28 February 2013

JUAN OF THE DEAD

JUAN OF THE DEAD

Original Title:
Juan de los muertos

Cuba / Spain, 2011/2012
Director: Alejandro Brugués

8,5/10








Believe it or not, in my life, I've only seen two Cuban movies: Wim Wenders' "Buena Vista Social Club" and this one - and though some might disagree with me, I definitely think that this one is way better than BVSC :)

"Juan Of The Dead" is the first horror-themed Cuban film ever made, and it's a terrific little film that fully proves that the zom-com genre is far from being dead. Young director Alejandro Brugués brings the dead to life with a stunning amount of Cuban self-mockery, political humor and lots of hilariously funny characters that made me laugh like crazy.



From start to finish, "Juan" is fun and entertaining. Not a dull or boring moment. The pace is tight and brisk, and the story is presented in a highly amusing and compelling way. It also has a unique and bizarrely intriguing atmosphere, thanks to the strange beauty of the rundown Havana. Lots of cool shabby buildings, old cars and outdated Communist symbols.


The characters are all absolutely wonderful, and the acting is simply spot-on, most notably the excellent performances of Alexis Díaz de Villegas as Juan, Jorge Molina as his buddy Lazaro, Jazz Vilá as hilarious uber-gay "China", and the beautiful Andrea Duro as Juan's daughter Camila.

The cinematography is stunning and the soundtrack is funky as hell. There's armadas of ace-looking zombies, tons of excellent-looking make-up effects, and even some nice gore. Ok, some of the CGI effects look poor, but I forgive the filmmakers because they don't rely that heavily on it. Also, there's soooo much awesome stuff in "Juan" going on, you actually don't care about any flawed effects.


Highlights: Juan and his gang fighting the undead with slingshot and baseball bats, Juan trying to exorcise a geriatric zombie, Lazaro getting horny as hell, Juan dancing with a gay zombie, all the exploding buildings in Havana, the TV news clips claiming that the zombies are actually American dissidents, and the amazing finale with Sid Vicious' outrageous version of "My Way".

Let's hope that there will be more Cuban zombie awesomeness in the future!

Wiki ~ Imdb

Oh, btw, the end credits looks just fantastic!!


HUMANS VS ZOMBIES

HUMANS VS. ZOMBIES

Alternate Title:
HVZ: Humans Versus Zombies


USA, 2012
Director: Brian T. Jaynes

3,5/10








A well-meant, but actually pretty shoddy, pretty lousy low-budget flick that adds absolutely nothing new to the zombie / infection genre. Obviously influenced by all the zom-coms of the last years, writer / director Brian T. Jaynes wanted to make a funny undead-flick with lots of emotions and drama, but failed miserably due to a lackluster storyline, an inept screenplay, terrible pacing and too many clichéd, annoying characters. Oh, and Jaynes' lack of directing talent doesn't help either.


HVZ starts off quite ok with a few amusing dialogue-laden sequences and a silly opening that is based on the college campus live-action game. Also, the acting is quite neat and some of the gore scenes look decent.
As for the rest: it's all too slow and too dragged out, the zombie design is very mediocre and the uber-cheap CGI effects look just terrible. The whole movie is way too long (more than 100 minutes!!) and the climax is so muddled, and sooo incredibly unimaginative, it left me baffled in my seat, staring at the screen in complete disbelief.

The tagline on the poster says: "Game on."
I say "Game over."

Press Release: ANGER OF THE DEAD

Francesco Piccone, director of the excellent and highly awarded zombie-short "I'M DEAD (Io sono morta)", is in the midst of shooting his latest short "ANGER OF THE DEAD", a horror-drama that takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where the dead have taken over.

The cast of "ANGER OF THE DEAD" will include Alex Lucchesi ("Eaters"), Serena Bilanceri ("The Labyrinth"), Federico Mariotti ("I'm Dead"), Alessio Cherubini ("My Lai Four") and Beatrice Baldaccini ("Shrek - The Musical").

