Alien Horror Week – Movie 5: Deadly Spawn (1983)
It was a toss up as to whether or not we were going to watch Alien or Deadly Spawn. My buddy made the argument for Deadly Spawn as it is a much less known movie, and I went along.
So, a small town is invaded by a life form from space that looks a lot like a giant multiple headed lamprey with a penchant for making slug like babies (lots of them), and eating the locals. A group of four geeky science nerd teens and a young boy do their best to save the town (and most likely the world) from this infestation. It’s kind of weird that three of our movies had similar themes and creatures (Slither, Night of the Creeps and Deadly Spawn), not in that they are alien infestation movies (it’s kind of the theme), but the fact that the three creatures in the mentioned movies all propagate by releasing slug like grubs, liked to enter through the mouth id possible, and the main “mother” creature found someplace out of the way to grow and develop. Well, if they copied each other, this is the progenitor of all of ‘em. A silly movie, Deadly Spawn stays entertaining, and cheezy which is perfect for me. Lots of campiness to go around, and some really questionable actions by it’s characters may make you moan at times…but don’;t let that stop you from enjoying the movie. A true representative of it’s time, the early 1980’s, it still stands out as a fun, throwback to the creature features of the 50’s and 60’s…
Watch this film, my friends!
Alien Horror Week – Movie 2: Night of Creeps (1986)–Simply Awesome
Having just watched Slither (again),last night and remembering the outcry from a lot of fans of the classic 1986 Night of the Creeps due to the many similarities between the two movies, I just had to watch Night of the Creeps (again), tonight.
Night of the Creeps is a neat Horror/Sci-Fi/Comedy about an infestation of alien slug like creatures when they are released on the unsuspecting Earth during the 1950s, landing in a town/city in the states. Initially infecting an escaped lunatic, and a young man on a date with his girl, resulting in a couple of deaths. Cut to the 1980’s where a couple of friends, Chris Romero and J.C.are new to college and trying to fit in. Chris has a crush on a hot girl, Cynthia Cronenberg. Cynthia, though has a meathead boyfriend who is in charge of the frat house that the two want to join (so Chris can hopefully impress Cynthia). In order to join, the two are given the task of stealing a cadaver and leave it on the steps of a rival frat house. While the two manage to enter a lab where they think they will find a corpse, they actually manage to stumble upon a body in cryogenic suspension,. They decide one body is as good as another, and try to take this one. When the corpse opens it’s eyes and grabs a hold of one of the two, they take off “screaming like banshees” (you’ll know why I put that in quotes when you watch the film). Well, turns out this is the corpse of the guy that was infected by the alien life form way back in 1959. So, now we have a reanimated corpse, under the control of an alien life form… The corpse, a sort of alien zombie kills a scientist in the lab and heads out…on the town, eventually ending up on the steps of a girl’s frat (the same one Cynthia calls home). Cynthia sees the zombie and sees his head explode, releasing a bunch of those alien worms… and they spread out. Soon a crap load of the town is infected, including the dead, which rise (hence the Zombie word), animated by there worms. J.C. himself falls prey to the creatures also, but not before he learns the secrets to the destruction of the worms…
Of course everything ramps up to a big good versus bad scene, but I have told you more than enough of the story. You should watch this movie, as it is damned fun. Definitely an homage to the sci-fi creature flicks of the 50’s and 60’s, if you enjoy sci-fi, horror and comedy then you have to see this one, folks. Check out the trailer below:
Alien Horror Week – Movie 1: Slither (2006)–A Great Sci-Fi Horror With a Lot Of Humour
2006’s Slither does something very difficult: it manages to mix horror with Science Fiction (Sci-Fi), and adding a large dose of comedy…and gets it all right. I’ve reviewed the move in the past (here is the original, tiny write up: Slither 2006). It was so good, that I decided we should watch it again, and maybe put a little more effort in the write up this time.
