30 June 2013

WORLD WAR Z

WORLD WAR Z

USA, 2013
Director: Marc Forster

2/10











When I saw the first teasers last year, I already knew that this would be a shitfest - but now that I've seen it... damn, I have to admit that I wasn't prepared for how shitty this movie really is. "World War Z", the NON-adaptation of Max Brooks' novel of the same name, is a post-apocalyptic zombie / epidemic flick for people who have never seen a zombie flick before, made by people who have absolutely no idea how a zombie flick works.


This movie was the most frustrating big-budget-blockbuster since "Battle: Los Angeles". Two hours of people travelling from one country to another, fighting against the blandest and daftest CGI zombies you can imagine. Billions of people dying, millions of buildings exploding, but I can't remember seeing anyone actually get killed by a zombie, no blood, no guts, nothing (fuck you, PG-13).

Marc Forster's direction is so goddamn unimaginative, it feels as if he wasn't even on the set during filming. There's no plot, no story, just several scenes and sequences tied together. No spark of originality, no sense of creativity, just clichéd stuff we've already seen thousands of times.
It already starts out in a really terrible way: Brad Pitt and family having breakfast, Brad Pitt and family stuck in a traffic jam - DANG! Zombie invasion. Yes, that's essentially the first 10 minutes. No character development, no build-up.


The acting is so unimpressive, it hurts, but that's not the fault of the actors - it's because their characters are all boring and one-dimensional slowpokes. None of them is likable in any kind of way, and there's also absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. When Brad Pitt is talking on the telephone to his wife, it feels more like he's ordering a pizza.

The 3D is dreadful and there was actually no point in giving this the 3D treatment. No depth, no funny jump-out effects, just uninteresting and unspectacular-looking settings and Captain-America-like 3D-lameness. The CGI is way too obvious, especially when something explodes or when you see the zombie hordes running. The zombie design is laughably weak and apart from the fact that they are almost too fast (I hate fast zombies), none of them looked scary. And what's with the silly noises they make? The 'doctor zombie' at the end was so unintentionally hilarious, the whole audience laughed their asses off.


Worst: 1) The horrendous shaky cam. Usually, I don't have a problem with shaky cam, but here it was so annoying and so over-the-top, there were huge amounts of scenes where I had no idea what was going on. Was this filmed and edited on a smartphone? Does the cameraman have Parkinson's, or what?
2) The soundtrack, consisting of music by Marco Beltrami and Muse.
Ok, Muse haven't done anything worthwhile since the "Black Holes & Revelations" album, but Beltrami... gee, how the might have fallen. You could say, he did a paycheck-score, probably just reusing some old, unreleased pieces of music.

3) Some really, really annoying product placement (fuck you, Pepsi).

The things I liked: the scene in South Korea was fairly cool, the zombie attack in Israel was quite entertaining, and I really loved to see my favorite German actor Moritz Bleibtreu ("Run Lola Run", "The Experiment") in a minor role.
Aside from that, "World War Z" is a goddamn piece of crap. This movie sucks so fucking hard, it's astonishing. Where did all the money go? 250 Millions? What the heck? GRRRRR!!! Fuck you, movie, I hate... nah, I despise you.

Wiki ~ Imdb

Want some more hate? Then you just have to check the review
of my blog buddy Karina =)
MundaneRambling.blogspot.com/WorldWarZ


ANGUISH (/SLASHING EUROPE 2013)

ANGUISH

Original Title:
Angustia

German Title:
Im Augenblick der Angst

Spain, 1987
Direcor: Bigas Luna

5/10





"Anguish" is a movie that I really, really wanted to like, just based on what I saw and heard about. The trailers, posters and synopsis made it look like one helluva mindfuck - and a mindfuck it is, but not in the way I wanted it.

It starts out as creepy and highly unsettling semi-slasher with a stunning Zelda Rubinstein and a weirdly awesome Michael Lerner, many mesmerizing visuals, spooky music and some awesome gore. Then, the scenery changes and we get to see a theater audience watching the movie that we started to watch, which is actually a film-within-a-film. Yes, this twist was unexpected and omg, I just loved it. But then, things get really unnerving.


