31 December 2010

The Very Best/Worst Of 2010

First a big THANK YOU to everyone who ever visited my blog or left a comment here
I know, I don't offer anything special on my blog; just writing a few sentences in bad English about the movies I watch - still it makes me kinda happy that at least a few people are interested in what I'm doing here.

And now, it's time to present you my best/worst lists from 2010!
- note to the US readers: in Europe many of the 2009-movies were not released until this year -

Top 15 BEST HORROR MOVIES 2010

15. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2
(2010)
About as great as Part 1.

14. THE HORDE
(2009)
Awesome zombie action from France.

13. DAYBREAKERS
(2009/2010)
Vampire movie of the year.

12. EXAM
(2009/2010)
Highly original, highly intelligent, highly thrilling.

11. BURNING BRIGHT
(2010)
Simply a terrific suspensefest.

10. THE CRAZIES
(2010)
Better than the original!

9. SORORITY ROW
 (2009)
Also better than the original!

8. TRIANGLE
 (2009)
One word: amazing!

7. BLOOD CREEK
(2009)
One word: unique!

6. BEST WORST MOVIE
 (2010)
Amazing kinda-documentary about an 'amazing' film

5. DREAD
 (2009)
Probably one of the best After Dark Horrorfest flicks to date.

4. THE DESCENT PART 2
(2009/2010)












Excellent sequel of an excellent horror classic.

3. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE)
(2009)
So weird, so disgusting - so fun!

2. BURIED
(2010)
Outstanding masterpiece!

1. THE COLLECTOR
(2009)
Totally blew me away: one of the best slashers of the last 20 years!


Honorable Mentions:
Hidden / A Serbian Film / Case 39 / The Fourth Kind / Taxidermia






Top 5 WORST HORROR MOVIES 2010

5. TRAIN (2008)
Sooo stupid.
4. ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION (2009)
Sooo unfunny.
3. DARK HOUSE (2009)
Sooo lousy.
2. THE GRAVES (2010)
Sooo pointless.
1. SHOCK LABYRINTH 3D (2010)
One of the worst movies of all time.






BIGGEST HORROR DISAPPOINTMENTS 2010

5. ROAD TRAIN (2010)
The trailer looked so fucking brilliant but unfortunately this ended up as an annoying lamefest.
4. ALTITUDE (2010)
Same here: terrific trailer but eventually an awful film
3. [REC] 2 (2009)
Part 1 outstanding, Part 2 is just mediocre.
2. FROZEN (2010)
The trailers, the poster artwork, the plot - everything about Frozen is amazing, except for Frozen itself.
1. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)
A massive insult to every single Krueger-fan.






Top 5 BEST NON-HORROR MOVIES 2010

5. KNIGHT AND DAY
(2010)












Big surprise: not a big fan of Cruise and Diaz, but "Knight and Day" is so funny, so entertaining, so action-packed, so fast-paced, it's incredible!

4.THE A-TEAM
(2010)













I hated the original series but, to my surprise, this modern adaptation is simply stunning: brilliant acting, great humor and an insane amount of breathtaking action.

3. WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
(2010)












I fucking adore Michael Douglas, I fucking love the original "Wall Street" - and, yeah, I fucking enjoyed this terrific sequel!

2. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
(2010)












Fincher has outdone himself. A stunning masterpiece - only "Zodiac" is better.

1. INCEPTION
(2010)












Simply outstanding: one of the greatest movies ever made. Kubrick would be proud of Nolan.






Top 3 WORST NON-HORROR MOVIES 2010

3. DUE DATE (2010)
So unbelievably unfunny and retarded, it hurts.
2. THE EXPENDABLES (2010)
Every single Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal movie from the last 20 years isbetter than this awful piece of crap.
1. TITANIC II (2010)
I knew that this would be horrendous, but I actually didn't expected it to be That horrendous.




