Archive for April, 2016

Vlogging the Dead

Posted in Classic Horror, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Diary of the Dead

George Romero, the guy who all but invented zombies (sorry, voodoo witch doctors — you’ve been served), returned with Diary of the Dead (2007), YET ANOTHER entrée to his living dead menu. During an opening sequence that’s both confusing and shockless, we see the dead returning to life, which is what they’re paid to do. This is documented by hand-held cameras, a YouTube™ technique worn as thin as my patience for zombie movies.

Diary of the Dead

A group of college students and an alcoholic, over-enunciating teacher are making a horror movie when they learn the dead are eating the living. They jump into a handy RV and set out to find their families — conveniently located one million miles away. This sets up paint-by-numbers zombie encounters, none of which are particularly graphic, juicily lurid, or inspired. (A deaf Amish farmer fighting off the walking dead? Gimme a break.)

Diary of the Dead

Recording the “action” with a camera that has more battery power than my car, the emotionally-detached student never flinches when he films several of his zombie-bitten friends coming back to life and having his other friends shoot them in the face. In fact, he keeps everything all in frame. And focused. And well-lit.

Diary of the Dead

Predictably, the camera guy gets bitten, so the chick who’s been bitching at him the entire movie to turn the camera off, films him dying then coming back to life. Yep, that’s what we in the industry call situational irony.

Diary of the Dead

The gore is both dumb (handy sword to the head, splitting it like soft coconut) and phoned-in (been there, bit that). The zombies, as dull as they are, have more life in them than the characters. This one should’ve been titled, Diary of the Dud.

Sharkenstein

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Sharkenstein

Sharkenstein. I don’t know why I’m rolling my eyes; this was of course bound to happen. Then again, when the film-making community regurgitates stuff like Sharkula (2015), Sharktopus (2010) and Shark Exorcist (2016), any chances for the great white shark to be nothing more than a pounded-into-the-ocean-floor punchline went out with the tide.

So here’s what someone had swimming around in their head…

“In the final days of World War II, a secret experiment to weaponize sharks is shut down and destroyed by the Third Reich. But now, 60 years later, a small ocean town is plagued by a bloodthirsty, mysterious creature, one built and reanimated using parts of the greatest killers to ever inhabit the sea – the Sharkenstein monster!”

Yeah, I’ll watch it when it comes out in August 2016. It’s part of my sickness.

FYI: Nazis using sharks seems to be the go-to plot these days. Check out Sky Sharks, due 2017…

Sky Sharks

“Deep in the ice of the antarctic, a team of geologists uncover an old Nazi laboratory still intact where dark experiments had occured. In order to conquer the world, the Nazis created modified sharks who were able to fly and whose riders are genetically mutated, undead super-humans. A miltary task force called Dead Flesh Four – reanimated US soldiers who fell in Vietnam – is put together to prevent world downfall.”

Sky Sharks

Monsters = Monster Money

Posted in Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Loch Ness Monster

My secretary (me) came across an AFP article posted 4/13/16 (today if you’re reading this today) that a marine robot deployed in the Scotland’s Loch Ness has found the remains of a monster, but that it turned out to be a prop from a movie shot in 1970.

Loch Ness Monster

This DOES NOT mean the Loch Ness Monster isn’t still patrolling the Loch for tourist dollars. (VisitScotland.com estimates the revenue generated by tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of “Nessie” at £60 million ($76 million euros/ $85 million fins a year. Ask members of Scotland’s Chamber of Commerce if they believe Nessie is real, and they’ll show you their bank balance.)

Loch Ness Monster

The marine robot belongs to the Norwegian offshore oil company Kongsberg Maritime, who is mapping the depths of the Loch (775 feet deep – big enough for a hundred Loch Ness Monsters) in a project named “Operation Groundtruth.” Good branding – they should be able to prove Nessie’s existance with a name like that.

Loch Ness Monster

“Although it is the shape of Nessie, it is not the remains of the monster that has mystified the world for 80 years,” Scottish tourism agency VisitScotland, which is backing the project. “The blurry object with a long neck was a 30-foot long model of the monster made for the film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, directed by Billy Wilder. It is thought the model sank after its humps were removed (the buoyancy was in the humps) never to be seen again. The monster was actually a submarine in the film.”

Loch Ness Monster

That’s pretty dang cool. But Nessie – the REAL one – is cooler. If only the marine robot could get a pic of Nessie together with its movie stunt stand-in.