Starring Canada’s own (hell,we were in the same high school at the same time), Nathan Fillion (Firefly anyone?), as Chief of Police of the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, where a meteorite crashed to earth, carrying an alien life form. Shortly after it crashes to earth, local, well to do guy, Grant Grant (played by Michael Rooker), gets taken over by the creature after poking at the gelatinous, pulsing mass in the nearby woods (after almost, but not quite cheating on his wife). Soon Grant starts craving fresh, raw meat, and also starts mutating. When Grant’s lovely wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), see’s a misshapen Grant, he explains he had a reaction to a bee sting. Well, soon other things start happening, including the disappearance of neighbourhood pets, as well as Barbara, a local drinkin’ floozy…
Well, you see, Grant is now the host of an alien intelligence who spreads through taking over individuals, either through assimilation or through infection via a parasitic worm/slug like form. The creature can also use a life form as a host to breed the aforementioned worms/slugs…and it does – boy does it ever. Of course this turns in to a battle of a few against a lot, and is tense and action packed… as well as a lot of always cool grossness. The creature design is fantastic, and the whole cast does a great job in creating what feels like a heartfelt homage to the alien invasion/creature films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is a great Sci-Fi/Horror/comedy that I strongly suggest you check out.
Here is the trailer:
Eastwood Week Movie 3 – Any Which Way You Can (1980)–Clint’s Great Follow Up To Every Which Way But Loose
If you read my review of Every Which Way But Loose, then you know I like that movie. Well, this is the sequel to that movie, and you know what? I like this one too.
Any Which Way You Can is the 1980 follow up to the block buster comedy, Every Which Way But Loose, and it is damned funny. Clint Eastwood returns as the Truck Driver/prize fighter, Orangutan owning Philo Beddle, as well as Geoffrey Lewis as Orville Boggs as Philo’s best human buddy, and Manis the Ape as Clyde, Philo’s best non human buddy. Also returning is Ruth Gordon as Philo’s cantankerous mother and Sandra Locke as Philo’s love interest, Lynn Halsey-Taylor. In this movie, we find Philo has continued his side line as a tough son of a bitch prize fighter. Only he’s decided to retire, having noticed he was starting to enjoy the pain. Unfortunately, the Mafia wants to setup a match between Philo and Jack Wilson, a new style of fighter that mixes boxing and martial arts together, and has managed to kill three opponents and scramble the brains of a fourth victim. Approached by the Mafia, hoping to setup this fight, Philo initially says no, but when the mob ups it to $50,000, win or lose, Philo changes his mind and accepts the fight. When Philo and Jack actually meet, it turns out that they actually get a long. They decide there is no real reason for the fight and mutually decide to call it off. The Mafia, seeing that they are about to lose the biggest grossing illegal prize fight ever, decide to kidnap Lynn Halsey-Taylor, Philo’s returning (and redeemed), love interest in order to force the fight. Frank and Philo take care of that situation, but both realize that they can’t leave the question of who would have won the fight open, so they decide to battle it out. Oh! Also returning the is Black Widows: a comical outlaw biker gang that really have it in for Philo, despite the fact that when ever they come into conflict with him, he ends up kicking their ass and they end up with less bikes. This time though, things end on a high note for them and their relationship with Philo.
This is such a fun movie, and watched back to back with Every Which Way But Loose would make for a great evening of movie watching. I heartily recommend this film and it’s predecessor. Check out the trailer below:
Smiley (2012)–One of The Crappiest Slashers I’ve Seen In A Long Time
Yeah, so I watched 2012’s Smiley last night.
It’s a piece of crap with a stupid plot, a stupid attempt at a “twist”… and I’m sure some freakin’ hipster will defend it as the direction of the new “Artcore” movement.
Just because you call a piece of crap a rose, doesn’t make it a rose.
So, a girl starts college, and her partying new dorm mate invites her to a party. Once there she’s introduced to “Smiley” – You get in an Internet chat room with someone, and while you are there, you type “I did it for the lulz” three times, and magically a distorted smiley face character comes out of know where and kills the person on the other side of the chat window. Not a terrible idea for a horror movie, but unfortunately, it is a terrible horror movie. I’m not even 100% sure where it went off the track, but it was one of those movies where you just end up waiting for it to end.
Don’t bother with this piece of crap folks… Unless you are the hipster that is going to email me about “Artcore” = and if you are, spare yourself and me the time and don’t bother formulating that email.
Screw the trailer, as this movie doesn’t deserve the posting of a trailer here.
The Horror at 37,000 Feet
Wow… It’s been so long since that I watched this movie, that I had completely forgot that I saw this movie. Not that I was missing much, bet yeah, I’ve seen this when I was a pretty young kid. Some things are best left in the past… Hehehe.