28 December 2010

BEST WORST MOVIE

BEST WORST MOVIE

USA, 2009
Director: Michael Stephenson

9/10











Hell yeah, finally I've seen my most anticipated movie of 2010: "Best Worst Movie", the documentary about "TROLL 2" which is probably the best worst movie of all time - and it's just wonderful!
Nearly every single original cast member appears in here: Michael "Nilbog!" Stephenson (who directed, wrote and produced this documentary), George "Hospitality" Hardy, Darren "Oh My God!" Ewing, the grandfather, the shop keeper, the girl running through the woods etc. etc. 
Then there's also Italo-schlock-director Claudio Fragasso and his wife, and of course loads and loads of excited fans, cheering and raving about their 'religion', wearing self-made Troll 2 memorabilia.
It's filled with unbelievably funny and extremely entertaining scenes (Hardy's screening apearances, Hardy's parents, the Austrian(!) guy with his self-made goblin costume, the re-shooting scenes...), but there are also some heartwarming and touching moments and even a few slightly disturbing moments (Margo Prey and her mother).
Overall, a tremendously amusing documentary. Not recommended to people who never saw or heard of Troll 2 - but indeed highly recommended to every single who saw and enjoyed this trash-gem at least once.

Read about TROLL and TROLL 2 here!
Read about the two TROLL 3s here!

UNREST

UNREST

USA, 2006
Director: Jason Todd Ipson

4/10











Your average and averagely lame After Dark Horrorfest flick. Starts out quite tense and scary in the first third but thereafter it gets unplausible, dull and tedious (except for one short, terrifying scene in the middle). The acting is largely quite good (Corri English, Derrick O'Connor...) and I totally love the powerful and quite catchy soundtrack. Sadly the script is badly written and paced; the plot is one helluva stupid and extremely farfetched mess, full of illogical and pointless plot holes, and the ending is just disappointing.

22 December 2010

TINTORERA

TINTORERA

Original Title:
¡Tintorera!

Alternate Titles:
Tintorera ...Tiger Shark / Tintorera: Killer Shark / Tintorera... Bloody Waters

German Title:
Tintorera! - Meeresungeheuer greifen an

Mexico / UK, 1977
Director: René Cardona Jr.

2,5/10


Undoubtedly the weirdest killer shark flick I've seen so far, especially because it's everything but a killer shark flick. "Tintorera" is actually a tedious romantic softsex comedy including a few tiger-shark scenes.

The plot is horrible: it's about 2 guys enjoying their life, they eat and drink, they seduce and hump various girls. In the end a tiger shark appears who kills a few people before it finally gets killed - yep, that's it!

Even worse: I've seen the uncut 115minute-version which is eventually 100 minutes boring romance-crap and only 15 minutes shark action!

Ok, the acting is quite decent (especially Andrés García), some parts of the dialogue are pretty entertaining and the shark scenes are cool and gory. Aside from that it's a dull and lame borefest, unrecommendable and avoidable.

19 December 2010

THE DEVIL'S RAIN

THE DEVIL'S RAIN

German Titles:
Nachts, wenn die Leichen schreien / Nachts, wenn die Zombies schreien / Devil's Rain - Verflucht in alle Ewigkeit / Fluch der Dämonen

USA, 1975
Director: Robert Fuest

3/10



 
"The Devil's Rain", the one movie that destroyed the incredibly promising career of Robert Fuest (if you've seen the fabulous "And Soon The Darkness", you know what I mean). Why? Well... because this schlocky satanist-rubbish simply sucks.

The story is quite stupid and makes not much sense. The script is horrible, REALLY horrible: it's tedious, boring, badly paced and whoever came up with the idea of throwing the viewer right into a nonsensically abstruse and completely confusing opening scene should burn in hell.

The cast is basically brilliant but sadly all performances are quite underwhelming: a dull William Shatner, a lame Tom Skerritt,  an incredibly terrible Ernest Borgnine and a silly-looking John Travolta in his very first role.
Most of the dialogue is just uninteresting gibberish, the special effects look poor, the soundtrack is forgettable and there's absolutely nothing creepy or suspenseful in here.

At least, the settings all look cool (e.g. the sinister church, the ghost town...), the camera work is pretty cool and the finale with all the melting villains and explosions is just terrific ("Evilspeak" comes to mind) - but apart from that, it's just a laughable and avoidable trashfest.