More updates and information on the
"ANGER OF THE DEAD" Facebook page.

26 February 2013

THE SHINING (1980)

THE SHINING

German Title:
Shining

UK / USA, 1980
Director: Stanley Kubrick

11/10








IMHO "The Shining" is - next to John Carpenter's "Halloween" - the greatest horror film of all time. It is Stanley Kubrick's absolute best movie (even better than my beloved "2001: A Space Odyssey"), it's also the absolute best Stephen-King-adaptation (way better than the book), and it's one of very few movies which gets an 11/10 from me. Period.
I don't know how often I have watched it. 30 times? 40 times? Does it matter? "The Shining" is a stellar and timeless masterpiece. Unique, gripping, mesmerizing and visually impressive.


Still, I'm NOT one of the countless hardcore-fans who believe in any of the mysterious Shining-theories. I've read many articles and blogs all over the internet, I loved the hell out of the "Room 237" documentary and I've also seen various bizarre but nonetheless fascinating "Shining"-documentaries on YouTube - but none of their outlandish theories could convince me. "The Shining" isn't about the Native Americans, or the Holocaust, or the "fake" Moon landing - "The Shining" is a weird but amazing horror film, directed by a weird but amazing guy who made lots of weird but amazing masterpieces.
This may sound narrow-minded, but I can't help it.


- The Cast -
"The Shining" has one of the most fascinating casts in cinematic history and every single actor gives an absolutely exceptional performance. A very insane looking Jack Nicholson (even more insane than usual) as outstanding writer / teacher who completely loses his marbles, a mindblowing Shelley Duvall as fragile and deeply frightened wife, one-time actor Danny Lloyd as perplexing boy with a very special "imaginary" friend, and Scatman Crothers as friendly
but strongly concerned hotel cook.
Also: Barry Nelson as Kennedy look-a-like hotel manager, Joe Turkel as eerie bartender, and Philip Stone as mysterious ex-caretaker.


- Script / Story / Direction -
Instead of simply adapting and bringing Stephen King's successful novel to the screen, Kubrick and novelist Diane Johnson decided to re-invent the story of the Overlook Hotel and its newest inhabitants and to turn it into an intriguing and puzzling labyrinth of mysteries, frights and emotions, that hasn't much to do with the overrated book - much to Mr. King's chagrin, much to my joy :)

Kubrick's direction is pitch perfect and about as flawless as in "Clockwork Orange" or "Full Metal Jacket". The movie is thrilling, suspenseful and super-scary from the first to the last second, thanks to Kubrick's incomparable sense of perfection, and a certain kind of pacing you won't find in any other movie. Even the smallest details are able to give you chills and goosebumps, oh and it's crammed with shitloads of scenes and sequences that will burn into your memory forever:
Danny's tricycle rides, Room 237, the maze, Jack's axe attacks,

the blood-filled corridor etc. etc.


- The Music -

An ear-gasmic selection of unique and fascinating pieces of music, consisting of the epic, haunting snythesizer sounds of Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind, the creepy weirdness of Krzysztof Penderecki and György Ligeti, and the majestic beauty of Béla Bartók, plus: various delightful vintage songs from the 30s,
e.g. the intriguingly wonderful "Midnight, the Stars and You".


- The Camera Work -
Without Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam, the movie would be nothing. Brown, who was heavily involved in the production of "The Shining", created the ultimate tool for shooting the most haunting, most perplexing tracking shots in movie history.
Cinematographer John Alcott ("Barry Lyndon", "Terror Train") cinematography perfectly captures the eerie loneliness of the Overlook Hotel, providing the viewer with an insane amount of stunningly composed shots of the Native American interior design, the corridors with all the fascinating carpet floors, the uber-large kitchen, the red-white toilet room etc. etc.


Is there anything more to say? No. "The Shining" is a pure work of art and I'm in love with it, forever... and ever... and ever...