The Horror at 37,000 Feet is a made for TV horror film staring Chuck Connors, Buddy Ebsen and William Shatner that takes place on a 747 airliner…at apparently 37,000 feet. There’s a Druid stone on the plane (being moved from England to the U.S. to be part of a private bar of a successful architect. It’s the solstice, the ancient Druid god’s are angry and demanding a sacrifice.
So, the movie is pretty weak, as one might expect for a made for TV movie of this time (1973), and I doubt many would like it. I enjoyed it mostly due to the memories it brought back and my weird love of crappy movies. If you want to relive some TV memories from the 70’s or also like cheezy bad movies, then I say go for it… If you don’t fit this mould, just walk away and don’t look back.
Trivia: Paul Winfield also stars in this movie – William Shatner and Paul Winfield would later go on to be in Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan nine years later in 1982.
Godzilla Week Movie 3 – Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971) – Godzilla Takes Out The Trash!!!
Most people in North America would know this movie as Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster, though it’s original release title is Godzilla Versus Hedorah. That said, they are both the same movie.
In 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah , Japan has a new enemy: a new creature that has evolved to live on the pollutants of our modern society. Not only that, but it is producing deadly pollution itself, incapacitating and humans that may get close. This is a disaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Godzilla doesn’t like to see other monsters on it’s own turf. Yeah, Godzilla and Hedorah are heading for a showdown. I pity the Japanese that get caught in the middle!
So, this is a time when the Godzilla character was transitioning from a bad guy who seemed to get kicks from beating the crap out of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, to a protector of the Japanese people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured or killed if you get too close: Godzilla is a Big Picture kind of monster, and may stomp the occasional person or building on the sidelines. Heck – you might even get drowned in a big piece of polluted monster if you are not careful – should have stayed away from Godzilla, idiot…
Godzilla Vs Hedorah is actually one of my favourite Godzilla movies, and I really like the three stage design of the Hedorah – pretty cool, and add a neat, cheezy transition effect between the stages and you’ve got gold. Add to that the hippiness of the movie – lots of trippy music and psychedelic gels, and some trippy animated series really reminds you of when this movie was made – and that in my opinion is a very good and neat thing. Without a doubt, I would say that this is the most unique Godzilla movie that I have watched (so far, at least). Should you watch it? You should watch ALL Godzilla movies (with the exception of the Mathew Broderick version), but you should especially watch this Godzilla movie.
Check out the trailer below:
Godzilla Week Movie 2 – King Kong Versus Godzilla (1963) Gorilla Versus Lizard Madness
I am so damned glad we are doing Godzilla Week because I am getting to relive some great childhood memories along the way.
1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla is a movie that I saw as a very young child and I tell you, it stuck with me through the years. Heck, I thought this movie was in black and white – turns out I watched it on a black and white TV back in the day! Well, this movie is in glorious colour.
So, a Godzilla has escaped from a frozen chunk of an iceberg, and recently King Kong has been discovered to be a real thing. Okay, he’s a bit of a lush (or junkie), having become addicted to a narcotic berry juice that the locals on the the south Pacific island that Kong calls home. Back to Godzilla: Of course Godzilla is bent of some big time Japanese destruction. From their previous encounters with Godzilla, the Japanese know they are in trouble. Why not play Godzilla off against Kong and maybe the two monsters will destroy each other and Japan can go back to it’s daily normal schedule? Well that is just what is done, in this epic meeting of two iconic movie monsters.
King Kong Versus Godzilla is a fun monster mash of Japanese destruction, tied together with and interesting concept: The action is being described and reported (between scenes), by what appear to be reporters working for the United Nations. Fun stuff!
So, check out this amazing monster movie!
Here is the trailer:
Dragonslayer (1981) – To This Day, Still One Of My Favourite Movie Dragon Designs
1981’s movie, Dragonslayer, blew my twelve year old mind when I fist sat through this movie with my good friend, Robin. Now, 23 years later, I am still liking this movie.