BRAIN DEAD

BRAIN DEAD

USA, 2007
Director: Kevin S. Tenney

5/10











It took me by surprise when I realized a few days ago that Kevin Tenney, the director behind the 80s cult classics "Night Of The Demons" and "Witchboard", is still alive and directing. His latest horror flick: "Brain Dead" (not to be confused with "Braindead"), a silly and campy low budget horror-comedy in the vein of "Night Of The Creeps".
The plot is uninspired and shiftless, the acting is rather weak, it's badly paced and never really tense or even suspenseful. Thankfully there are loads of hilarious over-the-top gore and gooey alien-slime, a bunch of fun-looking zombies and some highly entertaining dialogue
("Oh fuck, I've been shot!" - "Oh shit. Is it bad?" - "Have you ever been shot when it's good??").
The perfect movie for a boring Sunday afternoon.

REEKER 1 & 2

REEKER

USA, 2005
Director: Dave Payne

6,5/10










"Reeker" is a weird but quite interesting, original and entertaining low budget horror flick that feels like a blend of "Identity", your average isolation slasher and "Langoliers".
It's not a perfect movie: the acting is mediocre, there's nothing special about the dialogue, some of the special effects look tacky and there are far too many tedious scenes in the first half.
Apart from that I enjoyed it: the plot is great, the script is well-written and well-paced. I constantly found myself puzzling and guessing until the end when a major plot twist kicks in I totally didn't see coming.
The Reeker looks gruesomely good and knows how to kill his victims in gory and grisly ways. The camera work is mostly pretty nice, the soundtrack is super-thrilling and there are 2-3 scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat (especially the extremely suspenseful and atmospheric toilet scene).
Okay!

Wiki ~ Imdb



NO MAN'S LAND: THE RISE OF REEKER

Alternate Titles:
Reeker 2 / No Man's Land - Reeker II

USA, 2008
Director: Dave Payne

3/10





 
Disappointing, unimaginative and unnecessary sequel, way too boring and way too similar to Part 1.
The 10-minute opening sequence is awesome, I like the whole invisible-wall-concept, the kills/injuries are great and the music is again pretty thrilling. Aside from that it's just lame: it totally lacks of originality and tension. The plot is dull and the twist at the end made me yawn. The acting is below-average, the special effects surprisingly look worse than in the first part and large parts of the dialogue are so afully bad, it's incredible.
Not okay.

16 December 2010

THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN

THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN

German Titles:
Der Planet Saturn läßt schön grüßen / Bluthitze - Das Grauen aus dem All / Bluthitze

USA, 1977
Director: William Sachs

3/10








 
A movie so incredibly stupid, it's amazing - yet, it's also highly entertaining (of course in a cheesy way).

For the most part it's terrible, REALLY terrible:
~ The plot is simply horrendous: an astronaut comes back from a space trip to Saturn. He wakes up in a hospital and realizes that his body is slowly and gruesomely melting. He flees and starts killing people. Why? I don't know. No one knows. I quote this IMDb-user by saying "(...) He's killing because he's killing. He's melting because he's melting."
~ Nearly all actors are lame and seem to be completely untalented.
~ The script is badly written; it's filled with super-large plot holes and many scenes that just don't make sense, especially the uber-dumb opening and the laughably dull scene with the screaming nurse, running through a corridor and finally jumping through a window.
~ Worst of all: the dialogue. There are so many awfully bad dialogue lines and one-liners, it's inconceivable
(f.e. "Mommy, I've seen Frankenstein in the woods!", "It's incredible, he seems to be getting stronger as he melts!" and of course the infamous "You've never seen anything until you've seen the sun through the rings of Saturn!").

At least there are some enjoyable things:
~ The soundtrack is pretty thrilling, most notably in the last third.
~ The melting man looks disgustingly gorgeous, there's some neat gore, a cool beheading scene and one terrific electrocution death.

All in all, it's horrid but unintentionally funny trash, highly recommended to fans of films like "Nail Gun Massacre" and "Invasion Of The Blood Farmers".

