Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Night Screening: A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984

A Nightmare on Elm Street
Edward scissor hands on acid

A yes, Wes Craven and his strange fixation to deconstruct the ‘Slasher’ genre. His most notorious achievement in that field that would later become his opus moderandi  would be no other than 1996’s Scream, but did you know that A Nightmare on Elm Street was originally meant to be an anti-slasher? Believe it or not, one of the most famous face in slasher history was meant to end the entire genre, but it all backfired and Freddy Krueger’s nightmare became what pretty much saved the knife wielding drunken teenagers slumber party killing world.
I got the whole collection some time ago and thought, well, why not review the entire saga?

It also comes to mind that I should do a review on Friday the 13’th, seeing as it ties in the 8th movie and friday the 13th is a few weeks away, but I'm not sure I can be bothered. You want a short review of that movie? Here it is, it’s hella boring and disappointing for the reason Scream spoils in the first five minutes of its movie, and don’t give me that crap “But you saw him at the end of the movie on that boat” well tippy doe and call me Dorothy, cuz I’m tipping down the yellow brick road and beating the wicked witch of the east to death with her broom. When we want to see a zombie behemoth man-child murdering a bunch of helpless horny teenagers, the movie shouldn’t blueball us like that only to show us that it was a guy at the other end of the glory hole. At least the sequels had all kind of awesome adventures, like going to the hood or into the bloody spacefuture. So yeah, i'm not a fan of the first one even though the sequels can be entertaing, I might ask Mel to review it so it fits and I can go on without an hitch, or I'll review it myself as well as I can. (Also, I REALLY want to review Freddy vs Jason vs Ash)
We'll see.
But what was I speaking of before I got lost in camp crystal lake? Ah yes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, the original nightmare.

Nancy and her friends all seen to be plagued by the same nightmare, a man in a green and red coat and a brown hat with knives at his fingertips trying to turn them into shish kebab. But as they try to have a sleepover in hope that the nightmare will stop, things go awfully wrong as the nightmare becomes reality. Their parents and the whole town seems to know more that they are letting on, and as the kids begin to drop like flies, it’s up to Nancy to find a way to fight this monster, because you know, it’s not like it’s the cops job or anything, who are as useful in this movie as water at a Russian party.

This movie is amazing, for one, Robert Englund kills it as Freddy Krueger. It’s definitely one of his trademark roles and one fans loved for years. The rest of the actors do a solid job for the most part and it’s always hilarious to see a pre-famous Johnny Depp.
The imagery and the effects are some of the best for the time, the fact that a great chunk of the movie happens in dreams gives the art department a whole lot to play with, and play they did. The sets, especially the well-known ‘boiler room’, which is a the realm that Freddy creates as his own personal hunting ground, looks amazing, although there is still work for improvements here and there. And the effects are some of the craziest and mind-blowing imagery that wasn’t meant to be marveled by human perception at that time. Some of them even creep me out, after 31 years most of it still holds up perfectly.
If a had one gripe with the movie, it would probably be Freddy himself, or better said, what his reputation made him out to be.
Freddy, Chucky and Ash are probably my favorite horror icons, simply because they are quick to the gun and have a whole lot of humor in what they do. I’m not really a fan of the quite, slow walking murder machines, like Jason or Myers. I prefer my crazy psychopath’s with some bite. And even though I hate to admit it, the Freddy of the original nightmare on Elm street didn’t have much personality. But then again, they didn’t really know what they were going to do with him and probably never expected to be such a success. So in the end it’s not really a flaw but rather a character that hasn’t yet been developed.
And although the movie can be a bit slow at times, it always surprises you with a dream sequence you didn’t even know you were in.

Overall great movie, amazing effects, solid acting, especially on Englund’s side. Definitely worth a watch, or multiple even. See you in part 2, Freddy’s revenge.

Things I’ve learned from A Nightmare On Elm Street:
- All it takes to turn a upper privilege white girl into John Rambo is a lunatic who disrupts her beauty sleep.
- Johnny Depp’s body contains enough blood to fill the red sea, no wonder the rum was always gone.
- Also, his jar of dirt didn’t save him this time either.
- The fact that Freddy Krueger is a well-known child murderer and possibly molester, doesn’t stop the internet of writing romantic fanfic about him. If you don’t mind, I’m gonna scrub the filth of my eyes with sandpaper.

