Friday, May 29, 2009

The Sandman (1995)

Gary is a romance novelist who longs to be a real writer.  He lives in a trailer park and his second cousin Ozzy has just shown up unexpectedly to crash on his couch.  His girlfriend is a waitress who says he needs to get a job at a bank so he can advance in a career since the writing isn't panning out.  Geez, it's pretty lame for a waitress who lives in a trailer park to be giving ultimatum's because their boyfriends career isn't as advanced as they'd like.

Gary has insomnia and sees a giant figure with glowing eyes roaming through the trailer park at night.  A number of people in town have died in their sleep and Gary thinks this is due to the Sandman, which several of neighbors have mentioned.

The Sandman looks exactly like the picture on the cover, which is kind of neat but kind of Halloween costume so not that scary.  The women in the movie are extremely annoying and when Gary's lame-o friend declares all women evil, you can understand where he's coming from even though he's the biggest loser around.

The Surge (2002)

aka The Source

A gothy kid moves to town and immediately becomes an outcast at his new school.  He befriends a few other outcasts and they all traipse off into the woods, where they trip over a magical rock which gives them strange powers.

For some unknown reason, they all have to take their shirts off when standing on the power rock and none are concerned with any lasting negative effects of a mystery source of power surging through their bodies.

They use their powers on the jocks and bullies at their school and of course one of the outcasts takes the whole thing too far.  After their power is unleashed, the goth kid starts wearing clown white face, the school suddenly becomes badly lit with blue lights, and the camera appears to be on a ship as it rocks back and forth with imaginary waves.  Stupid.

The Headless Ghost (1959)

Three (ahem) teenage exchange students - that's them on the cover -  take a tour of a supposedly haunted castle and decide to stay behind to prove whether there are ghosts or not.  A ghost appears immediately to tell them long winded stories about the past and to get help for the headless ghost who is searching for his own head.

This is a typical 1950s ghost film, which means it's not scary.  It's fairly decent for this type of film and anytime teenagers are lost in a haunted castle it can't be all bad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil (1992)

In 1957 Father Jonas killed a teenage couple who are sinning by having sex in the back seat of their car at the prom.  His fellow priests lock him up in the basement of their monastery and keep him sedated.

Thirty years later, there is a changing of the guard and the new caregiver decides Father Jonas doesn't need sedation.  Zip zoom, the caregiver is dead and Father Jonas is on the lookout for more sinning teens.

Two teenage couples decide to spend the weekend at one's fathers mansion which is a former monastery.  Oh heavens, what ever will become of them?  

Father Jonas reminded me of Hecubus from the Kids in the Hall, which was very distracting.  Also after thirty years being shackled unconscious on a bed, his muscles would have atrophied.  Yet he has not aged a day and is in great shape.  Perhaps it is his insanity that keeps him fit and young.

Prom Night III: The Last Kiss (1990)

Mary Lou comes back from the grave and casts a spell over Alex.  Why? I have no idea.  She just shows up one night, kills a janitor, has ghost sex with Alex in the hallway, and decides she's his girlfriend.  Then she kills anyone who messes with him.  

Eventually Alex gets tired of hiding the bodies and breaks up with Mary Lou.  That does not sit well with her, and she decides Alex must pay.

This isn't the worst thing you'll ever watch, but it's not that good either.  

American Scary (2008)

Decent documentary covering the history of horror hosts.  The film features plenty of archival footage and current interviews with well known hosts and people who grew up watching them.  I wasn't sure about watching this, but it was worth it.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was learning that Ghoulardi aka Ernie Anderson went on to become an announcer for ABC doing voice overs for shows like the Love Boat and every other major show on the network.  It makes me like him even more.

Encounter with the Unknown (1973)

Rod Serling narrates this average anthology which has three tales.  The first is of a prank gone wrong which results in the death of a young man.  His mother curses the three friends responsible, and in case you can't remember this, the footage is shown over and over and over. 

The second story is about a young boy whose dog runs off. While looking for his dog, he finds a smoking hole in the woods where something at the bottom is moaning.

The final story is based around a girl whose father forbids her to date the local boy that she loves.  When they run away, tragedy strikes and the story ends on the note of a familiar ghost story.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rising Son: The Legend of Skateboarder Christian Hosoi (2006)

Interesting documentary about Christian Hosoi and his fall from the skateboard scene.  Christian and Tony Hawk were contemporaries.  Tony was more of a technical rider while Christian was the ultimate showman.  There is archival footage of Hosoi in all his flamboyant glory as well as interviews with Hosoi and those who knew him.