Wiki ~ Imdb

(More Shining-awesomeness in the next few weeks:
US cut vs. European cut, Shining TV series etc.)

25 February 2013

Interview: Lucy (Bloody Mess)

Part 1 of a three-part Interview-series I did with three writers of the bloody great British-American horror website
"BLOODY MESS".

Lucy a.k.a SuccessMontage,
a 17-year-old student from Newcastle, currently studying Film, Media and English Literature at Newcastle College. She started to become interested in the horror genre after being introduced to The Silence of the Lambs (1991). She enjoys a variety of horror sub-genres, her main interests being psychological, splatter, and slasher horrors. She also enjoys reading noted horror authors, such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz.



Hey Lucy! Who are you and why do you blog?

My name is Lucy, more commonly known as SuccessMontage on the website Bloody-Mess.net. I’m a college student from the North East of England. I like to blog because I enjoy sharing my opinions with film makers and fans, and it gives me the opportunity to showcase my work and my passion for film. I’m hoping to make films of my own once I’ve perfected the techniques too.

Which movie made you a horror fan (and why)?

The first horror film I ever watched was "The Silence of the Lambs", after my granddad introduced me to it. Since that day, I developed a strong love for the genre. It has quickly become one of my favourites, because of its gripping storyline, its subtle yet horrifying scenes and the Oscar-winning performances of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. I recently read the book and I love that just as much.

Who is your favorite horror director (and why)?

Can I choose two?
It’s a toss-up between the Twisted Twins (Jen and Sylvia Soska) and James Wan. I love the visual style and the sheer passion of the sisters, and their films appear to portray women in a more positive light than most horror films, especially in their most recent flick "American Mary". I love films where females are a central character.

And as for James Wan, I thought the original "Saw" film was just incredible. It had the right amount of gore, intense moments, and crime elements. It was a fairly original story, and you never got to see Jigsaw’s face which made it extra spooky.
I’m also a fan of his later work too, such as "Dead Silence" and "Insidious". Whenever I see James’ name, I know I have to see that film!

Your all time horror movie favorites are...

- The Silence of the Lambs
- Saw
- Scream
- 28 Days Later
- 1408
- Carrie


What's the worst horror movie you've seen so far?

"Final Destination 5". The deaths were far too comical and far-fetched, so I just couldn’t take it seriously. Some franchises should end as soon as possible; Final Destination really went downhill after the third film.

Most of my friends don't like horror films. How about your friends?

My friends are a real mixed bag, and that’s what makes them brilliant. Some really enjoy horror, whereas some absolutely hate it. We all enjoy getting together to watch a good film though, regardless of the genre!

Choose: Freddy? Jason? Michael? Pinhead? Other?

From the list, I’d have to choose Michael as I love the idea behind his character and Halloween, as he is an iconic slasher villain.
However, my all-time favourite horror villain is Jigsaw – you sympathise with him even though you probably shouldn’t, and that in itself is remarkable. Tobin Bell was great in that role.

Choose: US horror? European horror? Asian horror? Other?

This is a really hard question, because I enjoy many different types of horror. I’m not a massive fan of Asian horror though, it’s too bizarre for my liking. As you can imagine, I love British horror, and I strongly recommend checking out a few titles.

Do you prefer watching horror at home or at the theater?

At home, although it’s a good laugh when you go to see a horror film with your friends and you all scream like idiots. Nobody will know if I’m hiding behind something or not when I’m at home though!

What music do you like?

I enjoy a bit of everything. Examples of bands/singers I like include: Take That, Rammstein, Kaiser Chiefs, All Time Low, Florence and The Machine, Linkin Park, Lady Gaga, Pink. I don’t listen to just one genre. Although, I can’t stand rap or “MC” or any of that shit. It’s not really music, it’s just talking.

What do you read?