Personal rating: 8/10

Critical rating: 9/10

Freddy Krueger

Kill-count so far:
4 kills

Best kill so far

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

DOUBLE REVIEW: Dead Snow (2009) / Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014)

Dead Snow
Originally written on: 22 July 2013 on personal blog

IMDB rate: 6,4
Genre: Comedic, Zombie
Starring: Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Hendriksen, Charlotte Frogner

I really enjoyed watching this movie. I've seen it once before and I must admit that I thought it was a weird movie. It is a weird movie, but an excellent one.
I think it look a lot of courage to make a movie about nazi zombies. It's brilliant.

Several friends take off to the mountains and shack-up in the wilderness of back-of-beyond to enjoy a little R & R together, their peace is soon interrupted by a mysterious old man, warning them of a local curse that during the German occupation of the local area that these Nazi invaders were brutal and harsh in their methods of control. Telling of the legend of the villager's revolt that drove them up into the cold, dark mountains where they perished, that is until rumour of their return in the form of zombies, evil Nazi zombies.

The first 40 minutes of the movie are kinda slow. Nothing really happens and you never get a look of these intruders. And when you finally get to see them it almost feels like a serious zombie movie. Luckily it switched very quickly to a comedic zombie movie that feels a lot like Shaun of the Dead.

The movie feels a lot like an old zombie movie, something like Night of the Living Dead. The zombies are not infectious I believe, also they are rising dead zombies, instead of virus zombies. A nice throwback to the past!
My favorite part is when a filmfreak character mentions to not get bitten by one of the zombies, and when one of them gets actually bitten in their arm he chops of his arm to prevent infection (if that's indeed infected at all). Right after he cuts of his arm he gets bitten in his balls... well, this was hilarious as you can imagine, especially his look on his face.
The acting is good, I don't know any of the actors but I liked them.

The zombies look very scary but are also a bit funny. They are slow and very patient. Violent as hell and they look a lot like angry dogs.

The images are very beautiful, the blood mixed up with the snow gives a very nice look. The music is very cool. And the humor is brilliant.
I absolutely recommend watching this movie. It's very funny and scary at the same time. For those who enjoyed Shaun of the Dead might enjoy this one too.

My personal rate: 8/10


Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Originally written on 26 January 2015 on personal blog

IMDB rate: 7,1
Genre: Zombie, Comedic
Starring: Martin Starr, Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Hendriksen

You wouldn't know how much I'm bummed out that I only watched this movie in 2015, because otherwise this movie would've been on number 1 for my top 5 horror movies of 2014 for sure. What an absolutely brilliant movie. I already was a big fan of the first Dead Snow, but this one is even more awesome compared to that. The nazi zombies were already a brutal way to approach the zombie genre, but in Red vs. Dead this approach is going a few steps further by brutally murdering children, elders and the disabled. I can already tell you that if you're easily offended this movie is absolutely not right for you.

Here is what Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead about:
If the worst day of your life consisted of accidentally killing your girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawing your own arm off, and watching in horror as your closest friends were devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion, you'd have to assume that things couldn't get much worse. In Martin's case, that was only the beginning.

Dead Snow was already an amazing movie, funny, brutal and a true gore-fest. Surprisingly enough the sequel happens to be even better compared to Dead Snow. It's very different compared to the previous movie, not only in setting but it's also funnier, even more brutal and it's filled with even better gore. Right after Martin's arm is being reattached (Idle Hands meets Dead Snow) you'll laugh your socks off with a certain reanimating scene. At that moment I knew how awesome this movie was going to be.

I thought it was pretty cool that they did some sort of America-European crossover, mainly because I think it might prevent Hollywood from remaking Dead Snow. I like Martin Starr, he is in some of my favorite comedies and not to forget the great show Freaks and Geeks. I thought the Star Wars fan was a bit lame, but well, it fits the movie I suppose. Vegar Hoel returns as Martin and while he was a bit of a pansy in Dead Snow, he became pretty badass in Red vs. Dead. Definitely a great performance by Vegar Hoel. Another familiar face is Stig Frode Hendriksen (who also happens to be one of the writers, besides Vegar Hoel), who returns in a different role since his previous character was pretty much... well, butchered off.

I must admit that the entire movie I felt incredibly sorry for the zombie-sidekick. Even though he had some pretty nasty moments, he was pretty much fucked the entire movie. It was a nice touch to the movie though. Not so nice-looking was the zombie sex - gross!

