Archive for November, 2014

Billion Dollar Horror

Posted in Classic Horror, Science Fiction, Slashers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Saw

Mind-boggling to think Saw (2004), celebrating its 10th anniversary as being the genesis of the highest-grossing horror franchise in film history ($103 million box office) was, in the beginning, given a small budget ($1.2 million) and shot in less than three weeks.

Since that time, we’ve been lavished with a total of seven Saw films, which have generated nearly $880 million sawbucks worldwide. (Saw VI/2009 made a mere bus change, coming in as the least successful of the batch at $68 million. How embarrassing.)

Saw

One of the coolest aspects of the first Saw movie is Jigsaw, the main character for the first few films, never killed his prey, but rather let them decide their own fate via incredibly ingenious traps that would allow you to live if, but with its pound of flesh toll for a reason that put you there in the first place. You might lose an arm or the ability to reproduce. But hey, you’d still be a player if you survived Jigsaw’s traps. (Man, I’m glad Jigsaw didn’t put me in one of those things; I call 9-1-1 whenever I get a paper cut.)

Saw

So here’s how nearly one billion dollar’s worth of torture horror began all those years ago…

Two men trapped and chained inside an awesomely filthy warehouse restroom with no anti-bacterial wipes or a way out. There’s also two dull blade hacksaws and a dead dude laying on the floor between ’em.

Saw

An eerie tape recorded message explains why they are here and how, if they can successfully “play the game,” can get out.

This is ground zero for one of horror’s most nasty chain of events, and a highly-successful franchise that situates deserving people in brilliantly designed death traps that, if not played by the rules, ends up with body parts being gruesomely penalized in a way I can only describe as exquisite.

The hacksaws should’ve gotten screen credits.

Saw

Le Devil Worshippers

Posted in Evil, Foreign Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Sheitan

One moment you’re getting obnoxiously drunk in a nightclub, starting fights and getting a bottle broken over your face, then the next thing you know, your eyes are being scooped out and the sockets sewn shut by a rural France family that worships Sheitan (French for “Satan.”) I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me.

Sheitan

In Sheitan (2006), three severely obnoxious guys and a chick are invited to a house way the HELL out in France’s countryside by a severely gorgeous gal. Her handyman dad  is uncomfortably friendly and his Defcon 4 pregnant wife, who is so ugly even makeup won’t stick to her face, is getting ready to burp something out at the stroke of midnight.

Sheitan

During their stay, bits and pieces of obnoxious guy’s clothes, hair and skin are used to fashion a voodoo doll of sorts. All that’s needed are a couple of eyeballs. Skin-crawlingly odd, the ickiest part comes when the mom gives birth on the kitchen floor. Best not to eat before, during or after this scene. Ever.

Sheitan

As for the hot chick, she displays her magnifique blouse bouncers. As for the obnoxious guys, one gets his face beaten into crème brulée by the handyman, who, racing against the clock, dispenses with the niceties and frantically pursues the lucky one chosen to donate his peepers for the cause. The hills have eyes. The handyman’s devil kid has eyes. The obnoxious guy does not. Sucks to be him.

Sheitan

You will oui oui your pants when you see the handyman making out with his wife who looks like a dude with a wig. Creepy, weird, pee shiver inducing. Not sure if any of that is a good thing.

Gnome Alone

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Gnome Alone

Wikipedia™, the all-seeing/all-knowing bible of the internet, describes gnomes as “diminutive spirits in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th Century and are typically said to be small, humanoid creatures that live underground.”

Describes a gal I once dated.

Gnomes have shown up in horror movies for years. But now those little rat people are getting another PR push with Gnome Alone, arriving January 20, 2014 on DVD and VOD. If you can get by the painful title, here’s what to expect: “When a timid college student witnesses a hit-and-run, the dying victim gives her a strange amulet. Suddenly, all those who have offended Zoe in her life begin dying horrible deaths at the hands of a malicious gnome. When Zoe discovers the horrible history behind the amulet, will she be able to harness its magical power before the gnome begins killing those closest to her?”