Everything! My parents bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas, so I’ve been buying and downloading all sorts of books/plays to read on that. One of the subjects I’m currently studying is English Literature, so I do love reading. Naturally, I read horror and crime novels, from the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, but I’m really into the Game Of Thrones books right now. They’re so good! I like to read the occasional film/music magazine too, especially if someone I love is on the front cover.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria (not Australia):

Erm… skiing holidays, Milka chocolate and snow! A bit random I know.

Anything else you wanna tell us?

I want to own a pair of Doc Martens in every colour/design. I love them so much!

Thanks a lot, Lucy!

http://bloody-mess.net/

Part 2 - March 4th!



24 February 2013

WARM BODIES

WARM BODIES

USA, 2013
Director: Jonathan Levine

8/10











Maybe I'm just getting old and sentimental, but omg, I utterly loved "Warm Bodies"! It's one of the coolest, cleverest and most entertaining zom-coms I've ever seen, and the fact that it's almost purely about the power of love breeding life back into the undead, makes it the very first real Rom-Zom-Com ever. Sorry "Shaun" and "Deadheads", but you're not romantic enough :)


Jonathan Levine's ("All the Boys love Mandy Lane") adaptation of Isaac Marion's bestselling novel of the same name, is undoubtedly the first BIG surprise of 2013. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect this to be that good! It's incredibly witty and hilariously funny, heartwarming and strangely touching, tense and thrilling, and stunningly entertaining without ever getting boring.

Nicholas Hoult is fantastic as "human" zombie 'R' who's starving for brains, love and sympathy. I adore the way he walks and looks, and his cool pale make-up makes you completely forget about the atrocious face of that Cullen-boy.
Teresa Palmer delivers a similarly great performance (also, excellent chemistry between her and Hoult), Rob Corddry is simply wonderful as R's best friend 'M', Analeigh Tipton is funny as hell, and John Malkovich is sublime as always.


The movie's technical aspects are all superb: beautiful cinematography (Javier Aguirresarobe, "The Others"), a sparkling score from Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders, consisting of enchanting guitars and epic strings, great editing, great special effects - but the true highlight is the outstanding soundtrack: "Patience" - Guns 'N Roses / "Hungry Heart" - Bruce Springsteen / "Missing You" - John Waite / "Rock You like a Hurricane" - Scorpions / "Midnight City" - M83 etc. etc.

The only thing that annoyed me were the skeletal zombies ("Bonies"): I love their 'backstory', but unfortunately, they all look like something out of a videogame, thanks to the rather mediocre CGI.
Apart from that, "Warm Bodies" is a refreshing and really impressing take on the undead-genre, at times so unique, it makes you wanna have more
of that kind ASAP.


Best product placement ever! :D


Press Release: BERKSHIRE COUNTY

Who needs "Madison County", when you can have "Berkshire County"? ;-)

CFC alumni Audrey Cummings is set to direct her debut feature "Berkshire County", to be edited by Michael Mason ("A Little Bit Zombie") this April in Toronto. Pre-production has already begun on this much anticipated horror-thriller with cinematographer Michael Jari Davidson ("Familiar") and producer Bruno Marino ("The Prospector's Curse").

"Berkshire County" follows a self-loathing teen who reluctantly agrees to baby-sit at an isolated country home on Halloween night. But when a boy with a pig mask appears at the door looking for candy, her night takes a horrifiying turn for the worst. What ensues is a violent home invasion which forces our unlikely heroine to go beyond what she ever thought capable in order to survive...

Berkshire County on FB

22 February 2013

Maynard and Craig's Brilliant BLOB-Fest!

Look at that! Manic diary-writer Maynard and Craig Edwards, the mastermind behind "Let's Get Out Of Here", teamed up for an epic motherfucker of a blog post!

Three times the blob, three times the fun! If you have the time, you might wanna read our ramblings about the infamous killer-glibber. If not... well, at last there's a lot of funky pics to look at :-D

Enjoy the BLOB-Fest!!