As with Dead Snow, the make-up was great looking in this part. Perhaps even better looking too, it was quite noticeable that the budget was a bit higher compared to Dead Snow. Nazi-zombies were never better looking than this. Some great camera-work and nice special effects as well.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is not only an excellent sequel, it's just an amazingly brilliant movie overall. It contains great acting, some good jokes and some great gore. Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead is even more over-the-top than the first one, and I LOVED it. Definitely not a movie everyone will enjoy, but for those who love movies such as Shaun of the Dead, Cockneys vs. Zombies and Evil Dead will most definitely like this one.

My personal rate: 8/10

Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday Night Screening: Re-Animator 1985

Lovecraftian shenanigans and other kinds of fun.

If you’re searching for good B-horror movie, the name ‘Re-Animator’ is certain to pop up, sure it ain’t as popular as ‘Evil Dead’ and not as gory as ‘Braindead/Dead-Alive’, but it respectably stands proud on the top as a B movie you shouldn’t miss.
Directed in 1985, Re-Animator is an adaptation of from the novel of the same name by H.P Lovecraft.
For those who don’t know, I’m a huge Lovecraft fan (just between us, I welcome our fishy overlords). The mythology, the dark symbolism, the perfect and rich writing, what’s not to love?
Just for those who don’t know, here’s a quick recap:
H.P Lovecraft was a writer in the early 1900 who made a mediocre  living by writing scary stories for a newspaper. Unfortunately, like most geniuses, he wasn’t recognized for his talent until after his death. He was often called the Edgar Allan Poe of his time, his stories were often based on ancient deities that once ruled the earth that sometime came back to take their old kingdom which often ends in madness and chaos, with more than often it’s fair share of undead monstrosities and other nightmare fuel for weeks.
But is this movie faithful to the tale of Herbert West, the man who cheated death? Well, let’s take a look at the plot.

Herbert West, a talented and maybe a little eccentric neurologist scientist is just transferred to the University of Arkham (for all you Batman fans out there, that’s where the name came from) from Zurich, under questionable circumstances. He unfortunately drives his roommate Dan with him in his crazy theories that involves the resurrection of dead tissue. Dan, not being a complete idiot right off the bat decides to tell West to go to hell, but after some blackmail and an unfortunate instance involving a zombie Mr Whiskers, Dan finds himself helping West acquiring cadavers for his experiments.
West succeed to cheat death and with ideas of grandeur decides to test his serum further and in even more immoral ways, unfortunately, his plans are thwarted as a teacher catches wind of his little rehearsal of the Night Of The Living Dead and decides to put his plans to be a creepy horny old stalker toward Dan’s girlfriend on hold to stroll in the scene to steal the credit. This should be quickly solved seen as that West can create an army of hungry undead to eat the teacher’s wrinkly old behind, but things get complicated when the teacher turns out to have hypnotic powers…wait what now?

Ok, that’s where the movie kinda lost me, hypnotism? I guess it makes the idea sort of interesting, but I personally prefer the route the book took by making West face his own creations and letting his ambitions be his undoing, instead of a pissed off perv with magic powers.
But first, before comparing it to the novel, how does this movie hold on its own? Well, it’s good, great even. The practical effects have that good old 80s campy feel and the characters and their motives are well portrayed, the only problem I have with it it’s that it’s pretty slow, the first half is purely to show how much of a psycho West is and how he manipulates people, and only near the end do the zombies really kick in the door at the plot’s house to ask for their screentime, which is a shame really, but well, that’s to be expected from a movie that was adapted from a novel.
The dialogue isn’t anything special, it’s not bad but it’s probably noting you’ll remember, exept for West screaming “Overdose!” while finishing off a zombie Mortal Kombat style.
But how does this movie hold up in comparison with the novel? Mhe
I guess it follows the overall story okay, a few changes here and there, mainly due to the fact that it was set in the eighties instead of the early 1900, so acquiring a corpse was as easy as walking through a door (I’m not kidding, they have like, zero security at the Arkham university’s morgue), instead of unearthing the dead at the local cemetery causing the suspicion of the townsfolk like in the novel.
The consequences are also very light in comparison with the novel, in the movie, the worse that happens in the first act is that the cops are slightly questioning West’s motives while holding one of his zombies captive, slowly leading to the attention of the teacher. While in the book, one of his creature, a dead boxer beaten to death in a match, escapes and goes on a murderous rampage, before disappearing, and West becomes completely paranoid till the end of his days, increasing his madness that slowly got worse after doing the horrible deeds he did in the name of science.
But the biggest difference between the novel and the adaptation has to be none other than Herbert West himself. In the book, he was described as a quiet and charismatic young man highly talented in science, but still with a slight touch of a sinister plot crawling in the back of his head, he only really began to lose his mind after he tried multiple times to resurrect the dead, and by the end, he was but a mere shell of his former self and was a paranoid self-loathing man who welcomed the sweet embrace of death by its own creations.
The Herbert West of the movie? A complete and utter scumbag who parasites off everyone to achieve his goals. He is as mad as a kite at some points and even supposedly killed his roommate’s cat to experiment on it. He blackmails, lies and walks on everyone through the movie without caring for anything other than his experiments.
Do I think it’s a good thing they changed the iconic Re-animator from the book? Surprisingly, I do. I liked the Herbert West from the novel, but this one is definitely more at home in the movie, more dramatical and sometimes straight up scary. You never know how far he is willing to go to accomplish his goals, or you’re afraid of knowing exactly how far he’ll go. The actor pulls off the smug face and the insanity perfectly, along with all his other little mannerisms to really flesh out this character.
My opinion? Good movie, kinda slow but rewarding, give it a watch if you haven’t already, and while you’re at it, definitely check out “Herbert West-reanimator” by Lovecraft, not his best story but still a really good one.

