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Archive for December, 2012

The Man With The Iron Fists (2012) – Not Perfect But Still Fun

The Man With the Iron Fists is a 2012 American Martial Arts film, set in 19th Century China (in a town called “Jungle Town”), and stars RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, David Bautista among many others.

This film is very stylish and tells the story of a man getting vengence on the murder of his father, the leader of the Lion Clan, by his adopted son, Silver Lion. To do the movie a little more justice, here is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia plot summary:

In nineteenth century China, Jungle Village is home to several warring clans. The village Blacksmith creates deadly weapons for the clans, intending to use his payments to purchase the freedom of his lover Lady Silk, and leave the village. The region’s governor tasks the Lion Clan’s leader Gold Lion with protecting a large shipment of gold that must pass through the village. Gold is betrayed by his lieutenants Silver Lion and Bronze Lion, who plan to steal the gold. They use the chaos of a fight with the Hyena Clan to allow their co-conspirator Poison Dagger (the governor’s aide) to assassinate Gold; Silver becomes the Lions’ leader. Gold’s son Zen-Yi learns of his father’s murder and sets off to the village to seek revenge.

Man – this is a stylish Kung Fu fest like I’ve rarely seen. Lots of flying around, and silly amazing moves. If you’ve seen Hidden Dragon Crouching tiger (or whatever it’s called), then you know the style of martial arts in this movie. Now, while a Kung Fu movie, RZA throws in a generous amount of Steam Punk (something I enjoy a lot).

While not perfect (or even close), I found this movie quite enjoyable. In certain ways, it reminded me of something Quentin Tarantino might create. I say watch this movie.

Here’s the trailer:

A Little Bit Zombie (2012) – Where Did This Movie Come From And Why IS It As Good As It Is?

2012’s Little Bit Zombie came out of nowhere and left me a little stunned: for a movie I never heard of, this thing is good!

Pretty typical idea: a group of young friends decide to go to a cabin for the weekend to relax and have fun before one of the couple’s marriage. Once there, one of the characters, Steve (the groom to be) gets stung repeatedly by an angry mosquito that is carrying the Zombie virus.

As the the night progresses, Steve starts acting a little more and more zombie like. Add a pair of paranormal investigators, one led by a magical zombie detector (or something) who are drawn to the cabin when they detect a “hybrid zombie” – That would be Steve, who unlike most zombies,slowly coasted to Zombiehood, opposed to the regular, “I’ve been bit and swarmed” style of Zombification leaving Steve in a half-human, half-zombie state.

This movie is pretty well made and quite funny – way more so than I expected. If you like comedy and Zombies, I say check this one out. I found it on  Netflix (it was a suggested watch), and I think if you look it’s most likely available other placed also. 

Check out the trailer here:

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) – Disturbingly Entertaining Holiday Film

Having watched the recent remake of 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly night, I thought it only proper that I should watch the original – and I am glad that I did.

I remember hearing about Silent Night, Deadly Night back in 1984 when several groups and a lot of busy bodies were up in arms trying to get it banned – I mean, what God loving person would create a horror film based around Santa and Christmas. I’m glad those jerks failed, because I had fun watching this movie.

The gist of the story? A young man, after just been warned about Santa by his previously catatonic grandfather, witnesses his father and mother being killed by a maniac dressed as Santa. He and his then infant brother end up being raised in an orphanage run by Nuns (and a Mother Superior that is a BITCH). Things are okay for him, except around Christmas, where Santa still instills fear in him (gee, I wonder why). Over the years, he grows to be a strapping young man who gets a job working in the warehouse of Ura’s Toy shop. All is well until they need a stand in for the store’s  Santa Clause. They give him the job… and then he snaps.

This is glorious, cheezy Holiday death. I’ve never seen this film up until last night, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. While not a big budget film, it was done well enough  to be compelling. Sure, it’s a silly film and full of cheeziness, but in my book that is a good thing. Watch this film? Hell Yes. Watching this film, I see the similarities in the remake, though it was more of a re-imaginaing than a remaking – they both deserve a watch, though.

‘Tis the Season for watching Christmas Horror films, and this is one of the ones you need to see.

Check out the trailer here:

Silent Night (2012) – Santa’s Progressed From Coal to Mass Murder

imageI can’t say if 2012’s remake of 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night is better than the  original because I’ve never seen it, but I will say that it beat my (admittedly low) expectations, and that is a good thing. 

Christmas horror films are awesome in concept due to the fact that it’s supposed to be a time of peace and hope, and not killings and horror. This film delivers enough of both to stay interesting. 

So, it’s Christmas, and bad folks are being wiped out left and right in a sleepy little town.Police officer Aubrey Bradimore has been called into work on Christmas as a fellow officer has not shown up for work. Her first call is to deal with a sarchastic fake Santa that is depressing local kids by delivering somber and realistic Christmas messages. That guy’s an ass, but there is not much she can do about him – he’s got a permit.

Bradimore is called to another location as there is a report of a terrible smell emanating from a home. Upon entry she finds a nightmare of a scene, and discovers that her fellow officer was killed in a horrific, Christmas lite related murder, as well as his lover having been dismembered. Then things get bad. The police force, headed by an incompetent Sheriff James Cooper (played well by Malcolm McDowell) tries to mobilize and stop the Santa Clause disguised serial killer in there midst. Well, it turns out that there is more than one bad Santa amongst the crowds, making finding the actual murderer just that much harder.

This movie is not great by any means, but it is good enough to be entertaining.  There are some great death scenes and enough gore to be interesting, and surprise, surprise, the acting isn’t half bad. Although the Santa is evil, he is mostly killing other bad people, so in some cases you don’t really feel for his victims, and that is a neat twist. If you like cheezy horror, and are in a holiday mood, then check this one out. Because of this remake, I think I may be watching the original next.