I bet the gnome kills people closest to Zoe.

For anyone who is interested in this sort of topic outside of TV commercials, notable humanoid creature movies include Gnomes (1980), A Gnome Named Gnorm (1990), Blood Gnome (2004) and Killer Gnome (2008). Not 100% sure on the last one’s release date, but I do remember seeing it and thinking, “What a stupid movie – no one in their right mind should be watching this.”

The Gnome-Mobile

But when it comes to movies about gnomes, one should look no further than 1967’s The Gnome-Mobile, made by horror king Walt Disney. In that one, an eccentric millionaire and his grandchildren are embroiled in the plights of some forest gnomes who are searching for the rest of their tribe.

I wrote about this one on August 14, 2012 [click here]. While The Gnome-Mobile has impressive special effects and a G-rated storyline, those hoping to see a gnome eaten by a raccoon or get run over by a lawnmower will walk away sadly disappointed. But hey, catchy theme song, so not a total loss.

Frankenstein vs. The Mummy

Posted in Asian Sci-Fi, Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Godzilla, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Werewolves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Frankenstein vs. The Mummy

Frankenstein vs. The Mummy. I think they mean Frankenstein’s Monster vs. The Mummy. Frankenstein was a scientist who beat up people with his brain. Frankenstein’s Monster threw little non-bouyant girls into lakes. Nevertheless, a nice mash-up between two reanimated dead flesh bags to be enjoyed by all.

Arriving February 10, 2015, Frankenstein vs. The Mummy has a plot that sounds like a WWE pay-per-view: “Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Egyptologist Naihla Khalil are both professors at a leading medical university. Victor’s latest grisly “experiment” is the re-animated corpse of a sadistic madman, and Naihla’s most recent find is the cursed mummy of an evil pharaoh.”

“When the two monsters face-off in an epic showdown, no one is safe from the slaughter. Can the murderous rampage be stopped and the carnage contained before it’s too late?”

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man / Dracula vs. Frankenstein

Lest ye forget, Frankenstein’s science experiment has battled many a monster throughout history, starting with Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman in 1943, ripping arms off in Dracula vs. Frankenstein in 1971 and kicking fur in a wrestling re-match in 2011’s brilliantly campy Monster Brawl, in which Mr. Stein takes on a werewolf in the squared circle.

Monster Brawl

But for sheer brass knuckle-headedness, you might check out 1965’s Frankenstein Conquers the World, with a 50-foot Frankenstein’s Monster going hammerlock to hammerlock with Baragon, one of Godzilla’s punching bags.

Frankenstein Conquers The World

So who won in each of these battles? We, the viewers.

Late Werewolf

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Werewolves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Late Phases

Late Phases (2014) is a new werewolf movie that had its premier on March 9, 2014 at SXSW. I was not there; The invite must’ve gotten lost in the mail. But has this movie seen the light of day since? Not that I’m aware of. And I check these things more than I check the mail.

Anyhow, Late Phases goes a little something like this…

“Ambrose (Nick Damici) is a blind Vietnam War veteran that moves into a retirement community with his seeing eye dog upon the prompting of his son Will (Ethan Embry). He’s shocked when he narrowly survives an attack by what he believes to be a werewolf.”

Late Phases

“The community has been the focus of several brutal dog attacks that have killed several residents, but Ambrose now believes that it is werewolves and not dogs that have been doing the slaughtering. Now Ambrose is preparing himself for the next full moon, when he will make his strike against his lupine would-be aggressors.”

Late Phases

Would-be aggressors. Never heard a werewolf summed up like that. Aren’t all werewolves aggressive by design? I seriously doubt that the werewolf is gonna be all neighborly and help the vision-impaired Ambrose across the street. Not without chewing on the bone in his neck first.

