Monthly Archives: March 2014

Rapid Retrospect 3/24-3/30

Based on the response I got on the first Rapid Retrospect, I’m going to change things a bit. Memory Lane will be retired. I’ll still watch movies I’ve seen before, but I’m going to keep the reviews short. Without further ado, here’s I what I was able to see last week.

Zombi 5: Killing Birds (1988)

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Here’s the last of the Zombi films, and I don’t think it could’ve ended in a worse way. I actually don’t remember that much outside of a lot of off-screen kills, a plot that makes no sense, and then it was over. Oh yeah, and killer birds mixed in that are avenging the death of…somebody. I zoned out after the first 5 minutes, but it had something to do with a cuckolded husband. I think. The hilariously bad special effects makeup didn’t help matters either. I give it 1/5.

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)

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A bunch of friends head to a home in the Hamptons every summer for theme parties. The house is being sold, so they decide an orgy should be their last hurrah. At first glance, I thought this would feature spoiled college kids. Nope, these are adults in their mid-30s. It just makes it…weird. I’m not saying you should stop partying at a certain age, but when you’re already at your last hurrah when you’re only 35? It seems a little desperate to me. I give it 3/5. Even though the plot is questionable, it’s hilarious and the cast includes some of my favorites.

Mr. Angel (2013)

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This is a documentary of Buck Angel, a transgender porn actor. He was born female, but made the transition to male. However, he didn’t have surgery on his bottom half. That’s right; he’s a male porn actor with a fully functional vagina. Looking past how odd the whole situation is, I commend him for trying to raise awareness for people like him. He does a lot of public speaking encouraging others to accept themselves. He has a great message, but I can’t help but feel like it gets overshadowed because of his decision to star in porn. I give it 3/5.

Buried Alive (2007)

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I saw this years ago on Comcast On Demand. I thought it was awesome. I don’t know why. It makes no sense. There’s a family curse that finally kills everyone off, but we’re never told what the curse is. Also, our heroes have zero survival instincts. Most people would be worried if a member of their group was just sitting in a car for 8 hours. Not these guys. They joke the missing member is watching porn. That would be valid, except they’re in the desert with no cell signal or Wi-Fi. There are many dumb scenes like this throughout the whole movie. I guess Tobin Bell really needed a paycheck in between Saw 3 and 4. This gets 1/5.

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Rapid Retrospect 3/17-3/23

I’m trying out something new. Most of the movies I find are so terrible they don’t deserve a full review, or they’re good but there’s not much I can say without giving the whole film away. Now I will put some of those films here weekly in a list. I finished my finals this week, so I decided to catch up on stuff that has been lingering in my Netflix queue for a while, and a couple DVDs that I’ve had for the last month.

Salvage (2009)

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There are a couple films that share this title. I’m guess those are better than the one I watched. It’s about a mother that tries to rescue her daughter because some alien booger monster is terrorizing a suburb. There’s just a lot of screaming, running back and forth between 2 houses, and no explanation as to what the monster is or how it got to this complex. It’s a little generic and predictable, the acting is blander than water, and it’s so short that gore took precedence over character development and a storyline. I give it 2/5.

The World’s End (2013)

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Here we have the last of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. I personally think this is the best out of the three. A group of friends reunite to finally conquer a notorious pub crawl, except the town has been taken over by aliens. Once again, our heroes aren’t the most reliable people but it works. I give it 4/5. The story isn’t anything new, but the acting and writing is what makes it so enjoyable. Think This Is the End, except with little to no dick jokes and characters you want to see survive.

Zombie 3 (1988)

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I’m working on watching “classics” that I haven’t seen. This is one of them, but it just doesn’t compare to Zombi 2. Once you’ve seen a zombie fighting a shark, it is really hard to top that. However, it’s still a decent gore fest so I give it 3/5. It’s not horrible, but I think what brought it down was the pacing and the plot. You can also tell this didn’t seem like something Lucio Fulci would put out. You’re absolutely right. Fulci was only able to film 60% of the movie, and the rest was done by Bruno Mattei, who felt the movie needed more “padding”. We see how well that turned out.

