Archive for December, 2013

Helix: Disease TV

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Helix

I’m often wary of made-for-TV horror and sci-fi as they water it down so much as to be a non-alcoholic beverage. Then along comes brutally brilliant stuff like The Walking Dead and American Horror Story to set things right for TV again.

So it is with these same high hopes I wish for Helix, an intensely gripping sci-fi series about disease-gone-wild, premiering on the improving SyFy™ Channel in January, 2014. If you haven’t seen the trailers, feast your face on this: “Helix is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to a high-tech research facility in the Arctic to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that holds the key to mankind’s salvation…or total annihilation.”

Total annihilation. Those two words go together like “cold” and “beer.”

Helix

What gives me excitement pee shivers is that Steven Madea is on board as Helix’s co-executive producer. You may have seen his credit on Lost, CSI: Miami, and The X-Files.

All things being equal, Helix is a contemporary spin on 1971’s Andromeda Strain, which I deftly reviewed and posted on January, 9, 2013. As I recall, the seas were rough that day. I had finished the first of what was to be an entire half rack of Budweiser. Sharing was not an option.

To let the review enrich your life, click HERE

Existenz – The Ultimate Gameboy

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Existenz

Thematically picking up where Videodrome (1983) left off, eXistenZ, filmmaker David Cronenberg’s 1999 sci-fi flesh machine, goes Nintendo™ and X-Box™ one step further by turning your body into a game cartridge. Creating a “bio-port” in the base of your spine, you can plug yourself in to the game pod (made out of hi-tech fish guts and wires) and play cool virtual games. (I bet Virtual Outhouse is a top-seller. Satisfying replay value.)

Existenz

Allegra, the gaming industry’s most heralded creator, brings select gamers together to test-run eXistenZ, her latest creation. A rival company interferes with a botched assassination attempt, and the fun begins. Sort of. At times, moving as slow as a 14.4 modem, the plot almost swamps itself by adding too many confusing elements and no bare bio-butts.

Existenz

Cool parts include lots of goopy gore (a gun made from fish bones shoots human teeth), mutant creatures harvested for their weapons and fish ’n chips applications, and Jennifer Jason Leigh looking replay value hot hot as a sultry, bed-warming blonde genius.

Existenz

The finale has a nice hook, but since nobody gets gainfully naked – digitally or otherwise – it all falls a bit flat. In short, eXistenZ is a wry statement on how gaming has replaced sex in our lives, it has nothing on that stud, Super Mario™.

Existenz

Zombie World

Posted in Foreign Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , on December 16, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Zombie World

A new zombie flick that reverses the role of zombie vs. human. Be right back – I have to yawn.

Yeah, a bit snarky, but enough with the zombie crap already. No matter how you spin it, zombie movies are so overdone as to be my neighbor’s holiday meatloaf. (Ironically, that thing keeps coming back to life, year after year.)

So Zombie World (2014), a Spanish horror flick at that, pit zombies against an inhuman enemy: humans. Synopsis: In a world where zombies are on the planet, a terrible event will transform humans with a rage that will be unleashed on all zombies. Now it is they who have to hide to avoid being killed or becoming infected humans.

Zombie World

Hmmm – zombies by nature are already dead. So how can they be killed and/or infected by humans? The only “virus” I can think of that’s capable of doing that is BOREDOM.

Incidentally, Zombie World’s plot is a twist on an old Twilight Zone episode from the ‘60s. Go look it up; it’d be a nice distraction from YET ANOTHER zombie movie.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

In overload marketing prep for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (arriving July, 2014) now comes four teaser posters, each looking quite badass.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I don’t want to spoil the party, but I think the apes are favored to win this game. How could I possibly know that? Here’s the plot: “A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Yep, sounds familiar. This, of course, is the bone structure of 1973’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes. In case you haven’t seen it 27 times like me, or read a truncated review on this here blog back on Christmas Day, 2011, here’s what gets flung against the wall…

After getting served in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), the humans, with radioactive sores on their units, rally for some payback.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

It’s now the 21st Century, 10 years after the apes dehumanized the world. And what non-radioactive humans are left are kept in corrals out in the woods and made to do minimum-wage stuff for their ape masters. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Head ape Caesar, tired of all the non-getting-alonging, decides it might be time for peaceful coexisting with their hairless pets. Damn hippie. But the easily agitated General Aldo ain’t downtown with that. He’d just as soon turn ’em loose in a cornfield and do a little sport huntin’.

Caesar, Aldo decides, must be stopped, and Ape City (not really a city, more like tree houses with indoor plumbing) must be invaded. Aldo murders Caesar’s son when the little branch-swinger overhears the gorilla’s plan to overthrow the current government. Monkey doo is about to hit every fan left working.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

But as history shows, humans are no match for their ape overlords, and get their sore asses handed to ’em yet again in an old style Western shoot-out. Now it’s time to talk to Aldo about that murdering thing. It’s cool for apes to kill humans, but NOT COOL for ape to kill ape. Let’s just say another rule gets broken on that, the first of many future days.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

While Battle for the Planet of the Apes has some fun moments, the lack of spectacular sets, doomsday bombs and Dr. Zaius makes it the most lackluster of the Apes series. Still, monkeys that talk. That’s pretty neat.

Giant Cursed Frog

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , , on December 12, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Croaker

A giant cursed frog. Strangely, I’m down with this. I’m even OK with Croaker, the movie’s somewhat goofy name. I’ve always regarded frogs as being one of nature’s whoopee cushions as they make really funny disgusting noises when squeezed.

But far be from me to perform injustices on these pond ambassadors, like dissection in school classrooms or experiments with firecrackers firmly jammed where weapons of mass destruction should not be jammed.

Croaker

But I digress. Croaker is an indie horror move arriving February 1, 2014 with initial distribution secured for Amazon™, iTunes™, Netflix™ and Hulu Plus™. I say good for them.

Croaker

So here’s what to expect from Croaker, which was shot in Canonsburg, PA: “Four friends. Two brothers. One curse.” Yep, that’s all there is. I’m thinking, though, that the curse is genital warts.

Croaker

Hard to tell what the frog creature looks like head to flipper. But up front it bears an uncanny resemblance to the frog faced guy in Cirque du Soeil’s Totem. Giant frogs are one thing, but giant frogs skilled in the art of choreographed performance art is a whole new realm of horror. In a good way, though; Cirque puts on some quality entertainment. Just wish I could understand it as I have no idea what a “cirque” is. That’s probably French for “giant frogs rip your face off.”

Told you they were quality entertainment.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Posted in Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. So wrong and yet so right. Then again, the movie – designed to capitalize on the Sharknado cultural phenomenon – is being done by The Asylum, the movie studio that waits for someone else to come with an idea, then they “re-purpose it” for $1.49 for the bottom feeding cash-in.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Due out January 28, 2014, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark needs no more than a one sentence plot: “When a new Mega Shark threatens mankind, the government unleashes the top-secret Mecha Shark to defeat the monster in a pitched battle that threatens the planet.”

I’ll make a bold prediction here – the planet survives. You won’t, though.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

Now that I’ve wrecked the entire movie for you, here’s something else to chew on: Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark was partially inspired by last summer’s RoboCroc (2013), a heartwarming tale of a science-enhanced crocodile that becomes mechanized and gets loose in a water park filled with the dying screams of kids that pee in the pool.

Expect more mecha mash-ups as Hollywood – even fake Hollywood – is clearly running out of ideas.

Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark

P.S. Japanese sci-fi has had mechanical monsters battling their biological counterparts since the early ’70s. Heck, they even invented the word “mecha.” I wouldn’t blame them for peeing in the ocean where we get our shark sushi.

Big Hair Horror

Posted in Asian Horror, Asian Sci-Fi, Evil, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2013 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Exte: Hair Extensions

You know that shudder you get when you find a hair in your Jell-O™? OK, multiply that by one hundred million and you get Exte: Hair Extensions (2006), a freakishly odd Asian horror movie about possessed hair.

Exte: Hair Extensions

A female corpse shows up in a huge freight container packed full of black hair. She has surgical scars and, besides missing her own hair, is also coming up short of inner organs. This is another in a string of unsolved murders in which numerous young girls have been killed alive for their inner workings.

Exte: Hair Extensions

But what the cops can’t figure out is why each has no hair. The coroner might be able to tell you, but he’s too busy indulging in his hair fetish, and has a new toy with the stolen corpse as her hair keeps growing and growing. And not just out of her head. Eyes, nostrils, fingernails… Am I forgetting any other orifices? Hair pours out of these portals.

Exte: Hair Extensions

This gives him enough to trim and sell to the local salons, who pay good money for human hair to use as wigs and extensions. One of the salon gals gets the new tresses and the hair goes evil on her, sprouting like black spaghetti gone wild. The coroner, waist deep, literally backstrokes in all the hair his corpse keeps growing – and he’s getting happier and weirder by the minute.

Exte: Hair Extensions

The corpse wants revenge and her hair back. The cops want to arrest somebody. All these elements come together in one of the hairiest scenes filmed. And the coroner? Let’s just say he’s about to have a really bad hair day and wig out. Heh.