tisdag 14 maj 2013

Creepers aka Contamination point 7 aka The Crawlers aka Troll 3 (1993)

Creepers aka Contamination Point 7 aka The Crawlers aka Troll 3 (which from now on will be mentioned as Creepers, the title I saw it with) is the type of movie that goes into your brain, hunts down your braincells, lines them up against a wall and executes them all, without mercy. On paper it might look like a real movie if you catch a quick glance with something that resembles a genuine plot and camerawork that looks like someone actually used a real camera but other than that Creepers is a real travesty, the ancient mother of the god we all call Boredom. All hail the mighty Creepers, supreme creator of diabolical dreariness beyond comprehension.

It starts comfortingly promising with the Filmirage logo. They've given us a lot of enjoyable movies like Michele Soavis Stagefright and Joe D'Amatos Anthropophagus and Endgame and even though Creepers has a 1.9 Imdb average I still had some hope for the movie. To put it simply everything goes downhill very quickly after that as we are ushered into the story of a small town girl returning home from the big city to rekindle her love for her old boyfriend at the same time as a nuclear company tries to conceal the fact that the radioactive waste they have been dumping has caused the tree roots in the forest to become carnivorous. I cannot really single out anything in particular that is flawed, the entire damn movie is so pedestrian and incompetent beyond belief. It's like the filmmakers had no interest in making a movie at all. The actors are all awful, hough mention has to be made of the sheriff that stumbles on dialogue like he just went through trepanation and of course, the owner of the nuclear plant that seems to parody a villain straight out of Scooby Doo. His final euology has to be seen to be believed. Also, it seems like there only was one take on every single scene, there is quite a lot of stumbling of dialogue on a level that I haven't seen since really early Dr Who. Everything about this movie screams boredom. Boredom from the point of view of the filmmakers as there is not an ounce of anything resembling love for the craft and boredom for the viewer who wonders how the hell this thing was even made (even more perplexing is the fact that Creepers was supposed be shown at cinemas. That could quite possibly have caused an epidemic of mass suicides).

Too put it simply: There is nothing fun here. The movie has no nudity, no gore (apart from a quick scene where a character gets a root into his mouth and having it exit through his eye but it is so poorly made that it doesn't really matter), no exploitative materials at all. It is just... Dull. I can't even see it working when watching it with friends over a case of beer. It is that bad. A major avoid.

And the worst part about all of this? At the time of writing it is not officially available on dvd/blu ray but there is a blurb on Wikipedia that Scream factory are going to release this in the future. And I would probably buy it. That scares me the most. All hail the ungodly cancer that is Creepers! DEATH BY BOREDOM TO US ALL!

måndag 13 maj 2013

Macabre (2009)

Macabre is quite an oddity since it is a very violent and gruesome movie, coming out of a country that is predominately Islam, something you rarely see in cinema today. It seems to base it's reasons of horror firmly in the legacy of the Dutch colonialism of three and a half centuries which is actually quite refreshing, although it actually only hints of this.

Plotwise this is nothing new, on the contrary. We follow a group of youths travelling by minibus through the countryside as they almost run over a young woman in the middle of nowhere. They take her to her house, an old mansion, meet her slightly odd family and reluctantly accept an offer of dinner. The family of four, three grown children and the matriarch that oddly looks a bit too young for her age, soon show their true colors. They want the youths to die. Horribly.

The story is really old, we have seen it hundreds of times. The good thing about Macabre is the way the filmmakers treat it, infusing an extra creepiness in the villains that are more uncomfortable than the usual gimmicky buffoons that we mostly get to see in this type of movie. I won't go into discussing the vague reasons behind all of this but believe me when I say that they are truly horrifying in their ambiguity. The matriarch herself (Shareefa Daanish chewing her way through the scenery with great fun) is a marvel of death and torture and her children aren't far behind in maliciousness. The violence is bloody and hardhitting, just like we want it and combined with fluent direction we get a movie that rises way above its kind. Damn I want a sequel now!

