Archive for April, 2012

Charley, the Wereshark

Posted in Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild with tags , on April 30, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Makua Charley

Sharks eat Hawaiian tourists on a daily basis. In fact, it’s in the travel brochure: “Come to Hawaii…and get eaten by a shark!” Man, how can you turn down an offer like that? (I wonder if the vacation package also includes an authentic Hawaiian luau and a tour of the Dole™ pineapple factory? That’d be sweet if it did.)

But during tourist season, Hawaiian sharks may be fat and glutted on sun-block smeared mainlanders, so you’ll have to rely on Makua Charley, a wereshark, to give your vacation some bite. In the indie movie of the same title being filmed in Hawaii right now, this ancient Hawaiian legend comes out of the sea and eats your face clean off, because that’s what ancient legends do. This means you don’t have to go in the water to be eaten by a shark, thereby not getting your hair wet and poisonous clams in your bathing suit.

Makua Charley

There is a problem, however. Makua Charley, scheduled for release in September of 2013 (that’s way too long – I wanna see it NOW), will only be completed if the filmmakers raise enough fins to cover filming costs/ambulance rides. They’re only asking to raise $7,777.04 (I added the four cents to cover my costs of promoting their cause.) As of this writing, they’ve raised $2,405.02. (I threw in my two cents worth.) That’s good, but not good enough – the film only has until May 26, 2012 to scare up the rest or this fish is dead in the water. Here’s why you should donate to their Kickstarter campaign:

“Folks are disappearing from the Shark’s Cove youth hostel on the North Shore of O’ahu. When young and innocent Karen Palmer visits for a two week vacation, she meets a handsome and charming local boy named Charley. He promises to show her some sights “off the normal tourist path”.

Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to her mysterious tour guide. Unfortunately, Charley is the embodiment of an ancient Polynesian curse, and he’s torn between his basic human nature and his predatory killer instincts. Makua Charley is a feeding frenzy of horror set amidst the gently swaying palm trees of idyllic Hawaii. In this paradise turned to hell, the scent of fresh spilled blood is carried on a tropical breeze.”

I’ll say it for you: WOW! Don’t deprive the handsome and charming Charley a fresh human snack; click HERE to support his grocery bill today.

More Grave Encounters

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts, Misc. Horror with tags , , , on April 29, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Grave Encounters 2

I’ll get right to the point – 2011’s Grave Encounters, a found footage “ghost” movie about a team of TV paranormal investigators spending the night in an abandoned mental health facility called “the most haunted building in America,” was cliched, inept, tedious and insulting. Other than that, I didn’t have a problem with the movie. So it makes sense there’s going to be a sequel.

Grave Encounters 2, arriving Halloween of 2012, picks up where GE left off, which as I recall, was some guy eating rodent sushi. Press release: “A group of film students who break into the hospital from the first film to do their own paranormal investigation and quickly realize that Grave Encounters was not just a movie…it was real.”

I just excited in my pants. [inset sarcasm HERE]

So this means all the things that were wrong about the first movie will get another chance to screw it up again. Just so I’m sayin’ it and not sprayin’ it, here were my complaints about Grave Encounters:

Grave Encounters 2

Cliched – a haunted abandoned mental hospital? Been there, spooked that, about 100 times.

Inept: Dialogue that real people wouldn’t utter while screaming and running from noises and unseen forces. Smacks of Blair Witch Project, which sucked fake paranormal ass.

Tedious: The scare set-ups were rank amateur; And to just follow the jerking camera as people scream, swear and run up and down dark corridors starved my brain of oxygen, the result of which was assembly line yawning.

Insulting: Figuring out the plot was going nowhere, the filmmakers, in the last five minutes, throw in everything but a cameo from Casper. The few second scene with ghost doctors experimenting on patients? What’s up with that? Besides being a photocopied premise (House on Haunted Hill/1999), there was no back story to explain it. The real surprise was that you didn’t see the push-pins they used to tack it on. [To read my full assessment, click HERE].