Instead of going back to the film-within-a-film, we stay in the theater, seeing the uninteresting reactions of two unbelievably annoying and unsmpathetic characters, plus: more things happen inside and outside the theater that I just couldn't and didn't want to enjoy, simply because these things belong to an entirely different film. It all culminates in a strange and almost too over-the-top ending that I couldn't enjoy either

All I wanted to see was Rubinstein and Lerner, but alas, all I got was a weird mess that works for many people but didn't work for me at all. Hmpf.

Wiki ~ Imdb

27 June 2013

Project Terrible: WEREWOLF (1996)

The best movie in that round is still a pretty terrible stinker, thanks to Michele (The Girl Who Loves Horror) who chose this little piece of werewolf-shit. Hope she'll enjoy my choice, the Italian Star-Wars-ripoff  "War of the Robots" (1978) :-D

WEREWOLF

Alternate Title:
Arizona Werewolf

USA, 1996
Director: Tony Zarindast

2,5/10








It's not the worst werewolf movie ever made - that's either "Howling 3" or "Howling 7" (haven't seen the "Howling" reboot yet) - but it's sure one of the worst I've seen in a long time, though: what to expect of a movie with the tagline
"Rest in... Beast"
?? =D

Iranian writer / director Tony Zarindast's "Werewolf" (I prefer the alternate title "Arizona Werewolf") is an inept, highly flawed and unintentionally hilarious direct-to-video flick about the skeleton of a skinwalker that is 'able' to infect humans with lycanthropy, causing a little werewolf-outbreak in Arizona.


To be fair, I thought it's not as bad as its general reputation. I mean, gee, this was mocked by the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" in 1998 - yes, only two years after its release!! The first 20-25 minutes were fairly creepy and had some tense moments, some of the transformation make-up looks nice, and the tribal/violin-score is quite ace.

As for the rest... damn, pretty bad indeed! The acting is laughable and nearly every actor seems to have a different accent, which makes it often hard to understand, but it actually made me laugh a lot because some of the English is even more terrible than mine. Two-time actress and eye-candy Adrianna Miles totally stands out because she constantly delivers outrageous semi-English lines like
"I laav yuu. No matta wot.", "Tell mi the troof!" or "Comon Noel, your a russianal man. That's impossibul. Waerwilfs?"


The continuity is horrible and most of the scenes just don't fit together. Same for the editing which comes off as incredibly amateurish. There's a werewolf puppet that looks more like a bear, a werewolf-kills-girl-in-a-puddle-of-water-scene that looks more like mud wrestling, and a super-silly scene where a man transforms into a werewolf while driving a car. Also, seems like there's a full moon every single night in Arizona...

"Werewolf" is faaaar from being a good movie, but it didn't piss me off, thanks to some ok moments and a huge amount of scenes that made me LOL. The perfect flick for your next bad-movie-night =)

Wiki ~ Imdb

26 June 2013

Project Terrible: ACTIUM MAXIMUS / STAR WORMS II

Wow, Robert from Gaming Creatively gave me an incredibly massive stinker that sucked so effin' hard, I'm not able to enjoy the fact that I gave him the ultra-borefest "Bates Motel" (1987). And due to my stupidity, I ended up double-punked. Well done, Maynard...  O_o

ACTIUM MAXIMUS:
WAR OF THE ALIEN DINOSAURS

USA, 2005
Director: Mark Hicks

0/10










I don't understand all the bad reviews. Give this movie a chance! It's a really...
Nah. Kidding. This was worse than bad. This movie redefines "bad" as it is certainly one of the worst things ever made. I respect that Bill Hicks did almost everything on that movie (direction, script, main actor, camera, score, sound & special effects) and it's also nice to see so many practical effects - but that all doesn't help when simply everything about it is simply uber-fucking-terrible.