Staring Peter MacNicol (better known to some as the short, curly haired lawyer, John Cage, from the TV show Ally McBeal), as Galen Bradwarden, a young apprentice of the Wizard, Ulrich of Craggenmoor (Ralph Richardson), who takes up the Wizard’s quest to slay the Dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative, after Ulrich is apparently killed while proving a point by brutish henchman Tyrian, right hand of King Casiodorus (Peter Eyre). Ulrich had just accepted the task of killing the Dragon when a delegation of peasants approached him asking for his help. Kind Casiodorus had implemented a lottery, offering up a female virgin each year to appease the beast. The people have had enough of the Lottery and living under the fear of the Dragon, and are at their wits end. Now seeing their hopes die almost immediately, with the death of Ulrich, they head back to their town. Soon, though, they are joined by Galen, who has just inherited the Wizard’s magic amulet, who states that he will take up his former Master’s task and slay the Dragon himself. Along the way he risks strong resistance from the King, who believes his lottery system is best for his people, and is temporarily jailed so as not to meddle with the lottery. It’s not until the King’s own daughter is in jeopardy that the King releases Galen in the hopes Galen can actually end the Dragon menace. Along the journey, Galen discovers one of their party is not what they seem (no, not a traitor)…
So, this early 190’s fantasy film still looks beautiful (not something that most movies with special effects from that era can say), and is still interesting. As stated in the title of the review/write up, the Dragon in this movie is still one of my favourite designs of a Dragon in movies, ever. Maybe it’s second to Smaug, now, though I’ll decide that after the third and final Hobbit movie. Still, this movie, in my opinion, still hold up well. I heartily suggest this as a must watch for any fan of the Fantasy genre.
Sinister (2012) – Now This Is a Creepy Horror Movie
A 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:
Vampire Week Movie 6–Martin (1976) – Is He or Isn’t He?
George 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 3 – 30 Days of Night (2007)
So 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:
Devil’s Pass (2013)–Wow: A Good Found Footage Horror Movie–These Are Rare
2013’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
Suspiria 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
When 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:
Tarantino Week–Movie 4–Pulp Fiction (1994)
1994’s epic movie, Pulp Fiction, is a crazy, head spinning movie that just doesn’t give you a chance to take a breath. Like almost all Tarantino movies, it has a cast that is virtually a who’ who of Hollywood (as of 1994).
Pulp Fiction is a homage to the crazy B-Movies of the 60’s and 70’s, right down to the out of order timeline of events in the film. You’ve got a couple of thugs, or muscle for a Mobster by the name of Marcel, Vincent Vega (John Travolta), and Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson), who among other jobs, are sent to collect a briefcase with…something in it, from some young guys, who apparently believe Marcel is a bitch (watch the movie…). Things go wrong and things get messy.
We also have a sub story about a boxer, Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), who’s been paid heavily by none other than non-bitch Marcel, to take a dive in his upcoming fight.. yeah, things go wrong, and Butch and his weird and annoying French girlfriend are on the run. Later, Butch and Marcel end up captives to some hillbilly homosexual sadist rapists. Things get crazy again. Release the Gimp. and in another segment, Butch surprises Vincent… with deadly results.
We also have Vincent, charged with keeping Marcel’s wife, Mia (Uma Thurman), entertained while Marcel is away. The two end up at a cool, over the top, 50’s style diner. There’s some talk of a $5 milk shake and a great dance off… and then later, back at Marcel’s and Mia’s things get crazy, Mia ends up almost dead, rushed to Vincent’s heroin dealer’s house with a syringe of adrenalin sticking out of her chest.
Somewhere in the middle, a crazy criminal couple (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer) decide they want to rob the restaurant where Vincent and Jules are chilling out in. Things get intese this time, with Jules and holding a gun to Roth’s neck and explaining the deal to him…
Damn this movie is cool – awesome and out of sight. Some people (my wonderful wife included), do not like the fact that the story line is not linear, but I think that’s part of what makes the movie as great as it is. Should you watch this film? Yes, many times.