Still, Late Phases sounds interesting. I just wish someone would send me a card or letter telling me when it’s gonna come out.

Nazi Dinosaurs

Posted in Aliens, Fantasy, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, UFOs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Iron Sky: The Coming Race

Did you see Iron Sky, the 2012 independently made Nazi UFO movie? Of course you did, how silly of me. The production values were some of the best ever seen for an indie funded movie. And while the storyline of a Nazi stronghold on the moon plotting a comeback tour after being served by our troops back in 1945 was a deliciously nice take, the main characters were a disappointing and annoying distraction. With the hopeful release of Iron Sky: The Coming Race, the filmmakers have a chance to fine-tune their game.

I say hopeful as the movie is being crowd-funded on IndieGoGo™ [click here]. As of this writing they have only rounded up $91,000 of their intended $500,000 goal and 40 days left to make dinosaurs happen. Being a patron of the arts, I pledged a generous $18.00 to the cause.

Iron Sky: The Coming Race

And what a cause it is: the extremely well-produced trailer exhibits the uncommonly high-production values first depicted in Iron Sky and shows a woman, who is in reality a shapeshifting reptilian in the Antarctic (or someplace frozen and snowy) taking an elevator down to the center of the Earth, which is hollow like a malt ball and a paradise of sorts. It’s there she greets Hitler riding a T-rex dinosaur. I might have to go back and pledge another $18.00 as this looks cooler than the snow up top.

Iron Sky: The Coming Race

Here’s the plot: “Twenty years after the events of Iron Sky, the former Nazi Moonbase has become the last refuge of mankind. Earth was devastated by a nuclear war, but buried deep under the wasteland lies a power that could save the last of humanity – or destroy it once and for all.”

“The truth behind the creation of mankind will be revealed when an old enemy leads our heroes on an adventure into the Hollow Earth. To save humanity they must fight the Vril, an ancient shapeshifting reptilian race and their army of dinosaurs.”

Iron Sky

I declare all of that to be awesome. And in case you want to get up to speed on Iron Sky, the movie is on Netflix™ and I blogged all over myself about it twice here, once in July of 2010 [click here] and again on February 10, 2012 [click here].

P.S. No I am not cheap. $18.00 is all I could afford after spending $1,200.00 on new hair product. Hey, a sci-fi fan fan has to look his best.

P.P.S. The ad poster for Iron Sky: The Coming Race liberally borrows its look from 2005’s War of the Worlds remake. Don’t let that keep you from giving generously in their time of need.

War of the Worlds

Bigfootage

Posted in Bigfoot, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Hunting The Legend

Hunting The Legend – YET ANOTHER “found footage” horror movie. Hunting The Legend – YET ANOTHER “found footage” horror movie about Bigfoot. Both are so 1999. And yet anyone with a hand-held camera thinks doing movies like this makes them a filmmaker. If that’s the case, then I should be up for an Academy Award™ for my movie, Doing Stuff in the Neighbor’s Pool While They’re Gone (2013). Now there’s some found footage.

While Neighbor’s Pool was full of drama and twist-y plot turns (the garbage can submarine was pure genius), there’s nothing in the trailer for Hunting The Legend that doesn’t scream Blair Witch Project (1999) rip-off.

Hunting The Legend

Case in point: “When Chris Copeland was a young boy, his father was abducted by the legendary Bigfoot when the two went on a hunting trip. Authorities gave up on the case, stating it was all caused by a wild boar. It’s now five years later and Chris has recruited the help of two friends and a hired film crew to take matters into their own hands and capture the truth of the mystery monster.”

And just to drive home my bitchy point, the broken-but-still-running video camera on Hunting The Legend’s movie poster rips-off Diary of the Dead (2007) and Area 407 (2012), two other found footage horror movies.

Diary of the Dead / Area 407

Found footage “filmmakers” should just leave the camera to me and an unattended swimming pool.