Bored With The Horde

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Horde

News of zombie horror flick The Horde, releasing on DVD/VOD on May 6, 2016, is one of those “you’ve got to be kidding me” moments. First the plot, then a supportive argument, though you won’t need it…

“John Crenshaw has given up his life as leader of his Navy SEAL team to settle down and marry his girlfriend Selina. He accompanies Selina and her students on a weekend nature-photography expedition deep into the Oregon woods. What starts out as an educational and fun-filled weekend turns into horror as the group is besieged by an unspeakable evil – a horde of hideously disfigured, mutated humans with an insatiable taste for blood.”

Educational and fun-filled weekend? I’ve never heard a honeymoon quite described like that.

La Horde

Okay, let’s lift the hood and see where the problem is. First, there is already a French zombie movie called La Horde (2010), a superior one at that. (There’s also a 2012 Russian fictionalized narrative called The Horde of how Saint Alexius healed Taidula Khatun, the mother of the Golden Horde Khan Jani Beg from blindness. Of course I knew that.)

Secondly, using a Navy SEAL to battle zombies was just done in 2015: Navy SEALS vs. Zombies. (The SEALS kick ass, but to employ them here is an insult.)

Navy SEALS vs Zombies

Thirdly, the rest of the plot reads like an episode of The Walking Dead: “The horde savagely attacks the camp. John fights off some and is left for dead as the creatures, led by the sadistic Atkinson, take Selina and the group back to their camp. Battered and enraged Crenshaw must once again embrace the life he left behind to track down and kill the horde. With unrelenting danger around every corner he must deal with the savage mutants and human deceit.”

Lastly, the kicker line: “Fight Back or Die.” Seriously? Did someone get paid to come up with that? I so, I hope the check bounced.

Does anyone have a shred of zombie originality anymore? This is an argument aimed at 99% of all the undead crap clogging up humanity’s plumbing. (I’m looking in your direction, Fear of the Walking Dead.)

Message to filmmakers – send me $715.00 in small unmarked bills and I’ll hook you up with a sweet and original zombie movie idea that doesn’t fall back on a lazy title, Navy SEALS or photocopied plots.

Mud Blood

Posted in Asian Horror, Foreign Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Entrails of a Virgin

In the titled-to-the-point Entrails of a Virgin (1986), a couple of Japanese models — one slutty, one new to the ways of sluttiness — go to an abandoned cabin in the woods with some horny photographers whose probable intentions are to take pictures of happy trees and/or the hilarious antics of raccoons.

Entrails of a Virgin

It doesn’t take long before the slut gives it up smooth. The other photographer, though, is having trouble getting the unpoked gal to put it on the glass. He keeps promising her fame and wealth and eventually forages her dense forest. While IN THE PROCESS, he’s snapping enough photos for 10 issues of Ex-Virgin Illustrated. All this commotion wakes up a nearby mud monster who wants to get his freak on.

Entrails of a Virgin

The slut, upon encountering the filthy creature, sees he’s sportin’ a monster package. Intrigued of the possibilities, she instantly initiates a sexual encounter, which is the last horizontal date she’ll ever have, getting split in two by the swingin’ sirloin. She dies with a smile on her face. (Size queens are so easy to please. So I’ve been told.)

Entrails of a Virgin

Not quite fulfilled, mud monster goes after everyone else, ripping off heads with faces attached like they were training bras. Piles of gore, blood gushing all over the floors and walls, nude naked parts, and enough sex to wake up your mud monster.

P.S. If mud is up your alley, then you’ll no doubt want to seek out Entrails of a Beautiful Woman (1986) to further your freak.

Entrails of a Beautiful Woman

 

Outer Space Odd Couple

Posted in Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Enemy Mine

Space pilot Willis Davidge and his enemy – a frog-faced Drac fighter pilot – both crash on the ninth dirtball from the sun after a zinging laser battle. This sets up the movie’s scenario as they both have to work together to survive the hostile planet – rain comes in the form of flaming meteors, bed bugs are the size of Space Chevy hubcaps, and there’s no 7-Elevens™ as far as their future binoculars can see.

Enemy Mine

Slowly, they learn each other’s native tongue and soon they’re talking, arguing and fighting as if two mismatched New York roommates. And they’re forced to eat large Trilobite bugs instead of hamburgers. One day the unwashed Davidge goes in search of anything else edible on the barren planet and happens across garbage left by outlaw miners who use Dracs as slave labor to dig up e-commerce rocks.