It may sound like it, but I didn’t hate Grave Encounters. More like I double disliked it. Part of the problem is I regard found footage films as annoying and lazy. Like karaoke and non-alcoholic beer, found footage has worn out its welcome. But hey, maybe Grave Encounters 2, with the unfortunate tag line (“Just when you thought it was over…”) will bring something new to the party. Doubtful; it hasn’t been released yet and you’ve already seen it.

Germ – It’s Good For Every Body

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , on April 27, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

GermIcky stinky germs are apparently not groovy for you. Who knew? Contracted in a variety of ways, these often invisible viruses can render a somewhat harmless 7-Eleven™ Truckstopper Burrito into an explosive shock and awe. And touching a bus station toilet seat and then rubbing your eyes? Only if you want ’em to painfully swell up and shoot out of your head like bloodshot marbles from a cannon.

So it is with disease-phobic optimism that I await Germ, a new indie sci-fi (that’s short for science fiction, by the way) film that unleashes infectious bacterium over a small town, turning the citizens into rage-filled killers that need to wash their hands with $1.99 anti-bacterial soap. (Not to split pathogens here, but wasn’t this the plot of 1973/2010’s The Crazies?)

The Crazies

Germ premiered for some TV bigwigs in Hong Kong on March 29, 2012. I was not invited. Now I hate Hong Kong and everything it stands for. What the suits got to see that I didn’t was the military shooting down an orbiting satellite, which rains down space-borne microorganisms on the remote upstate NY town and makes everybody go on a double crazy murder spree. On the positive side, the military popped a cap in that satellite with one shot. Snap!

A press quote describes Germ’s climactic confrontation as the male uninfected lead “battles his way through a crowd of zombies; wrecked cars, trash and bloodied bodies littered the street after the fight.” Sounds like they filmed this sequence on my block during “Get To Know Your Neighbors Week.”

Germ will spread (heh) October 1st, 2012. Wear a wet suit to the theater – you never know what orbiting satellite was sitting in that seat before you.

Potato Vampires

Posted in Misc. Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , on April 26, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Potato Vampires

Of all the freshness-expired crap in my refrigerator, the last food group I’d suspect of being a vampire is the potato. (Not the factory-made frozen kind that rocks the frying pan, but one of those weirdo vegetables that comes out of the ground.) And a bloodsucking tuberous is just what you get in the delightfully titled Potato Vampires.

Potato Vampires

So how does a potato become a vampire? First, the potato has to be a hybrid grown in a science lab. Next, the plant from which it grows sprouts tendrils, which drill into your flesh and removes all that pesky blood gumming up your system. Then you get high. Then you die.

You heard me correct. The by-product of having a lab altered potato suck the goo outta you is that you get stoned. (This could be an interesting way to get hippies to eat their vegetables instead of smoking ’em.) Needless to say, drug dealers are seeing dollar signs aplenty. And hey, what cop is gonna bust you for selling potatoes to school kids?

Potato Vampires

Potato Vampires was filmed on the cheap (corn cobs are just too expensive – and vain – to work with). So don’t rent it and expect Hollywood veggies or even stunt salads – this is fun, not art.

Potato Vampires. I bet the filmmakers ate the star afterward.

Ghosts, Demons & Cold Hard Booze

Posted in Asian Horror, Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts with tags , , , , on April 25, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Darkest NightThe kicker line for the Malaysian-made evil-flavored horror movie, The Darkest Night: “The price of eternal life is eternal death.” Sounds like something Dracula would say at an emo cocktail party.

But don’t let the inherently BORING title and hammy tag dissuade you from seeing it; The Darkest Night is one HELL of an ambitious “found footage” endeavor that mixes Western and Eastern mythological traditions with a family during a holiday reunion. Think of it as a demonic throw down with festive snack platters. And cold hard booze.

So this family is partying at a secluded home in the Sagada Mountains. (I’ve been there – lots of really nice demons bringing meaning to the holiday seasons.) While everyone’s rockin’ the house, the party is shattered by “bizarre demonic and tragic terrors no one can explain.” Pffft – I can explain it in three words: cold hard booze.