"Actium Maximus: War of the Alien Dinosaurs" (what a title) is an unfinished piece of no-budget garbage, released by Troma probably merely as a joke. I've never seen any special effects, green-screen effects and miniature puppets that look soooo goddamn awful, plus: we get to see some of the absolute worst split-screens in history. It was a torture to look at all this crap.

The oh-so-epic sci-fi plot (read here) feels as if it was written by demented potheads who just had the best weed evah, and it's all full of aliens, dinosaurs and other "characters" with names like Omni-Turor Jacinium Axezun or Grand Automaton Polpox or Kolaminator number 73 or Roaranthax or Laffrandite or... eh, whatever. Grrr!!


The music is repetitive semi-creepy-piano-meets-80s-hairmetal. Lighting, editing and camera work are dreadful. The few actors don't act - they just appear and read lines. Every single creature moves around in / was designed in a totally craptacular way. Subtitles come and go without any reason. Nothing makes sense. Nothing is fun. It all just sucks.

Is it the worst movie I've ever seen? No, "Skeleton Key 2" and "Birdemic" are still unsurpassable in its crappiness - but "Actium Maximus" definitely belongs in the Worst Top 10. Did I mention that I didn't expect it to be that bad because the title sounded fun to me? Well done, Troma. Well done, Mr. Hicks. Fuck you both.





Since "Actium Maximus" was released as a double feature, I thought it's a fun idea to torture myself with the second movie as well. The cover looked goofy, and this title also sounded fun to me. Guess how much I enjoyed it...

STAR WORMS II:
ATTACK OF THE PLEASURE PODS

USA, 1985
Director: Lin Sten

0/10










What looks and sounds like a silly "Star Wars" spoof, is actually one of the worst and most boring movies ever made. Don't get fooled: "Star Worms II: Attack of the Pleasure Pods" (what a title) is not a sequel because there is no "Star Worms I"!! Troma obviously knew how shitty this piece of crap is, so they released it back then with a funky VHS cover that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, and added a tagline - "They're back! Battling, Bitting, Burrowing into your Brain!" - that makes absolutely no sense, since this is not a sequel and the few 'Star Worms' we get to see look like damaged garden hoses and only one of them actually crawls into... no, not a brain. An arm, for chrissakes!


None of the actors are able to act, none of the characters are likable, and the plot makes no sense whatsoever (read here). I had no idea what the whole thing was about, and it didn't help that the sound quality is horrid and most of the actors are just mumbling and muttering. Halfway into the movie, I thought I'm already watching this for hours since it's sooo goddamn slow and sooo terribly tedious. Most of the movie consists of stupid people sitting by a creek, talking about worms and star prisons and stuff.


A few times, I thought we get to see at least some nice lesbo-stuff, but then apart from some 'kissing', nothing happened, no nudity, no sex, no nothing. Only one hetero-sex-scene, but that looked like a woman's being fucked by a brown bear. Also, tiresome music, unimaginative camera work, and many ugly settings. Duh! Another one for the Worst Top 10. Well done, Troma. Well done, Mr. Sten.
Fuck you both.

25 June 2013

Project Terrible: ZOMBIE WEREWOLVES ATTACK!

The last few months were a bit crazy and I had so much stuff to do, I couldn't participate in Round 10 of Mondo Bizarro's delightfully dreadful "Project Terrible". Fortunately, things have settled down and now I'm finally back
for some serious crap.
Round 11 is small. We're only 4 contributors this time, which means I only had to watch 3 movies (ok, 4 because there will be a bonus flick *surprise*), but wow: this time it was really, really bad. I daresay this was the worst round so far  =)

Let's start with Alec (Mondo Bizarro): he gave me a tremendously Troma-tizing piece of shit that's sadly faaaar worse than I thought it would be. Revenge will be mine: I gave him the 1981 rubbish "The Demon" which could be considered as the cinematic equivalent of Valium xD

ZOMBIE WEREWOLVES ATTACK!