14 December 2010

DOLLS

DOLLS

USA, 1987
Director: Stuart Gordon

8/10











Finally I've seen it: "Dolls", the mother of all killer doll films - highly entertaining, atmospheric and surprisingly pretty creepy compared to Gordon's previous cult gorefests "Re-Animator" & "From Beyond".
Only 77 minutes long and absolutely never boring. Packed with loads of fabulous-looking dolls, superb special effects, super-tense moments and a few quite cool kills. The acting is very enjoyable (I love Stephen Lee's and Guy Rolfe's performances), the old mansion looks stunning, the camera work is absolutely beautiful and there's even some really cool dialogue 
("What's the matter? Afraid of the dark?" - "No... afraid of what's in the dark.").
A wonderful old-fashioned horror flick, highly recommended to fans of "Chucky" and "Dead Silence"!

12 December 2010

SUGAR HILL

This review is part of the film club
from Final Girl, the blog of all blogs!

SUGAR HILL

Alternate Title:
The Zombies Of Sugar Hill

German Titles:
Die schwarzen Zombies von Sugar Hill / Sugar Hill - Herrin der schwarzen Zombies / Black Zombies von Sugar Hill

USA, 1974
Director: Paul Maslansky

3/10


Yay, my first blaxploitation flick - sadly it totally disappointed me. I expected some entertaining black zombie cheesefest but all I got was a Foxy Brown imitation with some horrid-looking zombies thrown in. Ok, there are some nice atmospheric shots in the first 20-30 minutes, the soundtrack is pretty fun (especially that fabulous 'Supernatural Voodoo Woman' track) and I really liked Marki Bey's performance. As for the rest, there's not much of value here: the acting is mostly quite bad (most notably Baron Samedi's hilariously annoying over-the-top performance), the above-mentioned zombies look shite, the kills are lame, there's not much gore, the plot is simply stupid and it's hardly ever tense.
Makes me definitely not wanna watch more of that 70s Blax stuff (f.e. Blacula, Blackenstein etc.).

09 December 2010

THE HAMILTONS

THE HAMILTONS

USA, 2006
Directors: The Butcher Brothers
(Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores)

2/10









Yawn... what a snoozefest! "The Hamiltons" is one of the dullest and stupidest movies I've seen in a long time. Filled with unbearably bad actors and loads of unbelievably boring scenes. The soundtrack is poor, the camera work is unimaginative, the settings look lame. There's absolutely no atmosphere, no suspense, no tension. The script is horribly predictable and the twist ending is just laughable.
Some ok gore and an ok plot - but that's it.

08 December 2010

THE HOST

THE HOST

Original Title:
Gwoemul

South Korea, 2006
Director: Joon-ho Bong

8/10








I definitely have to watch more horror movies from South Korea. Already seen the outstanding "A Tale Of Two Sisters", the entertaining "Thirst" and the creepy "Whispering Corridors" - 
and now another excellent Korea-flick: "The Host", one of the most extraordinary movies I've seen in a long time; a fabulous blend of monster movie, comedy, horror movie and family drama.
I love how it's written, paced and directed: it jumps from gripping suspense to over-the-top action to hilarious comedy to saddening drama back to comedy, back to action, and so on - a bit odd but eventually really enjoyable (reminded me a bit of "Kontroll").
Same for the acting: sometimes amusing, sometimes serious and always awesome, most notably the performances from Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hee-bong and Ko Ah-seong.
Highlight of the movie is of course the monster, a fabulously designed CGI creature that looks just terrific. I daresay that the monster's first appearance (when it attacks the people at the riverside) is one of the most amazing and most thrilling things I've ever seen in cinematic history.
Other highlights: the super-weird mourning scene (starts out emotional and sad, but suddenly gets incredibly humorous), the scene where the monster vomits out all the human bones, the little girl's attempt to escape from the sewer and the disquietingly calm epilogue-ending.
A remarkable and exceptional film, highly recommended!

THE TRIPPER

THE TRIPPER

German Title:
President Evil

USA, 2006
Director: David Arquette

7/10








I'm not a fan of David Arquette. I think he's a quite untalented actor, his appearances in "Eight Legged Freaks" and the "Scream" films are rather annoying - yet, now that I've seen "The Tripper" I have to admit that he's at least a good director. Arquette's directorial debut may be not a masterpiece, but it's definitely one helluva great fun ride!