What I’ve learned from "Re-animator":
- Instead of slapping someone in the face with a glove the students of Arkham have found another way to challenge each other, constantly breaking off pencils in front of your rival in comedic fashion until he snaps and question your neurological knowledge.
- Talking without a windpipe? Sure, no problem, hell, you don’t even need lungs according to this movie, but since this was also in the book, I guess I have no right to b*tch about it
- Actually, a whole lot about neurology
- Well, never thought they’d top it, but yup, there is a worse rape scene in this movie than the infamous Evil Dead tree rape, this one has a decapitated head...

Personal rating: 7.5/10

Critical rating: 7/10

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Annabelle (2014)


IMDB rate: 5,5
Genre: Dolls, Ghost
Starring: Annabelle Willis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola

Annabelle is the prequel for highly anticipated The Conjuring. To be honest, I wasn't a big fan of The Conjuring. I thought it was a reasonable movie, but nothing special although everybody seems to love it. I did look forward to Annabelle though, because the doll from The Conjuring was pretty scary looking and a movie about it would be amazing. I am a big fan of Dead Silence, which also happens to be made by the same director as The Conjuring, the amazing James Wan. Even though Annabelle is a prequel of The Conjuring, it's unfortunately not made by James Wan, and I think that's the biggest reason this movie isn't very good.
John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia - a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now... Annabelle..

I was very excited for Annabelle, the doll is scary looking and I honestly think the horror world lacks good scary doll movies. The Conjuring was a reasonable movie, so I had high hopes for Annabelle as well. But like I already mentioned, it was not directed by James Wan who definitely is the master of puppets in my opinion.

Annabelle was in my opinion a pretty weird movie, the movie had some troubles finding a direction and so it seemed like it just went all kinds of directions. There are scary dolls, ghosts, some sort of solid ghost, demons and weird children, it's a bit too much, and it seems like it all leads to nothing. I admit that it does have some nice scares, but for some reason they were not fitting scares for this movie. The dolls in this movie were pretty scary, but unfortunately they were hardly used. In a movie like this, when the camera focuses very long on a lifeless object you just expect that something will happen, the head will move or the doll will blink or something like that. And nothing similar to that every happens, biggest disappointment ever. Sure, it's not the most original stuff that could happen in a doll movie, but it's almost necessary to make the doll really seem scary. The doll floats once, absolutely not scary at all.

The acting was decent I think, Annabelle Willis (hah!) plays new mother Mia and she does a decent job playing the scared housewife. I had more respect though for Eddie Redmayne look-a-like Ward Horton who plays her husband John Gordon, he was pretty awesome I think. The one I appreciated the most in this movie was the baby though, not for her acting skills, but for her incredible adorableness :).

Annabelle is not a very original movie and not the fun prequel of The Conjuring that I was expecting. It's lacking an interesting story and the doll is just not made scary unfortunately. I think it could've been more interesting if made by James Wan which would've been the more logical director compared to John R. Leonetti. It's a very predictable movie, nothing special ever happens. Sure, it's made nice and there are some cool jumpscares but overall it's a very unimaginative movie which resembles Insidious a bit too much unfortunately.

