Monthly Archives: May 2014

No new posts until June 3rd.

Let me start by saying thank you to everyone that checks here every week. It really means a lot that people like my reviews. After a year of what was basically hell, I am finally going on a vacation. During that time I won’t be able to watch anything new, and I’m not sure if I’ll be going to a theater while I’m away. Sorry for the wait, but my brain needs to recharge after so many terrible movies.

Rapid Retrospect 5/12- 5/18

Frozen (2013) 3/5

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Let me start by saying this is a decent movie. The problem I have is it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. The strongest point it has is the importance of family, and a twist that deviates from the Disney norm. However, I wouldn’t consider as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. One song is really good, but the rest (and there are a lot of them) are pretty bland. It makes the think the script was short, so they thew in a bunch of extra songs to pad it out to almost 2 hours. It’s a paint by numbers kid’s movie until the last 20 minutes. I don’t hate it, but I probably wouldn’t watch it again.

Lady Death (2004) 2/5

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This is actually based on a comic book, and it kind of shows. The voice acting is the good thing about it, but the choppy animation overshadows it. I know it was released in 2004, but I still think it could be way better than it is. Also, I don’t think there was quite enough subject matter to drag it out for a feature film. You can tell which parts are filler, and which parts came from the comic. Overall I think the project was just handled poorly, and this is one of the few times a reboot might be necessary to turn it into something worth watching.

Exte: Hair Extensions (2007) 4/5

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Have you ever watched a film so weird that you couldn’t help but love it? That’s how I felt while watching this. It’s a Japanese horror film about killer hair extensions. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is well done. It’s creepy, odd, funny, and everything I didn’t expect it to be. Given the plot, the acting is pretty good. I will say the hair-obessessed coroner steals the show. He’s like Buffalo Bill, except he would make a suit out of hair. I can’t really do it justice, so you’ll have to see for yourself. I promise it is worth watching.

Penumbra (2011) 2.5/5
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I’m torn about this one. I don’t like it enough to give it a 3, but I also don’t hate it enough to drop it down to 2. The pacing in this just killed me. I get they were going for a creepy atmosphere, but an hour’s worth? Also, nothing is truly explained. There’s some kind of cult that’s going to do something during an eclipse, and they’re “evil”. Predictable is a nice way to describe this. However, the acting wasn’t that bad, and the dialog was solid. I wish the pacing and plot had been done differently because it does have potential to be eerie. Instead it’s 60 minutes of somewhat witty/creepy banter, then a weak and unoriginal ending. It has its moments, but there’s just not enough there for it to be entertaining.

Rapid Retrospect 5/5- 5/11

Nightmare Detective (2006) 3/5
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Here’s one of the foreign releases from Dimension Extreme. I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I was expecting a lot of gore, along with an interesting plot. What I got was a clunky mess that just peters out at the end. The whole “serial killer in dreams” bit has been done many times before, but Nightmare Detective doesn’t add anything except a lot of water and confusing scenes. My biggest question is how a couple people gain the ability to enter dreams, and why did it take so long for the police to track them down? However, the monster/killer was interesting, and it was promising until the last 15-20 minutes. It’s good to watch once if you have an hour and 40 minutes to kill.

Eaten Alive (1980) 1/5
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I wanted to see this one because I am on a quest to see every horror film from the 80’s. I’m guessing it’s considered horror because of the cannibalistic scenes, but it’s just very…rapey. Every 10 minutes some chick is getting what little clothing she has ripped off, and then gets pinned to the ground. That’s bad enough, but then this steals scenes of real animal abuse from other movies. I can handle anything, unless animals are really being harmed. I lost count of how many times an animal is killed on-screen. There’s nothing redeeming about this, outside of the hilariously bad wigs the cannibals are wearing. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to overshadow unnecessary rape and abuse.

Bloody Birthday 3/5 (1981)
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Three babies born during an eclipse lack remorse and empathy, and turn into murderous schoolchildren. My biggest question is how everyone seems to ignore the blatant signs that the murders weren’t committed by an adult. A jump rope is left at one of the crime scenes, and no one thinks to look at the creepy kids that always hang out together? They beat the sheriff to death in broad daylight, and the official report has cause of death listed as a fall? It’s an original story, but I can’t turn off my common sense long enough to really enjoy it. To its credit, those kids gave me the heebie jeebies. If you want something creepy, this is a good pick.