The plot is simple but hilariously brilliant: a demented killer with a Ronald Reagan mask chops off hippies at some kinda Free Love Festival.
The actors/characters: nothing special. Lots of drug-addicted hippies, a bunch of rednecks and some dumb cops. At least they are all pretty entertaining, delivering loads of funny dialogue and one-liners.
(f.e. "Well, what dou you want us to sing, Frank? Taps?" - "God, I don't give a fuck if you sing motherfucking Kumbaya. Just get the fuck out there. We have a contract by grace of George fucking Washington, you motherfucking fucking fucks!" :-)
The killer: absolutely great! A terrific-looking Reagan-mask and a nice suit. Kills everything that gets in his way with axes, chainsaws and knifes. (Highlights: the gruesome hippie massacre at the end and the gory opening).
Furthermore, the camera work is mostly really good, the soundtrack is cool and, although it could have been a bit more tense or suspenseful, it never gets boring.

Overall, a really great and enjoyable fun-slasher!
PS: "President Evil" is IMO a way better title.

06 December 2010

EYES OF LAURA MARS

EYES OF LAURA MARS

German Title:
Die Augen der Laura Mars

USA, 1978
Director: Irvin Kershner

5/10









A highly mediocre and overrated giallo-like mystery-thriller. My expectations were high when I saw that John Carpenter wrote the script for "Laura Mars"- unfortunately he didn't direct it which is a shame, because I'm 100% sure it would have been way better with Carpenter's directing style.

What I like about it - the awesome cast (Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif...), the beautiful and stylish camera work, the entertaining soundtrack (lots of fabulous disco music, incl. 'Let's All Chant' & 'Shake Your Booty') and a super-excellent twist ending
What I don't like about it - too many extremely slow-paced and tedious scenes where absolutely nothing happens, the kills are all quite disappointing and the plot is full of annoying holes.

Ok, but nothing of note.

04 December 2010

BARRACUDA

BARRACUDA

Alternate Titles:
Barracuda: The Lucifer Project / Barracuda: The Sea Horror

USA, 1978
Directors: Harry Kerwin and Wayne Crawford

2/10






Super disappointed!! I expected an enjoyable "Jaws" rip-off in the vein of "Piranha", unfortunately "Barracuda" turned out to be a dreadfully lame borefest, filled with horribly tedious dialogue, completely unlikeable actors and oodles of pointless and unnecessarily boring scenes. Only 3 (!) Barracuda-attack scenes, at least they are pretty cool and gory. Nevertheless, this is a really pathetic piece of crap, superfluous and avoidable.

Imdb

WITHOUT WARNING

WITHOUT WARNING

Alternate Titles:
The Warning / It Came Without Warning / Warning

German Titles:
Das Geheimins der fliegenden Teufel / Alien Shock

USA, 1980
Director: Greydon Clark

3/10



A hilariously bad but at least quite amusing early-80s space invader rubbish.

Pros:
* The humanoid alien with the lampshade-like head (played by Kevin "Predator" Peter Hall)
* The flying and bloodsucking jellyfish-like creatures
* A few suspenseful and atmospheric scenes

Cons:
* The plot... wait, there is no plot!
* Martin Landau's outrageously bad performance - I mean, was he on drugs or something?
* The other actors are also pretty bad (that scene where Jack Palance is running towards the boss alien, screaming "Alien! Alieeeeeen!!!" - outstandingly horrid!)
* A poorly written and paced script
* Lots of horrible dialogue
* Lots of awfully boring scenes
* A super-disappointing climax

Could have been way better with a higher budget, better actors and more action.
At least it's amazing to watch Landau and Palance in a movie long before they won academy awards.