Check out the trailer below:
Tarantino Week–Movie 3: True Romance (1993)
True Romance is a crazy, wild ride of a movie. Written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring Christian Slater as Clarence Worley and Patricia Arquette as Alabama Whitman, a young couple who meet at a Sonny Chiba triple play at a theatre in Detroit. They hit off real good, have dinner and then both end up at Clarence’s apartment, having sex. Alabama then admits she’s a hooker hired by his boss, to help him blow off some steam. She also admits that she’s managed to fall in love with him over the course of the evening. This is fortunate, as apparently Clarence has fallen in love with her also. Having known each other for a whole night, they do the logical thing and get married. Now Clarence has to deal with Alabama’s Pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman). What confronting the pimp, and after a ruckus, and a visit from Clarence’s muse/alter ego/imaginary friend in his head, Drexl ends up dead, and Clarence accidentally ends up with a suitcase full of cocaine. The newly webs hatch a plan to sell the cocaine and restart their lives somewhere warm… Well, the coke was the Mobs, and soon the two are being tracked down by some unsavoury characters, one being the always awesome Christopher Walken as gangster Vincenzo Coccotti. Before the duo leave Detroit for California, they stop by Clarence’s estranged fathers, a police officer by the name of Clifford, played by Dennis Hopper a Detroit police officer, to find out what the police believe the motive for Drexl’s murder. After they leave, Coccotti and his crew end up at Cliffords to drill him on the location of Clarence and Alabama… A great exchange between two great actors happens…only one survives.
Off to Cali, the dynamic duo meet up with an old friends of Clarence, who begrudgingly agrees to help him sell the cocaine to a director he kind of knows, using a go between, played by Bronson Pinchot. Things go wrong, cops get involved, a meeting happend and everything goes to crap…
This movie is crazy and cool – crazy cool? Yeah. Unlike the Kill Bill movies (and the others I will be reviewing), this is written by Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott, and therefore has a different feeling than Tanatino directed films – but don’t think that is a bad thing, it’s just different. This is a great film and deserves to be watched.
Check out the trailer:
Tarantino Week–Movie 2: Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
When we finished Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie, Kill Bill Volume 1, Bill (played by David Caradine) was still alive… This pretty much guaranteed us a Volume 2.
Volume 2, released in early 2004, opens with a flash beck to Bill shooting Uma Thurman’s character, The Bride, and leaving her, presumably, for dead on the floor of a small church. Then we see The Bride herself, driving, recounting what happened in Volume 1, and then calmly letting us know that she is going to kill Bill. Soon we see Bill, speaking to his brother,Budd (played by Michael Madsen), himself a former Deadly Viper, warning him that The Bride is most likely on her way to kill him. Budd, who now spends his time working as a bouncer in a titty bar, explains that they all deserve any kind of vengeance that the Bride may bestow upon them, for what they did to her. Later, The Bride, expecting to ambush Budd, end up on the wrong side of a 12 gauge shotgun packed full of rock salt. Incapacitated, Budd buries her alive, in a cemetery, and calls fellow Viper, Elle Driver (played by Daryl Hannah), bragging of his deed, and offering up The Bride’s Hanzo sword to her for a cool million dollars – an offer she snaps at. Meanwhile, we flashback to The Bride…who flashes back to her martial arts training at the hands of a merciless master by the name of Pai Mei (Gordon Liu). We see a young Bride as she develops her techniques through repetition and the seeming heartlessness of her master. Eventually it is obvious that she has won his respect. Now we flashback to the present, with the Bride using one of the many techniques taught to her by Pai Mei to escape. Meanwhile, back at Budd’s trailer, Elle has shown up to get the sword. Providing Budd a suitcase full of cash (a million dollars, I presume), she inspects the weapon while Budd starts grabbing handfuls of cash out of the suitcase… Only to find a surprise – a deadly surprise, waits for him in all that cash. Now with Budd out of the way, The Bride has made her way back to Budd’s place to find Elle – which is good, because she too was on the Bride’s list of those that have to die… A great sword fight breaks out, and along the way we discover that Elle, who also was sent to learn under Pai Mei, had killed the old master by poisoning his meal. We also lean that the Master had plucked one of Ell’s eyes out during her training for being insubordinate to the old man. Enrages, The Bride takes instant justice by relieving Elle of her remaining eye…
Now on to Bill… The Bride, now referred to as Beatrix, has tracked Bill to Mexico. Meeting an elderly, dirt bag of a gentleman by the name of Esteban Vihaio, who tells her Bill’s location, because he believes Bill would want him to. Making it to Bill’s, she receives a shocks when she discovers some interesting personal info…and a dart of truth serum to the neck. More flashbacks and some serious talking, and then battle… awesome battle.
You know the name of the movies, so you figure out what the outcome is (watch the movies if you haven’t already). These two movies were meant to be released as a single movie, but the run time would be over 4 hours so they were broken into two. Watch both back to back for the original intended experience, The Kill Bill movies are fantastic and you should watch them.