Zombie 4 (1989)

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This is where things really go downhill. Lucio Fulci was not a part of this, and writer Claudio Fragrasso took over directing while Rossella Drudi handled the screenplay. That combined with horrid acting equals a 84 minute cheese fest. The zombies are now ninjas/mindless minions, they can talk, and organize a mob to corner and eat people. The ending is the most attractive character dying, and our heroine turns into a Marilyn Monroe zombie. This was just painful to watch. I give it 2/5.

COWBOY BEBOP and SAMURAI CHAMPLOO Heavyweights Collaborating on New Series

I can’t wait to see this.

Another Castle

Source: Naruto Forums.com Source: Naruto Forums.com

What could be cooler than director Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Kids on the Slope, Space Dandy, Samurai Champloo), composer Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Macross Plus, Kids on the Slope), and character designer Kazuto Nakazawa (Samurai Champloo, House of Five Leaves, Kids on the Slope) coming together again for a new series? Well, nothing.

Fuji TV unveiled their Summer 2014 programming plans during its Noitamina press event on March 21 in Japan. The latest series ready to rip the pants off anime fans is entitled Zankyō no Terror (Terror of Resonance) and will premiere during their Noitamina block in July.

The Noitamina block of programming had previously aired hits such as Honey and Clover, Eden of East, Black Rock Shooter, Kids on the Slope, Paradise Kiss, and, more recently, Silver Spoon.

With a tagline like, “pull the trigger on…

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Victim of Beauty (1991)

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At the request of my readers, I’m going to finish the pack that exposed me to Die-ner. I decided to check out Victim of Beauty. It’s about a model whose friends and associates wind up dead. It sounded somewhat interesting…until I did a little research. This was a made for TV movie back in 1991. I’ll let you guess how well it has aged. Also, whoever put this collection together seems to think a generic Lifetime mystery counts as horror. There’s very little blood, and most of the killing happens off-screen.

It took me an hour to find proof that this even existed. It can also be found under the name Drop Dead Gorgeous (get it?!). After sitting through this, I realize that Victim of Beauty doesn’t make sense as a title. That would imply the main character is a victim of her beauty, but she’s not. She’s just surrounded by greedy, rapey douchebags that will throw each other under the bus just to get into her pants.

The best part is the “reveal”. At first, we’re lead to believe the owner of the modeling agency is behind the killings. Wrong! It was her assistant. Wrong again! It was the model’s love interest. Wrong yet again! It was the model all along, who was molested by her father. How I described it is exactly how things play out in the movie. What it all boils down to is a woman with a lot of emotional and mental scars who doesn’t like people in her space bubble. While having your personal space invaded is quite irritating, it doesn’t make me want to go on a murderous rampage.

It also made me noticed something: why are crazy killers able to mask the insanity for any length of time until a loved one finds out their crimes? The psycho goes from not being a suspect to making the Joker look sane. What’s the point? The power of love sees through any mask? I doubt it. I’m going to go with a writer is going for some kind of sociopath angle, and it just doesn’t work. This was just another waste of 90 minutes. I would rather watch Die-ner again instead of reliving this. This gets 1/5. It might’ve been decent in 1991, but it doesn’t work today. It’s corny, but not in a fun, campy way. I just keep thinking I have unwittingly volunteered to review the rest of the collection, and after watching Victim of Beauty I regret my decision.

5 Things I Learned From Die-ner

I can never pass up a good bargain. So imagine my joy when I found a 20 movie pack that was only $5. That joy was short lived. I really should’ve known it would just be stuff that had a $100 budget, and used a potato to film. I opened it a few days ago, but I’m going to say my first pick deserves to be in the hall of fame of stupidity. The plot is a murderous, Patrick Bates wannabe kills people in a diner, and they come back as zombies. This was so bad that I had to put what was wrong with it in list form. Hang on, because this is going to hurt.