One of the reviews I found online (can't remember which one, sorry. Might change this text when I remember) summed this up fairly well: Think Frontieres in Indonesia, and this is a good description although I rate this much higher. It isn't really anything new but the treatment is still interesting enough to give this my highest recommendations, it really is that well made.

Thanks Fred over at Ex-Ninja for recommending this movie, NOW HOW ABOUT WATCHING LAKE MUNGO THAT I'VE TALKED ABOUT FOR YEARS?!

Evil dead (2013)

So, it is finally here. The Evil dead REMAKE. The internet have been as usual, a lot of people behaving like spoiled children, screaming that THEY CAN'T DO THIS! WE WANT BRUCE CAMPBELL! Personally, I am not that big a fan of remakes but ever since I was positively blown away by Zack Snyders Dawn of the dead I'm keeping an open mind.

You know the story, a group of youths are going out into the woods for the weekend, the difference being that in the original they were partygoers and now they are having a kind of intervention, helping a friend (Jane Levy) to kick a drughabit. It doesnt take long before they find a mysterious book in the basement, someone reads a passage out of it and demons are released. You dont need to know more, it is all there and very recognizably so. The variations from the original story aren't major but enough to make the story interesting. Some of it is good (the whole kicking the drug habit is somewhat fresh, it gives the movie just a bit more edge, as it just might all be in the head of Levys character) and some of it is not (the backstory about the demons, but more on that later on in the review). but there is enough of it to make the story feel somewhat fresh. We even get a bit of a twist towards the end that I did not expect and it is a fun one too.

So, let us start with the bad stuff. First of all, and this is a pet peeve of mine, why do we have to have an explanation of what is going on? Why do we need to know all these details about the demon? Does the screenwriter think that the normal moviegoer is stupid and needs to have things explained in detail in order to understand the intricate ways of a plot that mainly is about dismemberment? Ok, so I am exaggerating a bit here, Evil dead is nowhere near the worst offender of this crime (#1 on this list is the American remake of Ringu) but the original did it so much simpler and better. We don't need to know (with illustrations) that there are three ways to kill the possessed, we just want to see the characters trying to survive as ferociously as possible! I want my own mind to fill in the blanks, not to have them filled in by the screenwriter with a dull hammer (which could have been put to better use in the movie itself as a way of inflicting even more grue and gore). This is only a minor flaw of the movie though, I'm just pouring out some old hate towards Hollywood. The movie moves so fast that I never had the chance to be upset about this until after it was finished. I could also bitch about the fact that some of the characters are somewhat undeveloped, mainly the leads girlfriend who is a blonde chick who we never have a chance to get to know until *SPOILER* she is torn to pieces in a long, delightful sequence with several nods to the original movie. *END OF SPOILER*. But then again, she really is just there to be dismembered violently. (oops. Forgot the spoilertag).

So, the good bits? Most of the god damn movie. As i mentioned before, it moves like lightning and the brief scenes of setting up the scenario are over before you can say Bodily dismemberment and as soon as the words that are used to summon the demon are read, we are way in over our heads of blood and nastiness. There is a lot of violence and it sure as hell is really red and painful, most of it actually old school practical stuff (there is a scene of the remnants of a chopped off arm that looked suspiciously CGI but if it's not, kudos to the makeup artists). All of the actors are good even though some of the characters are thin and they serve the script well. Fede Alvarez does an excellent job setting up all of this and the cabin itself is a marvel to behold, surrounded by a dark and gnarly forest that works wonder with the atmosphere. To top it all off we get those cool last ten minutes that follow a slightly cheesy moment (the only one actually) and what we have is a solid piece of gore.

I realize I spent more time writing bad stuff than good, but don't let that deter you from watching Evil dead. As remakes go, it is up there as one of the better I have seen. It does not reinvent the wheel but it serves up its images with style and relish, giving us a nasty piece of horror that stands fairly well together with the original. It does keep its horror dark and serious which I personally like a lot. Good stuff indeed, and I really look forward to getting it on bluray (fingers crossed for even more gore!). Recommended.