Sadly enough it is another tale of a kid who lived the high life thinking the money would always be rolling in. But the problem with popularity is that someone or something else always comes along.  Hosoi took a path that many take, becoming addicted to drugs and ending up in prison.  While in jail, Hosoi became born again, which helped him get back on the right path.

There's some great skateboarding footage included and it's funny to see the 80s haircuts and styles.

Catacombs (2008)

Good god, is there anything good I can say about this film? Victoria is invited to Paris by her sister who hangs out with a bunch of uber douchebags that like to play pranks on people. The Catacombs under the city are the hip spot for secret raves.  They take Victoria to one and tell her the story of a beast who lives in the tunnels and kills those who wander off alone.

Shortly afterwards Victoria wanders off alone as she is uncomfortable with harassment to join in the skinny dipping that everyone is doing.  Her sister, who is very abusive, goes after her and is murdered by a beast while trying to show her the way out. 

Victoria, who has some sort of nervous condition that requires lots of pill popping, freaks out and finds her way back to the rave.  No one pays any attention to her screams for help.  Then the police turn up to bust the rave. Oh thank god, maybe they will listen to poor Victoria... who promptly turns and runs off with the ravers in the opposite direction down a tunnel. Even worse, she bangs her head on the roof of the tunnel, knocking herself out and awakening in total darkness.  The rest of the movie follows the ever more irritating Victoria as she runs through the tunnels trying to escape from the beast and find her way out.  

She runs around. She screams a lot. She doesn't take good care of her flashlight and everything she does is stupid.  The only thing that tops her stupidity is the twist ending of the film.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

JCVD (2008)

Jean-Claude Van Damme plays JCVD, an actor with tax problems who has just had a custody battle for his child and found that he has just lost a role to Steven Seagal.  JCVD returns to Belgium and goes to a post office to pick up some money that has been wired.  Unfortunately he arrives there at the exact time the PO is being robbed.  

Even worse, he becomes the fall guy for the robbers. He is forced to help shutter the windows and negotiate with the police over the phone.

This is definitely different from JCVD's usual films and he does a great job.  There is a monologue near the end of the film which is out of left field but very effective.  Overall an interesting film, although it seemed to slow down in the middle.

We All Scream For Ice Cream (2007)

A horrible prank gone wrong kills a retarded ice cream truck driver. Years later when all the participants are back in the same town and have children of their own, he returns to take revenge.

It's pretty creepy to see a clown in an ice cream truck driving out of the fog in the middle of the night.  Yes, it sounds silly, but it's creepy.  Especially when the ice creams he hands out cause the adults who wronged him to melt into a pile of gush.

But the creepiest thing of all, which is never explained is why he had no nose when he was alive.  He's this sweet retarded clown doing magic tricks while selling his ice cream, yet underneath his red nose, there is nothing.  What the hell?!

Minds of Terror (2003)

Three college students head out into the country to investigate the abandoned Stone Ridge Hospital, which used to be an insane asylum.  On the way their car breaks down and they end up stuck at the asylum where they discover someone has been living there since it closed.

Jeffrey Vandoren claims to be a former staff member, but that is called into question when one of the students finds a hospital file on him.  The students split up to investigate the hospital and start seeing things which may or may not be real.  
In the middle of all this, Jeffrey tells a story about being in a car crash and wandering into a farm house owned by Joe Estevez.  This goes on for so long that you start to forget that this was originally a story about investigating the old hospital for the school paper.

More confusion follows as Jeffrey is way too belligerent to the farmer who has graciously helped him after his head wound.  Probably the best way to sum it up is by this line from the film, "I'd think it was funny if my head didn't hurt so much."

Dark Town (2004)

Lisping vampires with bad teeth take over a town and no one is safe.  A slum landlord is bitten by vampires and heads back to his suburban home for a family birthday party.  It's the first time the family will be together as the lesbian daughter has issues with her dad.  

Meanwhile the older brother of a boy killed by the slum lord decides it is time to take revenge for the killing and drives his friends over to the house.  This is after they're in a drug deal gone wrong.  They daughter of the slum lord is dating a gang member so there is the incentive of her having lots of drug money. 

Vampirism is spreading like the plague, which is about as close to a plot as you're going to get in this mess.  The acting is bad and over the top.  Although I will say I can't think of another film where almost everyone gets bitten by a vampire.