THE BLOB

German Titles:
Blob - Schrecken ohne Namen / Angriff aus dem Weltall

USA, 1958
Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.,
Russell S. Doughten Jr. (uncredited)

5/10






The first time I've seen "The Blob" was when I was 11 or 12. At that time, I have already seen the 80s "Blob", and was madly in love with it. As you can guess, the 50s "Blob" didn't do anything for me. I found it boring and completely unspectacular.
Seeing it now almost 20 years later, my opinion hasn't changed much. It's a dull and quite uninteresting movie. I can't take it seriously because there's too much goofy stuff going on, but I also can't consider it a good ol' trashfest because there's not enough trash-worthy going on.



- The Good -
The acting is pretty good (most notably Steve McQueen and Earl Rowe) and most of the characters are pretty sympathetic. Ralph Carmichael's ("4D Man") score is very well composed and highly effective, the cinematography is nice, the special effects all look cool, and all the scenes with the Blob are wonderfully entertaining, especially the opening, the hilarious acid attack and the sequence at the movie theater. Also, I think the idea of a formless, amorphous lifeform is quite original - and no, I don't believe in the "Blob" being anti-communist propaganda :P


- The Bad -
Like I mentioned above, the movie is unbelievably slow, boring and tedious. Most of the time you get to see teenagers doing nightly car races, talking to police officers and trying to warn people about a monster. The Blob has way too little screen time, the super-goofy opening song totally doesn't fit the already weird tone of the movie (Burt Bacharach's 'Beware Of The Blob'), the editing if often extremely amateurish and the climax is so indescribably lame, it's close to impertinence.




I know, it's considered a sci-fi/horror-classic and I perfectly understand why. Nevertheless, this is definitely not my blob... erm, cup of tea.

Wiki ~ Imdb



Here's what CRAIG thinks about it:

I first saw The Blob early in my Saturday night “Creature Feature” viewing – and I thought it was awesome. There was a bona fide movie star in it (McQueen was still alive and kicking and making movies when I first saw The Blob) and the monster was really creepy – because it moved silently (no “big bug” shew-shew-shew-shew-shew sounds here); it could ooze through cracks and up and across walls and ceilings; and it melted you to death with acid as it slid over you and digested you.

The effects used to bring the Blob to life were surprisingly good considering the film’s low budget – and the movie comes to a satisfying conclusion – sometimes not an easy proposition when you’ve lined your monster up as invulnerable. My opinion hasn’t changed over the intervening time and several more viewings. 


Nowadays I more readily recognize the movie’s faults – notably an inexperienced supporting cast (that kid playing Corseault’s little brother is more murderous to watch with every passing year) and possibly a rose colored glasses view of 50’s life where authority is almost always respected and the solution to most problems can be found if we just work together.But it’s still a very cool movie – and the Blob actually rates high on my list of movie monsters. It’s very alien (as opposed to some actor in a skullcap and velour body suit speaking English) and it still creeps me out.
A definite recommendation who likes their horror old school now and again.




Some fun facts about The Blob:

- Shot in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania; the world premiere was held there; and in recent years there’s been a “Blob Fest” there annually that tours the film’s locations, and provides fans a chance to see the real Blob – the last remaining bucketful of colored silicone kept by a fan of the film in the area.

-  The Blob is at times “played” by a modified weather balloon and at other times by a big glob of colored silicone. The effects really do work well, with the Blob appearing to move under its own power and never obviously pulled by a string or through reversing the film – although both tricks might have been used.


- A screening of the rough cut got Steve McQueen the job on
TV’s Wanted: Dead or Alive.


- The Blob appears to grow throughout the movie, starting as about the size of a grapefruit in the meteor and growing large enough to engulf a building near the end. The effects of the growth were achieved by putting the creature through its paces on increasingly smaller miniature sets painstakingly built and photographed to match the full size sets the actors worked in.

- The Blob was re-released on a double bill with
Jack H. Harris’ Dinosarus in the 1960’s.