My rate: 5/10

Friday, 16 January 2015

Friday Night Screening: Blood Freak 1972

Blood Freak
The greatest thanksgiving movie ever made

Well, I’ll be damned. I heard about this movie a while ago and the sheer idiocy of the plot seemed right in my alley. But after watching it I’m not entirely sure it’s all that it’s cracked up to be.
Blood freak, released in 1972 by Brad Grinter and starring Steve Hawkes in a role that to this day he still cries about every chance he gets.
But what draw me to this movie in the first place? It might have something to do with the fact that this movie is a mostly Christian anti-drug PSA about a man doing drugs and turning into a giant blood-drinking monster turkey, and don’t worry, it’s only gonna get weirder from here on out.

Herschel, played by Steve “I use to be Tarzan but now I play a junky were-turkey” Hawkes, meets a girl on the highway in need of help with her car. Well, at least I think that’s what’s happening because there is no dialogue and the whole thing is shot from a mile and a half away as if the camera man had a unexplained fear of the actors realizing the sheer stupidity of the script and going into a rage filled rampage (which let’s face it, is pretty understandable). And without the slightest bit of explanation, in the next scene Herschel is in the girl’s house to, and I kid you not, study the bible.
Yeah, subtle isn’t it. Wanna know the kicker? Guess the girl’s name, allow me to ruin the expectation, it’s Angel. This movie is as subtle with it’s religious undertones as John Travolta in Battlefield earth.
Thankfully, Angel’s sister just so happen to throw a pretty tame 70’s drug party to save Herschel from his dreaded fate, which involves blue balls of catastrophically proportion and a whole lot of bible reciting. The sister decides that she just needs that hunk of a man made of complete and utter blandness and acting skills of a lobotomized badger. She goes about this by making him do the most unthinkable thing…making him smoke pot to get him hooked, oh the humanity. I might get back to this but if you’re trying to get someone so dependent that he literally needs you, you might wanna start off with something stronger than the bland salad of the drugs family. But anyway, the sister gets him hooked all while Angel gets him a job at a turkey farm that somehow has an evil laboratory with mad scientists who wants to use him as guinea pig for their evil turkey experiment. Take that, common sense and civic duties!
Anyway, they make Herschel eat a turkey as one of their experiment and he finds himself change into the terrifying turkey-man, well, only his head…I guess the plan was to have a whole suit but at the budget hearing, they might have realized they only had the money for the mask. Anyway, it’s not that violent of a transformation, and seeing as that he keeps all of his common sense and everyone seems to be pretty okayish with his new headgear, you might understand my confusion when Herschel the amazing 1-dollar Halloween costume, starts to randomly murder junkies and dealers in cold blood like the world’s worse rehab trainer enthusiast. The movie tries to explain his antics as a part from his addiction, so when he started to drink blood of his victims I was inclined to scream at the screen the literal million other ways a giant turkey-faced man could get the drugs, but well, then it wouldn’t be Blood-freak, now would it?