The Darkest Night is said to be inspired by actual events reported to have happened to a Chinese family in Malaysia in February 2003. I knew those guys – it’s true; they most certainly were a Chinese family.

During the night the family in The Darkest Night begins dying or disappearing one after the other in “weird and terrifying ways, defying natural laws.” At the end, two are left standing (and by process of elimination, get all of the snacks and cold hard booze). The synopsis goes on to say that “a mystical book they find seems to hold the key to controlling unseen dark forces that threaten to unleash ghosts from an evil past.” This is not something that happens only to Asians. In Tijuana, for instance, you eat a food truck burrito (evil), and soon you are unleashing ghosts (evil flatulence).

The Darkest Night, arriving in the States and UK in August of 2012, contains a minimum of gore, violence and graphic special effects. That’s what it said on their website and I believe it. They also say that there are no cliché or oft-used thrill gimmicks, and that the viewer is led step by step into a dark, demonic world of sinister and fantastical events, where the familiar meets the supernatural, and your most cherished loved one could be your mortal enemy.

Good for them.

P.S. Cold hard booze.

Radioactive Ghosts

Posted in Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , on April 24, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Chernobyl Diaries

On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine suffered an ultimate FAIL, blowing up and spreading death all over the city of Prypiat and surrounding towns like freshness expired peanut butter. Needless to say, the worst nuclear power plant accident in history with enduring and severe ramifications. Now, all these years later, someone has made a horror movie about it, with fashion model young tourists who go there for kicks and discover something paranormal is inhabiting the abandoned and still radiation-hot ruins. Way to mock the 4,000 people who died and were catastrophically affected by the meltdown.

Arriving May 25th, 2012 is the Chernobyl Diaries, which was penned by Oren Peli, the guy who hit the lottery with Paranormal Activities and subsequent sequel cash infusions that, ironically, could help the Soviet Union pay off the 18 billion rubles the disaster cost. So these tourists, looking to do some “extreme vacationing,” go off the beaten path with a hired Russian guide into the deserted city of Prypiat. Not long after extreming, they go to leave and discover something’s not about to let them or their hair product leave.

Chernobyl Diaries

Straight up, Chernobyl Diaries’ trailer is weak. Just a bunch of smug tourists screaming and running away from whatever still lives in the dead city. But given the radioactive nature of radiation, that “something” could be anything from ghosts that glow in the dark, feral animals turned into blood-seeking mutations, homeless people that can fry you with beams shooting out of their face… In a perfect world, this would be all of the above. But given how bloodless Paranormal Activity was/is, doubtful.

Horror movies made using real world disasters seems insensitive and distasteful, kind of like living next door to me. But I’ll probably go see Chernobyl Diaries to see the glow-in-the-dark-ghosts. If you live next door to me, you can come along. You gotta pay for your own radioactive popcorn toppings, though. This ain’t a charity.

Beyond The Grave

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Science Fiction, Slashers with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Beyond The Grave

There’s not much to see beyond the grave. There are no shiny angels floating around, no rent-free condos made of gold, no strippers that will give you lap dances for all eternity. Nope, the only thing beyond the grave is just dirt. And not Hollywood dirt, either. More like Home Depot™ potting soil with, I don’t know, spit in it.

Beyond The Grave

So yeah, nothing much to do after you become after. Unless you consider Beyond The Grave, a Brazilian-made horror story about a vengeful polícia officer who pursues a supernatural serial killer after the world ends. Or something like that. And with zombies, magic, samurai swords, and strippers who give you lap dances for all eternity (OK, not that one), life beyond the grave just got a lot more interesting.

Beyond The Grave

The film’s website describes Beyond the Grave as an art-house mixture of road movie, spaghetti western and different horror sub-genres such as zombie and black magic. They had me at art house. Viewing the trailer, it’s clear that a.) Beyond The Grave bends the rules as much as it bends reality, and b.) sub-titles are really hard to read without moving your lips.

Beyond The Grave

Beyond the Grave is due out something this year. (2012, in case you’re reading this from the future. Or beyond the grave.)

P.S. Hey film studio – re-do your boring and craptacular advertising poster. It looks like I did it.