BEWARE! THE BLOB

Alternate Titles:
Son Of Blob / Son Of The Blob

USA, 1972
Director: Larry Hagman

2,5/10








The origins of "Beware! The Blob" in a nutshell: 
 Blob-producer Jack H. Harris showed his personal 16mm print of "The Blob" to his neighbor Larry Hagman (J.R., Major Nelson) who had never seen the movie before. Hagman highly enjoyed it, joined forces with Harris and eventually became the director of a semi-Blob-sequel, Hagman's only theatrical effort. And guess what? Yup, it's terrible.


"Beware! The Blob" is a super-crappy comedic follow-up that looks and feels like one of those god-awful "Killer Tomatoes" flicks. It's lousily written and lousily directed, dull and boring, packed with unnecessary, lengthy and pointless scenes, packed with idiotic and highly annoying characters (douchebag hippies, unnerving boy scouts, a moronic barber...).
The score is repetitive and completely unimaginative, the camera work is tiresome and the editing is amateurish as fuck.



The Blob-scenes are funny (love his 'new' jello-like look), the climax is way more action-packed than the one in the original, there's lots of kewt kittie in the opening (which makes the opening quite watchable) and I laughed at the scene where some guy watches the original "Blob" on the TV.
Everything else about it is utter terrible and totally forgettable.
Fortunately, Hagman went back to his acting roots after this stupid pile of glibber..

Here's what CRAIG thinks about it:

14 years after the original movie, producer Jack H. Harris enlisted his California neighbor Larry Hagman – just finished playing Tony Nelson on TV's I Dream of Jeannie – to direct a sequel – and so we got "Beware! The Blob".


The first point in the movie's favor is that it is a direct sequel. Godfrey Cambridge plays a construction guy who was part of a crew that found the frozen Blob where it was dumped in the Arctic. For some reason they brought containers of it home during a leave; (for Pete's sake, WHY?) and while meaning to keep it stored in the freezer the cannister gets set out while some groceries are being put away (!) - and soon the Blob has thawed enough to absorb a fly that lands on it. Moments later a cat, Mrs. Cambridge, and Godfrey himself fall victim to the once again growing mass - and we're off!

After that the plot resembles the first movie, with hippies substituted for the teens. As the Blob - and the movie - meander about town picking off guest star victims, the hippies try to alert the authorities but are rebuffed because, well, they're hippies! As the Blob corners our heroes and a large segment of the town's residents in the town skating rink, scruffy hero Robert Walker Jr has to try to figure out how they can possibly freeze the huge mass of goo again... 


I first saw this one on the CBS Late Movie one Friday night back in the 70's - and as a kid didn't notice how much goofy humor director Hagman inserted for this second go-round. As an adult I've checked the movie out again, and while there are still some creepy moments with the creature, the humor undercuts it too much to call the movie a success. Still, a scene where an unobservant barber shoves a guy's head into a sink full of Blob is still a little chilling.

It's also very low budget, and while there are some cool effects here and there - a big chunk of the second half fakes the larger blob with small amounts in the camera foreground acting as the larger mass in forced perspective.


As one of only three Blob movies, this still rates a recommendation - just be prepared for a much goofier cinematic experience. This movie also got a re-release - and for a pretty silly and tenuous reason - during the hubbub over Hagman's Dallas character JR Ewing being shot and left for dead as a season ending cliffhanger - Beware! The Blob was shoved back out onto movie screens retitled Son of Blob, and they gave the movie a heck of a then-topical tagline:

"The Movie that J.R. Shot!"

And there's one thing you have to give this sequel: it doesn't have that little talent free ankle biter who played Aneta Corseault's little brother!




THE BLOB

German Title:
Der Blob

USA, 1988
Director: Chuck Russell

9/10








More than 30 years after Irvine H. Millgate, head of visual aids for the Boy Scouts Of America (!), told producer Jack Harris his idea for a monster movie about a "mineral form of life that consumes human flesh on contact", director Chuck Russell ("A Nightmare On Elm Street 3") and Frank Darabont ("The Green Mile") finally turned this idea successfully into a fully satisfying popcorn movie.


I clearly remember 10-year-old me standing in the horror section of the local rental store, staring on the ghastly VHS-cover for what felt like hours. That image, showing a violet-skinned kinda-zombie in strawberry jelly, deeply, deeply fascinated me, and when I finally got to see it a few years later (Thank you German Television for showing it uncut after midnight, and thank you Mom for allowing me to stay up late), it totally blew me away.


"The Blob" is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most entertaining horror movies of the 80s. It ups the ante of the original and stands on its own as an absolutely incredible and spectacular remake, probably one of the best horror-remakes ever made. It's well-built and well-paced, funny, thrilling, action-packed and superbly diverting from start to finish with no dull or boring scenes/sequences.

The characters are all fun and sympathetic and the overall cast is strong and believable, especially Kevin Dillon as quasi-cool local rebel, Shawnee Smith as heroic cheerleader girl, and Del Close as creepy reverend. Michael Hoenig's ("The Wraith") is rousing and effective, and Mark Irwin's ("New Nightmare") intriguing cinematography is fabulous.


Highlight of the movie are obviously the brilliant gore 'n slime effects. Not "The Thing" level brilliant, but definitely awesome and impressive. The Blob looks stunning and creepy, its movements are believable (love how it shoots out of the kitchen sink, or when it transform into some kinda ginat vagina down in the sewers) and I love how it's "able" to change its colors from red to pink to grey.


Also, lots of remarkably badass kills: blob dissolving the lower half of a bum's body, blob absorbing a teenager by covering his entire body, blob crawling into and breaking out of a young woman's body, blob attacking a movie theater audience, blob creeping into a scientist's hatmat suit, blob killing a woman by crushing the phone booth she's standing in, and best of all: blob violently pulling a man down a drain, one of my Top 5 favorite kills of all time!

Popcorn horror-cinema at its best, a must-see for

Wiki ~ Imdb



Here's what CRAIG thinks about it:

This one has some solid names behind the camera - co-written by Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell, and directed by Russell. The movie takes a fun approach - follow the blueprint of the original movie - but at some of the iconic moments remembered from 1958 - spring off in new directions. In those last days before CGI came in all of the effects are practical, which is most welcome - and there's a fun cast, headed by Shawnee Smith (some of the Saw movies) and Kevin Dillon (known more recently for HBO's Entourage). Darabont starts working with Jeffrey DeMunn here; they've been re-teamed on The Walking Dead recently. Also, if you look fast, you can spot Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) as one of the soldiers near the end of the movie!


As there are a couple of neat turns in the plot I'll say no more about the story; suffice to say this is a terrific remake - it acknowledges the original while amping up the special effects with thirty years of technological advancement. My only two quibbles with The Blob '88 - this time the creature throws out tentacles at times - and while they move well, they look too solid and not liquid-y/Blobby enough. And why no cameos from ANYONE from the original movie? Admittedly Steve McQueen was gone by then, but Aneta Corseault was still around. Hell, they could even have stuck Aneta's brother in as an adult. If he didn't speak. And turned away from camera. Boy, nitpick much? Well, what can I say? I try to be balanced in my writing.




You know, two kickass movies out of three, and the last watchable - not a bad scoring record for the series. There were rumors Rob Zombie wanted to remake The Blob again - I was not against the idea - interested to see what CGI might bring to the blobby table, plus the plot is ready made for Zombie's trademark profane white trash characters - The Blob Goes to the Trailer Park. But I guess that isn't happening now. I could stand a new Blob movie - and they have a few years left to hit the thirty year between remakes mark again.




BIG THANKS to my buddy CRAIG for all the awesome stuff he wrote about the Blob-flicks. Be sure to check out and follow his blog "LET'S GET OUT OF HERE".

Also, BIG THANKS to this article for giving me lots of insight about the origins of "The Blob":
 http://cinefantastiqueonline.com/1989/01/retrospective-the-blob-1958/

21 February 2013

THE BACKLOT MURDERS

THE BACKLOT MURDERS

Alternate Title:
The Back Lot Murders

German Titles:
Der Tod führt Regie / The Backlot Murders - Der Tod kommt nach Drehschluss

USA, 2002
Director: David DeFalco

7,5/10



Considering the facts that I've never heard of this movie before, that the rating on Imdb is pretty low and that the title sucks a lot... gee, this was a very nice surprise! (thanks to Mum who gave me a DVD of the movie
as a Christmas present)


"The Backlot Murders" is a funny little slasher-comedy that feels a bit like a mixture of 90s slashers, 80s hardrock slashers and spoofs like "Student Bodies", and it doesn't take itself too seriously. The storyline isn't really unique, but still pretty refreshing: a rockband shoots a music video on the actual set of Hitchcock's "Psycho" when suddenly a killer in a Rockabilly/Elvis-like mask appears and starts to kill off one by one.
Sounds rad - is rad :)



It's packed with cool actors playing goofy and over-the-top characters. Charles "Roger Rabbit" Fleischer (who also did some memorable performances in movies like "Zodiac" or "Elm Street") as outrageously funny gay music video director, Corey Haim ("The Lost Boys") as silly guitarist, Priscilla Barnes ("The Devil's Rejects") as uber-hilarious band-manager, soap opera actor Brian Gaskill as dumb band leader, supercute softcore actress LoriDawn Messuri as stage-fog expert + a few gorgeous playmates, like Carrie Stevens and Angela Little, and a cameo of Ken Sagoes, best known from "Elm Street 3 & 4".

Terry Huud crafted an excellent score that sounds like a blend of Charles Bernstein and Bernard Herrmann, photography, lighting and editing are fine, DeFalco's direction is decent, and the Universal sets are just cool... yes I said sets, because next to the "Psycho" mansion, we also get to see sceneries from "Jurassic Park 2" and "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame".
There's also lots of boobs, tons of fun kills and a pretty high body count.



Best of all: the dialogue. Oh my goodness, it's so crammed with awesome lines that made me scream with laughter, my stomach still hurts ;-D

- "This is a hardrock-band. They don't need talent, they just need tight pants."
- "Edgy? Hello, we're shooting a rock band on the "Lost World" set. If it had anymore edge, I could shave with it."
- "What about 'Psycho'? You must have seen that one." - "Oh yeah. I saw that movie, daddy. It had Anne Heche in it, right?"
- "Your job in this scene is to make the boys tumescent... you know what tumescent means? Swollen... hard... stiff... Cockus Erectus."
- "The drummer keeps playing out of sync and the bass player, he looks like he's in a ABBA-video."
- "No-one said anything about nudity, and besides, I get double to show my chest!" - "Just because you have two of them doesn't mean you get double."
- "North? Where the hell is North? I don't know North. Give me left or right!"
- "You're an actress? In Los Angeles? How unusual."


Oh, and there's lots of talk about fog going on because Fleischer's character has some kinda fog-problem:

- "I hate fog, and you know I hate fog and I don't wanna work with fog again." - "Will you ever get over your whole fog-thing?" - "It's not a fog-thing. I'm not fog-phobic."
- "I'm very picky about my fog. I hate phony fog. (...) I want a very special fog. I do not want a Whitesnake-Poison-Billy-Squire video fog, I want a 1940s black-and-white Peter-Lorre-Boris-Karloff fog. I want a thick, tense serpentine-fog that creeps along the ground.
I want a fog that seems like it's coming from Satan's ass."


Some dragging in the last third and the ending is quite underwhelming, but overall, an amusing little flick that should give you one helluva time!

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