Canada, 2009
Director: Chris Green

2/10











Ugh, that was tough to watch. Don't get fooled by the hilarious cover and the badass title: "Zombie Werewolves Attack!" is a stunningly dumb, incredibly lame and hardly watchable no-budget flick about a bunch of stupid stoners and an oh-so-tough werewolf-hunter, fighting against a pack of werewolves.


The movie was obviously made by a young, unexperienced director and a couple of his friends. Well, that's okay and I'm sure they had a great time filming it - but that doesn't help making me enjoy it. I've seen my fair share of ultra-indie horror-films, and this is surely one of the worst so far.

A bunch of non-actors (and Kim Sønderholm who seems to 'star' in everything that has "indie", "horror" and "no money" written all over it) stumbling through an embarassingly bad non-script, delivering tons of unfunny and annoying dialogue lines, while they get chased by some of the worst-looking werewolf-like creatures I've ever seen. Also: horrid-looking non-effects, poor camera work and terribly amateurish non-editing.


The opening credits are cool, the soundtrack rocks and there are at least a few pretty hilarious lines:
(Indian guy) "I bought this fucking computer from here and it has not been working since the day I bought it. I brought it in here before... and one of you fuckers fucked it up."
(stoner) "If a guy had a gun and put it to your head... would you suck his dick, or would you take the bullet?"
- but that's about it. Zombie Werewolves suck.

22 June 2013

H.P. Lovecraft's DAGON (2001)

DAGON

Alternate Title:
H.P. Lovecraft's Dagon

Spain, 2001
Director: Stuart Gordon

7/10








When I first heard about "Dagon", I wasn't exactly intrigued because H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Dagon" is definitely one of his weaker works. When I learned that this is actually an adaptation of "The Shadow over Innsmouth", I completely lost interest in it, because although this story is considered as one of Lovecraft's best works, I never really liked it. I read it several times and tried to enjoy it, but it simply never made 'click'.

Last year, a blog buddy (Thanks Cyn!) highly recommended it to me, praising it as one of the best Lovecraft-adaptations ever made.
Then, a few weeks ago, I found a very cheap copy in the bargain bin, and although my interest still wasn't high, I decided to buy it - and now Im glad I did! It's not the best Lovecraft-adaptation (that's "Re-Animator") and it's also not the best Stuart Gordon film (that's "From Beyond"), but it's a fabulously entertaining piece of Euro-horror that exceeded all my expectations.


Together with his long-time collaborators Dennis Paoli (screenplay) and Brian Yuzna (production), Gordon created an excellently oldschool-like horror film with lots of eerie atmosphere, gripping tension and bizarre characters. The flaws are few: a handful of awful CGI effects, a few scenes in the first half that are just too slow, and I wasn't too fond of Carles Cases' sparse score. I would have preferred some Charles Band music instead.

Everything else is top notch: the Galician seaside town looks awesome with all its spooky buildings and derelict houses, and Carlos Suárez' cinematography is just amazing. It's packed with terrific-looking make-up effects and some stunning gore, including one of the most insane "face-rippings" I've ever seen (look here!), and the cast is absolutely excellent: Ezra Godden as skeptical anti-hero, Raquel Meroño as his girlfriend, the bloody hot Macarena Gómez as cult leader Uxia with tentacle feet and gorgeous boobs, and best of all, the great Francisco Rabal ("Goya in Bordeaux", "Nightmare City") in his very last role.


By the finale, when the whole town is chanting "Ia! Ia! Fhtagn! Chtulhu!",
I chanted with them, happy knowing this DVD wasn't a mispurchase :)

21 June 2013

Fincher Friday: "ZODIAC" (2007)

(Part 4 of a four-part review-series about horror-related David Fincher movies)

ZODIAC

German Title:
Zodiac - Die Spur des Killers

USA, 2007
Director: David Fincher

10/10








5 years after "Panic Room", David Fincher returned with a movie that marked a new chapter in his cinematic work. Gone were the days of dark thrillers and brutal satires. Fincher was ready for something different, something more elaborate, more sophisticated. The result: "Zodiac", a semi-adaptation of Robert Graysmith's non-fiction bestseller of the same name, about the hunt for one of the most mysterious serial killers in American history.