Enemy Mine

When Davidge goes back to tell his unlikely buddy, he finds out the Drac is pregnant. Seems Dracs are both male and female and reproduce spontaneously. (I can only imagine the arguments that go on inside its head.) The Drac, who is also dying, makes Davidge promise to recite his kid’s lineage in front of the Draconian High Council — and he has to do it in the Drac native tongue and it has to include all 170 family members’ names. The only thing less painful would be if a Trilobite ate Davidge’s head off.

Enemy Mine

When Zammis (way dumb space name) is born, he looks like a slug. To complicate matters, the outlaw miners come back several years later when Zammis is but a mere tadpole. Guess who captures the little lily pad jumper?

Enemy Mine

Odd, occasionally cheesy, and mildly entertaining, Enemy Mine (1985) does have a few cool moments. Drac looks appropritely neat as a reptilian creature, and when he talks it sounds like he’s gargling chocolate Trilobite milk. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go recite (throw up) my lineage (last night’s beer binge) before the High Council (porcelain throne).

Eat Your Neighbors

Posted in Classic Horror, Misc. Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Ed Gein

’Ol Eddy Gein – simple Plainfield, Wisconsin farm boy, eater of pork ’n beans, collector of women’s naughty parts – was the Norman Bates of his day. And like Norm, Ed was ruled by the oppressive memory of his dead, Revelations-spouting mommy, which caused him to go out and cleanse the world of harlots, hookers, and assorted skanks.

Ed Gein

Ed Gein (2000) is based on the true adventures of Ed and his grave-robbing/serial killing spree of the ’50s, and gave Leatherface a bankable career. That said, this lurid and grim flick sticks to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter. Or dead skin covered in peanut butter.

Ed Gein

When he’s not killing and dissecting women to make his own skin suit (which he dances around in during full moons), he seems likable enough, baby-sitting neighborhood kids, hanging out at the corner bar, buying anti-freeze and rat poison at the town’s hardware store. But let mamma get in his brain, and schiz hits the fan.

Ed Gein

Not particularly gory (although there are icky body parts and human faces made into masks), the true eeriness is actual 1950s newsreel footage of the real Ed Gein’s arrest on his farm after the killings. Steve Railsback plays the title character just a little too good; just don’t go over to his farm to congratulate him.

Ed Gein

P.S. Try your very bestest not to confuse this Ed Gein with Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield, released in 2007. It’d be easy to, though, given that it’s the exact same movie and titled so close as to be a sequel.

Vampire Vitamins

Posted in Evil, Foreign Horror, Science Fiction, Vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Frostbitten

Back in the good ’ol days of 1944, Waffen SS – a German military squad – under superior fire power from Allied Forces, retreat into the winter-frozen woods (cowards), and end up in a cabin that, even though empty, had a boiling pot on the fire. Instantly, everyone starts looking for three bears.

Frostbitten

Not finding any, they warm their cowardly bones and take turns snoring. Then someone addresses the mystery: The snow outside was packed against the door, which they had to yank to get open. So where are the tenants?

Frostbitten

Perfect timing — something comes out of the darkness and eats one guy’s head in half. More are attacked, with one falling into the basement, where they find more mutilated bodies and a small coffin, the contents of which are trying to get out. The soldiers bury it, go “Whew!,” and jump 60 years into the future.

Frostbitten

A medical mom and her 17 year-old daughter are moving to Norrbotten, a small Lapland town, to put that nasty divorce behind ’em. Two things: I didn’t hear her husband’s side of the story (maybe she was a power nag and he couldn’t take it anymore), and there’s something sucking the neck nectar out of the town’s pets and late-night walking residents.

Frostbitten

So how does the first part and this part hook up? It’s kind of a stretch, but plausible when you find out one of the soldiers, who is now a prominent research doctor, was bitten by the vampire that attacked his troops, and he himself is One Of Them. Initially, he tried to find a cure. Only thing that can cure vampirism is a nice stake dinner. Then he gets the idea to enhance his vampiric powers, and develops a red pill (made so with food coloring) to kick it into overdrive. Think of it as a vampire vitamin.

Frostbitten

Once some partying med students get their hands on the drug, all heck breaks loose. Why? Because the pill turns standard-issue humans into vampires. Imagine the look on their faces after drinking party punch with a bunch of vampire pills dumped into the festive beverage. Some good moments, like when the doctor reveals his innermost suck. (He looks all brown and leathery, like an old baseball mitt and/or the bat-human in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.)