Wiki ~ Imdb

03 December 2010

TENTACLES

TENTACLES

Original Title:
Tentacoli

German Titles:
Der Polyp - Die Bestie mit den Todesarmen / Angriff aus der Tiefe / Tentakel des Todes

Italy / USA, 1977
Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis
(under the pseudonym Oliver Hellman)

4/10



Ah, childhood memories! "Tentacles", a gorgeous piece of Italo-trash and one of the first 'horror' films I've ever seen. It's a quite silly and unintenionally hilarious "Jaws" rip-off, super-cheesy and made on the cheap, yet, it's pretty entertaining, especially when you're a fan of cheesefests like "The Last Jaws" or "The Rift".
Filled with dull and endlessly boring dialogue scenes, thankfully the octopus scenes are all highly enjoyable, sometimes even a bit suspenseful (highlight: the fabulous opening with the disappearing baby buggy).
The soundtrack is nice but sadly too repetitive, the dialogue is mostly rather dumb, the plot is lame and whoever came up with the idea of inserting a couple of completely pointless freeze-frames should burn in hell.
At least the cast is pretty ok, especially because of a few solid guest appearances from Hollywood veterans (Henry Fonda, John Huston, Shelley Winters...).
Overall, a wonderful so-bad-it's-good-guilty-pleasure.

02 December 2010

GHOST STORY

GHOST STORY

German Titles:
Zurück bleibt die Angst / Rache aus dem Reich der Toten

USA, 1981
Director: John Irvin

8/10





 

Ah, what a brilliant film! One of many great early-80s ghost-movies (f.e. "The Changeling" or "Superstition"), based on Peter Straub's novel of the same name.
Extremely creepy, extremely suspenseful and full of outstandingly brilliant heart-stopping moments (whenever rotten Eva popped up, she totally scared the shit outta me!).
Wonderfully filmed (many really gorgeous shots, great angles), packed with atmospheric and awesome-looking settings (especially the eerie abandoned old villa), the soundtrack is very powerful and barnstorming and the storyline is quite fascinating.
Yet, the centerpiece of "Ghost Story" is unquestionably the fantastic cast: the 4 high-class veterans Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. & John Houseman deliver amazing and very believable performances, plus: a cool Craig Wasson and a fascinating Alice Krige.
A must-see for everyone who likes it creepy!

DEADLY FRIEND

DEADLY FRIEND

German Title:
Der tödliche Freund

USA, 1986
Director: Wes Craven

7,5/10







 
I can't help it: I love this movie! I totally adored it as a child and I'm still in love with it. 
I admit it's not exactly perfect: it's basically some silly kind of Frankenstein rip-off, the plot is full of holes, BB the robot is quite annoying and the ending is rather pointless - but who cares about such trifles when everything else is simply awesome? I mean, it's absolutely entertaining from beginning to end. 
It's perfectly written and perfectly paced (slow and funny in the first half, dark and thrilling in the second half). Kristy Swanson's performance is amazing (sweet in the first half, scary in the second), the rest of the cast is solid. Cinematographically it's just wonderful, the soundtrack is pretty chilling and effective, there are many super-suspenseful scenes that totally keep me on the edge of my seat each time I watch it - and the few kills are totally badass, most notably the infamous death-by-basketball-scene, one of the best on-screen kills in history.
Not the best work from Wes Craven, but definitely one of the more enjoyable ones.

01 December 2010

THE CRAFT

THE CRAFT

German Title:
Der Hexenclub

USA, 1996
Director: Andrew Fleming

7/10








Ah, this one really takes me back to the glorious 90s, a fun decade with all its teenie comedies and action blockbusters, high-gloss slashers and ghost stories.
I spent most of the 90s at the theater watching nearly every movie from the above-mentioned genres - sadly, for whatever reason I didn't managed to watch "The Craft" which is a pity because I'm sure I would have totally adored it back then.

Sure, it has its flaws: it's way too long and the script is a bit messed up, but aside from that it's a really wonderful movie, highly entertaining, pretty atmospheric and absolutely never boring. It's packed with beautiful shots and remarkable-looking scenes (especially in the last half hour), lots of funny dialogue ("Watch out for the weirdos, girls!" - "We are the weirdos, mister.") and great special effects.
Highlights: the terrific soundtrack (incl. songs from Portishead, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Elastica...) and of courste the excellent performances from Fairuza Balk (outstanding!), Neve Campbell (I simply love her!), Rachel True (cool!) and Robin Tunney (nice!).

Simply a great and enjoyable film.

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