So yeah, this movie’s plot is completely off the wall, and since I decided not to spoil the whole flick, believe me when I say it only becomes more absurd as the movie goes on.
But that’s what we’re here for right? Return of the killer tomatoes wouldn’t have been as big a hit if it would have been about aliens, The Room wouldn’t have been the same without Wiseau’s complete non-understanding of the medium. The sillier the better, so why do I feel so let down by this movie?
Well, let’s take a look at it from a purely technical viewpoint. The movie is a mess. A complete and utter underwhelming train-wreck of blandness and cut corners. First I need to explain how the making of this movie went, when in the previous paragraph I made fun of their budget hearing I was only half kidding, when halfway through making this movie, Brad Grinter showed his investors what he had been working on, they packed up and left. I’m serious, it’s that bad, and now left without any money and forced to pay everything from his own pocket, Grinter put this Frankenstein monster of a movie together on a pretty much non-existent budget. And before you ask, no, I’ve never heard of a movie where all the investors literally ran away fleeing a project halfway through. But it does explain the drop in quality halfway through involving all the murder scenes, and even the scenes that seemed to have been somewhat planned properly feel like watching a recital at an eight grader’s play. The effects are awful, what little there are, the whole transformation scene is done offscreen. There is one interesting scene later on in the movie where someone gets his leg cut off, and I give the movie credit for using an actual amputee for that scene, making me realize that there was at least one person that had an idea on how to cut corners without bringing the whole movie down. The props, or should I say, the prop is simply laughable, the first time you see the turkey-faced monster waddle about in all it’s confusing atrocity, it’ll get a chuckle out of you. It’s obvious the mask didn’t have any eyeholes when you see the actor inside hopelessly trying to reach awkwardly for everything he comes across to keep his balance. Most of his scenes are thankfully shot in the dark, where the thing is hard to see, but then again, the rest of the movie is shot so awfully that I’m not sure if it’s an artistic decision or just one more blunder to add to the mess. While on the subject, the editing is some of the worse I’ve seen in a long time. Every scene goes on for too long and then some just to make sure it wore out its welcome. One scream is used for all the victims and set in a loop, which is hilarious for the first few times but quickly loses its charm and becomes obnoxious. The same sound is used every time the turkey-man is on screen, and no, I don’t mean a theme, I mean the sound you hear in that stupid turning chipmunk video that was a ‘thing’ a few years ago. After a while you just start to wonder if they’re just taking the piss out of the viewer.
But the final nail in this rotting mess that once used to be the concept long lost of something that had to resemble a movie is the acting. Now bad acting can make or break a movie, nowhere is this more true that in a bad B-movie. There are multiple levels of awful acting, the over-actor that screams all his lines with bulging eyes saying ‘I signed up for this piece of sh*t, might as well have some fun with it, it’s not like I have a career to kill anyway’, those are often my favorite. There is also the ‘out of this world’ horrendous acting that just mesmerize you. And then there’s this movie’s acting, the bland kind, also the worse kind. Nobody in this movie gave a crap, this is what the first day recital looks like, not the finished product. It’s just painful because instead of being funny-bad, it becomes boring-bad, the worse sin any movie can ever make. Even Hershel who’s supposed to be the big shot actor stumbles around the set like you just told him his puppy died. I guess if I’d seen the script beforehand I’d be sad too, but damn. Not one actor reaches beyond the level of cardboard, not even an extra, not even the goddarn turkeys at the farm, even they look bored as sh*t!

But now, we get to the big issue. What the hell were the people making this movie thinking making an Anti-drug flick, and is it really?

The obvious Christian undertones are pretty out there, so no need to touch on those, but I’ll admit that if this movie is really about drugs, it sure got a confused lesson. If you try to take a job in society you’ll end up as a turkey monster, it’s better to do nothing all day long and smoke pot? But even then, for a movie that tries to teach you about the dangers of drugs, it sure as hell didn’t do it’s research. The sheer non-understanding of the drugs used in this movie makes it adorable to the level of Reefer Madnes.
Throughout the movie, some scenes end abruptly and you find yourself at a table with someone who reads you about things, I guess he was supposed to talk into the camera but his constant obvious eye shifting downward to read the script makes it hard to call this anything close to ‘acting’ .
In the beginning I didn’t pay much attention, the guy was nonchalantly smoking his cigarette while spewing some cryptic nonsense and we found ourselves back to the movie before we could ask ourselves what the hell that was all about. The guy would pop up every once in a while and his message would make a slight bit more sense than the last (might have to do with the fact that near the second half of this movie, I got slightly more hammered as the movie progressed). Later I learned that the strange man was no other than Brad Grinter himself. I was ready to dismiss this movie as just a boring attempt at making people realize the dangers of drugs and make a comment about the man telling us how harmful drugs were while smoking a cigarette when the ending hit me (not the first ending, I’m talking about the third, there’s one more after that, yeah…this movie has more ending than return of the king). The man started to cough, it seems like something small, but with the concept of the movie and the fact that he was smoking while filming his takes it was pretty hilarious, but it went on just short of him standing up, doing a little dance number while singing about us getting the joke. That made me think, was this movie meant as a joke? A parody of the anti-drug genre? I saw the movie in a complete different light, yes, it was very well possible, it nearly seemed logical. Nobody sane would make a movie like this as an anti-drug. So yeah, if this movie is a straight up parody on how silly all those anti-drugs PSA’s are getting, then yeah, this might as well be seen as a goddamn masterpiece.
"Brad Grinter and his infamous smoking speeches"
But I don’t think it is. See, the clue lies in when this movie was made. 1972, the heyday of free sex and drugs, people weren’t bothered with the flower people, it’s only with the advance of diseases like AIDS and other awful threats that the Anti-drug movement got a major go at especially American entertainment. It was only in the eighties and nineties that the movement was everywhere and Mr T and Peewee were telling us about crack. So either Grinter can see into the future, he made a parody of something that wasn’t relevant yet or he was seriously thinking he could do something about the drug situation by making people scared of giant turkey-headed killer. I like to think it’s the latter, in which case, brownie points for the good intentions but zero on the execution.

But take your pick, it’s my personal theory, maybe you’ll see something else. But all I saw at the end was a boring and lazy movie, if it’s just the premise that draws you, believe me when I say it’s not worth it.

Things I've learned from Blood Freak:
- An actual turkey was beheaded for the sake of this movie, PETA's having a stroke somewhere
- I love how in the IMDb page, only three characters actually have names...interesting
- I wanna work at a turkey farm, all the turkey you can it for the name of SCIENCE!
- I'll try not to spoil the ending but it did teach me how to write a lazy and out of nowhere way to all have it working in the end...f*ck the ending is what i'm trying to say.

Critical rating: 2,5

Personal rating: 2

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Friday Night Screening: The Evil Dead 1981

The Evil Dead
 the power of the chin compels you.

Yes, it would be nearly impossible to start a reviewing blog about cult classics and B movies and not start with this amazing classic. Originally a small project launched by Sam Raimi, his brother Ted Raimi and his best friend Bruce Campbell. This low budget cheap thrill would change the face of horror for many years to come. No one on the set would ever think that what was originally called “The Woods” would become such a hit. but before we continue to talk about what made this movie so famous, let’s take a look at the plot.

Five friends decide that it would be a ‘groovy’ idea to spend a weekend in an abandon cabin in the woods (yes, that’s where Joss Whedon’s movie got the name). A creepy cabin, a group of friend, a big and dark wood surrounding the place, what could go wrong? Well, I don’t know, how about reading some lines from a demonic book, call some demons to possess your friends and turn them into green slime spitting monsters that want to eat your soul? Yup, sounds like the right thing to do.
And the rest of the movie holds no surprise, it’s all about the survival the group and the defense of the cabin from the demons and trees that have seen far too much Japanese entertainment.
Thankfully, the group have a hero in their midst, we call him ‘the chin’, ‘El chino’ or simply, Bruce Campbell…who is kind of a wimp in this movie but will totally kick massive ass in the sequels.

So yeah, you heard this story before, and you’ll hear it again. Modern movies use this tale all the time and other movies even use it for laughs. And with good reasons, The Evil Dead was one of the first and definitely the most famous to use this plot that now seems cliché. But where this movie really shines, is in the atmosphere. The creeping feeling of the possessed friends and the eerie dark woods makes you feel isolated and scared.
For me, this movie shines in the acting and the effects. Sure, nowadays it can be laughable, but think of this as a movie with almost no budget that managed to scare the world for a few years. And I dare you not to find Linda creepy as hell as she just sits in the hall chuckling to herself while all hell breaks loose around them.

But…if I really can be honest, I’m not really a fan of this one. Now hold your pitchforks and torches at bay folks, I don’t say it’s a bad movie, hell, it made a significant change in the entire movie industry and was groundbreaking for its time. But I’m just not a fan of THIS particular evil dead, the reason is probably for the special place in my heart I hold for the sequel, and because it’s the weakest in the series for me. Bruce Campbell’s character Ash wasn’t as refined as he was in the rest of the series and there are too many scenes that make me roll my eyes, yes, I’m especially talking about ‘that one scene’.
So like I said, good movie, but if you want to have yourself a little Evil Dead marathon, I don’t blame ya for skipping that one, hell, the entire movie is remade in the first seven minutes of the second one, so no loss there.

Things I learned from The Evil Dead:
- When something is written in Latin in a book made of flesh with a creepy face on it, in the middle of the woods, and you still decides to read it out loud, then yup, you deserve to die, Darwin’s law kids, Darwin’s law…
- Hide yo kids, hide yo wifes, hide yo husbands cuz we got a rapist in these woods, hint: it IS the woods
- Demons are made of clay and daylight seems to melt them, that’s unexpected
- The original is not always better that the sequel

Personal rating:

Critical rating:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 
Genre: Slasher
Melanie's rating: 7,5

Of course we had to start of Chainsaw Cinema with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre review :D. I took this review from my personal blog, where I posted this review some time ago.

Here's what Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about:
Sally Hardesty and her wheelchaired brother Franklin along with three friends travel to a cemetary where there have been grave robbings. To continue their trip, they pick up a hitchhiker. The hitchhiker turns out to be crazy so they drop him off and proceed with the trip. They go to visit an old house where Sally and Franklins' Grandfather used to live. One follows a trail from the back of the house and that's when it all begins. 

This was my first time watching the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I did already watch the remake and the prequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Texas Chainsaw 3D, but they are very difficult to compare. I expected that it would be a lot like the remake, but that wasn't really true. The remake contains a lot more (interesting) dialogue, is a lot more bloody and makes Leatherface look more as a tool of his family rather than an actual person. 

Now, the interesting dialogue is of course what I liked more about the remake, it was easier to watch and especially more interesting to watch. I think that Michael Bay's attempt for remaking this movie is done very well actually. The gore doesn't matter a whole lot I think, we know that the effect of a chainsaw will be bloody, it's doesn't have to show all those details to make it more interesting. There's indeed a lot more gore in the remake and while I liked it, I also liked the 'softer' version of it. What I liked more about this movie was that Leatherface seemed to be more a person. He is frustrated when someone escapes, and shows that very clearly. Also, he gets hurt by his own chainsaw and he actually screams in pain. In the remake he seems more like some sort of indestructible robot or something. 

What is very notable about this movie is the noise. There's a lot of noise. Noise in a screaming form, not the most pleasant one. Screaming is kinda normal in a horror movie, but this amount of screaming was just nonsense. The sound isn't all too well because it's an older movie, so while they were talking I had to turn the volume up, but then the screaming started so I had to turn the volume down again because it was very annoying. In the end it resulted in changing the volume a lot. 

I liked the acting, especially from Edwin Neil (the hitchhiker), but I didn't like it very much from the main characters. Especially Paul Partain (Franklin) annoyed the crap out of me. 

The camera work is kinda variable, some shots are too dark to see anything, but the end shot with Leatherface being frustrated is done beautifully. Amazing scene I think.

I like both remake and original, perhaps the remake a bit more. I do think it's difficult to compare these two though because they're very different.

Welcome to Chainsaw Cinema

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Chainsaw Cinema, the place for reviews of your favorite horror related entertainment. From obscure 80s B-movie to new releases, we will do our best to bring you honest and unbiased reviews and opinions on the subject. We’ll try to upload regularly with two different reviewers, and covering as much movies and a diversity of different movie genre and/or games and books as possible.
Comments and suggestions are more than welcome!

About us:

Hello, my name is Melanie and I'm 21 years old. Ever since I can remember I've been interested in all kinds of movies, but most especially horror movies. My love for horror movies started ever since I started watching the children's show Goosebumps, I didn't find it scary at all unlike other people my age and ever since I started looking for things I did find scary. I guess it's best to say that I'm still searching for the ultimate scary horror movie. The thing I love most about horror movies is the diversity of the horror-genres. In action movies or romantic things are all pretty much the same (at least in my opinion), but in horror movies there are so much more ways to approach a subject. Personally I like post-apocalyptic movies, zombie movies and slashers a lot. I'm not a professional reviewer in any way, but I do hope to be someday. This year I will hopefully start a study which should be the first step to pursue my dream of being an official movie reviewer. Until then, I hope you will enjoy my unprofessional but honest reviews of stuff I watched.

I’m a 22 year old reviewer with a real love for movies. Obscure B-movies, Asian weird and controversial grindhouses are my passion, but I’ll review pretty much anything I’ll find interesting, even if it sometimes dwindle off from our security blanket that is 80s and 90s B-horror. If I think I have something to say about a certain movie I’ll do my best to bring out a review about it, even if it’s not a fundamentally a horror flick or from a time period I prefer.
My belief is that most reviewers online too often share the same trope, the screaming at the camera with anger and going against the tide. If a movie is good they’ll often rip it apart just for the sake of being different and thus seeming smarter that everybody else. Now I’ll admit there are plenty of movies that everybody else loves that I despise and other movies I love that everybody else seems to hate. But I’ll try to be honest, tell you why I love or dislike a certain movie purely on whether I enjoyed the movie or if it made me think, despite if the movie was a bomb or if it’s a critically acclaimed masterpiece. Take it for what it’s worth I guess, but I still enjoy bad movies that were made with a passion behind them than a pretty looking movie that was dropped out of the Hollywood conveyer belt for the sake of making a quick buck.
I’m not a critic, I didn’t go to any courses and have no background in Hollywood or the movie business, I’m just a kid who’s life changed on the day I saw Bruce Campbell dual-wielding a chainsaw and a boomstick, and who has since then watched more movies that most can fathom, and just want to tell the world what he thinks. And with a steady dose of humor, an honest opinion and your listening ears, I hope we’ll get somewhere