couldnt bring myself to feel any sort of sympathy for the man, everything that came to him was well deserved. The actor playing him was ok when it came to actionscenes, but dialogue? Not his thing. It doesnt matter how much violence and boobs a movie has, if the main character is someone you feel deserve to die - it will diminish the netertainment value.

With that said though, A Day of violence is a well made exploitation piece, on a obviously low budget and has the audacity to never let the budget show through. Guns and gore galore, and if thats what you want, this movie is a good place to find it. The moviemakers clearly show potential so I really look forward to them doing something on a bigger budget in the future.

onsdag 15 september 2010

Samurai zombie (2008)

Samurai zombie, what a nice title. I really had to preorder it as soon as I read about it, especially since it was written and produced by Ryuhei "Versus" Kitamura and directed by the star of Versus, Tak Sakaguchi. And you know, the story sounded fun too. Well, the further you come into the story the more it sounds like a rehash of Versus, only with less gore, less flair and cooler zombies. I wont spoil anything other than its about a number of people meeting up in a forest and all being hunted by zombies. Why? It has something to do with the past...

Yes, this is basically a remake of Versus, only more old school horror. As such, it works fairly well, the environments are excellent (a forest, an old abandoned village) and the Samurai zombies are really cool, lumbering creations. The characters and the actors are ok, we even get a weird policeduo, just like in Versus. Tak Sakaguchi is no Kitamura, but does a decent enough job with the atmospherics which is one of the main reasons for watching this movie. My only real complaints is that the story isnt anywhere near as wild as Versus, almost pedestrian and that the gorequota could've been much higher. There are a few scenes of decapitation and grue but unfortunately the focus of the movie is mood. A slightly above average zombieflick, well worth watching - mostly for the cool zombies and a very strange character who thinks himself immortal. I've seen lots worse.