Here is the trailer:

Saint Nick (2010) – If He’s So Scary Then Why am I So Bored?

2010’s Dutch film, Saint Nick, tells an alternative story of a Saint Nicholas that inspired fear into the people of a small dutch town, entering the town in December 5, each year and the years with Full moons on this day, demanded gifts of wealth, riches, virgins and more. He used his evil, demon like minions, Black Petes to ensure he got what he wanted too. Eventually the town rose up, and destroyed Saint Nick and his evel band when they blew up his massive sailing ship and burned him alive. Ok, so they destroyed him and are safe now, right? Wrong: now they are cursed, and every 24 to 34 years, when there is a full moon on December the 5th (the anniversary of the town destroying Nick, his ship and minions), Saint Nick and his Black Petes come back and terrorize to town for a night, killing scores and torturing others.

This film looks great, and the idea is interesting… Too bad, as it had me dozing off a little more than half-way through. It’s boring and a waste of time. Want to see a Christmas horror film worth watching, then keep reading over the next week or so, as since we are heading towards Christmas, we will be spending the next week or so watching Christmas horror films. One or more are likely to be better than this.

Here is the trailer:

Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012) – 50 Feet of Dangerous Cheesecake Silliness

imageThere is no way that I can think of describing where it sounds like a good movie, but that’s okay because this isn’t a good movie. That said, I still liked this movie. Created in the same vein of the cheezy drive in monster/mutant movies that populated drive ins of the 1950s through the late 1970s, this movie definitely fits right in with the worse/best of them.

Produced by Roger Corman, King of the B-Movies, but more a creation of writer Mike MacLean and director Kevin O’Neill, this movie tells the story of an acne spotted, nerdy girl, Cassie Stratford (played by Jena Sims) who is pressured by her mother (played by Sean Young) to join the cheerleader squad. She fails at first, much to the delight of cheerleader squad leader, Brittany (played by Olivia Alexander). Still feeling the pressure from her mother, Cassie decides to try the serum she and another lab student help develop that seems to rejuvenate and improve the outward appearances of lab rats and mice. Initially, Cassie finds herself with a now perfect complection and a bitchin’ body. When one of the cheerleaders gets injured, Cassie tries out again, and this time wows the team (and pissing off Brittany at the same time).

As Cassie becomes more gorgeos, she is also growing. Soon she ids a behemoth of hotness, and insecure Brittany decided she needs to be like Cassie. Entering the lab Cassie studied at, she tries to coerce the serum from the nerdy lab partner but eventually accidentally gets a double dose of the serum in her boobs.

So, soon we have two, giant hot chicks which leads to what? Anyone? That’s right: two giant hot chicks fighting in tiny bits of clothing. – all the while, the nerdy lab guy is trying to administer an agent to counteract the effects of the serum. Oh: and a pharmaceutical company is trying to capture Cassie (the back the research in to the serum) for their own reasons.

So, this is a dumb, silly movie – but it is supposed to be. If you enjoy the classic B-Movies of the past then this is for you.

Here is the trailer:

Bernie (2011) – Jack Black’s Masterpiece (finally)

I am a Jack Black fan, there is no doubt of that. That said, I don’t like everything he’s done, but I really liked this.

Bernie (2011) is an independent film that is tells the story of an assistant funeral director, Bernie Tiede (played by Jack Black), the widow he befriends, Marjorie “Maggie” Nugent (played by Shirley MacLaine) and the unusual relationship that blossomed between them, and the murder of Maggie, by Bernie himself.

Bernie moved to the small Texas town of Carthage after taking a job as assistant funeral director. In this role he excelled and was soon overwhelmingly accepted by the community through his selfless acts of caring and charity. Bernie was (and still is ) loved by the community of Carthage. When someone passed away, Bernie was always sure to check in on the loved ones left behind – especially the widows. One of these widows was the town’s least popular and by far richest citizens, Marjorie Nugent. Marjorie’s husband, who was a very rich man and owner of a local bank passed  away, leaving his fortune to Marjorie. Bernie met Marjorie at the funeral home, and as was his way, visited her on several occasions in an attempt to make sure that she was okay, and was coping with her loss. Eventually she let him in and they built an unusual relationship. Marjorie eventually hired him as her personal assistant and became more and more possessive of Bernie and his time. You see Marjorie was a bitch. An all out evil, grumpy bitch that no one liked. According to one resident of Carthage, she declined loans as a hobby!  As their relationship advanced (and no one really knows, other than Bernie and the now deceased Marjorie know just how far it advanced), Marjorie and Bernie traveled the world, something Marjorie wanted to do but in the past never had the opportunity to do so. Increasingly, Marjorie made demand on Bernie, trapping him in what some may call an abusive relationship. One day Bernie snaps and kills her. For quite a while Bernie made excuses as to why she was never seen anymore and most people never gave it a second thought – no one but her longtime accountant who with the help of family members, gain access to Marjorie’s home and find her body, preserved in her freezer. Bernie is apprehended where he confesses fully and completely. One problem: Bernie is so loved that no one in Carthage would ever vote to convict him if they were on the jury. Slimeball District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson (played very well by Matthew McConaughey), convinced that Bernie had nothing but evil intentions, charges Bernie with first degree murder and has the trial moved to another city where Bernie has no community ties. 

Bernie is based on a true story, and is a masterpiece. Jack Black is great and never goes “over the top” as he is known for. This movie proves that he can act with the big boys. Add to that an amazing supporting cast and a fantastic soundtrack and you have Bernie – the best movie that you haven’t heard of in a long time.

Check out the trailer here: