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Archive for February, 2014

You Know What Happened A Few Days Ago? I Watched Hobo With A Shotgun (2011), Again.

Hobo-with-a-shotgun-movie-posterWell here we are again – It’s just me and Hobo With a Shotgun. We’ve got to stop meeting like this… But we won’t.

So, yeah, the other night my buddy was going through options on Netflix when Hobo With a Shotgun popped up. Now, we’ve both watched Hobo many times (Hell, I watched it in the theatre twice). Why did we re-watch a low budget, silly-ass pseudo-Grindhouse movie? Why do we continue to re-watch a low budget, silly-ass pseudo-Grindhouse movie? Because it’s freakin’ awesome, that’s why!

Some movies are just easy for me to re-watch and this just happens to be one of those movies. Is it a great movie? No – it is a great silly, brutal over the top crazy movie. So over the top that every once in a while I watch it again. And again.

If you haven’t already, you should check out Hobo anyway you can. As mentioned, it’s on U.S. Netflix currently and can be found for cheap on DVD and Blu-Ray (check out my post about finding it for a great price here). Hobo tells the story of a…well, Hobo (played by the great Rutger Hauer), who finds himself in a new, crappy, dirty corrupt city. He fights back against the ruling family to make a difference. You know why? ‘Cause he’s the Hobo With a Shotgun.

So don’t be stupid, watch Hobo With a Shotgun (again, if you already have).


Reflections on Last Week’s Vampire Week (And Your Input is Requested)

Well, I think I should do a quick post regarding last week’s Vampire week as I have received a few emails regarding it and the choices…

I have received over 100 emails asking why I did not include the classic 1931 Universal film, Dracula, with Bela Lugosi, or even the Spanish version filmed at the same time on the same cast. Well, I have reviewed both in the not too distant past (favourable, I might add), and I thought that with the sheer number of Vampire movies, this would be a great opportunity to showcase some different films I have not seen yet (aside from Love at First Bite). And you know what? I am glad I did, as I was able to watch 7 great, and different vampire movies. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I watched seven days worth of good films with a connected theme (aside from Tarantino week). The whole vampire myth has generated so many films that I was tempted to turn this into two weeks of Vampire films. I’m convinced that even with an additional week of movies, I would have managed to avoid watching a turkey of a movie. Yes, with this many movies to choose from, there would be no reason to watch Twilight, or anything like it.

Hell, I think a second Vampire Week should be planned! In fact, why don’t you send me your suggestions (good or crappy) for the next Vampire Week.

Send those suggestions by clicking HERE


Sinister (2012) – Now This Is a Creepy Horror Movie

SinisterMoviePoster2012A true crime author moves his family into a home where an unsolved horrific multiple murder took place and finds a stash of 8mm home movies in the attic, he believes he’s found evidence of a serial killer going all the way back to the 1960s. Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a famous (though his fame is fading) true crime writer who has moved his family into the home where a grisly multiple murder happened. The movie actually opens with what appears to be grainy, home movie video (or film) of the crime that happened in this very home. Now, he hasn’t told his wife or young family that a murder happened here… You see, he’s trying to write his next big (and hopefully biggest yet), book and perhaps living in the house of the crime he wants to write about may provide that inspiration. Late one night, while investigating some nocturnal noises, Ellison finds himself in the attic where he finds a stash of 8mm home movies, and a projector. Over the next few weeks/months he reviews these movies… only to be led to believe he has stumbled upon the proof of a previously unknown serial killer with crimes that go back to the 1960s. Trying to get information about the crime that happened from the local chief of police isn’t going to be easy as he isn’t a fan of Ellison’s work, as it often makes the police looked like buffoons. Luckily he is able to get an inside to the police by befriending one of the newer Deputies, who happens to be a big fan of Ellison’s. Uncovering proof of other unsolved murders which seem to tie in with the scenes found on the movies he discovered in his attic. He also enlists the help of a Professor Jonas (Vincent D’Onofrio), as there are similar symbols left at the scenes of each crime scene. The more Ellison investigates, the weirder and deeper the weirdness grows. Now his own kids are seeing and doing the unexplained…

Damn this is a good, creepy horror movie. Hell, it even includes what I would condiser a half-decent twist! I find that the movie managed to create and sustain a level of suspense (and aforementioned creepiness) that is rare lately. Also, it’s nice o see Ethan Hawke in a movie, as I always enjoyed his acting.

So, check out Sinister if you are looking for a better than your run of the mill suspenseful horror flick. Check out the trailer blow, folks:


Nurse 3D (2013) – This Movie Is Terrible

Nurse3DSo I watched the 2013 horror movie, Nurse, (also known as Nurse 3D), last night. Yeah, that really is all I should say, but I feel if I left it at that you might not know how much I think this movie sucks.

Well, it really sucks. Bad acting, casting and script – a perfect storm of crappiness. It’s a story of a Nurse by day that kills cheating men by night… Not the worse concept – too bad whomever these people are were the ones who decided to make a movie about it.

If you were part of the creating of this crapfest then I hope you understand how crappy it is.

Oh, did I mention Judd Nelson is in it? No? And Kathleen Turner has a bit part? I didn’t? Must because they were eclipsed by the  crappiness of it all.

And here is the crappy trailer for this crappy movie:


Vampire Week Movie 7 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Full Circle

DracposSo, here we are, with the seventh and last movie of our Vampire movie week. With this movie, 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, we have in a away returned to the beginning. Our first movie of our Vampire week, 1979’s Dracula starring Frank Langella, and tonight’s movie, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), are both retellings of the classic Dracula story.

Starring the great Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, and taking place primarily in 1897 (with some important scenes happening in 1462). Count Dracula has decided to purchase several properties in London, England and his case has been handed to a new solicitor (like a lawyer), Jonathan Harker (played by Keanu Reeves, with the absolutely worse English accent I have heard in I don’t know how long). Harker has taken on Dracula’s portfolio from a Mr Renfield (played extremely well by Tom Waits), who has since gone completely insane. Harker must travel to Transylvania to meet with Count Dracula to discuss his plan to purchase Carfax Abbey. Once in the hands of Dracula, he soon finds that he is a prisoner. While there are some perks (there are some pretty sexy vampire chicks), he escapes, a changed man, and heads back to London. Dracula, himself changed from a decrepit, creepy old man, to a now dashing young gentleman, has put a spell on Harker’s fiancé, Mina (played by Winona Rider who also struggles with her accent… though nothing like Keanu’s). Oh… He also seduces, rapes and drains Lucy, Mina’s friend. Yeah, this is Dracula – he does stuff like that. Enter Van Helsing, (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins) everybody’s favourite Vampire hunter.

Okay – this is the classic Dracula story, retold in 1992 with a good cast and a big budget. Director Francis Ford Coppola did a good job bringing the story back to the screen in this very watchable retelling. Is it better than the 1979 version? I wouldn’t say so, but it is good enough to watch and enjoy. Also, it’s good enough to forgive that awful accent of Reeve’s. Check out the trailer below:


Vampire Week Movie 6–Martin (1976) – Is He or Isn’t He?

MartinfilmposterGeorge A. Romero’s 1976 (or 1977 or even 1978 depending on your source), film, Martin, tells the tale of a man, Martin, who may or may not be a vampire…

Martin is a weird film. John Amplas played the title role, a weird, young looking man who has come to live with his great uncle, Tateh Cuda, an Old World Man who accuses Martin of being a Vampire – referring to him as Nosferatu. It doesn’t help that in the opening minutes of the film, we witness Martin drug, rape and bleed a woman on the train he took to get to said Uncle’s house. Once at the house, his uncle instructs Martin forcefully not to speak to Christine (a cousin I believe), and then goes about trying various traditional Vampire repellents (you know, like garlic and crucifixes), but Martin let’s him know that there’s no real magic. Martin starts working at Tateh’s butcher shop and meets local women while making deliveries – these woman later become his victims (or meals, if you will). One of these women eventually becomes Martin’s lover (she’s cheating on her husband). She finds herself attracted to Martin’s quietness, and lack of opinions and judgements. Martin, at first, runs from her advances, but after talking over the phone (and on air), with a local late night DJ, he decides to give into her advances. At the same time, while speaking to the DJ, he tries to remove the mystery from Vampirism . The DJ’s audience just eats this stuff up, and Martin is a hit. Martin’s relationship with this woman changes his feeding habits, and the fact that his uncle forbade him from feeding on anyone from their already dying town, so he soon finds himself in Pittsburgh looking for victims. There he manages to feed well, but took chances  that almost got him caught twice. Sated, he returns home only to find his love interest has taken her own life. And that event triggers… another major event.

So we have a guy that may or may not be a vampire who is becoming a bit of an anonymous pop icon, sleeping with a local, married woman, living in a home with a Great Uncle who is trying to ward you off, as he is convinced Martin is none other than Nosferatu.  This is pretty interesting stuff here and it’s all put together by one of the Horror genre’s greats, George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, anyone?). You never really know if you’re watching a vampire or just a crazy guy who believes he’s a vampire. We see scenes in black and white of events that would have to happen a long time in the past, but we’re never told whether or not these are Martin’s memories or figments of his imagination. Add that to the fact that he tells Christine, in passing, that he is 84 years old. What… What is going on here. A good movie – that, my friends, is what is going on here.

Check out the trailer below, and if you get a chance, check out the movie too.


Vampire Week Movie 5 – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)–The Troubles of Casting a Vampire – In Your Vampire Movie

ShadowoftheVampireposterSet during the shooting of the iconic 1922 Vampire film, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire tells the tale of the dangers that can face you when you look for too much realism in your films. Staring John Malkovich as famous German Director, Frederich Wilhelm Murnau, during his filming of the above mentioned Nosferatu. Taking his cast and crew to film on location in Czechoslovakia, where he instroduces the rest of the crew to the star of the film, Max Schreck, whom, Murnau explains, will be in character for the entire time of the filming, and will only be seen at night. Schreck is played masterfully by Willem Dafoe. When members of the crew start to disappear, we see interesting back and forth  between Murnau and the Vampire, in which we find out that Murnau has made a very interesting and questionable bargain with the Vampire: His good behaviour for the life of one of his cast. Shame it’s so difficult to deal with the undead. 

Shadow of the Vampire puts a new twist to the Vampire movie: it’s a movie about the making of a vampire movie – wherein the Director of said movie chose to hire a real Vampire to play the title role. The cast is composed of a lot of “A” Listers and they all do an amazing job in this unusual film. The story is gripping, and the switch between regular filming, and the representation of what Murnau is capturing on his cameras is a great way to capture the dualism of the story. After watching this, I was compelled to watch the original, 1922 Nosferatu the very next day. If you enjoy horror movies, plot twists and damn good acting then you owe it to yourself to watch this film. Check out the trailer below:


Vampire Week Movie 4 – Love at First Bite (1979)

Love_at_first_biteIf you like horror parodies like the Scary Movie series, but haven’t seen 1979’s comedic horror classic, Love at First Bite, then you owe it to your self to do so. Starring George Hamilton as Count Dracula, who is forced from his home in Transylvania when the communist government decides to take his castle and convert it to a gymnastics training ground. Taking this as an opportunity to meet the woman he believes he is in love with (from afar), model Cindy Sondheim (Susan Saint James). Setting himself and his bungling bug eating servant Renfield (Arte Johnson) in a New York hotel, and goes about trying to meet Cindy. While in the Big Apple, Dracula learns of the wonders of the blood bank (“We are here to make a withdrawal”), and the dangers of drinking the blood of winos among other things. While winning over Cindy is a cinch for the master of persuasion, Count Dracula, he soon finds himself in a silly, on going battle with Cindy’s psychiatrist and non-committal sometimes lover, Jeffrey Rosenberg (Richard Benjamin), Grandson of Dracula’s nemesis, Van Helsing. Fortunately for Dracula, Rosenberg is nowhere near the Vampire hunter his Grandfather was, and his attempts to out or attack Dracula are absolutely hysterical.

This is a silly silly movie that I absolutely adore. I have watched this movie many times and will watch it again – It’s just plain fun. I say watch this movie.


Vampire Week–A Little Comedy: Key & Peele: Sexy Vampires

Oh my god… This made me laugh. Bonus: it’s about Vampires and I’m in the Middle of Vampire Week. Please enjoy, courtesy of Comedy Central and Key and Peele, Sexy Vampires


Vampire Week Movie 3 – 30 Days of Night (2007)

30_Days_of_Night_teaser_posterSo this week is turning out to be pretty good week for movie watching for me. Three days in and so far three good movies!

30 Days of Night tells the tale of a Vampire outbreak in the little Alaskan town of Barrow, during the 30 day polar Night (in the Arctic, there is a period each Winter where the sun sets and does not rise again for 30 days, due to the axial tilt of the planet Earth). A great time for light fearing creatures of the night. Just before the beginning of the long night, strange things start to happen. Peoples cell phones are going missing, and all means of escape from town are either vandalized or destroyed (including dog sled). Once the night hits, it gets weirder when the town’s power is cut. Investigating, the Sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett), discovers that the crew at the power plant have been brutally murdered and the plant vandalized. You see, the Vampires have planned for this night… This is going to be a gory, un-dead versus the unsuspecting soft, humans. Of course there is the hiding to stay safe while one by one the survivors numbers shrink situation – like there is in almost all these movies.

These are dark, dirty, evil vampires. They seem much closer to a complete, separate species than just turned, ancient humans. That said, these Vampires can turn humans into Vampires also, but I did get the feeling that some of them may have been old, greasy dirty powerful killer hominids. I thought it was an interesting take (especially the use of a separate Vampire language). This is not a perfect movie, but it is an enjoyable, action and gore filled bloodfest that I thoroughly enjoyed. Have I seen better Vampire movies? Sure, but I would watch this again and not feel like I wasted my time. Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself if this movie is for you:


Vampire Week Movie 2 – Near Dark (1987)

NeardarktheatposterYou like bad ass vampires? Then you will like 1987’s Near Dark.

A gritty, dark Vampire movie that tells the tale of Caleb Colson (Adrian Pasdar), a small town young man who meets an attractive woman one night and offers her a ride home one late night. Along t he way, insisting on a kiss from her before he drives her home. She kisses him, but also leaves him with a bite on his neck, shortly before she jumps out of his truck and takes off running (home, I guess).

Soon Caleb is struggling , stumbling home in the early daylight hours, smoke billowing from his exposed skin. Spotted by his little sister and father before he arrives at their home, all of a sudden a blacked out recreational vehicle (and RV) drives up and someone quickly scoops him up. Who’s inside the RV but a bunch of bad ass vampires, debating on how to kill Caleb… until the girl that bit him reveals that while she bit him, she did not bleed him, meaning that he too, is now a Vampire, and pleads for his life. They vamps decide to give him a little time to prove himself. Unfortunately he’s not a killer at heart and has trouble doing the deeds that a Vampire must do. The girl that turned him feeds him to keep him alive, though this is something that cannot go on… Failing test after test, the other Vampires want to get rid of Caleb, though he does manage to buy himself a little time by orchestrating a daring escape while the crew of Vamps are holed up and under fire from the police. An incident later leaves Caleb with a decision between the Vampires and his own family… A choice Caleb has no real trouble deciding. Of course the Vampires won’t let someone leave quietly, right?

This is a dam fine Vampire movie. Unfortunately whit was released around the time of the Lost Boys (also a good Vampire movie – but not as good), and did poorly at the box office, despite good reviews. Great performances from leathery tough guy, Lance Henriksen and then up and comer Bill Paxton are just the cherry on the top. If you haven’t seen this movie (and are into Vampire movies), then you must, and if it’s been a while since you have seen it, then it deserves a re-watch.

Check out the trailer below:


Vampire Week–Day 1: Dracula (1979)

Dracula 1979There are a lot of movies about Dracula and Vampires over the years and many if not most are pretty damned crappy. Well it is my pleasure to say that the 1979 release of Dracula is a great telling of the Dracula story.

Staring staring Frank Langella in the title role of Dracula, the movie tells the story of the infamous count after relocating to Victorian England. Shipwrecked on the shores of the town he was moving to, Dracula is found on the shore by Mina Van Helsing (portrayed by Jan Francis). Later, to thank Mina for saving his life, Dracula visits the house of Doctor Jack Seward (Donald Pleasance), where Mina is staying while visiting the Doctor’s daughter, Lucy Seward (Kate Nelligan). While visiting Mina has a spell, and while Doctor  Seward is quick to suggest a dose of Laudanum, the Count suggests he try to help her, and quickly puts Mina under a hypnotic spell. While under, he commands that she listens to him, and tells her she’ll fell no pain upon waking. Releasing her from the trance, Mina wakes feeling fantastic. Later that night, while Lucy and her lover (and Dracula’s lawyer), Jonathan Harker (Trevor Eve) are fooling around, Dracula appears to Mina in her room, revealing himself to be that Vampire that he is, and drains her of her blood. The following morning Mina passes away while struggling for breath. While everyone is upset, Mina was known to be sickly. Doctor Seward calls for Mina’s Father, Professor Abraham Van Helsing (the great Sir Laurence Olivier), so as to attend her funeral. Upon arriving, Doctor Seward fills in Professor Van Helsing on the nature of his daughter’s death – a great loss of blood. Investigating, Van Helsing starts to suspect a Vampire is the culprit in his death, and does his best to convince Doctor Seward and Jonathan of this also. Meanwhile, Dracula is now casting his spell on Jonathan’s love interest and Doctor Seward’s daughter, Lucy.

Well, I just realized that if I continue as I was above, I would just tell you the entire movie and there would be no need for you to watch it (yeah, right – I don’t write that well). So let me say that I have no problem saying that I think that this is one of the best re-telling of the classic Dracula story. Frank Langella is masterful in his portrayal of the Count. In fact all the actors do a great job in all their roles. Director  John Badham does a great job creating moods through lighting and colour – just fantastic.

I think you get the point: I like this movie. Check out the trailer below, and then go find a copy on Blu-ray (or whatever you watch movies on in your dwelling).


Watchmojo.com’s Top 10 Worst CGI Movie Effects

Watchmojo.com put together their picks for the top 10 worst CGI effects in big budget movies. I would have a hard time nailing down 10 if I had to as there are so many to pick from. Still, this list definitely has dome good pics. Check it out below:


Devil’s Pass (2013)–Wow: A Good Found Footage Horror Movie–These Are Rare

Devil's_Pass2013’s movie, Devil’s Pass, tells the story of a group of Americans, led by amateur film maker Holly King (played by Holly Goss), who head to Russia to investigate the Dyatlov Pass incident and the now infamous doomed hiking party of nine that were found inexplicably dead, mutilated, nearly nude and one member dosed in radiation. Over the years many people have put forward theories as to what happened to the original group, but know one really knows the truth. This group wants to be the ones to find the real reason for the slaughter. The group makes it to the area of the original events faster than expected. Once there they notice strange foot prints that seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear the same way, leading some of the group to accuse Holly of faking the prints for her film, something she categorically denies. Things get weirder: Holly and another member of the group uncover a large metal door that locks from the outside in the side of the mountain. Later, in the middle of the night the group is wakened by deafening noises and forced from their tents due to an avalanche, in which they lose one of their group and another gets a nasty compound fracture of the leg. Shortly after this, one member fires off a flare, hoping help may come. Soon two men approach, and while at first they believe it’s help, one of the group  notes that the would be rescuers have no packs or supplies and therefore are most likely a threat. This turns out to be true when the two start firing at the group. Holly and one member have to leave behind the injured member whom they witness getting shot by the two men. Holly and friend open the mysterious door into the mountain and enter, the door immediately being locked (from the outside) behind them. Once inside, things start to get even weirder. Finding evidence of an old, secret US experiment in teleportation via photos amongst other documents, they start getting the idea that perhaps strange forces are at work. Soon the movie switched from horror to Science Fiction/Horror.

Devil’s Pass is a found footage style movie – a style that has been ridiculously over used ever since The Blair Witch Project proved you didn’t need expensive cameras and production values to make a good, scary movie. Unlike most of those found footage movies, this one is actually pretty good. I chose it seemingly at random on Netflix, I recommend this movie if your looking for something creepy and new to watch.

Check out the trailer below:


Suspiria (1977)–Witchy Italian Movie Weirdness at an German Ballet Academy

SuspiriaItalySuspiria is a 1977 horror movie directed by the Italian master, Dario Argento, and the fist of a trilogy of horror. And it’s weird… and loud.

Suspiria tells the story of America ballet dance student, Suzy Bannion who takes up study at a prestigious dance study in Germany, but quickly discovers that things are not what they may seem.  Upon arriving at the school on a ridiculously rainy night, only to see an upset girl fleeing and mumbling something about a secret and a flower – and then to be refused entrance. Next we see a girl die in an artistically weird stabbing… The next day Suzy manages to get to the school, meets Madame Blanc and Miss Tanner, and is shown around the school and introduced to the girls in the locker room. Suzy is told that the room she was to stay in is not ready and that she will stay with another student for the time being. At the school, Suzy has a fainting spell (after a weird encounter with the school’s cook)… later she seems okay…

Alright: All I am doing is describing what happened in the movie – and that is a silly thing to do. It’s al artistic Italian Horror by the master Dario Argento and it is about a Ballet School run by witches…

Argento manages to create a creepy, artistic weird horror flick of sorts that keeps you watching. The strong uses of colour is very jarring as well as is the cacophonous soundtrack which built up so much tension in me that I almost felt nauseous. Seriously, I have never had a soundtrack for a film affect me so… and it was loud. This is a trippy experience of a film and definitely bot for everyone. If you have an open mind (and not overly sensitive ears)  , then this will be a memorable watch. Will you like it? Many won’t – I did, but with reservations. You check it out and tell me what you think. Here’s the trailer:


It’s Alive (1974)–Finally Tackled a Childhood Terror

its-alive-posterWhen 1974’s horror movie, It’s Alive was released, there was the creepiest commercial for the movie where you see a baby carriage, and hear what appears to be a normal baby cry…but as the camera pans around the baby carriage, you see a big monster hand coming out from inside the pram… Well that commercial used to scare the living crap out of me… seriously (hey, I was 4 or 5 at the time). Well, today I finally faced down that fear and watched the movie.

Check out that scary (for a 4 or 5 year old) TV spot here:

 

It’s Alive tells the tale of a couple, Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell), who give birth to a child that is nothing short of a monster. The initial birth is a little tough, as the baby is larger than a normal baby, but the doctor is still confident is all right… Next thing you know the delivery room is full of the dead or dying bodies of the doctors an nurses that were assisting in the birth… and a monster baby is on the loose in the city of Los Angeles.

Dad wants the baby dead because it’s an abomination who’s existence has caused the loss of his job, and the ruination of his family. The big drug companies want the baby dead in the off chance he’s a by product of there chemicals. And the police want the baby dead… because it’s killing people. The only one that seems not to want the baby dead is the mother… at first, at least.

This is definitely a creepy movie, and reasonable well done, if a little slow. Having been as scared as I was of the damned commercial as a child, I do wish the movie was scarier than it is, though I am happy that it doesn’t totally suck. An interesting concept and if the idea sounds like something that you’d like, then definitely watch it.

Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself: