Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Evil Dead 2 is one of those films that have a near-perfect blend of everything. The story is somewhat easy to follow (even without seeing the original) and the acting is quality for the most part. The irony throughout the film is what makes it so fun. After chopping off his hand, Ash tops it with a stack of books, the top one being A Farewell to Arms. Brilliant. Revisiting this film after several years was a blast. The blood spraying out of the cabin walls after being shot? The cabin coming to life to laugh at Ash? There are so many great moments throughout the course of this film that it's not easy to list them all. I will get to some specifics, though. This Blu-Ray, along with a companion DVD, were released in November 2011. After countless editions being released over the past two decades, especially in the last 15 years, these seem to be the most complete that will be available. The picture, for being a low budget film that's 25 years old, looks especially clean and sharp. There are some moments of grain, but those may have been newly found scenes or badly damaged prints. Overall the quality of this remaster is something the studio should be very proud of. Once I get moved in a couple of weeks, I'm going to watch my older Anchor Bay DVD of this and see how the picture has improved from the previous transfer. That's always been a hobby, tracking down multiple prints and editions of films. I love seeing how things improve as technological advances in mastering bring quality higher and higher. Back to the Blu, though. This belongs on every horrorphile's shelf, no matter how many copies of the film are already owned. Evil Dead 2 is one of those masterpieces that somehow brings everything together needed to appeal to nearly anyone. There's plenty of humor, charm, but also genuine scares and tons of gore. Not just red, but black and green as well. My favorite scenes are the tree vines dragging Bobby Joe through the woods, the cabin coming to life, Jake dying in a massive blood explosion, the very impressive physical comedy scene with Ash and his hand, and the always praised chainsaw/loadout scene. I could watch those again and again. In closing, I will again suggest that everyone who doesn't have this should pick it up, I found it for under $10, at that. This will be the reference quality edition, I don't see how anyone or anything could improve over this package.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
I have been a fan of horror films since I was around 8 years old. Started off with the classics, slashers being what impressed me the most. Over the past 19 years, my love of film in general has grown by leaps and bounds. Seems like every few years I find something new and exciting that piques my interest. The films of Lucio Fulci, effects master Tom Savini, Troma, giallo films...all these led to me loving horror in multiple ways. Over the last three or four years my tastes reached a high (or low, depending on who's reading) point. The films of Fred Vogel (August Underground trilogy in this case) and Jorg Buttgereit found me wanting more and more gore and disturbing films under my belt. Purchasing several Bava and Argento films had me loving giallo films, something I never thought I would have the patience for. Finding those little gems that few can enjoy, The Taint, Niku Daruma (Tumbling Doll of Flesh), Sledgehammer, Schramm, Holy Mountain and El Topo...I could go on. Back to my point, I don't have but a small handful of people I can share my thoughts and talk horror with. I had hoped that creating this would both give me an outlet to talk and maybe meet some new friends. Enjoy.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
The Hatchet series is unashamedly made for classic horror fans. I'll take an original story over a remake any day, but this could have been so much better. I am glad Danielle Harris took the lead in this one, and Tony Todd played Zombie as best he could. The extremely thin cast doesn't offer much, even less character development than I'm used to in horror these days. Now I'm not trying to knock the film completely. The film was a good time, I enjoyed the TCM 3 chainsaw, ha-ha. I just wish Adam Green could have taken this to the next level, but it seems he's getting another chance with Hatchet 3. The kills were original and very gory, deaths spraying everything in sight with blood. The strongest positive I'll give is that there wasn't any CGI present, looked like everything was practical. That's huge in this era of horror. To finish, I did enjoy this film, judging it harshly only because I really want a franchise that has lasting power for the next few years. We will see what Green & Co has in store for this year. 5/10 Originally posted on IMDb.
Caffeine, Nazis, yuppies...basically Less Than Zero in a horror setting. Two girls are invited to an oddly-placed wax museum. Assuredly odd due to the fact its placement is discussed no less than four times. Early on, the girls and friends (who will surely die quickly) seem completely brain dead. References to sex, drugs, alcohol and school are typical of these films but here sound much more tacked on. As the group approaches the waxwork, they seem randomly terrified by an otherwise normal looking building. A horrific baby-faced midget welcomes the group inside as 'Lurch' makes an appearance. Lots of self-opening doors in this place. The portal to another dimension that lurks inside a display doesn't seem to bother yuppie guy much. He seems quite content, except for the lack of cigarettes, that is. POV shot of a wolf on wheels? Of course the rescue squad drops the bullets. Wolfman brushes off a chair shot and squeeze-rips a useless man in half. What looked to be an interesting transformation was halted before any real effects showed up. The next set piece looks to be Snow White in a very empty dining room. Nice neckerchief in this scene. Raw meat? I find it odd that these teens don't seem very nervous to be in completely different times and or settings. The blood sauce is a nice touch. The meat is eaten with no problem, that's what everyone does when presented with raw random meat, right? These vampires sure are sloppy. The slightest step throws an attacker completely off his game. Finally, at 33 minutes we get some gore fx. What a surprise, the missing flesh from the random guy on a table was the main course earlier. There was actually a discussion about this. The remaining vampires attack and, seconds after being told how to kill them, she stabs one in the stomach. Guess that exact information was forgotten real quickly. Super gooey forehead melt. One vamp is dispatched by champagne impalement, close up of the bottle spraying through her. Wettest bite of all time as the neckerchief leader gets his girl. Funny how when the displays are shown, they all move. Supposed to be wax, right? Couldn't hold that breath for one take I guess. The entire museum can be searched in about eight seconds. Cue blues harmonica and odd 'karate' crewneck. Phantom of the Opera moved a bunch in that close up. Awkward romantic conversation, one of the worst I've ever watched. Girl leans in for a kiss, backs away and says that's not what she's looking for. Then thanks the guy...so odd. Suddenly we are taken to a large Spanish woman that's throwing paper at a clock. The plot thickens as an echo and incorrectly chosen music plays. "I told you everything I know, yes!" Police investigation of missing people consists of looking at one display for less than a minute. Horrendous overacting during the classroom scene. The police station has the loudest fan blades of all time. "Staff Only" sign is on the opposite side of entrance, how would he know? Officer scrapes a clay cheek and decides to core out an entire jaw. Strong Ouija board placement in the revelation scene. Marquis de Sade? Now I'm sold on this film. How does someone "seem" to die in great pain? The waxwork owner has been dead the whole time? How convenient. Super close up of a pinky ring. Mummy's hands slap together when a scroll is removed, shouldn't he be dead...zombie mummy from hell squishes heads. Chocolate sauce leaks from mouths as a hand cannon goes off, slowest approach and strike ever captured on film. Godfather wears safari clothing and has a jungle-trimmed wheelchair. Snub nose revolver, wayfarers and supercop gets his neck snapped as soon as he appears. Big man Lurch gets real small when yelled at. 666 finally makes an appearance. Even the handicapped godfather can't be trusted! Lighter fluid to burn down a building, why not? Wax figure screams? Everyone seems to have very loud snaps. A night filled with rape, beating and whipping doesn't seem to faze this lady. Monochrome graveyard drippy zombie action. Lurch is suddenly slow and weak. About to die by whipping yet, no blood. Now that the hero is aware of Satan's masterful wax plan, escape is possible. Cancel that. The finale set piece is filled with blue lighting and horrid effects. Wait! A legion of armed senior citizens arrive to save the day! An amazing quick sequence of a tribesman being thrown and emotionally killed saved the film. "We've got battles to win!" For a man having just been stabbed, he seems quite comfortable. Exploding clay baby and a bat headshot! Audrey 2? A plant-thing says "feed me" and is fed indeed. Fencing scene lasts a tab bit long. So, she threw the hatchet? Is that a ray gun? Eww, he fell into milk gravy. Godfather's head wasn't very securely fastened. Bad burning shot of the building as music I swear was on the Kickboxer soundtrack plays. So, the hand survives? Suspension of disbelief, indeed. This film was a hilarious mix of gore and unintentional humor. So many odd things happen that I had to just talk about them all. The last ten minutes are great. 6/10
Saturday, February 11, 2012
This was one of the films I always saw as a kid...big box, lots of gore on the back. I never did watch it, though. When Camp Motion Pictures released their Retro 80's collection a few years ago, I recognized this (and a couple others) immediately. Considering this is a shot-on-video, micro budget film, it's quite enjoyable. The acting is bad, the gore, while very plentiful, is extremely cheap but effective. Never thought I'd see an arm in a meat slicer. Basically revolving around a town that captures passers-by and kills them on tape, this simplistic story intrigued me. By the end of the film, the size of gore fiends is quite large and I wasn't expecting the finale to be so bleak. That's a strong reason why I enjoyed this so much, though. Lots of kills, nudity, horrible acting and a fun story makes for an overall good time. The soundtrack is also nice, especially the main theme. This is packaged as a double feature with the sequel on the disc as well, commentary for both films, a featurette and a trailer collection. 6.5/10