Check out the trailer below:
Tarantino Week–Movie 1: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 movie, Kill Bill Volume 1 tells the story of “The Bride” (played by Uma Thurman), a former member of an assassination team known as the Deadly Vipers, and her journey of revenge against her former fellow assassins, and Bill, her former master and leader of the Deadly Vipers, for attacking and massacring her wedding party and leaving her for dead during a wedding rehearsal.
Thurman’s character, in this iteration of the Kill Bill Saga is known simply as the Bride. Waking from a coma, four years after Bill left her for dead on the floor of a church, he Bride takes little time to start her path of vengeance… starting right there in the hospital,taking out the redneck that paid a greaseball orderly to have sex with her… Oh, and she takes out that orderly, quickly. also… and takes off with his ridiculous, bright yellow truck, labeled “The Pussy Wagon”. First stop. after the killing in the hospital is to the home of Vernita Green (played by Vivica A. Fox). The two do epic battle with a short break in the middle when Vernita’s young daughter comes home. Soon the action restarts, and ends with The Bride heading to her next destination/victim, O-Ren Ishii (played by Lucy Liu), a former Viper and now leader of a consortium of Yakuza families. A flashback shows us just how she won the respect and fear of the male dominated Yakuza families. When The Bride shows up in Japan, she defeats what seems to be an almost endless number of minions, known as the Crazy 88s. The scene ends with a very stylistically shot scene with The Bride and Oren in a samurai sword battle. Pretty evenly matched… but you know who is going to win, and she does so in a spectacular fashion. Upon leaving, she leaves one former member of the Deadly Vipers alive: Sophie Fatale, (played by Julie Dreyfus), is left alive, albeit minus one arm, to send the message that The Bride is coming for him. Mixed up in the story ids a sub story, where the Bride travels to the island of Okinawa, and convinces the esteemed, but now retired sword smith, Hattori Hanzō (played by the awesome Sonny Chiba), to craft her a samurai sword. At first he declines… that is until she tells him the sword is to be used to Kill Bill. Now he’s in…
Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a little disjointed. Like Tarantino’s other masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, it has a disjointed timeline – the scenes are just not in linear order. I believe this may be in homage to the cheezy B-Movies of the past where projectionists would sometimes play the reels out of order, either due to mis-labeling or just carelessness. Either way, I like it.
Watch Kill Bill Volume 1… and if you’ve seen it, watch it again.
Check out the trailer below:
Tarantino Week–7 Days of Awesome
After a suggestion from my friend that normally watches these movies with suggested we do a Tarantino week…
Well, we are doing just that.
Switchblade Sisters (1975)–Gloriously Terrible
1975’s Switchblade Sisters (a.k.a. “Maggie’s Stiletto Sisters) is a mid-1970’s exploitation flick on steroids.
Telling the story of a female gang, know as the Dagger Debs (a sub gang made of the girl friends of The Daggers, and all male gang), run by tough chick Lace (played by Robbie Lee) who rules her gang through fear. Soon a small time confrontation in a diner ends with a new member of the gang, Maggie, who impressed Lace with her whip like skills and lack of fear.Lace and Maggie grow closer, which get’s fellow gang member, Patch (played by Monica Gayle), jealous as Maggie seems to be displacing her as Lace’s right hand girl. At the same time, Dominic (played by Asher Brauner), leader of the Daggers and Lace’s man takes a fancy to Maggie, forcing himself on her in her home one night. Seeing an opportunity, Patch starts laying the seeds of dissent by planting the idea that Maggie is actually after Dominic.
After a raid on a rival gang at a roller rink goes bad, and Dominic is killed, and Lace ends up in the hospital, Maggie decides that the remaining Daggers are just too weak to follow, she brings the girls to a “Black” neighbourhood and meets up with some militaristic woman gang members whom they team up with to take out that rival gang. Successfully destroying the rivals, now a conflict breaks out between Lace and Maggie. Believing Maggie is trying to usurp her as leader, and that she was trying to take Dominic (before he died of course), Maggie and Lace engage in a switchblade fight…
Okay, enough… I actually had fun watching this terrible movie. There are very few redeeming qualities to this film, or even this genre of film, but it is damn fun. The incredible cheeziness of the script, acting and overall concept makes this an almost must watch!
Check out the trailer below and make your own decision.