"Zodiac" is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. Not kidding. As much as I love "Se7en" and "Fight Club" - there's something so unique, so intriguing, so mindblowing about "Zodiac", it almost makes you forget about his other films.
At a length of about 160 minutes and with an incredible amount of characters and events, it feels almost as epic as "Casino" or "Magnolia" (two of my alltime non-horror faves).


I might overexaggerate, but I think that "Zodiac" is perfect in all aspects. James Vanderbilt ("Amazing Spider Man") delivers one of the most flawless screenplays of the last 20 years, and Fincher's direction fully proves why many call him "a directing god". You have to be a genius to tell a story so complex, so eclectic, in such a compelling and mesmerising way, that you're not only completely glued to the screen, but you also don't realize how long the movie actually is because is goes by so quickly. I remember the first time I saw it, I was immensely disappointed when it ended, because I wanted to see another three hours of investigations and stuff.


Harris Savides' ("The Game") beautiful photography is absolutely outstanding, as is the fantasically flowing editing style by frequent Fincher-collaborator Angus Wall. Massive kudos to the pitch-perfect art direction who make the movie look like it was really shot in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The heart of the movie is the uber-excellent soundtrack. No, not David Shire's score (which is also wonderful), I'm talking about the excellent choice of rock and pop songs: Santana's "Soul Sacrifice", Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street", Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues", the Sonny-Bono-written "Bang Bang" in the bizarre version of Vanilla Fudge, and - best of all - Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man", a song I didn't know before "Zodiac", but since then, it gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it. Such an amazing little masterpiece!!



The acting is terrific and the unbelievably intense chemistry between the actors is gobsmacking: Jake Gyllenhaal as cartoonist Graysmith who's obsessed with the Zodiac Killer, the gorgeous Chloe Sevigny as his frustrated wife, Anthony Edwards and an insanely awesome Mark Ruffalo as somewhat desperate police detectives, and Robert Downey Jr. as boozy crime reporter.

The movie is packed with stunningly written and brilliantly developed dialogue scenes, and the few kill scenes are all simply awesome.
However, the ABSOLUTE highlight is the scene where Gyllenhaal's character meets up with a mysterious suspect (outstandingly played by Charles Fleischer) and follows him down into one of the creepiest basements in movie history. Fleischer looks scary as hell, and Gyllenhaal is totally frightened... Aaarrgh, I love that scene! When Fleischer says "Mr. Graysmith, I do the posters myself. That's my handwriting."... More Goosebumps!!!


This is the Maynard speaking, and he wants you to love "Zodiac" as much as he loves it ;-D

Wiki ~ Imdb

Part 1: "Se7en"
Part 2: "The Game"
Part 3: "Panic Room"

18 June 2013

Mark Tonderai Double Feature: HUSH / HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET

HUSH

UK, 2008
Director: Mark Tonderai

8/10











In 2009 this little low-budget psycho-thriller suddenly came out of nowhere, but sadly went under the radar and didn't got the praise that it actually deserves, which is sad because "Hush" is one badass little indie flick. It's a bit flawed and far from being original, but omg, it is so breathtakingly thrilling and suspenseful, it's almost unbearable to watch.


The directing and writing debut of Mark Tonderai, ex-DJ at BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 4 and Kiss 100 London, is a fabulous cat-and-mouse game that could be described as high-speed mix of "Duel", "Breakdown" and "The Vanishing", including obvious plot elements from "Amusement", "High Tension" and "Joy Ride". As I mentioned, there's not much originality in it and several plot points seem to be a bit far-fetched, but that doesn't matter because direction and pacing are so goddamn gripping, you can't help being glued to the screen.

The storyline is packed to the brim with unexpected plot twists, clever surprises and many, many scenes that are sooo well-made, sooo well-developed, they will totally blow your mind (toilet scene, farmhouse, surveillance). The cinematography is slick and Theo Green's ("Dread") energetic soundtrack is barnstorming. William Ash delivers an absolutely brilliant and powerful performance, the body count is quite high, the gore is cool and the film's overall atmosphere is stunningly grim.


An excellent piece of Brit-horror. Hitchcock would be proud!




HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET

USA / Canada, 2010/2012
Director: Mark Tonderai

2/10










The generic house at the generic end of the generic street. Ugh, what a disaster. I really thought that "Hush" could be the start of a stunning career for Mr. Tonderai, and I was actually pretty excited for this - but then I saw the trailer. And then I read all the negative reviews. And then I saw the movie. And then I crapped my pants in utter disappointment.



Originally, "House At The End Of The Street" was announced back in 2003 with Jonathan Mostow ("Terminator 3") as director and Richard Kelly ("Donnie Darko") as screenwriter. Yet, for whatever reason, the movie was ultimately shot in 2010 by Tonderai, based on a script by David Loucka ("Dream House"), and finally released in 2012 after Jennifer Lawrence got more popular
(you know, "Hunger Games" and stuff).

It's a really, really bad film with a stunningly foreseeable, stunningly predictable plot. I guessed large parts of the story within the first five minutes. There's hardly any tension or atmosphere, just a bunch of stupid jump scares. The characters are all made out of cardboard, the acting is meh, the cinematography is shaky and annoying, and the score often feels like a poor rehash of the outstanding "One Hour Photo" soundtrack.


I'm surprised that this wasn't produced by Screen Gems because it looks (and is) about as dumb as polished teenie-garbage like "The Roommate" or the dreadful "Prom Night" remake. Also, it's beyond me why this found its way into theaters, as it is clearly straight-to-DVD fodder.
The only good things about it: the hotness of Jennifer Lawrence and a few funny dialogue lines ("Dickhole is the new asshole." / Just because you were some wasted slut in high school, doesn't mean I'm going to be.")

Oh, Mark Tonderai... how the mighty have fallen. Nice to see that his follow-up project was some made-for-TV thriller ("Stalkers", 2013). From festivals to theaters to television within 5 years... not bad! ;-)

16 June 2013

HORROR MOVIE DIARY IS 4 YEARS OLD!!

Holy shit. Can you believe it? The HORROR MOVIE DIARY is celebrating its
4th BIRTHDAY!!! YAY!!! :-D
What started as a personal online index of the movies I watched, became an extensive full-time hobby that helped me improving my English skills, got me in contact with lots of cool peeps all over the world, and made me watch movies I wouldn't have watched if there was no blog :-)

Massive thanks, props and kudos to everyone who ever visited or left a comment on my tiny little blog. Special Thanks go out to my Horror Bloggers of the Month, my Halloween Buddies, and all the peeps in the FB Film Geek Circle.

And now, let's get to the fun stuff. Here's a little video I made. Enjoy! :-D


Webcam Video from Maynard Morrissey on Vimeo.


15 June 2013

3 more Short Films by Jeremiah Kipp: A CHANCE IN HELL / THE DAYS GOD SLEPT / THE POD

A CHANCE IN HELL
(5minute short)

USA, 2013
Director: Jeremiah Kipp

7,5/10





Short, 'sweet' and very neat: "A Chance in Hell" is a delightfully brilliant film about a somewhat odd couple: he is madly in love with her, but she only wants him because he can provide her with heroin. You know, this won't turn out well...


Alexandra Vino and Jay Horton both give breathtaking and extremely believable performances. Love their intense chemistry and interaction. The bright and clear look of the film gives the story a highly interesting touch that feels uplifting and depressing at the same time. The music is superbly atmospheric, editing and camera work are top notch.

The only thing that bothered me was the ending as it was too predictable ('figured' it out very early) - but aside from that, it's good ol' Kipp-quality :)




THE DAYS GOD SLEPT
(10minute short)

USA, 2013
Director: Jeremiah Kipp

5/10



One of the strangest and also most unenjoyable Kipp-shorts I've seen so far. "The Days God Slept" is a beautiful and stunnning-looking film with lots of stylish sets and images, terrific acting (Lauren Fox, Lukas Hassel), hot nudity and a gripping score by the great Harry Manfredini ("Friday The 13th").


Unfortunately, the whole thing is tedious and plodding, at times highly confusing. Not in a Kipp-typical way (that would have been good), but in a rather underwhelming and uninteresting way. Also, too many open questions I couldn't answer for myself and a weird plot that didn't intrigue me at all. Not my cuppa.

Imdb
Facebook



THE POD
(18minute short)

USA, 2006
Director: Jeremiah Kipp

8/10










"The Pod" is not only one of Kipp's earliest short films, it's also the first one that deals with his recurring theme of a couple taking drugs. The other two are "A Chance in Hell" (see above) and the fantastic "Contact" (review here).
In fact, "Contact" is very similar to "The Pod" and actually feels like a logical continuation of "The Pod" which is a terrific film, but not as terrific as "Contact" - but that's ok :)

"The Pod" tells the story of a young couple (Jonas & Caroline) that tries to save their relationship by taking a bizarre new mind-altering drug (a green liquid that comes from a little "pod") which is meant to be taken by couples only. When Caroline refuses, Jonas takes it alone and disappears into the night... a night that becomes a fatal nightmare for both of them.


Swedish actor Emanuele Ancorini is fabulous and genre-legend Larry Fessenden is great as always, but it's Mary Remington who carries the film and delivers an absolutely spellbinding performance that glued me to the screen. Unfortunately, she only did a couple of films. According to Mr. Kipp, she left the film business to pursue a career in another field of work. I really hope she will come back sometime in the future. Like Kipp said, "she is a magical creature".

The look of the film is a bit too grainy, but that doesn't matter since the cinematography / camera work is absolutely ace and the editing is simply excellent. Also, a few surreal Yuzna-esque special effects,
a haunting score and some wonderfully eerie settings.
Pod notch... um, top notch! ;)

Imdb
Watch it here!

14 June 2013

Fincher Friday: "PANIC ROOM" (2002)

(Part 3 of a four-part review-series about horror-related David Fincher movies)

PANIC ROOM

USA, 2002
Director: David Fincher

8/10











"Panic Room" may not be David Fincher's best movie, but it's still one helluva gripping thrill-ride and surely one of the best home-invasion films of the 00s. I was surprised about all the negative reviews. Yes, it has its flaws and and it also suffers from some irritating little details, but the concept and the execution are so well done, these trifles can easily be forgiven.


The whole movie is incredibly tense and atmospheric, thanks to the super-strong direction and David Koepp's ("Jurassic Park") intriguing script. I love the hell out of the slow-motion scene where the main character leaves the Panic Room in search for her mobile phone, the almost hilarious propane gas sequence, and the fucking badass climax.

Massive kudos to Howard Shore for the stunningly enthralling score, and to Darius Khondji ("Amour") & Conrad W. Hall ("The Punisher") who deliver some outstanding camera work. Lots of baffling shots and angles, and all the CG zoom-in/zoom-out stuff is just adorable. The design of the townhouse is fantastic (elevator, glass roof, all the staircases), and the movie's overall gloomy look is hauntingly beautiful.


Jodie Foster delivers an awesome-as-always performance, Forest Whitaker is super-cool and highly sympathetic, and Dwight Yoakam is simply amazing. Very surprised about Jared Leto! I normally hate the guy, but here, he's really, really entertaining. Also, a very decent young Kristen Stewart, probably her only performance that could be considered as real good ;-)

"Panic Room" is a great and highly enjoyable suspense-fest.

Fincher once again delivers!

Wiki ~ Imdb

Oh btw, look at the opening credits! Aren't they fantastic?


Part 1: "Se7en"
Part 2: "The Game"
Part 4: "Zodiac

13 June 2013

THE COLLECTOR // THE COLLECTION (Fright Nights Festival 2013)

THE COLLECTOR

USA, 2009
Director: Marcus Dunstan

10/10











When I first saw "The Collector" two years ago, it blew me away so fuckin' hard, I was completely speechless. I loved it so much that I watched it 3 or 4 times over the weekend I rented it - and it even made it on top of my Best-Of-2010 list.
Now that I finally bought the Uncut UK DVD, I immediately rewatched it just to check if it's still as awesome as I remembered... yes, it is!


Marcus Dunstan's "The Collector" is one of the greatest and most mindblowing slasher-flicks of all time. Call me nuts, but I'm serious about it. This is simply one helluva motherfucking thrill ride and hopefully the birth of a new horror icon. The story may be nothing special, but everything else is, especially the huge amount of gripping suspense and nerve-wrecking tension.

Visually, it's one of the coolest and most beautiful horror movies ever made. It's packed with the most fantastic colours you can imagine (poison green, blood red, sulphur yellow...), the staccato-style editing is just terrific, there's a certain amount of Argento-like atmopshere, and Brandon Cox' cinematography / camera work is just magnificent.


There's lots of violent and gruesome kills and torture scenes (bear trap massacre, intestines ripped out, fingers cut off...), gallons of fab-looking gore, tons of creative and insane death traps (room filled with acid glue, chandelier with knives, fish hooks hanging from the ceiling) and of course, the "Collector" himself, one of the weirdest, yet most impressive movie-killers in history.

The soundtrack is just amazing. We get to hear Combichrist's brutal "Shut Up And Bleed", the cool 'Throb Mix' of Depeche Mode's incredible "I Feel You", the intro of Korn's badass "Dead Bodies Everywhere" and, best of all, "Bela Lugosi's Dead", the gothic uber-masterpiece from Bauhuas.
More Highlights: the stylish opening credits, the hilarious scene with the cat glued to the floor, the even more hilarious scene with the dog in the burning litter, the scene with the TV and the aquarium, and the kick-ass shock ending.


A modern horror masterpiece.
(Review from September 2012)

Wiki ~ Imdb



THE COLLECTION

German Title:
The Collection - The Collector 2

USA, 2012
Director: Marcus Dunstan

3/10








The fact that "The Collector" is one of my favorite horror movies of the last 20 years, obviously made me immensely excited for the sequel. When I first got to see the super-stylish 'Collection'-poster, I was like "Wow! Awesome!". When I first got to see the 'Collection'-trailer, I was like "Wow!! Amazing!!"
But when I finally got to see the whole movie, I was like "Wow. What a trainwreck."

"The Collection" is everthing I hoped it wouldn't be: it's dumb, generic and utterly frustrating. Director Marcus Dunstan seemed to have no idea (or seemed to have forgotten?) what made the first part so popular among horror fans. Gone is the gripping soundtrack, gone are the fantastic visuals, gone is the tension. "The Collection" is just another lousy and desperate attempt in creating a new horror franchise. Goddammit, Horror franchises happen, you can't just create them. Duh!


Ok, the movie starts out pretty awesome: the opening scene in the club is simply badass and reminded me a bit of the club-scene in "Girls Against Boys". Great visuals, pumping dance tunes and loads of gore, plus: the very first appearance of The Collector is absolutely impressive and Emma Fitzpatrick is quite a hottie.

Everything that follows after the opening, feels like a completely different film. The trailer made it look like a slasher-variation of "Aliens", but it's actually a lame, badly paced and incompetenly made mess, packed with unnerving and totally unsympathetic characters, horrid dialogue lines, and many violent kills that try so, so hard to shock you, it's just annoying.
Direction and script are both terrible, the soundtrack is weak, the camera work is often too shaky, the editing is sloppy and way too hectic, and the ending is just bullshit.


If it would be better-looking, I could easily dismiss it as "style over substance" - but it has no style! No substance! No nothing! It's just an endless succession (or should I say collection?) of scenes where we get to see people going through corridors and people getting killed, scenes where The Collector's looking like a complete douchebag (nope, he's not scary anymore) and Josh Stewart looking like a drug addict in search of a fix.

I hope the rumours the rumours that there could be a third part called "The Collected" are not true...

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