Frostbitten

One guy, who took the pill because he thought it would get him high, can now hear animals talk to him. A dog laughs and tells him he’s gonna burn. Funny stuff. Then there’s the live rabbit-eating scene. Then the party gets out of control, with vampiric teens climbing the walls — literally. The gore is as tasty as fresh rabbit stew, and the sub-plot, while not really taking off, is enough to hold things together until they can be torn apart.

Frostbitten

If you’re thinking this all sounds familiar, refer to 30 Days of Night (2007), where vampires take over a small Alaskan oil town where the sun won’t be coming for a month. Same seasonal phenomenon in Frostbitten (aka, Frostbite, Frostbiten/2006). Not bad, though, for a film with sub-titles and baseball mitt textured vampires.

Hitler, Hamburgers and UFOs

Posted in Aliens, Ghosts, Science Fiction, UFOs, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Dreamland

Stopping off at the Lil’ Ale’inn — a roadside diner way out in the Nevada desert that sells hamburgers, fries (ketchup’s free) and flying saucer memorabilia, Megan, a mood-swing prone skank and Dylan, her boyfriend who occasionally passes out (probably to escape her nagging), hear tales of government cover-ups regarding UFOs at the neighboring Area 51. (Note: the diner operator is right — there is such a thing as the “government.”)

Little Ale'inn

Heading out into the night, Dylan turns on the radio and hears Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games motivational speech. Not much fun to sing along to. Suddenly, the car ceases all operations. Dylan passes out while Megan goes screaming into the desert. Incredibly clever as there’s no one around for miles except…Hitler. He shows up — in full military dress — and says, “I know who you are.”

Dreamland

An army guy with his leg cut off says something phonetically similar. A little ghost girl with zombie eyes says exactly the same thing to Megan, who then screams like she’s passing a half-cooked diner burger. Dylan, whose been transported away by strange lights, returns with glowing eyes, talks her back into the now-functional car.

Dreamland

Something’s not right — Dylan is driving the car without using keys. They pull over and he says that nothing is real and that he knows who she is. Running out into the black desert yet again (at first if you don’t succeed), Megan happens across a small cabin with hundreds of UFO photos on the walls. A strange and sad man walks in. Must be his place. Getting outside, Megan is flanked by the diner dude and Dylan. (I think Hitler was off peeing behind some cactus.)

Dreamland

As limp as this is, you should’ve already figured out the “mystery.” What you can’t decipher is all the abstract clues and how it all pertains. (Hitler? Gimme a break – that exact same plot device was used 10 years earlier in Contact/1997). And in case you were hoping for UFOs in Dreamland (2007), there aren’t any. I feel as though my movie rental dollars were abducted.

Art Bell

P.S. Dreamland, is of course, a nod to UFO/conspiracy/paranormal/etc. late night radio host Art Bell and his Coast to Coast AM talk show Dreamland, a roadside diner forum for UFO/conspiracy/paranormal/etc. space case (and me) call-ins.

Sasquatch Charged With Assault

Posted in Bigfoot, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Scream Queens with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Assault of the Sasquatch

In Assault of the Sasquatch (2009), poachers with questionable hygiene and chew tobacco stained teeth snare the iconic fuzzball in one of their illegal traps meant for gummi bears and chocolate raccoons.

Assault of the Sasquatch

Getting Sas inside a carrier truck and prepped to sell to a big game hunter, the head poacher is caught red-footed and hauled off to jail and the truck driven back to the small town, where Sasquatch pounds his way out and sticks around for some payback.

Assault of the SasquatchThe police station, holding a violent criminal that ties back into the game warden’s past, becomes a refuge while Sasquatch circles and attacks over and over. (He was probably in the military before becoming a woodland tourist attraction.)

Assault of the Sasquatch

If that wasn’t enough to set the eyeballs a’rollin’, a former druggie chick/stripper, now working as an office assistant for the cop that got her off the streets, does some kung-fu street boxing with the harried beast, and actually gets in a few solid punches. Then again, this Sasquatch, with dreads and a human tooth necklace (at least that what it looked like to me), didn’t look too tough.

Assault of the Sasquatch

I never thought I’d say this about a Bigfoot movie, but the sub-plot with the cop and the violent criminal was more interesting than the monster. I need to get my priorities straightened out.