5. The zombie apocalypse will be very slow and quiet.

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Forget what Dawn of the Dead taught you. Zombies will be slower than a snail stuck in molasses, and are harmless if you can outrun them. They also manage to have ninja-like stealth, and gently paw at you before ripping out your innards. If you take away the eating human flesh aspect, the zombies are basically a mildly annoyed cat.

4. Be as hesitant as possible when being held hostage by a psycho.

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Our “heroes” are a married couple on a trip to salvage their crumbling marriage. Of course their one pit stop just has to be this diner, or else we wouldn’t have a movie. What makes it worse is that they had several opportunities to take out the killer and escape. So what do they do? Knock him out, but then waste time arguing about who will deliver the death blow. Here’s the thing about hitting someone so hard that they become unconscious: they will be out anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes. Anything past that equals potential brain damage or a coma. Think about that. They knock the guy out, but don’t have the balls to kill him and get away. So they waste time twice, and give him time to come around. I am not ashamed to say I was happy when everyone died at the end.

3. If you have to explain the title, it’s not clever or funny.

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The full title is actually Die-ner (get it?). That tells me whoever made this honestly thought their audience would be stupid enough to not get the “joke”. Or the makers are so idiotic that they had to name it that to remind themselves of what the joke was.

2. Flashbacks deserve a better quality of film that the rest of the movie.

While the killer is in unconscious-land, he has flashbacks of his childhood. Outside of the fact they don’t explain anything; there is a drastic improvement in quality. It’s such a difference that I’m 99% positive the scenes were stolen from another movie. Then again, considering how stupid this is I’m going to guess the flashbacks ate up most of the budget.

1. Duct tape will fix everything during the apocalypse.

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Zombie trying to eat you? Tape him to the floor. Got your finger bitten off? Tape up your hand. Did someone get a chunk ripped out of their neck? Get a towel, and tape it to the hole. The only thing that was missing was them taping the doors to prevent more zombies from coming in. And now I’m sad because I noticed a missed opportunity in something called Die-ner. I also learned one other important lesson: don’t buy combo packs from Wal-Mart. They’re less than $10 for a reason.

The Banshee Chapter (2013)

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I don’t know much about this. I figured with a name like The Banshee Chapter it had to be interesting. I was wrong. The whole film is based around the “mysterious” MK Ultra project. Long story short, the C.I.A thought it was a great idea to dabble in behavioral engineering. Patients were subjected to LSD (and other drugs), torture, hypnosis, isolation and pretty much anything else that prolonged exposure to could cause insanity or worse. The project is so top secret that people have allegedly been murdered to prevent the dark secret results from being leaked. In other words, the whole event is a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. For the rest of us, it’s just a creepy story.

The Banshee Chapter looks at the MK Ultra project, and asks if there was something more sinister at work. I thought it was a load of crap. One thing that is quite confusing is the constant flashbacks that occur without warning. I’m guessing they’re meant to set a scary tone, but I was lost for a good 45 minutes. Then the movie decides to cop out and say everything was in the patients’ heads…or was it? The only closure that is offered is the hallucinations are passed from victim to victim through touch, not through a chemical that looks a lot like Listerine.

If I was 10, this would make me crap my pants because of the back to back jump scares. The acting is…alright. I’m giving the actors a break considering they didn’t have much to work with. There’s really nothing to this movie. It tries to do a new take on an old tale, but it’s directionless and the plot twist just doesn’t make sense. I give it 2/5. It’s not Chernobyl Diaries levels of bad, but it is far from good. This is meant to be watched if you have 85 minutes to waste, or you’re having trouble sleeping. It’s so boring that it is a better sedative than Benadryl, and I’m willing to bet you’ll pass out after the first 5 minutes.