Sadako (2012) 3/5
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This is in the Ringu set of films. Someone has the brilliant idea to resurrect the girl that was dropped into the well, and her spirit creates a cursed video clip that drives people to suicide. Unfortunately, this was meant to be seen in 3D. A lot of the scares and effects are lost when you watch it normally. The best part is when the spirit manifests as a spider/cricket hybrid. It is as creepy as it sounds. The story itself isn’t horrible, but I think events could’ve played out more smoothly. I say watch it if you like completing franchises, even though there is a part 2 that has not been released in the U.S. (thanks for the tip, Jason). For the rest of you that aren’t familiar with Ringu, you’ll be lost and probably bored.

The Baby (1973) 3/5
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It takes a lot to unnerve me, but The Baby managed to do just that. It’s so bizarre that you’re not sure how to feel about it. We follow a social worker who takes on the case of Baby, a grown man that lives life as a baby. This is all because of abuse at the hands of his mother and sisters. I’m not quite sure how to rate this. Given the subject matter, the acting is quite good, and the plot is weird but well-executed. It’s worth watching on Netflix, but be prepared for the most uncomfortable 85 minutes of your life.

The Keep (1983) 1/5
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Nazis take over a town with some kind of crypt that is covered by crosses. When two of the soldiers try to steal silver, they unleash a being whose name is very close to Molasses. Molasses also has an enemy whose name is close to Goulash. Nothing really happens for 90 minutes outside of an out of place sex scene, and Nazis randomly exploding. It sounds awesome, but it’s really not. Throw in some bad special effects and a non-stop fog machine, and you have a sedative in celluloid form.

Vamp (1986) 4/5
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The only way I can describe this is it is everything 80’s, and it is glorious. You have Grace Jones as the vampire queen, fraternity pledges, gore, comedy, and boobs. Do I need to say anything else? It is a cult classic, and you should buy it if you don’t already have it.

Mr. Nobody (2009) 4/5
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I saw this on Netflix a while ago, but I had no interest in it. It’s over 2 hours long, and it’s science fiction. But because of a recommendation, I decided to give it a chance. And my god, this is outstanding. Jared Leto plays the last living mortal who is on his deathbed. He is interviewed by a report, and retells the story of his life. However, he gives two versions: what would’ve happened if he had lived with his mother, or if he had stayed with his father. It doesn’t sounds like much, but the movie aims to show how the smallest decisions will impact the rest of our lives, who we meet, and who we fall in love with. Don’t let the run time scare you. It is worth it, and I think it deserves more recognition.

Rapid Retrospect 4/28- 5/4

There aren’t enough hours in the day. Thanks to monsoons, papers, and life just sucking in general, my movie watching time was cut very short. Thankfully the movies I did see were pretty good.

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990) 4/5

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It’s your standard anthology, but here we have Debbie Harry who kidnaps a little boy and plans to eat him. The boy distracts her by telling tales from her favorite book. I think all of the stories are very well done, and they aren’t overly cheesy. My personal favorite is Cat from Hell just because of how the cat manages to off people. Unfortunately, this is no longer streaming on Netflix. But it’s entertaining, so I say try to find a cheap copy.

Harold and Maude (1971) 4/5
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A classic from the 1970s, this is about a guy who gets his kicks by staging suicides and attending the funerals of strangers. He then meets a woman old enough to be his grandmother, and falls in love with her. It sounds bizarre, but it’s really good. I found myself laughing a few times at the “suicides”, only because Harold’s mother just steps over him or ignores him. I can see why this has a lot of fans, and I really enjoyed it.

They Live (1988) 4/5
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Here’s another classic that I watched for the first time. I had no idea it was this awesome. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about how the world is being taken over by aliens that use subliminal messaging in consumer culture. It’s definitely social commentary, but it’s also interesting how well it has aged. Without getting political, I think the message still has a valid point today. We might not be at the mercy of aliens, but we do “consume” almost anything in sight. If it’s not your thing, at least watch it for the grand reveal. I think that’s the best final sequence I’ve ever seen.

Brain Damage (1988) 4/5
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I think film-makers need to take a look at movies like Brain Damage and They Live. You can get a message across without being ridiculously offensive. Brain Damage manages to do just that with a brain eating alien that gives its host one hell of a trip. It’s gory and campy, but once you realize it’s a story about spiraling into drug addiction you can’t help but love it. This is another film from director Frank Henenlotter, who also gave us Frankenhooker and Bad Biology. That should be reason enough to go buy this.

New Rapid Retrospect on Wednesday

Normally I’m pretty good about getting weekly reviews done by Sunday or Monday. However, life has other plans. This week was filled with flat tires, birthdays/anniversaries, monsoons, 4 page papers, and a psychotic dog. I don’t want to post another 4 movie retrospect, so I’m just going to push it back a couple days until I can get caught up on my movies. Thanks for bearing with me, and sorry for the delay.